APPROXIMATELY 1.7 MILLION individuals and families received housing education and counseling from more than 1,800 nonprofit organizations approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2007. About 1.2 million individuals received one-on-one counseling, and another 500,000 individuals received housing education through group sessions.

The figures illustrate the rapid growth seen in the housing counseling industry in the last 15 years. In 1994, just 244,000 individuals received one-on-one counseling from HUD-approved agencies.

This reflects broader housing market trends as the foreclosure crisis emerged. “Starting in 2005, there was a sharp increase in the number of existing homeowners seeking counseling to address mortgage delinquencies and to obtain information on refinancing options, including reverse mortgages,” according to The State of the Housing Counseling Industry, a new report prepared for HUD. “Over this same period, there was also a decline in the number of individuals seeking assistance in preparing to buy a home.”