2022 Administrative Fee Rates Posted

On March 30, HUD sent an email to Executive Directors of PHAs noting that calendar year (CY) 2022 administrative fee rates have been posted to HUD’s website. Administrative fees are used by agencies to cover the costs of operating the Housing Choice Voucher program. Advanced administrative fee prorations for the months of April through May 2022 were at 88% proration. Final national prorations will be provided via email.

The following files may be found on HUD’s website:

Dept. of Labor Issues Update to Davis-Bacon Act Labor Standards

The Department of Labor has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking updating the Davis-Bacon Act labor standards. This is the first update to the regulations in 40 years. The Department’s goal in making this update is to “reflect better the needs of workers in the construction industry and planned federal construction investments.” Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) requirements require the payment of locally prevailing wage rates of construction workers that are employed on federally funded or assisted construction projects.

According to the Department of Labor, proposed changes to the regulations include:

  • Creating several efficiencies in the prevailing wage update system and ensuring prevailing wage rates keep up with actual wages, which over time would mean higher wages for workers.
  • Returning to the definition of “prevailing wage” used from 1935 to 1983 to ensure prevailing wages reflect actual wages paid to workers in the local community.
  • Periodically updating prevailing wage rates to address out-of-date wage determinations.
  • Providing broader authority to adopt state or local wage determinations when certain criteria is met.
  • Issuing supplemental rates for key job classifications when no survey data exists.
  • Updating the regulatory language to better reflect modern construction practices.
  • Strengthening worker protections and enforcement, including debarment and anti-retaliation.

Comments on the proposed rule are due May 17 to regulations.gov. NAHRO will post a more in-depth analysis of the proposed rule in the coming weeks.

When Does a PHA Not Receive a SEMAP Score? Find Out Here!

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted many PHAs’ voucher operations. In recognition of this, HUD has afforded PHAs that meet certain criteria the opportunity to waive their Section 8 Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) scores in recognition of the pandemic environment. There are also certain other instances when PHAs may not receive a SEMAP score. This blog post illustrates three instances where a PHA may not receive a SEMAP score.

Instances Where a Prior SEMAP Score Is Carried Forward

PHAs with a fiscal year end (FYE) on Dec. 31, 2021 will have their most recent SEMAP score on record carried forward. See pages 39 and 40 of Notice PIH 2021-14 (HA). (Note: For these PHAs, they will not qualify for the expedited waiver described below for their FYE on Dec. 31, 2022.)

PHAs that Receive an Expedited SEMAP Waiver

PHAs with a FYE of 3/31/22, 6/30/22 or 9/30/22 may request to waive the application of SEMAP in its entirety, but only if the PHA has SEMAP indicators that were–directly or indirectly–affected because of a disruption to PHA operations caused by the PHA’s adoption of CARES Act waivers. See page 4 of Notice PIH 2021-34. Additional information on applying for the SEMAP waiver or other expedited waivers can be found in Notice PIH 2021-34. The deadline to apply for expedited waivers has been extended to April 1, 2022. After April 1, PHAs may still apply for a regulatory waiver, but the expedited waiver process will no longer be available. See Notice PIH 2022-04.

Certain Small PHAs (Fewer than 250 Assisted Units)

HUD’s regulations state that HUD will assess and score SEMAP for PHAs with fewer than 250 assisted units every other PHA fiscal year unless the PHA elects to have itself scored annually or the PHA is troubled. 24 CFR 982.105(a)(2). Clarifying HUD guidance states that non-troubled PHAs with fewer than than 250 assisted units and FYEs of 3/31/2022 or 6/30/2022 do not have to have submit a SEMAP certification. See chart and accompanying text on page 3 of the IMS-PIC SEMAP Sub Module PHA Certification and PHA Appeal Submission Instructions, March 2019.

PHAs that fall into one of these categories may not receive an SEMAP score from HUD.

