FY 2020 Annual Adjustment Factors Released

Tomorrow, HUD will publish in the Federal Register, fiscal year (FY) 2020 Annual Adjustment Factors (AAFs). These factors are used by certain Section 8 contracts to provide annual adjustments to monthly rents. These factors are used “to adjust contract rents for units assisted in certain Section 8 housing assistance payment programs during the initial (i.e., pre-renewal) term of the [Housing Assistance Payment] HAP contract.”

Section 8 programs that use AAFs include the Section 8 New Construction program, Substantial Rehabilitation program, the Moderate Rehabilitation program, and the Section 8 Loan Management and Property Disposition programs. Each program uses the AAFs differently.

These AAFs are distinct from Renewal Funding Inflation Factors (RFIFs), which are inflation factors used by the Housing Choice Voucher program and Operating Cost Adjustment Factors (OCAFs), which are used as inflation factors for other Section 8 contracts.

The pre-publication copy of the notice can be found here.

5 Things PHAs Can Do to Improve Landlord Participation

Yesterday, HUD held a landlord symposium in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Department recorded the sessions and will be making both the recordings and slides available soon. Until then, here is information from two slides from a presentation by a HUD official that I thought may be immediately useful.

5 Things PHAs Can Do to Improve Landlord Participation

  1. Single point of contact for landlords with quick response (landlord liaison)
  2. Enhanced communications from inspections team
  3. Damage claim funds reduce perceived risk of accepting an HCV tenant
  4. Direct deposit to ensure timely payment
  5. PHA organized engagement events for landlords to help landlords feel heard and valued

Low Resource Investment, High Impact

  1. Biennial Inspections – Take advantage of reduced inspections already authorized under HOTMA
  2. Landlord only phone days – Improve communication and response time by allocating staff time exclusively to manage landlord phone calls and emails one day per week
  3. Damage claim funds – establish damage claim fund to help landlords feel comfortable renting to HCV tenants
  4. Landlord relations working group – establish a working group with PHAs in your area to strive for consistency in PHA policies and practices that impact landlords

HCV CY 2020 Funding Renewal Letter

Yesterday, HUD sent a letter on calendar year (CY) 2020 renewal funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The letter notes that the federal budget is currently operating on a Continuing Resolution (CR), which carries forward fiscal year (FY) 2019 funding through December 20, 2019. The letter provides information about housing assistance payments (HAP) and administrative fee disbursements:

  • Housing Assistance Payments;
    • December 2019 – 99.5 percent of estimated CY 2020 eligibility;
    • January 2020 – 99.5 percent of estimated CY 2020 eligibility;
  • Administrative Fees;
    • December 2019 – 79 percent of estimated CY 2020 eligibility;
    • January 2020 – 79 percent of estimated CY 2020 eligibility; and
    • February 2020 – 79 percent of estimated CY 2020 eligibility.

For PHAs that administer the Mainstream program, HAP will be at 99.5 percent of eligibility and administrative fees will be at 79 percent of eligibility for both January and February.

Housing authorities should expect timely disbursements of HCV HAP and administrative fees in December and January. A second notification on future payments will be provided in January 2020.

Additionally, HUD’s letter provides estimated prorations of HAP and administrative fees based on appropriations bills from both the House and the Senate. The following are HUD’s estimates for CY 2020 funding based on those bills:

  • House bill:
    • HAP – 98.8 percent;
    • Administrative fees – 78 percent;
  • Senate bill:
    • HAP – 99.2 percent;
    • Administrative fees – 81 percent.

The Department recommends that program managers use the Two-Year Forecasting Tool to model potential funding scenarios. Program managers should also consider their PHA’s program individual inflation factors, which will impact their total amount of money. (The national inflation factor is 4.51 percent, but individual inflation factors may vary considerably from this national figure.)

Finally, the deadline to submit CY 2019 Voucher Management System (VMS) costs and leasing adjustments is January 22, 2020.

The full letter can be found here.

HUD to Host Landlord Symposium in Indianapolis on Dec. 5th

On December 5, 2019 in Indianapolis, HUD will host a Landlord Symposium. The Symposium will be composed of two sessions: a morning session on the basics of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and an afternoon session on increasing landlord participation. HUD recommends attendees participate in both sessions.

  • Morning Session (9 am to 12:30 pm):
    • Basics of HCV and a Snapshot of HCV in Indiana;
    • Speakers include the following people and entities:
      • Indianapolis Mayor’s Office;
      • Current HCV Landlords;
      • Local and National HUD Leaders;
  • Afternoon Session (1:30 pm to 5 pm):
    • HUD and PHA Efforts to Increase Landlord Participation and Other HCV Updates;
    • Speakers include the following people and entities:
      • Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority;
      • Public Housing Authorities;
      • HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center; and
      • Local and National HUD Leaders.

Additional information may be found on a handout here.

Please register here.

HUD Continues to Update HCV Guidebook

Earlier this month, HUD continued its process of updating the Housing Choice Voucher guidebook by posting new chapters. The new chapters are on Eligibility Determination and Denial of Assistance, Calculating Rent & Housing Assistance Payments (HAP), and Reexaminations. Currently available chapters include the following:

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials is excited that HUD has begun to update their HCV guidebook in response to our encouragement. We enthusiastically await future chapters and the regular and timely updating of the guidebook.

