RAD COVID-19 FAQ Updated

In a RADBlast! email earlier today, HUD noted that they have updated one of their COVID-19 FAQs with additional information on RAD conversions during the COVID-19 event. According to the email, this update includes “further guidance on completing environmental reports when professionals may not be able to access the interior or exterior of the site . . . [and] provides an option that would give PHAs more time to execute new Section 8 leases at the point of conversion.”

The updated FAQ may be found here.

[5/21/2020 – edited for clarity.]

Two Additional HCV Guidebook Chapters Published

The Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) guidebook continues to be updated by HUD. Most recently, chapters on Utility Allowances and Special Housing Types have been added. Currently available chapters include the following:

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials is excited that HUD is continuing to update its HCV guidebook. We enthusiastically await future chapters and the regular and timely updating of the guidebook.

The full guidebook may be accessed here.

HUD PIH Posts May 15th Conference Call with PHAs

Earlier today, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) sent an email announcing that it was posting a recording of its conference call with PHAs on May 15th. The call was titled “Navigating PIC and REAC PHAS Reporting and Operational Planning Strategies during the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Our overview of the call can be found here.

Slides from the call can be found here.

A recording of the call can be found here or below.

Repositioning Webinar Series

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) is holding a series of webinars to help PHAs understand the repositioning process and identify strategies and resources to complete the repositioning process. All webinars will be held between 1 pm and 3 pm ET. Topics may be found below.

Webinar TopicsDatesRegistration
Developing a Repositioning StrategyMay 13, 2020
Options for Scattered-Site UnitsJune 3, 2020Register Now
Options for 50-and-Under PHAsJune 24, 2020Register Now
RAD and Section 18 BlendsJuly 22, 2020Register Now
Resident ConsiderationsAugust 12, 2020Register Now
Streamlined Voluntary ConversionSeptember 2, 2020Register Now
Options for Obsolete UnitsSeptember 30, 2020Register Now
Common PHA Board QuestionsOctober 28, 2020Register Now
PHA CloseoutNovember 18, 2020Register Now

Additional information may be found here.

Admin Fee Set-aside Application Deadline Extended

Yesterday, HUD sent an email extending the deadline for certain requests related to the administrative fee for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The Department will not accept regular mail or faxes for these applications. so PHAs must submit their applications electronically. The extended deadline of 5 pm ET on Wed., July 15, 2020 applies to the following administrative fee requests:

  • Blended administrative fee rate requests (questions may be sent to PIHFinancialManagementDivision@hud.gov);
  • Higher administrative fee rate requests (questions may be sent to FinancialManagementCenter@hud.gov);
  • Special fees (questions may be sent to 2020SpecialFees@hud.gov), including:
    • Category 1: HUD-VASH special fees;
    • Category 2: Family Unification Program special fees;
    • Category 3: Disaster Related Special Fees; and
    • Category 4: Application for other Special Fees under the Secretary’s Discretion.

PIH Notice 2020-04 (a notice implementing the HCV program in calendar year 2020) provides additional details on the eligibility and documentation requirements.

HUD PIH Clarifies CARES Act Funding Timeframe Eligibility and Reporting Requirements

Earlier today, HUD PIH sent an email to PHA Executive Directors clarifying the timeframe around the use of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding and clarifying CARES Act reporting requirements. Additional questions regarding the CARES Act may be sent to PIH-COVID@hud.gov.

The text below is taken directly from the email sent by HUD.

Q: What is the start date for use of new public housing funds under the CARES Act? Is it the date of the implementation notice (April 28, 2020), the date they were awarded (May 1, 2020), or the date the CARES Act was passed (March 27, 2020)?

A: 2020 Public housing funds were disbursed for public housing starting May 1, 2020. These funds can cover expenses, including expanded COVID-19 related expenses included in Notice PIH 2020-07, that were incurred starting March 27, 2020. CARES Act obligations should not relate back to a period any earlier than March 27, 2020. 

Q: What is the start date for the use of new HCV Program Administrative Fees awarded under the CARES Act?

A: 2020 HCV Program Administrative Fee funds were disbursed starting May 7, 2020. HCV Administrative Fees can cover expenses, including expanded COVID-19 related expenses included in Notice PIH 2020-08, that were incurred starting March 27, 2020. CARES Act obligations should not relate back to a period any earlier than March 27, 2020. 

Q: My PHA incurred a number of expenses related to COVID-19 prior to the arrival of the CARES Act funds, as our local outbreak started in February. Can these funds cover those expenses? What if we used other funds to cover these expenses– can those accounts be reimbursed?

A: For the public housing program, expenses incurred beginning on March 27, 2020 can be paid for with CARES Act supplemental operating funds, public housing operating funds or public housing capital funds. For the housing choice voucher program, expenses incurred beginning on March 27, 2020 can be paid for with CARES Act funding or FY 2020 administrative fees. If the PHA used other accounts to pay expenses incurred on March 27th or later, they can be reimbursed by the CARES Act funding.

Q: Can you clarify the CARES Act reporting requirements?

