Thirdhand Smoke Informational Webinar

NAHRO from time-to-time shares information and webinars from affordable housing partners. Today we are sharing an upcoming webinar from the Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center.

Thirdhand Smoke:
What Every Property Manager Needs to Know

Thursday, October 15, 2020, 2:00-3:00 pm PST
The webinar is free to participants.
REGISTER NOW!

Many property managers are all too familiar with complaints about secondhand smoke and the smell and discoloration left behind in the units of smokers. But did you know that this smell and discoloration is the result of the toxic residue left behind by tobacco smoke and it has negative health effects? Also known as thirdhand smoke, this toxic residue sticks to carpets, doors, furniture, walls, and other surfaces and materials and can remain for years after secondhand smoke has disappeared. How much do you know about thirdhand smoke? How prepared are you to prevent toxic thirdhand smoke? How prepared are you to deal with thirdhand smoke that has built up in an apartment?

This webinar will explain why it is so difficult to remove thirdhand smoke once it has become established and will focus on successful strategies to prevent thirdhand smoke in multiunit housing, with plenty of time for discussion with our panelists!

Webinar topics include:

  1. Thirdhand smoke: origins, constituents, routes of exposure, remediation
  2. Regulatory approaches to prevention of thirdhand smoke in multiunit housing
  3. Policy approaches to prevention of thirdhand smoke in multiunit housing
  4. Strategies for overcoming resistance: Successes, challenges, and resource

Thank you for sharing this invitation with property managers and owners!

Today – NAHRO Webinar: The Impact of the CDC Eviction Moratorium on PHAs

NAHRO is hosting a webinar on the recently publish CDC order stopping most non-payment of rent evictions in the United States. The webinar is today, September 8, 2020 at 2pm eastern time. Click here to register. This webinar is complimentary for NAHRO members and $25 for non-member. More information on the benefits of NAHRO membership is available here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have issued an order stopping most residential evictions for non-payment of rent through the end of 2020. What does this mean for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) and their residents? Join the NAHRO team and Housing Development Law Institute (HDLI) staff as they provide a breakdown of the CDC order and discuss how it may affect the day-to-day operations of PHAs’ housing programs.

This webinar is the first of our complimentary member benefit series – monthly online sessions that will tackle hot topics, provide opportunities to hear from your peers in the field, and feature networking events to keep you connected. Keep an eye on our training calendar – more information will be coming soon!

Click here to register for today’s webinar!

President Signs Executive Order on Assistance to Renters and Homeowners

On August 8, President Trump signed an executive order titled “Executive Order on Fighting the Spread of COIVD-19 by Providing Assistance to Renters and Homeowners.” This Executive Order (EO) was signed after the negotiations on a fourth COVID-19 legislative relief package broke down.

The EO states, “[i]t is the policy of the United States to minimize, to the greatest extent possible, residential evictions and foreclosures during the ongoing COVID-19 national emergency.” Specifically it directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) “to promote the ability of renters and homeowners to avoid eviction or foreclosure” through actions that “may include encouraging and providing assistance to public housing authorities, affordable housing owners, landlords, and recipients of Federal grant funds in minimizing evictions and foreclosures.” The agencies of HUD and Treasury are also directed to “identify any and all available Federal funds to provide temporary financial assistance to renters and homeowners.” Additionally, the Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “shall consider whether any measures temporarily halting residential evictions . . . are reasonably necessary to prevent further spread of COVID-19.”

This Executive Order, in and of itself, does not specifically extend nor create an eviction moratorium nor does it create a new rental or homeowner assistance program. This Executive Order instructs the executive branch of government – specifically Health and Human Services; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Treasury; Housing and Urban Development; and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) – to assess their current resources and tools related to renters and homeowners affected by COVID-19.

NAHRO continues to encourage Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), Section 8 landlords, and tenants to work together to minimize the financial impact of COVID-19. Tenants should contact their PHA notifying them of any reduction of income due to the pandemic. Landlords and PHAs should reach out and coordinate with tenants concerning unpaid rent. Best practices in preventing evictions include repayment agreements, retroactive recertifications and proactive communication with tenants.

