Senate Approves Reforms for Small Agencies

This week the Senate approved the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (s. 2155), a wide-sweeping banking bill that also included several provisions to provide regulatory relief to small housing agencies and authorization for the Family Self-Sufficiency program.

The bill moved relatively quickly through the Senate; the initial draft was unveiled in November and it was approved by the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in December. After two weeks of floor consideration, it was approved 67-31 on Wednesday, March 14.

While NAHRO did not take a position on the overall bill, NAHRO does support the small agency provisions. The bill includes:

  • Streamline public housing inspections, making the process less burdensome on the agency, while protecting residents’ right to decent, healthy housing;
  • Exempt small agencies from environmental reviews for projects under $100,000 and streamline the environmental review process for projects over $100,000;
  • Create an appeals process for troubled agencies that protects residents and allows agencies to demonstrate satisfactory unit condition;
  • Freeze formula utility and waste costs to accrue cost savings; Deploy a reporting system at HUD for agencies that choose to operate under a consortia; and
  • Enhance the Family Self-Sufficiency program.

The path forward is unclear; the Senate modified the bill to attract more support in the House, but the House has already approved similar legislation. NAHRO is working with Congressional staff to consider options for the small agency provisions.

HUD Publishes Small Area FMR Guidebook and Additional Information on Small Area FMR Implementation

HUD has recently published several additional sources of information on Small Area FMR implementation. Recently published sources of information include the following:

Additionally, links are provided to the previously published Small Area FMR guidance and Small Area FMR HUDUser page.

All of these links and additional information on each these sources can be found on the HUD Exchange page here.

Tomorrow – NAHRO e-Briefing on Work Requirement Proposals and Practices

Housing Rules!!

An e-Briefing series on formation & substance of HUD rules, regulations, and guidance.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 13, 2018 from 1:30pm to 3pm eastern time

Work Requirements – Proposals & Practices

The Administration has released their fiscal year 2019 budget proposal which includes many policy provisions that would affect an assisted family’s rent payment. One provision would allow a housing authority or unit owner to require non-elderly and non-disabled family members to be employed or in a vocational training program for a minimum number of hours. During this e-Briefing, the NAHRO Policy Team will provide an overview of the Administration’s proposal. Also joining us are Moving to Work PHAs that have implemented a minimum work requirement to discuss why they use minimum work requirements and explore the results that have been seen to this point.

What is an e-Briefing?

A 90-minute online session (1:30pm – 3pm ET) that focuses on industry hot topics which affect your agency now. Expert presenters from the housing and community development industry, HUD and/or other agency staff and practitioners will share the most current information and case studies on critical issues. The final 20 minutes of each e-Briefing are reserved for questions & answers. e-Briefings are different from e-Learnings in that not every person listening must be registered. We require only one registration per viewing site/connection/device.

Registration closes tonight at 11:59 eastern time. Click the Register Now button above or below to register.

HUD Issues Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants

Last week, HUD awarded nearly $5 million in Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants to six communities to “help create plans to redevelop severely distressed HUD assisted housing and revitalize neighborhoods.” The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is place-based and focuses on three goals: housing, people, and neighborhoods. Through the Choice Neighborhoods planning process,  local governments, housing authorities, residents, nonprofits, tribal authorities, private developers, school districts, police departments, and other civic organizations “create a common vision and develop effective strategies to revitalize their neighborhood.”

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HUD Releases Guidance on Using Operating Subsidy for Capital Fund Program Activities

On Wednesday, February 28, HUD published Notice 2018-03 titled “Guidance on the Use of Operating Subsidy for Capital Fund Purposes for Subsidy Appropriated and Allocated for Calendar Year 2018 and Subsequent Years.” The Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) included language that allows PHAs to transfer up to 20 percent of their Operating Funds to their Capital Fund, language NAHRO has advocated for strongly over many years. This guidance explains how public housing agencies (PHAs) operating public housing may use a portion of their Operating Subsidy for capital activities, subject to HUD requirements.

