HUD Conference Call on REAC Physical Inspections

Earlier today, HUD sent an email to PHA Executive Directors informing them that HUD would host a conference call to “provide an update on REAC [HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center] physical inspections.” The call will occur on Thursday, August 13th at 12 pm ET. Call in information can be found below.

Step 1: Dial into the conference.
Dial-in: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694
Access Code: 3667922##
If the automated recording indicates the conference is full, please use overflow information:
Dial in: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694 Access Code: 4035985#

Step 2: Join the conference on your computer.
Entry Link: https://ems8.intellor.com/login/831227

The calendar invitation for this event can be found here.

HUD to Restart Physical REAC Inspections

Earlier today, HUD published a press release titled “Secretary Carson Announces HUD Will Safely Resume Physical Inspections.” In the press release, Secretary Carson notes that “[p]hysical inspections are vital in ensuring the health and safety of the Americans who reside in properties enrolled in HUD’s programs.” He also states that he is ” . . . very pleased to announce . . . [that] they are resuming.”

The press release notes that to keep residents and staff safe, HUD will implement a system of prioritization of inspections based on COVID-19 data and health risk scoring methodology (with the data taken from Johns Hopkins University and the methodology from the Harvard Global Health Institute. The Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) has developed a heat map that categorizes localities into four categories of risk along with an associated color:

  • Low Risk – Green;
  • Moderately Low Risk – Yellow;
  • Moderately High Risk – Orange; and
  • High Risk – Red.

According to the press release, “REAC will provide a listing on its website of low-risk counties 45 days prior to the start of physical inspections. At the end of the 45-day period, REAC will provide a 14-day notification to priority properties in that county to inform families that an inspection will take place.” The first outreach about inspections will start after Sept. 21, 2020. A list of safe counties for inspections will be posted on REAC’s website.

HUD’s press release can be found here.

REAC’s website can be found here.

HUD to Host Call on CARES Act HCV Funding

Earlier today, the Department sent an email to PHA executive directors announcing a conference call on Thursday, August 6th at 2 pm ET to discuss HUD’s release of HCV CARES Act funding. The call will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube within a week of it occurring.

The call in information may be found below:

Step 1: Dial into the conference.
Dial-in: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694
Access Code: 6514321##
If the automated recording indicates the conference is full, please use overflow information:
Dial in: 888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694
Access Code: 1670463#

Step 2: Join the conference on your computer.
Entry Link: https://ems8.intellor.com/login/830869

A calendar invitation for the call can be found here.

After NAHRO Letter, HUD Releases Funds; Still No Word on Additional CARES Act Reporting Guidance

On July 17, 2020, NAHRO CEO Adrianne Todman sent a letter to Secretary Carson asking that HUD, among other things, release Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding related to the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and to release guidance on additional reporting requirements for CARES Act funding.

Specifically, the letter requested that HUD immediately:

  • “Disburse all administrative fee funding from the CARES Act”;
  • “Disburse all Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) funding from the CARES Act”; and
  • “Publish clear and concise guidance on additional CARES Act reporting requirements for” the HCV program.

Earlier today, HUD began the process of disbursing the HCV HAP and administrative fee funding. The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials is pleased that HUD took this step in response to its letter.

Unfortunately, neither the notice on HAP funding nor the notice on admin. fee funding provided additional new information on the additional CARES Act requirements for recipients of $150,000 or more of CARES Act funding. The notices continue to state that within “10 days after the end of each calendar quarter, a report containing information regarding the amount of funds received; the amount of funds obligated or expended for each project or activity; a detailed list of all such projects or activities, including a description of the project or activity; and detailed information on any subcontracts or subgrants awarded by the recipient” be submitted. The notices continue to state that as outlined in Office of Management and Budget memorandum M-20-21, existing reporting requirements may meet CARES Act requirements and that HUD will issue further guidance, if necessary.

The Department has yet to state, if additional CARES Act reporting guidance is necessary. If it is, the Department has yet to publish it.

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials urges HUD to immediately publish clear and concise guidance around the reporting requirements of these CARES Act funds.

Notices on CARES Act HCV HAP and Admin. Fee Distribution Published

Earlier today, HUD released two notices detailing the requirements for accessing Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The notices detail the mechanisms for accessing both additional Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) funding and administrative fee funding. The two notices are titled the following:

These notices allocate $400 million in HAP funding and $472 million in administrative fee funding. Additional information on each notice can be found below.

