Last week, HUD sent a letter to Executive Directors confirming that the micro-purchase threshold and the simplified acquisition threshold have been increased. The new thresholds are as follows:
the micro-purchase threshold is now $10,000 (previously, it was $3,500); and
the simplified acquisition threshold is now $250,000 (previously, it was $100,000).
There was initially uncertainty about the use of these thresholds since the summer of 2018, when the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a notice implementing increases to the thresholds for all grant recipients. This letter clarifies that the increased thresholds apply to PHAs.
NAHRO has learned that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has enough money to ensure that February payments for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and the public housing Operating Fund will be made available to public housing authorities (PHAs). HUD intends to make those payments on time. NAHRO has also learned that there is not currently enough money to make HCV and Operating Fund payments for March, if the government shutdown continues until then.
In order to end the government shutdown, Congress must agree to a funding bill. Now is the time to reach out to your Congresspeople and demand that a fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill for HUD is passed. NAHRO has prepared a letter that can be sent to your Congressional members through the NAHRO Advocacy Action Center.
As PHAs make their voices heard to Congress, NAHRO will continue to fight for you and the families you serve and will continue to inform members as soon as we learn more.
Today HUD awarded the FY 2018 Public Housing Capital Fund grants to housing authorities in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The grants total more than $2.6 billion.
A list of the individual housing authority grants is available here.
An excerpt from the HUD press release states, “The grants announced today are provided through HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which offers annual funding to approximately 3,100 public housing authorities to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. These housing authorities use the funding to complete large-scale improvements such as replacing roofs or making energy-efficient upgrades to replace old plumbing and electrical systems.”
On May 15, the House Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Subcommittee released its draft FY 2019 appropriations bill. Overall, the bill received an additional $1.5 billion increase to its allocation compared to FY 2018, an achievement considering several spending bills have been level funded and T-HUD was expected to have a similar fate. A summary is below; NAHRO will release a more detailed analysis soon.
The FY 2018 omnibus bill marked the first significant increase to HUD funding in nearly a decade; NAHRO and its members should be proud that the House bill preserves many of those funding increases in a highly competitive appropriations season.
Most programs within HUD received level funding or a slight increase, with the unfortunate exception of the HOME Investment Partnerships program. HOME was cut by 12 percent compared to FY 2018.
Public Housing Capital Fund: $2.75 billion, level funding – including a new $30 million set-aside for competitive grants for the demolition of the most distressed public housing units
Public Housing Operating Fund: $4.55 billion, level funding
Community Development Block Grant:$3.3 billion, level funding
HOME Investment Partnerships:$1.2 billion, a 12 percent decrease
Housing Opportunity for Persons with AIDS:$393 million, a 5 percent increase
Homeless Assistance Grants:$2.546 billion, a 1 percent increase
As the FY 2019 appropriations process moves forward, NAHRO will focus advocacy efforts on the HOME program to ensure that the cuts proposed by the House are not enacted. NAHRO will also advocate for increased funding and flexibility for HCV Administrative Fee funds as level funding does not take into account the addition of new vouchers and the increased need for resident opportunity resources.
The bill will be brought before the House T-HUD Subcommittee on May 16 for consideration. No amendments are expected. It’s likely that the full House Appropriations Committee will vote on the bill next week. The timeline for a floor vote is unclear, though Congress typically tries to move as many bills through the process as possible before the August recess.
The Senate T-HUD bill is expected to be considered before the Senate T-HUD Subcommittee during the week of June 4.
Join the NAHRO policy team to learn more about HUD’s proposed rent reform proposal; proposed rent reform proposals in Congress; and the President’s executive order on rent reform. While the proposals may be superficially similar, there are several differences between them, which this presentation will discuss. Participants will also learn about the President’s executive order and its potential impact on HUD. The briefing will be followed by a question and answer period.
Registration closes tonight at 11:59 pm ET. The webinar will occur tomorrow, Tuesday, May 8, 2018 from 1:30 pm to 3 pm ET.