Emergency Housing Vouchers: A How-To Guide for PHAs

HUD has published a guide for using Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs). The purpose of the guide is to provide an overview of EHVs, highlight program best practices, and reduce inequities. Topics covered by the guide include the following :

  • Background and Purpose [of EHVs];
  • Key Features of Emergency Housing Vouchers;
  • Partnerships and Collaborative Planning;
  • Emergency Housing Voucher Program Design;
  • Use of the Service Fee;
  • Coordinated Entry and Emergency Housing Voucher Referral Processes;
  • EHV Waiver and Alternative Requirements Checklist;
  • Sample Memorandum of Understanding;
  • Example of a Homeless Provider’s Certification;
  • Example of a Victim Service Provider’s Certification;
  • EHV Referral Packet Template: Sample Forms; and
  • EHV Portability Scenarios.

The full guide can be found here.

Voluntarily Returning EHV Awards

On March 5th, HUD released a notice describing how PHAs could voluntarily relinquish their Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) back to HUD and the procedure by which HUD would reallocate those vouchers to other housing agencies. The notice is titled “Emergency Housing Vouchers – Reallocation of Awards” [Notice PIH 2022-06 (HA)].

Returning EHVs

The process to voluntarily return an EHV award may involve multiple steps. First, PHAs that wish to return their EHVs should inform HUD (email ehv@hud.gov). The PHA will then work with a financial analyst in the Financial Management Center (FMC) to identify all funds associated with EHVs which must also be returned to HUD. Emergency Housing Voucher Housing Assistance Payments (HAP), services fees, and administrative fees are restricted to EHV program activities. If the housing agency improperly used any EHV-associated funding, it must be repaid. Housing agencies will also be required to cooperate with the FMC and other HUD staff in determining which funds should be returned.

Reallocation of Voluntarily Returned EHV Awards

HUD’s reallocation formula is based off of the initial allocation formula in Notice PIH 2021-15. The reallocation formula also considers EHV utilization. The reallocation formula will look for high-capacity PHAs (i.e., those PHAs with a with a high homeless need or those PHAs with a high estimate of at-risk homelessness, while ensuring geographic diversity and adjusting for PHAs below the minimum threshold to receive a voucher) that have a history of high EHV utilization (95% or higher). Housing agencies that are selected by this method will be notified by HUD and given the opportunity to accept or decline the additional EHVs.

Fees Accompanying EHVs

Housing agencies that accept additional EHVs will be eligible for additional funds.

  • Issuance Reporting Fees – PHAs will receive $100 for each new EHV that is leased if the PHA reported the issuance within 14 days of issuance.
  • Ongoing Administrative Fee – PHAs will receive the full Column A administrative fee amount (per Notice PIH 2021-15, page 10).
  • Service Fee – PHAs will receive $3,500 for each additional EHV they accept. The scope of allowable activities is determined by Notice PIH 2021-15.

Later this year, HUD will issue another notice that describes the process for revoking and reallocating EHVs for PHAs that do not utilize a high percentage of them. Although this notice will be published later in 2022, at this time, NAHRO does not anticipate HUD will involuntarily reallocate EHVs until 2023.

The full notice can be found here.

HUD Publishes Revised FY 2022 FMRs for Certain Areas

Today, HUD published revised fair market rents (FMRs) for public housing agencies that submitted survey data on their local rental prices. The new FMRs reflect the estimated 40th percentile rent levels trended to Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The revised FMRs for these areas are below. The revised FMRs are applicable on April 11, 2022.

