HUD Updates FY 2018 FMRs

Earlier today, HUD published a notice in the Federal Register titled “Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2018; Revised.” The notice updates the FY 2018 FMRs based on new survey data for the following eight areas:

  • Hawaii County, HI;
  • Hood River County, OR;
  • Jonesboro, AR HUD Metro FMR Area (HMFA);
  • Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA);
  • Santa Maria-Santa-Barbara, CA MSA;
  • Seattle-Bellevue, WA HMFA;
  • Urban Honolulu, HI MSA; and
  • Wasco County, OR.

These eight areas requested reevaluation and provided data to HUD to allow for a reevaluation. The notice also responds to comments previously submitted.

The full notice can be found here.

HUD Publishes Notice on FY 2017 Set-Aside Tenant-Protection Vouchers

Earlier today, HUD published a notice titled “Funding Availability for Set-Aside Tenant-Protection Vouchers – Fiscal Year 2017 Funding” (PIH 2018-02; H 2018-01). In it, HUD makes 5 million dollars available from the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Appropriations Act that the bill allocated for Tenant Protection-Vouchers (TPVs) for certain at-risk households in low-vacancy areas.

Major changes from the FY 2016 Funding Availability for Tenant-Protection Vouchers notice include the following:

  • Application submission has been revised in two ways:
    • Owners may submit an application for a triggering event that occurred within the past 5 years or will occur within 180 days;
    • applications will be received on a rolling basis until funding is exhausted or HUD issues a new notice for FY 2018;
  • Removes the “Rental Assistance Payments (RAP) contract expirations prior to” FY 2012 and “properties with Rent Supplement contract expirations prior to FY 2000” categories;
  • Requires owners specify between enhanced vouchers or Project-based Vouchers (PBVs) and whether the owner is willing to accept the other form of assistance where the Public and Indian Housing (PIH) Field Office is unable to find a PHA willing to administer the preferred assistance type;
  • Adopts Fair Market Rents (FMRs) and Small Area FMRs (in metropolitan areas) as a proxy for market rents;
  • Revises owner calculation of household income requirements;
  • Consolidates previous household list requirements;
  • Allows PHAs to rely on an owner’s determination of a rent burden for a household;
  • Allows owners and PHAs to use an owner’s most recent family income examination in certain circumstances;
  • Revises how low-vacancy areas are defined; and
  • Removes HUD internal standard operating procedures.

NAHRO is still in the process of reading through this notice and will supply additional details to its members.

The notice can be found here.

HUD to Release CDBG-DR Notice for 2017 Disasters

HUD has posted a pre-publication copy of the “Allocations, Common Application, Waivers, and Alternative Requirements for 2017 Disaster Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Grantees” notice. The notice is to be published in the Federal Register and will be applicable five days after being published.

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.

HUD’s Oversight and Evaluation Division Renamed the Inspection Standards & Data for Vouchers Division

Earlier today, HUD sent an email stating that HUD’s Oversight and Evaluation Division (OED)–in the Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC)–would be renamed the Inspection Standards & Data for Vouchers (ISDV) Division. The ISDV Division is the group within HUD running the UPCS-V (the inspections protocol which will be the successor to the HQS protocol in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program) Demonstration. The email notes that the name change “serves to align the division’s name with [its] mission, culture, services and philosophy.” ISDV will strive to maintain a culture of transparency; streamline inspections, while maintaining accuracy; and increase owners’ and tenants’ ability to access information about their homes.

ISDV Division’s website can be found here.

Small Area FMR Guidance Published

HUD has published PIH 2018-01 (HA) titled “Guidance on Recent Changes in Fair Market Rent (FMR), Payment Standard, and Rent Reasonableness Requirements in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.” The guidance states that “PHAs are expected to have completed the implementation as expeditiously as possible and no later than April 1, 2018.” NAHRO will provide additional details on the guidance in the coming days.

The notice can be found here.

