HUD’s Financial Management Division sent out an email with reminders for application deadlines for certain administrative fee special fees. Additional explanations of the categories can be found in Notice PIH 2021-10 on the implementation of the Housing Choice Voucher program in 2021. Today is the last day for certain categories!
The Vera Institute of Justice has created a fact sheet titled “Looking Beyond Conviction History.” The fact sheet was created by Vera collaborating with multiple PHAs across the country. It provides eight recommendations for PHAs that want to rethink their admission policies for people with criminal conviction histories. While the full fact sheet offers additional details and rationales, the recommendations are the following:
Shorten the lookback period to three years or less;
Screen for a limited number of convictions and not for arrests;
Conduct an individualized assessment of applicants’ conviction histories;
Discontinue the use of “one-strike” policies and adopt a case-by-case decision-making approach;
Allow people on probation or parole to live in public housing;
Limit the use of past evictions to determine successful tenancy in public housing;
Specify and limit denials connected to illegal drug use; and
Include absence as a result of incarceration as a permitted temporary absence and allow people to stay housed while completing diversion or alternative-to-incarceration programs.
The website hosting the fact sheet can be found here.
HUD has created an Emergency Housing Vouchers website. Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) were created by the American Rescue Plan and provide 70,000 vouchers for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, fleeing domestic violence and other categories, or who people who are at a high-risk of housing instability. The website currently includes the following:
As part of the American Rescue Plan, Congress allocated $5 billion in funding for Emergency Housing Vouchers. On May 5, 2021, HUD published PIH 2021-15 titled “Emergency Housing Vouchers – Operating Requirements.” HUD is using a portion of that funding to allocate 70,000 vouchers to PHAs. The vouchers are to assist families that are experiencing homelessness (or at risk of homelessness); attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking or human trafficking; or were recently homeless and for whom providing rental assistance will prevent the family’s homelessness or having high risk of housing instability.
The notice lays out the procedures and requirements of receiving and administering the emergency housing vouchers (EHVs). It states operating requirements; allocation of administrative and other support services fees; the housing assistance payments (HAP) funding renewal process; family eligibility requirements; EHV waivers; the EHV recapture and redistribution procedures; and the prohibition on the reissuance of turnover of EHVs after Sept. 30, 2023.
In structuring this program, HUD reached out to industry groups to ask for feedback. NAHRO provided comments on how the program should be structured. We are pleased that much of NAHRO’s feedback was incorporated into this notice including creating a services fee, using enhanced payment standards, allowing security deposit assistance, allowing utility deposit assistance, allowing rental application assistance, allowing the use of landlord incentives, allowing purchasing essential household items (e.g., furniture), allowing initial self-certification of certain information, and using certain other flexibilities.
NAHRO members will receive additional information in the near future.
In a press release, HUD has selected PHAs to participate in its new mobility demonstration. The mobility demonstration serves as a research evaluation to demonstrate the efficacy of a bundle of mobility-related interventions (i.e., services offered to families that help remove barriers moving to areas of opportunity). Recent research has shown that moving to areas of opportunity has positive impacts on health and the future lifetime earnings of children.
Program participants will be divided into three groups: a control group; a treatment group which receives comprehensive mobility-related services; and a second treatment group which receives selected mobility related-services. The Department, PHAs, and researchers will then evaluate the efficacy and cost of the bundles of mobility-related services provided.
The PHAs selected for the demonstration can be found below.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has uploaded their 2021 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Implementation webinar. This presentation focuses on Notice PIH 2021-10 and discusses how the funding for the voucher program in 2021 will be implemented along with key deadlines for additional funding (e.g., housing assistance payment [HAP] set-aside funding and special administrative fees).
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has updated their Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Landlord Strategy Guidebook for PHAs. New chapters have been posted on monetary incentives and reimbursement funds, inspections, matching local rental markets, and partnerships. The guidebook provides suggestions and ideas for PHAs looking to recruit new landlords and retain current landlords to the HCV program.
The guidebook has the following chapters:
Choosing which Strategy is Right for Your PHA (incomplete);
The Department has updated the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) dashboard. The HCV dashboard presents visualizations of HCV program statistics based on most recently available data taken from, among other places, the Voucher Management System (VMS). The updated dashboard now includes pages on leasing changes, percentages of HCV programs devoted to special purpose vouchers, leasing potential, project-based voucher portfolios, comparing budget and reserves between two programs, and comparing leasing and per unit cost (PUC) between two programs.
The dashboard shows data both in the national aggregate and by individual PHA.
Earlier today, HUD posted to its Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) website, the HCV administrative fee rates. These rates determine the amount of administrative fee a HCV program receives from HUD. There are two rates. The second rate applies after the first 7,200 unit months.