HUD Requires PHAs to Submit CARES Act Waiver Information by Dec. 20, 2021

On Dec. 6, HUD published a notice titled “Submitting CARES Act Waiver Adoption Information to HUD by December 20, 2021” (PIH 2021-33). This notice requires all PHAs–including those that did not adopt any CARES Act waivers and those that are Moving to Work (MTW) agencies–to report on the waivers that they did or did not implement in the CARES Act Waiver Reporting Tool (CAWRT).

The CARES Act, passed on March 27, 2020, provided HUD with the authority to waive certain statutes and regulations for the public housing and the housing choice voucher (HCV) programs as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department exercised its authority to issue waivers through multiple notices, including PIH 2021-14 (providing revised waivers for public housing and the HCV program), PIH 2020-20 (providing waivers for the Mod. Rehab. program), and PIH 2020-22 (providing waivers for Mainstream vouchers). Additionally, HUD has provided guidance for winding down the waivers as they near their end of life.

Housing agencies must now report to HUD the waivers that they adopted. In adopting CARES Act waivers, HUD required PHAs to record which waivers the PHA had adopted. Agencies should have made this document available to the public. The Department also provided a suggested format for recording adopted waivers in the form of Attachment I of PIH Notice 2021-14. HUD requires one response from each PHA code. Agencies participating in the MTW program should only indicate adoption of the waivers that were adopted through CARES Act authority.

This reporting requirement must be met by Dec. 20, 2021.

Step-by-step instructions to complete this reporting requirement can be found here.

Housing agencies can access the CARES Act Waiver Reporting Tool here.

HUD Extends HCV Renewal Adjustment Funding Deadline

On Nov. 29, in a notice titled “EXTENSION of American Rescue Plan Act – Adjustment Funding for Calendar Year 2021 Housing Choice Voucher Program and Mainstream Vouchers Renewal Funding Applications (previously published as American Rescue Plan Act – Adjustment Funding for Calendar Year 2021 Housing Choice Voucher Program and Mainstream Vouchers Renewal Funding and Updated Application Process for Unforeseen Circumstances Funding),” (PIH Notice 2021-32) HUD is extending the deadline for PHAs to apply for calendar year (CY) 2021 renewal adjustment funding for PHAs that “experienced a significant increase in voucher per-unit costs (PUC) due to extraordinary circumstances.” The new deadline is 5 pm of the PHA’s time zone on Dec. 21, 2021.

To be eligible for the additional funding, PHAs must submit applications in accordance with the requirements of section 3(A) of PIH Notice 2021-23. Housing agencies that did not previously receive an award because they did not meet the eligibility requirements, did not meet the previous deadline requirements, or did not meet any other requirements, should submit a new application by the new deadline if they believe that they now meet the applicable criteria.

The full notice can be found here.

NAHRO’s coverage of the prior notice can be found here.

HUD to Host Innovations in Energy Efficiency Webinar Series

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in collaboration with the Department of Energy, will host a series of webinars that will focus on energy efficiency in housing. According to HUD, the content of the webinars will be on “basic, practical, and actionable [activities] with an emphasis on the rehabilitation of single- and multi-family housing.” The registration deadline for the webinars is Nov. 25.

The following is a list of webinars being offered.

  • Monday, Nov. 29;
    • Energy 101: Intro to Energy Efficiency – Building Retrofits with Positive Return on Investment (Noon – 1:30 pm ET);
    • Simplifying Energy Audits for Single Family and Multifamily Buildings (2 pm – 3:30 pm ET);
  • Tuesday, Nov. 30;
    • Weatherization Plus Health (Noon – 1:30 pm ET);
    • The Lowest of Low . . . Hanging Fruit: Water Fixtures and Lighting (2 pm – 3:30 pm ET);
  • Wednesday, Dec. 1;
    • Once Upon a Replacement: Water Heating and HVAC (Noon – 1:30 pm ET);
    • Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me: Minimally Invasive (to occupants) Exterior Retrofits (2 pm – 3:30 om ET);
  • Thursday, Dec. 2;
    • Building Decarbonization and On-site Generation (Noon – 1:30 pm ET); and
    • Energy Codes, Standards, and Certifications: To the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and Beyond (2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET).

