Affordable housing news 12/2/16

Affordable Housing Finance: Historic furniture factory transformed into affordable housing

CBPP: More than 100,000 families could be frozen out of housing vouchers for 2017

FiveThirtyEight: Stop treating HUD like a second-tier department

The HUDdle: Creating healthier communities with smoke-free public housing

NHC: How to counter community opposition to affordable housing

NLIHC: House Republicans opt for stopgap spending bill through March

Rooflines: Stop subsidizing bad landlords

San Jose Mercury News: Facebook commits $20 million for affordable housing

Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce: Affordable housing is getting bigger and better

Trulia: Low-income housing has no impact on nearby home values

NMA announces 2017 national housing conference

National housing conference in BostonExciting news — The Housing Conference is headed to the Eastern seaboard! Join us August 21–22, 2017, for two fantastic days of networking, learning, and exploring the beautiful and historic city of Boston, Massachusetts.

Registration will open February 2017, and a discount will be given to early registrants. Keep your eye on the blog for updates… more details, including track and session information, are on the way.

HUD previews final rule on smoke-free public housing

Today on the Public and Indian Housing (PIH) home page, HUD posted an advance copy of its final rule on smoke-free public housing. The rule is pending publication in the Federal Register.

The final rule requires all PHAs to ban the use of prohibited tobacco products in living units, indoor common areas, and administrative offices. PHAs will have 18 months from the effective date of the final rule to implement smoke-free policies applicable to all indoor areas and to outdoor areas within 25 feet of buildings. PHAs may establish designated smoking areas or may ban smoking completely.

In the final version of the rule, HUD has clarified that the rule prohibits use of waterpipes (“hookahs”). Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) such as e-cigarettes are not prohibited under the rule, but PHAs may adopt policies banning them. PHAs that have already implemented voluntary smoke-free policies will need to update them only if their existing policies are not consistent with the minimum requirements of the final rule.

In a press release posted this morning, HUD Secretary Julián Castro commented on the final rule. Of the 1.2 million public housing units nationwide, 228,000 are currently smoke free. Once fully implemented, the smoke-free rule announced today would expand the impact to more than 940,000 public housing units, including more than 500,000 units inhabited by elderly residents and 760,000 children living in public housing.

In what appears to be a related development, HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) yesterday announced that it has scheduled a national stakeholder call with Secretary Castro. The call, which was announced in an email to the Healthy Homes mailing list, concerns “a major new step to protect the health and safety of our nation’s public housing residents.” It is scheduled for tomorrow, December 1, at 4 p.m. eastern time. Click here to RSVP for the call (use confirmation number 407550).

Model policies for RAD PBV coming soon!


Is your agency participating in the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and transitioning from public housing operating subsidy to project-based vouchers (PBV)?

If so, you’ll need additional policies in your administrative plan to cover the unique requirements of the PBV program under RAD. 

Our technical writers and subject matter experts have just completed a new chapter of our model administrative plan which includes all required policies under PBV regulations and the RAD program. It will be made available electronically in January to all current revision service customers free of charge as part of your annual revision service.

If you are a current subscriber who would like to receive these files, please email Kaynisha Dawson at with your name and your agency’s name. If you don’t currently have the model administrative plan, email or call (800) 783-3100 for more information.

Thank you to all our subscribers. If you have any questions about your revision services subscriptions, please contact Laurie Durrett in our accounting department and she’ll be happy to assist you.

Looking for further guidance on RAD PBV or other program areas? Don’t miss our annual year-end sale! Now through December 31, save 20 percent on January–March 2017 seminars, including the upcoming session of RAD Project-Based Voucher Specialist in Atlanta this February. (The discount does not apply to seminars hosted by housing authorities or associations.)

Affordable housing news 11/18/16

CBPP: Housing voucher reform will boost efficiency and opportunity

CBPP: Veterans’ homelessness cut in half since 2010

Chicago Business: CHA tests new timer on housing vouchers

Chicago Tribune (via Planetizen): Chicago to co-locate libraries and public housing

CityLab: Fighting loneliness with public living rooms

CMHA: [VIDEO] VASH vouchers: How veterans and their families are housed

Curbed: Low-income housing doesn’t hurt property values, says report

Curbed: The affordable housing crisis is a rural issue, too

Delaware Public Media: Delaware becomes third state to end veteran homelessness

Fast Company: In cities across the country, voters passed affordable housing measures

HUD: Renters more likely to be food insecure than homeowners

HUD: HUD and VA announce additional VASH funding

Next City: D.C. mayor says city’s taking affordable housing to “next level”

Rooflines: 74% of U.S. households who are eligible do not receive Section 8 assistance

HUD publishes final rule on small area FMRs

small area FMRs

Yesterday the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published in the Federal Register a final rule on the use of small area fair market rents (SAFMRs) in the housing choice voucher (HCV) program.

The rule, which is intended to help reduce the number of assisted families that reside in areas of high poverty concentration, requires the use of SAFMRs in certain metropolitan areas if the area meets a specific set of criteria. It changes the geography used to calculate FMRs in certain areas from a metropolitan area-wide approach to the zip code level, expanding the options of families to live in lower poverty neighborhoods.

In a notice published today in conjunction with the rule, HUD lists the 24 areas required to implement SAFMRs, and discusses several key changes made from the rule proposed in June of this year. These changes include:

  • The addition of three payment standard reduction protections
  • Additional criteria for selecting SAFMR areas
  • The exemption of project-based vouchers (PBVs) except in certain conditions
  • Additional changes to reduce the administrative burden on PHAs and simplify the transition

HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) established a website earlier this year containing tools and information on the use of SAFMRs in the HCV program. To accompany the final rule, HUD has posted links to several supplementary documents on this website, including today’s press release on the rule, the key aspects notice mentioned above, and second Federal Register notice on SAFMRs, also published this morning, which sets the values for the selection criteria used to determine areas subject to small area FMRs, and lists the areas meeting these requirements. The rule becomes effective on January 17, 2017.

