On December 21, HUD published a press release announcing the awarding of $29 million in grants to PHAs and non-profit organizations across the nation to hire or retain service coordinators to help residents find jobs and educational opportunities through the Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency Service Coordinators (ROSS-SC) program. According to HUD, the ROSS-SC program “encourages local, innovative strategies that link public housing assistance with public and private resources to enable participating families to increase earned income; reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance; and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency.”
HUD Secretary Ben Carson noted that “[p]roviding families who live in public housing the opportunity to invest in themselves is a win-win as it helps them to gain economic and housing independence … [t]oday, we’re investing in our residents, offering them the tools they need to build a brighter future for themselves and their children.”
For a list of grant funding by state, see here.
Join Clean Air For All, a joint effort between NAR-SAAH, NAHRO, and Live Smoke Free on third Thursday of the month, for a live discussion and Q&A on the “Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing” final HUD rule. Participants will hear a brief update on the rule and will be able to submit questions to NAR-SAAH, NAHRO, and Live Smoke Free staff. Have your questions about the rule, cessation resources, and enforcement answered.
These calls are intended for those working and living in affordable housing. The January, March, May, July, September, and November calls will have a housing authority staff focus while the April, June, August, October and December calls will have a resident service provider, resident leader, and resident focus. Everyone is welcome to attend all of the calls and hear the various perspectives.
The January Connect Call will have a guest speaker from Leading Age, the trusted voice for aging in America, will join us to provide tips and strategies for working toward compliance with aging residents in smoke-free public housing.
On December 20, HUD posted in the Public Inspection of the Federal Register a 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection on changes to Admission and Occupancy Requirements for public housing. According to the Information Collection, HUD is making changes to the Admission and Occupancy requirements that “defin[e] an ‘over income family’ as one having an annual income 120 percent above the median income for the area for two consecutive years and includes new mandatory annual reporting requirements on the number of over-income families residing in Public Housing and the total number of families on the Public Housing waiting lists at the end of each reporting year.”
HUD is making these changes in light of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) which included language limiting tenancy of over-income residents in public housing. HUD will use its calculation of very low-income (VLI) to determine income limits. VLIs are preliminarily calculated as 50 percent of the estimated area median family income. VLI limits include several adjustments to align the income limits with program requirements including: high housing cost adjustments, low housing cost adjustments, state and non-metro median family income adjustments, and ceiling and floors for changes. HUD will use the VLI as the basis for the 120 percent income limit by multiplying the VLI limit by a factor of 2.4. Areas without a VLI adjustment would result in an income limit of 120 percent of AMI. Areas with an adjustment would be higher or lower than 120 percent AMI, depending upon the adjustments made.
If a family meets this threshold, public housing authorities (PHAs) have the option of either charging the higher of the fair market rent for the unit or the monthly subsidy (operating and capital fund), or terminating the tenancy within 6 months.
Comments on the proposed notice of information collection are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Yesterday, in a press release, the administration announced a join action plan by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reduce childhood lead exposure and associated health impacts. Secretary Carson has stated that “[i]mplementing this plan will help federal agencies, along with our state and local partners, advance efforts to remediate home health hazards and keep children safe from lead poisoning.”
The plan has four goals:
- Reduce children’s exposure to lead sources;
- Identify lead-exposed children and improve their health outcomes;
- Communicate more effectively with stakeholders; and
- Support and conduct critical research to inform efforts to reduce lead exposure and related health risks.
The plan notes that while it “is not a budget document and does not imply approval for any specific action . . . [i]t will inform future federal budget and regulatory development processes within the context of the goals articulated in the President’s Budget.”
The full press release can be found here.
The action plan can be found here.
Earlier today, HUD broadcast a webinar on the Moving to Work (MTW) Expansion Cohort #1. The webinar explained what MTW was, explained the benefits of an MTW designation, provided presentations from current MTW agencies, and discussed the process by which agencies could apply for Cohort #1. Additionally, questions from webinar participants were answered.
The webinar also gave the following timeline for MTW Expansion activities:
- Spring 2019 – Revise MTW Operations Notice based on public comment and publish final MTW Operations Notice;
- Summer / Fall 2019 – Designate the initial cohort of MTW agencies; invite the second cohort of agencies to apply;
- Winter 2020 – Designate the second cohort of MTW agencies.
The full webinar with audio and the slide presentation will eventually be posted on HUD’s MTW Expansion site, but an unofficial copy of the slides from the webinar can immediately be found here.
Earlier today, the Department of Housing and Urban Development sent an email through its RADBlast! email list announcing RAD rents levels for 2019 (based on 2018 Public Housing Funding Levels). These rents will be used for new awards used in 2019. They may also be used for current awardees to update rents in existing Commitments to enter into Housing Assistance Payment contracts (CHAPs). Closed transactions are ineligible to receive these new rents. Remember, these new rents–after being updated with 2019 Operating Cost Adjustment Factors (OCAFs)–may not necessarily be higher than your current CHAP rents depending on how the transaction is structured. NAHRO strongly recommends carefully reading HUD’s Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQ) document on updating RAD rents before requesting updated rents.
Additionally, HUD has created a streamlined, online RAD application for public housing conversions that can be accessed here.
The 2019 RAD Rents can be accessed here.
The FAQ can be found here.
HUD has released version 1.2 of its PHA Operating Fund Submission Schedule for CY 2019. HUD will make HUD Forms HUD 52723 and HUD 52722 available to PHAs on February 11, 2019. PHAs will be required to submit those forms to their Field Office by March 4. HUD plans to publish preliminary eligibility based on HUD-52723 operating subsidy submissions on April 1. PHAs should contact their Field Office with an issues regarding preliminary eligibility for all projects by April 8.
PHAs are funded based on an estimate in January, February, March, and April.
A HUD official emailed me to announce certain updates to the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) two-year tool. The updates include the following:
- The two-year tool is now publicly available and accessible by anyone;
- A series of training videos has been created and is publicly available; and
- The two-year tool now shows draft inflation factors for the next year to help program managers plan for the next year (depending on the housing market the PHA is located in, this may be a large number).
The two year tool and the training videos can be accessed here.
Have a little spare time this holiday season? Check out HUD’s two-year tool training videos! The table listing the links to the videos is reproduced below. Click below to access it.
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In a press release published earlier today, HUD announced that the President established the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council and named Secretary Carson its chairperson. The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council’s activities include the following:
- Engage all levels of government on methods to effectively use taxpayer dollars to revitalize low-income communities;
- Streamline, coordinate, and target existing Federal programs to Opportunity Zones and distressed communities;
- Consider legislative proposals and undertake regulatory reform to remove barriers to revitalization; and
- Present the President with options to encourage capital investment in economically distressed communities.
Secretary Carson has said that “[t]hese are still early days for the work of the Council and Opportunity Zones, but the groundwork has been laid . . . [t]he seeds the President has planted are growing and the promise they hold will improve places long forgotten, and the lives of those who call those places home.”
The full press release can be found here.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it has published guidance clarifying the use of Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Requirements. With the conversion of Rent Supp., RAP, Mod. Rehab., or Mod. Rehab. SRO contracts to PBRA contracts, Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements are not triggered.
The full Federal Register notice can be found here.
The guidance document (H-2018-11; PIH-2018-22) can be found here.