2022 Fair Market Rent Area

FMR by number of bedrooms in unit

 0 BR1 BR2 BR3 BR4 BR
Abilene, TX MSA$688$732$945$1,288$1,598
Asheville, NC HUD Metro FMR Area1,1881,2091,3781,8792,359
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH HUD Metro FMR Area1,8031,9862,3992,9663,253
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA MSA1,1741,3681,7652,4352,909
Iron County, UT6157579261,2681,585
New York, NY HUD Metro FMR Area2,0182,0542,3402,9523,173
Portland, ME HUD Metro FMR Area1,1431,3301,7212,1952,689
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA MSA1,4161,5121,7352,4512,903
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA MSA1,5731,7392,2323,0993,795
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA MSA1,8752,1572,5163,3163,790
Seattle-Bellevue, WA HUD Metro FMR Area1,6741,7392,0442,7963,285
Transylvania County, NC7067119351,1561,364

The Department also replied to comments on the FY 2022 FMRs and their calculation-methodology submitted by various stakeholders, including NAHRO.

The full notice can be found here.

HUD Publishes CARES Act Waiver Reporting Tool Dashboard

HUD has published their CARES Act Waiver Reporting Tool (CAWRT; pronounced “cart”) dashboard. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This act gave HUD the authority to offer PHAs the option to waive certain statutory and regulatory requirements. In late 2021, HUD requested that all PHAs fill out a survey on which, if any, waivers they used. The Department took that information and created a publicly accessible dashboard on which PHAs used waivers and which waivers they used.

The CAWRT dashboard can be found here.

HUD Publishes Notice Officially Extending Deadline to April 1st for Submitting Expedited Waiver Requests

As previously reported by NAHRO, HUD has now officially extended the deadline to April 1st for submitting a request for an expedited waiver. The new notice, Notice PIH 2022-04, states the following:

“This notice amends PIH-2021-34 solely by extending the submission deadline in Section 5 of the notice from March 1, 2022 to April 1, 2022. No additional submission extensions will be issued.”

From NAHRO’s discussions with HUD staff, NAHRO was able to learn that even after the deadline, PHAs will be able to apply for these waivers, but post-deadline requests will not go through the expedited waiver process. In addition, the simplified payment standard waiver process in the expedited waiver notice will remain in place after the deadline. Additional details on that process remaining in place will be explained in a future notice.

The full notice extending the deadline to April 1st can be found here.

Congress Holds Hearing on Affordable Housing and Economic Mobility

Housing is a significant part of economic wellbeing for most American families. The House Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth held a March 1 hearing on “Affordable Housing and Economic Mobility.” Chairman Jim Himes (D-CT) and Ranking Member Bryan Steil (R-WI) opened with remarks on affordable housing construction, inclusive zoning, and homeownership. On the purpose of the hearing, Chairman Himes said,

“We will examine the critical role that stable and affordable housing plays in creating paths to economic prosperity and giving every American the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.”

Following the opening statements, five expert witnesses testified before the committee, including:

Bailey and Waggoner both discussed the history of inequity in housing policies. Former Secretary Donovan proposed three pathways to promote prosperity through housing: increase investments in rental assistance and construction programs, expand homeownership, and invest in improving disadvantaged neighborhoods. Nowak spoke about the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) as one of the best tools developers have for creating more affordable housing. Finally, Dr. Furth testified about the regional differences in housing markets and affordability.

Disagreement was clear among committee members about whether subsidies are helpful or harmful in addressing the affordable housing crisis. Ranking Member Steil (R-WI), Rep. Davidson (R-OH), and Rep. Arrington (R-TX) argued that subsidies only drive up costs within the housing market, making rents even more expensive. In place of subsidies, they argued for an increase in housing supply through reduced regulations and fewer taxes in the construction supply chain.

In contrast, Chairman Himes (D-CT), Rep. Jayapal (D-WA), and Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-CA) talked about the benefits of housing subsidies for those in their communities who struggle to afford housing. Rep. Jayapal said in Seattle there are people working full time at $15 per hour who still cannot afford a home. In response to a member’s question, Bailey pointed out that, in addition to rental assistance subsidies, many Americans benefit from homeownership subsidies that make it financially feasible for them to own homes.

The hearing also covered homelessness, source of income discrimination, zoning restrictions, Housing Choice Vouchers, the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), and credit scoring. The recorded hearing and all witness statements are available on the Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth’s website.