Chairwoman Maxine Waters joins NAHRO’s Managing During COVID-19: Congressional Response webinar: Tomorrow at 12noon eastern

Tomorrow, Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 12noon eastern time NAHRO is hosting a webinar: Managing During COVID-19: Congressional Response.

Join us for a very special conversation with Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Cali.), Chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee. Congresswoman Waters has been a dedicated advocate for affordable housing throughout her entire career, a priority that has taken center stage during the COVID-19 crisis. For this reason, NAHRO leadership will honor her with our Legislator of the Year award.

Help NAHRO thank the Congresswoman for the CARES Act and for her commitment to affordable housing and community development programs!

Register for tomorrow’s webinar: Managing During COVID-19: Congressional Response!

COVID-19 CDBG Eviction Moratorium Q&A Released

Earlier today, HUD released a Q&A to address questions concerning the eviction moratorium established by the CARES Act. Section 4024 of the Act imposes a 120-day moratorium on evictions, ending July 24, 2020. The moratorium extends to units in projects receiving funding from Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Neighborhood Stabilization Programs (NSP) or Disaster Recovery.  

The Q&A clarifies which units are covered by the eviction moratorium, and which fees landlords may charge tenants for accrued costs after the moratorium ends. The full Q&A can be found here. For additional guidance, please visit the CDBG COVID-19 Resources page.  

NAHRO provides additional COVID-19 resources at www.NAHRO.org/coronavirus.

Managing During COVID-19: Homelessness Resources Webinar – Wed, May 27 at 2pm ET

On Wednesday, May 27. 2020, NAHRO is hosting a complimentary webinar – Managing During COVID-19: Homelessness Resources.

Join Nan Roman, President and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, and leaders from NAHRO member agencies for a discussion of available homelessness resources and best practices for their use. Bring your questions and comments and join your fellow PHAs for this interactive webinar!

Register for NAHRO’s Managing During COVID-19: Homelessness Resources Webinar here!

Webinar Tomorrow: Managing During COIVD-19: Community Development: CDBG, HOME, ESG

Join NAHRO and Acting HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development (CPD) John Gibbs from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. eastern tomorrow, May 13, 2020, for a discussion on CPD’s response to the COVID-19 emergency. With a focus on CDBG, HOME, and ESG, Acting Assistant Secretary Gibbs will provide an update on CPD’s efforts to provide communities with access to waivers and supplemental funding and provide insights into CPD’s actions to address the COVID-19 crisis. Following the update, Acting Assistant Secretary Gibbs and his staff will join us for a moderated question and answer session.

Register for the complimentary webinar here!

NAHRO Webinar: Managing During COVID-19: Funding, Flexibility, and Fulfilling our Mission; May 5, 2020 at 2pm Est

NAHRO would like to invite you to a complimentary webinar on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 2pm eastern time – Managing During COVID-19: Funding, Flexibility, and Fulfilling our Mission.

Housing agencies are responding in real-time to the coronavirus and its impact on day-to-day operations and the residents they serve. Hear from federal officials and NAHRO on available resources and flexibilities provided by Congress and being implemented by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

You will also hear from local housing officials on how they are adapting their programs in the current environment.

We will be joined on the webinar by:

  • R. Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Patricia Wells, CME, NAHRO Senior Vice-President, Executive Director, Oakland Housing Authority, CA
  • David S. Gates, CS-PHM, CSO-PH, CME, CMPO, Executive Director, Housing Authority of the County of Lonoke, AR

Bring your questions and comments and join your fellow PHAs for this interactive webinar!

Register for Managing During COVID-19: Funding, Flexibility, and Fulfilling our Mission!

HUD Conference Call on CARES Act Funding

On Friday, May 1 at 3:30 pm ET, HUD will hold a conference call to discuss recent notices on utilizing funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The notices detail funding information for the Public Housing Operating Fund and the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Administrative Fee respectively. The notices and summaries of the notices may be found below:

On the call will be Assistant Secretary Kurtz, Deputy Assistant Secretary Bastarache, and “several HCV and Housing subject matter experts.”

[4/29/2020 2:46 pm edit to correct a name.]

Call in information for the call may be found below:

Step 1: Dial into the conference.
Dial-in: 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633
Access Code: 0828701##
If the automated recording indicates the conference is full, please use overflow information:
Dial-in: 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 Access Code: 0908594#
Step 2: Join the conference on your computer.
Entry Link: https://ems8.intellor.com/login/825773

A calendar invitation may be found here.

