HUD Sends FSS Program Coordinator Funding Letter

Earlier today, HUD sent a Fiscal Year 2018 Family Self-Sufficiency Program Coordinator Funding Letter to PHA Executive Directors. The letter is meant to help “prepare for the upcoming Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Family Self Sufficiency Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) competition.” The letter discusses Public and Indian Housing Information Center (PIC) data; the possible use of composite scores in funding determinations; and checking the System for Award Management (SAM) and DUNS status.

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Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants NOFA Released

On April 10, HUD posted the FY18 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants NOFA to www.grants.gov.

HUD is making available up to $5,000,000 for Planning Grants, including Planning and Action Grants. Planning Grants are two-year grants that assist communities with severely distressed public or HUD-assisted housing in developing a successful neighborhood transformation plan and building the support necessary for that plan to be successfully implemented. Planning Action Grants are three and a half year planning grants that pair planning with action. According to HUD, ‘[t]hese actions improve neighborhood confidence, which in turn sustains the community’s energy, attracts more engagement and resources, and helps convince skeptical stakeholders that positive change is possible.”

Applications are due on Tuesday, June 12. Applicants must download the application package from the www.grants.gov site. Questions can be submitted to ChoiceNeighborhoods@hud.gov.

President Signs Executive Order on Work Reforms

Earlier today, the President signed an executive order on work reforms titled “Executive Order Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility.” The executive order is divided into five sections: purpose; policy; review of regulations and guidance documents; definitions; and general provisions. This blog post provides a summary of the executive order.

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Opportunity Zones Designated in 18 States

On April 9, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced designated Opportunity Zones in 18 states. Established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Congress created the new community development program that encourages long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities. The Opportunity Zone Program provides tax incentives for investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds. Opportunity Funds are private sector investment vehicles that invest at least 90 percent of their capital in Opportunity Zones. This new program has the potential to be an important, viable program for housing and community development agencies.

Currently, submissions have been approved by: American Samoa; Arizona; California; Colorado; Georgia; Idaho; Kentucky; Michigan; Mississippi; Nebraska; New Jersey; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; South Carolina; South Dakota; Vermont; Virgin Islands; and Wisconsin.

HUD Announces $43 Million Allocated for HUD-VASH Vouchers

Earlier today, HUD published a press release announcing that it would be allocating $43 million to 325 PHAs to provide more than 5,200 veterans experiencing homelessness with homes. The HUD-VASH program combines a Housing Choice Voucher with management and clinical services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

This most recent award increases the number of PHAs that administer the program by 102. More than 87,000 vouchers have been awarded and approximately 144,000 homeless veterans have been served through the HUD-VASH program.

The full press release with a list of PHAs and partnering VA Medical Facilities can be found here.

PHA Applications for Vera Reentry Technical Assistance due by May 2

The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) is soliciting applications from PHAs for 14 months of technical assistance to aid them in planning and implementing reentry programs or changes in their policies to safely increase access to housing for people with conviction histories. PHAs of all sizes are encouraged to apply. PHAs with voucher programs are also encouraged to apply. Multiple PHAs within the same geographic area may apply jointly.

The goals of this initiative are the following:

  1. Safely increase access to housing for people with conviction histories;
  2. Improve the safety of public housing and surrounding communities through the use of reentry housing strategies; and
  3. Promote collaboration between PHAs, law enforcement agencies, and other criminal justice stakeholders to effectively reduce crime and improve reentry outcomes for people leaving prisons and jails.

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PST on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Questions may be directed to Jessica Jensen at jessicajensen@vera.org.

Additional information about the initiative can be found on Vera’s website here. The full Request for Proposals for Technical Assistance can be read here.

HUD Publishes CY 2018 Administrative Fee Rates in Federal Register

Earlier today, HUD published, in the Federal Register, a notice titled “Notice of Annual Factors for Determining Public Housing Agency Administrative Fees for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, Mainstream, and Moderate Rehabilitation Programs.” According to the notice, administrative fees will continue to be earned on the basis of vouchers leased on the first of each month as taken from the Voucher Management System (VMS) at the close of each reporting cycle. Two rates are given: the first is for the first 7,200 voucher unit months, while the second applies to all remaining  voucher unit months in calendar year (CY) 2018.

The full notice can be found here.

[Note: HUD has previously published these rates on their website.]

HUD Expects to Raise Operating Fund Proration in May

In light of the recently passed FY 2018 budget, HUD is expecting to raise the Operating Fund proration to 93.53 percent in May. The April proration will remain the same as January, February, and March 2018 as the budget was passed too late in March for HUD to make any changes for April. NAHRO will continue to closely monitor the Operating Fund and provide updates as they occur.

The budget provided $4.55 billion to support the operation and management of public housing. This is $150 million more than funding for FY 2017, $50 million more than what was proposed by the Senate, $150 million more than the House bill and $650 million more than what was proposed by the President’s FY 2018 budget request.