More detailed descriptions of each webinar can be found here.

A registration link can be found here (deadline to register is Nov. 25).

HUD Publishes CARES Act Waiver Wind Down Guidance

Late this afternoon, HUD published additional guidance instructing PHAs on how to wind down CARES Act waivers. According to HUD, the guidance “outline[s] planning considerations available to PHAs as they evaluate how to effectively and efficiently navigate the CARES Act Waivers expiration.” The Department did not publish additional guidance documents on waivers that were already expired or where HUD felt it unnecessary. There will be future guidance on both the Section Eight Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) and the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS).

There are guidance documents for the following program areas:

  • Verification – this document provides guidance on verification documents on income, citizenship, social security numbers, and proof of family composition. Information in it is applicable to public housing, housing choice vouchers (HCVs), and mod. rehab. programs.
  • Inspections – this document provides information inspection-related waivers. Information in it is applicable to public housing, HCVs, and mod. rehab. programs.
  • Occupancy Policies – this document provides guidance on waivers that allowed families to remain in their units during the pandemic. Information in it is applicable to public housing and HCVs.
  • Project-based and Enhanced Voucher Provisions on Under-Occupied Units – this document provides information on waivers that enabled homeless families to enter into lease agreements for under-occupied project-based voucher (PBV) units. Information in it applies to PBVs, the rental assistance demonstration (RAD) program, and enhanced voucher programs.
  • Capital Programs – this document provides information on waivers related to capital program operations during the pandemic and certain additional waivers. It is applicable to the public housing program.
  • Uniform Financial Reporting Standards – this document provides information on how PHAs submit their financial statements.
  • Community Service and Self-Sufficiency Requirements (CSSR) – this document provides information about the requirement that public housing residents participate in community service or an economic self-sufficiency program and is applicable to public housing.

Links to all of this guidance along with a table with updated waiver expiration dates can be found here.

NAHRO members will receive additional information on these guidance documents in the coming days.

HUD Publishes EHV Dashboard

HUD has published its Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) dashboard. The dashboard provides information about EHV leasing, issuances, unit utilization, voucher awards, and funding at both the national and the state level. The dashboard also provides information by individual PHA. Since PHAs have only started their EHV programs this summer, the program remains in its initial stages.

The EHV dashboard can be found here.

Voucher Investments in the Build Back Better Framework

The Build Back Better framework, which was released yesterday, included $24 billion in housing choice vouchers and $1 billion in project-based rental assistance. Here’s some additional information on what specifically is included in the Section 8 components of the framework.

Housing Choice Vouchers

New Vouchers – The latest Build Back Better framework includes $15 billion for new vouchers for extremely low-income families (30% of area median income). This amount includes costs for renewals and the costs of administrative fees. Administrative fees may be used for “other eligible expenses,” which may include the cost of facilitating the use of vouchers.

Vouchers for Households Experiencing Homelessness, Survivors of Domestic Violence, and Certain Other Survivors – The framework provides $7.1 billion for new vouchers for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and survivors of trafficking. The amount includes costs for renewals and the costs of administrative fees. Administrative fees may be used for “other eligible expenses,” which may include the cost of facilitating the use of vouchers.

Homelessness Waiver Authority – In administering vouchers targeted for homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, and survivors of trafficking, HUD may waive or specify alternative requirements for the following: preferences in the selection of families; documentation of citizenship, ineligibility for drug crimes, drug users, alcohol abusers, and other criminal offenders, and regulatory provisions related to verification of eligibility, eligibility requirements, and admissions process; lease lengths and regulatory provisions related to the initial lease term; residency requirements; and the regulatory provisions related to the establishment of payment standards.

Tenant Protection Vouchers – The framework provides $1 billion for tenant protection vouchers (TPVs) for relocation and replacement of public housing units that are demolished or disposed as part of a public housing repositioning transaction made available in this framework. The cost also includes renewals of these TPVs and administrative fees. Administrative fees may be used for “other eligible expenses,” which may include the cost of facilitating the use of vouchers.

