Affordable housing news 3/17/17

CBPP: 3 out of 4 at-risk renters don’t get housing assistance

The HUDdle: New study shows why all public housing should be smoke-free

NCSHA: FY 2018 budget blueprint proposes deep cuts to HUD, elimination of HOME

Next City: Investment in affordable housing has ripple effect

NHC: Digging deep into who struggles to afford housing in your region

NLIHC: Register for March 20 webinar on opposing HUD funding cuts

Urban Wire: Improving the lives of kids in public housing

2017 MTW conference now open to all PHAs!

2017 MTW conferenceRegistration for the annual Moving to Work (MTW) national conference in Washington, DC, is now open to all housing authorities! View the agenda online here.

Topics at the 2017 MTW conference include:

  • Strategies to Address Homelessness in Your Locality
  • University Studies Update: Evaluating Work Requirements, Term-Limits, and Rent Reform
  • Portfolio Management: What’s Next After Development?
  • Leveraging External Partnerships
  • Current Legislative Climate
  • Expanding Opportunity and Choice: Mobility and Place-Based Strategies
  • Rent Reform
  • Interventions in a Tough Rental Market
  • Administrative/Operational Streamlining in MTW PHAs
  • Serving Specialized Populations
  • Creating Local Non-Traditional Service Programs to Support Seniors
  • Leveraging MTW Flexibility to Create Local Development Strategies
  • And more!

In previous years, registration has been open only to MTW agencies, universities, and industry groups working with the MTW program. Due to upcoming program changes, and increased interest in applying for MTW status, this year’s conference is open to all PHAs on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited to 2 registrations per agency, and we encourage you to register immediately, as the event is quickly nearing capacity.

2017 MTW Conference

Visit our website to register!

Agenda now available for 2017 national conference

The tentative agenda for our fifth annual national housing conference is now available, and when you register now you’ll receive early bird pricing!

Join us August 21-22, 2017, for two fantastic days of networking, learning,
and exploring the beautiful and historic city of Boston, Massachusetts. Industry experts will present sessions and panels on the latest topics in affordable housing, including:

  • An update on UPCS-V, the proposed inspections protocol to replace HQS (panel session)
  • Best practices in managing FSS, plus how to start a new FSS program in PBRA (panel session)
  • Best practices in PBRA and RAD PBRA (panel session)
  • Best practices in PBV and RAD PBV
  • Best practices in SEMAP (hands-on session)
  • CDBG-DR and resilience
  • Effective waitlist management
  • How to deal with generational differences in the workplace
  • Nan McKay’s annual legislative update, including new rules and notices
  • Public/private partnerships and grant funds (panel session)
  • Quality control
  • Rent reasonableness
  • Roundtable panel session with NMA Housing Awards winners
  • Succession planning
  • Understanding tax credits and RAD finance
  • What you need to know before applying for MTW
  • What you need to know if you’re a new executive director
  • What’s new in capital fund finance
  • What’s new in fair housing

Visit our website to register!

Newly available: NMA’s Model Tenant Selection Plan!

affordable housing trainingWe’re very excited to announce the debut of the NMA Model Tenant Selection Plan (TSP) and Guide! The model TSP joins our existing family of model policies, including the model administrative plan, the model ACOP, and the model FSS action plan.

In HUD’s multifamily program, owners of project-based rental assistance (PBRA) projects are required to develop and make public a tenant selection plan (TSP) which contains each project’s eligibility and admissions policies. Our new model TSP covers all required and recommended topics from HUD Handbook 4350.3, REV-1, CHG-4, as well as a guide to help with discretionary decisions.

The NMA model TSP also includes all the requirements of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program found in Notice PIH 2012-32, REV-3. If your housing authority is converting to PBRA under RAD, we strongly recommend that you consider purchasing our model tenant selection plan for two reasons. First, it’s the only model TSP available that includes these required RAD policies. Second, as with our other policies, the model TSP offers a revision service option.

What does that mean? At least once a year, and more frequently if HUD releases major regulatory changes, the NMA team of subject matter experts updates our model policies so that you always have the most current and correct policies for your affordable housing program. We send you the revisions with with user-friendly instructions to help you insert them in your existing TSP as needed and provide any necessary guidance to assist you in discretionary areas.

If you’d like additional assistance, we can also provide on-site consulting with our policy experts. If you’re transitioning from an ACOP to a TSP under RAD, this is an excellent way to ensure that your new policies are current and compliant. Your TSP needs to be ready to go immediately after the RAD conversion is finalized. Our team of experts can get you there! For more information, visit our website.

Affordable housing news 2/17/17

Brookings: The changing geography of U.S. poverty

CityLab: Fair housing faces an uncertain fate

Greater Greater Washington: Myths and misperceptions surrounding public housing

NY Daily News: Report shows boost in affordable housing funds improves the economy

NLIHC: Inadequate funding puts housing vouchers at risk

Quartz: The unexpected solution to America’s affordable housing crunch

Rooflines: New bills would enforce ignorance on state of housing opportunity

SAHF: Bringing healthy, efficient infrastructure home

Urban Wire: What could happen if the Violence Against Women Act is defunded?

PIH issues guidance on smoke-free rule

Late yesterday HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) issued Notice PIH 2017-03, “HUD Guidance on Instituting and Enforcing Smoke-Free Public Housing Policies.” The notice follows December’s publication of the smoke-free final rule.

Subjects discussed in the guidance notice include implementation, PHA flexibility, and PHA policy options concerning use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and designated smoking areas (DSAs). The notice also includes instructions for revisions to public housing leases and PHA plans.

The notice also encourages PHAs to adopt graduated enforcement mechanisms for violations of smoke-free policies. PHAs may not evict for a single incident of smoking.

