HUD Updates FY 2018 FMRs

Earlier today, HUD published a notice in the Federal Register titled “Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2018; Revised.” The notice updates the FY 2018 FMRs based on new survey data for the following eight areas:

  • Hawaii County, HI;
  • Hood River County, OR;
  • Jonesboro, AR HUD Metro FMR Area (HMFA);
  • Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA);
  • Santa Maria-Santa-Barbara, CA MSA;
  • Seattle-Bellevue, WA HMFA;
  • Urban Honolulu, HI MSA; and
  • Wasco County, OR.

These eight areas requested reevaluation and provided data to HUD to allow for a reevaluation. The notice also responds to comments previously submitted.

The full notice can be found here.

Congress Creates Opportunity Zone Program

Established by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Congress has created a new community development program that encourages long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities. The Opportunity Zone Program provides tax incentives for investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains into Opportunity Funds by providing a temporary tax deferral for capital gains. Opportunity Funds are private sector investment vehicles that invest at least 90 percent of their capital in Opportunity Zones. This new program has the potential to become an important, viable program for housing and community development agencies across the country.

Governors for all U.S. states and territories, along with the mayor of the District of Columbia, are allowed to identify 25 percent of the total number of low-income census tracts in their state, territory, or federal district as an Opportunity Zone. States must conform to the Low-Income Community federal standard as a baseline for zone designations but are free to establish additional criteria to reflect local needs and priorities.

Governors have until March 22, 2018 to identify their Opportunity Zones to the Treasury Department.

HUD Publishes Notice on FY 2017 Set-Aside Tenant-Protection Vouchers

Earlier today, HUD published a notice titled “Funding Availability for Set-Aside Tenant-Protection Vouchers – Fiscal Year 2017 Funding” (PIH 2018-02; H 2018-01). In it, HUD makes 5 million dollars available from the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Appropriations Act that the bill allocated for Tenant Protection-Vouchers (TPVs) for certain at-risk households in low-vacancy areas.

Major changes from the FY 2016 Funding Availability for Tenant-Protection Vouchers notice include the following:

  • Application submission has been revised in two ways:
    • Owners may submit an application for a triggering event that occurred within the past 5 years or will occur within 180 days;
    • applications will be received on a rolling basis until funding is exhausted or HUD issues a new notice for FY 2018;
  • Removes the “Rental Assistance Payments (RAP) contract expirations prior to” FY 2012 and “properties with Rent Supplement contract expirations prior to FY 2000” categories;
  • Requires owners specify between enhanced vouchers or Project-based Vouchers (PBVs) and whether the owner is willing to accept the other form of assistance where the Public and Indian Housing (PIH) Field Office is unable to find a PHA willing to administer the preferred assistance type;
  • Adopts Fair Market Rents (FMRs) and Small Area FMRs (in metropolitan areas) as a proxy for market rents;
  • Revises owner calculation of household income requirements;
  • Consolidates previous household list requirements;
  • Allows PHAs to rely on an owner’s determination of a rent burden for a household;
  • Allows owners and PHAs to use an owner’s most recent family income examination in certain circumstances;
  • Revises how low-vacancy areas are defined; and
  • Removes HUD internal standard operating procedures.

NAHRO is still in the process of reading through this notice and will supply additional details to its members.

The notice can be found here.

This Tuesday!! NAHRO e-Briefing – RAD: Program Updates and PHA Experiences

RAD: Program Updates and PHA Experiences
A NAHRO Professional Development e-Briefing
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
1:30 – 3:00 pm EST

Register Now Button

The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) continues to be a critically important tool for housing authorities looking to pursue innovation while renovating and preserving their local affordable housing stock. As we begin 2018, join the NAHRO Policy Team for an in-depth review of the current status of RAD. Participants will also hear from PHAs that have gone through the RAD conversion process. These RAD agencies will discuss why RAD worked for them, explain how they chose between Project Based Vouchers (PBV) or Project Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), and share lessons learned and best practices. Whether your agency is a RAD veteran or exploring whether RAD is a viable option for the future, don’t miss this opportunity to have your questions addressed by industry experts during this interactive online training.

Only $95 for NAHRO members!

Registration closes Monday, February 12 at 11:59 ET pm. 

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Reminder: Whether you’re watching alone or with an audience of 100, only one registration per connected device is required, making NAHRO Professional Development’s e-Briefings an outstanding value! Can’t attend the session at the scheduled time? Register anyway, and we will email you a link to the archived recording as soon as it’s ready to be stream.

Harvard Webinar on Implementing Smoke-Free Public Housing

NAHRO has been asked to share the following webinar invitation:

Building Success: Adopting and implementing an effective smoke-free housing policy

Webinar offered on:

Wednesday, February 14, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (EST) Register Here

OR

Tuesday, February 20, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (EST) Register Here

Please join the team from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Boston University School of Public Health for a webinar that will provide useful, practical guidance and support for the implementation of smoke-free policies, whether you are just starting the process or engaged in ongoing implementation. The webinar will summarize key findings from the experiences of more than 150 public housing authorities that have adopted and implemented smoke-free policies. We will offer this webinar on February 14 and again on February 20, 2018. Space is limited – register today!

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To register for the online event on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
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1. Go to https://huit-uc.webex.com/huit-uc/onstage/g.php?MTID=e624490f2602de87357e4b5dd3bceeb8e
2. Click “Register”.
3. On the registration form, enter your information and then click “Submit”.

Once the host approves your registration, you will receive a confirmation email message with instructions on how to join the event.

