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PIH issues instructions for MTW expansion

Posted by Kaylene Holvenstot on Oct 12, 2018 1:12:08 PM

Late yesterday, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published Notice PIH 2018-17, offering eligible PHAs the opportunity to apply for admission to the Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration under the first cohort of the recent expansion, and providing the two-step application process to do so. HUD republished in the Federal Register the operations notice on the MTW expansion yesterday. While the operations notice does cover the implementation and continued operations of MTW agencies selected through the expansion, it does not include the application instructions. Notice PIH 2018-17, however, lays out those instructions in detail:

  • In the first step of the two-part application process, interested PHAs that meet the eligibility criteria in Section 4(b) of the notice will submit a letter of interest package and HUD will conduct an eligibility review. Regional lotteries will then be held to determine which PHAs will be invited to apply, which PHAs will be placed on a waitlist, and which PHAs will not receive an MTW designation or continue to the next step in the process.
  • In the second step, regional lottery selectees will be invited to submit a full MTW plan and application requesting an MTW designation. Waitlisted PHAs may be invited to apply to replace a selected PHA that withdraws or does not sufficiently complete its application. After sufficient completion of the requirements, lottery selectees will then be offered an MTW designation in the first cohort of the expansion.

Notice PIH 2018-17 also covers important elements of the program structure and evaluative components of the expansion, the general framework and selection process, information on submitting a letter of interest package, and information on submitting an MTW plan and application. Applications for other cohorts of the MTW expansion will be requested through future selection notices.

Learn more about MTW

Topics: MTW, PIH notices

HUD publishes MTW expansion notice

Posted by Annie Stevenson on Oct 11, 2018 11:25:00 AM

On Friday in the Federal Register, HUD published an operations notice for the expansion of the Moving to Work (MTW) program. The 2016 MTW Expansion Statute allows HUD to increase the size of the program from 39 agencies to 139 agencies over a seven-year period. MTW agencies are given flexibility to develop alternative housing program policies aimed at reducing program costs, increasing self-sufficiency of assisted families, and increasing housing choice.

HUD published the first operations notice and request for comments on January 23, 2017. Today’s notice incorporates changes suggested in public comments and seeks further comments, which must be submitted no later than November 19, 2018.

The operations notice details the implementation and continued operations of MTW agencies selected through the expansion. It does not include application instructions, which will be issued in future PIH notices. The 16-page document covers the following 11 topics:

  • Purpose and applicability of the program
  • Waivers, including agency-specific and cohort-specific waivers
  • The term of participation
  • MTW funding flexibilities and financial reporting
  • Program-wide and cohort-specific evaluation
  • Program administration and oversight
  • The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program
  • Applying MTW flexibilities to special purpose vouchers
  • The applicability of other federal, state, and local requirements
  • MTW agencies admitted prior to the 2016 MTW expansion statute
  • Sanctions, terminations, and default

The notice provides the following information about the 100 agencies which will be selected for the MTW expansion:

  • No less than 50 PHAs shall administer 1,000 or fewer aggregate housing voucher and public housing units
  • No less than 47 PHAs shall administer 1,001–6,000 aggregate housing voucher and public housing units
  • No more than 3 PHAs shall administer 6,001–27,000 aggregate housing voucher and public housing units
  • No PHA shall be granted MTW designation if it administers more than 27,000 aggregate housing voucher and public housing units; and
  • Five of the PHAs selected shall be agencies with a Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) portfolio awardLearn more about MTW

Topics: MTW

Housing and community news

Posted by NMA on Oct 10, 2018 10:57:43 AM

What we're reading now: The latest housing reports and analysis

The Atlantic: Elizabeth Warren's ambitious fix for America's housing crisis

Brookings: It's a dark time for renters

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Renters' incomes still lagging behind housing costs

Center for Community Progress: Building equitable communities takes systems reform

Center for Study of Social Policy: Comment period begins today for public charge rule

