HUD Releases Notice on Required Conversions

HUD recently released Notice PIH 2019-10 titled “Required Conversions.” Section 33 of the U.S. Housing Act requires PHAs to convert certain distressed public housing units to Section 8 tenant-based assistance if it would be more expensive to modernize and operate the distressed development for its remaining useful life than to provide tenant-based assistance to all residents; or if the PHA cannot assure the long-term viability of a distressed development. This Notice provides guidance on the requirement that PHAs annually review their inventories to determine whether any of their public housing developments (or parts of developments) meet the criteria for required conversion from public housing. This notice also provides guidance on developing a required conversion plan in such instances.

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HUD Releases FSS New Applicant NOFA

HUD has announced they will be making available $1 million in funding to support the expansion of the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program to new sites. HUD anticipates making 10-12 awards. This funding is not the FY19 Renewal FSS NOFA, which is forthcoming. This NOFA is only for PHAs that have not been funded within the last three years.

HUD recommends interested agencies begin the process of collecting letters of commitment/MOUs from partners sooner rather than later as this process may take some time to complete.

Potential applications may submit questions to fss@hud.gov. Applications are due Thursday, June 13. The NOFA is available at grants.gov.

HUD Posts FY19 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants NOFA

HUD has released a NOFA for $5 million for FY19 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants, including Planning and Action Grants. Planning Grants are two-year grants that assist communities with “severely distressed public or HUD-assisted housing in developing a successful neighborhood transformation plan and building the support necessary for that plan to be successfully implemented.” Planning and Action Grants are three and a half year planning grants that “pair planning with action.” Under these grants, the planning process would take place during the first 24 months. The planning process will identify Action Activities that will be carried out during the latter portion of the grant period.

Applications are due June 10. The NOFA and application package must be downloaded from http://www.grants.gov. Potential applications should send questions to ChoiceNeighborhoods@hud.gov.

New Compliance and Enforcement Toolkit for Smoke-Free Public Housing

Clean Air for All, a partnership between NAHRO, Live Smoke Free, and NAR-SAAH, has just released its Compliance and Enforcement toolkit for smoke-free public housing. The toolkit provides tips on compliance and enforcement for public housing managers, resident engagement ideas, smoke-free compliance FAQs, and tips to promote conflict resolution. The toolkit also links public housing managers to cessation resources and provides sample tools PHAs can use to facilitate enforcement and compliance of the smoke-free policies. Learn more about Clean Air for All at smokefreepublichousingproject.org.

HUD Releases Section 3 Proposed Rule and Outcome Benchmarking

On April 4, HUD will release two notices in the Federal Register related to Section 3. The first is a new proposed rule titled  Enhancing and Streamlining the Implementation of ‘Section 3’ Requirements for Creating Economic Opportunities for Low- and Very Low-Income Persons and Eligible Businesses,” which would update the regulations implementing Section 3. The second is titled “Section 3 Benchmarks for Creating Economic Opportunities for Low- and Very Low-Income Persons and Eligible Businesses,” that sets outcome benchmarks for meeting and following Section 3 requirements. HUD also hosted a call the morning of April 3 on the proposed rule. NAHRO was the only participant to ask questions about the proposed rule on the call, specifically about changes to the definition of a Section 3 business, and the impact of the proposed rule on small agencies.

According to HUD, “[t]he purpose of Section 3 is to ensure that employment, training, contracting, and other economic opportunities generated by certain HUD financial assistance are directed to low- and very low-income persons, particularly those who receive government assistance for housing, and for businesses to provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons.” The proposed rule applies to HUD’s Public Housing program and other programs that provide HUD housing and community development assistance.

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HUD To Begin Carbon Monoxide Detector Data Collection

Starting April 1, HUD will instruct REAC UPCS inspectors who conduct physical inspections of HUD assisted and insured properties to conduct a data collection on the prevalence of Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors at HUD properties subject to UPCS inspections. The collection of this data will not affect a property’s inspection score.

Inspectors are required to identify if the building being inspected contains any units with fuel-fired/burning appliances and/or has an attached garage. Inspectors are only to evaluate attributes of the built environment, not tenant furnished items.

Inspectors are required to note whether a source of CO is present, the total number of CO detectors that are missing, working, and not working. Inspectors are then to report this information in the “Building Comments” text box. If the building does not have any units with fuel-fired/burning appliances and/or attached garages, then the inspector is to leave the “Building Comments” text box blank.

HUD has mentioned they are considering requiring PHAs to provide CO detectors in Public Housing properties as a part of the new UPCS pilot program. Carbon monoxide detectors are not yet required at Public Housing properties across the country.

Emergency Safety and Security Capital Fund Grant Applications Due June 5

HUD will fund $10 million in Emergency Safety and Security capital grants in FY 2019. Interested PHAs should apply to HUD by 5 PM ET, June 5, 2019. HUD Notice PIH-2016-03 provides guidance to PHAs seeking Emergency Capital Needs for safety and security reasons. Grants are made available to address safety and security emergencies that pose an increased threat to the health and safety of PHA residents on a first come, first serve basis until the set-aside funding is exhausted. PHAs must describe and explain how they have experienced an increased threat to the health and safety of their public housing residents in order to be considered for this funding. Examples of eligible uses include: security systems and cameras, fencing, lighting systems, emergency alarm systems, window bars, deadbolts, and doors. Funding cannot be used for patrol cars, salaries for PHA staff including security staff, security contracts or payment to local law enforcement for additional security, or transferring safety and security funding to the Operating budget.

Intersted PHA’s must apply by 5 PM ET, June 5, 2019. More information can be found here.

HUD Announces Webinars for MTW Cohorts 1 & 2

HUD has announced they will be hosting two webinars next week related to the MTW expansion. The first webinar will be on March 26th from 3-4 PM ET and targeted toward agencies eligible for Cohort 2 of the MTW Expansion. Cohort 2, which will evaluate rent reform policy interventions, is open for agencies with 1,001 – 27,000 combined voucher and public housing units. The second webinar, on March 28 from 3-4PM ET, will be targeted toward agencies eligible for Cohort 1 of the MTW Expansion. Cohort 1 is open to agencies with 1,000 or less combined units and will evaluate the overall impact of MTW. 

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HUD Now Accepting Applications for MTW Expansion Cohort #2, Extends Deadline for Cohort #1

On March 14, HUD released two Notices relating to the Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration. The first Notice, PIH 0219-03, extends the deadline for PHAs to apply to the first cohort of the expansion from January 11, 2019 to May 13, 2019. The second Notice, PIH 2019-04, is a request for Letters of Interest for the second cohort of the Moving to Work expansion.

In the first Notice, HUD notes the Department is extending the deadline for the first cohort due to the government shutdown which prohibited HUD from providing assistance and feedback to agencies interested in applying. The first cohort will study overall MTW flexibility and will be comprised of approximately 30 PHAs that are high performers and administer 1,000 or fewer aggregate authorized combined Housing Choice Vouchers and public housing units.

The second Notice highlights the application process for agencies interested in applying to the second cohort of the Moving to Work demonstration, focusing on rent reform. The second cohort is open only to PHAs with 1,001 or more aggregate Public Housing units and Housing Choice Vouchers. Applications are due June 12.

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