HUD Publishes CARES Act Close Out Procedures Notice

PHAs have until April 30, 2023 to finish liquidating any CARES Act obligations used for supplemental Public Housing Operating Funds. PIH Notice 2022-35 updated the deadline to complete the liquidation process to the new date in April 2023. However, it did not modify the Dec. 31, 2021 CARES Act obligation deadline. In addition to liquidating obligations by April 30, 2023, PHAs who reported obligations that have not been liquidated on their SF-425 form must submit another by the April deadline showing that this process is complete. Those funds that were not obligated on the previous SF-425 have been recaptured, and any funds unliquidated by April will also be recaptured. Finally, HUD notes that CARES Act funds have been unavailable to draw down since April 30, 2022. The notice provides guidance for requesting additional CARES Act funds since April 2022 and which obligations are eligible.

Find PIH Notice 2022-35 here.

HUD Publishes Public Housing Operating Subsidy Eligibility Calculations and Processing Notice

PIH Notice 2022-36 updates Public Housing Operating Fund subsidy grant calculation requirements, including deadlines for PHAs. Since the previous notice in December 2021, this notice revises requirements for using the System for Award Management (SAM), updates utility data calculations, and updates resources and guidance for 2023.

This notice provides guidance covering the following topics:

  • exemptions from asset management requirements;
  • initial eligibility estimates and eligibility calculations for 2023 funding;
  • new Unique Entity Identifier requirements within SAM;
  • information submission processes, including project regrouping, clarification of which data PHAs can edit, and updating unit status;
  • requesting revision to operating subsidy eligibility;
  • a detailed explanation of operating subsidy grant calculations;
  • other requirements, including environmental reviews, Moving to Work agreements, and General Depository Agreements, and general requirements;
  • the appeals process based on appeal type;
  • program requirement for the Rental Assistance Demonstration, Turnkey III, and Envision Center participation; and
  • Faircloth limit guidance.

The notice provides useful links, including the Operating Subsidy Grant Processing Webpage, Operating Fund Web Portal, and Operating Subsidy Grant Listserv. The grant processing webpage organizes 2023 Operating Fund documents, the web portal provides deadlines as well as electronic tools and other resources, and the listserv webpage allows PHAs to sign up for mass emails as well as operating fund data from previous years.

For more information about this notice, see the December 15th issue of The NAHRO Monitor. Find Notice 2022-36 here.

HUD Publishes Public Housing Notices Covering Flat Rents and the Rate Reduction Incentive Program

HUD has released PIH Notice 2022-33 (HA), which updates guidance for flat rents and flat rent exception requests in public housing. PHAs can request to set flat rents lower than 80% of the Fair Market Rent or Small Area Fair Market Rent if they submit a market analysis and HUD concurs that PHAs should lower rents. This guidance covers applying for and extending flat rent exceptions, program compliance, phasing in flat rents, and rent options for families.   

Additionally, HUD has published PIH Notice 2022-34. This notice updates the prior 2019 guidance on the Rate Reduction Incentive program (RRI) in public housing and several related utility and Operating Fund programs. The RRI allows PHAs to retain a portion of cost savings from specific types of practices that decrease utility rates. The notice modifies and makes additions to RRI eligibility, request, and calculation processes. It also describes program requirements for participating PHAs.

For more information about each notice, see the December 15 edition of The NAHRO Monitor. Find Notice 2022-33 (HA) here and Notice 2022-34 here.

HUD Reminds PHAs of Capital Fund Obligation Deadlines

On Monday, HUD reminded PHA executive directors of unusual Public Housing Capital Fund obligation and expenditure deadlines for 2018-2020 and 2021 grants. In short, the 2021 formula grants have obligation and expenditure deadlines that fall before 2019-2020. HUD notes that Most PHAs did receive an extension for their 2018-2020 Capital Fund grants. However, these waivers did not apply to 2021 or beyond. This means that 2021 grant dollars, which were allocated in February of that year, have deadlines in February of 2023, just prior to 2019 funds. PHAs should be sure to use funds with the earliest deadlines first. HUD also notes that extensions can be granted according to the Capital Fund Guidebook.  The nearest obligation dates include the 2021 formula grant: February 22, 2023 and 2019 formula grants: April 15, 2023. The nearest expenditure deadlines are 2019’s emergency grants: January 1 and April 8, 2023.

More information can be found in the upcoming edition of the NAHRO Monitor.

