In late May, HUD published PIH Notice 2019-12 (HA) titled “Enhanced Voucher Minimum Rent Calculation for Families Whose Incomes Subsequently Increase After Having Experienced a Significant Decrease.” The notice discusses how the minimum rent calculation for enhanced vouchers changes when a program participant experiences a significant decrease in income followed by a significant increase in income.
Enhanced vouchers are offered to families following a triggering event (usually a change in status of a development in HUD’s Office of Multifamily portfolio). Families receiving enhanced vouchers must still pay a minimum rent dollar amount. If the family experiences a decrease of at least 15 percent in their income from the date of the triggering event, then the minimum rent switches to a percentage (the specific percentage used will vary depending on whether the family was assisted previously or not). If the family’s income once again increases such that the percentage of income exceeds the dollar amount at the time of the triggering event, then the rent once again reverts back to the initial dollar amount at the time of the triggering event (i.e., the family is not paying more than the dollar amount when they first received the enhanced voucher).
Public housing agencies shall apply this change at the earlier of the family’s first reexamination following the issuance of this notice or an interim reexamination as the result of the increase in family income. The change is applied prospectively from that date–not retroactively.
The full notice can be read here.
Earlier today, HUD issued guidance clarifying that Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) pass-throughs and HAP contract transfers are prohibited under current rules for project-based vouchers (PBVs) under the housing choice voucher (HCV) program.
A HAP pass-through would allow the use of HAP to “provide assistance to tenants who are displaced from . . . HAP contract units due to a disaster or rehabilitation in another building or project.” Although HUD envisions guidance that may allow this in the future, at this time PHAs may not make these payments to the owners of unoccupied units for the purpose of rehousing families.
A HAP contract transfer would allow project-based voucher contracts to be transferred from one project to a separate and distinct project. This is different from the sale, assignment, or transfer of ownership of the HAP contract–which is allowable, if done following the appropriate PBV regulations. Contract transfers of HAP are not allowable (with some Rental Assistance Demonstration exceptions), though future guidance may change this.
The full guidance document can be found here.
HUD recently released Notice PIH 2019-13 (HA), titled “Public Housing ACC Termination and PHA Closeout.” The Notice supersedes Notice PIH 2016-23, which outlined prior ACC termination and closeout requirements. The notice outlines the requirements a PHA must must complete when proposing to remove their remaining public housing units from the public housing program and terminate their ACC. PHAs can only remove units from their ACC through one of more of the following authorities: demo/dispo, voluntary or required conversion, homeownership, Choice Neighborhoods demolitions, property retentions, personal property dispositions, eminent domain, or RAD.
The process of ACC termination begins when the PHA submits its IMS/PIC removal application for the last units in its public housing program. As an attachment to that IMS/PIC removal application, the PHA must submit form HUD-5837, Notification of Public Housing Closeout or Future Development. PHAs must then meet specific mandatory closeout activities prior to terminating the ACC. These include disposition of all non-dwelling real property and personal property; resolving all outstanding legal matters and grants and approvals; completing a public housing audit; and reconciling public housing funds, program income, and disposition proceeds.
The notice further discusses what PHAs should do with closeout costs, the legal status of the PHA after closeout, necessary board resolution and legal opinion if the board has disbanded, and required recordkeeping and responsibilities after ACC termination.
On Tuesday, May 28th, HUD will publish in the Federal Register a notice titled “Notice of Continuation of Demonstration to Test Proposed New Method of Assessing the Physical Conditions of Voucher-Assisted Housing.” The notice states that the UPCS-V Demonstration–the program testing the in-development UPCS-V inspection protocol, used by certain testing agencies in the housing choice voucher program–will be extended for an additional two years.
The Demonstration will have three goals. First, to validate the UPCS-V beta protocol through active field testing. Second, to provide PHAs with inspection data and standardize inspection procedures. Third, to glean insight for improvement.
The notice notes that the additional time will be used to test and validate the UPCS-V beta protocol. Currently, version 2.5 of the UPCS-V protocol is active and being tested in the field. The extension will allow the newest version (i.e., the beta version) of the UPCS-V protocol to be tested.
Moving forward, HUD wishes to consider several additional questions:
- Does the protocol meet PHA needs?
- Is UPCS-V clear, accurate, objective, and consistent?
- Is it practical for all inspectors, from entry level to experienced?
- Does it provide valuable insight to PHAs, and is it cost effective for them to use?
Additionally, HUD would like to recruit more PHAs to the demonstration to gather more representative data. Agencies that wish to participate should contact HUD at ISDV@hud.gov.