Get certified in fair housing online with HTVN

Get certified in fair housing without leaving your desk! We’re excited to announce that we are now offering NMA’s fair housing and reasonable accommodation seminar through our partner in online learning, HTVN. This comprehensive fair housing online training helps you ensure that you’re applying critical fair housing laws and addressing reasonable accommodations at all program levels.

NMA’s longtime partnership with HTVN offers students the opportunity to enjoy many training options and earn a Nan McKay and Associates certification upon successful completion. NMA and HTVN are the only IACET-approved training and certification companies serving the affordable housing and public housing industries, which means you get the highest quality training plus the certification to show your achievement. IACET is a nonprofit association dedicated to quality continuing education and training programs, and is the only standard-setting organization approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for continuing education and training.

Other available online NMA certifications include:

To register, go here or email And don’t miss this blog post with tips to help you get the most out of your online training.

HUD publishes final rule on VAWA 2013

This morning in the Federal Register, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a final rule implementing the requirements set forth in the Violence against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013). VAWA 2013 expanded protections to HUD programs beyond public housing and Section 8 tenant-based and project-based programs, while also enhancing protections and options for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Today’s 102-page VAWA final rule covers the expanded protections in VAWA 2013 to HUD programs beyond the previously covered public housing and Section 8 tenant and project-based vouchers, and enhances protections and options for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. In brief, the major provisions of the rule include:

  • Specifying “sexual assault” as a crime covered by VAWA in HUD-covered programs.
  • Establishing a definition for affiliated individual based on the statutory definition and that is usable and workable for HUD-covered programs.
  • Applying VAWA protections to all covered HUD programs as well as the Housing Trust Fund, which was not statutorily listed as a covered program.
  • Ensuring that existing tenants, as well as new tenants, of all HUD-covered programs receive notification of their rights under VAWA and HUD’s VAWA regulations.
  • Establishing reasonable time periods during which a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking may establish eligibility to remain in housing, where the tenant’s household is divided due to a VAWA crime, and where the tenant was not the member of the household that previously established eligibility for assistance.
  • Establishing that housing providers may, but are not required to, request certain documentation from tenants seeking emergency transfers under VAWA.
  • Providing for a six-month transition period to complete an emergency transfer plan and provide emergency transfers, when requested, under the plan.
  • Revising and establishing new program-specific regulations for implementing VAWA protections in a manner that is workable for each HUD-covered program.

In addition to addressing the major provisions above, the VAWA final rule also includes as appendices a Notice of Occupancy Rights under the Violence against Women Act (Notice of Occupancy Rights) that certain housing providers must give to tenants and applicants to ensure they are aware of their rights under VAWA and implementing regulations, a model Emergency Transfer Plan that may be used by housing providers to develop their own emergency transfer plans, a model Emergency Transfer Request form that housing providers could provide to tenants requesting an emergency transfer under these regulations, and a new certification form for documenting incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking that must be used by housing providers. As stated in the final rule, these appendices will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations.

HUD publishes notice on RAD conversions

RAD conversions

Last week the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) posted new guidance for the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) in Notice PIH 2016-17. The new notice, which fills 80 pages, combines guidance on fair housing and civil rights requirements with resident relocation requirements and procedures. It supersedes Notice PIH 2014-17, HUD’s previous guidance on RAD relocations. Notice PIH 2012-32 (HA) REV-2, which contains RAD implementation instructions, remains in effect.

The new notice is applicable only to public housing conversions under the first component of RAD. It provides PHAs, project owners, and their RAD development partners with guidance regarding key fair housing and civil rights requirements, explains the situations in which HUD is requiring front-end fair housing and civil rights reviews, and provides information regarding the types of information that must be submitted to facilitate HUD’s reviews.

The notice announces a requirement for submission of a fair housing, civil rights, and relocation checklist by PHAs and project owners. The checklist is currently being revised and will be posted to the RAD website when available.

HUD also announced that it will host a webinar on the new notice.

The presentation is scheduled for this Thursday, November 17,

at 2 p.m. eastern time (11 a.m. Pacific). Click here to register.

According to an accompanying press release, the new notice streamlines and accelerates the RAD approval process by:

  • Clearly outlining the requirements for fair housing and relocation reviews 
  • Providing guidance on what documents to submit and when to submit them, and
  • Offering tools such as a comprehensive checklist to help stakeholders prepare submissions

Today in the Federal Register, HUD  published a request for comments on the new notice. While the requirements of the notice are available and became effective upon posting, HUD has published today’s notice to solicit comments with respect to the clarity and comprehensibility of the requirements.  Comments are due by December 14. 

Got questions about RAD? During our year-end sale, you’ll save 20% when you register for upcoming sessions of our RAD trainings, RAD Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) Overview and RAD Project-Based Voucher (PBV) Specialist. If you aren’t sure which training is the right one for your agency, give us a call at (800) 783-3100 or email and our experienced staff will point you in the right direction.

Affordable housing news 11/4/16

CBPP: Gap between rents and renter incomes grew in 2015

CBPP: Major study shows vouchers are most effective tool for helping homeless families

CBPP: Renters’ tax credit would reduce housing cost burdens

Next City: Crunching the numbers on a $76B tax credit for renters

Next City: How Baltimore’s promising vacant properties program is working

Rooflines: Housing doesn’t filter, neighborhoods do