2023 State Of Homelessness Report Released

The National Alliance to End Homelessness (the Alliance) released their 2023 State of Homelessness report on May 16. It provides an overview of homelessness within the U.S. in 2022 and uses data from HUD’s 2022 Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR) to analyze different trends.

According to their analysis, the Alliance estimates that 18 out of every 10,000 people experienced homelessness across the U.S. in 2022 based on the data taken from HUD. The report highlights rates of homelessness that have shown to rise since 2017 with a modest increase between 2020 and 2022 of nearly 2,000 people.

Most significantly, the report includes various charts and graphs highlighting the number of people experiencing homelessness by type, race/ethnicity, and gender. It also includes charts that display different data revolved around unsheltered homeless populations and rates/trends of homelessness by state.

For the full report, please see here.

The Three Cs of Small Agencies Webinar Series: Capacity

May 30 at 1:00pm ET

Join the NAHRO Small Agency Advisory Committee for a webinar focused on building capacity in two ways on May 30 from 1:00 to 1:30pm ET. First, Sean Gilbert, Executive Director of Tennessee Valley Housing Services, will discuss using strategic planning as a first step in pursuing agency goals. Second, Lashun Bland, Senior Director of Operations of the Lonoke County Housing Authority, will discuss maximizing the impact of each PHA staff member. Both will present actionable examples that attendees can use to increase their own agency’s capacity.

Registration Link: https://nahro-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_K_V_RtgQQPSqMbstaFdepQ

HUD Extends Period of Availability for ARP Act Adjustment Funding for the HCV and Mainstream Program

On May 16, HUD published a notice titled “Extension of Period of Availability for American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act – Adjustment Funding for Calendar Year 2021 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program and Mainstream Vouchers Renewal Funding.” Previously, under PIH Notice 2021-23, PHAs could request additional Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) funding as adjustments to calendar year (CY) 2021 HAP funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Mainstream programs. Among other things, the prior notice allowed PHAs to request additional HAP for increases in per unit costs (PUC), under the “extraordinary circumstances” category. The prior notice set the deadline for expenditure of funds awarded through this category on June 30, 2022. This notice extends the deadline to December 31, 2023 to report those funds.

Additionally, the notice provides guidance on appropriately reporting the funds in the Voucher Management System (VMS).

Funds that have not been expended by the new deadline will be reconciled and used in the Emergency Housing Voucher program (as they were initially taken from the appropriation for that program).

The full notice can be found here.

New Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Public and Indian Housing Appointed

On May 16, HUD announced that Richard Monocchio will begin as PIH Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS) on May 22, 2023. In summarizing his experience with PIH programs, HUD emphasizes PDAS Monocchio’s focus on resident-centered programs. Based on his work on large scale housing projects in his most recent position as Housing Authority of Cook County Executive Director, in addition to his community goals, HUD expects PDAS Monocchio to impact PIH programs’ high-level needs. For additional information about PIH leadership, see the PIH Headquarters staff directory.

HUD’s 30-Day Notice to Vacate Requirement for Non-Payment of Rent Still in Effect

HUD’s interim final rule that provides 30-day notice for eviction for non-payment of rent is still in effect even though the COVID-19 National Emergency ended on May 11. The interim final rule requires PHAs with public and PRBA housing to provide at least 30 days from the date a tenant receives a notice of lease termination for failure to pay rent before terminating the tenant, and provide information (such as information about how to apply for and receive emergency federal funding) to the tenant as determined by HUD. The interim final rule will continue to remain in effect until HUD rescinds Notice PIH 2021-29.

Preview of NSPIRE Final Rule Published

On May 9, HUD published the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) final rule for public inspection in the Federal Register. As of May 10, it is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on May 11, 2023. This rule maintains an effective date of July 1, 2023 for public housing and October 1, 2023 for other programs covered by NSPIRE, and it responds to comments received for the proposed rule.

For more information, see NAHRO’s May 10 Direct News, the May 15 Edition of The NAHRO Monitor, NAHRO’s May 18 Housing Update from Washington webinar at 2:30pm ET, or the public inspection preview of the final rule.

HUD Publishes Report on HCV Success Rates

Earlier this year, HUD posted a report titled “Using Administrative Data to Estimate Success Rates and Search Durations for New Voucher Recipients.” The purpose of the study is to estimate national success rates and evaluate the quality of HUD’s administrative data.

