HUD Awards $4.6 Million in HUD-VASH Funding

In a press release published earlier today, HUD announced a second round of HUD-VASH vouchers being funded. The Department will be providing $4.6 million, in the form of 424 vouchers, to housing authorities around the country to help homeless veterans find permanent homes. Secretary Carson said that “[t]he additional HUD-VASH vouchers awarded today will continue to support the important work of communities across the country that ensures our veterans have a safe and stable place to call home.”

The list of agencies receiving this latest round of funding can be found here.

NAHRO Comments on DHS Public Charge Proposed Rule

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials opposes the proposed rule due to its negative impact on immigrant families and the additional negative consequence of inefficient use of limited social service funds. NAHRO requested that the proposed rule be withdrawn as written and the current public charge guidance remain in effect.

On December 10, NAHRO submitted comments on the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed rule titled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.”

The proposed rule makes significant changes and additions to the current public charge guidance. The proposed new definition of “public charge” is “that a person should be considered a public charge based on the receipt of financial support from the general public through government funding (i.e., public benefits).”In order to use this definition of “public charge,” “public benefit” must be defined and the proposed rule provides a definition that vastly and inappropriately expands the programs that are to be considered. The proposed rule defines public benefit as a list of cash aid and noncash medical care, housing, and food benefit programs. The list of benefits includes the current cash assistance and institutionalization benefit and further expands the benefits to include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps), the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV), Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), Medicaid, and Public Housing.

NAHRO made two primary arguments in opposition to the proposed rule – very few noncitizens use housing benefits and the proposed rule causes unnecessary confusion while an inefficient use of resources.

DHS acknowledges in the proposed regulation that noncitizen participation in the Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance programs is “relatively low.” Congress, via statute, and HUD, via regulation, have already protected federal dollars from being used on non-eligible noncitizens and there is no fiscally responsible reason for DHS to further step into this arena.

The proposed rule, despite having few benefits for its expected cost, has caused considerable confusion and angst among current and potential residents of HUD’s housing programs. Current residents have left housing programs because of a fear of being separated from their family because of the proposed rule. Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) around the country are attempting to combat the confusion of this public charge proposed rule. Many PHAs are reaching out to their current residents and local communities to explain the proposed rule and how it applies to the HUD housing programs. The resources needed to explain the public charge proposed rule and any future final rule would be much better spent on providing housing and resident services to U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens.

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials opposes the proposed rule due to its negative impact on immigrant families and the additional negative consequence of inefficient use of limited social service funds. NAHRO requested that the proposed rule be withdrawn as written and the current public charge guidance remain in effect.

NARHO’s full comments can be viewed here.

HUD Publishes Notice on Verifying SSNs

Last week, HUD published a notice titled “Verification of Social Security Numbers (SSNs), Social Security (SS) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits; and Effective Use of the Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) System’s Identity Verification Report” (PIH 2018-24). This notice supersedes the previous notice PIH 2012-10.

The notice includes the following updates from the previous notice:

  • Updated website links and other references;
  • Removal of the provision requiring a PHA to notify HUD Headquarters when the PHA determines the tenant name or surname reported on the HUD 50058 is correct;
  • Revisions to the “Authorized Workaround” section for overdue examinations not completed due to pending litigation;
  • Clarification of the penalties for noncompliance with EIV’s Identity Verification Report and elimination of the right to appeal the imposition of penalties; and
  • Elimination of attachments.

The full notice can be found here.