HUD Publishes Public Housing Operating Subsidy Eligibility Calculations and Processing Notice

PIH Notice 2022-36 updates Public Housing Operating Fund subsidy grant calculation requirements, including deadlines for PHAs. Since the previous notice in December 2021, this notice revises requirements for using the System for Award Management (SAM), updates utility data calculations, and updates resources and guidance for 2023.

This notice provides guidance covering the following topics:

  • exemptions from asset management requirements;
  • initial eligibility estimates and eligibility calculations for 2023 funding;
  • new Unique Entity Identifier requirements within SAM;
  • information submission processes, including project regrouping, clarification of which data PHAs can edit, and updating unit status;
  • requesting revision to operating subsidy eligibility;
  • a detailed explanation of operating subsidy grant calculations;
  • other requirements, including environmental reviews, Moving to Work agreements, and General Depository Agreements, and general requirements;
  • the appeals process based on appeal type;
  • program requirement for the Rental Assistance Demonstration, Turnkey III, and Envision Center participation; and
  • Faircloth limit guidance.

The notice provides useful links, including the Operating Subsidy Grant Processing Webpage, Operating Fund Web Portal, and Operating Subsidy Grant Listserv. The grant processing webpage organizes 2023 Operating Fund documents, the web portal provides deadlines as well as electronic tools and other resources, and the listserv webpage allows PHAs to sign up for mass emails as well as operating fund data from previous years.

For more information about this notice, see the December 15th issue of The NAHRO Monitor. Find Notice 2022-36 here.

HUD Publishes Public Housing Notices Covering Flat Rents and the Rate Reduction Incentive Program

HUD has released PIH Notice 2022-33 (HA), which updates guidance for flat rents and flat rent exception requests in public housing. PHAs can request to set flat rents lower than 80% of the Fair Market Rent or Small Area Fair Market Rent if they submit a market analysis and HUD concurs that PHAs should lower rents. This guidance covers applying for and extending flat rent exceptions, program compliance, phasing in flat rents, and rent options for families.   

Additionally, HUD has published PIH Notice 2022-34. This notice updates the prior 2019 guidance on the Rate Reduction Incentive program (RRI) in public housing and several related utility and Operating Fund programs. The RRI allows PHAs to retain a portion of cost savings from specific types of practices that decrease utility rates. The notice modifies and makes additions to RRI eligibility, request, and calculation processes. It also describes program requirements for participating PHAs.

For more information about each notice, see the December 15 edition of The NAHRO Monitor. Find Notice 2022-33 (HA) here and Notice 2022-34 here.

HUD Publishes 2023 OCAFs

The Department published a notice titled “Notice of Certain Operating Cost Adjustment Factors for 2023.” Operating cost adjustment factors (OCAFs) are annual factors used to adjust certain Section 8 rents. These OCAFs are calculated as “the sum of weighted component cost changes” for certain publicly available cost indices. Some indices reflect data collected at the state level, while some indices reflect data collected at the national level. The nine cost indicators used in calculating OCAFs are the following:

  • State-level data;
    • Electricity;
    • Fuel Oil;
    • Natural Gas;
  • National-level data;
    • Employee Benefits;
    • Employee Wages;
    • Goods, Supplies, and Equipment;
    • Insurance;
    • Property Taxes; and
    • Water, Sewer, and Trash.

Methodology Changes

The notice states a temporary methodological change. For 2023, due to high levels of inflation, HUD has calculated an inflation factor for each cost component for a time period exceeding a year and used the most recent data available. In the future, HUD will revert to using one-year time periods to calculate levels of inflation for each cost component. NAHRO applauds HUD for recognizing the high levels of inflation that owners are facing and making this change to ensure that cost factors capture the on-the-ground inflationary trends.

In addition to publishing the cost factors, this notice proposes certain permanent technical changes in how OCAFs are calculated in the future. First, in calculating 2024 OCAFs, HUD will begin to use data pulled from August of each year instead of May of each year in order to work with more up-to-date data. Second, HUD will make a change in calculating the insurance component data source inflation factor for the 2023 OCAFs. HUD has used the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, Tenants and Household Insurance Index in the past, while moving forward for the 2023 OCAFs and beyond, HUD will use data from the Direct property and casualty insurers-Commercial multiple peril insurance series from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Producer Price Index.