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To register for the online event on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 1:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
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1. Go to https://huit-uc.webex.com/huit-uc/onstage/g.php?MTID=e9b46ec4054ca4b09dfc9b4a7ce584cbe
2. Click “Register”.
3. On the registration form, enter your information and then click “Submit”.

Once the host approves your registration, you will receive a confirmation email message with instructions on how to join the event.
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For assistance
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You can contact Robyn Keske at:
rkeske@hsph.harvard.edu

https://www.webex.com

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This WebEx service includes a feature that allows audio and any documents and other materials exchanged or viewed during the session to be recorded. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to the recording, discuss your concerns with the meeting host prior to the start of the recording or do not join the session. Please note that any such recordings may be subject to discovery in the event of litigation.

HUD to Release CDBG-DR Notice for 2017 Disasters

HUD has posted a pre-publication copy of the “Allocations, Common Application, Waivers, and Alternative Requirements for 2017 Disaster Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Grantees” notice. The notice is to be published in the Federal Register and will be applicable five days after being published.

As HUD’s summary states, “This notice allocates $7.39 billion in Community Development Block Grant disaster recovery (CDBG-DR) funds appropriated by the Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements, 2017, for the purpose of assisting in long-term recovery from 2017 disasters. This notice describes applicable waivers and alternative requirements, relevant statutory provisions for grants provided under this notice, the grant award process, criteria for action plan approval, and eligible disaster recovery activities. Given the extent of damage to housing in the eligible disaster areas and the very limited data at present regarding unmet infrastructure and economic revitalization needs, this notice requires each grantee to primarily consider and address its unmet housing recovery needs.”

Breakdown of the $7.39 billion:

  • State of Texas – $5,024,215,000
  • State of Florida – $615,922,000
  • Commonwealth of Puerto Rico – $1,507,179,000
  • United States Virgin Islands – $242,684,000

Congress continues to discuss additional supplemental distaster funding for the 2017 disaster. NAHRO is following these discussions and will share additional information as it becomes known.

HUD Releases Lead-Based Paint Capital Fund Program NOFA

HUD has released its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for its Lead-Based Paint Capital Fund Program (LBPCF). The FY 2017 Appropriations bill provided $25 million to be available for competitive grants to PHAs to evaluate and reduce lead-based paint hazards in public housing. These grants are for risk assessments, abatement, and interim controls as defined in Section 1004 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992. Grants are subject to normal PHA regulations. Applications are due Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

Properties eligible for funding under this NOFA must have at least one family with a child under age six at the time of application. HUD will use data in the IMS/PIC system to verify family occupancy for eligible applications after the threshold review is completed. Eligible properties may include playgrounds or child-care centers that are part of the public housing project. Applications that request more than $1,000,000 in grant funds will not meet the threshold eligibility and will not be reviewed further. A PHA that is troubled or under the direction of HUD is eligible for funding, provided the PHA is in compliance with any current Memorandum of Agreement or Recovery Agreement.

Funds can only be used for the activities of lead-based paint risk assessments, inspections, abatement, interim controls, and clearance examinations. Other work in the property, including work to prepare for lead hazard control (e.g., repairs to the substrate, fixing leaks or other renovations) cannot be funded with this grant. Housing units that have had lead-based paint abated (as demonstrated by documentation of a prior lead evaluation and abatement), and where the abatement is still performing are not eligible for enrollment under this grant program.  Funds under this NOFA may not be used at projects under Commitments to enter into Housing Assistance Payments Contracts (CHAPs) under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD).

Applications should be submitted to grants.gov. Applications are due Tuesday, March 20, 2018. 

HUD’s Oversight and Evaluation Division Renamed the Inspection Standards & Data for Vouchers Division

Earlier today, HUD sent an email stating that HUD’s Oversight and Evaluation Division (OED)–in the Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC)–would be renamed the Inspection Standards & Data for Vouchers (ISDV) Division. The ISDV Division is the group within HUD running the UPCS-V (the inspections protocol which will be the successor to the HQS protocol in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program) Demonstration. The email notes that the name change “serves to align the division’s name with [its] mission, culture, services and philosophy.” ISDV will strive to maintain a culture of transparency; streamline inspections, while maintaining accuracy; and increase owners’ and tenants’ ability to access information about their homes.

ISDV Division’s website can be found here.

HUD Sends Email on Transition Funding Issue in Form-52723

On January 24, HUD sent out an email notifying PHAs that there is an issue with the calculation of Transition Funding in the PHA HUD-52723 tool. According to HUD, PHA tools are not calculating Transition Funding for PHAs that have one project initially approved for stop loss and that continue to comply with asset management requirements. HUD is currently working on the issue and notes that they do not expect the solution to impact the PHA tools. HUD notes that PHAs experiencing this issue should proceed to submit their tools to their Field Offices within the published timeline/deadline, and that impacted PHAs should indicate that they are eligible for Transition Funding and specify the amount in the comments section of the PHA tool.

PHAs should contact their Field Office if there are any questions or concerns.

Update on HUD Funding During Government Shutdown

As of this writing, a federal shutdown is in effect while Congress works on a Continuing Resolution to fund the government. While we hear that HUD is confident that February payments will be loaded and available to public housing authorities (PHAs), there is no guarantee of this. We strongly encourage NAHRO members to call their Representatives and their Senators, and to let them know that the government shutdown will jeopardize the rental payments and therefore the housing of the public housing and Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher residents we serve.For more information, see HUD’s current shutdown plan (PDF). More information is also available on the HUD website. NAHRO will continue to monitor the situation and keep members informed.