CityLab: Why affordable housing isn't more affordable

National Association of Counties: Congress approves major disaster reform bill

National League of Cities: Cities leading on fair housing

National Low Income Housing Coalition: Congress passes stopgap funding for HUD

New York Times: Along the Carolinas coast, entire neighborhoods remain submerged

Shelterforce: 30 years of reporting on the state of the nation's housing

Urban Institute: Rural communities need more affordable rental housing

Urban Land: 2 developers share their path to transformational projects

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Topics: Industry News

HUD eases requirements in disaster areas

Posted by Marné Cales on Sep 12, 2018 1:31:56 PM

Today in the Federal Register, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published a notice announcing the availability of relief from HUD requirements for public housing authorities (PHAs) to assist with recovery and relief efforts for families affected by recent disasters. Specifically, PHAs in areas that currently have presidentially declared major disaster declarations (MDDs) may request waivers of HUD requirements and will receive expedited review of their requests.

The notice describes the flexibilities available to MDD PHAs, including extensions of obligation and expenditure deadlines for capital funds, Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) minimum program size, and public housing approved vacancies. It also describes the process for PHAs to provide notice and request approval from HUD regarding statutory or regulatory flexibilities. The notice will apply to any MDDs issued during the remainder of 2018 as well.

Topics: disaster recovery, regulatory flexibilities

FAQ Friday: Flat rent annual review

Posted by Annie Stevenson on Sep 7, 2018 11:22:45 AM


I’m confused about all of the flat rent changes over the past few years. Fair market rents for 2019 were just posted and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with them. Help, please!


You’re correct that HUD published the fair market rents (FMRs) for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2019 on August 31. The FMR data set includes tables of unadjusted rents and small area fair market rents (SAFMRs). Your agency will need one or more of these data sets in order to comply with HUD’s current requirements for reviewing flat rents on an annual basis. The review must be completed within 90 days after the issuance of new FMRs.

The current requirements for determining public housing flat rents were published in the streamlining final rule (published March 8, 2016 in the Federal Register) and in Notice PIH 2017-23 (published November 30, 2017). The corresponding regulations are at 24 Code of Federal Regulations 960.253. PHAs are now required to set flat rents at no less than the lower of:

  • 80 percent of the applicable fair market rent (FMR)
  • 80 percent of the small area fair market rent (SAFMR) for metropolitan areas
  • 80 percent of unadjusted rents (published for nonmetropolitan areas)

Alternatively, PHAs may apply for an exception waiver through HUD to allow a lower flat rent. HUD has recently published a flat rent exception request training and a flat rent market analysis tool to assist PHAs with the exception process.

Since FMRs are published annually, PHAs must now review flat rents each year to ensure compliance with the current rule. The following is an excerpt from Notice PIH 2017-23 which describes the requirements for the annual review:

In order to comply with the flat rent requirements annually, no later than 90 days after the effective date of new FMRs or SAFMRs published by HUD, the PHA must:
1. Compare the current flat rent amount to the applicable FMR and SAFMR/unadjusted rent. If the PHA is in compliance with the law, no further steps are necessary:
a) If the flat rent is at least equal to the lower of:
a. 80 percent of the FMR, or
b. 80 percent of the SAFMR (or if no SAFMR is available, 80 percent of unadjusted rent).
b) If the current flat rent is less than the lower of option a or option b above, the PHA must set flat rents at no less than the lower of the 80 percent FMR or 80 percent SAFMR/80 percent unadjusted rent, subject to the utilities adjustment in Section 6 of this Notice, or the PHA may request an exception flat rent pursuant to the requirements of Section 5 of this Notice;
2. Update the flat rent policies in the Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policies (ACOP) as necessary;
3. Permit the family to choose between the flat rent amount and the income-based rent for all new admissions; and
4. Offer the updated flat rent amount at the next annual rent option for families that are current public housing residents, and permit the family to choose between the flat rent amount and the income-based rent, subject to the phase-in requirements in Section 8 of this Notice.

Flat rent increases must be capped at 35 percent per year. PHAs are no longer permitted to phase in increases of 35 percent or less.

Learn more about how to  correctly calculate rent

Topics: flat rent, FMR

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