Finally, the notice notes that in the long-term, public housing, the housing choice voucher program, and multifamily programs will all shift to a uniform inspection standard. This standard–called the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE)–“will leverage the infrastructure of UPCS-V to demonstrate, test, and validate NSPIRE protocols.”
A pre-publication copy of the notice can be found here.
Earlier today, HUD sent an email announcing that the initial chapters of a New Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Guidebook have been published. As the email states, guidebooks consolidate “into one document the requirements outlined in several publications: regulatory requirements, PIH Notices, Federal Register Notices, and other forms of guidance issued by HUD.” Given the complexity of navigating between several layers of regulation and guidance, having a single place to view all of a program’s rules and requirements is essential.
The three chapters that have been completed and can be read online are the following:
Chapters still being worked on include the following:
- “Fair Housing Requirements”;
- “Waiting List & Tenant Selection”;
- “Housing Search and Leasing”;
- “HAP Contracts”;
- “Payment Standards”;
- “Calculating Rent & Housing Assistance Payments (HAP)”;
- “Utility Allowance”;
- “Informal Hearings & Reviews”; and
- “Special Housing Type.”
NAHRO applauds HUD updating their Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook. During the summer of 2018, NAHRO sent a letter to HUD noting the importance of the guidebooks and urging HUD to prioritize updating them.
The HCV Guidebook can be accessed here.
On May 23, HUD will release a Notice of Emergency Approval of an Information Collection on the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) Demonstration in the Federal Register. The Notice is related to HUD’s new NSPIRE Demonstration, which will replace UPCS for agencies that opt to participate in the demonstration, however the notice does not detail the demonstration itself. More information on the actual demonstration will be forthcoming.
HUD’s Emergency Approval of an Information Collection lists the information that PHAs participating in the demonstration will be required to submit to HUD. This includes: an annual self-inspection report or work order receipts, a property profile, copies of building system certificates, local code violations over the rolling calendar year, and participation in feedback sessions.
Comments on the Notice are due 14 days after the publication of the Notice in the Federal Register.
On Monday May 20, HUD issued a press release announcing that $5 million of the $10 million appropriated in FY 2019 for Emergency Safety and Security Capital grants will be made available to PHAs for the purchase and installation of carbon monoxide detectors in public housing. HUD will continue to make the remaining $5 million available for safety and security measures to address crime, specifically drug-related crime, under the FY 2019 Emergency and Safety Security set-aside. These grant applications are still due to HUD by June 5.
Agencies interested in receiving grant funding for the purchase and installation of carbon monoxide detectors should apply for the grant via a separate application from the safety and security grants for addressing crime. PIH Notice 2016-03 will be amended to include the carbon monoxide detector grant application and eligibility requirements. HUD will notify PHAs of the application due date via email and posting at the web page referenced above.
Looking for useful tools and strategies to boost compliance and improve enforcement of a smoke-free public housing policy? Join Clean Air for All, a collaboration between NAHRO, Live Smoke Free MN, and NAR-SAAH, on June 4 to familiarize yourself with our new Smoke-Free Public Housing Compliance and Enforcement Toolkit. On this webinar, Clean Air for All will review resources from the toolkit and highlight examples and strategies that public housing agencies can utilize at their properties. The webinar will conclude with trends from a resident survey (currently underway) that illustrate resident perspectives on smoke-free public housing.
The webinar will be held Tuesday, June 4, from 12:30 – 1:30 PM.
Yesterday, HUD’s Financial Management Division (FMD) published a webcast on the notice titled “Implementation of Federal FY19 Funding Provisions for the Housing Choice Voucher.” The notice was published in April, and NAHRO previously mentioned it on this blog.
The webcast published on YouTube can be found here.
PowerPoint slides from the webcast can be found here.
FY 2019 Housing Trust Fund (HTF) allocations will be announced in the Federal Register on Friday, May 17. Today, HUD published the allocations in the Public Inspection section of the Federal Register. HTF grantees include all 50 states, the District Columbia, and U.S. territories. The formula allocation guarantees funding to increase and preserve the supply of rental housing for extremely low- and very low-income families and to increase homeownership for extremely low- and very-low income households. Funding for FY 2019 is $247,666,778.80. While all states at least received $3 million, the formula awards bonus points to certain factors. For example, California received $32 million, New York State received $19 million, Texas $11 million, Florida $9.5 million, Illinois $8.5 million, and New Jersey received $7 million.