2012 Offset Litigation Update

This update is for the plaintiffs of the 2017 judgment on the 2012 public housing offset litigation (the first round of litigation.)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a request to the Judgment Fund for the payment of damages on December 21, 2017, for all but 23 of the plaintiffs. The reason a payment request was not sent for the other 23 is that the plaintiff’s attorneys did not have the banking information when they originally sent the information for the other plaintiffs to DOJ. The attorneys now have the banking information for 18 of the 23 and will send it to DOJ in the near future. If you are one of the five remaining plaintiffs that have not submitted your banking information, submit your banking information as soon as possible to the plaintiff’s attorneys.

Assuming there aren’t any problems with the information that DOJ sent to the Judgment Fund, the awardee plaintiffs should receive the damages to which you are entitled in a few weeks. Please note that the Judgment Fund will not notify you when it wires your payments to you. Therefore, you will have to monitor the bank account into which you requested that the funds be wired to determine when you receive your payment.

HUD Releases 2018 QCTs and DDAs for the LIHTC Program

On September 11, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a Notice in the Federal Register designating its statutorily mandated list of qualified census tracts (QCTs) and difficult development areas (DDAs) for the purposes of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. Under LIHTC, projects located in QCTs and DDAs are eligible to receive up to a 30 percent basis boost while receiving Housing Credits. The 2018 QCTs and DDAs will be effective for LIHTCs allocated after December 31, 2017, and for bond-financed  properties where the tax-exempt bonds are issued and the building is placed in service after December 31, 2017.

HUD publishes QCT and DDA designations annually. While this Notice provides specific details on the methodology in determining 2018 QCTs and DDAs, the full listings and other historical data can be accessed at: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/qct.html.

HUD Guidance on HOPWA Permanent Supportive Housing Grant Renewal

Last week, HUD published a Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) notice (CPD-17-02) that announces renewal application requirements and procedural guidance for eligible grantees with expiring HOPWA Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) competitive grants.

Eligible renewal applicants are grantees with grants set to expire between June 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018. These grantees must demonstrate that the remaining balance on the current HOPWA PSH grant would be insufficient to fund activities beyond May 31, 2018. The notice lists 33 grantees that are eligible for renewal in FY 2017.

HUD expects to renew all eligible expiring HOPWA PSH competitive grants initially funded by appropriated funds from FY 2010 or earlier. If it turns out that appropriations for FY 2017 do not provide adequate funding for the renewals needed, HUD will contact all applicants.

The deadline to submit an application is March 31, 2017.

Upcoming NAHRO e-Briefing on HUD Year in Review

 

On February 7, 2017, img_0015NAHRO will present, Moving Forward: A Review of 2016 Regulation and
Legislation
, part of NAHRO’s Housing Rules!! series.

The NAHRO Policy team will discuss
many areas that HUD and Congress addressed during 2016 and NAHRO reviewed in detail
in NAHRO’s Regulatory and Legislative Year in Review – 2016, which will provide a solid regulatory and legislative foundation as we work with the new Administration and new Congress to keep our affordable housing agenda moving forward.

Registration information for this e-Briefing and other professional development offerings is available through the NAHRO Professional Development calendar.

NAHRO Releases Regulatory and Legislative Year in Review – 2016

In 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was very busy setting forth new rules and regulations and providing updated notices and guidances on many of the HUD administered affordable housing programs. The year has also been marked by many legislative victories and a few challenges.

img_0015NAHRO has drafted and compiled this Regulatory and Legislative Year in Review – 2016 to provide a primer of the topics on the forefront of the affordable housing industry. It can also provide you, your public housing agencies (PHAs) and local redevelopment agencies (LRAs) and your stakeholders with current information on many of the programs used and administered by HUD and the affordable housing community.

The full Regulatory and Legislative Year in Review – 2016, along with the individual topic one-pagers, is available on the NAHRO website. For the most up-to-date versions and information visit the NAHRO website and the NAHRO blog.

