On September 26, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramirez sent an e-mail to PHA executive directors identifying the self-implementing provisions of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA). All the other Housing Choice Voucher or Public Housing provisions will require HUD promulgated notices or regulations.
Five HOTMA Self-Implementing Provisions
- Reasonable Accommodation Payment Standards – PHAs may establish, without HUD approval, a payment standard of up to 120 percent of the Fair Market Rent (FMR) as a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability. The Streamlining Rule already provided this flexibility.
- Establishment of Fair Market Rent –
- HUD may publish FMRs directly to their website, skipping the Federal Register, but must publish a notice in the Federal Register that they are published. Changes how interested stakeholders comment on FMRs and requests that HUD reevaluate the FMRs in a jurisdiction before those rents become effective.
- PHAs will no longer be required to reduce payment standards as a result of a FMR reduction for families continuing to reside in a unit under a housing assistance payment (HAP) contract at the time of the FMR reduction. The regulation at 24 CFR 982.505(c)(3) requiring the new decreased payment standard be applied to program participant families at their second regular reexamination is no longer applicable. PHAs must “adopt policies in their Administrative Plans that further explain this provision.” HUD will issue additional guidance in the future.
- Family Unification Program (FUP) for Children Aging out of Foster Care –
- FUP-eligible youth may receive FUP assistance up to 36 months. Applies to current as well as new FUP-assisted youth.
- Expands eligibility requirements for FUP-eligible youth. Expanded eligibility applies to the following:
- Youth aged 18 to 24 that are homeless or at risk of being homeless, and
- for those that left foster care at age 16 or older, or those that are within 90 days of leaving foster care.
- “At risk of being homeless” is defined at 24 CFR 576.2.
- Preference for U.S. Citizens or Nationals in Guam – Only applies to Guam. Establishes a preference for U.S. Citizens or Nationals in receiving financial assistance.
- Exception to PHA Resident Board Member Requirement – provides an exception for certain jurisdictions from resident board member requirements. Provision has been in effect through multiple appropriations acts.