HUD REAC Posts October 2017 UPCS-V Conference Call

HUD Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) Oversight and Evaluation Division (OED) posted their quarterly conference call with UPCS-V Demonstration participants. UPCS-V is the inspection protocol that HUD is developing to replace Housing Quality Standards (HQS), which is the current inspection protocol used for the Housing Choice Voucher program.

The 10/25/17 UPCS-V conference call can be found here.

HUD Issues 19 CPD Waivers to Help Disaster Recovery

In order to aid communities and accelerate disaster recovery for those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, HUD has announced a package of 19 regulatory and administrative waivers for the following Community Planning and Development (CPD) programs:  The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program, and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program.

According to HUD, this waiver package represents the largest collections of regulatory and administrative waivers ever issued by the Department at one time. State and local grantees located in major disaster declared areas can now access a waiver through a new simplified notification process. HUD’s flexibilities include: Continue reading

HUD Publishes Additional Guidance on Implementing HOTMA Voucher Provisions

Yesterday, October 30, HUD published notice PIH 2017-21 (HA) titled “Implementation Guidance: Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) – Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Project-Based Voucher (PBV) Provisions.” The notice provides additional guidance on HUD’s previous Federal Register notice implementing HOTMA’s changes to the definition of PHA-owned housing and changes to the project-based voucher program. It also incorporates HUD’s previous technical corrections notice.

This notice provides guidance on the following topics:

  • PHA-Owned Units;
  • PHA-Owned Units and Independent Entities;
  • Percentage Limitation (Program Cap) and PHA Submission Requirements;
  • PBV Percentage Limitation – 10 Percent Increase for Eligible Units;
  • Income-Mixing Requirement (Project Cap);
  • Units Not Subject to Percentage Limitation (Program Cap) or Income-Mixing Requirement (Project Cap);
  • Priority of PBV HAP Contracts;
  • PBV Biennial Inspections;
  • Adding Units to PBV HAP Contract Without Competition;
  • PBV Contract Termination or Expiration without Extension;
  • Attaching PBVs to Certain PHA-Owned Projects Without Following a Competitive Process;
  • Project-Basing Family Unification Program and HUD-VASH Vouchers;
  • Appendix – PBV Program Cap Calculation Instructions;
  • Appendix – PHA Plan, Administrative Plan, and Other PBV Topics;
  • Appendix – Reporting; and
  • Appendix – HCV, Homeownership, and PBV Inspection Requirements.

NAHRO is still in the process of reading through the notice and will provide additional information to our members.

The notice can be found here.

HUD Publishes Guidance on Implementing HOTMA Inspection Provisions

On October 27, HUD published PIH 2017-20 (HA) titled “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) – Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Implementation Guidance.” The notice provides additional guidance on two previously implemented provisions that theoretically should allow PHAs to approve a unit and execute a HAP contract with a landlord more quickly.

The two provisions may help PHAs in tight rental markets. The first provision allows PHAs to approve an assisted tenancy and make Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) on units that fail to meet Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection protocol, but only have non-life-threatening deficiencies. The second provision allows PHAs to approve assisted tenancies of a unit prior to the HQS inspection if the property has passed an alternative inspection within the past 24 months.

The notice discusses the following topics:

  1. Implementing the approval of assisted tenancy for units with non-life-threatening HQS deficiencies provision;
    1. HUD definition of non-life-threatening and life-threatening conditions;
    2. Incorporating life-threatening conditions for all inspections;
    3. Documenting the presence or absence of life-threatening conditions;
    4. Notification of owners and tenants;
    5. Effective date of HAP contract;
    6. Housing Assistance payments;
    7. Administrative plans;
    8. Notification of HUD;
    9. Section Eight Management Assessment Program (SEMAP);
  2. Implementing the Alternative Inspections Provision;
    1. Eligible alternative inspection methods;
    2. Timing of the initial HQS inspection;
    3. Approval of assisted tenancy and execution of HAP contract;
    4. Housing assistance payments;
    5. Notification of owners and tenants;
    6. Administrative plans;
    7. Notification of HUD; and
    8. SEMAP.

The notice also includes helpful charts and tables. Particularly useful is a chart in the notice that provides examples of life-threatening conditions and explains where to record them on the HUD Inspection Form. Additionally, the notice includes four flowcharts, which visually explain how to use the provisions. The notice is logically structured, clearly written, and makes good use of charts–my compliments to the HUD staffers who put it together.

NAHRO members will receive additional coverage of this notice.

The full notice can be found here.

