HUD Extends Deadline to Apply for Higher Administrative Fee Rates

Yesterday, HUD sent an email extending the deadline to apply for higher administrative fee rates to Friday, June 23, 2017 at 5 pm ET. Earlier, HUD had extended the deadline for applying for Blended Administrative Fee Rates to the same date. The application method remains the same as noted in Notice PIH 2017-07 titled “Guidance related to (1) Eligibility for Potential Shortfall Funding Under the Calendar Year (CY) 2017 Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Renewal Set-Aside for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program and (2) CY 2017 Administrative Fees.”

Click below for additional details on how to apply.

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HUD Publishes FY 2017 CPD Formula Allocations

Today, HUD released the FY 2017 allocations for the Department’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) formula grant programs: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) , Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), and Housing Trust Fund (HTF).

For FY 2017, states and local communities across the nation will receive approximately $3.0 billion in CDBG, $958 million in HOME, $320 million in HOPWA, $270 million in ESG, and $219 million in HTF funding. These amounts reflect approved grant reductions and reallocated funds for the CDBG and HOME programs.

The CPD allocations can be found online here.

2017 National Housing Conference Annual Policy Symposium

The National Housing Conference (NHC) hosted the 2017 Annual Policy Symposium on June 9, 2017. The keynote speaker was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson. While the Secretary discussed several topics, he also mentioned his support to lift the cap on units for the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. Secretary Carson noted it would help leverage funds to provide more affordable units using public-private partnerships. He also discussed the importance of homeownership and recent data that shows an upward trajectory of homeowners. Secretary Carson noted concerns that “millennials may become a lost generation for homeownership, excluded from the American dream and punished as an unintended byproduct of the financial crisis from 2008.” He urged stakeholders to do more to find reasonable and affordable pathways with investors and lenders in order for more individuals to join the housing market. One solution mentioned was the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA), which allows the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to lower the owner occupancy minimum from 50 to 30 percent to allow more individuals to use FHA loans to attract more millennials to buy condos.

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HUD Releases Detailed Operating Fund Subsidy Calculation for June

HUD has released it’s detailed calculation of Operating Fund subsidy for June 2017. PHAs can examine the details to HUD’s calculation in determining Operating subsidy for June at the PHA level. In June, HUD is increasing the proration for the Operating Fund from 85 percent to a 92.89 percent proration.

The proration represents a cumulative amount for the year. Since PHAs received payments based on a lesser yearly proration for the first few months of the year, June’s payment will be greater to compensate for the initial underfunding. This is known as a “true up.” As such, many PHAs may see a significant increase in Operating Fund subsidy in June as a result of this true up.

The July payment will more accurately represent the new monthly amount under the new proration. The letter notes that there may be minor proration fluctuations and that “[t]he final proration will be established after final eligibility is determined for all projects.”

Deadline for Applying for Blended Administrative Fee Rates for the HCV Program Extended

Earlier today, HUD emailed information stating that the deadline for applying for a blended administrative fee rate for the Housing Choice Voucher Program has been extended to Friday, June 23, 2017 at 5 pm Eastern Time. As noted in Notice PIH 2017-07 titled “Guidance related to (1) Eligibility for Potential Shortfall Funding Under the Calendar Year (CY) 2017 Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Renewal Set-Aside for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program and (2) CY 2017 Administrative Fees,” PHAs that serve multiple administrative fee areas may request a blended rate based on the locations of their assisted units. The blended rate will be used for CY 2017.

PHAs may submit the blended administrative fee request at using the subject line “[PHA Number – i.e., PHA xxx], 2017 Request for Blended Rate Administrative Fees.” Alternatively, PHAs may submit a request to the following physical mailing address:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Housing Voucher Programs, Attn: Miguel Fontanez, Director, HV Financial Management Division, Room 4222, 451 7th Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20410.

Either submit electronically or by physical mail–not both.

NAHRO, CAP Offer Free Webinar on PHA-CAA Partnerships

Does your Public Housing Authority (PHA) want to provide necessary non-housing services to your residents, such as access to case management, transportation services, food security, or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)? Is your Community Action Agency (CAA) looking for better ways to partner with your local PHA to help your clients find safe, secure, affordable housing? If so, please join the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) and the Community Action Partnership (CAP) for a free webinar to learn about how PHAs and CAAs work hand-in-hand to help address poverty in communities across the nation.

