As NAHRO previously reported, HUD recently finalized a rule that will provide expanded housing protections for survivors of violence and fully codifies the provisions of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013 into HUD regulations.
HUD has made available the relevant forms necessary under the new rule:
- Notice of Occupancy Rights under VAWA (HUD-5380) that certain housing providers must give to tenants and applicants to ensure they are aware of their rights under VAWA and these implementing regulations;
- New Certification form (HUD-5382) for documenting incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking that must be used by housing providers;
- Model emergency transfer plan (HUD-5381) that may be used by housing providers to develop their own emergency transfer plans; and
- Model emergency transfer request form (HUD-5383) that housing providers could provide to tenants requesting an emergency transfer under these regulations.
HUD is currently translating these forms into 8 main language.
The final rule become effective on December 16, 2016 and housing providers must now include the Notice of Occupancy Rights and the new certification form with future denials or admissions of assistance notices and future eviction or termination of assistance notices.
Additionally, housing providers have until December 16, 2017 to provide existing tenants with the Notice of Occupancy Rights and the new certification form (via the annual recertification or lease renewal process, or through other means). Compliance with the final rule’s emergency transfer provisions is required no later than June 14, 2017.
Read more about HUD’s implementation of VAWA 2013 in the October 31, 2016 edition of the NAHRO Monitor (members only).
On December 14, HUD issued a final rule titled “Housing Counseling Certification” that codifies statutory requirements that housing counseling required under or provided in connection with all HUD programs will be provided by HUD-Certified Housing Counselors. In order to become certified, housing counselors must pass a standardized written examination and work for a HUD-approved housing counseling agency (HCA). The goal of these new requirements is to improve the knowledge and effectiveness of housing counselors that serve HUD-assisted renters, prospective homebuyers, or existing homeowners.
The final compliance date for the certification requirement is three years after the date the certification examination becomes available. HUD will publish a separate Federal Register notice to announce the start of the testing and certification process. However, some of the provisions of the final rule will become effective on January 13, 2017, including:
- Requirement for agencies that provide homeownership counseling,
- Requirement related to distribution of home inspection materials,
- Provision for agencies found to have misused housing counseling program grant funds, and
- Prohibition against distribution of funds to organizations convicted of violating election laws.
Access HUD’s resource page on the final rule here.
It is important to note that this new rule now covers not only participants in HUD’s Housing Counseling Program but also participants in other HUD programs including HOME Investment Partnerships, Community Development Block Grant, Public and Indian Housing, and FHA Single Family. Covered stakeholders will have three years from the date the certification examination becomes available to comply with the housing counselor certification requirement. A resource sheet for other HUD programs covered under this final rule is available here.
Additional coverage of the final rule will be available in the forthcoming edition of the NAHRO Monitor (members only).