HUD Adds Two New Procedures to NSPIRE Demonstration

After meeting with key resident stakeholders to discuss HUD’s new National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) Demonstration, HUD will test for the best method to add two new procedures into the Demonstration. First, HUD will test for the best method to include up to five additional resident units in the inspection, identified by a resident group, to increase the transparency and trust in the demonstration. If no resident group is available to identify five additional units, HUD will use a risk model to select the additional units. Second, HUD is researching the best practices for stakeholder engagement through the design and conduct of resident surveys.

Proposed Changes to NEPA Released

Today, in the Federal Register, The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has announced a proposed rulemaking updating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Currently, PHAs must follow HUD regulations that are bound by NEPA regulations. As such, these changes to NEPA regulations will require HUD to update their environmental review regulations once a final NEPA rule goes into effect.

Comments on the CEQ’s proposed rule update NEPA are due March 10. Comments should be submitted to regulations.gov.

A press release on the update can be found here.

The proposed rule can be found here.

PHAs Should Check to Ensure DUNS and TIN Are in Active Registration Status in SAM

Starting in 2020, HUD is requiring that all PHAs have their Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) numbers and Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) in active registration status in the System of Award Management (SAM) in order to receive funding. PHAs should check to ensure that their DUNS and TIN are active in SAM and that their SAM registration has not lapsed or expired. PHAs will not receive funding where TIN data conflicts in eLOCCS.  More specifically, if the DUNS Organization TIN and Contractual Organizational TIN in LOCCS are inconsistent, PHAs will not receive funding.

HUD has already obligated funds to PHAs through mid-March. HUD will begin requiring active registration in SAM for DUNS and TIN for the next round of obligations. If a project is not funded because it does not comply with the above requirements, the agency should work to immediately update their registration in SAM or work to correct the inconsistency in TIN data in LOCCS. Once the SAM or TIN deficiency is corrected, the project will be funded in the next obligation.

Additional information about SAM and DUNS and TIN registration is available on the FMD website
under

PHAs can check their SAM status on the SAM website.

According to HUD there are currently 56 PHAs with expired SAM registrations. 37 PHAs have TIN mismatches. HUD will be providing a listserv reminder to all PHAs detailing the SAM and TIN requirements as well as the impact of noncompliance.  In addition, HUD will send an email notification to PHAs in noncompliance, notifying them of their status and providing guidance on how to bring themselves into compliance.

In instances where the TIN data in LOCCS conflicts, the PHA should work with HUD’s CFO by sending an email to FWAC-SF1199A@hud.gov. The email subject should read “LOCCS TIN Correction to match SAM” and the email should include:

  1. A scanned copy of an IRS letter or other documentation that show the TIN in SAMS;
  2. A screen shot from SAM that show the TIN and DUNS

New PBV Online Form Posted

On December 26, HUD posted in the Federal Register a 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection on a new Project-Based Voucher (PBV) Online Form. Through this new collection, HUD will require the submission of project-level data on all PBVs from PHAs. In doing this, HUD aims to better understand the existing number of units in PBV projects, what exceptions apply to these units, their rents, terms of contract, and numerous other potential data points. Comments are due February 24, 2020.

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Final Regulations for Opportunity Zones Released

On December 19, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued final regulations implementing the Opportunity Zones tax incentive. Established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are a new community development program that encourages long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities. The Opportunity Zone Program provides tax incentives for investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains into Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOF). QOFs are private sector investment vehicles that invest at least 90 percent of their capital in Opportunity Zones. NAHRO previously submitted comments to the IRS on Opportunity Zones in December 2018 and July 2019, and to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in June 2019. The final Opportunity Zone regulations aim to provide clarity and certainty for investors and communities that make use of the tax incentive.

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Notice Rescinding Prior Notice on Work Preferences Released

On December 16, HUD issued Notice PIH 2019-26. The Notice rescinds a prior notice (Notice PIH 2011-33) that provided guidance on the use of work preferences in public housing wait lists. Although the prior notice has been rescinded, agencies are still permitted to use work preferences as a local preference in their wait list if they so choose. NAHRO will continue to provide additional information on HUD notices and guidance in the future.

