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

One More Week!! – MTW Expansion Letters of Interest Due Jan. 11

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 mtw-info@hud.gov. 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.

MTW Operations Notice Comment Period Reopens

In today’s Federal Register Public Inspection Documents, HUD included, “Operations Notice for the Expansion of the Moving to Work Demonstration Program Solicitation of Comment; Waiver Revision and Reopening of Comment Period.” It is anticipated that this notice will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, May 4, 2017.

This notice reopens, for 30 days from its publication in the Federal Register, the comment period of the January 23, 2017 Moving to Work (MTW) Operations Notice. This notice also makes revisions to one General Waiver in Appendix 1 and two Conditional Waivers in Appendix 2.

The General Waiver that is revised focuses on the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program and the updated waiver allows housing agencies to require participation in an FSS program. If an agency makes FSS participation mandatory, the agency must also have and apply exceptions and hardship provisions.

The two Conditional Waivers that are revised focus on Work Requirements for Public Housing (PH), and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Project-Based Voucher (PBV) residents. The first waiver is for “PH — Work Requirements” and the second is for “HCV & PBV — Work Requirements” but the revision is the same – the housing agency may implement work requirements for PH, HCV, and PBV residents between the ages of 18 and 61. The previous versions of these waiver listed 54 as the maximum age.

NAHRO will continue to engage with HUD and housing agencies to maximize the regulatory relief and flexibility essential to the MTW program and the MTW expansion.

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.

NAHRO Attends Two-Day Research Advisory Committee Meeting on MTW Expansion

NAHRO attended the two day public meeting of the Moving To Work (MTW) Research  Advisory Committee held on September 1, 2016 and September 2, 2016. While a complete summary of the entire two-day meeting is outside the scope of this blog post, the Committee made some preliminary determinations of the policy interventions for the new MTW cohorts.

Each cohort will receive standard MTW flexibilities, except for where those flexibilities may conflict with a policy intervention being tested. The following policy interventions were the ones that the Committee determined HUD should further examine when moving forward with the expansion:

  1. General MTW Flexibilities – Cohort of 30 agencies (possibly two cohorts of 15 agencies each) which would be given all general MTW flexibilities. Would be restricted to only small agencies and would be compared to a control group of small agencies to test the effects of the “standard MTW package.”
  2. Rent Reform – This cohort would test the efficacy and tenant impact of stepped rent and possibly also flat rent and tiered rent.
  3. Project-Based Voucher Caps –  This cohort would test the effects of removing or increasing PBV caps.
  4. Sponsored-Based Housing – A cohort that would test the effect of sponsored-based housing. It is unclear what specific type of sponsor-based housing or the vulnerable population affected would be. The Committee was split on whether to recommend this.
  5. Landlord Incentives – This cohort would test a “satchel” of flexibilities (e.g., increased payment standards, cash to landlords, inspection flexibilities, etc.) to determine their combined effect. Agencies will be able to pick and choose which tools in the “satchel” they utilize.
  6. Place-Based Model – This cohort would try to measure the effects of place-based strategies towards housing. The was discussed very quickly at the end of the two-day long meeting.

These were the Committee’s recommendations to HUD about how it should move forward, but these policy interventions are not necessarily the ones with which HUD will choose to move forward. Everything is subject to change.

This was my recollection of the end of the two-day long meeting, but if you attended the meeting, either in-person or by phone, and want to add something, please feel free to leave a comment on this post.

Additional information will be posted on HUD’s MTW Expansion website located here.

NAHRO meets with HUD PIH Leadership

Georgi John HUD 16-8-9

NAHRO’s Acting CEO, John Bohm, and the NAHRO Policy Team members; Georgi Banna, Eric Oberdorfer and Tushar Gurjal; along with PHADA and CLPHA met with HUD’s Public and Indian Housing Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (PDAS), Lourdes Castro-Ramierz, and many of the PIH department leadership.

Among the topics discussed were the priorities for implementing the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act (HOTMA/HR 3700); upcoming HUD rules such as Smoke-Free Housing, Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs), HCV Administrative Fee Formula; Moving to Work (MTW) Expansion; and Triennial Recertifications; and the current priorities of NAHRO, PHADA, CLPHA and HUD. NAHRO and CLPHA were also thanked for their current and continued work in affordable housing and education and the improvement of educational outcomes for the children our members serve.