Comments on the methodological changes are due by Dec. 15, 2022.

The full notice with the actual OCAFs by state can be found here.

Final NAHRO Day 3 Session on Financing for Publicly Owned Affordable Workforce Housing

The “NAHRO Together Day 3” webinar series continues for it’s final session of the year Thursday November 17 at 1:30 p.m. ET.

The session, with guest speaker Matt Avital from Ascenda Capital, will highlight how housing authorities and agencies throughout the United States can benefit from accessing certain financing structures to create and own affordable workforce housing more efficiently. The presentation will also feature Gerry Cichon, CEO of Housing Opportunity Management Enterprises in El Paso, Texas and Cody Wilson, Managing Director of Piper Sandler.

The webinar is free and open to all. Register here.

If you missed a Day 3 session and would like to view any of the sessions from previous weeks please see below:

Read more: Final NAHRO Day 3 Session on Financing for Publicly Owned Affordable Workforce Housing

HUD Posts EHV Fact Sheets

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD or the Department) has posted several short documents that explain different aspects of the Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program. The Department is calling this collection of documents the EHV roadmap. Each roadmap is designed to help housing agencies and partnering entities to understand a different aspect of the EHV program.

A list of each available EHV roadmap can be found below:

  • EHV 101 – this roadmap provides an overview of the EHV program and identifies certain key resources;
  • Administrative Fees – this roadmap describes the different types of administrative fees used in the EHV program and their eligible uses;
  • Waivers and Alternative Requirements – this roadmap describes the waivers and alternative requirements available to entities administering the EHV program;
  • Referral Process – this roadmap describes important parts of the EHV referral process;
  • Advancing Equity (not yet available) – this roadmap describes how the EHV program can focus on equitable outcomes;
  • Partnerships – this roadmap provides information on the mandatory partnership requirements in the EHV program and provides best practices for building those partnerships;
  • Serving Survivors – this roadmap provides resources for serving survivors of domestic violence with the EHV program;
  • Considerations for Rural Communities – this roadmap provides information on serving rural communities along with certain best practices; and
  • Pairing Services – this roadmap provides information on funding and best practices for pairing services with the EHV program.

Additionally, the Department is highlighting its “EHV How to Guide for PHAs” which provides a wealth of information on how to operate a successful EHV program.

All of the available roadmaps can be found here.

HUD Reminds PHAs of Capital Fund Obligation Deadlines

On Monday, HUD reminded PHA executive directors of unusual Public Housing Capital Fund obligation and expenditure deadlines for 2018-2020 and 2021 grants. In short, the 2021 formula grants have obligation and expenditure deadlines that fall before 2019-2020. HUD notes that Most PHAs did receive an extension for their 2018-2020 Capital Fund grants. However, these waivers did not apply to 2021 or beyond. This means that 2021 grant dollars, which were allocated in February of that year, have deadlines in February of 2023, just prior to 2019 funds. PHAs should be sure to use funds with the earliest deadlines first. HUD also notes that extensions can be granted according to the Capital Fund Guidebook.  The nearest obligation dates include the 2021 formula grant: February 22, 2023 and 2019 formula grants: April 15, 2023. The nearest expenditure deadlines are 2019’s emergency grants: January 1 and April 8, 2023.

More information can be found in the upcoming edition of the NAHRO Monitor.

HUD Delays Implementation of Build America, Buy America for Most Programs Until February 15, 2023

HUD has released a waiver delaying the implementation of the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA) for all HUD programs—aside from CDBG—for 90 additional days until February 15, 2023. This public interest phased implementation waiver is expected to be the final before BABA enters full effect and follows two additional public interest waivers last week. The waiver notes that fully implementing BABA for all programs simultaneously may harm HUD funding recipients’ ability to function because most have never experienced a Buy America Preference (BAP) before.

