HUD Publishes New RAD and Section 18 Blend Document

Earlier today, HUD’s Office of Recapitalization sent a RADBlast! email announcing the publication of a Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQ) document about using HUD’s new demolition and disposition notice–PIH 2018-04 (HA)–in conjunction with the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program.

Specifically, the document answers questions around the provision in the demolition and disposition notice that allows PHAs to convert at least 75 percent of public housing units in a project under RAD–which meet the requirements of the RAD Final Implementation Notice REV-3, H-2017-3–and to convert through disposition up to 25 percent of public housing units within the project to Section 8 project-based voucher assistance.

For those contemplating completing a RAD transaction, this provision is another tool to help finance the deal.

The RAD-Section 18 Blend document can be found at the RAD Resource Desk or here.

HUD Begins EnVision Center Demonstration

In a press release earlier today, HUD announced the names of the first 17 communities that will receive EnVision Center designations. EnVision Centers are centralized hubs that serve to support four pillars of self-sufficiency: 1) Economic Empowerment; 2) Educational Advancement; 3) Health and Wellness; and 4) Character and Leadership. The EnVision Centers will partner with “federal agencies, state and local governments, non-profits, faith-based organizations, corporations, public housing authorities, and housing finance agencies” and will leverage these “public-private partnerships” to connect households with services to promote self-sufficiency.

HUD plans to develop tools to track and measure resident outcomes and services to ensure that EnVision Centers are able to monitor progress.

NAHRO’s comments on the EnVision Center Demonstration can be found here.

HUD’s full press release can be found here.

The full list of communities receiving the Envision Center designation can be found by clicking below.

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HUD Posts “Keys to A Successful RAD Conversion” Videos

On Thursday, May 17 and Friday, May 18, HUD held a training on the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program titled “Keys to A Successful RAD Conversion.” The two day long sessions were held in the Brooke-Mondale Auditorium at HUD’s Headquarters. The training was targeted at PHAs that had not yet contemplated, or had not yet started, a RAD transaction and was meant to provide information about the RAD process. The Department had previously promised to post videos of each of the sessions, which they recently did. The session videos can be found below.

Click below to see each session.

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HUD Awards Public Housing Capital Funds

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.”

HUD Updates PHAs on Effects of Possible Rescission

On May 18th, HUD sent an email to PHA Executive Directors informing them of some of the potential effects on HUD Public and Indian Housing programs related to the rescission package proposed by the President. Rescissions are a method by which a President can propose canceling some previously appropriated spending amounts. The President’s package of rescissions has been submitted to Congress. Congress has 45 days to act on the submission and pass it through legislation. If after 45 days, Congress does not pass the rescission package, then the funds will become available for HUD to spend. The rescission package impacts programs from across the federal government, including 2015 – 2017 unobligated balances in the Public Housing Capital Fund.

If Congress does not act on the package (both the House and Senate need to pass it with a simple majority vote), then the effects of the package will be minimal. During the 45 day period, where Congress has the opportunity to pass it, the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Jobs Plus and the FY 2015 – 2017 Emergency Disaster grant awards will be on hold. The rescission has no impact on funds HUD has already awarded to PHAs, including the FY 2017 Capital Fund awards made last year.

If the rescission package is passed, then the following programs will be impacted by the amounts listed below.

  • Modernization Grants – $15,915,042
  • Emergency Disaster Grants – $3,697,949
  • Safety and Security Grants – $618,513
  • Financial & Physical Assessments – $13,152
  • ROSS Grants – $930,206
  • Jobs Plus Grants – $15,602,447
  • Receiverships – $1,717,970
  • Technical Assistance – $439,236
  • Total Proposed HUD Rescission – $38,934,515

NAHRO will continue to provide further updates as new information becomes available.

HUD’s full letter can be found here.

FY19 House T-HUD Appropriations Bill Released; HUD Programs Receive Level Funding/Slight Increases

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
  • Choice Neighborhoods:$150 million, level funding
  • Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Renewals:$20.107 billion, a 2.6 percent increase
  • Mobility Demonstration: $50 million for a new mobility demonstration program
  • Ongoing Administrative Fees: $1.73 billion, level funding
  • Family Self-Sufficiency: $75 million, level funding
  • Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance: $11.747 billion, a 2 percent increase
  • 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.

