On March 14, HUD released two Notices relating to the Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration. The first Notice, PIH 0219-03, extends the deadline for PHAs to apply to the first cohort of the expansion from January 11, 2019 to May 13, 2019. The second Notice, PIH 2019-04, is a request for Letters of Interest for the second cohort of the Moving to Work expansion.
In the first Notice, HUD notes the Department is extending the deadline for the first cohort due to the government shutdown which prohibited HUD from providing assistance and feedback to agencies interested in applying. The first cohort will study overall MTW flexibility and will be comprised of approximately 30 PHAs that are high performers and administer 1,000 or fewer aggregate authorized combined Housing Choice Vouchers and public housing units.
The second Notice highlights the application process for agencies interested in applying to the second cohort of the Moving to Work demonstration, focusing on rent reform. The second cohort is open only to PHAs with 1,001 or more aggregate Public Housing units and Housing Choice Vouchers. Applications are due June 12.
PHAs entering the second cohort will be required to implement the following rent reforms at their agencies:
- Tiered rent (income-based)
- Households are grouped by income into tiers with fixed-rents.
- Stepped rent: 5% step (decoupled from income)
- Rents are increased annually to a fixed schedule of 5% fair market rent by bedroom size, regardless of resident income.
- Stepped rent: 3% step (decoupled from income)
- Rents are increased annually to a fixed schedule of 3% fair market rent by bedroom size, regardless of resident income.
- PHA proposed alternative tiered/stepped rent
- A tiered or stepped rent policy that differs from the three above. PHAs proposing alternative tiered or stepped rents must be able to ensure a sample size of at least 4,000 existing non-elderly, non-disabled households. PHAs with over 4,000 non-elderly, non-disabled households may apply for this policy change alone and agencies with less than 4,000 non-elderly, non-disabled households may propose to partner with another PHA or PHAs. If selected jointly, both PHAs will count toward the total 100 MTW Expansion PHAs.
PHAs selected under the rent reform cohort must forgo the ability to use certain MWT waivers/activities associated with rent reform outside of the scope of this study. These include:
- Waiver 1 on Tenant Rent Policies, Activities a-l, p-w (unless used as a part of the
HUD-approved alternative rent policy);
- Waiver 4 on Reexaminations, Activities a-b (unless used as a part of the HUD approved alternative rent policy);
- Waiver 7 on Short-Term Assistance, Activities a-b;
- Waiver 8 on Term-Limited Assistance, Activities a-b;
- Waiver 9 on Work Requirements, Activities a-b; and
- Waiver 10 on Increase Elderly Age, Activity 10.
PHAs selected under the rent reform cohort may not pursue a PBRA RAD conversion that affects households subject to the evaluation. PBV RAD conversions would not be limited.
To apply for the second MTW cohort, interested agencies must submit a Letter of Interest to HUD by June 12, 2019. In the Letter of Interest, PHAs must list in order of preference which rent policies they are willing to implement and which, if any, rent policies they are not willing to implement. PHAs are also allowed to suggest modifications to the first three rent policies. PHAs must also note the specific details of the rent reform policy they wish to implement if they chose the fourth rent policy. HUD will use the information provided by PHAs in the Letter of Interest packages to further refine the rent reform policies to be tested.
PHAs must complete the PHA Baseline Research Survey online as well.
If HUD determines the applicant is eligible for the second cohort, HUD will then ask the PHA to submit a full application under the selection notice for the second cohort. This selection notice is anticipated to be published in the summer of 2019.
According to the Notice, “[d]epending on the number of eligible Letter of Interest packages received, the geographic regions represented, and prevalence of RAD participation, HUD may adjust the full selection criteria to account for these factors. HUD will consider the location of current MTW PHAs in assessing geographic diversity.”