HUD Delays Implementation of Build America, Buy America for Most Programs Until February 15, 2023

HUD has released a waiver delaying the implementation of the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA) for all HUD programs—aside from CDBG—for 90 additional days until February 15, 2023. This public interest phased implementation waiver is expected to be the final before BABA enters full effect and follows two additional public interest waivers last week. The waiver notes that fully implementing BABA for all programs simultaneously may harm HUD funding recipients’ ability to function because most have never experienced a Buy America Preference (BAP) before.

This waiver excludes Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs using iron or steel, so any CDBG funds obligated as of November 15, 2022 and used for that purpose are subject to the BAP. HUD explains that they wish to better implement BABA for remaining HUD programs based on lessons learned from this program.

NAHRO is pleased to see this waiver as part of HUD’s effort to ensure an effective implementation of BAP requirements. Although NAHRO is committed to prioritizing U.S. jobs and manufacturers, NAHRO remains concerned about increased costs to affordable housing development and what reporting and compliance may look like for projects that must meet the BAP.

Additional information from HUD and analysis from NAHRO will be forthcoming. Please see NAHRO Direct News, The NAHRO Monitor, and NAHRO’s Comment Letter and Correspondence page for more.

Find the public interest phased implementation waiver here. Comments on this waiver are due November 17.

HUD Releases Build America, Buy America Waivers

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.

Join NAHRO for our Webinar “PHAs and CoCs—A True Continuum”

Next webinar November 3rd at 1:30 p.m. ET

The “NAHRO Together Day 3” webinar series continues this week with the fourth informational presentation similar to those in our national conference.

This week, guest speakers Rachel Gagnon of Lucas Metropolitan Housing and Michael Hart of the Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board will present “PHAs and CoCs – A True Continuum.” They will discuss the partnership between the local PHA and Continuum of Care. In addition to the barriers they faced and needs from other stakeholders, they will discuss the following specific topics:

“[the] PHA’s support of and involvement in a reimagined CoC entity, strategic prioritization of underserved populations (unhoused individuals), housing first partnership with corresponding vouchers, information sharing for new housing development opportunities, deployment of EHVs, etc.”

This webinar is free and open to everyone. Register here.

Join us for the future Day 3 webinars listed below.

We look forward to seeing you at our NAHRO Together Day 3 webinars.

NSPIRE Information Sessions Coming to a City Near You Beginning October 31

Prior to implementing the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE), HUD has announced the “NSPIRE Get Ready Series.” NSPIRE will replace current inspection protocols for the units in many of HUD’s programs beginning as early as 2023. These sessions will inform interested stakeholders “about the NSPIRE model and timeline to begin using its capabilities.”

HUD has announced  that the series will travel to 14 cities between October 31, 2022 and February 14, 2023. More information will be forthcoming. You can locate background information about NSPIRE here.

Join NAHRO for the “Building Resilience and Reclaiming Creativity in a Volatile World” Webinar

Next webinar October 27th at 1:30 p.m. ET

The “NAHRO Together Day 3” webinar series continues this week with the third informational presentation similar to those in our national conference.

This week, guest speaker Dr. Diane Biray Gregorio will present “Building Resilience and Reclaiming Creativity in a Volatile World.” She will explore the following questions.

“In a time of pandemic and accelerating climate crisis, advocates for affordable housing face unprecedented challenges and stresses. Yet the global need has never been greater.

How can we build emotional resilience in ourselves, in our families, and communities? 

Is it enough to just bounce back in the face of uncertainty? How can we reclaim our creativity from the jaws of burnout? Can we actually use these challenges as fuel for creativity and far-reaching vision? 

What this difficult time is asking of us is to look with fresh eyes, without the baggage of (emotional) reactivity, so we can see clearly together how we can move forward. 

Is this possible? How?”

This webinar will address the needs of housing professionals directly and the communities they serve indirectly. It is free and open to everyone. Register here.

Future Day 3 topics will include the following.

We look forward to seeing you at our NAHRO Together Day 3 webinars.

HUD Seeks PHAs to Participate in OpFund Web Portal Online Testing

Last week, HUD reached out to PHAs requesting participants to help test a new feature of the Public Housing Operating Fund Web Portal in a process called “User Acceptance Testing.” Participants would use this new electronic module to complete HUD forms 52723 and 52722 to help HUD improve this tool before it is fully implemented. Providing feedback on the user experience should make the module more effective.

This process will take roughly six hours in total and occur in November, 2022. To participate, executive directors should email by October 25, 2022. HUD requests interested PHAs include the subject line “UAT PHA Participant,” their authorized representative’s name, PHA name and code, and email address.