HUD Publishes New AFFH FAQ

On Friday, HUD sent an email announcing a new list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that responds to the new notice delaying the submission date for the local government Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). HUD “strongly encourages program participants to visit [the FAQ].” The new notice can be found on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) HUD Exchange webpage.

The FAQ can be found here.

HUD Extends AFH Deadline for Local Governments

Tomorrow, HUD will publish a notice in the Federal Register titled “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Extension of Deadline for Submission of Assessment of Fair Housing for Consolidated Plan Participants.” The notice states that for local government consolidated plan participants, the deadline for submitting their Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) will be extended to the next AFH submission date after October 31, 2020. Although the notice will be effective immediately after publication in the Federal Register, HUD is inviting public comment for 60 days on the extension. [1/5/18 Edit – Comments are due by March 6, 2018.]

The notice extends the deadline for submission of an AFH to all local government consolidated plan program participants to the AFH submission deadline after October 31, 2020. Local governments that qualified for a previous extension under a October 24, 2016 notice are also covered under this extension. All local government program participants must still comply with the statutory obligation of affirmatively furthering fair housing.

Until a consolidated plan program participant is required to submit an AFH, it will continue to provide the AFFH Consolidated plan certification in accordance with requirements that existed prior to August 17, 2015. These requirements obligated a program participant to certify that it would affirmatively further fair housing by conducting an Analysis of Impediments (AI) to fair housing choice within the jurisdiction and take action to overcome the effects of the identified impediments.

For program participants starting a new 3 to 5 year consolidated plan cycle, the AI should continue to be updated until those consolidated plan program participants submit an AFH after October 31, 2020. Program participants that have already submitted an AFH which has been accepted by HUD must continue to execute the goals of that AFH (they are not required to perform an additional AI). Program participants that received a non-accept decision should not submit their revised AFHs. HUD will discontinue the review of AFHs currently under review and will not render an accept, deemed accepted, or non-accept determination.

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HUD Sends Email on Revocation of Small Area FMR Suspension

On Friday, December 29, HUD sent an email stating that a Federal Court has set aside the Small Area FMR Suspension. The suspension, citing harm to vulnerable households, would have delayed the implementation of Small Area FMRs until 2020. The email states that “PHAs must immediately take all steps necessary with respect to dedicating monetary and human resources towards the implementation; as well as integrating the new FMR requirements in any planning the PHA conducts. As expeditiously as possible, HUD will issue guidance addressing implementation issues, technical assistance, and potential obstacles to implementation.”

NAHRO is in the process of working with HUD to help implement Small Area FMRs for those members who must now use them.

PUC Automatic Trending Now Included in HCV Forecasting Tool

A HUD official emailed us to let us know that the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Forecasting tool has again been updated. This time, the tool includes an automatic trending of per unit costs (PUC) in years 1 and 2. Users may still adjust this trend depending on the on-the-ground circumstances. This change was made because “in 2017 as PUCs have gone up more around the nation, may PHAs have not accounted for the trend in future months, leading to shortfalls.”

The HCV forecasting tool can be accessed here.

HUD Sends HCV Funding “Get Ready” Letter

Earlier today, HUD’s Financial Management Center sent a letter informing PHAs of potential funding scenarios for Calendar Year (CY) 2018. The letter stated that the federal budget is currently being governed by a Continuing Resolution (CR) until Jan. 19, 2018. At that time, Congress may pass a budget or a year-long CR. The letter uses the amounts allocated for Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) and Administrative Fees in the House and Senate appropriations bills to estimate prorations for 2018. These estimations can be found in the table below.

Senate bill (S. 1655) House bill (H.R. 3353)
Administrative Fee 76.153% 70.233%
Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) 98.810% 95.301%

HUD notes that the proration levels were calculated by “estimating the full HCV program need for 2018 and comparing the program need to the available funding.” HUD recommends that PHAs assess their projected leasing and spending by modeling both scenarios. HUD also recommends using the forecasting tool.

The full letter can be read here (in Word format).

[12/28/17 Edit – HUD FMC sent another letter with an alternative link to the tool (if you were having trouble with the link above).]