Memo on CPD Waivers Released

On December 30, HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) issued a memo explaining the availability and extension of waivers of certain regulatory requirements associated with several CPD programs including the Continuum of Care (CoC), Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA). The memo covers current grants and grants that have not yet been awarded. Waivers are to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to facilitate assistance to eligible communities and households economically impacted by COVID-19. The waivers are extensions of previous waivers HUD issued due to the pandemic, set to expire on December 31, 2021. Not all pandemic-related waivers have been extended. Recipients must opt-in to use or continue to use these waivers. The memo also announces a simplified notification process for program recipients to use this waiver flexibly to expedite the delivery of assistance.

The memo lists available waivers and describes the procedure for using available waivers of program requirements. Grantees must mail or email notification to the CPD Director of the HUD Field Office serving the grantee to use one of the listed waivers. The email notification must be sent two days before the grantee anticipates using waiver flexibility, and include the following details: requestor’s name, title, and contact information; date on which the grantee anticipates first use of the waiver flexibility; and a list of the waiver flexibilities the grantee will use. The memo can be found here.

New Guidance Modifies High-Performing Eligibility

HUD has released Notice PIH 2021-38 which removes the requirement that PHAs must request a new PHAS score from HUD in order to meet eligibility for the FFY 2021 High Performer Capital Fund Formula bonus. HUD will instead use FFY 2019 PHAS scores to determine FFY 2021 High Performers. PHAs may still request a PHAS score from HUD if they were non-high performers in FFY 2019, but believe they are now. The notice is titled “COVID-19 Statutory and Regulatory Amendment to PIH Notice 2021-14 (HA), Providing for the Release of Public Housing Assessment System Scores for Federal Fiscal Year 2019.”

Supplement Operating Fund Close Out Procedures Guidance Released

On November 17, HUD released Notice PIH-2021-36, “CARES Act Supplemental Operating Fund Close Out Procedures.” The Notice provides information on how to close out supplemental Operating Funds that were provided to PHAs through the CARES Act. PHAs must incur all eligible CARES Act expenses by December 31, 2021. PHAs should liquidate all obligations incurred under the supplemental funding not later than 120 calendar days after December 31. By April 30, 2022, PHAs must submit an SF-425 for each CARES Act grant via the Operating Funds Web Portal. Any funds reported as unobligated will be recaptured by HUD. Any remaining CARES Act Operating Funds in LOCCS will be locked after April 30, 2022 and PHAs will be required to follow a specific process to draw down unliquidated obligations that are paid between May 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022.

New Lead Safe Housing Rule Toolkit Available

HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes recently released a Lead Safe Housing Rule Toolkit. The toolkit includes sample forms, checklists, and flowcharts for HUD’s Lead Safe Housing Rule to help practitioners understand and comply with federal lead rules. The toolkit provides information on lead rule basics, project-based assistance, rehabilitation assistance, acquisition, leasing, support services and operations, tenant-based rental assistance, lead hazard reduction, and responding to a child with an elevated blood lead level. The toolkit can be found here.

HUD Revises Application Process for Small-Rural Frozen Rolling Base Program

On November 16, HUD published Notice PIH-2021-30, titled “Revision of Application Process for the Small-Rural Frozen Rolling Base Program.” The Notice simplifies and updates the procedure for PHAs to elect to participate in the Small Rural-Frozen Rolling Base (SR-FRB) program. The program allows PHAs that qualify as small and rural to freeze their three-year rolling base consumption level for utility costs for a period of up to 20 years. SR-FRB elections/change requests must be made no later than December 6 for FY 2022. Elections and changes will be made through the OpFund Web Portal. HUD will notify eligible PHAs via email when the module becomes open and available. 2022 will be the first year PHAs that elected to participate in the program in 2021 will be able to remove a project from participation in the SR-FRB.

The notice can be found here.

