How Can I Become a Participating Housing Counseling Agency?
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency has designed a variety of sound programs and initiatives to assist future homebuyers with information about the homeownership process. Existing homeowners can also receive education to focus and resolve their financial circumstances to get back on track, while helping them keep their homes through the counseling effort.
Working with counseling agencies and participating lenders, our Comprehensive Housing Counseling Initiatives provide accurate information about understanding the responsibilities of owning a home, what it takes to keep it, and serves to bring tangible improvements to communities.
The housing counseling network addresses the following specific housing priorities: expanding homeownership opportunities; increasing minority homeownership; fighting practices of predatory lending; increasing housing opportunities for the elderly and the disabled; increasing homeownership opportunities in rural communities; and, helping homeowners save their homes from foreclosure.
In order to ensure that a high level of homeownership counseling and education is available throughout the Commonwealth, and in conjunction with the PHFA Homeownership Programs, an interested counseling agency can directly submit an application for approval. Providers who have or have not already been certified as part of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs/Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation or comparable program showing an interest in becoming a participating agency, will be critiqued, trained* by PHFA staff, and approved in accordance with some or all of the following criteria:
- The organization possesses adequate documentation to establish its legal status, including articles of incorporation, by-laws, board list, and certificates of good standing.
- The organization has at least two years experience providing homeowner education and counseling.
- Staff conducting the education and counseling have received certification in homebuyer education through attendance at HUD, Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation Training Institutes, or a comparable training program, or have at least three years experience as a homeownership trainer utilizing program characteristics set forth by PHFA.
- The organization has a written, prescribed process for providing homeownership education and counseling services that meets HUD guidelines.
- The organization demonstrates capacity to support its caseload as evidenced by its historical performance, current business plan, and its budget staff levels.
- The organization agrees to use Fannie Mae's Home Counselor Online Web based software program to electronically manage case files, generate reports, and track productivity.
- The program is recognized as one of the leading counseling providers in the local community (based on interviews with local lenders, housing, and community development leaders).
* PHFA training is not for certifiation purposes, training essentially consists of topics required duirng counseling sessions and the billing process.
If you would like to obtain more information about the PHFA Comprehensive Housing Counseling Network, and/or get specific information on the application process, please contact Terri L. Redmond, Manager of Counseling and Education at 717.780.3907.
Application Forms for New Counseling Agencies:
PHFA Counseling Department is not taking new CHCI Counseling Agency Network applications at this time.
New Agency Related Forms:
Approved Counseling Agencies: