Earlier today, HUD published a press release announcing that it had selected PHAs for the fourth cohort of the Moving to Work (MTW) program. The MTW program allows PHAs that have received MTW status certain additional flexibilities in how they use their funds and greater freedom in how they operate. The program allows PHAs to innovate in how they provide housing.
The current expansion of the MTW program requires PHAs to commit to research on a particular policy topic. In addition to the regulatory and operational flexibility afforded by the program, PHAs selected in this cohort have committed to research asset building policies. Housing agencies in this cohort will have to pick, implement, and track one of the three following options for asset building policies:
- Opt-Out Savings Account Option – PHAs must deposit a certain amount of funds per month into an escrow account on behalf of an assisted household.
- Credit Building Option – PHAs must report public housing rent payments to credit bureaus.
- PHA-Designed Asset Building Option – PHAs must design their own local asset building program.
Currently, HUD has selected 87 of the 100 agencies, including 16 in this cohort, to which it is statutorily mandated to award an MTW designation. According to HUD, “MTW agencies are now in 40 states and the District of Columbia.”
HUD’s press release on the MTW fourth cohort can be found here.
The Request for Applications for the MTW fourth cohort (Notice PIH 2022-11) can be found here.
NAHRO congratulates all of the selected PHAs that were selected in this cohort. The complete list can be found below.
On Dec. 17, HUD published a notice titled “Guidance on Inventory Management System/PIH Information Center (IMS-PIC) Sub-Module Reporting and Validation” (Notice PIH 2021-35). This notice provides guidance to PHAs, including Moving to Work (MTW) agencies, on reporting occupancy in public housing. The notice revises Notice PIH 2011-7.
The notice makes several revisions to Notice PIH 2011-7, which contained the previous requirements regarding unit classification. These revisions include requiring PHAs to receive a HUD approval letter–in certain instances–prior to making IMS-PIC submissions. The notice also makes changes to the “Undergoing Modernization,” “Casualty Loss,” and “Vacant due to Market Conditions” subcategories of occupancy categories. It adds the “MTW Neighborhood Services” subcategory. It also clarifies that certain units that are vacant, reconfigured, demolished, or sold for certain reasons (e.g., a unit removed to install an elevator shaft) should not be classified as in a non-dwelling category, but should have their ACC, Capital Fund, and Operating Fund indicators set to “No.” The notice also stresses the importance of timely and accurate submissions (60 calendar days from the effective date of any action recorded on line 2b of HUD-50058 or HUD-50058 MTW). Finally, the notice updates the web link used to access the Job Aid website, which provides additional technical assistance.
The notice provides information on unit categories and sub-categories through both a chart and additional detailed descriptions of the requirements needed to classify units. The categories and sub-categories covered are the following:
On Dec. 6, HUD published a notice titled “Submitting CARES Act Waiver Adoption Information to HUD by December 20, 2021” (PIH 2021-33). This notice requires all PHAs–including those that did not adopt any CARES Act waivers and those that are Moving to Work (MTW) agencies–to report on the waivers that they did or did not implement in the CARES Act Waiver Reporting Tool (CAWRT).
The CARES Act, passed on March 27, 2020, provided HUD with the authority to waive certain statutes and regulations for the public housing and the housing choice voucher (HCV) programs as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department exercised its authority to issue waivers through multiple notices, including PIH 2021-14 (providing revised waivers for public housing and the HCV program), PIH 2020-20 (providing waivers for the Mod. Rehab. program), and PIH 2020-22 (providing waivers for Mainstream vouchers). Additionally, HUD has provided guidance for winding down the waivers as they near their end of life.
Housing agencies must now report to HUD the waivers that they adopted. In adopting CARES Act waivers, HUD required PHAs to record which waivers the PHA had adopted. Agencies should have made this document available to the public. The Department also provided a suggested format for recording adopted waivers in the form of Attachment I of PIH Notice 2021-14. HUD requires one response from each PHA code. Agencies participating in the MTW program should only indicate adoption of the waivers that were adopted through CARES Act authority.
This reporting requirement must be met by Dec. 20, 2021.
Step-by-step instructions to complete this reporting requirement can be found here.
Housing agencies can access the CARES Act Waiver Reporting Tool here.