The full guidebook can be accessed here.

Indian Community Development Block Grant NOFA Released

HUD has release its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG). The ICDBG provides Native American tribal organizations with direct funds for use in developing Indian and Alaska Native communities. This includes decent housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities, primarily for low and moderate income persons. Estimated total program funding is $65 million with an award ceiling for grantees of $7 million and an award floor of $50,000. Applications must be submitted via grants.gov by February 3rd, 2020. The NOFA can be found here.

2020 Operating Funds Released into eLOCCS

On November 21, the President signed a Continuing Resolution (C.R.) to keep the federal government open and to extend funding until late December. Due to concerns stemming from the previous expiring C.R., the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has obligated Operating Funds to PHAs for January and part of February into the Electronic Line of Credit Control System (eLOCCS). Partial funding for February is included with January funding and will appear as one month in eLOCCS. HUD was not able to fund the entire month of February as the previous C.R. only provided funding to PHAs through mid-February. In the event that a new C.R. had not been signed by the President last night, HUD wanted to ensure PHAs could access all appropriated funding for the Operating Fund, which operates on a calendar year basis. HUD used 2019 Operating Fund eligibility to determine January and partial February obligations. NAHRO appreciates HUD’s proactive response to a potential shutdown.

For more information, click here (members only).

Another Round of Mainstream Vouchers Awarded

Yesterday, HUD awarded another $131.3 million in Mainstream vouchers to 325 PHAs across the country. Mainstream vouchers provide federal rental assistance to non-elderly people with disabilities. In HUD’s press release, Secretary Carson notes that “[t]he [Mainstream voucher] funding announced today allows our local partners to continue helping residents with disabilities live independently.”

The Department’s press release can be found here.

A list of PHAs who received an award this round can be found here.

HUD to Publish 2020 OCAFs and Regulatory Request for Information

Tomorrow, HUD will publish in the Federal Register two notices. The first states the new Operating Cost Adjustment Factors (OCAFs) for 2020. The second asks for help in identifying laws, regulations, and guidelines across various levels of government that artificially raise the costs of affordable-housing development.

  • Notice of Certain Operating Cost Adjustment Factors for 2020 – This notice establishes the OCAFs for 2020. They are applicable on February 11, 2020. Operating Cost Adjustment Factors are used to adjust Section 8 rents for certain project-based contracts. (These are different than renewal funding inflation factors [RFIFs] which are–in general–applicable to a different Section 8 program–the Housing Choice Voucher program.)
  • White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing; Request for Information – This notice seeks to identify “Federal, State, local, and Tribal laws, regulations, and administrative practices that artificially raise the costs of affordable-housing development and contribute to shortages in housing supply.” While it notes that some regulations are useful and provide a benefit, it seeks information on those rules where the costs outweigh the benefits. The notice seeks “data, other information, analyses, and recommendations on methods for reducing these regulatory barriers.” Comments will be due in 60 days from the date of publication (tomorrow).

The pre-publication copy of the OCAFs can be found here.

The pre-publication copy of the request for information on regulatory barriers to developing affordable housing notice can be found here.

ACC Revisions Released

On November 8, HUD will issue a 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection on the Public Housing Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) for Capital and Operating Grant Funds in the Federal Register. HUD previously published a 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection for the ACC in December, 2018. NAHRO has noted to HUD that it does not believe revising the ACC through the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) is appropriate, as it is a unilateral approach. Although HUD is required to respond to comments through the PRA, there is no requirement to accept those comments or negotiate further with affected partners.  

Although NAHRO believes that the ACC has been and continues to be a contract between a PHA and the federal government, HUD disagrees and views the ACC as a grant agreement. In light of this, HUD proposes changing the name of the Annual Contributions Contract to the Annual Contributions Terms and Conditions, while still referring to the document as the ACC. 

HUD’s most recent version of the ACC removes numerous definitions and requirements that were included in the prior version of the ACC released last December. This includes deleting: 

  • Addition of the term “program receipts”; 
  • A requirement for PHAs to follow HUD-issued notices and HUD-required forms or agreements; 
  • A Prohibition on PHAs from releasing any information contained in HUD’s system of records (SORN) without prior HUD approval 

HUD notes that these requirements are already defined and included in existing regulations, and as such do not need to be included in the ACC.

The 30-Day version also removes mixed-finance specific language from the ACC. Mixed-finance provisions will now be included as amendments to the ACC. 

Lastly, the latest proposed ACC includes an additional section on remedies. The section notes that the agreement does not contemplate money damages as a remedy for a breach of the agreement by HUD. 

In their response to comments from the 60- Day Notice of Proposed Comments, HUD provides additional clarification for what the ACC will not impact. This includes language clarifying that MTW Standard Agreements will not be impacted by changes to the ACC, PHAs may make requests to HUD to amend the ACC, and that changes to the ACC are not intended to address any future changes to Central Office Cost Centers (COCCs), including HUD’s proposal to re-federalize dollars within COCCs.