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.

HUD Sends Additional Information About PH and HCV Payments

Earlier today, HUD sent an email to Executive Directors with additional information about future payments for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and the Public Housing (PH) program. The email noted that the federal government was operating under a continuing resolution (CR) until Feb. 15, and provided information for potential future payments, if additional money is not allocated by Congress (either by extending the CR or passing a full budget).

2019 PH and HCV Funding

 

March

April

May

HCV HAP

On time; 99% proration

On time; 99% proration

Awaiting information from HUD

HCV Admin. Fee

On time

On time

Awaiting information from HUD

PH Operating Fund

On time; 88% proration

On time; 88% proration

On time; 88% proration

HCV Funding – The HAP prorations are calculated without applying Renewal Funding Inflation Factors (RFIFs). In some places, the actual HAP required may be greater than the amount disbursed as the HAP calculation is not factoring in rising rental prices. Those PHAs with HUD-held reserves (HHR) will still be able to request additional funding from their reserves, if the HUD amount is not enough to cover the PHA’s HAP needs through April. Additionally, some March and April disbursements may automatically include funding from the PHA’s available HHR, if required to meet the PHA’s HAP requirements. The Department has enough funding for March and April administrative fee payments and will also make HAP and administrative fee disbursements for mainstream vouchers for March and April. Finally, in situations where the availability of HCV or mainstream vouchers is in risk, HUD is planning to provide additional guidance on the use of outside funds for HAP and administrative fees–including modifications to the approval process (note: NAHRO asked HUD for this guidance and to modify the approval process). Questions may be directed to PIH.Financial.Management.Division@hud.gov.

PH Funding – The Department will provide funding based on a conservative estimate of need. As HUD receives data on need, it will update funding eligibility.

The full email can be found here.

TAC Hosting Peer-to-Peer Call on Mainstream Vouchers

On Wednesday February 6th from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET, the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) is facilitating a peer-to-peer call with PHAs awarded Mainstream Vouchers in September 2018. The call will provide PHAs an opportunity to share implementation challenges, how these are being addressed and to identify any technical assistance needs. NAHRO staff will participate. HUD has been invited and we hope they will be able to participate.

Registration for this call is necessary and can be at the link below

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8531936849390618625

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. There is no cost to register or participate in this call.

In Spring 2018, TAC conducted a series of outreach webinars to create interest in the Mainstream funding and to facilitate local partnerships. Over 1,200 PHAs and homeless and disability organizations participated in four outreach webainrs.  Polling of PHAs participating in the webinars indicated that only 25% believed working with their service partners would be challenging but more than 50% of PHAs indicated that identifying units, ensuring move-in resources and assistance was available and ensuring long term tenancy supports are available as needed would be very challenging.

In areas with strong rental markets and low vacancy rates, HCV participants find it difficult to lease up.  The Joint Center’s 2018 State of the Nation’s Housing, found that rental markets remain extremely tight at the lower end; for these units, vacancy rates remain lower than in any year since 2001.   Unfortunately, many participants including elders and people with disabilities need to find housing in these markets – where medical and other services as well as public transportation are available.  Success leasing up is particularly challenging for those who have poor tenancy or criminal records.   Through this and subsequent peer-to-peer calls, TAC hopes to provide technical assistance for PHAs and their service partners as they face these implementation challenges.

HUD Working With PHAs to Submit Outstanding VMS Data

Earlier today, HUD’s Financial Management Center sent an email apologizing for Voucher Management System (VMS) updates which were not completed due to the federal government shutdown. Some PHAs have had trouble submitting data through VMS during the shutdown. The VMS updates have occurred and PHAs should be “working to get all CY2018 data submitted, which includes December, 2018 data.” The full email is reproduced below.

As you are aware, the Federal Government was shutdown from December 22nd, 2018 through January 25th, 2019.  Therefore, most HUD programs and systems, including the Voucher Management System (VMS) were temporarily interrupted. That being said, needed uploads to the VMS were not performed, which resulted in technical issues and submission problems  for many Public Housing Authorities (PHAs).

These uploads have now been completed, and Financial Analysts (FAs) at the Financial Management Center (FMC) will be working with their PHAs to get all outstanding VMS data submitted.  PHAs should be working to get all CY2018 data submitted, which includes December, 2018 data. 

Please contact your FA if you have any questions, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused your PHA.

HUD Updates Shutdown Reserve Guidance for MTW Agencies

Earlier today, a HUD official sent an email to Executive Directors at MTW agencies providing additional guidance on when it is appropriate for MTW agencies to access HUD-held reserves. The guidance is reproduced below.

