Reminder: Mobility Webinar Today at 2 pm ET

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials with our friends, CLPHA, is sponsoring a free webinar on HUD’s new mobility demonstration put on by Mobility Works, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Opportunity Insights. The free webinar is at 2 pm ET today. Registration for the free webinar can be found here.

On July 15, HUD released a notice implementing the $50 million Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration. This important demonstration will enable selected public housing agencies to implement or expand programs that help families to use housing vouchers to locate in “high-opportunity” neighborhoods, which research shows can significantly improve adult and child well-being on several key measures, including children’s chances of attending college.

Housing agencies participating in the program will receive new housing vouchers as well as funding to provide robust mobility services to families with children. Agencies will also participate in a rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of their mobility programs.

Please join us for this free webinar on August 11, 2020 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET to discuss the details of HUD’s demonstration notice, as well as the lessons that experienced practitioners and researchers have learned about developing effective housing mobility programs.

AGENDA

Moderator, Demetria McCain, Inclusive Communities Project

I. The requirements of the HUD NOFA:
● Doug Rice, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
● Megan Haberle, Deputy Director, Poverty & Race Research and Action Council

II. Developing a regional housing mobility plan:
● Andrea Juracek, Executive Director, Housing Choice Partners
● Jeffery Patterson, CEO of the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority

III. Reflections on working with researchers on a mobility evaluation:
● Sarah Oppenheimer, Opportunity Insights
● Andrew Lofton, Seattle Housing Authority

Registration for the free webinar can be found here.

President Signs Executive Order on Assistance to Renters and Homeowners

On August 8, President Trump signed an executive order titled “Executive Order on Fighting the Spread of COIVD-19 by Providing Assistance to Renters and Homeowners.” This Executive Order (EO) was signed after the negotiations on a fourth COVID-19 legislative relief package broke down.

The EO states, “[i]t is the policy of the United States to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, residential evictions and foreclosures during the ongoing COVID-19 national emergency.” Specifically it directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) “to promote the ability of renters and homeowners to avoid eviction or foreclosure” through actions that “may include encouraging and providing assistance to public housing authorities, affordable housing owners, landlords, and recipients of Federal grant funds in minimizing evictions and foreclosures.” The agencies of HUD and Treasury are also directed to “identify any and all available Federal funds to provide temporary financial assistance to renters and homeowners.” Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “shall consider whether any measures temporarily halting residential evictions . . . are reasonably necessary to prevent further spread of COVID-19.”

This Executive Order, in and of itself, does not specifically extend nor create an eviction moratorium nor does it create a new rental or homeowner assistance program. This Executive Order instructs the executive branch of government – specifically Health and Human Services; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Treasury; Housing and Urban Development; and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) – to assess their current resources and tools related to renters and homeowners affected by COVID-19.

NAHRO continues to encourage Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), Section 8 landlords, and tenants to work together to minimize the financial impact of COVID-19. Tenants should contact their PHA notifying them of any reduction of income due to the pandemic. Landlords and PHAs should reach out and coordinate with tenants concerning unpaid rent. Best practices in preventing evictions include repayment agreements, retroactive recertifications and proactive communication with tenants.

Below are links to HUD and NAHRO eviction prevention resources:

Our advocacy must continue to ensure adequate resources that support your programs and provides rent relief for unassisted families. Use the NAHRO Advocacy Action Alert Center to send letters to your members of Congress and the Administration and let them know the critical role quality house and rental assistance plays as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

HUD Conference Call on REAC Physical Inspections

Earlier today, HUD sent an email to PHA Executive Directors informing them that HUD would host a conference call to “provide an update on REAC [HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center] physical inspections.” The call will occur on Thursday, August 13th at 12 pm ET. Call in information can be found below.

Step 1: Dial into the conference.
Dial-in: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694
Access Code: 3667922##
If the automated recording indicates the conference is full, please use overflow information:
Dial in: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694 Access Code: 4035985#

Step 2: Join the conference on your computer.
Entry Link: https://ems8.intellor.com/login/831227

The calendar invitation for this event can be found here.

HUD to Restart Physical REAC Inspections

Earlier today, HUD published a press release titled “Secretary Carson Announces HUD Will Safely Resume Physical Inspections.” In the press release, Secretary Carson notes that “[p]hysical inspections are vital in ensuring the health and safety of the Americans who reside in properties enrolled in HUD’s programs.” He also states that he is ” . . . very pleased to announce . . . [that] they are resuming.”

The press release notes that to keep residents and staff safe, HUD will implement a system of prioritization of inspections based on COVID-19 data and health risk scoring methodology (with the data taken from Johns Hopkins University and the methodology from the Harvard Global Health Institute. The Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) has developed a heat map that categorizes localities into four categories of risk along with an associated color:

  • Low Risk – Green;
  • Moderately Low Risk – Yellow;
  • Moderately High Risk – Orange; and
  • High Risk – Red.

According to the press release, “REAC will provide a listing on its website of low-risk counties 45 days prior to the start of physical inspections. At the end of the 45-day period, REAC will provide a 14-day notification to priority properties in that county to inform families that an inspection will take place.” The first outreach about inspections will start after Sept. 21, 2020. A list of safe counties for inspections will be posted on REAC’s website.

HUD’s press release can be found here.

REAC’s website can be found here.

HUD to Host Call on CARES Act HCV Funding

Earlier today, the Department sent an email to PHA executive directors announcing a conference call on Thursday, August 6th at 2 pm ET to discuss HUD’s release of HCV CARES Act funding. The call will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube within a week of it occurring.

