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Housing Counseling

Counseling & Education

About Housing Counseling

We believe that a solid educational foundation will equip homebuyers with the necessary skills and tools to repair credit, climb out of debt, and achieve sound and proper money management. We can help you decide what your first step will be. After that first step, the housing counselor can help you with objectives to reach your final goals.

Jefferson County Housing Authority is a HUD certified housing counseling agency. All program services are free with no cost. These services include:

Budgeting/Money Management

Whether you are interested in renting or buying, we can assist you in creating a budget that works for you and any other family members. Setting goals and priorities is an important part of achieving what you want.

Credit Counseling

Do you have credit issues? A Housing Counselor can help you understand your credit report and how to correct any mistakes reported. They can also talk to you about ways to build credit when you have none.

Pre-Homeownership

We offer Pre-homeownership classes. In these interactive classes, we cover all the issues that you will encounter in looking for the right home for you. Not everyone chooses to become a homeowner. Those choices are discussed.

  • Money Management
  • Credit
  • Basic Steps to homeownership
  • How to choose a Real Estate Agents
  • Fair Housing
  • Home and Mortgage Options
  • Protecting Your Investment
  • Home Inspection
  • Insurance

If you are interested in renting or buying, we offer assistance in researching your options. Fair Housing is an issue of which you need to be aware. If you feel you have been victimized, we can offer the information to report the discrimination.

Rental/Mortgage Delinquency Counseling

After you are in your home, you may have some issues that cause you to become late on your rent or mortgage payment. Our Housing Counselors can assist you in reviewing your budget & money management. We may be able to communicate with your property manager or mortgage holder.

Mortgage in Default

There is assistance for those whose mortgage has gone into default. The Housing Counselors can often negotiate with the mortgage company. They can also help you gather information that you will need to work with the mortgage holder. If you do become late with your mortgage payment, contact a Housing Counselor immediately.

Information and Referrals

If our Housing Counselors are unable to personally address your needs, they may be able to make a referral that is appropriate. The Jefferson County Housing Authority works in conjunction with several other agencies that offer a verity of services

Family Self-Sufficiency Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program

The Jefferson County Housing Authority Family Self-Sufficiency Section 8 Homeownership Voucher Program allows eligible participation to those who are actively enrolled in the Jefferson County Section 8 Family Self-Sufficiency Program. The individual must be participating in the self-sufficiency program which includes the following:

  • An individual training and service plan that states the goals of the individual the resources and the supportive services provided to achieve those goals must be executed.
  • The program involves financial planning, home ownership classes, and budget counseling.
  • A family must meet the general requirements for participation in the JCHA Section 8 tenant-based program.
  • Current Section 8 Program participants must be in full compliance with their lease and Section 8 program requirements.
  • A head of household or spouse that has previously defaulted on a mortgage obtained through the homeownership option is barred from participation.
  • Program participants must be “first-time” homeowners.
  • Participants in the Section 8 homeownership option must complete a pre-purchase and post-purchase homeownership-counseling program and be deemed to be “mortgage ready”.
  • The head of household or spouse must be employed full-time (employment must average a minimum of 30 hours per week) and have been continuously employed during the calendar year before commencement of homeownership assistance. Families in which the head of household or spouse is disabled or elderly are exempt from this requirement.

    The family’s income may not be less than the federal minimum wage times 2000 hours. Public assistance income may not be used for meeting this requirement, except for households in which the head or spouse is elderly or disabled and households that include a disabled person other than the head or spouse. 

Homeownership Counseling

HUD requires that Section 8 homeownership participants enroll in a pre- and post-purchase homeownership counseling programs which covers the following:

  • Budgeting and money maintenance
  • Credit counseling
  • Knowing the players and their roles in the home buying process
  • How to negotiate purchase price
  • Preparation for loan qualification and application
  • How to obtain homeownership financing
  • How to find a home
  • Maintaining a home
  • Avoiding delinquencies, defaults and foreclosures
  • Identify what they want and need in a home
  • Shop for a home that meets their needs
  • Decide how much to offer for a house
  • Obtain and use a home inspection
  • Shop for an affordable mortgage
  • Know what to expect at closing and settlement
  • Meet the ongoing financial obligations of homeownership and avoid default
  • Care for the home after purchase

JCHA requires a post-purchase counseling session with all Section 8 participants once they have secured a mortgage and have moved into the home.

Homebuyer Education Workshop

These HUD approved classes are required for USDA Rural Development loans and other down payment assistance programs.

This class meets the certification guidelines. Instructors vary for each class
Lenders - local banks
Realtors - local real estate offices
Home Inspectors - local inspectors
We offer homebuyer education workshops 


Seating is limited. Please call to reserve your seat.

Visit our calendar to take part in one of our upcoming classes or events.
Please call for class opportunities.
Beverly Gaither (205) 244-1335 or Sherretta Williams (205) 244-1344