HUD Publishes Notice on Accessing HCV Admin. Fee Funding in CARES Act

Earlier today, HUD published PIH 2020-08 titled “CARES Act – HCV Program Administrative Fees.” This notice details how additional administrative fees allocated in the CARES Act will be distributed to PHAs. The CARES Act allocated $1.25 billion for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program ($850 million for administrative fees and $400 million for HAP). The Department will obligate administrative fees in several actions. This notice details the first action, while forthcoming notices will provide details on future distributions.

Initially HUD will provide approximately $380 million to all PHAs (including Moving to Work agencies). Each PHA will receive approximately 2 months worth of administrative fee at the beginning of May. The amount of funding will be the average of the PHA’s calendar year (CY) 2018 and CY 2019 monthly administrative fee eligibility (at 100% proration or full eligibility) multiplied by two.

  • Eligible Uses
    • Any currently eligible administrative costs during the period the program is impacted by the coronavirus;
      • includes necessary upgrades to IT or computer systems to enhance telework capacities and overtime pay for PHA staff to carry-out HCV Program responsibilities;
    • New coronavirus related-activities, including activities to support or maintain the health and safety of assisted individuals and families, and costs related to the retention and support of participating owners:
      • procuring cleaning supplies for HCV units and common areas of PHA-owned PBV units;
      • relocation of families to health units or other designated units for testing, hospitalization, or quarantine (may include transportation costs to these locations);
      • additional costs to supportive services vendors incurred due to coronavirus;
      • costs to retain or increase owner participation in the HCV program;
      • costs for providing childcare of PHA staff that would not otherwise be incurred;
      • costs associated with the delivery of goods, including food and medical supplies that comply with CDC requirements, to program participants;
      • public health security-costs to enforce shelter-in-place, stay-at-home, or visitor-restriction policies;
      • administration costs associated with the implementation of coronavirus-related activities that are not eligible HCV administrative costs;
      • other costs determined by HUD on a case-by-case basis.

Period of availability – the period of availability for these funds is the duration of the calendar year 2020, unless this period is extended by HUD.

Reporting – Unlike regular administrative fees, these funds must be tracked and accounted for separately. Funds not spent must be returned to HUD. Recipients of CARES Act funding in excess of $150,000 have quarterly reporting requirements, including a detailed list of project uses and activities (see notice for full details).

Ineligible expenses – funds may not be used to repay debts or amounts owed to HUD (including OIG, QAD or other monitoring review findings) or program participants. The funds used for salaries must comply with executive compensation requirements.

The full notice may be found here.

NAHRO Analysis – HUD Eviction Moratorium FAQ for PHAs

On April 22, 2020, HUD published an FAQ on implementing the eviction moratorium found in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Titled Eviction Moratorium COVID-19 FAQs for Public Housing Agencies,” the document answers commonly asked questions about how PHAs should be implementing the eviction moratorium. The moratorium is in effect for a 120-day period beginning on March 27, 2020.

The eviction moratorium applies to all public housing residents, including those living in mixed-finance public housing properties owned by a third party, and all housing choice voucher (HCV) holders (including tenant- and project-based vouchers). The eviction moratorium also applies to the HCV and public housing homeownership programs, but only if the families have a federally backed mortgage. Owners of LIHTC units should check with their local State Housing Finance Agency to see if they apply.

The moratorium applies to all tenants regardless of whether their employment has been impacted by COVID-19 or not. However, any missed rent will accumulate and still be due to the PHA at the end of the 120-day moratorium. PHAs may still send late notices to residents, but these notices must not include any fees or charges for the nonpayment of rent or any notice to vacate. Residents cannot be required to vacate a unit for missed rent payments until at least 30 days after the end of the moratorium unless eviction proceedings for the resident began before March 27, 2020. If a PHA believes that a unit has been abandoned, the PHA must take additional steps to ensure that the unit is in fact abandoned (as opposed to the family quarantining elsewhere, being hospitalized, or anything else that may be preventing the family from returning to the unit) before an eviction or termination of assistance is taken against the household.

PHAs can still proceed with evictions and collect fees issued prior to the passing of the CARES Act on March 27, 2020, however, PHAs should review state and local laws as many are also enacting their own moratoriums on evictions and fees that may include different restrictions. Fees issued before March 27 may still be collected, however, PHAs cannot assess interest on fees charged in January and February of 2020. PHAs cannot collect any fees for nonpayment of rent between March 27 and July 24, 2020.