Below are links to HUD and NAHRO eviction prevention resources:

Our advocacy must continue to ensure adequate resources that support your programs and provides rent relief for unassisted families. Use the NAHRO Advocacy Action Alert Center to send letters to your members of Congress and the Administration and let them know the critical role quality house and rental assistance plays as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

CARES Act Eviction Moratorium Ends This Week, Eviction Prevention Resources

Section 4024 of the CARES Act stopped non-payment of rent evictions (and stopped imposing fees and penalties for non-payment of rent) for 120 days beginning on March 27 for many tenants receiving Federal rental assistance including the Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Project-Based Voucher programs. The 120-day eviction moratorium expires this Saturday, July 25, meaning Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) and landlords may begin issuing 30-day notices to vacate for non-payment of rent after July 25, 2020.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has encouraged tenants, landlords, and PHAs to work together to minimize the impact of the CARES Act eviction moratorium ending. Tenants should contact their PHA notifying them of any reduction of income due to the pandemic. Landlords and PHAs should reach out and coordinate with tenants concerning unpaid rent, including potential repayment agreements. PHAs should also consider implementing retroactive recertifications and informing their tenants of their availability.

Below are links to HUD and NAHRO eviction moratorium and eviction prevention resources:

NAHRO continues to provide the latest housing related COVID-19 information at www.nahro.org/coronavirus.

NAHRO’s New Housing Proposals Focus on the Future

The nation’s public housing agencies and community development agencies have been housing our nation’s families and creating vibrant, stable communities for decades. And they’re continuing to do this vital work of providing shelter, creating opportunity, and addressing inequities during a pandemic that’s straining both local and national resources.

But even as we continue to cope with the fallout of COVID-19, we must also work on solutions for both current and future housing needs. We need new housing construction, more resources for existing housing programs, and flexibilities that prioritize progress over paperwork. NAHRO’s What Happens Next: Housing Beyond the Pandemic provides funding and policy proposals that will:

  • Increase housing supply and improve affordability
  • Preserve existing affordable housing
  • Stabilize families, and
  • Prioritize progress over paperwork.

The paper is available here.

Wednesday Webinar: Show Your Agency’s Excellence With Accreditation! Tomorrow at 2pm ET

Join us tomorrow, July 1, 2020 at 2pm eastern time for NAHRO’s Wednesday Webinar to get caught up on the latest assessment standards! Accreditation is a very effective way to demonstrate your agency’s excellence to the community and other stakeholders. Join special guests from the Affordable Housing Accreditation Board and accredited housing agencies as they discuss the benefits of AHAB accreditation and share stories about the accreditation process for their organizations. Also learn about the eight industry-adopted management standards and how accreditation can be used to enhance staff morale and public trust, and to reduce inefficiencies.

Our panelists include:

• Diana McWilliams, CEO, Affordable Housing Accreditation Board

• Coy Maienza, Director of Accreditation, Affordable Housing Accreditation Board

• Amy Wright, Director of Administration, Keene Housing, New Hampshire

• Duane Leonard, Executive Director, Housing Authority of Snohomish County, Washington

• Sarah Max, Executive Assistant & Accreditation Coordinator, Housing Authority of Snohomish County, Washington

• Maria Zissimos, Chief Counsel and Chief Operating Officer, Accreditation Coordinator, Chester Housing Authority, Pennsylvania

Register Here!

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!

Social Security Recipients Do Not Need to File a Tax Return to Receive COVID-19 Relief Payments

NAHRO has reviewed a press release from the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that announces Social Security beneficiaries will automatically receive their Economic Impact Payments. This announcement will allow many seniors and low-income individuals, that have not filed a tax return, to receive their Economic Impact Payment without requesting it. There was a previous concern that Social Security recipients, that did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, would have to file a special simple tax return to receive their Economic Impact Payment.

NAHRO is maintaining a coronavirus resource page at www.nahro.org/coronavirus. The Treasury Department and IRS press release is reprinted below and is available at home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm967.

Social Security Recipients Will Automatically Receive Economic Impact Payments

April 1, 2020

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts.

“We want to ensure that our senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, and low-income Americans receive Economic Impact Payments quickly and without undue burden,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account.”

The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate $1,200 Economic Impact Payments to Social Security recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.

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HUD COVID-19 Relief Bill Provisions

The third coronavirus (COVID-19) relief bill has passed the Senate unanimously. The relief bill now moves to the House for passage and then presumably to the President for his signature. The entire bill includes more than $2 trillion to help the United States economy.