The call in information may be found below:

Step 1: Dial into the conference.
Dial-in: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694
Access Code: 6514321##
If the automated recording indicates the conference is full, please use overflow information:
Dial in: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694
Access Code: 1670463#

Step 2: Join the conference on your computer.
Entry Link: https://ems8.intellor.com/login/830869

A calendar invitation for the call can be found here.

After NAHRO Letter, HUD Releases Funds; Still No Word on Additional CARES Act Reporting Guidance

On July 17, 2020, NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman sent a letter to Secretary Carson asking that HUD, among other things, release Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding related to the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and to release guidance on additional reporting requirements for CARES Act funding.

Specifically, the letter requested that HUD immediately:

  • “Disburse all administrative fee funding from the CARES Act”;
  • “Disburse all Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) funding from the CARES Act”; and
  • “Publish clear and concise guidance on additional CARES Act reporting requirements for” the HCV program.

Earlier today, HUD began the process of disbursing the HCV HAP and administrative fee funding. The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials is pleased that HUD took this step in response to its letter.

Unfortunately, neither the notice on HAP funding nor the notice on admin. fee funding provided additional new information on the additional CARES Act requirements for recipients of $150,000 or more of CARES Act funding. The notices continue to state that within “10 days after the end of each calendar quarter, a report containing information regarding the amount of funds received; the amount of funds obligated or expended for each project or activity; a detailed list of all such projects or activities, including a description of the project or activity; and detailed information on any subcontracts or subgrants awarded by the recipient” be submitted. The notices continue to state that as outlined in Office of Management and Budget memorandum M-20-21, existing reporting requirements may meet CARES Act requirements and that HUD will issue further guidance, if necessary.

The Department has yet to state, if additional CARES Act reporting guidance is necessary. If it is, the Department has yet to publish it.

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials urges HUD to immediately publish clear and concise guidance around the reporting requirements of these CARES Act funds.

Notices on CARES Act HCV HAP and Admin. Fee Distribution Published

Earlier today, HUD released two notices detailing the requirements for accessing Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The notices detail the mechanisms for accessing both additional Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) funding and administrative fee funding. The two notices are titled the following:

These notices allocate $400 million in HAP funding and $472 million in administrative fee funding. Additional information on each notice can be found below.

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Homeland Security’s Public Charge Rule Implementation Stopped!

On July 29, 2020, Judge George B. Daniels of the U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a preliminary injunction and temporary stay of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Public Charge rule. Judge Daniels’ order provides that DHS and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) can not enforce, apply, implement, or treat as effective the Public Charge rule as long as “there is a declared national health emergency in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

The preliminary injunction and temporary stay applies nationwide as Judge Daniels wrote, “Each infected individual that travels to Governmental Plaintiffs’ jurisdiction [States of New York, Connecticut, and Vermont; and City of New York] risks undoing crucial progress made in combating this disease. Discouraging noncitizens nationwide from obtaining necessary treatment and care certainly undermines those efforts. Issuing geographically limited relief would not meaningfully abate the public health risk, especially when applied to a population that represents a significant portion of essential workers who continue to work outside of their homes ans interact with the public at large.”

The Public Charge rule, that defined public charge to include individuals receiving federal housing benefits, took effect February 24, 2020; after previous injunctions and stays were lifted by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is anticipated that Judge Daniels’ preliminary injunction and temporary stay order will also be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The July 29, 2020 order can be view here. NAHRO’s Public Charge One-Pager provides additional information on the DHS Public Charge rule. NAHRO will continue to follow the implementation of DHS’s Public Charge rule and share additional information as we receive it.

How COVID-19 Sheds New Light on Lung Health and Smoke-Free Public Housing Webinar – Aug. 12 at 2pm EST

Clean Air for All invites you to join us for a complimentary upcoming webinar: How COVID-19 Sheds New Light on Lung Health and Smoke-Free Public Housing. We will discuss ways COVID-19 has impacted smoke-free public housing, learn about the link between smoking, secondhand smoke exposure, and COVID-19, and share resources and strategies to help PHAs manage smoke-free housing during the pandemic.

We are honored to be joined by Dr. Brian King, Deputy Director for Research Translation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for this discussion.

Webinar Objectives:

  • Describe the state of the science with regard to smoking, secondhand smoke exposure and COVID-19.
  • Illustrate ways the COVID-19 pandemic may impact smoke-free public housing and discuss potential adaptive strategies.
  • Outline existing resources to help public health authorities (PHA) improve smoke-free policies.
  • List smoking cessation support resources for public housing authorities (PHA).

Register today for our How COVID-19 Sheds New Light on Lung Health and Smoke-Free Public Housing Webinar!

Clean Air for All: The Smoke-Free Public Housing Project is a collaboration of Live Smoke Free (LSF) a program of the Association for Nonsmokers – Minnesota and the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). This project is made possible with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Operating Fund Shortfall Application Released

On July 28, HUD released Notice PIH-2020-16 “Implementation of Public Housing Operating Fund Shortfall Funding from Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2020 Appropriations.” The 2020 Appropriations Act set aside $25 million of the Operating Fund to be allocated to public housing agencies that experience insolvency. This set-aside will be distributed via a need-based application process not subject to the Operating Fund formula. HUD may distribute any remaining funds to all public housing agencies on a pro-rata basis after all insolvency needs are met. The notice provides guidance regarding eligibility, the process for applying, and other requirements for the $25 million set-aside of Public Housing Operating Funds to assist PHAs experiencing financial insolvency. 

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