Continue reading

Webinar for the HCV Mobility Demonstration

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials with our friends, CLPHA, is sponsoring a free webinar on HUD’s new mobility demonstration put on by Mobility Works, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Opportunity Insights.

On July 15, HUD released a notice implementing the $50 million Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration. This important demonstration will enable selected public housing agencies to implement or expand programs that help families to use housing vouchers to locate in “high-opportunity” neighborhoods, which research shows can significantly improve adult and child well-being on several key measures, including children’s chances of attending college.

Housing agencies participating in the program will receive new housing vouchers as well as funding to provide robust mobility services to families with children. Agencies will also participate in a rigorous evaluation of the effectiveness of their mobility programs.

Please join us for this free webinar on August 11, 2020 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET to discuss the details of HUD’s demonstration notice, as well as the lessons that experienced practitioners and researchers have learned about developing effective housing mobility programs.

AGENDA

Moderator, Demetria McCain, Inclusive Communities Project

I. The requirements of the HUD NOFA:
● Doug Rice, Senior Fellow, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
● Megan Haberle, Deputy Director, Poverty & Race Research and Action Council

II. Developing a regional housing mobility plan:
● Andrea Juracek, Executive Director, Housing Choice Partners
● Jeffery Patterson, CEO of the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority

III. Reflections on working with researchers on a mobility evaluation:
● Sarah Oppenheimer, Opportunity Insights
● Andrew Lofton, Seattle Housing Authority

Registration for the free webinar can be found here.

Final AFFH Rule Released

Late last week, HUD published on its website a final rule titled “Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice.” This rule implements the Fair Housing Act’s duty to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH). Although the rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register, it will go into effect 30 days after its official publication.

Continue reading

HUD PIH Posts Updated COVID-19 FAQ (Revision 5)

The Department’s Office of Public and Indian Housing has updated their COVID-19 frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) document to revision 5. This revision updates information related to the evictions moratorium, preventing evictions, PHA operational considerations, contacting HUD staff, use of disaster-related funding, retroactive reexaminations, whether to consider CARES act unemployment benefits in calculating income, HQS inspections, and many other topics.

The FAQ can be found here.

It can also be found on NAHRO’s coronavirus page.

Mobility Demonstration Notice to be Published Tomorrow

Tomorrow, a notice titled “Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers: Implementation of the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration” will be published in the Federal Register. This notice implements $53 million worth of funding ($10 million for new vouchers, $40 million for services, and $3 million for research) to implement a mobility demonstration program. The purpose of the demonstration is to evaluate the effectiveness of mobility-related strategies in encouraging families to move to lower-poverty areas.

The notice states guidelines by which the demonstration will be governed. New vouchers–and the mobility-related services that will accompany those vouchers–must be provided to families with children. Services include pre-move services, housing search assistance, family financial assistance, landlord recruitment, and post-move services. Public Housing Agencies that are eligible to participate in the demonstration include PHA partnerships, consortia with high-performing Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) programs, consortia with small PHA(s), and certain single agencies. There are certain other eligibility requirements. The Department must submit a report to Congress within five years of implementation.

Applications will be due on October 13, 2020 before midnight ET.

Staff at NAHRO are still in the process of reading through the notice and NAHRO members can expect additional updates.

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

The Department’s Mobility Demonstration page can be found here.

Tomorrow, Wed., July 15th, Deadline to Apply for HCV Set-Aside Funds

Earlier today, HUD sent two emails reminding PHAs with Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs that tomorrow, Wed. July 15th, was the last day to apply for the following:

  • HCV Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) set-aside funding;
  • Additional administrative fees;
  • Blended administrative fee rates; and
  • Higher administrative fee rates.

These alternative funding options are described in HUD’s notice titled “Implementation of the Federal Fiscal Year (FYY) 2020 Funding Provisions for the Housing Choice Voucher program” (PIH 2020-04). These funds were allocated by the fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations bill. They are distinct from the emergency supplemental funding appropriated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the majority of which HUD has not allocated nor announced distribution mechanisms for.

Public housing agencies with questions should contact their Financial Management Center (FMC) financial analyst or the Financial Management Division at 2020SpecialFees@hud.gov.