HUD Publishes Webcast on HOTMA PHA Owned Units and PBV Provisions

Last week, a HUD official emailed me a link to HUD’s Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) webinar trainings on PHA Owned Units and Project-based Voucher provisions. These webcasts go over notice PIH 2017-21 (HA) titled “Implementation Guidance: Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) – Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Project-based Voucher (PBV) Provisions.” If you have a little spare time this holiday weekend, it may be useful to watch them.

The trainings can be found here.

How Will MTW “Accommodate Regionalization”?

On the Brookings website, there’s a joint post by Greg Russ, the Executive Director and CEO of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, and Robin Snyderman, a Nonresident Senior Fellow of Brookings’s Metropolitan Policy Program, which discusses the new Moving To Work (MTW) Expansion. The post focuses on the MTW expansion enabling legislation which allows HUD to “accommodate regionalization” in its MTW expansion plans.

What this legislative language specifically means is unclear, but the opportunity exists to use the MTW Expansion and its single-fund flexibilities to create a “a variety of public housing initiatives to operate in a regional market across agency boundaries.” Regional MTW approaches may be particularly relevant in Baltimore, Chicago, and the Twin Cities, where MTW agencies are located in high-poverty areas surrounded by other PHAs in lower-poverty jurisdictions.

In fostering a regional MTW approach, agencies will still need to properly balance the greater cost of mobility initiatives with the tradeoff of potentially serving fewer families. The post notes that one of the benefits of a regional MTW approach may be “the cost-savings associated with reduced administrative burdens of cross-jurisdictional activity.”

The post explores other concepts of what MTW regionalization may look like.

The entire post can be read here.

HUD Updates Disaster Portability Guidance

Earlier today, HUD’s Financial Management Center sent additional guidance for PHAs receiving porting requests from program participants from Presidentially declared Major Disaster Declaration areas. Although previous guidance had been issued in an email, this guidance gives additional details on how receiving PHAs should process ports when the initial PHA is unable to complete portability requests.

This guidance applies to receiving PHAs that are contacted directly by families that are from areas covered by Presidentially declared Major Disaster Declarations and that wish to port, but have an initial PHA that cannot complete their portability responsibilities.

HUD has published a list, which includes all PHAs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and whether receiving PHAs should use these alternative portability guidelines. HUD will continually update this list by 5 pm EST every Thursday to reflect changes that allow initial PHAs to resume portability operations. This disaster portability guidance will be in effect until January 31, 2018, unless HUD extends this date. Questions can be emailed to the HUD Disaster Portabilty Team at DisasterPortability@hud.gov.

The PHA Portability Status List can be found here.

HUD’s updated portability guidance can be found here.

HUD REAC Posts October 2017 UPCS-V Conference Call

HUD Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) Oversight and Evaluation Division (OED) posted their quarterly conference call with UPCS-V Demonstration participants. UPCS-V is the inspection protocol that HUD is developing to replace Housing Quality Standards (HQS), which is the current inspection protocol used for the Housing Choice Voucher program.

The 10/25/17 UPCS-V conference call can be found here.

HUD Publishes Additional Guidance on Implementing HOTMA Voucher Provisions

Yesterday, October 30, HUD published notice PIH 2017-21 (HA) titled “Implementation Guidance: Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) – Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Project-Based Voucher (PBV) Provisions.” The notice provides additional guidance on HUD’s previous Federal Register notice implementing HOTMA’s changes to the definition of PHA-owned housing and changes to the project-based voucher program. It also incorporates HUD’s previous technical corrections notice.

This notice provides guidance on the following topics:

  • PHA-Owned Units;
  • PHA-Owned Units and Independent Entities;
  • Percentage Limitation (Program Cap) and PHA Submission Requirements;
  • PBV Percentage Limitation – 10 Percent Increase for Eligible Units;
  • Income-Mixing Requirement (Project Cap);
  • Units Not Subject to Percentage Limitation (Program Cap) or Income-Mixing Requirement (Project Cap);
  • Priority of PBV HAP Contracts;
  • PBV Biennial Inspections;
  • Adding Units to PBV HAP Contract Without Competition;
  • PBV Contract Termination or Expiration without Extension;
  • Attaching PBVs to Certain PHA-Owned Projects Without Following a Competitive Process;
  • Project-Basing Family Unification Program and HUD-VASH Vouchers;
  • Appendix – PBV Program Cap Calculation Instructions;
  • Appendix – PHA Plan, Administrative Plan, and Other PBV Topics;
  • Appendix – Reporting; and
  • Appendix – HCV, Homeownership, and PBV Inspection Requirements.

