Deadline Today for HUD’s VAWA 2013 Emergency Transfer Plan Requirements

As NAHRO previously reported, HUD published a final rule last year that provides expanded housing protections for survivors of violence and fully codifies the provisions of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013 into HUD regulations. Most of the final rule’s requirements became effective on December 16, 2016, but covered housing provider are also required to comply with rule’s emergency transfer plan provisions (and be able to begin making transfers) no later than today – June 14, 2017.

Last month, NAHRO policy staff conducted a webinar that discusses compliance with HUD’s final rule and the requirements for completing an emergency transfer plan and providing emergency transfers. This recording is available for purchase online at NAHRO’s Digital Store.

HUD Publishes FY 2017 CPD Formula Allocations

Today, HUD released the FY 2017 allocations for the Department’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) formula grant programs: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) , Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), and Housing Trust Fund (HTF).

For FY 2017, states and local communities across the nation will receive approximately $3.0 billion in CDBG, $958 million in HOME, $320 million in HOPWA, $270 million in ESG, and $219 million in HTF funding. These amounts reflect approved grant reductions and reallocated funds for the CDBG and HOME programs.

The CPD allocations can be found online here.

Suspension of HOME 24-Month Commitment Requirement

On June 2, HUD published a message on HUD Exchange addressing the FY 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act’s (Public Law No. 115-31) suspension of the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) 24-month commitment requirement for deadlines occurring in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Due to this suspension, HUD will not be enforcing the program’s 24-month commitment requirement for deadlines occurring this year or in 2018 and 2019. For deadlines that occurred in 2016, HUD intends to return deobligated funds to participating jurisdictions (PJs). HUD further clarifies that this suspension does not apply to a PJ’s Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) set-aside funds and does not apply to the 5-year expenditure deadline for FY 2014 and earlier grants. The recent HOME interim rule implementing grant-specific commitment requirements remains in effect, except HUD will not enforce the 24-month commitment deadlines discussed above. Additional HUD guidance on the effects of this suspension is forthcoming.

ConnectHome to Expand to Over 100 Communities

Last week, EveryoneOn, in partnership with HUD, announced the expansion of the ConnectHome pilot. First unveiled in 2015 by the Obama Administration, ConnectHome was a White House initiative aimed at narrowing the digital divide within 28 pilot communities (which included participation from 23 NAHRO member agencies). ConnectHome tested the impact of cross-sector collaborators using non-government resources in order to accelerate the adoption and utilization of broadband technology by families living in HUD-assisted housing

Beginning this summer, the expansion of ConnectHome – which has been rebranded as “ConnectHOME Nation” – will launch a new cohort of communities with the goal of reaching over 100 communities and connecting 350,000 people living in public housing by 2020.

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HUD Publishes Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 Guidance

On May 19, HUD Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published a new notice (PIH-2017-08) that provides guidance to PHAs and owners on the requirements of the “Violence Against Women Act of 2013: Implementation in HUD Housing Programs Final Rule,” (VAWA Final Rule, published November 16, 2016) with respect to the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs (including the Project-Based Voucher (PBV)), and Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation (Mode Rehab).

Overall, the VAWA Final Rule provides expanded housing protections for survivors of violence and fully codifies the provisions of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013) into HUD’s regulations. At its core, VAWA 2013 prohibits housing providers from denying or terminating housing assistance on the basis that an applicant or tenant is a survivor of violence.

Notice PIH-2017-08 provides a summary of the major changes of the final rule’s impact on PIH programs and details who is eligible to receive VAWA protections and how eligibility is determined and certified.

Among its topics, the notice reviews policies for:

  • PHA Documentation Requirements
  • Notice of Occupancy Rights
  • Victim Confidentiality
  • Emergency Transfers (Emergency Transfer Plans must be in place by June 14, 2017)
  • Family Break-up
  • Record Keeping and Reporting Requirements
  • Developing Partnerships with Victim Service Providers
  • Lease Bifurcations
  • Establishing Waiting List Preferences
  • Landownership: Move with Continued Tenant-Based Assistance
  • Owners in the HCV Program
  • Assistance Under More Than One Covered Housing Program
  • Fair Housing and Nondiscrimination

Please note that this guidance does not encompass every aspect of the VAWA Final Rule and should be used in conjunction with the VAWA Final Rule. NAHRO will provide a deeper analysis of this PIH notice for members in a forthcoming edition of the NAHRO Monitor.

