New Guidance on “Designated Housing” and “Accessible Designation” Unit Categories in IMS/PIC

On Feb. 18, HUD issued a notice titled “Guidance on Unit Designation Categories and Accessible Designation Categories in IMS/PIC” (Notice PIH-2022-03 (HA)). This notice instructs PHAs to properly classify their units in IMS/PIC. In particular, units that may have been set aside as “Designated Housing,” for elderly families, disabled families, or units for both elderly and disabled families after approved by HUD through a Designated Housing Plan (DHP), should be properly classified. Additionally, units that are classified with an “Accessible Designation,” for people with a mobility or sensory impairment or to contain some accessible features, should also be properly classified. PHAs should review their portfolios and make changes within 30 days of the publication of this notice.

Designated Housing

The Sept. 2010 IMS/PIC system release implemented three significant changes to the unit designation categories. First, units titled “Family Unit, Elderly Unit, Family and Disabled, and Elderly and Disabled” were placed in the “General Occupancy” category. Second, “Mixed Elderly and Disabled Not HUD Officially Designated” was created as a new unit designation category. Third, “Merged Units” were reported in the unit designation detail.

Housing agencies must review their portfolios and make changes within 30 days of the publication of the notice. Any issues or corrections must be worked out by March 31, 2022. The Department will publish data highlighting discrepancies between counts of designated units in IMS/PIC and those approved in Designated Housing Plans. That information will be available here.

Accessible Designation

The Sept. 2010 IMS/PIC system release implemented the accessible designation categories. Housing agencies must ensure that units are properly categorized according to the definitions in the notice. The notice provides definitions for the following units: mobility impairment; hearing/visual impairment; partially accessible; and not accessible.

Housing agencies must review their portfolios and make changes within 30 days of the publication of the notice. Any issues or corrections must be worked out by March 31, 2022. Additionally, accessible designations require the PHA to obtain HUD user approval to a change in IMS/PIC. Finally, PHAs must continue to maintain the accuracy of accessible designation categories moving forward.

The notice provides instructions for making the necessary changes to both “Designated Housing” units and units with an “Accessible Designation” in IMS/PIC.

The full notice can be found here.

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