Dear Executive Director,

The letter sent to your PHA dated January 15th regarding access to the HHR and setting out criteria for requesting HHR applies to MTW and non-MTW PHAs.  During a lapse in appropriations, HUD staff is only permitted to work on certain activities, including activities that address threats to human lives and properties.  As an MTW PHA, if you believe you need access to the HHR to address immediate threats to the health and safety of tenants or the preservation of property beyond those in the January 15th letter, please submit the amount, a justification for the amount, the intended programmatic use (e.g., public housing, low-income housing), and the timing of expenditure to Robert Boepple at robert.h.boepple@hud.gov.

HUD Publishes Guidance on Accessing HCV HAP HUD-Held Reserves During Shutdown

Earlier today, HUD sent an email to Executive Directors informing them that those PHAs administering Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs may access their HUD-held Housing Assistance Payment Reserves (HHR) under certain circumstances. In those instances where scheduled payments (for January and February) are not sufficient to meet a program’s Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) need, PHAs may access their reserves.

Specifically, in situations where a failure to act “would result in an imminent threat to the safety of human life or the protection of property,” PHAs may request their HAP reserves from HUD in the following instances:

  1. To protect families that are at imminent risk of termination; or
  2. PHAs that were eligible to receive a payment for January 2019 and did not receive it (e.g., first time Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) payment) and need reserves to ensure that the property owner(s) receives a HAP payment to continue assistance and protect the residents at the property.

These funds may only be used for HAP funding. To request the additional payment, please contact Robert.H.Boepple@hud.gov.  The request should include the following:

  1. amount of the payment;
  2. supporting monthly leasing projections;
  3. point of contact email address;
  4. point of contact phone number; and
  5. cost saving measures that PHAs have taken to decrease the likelihood of a shortfall (see PIH Notice 2011-28).

Housing authorities should also review PIH Notice 2013-28 titled “Guidance on the Use of Outside Sources of Funds in the HCV Program.”

HUD’s email guidance can be found here.

 

HUD Announces Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposure

Yesterday, in a press release, the administration announced a join action plan by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to reduce childhood lead exposure and associated health impacts. Secretary Carson has stated that “[i]mplementing this plan will help federal agencies, along with our state and local partners, advance efforts to remediate home health hazards and keep children safe from lead poisoning.”

The plan has four goals:

  1. Reduce children’s exposure to lead sources;
  2. Identify lead-exposed children and improve their health outcomes;
  3. Communicate more effectively with stakeholders; and
  4. Support and conduct critical research to inform efforts to reduce lead exposure and related health risks.

The plan notes that while it “is not a budget document and does not imply approval for any specific action . . . [i]t will inform future federal budget and regulatory development processes within the context of the goals articulated in the President’s Budget.”

The full press release can be found here.

The action plan can be found here.

HUD Broadcasts Webinar on MTW Cohort #1

Earlier today, HUD broadcast a webinar on the Moving to Work (MTW) Expansion Cohort #1. The webinar explained what MTW was, explained the benefits of an MTW designation, provided presentations from current MTW agencies, and discussed the process by which agencies could apply for Cohort #1. Additionally, questions from webinar participants were answered.

The webinar also gave the following timeline for MTW Expansion activities:

  • Spring 2019 – Revise MTW Operations Notice based on public comment and publish final MTW Operations Notice;
  • Summer / Fall 2019 – Designate the initial cohort of MTW agencies; invite the second cohort of agencies to apply;
  • Winter 2020 – Designate the second cohort of MTW agencies.

The full webinar with audio and the slide presentation will eventually be posted on HUD’s MTW Expansion site, but an unofficial copy of the slides from the webinar can immediately be found here.

HUD Posts RAD Rent Levels for 2019 (Based on 2018 Public Housing Funding Levels)

Earlier today, the Department of Housing and Urban Development sent an email through its RADBlast! email list announcing RAD rents levels for 2019 (based on 2018 Public Housing Funding Levels). These rents will be used for new awards used in 2019. They may also be used for current awardees to update rents in existing Commitments to enter into Housing Assistance Payment contracts (CHAPs). Closed transactions are ineligible to receive these new rents. Remember, these new rents–after being updated with 2019 Operating Cost Adjustment Factors (OCAFs)–may not necessarily be higher than your current CHAP rents depending on how the transaction is structured. NAHRO strongly recommends carefully reading HUD’s Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQ) document on updating RAD rents before requesting updated rents.

Additionally, HUD has created a streamlined, online RAD application for public housing conversions that can be accessed here.

The 2019 RAD Rents can be accessed here.

The FAQ can be found here.