HUD Publishes Lead-Based Paint Proposed Rule

(9/6/16 Update: The published Federal Register notice can be found here. Comments are due by October 31, 2016.)

Tomorrow, HUD will publish its lead-based paint proposed rule titled “Requirements for Notification, Evaluation and Reduction of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Federally Owned Residential Property and Housing Receiving Federal Assistance; Response to Elevated Blood Lead Levels” in the Federal Register. While NAHRO is still in the process of doing a deeper dive into the proposed rule, here are some of the core requirements being proposed.

  • Program Scope –  The proposed rule will apply to the following 5 sets of programs:
    • Project-Based Assistance Provided by non-HUD Federal Agencies;
    • Project-Based Assistance;
    • HUD-owned and Mortgagee-in-Possession Multifamily Property;
    • Public Housing Programs; and
    • Tenant-Based Rental Assistance.
  • Effective Date –  HUD is considering an effective date of 6 months after publication of the final rule, but is also looking at time periods of either 1 year or 1 month.
  • Elevated Blood Lead Level –  The rule proposes to revise the Lead Safe Housing Rule (LSHR) to adopt the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) approach to establishing a blood lead level for which the CDC recommends environmental intervention. Currently, CDC guidance defines Elevated Blood Lead Level (EBLL) in children under age 6 to be “based on the blood lead level equaled or exceeded by 2.5 percent of U.S. children aged 1 – 5 years.” The current reference range level is 5 or more micrograms per deciliter of lead in the blood. As the CDC is “tying the reference value to the national distribution of blood lead levels, the reference level will continue to decrease whenever progress is made on reducing childhood lead exposure.”
  • Inspection, Evaluation, and Control Activities –  Depending on the program, lead-based paint inspections, inspections for deteriorated paint, and risk assessments including dust-wipe sampling and soil sampling may be required.
  • Abatement Measures –  Public Housing must perform abatement measures to eliminate lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards during comprehensive modernization.
  • Interim controls and Paint Stabilization –  Depending on the program, additional interim controls (measures designed to reduce temporarily human exposure or likely exposure to lead-based paint hazards) or paint stabilization (repairing physical defects and applying a new coating of paint) may be required.
  • Response to Young Children with Elevated Blood Levels –  If a child under 6 has an elevated blood lead level, the owner or other entity must follow a designated protocol (same for all programs, except non-HUD project-based assistance, for which it is narrower) including:
    • Conducting an environmental investigation;
    • Conducting interim control – measures designed to reduce temporarily human exposure or likely exposure to lead-based paint hazards;
    • Controlling other housing-related sources of lead exposure; and
    • Encouraging occupants to address other non-housing related lead exposure sources.
  • Other units –  If the unit where the child resides is in a building or development with other assisted dwelling units covered by the rule, the owner or other entity must provide documentation to the HUD field office that the owner or other entity has complied with the evaluation requirements. If there is no documentation of compliance with the evaluation requirements, the owner or other entity must conduct a risk assessment and conduct interim controls or conduct a visual assessment and paint stabilization–depending on the program.
  • Comments –  HUD has 4 questions for comment each with subparts.

NAHRO will continue to read and analyze this rule and will provide additional, deeper coverage to its members. Comments will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The pre-publication proposed rule can be found here.

HUD’s Press Release on the rule can be found here.

New HOME Notice on Allocating Eligible Costs and Identifying HOME-assisted Units in Projects

On August 25, HUD published  Notice CPD-16-15 which provides clarifying guidance to HOME participating jurisdictions (PJs) on the process of conducting a cost allocation using the Standard Method or the Proration Method, in accordance with HOME regulations. PJs are required to charge the actual costs of the HOME units, which will require allocating costs and identify the number and characteristics of units to be designated as HOME units for multi-unit rental or homebuyer HOME projects in which not all of the units are HOME-assisted (e.g., a mixed-income or a mixed-use project).

Among it’s topics, the Notice

  • explains the relationship of cost allocation to underwriting;
  • breaks down the cost allocation process, including what information is necessary and step-by-step explanation of the process;
  • highlights the requirements for special circumstances, such as owner-occupied projects with rental units, manager’s unit, and projects with HOME and public housing units;
  • provides additional guidance on disbursement of funds and documentation; and
  • includes process charts and examples for the Standard Method and the Proration Method.

Updated HCV Forecasting Tool and Payment Standard Tool

I received an e-mail from a HUD official asking that I make sure that our membership is aware of the following updates to HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program Projection Tools:

  • HCV Two-Year Forecasting Tool: According to HUD, “[t]he objective of the Two-Year Tool (TYT) is to analyze a PHA’s utilization situation, which includes running basic leasing and spending scenarios to better inform decisions going forward in an effort to optimize the program over a multi-year period.” The Two-Year Tool has been updated so that it can be accessed by any individual with a HUD Web Access Security System (WASS) username and password. A new feature in this update is that when accessing the tool with WASS credentials, all “PHAs can now populate and create a Two-Year Tool on their own . . . [by entering] their PHA code and [clicking] the ‘Open and Populate Two-Year Tool’ button.” HUD notes that “[s]ome program variables are populated with default values (e.g. success rate, time from issuance to HAP); these should be updated as appropriate.”
  • Payment Standard Tool (new): “[T]he Payment Standard Tool (PST) is [used] to analyze a potential payment standard change of both program participants’ rent burdens and the PHA’s program costs.” Like the Two-Year Forecasting Tool, the Payment Standard tool can be accessed with WASS credentials (i.e., a username and password).

