What is HUD and why is it so important?

HUD stands for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD was established in 1965. It is a cabinet-level government agency, which simply means that its leader, a secretary, is appointed by the president and approved by the U.S. Senate, and holds that position until a new president takes office. The secretary of HUD reports directly to the President of the United States. The current HUD Secretary is Dr. Ben Carson.

HUD is vitally important to ensure the fairness and equal opportunity of housing for all U.S. citizens. It was created to support community development and homeownership. It also promotes increasing the amount of affordable rental options available and fights housing discrimination by ensuring equal opportunities in the rental markets.

HUD is responsible for enforcing the Fair Housing Act (FHA) – which prevents discrimination in housing based on sex, race, color, national origin and religion. Everyone deserves fair housing regardless of familial status or handicap.

Secretary Carson has outlined a department goal to “move away from the policies and programs of the past and develop an innovative approach that anticipates the housing needs of the future, while addressing current needs.” In other words, HUD is undergoing change, which translates to more adjustment of rules, laws and procedures that housing professionals must understand and execute.

In this atmosphere of change, it is more important than ever for you to be able to access a resource that understands the HUD updates and changes and can communicate them clearly for you to understand and act upon.

NCHM is that resource. We were created by a presidential mandate in 1972 and have worked closely with HUD since our inception. As time goes on, you can count on two constants:

  1. HUD’s rules and regulations will evolve and change
  2. You can count on NCHM to keep you and your team in-the-know.

Please see our training programs or contact us to stay up-to-date with HUD and be the best housing professional you can be.

Certification & Course Offerings

Certified Occupancy Specialist
Certified Occupancy Specialist (COS) is the most widely-sought certification in the HUD affordable housing industry and has been the gold standard since 1981. The COS training is a comprehensive study of HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing guidelines and regulations set forth in HUD Handbook 4350.3 REV-1 and subsequent notices, including rent calculation, eligibility, verification, recertification, tenant screening, and Fair Housing. The training program prepares students for the certification exam, which is administered immediately after the instruction when comprehension is the highest. Beginning in 2020, COS will be available online as well as in the classroom.

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Certified Occupancy Specialist - Public Housing
Certified Occupancy Specialist – Public Housing (COSP) is a comprehensive study of the HUD guidelines and regulations found in the Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook (PHOG). COSP is geared toward individuals, both experienced and new to the field, who are responsible for, or involved in, compliance with HUD regulations as they relate to the low-income public housing program. The training covers all essential occupancy-related topics in HUD’s PHOG and supporting notices including rent calculation, eligibility, verification, recertification, tenant screening, admission and occupancy (ACOP) requirements, program rents and unit transfers. The training program prepares students for the certification exam, which is administered immediately after the instruction when comprehension is the highest.

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Management and Occupancy Review Specialist
Management and Occupancy Review Specialist (MORS) provides an in-depth understanding of the process used by HUD staff and Contract Administrators in conducting HUD-mandated Management and Occupancy Reviews (MOR). The training reviews MOR guidelines and regulations and their relevance to the MOR process and examines the common errors that lead to poor performance on MORs by both management staff and contract administrator staff. MORS is for property management, HUD, and contract administrator staff who want to understand the details of MOR and how they can be used to improve property performance and conditions.

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Certified Occupancy Specialist Prep
Certified Occupancy Specialist Prep is a two-hour online, on demand course designed to help prepare housing professionals who are planning to take the Certified Occupancy Specialist (COS) training and certification program. COS Prep reviews the basic concepts, calculations, and methodology behind COS, thereby helping to eliminate the anxiety that many students bring to the classroom.

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Certified Occupancy Specialist Advanced
NCHM’s Certified Occupancy Specialist (COS) program has been the gold-standard in the affordable housing industry for decades, and COS Advanced (COSA) takes it one step further, focusing on evaluation and analysis of compliance data and processes, electronic submission of data, and problem resolution. This live, online course, conducted in three-hour sessions over three days, provides participants with the knowledge to effectively navigate, and analyze, the increasingly complex field of HUD compliance. The certification exam is administered online.

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Certified Voucher Specialist

Certified Voucher Specialist (CVS) provides training and certification for the HUD Housing Choice and Project-Based Voucher programs. The program incorporates HUD Handbook 7420.10G and numerous other Notices and Memos containing updated Rules and Regulations regarding occupancy guidance for the programs. Among the topics covered are eligibility, income and asset calculations, rent calculations, reexaminations, and applicable Fair Housing and Civil Rights obligations.

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Enterprise Income Verification Specialist

The use of HUD’s Enterprise Income Verification system (EIV) is mandatory for all HUD programs. NCHM’s Enterprise Income Verification Specialist (EIVS) covers everything you need to know about the HUD EIV system including its purpose, how it developed, how to sign up, how to maintain access, which reports are required, how to interpret reports, how to resolve any discrepancies and how to ensure the security of the data. The program is available both in the classroom and online.

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Registered Housing Manager

Registered Housing Manager (RHM) is NCHM’s most prestigious property management certification. Candidates must first acquire certifications in NCHM’s four pillars: occupancy, management, maintenance, and financial management and then complete a Property Assessment, which is evaluated by NCHM’s Certification Review Board.

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Upcoming HUD Compliance Courses

The Gold Standard

Certified Occupancy Specialist

Since 1981, COS has been the gold standard in the HUD affordable housing industry. If your career requires you to understand HUD Handbook 4350.3 REV-1 and subsequent notices, then COS is the certification you need.

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