NAHRO Policy and Congressional teams are also conducting two e-Briefings through NAHRO Professional Development. The first is This Just in from Washington on January 31, 2017, where NAHRO’s Congressional team will give you an update on FY2017 appropriations, preview FY2018, outline potential legislative action on HCD programs, and discuss ways in which you can be the most effective advocate in this rapidly changing political climate. The second is part of the Housing Rules! Series, Moving Forward: A Review of 2016 Regulation and Legislation on February 7, 2017, where NAHRO’s Policy team will discuss many areas that HUD and Congress addressed during 2016 and NAHRO reviewed in detail in NAHRO’s Regulatory and Legislative Year in Review – 2016, which will provide a solid regulatory and legislative foundation as we work with the new Administration and new Congress to keep our affordable housing agenda moving forward. Registration information for both of these e-Briefings is available through the NAHRO Professional Development calendar.

Regulatory Freeze Memo Issued

On January 20, the Trump Administration issued a “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” memo that applies to all Federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This memo is similar to memos issued by previous administrations as they come into office, and NAHRO had expected this regulatory freeze.

Generally, the regulatory freeze requires agencies to withdraw any regulations that have not yet been published in the Federal Register and to extend the effective date by 60 days of any regulations that have not become effective as of January 20, 2017. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) can issue exceptions to the regulatory freeze in emergency situations and to address urgent health, safety, financial, or national security issues.

The regulatory review not only applies to regulations but also any “guidance document.” A “guidance document” is any substantive action or an agency statement that states a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue that is normally published in the Federal Register.

NAHRO will continue to monitor the effects of the regulatory freeze and has reached out to HUD staff on how this regulatory freeze will affect specific regulations. As more information becomes, available NAHRO will share it with our members through The NAHRO Blog and the Monitor.

For any specific questions or concerns, please contact Georgi Banna, NAHRO’s Director of Policy and Program Development, at gbanna@nahro.org. As always for the most up-to-date information of the affordable housing and community development regulations and legislation, follow The NAHRO Blog and check the NAHRO website.

Court Rules in Favor of Plaintiffs in Operating Reserves Litigation

PHADA and NAHRO are pleased to announce that on January 18th the U.S. Court of Federal Claims found in favor of nearly 350 public housing authorities that brought a lawsuit against the federal government challenging HUD’s reduction of their FY 2012 operating fund subsidies based on the amount of Plaintiffs’ so-called “excess” operating reserves. The President’s FY 2012 budget proposal included an Operating Fund request of just $3,961,850 which was $1 billion short of the amount needed to pay the aggregate estimated operating subsidy eligibility amount. HUD devised an “allocation adjustment” based on the level of savings agencies had accumulated in their operating fund reserves. As proposed, this allocation adjustment would have offset the aggregate amount of operating fund subsidies to which PHAs were entitled in 2012 by the amount of the PHAs’ “excess” operating reserves up to $1 billion. At the Department’s behest, Congress approved the plan, changing the aggregate amount of reserves that could be used as an offset to $750 million.

With PHADA and NAHRO as the lead Plaintiffs, a lawsuit was filed on January 3, 2013. Collaborating with PHADA and NAHRO, Coan & Lyons, a Washington, DC law firm, prepared the case based on the claim that HUD’s offset breached the Annual Contributions Contract (ACC of the PHA Plaintiffs in 2012 when “rather than reducing their subsidy payments by a uniform percentage (pro-rata basis), it first offset each PHA’s payment by a figure that varied from one PHA to another – the amount of its excess operating reserves.”

Judge Elaine D. Kaplan stated in her decision that HUD “breached its [contractual] obligations under the ACCs when it applied the [excess] operating [reserves] offset in response to the 2012 Appropriations Act, rather than the pro rata reduction prescribed by” HUD’s regulations. As noted by Judge Kaplan, the plaintiffs requested compensatory damages of almost $136 million.

The Court has ordered the attorneys to file a status report by February 17, suggesting how the Court should proceed. Carl Coan, III, Plaintiffs’ lead attorney, believes that the next logical step will be to calculate the exact damages to which the Plaintiffs are entitled and submit them to the Court for approval. Assuming the parties can agree on the amount of damages, the Court will enter a final judgment and order awarding Plaintiffs their damages.

Tim Kaiser, PHADA Executive Director said, “We appreciate the Court’s decision. We tried to dissuade HUD from implementing this unfair and damaging plan as soon as we heard about it. HUD decided to go ahead and it left us with no alternative but to organize a legal action to enforce the existing contract between HUD and its many PHA partners.”

