Earlier today, HUD issued guidance clarifying that Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) pass-throughs and HAP contract transfers are prohibited under current rules for project-based vouchers (PBVs) under the housing choice voucher (HCV) program.
A HAP pass-through would allow the use of HAP to “provide assistance to tenants who are displaced from . . . HAP contract units due to a disaster or rehabilitation in another building or project.” Although HUD envisions guidance that may allow this in the future, at this time PHAs may not make these payments to the owners of unoccupied units for the purpose of rehousing families.
A HAP contract transfer would allow project-based voucher contracts to be transferred from one project to a separate and distinct project. This is different from the sale, assignment, or transfer of ownership of the HAP contract–which is allowable, if done following the appropriate PBV regulations. Contract transfers of HAP are not allowable (with some Rental Assistance Demonstration exceptions), though future guidance may change this.
The full guidance document can be found here.
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.
Yesterday, HUD published notice PIH 2017-26 (HA) titled “Federal Fiscal Year 2017 Funding Provisions for the Housing Choice Voucher Program – Award of Remaining Set-Aside Funds.” The 2017 Appropriations Act provided $75 million of appropriated renewal funding for Prevention of Terminations Due to Insufficient Funding (Shortfall Funding); Unforeseen Circumstances; Portability Cost Increases; Project-based Vouchers; and HUD-VASH. While HUD originally anticipated using all $75 million for shortfall funding, HUD will now award approximately $15 million toward the portability cost increases category for initial PHAs located in a Major Disaster Declaration (MDD) area that was established between August 25, 2017 and December 31, 2017.
To be eligible for the funds, PHAs must be located in MDD areas and have experienced a significant increase in costs due to portability for tenant-based rental assistance. The Department will apply on behalf of non-operational PHAs in MDD areas that are listed as non-operational at the publication time of the notice. Other PHAs can submit requests for this additional funding through regular mail or email, but should not do both. HUD encourages applying electronically.
To apply, PHAs should fill out Attachment A of the notice and submit it to 2017Set-AsideApplications@hud.gov. The subject line should say the following: PHA Number, 2017 Portability Application.
The full notice can be found here.
Earlier today, HUD’s Financial Management Center sent additional guidance for PHAs receiving porting requests from program participants from Presidentially declared Major Disaster Declaration areas. Although previous guidance had been issued in an email, this guidance gives additional details on how receiving PHAs should process ports when the initial PHA is unable to complete portability requests.
This guidance applies to receiving PHAs that are contacted directly by families that are from areas covered by Presidentially declared Major Disaster Declarations and that wish to port, but have an initial PHA that cannot complete their portability responsibilities.
HUD has published a list, which includes all PHAs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and whether receiving PHAs should use these alternative portability guidelines. HUD will continually update this list by 5 pm EST every Thursday to reflect changes that allow initial PHAs to resume portability operations. This disaster portability guidance will be in effect until January 31, 2018, unless HUD extends this date. Questions can be emailed to the HUD Disaster Portabilty Team at DisasterPortability@hud.gov.
The PHA Portability Status List can be found here.
HUD’s updated portability guidance can be found here.
In order to aid communities and accelerate disaster recovery for those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, HUD has announced a package of 19 regulatory and administrative waivers for the following Community Planning and Development (CPD) programs: The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program, and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program.
According to HUD, this waiver package represents the largest collections of regulatory and administrative waivers ever issued by the Department at one time. State and local grantees located in major disaster declared areas can now access a waiver through a new simplified notification process. HUD’s flexibilities include: Continue reading
[10/6/17 Edit – the notice has been published in the Federal Register and can be found here.]
Earlier today, HUD made available a pre-publication copy of a notice titled “Relief from HUD Requirements Available to PHAs to Assist with Recovery and Relief Efforts on Behalf of Families Affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Future Natural Disasters where Major Disaster Declarations might be Issued in 2017.” The notice establishes an expedited process for a review of waiver requests for those PHAs that are in Major Disaster Declaration areas (MDD PHAs). PHAs in future Major Disaster Declaration areas in 2017 may also use the flexibilities granted in the notice. The notice becomes applicable tomorrow (October 6, 2017) with its publication in the Federal Register.
