First Set of NSPIRE Standards Posted

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.

Notice on Rate Reduction Incentives Released

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.

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$27.8 Million Awarded to PHAs to Reduce Lead Hazards

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. 

Safety and Security Funding Notice Posted

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. 

NSPIRE Demonstration Notice Released

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

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ROSS NOFA Released

Up to $35 million in funding has been released through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Resident Opportunity and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) Program on grants. gov. ROSS grant funding is provided to eligible applicants to hire a Service Coordinator to asses the needs of Public and Indian Housing residents and link them to supportive services. In the case of elderly or disabled individuals, the Service Coordinator links residents to services to help them age in place.

ROSS funding may be used to pay the coordinator’s salary and fringe benefits, travel and training expenses, and administrative costs. Applications are due October 15 at grants. gov. Please email any questions to ROSS-PIH@hud.gov.

 

 

Public Charge Final Rule Released

On August 14, the Department of Homeland Security will publish a final rule titled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.” The advance copy of the final rule published in the Public Inspection of the Federal Register can be found here.

According to the law, any individual who is applying for a visa or for admission to the United States is inadmissible if he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge. Currently, however, public charge is not defined. The final rule would define a “public charge” based on the receipt of financial support from the general public through government funding (i.e. public benefits).” This includes individuals that receive federal rental assistance. The individual would need to receive one or more designated public benefits, including but not limited to federal rental assistance, for more than 12 months in the aggregate within any 36-month period to meet the threshold.

The final rule goes into effect 60 days after being published in the Federal RegisterNAHRO is currently reading through and analyzing the final “Public Charge” rule, and will provide more information to our members in the coming week. 

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Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grants NOFA Released

On August 5, HUD posted the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Choice Neighborhoods (CN) Implementation Grants on grants.gov. In FY 2019, Congress appropriated $150 million to the Choice Neighborhoods and permitted HUD to obligate any unobligated funds from prior year Appropriations in the FY19 NOFA (read more heremembers only).

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Guidance on Executive Compensation Reporting Released

HUD recently issued Notice PIH-2019-21 (HA) providing additional information on calendar year (CY) 2018 executive compensation reporting. The Notice specifically instructs PHAs on how to use the HUD-52725 Form that reports executive compensation for CY 2018. The form will be available to PHAs through October 18, 2019. The requirements apply to all PHAs that administer a public housing or Section 8 program, including PHAs that have  converted their entire public housing portfolio through RAD that still receive funding sourced from Section 8 or 9 of the US Housing Act of 1937.

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FY19 Jobs Plus NOFA Out

HUD has released its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for FY 2019 Job Plus Grants. Applications must be submitted to HUD by October 1, 2019 via grants.gov. The Jobs Plus program develops “locally-based, job-driven approaches that increase earnings and advance employment outcomes through work readiness, employer linkages, job placement, educational advancement, technology skills, and financial literacy for residents of public housing. ”

PHAs that operate one or more public housing projects may apply. PHAs that have received a Commitment to enter into a Housing Assistance Payment Contract (CHAP) through the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) may apply for a grant for the project so long as said project has not yet received a RAD Conversion Commitment (RCC). PHAs that received a Jobs Plus program grant for FY15, FY16, FY17, or FY18 are not eligible for FY19 grants.

Applications are due by midnight ET, on October 1, 2019 via grants.gov.