Indian Community Development Block Grant NOFA Released

HUD has release its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG). The ICDBG provides Native American tribal organizations with direct funds for use in developing Indian and Alaska Native communities. This includes decent housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities, primarily for low and moderate income persons. Estimated total program funding is $65 million with an award ceiling for grantees of $7 million and an award floor of $50,000. Applications must be submitted via grants.gov by February 3rd, 2020. The NOFA can be found here.

2020 Operating Funds Released into eLOCCS

On November 21, the President signed a Continuing Resolution (C.R.) to keep the federal government open and to extend funding until late December. Due to concerns stemming from the previous expiring C.R., the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has obligated Operating Funds to PHAs for January and part of February into the Electronic Line of Credit Control System (eLOCCS). Partial funding for February is included with January funding and will appear as one month in eLOCCS. HUD was not able to fund the entire month of February as the previous C.R. only provided funding to PHAs through mid-February. In the event that a new C.R. had not been signed by the President last night, HUD wanted to ensure PHAs could access all appropriated funding for the Operating Fund, which operates on a calendar year basis. HUD used 2019 Operating Fund eligibility to determine January and partial February obligations. NAHRO appreciates HUD’s proactive response to a potential shutdown.

For more information, click here (members only).

ACC Revisions Released

On November 8, HUD will issue a 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection on the Public Housing Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) for Capital and Operating Grant Funds in the Federal Register. HUD previously published a 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection for the ACC in December, 2018. NAHRO has noted to HUD that it does not believe revising the ACC through the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) is appropriate, as it is a unilateral approach. Although HUD is required to respond to comments through the PRA, there is no requirement to accept those comments or negotiate further with affected partners.  

Although NAHRO believes that the ACC has been and continues to be a contract between a PHA and the federal government, HUD disagrees and views the ACC as a grant agreement. In light of this, HUD proposes changing the name of the Annual Contributions Contract to the Annual Contributions Terms and Conditions, while still referring to the document as the ACC. 

HUD’s most recent version of the ACC removes numerous definitions and requirements that were included in the prior version of the ACC released last December. This includes deleting: 

  • Addition of the term “program receipts”; 
  • A requirement for PHAs to follow HUD-issued notices and HUD-required forms or agreements; 
  • A Prohibition on PHAs from releasing any information contained in HUD’s system of records (SORN) without prior HUD approval 

HUD notes that these requirements are already defined and included in existing regulations, and as such do not need to be included in the ACC.

The 30-Day version also removes mixed-finance specific language from the ACC. Mixed-finance provisions will now be included as amendments to the ACC. 

Lastly, the latest proposed ACC includes an additional section on remedies. The section notes that the agreement does not contemplate money damages as a remedy for a breach of the agreement by HUD. 

In their response to comments from the 60- Day Notice of Proposed Comments, HUD provides additional clarification for what the ACC will not impact. This includes language clarifying that MTW Standard Agreements will not be impacted by changes to the ACC, PHAs may make requests to HUD to amend the ACC, and that changes to the ACC are not intended to address any future changes to Central Office Cost Centers (COCCs), including HUD’s proposal to re-federalize dollars within COCCs. 

2020 Operating Fund Inventory Validation Revised Dates

HUD sent out an email on October 17 informing PHAs that HUD has revised the timeline for the Operating Fund Inventory Validation process for the funding year 2020. HUD plans to publish the inventory of projects for PHA review on October 31, 2019 to the 2020 Operating Fund Processing web page.

PHAs should review their inventory and contact their local Field Office to identify any corrections by November 5, 2019.  This includes projects that should be added or removed to the inventory for Operating Funds in 2020. Requests for funding for projects that are new and were not funded in 2019, should be sent in a separate communication to your local Field Office.

Additional information can be found here.