NAHRO is committed to keeping open and productive lines of communication and will continue to share the thoughts and concerns of our members with HUD.

MTW Expansion Committee Conference Call and Summary of Policies

As mentioned in a prior blog post, the Moving to Work (MTW) Expansion Committee Conference Call is occurring now [Edit: The call ended at 4 pm]. HUD has also posted a summary of the policy proposals it has received to be potentially studied in MTW cohorts. Here are the numbers to call in:

  • United States –  (800) 230-1766;
  • Outside the United States – (612) 288-0329; and
  • Persons with hearing impairments – (800) 977-8339 and providing the FRS operator with the conference call toll-free number: (800) 230-1766.

The call is until 4 pm today. The next call will be at the following time:

  • July 28, 2016 – Cost-Effectiveness and Incentives to Increase Self-Sufficiency for Families with Children (1 pm to 4 pm).

Read the summary of policy proposals here.

MTW Research Advisory Committee – Conference Calls

The Moving to Work (MTW) Research Advisory Committee will be holding two public conference calls. The MTW Research Advisory Committee will advise HUD on how to move forward with the MTW expansion, especially with respect to specific policies to test in the expansion. The calls are open to the public, but members of the public must register to provide comment.

The calls are at the following dates and times [edit: the calls are until 4 pm; previously this post stated they were until 3 pm]:

July 26, 2016 – Increasing Housing Choice for Low-Income Families (1 pm to 4 pm); and

July 28, 2016 – Cost-Effectiveness and Incentives to Increase Self-Sufficiency for Families with Children (1 pm to 4 pm).

Use the following numbers to call-in:

  • United States –  (800) 230-1766;
  • Outside the United States – (612) 288-0329; and
  • Persons with hearing impairments – (800) 977-8339 and providing the FRS operator with the conference call toll-free number: (800) 230-1766.

To register, please click here.

Additional information on the call agendas can be found here.

Our prior blog post on these calls can be found here.

NAHRO meets with HUD on Smoke-Free Rule and MTW Expansion; Briefing on SAFMRs

On June 29 and 30, NAHRO staff met with HUD staff to discuss the Moving to Work (MTW) Expansion that was included in the FY 2016 Omnibus and the upcoming smoke-free final rule. HUD also hosted a Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR) proposed rule briefing.

Although HUD is still finalizing the MTW Expansion, they recently unveiled their MTW Expansion website, which contains information on the expansion process. HUD has also posted a MTW Expansion Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document.

According to HUD, a PIH notice should be published in the fall of 2016 soliciting applications for the initial cohort of new MTW PHAs. Additional cohorts of MTW PHAs will be added through separate notices through 2020 or until a total of 100 new MTW PHAs have been added. HUD has yet to determine the number of cohorts that will be included in the expansion nor specific policies to be tested through the expansion. The Secretary will weigh the advice of the MTW expansion advisory committee before determining both of these matters. For each cohort of new MTW PHAs, the specific policy proposals and methods of research and evaluation will be described in the PIH notice to be published in the fall of 2016. NAHRO’s policy proposals and recommended research evaluation methods for HUD regarding the MTW expansion can be found here (members only).

HUD plans to release the Instituting Smoke-Free Final Rule late summer or early fall. Although the rule is still undergoing the rule making process, NAHRO staff has learned HUD plans to submit the final rule to the Office of Management and Budget shortly. NAHRO was able to provide HUD staff with input on members concerns regarding the proposed rule. NAHRO’s comments on HUD’s proposed rule can be found here (members only).

HUD also hosted a briefing on the proposed SAFMR rule. The briefing went over the basics of the proposed rule and reviewed specific areas on which HUD was seeking comment. Comments and questions posed at the briefing from industry and advocacy groups included a question about the variability of all Fair Market Rents (FMRS) (to which HUD responded that they are working on a new methodology for FY 2017 FMRs); the current status of the SAFMR demonstration (it’s still going); and whether tenants who receive a subsidy cut in certain zip codes because of the SAFMR rule will be able to find housing in other zip codes because there are not enough available units or because landlords are not accepting vouchers (HUD does not know how to deal with this problem). Read our coverage of the proposed SAFMR rule here (members only).