Tell us about your organization’s mission/focus area.
The National Housing Resource Center is dedicated to organizing nonprofit housing counseling agencies into a unified voice to advocate for the housing counseling industry and on behalf of housing consumers. NHRC promotes the long-term interests of the housing counseling industry and the people served by the housing counseling agencies, and is created to accomplish things together that we are not able to do separately. We advance public policies, programs and educational materials that will strengthen the housing counseling industry and benefit housing consumers, especially communities of color, the elderly, low- and moderate-income people, and underserved populations.
Describe a current challenge in your community and how your organization is addressing this?
The HUD housing counselor certification that went into effect on August 1, 2021, means that housing counseling organizations must hire housing counseling staff that have passed the certification exam or invest the time to prepare a new hire to take the exam. This can be risky if the new hire is ultimately unable to pass the certification exam.
NHRC created the Housing Counseling Career Path in an effort to address this need. In partnership with Housing Action Illinois, we are doing outreach to various college programs, particularly at HBCU’s and Hispanic Colleges, to offer information about a career in housing counseling and provide training specifically designed to help them pass the certification exam. Additionally, we’ve created a housing counseling jobs board specifically reserved for HUD approved housing counseling agencies to post available positions and for interested candidates to post their resume.
What prompted you to join NCRC?
When we started NHRC, it was important for us to join NCRC as the leading CRA organization, as a leading HUD housing counseling intermediary, and as an innovator in the field.
How have you collaborated, or would you like to collaborate with other organizations to successfully achieve a goal?
We are always looking to collaborate with other organizations to meet identified needs. The Housing Counseling Career Path is a perfect example.
Please share a success story or memorable moment from your work.
We were able to have $100 million in housing counseling funding included in the last stimulus legislation, which is now being distributed by NeighborWorks as the Housing Stabilization Counseling Program.
Ellie Pepper is the Deputy Director of the National Housing Resource Center.
Photo is part of NHRC’s ‘A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words’ campaign, submitted by Amy Bell, Senior Housing Counselor at Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler Counties in New York.