This notice lists the waivers and flexibilities that are available to PHAs, notes that it will consider certain exceptions, and provides instructions on how to submit waiver, flexibility, and exception requests. The following flexibilities and waivers may be requested (please note that the list below is summarized—see the full notice to read the complete descriptions of the waivers):
Operating Subsidy Flexibility in Approved Vacancies – a PHA is eligible to receive funding for vacant public housing units that are vacant because of a declared disaster, subject to HUD approval. Eligible units will be considered approved for 12 months.
Uniform Financial Reporting Standards; Filing of Financial Reports; Reporting Compliance Dates – HUD may approve delays to certain financial reporting requirements.
Public Housing Assessment System – HUD may consider waiving the physical inspection and scoring of public housing projects.
Cost and Other Limitations; Maximum Project Cost; TDC Limit – HUD may waive total development costs (TDC) and housing cost cap limits for all work funded through the Capital Fund until the next issuance of TDC limits.
Cost and Other Limitations; Types of Labor – HUD may allow PHAs that are not high-performing to use force account labor for modernization-only activities even with not included in the PHA’s 5-year action plan. This waiver will not exceed a period of 12 months.
Capital Fund Formula; Replacement Housing Factor to Reflect Formula Need for Projects With Demolition or Disposition Occurring on or After October 1, 1998 and Prior to September 30, 2013 – HUD may allow unexpended Capital Fund Replacement Housing Factor Grants to be used for public housing modernization. This waiver will not exceed a period of 12 months.
Tenant Selection Policies and Administrative Plan – HUD may waive requirements that a PHA’s Board of Commissioners approves revisions to tenant selection policies and a PHA’s administrative plan if the revisions are temporary, do not exceed a period of 12 months, are not significant amendments, and comply with the PHA’s plan or state law.
Waiting List; Opening and Closing; Public Notice – HUD may waive the requirement that it must provide public notice when opening and closing its waiting list by posting in a local newspaper of general circulation. It would replace that requirement by an alternative one requiring the PHA to post notice to its website. The waiver will not exceed a period of 12 months.
HUD Approval of Exception Payment Standard Amount – HUD may approve an exception payment standard that is higher than 110% of the Fair Market Rent.
Housing Quality Standards; Space and Security – HUD may waive the requirement that units have at least 1 bedroom for every 2 people to house families displaced by natural disasters. The waiver will be in effect for the initial lease term.
Occupancy of Home – HUD may allow families participating in the homeownership program to continue receiving housing assistance payments even if displaced from their homes.
Contract of Participation; Contract Extension – HUD may consider authorizing a PHA to extend a family’s contract of participation in a Family Self Sufficiency program for up to 3 years. Any waiver will be in effect for a request made to the PHA during a period of up to 12 months.
Section 8 Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) – HUD may consider a request to carry forward a PHA’s last SEMAP score.
Verification of the Social Security – HUD may consider a request to transmit form HUD-50058 within 90 days, instead of the usual 30 days, of the receipt of the applicant’s social security documentation.
Specific Criteria for HUD Approval of Demolition Requests – for certain Section 18 demolition requests, HUD will accept certain environmental reviews.
Approval of Demolition – HUD may waive the requirement for a list of specific and detailed work items for certain Section 18 demolition requests.
A PHA may also request an exception to a requirement that is not listed. HUD will consider these requests subject to statutory and regulatory limitations.
To request waivers, if in a Presidentially Declared Disaster area, a PHA should complete Appendix A of the notice and email the completed appendix with supporting documentation to PIH_Disaster_Relief@hud.gov.
In a notice titled “Extension of Time and Required Disclosures for Notification of Nonpayment of Rent,” HUD updates its regulations–through an interim final rule–to give itself the authority to require that public housing and project-based rental assistance (PBRA) developments give tenants the opportunity to receive emergency rent relief before eviction. Specifically, when there is federal funding available due to the declaration of a national emergency, PHAs with public housing and owners with PBRA properties must do the following at HUD’s discretion:
Provide at least 30 days from the date a tenant receives a notice of lease termination for failure to pay rent before terminating the tenant; and
Provide information (e.g., information about how to apply for and receive emergency federal funding) to the tenant as determined by HUD.
HUD will publish another notice outlining the specific information that must be included in the lease termination notification. That notice will also provide the requirements for PHAs and owners to provide the information in an accessible manner for effective communication for people with disabilities and people with limited English proficiency (LEP).
These requirements apply to public housing and PBRA, which is defined in this rule to include Section 8, Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation, Section 202/162 Project Assistance Contract, Section 2020 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC), Section 811 PRAC, Section 236 Rental Housing Assistance Program and Rent Supplement. The rule does not apply to the Housing Choice Voucher program.
The interim final rule will become effective in 30 days after publication of the notice in the Federal Register.
Comments for the rule will be due within 30 days of publication of the notice in the Federal Register.
A pre-publication copy of the rule may be found here.
If a PHA has previously submitted applications for calendar year (CY) 2020 HAP renewal set-aside funding under the “Unforeseen Circumstances” category due to PUC increases caused by COVID-19, the PHA must resubmit according to instructions in this new notice. For those who submitted under the “Unforeseen Circumstances” category for other reasons, they are not required to resubmit, but may do so if their PUC has further increased because of COVID-19.
Public Housing Agencies must meet certain requirements to access this funding. First, applications must be submitted by Oct. 31, 2020. Applications will be reviewed by HUD on a rolling basis. Second, to be eligible, a PHA must have a PUC that is 102 percent or greater than the PUC HUD used to determine the PHA’s CY 2020 renewal funding. The PHA must also meet the submission requirements detailed in the notice.
The PHA will also receive a priority status. If the PHA’s HAP reserves contain an amount that is less than the amount needed to cover 3 months of HAP expenses, the PHA will qualify for priority status. Public housing agencies qualifying for priority status will receive funding shortly after their application is processed, subject to funding availability. Those agencies that receive regular priority will receive notification that their application has been approved, but funding will not be made until November.
PUC > than 102%
HAP Reserve < 3 months
Eligible for Immediate funding
To be funded in Nov. 2020
Ineligible for Funding
To be eligible for funding, a PHA must submit a completed Appendix B in the notice to 2020COVIDHCV@hud.gov.
These funds may not be rolled into restricted net position (RNP) and must be tracked and accounted for separately through the period of availability.
Allows any PHA with a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program to apply for new Mainstream vouchers;
Provides Mainstream-voucher-specific waivers; and
Modifies the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) renewal formula for Mainstream vouchers.
The deadline for applying for new voucher funding is Dec. 31, 2020. The additional flexibilities offered in this notice may be used until Dec. 31, 2020. Additional information on the new notice can be found below.
The Department will hold a webinar discussing how organizations can ensure that tenants are able to access their stimulus payments. According to an email sent by the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH), “[t]he CARES Act . . . includes stimulus payments to help families deal with the economic impacts from the COVID-19 crisis.” The email also states that “Americans risk missing out on the stimulus payments provided through the recent CARES Act . . . [and] [i]n order to receive the stimulus payment they must file a form by October 15, 2020 in order to receive it this year, or file a 2020 tax return next year to receive it in 2021.
The email includes the following resources for the webinar:
CBPP’s Get it Back campaign has also developed resources that organizations can use to support EIP outreach work including FAQs, an informational flyer, sample social media posts, and outreach templates (blog post, press release, and emails).
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.
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#
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.
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.