On Oct. 7, 2021, HUD published a notice titled “Supplemental Guidance to the Interim Final Rule ‘Extension of Time and Required Disclosures for Notification of Nonpayment of Rent’” Notice PIH 2021-29. This notice serves as additional guidance to an interim final rule that was also published in October. The interim final rule specified that where there is federal funding available due to the declaration of a national emergency, PHAs with public housing and owners with project-based rental assistance (PBRA) must do the following at HUD’s discretion:
- Provide at least 30 days from the date a tenant receives a notice of lease termination for failure to pay rent before terminating the tenant; and
- Provide information (e.g., information about how to apply for and receive emergency federal funding) to the tenant as determined by HUD.
This PIH notice provides additional guidance to the requirements of the interim final rule. First, it clarifies the instances in which the rule is applicable. The rule applies to PHAs with a public housing program, including Moving to Work (MTW) agencies, and owners with PBRA. For the purposes of this notice, PBRA is defined as the following (i.e., this notice applies to the following programs):
- Section 8 Project Based Rental Assistance:
- New Construction;
- State Housing Agency Program;
- Substantial Rehabilitation;
- Section 202/8
- Rural Housing Services Section 515/8;
- Loan Management Set-Aside (LMSA);
- Property Disposition Set Aside (PDSA);
- Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD);
- Section 202/162 Project Assistance Contract (PAC);
- Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC);
- Section 202 Senior Preservation Rental Assistance Contract (SPRAC); and
- Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Contract.
The notice does not apply to PHAs that only have a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. It also does not apply to families assisted by HCVs, nor does it apply to project-based vouchers in the HCV program.
Second, this notice serves to act as the determination that that an extension of time is necessary to provide tenants notice of available funding and to increase the likelihood that tenants will be able to access that funding as per the requirement of the interim final rule.
Third, this notice clarifies the information that is required by PHAs or owners of PBRA properties to be provided to tenants in notifications of termination of tenancy for nonpayment of rent. To tell tenants about the 30 days they have before termination of their tenancy does not require any specific language detailed by HUD, but the information must be given to tenants no less than 30 days prior to actions to terminate the lease of the family. In contrast, HUD is requiring that the additional information about available funding, at a minimum, include language that is provided in the Appendix of the notice. Additionally, PHAs and owners must ensure that the information provided in the Appendix is “clearly communicated and provided in a manner that is effective for persons with hearing, visual, and other communication-related disabilities . . . .” Similarly, PHAs and owners must “take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities to Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals.” The notice also provides additional links where PHAs and owners may familiarize themselves with the latest emergency rental assistance program information.
Finally, PHAs with public housing have an additional requirement. HUD requires that PHAs notify all public housing families that the 30-day notification requirements are in effect in relation to non-payment of rent. PHAs may comply with the requirement through writing or electronic communications, though materials should be clearly communicated to people with communication-related disabilities and limited English proficiency.
The interim final rule is effective 30 days after publication or on Nov. 8, 2021.
The full notice may be found here.