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.

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