HUD plans to release YouTube videos in the near future to walk users through using these tools.

Descriptions of the tools can be found on the Office of Housing Choice Vouchers webpage here.

Both tools mentioned above (as well as a “HCV Two-Year Tool Guide” and a “Success Rate Guide”) can be accessed here.

FY 2017 FMRs Published

HUD has published its FY 2017 FMRs on its website. While we are still in the process of going through the notice announcing the publication of the FMRs, here are some of the main takeaways:

  • After the passage of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA), HUD is no longer required to publish FMRs in the Federal Register, but may now publish them on its website, while announcing the postings in the Federal Register.
  • After HOTMA, FMRs shall be effective no earlier than 30 days after the date of publication of the announcement notice in the Federal Register.
  • HOTMA requires that HUD publish proposed “material changes” to the methodology for comment. The notice asks for public comment on “defining the scope of material changes that will trigger notice and comment in future calculations of FMRs.”
  • The methodology for calculating the FY 2017 FMRs will remain the same as the methodology used to calculate the FY 2016 FMRs, except that updated data will be used.
  • There are no geography changes, but “several areas have been renamed to avoid confusion.”
  • The effective date of the FMRs will be October 1, 2016.
  • HUD has established a procedure “for PHAs and other interested parties to comment on such fair market rentals and to request, within a time specified by [HUD], reevaluation of the fair market rentals in a jurisdiction before such rentals become effective.”

Read the full pre-publication notice here.

[8/26/16 UPDATE: The Federal Register publication can be found here. Comments are due by September 26, 2016.]

The FY 2017 FMRs can be found here (scroll to FY 2017). The PDF tables can be found here.

NAHRO Submits Letter to HUD PIH Regarding Costs of Bed Bug Eradication in Public Housing Units

On August 25, NAHRO submitted a letter to HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramirez regarding the financial strains many PHAs face regarding bed bug infestation. In the letter, NAHRO noted the difference between standard pest extermination methods compared to the more-intensive methods of eradicating bed bugs. The letter continued, stating that in light of the additional effort required to eradicate bed bugs from housing units and properties, bed bug infestations place substantial financial burdens on PHAs, and that bed bugs affect more than just the tenants in an impacted unit.

NAHRO plans to continue working with HUD PIH  to ensure that PHAs can remain financially secure while also ensuring their tenants have access to safe, secure housing free of bed bugs.

Assessment of Fair Housing Tool for Local Governments with Proposed Changes Now Available

As NAHRO previously reported, on August 23, HUD published a 30-day Notice in the Federal Register seeking additional public feedback on the proposed changes to HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Local Government Assessment Tool (Local Government Tool). The Local Government Tool is the standardized tool that communities receiving HUD Community Planning and Development (CPD) formula grant dollars must use to conduct and submit their Assessments of Fair Housing (AFH).

The 30-day Notice proposes a number of additions to the Local Government Tool that would, ideally, help simplify the AFH process for Qualified Public Housing Authorities (QPHAs), defined as PHAs not designed as “troubled” with a combined unit total of 550 or less, and for local governments receiving small CPD formula grants. The tool would include two new sections for streamlined assessments for QPHAs and small local governments, called “inserts.”  QPHAs and local governments seeking to fulfill their Fair Housing requirements through these streamlined “inserts” must be involved in a joint or regional collaboration with a local government as the lead entity.

The proposed Local Government Tool with the new “inserts” is now available for public viewing on  HUD Exchange. The deadline to respond to the 30-day Notice and comment on the Local Government Tool is September 22, 2016.

Register Now for HUD’s MTW Research Advisory Committee In-Person Meeting

HUD is hosting the MTW Expansion Research Advisory Committee for their 2 day, in-person meeting on Thursday and Friday, September 1 and 2. The in-person meeting will be held on Thursday, September 1, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and Friday, September 2, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (EDT) at HUD Headquarters, 451 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20410. The meeting is open to the public and is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

The public is invited to attend both days of the meeting in-person or by phone. Registration will be open from August 22 – August 26. Register here.

The agenda for the meetings can found here.

HUD Makes $33 Million Available for the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program

Yesterday, HUD published the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), opening up a competition to award $33 million to up to 10 communities (including 4 rural) across the nation. Awardees of the competition will use the federal resources to design and implement a coordinated community approach to ending youth homelessness.

YHDP applications must be submitted by a community’s  Continuum of Care (CoC) Collaborative Applicant and must be co-developed with a wide spectrum of community partners, including a youth advisory board (required), a state or local child welfare agency (required), youth homelessness housing and service providers, local school districts, workforce development organizations, law enforcement, judges, corrections and more.

YHDP applications are due by Wednesday, November 30, 2016. Additional information on the demonstration program can be found on HUD Exchange.