PHAs are still allowed to evict or terminate assistance for drug abuse or other criminal activities and for other lease violations. HUD encourages PHAs to delay initiation or completion of evictions for non-drug or non-crime related reasons until after state and local emergencies are over. If the PHA is evicting a tenant for drug abuse or criminal activity and the local courts are closed, PHAs can still proceed with standard notifications, hearings, and program terminations. However, the PHA must wait until the court of jurisdiction reopens before the final eviction can occur.

HUD’s FAQ can be found here.

HUD’s Section 3 Still Required, Very Limited Reporting Extension (Updated)

While HUD’s Offices of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) and Community Planning and Development (CPD) have provided a number of waivers and flexibilities for the Public Housing program, Housing Choice Voucher program, HOME Investment Partnership program, Community Development Block Grant, and Continuum of Care (CoC) program, HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) has not waived any of the Section 3 statutory and regulatory requirements.

[Updated Text Begins] On April 17, 2020, FHEO released updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) for Section 3 Covered Recipients which addresses 13 questions on how COVID-19 affects Section 3 compliance. Question 2 specifically asks “Are Section 3 Compliance requirements waived during the virus condition?” and FHEO’s answer is “No, the Section 3 statutory and regulatory requirements have not been waived.” Updated questions are also asked about Section 3 SPEARS reporting requirements and deadlines. In response, FHEO states that the Section 3 reporting requirement is not waived and Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) and community development agencies have an extension until July 31, 2020. Additional extensions are not addressed in the updated FAQ but generally PHAs and community development agencies may request extensions beyond July 31, 2020 but must provide justification and any extension request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. [Updated Text Ends]

[Removed Text Begins] On April 3, 2020, FHEO released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) for Section 3 Covered Recipients which addresses 13 questions on how COVID-19 affects Section 3 compliance. Question 2 specifically asks “Are Section 3 Compliance requirements waived during the virus condition?” and FHEO’s answer is “No, the Section 3 statutory and regulatory requirements have not been waived.” Questions are also asked about Section 3 SPEARS reporting requirements and deadlines. In response, FHEO states that the Section 3 reporting requirement is not waived and Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) and community development agencies have an extension until June 1, 2020 but “must clearly demonstrate how COVID-19 precluded timely reporting.” PHAs and community development agencies may request extensions beyond June 1, 2020 but must provide justification and any extension request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.[Removed Text Ends]

FHEO has not waived or reduced the Section 3 requirements and reporting so PHAs and community development agencies must continue to create employment, training and contracting opportunities to Section 3 residents and Section 3 businesses. The Safe Harbor requirements have not been reduced either. PHAs and community development agencies should continue to hire staff and procure contracts, if possible, and if unable to meet the Safe Harbor requirements, they should document their efforts “to make every possible effort ‘to the greatest extent feasible’ to make employment and contracting opportunities available to” Section 3 residents.

NAHRO is relaying information from our members on the unprecedented operational and economic concerns affordable housing providers are facing to HUD and is requesting maximum flexibility for PHAs and community development agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

NAHRO will continue to provide the latest information from HUD and Congress on the COVID-19 emergency response to our members and the public through our communication tools including the NAHRO coronavirus webpage and the NAHRO blog.

NAHRO Analysis – HUD Issues COVID-19 Related Waivers for Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs

On April 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a series of waivers and program updates, 44 in total, for the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs. The waivers were issued by HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) in Notice PIH 2020-05, COVID-19 Statutory and Regulatory Waivers for the Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Indian Housing Block Grant and Indian Community Development Block Grant programs, Suspension of Public Housing Assessment System and Section Eight Management Assessment Program. The notice also includes 16 waivers related to Native American housing programs, specifically the Native American housing Assistance and Self-Determination Action of 1996 (NAHASDA) Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) and the Indian Community Development Block Grant programs. In order to provide relevant information to Public Housing Authorities, this Direct News will focus on the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher program waivers.

This notice only addresses program waivers and does not discuss the allocation or release of the supplemental funding that was appropriated as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public law 116-136). The funding notices are anticipated to be release towards the end of April 2020 with the first round of funding being available to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) at the beginning of May 2020.

The purpose of the statutory and regulatory waivers is for HUD to assist PHAs and Tribal housing providers in continuing to operate and provide critical housing services to their local communities. HUD provides a non-inclusive list of critical PHA functions which includes issuing vouchers so families can find housing, processing Requests for Tenancy Approvals (RFTAs) so families can be approved to move into a unit, processing requests for portability moves, ensuring occupancy of Public Housing units, processing minimum rent hardship exemptions, and completing reexaminations for participants who have experienced a decrease in income.

The notice is broken into a number of sections and this Direct News will follow the same layout by discussing the underlining waiver authority by program, the applicability of the waivers, and the duration the waivers will be available.

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