HUD Publishes Multiple Notices on EnVision Centers, Triennial Recertifications, Small Area FMRs, FSS Performance Measurement, and the 2018 Operating Fund Subsidy Calculation

Today, HUD has made publicly available the rule implementing triennial recertifications from the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. HUD has also made available pre-publication copies of notices on EnVision Centers, Small Area FMR Designations, and a Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Performance Measurement System. Additionally, HUD published a PIH notice on the Operating Fund Subsidy Calculations for 2018. Additional information on each of these notices is listed below.

  • Advanced Notice of EnVision Center Demonstration (pre-publication copy here) – HUD is seeking comments on a new Demonstration that is designed to test the effectiveness of collaborative efforts by government, industry, and nonprofit organizations on accelerating the “economic mobility of low-income households.” Ten communities are anticipated to participate in the Demonstration. The Demonstration is meant to test a “new service-delivery mechanism.” EnVision Centers will provide communities with a centralized hub for support in the following areas: 1) Economic Empowerment; 2) Educational Advancement; 3) Health and Wellness; and 4) Character and Leadership. There will be a 60 day comment period. Comment Due Date: February 12, 2018.
  • FAST Act Triennial Recertifications (pre-publication copy here) – This interim final rule expands the Streamlining Final RulePIH 2016-05 (HA)–issued in 2016, that streamlined income determination for any fixed source of income, among other things. The current streamlining rule does not have a requirement that fixed income be a certain percentage of total income, however it requires a non-fixed income source to be recertified each year. This implementation of the FAST Act language allows any family with at least 90 percent of their income coming from a fixed-source to recertify all of their income every three years. There are certain other changes that this rule makes too. There will be a 30 day comment period and and an effective date of 90 days after tomorrow’s official publication in the Federal Register. Comment Due Date: January 11, 2018. Effective Date: March 12, 2018.
  • Small Area Fair Market Rents (FMRs) Mandatory Implementation Suspension (pre-publication copy here) – Using the authority provided by regulation, HUD suspended the mandatory implementation of Small Area FMRs in most places this past summer in response to an Interim Evaluation of the Small Area FMR Demonstration. The evaluation found that while voucher holders were “slightly more likely” to live in high-rent zip codes, Small Area FMRs also caused a loss of affordable housing stock (fewer units were affordable with vouchers) and increased cost burdens on vulnerable households. Although not required by the Small Area FMR rule, HUD is seeking comments on the suspension of the mandatory aspects of the rule; the comment period will last for 30 days. Comment Due Date: January 11, 2018.
  • Family Self-Sufficiency Performance Measurement System (pre-publication copy here) – this notice details a system to measure performance of FSS programs that receive program coordinator grants. The proposed system would involve three metrics: 1) Earning Performance Measurement (50%); 2) Graduation rate (30%); and 3) Participation Rate (20%). The Earning Performance Measurement would represent “the difference between the earnings growth of FSS participants and the earnings growth of other similar households within the PHA.” This would help control for differences in local economic conditions. The system would use data that HUD believes accurately captures performance and is already reported. There will be a 45 day comment period. Comment Due Date: January 26, 2018.
  • Public Housing Operating Fund Subsidy Calculations for 2018 (PIH 2017-27) – The notice details the Operating Fund Calculations for PHAs for the 2018 calendar year. It is similar to prior notices detailing these calculations.

Additional information on all of these topics will be provided to NAHRO members.