GA HOME SAFE – New Program

Important HomeSafe Georgia News

On September 28th the Georgia Department of Community Affairs announced the launch of Underwater Georgia, a new HomeSafe initiative specifically targeted to the approximately 150,000 Georgians who owe more than their homes are worth. Homeowners approved through Underwater Georgia can receive a one-time payment of up to $50,000 to reduce the principal balance on their home. In addition to providing information about Underwater Georgia – without doubt the most significant and potentially impactful HomeSafe program modification to date – this document also chronicles other important activity associated with HomeSafe that has occurred since the January 2016 publication of HomeSafe Georgia – Making the Most of a Valuable Resource, which documented and analyzed HomeSafe’s application intake, approval and disbursement history and made recommendations for program modification and expansion.

[1] Information in this section from DCA Memo: New Mortgage Assistance program to Launch September 28th, and Underwater Georgia Mortgage Principal Reduction Aid Communications Toolkit, September 22, 2106.
[2] See Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program,, September 12, 2016.
[3] See Atlanta Journal Constitution,, by Tamar Hallerman, September 13, 2016.
[4] See (HousingWire, Treasury Boosting Hardest Hit Funds by $2 billion, Ben Lane, February 19, 2016) and See (US Treasury, Treasury Announces Allocation of Final $1 Billion Among Hardest Hit Fund States, April 20, 2016).

William H. McFarland
Relationship Manager, Georgia ACT
Project Director, Housing Georgia
404 – 586 -0740 (office)
404-790-6607 (cell)

HUD Housing Counseling Website for Training

HUD Office of Housing Counseling Deputy Assistant Secretary Sarah Gerecke announced the launch of HUD‘s Housing Counselor Certification website. This website is an important step to help counselors get ready for the upcoming housing counselor certification examination. The website offers free on-line training and a downloadable study guide covering a broad range of statute topics. There is no PowerPoint presentation. View the Housing Counselor Certification website at: On June 16, 2015 there will also be a live demonstration of the website. 

All the best!

Anthony Mitchell

HUD Training and Information Updates

New Presentation Added to the HUD Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) Webinar Archives: Visit the OHC Webinar Archive to view all the past training presentations.

  • Original air date: November 18, 2014 – HECM Counseling Protocol “We can make it better”. The purpose of this stakeholder meeting was to seek Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), counseling agency stakeholder ideas and feedback on how to make the current HECM protocol more efficient and effective. Replay number: (800) 475-6701, Access Code: 337608. View the presentation.

New Training Updates for Housing Counselors: 

  1. HUD Training for Housing Counselors: Visit the HUD Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) Training Calendar on-line. Visit the OHC Webinar Archive to view archival copies of past training events. Visit FHA’s Webinar Archive to view training on insured mortgage programs like HECM, 203K, non-profit programs, disaster recovery and much more. 
  • HUD Exchange: HUD has launched an online curriculum, including video, dynamic presentations and self-paced training modules, designed to help HUD partners understand Federal financial requirements. The HUD Exchange Training and Events website also has many other courses and training opportunities of interest to non-profit and local government agencies. Visit HUD Exchange to learn more and register for training opportunities.
  •  December 02, 2014 – HECM Protocol Stakeholder Meetings: Sponsored by HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling. The purpose of this stakeholder meeting is to seek HECM counseling agency stakeholder ideas and feedback on how to make the current HECM protocol more efficient and effective.  Attendance is very limited for both of this meeting, Register today. This session is for local agencies. Register on-line.
  1. IRS Educational Training for Exempt Organizations: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers training for non-profit organizations. Visit their website to view the IRS training calendar.  The IRS provides training for tax-exempt organizations and charitable organizations seeking tax-exempt status at: The site includes information for new applicants; information to help existing exempt organizations maintain their exemption; and more in-depth topics. Also View the IRS webinar course catalog for workshops you can take on-line. Training dates include:
  • December 09, 2014 – Austin, TX
  • January 9, 2014 – Salt Lake City, UT
  • May 12, 2015 – St. Louis, MO
  • May 14, 2015 – Springfield, MO

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Complete Housing Counselor Survey by October 27!

