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.
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).
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.
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.
On September 26, HUD released the FY19 Renewal NOFA for the Family Self-Sufficiency Program. The application package can be found on grants.gov. The deadline for applications is October 28. HUD recommends that applicants check that their grants.gov, DUNS, and SAM registration and passwords are up to date now, so that all agencies eligible for renewal funding can proceed through the application smoothly.
HUD also recently released an FY19 FSS Renewal NOFA FAQ. The FAQ does not replace or supersede the FY19 FSS Renewal NOFA, but provides applicants with answers to frequently asked questions. The FAQ can be found here.
HUD has posted the first set of standards for the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) Demonstration on HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) website. HUD is looking for input and comments on the clarity of the deficiencies, the accuracy of the rationales, and the overall usability of the standards. These new standards will be used during inspections for agencies participating in the demonstration. Instructions on how to submit feed can be found here.
NSPIRE will change the way that public housing agencies, owners, and agents (POAs) inspect public housing properties for agencies that voluntarily participate in the demonstration. The NSPIRE demonstration aims to ensure that public housing units are adequately maintained through regular upkeep and maintenance of units throughout the year, rather than immediately before inspections. Agencies interested in pre-registering for the demonstration may do so here.
On September 3, HUD published Notice PIH-2019-24. The notice provides PHAs with guidance on the use and eligibility of the Rate Reduction Incentive (RRI). The RRI is a financial incentive for PHAs that take special steps and efforts beyond what is required by statute and/or regulation to reduce their utility rate. The Notice replaces Notice PIH-2014-18 (HA) and supplements information included within the current Energy Performing Contracting (EPC), Utility Partnership Program (UPP), and the Operating Fund Grant processing grant notices. The notice covers the RRI application process, activities that may be eligible for an RRI, actions that are not eligible to receive RRI, and RRI interaction with an EPC.
HUD awarded $27.8 million to PHAs in 25 states to identify and reduce lead-based paint hazards. These competitive grants can be used for risk assessments, abatement, and interim controls as defined in Section 1004 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. Grants would be subject to normal PHA regulations. A list of PHAs that received the funding can be found here.
According to HUD, the Department will award a record $330 million later this year to clean up lead-based paint and other housing-related health and safety hazards in privately owned low-income housing.
On August 19, HUD released Notice PIH 2019-22 titled “Emergency Safety and Security Grants Annual Funding Notification and Application Process.” The notice provides guidance to PHAs seeking to apply for Emergency Capital Needs funding for safety and security measures. Funding is available to address needs resulting from unforeseen or unpreventable emergencies and natural disasters, excluding Presidentially Declared disasters, occurring in the current fiscal year. HUD is including the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning as a potential emergency safety need for public housing residents and including costs for the purchase, repair, replacement, and installation of carbon monoxide detectors as eligible activities for emergency safety and security grant funding. HUD will only accept one emergency safety and security grant per PHA, however, the Department may elect to accept separate applications from a single PHA in the same fiscal year for funding to address crime and drug-related activity and for funding for the purchase, repair, replacement, and installation of carbon monoxide detector. Safety and security funding will be limited to $250,000 per application.
Applications and the application deadline will be posted on HUD’s Office of Capital Improvement Website shortly.
HUD will publish it’s Notice of Demonstration to Assess the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) and Associated Protocols in the Federal Register tomorrow. The NSPIRE demonstration will change the way that public housing agencies, owners, and agents (POAs) inspect public housing properties. HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) wants to ensure that public housing units are adequately maintained, so they are developing the NSPIRE protocol to emphasize regular upkeep and maintenance of units throughout the year, rather than immediately before inspections. NSPIRE scores will be advisory, and agencies will keep their current UPCS scores during their participation in the demonstration. Through the Notice, HUD is seeking comment on the proposed, voluntary demonstration. Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The demonstration is also anticipated to begin 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Interested agencies may pre-register for the demonstration here.