Thank you to everyone that contacted your legislators through the NAHRO’s Advocacy Action Center. Your messages of how important affordable housing is during a pandemic played a critical role in the HUD programs receiving supplemental funding. Additional coronavirus resources are available at www.nahro.org/coronavirus.

The relief bill includes additional funds for HUD’s Public and Indian Housing (PIH), Community Planning and Development (CPD), and Office of Housing programs. The HUD funding in the bill is in line with the previously discussed Senate bill – except for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, which is $5 billion in the relief bill. All the funding in the bill is in addition to the previously appropriated FY2020 funding. The chart below provides the amounts of the supplemental funding for select HUD programs from the relief bill.

Funding Bill Comparison ($Millions)

Program

Relief Bill

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance

$1.25 Billion

HAP Adjustments (included above)

$400 Million

Admin Fee (included above)

$850 Million

Public Housing Op Fund

$685 Million

Native Housing Programs

$300 Million

HOPWA

$65 Million

202 – Elderly

$50 Million

811 – Disabled

$15 Million

CDBG

$5 Billion

Homeless Assistance Grants

$4 Billion

Project-Based Rental Assistance

$1 Billion

In addition to the supplemental funding the relief bill includes several policy provisions including limited statutory and regulatory waivers. The program policy provisions, along with the funding for each, are described below.

Temporary Moratorium on Eviction Filings

The relief bill includes a provision that requires PHAs to implement a temporary moratorium on evictions. The moratorium applies to Public Housing, Housing Choice Vouchers, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit units, rural housing assistance, and other programs as defined by the Violence Against Women Act. The eviction moratorium will last for 120 days from the enactment of the relief bill. The PHA will not be allowed to file an eviction action for nonpayment of rent, fees, or charges and no late fees or penalties may be charged. A 30-day notice to vacate for nonpayment of rent cannot be issued until the expiration of the eviction moratorium. In practice, nonpayment of rent eviction hearings cannot be heard for 5 months from the enactment of the relief bill. The moratorium only addresses eviction for non-payment of rent evictions and does not address any other type of eviction. Evictions for issues such as criminal activity or safety of residents are, therefore, allowed.

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)

The relief bill provides $1.25 billion for tenant-based rental assistance.

Administrative Expenses – Of the relief bill’s $1.25 billion for the TBRA account, there is $850 million for additional administrative and other expenses PHAs encounter in administering Section 8 programs, including mainstream vouchers, in response to coronavirus. The bill states that these expenses shall be new eligible activities to be defined by HUD and shall be activities to “support or maintain the health and safety of assisted individuals and families and costs related to retention and support of current participating landlords.” Funds from the FY 2020 appropriations bill may also be used for these expenses.

Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Adjustments – Of the relief bill’s $1.25 billion for the TBRA account, $400 million will be available for “adjustments in the calendar year 2020 Section 8 renewal funding allocations, including Mainstream vouchers.” These adjustments will be for those PHAs that “experience a significant increase in voucher per-unit costs due to extraordinary circumstances or that, despite taking reasonable cost savings measures,” as determined by HUD, would be forced to terminate voucher assistance.

Need-based allocation – The Department is instructed to allocate the above funding based on need as determined by HUD.

Section 811 – The relief bill allows for any amounts unobligated, including administrative expenses, that remain available after funding renewals and administrative expenses to be used for non-competitive section 811 tenant-based rental assistance to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. HUD will award no less than 25 percent of the remaining amounts proportionately to PHAs who received awards in the 2017 and 2019 competitions within 60 days of enactment.

Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers – Funds from tenant-protection vouchers used for youth in the FUP program and funds from FUP funding reserved for youths will not have to be reported to the appropriate congressional committees when grants are awarded.

Waivers – The relief bill allows that the Department may “waive, or specify alternative requirements for, any provision of any statute or regulation [except for requirements related to fair housing, nondiscrimination, labor standards, and the environment] that [HUD] administers in connection with the use of the amounts made available” in this bill or the FY 2020 appropriations act, upon a finding by HUD that waivers “are necessary for the safe and effective administration of these funds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.”