On Nov. 4, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its vaccine mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. It is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, Nov. 5, and will take effect immediately. Covered employers have 30-days (by approximately Dec. 5) to become compliant and implement a vaccine and mask mandate and unvaccinated employees must be in compliance with weekly testing requirements within 60-days (by approximately Jan. 4).
A pre-publication copy of the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing can be found here. The majority of the ETS provides background, justification, description; and the last section lists the regulatory updates and additions. While the full document is 490 pages, the regulation itself is much shorter and can be found on page 473.
The purpose of the ETS is to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers from the risk of contracting COVID-19 by strongly encouraging vaccination. Covered employers must develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, with an exception for employers that adopt a policy requiring employees to either get vaccinated or elect to undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work in lieu of vaccination.
Unvaccinated employees would need to wear a mask indoors or in vehicles with employees at all times except when alone in a room with floor to ceiling walls or windows and a closed door. There is no mask requirement for vaccinated employees.
At this time the ETS only applies to employers of 100 or more employees, however OSHA is continuing to discuss whether or not this should apply to smaller employers.
NAHRO will continue to follow OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing, and will share additional information as it becomes available.
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.
Secretary Fudge and HUD Senior Advisors led a briefing on Monday June 21st to update housing advocates on details of the American Jobs Plan (AJP), and urge continued support across advocacy networks. In the briefing, she called the AJP a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to address decades of disinvestment in moderate and low-income housing, and its $40 billion Capital Fund investment “the biggest down payment we will make,” while simultaneously acknowledging that the $40 billion did not go far enough. The HUD team emphasized the importance of redeveloping and preserving public housing units to the administration’s dual goals of racial equity and reducing the environmental footprint of public housing.
HUD Senior Advisor Peggy Bailey also gave a more detailed breakdown of the proposed $40 billion for the Capital Fund:
$27 billion: Major Rehabilitation, Modernization, and Redevelopment
- Leveraging capital through Capital Fund, mixed finance, and RAD
- Build new units up to Faircloth
- Includes RAD rent boost ($1 billion), tenant-protection vouchers ($500 million), expanding the scale of Choice Neighborhoods ($2 billion)
$13 billion: Immediate Health/Safety Needs and Environmental Impact of Public Housing
- $6 billion to Public Housing Authorities with public housing for immediate needs and renovations – capital grants by formula
- $7 billion for health, safety, and climate needs – competitive grants
Secretary Fudge issued new guidance yesterday clarifying that citizens returning from jail and/or prison and at risk of homelessness are eligible for Emergency Housing Vouchers.
In a letter sent out to PHAs, Continuums of Care, and HUD grantees, Sec. Fudge wrote that “HUD strongly encourages PHAs to work with their Continuum of Care (CoC) partners to ensure that individuals who are at-risk of homelessness after leaving prisons or jails are considered for these vouchers.”
HUD has eliminated permissive prohibitions for drug-related criminal activity for EHVs, since drug addiction can be a root cause of homelessness. Following a Housing First approach, it now recommends considering drug-related prohibitions to be separate from prohibitions on criminal activity against a person. HUD also no longer requires a “one strike” rule for residents for criminal activity, and instead defers to discretion of landlords and PHAs. More detail on criminal records and eligibility for EHVs can be found here.
Beyond EHVs, more guidance on criminal records in accordance with the Fair Housing Act can be found here. PHAs and federally-assisted housing cannot use arrest records as the basis to deny admission, terminate assistance, or evict residents.
HUD plans to issue future guidance and tools for PHAs and private landlords on tenant screening and best practices on reentry housing. Later this month it will also issue guidance on using Community Development Block Grants on community violence intervention (CVI).
On June 17, 2021, NAHRO along with its industry partners—CLPHA, PHADA, and the MTW Collaborative—jointly issued a statement on universal housing vouchers. Only one in five low-income households that are eligible to receive housing assistance can be served by existing programs due to limited funding. The statement discusses the need for additional rental assistance to address housing instability and prevent homelessness. The statement also discusses the strengths of the voucher program in providing scalable assistance that is proven and effective.
The full statement is can be view here.
Earlier today, HUD published applications to apply for additional cohorts in the Moving to Work (MTW) Expansion. The Moving to Work program allows PHAs additional regulatory flexibilities to implement innovative strategies to house families. The MTW Expansion incorporates a research component with every new cohort of MTW agencies.
The applications can be found here:
NAHRO members will receive additional information about both applications in the coming days.