HUD Issues Waiver for a Citizen Participation Requirement in CPD Programs

On May 10, HUD’s Office of Community Planing and Development (CPD) issued a waiver that concerns the 30-day public comment standard for CPD formula grantees submitting their FY 2017 consolidated plan or action plan to HUD.

As a consequence of Congress’s seven month delay in passing a FY 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) spending bill, there is now insufficient time for CPD grantees to complete their pre-submission or pre-amendment citizen participation process before the statutory August 16, 2017 submission deadline – if HUD does not receive a consolidated plan or action plan by this date, a grantee automatically loses its FY 2017 CDBG funding.

To help ensure grantees do not lose their FY 2107 funding, HUD’s waiver replaces the regulatory 30-day citizen participation public comment period with a minimum 14-day comment period. This waiver applies to all CPD grantees and is in effect only until August 16, 2017.

HOME Impact Story in Vancouver, Washington

During National Community Development Week, NAHRO celebrates the hard work of communities across the country by sharing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) impact stories, highlighting the importance of these federal affordable housing and community development programs at the local level.

Project name Isabella Court I IMG_3578_Isabella
Location Vancouver, WA
District WA-03
Project Year 2015
Project Description Spearheaded by REACH, one of the largest and most successful Community Development Corporations in Oregon, Isabella Court offers affordable, senior living in Vancouver, Washington. Isabella includes 46 one-bedroom and 3 two-bedroom apartments and is built to the Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard (ESDS), with its focus on energy efficiency and promotion of sustainable living. The Isabella offers vibrant living in the Fourth Plain Corridor, with nearby restaurants, shopping, movie theater, and parks.
Use of HOME Funds New construction and development costs for multifamily rental housing.
Target Population Apartments are reserved for households 62 years of age and over earning 60% or less of the area median income.
HOME Funds $2,518,734 were provided by the Washington State Department of Commerce, the City of Vancouver and Clark County Community Services.
Other Funds 10 Project-Based Section 8 vouchers valued at $331,200; LIHTC; Tax-exempt bonds; State Housing Trust Fund. Total project cost: $12,476,777.
Project Impact The investment of these HOME funds and other leveraged dollars brought one of the first rent-restricted senior developments to the City of Vancouver in almost ten years and supplied the area economy with construction jobs with a living wage. The affordable housing provided much needed apartments to a City with one of the highest percentage rent increases in the nation between 2015 and 2016. Other impacts of this project include municipal economic development, job skills training, apprenticeship and neighborhood revitalization for one of the poorest Census Tracts in Clark County.
Contact Ben Sturz – bsturtz@reachcdc.org www.reachcdc.org

CDBG Impact Stories in Washington County, Minnesota

During National Community Development Week, NAHRO celebrates the hard work of communities across the country by sharing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) impact stories, highlighting the importance of these federal affordable housing and community development programs at the local level.

CDBG is a flexible federal program and Washington County, Minnesota has used CDBG dollars to strengthen their communities through a wide variety of projects:

  • Affordable senior housing so that the elderly population may comfortably age in place;
  • zero percent home improvement loans for families and seniors to fund repairs that these homeowners might not otherwise be able to afford; and
  • an expanded local food bank so that additional fresh produce and meats are available to their growing number of clients.
Project name Piccadilly Square Senior Housing BuildingPiccadilly Square
Location Mahtomedi, Minnesota
District MN-04
Project year 2015
Use of CDBG funds Soil remediation for redevelopment
Project Description The Piccadilly Square Senior Housing Building is a 79-unit affordable senior housing development for seniors 62 or older with incomes at or below $35,000. Developed through the joint effort of the Washington County Housing and Redevelopment Authority and a private developer, CDBG funds were used for soil remediation of 3 acres for redevelopment of a former restaurant site at the edge of downtown Mahtomedi.

