After NAHRO’s Urging, HUD Expands Administrative Fee Eligible Uses

On June 13th, HUD published a notice [Notice PIH 2022-18 (HA)] expanding the eligible uses of the administrative fee for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The notice is titled “Use of Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Mainstream Voucher Administrative Fees for Other Expenses to Assist Families and Lease Units.” Earlier this year, NAHRO had written to HUD recommending that it expand the eligible uses of the HCV administrative fee in order to increase voucher utilization. NAHRO wrote that HUD should “[i]mmediately issue guidance in the form of a new PIH notice clarifying that administrative fees may be used for activities and expenses that help a PHA utilize vouchers . . . .” NAHRO is pleased that HUD recognized–after NAHRO’s urging–the importance of allowing administrative fees to be used for these additional purposes, which will have the end effect of helping more families find and lease homes.

The notice clarifies that administrative fees may be used for the following activities:

  • Administrative Activities: These activities include–but are not limited to the following:
    • Front-line, day-to-day operational activities:
      • applicant intake;
      • lease-up activities;
      • income determinations and reexaminations;
      • unit inspections;
      • disbursing HAP to landlords;
      • policy and operational planning and implementation;
      • financial management;
      • HCV record-keeping and reporting;
    • Indirect overhead activities associated with operating the HCV program:
      • PHA management;
      • human resources;
      • legal;
      • finance;
      • accounting and payroll;
      • information technology;
      • procurement;
      • quality control;
      • central office cost center HCV program expenses;
    • Housing search assistance activities;
      • pre-move counseling;
      • helping a family identify and visit potentially available units during their housing search;
      • helping a family find a unit that meets the household’s disability-related needs;
      • providing transportation and directions; and
      • assisting with the completion of rental applications;
    • Post-lease up activities related to search assistance:
      • post-move counseling and landlord/tenant mediation;
    • HCV owner recruitment and outreach activities:
      • costs associated with materials or webpages specifically geared to owners;
      • costs of landlord liaison staff;
      • associated expenses;
  • Other Eligible Activities (PHAs must change their administrative plans to support these activities; Note: some of these activities have certain restrictions, please see Notice PIH 2022-18 (HA) for specifics on use):
    • Expenses for activities designed to help assist HCV families in leasing units:
      • Owner incentive and/or retention payments;
      • security deposit assistance;
      • utility deposit assistance/utility arrears;
      • application fees/non-refundable administrative or processing fees/refundable application deposit assistance/broker fees;
      • holding fees; and
      • renter’s insurance if required by the lease.

Additionally, administrative fee reserves or outside funding sources may also be used for the listed activities. Similarly, mainstream voucher administrative fees may also be used to assist mainstream voucher families to lease units, though mainstream administrative fees may only be used for mainstream vouchers. The notice also notes that for both regular and mainstream HAP funding may not be used to pay for any of these activities. Finally, the notice provides certain information on reporting the new authorized expenses.

The full notice may be found here.

NAHRO to Host Webinar on HCV Utilization Resources

Join NAHRO–tomorrow, June 9th at 2 pm ET–for this webinar focused on HUD voucher utilization resources. HUD staff have been invited to share some of the resources available to PHAs on HUD’s website to help increase voucher utilization. Learn about the various resources available and how they can be used to help your PHA optimize its voucher utilization strategy!

Registration can be found here.

HUD Publishes TPV Funding for FY 2021

Earlier today, a pre-publication version of a notice detailing HUD’s tenant-protection voucher (TPV) funding for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 was published. The notice is titled “Announcement of Tenant Protection Voucher Funding Awards for Fiscal Year 2021 for the Housing Choice Voucher Program.” These vouchers were awarded for a variety of reasons. A special administrative fee of $200 was provided to PHAs in multifamily housing conversion actions. The Department awarded approximately $142 million to recipients for 14,423 vouchers.

The pre-publication notice can be found here.

