Emergency Housing Vouchers: A How-To Guide for PHAs

HUD has published a guide for using Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs). The purpose of the guide is to provide an overview of EHVs, highlight program best practices, and reduce inequities. Topics covered by the guide include the following :

  • Background and Purpose [of EHVs];
  • Key Features of Emergency Housing Vouchers;
  • Partnerships and Collaborative Planning;
  • Emergency Housing Voucher Program Design;
  • Use of the Service Fee;
  • Coordinated Entry and Emergency Housing Voucher Referral Processes;
  • EHV Waiver and Alternative Requirements Checklist;
  • Sample Memorandum of Understanding;
  • Example of a Homeless Provider’s Certification;
  • Example of a Victim Service Provider’s Certification;
  • EHV Referral Packet Template: Sample Forms; and
  • EHV Portability Scenarios.

The full guide can be found here.

Voluntarily Returning EHV Awards

On March 5th, HUD released a notice describing how PHAs could voluntarily relinquish their Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) back to HUD and the procedure by which HUD would reallocate those vouchers to other housing agencies. The notice is titled “Emergency Housing Vouchers – Reallocation of Awards” [Notice PIH 2022-06 (HA)].

Returning EHVs

The process to voluntarily return an EHV award may involve multiple steps. First, PHAs that wish to return their EHVs should inform HUD (email ehv@hud.gov). The PHA will then work with a financial analyst in the Financial Management Center (FMC) to identify all funds associated with EHVs which must also be returned to HUD. Emergency Housing Voucher Housing Assistance Payments (HAP), services fees, and administrative fees are restricted to EHV program activities. If the housing agency improperly used any EHV-associated funding, it must be repaid. Housing agencies will also be required to cooperate with the FMC and other HUD staff in determining which funds should be returned.

Reallocation of Voluntarily Returned EHV Awards

HUD’s reallocation formula is based off of the initial allocation formula in Notice PIH 2021-15. The reallocation formula also considers EHV utilization. The reallocation formula will look for high-capacity PHAs (i.e., those PHAs with a with a high homeless need or those PHAs with a high estimate of at-risk homelessness, while ensuring geographic diversity and adjusting for PHAs below the minimum threshold to receive a voucher) that have a history of high EHV utilization (95% or higher). Housing agencies that are selected by this method will be notified by HUD and given the opportunity to accept or decline the additional EHVs.

Fees Accompanying EHVs

Housing agencies that accept additional EHVs will be eligible for additional funds.

  • Issuance Reporting Fees – PHAs will receive $100 for each new EHV that is leased if the PHA reported the issuance within 14 days of issuance.
  • Ongoing Administrative Fee – PHAs will receive the full Column A administrative fee amount (per Notice PIH 2021-15, page 10).
  • Service Fee – PHAs will receive $3,500 for each additional EHV they accept. The scope of allowable activities is determined by Notice PIH 2021-15.

Later this year, HUD will issue another notice that describes the process for revoking and reallocating EHVs for PHAs that do not utilize a high percentage of them. Although this notice will be published later in 2022, at this time, NAHRO does not anticipate HUD will involuntarily reallocate EHVs until 2023.

The full notice can be found here.

HUD Awards Over $1 Million for FYI HCVs

HUD announced, in a press release published on Dec. 16, that it was awarding over $1 million to 26 PHAs in 20 states for its Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) initiative. The initiative provides housing assistance and supportive services to young people who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Housing agencies can be eligible to receive FYI funding if they administer a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, enter into a partnership with a Public Child Welfare Agency (PWCA), accept people referred by the PWCA, and determine that the referred people are eligible for HCV assistance. HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Housing and Voucher Programs Danielle Bastarache notes that “[e]very young person deserves the opportunity to live with housing stability.”

The agencies listed below were awarded assistance.

Continue reading

HUD and HHS Launch Housing and Services Resource Center

On Dec. 8, in a press release, HUD–in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)–announced the launch of a national Housing and Services Resource Center. According to HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, “[t]his new joint HHS and HUD center will help communities break down the silos and coordinate the provision of services with housing to ensure that these new resources reach our most vulnerable homeless neighbors.” The press release notes that in every state, there are a number of entities that can help people access housing and supportive services. Many people experiencing homelessness and older individuals need access to community based services like “behavioral health services, personal care assistance, tenancy supports, accessible transportation, and home-delivered meals.”

The goal of the Housing and Services Resource Center is to help coordinate resources to PHAs as well as other entities. The website brings together “Medicaid-funded home and community-based services, behavioral health support, vouchers, and other housing programs.” It also provides examples of successful partnerships and will provide new technical assistance resources. People using the site can do the following:

  • “Learn about how to develop and expand partnerships,
  • Quickly find tools designed for community collaborations;
  • Increase knowledge to support people with disabilities, older adults, and people experiencing homelessness to get and/or keep affordable and accessible housing and voluntary services, and
  • Discover innovative models and strategies.”

The Housing and Services Resource Center can be accessed here.

House Passes $1.75 Trillion Build Back Better Plan

House Takes Steps Toward Historic Housing Investments

The largest single housing investment in American history took a monumental step forward this morning, passing the House by a narrow 220-213 margin. The Build Back Better Act now moves to the Senate for further consideration. 

NAHRO led the fight to fully fund the Public Housing Capital Fund backlog at $70 billion, strongly championed the expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and ardently supports the increase in Housing Choice Vouchers and Project-Based Rental Assistance contracts.  

