NAHRO meets with HUD on Smoke-Free Rule and MTW Expansion; Briefing on SAFMRs

On June 29 and 30, NAHRO staff met with HUD staff to discuss the Moving to Work (MTW) Expansion that was included in the FY 2016 Omnibus and the upcoming smoke-free final rule. HUD also hosted a Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR) proposed rule briefing.

Although HUD is still finalizing the MTW Expansion, they recently unveiled their MTW Expansion website, which contains information on the expansion process. HUD has also posted a MTW Expansion Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document.

According to HUD, a PIH notice should be published in the fall of 2016 soliciting applications for the initial cohort of new MTW PHAs. Additional cohorts of MTW PHAs will be added through separate notices through 2020 or until a total of 100 new MTW PHAs have been added. HUD has yet to determine the number of cohorts that will be included in the expansion nor specific policies to be tested through the expansion. The Secretary will weigh the advice of the MTW expansion advisory committee before determining both of these matters. For each cohort of new MTW PHAs, the specific policy proposals and methods of research and evaluation will be described in the PIH notice to be published in the fall of 2016. NAHRO’s policy proposals and recommended research evaluation methods for HUD regarding the MTW expansion can be found here (members only).

HUD plans to release the Instituting Smoke-Free Final Rule late summer or early fall. Although the rule is still undergoing the rule making process, NAHRO staff has learned HUD plans to submit the final rule to the Office of Management and Budget shortly. NAHRO was able to provide HUD staff with input on members concerns regarding the proposed rule. NAHRO’s comments on HUD’s proposed rule can be found here (members only).

HUD also hosted a briefing on the proposed SAFMR rule. The briefing went over the basics of the proposed rule and reviewed specific areas on which HUD was seeking comment. Comments and questions posed at the briefing from industry and advocacy groups included a question about the variability of all Fair Market Rents (FMRS) (to which HUD responded that they are working on a new methodology for FY 2017 FMRs); the current status of the SAFMR demonstration (it’s still going); and whether tenants who receive a subsidy cut in certain zip codes because of the SAFMR rule will be able to find housing in other zip codes because there are not enough available units or because landlords are not accepting vouchers (HUD does not know how to deal with this problem). Read our coverage of the proposed SAFMR rule here (members only).