On Sept. 26, HUD published a notice titled “Extension of Certain Regulatory Waivers for the Housing Choice Voucher (including Mainstream) Program and Streamlined Review Process” (Notice PIH 2022-30). The notice would extend two waivers that were previously made available for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program.
The waivers that would be extended are the following:
- Increase in Payment Standard During HAP [Housing Assistance Payment] Contract Term – this waiver would allow PHAs to increase the payment standard for a family at any time after the effective date of the increase instead of at the next regular reexamination.
- Voucher Tenancy: New Payment Standard Amount – this waiver would allow PHAs to establish payment standards up to 120% of the FMR, instead of 110%, which is the maximum usually allowed in most scenarios.
Extending a Waiver
If a PHA already is using one of these waivers, it need only extend the waiver. Agencies that are using these waivers may continue to use them, without taking additional steps, until Dec. 31, 2022 and may extend them until Dec. 31, 2023. To extend the waivers, PHAs must email PIH_Expedited_Waivers@hud.gov, while copying their local field office. The notice provides details on the contents of the email to be sent. Waiver extensions may be requested until Dec. 31, 2022.
Requesting a Waiver
Agencies that wish to apply for one or both of the waivers, if they do not currently implement them, or agencies that have not extended their waiver before the deadline, may request the use of the waiver through a streamlined approval process. Requests for waiver usage under this process must be submitted to HUD before the end of Sept. 30, 2023.
Agencies that request a waiver through this process must provide a good cause justification. The good cause justification must include all of the following:
- Why the PHA needs the waiver;
- The impact on PHA operations or applicants if the waiver is not provided; and
- The proposed waiver duration (this should be limited to the time the PHA needs the waiver, but should not exceed Dec. 31, 2023).
Examples of good cause for each of the waivers can be found below:
- Increase in Payment Standard During HAP Contract Term;
- Increases in family rent burdens;
- Potential negative impacts to tenants or the onset of housing instability;
- Voucher Tenancy: New Payment Standard Amount;
- Rental Market Fluctuations – The PHA is in an area that HUD has determined has significant rental market fluctuations (a list of those areas is listed at the end of the notice);
- Utilization Rate – The PHA has a lower than 98% utilization rate for the current year or more than a 5% utilization drop between 2019 and 2021; The utilization rate for this purpose is the higher of the unit utilization rate or the budget utilization rate; and
- Timely Leasing of Vouchers – the PHA has leased less than 85% of the vouchers that it has issued in the last six months.
A PHA may request a waiver by emailing PIH_Expedited_Waivers@hud.gov, while copying their local field office. The notice provides details on the contents of the email to be sent.
As always, a PHA may use the regular waiver request process for any additional waiver it may require, but those requests will not be subject to a streamlined approval process.
The full notice may be found here.