In a press release accompanying the proposal, HUD states that “a simplified structure of ‘core rents’ that offers a more transparent and predictable rent calculation . . . is easier for both landlords and tenants to understand.” It also states that “HUD will . . . create a menu of ‘choice rents’ that PHAs and owners may implement to promote greater flexibility, local control, and self-sufficiency for non-elderly/non-disabled households.”
NAHRO staff is in the process of reading through the legislation and will provide additional information in the near future.
We have received word from an official at HUD that the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program funding tool projected prorations have been revised based on the FY 2018 Omnibus that was recently passed. HUD has revised the projections to full funding for the HCV Housing Assistance Payments (i.e., a 100 percent proration) and a proration of 77 percent for the HCV administrative fee for calendar year 2018.
The HCV Two-Year Projection tool can be accessed on HUD’s HCV website here.
After a brief government shutdown this morning, Congress approved a two-year budget deal and a continuing resolution that re-opened the government. While the budget deal includes an increase to non-defense spending for FY 2018, there is no guarantee that additional funding will be allocated to housing and community development programs- contact your legislators today to tell them to increase funding for HUD programs in the current fiscal year.
The budget deal package includes:
Continuing Resolution: extends government funding through Friday, March 23.
New budget caps for FY 2018 and FY 2019: the two-year agreement raises spending caps by $300 billion over two years. The deal does not honor parity between defense and non-defense spending changes. Non-defense spending is raised by:
FY 2018- $63 billion
FY 2019- $68 billion
Additional supplemental disaster relief funding: $89.3 billion for disaster relief for areas impacted by the hurricanes and wildfires of 2017. A full summary of the breakdown of funding is available from the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Debt ceiling suspension: Lifts the debt ceiling until March 2019.
Tax extenders: Continues expiring tax cuts and credits, but the bill does not include the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Improvement Act (S. 548).
Now that the spending cap for FY 2018 has been set, appropriators can get to work finalizing spending for the current fiscal year. At this point, the process basically starts over again. The chairs of the Appropriations Committee will re-allocate funding to all 12 appropriations bills, including the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill. Once the new 302(b) allocations are set, appropriators will work to finalize spending bills and assemble an omnibus spending package. All this work needs to be completed in six weeks before the expiration of the current CR on March 23.
Just because there is an additional $63 billion in funding for FY 2018 doesn’t mean THUD or HUD will necessarily see any of that increase. It’s critical that you reach out to your legislators immediately to urge them to allocate as much funding as possible to THUD and HUD. NAHRO will also send a message to Capitol Hill next week encouraging robust funding of THUD and HUD.
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.
The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is one of the most effective tools for creating new and critically needed affordable housing, and accounts for the vast majority of all affordable rental housing created in the United States. This is one in a series of articles that show how public housing authorities (PHAs) and community development agencies have successfully used federal tax credits and tax-exempt bonds to build and/or preserve public housing and affordable housing, and to increase the sustainability of their communities.
Housing Authority of the City of Austin: Portfolio Modernization
The Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) is fully converting its public housing portfolio to RAD, and for many properties, has used 4 percent LIHTC and Private Activity Bonds (PABs) to improve its public housing stock through HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Program (RAD).
“Our ability to use 4 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Private Activity Bonds has been crucial to meeting Austin’s affordable housing challenge,” said HACA President and CEO Michael Gerber. “We are fully converting our public housing portfolio to RAD, and PABs layered with 4 percent credits have provided us with the necessary financing to dramatically rehabilitate our properties – including new kitchens, bathrooms, flooring, and accessibility features. There is intense competition in Texas for 9 percent tax credits, and winning them is difficult. Without PABs and 4 percent credits, our RAD program would be dead in the water.”
“In just the past three years, HACA has issued $150 million in Private Activity Bonds, coupled with 4 percent credits, to develop 1,600 high-quality apartment units,” Gerber explained.” These developments would not have happened without the PAB / 4 percent tax credit program. One thousand people a week are moving to Austin, and recent studies show that the city needs another 55,000 affordable housing units on the ground today. Losing PAB capacity effectively kills the 4 percent tax credit. And, without these financing tools, low-income people – seniors, persons with disabilities, veterans, and far too many children – will lose the opportunity for safe, decent housing.”
For more information about this project or to share your organization’s 4 percent LIHTC success story, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.