FY2021 Capital Fund Grants Released

On February 23, HUD released $2.7 billion to public housing agencies through the Public Housing Capital Fund program, included in the FY 2021 Appropriations Act. FY2021 included $19 million more in Capital Fund formula grants than FY 2020. NAHRO was pleased with the increase in funding as the Capital Fund is critical to ensure PHAs are able to build, renovate, and/or modernize their public housing properties.

HUD’s press release can be found here.

HUD Memo on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination

On February 11, HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) released a memo implementing President Biden’s Executive Order on preventing discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The Executive Order directs federal agencies to assess agency actions taken under federal statutes that prohibit sex discrimination and fully enforce those statutes to include prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As a result of the Executive Order, FHEO will begin accepting for filing and investigating all complaints of sex discrimination including sexual orientation and gender identity. FHEO will also conduct all other activities involving the application, interpretation, and enforcement of the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination to include discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity. The memo also impacts state and local agencies that enter agreements with HUD under the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) and the Fair Housing Initiative Program.

Continuum of Care Grants Awarded

HUD has awarded $2.5 billion in Continuum of Care (CoC) grants to support 6,597 local homeless assistance programs across the nation. This funding renews grants for existing programs. Due to the pandemic, grants were renewed through a dramatically streamlined process. HUD’s CoC program supports a broad array of interventions designed to assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness, particularly those living in places not meant for habitation, located in shelter programs, or at imminent risk of experiencing homelessness. HUD’s press release can be found here.

Clean Air For All Webinar on Resident Engagement

Tomorrow, January 27 from 1-2:00 pm CT, Zoom

Clean Air for All invites you to join us for an upcoming webinar- Working Together: Resident Engagement during (and after) the Pandemic. We will discuss ways to engage residents in a building’s smoke-free policy and cessation efforts, both remotely and in person.

Webinar Objectives
· Highlight successful resident engagement efforts that have occurred at PHAs
· Outline strategies to help PHAs keep residents engaged both in person and remotely
· Describe resources available for resident engagement

Speakers
–    Mr. Georgi Banna, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials
–    Ms. Lorraine Lathen, Jump at the Sun Consultants, Wisconsin African American Tobacco Control Network
–    Mr. Ernest Watts, Robeson County Health Department, North Carolina
–    Kara Skahen, Clean Air for All: The Smoke-Free Public Housing Project

Register here!

HUD Posts Three Notices

On January 15, HUD posted three PIH Notices on their website. Notice PIH 2021-04, titled Public Housing Operating Fund (“OpFund”) Grant Eligibility Calculations and Processing for Calendar Year (CY) 2021, provides public housing agencies (PHAs) with instructions for calculating OpFund grants for CY 2021 and establishes submission deadlines. Notice PIH 2021-05, titled Use of Shared Housing in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, reminds PHAs that Shared Housing remains a permissible and viable option that
may be made available to HCV participants, and of the specific programmatic requirements related to Shared Housing for the HCV program. Lastly, Notice PIH 2021-06, titled Process for Amending ICDBG-CARES Grants, provide ICDBG-CARES grantees with instructions on how to amend the use of existing Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Imminent Threat (IT) funds provided under the CARES Act.

Additional 2020 Capital Funds Distributed

HUD’s Office of Capital Improvements (OCI) has revised almost all FY 2020 Capital Fund Program (CFP) Formula Grants to distribute an additional $16,846,352 in capital funds. The funding is subject to the original FY 2020 Capital Fund Formula Grant obligation start date of 3/26/2020 with an obligation end date of 3/25/23 and an expenditure end date of 3/25/25. HUD’s list of new Capital Fund Awards can be found here.

Operating Fund Web Portal Access for Executive Directors

Earlier today, HUD’s Financial Management Division (FMD) emailed PHAs to remind them that they need to ensure PHA Executive Directors possess the OPD – PHA Executive Director user role in the Operating Fund Web Portal. The director must have this role to certify and submit PHA forms SF-424, HUD-50071, and, if required, SF-LLL to HUD. WASS coordinators assign user roles, and only the Executive Director should be assigned OPD – PHA Executive Director. WASS coordinators should refer to the following user guide for instructions on how to assign the role. PHA Executive Directors and staff can review their assigned user roles by logging into the Operating Fund Web Portal and clicking the “roles assigned” button.

FSS Proposed Rule Released

On September 18, HUD pre-published the “Streamlining and Implementation of Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act Changes to Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program” proposed rule. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act amended HUD’s FSS program including changes to the size calculation for the FSS program, expanding the definition of eligible family to include tenants of certain privately owned multifamily projects subsidized with Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), updating the FSS Contract of Participation (CoP), reducing burdens on Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) and multifamily assisted housing owners, clarifying escrow account requirements, and updating the program coordinator and action plan
requirements. Comments are due 60 days from publication in the Federal Register.

Notice on CARES Extension and Reporting Released

On September 14, HUD issued Notice PIH-2020-24 titled “Extension of Period of Availability for CARES Act Supplemental Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Funds, Guidance on CARES Act Financial Reporting Requirements (FDS and Quarterly Reporting), and Other CARES Act Provisions.” The notice provides information on funding extensions, annual reporting, & quarterly reporting for PHAs that have received supplemental funding via the CARES Act. The notice applies to supplement Operating Fund, supplemental Admin Fees, and supplement HAP dollars and should be used by PHAs to report the expenditures of those funds.

Final MTW Expansion Operations Notice Released

On August 27, HUD pre-published its final Operations Notice for the MTW Expansion. The Operations Notice establishes the requirements for the implementation and continued operations of the MTW demonstration program pursuant to the 2016 MTW Expansion Statute. The expansion authorized HUD to expand the MTW demonstration program by adding an additional 100 high-performing PHAs over a period of seven years. The Act requires agencies to be added to the MTW demonstration by cohort and that HUD direct one specific policy change to be implemented per cohort to facilitate the evaluation of that policy. HUD released previous drafts of the MTW Operations Notice in January 2017 and October 2018. The final Operations Notice includes changes that incorporate feedback from the previous drafts. The Operations Notice will go into effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.