Comments due November 15, 2022
Earlier this year, HUD began implementing the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA), which requires PHAs using federal financial assistance to meet a Buy America Preference (BAP) when purchasing iron or steel, construction materials, or manufactured products for any housing project. One of three situations in which HUD can waive the BAP is when it harms the public interest. Yesterday, HUD released two waivers under this public interest component of the law: de minimis and exigent circumstances.
The de minimis waiver would eliminate the BAP for any projects totaling under $250,000 or for financial assistance less than that amount, which HUD notes is the current Simplified Acquisition Threshold. Additionally, HUD includes a “Minor Component” element in which 5% of a project that falls under the BAP can be waived, up to $1 million. The second waiver, covering exigent circumstances, allows PHAs to bypass the BAP in order to respond to urgent needs. In the waiver, HUD specifies exigent circumstances include when the “life, safety, and property of the residents” and community members are impacted by maintenance and other rehabilitation and repair activities in connection with affordable housing and community development.
Additional information from HUD and analysis from NAHRO will be forthcoming. Please see NAHRO’s Direct News, The NAHRO Monitor, and NAHRO’s Comment Letter and Correspondence page for more.
Find the exigent circumstances waiver here and the de minimis waiver here.