New RAD Resources and Webinar

In its “RADBlast!” email, HUD announced the availability of two Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) resources:

  1. Initial Year Funding Instructions – a document that describes the calculation of funding during the initial year and provides instructions on how to access the funds; and
  2. Initial Year Funding Tool – a revised and simplified version of the prior tool that “allows PHAs and Project Owners to calculate the amount of revenue that will be available to the project in the Initial Year and ensures that all parties have an accurate understanding of these amounts.”

To access these resources, and others, please go to HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Resource Desk (www.radresource.net) after logging-in and click on the “Document Library” link under “Main Menu Selections.”

Additionally, HUD will hold a live question-and-answer webinar to walk through the revised tool and answer questions that participants may have. The webinar will be held on July 13, 2016 between 3 pm and 4 pm (EST). Registration for the webinar can be found here.

MTW Advisory Committee Meetings Announced

On Monday, July 11, HUD announced the schedule and proposed agenda for two MTW Advisory Committee meetings. The meetings will be held via conference call on Tuesday, July 26, 2016, and Thursday, July 28. The meeting is open to the public and is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Tuesday’s call will focus on increasing housing choices for low-income families. Thursday’s call will focus on cost-effectiveness and incentives to increase self-sufficiency for families with children.

In its FY 2016 Appropriations bill, Congress directed HUD to expand the MTW by 100 additional public housing agencies (PHAs) over the next seven years. Congress also called on HUD to establish a federal research advisory committee. The research advisory committee is responsible for advising HUD on specific policy proposals and methods of research and evaluation for MTW.

The public is invited to call-in to both meetings by using the following toll-free number in the United States: (800) 230-1766, or the following International number for those outside the United States: (612) 288-0329. Please be advised that the operator will ask callers to provide their names and their organizational affiliations (if any) prior to placing callers into the conference line.

More information can be found here. Background information on the MTW Expansion can be found here (members only). NAHRO’s MTW policy proposals and research evaluation recommendations can be found here (members only).

CBPP Publishes Chart Book on the Benefits of Federal Rental Assistance

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has published a Chart Book titled “Rental Assistance Reduces Hardship, Promotes Children’s Long-Term Success.” It has some great charts that help to illustrate why rental assistance is so crucial.

Here’s one taken from page 6 of the chart book PDF that illustrates the benefits of the HUD-VASH program.

Homelessness Among Veterans Fell as Targeted Voucher Program Expanded

The Center’s web-based chart book can be found here.

The Center’s PDF of the chart book can be found here.

HUD Awards 10 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants

On June 28, HUD awarded $8 million in Choice Neighborhoods Planning grants to 10 communities across the nation. The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) helps struggling neighborhoods with severely distressed public housing or HUD-assisted housing by comprehensively investing in the community’s housing, residents and neighbors. Planning Grants, which assist communities in developing their comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plan or “Transformation Plan,” is one of two types of grants offered through the Initiative. Implementation Grants, which support communities that are ready to implement their Transformation Plan, are also funded through this program.

HUD is awarding Choice Neighborhood Planning funds to the following grantees:

  • Asbury Park Housing Authority, New Jersey
  • Housing Authority of the City of Brownsville, Texas
  • Greater Dayton Premier Management, Ohio
  • Louisville Metro Housing Authority, Kentucky
  • Metropolitan Development and Housing Authority (Nashville, Tennessee)
  • City of Newport News, Virginia
  • City of Phoenix, Arizona
  • Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Sanford Housing Authority, Florida
  • City of Shreveport, Louisiana

Prior to the funding announcement for the FY 2015/FY 2016 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant last November, Planning Grant funds could only be used for the creation of a Transformation Plan. HUD has now introduced a new component called Planning and Action Grants that will allow communities to use grants of up to $2 million over three years to demonstrate a commitment to “doing while planning.”

During the planning process, communities will identify Action Activities to be carried out during the latter portion of the grant period that must build upon the planning for the target housing and neighborhood. Eligible Action Activities may include reclaiming and recycling vacant property into community gardens, pocket parks, farmers’ markets, or land banking; beautification, placemaking, and community arts projects; homeowner and business façade improvement programs; neighborhood broadband/Wi-Fi; fresh food initiatives; and gap financing for economic development projects. The inspiration for this new component comes from the 63 previously awarded Planning Grantees that showed “tangible, early actions help sustain community energy, attract new resources, and build momentum to turn that plan into reality.”

Read comprehensive summaries of the 10 Choice Neighborhoods Planning grants here.

Additional New Proposed Administrative Fee Links

On July 6, in an email to Public Housing Agency (PHA) Executive Directors, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Castro Ramirez announced a proposed administrative fee HUD webpage that consolidates information on the new proposed administrative fee formula.

The page includes the following resources:

HUD’s page on the new proposed rule administrative fee formula can be read here.

