HUD: New Tool Helps Buyers Find Home Counselors

Online tool accesses HUD-approved counselors and a toll-free number offers advice in 200 languages on buying, renting, reverse mortgages or evictions/foreclosures.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created a new search tool that provides localized information for prospective homebuyers who need help from a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.

The technology includes an enhanced and easy-to-use online search tool and a new, toll-free automated telephone number – (800) 569-4287. HUD says the phone can access information in 200 languages and translators are available to assist callers who have limited English proficiency.

“Our new … tools will help the public access quality housing counseling services, which are a crucial component of HUD’s work to meet the housing needs of our nation’s families,” says Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Julia Gordon.

Gordon says the certified-housing counselors can help consumers:

  • Understand their options for buying a first home
  • Obtain rental assistance
  • Learn more about a reverse mortgage
  • Avoid eviction or foreclosure

The online locator is available in English and Spanish. According to HUD, the latest version has improved navigation, more counseling-type search choices, smart-phone capability and it provides directions.

The new telephone number responds to voice prompts. Users can also request information and assistance from a customer service representative from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Eastern Time, including from translators who can offer advice in more than 200 languages.

“Thanks to a tremendous partnership between our Office of Housing Counseling and the Office of Single Family Housing, we were able to replace outdated, 25-year-old technology with a robust, comprehensive and easy-to-use set of tools for consumers,” says Office of Housing Counseling Deputy Assistant Secretary David Berenbaum.

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