The study finds that “61 percent of searches initiated in 2019 succeeded, using a 180-day search window.” Additionally, “[i]f that timeline [was] extended to 240 days, the estimated success rate [rose] to 63 percent.” The report also discusses how success rates and search durations vary by an area’s rural characterization, a PHA’s regional classification (e.g., located in the Northeast), and a PHA’s size.

The study looks at two metrics to evaluate the data quality. First, it looks at the share of entrances to the program which have a search voucher. The rationale behind examining this metric is that if a PHA is accurately recording data, then it will be recording both the issuance of the voucher and the admission to the program. Similarly, if a PHA is only recording the admission, then the PHA may not be recording unsuccessful searches (i.e., those searches with an issuance, but no admission). To ensure the use of quality data, the study excludes new admissions that are not preceded by a search voucher and only calculates success rates for PHAs with nearly complete issuance data.

The second metric that the study uses to evaluate data quality is the timeline for successful searches. If a PHA admits many participants only a few days after voucher issuance, then it is likely indicative that the PHA is retroactively adding the issuance date at admittance, which may mean failed searches are not tracked. To address this issue, the study does not estimate annual success rates for PHAs that have admitted more than 15 percent of new families within seven days of voucher issuance.

The success rates from this study should not be directly compared to how PHAs calculate success rates as the study examines search events, which might include multiple voucher issuances to a family. Housing agencies may calculate success rates based on each discrete issuance of a voucher.

The full report can be found here.

Emergency Safety and Security Grants Funding Guidance Published

Applications due June 28, 2023

HUD has released Notice PIH 2023-10, outlining the application process for Emergency Safety and Security Grants (ESSG) as part of the Public Housing Capital Fund program. This funding may be used to address natural disaster emergencies, carbon monoxide detectors, heat and smoke detectors, and crime or drug-related activities in public housing. PHAs may apply for funding to support one or more projects, but the total amount requested cannot exceed $250,000 per agency.

For deadline and submission information requirements, see Notice 2023-10, the Notice of Due Date for Application Submission document, and the April 30 edition of The NAHRO Monitor.

HUD Publishes NSPIRE Score Calculator

HUD has published a National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) score calculator for properties that have had an NSPIRE Demonstration inspection. This calculator does not apply to pass/fail inspections.

The tool is a Microsoft Excel file into which PHAs or POAs can enter the number of deficiencies from an NSPIRE Demonstration inspection by location and severity. It provides a rough NSPIRE score estimate based on the deficiencies cited at the time of the inspection and duplicates the scoring methodology explained in the proposed NSPIRE Scoring Notice. HUD emphasizes that this tool only provides an estimate of inspection scores and that past inspections are less accurate because both the NSPIRE standards and property conditions may have changed.

Download the calculator and find more information on the NSPIRE webpage.

New Study on Choice Mobility Option in RAD Properties Published

HUD recently published a study titled “Evaluation of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD): Early Findings on Choice Mobility Implementation.” In projects that have converted from public housing to either project-based rental assistance (PBRA) or project-based vouchers (PBVs), the housing agency is required to allow residents to request a housing choice voucher (HCV) (i.e., a tenant-based voucher where the subsidy follows the family) after the resident has lived in the RAD property for 1 year (for PBV-based properties) or 2 years (for PBRA-based properties). If requested, the resident will be provided a voucher when one becomes available.

The study found the following:

  • There were only limited instances where residents requested HCVs;
  • While most agencies adopted limits to the number of HCVs requested at once, none of the agencies ever reached those limits;
  • Housing agency staff felt they effectively communicated the choice mobility option to their residents, while resident experiences varied between agencies;
  • Both housing agency staff and residents mentioned other barriers to exercising the choice mobility option:
    • Residents had trouble finding private-market housing;
    • Nearly all residents stated that paying security deposits, application fees, and first month’s rent presented barriers to using vouchers;
    • Housing agency staff noted high rents presented barriers, especially in tighter rental markets;
    • Resident credit was another barrier;
    • There were certain barriers caused by the pandemic; and
  • Housing agency staff did not believe that the choice mobility option affected unit turnover or impacted management costs.

One-half of the residents who moved noted dissatisfaction with their new neighborhood.

Residents moving from these RAD developments tended not to receive extensive mobility counseling, but the report notes that “[a]lthough PHAs receive administrative fees for PBVs and other HCVs . . . none of the staff at the PHAs interviewed reported using those fees to cover housing search assistance for residents exercising the choice mobility option. Staff at one PHA noted that the lack of direct funding for housing search support from HUD resulted in their search assistance efforts being limited and ad hoc . . . .”

The full study can be found here.