Two Complimentary Moving To Work Application Webinars

NAHRO is excited to host two webinars on the Moving To Work (MTW) expansion – April 23, and May 6. Both sessions are complimentary to attendees and additional information along with registration links are below.

Webinar 1

Moving To Work Application Process for Small PHAs

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

1:30pm to 2:30pm eastern time

HUD has announced and extended the application process for the first cohort of MTW expansion which will include 30 smaller PHAs (less than 1,000 combined public housing and HCV units.) and the letter of interest deadline is coming up quickly.

This webinar will provide small PHAs details on the application process and the HUD required information. The NAHRO Policy Team will walk attendees through the application timeline and the commitments that PHA must make.

Bring your questions and comments and prepare your PHA for the MTW possibilities!

Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1806478211309396237

Webinar 2

Becoming MTW: A Webinar for Small Public Housing Authorities

Monday, May 6, 2019

1:30pm to 3:00pm eastern time

The MTW Steering Committee, which works on behalf of the current 39 Moving to Work (MTW) agencies, and the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) will be hosting a webinar on MTW specifically for smaller size public housing authorities who are interested in the program. In 2015, Congress authorized the expansion of MTW to include an additional 100 agencies and HUD is currently preparing to select the first cohort of new agencies into the program, which will be comprised entirely of small PHAs. Small PHAs will also be eligible to apply for MTW in future application rounds.

During the webinar you will have the opportunity to engage with and learn from current smaller-sized MTW agencies with many years of valuable experience operating under MTW. These agencies are widely recognized as experts and innovators in their local communities and at the national level. Our panelists will focus on the advantages and benefits of MTW, potential challenges, the application process, and other important topics.

If you are a small PHA who has already applied or is considering applying to the MTW program in the future, we highly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the program.

Panelists:

Chris Lamberty, Executive Director, Lincoln Housing Authority (invited)

Josh Meehan, Executive Director, Keene Housing Authority

Vivian Bryant, Executive Director, Orlando Housing Authority

Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8177264086922641421?source=NAHRO

HUD Posts FY19 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants NOFA

HUD has released a NOFA for $5 million for FY19 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants, including Planning and Action Grants. Planning Grants are two-year grants that assist communities with “severely distressed public or HUD-assisted housing in developing a successful neighborhood transformation plan and building the support necessary for that plan to be successfully implemented.” Planning and Action Grants are three and a half year planning grants that “pair planning with action.” Under these grants, the planning process would take place during the first 24 months. The planning process will identify Action Activities that will be carried out during the latter portion of the grant period.

Applications are due June 10. The NOFA and application package must be downloaded from http://www.grants.gov. Potential applications should send questions to ChoiceNeighborhoods@hud.gov.

New Compliance and Enforcement Toolkit for Smoke-Free Public Housing

Clean Air for All, a partnership between NAHRO, Live Smoke Free, and NAR-SAAH, has just released its Compliance and Enforcement toolkit for smoke-free public housing. The toolkit provides tips on compliance and enforcement for public housing managers, resident engagement ideas, smoke-free compliance FAQs, and tips to promote conflict resolution. The toolkit also links public housing managers to cessation resources and provides sample tools PHAs can use to facilitate enforcement and compliance of the smoke-free policies. Learn more about Clean Air for All at smokefreepublichousingproject.org.

HUD Releases Section 3 Proposed Rule and Outcome Benchmarking

On April 4, HUD will release two notices in the Federal Register related to Section 3. The first is a new proposed rule titled  Enhancing and Streamlining the Implementation of ‘Section 3’ Requirements for Creating Economic Opportunities for Low- and Very Low-Income Persons and Eligible Businesses,” which would update the regulations implementing Section 3. The second is titled “Section 3 Benchmarks for Creating Economic Opportunities for Low- and Very Low-Income Persons and Eligible Businesses,” that sets outcome benchmarks for meeting and following Section 3 requirements. HUD also hosted a call the morning of April 3 on the proposed rule. NAHRO was the only participant to ask questions about the proposed rule on the call, specifically about changes to the definition of a Section 3 business, and the impact of the proposed rule on small agencies.

According to HUD, “[t]he purpose of Section 3 is to ensure that employment, training, contracting, and other economic opportunities generated by certain HUD financial assistance are directed to low- and very low-income persons, particularly those who receive government assistance for housing, and for businesses to provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons.” The proposed rule applies to HUD’s Public Housing program and other programs that provide HUD housing and community development assistance.

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HUD Launches Campaign to Help Protect People from Harassment from Landlords, Property Managers, and Maintenance Workers

[The Call HUD: Because Sexual Harassment in Housing is Illegal poster]

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.