On the subject of reasonable accommodations, the notice includes suggestions for smoke-free policies for residents with disabilities. Such measures could include offering the resident a transfer to a unit near an exit, to a unit on the ground floor, or to a unit in another development where DSAs are provided. However, a PHA may not permit continued smoking in restricted areas.

The notice concludes by encouraging PHAs to engage residents early in the development of smoke-free policies. Best practices have indicated that resident engagement in policy development, implementation, and enforcement are less likely to result in evictions.

Got questions about the smoke-free rule? Don’t miss Nan’s legislative update at the The Housing Conference this August in Boston, where she’ll discuss acts of Congress, regulation changes, and what’s ahead for 2017. Register now for the best rates!

Affordable housing news 2/3/17

CBPP: Every state will likely lose housing vouchers, unless Congress boosts funding

CHA: 2017 Moving to Work annual plan approved by HUD

CityLab: Fair housing faces an uncertain fate

CityLab (via Planetizen): This start-up takes (some) of the hassle out of renting

Homelessness Law: Communities count people experiencing homelessness

Minnesota Star-Tribune: Renters become homeowners through public housing program

Next City: How tax promises could affect the LIHTC program

Next City: New York public housing steps up on climate change

NHC: Appropriations will be messy, again

NLIHC: Affordable housing and transportation programs threatened by severe cuts

NLIHC: New blog series on affordable housing as infrastructure

Rooflines: AFFH: Moving the debate from concept to practice

Registration now open for 2017 national conference

The Housing Conference in Boston, 2017Registration for The Housing Conference is now open! All of us at Nan McKay & Associates are thrilled to be taking our fifth annual national housing conference to Boston, MA.

We have a fantastic schedule of sessions underway, including topics like how to manage your PBV and PBRA programs, streamlining your HCV program, multigenerational workplaces and succession planning, what’s new in RAD, applying to be an MTW agency, CDBG-DR and resilience, best practices for wait lists, and much, much more. As in previous years, we’ll also be announcing the winners of the 2017 NMA Housing Awards. Stay tuned for the agenda, which will be available very soon. 

The Housing Conference

Visit our website to register!

White House issues regulatory freeze memo

On January 20, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus issued a memo titled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review.” The memo, which applies to government departments and agencies including HUD, announces a temporary “freeze” on submission of new regulations through the Office of the Federal Register (OFR). Freezes or holds on new rulemaking are customary for new presidential administrations and have occurred in the past.

Specific instructions from Friday’s memo include the following:

  • New rules which have not yet been submitted to OFR must be held until reviewed and approved by a department or agency head designated on or after January 20.
  • Rules which have been submitted to OFR but have not yet been published in the Federal Register must be withdrawn pending review and approval.
  • Rules which have been published in the Federal Register but which have not yet taken effect must be postponed so that their effective dates are at least 60 days after January 20.
  • The Director of the Office of Management and Budget may make exceptions to the freeze for urgent or emergency situations.

The freeze also applies to “guidance documents,” described as “any substantive action by an agency (normally published in the Federal Register) that promulgates or is expected to lead to the promulgation of a final rule or regulation, including notices of inquiry, advance notices of proposed rulemaking, and notices of proposed rulemaking.”

HUD publishes HOTMA implementation notice

HOTMA implementation notice

On Wednesday in the Federal Register, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published a notice implementing several of the provisions of the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act (HOTMA) that impact the housing choice voucher (HCV) and project-based voucher (PBV) programs, in addition to requesting comments on both current and future implementing requirements. The HOTMA implementation notice is broken down topic-by-topic, followed by specific questions for comment in each corresponding section. The first sections of the notice address:

  • Allowing PHAs to approve tenancy and commence HAP payments when a unit fails HQS, but only if it has non-life-threatening deficiencies.
  • Authorizing occupancy prior to inspection if the unit passed under an alternate inspection within the previous 24 months.
  • Amending the definition of units owned by the PHA so that the unit is PHA-owned only if unit is in a project that is: owned by the PHA, owned by an entity wholly controlled by the PHA, or owned by an LLC or limited partnership in which the PHA or entity wholly controlled by the PHA holds a controlling interest in the managing member or general partner.

The notice also addresses numerous statutory changes to the project-based voucher (PBV) program set forth under HOTMA, covering implementation requirements for the following:

  • Changing the terminology in the statute from “structure” to “project.”
  • Changing the PHA HCV program limitation on PBV vouchers from a 20 percent funding limitation to a 20 percent unit limitation calculation and allowing for additional project-basing of vouchers by raising the limit an additional 10 percent for homeless families, families with veterans, supportive housing for persons with disabilities or elderly persons, or in areas where vouchers are difficult to use.
  • Changing the income-mixing cap on the number of PBV units in a project to be the greater of 25 units in a project or 25 percent of the units in a project (the project unit cap), and making changes to the categories of PBV units that are excepted from this project unit cap.
  • Allowing the PHA to provide for an initial PBV contract of up to 20 years and to further extend that term for an additional 20 years.
  • Allowing the PHA to establish a selection preference for families who qualify for voluntary services, including disability-specific services, offered in conjunction with assisted units, provided that the preference is consistent with the PHA plan.
  • Allowing the PHA to attach assistance to structures in which the PHA has an ownership interest or control without following a competitive process.
  • Allowing PHAs to project-base HUD–VASH and FUP vouchers in accordance with statutory and regulatory requirements of the PBV program without additional requirements for approval by HUD.

The implementing requirements set forth in today’s notice become effective April 18, 2017. Comments on the specific questions posed in the notice are due by March 20.

Got questions about HOTMA? All of NMA’s HCV classes have been updated for the new payment standard rules. Register at least 45 days in advance for most seminars and you’ll receive a 10 percent discount. (The discount does not apply to seminars hosted by housing authorities or associations.)