SF-425 for CARES Act Supplementary Operating Funds due 05/31/2022

If your PHA submitted their SF-425 for each Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) supplemental Operating Funds grant please ignore the remainder of this message.

The SF-425 forms for CARES Act supplemental Operating Funds are due by Tuesday, May 31, 2022. PHAs that received CARES Act supplemental Operating Funds are required to submit an SF-425 for each grant in the Operating Fund (OpFund) Web Portal.

If you have questions about how to complete the SF-425 please contact your local Field Office. For technical issues with the OpFund Web Portal, please contact REAC – Technical Assistance Center (TAC) by calling 1-888-245-4860 Option #4 or send an email to REAC_TAC@hud.gov.

HUD Publishes FY 2022 Renewal Funding Inflation Factors (RFIFs)

On May 26, HUD published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the renewal funding inflation factors (RFIFs) for fiscal year (FY) 2022. The notice is titled “Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program-Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Inflation Factors for Public Housing Agency (PHA) Renewal Funding.” HUD uses the inflation factors to determine Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) renewal funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The notice states that HUD “applies the calculated individual area inflation factors to eligible renewal funding for each PHA based on VMS [Voucher Management System] leasing and cost data for the prior calendar year” (i.e., HUD applies an inflation factor to a PHA’s past year leasing data in HUD’s systems to calculate its current year’s formula eligibility). The national inflation factor is 4.68%, but individual PHAs will have inflation factors that differ based on their local contexts.

The full notice can be read here.

HUD Publishes FY 2022 HCV Implementation Notice

On May 19th, HUD published the 2022 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Implementation notice (PIH Notice 2022-14). Titled “Implementation of the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2022 Funding Provisions for the Housing Choice Voucher Program,” this notice details how HUD will allocate the money appropriated by Congress for the HCV program.

The notice notes how much money Congress has allocated for each voucher account for 2022; how the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) renewal formula is calculated; and discusses the administrative fee rate. It also notes how to apply for administrative fee special fees, HAP set-aside funds, and certain other fees. The notice also discusses each voucher account, and where applicable, notes if another notice will discuss it further. The notice states that the mobility-related services account of $25 million will have a Notice of Funding Opportunity at a later date and that the new $200 million in funding for vouchers will be allocated by a noncompetitive notice with an operational notice following soon afterwards.

Perhaps the biggest change in this notice from prior years is that eligibility for tenant protection vouchers (TPVs) is changed. HUD will no longer provide replacement TPVs for vacant units that were occupied by a family within the previous 24 months. At this time, HUD will only provide replacement TPVs for occupied units. If there are any additional TPV funds at the end of 2022, then HUD may decide to provide TPVs for the vacant units that were occupied within the last 24 months.

Interestingly, the notice hints that the eligible uses of administrative fees may be clarified. It states that “HUD intends to issue additional guidance on the use of administrative fees for other expenses of PHAs administering the HCV program in a forthcoming notice.” NAHRO applauds this forthcoming clarification of administrative fee uses as the current eligible uses are overly circumscribed and not required by any statutory language.

NAHRO members will receive additional information on this notice.

The full notice can be found here.

Senate Holds Hearing on Energy-Efficient and Resilient Housing

With the looming threat of climate change and frequent natural disasters, there are more options available for energy-efficient, resilient, and weatherized housing. The upfront costs of these investments are too expensive for many low- and moderate-income households, however. The Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee held a May 18th hearing to explore options for climate change-resilient housing.

Chairman Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) opened the hearing by connecting the housing affordability crisis to the issue of resilient housing: “Nearly one third of families said they had difficulty paying energy bills in 2020… We can build more housing protected from fires and floods, we can renovate and upgrade the homes we already have.”

Three expert witnesses testified for the committee. Ruth Ann Norton from the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative spoke about the relationship between housing quality and health outcomes such as childhood asthma. Krista Egger from Enterprise Community Partners spoke about the long-term financial benefits of installing energy efficient appliances and green standards in government-funded affordable housing. A witness from the Heritage Foundation, Katie Tubb, argued that energy-efficient and resilient housing is desirable, but that it should not be mandated or funded by Congress.

Ranking Member Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) agreed with Tubb that Americans who want to make their homes more resilient can do so without government intervention. In contrast, several other committee members spoke about bills they introduced to incentivize and support energy-efficient housing, especially for those living in affordable housing. The bills include:

The full hearing and witness testimonies are available on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee website.