HUD Offers Technical Assistance for PHAs Considering Repositioning their Public Housing Assets

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:
    1. Develop training materials, sample documents and other tools that help PHAs consider repositioning strategies and understand available options;
    2. Provide local training sessions to present available repositioning tools and considerations to address local affordable housing needs;
    3. Develop an online training platform and training materials to help PHAs and their boards understand repositioning options and HUD requirements; and
    4. 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.

HUD To Begin Carbon Monoxide Detector Data Collection

Starting April 1, HUD will instruct REAC UPCS inspectors who conduct physical inspections of HUD assisted and insured properties to conduct a data collection on the prevalence of Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors at HUD properties subject to UPCS inspections. The collection of this data will not affect a property’s inspection score.

Inspectors are required to identify if the building being inspected contains any units with fuel-fired/burning appliances and/or has an attached garage. Inspectors are only to evaluate attributes of the built environment, not tenant furnished items.

Inspectors are required to note whether a source of CO is present, the total number of CO detectors that are missing, working, and not working. Inspectors are then to report this information in the “Building Comments” text box. If the building does not have any units with fuel-fired/burning appliances and/or attached garages, then the inspector is to leave the “Building Comments” text box blank.

HUD has mentioned they are considering requiring PHAs to provide CO detectors in Public Housing properties as a part of the new UPCS pilot program. Carbon monoxide detectors are not yet required at Public Housing properties across the country.

HUD Publishes Notice on Voluntary Conversions

In late March, HUD published a notice titled “Streamlined Voluntary Conversions of Last Remaining Projects of Small Public Housing Agencies” (PIH 2019-05 (HA)). This notice allows PHAs with 250 or fewer Public Housing units to convert them to Section 8 vouchers within the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program under a streamlined conversion process. This notice differs from the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program in several ways, but primarily in that instead of receiving RAD rents (i.e., a combination of public housing capital fund, operating fund, and tenant rent amounts), PHAs would receive full HCVs for their residents after conversion.

For a PHA to normally use the voluntary conversion option, it must conduct a conversion assessment and provide a timeline identifying PHA conversion actions. Under this notice, HUD is using its statutory authority to waive the conversion assessment requirement to make it easier for small PHAs to convert their portfolios. Public Housing Agencies are eligible under this notice if they meet the following requirements:

  • They have a portfolio of 250 or fewer public housing units;
  • They intend to close-out their public housing program; and
  • Conversion will result in the conversion of all public housing units.

If a converting PHA does not administer a Section 8 HCV program, then another PHA with a Section 8 HCV program must be identified to administer the vouchers.

To apply for a conversion, eligible PHAs must submit a conversion plan to HUD through the Inventory Management System / Public and Indian Housing Information Center (IMS/PIC). The conversion plan and application must include a PHA plan referencing the proposed conversion; evidence of resident involvement; evidence of board approval; a plan of future use of involved assets; HUD approval of environmental requirements; an impact analysis of the conversion on the neighborhood(s) (in the form of a narrative statement); a summary of information concerning the relocation plan; close-out information; and another Section 8 HCV program identified to receive vouchers, if the applying PHA does not have a Section 8 HCV program. Additionally, certain other requirements must be met (e.g., civil rights reviews, etc.). The Department must respond within 90 days of the PHA submitting the conversion plan.

The full notice can be found here.

HUD to Host MTW Cohort #1 Webinar Tomorrow (March 28th) at 3pm ET

As previously mentioned on this blog, HUD will host a webinar on the Moving to Work (MTW) Expansion, Cohort #1 tomorrow at 3 pm ET. Listed below is additional information on the webinar that I received from a HUD official.

MTW Cohort 1

The Department has extended the application timeline for agencies to apply to the  Cohort #1 of Moving to Work Demonstration Program. Through this extension notice the Department will select thirty agencies to study MTW flexibility.

Cohort #1 will consist of high-performing agencies that administer 1,000 or fewer HCVs and public housing units combined. The deadline to submit the letter of interest package for Cohort #1 is May 13, 2019.

On Thursday, March 28th the MTW Office will host a webinar on Cohort #1. There is no registration required to join the webinar and the call-in information is below.

 

Step 1: Dial into the conference.

Dial-in: 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633

Access Code: 0604767##

Need an international dial-in number?

Step 2: Join the conference on your computer.

Entry Link: http://ems8.intellor.com/login/813201

HUD Updates Mainstream Voucher Program FAQ

An email from the folks at the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) informed me that HUD has updated their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on the Mainstream Voucher Program. It was updated on March 22, 2019. This document is essential reading for all those who have Mainstream Vouchers.

The Mainstream Voucher FAQ can be found here.