HUD Releases Disaster Guidebook

This month, HUD released its Public Housing Agency Disaster Readiness, Response, and Recovery Guidebook. The guidebook includes a collection of information, best practices, and resources for PHAs related to preparation for, responding to, and recovering from natural disasters. The first section of the guidebook discusses PHA readiness and covers risk assessment, internal policies and resources, training and communication, coordination and partnerships, and hazard mitigation and resilience. The second portion focuses on response and covers activation and deployment, portfolio assessment, and informing HUD of a diesters. And the last section covers recovery, and includes recovery support strategies, restoring business operations, rehousing displaced residents, repairing and rebuilding the public housing portfolio, and transitioning back to normalization.

Agencies should look to the guidebook before they are impacted by a natural disaster. Although agencies impacted by presidentially declared natural disasters are eligible for assistance from FEMA, they should prepare beforehand to ensure that PHAs can expedite disaster recovery by thinking about risk beforehand and knowing what to expect when and after a disaster strikes.

The guidebook can be found here.

New Voucher Notices Released

Recently, HUD released four new Notices. Two of the Notices relate to HUD-VASH Vouchers, one is on the Stability Voucher Program, and the last is on revocation and reallocation of Emergency Housing Voucher Awards.

Notice PIH 2022-22: Revoke and Reallocation of Emergency Housing Vouchers: This notice explains HUD’s process for revocation and reallocation of Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) awards. The Notice updates the award allocation formula found in Section 4 of Notice PIH 2021-15 in connection with reallocation of the EHV Awards.

Notice PIH 2022-24: Stability Voucher Program: This notice explains HUD’s non-competitive allocation strategy and program requirements for the new Stability Voucher program. HUD is awarding up to $43,439,000 to support approximately 4,000 new incremental vouchers. Stability Vouchers may assist households who are homeless, at-risk of homelessness, those fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violent, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, and veterans and families that include a veteran family member that one of the proceeding criteria. All Registrations of Interest must be transmitted no later than 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on October 20, 2022.

Notice PIH 2022-25: Voluntary Reallocation or Recapture of HUD-VASH Vouchers: This notice established the processes under which a HUD-VASH PHA may be approved to voluntarily reallocate all or a portion of their HUD-VASH vouchers to another HUD-VASH PHA or, if reallocation is not an option, have all or a portion of their HUD-VASH vouchers returned back to HUD.

Notice PIH 2022-26: Registration of Interest for HUD-VASH Vouchers: This Notice announces the availability of approximately $79 million in HUD-VASH vouchers. HUD anticipates that the funding will support approximately 8,500 new HUD-VASH vouchers. The FY 22 HUD-VASH Electronic Registration of Interest form must be submitted no later than midnight in the time zone of the PHA on Friday, September 16, 2022.

CoC Program Competition Webinar

HUD will be hosting a Webinar on the FY 2022 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition on August 11 from 2:30-4 PM ET. The webinar will highlight various parts of the CoC Competition process including: funding tiers, CoC application, and project application. Interested parties can join the webinar here. HUD posted the CoC NOFO on August 1. Applications are due September 30. The NOFO is available at grants.gov.

FSS NOFO Released

HUD released its FY 2022 Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Notice of Funding Opportunity on August 4. The FSS program provides grants to PHAs to support the salaries and training needs of FSS Program Coordinators who assist participating families receiving assistance through the Section 8 or Public Housing Program.

HUD’s FSS Final Rule was published on May 17 which made certain changes to program requirements related to program eligibility, escrow deposits, and supportive services. The rule also allows the Secretary to establish a funding formula and extends eligibility by allowing private owners of PBRA properties to voluntarily make an FSS program available to their tenants. 

Agencies will only be eligible for Renewal funding if the agency was funded under any of the FY 2021, FY 2020, and/or FY 2019 FSS NOFOs. PHAs that have not been funded for an FSS grant in any of the last 3 years and PBRA owners already implementing or wishing to implement an FSS program are eligible for funding after renewal funding is distributed. HUD expects to award 800 grants with an estimated total program funding of $113 million. Applications can be submitted through grants.gov.

