HUD to Publish Revised FY 2019 FMRs

(3/14/19 Edit – the official notice has been published in the Federal Register and can be found here.)

Tomorrow, HUD will publish in the Federal Register revised Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for certain jurisdictions, though a pre-publication copy is currently available. In addition to listing the new FMRs, the notice also responds to comments made to the initial Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 FMRs (See NAHRO’s comment letter here).

According to the notice, “[s]everal commenters suggested that HUD should provide additional funding to PHAs who undertake local area surveys.” (While Congress has the power to decide how to allocate money and how much to spend towards individual programs, HUD may request certain levels of funding for particular programs or tasks through its budget request.) The Department responded by stating that “HUD reminds PHAs that paying for local area rent surveys is an eligible expense to be paid from on-going administrative fees or their administrative fee reserve account.”

FMR by Number of Bedrooms in Unit

2019 Fair Market Rent Area

0 BR

1 BR

2 BR

3 BR

4 BR

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy,  MA-NH HMFA

$1,608

$1,801

$2,194

$2,749

$2,966

Burlington-South  Burlington,  VT  MSA

$992

$1,202

$1,544

$2,008

$2,087

Coos County,  OR.

$538

$684

$837

$1,210

$1,394

Curry  County,  OR

$629

$777

$979

$1,416

$1,574

Douglas  County,  OR.

$657

$773

$1,023

$1,479

$1,796

Oakland-Fremont,  CA HMFA

$1,409

$1,706

$2,126

$2,925

$3,587

Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro,  OR-WA MSA

$1,131

$1,234

$1,441

$2,084

$2,531

San Diego-Carlsbad,  CA MSA

$1,422

$1,590

$2,068

$2,962

$3,632

San Francisco,  CA HMFA

$2,069

$2,561

$3,170

$4,153

$4,392

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa  Clara,  CA

$1,952

$2,316

$2,839

$3,829

$4,394

The pre-publication copy of the notice can be found here.

New Evidence Matters Focuses on Landlords and Vouchers

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Winter 2019 issue of Evidence Matters focuses on landlords and their role in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The issue has three articles which provide insight into different aspects of landlord behavior and landlord retention. The first article offers an overview of the HCV program; provides a description of the nation’s rental units and its landlords; provides a broad overview of recent research on landlords; provides an overview of research on the impacts of low landlord participation; and offers strategies to increase landlord participation. The second article, again, discusses research on landlords and voucher acceptance. The third article discusses strategies that two PHAs are using to incentivize landlord participation.

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HUD Requests Comments on RAD for PRAC Notice

In an email sent to its RADBlast! email list earlier today, HUD is requesting comments to a new draft Section 4 to be added to the RAD Revised Notice. The new section would allow for the conversion of properties assisted by Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contracts. The draft section is posted on the Office of Multifamily Housing’s Drafting Table website. Comments are due by March 12, 2019.

Specifically, HUD is seeking comment on the following topic areas:

  • Is this document well organized?
  • Is the guidance set forth in this document clear? Are there sections that are unclear?
  • Are the proposed terms of the Use Agreement reasonable and adequate?
  • Are there unique features of 202 PRACs or the elderly population that the properties serve that HUD has not adequately accounted for in this Notice?
  • The draft Section describes an option to convert to Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) or to Project Based Vouchers (PBV) What is the degree of interest in PBV conversions? Please note that while HUD has developed the framework for a process for seamlessly funding a conversion from PRAC to PBRA, funding a conversion from PRAC to PBV is likely to be more complex.
  • Does HUD provide adequate avenues for stakeholders to provide feedback on the direction of the RAD program and, if not, what additional measures for public feedback should HUD consider?

Comments may be submitted to rad2@hud.gov.

The draft section of the notice can be found here.

HUD Publishes TPV Notice for Certain Low-Vacancy Areas

Earlier today,[1] HUD published a notice titled “Funding Availability for Set-Aside Tenant Protection Vouchers [TPVs]” (PIH 2019-01). The notice supersedes the previous TPV Set-Aside notice (PIH 2018-02). The FY 2018 appropriations act set aside $5 million for tenant protection vouchers for certain at-risk households in low vacancy areas.

To be eligible for TPVs under this notice, the owner must meet the following requirements: be in a low-vacancy area; be subject to a triggering event[2]; have at-risk residents; and have resolved any outstanding civil rights matters.

There are several changes in this notice from the prior notice (PIH 2018-02). Most importantly, this notice will apply to future TPV set-asides from future appropriations (assuming that future appropriation language remains non-contradictory to the notice). Additionally, this notice makes the following other changes:

  • Clarifies that current applications for TPVs do not need to be resubmitted;
  • States that low-vacancy areas will be updated annually;
  • Addresses issues with timelines and applicable low-vacancy areas;
  • Addresses the turnover of units between the date the owner submits an application, but before a triggering event occurs (in the at-risk residents section);
  • States that the initial point of contact for Section 202 Direct Loans will be the Office of Recapitalization;
  • Clarifies how TPVs that are project-based under this notice interact with project-based voucher regulations (all regulations apply, except certain provisions listed in Attachment C of the notice);
  • Removes the requirement that a separate HAP contract be executed for non-TPV project-based vouchers that are added later at the development;
  • Clarifies that non-TPV project-based vouchers that are added later are subject to project-based voucher program caps; and
  • Clarifies the description of the application processing method.