NAHRO is still in the process of reading through the notice and will provide additional information to our members.

The notice can be found here.

HUD Publishes Guidance on Implementing HOTMA Inspection Provisions

On October 27, HUD published PIH 2017-20 (HA) titled “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) – Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Implementation Guidance.” The notice provides additional guidance on two previously implemented provisions that theoretically should allow PHAs to approve a unit and execute a HAP contract with a landlord more quickly.

The two provisions may help PHAs in tight rental markets. The first provision allows PHAs to approve an assisted tenancy and make Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) on units that fail to meet Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspection protocol, but only have non-life-threatening deficiencies. The second provision allows PHAs to approve assisted tenancies of a unit prior to the HQS inspection if the property has passed an alternative inspection within the past 24 months.

The notice discusses the following topics:

  1. Implementing the approval of assisted tenancy for units with non-life-threatening HQS deficiencies provision;
    1. HUD definition of non-life-threatening and life-threatening conditions;
    2. Incorporating life-threatening conditions for all inspections;
    3. Documenting the presence or absence of life-threatening conditions;
    4. Notification of owners and tenants;
    5. Effective date of HAP contract;
    6. Housing Assistance payments;
    7. Administrative plans;
    8. Notification of HUD;
    9. Section Eight Management Assessment Program (SEMAP);
  2. Implementing the Alternative Inspections Provision;
    1. Eligible alternative inspection methods;
    2. Timing of the initial HQS inspection;
    3. Approval of assisted tenancy and execution of HAP contract;
    4. Housing assistance payments;
    5. Notification of owners and tenants;
    6. Administrative plans;
    7. Notification of HUD; and
    8. SEMAP.

The notice also includes helpful charts and tables. Particularly useful is a chart in the notice that provides examples of life-threatening conditions and explains where to record them on the HUD Inspection Form. Additionally, the notice includes four flowcharts, which visually explain how to use the provisions. The notice is logically structured, clearly written, and makes good use of charts–my compliments to the HUD staffers who put it together.

NAHRO members will receive additional coverage of this notice.

The full notice can be found here.

HUD Publishes Expedited Waiver Process Notice for PHAs affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

[10/6/17 Edit – the notice has been published in the Federal Register and can be found here.]

Earlier today, HUD made available a pre-publication copy of a notice titled “Relief from HUD Requirements Available to PHAs to Assist with Recovery and Relief Efforts on Behalf of Families Affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Future Natural Disasters where Major Disaster Declarations might be Issued in 2017.” The notice establishes an expedited process for a review of waiver requests for those PHAs that are in Major Disaster Declaration areas (MDD PHAs). PHAs in future Major Disaster Declaration areas in 2017 may also use the flexibilities granted in the notice. The notice becomes applicable tomorrow (October 6, 2017) with its publication in the Federal Register.

To begin the expedited waiver process, PHAs must complete the checklist (listed as Attachment A to the notice) and must include a good-cause justification stating why the waiver is needed for the PHA’s relief and recovery efforts. A MDD PHA may also request a waiver that is not listed and still receive expedited review of the request if the MDD PHA documents that the waiver is needed for relief and recovery purposes.

To apply for these waivers through the expedited waiver process, do the following:

  1. Download the checklist;
  2. Complete the section titled “Information about Requesting Agency” (make sure an MDD PHA official signs it);
  3. Complete the checklists and provide any needed documentation;
  4. Write an email to PIH_Disaster_Relief@hud.gov and your Field Office Public Housing Director with the subject line “Hurricane Harvey/Irma Disaster Relief”;
  5. Attach the completed checklist to the email; and
  6. Send the email.

The pre-publication copy of the notice can be found here.

A brief description of the available flexibilities can be found be clicking below.

