On September 19, 2017 at 1:00 PM EDT, HUD will host a webinar titled “Buying Right: CDBG-DR and Procurement A Guide to Recovery,” which will focus on procurement requirements for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery programs. This webinar will cover the latest procurement guidance under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance as provided in 2 CFR Part 200. This 1.5 hour webinar is designed for all CDBG and CDBG-DR grantees, especially staff charged with purchasing goods and services.
Participants will learn:
- Roadmap of the procurement process
- Procurement methods for different types of goods and services
- Best practices to ensure compliance with the Uniform Guidance requirements
- Common pitfalls in procuring goods and services by grantees
Register for the webinar here.
Today, HUD released its fiscal year (FY) 2018 Fair Market Rents (FMRs) and published notification of the release in a notice titled “Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program, and Other Programs Fiscal Year 2018 and Adoption of Methodology Changes for Estimating Fair Market Rents.” In addition to providing notification of the release of the FY 2018 FMRs, the notice also adopts the previously proposed tweaks to the FMR methodology, describes how the FY 2018 FMRs are calculated, lists how to request reevaluations of FMRs, and responds to previously submitted comments on the previously published notice on methodology changes.
Changes to law and regulation have created some differences in the notification about FMRs. Due to a change in the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016, HUD may now post FMRs on their website without having to publish them in the Federal Register as long as interested stakeholders are given opportunity to comment on material changes in methodology and are given the opportunity to request a reevaluation of a specific FMR. A change from the Small Area FMR rule is that both FMRs and Small Area FMRs may be no less than 90 percent of the prior year’s FMRs (i.e., Small Area FMRs and FMRs may only decrease by a maximum of ten percent from the previous year).
HUD previously announced proposed changes in the methodology, which HUD is adopting with this notice. In NAHRO’s comment letter, we did not object to any of the changes and expressed cautious optimism that the changes may lead to marginal improvements in the accuracy of FMRs.
In the notice, HUD notes that it will “continue to accept public comments on the methods HUD uses to calculate FY 2018 FMRs, including Small Area FMRs and the FMR levels for specific areas.”
The published FY 2018 Fair Market Rents can be found here.
The notice announcing the publication of the FY 2018 Fair Market Rents can be found here.
Earlier this week, HUD announced that the Department will expedite federal disaster assistance to the State of Texas and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters that are left without a home due to Hurricane Harvey.
Currently, President Trump has issued a disaster declaration for 18 counties in Texas: Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria and Wharton. More counties may be added at a later date.
HUD’s disaster assistance will include: Continue reading
Yesterday, HUD released the sixteenth edition of the Worst Case Housing Needs: 2017 Report to Congress which finds that in 2015 there were 8.3 million unassisted very low-income households in the U.S. that were experiencing “worst case housing” by spending more than half of their income on rent, living in severely substandard housing conditions, or both. “Very low-income households” are those earning no more than 50 percent of the area median income (AMI). Overall, the number of households with worst case needs have increased by 41 percent since 2007 and by 8 percent since 2013.
A few highlights of the report include the following: Continue reading
In 2015, supporters of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) achieved a major victory with the permanent authorization of the 9 percent LIHTC rate, but a 4 percent housing credit rate remains unauthorized. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) have introduced S.548, The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, to permanently authorize the 4 percent rate and expand the program’s overall allocation authority by 50 percent, allowing more public housing agencies (PHAs) and local redevelopment authorities (LRAs) to access the credit.
Affordable housing stakeholders should take action today and support Sen. Cantwell and Sen. Hatch’s critical legislation by asking your senators to join the bill as co-sponsors and urging them to include this bill in any tax reform agreement that is reached. Help NAHRO achieve its goal of sending 2,500 letters to members of Congress in August. Continue reading
Earlier this week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson announced an additional $178.5 million to help hard-hit areas in several states recover from severe flooding that occurred in 2015 and 2016. State grant recipients include Florida, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. This new allocation will be provided through the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program, where HUD has previously provided nearly $947 million in these areas for recovery efforts. The CDBG-DR grants will support a wide range of activities, including housing redevelopment, business assistance and infrastructure repair.
