HUD Publishes Guidance on Accessing HCV HAP HUD-Held Reserves During Shutdown

Earlier today, HUD sent an email to Executive Directors informing them that those PHAs administering Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs may access their HUD-held Housing Assistance Payment Reserves (HHR) under certain circumstances. In those instances where scheduled payments (for January and February) are not sufficient to meet a program’s Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) need, PHAs may access their reserves.

Specifically, in situations where a failure to act “would result in an imminent threat to the safety of human life or the protection of property,” PHAs may request their HAP reserves from HUD in the following instances:

  1. To protect families that are at imminent risk of termination; or
  2. PHAs that were eligible to receive a payment for January 2019 and did not receive it (e.g., first time Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) payment) and need reserves to ensure that the property owner(s) receives a HAP payment to continue assistance and protect the residents at the property.

These funds may only be used for HAP funding. To request the additional payment, please contact Robert.H.Boepple@hud.gov.  The request should include the following:

  1. amount of the payment;
  2. supporting monthly leasing projections;
  3. point of contact email address;
  4. point of contact phone number; and
  5. cost saving measures that PHAs have taken to decrease the likelihood of a shortfall (see PIH Notice 2011-28).

Housing authorities should also review PIH Notice 2013-28 titled “Guidance on the Use of Outside Sources of Funds in the HCV Program.”

HUD’s email guidance can be found here.

 

HUD Announces Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposure

Yesterday, in a press release, the administration announced a join action plan by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reduce childhood lead exposure and associated health impacts. Secretary Carson has stated that “[i]mplementing this plan will help federal agencies, along with our state and local partners, advance efforts to remediate home health hazards and keep children safe from lead poisoning.”

The plan has four goals:

  1. Reduce children’s exposure to lead sources;
  2. Identify lead-exposed children and improve their health outcomes;
  3. Communicate more effectively with stakeholders; and
  4. Support and conduct critical research to inform efforts to reduce lead exposure and related health risks.

The plan notes that while it “is not a budget document and does not imply approval for any specific action . . . [i]t will inform future federal budget and regulatory development processes within the context of the goals articulated in the President’s Budget.”

The full press release can be found here.

The action plan can be found here.

HUD Broadcasts Webinar on MTW Cohort #1

Earlier today, HUD broadcast a webinar on the Moving to Work (MTW) Expansion Cohort #1. The webinar explained what MTW was, explained the benefits of an MTW designation, provided presentations from current MTW agencies, and discussed the process by which agencies could apply for Cohort #1. Additionally, questions from webinar participants were answered.

The webinar also gave the following timeline for MTW Expansion activities:

  • Spring 2019 – Revise MTW Operations Notice based on public comment and publish final MTW Operations Notice;
  • Summer / Fall 2019 – Designate the initial cohort of MTW agencies; invite the second cohort of agencies to apply;
  • Winter 2020 – Designate the second cohort of MTW agencies.

The full webinar with audio and the slide presentation will eventually be posted on HUD’s MTW Expansion site, but an unofficial copy of the slides from the webinar can immediately be found here.

HUD Posts RAD Rent Levels for 2019 (Based on 2018 Public Housing Funding Levels)

Earlier today, the Department of Housing and Urban Development sent an email through its RADBlast! email list announcing RAD rents levels for 2019 (based on 2018 Public Housing Funding Levels). These rents will be used for new awards used in 2019. They may also be used for current awardees to update rents in existing Commitments to enter into Housing Assistance Payment contracts (CHAPs). Closed transactions are ineligible to receive these new rents. Remember, these new rents–after being updated with 2019 Operating Cost Adjustment Factors (OCAFs)–may not necessarily be higher than your current CHAP rents depending on how the transaction is structured. NAHRO strongly recommends carefully reading HUD’s Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQ) document on updating RAD rents before requesting updated rents.

Additionally, HUD has created a streamlined, online RAD application for public housing conversions that can be accessed here.

The 2019 RAD Rents can be accessed here.

The FAQ can be found here.

HCV Two-Year Tool Updates!

A HUD official emailed me to announce certain updates to the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) two-year tool. The updates include the following:

  • The two-year tool is now publicly available and accessible by anyone;
  • A series of training videos has been created and is publicly available; and
  • The two-year tool now shows draft inflation factors for the next year to help program managers plan for the next year (depending on the housing market the PHA is located in, this may be a large number).

The two year tool and the training videos can be accessed here.

Have a little spare time this holiday season? Check out HUD’s two-year tool training videos! The table listing the links to the videos is reproduced below. Click below to access it.

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Secretary Carson to Lead Opportunity and Revitalization Council

In a press release published earlier today, HUD announced that the President established the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council and named Secretary Carson its chairperson. The White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council’s activities include the following:

  • Engage all levels of government on methods to effectively use taxpayer dollars to revitalize low-income communities;
  • Streamline, coordinate, and target existing Federal programs to Opportunity Zones and distressed communities;
  • Consider legislative proposals and undertake regulatory reform to remove barriers to revitalization; and
  • Present the President with options to encourage capital investment in economically distressed communities.

Secretary Carson has said that “[t]hese are still early days for the work of the Council and Opportunity Zones, but the groundwork has been laid . . . [t]he seeds the President has planted are growing and the promise they hold will improve places long forgotten, and the lives of those who call those places home.”

The full press release can be found here.

HUD Updates RAD Notice on Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Requirements

The Department of Housing and Urban Development published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it has published guidance clarifying the use of Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage Requirements. With the conversion of Rent Supp., RAP, Mod. Rehab., or Mod. Rehab. SRO contracts to PBRA contracts, Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements are not triggered.

The full Federal Register notice can be found here.

The guidance document (H-2018-11; PIH-2018-22) can be found here.

HUD Awards $4.6 Million in HUD-VASH Funding

In a press release published earlier today, HUD announced a second round of HUD-VASH vouchers being funded. The Department will be providing $4.6 million, in the form of 424 vouchers, to housing authorities around the country to help homeless veterans find permanent homes. Secretary Carson said that “[t]he additional HUD-VASH vouchers awarded today will continue to support the important work of communities across the country that ensures our veterans have a safe and stable place to call home.”

The list of agencies receiving this latest round of funding can be found here.

HUD Publishes Notice on Verifying SSNs

Last week, HUD published a notice titled “Verification of Social Security Numbers (SSNs), Social Security (SS) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits; and Effective Use of the Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) System’s Identity Verification Report” (PIH 2018-24). This notice supersedes the previous notice PIH 2012-10.

The notice includes the following updates from the previous notice:

  • Updated website links and other references;
  • Removal of the provision requiring a PHA to notify HUD Headquarters when the PHA determines the tenant name or surname reported on the HUD 50058 is correct;
  • Revisions to the “Authorized Workaround” section for overdue examinations not completed due to pending litigation;
  • Clarification of the penalties for noncompliance with EIV’s Identity Verification Report and elimination of the right to appeal the imposition of penalties; and
  • Elimination of attachments.

The full notice can be found here.

HUD Awards $30 million in FUP Vouchers

Last week, HUD announced an award of $30 million to PHAs nationwide for Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers. Family Unification Program vouchers are for youth at risk of homelessness and families whose lack of adequate housing is the primary reason for their children being in foster care.

This funding will provide for 3,000 vouchers. Secretary Carson stated that “HUD is committed to helping parents and caregivers obtain safe and affordable housing for their families . . . [t]his investment will allow thousands of children to leave the foster care system and live with their families so they have the opportunity to thrive together.”

A list of the FUP voucher allocations can be found here.