HUD Announces HUD-VASH PBV Set-Aside Webinar

On Tuesday, July 12, HUD will hold a webinar on the FY2016 HUD-VASH Project-Based Voucher Set-Aside Notice published on Friday, July 1. The webinar will run from 2-3PM, EST, and will allow time for questions. The webinar is intended for PHA staff, Department of Veteran’s Affairs staff, low-income housing developers, and other interested stakeholders. More information on the Notice can be found here.

Register for the webinar here.

New Administrative Fee Formula Data Analysis Tool Posted

As we mentioned and summarized in our earlier post, HUD has published a revised version of the new administrative fee formula for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. The proposed revision to the new administrative fee formula has now been officially posted to the Federal Register. Comments on the revision to the new administrative fee will be due on October 4, 2016.

HUD has also posted a new administrative fee formula data tool. By entering your PHA code, you can compare how much you would have been eligible for under the new formula to the actual amount you received in 2015. You can also adjust the proration for 2015 to create a more apples-to-apples comparison (i.e., compare full eligibility under the current formula to full eligibility under the revised new formula in Calendar Year 2015).

NAHRO will continue to analyze the new formula and bring you the latest analysis and updates.

You can find the new revision to the proposed administrative fee formula here.

You can find HUD’s PHA Admin Fee Tool 2015 here.

[Edit: We have now sent a Direct News item on the new proposed administrative fee formula (members only).]

HUD Announces Funding for Project-Basing HUD-VASH Vouchers

On July 1, HUD released Notice PIH 2016-11 (HA) entitled, “Set-Aside Funding Availability for Project-Basing HUD-VASH Vouchers.” The Notice announces the availability of approximately $15 million in HUD-VASH funding that will support 2,000 units of project based voucher (PBV) assistance to enable homeless veterans and their families to access affordable housing with an array of supportive services. The vouchers are being made available from a set-aside contained in the 2016 omnibus that provided approximately $60 million dollars of funding for HUD-VASH vouchers.

Any PHA that administers a Housing Choice Voucher program may apply for up to 150 units to be placed under PBV HAP contract(s). Applications are due no later than midnight in the time zone of the PHA on September 9, 2016. All applications must be submitted electronically to VASH@hud.gov.

Please see HUD’s Notice for more information on application requirements and scoring.

For in-depth information on the 2016 omnibus’ Section 8 program funding, click here (members only).

 

HUD Publishes Revised New Administrative Fee Formula

HUD has published its revision of the new administrative fee formula for the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The new formula would calculate administrative fees on the basis of six variables:

  1. Program size;
  2. Wage rates;
  3. Benefit load;
  4. Percent of households with earned income;
  5. New admissions rate; and
  6. Percent of assisted households that live a significant distance from the PHA’s headquarters.

The PHA’s fees would be calculated yearly and then have a revised inflation factor applied to the calculated fee.

HUD has made three major changes to the prior formula:

  1. For PHAs in metropolitan areas, the wage index formula variable is based on the average local government wage rate for the PHA’s metropolitan Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA), rather than that average local government wage rate for all of the metropolitan counties in the PHA’s state;
  2. The health insurance cost index formula has been replaced with a new “benefit load” formula variable, which is designed to measure the variation in costs for all benefits that are paid for HCV employees, not just health insurance costs [In NAHRO’s comments we wrote the health insurance cost index metric does not “accurately (capture) all benefit costs” and recommended “(a) proxy that measures and takes into account these higher PHA costs”]; and
  3. The small area rent ratio (SARR) variable has been removed from the proposed formula [In NAHRO’s comments, we stated that “the small area rent ratio does not appropriately measure the actual costs of helping voucher holders to access high opportunity neighborhoods”].

NAHRO is still in the preliminary stages of analyzing the formula. Additional details and analysis will be forthcoming.

The full notice can be read here.

NAHRO’s comments on the previous formula can be read here.

HUD Releases Reentry Toolkit

On June 30, HUD, in collaboration with the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, released the “It Starts with Housing: Public Housing Agencies are Making Second Chances Real,” toolkit. The toolkit highlights  innovative models that PHAs can use to improve housing opportunities for individuals that have been involved with the criminal justice system. The goal of the toolkit is to help PHAs improve housing opportunities, promote family reunification, and reduce recidivism. The toolkit discusses how to build a successful reentry program, determine who should be served,  outreach to potential participants,  service provision, and  collaborations to achieve the policy changes necessary to serve this population.

HUD has been actively promoting increased housing opportunities for individuals with criminal backgrounds. This includes recent HUD guidance prohibiting the use of arrest records  as the basis for denying admission, terminating assistance, or evicting tenants, and recent HUD OGC guidance on the use of criminal records to determine housing eligibility. Past NAHRO coverage on the arrest records guidance can be found here and past NAHRO coverage on the OGC guidance can be found here (members only). NAHRO’s letter to HUD regarding the use of arrest records can be found here (members only).