A hidden gem for housing professionals

The article explains how Counselor's Corner provides the tools and resources for housing counseling professionals.
Published: Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Non-profit housing counseling agencies and other community groups sometimes struggle to fund professional development training for staff and volunteers. Staff are often limited in what types of educational opportunities they can pursue, while agencies find themselves asking how they can augment core staff learning in the most cost effective way. One valuable resource that could help consumer advocates navigate this dilemma is the Counselor’s Corner on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Exchange website. Our staff recently discovered the helpful resource after attending a Counselor’s Corner webinar on disaster preparedness and recovery.

The Counselor’s Corner is a free one-stop shop of tools and resources for housing counseling professionals. We uncovered webinars, training videos and tutorials on the site, which provides industry updates and helps housing counselors to make informed decisions. Some of the topics discussed on the site and in online learning events include pre-purchase counseling, homeownership preservation and financial capability.

Consumer Action’s Audrey Perrott points to a valuable disaster preparedness resource she discovered in October while attending a Counselor’s Corner webinar, Disaster Road to Recovery. The session provided a comprehensive look into pre-disaster preparedness and post-disaster management in the event of hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters. It also outlined the types of responses that could be expected from major stakeholders in the event of a disaster, from individual homeowners to local and federal government. After the webinar, the Counselor’s Corner team sent out the webinar recording, a disaster preparedness resource guide, a link to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) rumor control website for Hurricane Irma and the link to a Community Emergency Response Team training offered by Ready.gov. As with all natural disasters, scammers quickly go to work to exploit victims (particularly those looking to file home insurance claims or pay for home improvements), which makes it necessary for counselors, case managers and community advocates to be ready to counter the misinformation and direct disaster victims to appropriate community resources—something that the Counselor’s Corner prepares us to do.




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