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!

New Eviction Moratorium Resident Flyer Released by NHLP and NAHRO

The National Housing Law Project (NHLP) and the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) have collaborated to produce a resident flyer on the federal eviction moratorium. The flyer is designed for Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher residents and simplifies the 120-day eviction moratorium that was included in the CARES Act when it passed in March by using a question and answer format along with descriptive case studies.

The eviction moratorium flyer is available here and on NAHRO’s COVID-19 Resource page at www.nahro.org/coronavirus.

Click to access NAHRO_NHLP_FinalTenantFlyer_2sided_6.12.2020.pdf

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!

Repositioning Webinar Series

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) is holding a series of webinars to help PHAs understand the repositioning process and identify strategies and resources to complete the repositioning process. All webinars will be held between 1 pm and 3 pm ET. Topics may be found below.

Webinar TopicsDatesRegistration
Developing a Repositioning StrategyMay 13, 2020
Options for Scattered-Site UnitsJune 3, 2020Register Now
Options for 50-and-Under PHAsJune 24, 2020Register Now
RAD and Section 18 BlendsJuly 22, 2020Register Now
Resident ConsiderationsAugust 12, 2020Register Now
Streamlined Voluntary ConversionSeptember 2, 2020Register Now
Options for Obsolete UnitsSeptember 30, 2020Register Now
Common PHA Board QuestionsOctober 28, 2020Register Now
PHA CloseoutNovember 18, 2020Register Now

Additional information may be found here.

NAHRO Webinar: Managing During COVID-19: Funding, Flexibility, and Fulfilling our Mission; May 5, 2020 at 2pm Est

NAHRO would like to invite you to a complimentary webinar on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 2pm eastern time – Managing During COVID-19: Funding, Flexibility, and Fulfilling our Mission.

Housing agencies are responding in real-time to the coronavirus and its impact on day-to-day operations and the residents they serve. Hear from federal officials and NAHRO on available resources and flexibilities provided by Congress and being implemented by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

You will also hear from local housing officials on how they are adapting their programs in the current environment.

We will be joined on the webinar by:

  • R. Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Patricia Wells, CME, NAHRO Senior Vice-President, Executive Director, Oakland Housing Authority, CA
  • David S. Gates, CS-PHM, CSO-PH, CME, CMPO, Executive Director, Housing Authority of the County of Lonoke, AR

Bring your questions and comments and join your fellow PHAs for this interactive webinar!

Register for Managing During COVID-19: Funding, Flexibility, and Fulfilling our Mission!

NAHRO Analysis – HUD Eviction Moratorium FAQ for PHAs

On April 22, 2020, HUD published an FAQ on implementing the eviction moratorium found in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Titled Eviction Moratorium COVID-19 FAQs for Public Housing Agencies,” the document answers commonly asked questions about how PHAs should be implementing the eviction moratorium. The moratorium is in effect for a 120-day period beginning on March 27, 2020.

The eviction moratorium applies to all public housing residents, including those living in mixed-finance public housing properties owned by a third party, and all housing choice voucher (HCV) holders (including tenant- and project-based vouchers). The eviction moratorium also applies to the HCV and public housing homeownership programs, but only if the families have a federally backed mortgage. Owners of LIHTC units should check with their local State Housing Finance Agency to see if they apply.

The moratorium applies to all tenants regardless of whether their employment has been impacted by COVID-19 or not. However, any missed rent will accumulate and still be due to the PHA at the end of the 120-day moratorium. PHAs may still send late notices to residents, but these notices must not include any fees or charges for the nonpayment of rent or any notice to vacate. Residents cannot be required to vacate a unit for missed rent payments until at least 30 days after the end of the moratorium unless eviction proceedings for the resident began before March 27, 2020. If a PHA believes that a unit has been abandoned, the PHA must take additional steps to ensure that the unit is in fact abandoned (as opposed to the family quarantining elsewhere, being hospitalized, or anything else that may be preventing the family from returning to the unit) before an eviction or termination of assistance is taken against the household.

PHAs can still proceed with evictions and collect fees issued prior to the passing of the CARES Act on March 27, 2020, however, PHAs should review state and local laws as many are also enacting their own moratoriums on evictions and fees that may include different restrictions. Fees issued before March 27 may still be collected, however, PHAs cannot assess interest on fees charged in January and February of 2020. PHAs cannot collect any fees for nonpayment of rent between March 27 and July 24, 2020.

PHAs are still allowed to evict or terminate assistance for drug abuse or other criminal activities and for other lease violations. HUD encourages PHAs to delay initiation or completion of evictions for non-drug or non-crime related reasons until after state and local emergencies are over. If the PHA is evicting a tenant for drug abuse or criminal activity and the local courts are closed, PHAs can still proceed with standard notifications, hearings, and program terminations. However, the PHA must wait until the court of jurisdiction reopens before the final eviction can occur.

HUD’s FAQ can be found here.

