HUD-approved housing counseling agencies provide trustworthy, free or low-cost advice. They help clients understand if they're financially ready to buy a home, and how much they can afford. They also offer expertise in rental housing, financial and credit counseling, foreclosure prevention and post-purchase counseling, including information on reverse mortgages.
These housing counseling agencies are available throughout Virginia to help people making major decisions about their finances and housing options -- but many people don't know they exist! That was the consensus of a VHDA survey sent to 32 non-profit, HUD-approved housing counseling agencies that receive HUD grant funding administered by VHDA. As a result of that survey, our Housing Education and Marketing departments worked with these agencies to develop a statewide awareness campaign about housing counseling.
The campaign presents online ads that link to a landing page on VHDA's website. The landing page provides information on the availability and importance of housing counseling and the various types of housing counselors. It also makes it clear that their services are often free. In addition, it explains how to prepare for a counseling session, including what documents to bring, and has a link to the HUD website where consumers can search for a housing counselor in their area.