Voucher Funding Opportunities

Earlier today, HUD sent a letter detailing future funding opportunities for PHAs with Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs. The letter states that voucher funding is currently high (including an approximately 92% administrative fee proration). It also provides a table clearly delineating future voucher funding opportunities. The full letter can be found here (due to technical difficulties, the letter cannot be currently published, but will be soon).

The following is a reproduction of the information in the table. Additional information can be found in Notice PIH 2022-14. (* indicates that there are two deadlines for the funding category.)

  • HAP Set-Aside and Admin. Special Fee category deadlines
    • No Deadline
      • HAP Set-Aside – Prevention of Terminations Due to Insufficient Funding (Shortfall) – Provides funding for PHAs that would be required to terminate participating families from the program due to insufficient funds despite taking reasonable cost savings measures.
    • June 15, 2022
      • HAP Set-Aside – Unforeseen Circumstances – Aids PHAs who have experienced an occurrence, within or after the re-benchmarking period, that could not have been anticipated and was out of the PHA’s control.
      • HAP Set-Aside – Portability – Helps PHAs that experienced a significant increase in renewal costs due to portability for tenant based rental assistance under Section 8(r) of the Act.
      • HAP Set-Aside – Project Based Vouchers – Reimburses PHAs for HCV renewal funds that were not included in the CY2021 re-benchmarking because the PHA intentionally held the funds for an upcoming PBV to enter into a Housing Assistance Payment (AHAP).
      • HAP Set-Aside – Moving to Work (MTW) New Cohorts – Provides funding for PHAs that received their MTW designation in CY 2021 where funds were obligated, but not expended in CY 2021.
      • HAP Set-Aside – HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH)* – Supports PHAs administering HUD-VASH that can demonstrate a need for adjustment funding due to at least one of the following situations: (1) PUC Increase (2) Leasing Cost Increase.
      • HAP Set-Aside – Lower-than-average Leasing – Aids PHAs that are leasing at a lower-than-average percentage of their authorized vouchers, and have low amounts of budget authority in HCV program reserves. A list of eligible PHAs can be found here.
      • HAP Set-Aside – Non-Life Threatening (NLT) Inspection Withheld HAP – Reimburses PHAs for cases where the PHA paid the owner HAP that were withheld during CY 2021 in accordance with the requirements of the NLT initial inspection option.
      • Blended Rate Administrative Fees – Increased Administrative Fees for PHAs serving multiple Administrative Fee areas.
      • Higher Administrative Fees – Increased Administrative Fees for PHAs that operate over a large geographic area, as defined as two or more counties.
    • July 8, 2022
      • Special Fees – HUD-VASH – Supports necessary additional administrative expenses incurred to increase lease-up success rates or decrease the time it takes for a veteran to locate and move into a unit. See Appendix C of the notice.
      • Special Fees – HUD-Family Unification Program (FUP) – Supports necessary additional administrative expenses incurred to achieve either of the following activities: 100% FUP/Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) voucher utilization; and Increase access to the program for FUP-eligible youth. See Appendix C of the notice.
    • September 30, 2022
      • HAP Set-Aside – Disaster* – Supports PHAs whose expenses have been impacted by disasters.
      • HAP Set-Aside – Unforeseen Circumstances* – Second and final deadline for additional funding for unforeseen circumstances.
      • HAP Set-Aside – HUD -VASH* – Second and final deadline for additional funding for HUD-VASH.
    • October 28, 2022
      • Special Fees – Disaster – In the event of a future allocation of disaster vouchers during CY 2022, PIH will provide eligibility and application guidance for disaster related vouchers’ special fees. See Appendix C of the notice.
      • Special Fees – Secretary’s Discretion – Provides additional administrative fee funding to cover administrative expenses incurred as the result of a situation outside of the specific categories described in PIH Notice 2022-14. See Appendix C of the notice.
    • December 30, 2022
      • HAP Set-Aside – Disaster* – Second and final deadline to request funding for Disaster assistance.
  • Other Voucher Funding Opportunities (Date is target publication date of notice; unless noted otherwise, these will be published as PIH notices at www.hud.gov/program_offices/public_indian_housing/publications/notices.)
    • June, FY 2022
      • Mainstream Vouchers ($40 million; 4,200 vouchers) – An opportunity for PHAs to receive new Mainstream vouchers and extraordinary administrative fees to help PHAs lease their Mainstream vouchers. See PIH Notice 2022-07.
      • Stability Vouchers ($43 million; 4,000 vouchers) – Supports families experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, those fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and veterans and family members that include a veteran family member that meets one of the preceding criteria. Implements the funds provided in the 2021 appropriation.
      • FYI – Competitive ($15.3 million; 1,500 vouchers) – Provides assistance for FUP-eligible youth under the FYI program. (To be published at www.hud.gov/grants.)
    • July, FY 2022
      • HUD-VASH ($79 million; 8,500 vouchers) – Pairs HCV rental assistance with VA case management and supportive services for homeless Veterans. Awards based on geographic need and performance.
      • FYI – Non-Competitive ($15 million) – Provides assistance for Family Unification Program (FUP)-eligible youth under the Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) program.
      • New HCV Incremental Vouchers ($200 million; Up to 25,000 vouchers) – Provides rental assistance to families to support affordable housing and provide greater access to areas of opportunity through noncompetitive formula awards.
    • August, FY 2022
      • FUP ($5 million; 380 vouchers) – Provides rental assistance to families whose lack of adequate housing is a primary cause of the separation or imminent separation, of a child or children from their families. (To be published at www.hud.gov/grants.)
    • March, FY 2023
      • Mobility Related Services ($25 million; no additional vouchers) – Provides funding for mobility related services that are modeled after services provided with the Community Choice Demonstration. Preference will be given to PHAs with a higher concentration of HCV families with children residing in high-poverty areas. (To be published at www.hud.gov/grants.)