The notice also describes the content of the application for these TPVs and the steps required to process the application.

The full notice can be found here.

[1] – Despite being published today, the notice is dated February 15, 2019.

[2] – A triggering event may be the maturity of a HUD-insured, HUD-held, or Section 202 loan that requires HUD approval for prepayment, which include: Section 202 direct loans; Section 236 or HUD-held mortgages; or Sections 221(d)(3)-(d)(5) Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR) insured or HUD-held mortgages. A triggering event may also be the expiration of affordability restrictions accompanying a mortgage or preservation program administered by the Secretary.

Deadline for Updating CY ’18 and CY ’17 VMS Data is Feb. 22

Earlier this morning, HUD sent an email to Executive Directors following up on a message sent on Feb. 6, 2019. In this morning’s email, HUD reminds Executive Directors and Section 8 program managers that the deadline for revising CY 2018 and CY 2017 leasing and expense data–and reporting January 2019 leasing and expense data–is tomorrow, February 22, 2019.

HUD Sends Guidance on Mainstream Vouchers

Earlier today, HUD sent an email outlining additional guidance for mainstream vouchers. The Department highlighted several key issues. The notice can be found here. Additional questions to HUD can be sent to MainstreamVouchers@hud.gov.

Administrative fees – the Department noted that HUD would advance administrative fees on 50 percent of newly awarded mainstream vouchers, and would reconcile administrative fees based on actual leasing later this year (i.e., if less than 50 percent of the vouchers are used, HUD will lower future administrative fee payments by the excess amount awarded). If a PHA awards more than 50 percent of its allocation, it can contact its financial analyst for the additional administrative fee.

Character of mainstream vouchers and new admissions – HUD clarified that mainstream vouchers are regular housing choice vouchers with special eligibility criteria and that awarded vouchers are for new admissions. With respect to the former clause, mainstream vouchers should be treated as regular voucher assistance and program participants should not be treated differently than program participants in the regular housing choice voucher program. Additionally, PHAs must lease awarded vouchers by pulling mainstream-eligible applicants from the waiting list. Housing agencies may not reassign existing participants to the mainstream program to “free up” regular housing choice vouchers.

Waiting list administration – PHAs must maintain one waiting list for all tenant-based assistance, including mainstream voucher assistance. See 24 CFR 982.204(f). In applying for the notice of funding availability (NOFA), if your PHA claimed points for a preference, then it must adopt the preference for one of the targeted groups served by mainstream vouchers. Housing agencies may limit the number of people who will qualify for a preference. See 24 CFR 982.207(a)(3). Housing agencies may adopt criteria defining which families may apply for assistance when opening their waiting lists (PHAs must comply with requirements to provide public notice and accept applications from families for whom the wait list has been opened). See 24 CFR 982.206(b)(1). Housing agencies must have written policies for how preferences will be applied (either first-come, first-served or by random selection). See 24 CFR 982.207(c). Finally, housing agencies may do a full waiting list update or a limited update.

The full notice can be found here.

 

HUD Publishes Guidance on (S. 2155) Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act

(2/14/19 Update – the copy below is a pre-publication copy of the notice. The final copy published in the Federal Register today can be found here. Comments are due by April 15, 2019.)

Earlier today, HUD published in the Federal Register a notice titled “Section 209 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and consumer Protection Act: Initial Guidance.” The act added section 38 to the United States Housing Act of 1937 which require amendments to regulations that govern small public housing agencies (PHAs) that administer 550 or fewer combined public housing units and vouchers that predominately operate in a rural area and certain other regulations.

While certain statutory provisions under the notice become active after 60 days after the act passes, these provisions require rulemaking or guidance for implementation. Through this guidance, HUD also seeks comment on the appropriate implementation of these provisions. Comments are due 60 days from today. Guidance and requests for comment are on the following:

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Public Housing Operating Fund Payments for March, April, and May Prorated at 88.7%

Earlier today, HUD sent an email to PHA Executive Directors informing them that HUD will make subsidy obligations available in the Line of Credit Control System (LOCCS) for the Public Housing Operating Fund within the next six business days. The payments for the months of March, April, and May will be obligated at a 88.7 percent proration. Although PHAs are being funded for three months, they are required to only draw down funds one month at a time, unless a multiple month withdrawal is approved by a HUD field office.

The funds being obligated are based on an estimate of PHA eligibility. The department believes that it should know actual eligibility, based on PHA submissions, by June at the earliest. As certain developments may be under- or over-funded based on current estimates, in instances where the estimated funding varies from the actual eligibility, the PHA should contact its field office representative. The PHA should also refrain from drawing down overfunded amounts and–if underfunded–should utilize its reserves until it receives its actual eligible funding.

If a development has been fully converted to RAD in 2018, but has still been awarded 2019 Operating Funds, the PHA should advise its field office immediately and not draw down 2019 funds.

The full notice can be found here.

VMS Open for CY 2018

Earlier today, HUD sent an email informing Executive Directors the Voucher Management System (VMS) for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program is open for calendar year (CY) 2018. It is also open to for the purpose of updating CY 2017 leasing and expenses. The deadline for revising CY 2018 and CY 2017 VMS data is February 22, 2019.  Additionally, January 2019 VMS submissions are due on February 22, 2019. In the event that the government shuts down on February 15th (if the current continuing resolution is not extended or a budget is not adopted), HUD will grant up to 10 days in extension following the resumption of funding.