Certified Occupancy Specialist

The nation’s foremost course on HUD occupancy guidelines and regulations

Certified Occupancy Specialist® (COS®) is a comprehensive study of HUD guidelines and regulations set forth in HUD Handbook 4350.3 REV-1 including rent calculation, eligibility, verification, recertification, tenant screening, and Fair Housing.

HUD's efforts to transform the affordable housing industry have resulted in a myriad of new rules, regulations, and standards. NCHM's COS, the most widely-sought certification in the affordable housing industry, is the definitive training for compliance at properties falling under the umbrella of HUD Handbook 4350.3 REV-1.

What you’ll learn:

All HUD occupancy requirements, including the latest changes

The course covers all core occupancy standards, including eligibility and tenant selection; 504/Fair Housing; assets and income determination and calculation; deductions and adjusted income; verifications including EIV; and annual and interim recertifications.

HUD Handbook 4350.3 REV-1, Change 4, EIV, and VAWA

The COS workbook incorporates HUD Handbook 4350.3 REV-1, Change 4 (as revised November, 2013) in its entirety and addresses important changes such as new rules for verification procedures and much more.

How you will learn:

Instruction is delivered through lecture and an integrated multimedia presentation. Training notes, coordinated with the multimedia presentation, facilitate participants’ preparation for the certification examination.

The COS Exam

Computerized grading of the exam results allows each participant to see their numeric score, relative standing, and a detailed breakdown of their strengths and weaknesses. Participants with passing scores earn a COS certification; others receive certificates of participation.

Download COS Course Description


Pillar Course:  Meets RHM Occupancy Requirement
Duration: Three days
Exam: Includes half-day certification exam
Format:  Lecture with multimedia presentation 
Prerequisites:  None; Exposure to HUD Handbook 4350.3 helpful but not required;
Audience:  Managers and others involved with HUD-subsidized programs including Section 8, 202, 811, 221, and 236  
Provided:  COS workbook; complete printed copy of HUD Handbook 4350.3 REV-1; COS Training Notes 
Bring: Calculator (required); #2 pencil, highlighter, sticky notes 
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