Another Round of Mainstream Vouchers Awarded

Yesterday, HUD awarded another $131.3 million in Mainstream vouchers to 325 PHAs across the country. Mainstream vouchers provide federal rental assistance to non-elderly people with disabilities. In HUD’s press release, Secretary Carson notes that “[t]he [Mainstream voucher] funding announced today allows our local partners to continue helping residents with disabilities live independently.”

The Department’s press release can be found here.

A list of PHAs who received an award this round can be found here.

HUD to Publish 2020 OCAFs and Regulatory Request for Information

Tomorrow, HUD will publish in the Federal Register two notices. The first states the new Operating Cost Adjustment Factors (OCAFs) for 2020. The second asks for help in identifying laws, regulations, and guidelines across various levels of government that artificially raise the costs of affordable-housing development.

  • Notice of Certain Operating Cost Adjustment Factors for 2020 – This notice establishes the OCAFs for 2020. They are applicable on February 11, 2020. Operating Cost Adjustment Factors are used to adjust Section 8 rents for certain project-based contracts. (These are different than renewal funding inflation factors [RFIFs] which are–in general–applicable to a different Section 8 program–the Housing Choice Voucher program.)
  • White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing; Request for Information – This notice seeks to identify “Federal, State, local, and Tribal laws, regulations, and administrative practices that artificially raise the costs of affordable-housing development and contribute to shortages in housing supply.” While it notes that some regulations are useful and provide a benefit, it seeks information on those rules where the costs outweigh the benefits. The notice seeks “data, other information, analyses, and recommendations on methods for reducing these regulatory barriers.” Comments will be due in 60 days from the date of publication (tomorrow).

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

The pre-publication copy of the request for information on regulatory barriers to developing affordable housing notice can be found here.

2019 FUP NOFA Released

10/25/2019 edit – correct application due date added.

The Department has released the 2019 Family Unification Program Notice of Funding Availability (i.e., the 2019 FUP NOFA). The NOFA makes available $20 million in funding. Applications are due by December 17, 2019. The Department expects to make approximately 40 awards from this NOFA.

The Family Unification Program serves two categories of people. The first is families for whom the lack of adequate housing is a primary factor in the imminent placement of the family’s child in out-of-home care or the delay in the discharge of the child to the family in out-of-home care. The second category is composed of youth at least 18 years and not more than 24 years of age who left foster care (or will leave foster care within 90 days) and are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless at age 16 or older.

In addition to meeting certain threshold criteria, HUD will be using rating factors in deciding how to allocate FUP funding. In making its decisions, HUD will also look at a PHA’s past performance in managing funds and assess a PHA’s risk (e.g., financial stability, quality of management, history of performance, etc.). Additionally, the Department will look at the following seven rating factors:

  1. Housing search assistance in low-poverty census tracts (16 points) – Points awarded if the PHA, Public Child Welfare Agency (PWCA), or Continuum of Care (CoC) provides, funds, or makes available housing search assistance in low-poverty census tracts;
  2. Financial Assistance (18 points) – Points awarded if the PHA, PCWA, or CoC provide, fund, or otherwise makes available financial assistance to assist FUP-eligible families and youths;
  3. Previous Coordination (6 points) – Points awarded if the PHA or the PCWA can demonstrate recent cross-program coordination with a local CoC;
  4. Post-move counseling (14 points) – Points awarded if the PHA, PCWA, or CoC provides funds, or otherwise makes available post-move counseling to FUP-eligible families or FUP-eligible youth;
  5. Case management to FUP families (16 points) – Points awarded if case management to FUP families will be made available after they have been issued a voucher. These families may not be forced to participate in these services;
  6. Self-sufficiency Programs (12 points) – Points awarded if the PHA administers the HUD Family Self-Sufficiency program, or similar program promoting self-sufficiency, that is active at the time of application; and
  7. Supportive Assistance for Youth to 36 months (18 points) – Points awarded if the services required to be provided to FUP-eligible youth as identified in the Memorandum of Understanding will be provided beyond 18 months.

The Frequently Asked Questions document on the NOFA can be found here.

The 2019 FUP NOFA can be found here.

HUD Updates HCV Two-Year Projection Tool with 2020 Estimated Inflation Factors for PHAs

I received word from a HUD official that the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Two-Year Tool has been updated with estimated PHA-specific inflation factors. The Two-Year Tool allows those folks managing voucher programs to “analyze a PHA’s utilization situation which includes running basic leasing and spending scenarios to better inform decisions . . . to optimize the program over a multi-year period.” After each yearly funding cycle, HUD applies an inflation factor to the amount spent on vouchers in the previous year to arrive at the PHA’s renewal funding for the upcoming year. This inflation factor is specific to the PHA. The Two-Year Tool has now incorporated estimates of each PHA’s inflation factor to assist in planning for the upcoming year.

The Two-Year Tool can be found here.