Notice of waivers – HUD must notify the public through the Federal Register or “other appropriate means to ensure the most expeditious allocation of this funding” of waivers or alternative requirements. A public notice at the appropriate government website or through other electronic media determined by HUD may suffice.

Length of waivers – Waivers or alternative requirements will remain in effect for the time and duration specified by HUD by public notice and may be extended by HUD.

Project-Based Rental Assistance

Project-based rental assistance – The relief bill provides $1 billion for project-based rental assistance. These funds are to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus,” including funds to maintain normal operation and take other necessary actions, while the program is impacted by coronavirus. The funding is also for owners and sponsors of properties receiving project-based assistance.

Waivers – The Department may “waive, or specify alternative requirements for, any provision of any statute or regulation [except for requirements related to fair housing, nondiscrimination, labor standards, and the environment] that [HUD] administers in connection with the use of the amounts made available” in this bill, upon a finding by HUD that waivers are necessary “to expedite or facilitate the use of such amounts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus” and the waivers are consistent with program purposes.

Notice of waivers – HUD must notify the public through the Federal Register or other appropriate means. At a minimum on the Internet at the appropriate government website or through other electronic media decided by HUD.

Public Housing

Public Housing Operating Fund – The relief bill provides $685 million to the Operating Fund. These funds would be distributed by the Operating Fund formula.

Public Housing Subsidy Flexibility – The relief bill allows PHAs fungibility of their Operating and Capital Funds so long as the funds are used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. This includes Operating and Capital Funds appropriated to PHAs prior to these bills. The ability to transfer funds between the Operating and Capital accounts will remain available through December 31, 2020. HUD can extend this provision in 12-month increments if needed.

Waivers – The relief bill allows HUD to provide waivers for statutory and regulatory requirements related to the Capital and Operating Fund if those waivers would help PHAs prepare for, prevent, and respond to coronavirus. These waivers will be released in the Federal Register.

Community Development Programs

HOPWA – The relief bill provides $65 million to HOPWA – $50 million to be distributed by formula and $10 million by one-time, non-renewable grants to existing contracts for permanent support housing that were initially made in FY 2010 and prior years.

The bill allows these funds to be used to help individuals living with HIV-AIDS relocate for the purposes of self-isolation, quarantine, or provide other coronavirus control services as recommended by the CDC.

Community Development Block Grant – The Community Development Fund receives $5 billion to be distributed as Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). Of this funding, $2 billion will be distributed to entitlement communities by formula and $1 billion will go directly to states to prepare for and respond to coronavirus based on need. The need-based formula will consider public health needs, the number of COVID-19 cases compared to the national average, and economic and housing disruptions. Allocations must be made within 45 days of enactment of the bill. HUD would have the discretion to distribute the remaining funds to states or local governments.

The relief bill allows entities an expedited procedure to amend their statements of activities to engage in coronavirus activities. In-person meetings are not required however entities must provide notice a comment period of no less than 5 days to receive public input. Virtual meetings are also allowed.

Homeless Assistance Grants – The relief bill provides $4 billion for the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program. Of this, $2 billion will be distributed as formula grants and $2 billion will be distributed to states by a formula developed by HUD. The formula would consider risk of transmission of coronavirus, rising rate of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals, disruptions to economic and housing markets, and other factors.

The relief bill allows funding to be used for temporary emergency shelters, costs related to infectious disease prevention, and hazard pay. The Secretary may waive statutory and regulatory waivers as needed to prepare for, prevent, and respond to coronavirus. Up to one percent of the funds can be used to increase prior technical assistance awards that relate to providing health care services. Ten percent of the funds received by grantees can be used for administrative purposes. None of the funds provided can be used to require homeless individuals to enter treatment or perform any other prerequisite activity as a condition or receiving shelter, housing, or other services.

Policy and Legislative Contact Information

 Georgi Banna, Esq.

Director of Policy & Program Development

GBanna@nahro.org

Tess Hembree

Director of Congressional Relations

THembree@nahro.org

New Material on Infectious Disease Preparedness Guidance for Homeless Assistance Providers

The HUD Exchange sent an email of links to new material from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Homeless Assistance Providers. The new materials include the following:

The email also provides a link to the CDC: Interim Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations for US Community Facilities with Suspected/Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Finally, HUD notes that it has portal where individuals can ask questions about preventing or responding to the threat of infectious diseases, which can be found here.