NAHRO Begins New Partnership on Smoke-Free Public Housing; May 17 Complementary Webinar

ANSR2On March 15, Live Smoke Free, the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), and the National Alliance of Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing (NAR-SAAH) began a partnership to support successful smoke-free public housing policy and implementation. The Clean Air for All: The Smoke-Free Public Housing Project is made possible by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It will provide training and technical assistance to public housing authorities (PHAs), resident services staff, and public housing residents impacted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) smoke-free public housing rule. The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium at the Public Health Law Center and national smoke-free housing expert Alison Freeman are also partners in the venture.

The Clean Air for All: The Smoke-Free Public Housing Project spans a two-year time period, from March 15, 2018 to March 14, 2020. Services available to PHAs include:

  • Training & educational opportunities (at the national and regional levels),
  • Consultations,
  • Implementation tools,
  • Tips for resident engagement,
  • Referrals to local support,
  • Compliance & enforcement strategies, and
  • Referrals to cessation resources.

On May 17 at 12:30pm Eastern Time join the Clean Air for All team for a complimentary, live discussion and Q&A on the “Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing” final rule. Participants will hear a brief update on the rule and be able to submit questions to Live Smoke Free, NAHRO, and NAR-SAAH staff. Have any and all your remaining questions on final implementation of the rule answered before the July 30 compliance date. Join us to help your agency transition to and maintain successful smoke-free public housing environments. Register for this complimentary session at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3798829557136111363.

To learn more about the Clean Air for All: The Smoke-Free Public Housing Project or to seek support for a PHA, contact gbanna@nahro.org.

Groups sue HUD over AFFH

Earlier today, three groups (the National Fair Housing Alliance [NFHA], the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service, and Texas Appleseed) filed a complaint in Federal Court (the United States District Court for the District of Columbia) against HUD regarding its recent actions to extend the deadline for local governments to submit their Assessments of Fair Housing (AFHs).

The complaint states that HUD “published a three-page notice . . . suspending the key requirements of the [Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH)] rule” (HUD characterizes this action as an “Extension of Deadline for Submission of Assessment of Fair Housing for Consolidated Plan Participants“). The action caused “irreparable and ongoing injury” for the three groups suing. As a result of HUD’s action, Texas Appleseed and the Texas Low Income Housing Information Service will have to “divert [mission-critical] resources” to “remedying the effects of [HUD’s] actions.” Additionally, NFHA will have to “divert resources to assisting its members around the country . . . to combat the effects of [HUD’s] actions.”

The groups believe that HUD erred in three ways. First, “[b]y failing to engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking before delaying and altering the AFFH Rule, HUD failed to observe procedures required by law, in contravention of the [Administrative Procedure Act].” Second, “HUD’s delay of the Rule is arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion, in contravention of the [Administrative Procedure Act]” because HUD’s rationale for extending the deadline (inadequate technical assistance among other reasons) does not explain why HUD cannot improve its technical assistance or why it is acceptable to go back to the previous regulatory framework (i.e., the Analysis of Impediments). Third, “HUD’s effective suspension of the AFFH Rule violates the Fair Housing Act, in contravention of the [Administrative Procedure Act].” Here, the complaint states that HUD is violating its own “affirmative obligation under the Fair Housing Act to ensure that federal housing programs are administered, and federal housing funds spent, in a manner that furthers fair housing.”

The complaint asks that the Court do five things. First, enter a declaratory judgment that HUD’s action is “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or contrary to law, and without observance of procedure required by law.” Second, issue preliminary and permanent injunctions requiring HUD to suspend its notice extending the deadline for submission of AFHs for local governments and implement and enforce the requirements of the AFFH rule moving forward. Third, direct HUD to take affirmative steps to remedy the harms caused by the extension. Fourth, award the groups attorney’s fees and costs. Fifth, award any other relief that may be “just and equitable.”

The full complaint can be found here.

Tomorrow – NAHRO e-Briefing on Rent Reform: A Review of Current Proposals

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.

The registration process can be found here.

HUD Releases Rent Reform Proposal

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released its rent reform proposal earlier today–titled “Making Affordable Housing Work Act of 2018.” The President’s previously released proposed FY 2019 budget anticipated certain rent reform proposals, though at the time of the proposed budget’s release, these proposals were unknown. The Department has now released its proposal.

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.

The full press release can be found here.

The full legislative text can be found here.

[5/1/18 – NAHRO members can find a full summary of the legislation here. (You must be logged in to view this page.)]