On June 20, from 1:30-3:00 p.m. EDT, NAHRO Senior Director of Congressional Relations John Bohm, CAP CEO Denise Harlow, and NAHRO and CAP staff will discuss the results of a recent survey conducted by NAHRO and CAP, provide examples of established working relationships between PHAs and CAAs, and examine the results achieved by these partnerships.

Nationally, PHAs help over 4.8 million families and individuals by providing safe, decent, affordable housing for families in need. Community Action Agencies provide critical programs to more than 15 million people with low incomes every year. Collaboration increases the capacity of both PHAs and CAAs, and making the CAA programs and services available to public housing residents puts communities are in a far better position to combat poverty. Join us for this free webinar to learn how to build and strengthen these collaborations.

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HUD REAC Publishes UPCS-V Version 2.5

HUD REAC’s Oversight and Evaluation Division (OED) has published Version 2.5 of the UPCS-V protocol. The UPCS-V protocol is an inspections protocol that HUD is developing as a successor to the current Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspections protocol currently in use for the Housing Choice Voucher Program. HUD is developing the protocol in a Demonstration program with nearly 250 PHAs participating.

OED has posted both the protocol itself and a document listing all the changes from version 2.0 of the UPCS-V protocol. At this time, it looks like the majority of changes are language related for clarity or grammar, with a few technical changes.

The UPCS-V 2.5 protocol can be found here.

The document listing changes from the UPCS-V 2.0 protocol to the UPCS-V 2.5 protocol can be found here.

HUD Calculates Renewal Funding Inflation Factors for HCV Program

Tomorrow, June 8, HUD will publish a notice in the Federal Register titled “Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program-Fiscal year (FY) 2017 Inflation Factors for Public Housing Agency (PHA) Renewal Funding.” The notice outlines the methodology for calculating Renewal Funding Inflation Factors (RFIFs). These factors are applied to leasing and cost data to determine current year Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program eligibility (i.e., these factors determine how much additional money PHAs need to maintain the same number and quality of vouchers as the previous year). Tables showing RFIFs will be available from HUD here (when posted after this notice is published in the Federal Register). The pre-publication notice can be found here.

HUD calculates RFIFs with a three-step process. First, HUD forecasts a national inflation factor. Second, HUD calculates individual area inflation factors (using annual changes in the two-bedroom Fair Market Rent [FMR] for the area). Third, HUD scales the individual area inflation factors so that the weighted average equals the national average, but ensures that each area has an inflation factor of no less than one. This year, 2017, HUD has changed its methodology so that the first step uses forecasts to calculate per unit costs (PUCs) instead of relying on backward-looking historical data.

[6/8/17 Edit – The published notice can be found here.]

Click the link below to read a more detailed description of the methodology.

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Thinking About Solar Panels?

On May 31, 2017 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) hosted a webinar on Solar Project Development for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs). The webinar presented approaches for implementation based on various readiness levels. Presenters included Crystal Bergemann, Energy Team Lead, Office of Economic Development; Benjamin Foster, ICF expert; Richard Santangelo, Apollo Engineering Solutions, subcontractor to IFC; and Robert Havlicket, Executive Director, Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara. Each presenter outlined a framework for effective planning for a solar photovoltaic (PV) project. Comprehensive steps such as financing, site locations, incentives, and best practices were shared to encourage PHAs to use solar panels.

The webinar focused on solar panels for PHAs, with a framework for financial planning which affordable housing and multiple family programs can utilize. One approach that was presented was HUD’s Renew300 initiative, which started in 2013 as a mechanism to increase the use of on-site community solar panels at federally assisted housing to save energy and money for the community. Solar development can save money for organizations, contribute to the local economy, and positively impact the community.  

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Suspension of HOME 24-Month Commitment Requirement

On June 2, HUD published a message on HUD Exchange addressing the FY 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act’s (Public Law No. 115-31) suspension of the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) 24-month commitment requirement for deadlines occurring in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Due to this suspension, HUD will not be enforcing the program’s 24-month commitment requirement for deadlines occurring this year or in 2018 and 2019. For deadlines that occurred in 2016, HUD intends to return deobligated funds to participating jurisdictions (PJs). HUD further clarifies that this suspension does not apply to a PJ’s Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) set-aside funds and does not apply to the 5-year expenditure deadline for FY 2014 and earlier grants. The recent HOME interim rule implementing grant-specific commitment requirements remains in effect, except HUD will not enforce the 24-month commitment deadlines discussed above. Additional HUD guidance on the effects of this suspension is forthcoming.