New Resources for Foster Youth to Independence Initiative

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD or the Department) has posted several new resources for its foster youth to independence initiative (See Notice PIH 2019-20). The initiative allows for PHAs without a Family Unification Program to request tenant protection vouchers (TPVs) for youth aging out of foster care on an as-needed basis. The Department has posted several resources related to the initiative.

 

These resources include the following:

All of these resources can also be found on HUD’s Foster Youth to Independence website here.

HUD Webinars for new RAD Notice (Rev. 4)

The HUD Office of Recapitalization sent a RADBlast! email reminding those on the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) email list that HUD will be hosting live public webinars on sections of the new RAD notice. The webinars will be recorded and posted on the RAD Resource Desk.

The schedule can be found below:

  • Public Housing Conversions, September 19, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here;
  • Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC), September 26, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here;
  • Moderate Rehabilitation (Mod. Rehab.), October 3, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here;
  • Resident Rights in Public Housing Conversions, October 10, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here;
  • Resident Rights in Section 202 PRAC and Mod. Rehab. Conversions, October 17, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here.

The new RAD notice (Rev. 4) can be found here.

New HOTMA Provisions to be Implemented

Tomorrow, HUD will publish in the Federal Register a proposed rule titled “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016: Implementation of Sections 102, 103, and 104” (pre-publication copy). This proposed rule is the first regulatory step toward implementing certain provisions of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA). The Department is seeking comment on certain aspects of the implementation. Comments on the proposed implementation of these provisions will be due 60 days after official publication.

A brief, non-exhaustive list of the topics covered by the proposed rule can be found below. The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials will provide additional details as staff continue to examine the proposed rule.

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New RAD Notice, Revision 4 Released

Earlier today, HUD released the new Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) notice: “Rental Assistance Demonstration – Final Implementation, Revision 4” (Notice H-2019-09; PIH-2019-23 (HA)). The RAD program allows for units to be converted from certain Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding streams, such as public housing, to either a Section 8 project-based voucher (PBV) funding stream or a Section 8 project-based rental assistance (PBRA) funding stream. There are several major changes in this notice, including changes to the First Component of RAD (which allows public housing units to be converted to PBV or PBRA) and implementation of the 2018 Appropriations Act provision allowing Section 202 project rental assistance contracts (PRAC) to be converted to PBV or PBRA.

The changes to the First Component of RAD include the following:

  • A policy that RAD rents will be updated every two years (RAD awards after each update will use the updated rents);
  • A newly added “Concept Call” step to the RAD process, to allow PHAs to receive confirmation that project plans are sufficiently advanced to submit a Financing Plan;
  • More stringent notice requirements for residents in developments to be converted (the new notice details resident participation requirements at each step of the RAD process);
  • A policy that all households residing in regular PBV units will have the same resident rights extended to them as households that reside in RAD-PBVs in converted developments;
  • A mechanism for PHAs to enter into partnerships with each other to convert developments;
  • A policy allowing for rent increases in certain scenarios for PBRA conversions, such as developments located in Opportunity Zones;
  • Elimination of the requirement to submit the Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) tool in certain scenarios; and
  • Other changes (including changed requirements for portfolio awards, a change in how PHAs report debts owed, and broadening the use of “tiered environmental reviews”).

At this time, NAHRO staff are still reviewing the new notice. Additional analysis will be provided in future NAHRO publications.

The RAD Notice, Revision 4 can be found here.

[2:17 pm edit – The new notice can also be found on HUD’s RAD website here.]

First Set of NSPIRE Standards Posted

HUD has posted the first set of standards for the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) Demonstration on HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) website. HUD is looking for input and comments on the clarity of the deficiencies, the accuracy of the rationales, and the overall usability of the standards. These new standards will be used during inspections for agencies participating in the demonstration. Instructions on how to submit feed can be found here.

NSPIRE will change the way that public housing agencies, owners, and agents (POAs) inspect public housing properties for agencies that voluntarily participate in the demonstration. The NSPIRE demonstration aims to ensure that public housing units are adequately maintained through regular upkeep and maintenance of units throughout the year, rather than immediately before inspections. Agencies interested in pre-registering for the demonstration may do so here.

Notice on Rate Reduction Incentives Released

On September 3, HUD published Notice PIH-2019-24. The notice provides PHAs with guidance on the use and eligibility of the Rate Reduction Incentive (RRI). The RRI is a financial incentive for PHAs that take special steps and efforts beyond what is required by statute and/or regulation to reduce their utility rate. The Notice replaces Notice PIH-2014-18 (HA) and supplements information included within the current Energy Performing Contracting (EPC), Utility Partnership Program (UPP), and the Operating Fund Grant processing grant notices. The notice covers the RRI application process, activities that may be eligible for an RRI, actions that are not eligible to receive RRI, and RRI interaction with an EPC.

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FY 2020 FMRs Published

Tomorrow, HUD will publish the Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 on its website. A pre-publication copy of the notice was published today in the Federal Register–titled “Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program, and Other Programs Fiscal Year 2020.” These FMRs will become effective on October 1, 2019. Comments for these FMRs (or requests for reevaluation for specific FMRs) are due within 30 days of their official publication.

Click below to read more.

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HUD Updates VMS Quick Reference Guide and VMS User’s Manual

Earlier today, the Financial Management Center at HUD sent an email stating that it has updated the Voucher Management System (VMS) Quick Reference Guide and the VMS User’s Manual. The updated text has been highlighted in green, so that it is easy to find within each document.

According to the email, the changes “provide clarification about the specific reporting requirements related to RAD, VASH and Mainstream programs.” Additionally, the following definitional fields have been updated (list taken from the email):

  • All HAP Expense data – the change is located in the narrative found immediately before the Field Definitions;
  • All Voucher HAP Expenses After the First of the Month;
  • Rental Assistance Component 1 (HAP);
  • Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HAP);
  • All Voucher HAP Expenses for Contracts Effective After the First of the Month;
  • 5-Year Mainstream – this change is located in the narrative found immediately before the Field Definitions;
  • 5-Year Mainstream HAP;
  • Number of PBVs Under HAP and Not Leased with Vacancy Payment and Associated Vacancy HAP Expense; and
  • Number of PBVs Under HAP and Not Leased.

The updated VMS Quick Reference Guide can be found here.

The updated VMS User’s Manual can be found here.

Mainstream Voucher FY 2019 NOFA FAQ Updated

Yesterday, HUD updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for mainstream vouchers.

The FY 2019 NOFA would make an additional $150 million available for mainstream vouchers (a previous NOFA allocated $98 million). The application deadline for this additional round of funding is September 5, 2019.

The updated FAQ can be found here.

The Department’s Mainstream Voucher page can be found here.

[Edit: Some of the links above were corrected to point to the correct documents or websites and the correct deadline has been added.]

HUD, FHA Issue Condominium Rule

Last week HUD released the final rule on FHA approval for single-family condominiums. HUD touts the rule as opening the FHA single-family loan products to both younger, first-time home buyers and seniors looking to age-in-place.

The rule sets the policies to update the Single Family Policy Handbook, expand single-unit approval, establish minimum owner-occupancy requirements, limit FHA insurance concentration in condominium projects, and institute commercial/nonresidential space limits.  The rule is effective October 15, 2019, and HUD estimates that 20,000 to 60,000 condominium units could be eligible for FHA-insured financing annually.

HUD’s press release on the Condominium Approval Final Rule can be viewed here.

The Condominium Approval Final Rule is available here.