(2/14/19 Update – the copy below is a pre-publication copy of the notice. The final copy published in the Federal Register today can be found here. Comments are due by April 15, 2019.)
Earlier today, HUD published in the Federal Register a notice titled “Section 209 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and consumer Protection Act: Initial Guidance.” The act added section 38 to the United States Housing Act of 1937 which require amendments to regulations that govern small public housing agencies (PHAs) that administer 550 or fewer combined public housing units and vouchers that predominately operate in a rural area and certain other regulations.
While certain statutory provisions under the notice become active after 60 days after the act passes, these provisions require rulemaking or guidance for implementation. Through this guidance, HUD also seeks comment on the appropriate implementation of these provisions. Comments are due 60 days from today. Guidance and requests for comment are on the following:
Earlier today, HUD sent an email to Executive Directors informing them that those PHAs administering Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs may access their HUD-held Housing Assistance Payment Reserves (HHR) under certain circumstances. In those instances where scheduled payments (for January and February) are not sufficient to meet a program’s Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) need, PHAs may access their reserves.
Specifically, in situations where a failure to act “would result in an imminent threat to the safety of human life or the protection of property,” PHAs may request their HAP reserves from HUD in the following instances:
- To protect families that are at imminent risk of termination; or
- PHAs that were eligible to receive a payment for January 2019 and did not receive it (e.g., first time Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) payment) and need reserves to ensure that the property owner(s) receives a HAP payment to continue assistance and protect the residents at the property.
These funds may only be used for HAP funding. To request the additional payment, please contact Robert.H.Boepple@hud.gov. The request should include the following:
- amount of the payment;
- supporting monthly leasing projections;
- point of contact email address;
- point of contact phone number; and
- cost saving measures that PHAs have taken to decrease the likelihood of a shortfall (see PIH Notice 2011-28).
Housing authorities should also review PIH Notice 2013-28 titled “Guidance on the Use of Outside Sources of Funds in the HCV Program.”
HUD’s email guidance can be found here.
NAHRO has learned that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has enough money to ensure that February payments for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and the public housing Operating Fund will be made available to public housing authorities (PHAs). HUD intends to make those payments on time. NAHRO has also learned that there is not currently enough money to make HCV and Operating Fund payments for March, if the government shutdown continues until then.
In order to end the government shutdown, Congress must agree to a funding bill. Now is the time to reach out to your Congresspeople and demand that a fiscal year 2019 appropriations bill for HUD is passed. NAHRO has prepared a letter that can be sent to your Congressional members through the NAHRO Advocacy Action Center.
As PHAs make their voices heard to Congress, NAHRO will continue to fight for you and the families you serve and will continue to inform members as soon as we learn more.
PHAs interested in applying to the first cohort of the Moving to Work (MTW) Expansion must submit their letter of interest to HUD by January 11. Due to the current government shutdown, HUD will not respond to your submitted letter of interest until the government reopens. Regardless, NAHRO recommends that all PHAs interested in applying to the first cohort submit their letters to HUD on or before the January 11 deadline. The HUD notice describing the requirements for letters of interest is here, and letters of interest should be sent to email@example.com. In October 2018, HUD released a notice describing the requirements needed for letters of interest.
PHAs with 1,000 or fewer aggregate units (including special purpose vouchers) are eligible to apply to the first cohort of the MTW Expansion, which will examine the overall impact of MTW flexibility. Before applying, PHAs must complete a baseline research survey that identifies the characteristics of all applicants. After submitting the baseline research survey, PHAs must complete a letter of interest stating a desire to obtain MTW designation, which cannot be longer than two pages and must be signed by the Executive Director. The PHA’s Board of Commissioners must also pass a resolution stating a desire to obtain MTW designation under the first cohort. Lastly, the PHA must also complete a certification of commitment (Attachment I – last few pages).
After the application deadline passes, HUD will divide eligible applicant PHAs into groups based on their geography and then randomly assign each PHA within a geographic area to one of three groups: a treatment group (which will be invited to continue to step 2 to apply); a waitlist group (which may be invited to apply, if a treatment group PHA withdraws); or a control group (which will not receive MTW status, but is expected to participate in the first cohort evaluation). PHAs in the waitlist group will be moved to the control group once the treatment group has 30 PHAs which successfully apply.
NAHRO will continue to monitor the MTW application process and any effects of the government shutdown. We will provide updates as we learn them.
The MTW Operations Notice can be found here.
The first cohort application notice can be found here.