NAHRO members – thank you for raising your voices in support of affordable housing! The more than 50,000 letters you sent to Congress and the White House this year, maintained the spotlight on housing as infrastructure and made sure the critical housing provisions remained in the Build Back Better bill. But the fight isn’t over yet! Be ready to speak out after Thanksgiving to preserve housing in the bill as it moves to the Senate.  

The vote was originally scheduled for Thursday night, but an extended floor speech by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) delayed the final vote. Build Back Better passed along party lines, with a single Democrat opposing.  

The path forward is not clear in the Senate, as several Democratic Senators have issues with several provisions. Negotiations are expected to heat up after Thanksgiving, aiming for a final vote in the Senate by Christmas. Though there is widespread support for the housing provisions in Build Back Better, it is possible that changes to the bill could put the housing investments at risk. If the bill is approved by the Senate, it is likely to go back to the House for another vote. 

NAHRO member advocacy will be needed to ensure these critical housing resources remain in the Build Back Better bill as it is debated in the Senate. NAHRO will be reaching out to you through future Direct News emails and also follow NAHRO on social media (TwitterInstagramFacebookLinkedin) for the latest information. 

The bill currently proposes the largest one-time investment in housing and community development programs ever, including: 

  • $65 billion for Public Housing investments 
  • $24 billion for Housing Choice Vouchers 
  • Expanded Low-Income Housing Tax Credits 
  • $15 billion for the National Housing Trust Fund 
  • $10 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program 
  • $3 billion for Community Development Block Grants 
  • $1 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance 
  • $450 million for Section 811 Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities 
  • $450 million for Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly 

Want more information? Check out NAHRO’s detailed breakdown of the bill’s housing provisions

HUD Publishes EHV Dashboard

HUD has published its Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) dashboard. The dashboard provides information about EHV leasing, issuances, unit utilization, voucher awards, and funding at both the national and the state level. The dashboard also provides information by individual PHA. Since PHAs have only started their EHV programs this summer, the program remains in its initial stages.

The EHV dashboard can be found here.

Oct. 17th – Last Chance to Receive Issuance Reporting Fee for EHVs Issued on or before Oct. 3rd

Housing agencies with Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) that have issued vouchers before or on Oct. 3, have until Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021 to submit a form HUD-50058 (or form HUD-50058 MTW) to receive the $100 issuance reporting fee. To report in IMS/PIC, PHAs should do the following:

  • “PHAs should report in line 2n when submitting the HUD-50058 by entering ‘EHV.’
  • MTW PHAs that have received HUD approval to apply MTW flexibilities to EHV vouchers may report household participant data on the HUD-50058 MTW and must enter “EHV” on line 2p and leave line 2n blank.”

HUD has created an EHV report to identify IMS/PIC reporting discrepancies.

Eviction Moratorium to Expire Saturday; NAHRO Urges Extension

Despite efforts from House Democratic leaders to extend the federal eviction moratorium, which expires Saturday, July 31, no vote was issued to extend the order as of Friday afternoon. Earlier this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) publicly advocated for the Biden administration to act unilaterally to protect renters at risk of eviction due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

About 11 months ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) enacted the federal eviction moratorium to prevent the spread of the deadly virus among families and individuals that could be at high risk if made homeless through eviction. The public health measure has been extended on several instances, with the last extension made in June. The moratorium offered uniform protections to renters across the nation.

With the COVID-19 delta variant surging across the nation, now is not the time to put vulnerable families at risk by ending the eviction moratorium. NAHRO calls on Congress and the Administration to extend the moratorium through at least the end of September 2021.

Whether or not the eviction moratorium expires, NAHRO’s housing agency members remain committed to using every available resource to keep as many people in their homes as possible. Nationwide, NAHRO members continue to work with their residents and with local and national partners to provide support and aid – especially to those who have been most impacted by the pandemic. We are continually looking for new and better ways to help.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is a vital and cost-effective tool to help people stay in their homes. As Treasury, HUD, and state and local entities work to distribute these much-needed funds as quickly as possible, we also look forward to the passage of a robust FY 2022 HUD budget and additional housing resources that will further help to provide the safety and stability of a home to all who need it.

NAHRO Interim CEO Mike Gerber statement on extending the eviction moratorium and quickly distributing Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds.

As more information is released on the status of the eviction moratorium, NAHRO will continue to provide updates.

HUD Updates Emergency Housing Vouchers FAQ to Version 4

HUD has updated the Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHVs) frequently asked questions (FAQ) to version 4. The document covers questions on eligibility; partnerships and collaborations; voucher administration; administrative and service fees; portability; reporting requirements; EHV voucher allocation; EHV voucher acceptance/rejection process; Moving to Work (MTW); and Housing location and landlord resources.

Version 4 of the document can be found here.

Join Us!! NAHRO Summer Symposium is Tomorrow!

Please join National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) for our 2021 Summer Symposium on universal vouchers and expansion of the housing voucher program tomorrow, July 13, 2021. There is no cost to attend the NAHRO Summer Symposium! Register at https://www.nahro.org/events/summer-symposium/registration/.

The NAHRO Summer Symposium is a day-long event on the present and future of the Housing Choice Voucher program. The event will bring thought leaders from across the country along with housing industry professional together to discuss the expansion of the housing voucher program. There is no registration fee to attend the Summer Symposium. Anyone interested can register at https://www.nahro.org/events/summer-symposium/registration/ for the July 13, 2021 NAHRO Summer Symposium.