HUD Requires PHAs to Submit CARES Act Waiver Information by Dec. 20, 2021

On Dec. 6, HUD published a notice titled “Submitting CARES Act Waiver Adoption Information to HUD by December 20, 2021” (PIH 2021-33). This notice requires all PHAs–including those that did not adopt any CARES Act waivers and those that are Moving to Work (MTW) agencies–to report on the waivers that they did or did not implement in the CARES Act Waiver Reporting Tool (CAWRT).

The CARES Act, passed on March 27, 2020, provided HUD with the authority to waive certain statutes and regulations for the public housing and the housing choice voucher (HCV) programs as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department exercised its authority to issue waivers through multiple notices, including PIH 2021-14 (providing revised waivers for public housing and the HCV program), PIH 2020-20 (providing waivers for the Mod. Rehab. program), and PIH 2020-22 (providing waivers for Mainstream vouchers). Additionally, HUD has provided guidance for winding down the waivers as they near their end of life.

Housing agencies must now report to HUD the waivers that they adopted. In adopting CARES Act waivers, HUD required PHAs to record which waivers the PHA had adopted. Agencies should have made this document available to the public. The Department also provided a suggested format for recording adopted waivers in the form of Attachment I of PIH Notice 2021-14. HUD requires one response from each PHA code. Agencies participating in the MTW program should only indicate adoption of the waivers that were adopted through CARES Act authority.

This reporting requirement must be met by Dec. 20, 2021.

Step-by-step instructions to complete this reporting requirement can be found here.

Housing agencies can access the CARES Act Waiver Reporting Tool here.

New Lead Safe Housing Rule Toolkit Available

HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes recently released a Lead Safe Housing Rule Toolkit. The toolkit includes sample forms, checklists, and flowcharts for HUD’s Lead Safe Housing Rule to help practitioners understand and comply with federal lead rules. The toolkit provides information on lead rule basics, project-based assistance, rehabilitation assistance, acquisition, leasing, support services and operations, tenant-based rental assistance, lead hazard reduction, and responding to a child with an elevated blood lead level. The toolkit can be found here.

HUD Extends HCV Renewal Adjustment Funding Deadline

On Nov. 29, in a notice titled “EXTENSION of American Rescue Plan Act – Adjustment Funding for Calendar Year 2021 Housing Choice Voucher Program and Mainstream Vouchers Renewal Funding Applications (previously published as American Rescue Plan Act – Adjustment Funding for Calendar Year 2021 Housing Choice Voucher Program and Mainstream Vouchers Renewal Funding and Updated Application Process for Unforeseen Circumstances Funding),” (PIH Notice 2021-32) HUD is extending the deadline for PHAs to apply for calendar year (CY) 2021 renewal adjustment funding for PHAs that “experienced a significant increase in voucher per-unit costs (PUC) due to extraordinary circumstances.” The new deadline is 5 pm of the PHA’s time zone on Dec. 21, 2021.

To be eligible for the additional funding, PHAs must submit applications in accordance with the requirements of section 3(A) of PIH Notice 2021-23. Housing agencies that did not previously receive an award because they did not meet the eligibility requirements, did not meet the previous deadline requirements, or did not meet any other requirements, should submit a new application by the new deadline if they believe that they now meet the applicable criteria.

The full notice can be found here.

NAHRO’s coverage of the prior notice can be found here.

HUD to Host Innovations in Energy Efficiency Webinar Series

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in collaboration with the Department of Energy, will host a series of webinars that will focus on energy efficiency in housing. According to HUD, the content of the webinars will be on “basic, practical, and actionable [activities] with an emphasis on the rehabilitation of single- and multi-family housing.” The registration deadline for the webinars is Nov. 25.

The following is a list of webinars being offered.

  • Monday, Nov. 29;
    • Energy 101: Intro to Energy Efficiency – Building Retrofits with Positive Return on Investment (Noon – 1:30 pm ET);
    • Simplifying Energy Audits for Single Family and Multifamily Buildings (2 pm – 3:30 pm ET);
  • Tuesday, Nov. 30;
    • Weatherization Plus Health (Noon – 1:30 pm ET);
    • The Lowest of Low . . . Hanging Fruit: Water Fixtures and Lighting (2 pm – 3:30 pm ET);
  • Wednesday, Dec. 1;
    • Once Upon a Replacement: Water Heating and HVAC (Noon – 1:30 pm ET);
    • Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me: Minimally Invasive (to occupants) Exterior Retrofits (2 pm – 3:30 om ET);
  • Thursday, Dec. 2;
    • Building Decarbonization and On-site Generation (Noon – 1:30 pm ET); and
    • Energy Codes, Standards, and Certifications: To the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and Beyond (2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET).

More detailed descriptions of each webinar can be found here.

A registration link can be found here (deadline to register is Nov. 25).

HUD Revises Application Process for Small-Rural Frozen Rolling Base Program

On November 16, HUD published Notice PIH-2021-30, titled “Revision of Application Process for the Small-Rural Frozen Rolling Base Program.” The Notice simplifies and updates the procedure for PHAs to elect to participate in the Small Rural-Frozen Rolling Base (SR-FRB) program. The program allows PHAs that qualify as small and rural to freeze their three-year rolling base consumption level for utility costs for a period of up to 20 years. SR-FRB elections/change requests must be made no later than December 6 for FY 2022. Elections and changes will be made through the OpFund Web Portal. HUD will notify eligible PHAs via email when the module becomes open and available. 2022 will be the first year PHAs that elected to participate in the program in 2021 will be able to remove a project from participation in the SR-FRB.

The notice can be found here.