Section 3 Business Registry Moved to Opportunity Portal

On November 12, HUD integrated its Section 3 Business Registry into the Section 3 Opportunity Portal. The Opportunity Portal helps HUD grantees and Section 3 businesses meet their Section 3 obligations for employment and contracting. Certain changes have been made to the registry. Businesses registered since July 31, 2021 will be found in the Opportunity Portal via “Search Businesses,” businesses can now use the Opportunity Portal to log in and view their businesses as an Employer profile, employers can create, edit, and remove job/contract opportunities, employers can view their businesses and make edits to their business registry profiles, and if an Opportunity Portal user is both an employer and a sole proprietor worker, they will need to make two separate profiles using two different email addresses, one profile as “worker” and one as “employer.”

Currently registered Section 3 businesses should sign into the Opportunity Portal, select “employer” upon account set up, select “My Section 3 Portal” followed by “My Businesses.” If your registered businesses is not listed under “My Businesses,” please contact us at Sec3biz@hud.gov.

HUD Proposes Triennial Executive Compensation Reporting

On November 16, HUD will publish a notice of proposed information collection in the Federal Register that would change the reporting requirements for public housing agency executive compensation information from annually to once every three years. PHAs will still be required to be in compliance with annual compensation restrictions imposed by Congress, however PHAs will not need to report on compensation annually.

Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The notice can be found here.

FSS Information Collection Requirements Reopened

On November 15, HUD re-opened a public comment period on the information collection requirements for the “Streamlining Implementation of Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act Changes to the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program.” The information collection is related to the FSS proposed rule released in September 2020. HUD is not soliciting comment on any issues related to the proposed rule outside of information collection requirements.

HUD’s proposed information collection would require that all entities that operate an FSS program would have to update their Action Plans one time after the new rule becomes effective, and that PHAs would need to complete a monitoring self-review checklist for program compliance and reporting once every five years.

The federal register notice can be found here.

Housing Investments Preserved in Bill Back Better

Congress is on the brink of passing historic housing legislation that currently includes $150 billion for housing programs. But negotiations are ongoing, and the housing funding could be at risk. NAHRO needs you to speak out immediately to support this historic legislation and to ensure that the housing provisions are preserved. 

We cannot miss this once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in housing infrastructure and address the affordable housing crisis. NAHRO must send a strong, unified message of support to Congress on the housing provisions in the Build Back Better Act. 

There are several ways to advocate NOW: 

The new framework was reduced from a total of $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion. Even though the topline was halved, public housing, vouchers, and community development are still in the bill. This is a direct result of your advocacy. Specifically, the framework currently contains $150 billion for housing, including: 

Public Housing Investments: $65 billion 

Housing Choice Vouchers: $24 billion

Project-Based Rental Assistance: $1 billion 

HOME Investment Partnerships Program: $10 billion 

Community Development Block Grant program: $3 billion 

National Housing Trust Fund: $15 billion 

Section 811: $450 million 

Section 202: $450 million  

We will not have this opportunity again. Speak up now to secure $150 billion for housing! 

Certain HOME Waivers Extended

On September 27, HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development published a new memorandum, effective as of September 30, that updates and revises the memorandum, Revision, Extension and Update of April 2020 Memorandum Availability of Waivers and Suspensions of the HOME Program Requirements in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic, issued on December 4, 2020. The new memo extends certain statutory suspensions and regulatory waivers for the HOME Program that were issued to enable HOME Participating Jurisdictions (PJs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to use HOME funds to address immediate housing needs and to help prevent spread of the virus. Prior, all waivers were set to expire on September 30, 2021.

Specifically, the memo revises the matching contribution waiver to include FY 22. The memo also revises the maximum per unit subsidy limit waivers to restrict its applicability to projects that are currently underway or projects to which HOME funds will be committed on or before March 31, 2022. The memo also extends the waiver to perform onsite inspections of HOME-assisted rental housing and annual re-inspections of units assisted with HOME TBRA to December 31, 2021 and extends the timeframe to physically inspect units that would have been subject to on-going inspections during the waiver period from 120 days from September 31, 2021 to 180 days from December 31, 2021. Finally the Insular Areas waiver is revised to clarify the timing of the required written notification and the project completion day.