Below is the full list of grantees for this announcement and their allocations to date:
In other news from the Senate yesterday, the Appropriations Committee voted unanimously to approve its FY 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill. The bill provides $60.058 billion in funding overall, $2.407 billion higher than current funding levels and $3.5 billion higher than the House. Considering the constraints of the FY 2018 budget cap, the increased THUD allocation is a huge win and allowed appropriators to avoid making the same types of cuts seen in the House THUD bill. The House Appropriations Committee approved its bill on July 17.
NAHRO will provide a detailed analysis of the bill next week.
The future of THUD in both the House and the Senate is unclear, though it is unlikely either chamber moves its THUD bill to the floor. Yesterday, the House approved a four-bill minibus package of spending bills, dubbed the “security-bus” because of its composition of defense and security-related bills. The House will likely adjourn for August recess this afternoon without passing any additional spending bills. The Senate, shifting its focus away from health care this morning, delayed August recess by two weeks to work on nominations and the debt ceiling. It may also choose to move appropriations bills to the floor during that time, assuming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell does not adjourn the Senate earlier than expected.
Housing and Community Development Highlights
- Rental Assistance Demonstration- cap eliminated, sunset date removed
- Public Housing Capital Fund- $1.945 billion, $4 million higher than FY 2017
- Jobs Plus- $15 million, level funded
- Public Housing Operating Fund- $4.5 billion, $100 million higher than FY 2017
- Choice Neighborhoods Initiative- $50 million, $87 less than FY 2017
- Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Renewals- $19.37 billion, $1.015 billion more than FY 2017
- Administrative Fees- $1.725 billion, $75 million higher than FY 2017
- Ongoing Administrative Fees- $1.715 billion, $75 million higher than FY 2017
- Additional Administrative Fees- $10 million, level funded
- Family Self-Sufficiency- $75 million, level funded
- Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance- $11.507 billion, $691 million higher than FY 2017
- Community Development Block Grant- $3 billion, level funded
- HOME Investment Partnerships- $950 million, level funded
- Homeless Assistance Grants- $2.456 billion, $73 million higher than FY 2017
As NAHRO previously reported, EveryoneOn, in partnership with HUD, has announced the expansion of the ConnectHome pilot program. First unveiled in 2015, ConnectHome is a White House initiative aimed at narrowing the digital divide within 28 pilot communities (which includes participation from 23 NAHRO member agencies). ConnectHome tested the impact of cross-sector collaborators using non-government resources in order to accelerate the adoption and utilization of broadband technology by families living in HUD-assisted housing.
This morning the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs voted favorably and sent to the full Senate the HUD nominations of Mr. J. Paul Compton, Jr., to be General Counsel; Ms. Anna M. Farias, to be Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity; Mr. Neal J. Rackleff, to be Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development.
The committee conducted individual voice votes for each nominee. Mr. Compton’s nomination went to a roll call vote (15 favorable, 7 opposed.) Sens. Brown and Menendez spoke after the vote. Sen. Brown voted “opposed” on all three HUD nominees because of concerns with the nominees’ application and enforcement of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. Sen. Menendez only voted “opposed” on General Counsel nominee, Mr. Compton, because of AFFH concerns where Mr. Compton’s written question answers backtracked on the support for AFFH Mr. Compton expressed during the hearing.
On July 14, HUD announced the publication of the FY 2017 Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), making available approximately $2 billion in FY 2017 for the CoC Program. The CoC Program is a HUD administered program designed to promote a community-wide commitment to the goals of ending homelessness and provides funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, States, and local governments to quickly re-house individuals and families experiencing homelessness. As of July 18, the FY 2017 CoC Consolidated Application and project applications are available in e-snaps.
The submission deadline is Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 8:00 PM EDT.
Listed below are a number of highlights and special considerations for the FY 2017 competition. More information can be found on HUD’s FY 2017 CoC Program Competition: Funding Availability Page. Continue reading