This waiver excludes Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs using iron or steel, so any CDBG funds obligated as of November 15, 2022 and used for that purpose are subject to the BAP. HUD explains that they wish to better implement BABA for remaining HUD programs based on lessons learned from this program.

NAHRO is pleased to see this waiver as part of HUD’s effort to ensure an effective implementation of BAP requirements. Although NAHRO is committed to prioritizing U.S. jobs and manufacturers, NAHRO remains concerned about increased costs to affordable housing development and what reporting and compliance may look like for projects that must meet the BAP.

Additional information from HUD and analysis from NAHRO will be forthcoming. Please see NAHRO Direct News, The NAHRO Monitor, and NAHRO’s Comment Letter and Correspondence page for more.

Find the public interest phased implementation waiver here. Comments on this waiver are due November 17.

HUD Releases Build America, Buy America Waivers

Comments due November 15, 2022

Earlier this year, HUD began implementing the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA), which requires PHAs using federal financial assistance to meet a Buy America Preference (BAP) when purchasing iron or steel, construction materials, or manufactured products for any housing project. One of three situations in which HUD can waive the BAP is when it harms the public interest.  Yesterday, HUD released two waivers under this public interest component of the law: de minimis and exigent circumstances.

The de minimis waiver would eliminate the BAP for any projects totaling under $250,000 or for financial assistance less than that amount, which HUD notes is the current Simplified Acquisition Threshold. Additionally, HUD includes a “Minor Component” element in which 5% of a project that falls under the BAP can be waived, up to $1 million. The second waiver, covering exigent circumstances, allows PHAs to bypass the BAP in order to respond to urgent needs. In the waiver, HUD specifies exigent circumstances include when the “life, safety, and property of the residents” and community members are impacted by maintenance and other rehabilitation and repair activities in connection with affordable housing and community development.

Additional information from HUD and analysis from NAHRO will be forthcoming. Please see NAHRO’s Direct News, The NAHRO Monitor, and NAHRO’s Comment Letter and Correspondence page for more.

Find the exigent circumstances waiver here and the de minimis waiver here.

HUD Publishes Certain VAWA Forms for Public Comment and Requests Additional Information Collections

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD or the Department) has published a copy of certain modified model forms required by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), along with requests for additional information collections. The Department has implemented these VAWA legislative provisions through a rule published in 2016. The forms listed below comply with the legislative changes from 2013 and the 2016 implementing rule. In the intervening time, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2022 was also enacted. To the extent that the forms need further updating, they will be updated when the newest implementing rule is promulgated.

The VAWA rule, as currently implemented, covers the following HUD programs:

  • Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly;
  • Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities;
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program;
  • HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program;
  • Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program;
  • the Continuum of Care (CoC) program;
  • Multifamily rental housing under section 221(d) of the National Housing Act with a below-market interest rate;
  • Multifamily rental housing under section 236 of the National Housing Act;
  • Public Housing;
  • the Housing Choice Voucher program;
  • the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy program; and
  • the Housing Trust Fund.

The Department must provide entities participating in the above programs to provide housing (i.e., covered housing providers [CHPs]) with the certain model documents. These model documents have been modified in the following ways:

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Join NAHRO for our Webinar “PHAs and CoCs—A True Continuum”

Next webinar November 3rd at 1:30 p.m. ET

The “NAHRO Together Day 3” webinar series continues this week with the fourth informational presentation similar to those in our national conference.

This week, guest speakers Rachel Gagnon of Lucas Metropolitan Housing and Michael Hart of the Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board will present “PHAs and CoCs – A True Continuum.” They will discuss the partnership between the local PHA and Continuum of Care. In addition to the barriers they faced and needs from other stakeholders, they will discuss the following specific topics:

“[the] PHA’s support of and involvement in a reimagined CoC entity, strategic prioritization of underserved populations (unhoused individuals), housing first partnership with corresponding vouchers, information sharing for new housing development opportunities, deployment of EHVs, etc.”

This webinar is free and open to everyone. Register here.

Join us for the future Day 3 webinars listed below.

We look forward to seeing you at our NAHRO Together Day 3 webinars.