Piccadilly Square enables seniors to age in place. A senior service coordinator is available to all tenants to proactively problem solve issues affecting seniors ability to live well and safely in their units.  Building design includes: 5 wheelchair accessible units and 9 units with accessible communication features for residents who are deaf or hearing impaired; roll-in showers in all units; ample space in unit and common area spaces for walker/wheelchair mobility; no threshold curb at main entry; and two elevators.

Target population Low-income, elderly
Amount of CDBG funds $352,709
Other project funds; leverage $14,078,516; 1:98. HOME, 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, Tax Exempt bonds, Federal Home Loan Bank Board, Metropolitan Council Livable Community Act funds, and City fee waivers.
Jobs created 28 temporary jobs
Project impact Not only does the apartment complex allow low-income seniors to comfortably age in place (full occupancy of the 79-unit building is expected in summer of 2017), but this project has contributed to the beautification of the downtown area. The restaurant previously located on the site had been shuttered since 2005 and was badly deteriorating. The project called for razing the building and extensive environmental cleanup of the soil. City officials expect Piccadilly Square to “spur things happening in the downtown area.”
Contact Washington County Community Development Agency BDacy@wchra.com
Project name Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Loan ProgramWashington Co Loan Program
Location Throughout Washington County, Minnesota
District MN-02, MN-04, MN-06
Project year Yearly
Use of CDBG funds Homeowner housing rehabilitation
Project description Administered by the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation (GMHC), this program offers deferred, 0% interest loans to homeowners in Washington County for home improvements to low-income families or seniors that might not otherwise be able to afford repairs.
Target population Families and the elderly
Amount of CDBG funds $207,000
Project impact 10 to 15 homes a year
Contact www.gmhchousing.org
   
Project name Hugo Good Neighbors Food ShelfHugo Food Shelf
Location Hugo, Minnesota
District MN-04
Project year 2014
Use of CDBG funds Land acquisition for construction so that HGNFS could move into a new and improved space.
Project description Opened in May 2009, the Hugo Good Neighbors Food Shelf (HGNFS) was started by a group of volunteers in response to the needs of their neighbors, whom were struggling to meet their financial obligations and provide food to their families. It was critical to the community that the food shelf conduct itself with a philosophy of operational transparency and as an independent, stand-alone Food Shelf, not affiliated with any other private organization. With this in mind, and with the full support of the City of Hugo, HGNFS was developed as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Significant growth of HGNFS over the last seven years spurred the need for a larger space – the previous food shelf had been operating out of a small garage that housed the Hugo Fire Department’s fire truck over 30 years ago and had inadequate heating and cooling and no running water.
Target population Extremely low-income families, seniors, youth, homeless.
Amount of CDBG funds $70,000
Other project funds; leveraging Bank Loan $202,414; 1:4
Project impact In the early days, HGNFS served, on average, served 10 households per month. In 2012, the other food shelf located in the community closed its doors, leaving HGNFS as the sole provider of food shelf service for the growing community. As a result, clients have doubled and they now serve, on average, 125 households per month. Thanks to the CDBG program, the new building has the additional space needed to offer more fresh produce and meats to their clients.
 Contact  www.hugofoodshelf.org
   

HOME Impact Story in Lawrence, Kansas

During National Community Development Week, April 17-22, NAHRO celebrates the hard work of communities across the country by sharing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) impact stories, highlighting the importance of these federal affordable housing and community development programs at the local level.

Project name Cedarwood Senior Cottages

A883A166-D713-413C-9F65-616FABCDD0D5

Location and District Lawrence, Kansas (KS-02)
Project Year Construction completed 2015-2016. Leased up by March 2017
Project Description Built by Tenants to Homeowners, Inc. (a nonprofit CHDO) and community partners, Cedarwood is an innovative affordable senior housing complex with 14 individual cottages, including 10 with garages, and a community room in the heart of the property. There are 9 two-bedroom units and 5 one-bedroom units that are fully accessible, Energy-Star 3 certified, and use health and safety smart technology (a smart sensor system can track movement in the home and the community room includes a touch screen kiosk that provide residents with helpful information and resources). All these features are meant to allow seniors to age in place.