To begin the expedited waiver process, PHAs must complete the checklist (listed as Attachment A to the notice) and must include a good-cause justification stating why the waiver is needed for the PHA’s relief and recovery efforts. A MDD PHA may also request a waiver that is not listed and still receive expedited review of the request if the MDD PHA documents that the waiver is needed for relief and recovery purposes.
To apply for these waivers through the expedited waiver process, do the following:
- Download the checklist;
- Complete the section titled “Information about Requesting Agency” (make sure an MDD PHA official signs it);
- Complete the checklists and provide any needed documentation;
- Write an email to PIH_Disaster_Relief@hud.gov and your Field Office Public Housing Director with the subject line “Hurricane Harvey/Irma Disaster Relief”;
- Attach the completed checklist to the email; and
- Send the email.
The pre-publication copy of the notice can be found here.
A brief description of the available flexibilities can be found be clicking below.
On Tuesday, September 26, HUD sent an email to PHA Executive Directors in Declared Disaster Counties. The email provides information that may be useful for PHAs in those areas.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance Program – PHAs in declared disaster areas may be eligible to apply for Stafford Act Section 403 and Section 406 funds through FEMA’s Public Assistance Programs program. The Public Assistance grant program covers emergency work (covered by Section 403; e.g., debris removal, demolition of unsafe structures; or boarding of windows) and permanent work (Section 406), unless Congress appropriates funds to HUD for these purposes. Additional information on this FEMA program can be found here.
FEMA and HUD Data Sharing – Starting the week of September 18, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) began sending reports to PHAs about program participants who have registered for FEMA assistance. HUD anticipates continuing to send these reports on a weekly basis or as new information is available. Please use discretion handling the workbooks and data.
Fraud – If PHAs have concerns about fraud, the email lists methods to contact the federal government.
FEMA’s Fraud Hotline – (866) 720-5721 and
HUD OIG’s Fraud page – (800) 347-3753.
Expedited Waiver Process – As mentioned in NAHRO’s previous blog post, HUD is in the process of creating a expedited waiver process for those PHAs in disaster areas. The process will be articulated in an upcoming Federal Register notice. This notice will be modeled on previous expedited waiver process notices.
Additional information on the Hurricanes and HUD’s response can be found at the following links:
Earlier today, NAHRO, along with industry groups PHADA and CLPHA, joined HUD on a conference call to discuss updates on the HUD’s Hurricane Assistance for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. HUD noted that Hurricane Harvey impacted 1,100 properties, while Hurricanes Irma and Maria impacted 1,400 properties. The exact number of households impacted is still growing as additional information becomes available.
To facilitate quick responses to the on-the-ground situation, HUD will be issuing a notice detailing expedited waiver procedures for PHAs in the affected areas. The notice will be published in the Federal Register early next week. According to HUD, the notice will allow PHAs to apply for waivers through an expedited process, which HUD anticipates taking no more than a few business days. There will be an attachment with the notice, which PHAs can use to check off the waivers that they are requesting and provide very general and basic documentation of the need for the waiver. The waiver requests will still be submitted to the field offices.
During the call, HUD also indicated that they will provide additional guidance on how other agencies can update their disaster-related preferences so that disaster-impacted families may be able to utilize the services of other agencies. At this time, HUD believes that updating a PHA’s administrative plan for disaster-related preferences is not a “significant amendment,” making the update less burdensome for those agencies which may decide to do it.
NAHRO remains committed to providing all housing authorities in disaster-related areas with the most up-to-date information as it becomes available and assisting in any way possible.
Update: Additionally, HUD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has published an integrity bulletin warning “everyone affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria to be alert for fraud schemes that commonly occur following a disaster.” Schemes include scam housing inspectors, scam contractors, fake relief programs, flood-damaged cars being offered for resale, and mortgage rescue scams. Additional information can be found here.
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.