HUD Publishes CARES Act Waiver Wind Down Guidance

Late this afternoon, HUD published additional guidance instructing PHAs on how to wind down CARES Act waivers. According to HUD, the guidance “outline[s] planning considerations available to PHAs as they evaluate how to effectively and efficiently navigate the CARES Act Waivers expiration.” The Department did not publish additional guidance documents on waivers that were already expired or where HUD felt it unnecessary. There will be future guidance on both the Section Eight Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) and the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS).

There are guidance documents for the following program areas:

  • Verification – this document provides guidance on verification documents on income, citizenship, social security numbers, and proof of family composition. Information in it is applicable to public housing, housing choice vouchers (HCVs), and mod. rehab. programs.
  • Inspections – this document provides information inspection-related waivers. Information in it is applicable to public housing, HCVs, and mod. rehab. programs.
  • Occupancy Policies – this document provides guidance on waivers that allowed families to remain in their units during the pandemic. Information in it is applicable to public housing and HCVs.
  • Project-based and Enhanced Voucher Provisions on Under-Occupied Units – this document provides information on waivers that enabled homeless families to enter into lease agreements for under-occupied project-based voucher (PBV) units. Information in it applies to PBVs, the rental assistance demonstration (RAD) program, and enhanced voucher programs.
  • Capital Programs – this document provides information on waivers related to capital program operations during the pandemic and certain additional waivers. It is applicable to the public housing program.
  • Uniform Financial Reporting Standards – this document provides information on how PHAs submit their financial statements.
  • Community Service and Self-Sufficiency Requirements (CSSR) – this document provides information about the requirement that public housing residents participate in community service or an economic self-sufficiency program and is applicable to public housing.

Links to all of this guidance along with a table with updated waiver expiration dates can be found here.

NAHRO members will receive additional information on these guidance documents in the coming days.

House Passes $1.75 Trillion Build Back Better Plan

House Takes Steps Toward Historic Housing Investments

The largest single housing investment in American history took a monumental step forward this morning, passing the House by a narrow 220-213 margin. The Build Back Better Act now moves to the Senate for further consideration. 

NAHRO led the fight to fully fund the Public Housing Capital Fund backlog at $70 billion, strongly championed the expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and ardently supports the increase in Housing Choice Vouchers and Project-Based Rental Assistance contracts.  

NAHRO members – thank you for raising your voices in support of affordable housing! The more than 50,000 letters you sent to Congress and the White House this year, maintained the spotlight on housing as infrastructure and made sure the critical housing provisions remained in the Build Back Better bill. But the fight isn’t over yet! Be ready to speak out after Thanksgiving to preserve housing in the bill as it moves to the Senate.  

The vote was originally scheduled for Thursday night, but an extended floor speech by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) delayed the final vote. Build Back Better passed along party lines, with a single Democrat opposing.  

The path forward is not clear in the Senate, as several Democratic Senators have issues with several provisions. Negotiations are expected to heat up after Thanksgiving, aiming for a final vote in the Senate by Christmas. Though there is widespread support for the housing provisions in Build Back Better, it is possible that changes to the bill could put the housing investments at risk. If the bill is approved by the Senate, it is likely to go back to the House for another vote. 

NAHRO member advocacy will be needed to ensure these critical housing resources remain in the Build Back Better bill as it is debated in the Senate. NAHRO will be reaching out to you through future Direct News emails and also follow NAHRO on social media (TwitterInstagramFacebookLinkedin) for the latest information. 

The bill currently proposes the largest one-time investment in housing and community development programs ever, including: 

  • $65 billion for Public Housing investments 
  • $24 billion for Housing Choice Vouchers 
  • Expanded Low-Income Housing Tax Credits 
  • $15 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund 
  • $10 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program 
  • $3 billion for Community Development Block Grants 
  • $1 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance 
  • $450 million for Section 811 Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities 
  • $450 million for Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly 

Want more information? Check out NAHRO’s detailed breakdown of the bill’s housing provisions

Section 3 Business Registry Moved to Opportunity Portal

On November 12, HUD integrated its Section 3 Business Registry into the Section 3 Opportunity Portal. The Opportunity Portal helps HUD grantees and Section 3 businesses meet their Section 3 obligations for employment and contracting. Certain changes have been made to the registry. Businesses registered since July 31, 2021 will be found in the Opportunity Portal via “Search Businesses,” businesses can now use the Opportunity Portal to log in and view their businesses as an Employer profile, employers can create, edit, and remove job/contract opportunities, employers can view their businesses and make edits to their business registry profiles, and if an Opportunity Portal user is both an employer and a sole proprietor worker, they will need to make two separate profiles using two different email addresses, one profile as “worker” and one as “employer.”

Currently registered Section 3 businesses should sign into the Opportunity Portal, select “employer” upon account set up, select “My Section 3 Portal” followed by “My Businesses.” If your registered businesses is not listed under “My Businesses,” please contact us at Sec3biz@hud.gov.

HUD Proposes Triennial Executive Compensation Reporting

On November 16, HUD will publish a notice of proposed information collection in the Federal Register that would change the reporting requirements for public housing agency executive compensation information from annually to once every three years. PHAs will still be required to be in compliance with annual compensation restrictions imposed by Congress, however PHAs will not need to report on compensation annually.

Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The notice can be found here.

FSS Information Collection Requirements Reopened

On November 15, HUD re-opened a public comment period on the information collection requirements for the “Streamlining Implementation of Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act Changes to the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program.” The information collection is related to the FSS proposed rule released in September 2020. HUD is not soliciting comment on any issues related to the proposed rule outside of information collection requirements.

HUD’s proposed information collection would require that all entities that operate an FSS program would have to update their Action Plans one time after the new rule becomes effective, and that PHAs would need to complete a monitoring self-review checklist for program compliance and reporting once every five years.

The federal register notice can be found here.