NAHRO Urges Congress to Include LIHTC in Tax Reform

NAHRO sent the following message to all members of Congress, their Legislative Directors, and tax Legislative Assistants this morning. As the tax reform debate takes shape, NAHRO will continue to participate in the conversation on Capitol Hill and engage with our industry partners as a steering committee member of the ACTION Campaign.
NAHRO also thanks its members who joined a letter to lawmakers outlining priorities for tax reform. Over 2,100 organizations joined nationwide, including more than 30 NAHRO members. To send a copy of the letter to your members of Congress and support LIHTC in the tax reform debate, visit NAHRO’s Action Center.
Dear Senator/Representative,
As you begin your tax reform discussions in earnest, the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) is pleased to share information with you on the important work local housing and redevelopment agencies do to utilize the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) to preserve and redevelop decent, safe, and affordable housing in communities of quality.
We are happy to see that the credit, as well as legislation to improve the utility and effectiveness of LIHTC, are already being considered for inclusion as part of tax reform legislation during the fiscal year 2018.  Specifically, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548 and HR 1661), which contains reform initiatives that will also responsibly address the nation’s current rental housing crisis.
LIHTC is a critical tool that has been used since 1986 to finance affordable housing opportunities for families at 60 percent of area median income.  The credit has also been used in combination with other federal resources, including Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership program funding to meet the affordable housing needs of the country.  Additionally, LIHTC has been crucial to those undertaking HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), which empowers local housing authorities to refinance existing public housing using a combination of private capital, low income tax credits, and other resources.
NAHRO and the ACTION Campaign, of which NAHRO is a Steering Committee member, together thank Congressional leadership and the administration for recognizing the value of LIHTC in the “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code” and for urging lawmakers to also make the following modifications to modernize our affordable housing delivery system:
  • Retain the tax exemption on multifamily Housing Bonds,
  • Enact the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548/H.R. 1661), and
  • Make adjustments to LIHTC to ensure its production potential is not negatively impacted by other changes in tax reform.
See the ACTION Campaign’s recent letter to Congress and the Administration, and thank you to the more than 30 NAHRO members who have joined these efforts in the past month.
ACTION has also put together a fact sheet showing how the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act would specifically support the preservation of public housing. See the Senate version here, the House version here, and much more in the ACTION Campaign’s Advocacy Toolkit.
Our ability to continue to provide safe, decent affordable housing for vulnerable families relies in large measure on our ability to act expeditiously on tax reform legislation that will assist local housing agencies in their efforts to meet local housing needs.
NAHRO and ACTION stand ready to assist you and your staff should you have questions or if we can be of general assistance. Please contact Tess Hembree (thembree@nahro.org or 202-5807225).
Thank you in advance for your time and consideration!
John F. Bohm
Senior Director
NAHRO Congressional Relations

 

HUD Guidance on Sub-awarding Homeless Assistance Funds to PHAs and Local Redevelopment Authorities

Today, the HUD Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) published a new notice (CPD-17-01) that provides guidance on how Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program funds can be sub-awarded to Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) and Local Redevelopment Authorities (LRAs). On July 29, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) which included language, first proposed by NAHRO, that amended the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S. 11373(C)) to permit local governments receiving ESG funding to sub-award their ESG funds to PHAs and LRAs for eligible ESG activities. This change saves grantees from having to go through a costly and time-consuming procurement process if they wish to devolve their funds to any PHA or LRA. This change became effective upon enactment of HOTMA last year and required no regulatory rulemaking. This new notice provides additional guidance on the allowable sub-awards to PHAs and LRAs and the key requirements (e.g. consistency with the Consolidated Plan) that apply to sub-awarded funds

HUD Posts 2018 Public Housing Operating Fund Schedule

HUD has posted a preliminary schedule to submit the 2018 Public Housing Operating Subsidy. HUD 52723 and HUD 52722 Forms will be made available to PHAs on November, 27. PHAs are required to provide these forms to their Field Offices by December 18, 2017. The publication of preliminary eligibility based upon HUD-52723 Operating Subsidy Submissions will be on January 29, 2018. PHAs should contact their Field Office by February 5, 2018 with any issues regarding preliminary eligibility for all projects.

HUD Publishes Preliminary Guidance on Porting from Non-Operational PHAs

Earlier this month, HUD sent an email detailing procedures to be followed when a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program participant wanted to port (move) from a jurisdiction covered by a non-operational PHA. As of October 6, 2017, all PHAs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are considered to be non-operational. A complete list can be found on HUD’s website.

HUD has established a portability procedure for PHAs that are contacted by families in Major Disaster Declaration areas (following Hurricanes Irma and Maria), who wish to exercise their option to port their voucher, but whose initial PHAs are non-operational and unable to complete their portability responsibilities. HUD stresses that “communication disruptions” or “portability billing concerns” should not interfere with helping displaced families in major disaster declaration areas. HUD will ensure that “legitimate portability moves” are paid for.

Click below for more details.

Continue reading

New Smoke-free Webinar on Oct. 18, 2017 at 2 pm ET

A new Smoke-free rule webinar titled “New Opportunities: Smokefree Multi-Unit Housing and Tobacco Cessation Policy” will take place on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 2 pm ET. It is jointly hosted by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the American Lung Association. The webinar will explore “the intersection of smoke-free multi-unit housing  and tobacco cessation policies.” The presentation will discuss the smoke-free rule and the importance of a smoke-free development from a public health perspective. It will also discuss connecting residents to appropriate treatments and provide resources and tools to improve tobacco cessation benefits.

Speakers include the following:

  • Ernest Hawk, M.D., MPH – Vice President and Division Head for Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center;
  • Harold Wimmer – National President and CEO, American Lung Association;
  • Saqi Maleque Cho DrPH, MSPH – Manager of Policy, Research, and Health Promotion, National Center for Health in Public Housing; and
  • Simon McNabb – Senior Policy Advisor, Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Registration for this webinar can be found here.