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A four-year, two-phase housing counseling pilot proposed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development represents the opportunity to provide empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of homeownership counseling, an element that has long been missing from discussions on the value of counseling requirements, researchers from the UNC Center for Community Capital say in a public comment to HUD on the proposal.

The Pre-Purchase Homeownership Counseling Demonstration and Impact Evaluation is an important first step toward that goal, and the center is pleased to participate in the project, they say.

They offer four recommendations to ensure the pilot project achieves its goal of improving the performance of the FHA’s mortgage fund, expanding the number of families who benefit from homeownership counseling and increasing access to sustainable home mortgages for buyers underserved by the current market:

  1. Encourage a variety of delivery methods for counseling services, while ensuring and monitoring the quality of the curriculum as well as the capacity of the provider.Consistency in the quality of counseling is critical to the success of the program.
  2. Ensure that costs, benefits and incentives are structured in a manner that appeals to consumers, minimizes FHA losses and engages lenders.
  3. Leverage the pilot to strengthen networks and platforms for delivering high quality services.
  4. Build in careful evaluation of outcomes.

The UNC Center for Community Capital is the leading center for research and policy analysis on the transformative power of capital on households and communities in the United States. The center’s in-depth analyses help policymakers, advocates and the private sector find sustainable ways to expand economic opportunity to more people, more effectively. For more information, visit



Topics(s): Affordable Homeownership, Homeownership Counseling, Housing Policy, Mortgage Finance
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