HUD’s Section 3 Still Required, Very Limited Reporting Extension (Updated)

While HUD’s Offices of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) and Community Planning and Development (CPD) have provided a number of waivers and flexibilities for the Public Housing program, Housing Choice Voucher program, HOME Investment Partnership program, Community Development Block Grant, and Continuum of Care (CoC) program, HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) has not waived any of the Section 3 statutory and regulatory requirements.

[Updated Text Begins] On April 17, 2020, FHEO released updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) for Section 3 Covered Recipients which addresses 13 questions on how COVID-19 affects Section 3 compliance. Question 2 specifically asks “Are Section 3 Compliance requirements waived during the virus condition?” and FHEO’s answer is “No, the Section 3 statutory and regulatory requirements have not been waived.” Updated questions are also asked about Section 3 SPEARS reporting requirements and deadlines. In response, FHEO states that the Section 3 reporting requirement is not waived and Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) and community development agencies have an extension until July 31, 2020. Additional extensions are not addressed in the updated FAQ but generally PHAs and community development agencies may request extensions beyond July 31, 2020 but must provide justification and any extension request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. [Updated Text Ends]

[Removed Text Begins] On April 3, 2020, FHEO released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) for Section 3 Covered Recipients which addresses 13 questions on how COVID-19 affects Section 3 compliance. Question 2 specifically asks “Are Section 3 Compliance requirements waived during the virus condition?” and FHEO’s answer is “No, the Section 3 statutory and regulatory requirements have not been waived.” Questions are also asked about Section 3 SPEARS reporting requirements and deadlines. In response, FHEO states that the Section 3 reporting requirement is not waived and Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) and community development agencies have an extension until June 1, 2020 but “must clearly demonstrate how COVID-19 precluded timely reporting.” PHAs and community development agencies may request extensions beyond June 1, 2020 but must provide justification and any extension request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.[Removed Text Ends]

FHEO has not waived or reduced the Section 3 requirements and reporting so PHAs and community development agencies must continue to create employment, training and contracting opportunities to Section 3 residents and Section 3 businesses. The Safe Harbor requirements have not been reduced either. PHAs and community development agencies should continue to hire staff and procure contracts, if possible, and if unable to meet the Safe Harbor requirements, they should document their efforts “to make every possible effort ‘to the greatest extent feasible’ to make employment and contracting opportunities available to” Section 3 residents.

NAHRO is relaying information from our members on the unprecedented operational and economic concerns affordable housing providers are facing to HUD and is requesting maximum flexibility for PHAs and community development agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

NAHRO will continue to provide the latest information from HUD and Congress on the COVID-19 emergency response to our members and the public through our communication tools including the NAHRO coronavirus webpage and the NAHRO blog.

NAHRO Analysis – HUD Issues COVID-19 Related Waivers for Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Programs

On April 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a series of waivers and program updates, 44 in total, for the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs. The waivers were issued by HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) in Notice PIH 2020-05, COVID-19 Statutory and Regulatory Waivers for the Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Indian Housing Block Grant and Indian Community Development Block Grant programs, Suspension of Public Housing Assessment System and Section Eight Management Assessment Program. The notice also includes 16 waivers related to Native American housing programs, specifically the Native American housing Assistance and Self-Determination Action of 1996 (NAHASDA) Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) and the Indian Community Development Block Grant programs. In order to provide relevant information to Public Housing Authorities, this Direct News will focus on the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher program waivers.

This notice only addresses program waivers and does not discuss the allocation or release of the supplemental funding that was appropriated as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public law 116-136). The funding notices are anticipated to be release towards the end of April 2020 with the first round of funding being available to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) at the beginning of May 2020.

The purpose of the statutory and regulatory waivers is for HUD to assist PHAs and Tribal housing providers in continuing to operate and provide critical housing services to their local communities. HUD provides a non-inclusive list of critical PHA functions which includes issuing vouchers so families can find housing, processing Requests for Tenancy Approvals (RFTAs) so families can be approved to move into a unit, processing requests for portability moves, ensuring occupancy of Public Housing units, processing minimum rent hardship exemptions, and completing reexaminations for participants who have experienced a decrease in income.

The notice is broken into a number of sections and this Direct News will follow the same layout by discussing the underlining waiver authority by program, the applicability of the waivers, and the duration the waivers will be available.

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PHAs Make Coronavirus Requests of Congress

In partnership with our sister groups CLPHA, PHADA and the Moving to Work (MTW) Collaborative, NAHRO has drafted and sent a letter to the House and the Senate thanking them for the nearly $3 billion in affordable housing assistance in the CARES Act, and asking for substantial resources and flexibilities, including:

  • An additional infusion of $8.5 billion for the Operating Fund and the Section 8 voucher program;
  • An increased supply of Tenant Protection Vouchers;
  • Additional rental assistance for families in need; and
  • A $70 billion investment in public housing infrastructure.

Almost 800 PHAs and organizations joined NAHRO, PHADA, CLPHA, and the MTW Collaborative in signing the letter. You and your partners can also send the letter to your members of Congress through NAHRO’s Advocacy Action Center.

NAHRO continues to provide the latest information on the NAHRO Coronavirus page.