HUD Publishes Interim Guidance on AFFH

Earlier this January, HUD published Interim Guidance on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) tools. The Interim Guidance gives the status of the Assessment of Fair Housing tools (AFHs) (reproduced below) and gives general guidance for program participants.

  • Local and Government and Joint / Regional Tool – Final tool available.
  • PHA and PHA-only collaboration – Final tool available. HUD will issue another Notice specifying PHAs’ new submission date.
  • Qualified PHA (QPHA) – Tool still under development. Not publicly available.
  • State and Insular Area Tool – Tool still under development. Still going through the notice-and-comment process.

The guidance also provides a table to help choose tools and understand appropriate AFH deadline dates.

The full AFFH Interim Guidance can be read here.

HUD Publishes MTW Expansion Application

HUD has posted pre-publication versions of the Moving To Work (MTW) Expansion Application and the MTW Expansion Operations Document. There will be multiple cohorts to the expansion with each cohort testing a different policy to be researched. The first cohort will test the overall impact of MTW flexibility. The cohorts will test the following (in no particular order, except for the first, which will test the overall impact of MTW flexibility):

  • Overall Impact of MTW Flexibility – the overall effects of the MTW “bundle” will be tested.
  • Rent Reform – PHAs will test different rent reform models, including “flat rents, tiered rents, and stepped-up rents.” PHAs “may also evaluate the interaction of these rent reform models with or without work requirements or time limits.”
  • Work Requirements – this will be a work requirements only cohort (i.e., additional rent reforms or time limits will not be evaluated). PHAs will provide supportive services.
  • Landlord Incentives – this cohort will investigate various landlord incentives (e.g., participation payments, vacancy payments, alternate inspection schedules and other methods).

The first cohort will include 30 PHAs with “1,000 or fewer aggregate public housing and HCV units.” To select applicants HUD will make sure each applicant meets eligibility requirements and certain geographic diversity requirements. Each potential cohort participant will then be selected via a lottery. These PHAs will then be randomly assigned to a treatment group (receiving MTW designation) or a control group (not receiving MTW designation). HUD will research the cost effectiveness, ability to create self-sufficiency, and ability to provide housing choice for this first cohort.

The application due date will be revealed, when the notice is formally posted in the Federal Register. NAHRO will continue to have more detailed coverage on both of these documents and the perspectives of the new administration in the coming days and weeks.

The pre-publication MTW Expansion Application can be found here.

The pre-publication MTW Expansion Operations document can be found here.

HUD Releases Data-Sharing Road Map for PHAs and School Districts

In an effort to improve the educational outcomes of students living in public housing agencies and local redevelopment agencies, HUD has release a “Data-Sharing Road Map.” This Road Map will provide PHAs practical guidance, such as starting the data-sharing conversation and negotiating the data-sharing agreement, to establish partnerships with their local school districts. The Data-Sharing Road Map is based on the experience of PHAs that have successfully developed data-sharing agreements with their local school district.

NAHRO continues to partner with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and HUD on promoting and improving the education outcomes of children living in HUD-assisted properties.

HUD Releases Triennial Recertifications Interim Final Rule

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.

 

HUD to Publish HOTMA Section 8 Voucher Provision Implementation Notice

Tomorrow, January 18, 2017, HUD will publish in the Federal Register a notice implementing certain Section 8 provisions of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) titled “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016: Implementation of Various Section 8 Voucher Provisions.” These provisions include the following:

  • “certain inspection requirements for both HCV tenant-based and PBV assistance [including provisions regarding occupancy prior to meeting HQS and alternative inspections],”
  • “changes to the PBV program [including changes to calculating the PBV cap, raises to the cap in certain scenarios, and changes to the PBV income-mixing cap among other things],” and
  • “guidance . . . [for] the statutory change to the HCV housing assistance payment (HAP) calculation for families who own manufactured housing and are renting the manufactured home space.”

HUD is also soliciting information regarding the implementation of many of the provisions. NAHRO is still reading through the notice, but will provide more detailed coverage in the coming days to our members.

The provisions in the notice will take effect 90 days after tomorrow’s publication. [1/18/17 Edit – April 18, 2017.]

The comment deadline for the provisions will occur 60 days after tomorrow’s publication. [1/18/17 Edit – March 20, 2017.]

The pre-publication notice can be found here.

[1/18/17 Edit – The published notice can be found here.]

 

HUD Publishes RAD Notice Revision 3

HUD has published the third revision of the RAD Notice (PIH 2012-32 / H 2017-03 Rev 3). According to a RADBlast email, the notice makes the following changes:

First Component – the revisions “simplify certain program requirements, create new flexibilities . . . and strengthen tenant rights.”

Second Component – the revisions “improve the rent-setting options available to owners.”

HUD has created a “blackline version” which tracks the changes made from Revision 2 to Revision 3. NAHRO will provide additional information in the coming days as we delve deeper into the notice.

The Third Revision of the RAD Notice can be found here.

The “Blackline Version” which tracks changes from the previous notice can be found here.

 

HUD to Publish Lead-Free Final Rule and additional AFH Tools

Tomorrow, January 13, 2017, HUD will publish in the Federal Register the lead-free final rule and additional Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) tools. The final 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” adopts a revised definition of “elevated blood lead level” (EBLL) in children under the age of 6 to track the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. The rule will become effective 30 days after publication and compliance will be required by 6 months after publication. NAHRO will provide additional coverage of the final rule in the next few days.

The Department also released two additional AFH tools:

  1. A Revised Local Government Tool: This tool is meant for use by CDBG, HOME, ESG or HOPWA recipients. One of the major changes to the tool is an insert for use by PHAs with 1,250 of fewer units that choose to collaborate with their local governments. NAHRO is pleased that HUD increased number of PHAs that can use this insert, making collaboration easier.
  2. A Final PHA Tool: The notice states that this tool has been approved, but “the Notice does not trigger the obligation of PHAs to conduct and submit an AFH . . . as HUD has not yet provided PHAs with the data they will need.” Again, one of the major changes from the proposed tool includes increasing the threshold for the Qualified PHA insert to 1,250 units.

NAHRO will continue to look through these tools and will provide additional coverage to our members in the coming days.

The Lead-Free final rule can be found here.

The Local Government AFH Tool can be found here.

The PHA AFH Tool can be found here.

Reminder!! Dr. Carson Confirmation Hearing for HUD Today!

The United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs  will hold a confirmation hearing for HUD Secretary-Designate Carson at 10 am ET on Thursday, January 12, 2017. The hearing will be held at the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Room 538.

The confirmation hearing will be webcast live on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing website. Dr. Carson’s written testimony is also posted, here, on the Senate Banking Committee website.

John Bohm, NAHRO Acting CEO, is attending the hearing and additional coverage of the confirmation hearing will be available for members in the January 15 Monitor.

HUD Housing Counseling Final Rule Conference Call

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently published a final rule implementing statutory requirements on housing counselor certification.  Among other things, it provides that housing counseling required by HUD or provided in connection with any HUD program must be delivered by a HUD certified counselor working for a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.

HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling will hold a conference call for housing counseling funders and service providers to explain this new rule and help you determine if your housing counseling program may be covered under this final rule.  This informative session is open to the public.  Please note that if you attended the call on December 19 for stakeholders who participate in HUD’s Housing Counseling Program you do not need to attend this call.

Please register for this Stakeholders Conference Call on the Final Rule on Housing Counseling Certification on January 13, 2017 2:00 PM EST at:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8027531475293201155.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

For more information on HUD’s Final Rule for Housing Counseling Certification including the press release, final rule, and frequently asked questions, please visit:  https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/housing-counseling/certification/.