Continue reading

HUD Sends Letter to PHAs in Declared Disaster Counties on Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

On Tuesday, September 26, HUD sent an email to PHA Executive Directors in Declared Disaster Counties. The email provides information that may be useful for PHAs in those areas.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance Program – PHAs in declared disaster areas may be eligible to apply for Stafford Act Section 403 and Section 406 funds through FEMA’s Public Assistance Programs program. The Public Assistance grant program covers emergency work (covered by Section 403; e.g., debris removal, demolition of unsafe structures; or boarding of windows) and permanent work (Section 406), unless Congress appropriates funds to HUD for these purposes. Additional information on this FEMA program can be found here.

FEMA and HUD Data Sharing – Starting the week of September 18, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) began sending reports to PHAs about program participants who have registered for FEMA assistance. HUD anticipates continuing to send these reports on a weekly basis or as new information is available. Please use discretion handling the workbooks and data.

Fraud – If PHAs have concerns about fraud, the email lists methods to contact the federal government.

FEMA’s Fraud Hotline – (866) 720-5721 and

HUD OIG’s Fraud page – (800) 347-3753.

Expedited Waiver Process – As mentioned in NAHRO’s previous blog post, HUD is in the process of creating a expedited waiver process for those PHAs in disaster areas. The process will be articulated in an upcoming Federal Register notice. This notice will be modeled on previous expedited waiver process notices.

Additional information on the Hurricanes and HUD’s response can be found at the following links:

HUD Updates Industry Groups on Hurricane Assistance

Earlier today, NAHRO, along with industry groups PHADA and CLPHA, joined HUD on a conference call to discuss updates on the HUD’s Hurricane Assistance for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. HUD noted that Hurricane Harvey impacted 1,100 properties, while Hurricanes Irma and Maria impacted 1,400 properties. The exact number of households impacted is still growing as additional information becomes available.

To facilitate quick responses to the on-the-ground situation, HUD will be issuing a notice detailing expedited waiver procedures for PHAs in the affected areas. The notice will be published in the Federal Register early next week. According to HUD, the notice will allow PHAs to apply for waivers through an expedited process, which HUD anticipates taking no more than a few business days. There will be an attachment with the notice, which PHAs can use to check off the waivers that they are requesting and provide very general and basic documentation of the need for the waiver. The waiver requests will still be submitted to the field offices.

During the call, HUD also indicated that they will provide additional guidance on how other agencies can update their disaster-related preferences so that disaster-impacted families may be able to utilize the services of other agencies. At this time, HUD believes that updating a PHA’s administrative plan for disaster-related preferences is not a “significant amendment,” making the update less burdensome for those agencies which may decide to do it.

NAHRO remains committed to providing all housing authorities in disaster-related areas with the most up-to-date information as it becomes available and assisting in any way possible.

Update: Additionally, HUD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has published an integrity bulletin warning “everyone affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria to be alert for fraud schemes that commonly occur following a disaster.” Schemes include scam housing inspectors, scam contractors, fake relief programs, flood-damaged cars being offered for resale, and mortgage rescue scams. Additional information can be found here.

HUD Increases HCV Administrative Fee Proration

In a letter to PHA Executive Directors on Wednesday, August 30, 2017,  HUD announced that it had calculated each PHA’s Administrative Fee eligibility for the months of January to June and established an estimated proration factor. In March of 2017, the proration factor was slightly higher than 74 percent. HUD “[t]hrough the use of recaptured and carryover funds that were reprogrammed” was able to increase the national administrative fee proration to “be around 76%-77%.” The Department will provide a 77 percent proration from between January to June with a 76 percent proration for the final six months of the year. This is only an estimated proration factor. The final reconciliation will determine the final proration factor.

While NAHRO is pleased at the increase in the proration of the administrative fee, it is still far from the full funding that is needed to run the Housing Choice Voucher program. NAHRO continues to educate policy makers about the need for full funding to properly administer affordable housing programs.

9/6/17 update – HUD has sent an email on the administrative fee proration stating “[a]t this point, HUD has reprogrammed available carryover funds, which have increased the national proration to 77% through June 2017. However, the final administrative fee reconciliation (December 2017), which will account for the total number of units leased for CY 2017, will determine the final administrative fee proration.”

9/11/18 correction – typographical error for the old proration was corrected.