Administration Announces Housing Supply Action Plan

On May 16, the administration announced a housing supply action plan that is intended to “ease the burden of housing costs over time, by boosting the supply of quality housing in every community.” The plan includes both legislative and administrative actions and is meant to align with other policies currently in effect (e.g., federal rental assistance) to create more affordable rents and make homeownership more affordable.

While the plan includes many specific actions, many of those actions can be grouped into the following categories.

  • Incentivizing jurisdictions to reform their zoning and land-use policies by giving higher scores to jurisdictions that do this in federal grant allocations.
  • Implementing new financing mechanisms to build and preserve housing, including manufactured housing; accessory dwelling units; two to four unit properties; and other multifamily buildings.
  • Improving existing federal financing for development and preservation, which includes making construction to permanent loans more available; promoting the use of COVID recovery funds for affordable housing; reforming the low-income housing tax credit and the HOME program.
  • Ensuring that more housing goes to owners that live in the units or non-profits that will rehabilitate them.
  • Addressing supply chain issues by working with the private sector.

The White House’s full announcement of their housing supply action plan can be found here.

HUD Proposes Final Rule to the FSS Program

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released its final rule, which will amend regulations to implement changes to the Family
Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. After consideration of public comments made about the new regulations in Section 306 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, HUD has decided to further revise and incorporate the changes proposed in the previous amendments.

The final rule, which is targeted to improve the program for PHAs, multifamily property owners, and eligible families, will include several revisions. Some revisions include: allowing HCV and Section 8 families to be eligible for the FSS program; revising definitions; further revising the Contact of Participation (CoP); revising the lists of activities for which forfeited escrow funds may be used; and making changes to portability provisions.

The rule is set to go into effect 30 days after publication. Compliance of the proposed rule is required no later than 180 days after date of publication.

Further information on the FSS program can be found here.

The proposed rule from September 2020 can be found here.

Public Housing Residents and Section 8 Program Participants Eligible for Affordable Connectivity Program

Public housing residents and Section 8 program participants are eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The program provides a discount of up to $30 per month (and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands) towards internet service for eligible households. Households can also receive up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute between $10 and $50 toward the purchase price.

To enroll in the program, a household has to do the following:

  1. Complete an online or mail-in application at ACPBenefit.org; and
  2. Contact a participating provider to select an internet plan and have the ACP discount applied.

There is a limit of one monthly service discount and one device per household.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has created a consumer outreach toolkit. The toolkit includes infographics, fact sheets, flyers, consumer handouts, audio public service announcements, videos, newsletter blurbs, press release text, and sample social media posts to help spread the word about the program. It also includes translations of some of the handouts, web resources, and a speaker request section.

Additional information on the Affordable Connectivity Program can be found here.

HUD’s guide to the program can be found here.

A program fact sheet can be found here.

The FCC’s ACP Consumer Outreach Toolkit can be found here.

MTW Expansion Cohort #4 – What Is It and How to Apply?

Wednesday, May 18th at 2 pm ET

HUD recently announced that they are accepting applications for admission into the Asset Building Cohort of the Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration Program. The cohort will expand the overall program to an additional 30 PHAs with 6,000 combined units or less by the end of the year. NAHRO’s policy team will discuss the background to the MTW expansion, the asset building options for the new cohort, eligibility for the cohort, the application process, and the requirements of the application. There will be time to ask NAHRO staff questions.

Registration for the webinar can be found here.

New Opportunities to Learn Asset Building Strategies

Earlier today, the HUD Moving to Work (MTW) office sent an email with information about upcoming webinars on asset building strategies that PHAs can employ to help their residents. Asset building (as defined in PIH 2022-11–the MTW cohort on asset building) is defined as “activities that encourage the growth of savings accounts and/or aim to build credit for assisted households.” The information from the email is reproduced below.

  • Asset Building Opportunities for HUD-Assisted Tenants
    Tuesday, May 10, 2022 | 2:00-3:00 pm EST
    Join HUD and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Webinar to learn the key financial components for people trying to build assets & increase financial well-being.
    Link to Join | Access Code: KbnJzUPA?782
  • How to Apply – MTW Expansion Asset Building Cohort Webinar
    Tuesday, May 24, 2022 | 2:00 – 3:00 pm EST
    During this webinar, HUD will walk through the selection notice and application materials and give PHAs more information about this cohort.
    Link to Join | Join via telephone phone at 888-251-2949 | Access Code 3334803#
  • Rent Reporting and Credit Building Opportunities for PHA Residents
    Tuesday, June 7, 2022, 2:00-3:00 pm EST
    Join HUD and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Webinar to learn about strategies for helping public housing residents build positive credit histories.
    Link to Join | Access Code: 2SThfN6Zmj$2