Housing Counseling in Florida
Housing counseling services in Florida offer free advice and information on any number of housing related topics. Specially trained Florida housing counseling agencies are available in most regions and, in larger counties, there is a branch office. For the most part, agencies focus on home buying counseling, though they also offer assistance and information on foreclosure avoidance, help with credit issues and can discuss whether a reverse mortgage is a good idea. Residents interested in affordable housing in Florida can learn more about the state assistance programs in our comprehensive guide by clicking here. To find out more about housing counseling in Florida and the types of services offered, select from the following topics:
- What is housing counseling in Florida?
- How to get Florida housing counseling services
- How to talk to a housing counselor in Florida
What is housing counseling in Florida?
Housing counseling in Florida and throughout the U.S. educates and advises consumers about renting and purchasing a home. Individuals who talk to a housing counselor can make informed decisions regarding mortgage options and budgeting for their lifestyle. Housing counseling agencies can also direct consumers to other resources in their area that may be beneficial. For instance, Section 8 in Florida has a program that assists low-income families in obtaining affordable housing.
The housing counseling services offered in all Florida counties have information geared toward assisting consumers with creating the best possible financial environment for procurement of housing. This includes leasing and buying a home as well as avoiding foreclosure. Florida housing counseling agencies discuss options with those who face homelessness. Housing counseling in Florida not only assists first-time homebuyers by helping them learn about the process and putting them in touch with lenders, but it also assists those who are in danger of losing their home. Interested families can discover more about affordable housing options in our Florida guide by clicking here.
All U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved housing counseling agencies offer foreclosure and homelessness counseling free of charge. Home buying counseling and other types of advisory services may have small but reasonable fees. However, persons who demonstrate that such cost are a financial burden may be Florida residents eligible for free housing counseling services.
How to Get Florida Housing Counseling Services
Housing counseling in Florida is available at many certified organizations that partnered with the state to provide access to the needed services to as many residents as possible. HUD maintains a list of housing counseling agencies so that residents can easily locate a branch office nearest them. Housing counseling services at each agency in Florida may vary but typically include rental and purchasing advice, videos and workshops. Residents can also learn about homeownership assistance programs available in Florida.
Once residents locate one of the housing counseling agencies in Florida, they can call or email the office to make an appointment to go in for counseling. Select HUD housing counseling agencies in Florida provide services in Spanish, French, Arabic, Creole, Portuguese and other languages. Residents will need to contact the agency prior to find out about how to talk to a housing counselor in a language other than English. HUD housing counseling agencies can help to Florida residents who believe they are victims of housing discrimination. Florida housing counseling services include arbitrating on various issues between a landlord and a tenant.
How to Talk to a Housing Counselor in Florida
Trained advisors conduct all housing counseling services and have the goal to protect credit, prevent homelessness and assist with homeownership in underserved populations. When going to talk with a housing counselor in Florida, it is important to have all of the necessary documentation gathered ahead of time. Whether residents are looking for home buying counseling or advice on rental disputes, it vital to bring associated paperwork and information to the HUD appointment. Different documents will be necessary depending on the type of counseling, which includes:
- Rental assistance
- Pre-purchase orientation for home buyers
- Foreclosure prevention
- Reverse mortgage assistance
- Rental housing searches
HUD offers a checklist as well as free downloads of the documentation required. Counselors of Florida housing counseling services can also detail which documents residents should bring when they make their appointment. Residents who seek housing counseling in Florida will have a counselor assigned to their case and will meet with the same case worker each time. HUD counselors can speak to the mortgage company on the resident's behalf, help create realistic budgets and offer additional information about local resources to assist residents find or retain a home in the Sunshine State.
Housing counseling agencies in Florida counties offer resources and specialized assistance for veterans and their families. Service members can learn more about the state-assistance programs in Florida for former military personnel and their family in our free digital guide, downloadable here.