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Public Housing Reentry Technical Assistance

The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) is accepting applications from PHAs for 14 months of technical assistance for those PHAs that are planning and implementing reentry programs or changing their policies to safely increase access to housing for people with conviction histories.

Vera encourages a diverse set of PHAs to apply–including those of all sizes and those with Housing Choice Vouchers. Multiple PHAs that are geographically close to each other may also submit a single joint application.

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PST on Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

Questions should be directed to John Bae at Additional information on the application can be found here.

2018 HCV Admin Fee Rates posted

Yesterday, HUD’s Housing Voucher Financial Management Division sent an email stating that the CY 2018 Administrative Fee Rate Tables have been posted on HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program page.

The CY 2018 Administrative Fee Rates Description can be found here.

The CY 2018 Administrative Fee Rate Tables can be found here.

The Office of Housing Choice Vouchers website (where the tables are posted) can be found here.

HUD Permanently Sets Aside Small Area FMR Suspension

In a stipulated judgment filed on February 16, HUD has permanently set aside the Small Area Fair Market Rent (FMR) suspension. Last summer, using authority in the Small Area FMR regulation, HUD suspended the mandatory implementation of Small Area FMRs for 23 of 24 designated areas. Recently, a federal court found that HUD did not appropriately use its regulatory authority to suspend the mandatory components of the rule. In this document, HUD agrees to permanently set aside the suspension and continue implementing the Small Area FMR program on an expedited basis.

The full stipulated judgment and order can be found here.

HUD Updates FY 2018 FMRs

Earlier today, HUD published a notice in the Federal Register titled “Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2018; Revised.” The notice updates the FY 2018 FMRs based on new survey data for the following eight areas:

  • Hawaii County, HI;
  • Hood River County, OR;
  • Jonesboro, AR HUD Metro FMR Area (HMFA);
  • Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA);
  • Santa Maria-Santa-Barbara, CA MSA;
  • Seattle-Bellevue, WA HMFA;
  • Urban Honolulu, HI MSA; and
  • Wasco County, OR.

These eight areas requested reevaluation and provided data to HUD to allow for a reevaluation. The notice also responds to comments previously submitted.

The full notice can be found here.

Congress Approves Budget Deal, Ends Brief Shutdown

After a brief government shutdown this morning, Congress approved a two-year budget deal and a continuing resolution that re-opened the government. While the budget deal includes an increase to non-defense spending for FY 2018, there is no guarantee that additional funding will be allocated to housing and community development programs- contact your legislators today to tell them to increase funding for HUD programs in the current fiscal year.

The budget deal package includes:

  • Continuing Resolution: extends government funding through Friday, March 23.
  • New budget caps for FY 2018 and FY 2019: the two-year agreement raises spending caps by $300 billion over two years. The deal does not honor parity between defense and non-defense spending changes. Non-defense spending is raised by:
    • FY 2018- $63 billion
    • FY 2019- $68 billion
  • Additional supplemental disaster relief funding: $89.3 billion for disaster relief for areas impacted by the hurricanes and wildfires of 2017. A full summary of the breakdown of funding is available from the Senate Appropriations Committee.
  • Debt ceiling suspension: Lifts the debt ceiling until March 2019.
  • Tax extenders: Continues expiring tax cuts and credits, but the bill does not include the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Improvement Act (S. 548).

Now that the spending cap for FY 2018 has been set, appropriators can get to work finalizing spending for the current fiscal year. At this point, the process basically starts over again. The chairs of the Appropriations Committee will re-allocate funding to all 12 appropriations bills, including the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill.  Once the new 302(b) allocations are set, appropriators will work to finalize spending bills and assemble an omnibus spending package. All this work needs to be completed in six weeks before the expiration of the current CR on March 23.

Just because there is an additional $63 billion in funding for FY 2018 doesn’t mean THUD or HUD will necessarily see any of that increase. It’s critical that you reach out to your legislators immediately to urge them to allocate as much funding as possible to THUD and HUD.  NAHRO will also send a message to Capitol Hill next week encouraging robust funding of THUD and HUD.