Mobility-related Services – The framework allocates $300 million for competitive grants for PHAs for mobility-related services for voucher families, including families with children, and service coordination.

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Oct. 17th – Last Chance to Receive Issuance Reporting Fee for EHVs Issued on or before Oct. 3rd

Housing agencies with Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) that have issued vouchers before or on Oct. 3, have until Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021 to submit a form HUD-50058 (or form HUD-50058 MTW) to receive the $100 issuance reporting fee. To report in IMS/PIC, PHAs should do the following:

  • “PHAs should report in line 2n when submitting the HUD-50058 by entering ‘EHV.’
  • MTW PHAs that have received HUD approval to apply MTW flexibilities to EHV vouchers may report household participant data on the HUD-50058 MTW and must enter “EHV” on line 2p and leave line 2n blank.”

HUD has created an EHV report to identify IMS/PIC reporting discrepancies.

HUD Publishes New Guidance on Eviction Requirements for Public Housing and PBRA

On Oct. 7, 2021, HUD published a notice titled “Supplemental Guidance to the Interim Final Rule ‘Extension of Time and Required Disclosures for Notification of Nonpayment of Rent’” Notice PIH 2021-29. This notice serves as additional guidance to an interim final rule that was also published in October. The interim final rule specified that where there is federal funding available due to the declaration of a national emergency, PHAs with public housing and owners with project-based rental assistance (PBRA) must do the following at HUD’s discretion:

  • Provide at least 30 days from the date a tenant receives a notice of lease termination for failure to pay rent before terminating the tenant; and
  • Provide information (e.g., information about how to apply for and receive emergency federal funding) to the tenant as determined by HUD.

This PIH notice provides additional guidance to the requirements of the interim final rule. First, it clarifies the instances in which the rule is applicable. The rule applies to PHAs with a public housing program, including Moving to Work (MTW) agencies, and owners with PBRA. For the purposes of this notice, PBRA is defined as the following (i.e., this notice applies to the following programs):

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HUD Creates New Eviction Requirements for Public Housing and PBRA

In a notice titled “Extension of Time and Required Disclosures for Notification of Nonpayment of Rent,” HUD updates its regulations–through an interim final rule–to give itself the authority to require that public housing and project-based rental assistance (PBRA) developments give tenants the opportunity to receive emergency rent relief before eviction. Specifically, when there is federal funding available due to the declaration of a national emergency, PHAs with public housing and owners with PBRA properties must do the following at HUD’s discretion:

  • Provide at least 30 days from the date a tenant receives a notice of lease termination for failure to pay rent before terminating the tenant; and
  • Provide information (e.g., information about how to apply for and receive emergency federal funding) to the tenant as determined by HUD.

HUD will publish another notice outlining the specific information that must be included in the lease termination notification. That notice will also provide the requirements for PHAs and owners to provide the information in an accessible manner for effective communication for people with disabilities and people with limited English proficiency (LEP).

These requirements apply to public housing and PBRA, which is defined in this rule to include Section 8, Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation, Section 202/162 Project Assistance Contract, Section 2020 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC), Section 811 PRAC, Section 236 Rental Housing Assistance Program and Rent Supplement. The rule does not apply to the Housing Choice Voucher program.

The interim final rule will become effective in 30 days after publication of the notice in the Federal Register.

Comments for the rule will be due within 30 days of publication of the notice in the Federal Register.

A pre-publication copy of the rule may be found here.

HUD Publishes 2022 OCAFs

In early Oct., HUD published the list of operating cost adjustment factors (OCAFs) for project-based assistance contracts under Section 8. These adjustment factors are used to adjust certain Section 8 rents. They were calculated in the same manner the 2021 OCAFs. They are calculated as “the sum of weighted component cost changes for wages, employee benefits, property taxes, insurance, supplies and equipment, fuel, oil, electricity, natural gas, and water/sewer/trash, using publicly available indices.” They are applicable beginning Feb. 11, 2022. These OCAFs are distinct from renewal funding inflation factors (RFIFs), which are usually applicable for the Housing Choice Voucher program.

The Federal Register notice announcing the OCAFs may be found here.