24 CFR § 904.204 - General requirements and information.

§ 904.204 General requirements and information.

(a) The counseling and training program shall be designed to meet the needs of the homebuyers and be sufficiently flexible to meet new needs as they arise. The nature of the program suggests four phases of counseling: (1) Pre-occupancy; (2) move-in; (3) post-occupancy; (4) assistance to the HBA. While some elements of the program lend themselves more to one phase than another, the program areas shall be coordinated and interrelated. It is recommended that the entity providing these services work closely with the participants and ensure that policies established are agreeable to both the LHA and the homebuyer.

(b) The following is a description of major elements of the program which experience thus far has shown to be relevant. More detailed information is set forth in Appendix I, “Content Guide for Counseling and Training Program.”

(1) Pre-occupancy phase. The purpose of this phase is to prepare the selected families to assume the responsibilities of homeownership, and to provide an opportunity for the LHA and each family to reassess the family's potential for successful participation in the homeownership development.

(i) An overload of information should be avoided in this phase since many of the subjects will be dealt with in greater depth after the family is in occupancy, and experience has shown that much of the information will be more relevant at that time.

(ii) This phase should be completed for each family before the beginning of its occupancy.

(2) Move-in phase. During this phase, the counseling and training staff should be available to the homebuyers on an individual basis. Services may include (i) inspecting the units, interior and exterior, with the homebuyers and a representative of the LHA, (ii) testing appliances and equipment, (iii) providing information on the moving process (packing, trucks, etc.), and (iv) assisting homebuyers in making adjustments occasioned by the move, serving as liaison among homebuyers, LHA, builder and other agencies, and assisting homebuyers in meeting new neighbors.

(3) Post-occupancy phase. Before this phase begins, a period (possibly one month) should elapse to allow homebuyers an opportunity to adjust to their new surroundings. This is a time when new questions and problems come to light that can be dealt with in further counseling and training. This phase should be designed to cover many of the same basic subjects as the pre-occupancy phase, both by review and refresher where necessary but in much greater depth.

(4) Assistance to the HBA. The parties responsible for the counseling and training program shall be responsible for the formation, incorporation, and development of the HBA, including the execution of the Recognition Agreement between the LHA and HBA, as provided in subpart D of this part.

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