John Bohm, Acting Chief Executive Officer of NAHRO stated “NAHRO applauds the Court’s ruling on this matter. This responsible decision addresses the critical concerns raised by housing authorities across the country, and we hope that it will serve as a benchmark for future decision-making on these matters.”

The Court’s ruling may be accessed here.

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For any specific questions or concerns, please contact Georgi Banna, NAHRO’s Director of Policy and Program Development, at gbanna@nahro.org. As always for the most up-to-date information of the affordable housing and community development regulations and legislation, follow The NAHRO Blog and check the NAHRO website.

Book-Rich Environment Initiative Launched

On January 5th; HUD, Dept. of Education, and President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force along with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (GLR), the National Book Foundation (NBF) and the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) launched the Book-Rich Environment Initiative at Washington, D.C.’s Southwest Public Library. HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Dept. of Education Secretary John King, and My Brother’s Keeper Task Force Chair Broderick Johnson along with Adrianne Todman, Executive Director of the District of Columbia Housing Authority spoke about the importance of education as the key to opening the door to future opportunities.2017-01-05_10-50-17_052

The Book-Rich Environment Initiative has three major components – Book Distribution, Partnership Building, and Library Engagement. Book Distribution will launch in Spring 2017 with local events that will introduce children and families to their local library, summer learning and literacy, and preparing to go back to school and success in the next grade level. Partnership building will focus on creating strong local partnerships between HUD-assisted housing providers; such as PHAs; with their local library, local and national non-profits and foundation, and the children and family served by these organizations. Library engagement between PHAs, the children and families living in HUD-assisted properties, and the local library is essential to keeping children engaged in reading. Engagement strategies include mobile libraries in public housing buildings, summer learning opportunities and registering children and families for library cards.

NAHRO attended the Book-Rich Environment Initiative launch and continues to partner with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and HUD on promoting and improving the education outcomes of children living in HUD-assisted properties.

More information on the Book-Rich Environment Initiative can be found, here, in HUD’s press release.

HUD Adds New Requirements to Consolidated Planning

Today, the HUD Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) published a final rule that will “modernize” the consolidated planning process (24 CFR 91) for CPD formula grantees. The rule adds the concepts of broadband access and vulnerability to natural hazard risks to the Consolidated Plan’s existing housing market analysis. According to HUD, this rule seeks to “promote a balanced planning process that more fully considers the housing, environment, and economic needs of communities.”

Under the new rule, States and local governments must analyze the broadband needs (i.e., broadband wiring and connection to broadband service in the household unit, or the need for additional broadband Internet service providers to increase competition) of housing occupied by low- and moderate-income (LMI) households, including housing in rural areas. The rule also requires States and local governments to assess the vulnerability of housing units occupied by LMI households to increased natural hazard risks, particularly risks associated with climate change.

HUD does not expect the new regulations to result in significant additional expenses and administrative burden to jurisdictions since the requirements are similar to existing planning requirements, and the data necessary is readily available on the internet. HUD plans to input data for both broadband and resilience assessment requirements within the Consolidated Plan pre-populated data tables for use by jurisdictions, though jurisdictions can opt to use other data of their choice. HUD will provide grantees with this data early in Fiscal Year 2018.

Compliance with the requirements of the final rule will apply to Consolidated Plans submitted on or after January 1, 2018. Additional coverage of this final rule will available in the forthcoming edition the NAHRO Monitor (members only).

NAHRO Provides Recommendations to the HUD 2017 Transition Team

Today NAHRO provided members of President-elect Trump’s HUD transition team with the NAHRO Transition 2017 recommendations. All recommendations and positions in this document have been previously approved by our standing committees and the NAHRO Board of Governors. We also intend to make ourselves available to the new transition team and supply them with any and all information and assistance they may require from us to make the transition at HUD under the Trump Administration as smooth as possible.

The transition recommendations can be used as you reach out to your local HUD officials, your elected officials who will be seated in the new Congress, the media and your own state and local officials in a united effort to move a responsible and responsive housing agenda forward at HUD and on Capitol Hill. In addition to this document, the association will also be producing the NAHRO 2017 Regulatory and Legislative Agenda, which will be drafted over the coming weeks with input from NAHRO membership and leadership and will be available at the NAHRO 2017 Washington Conference.

NAHRO’s Transition 2017 recommendations for HUD may be viewed here.