Cedarwood meets a local housing need for middle-income seniors who want to remain independent but earn too much to live in a subsidized home and not enough to afford a senior living facility. According to local news coverage of Cedarwood, “[t]he need for affordable senior housing is only likely to increase, with the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age. An estimated 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day through 2029. Meanwhile, a local retiree attraction task force in 2012 identified affordable senior housing as a need in the community.” Cedarwood can serve as a model for future senior housing projects in the community.

Use of HOME HOME funds were used for construction.
Target Population Elderly (62+), 9 HOME units with 4 targeted at below 50% and 5 targeted below 60%. The remaining 5 units target 60-80% median family income.
HOME Funds $167,000 from City of Lawrence HOME funds and $525,000 from State Kansas HOME funds.
Other Funds $260,000 lot donation (1.3 acres) from Douglas County, Kansas; $100,000 from City of Lawrence fee waivers and in-kind infrastructure; $600,000 CHDO equity from Tenants to Homeowners, Inc.; $420,000 in Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program funds; $500,000 construction and permanent loan financing from Truity Credit Union.
Jobs Created $2.3 million project using all local vendors, 3 temporary jobs created for 24 months (Davis Bacon did not apply).
Project Impact Cedarwood currently serves 13 households with 16 seniors and the project has added value to the local Qualified Census Tract. Furthermore, the project puts senior housing in a central location with available public transportation, services, and shopping. Cedarwood also demonstrates how smart technology can be used to help seniors age in place and save the community in unnecessary early assisted care expenses.

The project also improved the use of a vacant infill lot that sits next to a nonprofit incubator building; providing independent living and a senior community within a residential neighborhood that links to senior services that are offered by nonprofits. This allows for intergenerational activities and senior social interaction as well as shared services.

Quote from a beneficiary: “It is been really nice. My dog Daisy is really happy here and we are able to take walks in the neighborhood and stay active.” -Holly Holbert, resident since July 1, 2016.

Contact Rebecca Buford, Executive Director, TTH, Inc. rbufordefird@yahoo.com 785-760-2058

CDBG Impact Story in Fort Collins, Colorado

During National Community Development Week, April 17-22, NAHRO celebrates the hard work of communities across the country by sharing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) impact stories, highlighting the importance of these federal affordable housing and community development programs at the local level.

Project Name Redtail Ponds Permanent Supportive Housing

Redtail Ponds

Location Fort Collins, Colorado
District CO-02
Project Year 2015
Project Description Redtail Ponds is a 4-story permanent supportive housing (PSH) development that offers 60 apartments for people with disabilities who have experienced homelessness. Multiple support services for those with substance abuse or mental health issues are located on site to help people gain stability in their lives. In a recent press coverage for the development, the columnist appropriately refers to Redtail Ponds as a “window of hope” since this award winning development demonstrates that “the best thing to be done for the homeless is not soup or pallets on a barren floor, but a place to assemble one’s life in peace.” In addition to apartments, Redtail Ponds features a community kitchen, fitness area, computer room, community garden and several common areas for residents to congregate.
Use of CDBG Funds Construction of housing
Target Population Homeless with disabilities and veterans with disabilities
CDBG Funds $1,391,077
Other Funds Leveraging: LIHTC Equity Investment, Colorado Division of Housing, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Mortgage.
Jobs Created 40 jobs
Project Impact With its inspiring scenic view of the snow-covered Front Range, this project has provided homes for 60 residents, from 19-80 years old, including 22 veterans. After one year, 95% of the residents remained stably housed, 14 enrolled in employment training and 12 rejoined the workforce.

Quote from a beneficiary:

“When I came here and saw my apartment, I cried. I felt like I had gone from being a pauper to a princess virtually overnight. The majority of us here now have become like a family to each other. We care about each other. I have a send of joy and family that I was lacking.” –Cheryl

 Contact Housing Catalyst