Earlier today, HUD sent an email announcing that the initial chapters of a New Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Guidebook have been published. As the email states, guidebooks consolidate “into one document the requirements outlined in several publications: regulatory requirements, PIH Notices, Federal Register Notices, and other forms of guidance issued by HUD.” Given the complexity of navigating between several layers of regulation and guidance, having a single place to view all of a program’s rules and requirements is essential.
The three chapters that have been completed and can be read online are the following:
Chapters still being worked on include the following:
- “Fair Housing Requirements”;
- “Waiting List & Tenant Selection”;
- “Housing Search and Leasing”;
- “HAP Contracts”;
- “Payment Standards”;
- “Calculating Rent & Housing Assistance Payments (HAP)”;
- “Utility Allowance”;
- “Informal Hearings & Reviews”; and
- “Special Housing Type.”
NAHRO applauds HUD updating their Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook. During the summer of 2018, NAHRO sent a letter to HUD noting the importance of the guidebooks and urging HUD to prioritize updating them.
The HCV Guidebook can be accessed here.
Yesterday, HUD’s Financial Management Division (FMD) published a webcast on the notice titled “Implementation of Federal FY19 Funding Provisions for the Housing Choice Voucher.” The notice was published in April, and NAHRO previously mentioned it on this blog.
The webcast published on YouTube can be found here.
PowerPoint slides from the webcast can be found here.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has posted several new items related to sexual harassment training. The main sexual harassment training page on HUD Exchange can be found here. Resources include fact sheets, videos, and a training module.
Additional webinar training can be found below:
In its effort to publicize the Moving to Work (MTW) Expansion, HUD will host a call dedicated to potential cohort #1 applicants this Wednesday (4/17/19). This is in addition to NAHRO’s complementary MTW application webinars. Relevant details on the call, provided by a HUD official, can be found below:
On Wednesday, April 17th from 3-4PM EDT the MTW Team will hold a conference call for all agencies eligible for MTW Cohort 1. Please join the call to get any questions you may have regarding MTW Cohort 1 and/or the application process answered.
The conference begins at 3:00 PM Eastern Time on April 17, 2019; you may join the conference 5 minutes prior.
Dial-in: 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633
Access Code: 0397071##
Need an international dial-in number?
Need technical assistance? Call the AT&T Help Desk at 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015.
Earlier today, HUD published a press release announcing a campaign “to help protect people from harassment by landlords, property managers, and maintenance workers in HUD-assisted housing.” The campaign–named “Call HUD: Because Sexual Harassment in Housing is Illegal”–will educate people on what activities constitute sexual harassment and who to contact if people experience it. The campaign will also offer sexual harassment training to PHAs and other housing providers.
HUD will introduce the “Call HUD” campaign at HUD headquarters on Thursday, April 4th from 2 pm to 4 pm at the Brooke-Mondale Auditorium.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 or (800) 927-9275.
The complete press release may be found here.
Last week, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing sent an email detailing the communication and technical assistance efforts HUD was making to ensure that PHAs understood the range of options that were available to reposition their public housing assets. The following are bullet points quoted directly from the email:
- PIH staff have been making presentations at local and national industry meetings to help PHAs become more aware of their repositioning options.
- PHAs wanting to learn more about their repositioning may ask their local Field Office staff to walk them through the benefits of the various options—always with a focus on how best to address the local needs.
- PIH has set up Repositioning Assistance Panels. Field office staff can reserve time with program experts identified by the Office of Recapitalization, Special Applications Center (SAC), Urban Revitalization Division, and Office of Housing Voucher Programs. These experts can discuss the various repositioning options with a PHA, enabling an informed decision about what strategy would best meet local needs. You can set up a time with a Panel through your local Field Office.
- We have also trained Repositioning Expeditors in most Field Offices. These Expeditors are available to help PHAs with their RAD, voluntary conversion, and demo/dispo applications.
- Understanding that these repositioning options are complex, particularly for small PHAs, the Department is working to provide the following starting late spring:
- Develop training materials, sample documents and other tools that help PHAs consider repositioning strategies and understand available options;
- Provide local training sessions to present available repositioning tools and considerations to address local affordable housing needs;
- Develop an online training platform and training materials to help PHAs and their boards understand repositioning options and HUD requirements; and
- Provide direct technical assistance to small PHAs (operating 250 or less assisted units) in how to start and sustain affordable housing strategies.