HUD Requests Comments on NSPIRE Standards

On June 16, HUD pre-published its Request for Comments: National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) and Associated Protocols in the Federal Register. The request for public comment is focused specifically on the inspection standards associated with the new NSPIRE inspection protocol that HUD will begin implementing in April, 2023. NSPIRE aims to create a unified assessment of housing quality through inspections across multiple HUD programs. NSPIRE applies to the Public Housing program, Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) units, Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) units, and Project-Based Voucher (PBV) programs. Certain HUD Community Planning and Development (CPD) programs would also be required to adopt theses new standards. These programs include the HOME Program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program, and Continuum of Care (CoC). A full list of the NSPIRE Standards can be found here. Comments are due 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.

NAHRO will provide an in-depth analysis of the NSPIRE Standards soon.

Operating Fund Shortfall Funding Announced

On July 13, HUD published its notice implementing the Public Housing Operating Fund Shortfall Funding from the FY 2022 Appropriations Act (Notice PIH-2022-17). The FY 2022 Appropriations Act included a provision that provided $25 million for PHAs that experience, or are at risk of, financial shortfalls as determined by HUD. PHAs that are included on the list of eligible PHAs may apply for Shortfall funding by visiting the OpFund Web Portal. PHAs must apply by July 12, 2022. The list of eligible PHAs can be found here.

SF-425 for CARES Act Supplementary Operating Funds due 05/31/2022

If your PHA submitted their SF-425 for each Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) supplemental Operating Funds grant please ignore the remainder of this message.

The SF-425 forms for CARES Act supplemental Operating Funds are due by Tuesday, May 31, 2022. PHAs that received CARES Act supplemental Operating Funds are required to submit an SF-425 for each grant in the Operating Fund (OpFund) Web Portal.

If you have questions about how to complete the SF-425 please contact your local Field Office. For technical issues with the OpFund Web Portal, please contact REAC – Technical Assistance Center (TAC) by calling 1-888-245-4860 Option #4 or send an email to REAC_TAC@hud.gov.

Implementation Guidance for Section 3 Final Rule Issued

HUD has issued guidance on tracking and reporting compliance with the new requirements for the Section 3 Final Rule issued in September, 2020. The new guidance, Notice PIH 2022-10, discusses transition period activities, reporting, contracting and procurement, monitoring and compliance, recordkeeping, complaints, and training for Section 3. Section 3 requires PHAs and their contractors and subcontractors to give low- and very low-income persons training, employment, and economic opportunities, to their best efforts, when using certain federal funding, including public housing Operating and Capital funds.

For more information on the Section 3 final rule, see here. The Notice can be found here.

Dept. of Labor Issues Update to Davis-Bacon Act Labor Standards

The Department of Labor has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking updating the Davis-Bacon Act labor standards. This is the first update to the regulations in 40 years. The Department’s goal in making this update is to “reflect better the needs of workers in the construction industry and planned federal construction investments.” Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) requirements require the payment of locally prevailing wage rates of construction workers that are employed on federally funded or assisted construction projects.

According to the Department of Labor, proposed changes to the regulations include:

  • Creating several efficiencies in the prevailing wage update system and ensuring prevailing wage rates keep up with actual wages, which over time would mean higher wages for workers.
  • Returning to the definition of “prevailing wage” used from 1935 to 1983 to ensure prevailing wages reflect actual wages paid to workers in the local community.
  • Periodically updating prevailing wage rates to address out-of-date wage determinations.
  • Providing broader authority to adopt state or local wage determinations when certain criteria is met.
  • Issuing supplemental rates for key job classifications when no survey data exists.
  • Updating the regulatory language to better reflect modern construction practices.
  • Strengthening worker protections and enforcement, including debarment and anti-retaliation.

Comments on the proposed rule are due May 17 to regulations.gov. NAHRO will post a more in-depth analysis of the proposed rule in the coming weeks.

PHA Executive Compensation Information Collection Released

On February 11, HUD released a 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection in the Federal Register on Public Housing Agency Executive Compensation Information. As required by Congress, HUD collects information on the compensation provided by public housing agencies (PHAs) to the top management official, the top financial official, and all employees who are paid an annual salary over the compensation cap imposed by Congress in HUD’s annual appropriations (Level IV of the Executive Schedule). The compensation data collected includes base salary, bonus, and incentive and other compensation, and the extent to which these payments are made with any Section 8 and 9 appropriated funds.

HUD will shift from collecting data on PHA compensation from annually to triennially (once every three years). This will reduce reporting requirements for all PHAs. While HUD may only collect PHA compensation data once every three years, PHAs are still subject to the annual compensation restrictions imposed by Congress. Therefore, all years remain subject to potential review by HUD to ensure compliance with the Annual Appropriations Act.

Comments are due on March 14, 2022.