A: As described in PIH Notice 2020-07 and PIH Notice 2020-08, the CARES Act requires that recipients of $150,000 or more of CARES Act funding submit certain information regarding the use of CARES Act funds.

This reporting is required for “covered recipients,” defined as any entity that receives covered funds that amount to more than $150,000.  PHAs that receive CARES Act funds that amount to more than $150,000 will be subject to this additional reporting requirement based on the total amounts awarded, not each individual grant award. As outlined in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum, M-20-21, existing reporting requirements are anticipated to meet the requirements of Section 15011, but the content and format for this reporting is still under development and will need to be reviewed against current program practices.  The Department will work in coordination with OMB to ensure that this requirement can be fulfilled by recipients of CARES Act funding in a manner that utilizes to the greatest extent possible existing reporting streams, providing the necessary transparency and accountability with minimal additional burden.  If additional reporting is necessary, further guidance will be released by the Department in the near future. 

Mainstream Voucher Allocation Notice Published

Earlier today, HUD published Notice PIH 2020-09 titled “CARES Act Mainstream Funding for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) Awarded Funding Allocations in the 2017 and 2019 Competitions.” This notice establishes the process for allocating new Mainstream vouchers according to the requirements of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Mainstream vouchers are vouchers that serve households that include a non-elderly person with disabilities.

Eligible PHAs are those that previously received a Mainstream voucher allocation through either:

A list of those PHAs can be found here (eligible PHAs are those PHAs with entries under the “2017/2018 Awards” column and the “2019 Awards” column).

Eligible PHAs will receive an increase in Mainstream voucher units of thirty percent. If an increase results in a fractional voucher, HUD will round up. Increased budget authority will be calculated based on per unit cost using the most recent data available to HUD for each PHA. A PHA may decline this increased allocation. Administrative funds will be provided in accordance with PIH 2020-04 (a notice implementing the Housing Choice Voucher program in calendar year 2020).

The Department will publish additional guidance on receiving and using extraordinary administrative fees (these fees are not provided in this allocation). Additionally, Mainstream voucher programs will also be eligible for additional CARES act supplemental HAP funding, the distribution of which will be detailed in forthcoming guidance.

The COVID-19-related waivers detailed in PIH Notice 2020-05 are applicable to Mainstream vouchers.

The complete notice can be found here.

HUD PIH to Hold Conference Call on Friday (5/15/2020 at 3:30 pm ET)

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing will hold a conference call on Friday (5/15/2020 at 3:30 pm ET). Planned topics for discussion include the following:

  • PHAS waivers including physical inspections;
  • Protection of personally identifiable information;
  • Remote video inspections best practices; and
  • Information on a quick guide created to assist housing authorities with strategies and planning related to the impact of the pandemic on communities and stakeholders.

Call in details may be found below.

Suggested Attendees: PHA Executive Directors or Operations Managers, PHA occupancy specialists, PHA staff performing both PH and HCV HQS inspections, and PHA accountants.
See below for call-in and login information:
Step 1: Dial into the conference.
Dial-in: 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633
Access Code: 0339017##
Need an international dial-in number?
If the automated recording indicates the conference is full, please use overflow information:
Dial-in: 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 Access Code: 0154662#
Step 2: Join the conference on your computer.
Entry Link: https://ems8.intellor.com/login/826642

A calendar invitation may be found here.

1st Round of CARES Act Admin. Fees Released

Earlier today, HUD released a press release announcing the first round of administrative fee funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The new funding will impact all PHAs, including Moving to Work (MTW) agencies. The funding covers two months worth of administrative fees and may be used for traditional purposes as well as for new costs related to protecting assisted families and employees impacted by the COVID-19 event.

Assistant Secretary Kurtz stated that “HUD is committed to assisting PHAs during this time so that assisted families can stay safe and healthy . . . [p]roviding these additional funds to PHAs will give them more tools to address local needs and respond to the Coronavirus pandemic as effectively as possible.”

Eligible uses of the administrative fees may be found in PIH 2020-08 here (NAHRO summary here).

HUD’s press release on the CARES Act administrative fee funding may be found here.

Allocations of the funding may be found here.

HUD Conference Call on CARES Act Funding

On Friday, May 1 at 3:30 pm ET, HUD will hold a conference call to discuss recent notices on utilizing funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The notices detail funding information for the Public Housing Operating Fund and the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Administrative Fee respectively. The notices and summaries of the notices may be found below:

On the call will be Assistant Secretary Kurtz, Deputy Assistant Secretary Bastarache, and “several HCV and Housing subject matter experts.”

[4/29/2020 2:46 pm edit to correct a name.]

Call in information for the call may be found below:

Step 1: Dial into the conference.
Dial-in: 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633
Access Code: 0828701##
If the automated recording indicates the conference is full, please use overflow information:
Dial-in: 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 Access Code: 0908594#
Step 2: Join the conference on your computer.
Entry Link: https://ems8.intellor.com/login/825773

A calendar invitation may be found here.