NAHRO reminds our members that repositioning is a voluntary process. The Department is providing a range of options, none of which are mandatory. Interested agencies should take actions–or not–based on the needs of their local communities and the households the agencies serve.
On Wednesday February 6th from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET, the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) is facilitating a peer-to-peer call with PHAs awarded Mainstream Vouchers in September 2018. The call will provide PHAs an opportunity to share implementation challenges, how these are being addressed and to identify any technical assistance needs. NAHRO staff will participate. HUD has been invited and we hope they will be able to participate.
Registration for this call is necessary and can be at the link below
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. There is no cost to register or participate in this call.
In Spring 2018, TAC conducted a series of outreach webinars to create interest in the Mainstream funding and to facilitate local partnerships. Over 1,200 PHAs and homeless and disability organizations participated in four outreach webainrs. Polling of PHAs participating in the webinars indicated that only 25% believed working with their service partners would be challenging but more than 50% of PHAs indicated that identifying units, ensuring move-in resources and assistance was available and ensuring long term tenancy supports are available as needed would be very challenging.
In areas with strong rental markets and low vacancy rates, HCV participants find it difficult to lease up. The Joint Center’s 2018 State of the Nation’s Housing, found that rental markets remain extremely tight at the lower end; for these units, vacancy rates remain lower than in any year since 2001. Unfortunately, many participants including elders and people with disabilities need to find housing in these markets – where medical and other services as well as public transportation are available. Success leasing up is particularly challenging for those who have poor tenancy or criminal records. Through this and subsequent peer-to-peer calls, TAC hopes to provide technical assistance for PHAs and their service partners as they face these implementation challenges.
Join Clean Air For All, a joint effort between NAR-SAAH, NAHRO, and Live Smoke Free on third Thursday of the month, for a live discussion and Q&A on the “Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing” final HUD rule. Participants will hear a brief update on the rule and will be able to submit questions to NAR-SAAH, NAHRO, and Live Smoke Free staff. Have your questions about the rule, cessation resources, and enforcement answered.
These calls are intended for those working and living in affordable housing. The January, March, May, July, September, and November calls will have a housing authority staff focus while the April, June, August, October and December calls will have a resident service provider, resident leader, and resident focus. Everyone is welcome to attend all of the calls and hear the various perspectives.
The January Connect Call will have a guest speaker from Leading Age, the trusted voice for aging in America, will join us to provide tips and strategies for working toward compliance with aging residents in smoke-free public housing.
A HUD official emailed me to announce certain updates to the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) two-year tool. The updates include the following:
- The two-year tool is now publicly available and accessible by anyone;
- A series of training videos has been created and is publicly available; and
- The two-year tool now shows draft inflation factors for the next year to help program managers plan for the next year (depending on the housing market the PHA is located in, this may be a large number).
The two year tool and the training videos can be accessed here.
Have a little spare time this holiday season? Check out HUD’s two-year tool training videos! The table listing the links to the videos is reproduced below. Click below to access it.
Last week, the Vera Institute of Justice, announced the expansion of its Opening Doors to Public Housing Initiative. The initiative is a “national project that aims to substantially change public housing admissions policies and reduce barriers that prevent people from safely and successfully reentering their communities once released from prison or jail.” Two individual PHAs and two consortia entities were selected after a competitive selection process: Lafayette Housing Authority; Oklahoma City Housing Authority; the Housing Authority of the County of San Diego in collaboration with five other housing authorities; and a consortium of five agencies led by the Delaware State Housing Authority.
These housing authorities will receive up to 12 months of technical assistance to conduct the following activities:
- “Safely increase access to housing for people with conviction histories or juvenile records to improve reentry outcomes and reduce recidivism rates.
- Improve the safety of public housing and surrounding communities through the use of reentry housing strategies.
- Promote collaboration between public housing authorities, law enforcement agencies, and other criminal justice stakeholders to effectively reduce crime and improve reentry outcomes for people leaving prisons and jails.”
Vera’s full press release can be found here.
Vera’s Opening Doors fact sheet can be found here.