On January 19, HUD published in the HUD Portal website the “Streamlining Administrative Regulations for Multifamily Housing Programs and Implementing Family Income Reviews under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act” Interim Final Rule. Due to a backlog at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Interim Final Rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register. There will be a 30-day comment period and a 90-day effective date once published in the Federal Register. NAHRO will be tracking the Federal Register closely to inform members when the Interim Final Rule is published.
Under this interim final rule, families with fixed-incomes are only required to undertake a full recertification every 3 years. However, if less than 90 percent of the family’s unadjusted income comes from a fixed-income, PHAs and owners must still verify and adjust non-fixed income sources annually. PHAs are not required to do this if 90 percent or more of their income comes from a fixed-source. PHAs may determine a family’s fixed income by applying a verified cost of living adjustment (COLA) to the individual sources of fixed income. In the case of a family with at least 90 percent of the family’s unadjusted income from fixed income, a PHA or owner using streamlined income verification may, but is not required to, adjust the non-fixed income.
This interim final rule also explicitly allows owners to make utility reimbursements of $45 or less (per quarter) on a quarterly basis, in order to eliminate the burdensome process of processing and mailing monthly reimbursement checks.
This interim final rule also allows PHAs to accept a family’s declaration of assets if they have net assets equal to or less than $5,000 without third-party verification. However, PHAs will be required to use third-party verification of all family assets every 3 years.
HUD is encouraging as many agencies as possible to adopt triennial recertifications. HUD will also put out guidance before the effective date on the rule and specifically defining “fixed-income” and COLA adjustments.
This interim final rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register. However, once published, it will go into effect 90-days after being published – continue checking the NAHRO blog for updates on its publication date.