Housing counselor survey now online; deadline is Oct. 27      

All organizations should complete the online housing-counselor survey by Oct. 27. The survey, available on the online reporting system, was first fielded earlier this year and now is being repeated quarterly.  To allow you to complete it quickly and easily, it is automatically populated with your prior responses. Simply remember to edit the list of counselors, add any new hires and remove any individuals no longer employed. The survey will help us gauge training needs for the new counselor-certification regulations.

13th Annual Affordable Housing Conference


13th Annual Fall Affordable Housing Conference


When Wednesday October 29, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM EDT Add to Calendar



State Bar of Georgia Conference Center 104 Marietta Street 3rd Floor Atlanta, GA 30303 Driving Directions

Interested in affordable housing?  Want to know what nonprofit housing organizations in Georgia are doing? Want to make some connections? Then join us at the 13th Annual Fall Affordable Housing Conference – it’s just a few short weeks away. The conference offers a wonderful opportunity to interact with housing practitioners, advocates, intermediaries, and other stakeholders in one venue. The goals of the conference are to:

  • Advance innovative housing strategies and best practices;
  • Increase participation of nonprofit housing organizations in state-administered housing programs to benefit underserved neighborhoods and communities, lower-income residents, struggling homeowners, and persons interested in buying a home;
  • Encourage more investment in housing and community development by bringing together lenders, consultants, government agencies and others with nonprofit housing organizations.

Join us in Atlanta to share, learn, and take care of business. Early registration ends this Friday, October 10th. Click on the link below to register.




Get more information
Register Now!
I can’t make it
Register for a full day of sessions and stick around for the reception before hitting the road. Register now and save. Through October 10th, registration is only $40 for members of Georgia ACT and $80 for non-members.  Click here for the membership application.

Looking forward to seeing you in Atlanta at the conference just one month from now.


 Kate Little




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Read the New Edition of “The Bridge” Newsletter

The New Edition of “The Bridge” Newsletter: “The Bridge” is HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling Newsletter for Housing Counselors. You can read the new edition of “The Bridge” on-line.

The Bridge Newsletter and LISTSERV Subscription Drive::The HUD Office of Housing Counseling frequently publishes “The Bridge” Newsletter and this LISTSERV.  The Bridge Newsletter focuses on Housing Counselors and highlights their hard work and the innovative best practices that contribute to improving the lives of American Families. The LISTSERV provides news and information for housing counselors on industry announcements, new policy notices, grant opportunities and guidance, employment opportunities, contracting opportunities, events, meetings, webinars and live training.  We want to make sure housing counselors do not miss out on the latest information. If you would like to sign up your staff or a new counselor at your agency, or recommend a housing counseling industry colleague to receive the Bridge Newsletter and LISTSERV, please visit our subscription website to sign up today. This service is free of charge.

Also see our LISTSERV archive of past messages. And the archive of past issues of The Bridge Newsletter

CFPB Training

Dear Colleagues:

You are invited to attend a training held by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on the new mortgage servicing rules.

The training is scheduled for:

DATE: September 15, 2014 (Monday)

TIME: 1:00 – 5:00 PM (Registration begins at 12:30 PM)

LOCATION: Georgia State Bar (3rd floor conference room), 104 Marietta St NW (Suite 100) Atlanta, GA 30303

Please RSVP (with full name, email, and organization/affiliation) to David Pope via email at david.pope@cfpb.govThis in-person training for housing counselors and attorneys will explore the new mortgage servicing rules that became effective 01/10/2014.  The rules will affect the rights of your clients and how mortgage servicers are supervised for compliance.  Specific topics of discussion will include borrowers’ loss mitigation rights, foreclosure prohibitions, requests for information and notices of error and the CFPB online complaint system and supervision processes.  Counselors and attorneys will also have the opportunity to share their experiences with Cathy Mansfield and Gerry Sachs from the CFPB.

 As we get more information, we will publish it here on the PBP Counselor Connection