Money Available for Carbon Monoxide Detectors

The Department of Housing and Urban Development sent an email to Executive Directors reminding them that $5 million is available for PHAs for the purchase, installation, replacement, and repair of carbon monoxide detectors. Applications for this funding are due by 5 pm ET on Friday, October 25, 2019.

Additional information can be found here.

HUD Updates HCV Two-Year Tool

An official at HUD has let me know that the Department has updated the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program Two-Year Tool. The Two-Year Tool allows PHAs to model HCV program behavior so that they can make informed decisions on how to manage their HCV programs.

To use the tool, PHAs should enter their PHA code and click “Open and Populate Tool.” End users may need to enable macros in Excel for the tool to work properly.

The following changes have been made to the tool:

  • An option to break out a PHA’s  program into its main components (e.g., tenant-based vouchers, regular project-based vouchers, Rental Assistance Demonstration project-based vouchers (RAD-PBVs), etc.);
    • This feature can be found in “Access Additional Tools”;
  • Options to take into account a growing PBV program (the Two-Year Tool now includes a PBV.RAD tab that examines a PHA’s PBV program in detail–including information from VMS, PIC, and other HUD administrative data sources);
    • If applicable, this tab will open automatically;
  • An option to look at prior years’ SEMAP scores; and
  • An option to look at historical UML, UMA, HAP, and PUC information for a PHA’s special-purpose vouchers.

Questions on the Two-Year tool can be directed to Patrick Hatch.

The tool can be found here.

New Resources for Foster Youth to Independence Initiative

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD or the Department) has posted several new resources for its foster youth to independence initiative (See Notice PIH 2019-20). The initiative allows for PHAs without a Family Unification Program to request tenant protection vouchers (TPVs) for youth aging out of foster care on an as-needed basis. The Department has posted several resources related to the initiative.

 

These resources include the following:

All of these resources can also be found on HUD’s Foster Youth to Independence website here.

HUD Webinars for new RAD Notice (Rev. 4)

The HUD Office of Recapitalization sent a RADBlast! email reminding those on the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) email list that HUD will be hosting live public webinars on sections of the new RAD notice. The webinars will be recorded and posted on the RAD Resource Desk.

The schedule can be found below:

  • Public Housing Conversions, September 19, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here;
  • Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC), September 26, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here;
  • Moderate Rehabilitation (Mod. Rehab.), October 3, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here;
  • Resident Rights in Public Housing Conversions, October 10, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here;
  • Resident Rights in Section 202 PRAC and Mod. Rehab. Conversions, October 17, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here.

The new RAD notice (Rev. 4) can be found here.

New HOTMA Provisions to be Implemented

Tomorrow, HUD will publish in the Federal Register a proposed rule titled “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016: Implementation of Sections 102, 103, and 104” (pre-publication copy). This proposed rule is the first regulatory step toward implementing certain provisions of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA). The Department is seeking comment on certain aspects of the implementation. Comments on the proposed implementation of these provisions will be due 60 days after official publication.

A brief, non-exhaustive list of the topics covered by the proposed rule can be found below. The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials will provide additional details as staff continue to examine the proposed rule.

Continue reading

New RAD Notice, Revision 4 Released

Earlier today, HUD released the new Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) notice: “Rental Assistance Demonstration – Final Implementation, Revision 4” (Notice H-2019-09; PIH-2019-23 (HA)). The RAD program allows for units to be converted from certain Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding streams, such as public housing, to either a Section 8 project-based voucher (PBV) funding stream or a Section 8 project-based rental assistance (PBRA) funding stream. There are several major changes in this notice, including changes to the First Component of RAD (which allows public housing units to be converted to PBV or PBRA) and implementation of the 2018 Appropriations Act provision allowing Section 202 project rental assistance contracts (PRAC) to be converted to PBV or PBRA.

The changes to the First Component of RAD include the following:

  • A policy that RAD rents will be updated every two years (RAD awards after each update will use the updated rents);
  • A newly added “Concept Call” step to the RAD process, to allow PHAs to receive confirmation that project plans are sufficiently advanced to submit a Financing Plan;
  • More stringent notice requirements for residents in developments to be converted (the new notice details resident participation requirements at each step of the RAD process);
  • A policy that all households residing in regular PBV units will have the same resident rights extended to them as households that reside in RAD-PBVs in converted developments;
  • A mechanism for PHAs to enter into partnerships with each other to convert developments;
  • A policy allowing for rent increases in certain scenarios for PBRA conversions, such as developments located in Opportunity Zones;
  • Elimination of the requirement to submit the Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) tool in certain scenarios; and
  • Other changes (including changed requirements for portfolio awards, a change in how PHAs report debts owed, and broadening the use of “tiered environmental reviews”).

At this time, NAHRO staff are still reviewing the new notice. Additional analysis will be provided in future NAHRO publications.

The RAD Notice, Revision 4 can be found here.

[2:17 pm edit – The new notice can also be found on HUD’s RAD website here.]