HUD Publishes FY 2022 Renewal Funding Inflation Factors (RFIFs)

On May 26, HUD published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the renewal funding inflation factors (RFIFs) for fiscal year (FY) 2022. The notice is titled “Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program-Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Inflation Factors for Public Housing Agency (PHA) Renewal Funding.” HUD uses the inflation factors to determine Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) renewal funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The notice states that HUD “applies the calculated individual area inflation factors to eligible renewal funding for each PHA based on VMS [Voucher Management System] leasing and cost data for the prior calendar year” (i.e., HUD applies an inflation factor to a PHA’s past year leasing data in HUD’s systems to calculate its current year’s formula eligibility). The national inflation factor is 4.68%, but individual PHAs will have inflation factors that differ based on their local contexts.

The full notice can be read here.

Administration Announces Housing Supply Action Plan

On May 16, the administration announced a housing supply action plan that is intended to “ease the burden of housing costs over time, by boosting the supply of quality housing in every community.” The plan includes both legislative and administrative actions and is meant to align with other policies currently in effect (e.g., federal rental assistance) to create more affordable rents and make homeownership more affordable.

While the plan includes many specific actions, many of those actions can be grouped into the following categories.

  • Incentivizing jurisdictions to reform their zoning and land-use policies by giving higher scores to jurisdictions that do this in federal grant allocations.
  • Implementing new financing mechanisms to build and preserve housing, including manufactured housing; accessory dwelling units; two to four unit properties; and other multifamily buildings.
  • Improving existing federal financing for development and preservation, which includes making construction to permanent loans more available; promoting the use of COVID recovery funds for affordable housing; reforming the low-income housing tax credit and the HOME program.
  • Ensuring that more housing goes to owners that live in the units or non-profits that will rehabilitate them.
  • Addressing supply chain issues by working with the private sector.

The White House’s full announcement of their housing supply action plan can be found here.

Public Housing Residents and Section 8 Program Participants Eligible for Affordable Connectivity Program

Public housing residents and Section 8 program participants are eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The program provides a discount of up to $30 per month (and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands) towards internet service for eligible households. Households can also receive up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute between $10 and $50 toward the purchase price.

To enroll in the program, a household has to do the following:

  1. Complete an online or mail-in application at ACPBenefit.org; and
  2. Contact a participating provider to select an internet plan and have the ACP discount applied.

There is a limit of one monthly service discount and one device per household.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has created a consumer outreach toolkit. The toolkit includes infographics, fact sheets, flyers, consumer handouts, audio public service announcements, videos, newsletter blurbs, press release text, and sample social media posts to help spread the word about the program. It also includes translations of some of the handouts, web resources, and a speaker request section.

Additional information on the Affordable Connectivity Program can be found here.

HUD’s guide to the program can be found here.

A program fact sheet can be found here.

The FCC’s ACP Consumer Outreach Toolkit can be found here.

New Opportunities to Learn Asset Building Strategies

Earlier today, the HUD Moving to Work (MTW) office sent an email with information about upcoming webinars on asset building strategies that PHAs can employ to help their residents. Asset building (as defined in PIH 2022-11–the MTW cohort on asset building) is defined as “activities that encourage the growth of savings accounts and/or aim to build credit for assisted households.” The information from the email is reproduced below.

  • Asset Building Opportunities for HUD-Assisted Tenants
    Tuesday, May 10, 2022 | 2:00-3:00 pm EST
    Join HUD and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Webinar to learn the key financial components for people trying to build assets & increase financial well-being.
    Link to Join | Access Code: KbnJzUPA?782
  • How to Apply – MTW Expansion Asset Building Cohort Webinar
    Tuesday, May 24, 2022 | 2:00 – 3:00 pm EST
    During this webinar, HUD will walk through the selection notice and application materials and give PHAs more information about this cohort.
    Link to Join | Join via telephone phone at 888-251-2949 | Access Code 3334803#
  • Rent Reporting and Credit Building Opportunities for PHA Residents
    Tuesday, June 7, 2022, 2:00-3:00 pm EST
    Join HUD and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Webinar to learn about strategies for helping public housing residents build positive credit histories.
    Link to Join | Access Code: 2SThfN6Zmj$2

New Webinar on Using PBVs

On April 21st, from 2 pm to 3 pm ET, HUD will host a webinar on how PHAs can expand their project-based voucher (PBV) portfolio. According to HUD, “[t]his webinar will review the PBV program requirement, highlight PBV resources, and provide case studies for how PHAs have used PBVs to improve HCV program utilization.”

Registration for the webinar can be found here.

HUD Extends Streamlined Waiver Requests for Certain HCV Waivers

On April 11th, HUD published a notice extending the time in which certain Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) waivers could be applied for in an expedited manner. The notice is titled “Streamlined Regulatory Waivers for the Housing Choice Voucher (including Mainstream and Mod Rehab) Program” (PIH 2022-09).

The notice extends the deadline–until September 30, 2022–to apply for three specific waivers that apply to the Housing Choice Voucher program. These waivers were previously available through prior notices, but the deadline to apply through the expedited process had ended.

The three waivers that are still available for the HCV program are the following:

  • Increase in Payment Standard During HAP Contract Term – this waiver would allow the PHA to increase the payment standard for a family at any time after the effective date of the increase, rather than waiting for the next regular reexamination.
  • Term of Voucher: Extensions of Term – this waiver would allow PHAs to grant extensions of the initial voucher term, irrespective of what is written in the PHA’s administrative plan.
  • Voucher Tenancy: New Payment Standard Amount – this waiver would allow PHAs to establish payment standards from 111 to 120 percent of the Fair Market Rent (FMR).

In requesting a waiver, the PHA must articulate a good cause justification. The good cause justification must include three elements: 1) why the PHA needs the waiver; 2) the impact on PHA operations or applicants if the waiver is not provided; and 3) the proposed waiver duration. The waiver may not extend past Dec. 31, 2022. The notice provides examples of good cause.

To request a waiver, PHAs should email PIH_Expedited_Waivers@hud.gov. The notice provides instructions on the information required and the proper formatting of the email request.

The full notice can be found here.