Friday news roundup 1/30/15

On Monday the Obama administration will be releasing its detailed proposed budget for next year. In a one-hour webcast scheduled for Monday afternoon, HUD Secretary Julián Castro will provide a briefing on the HUD portion of the budget. The webcast will begin at 4 p.m. eastern time (1 p.m. Pacific time). If you wish to watch the webcast live, you will find the link you need on this page shortly before it starts. In other news:

Housing Finance: Community Development Trust commits $100 million to assist RAD projects

Next City: Restoring payments to the National Housing Trust Fund, and Sec. Castro on The Daily Show

NLIHC: Appropriation levels for HUD programs in FY16 could be the worst in several years

Rooflines: Supreme Court argument reaffirms the case for disparate impact

HUD publishes interim rule on new housing trust fund

Today in the Federal Register, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published an interim rule that does not affect the regulations governing the public housing and housing choice voucher (HCV) programs but should be of interest to PHAs. Here’s the summary:

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) establishes a Housing Trust Fund (HTF) to be administered by HUD. The purpose of the HTF is to provide grants to state governments to increase and preserve the supply of rental housing for extremely low- and very low-income families, including homeless families, and to increase homeownership for extremely low- and very low-income families.

This rule establishes the regulations that will govern the HTF. HUD is issuing this rule as an interim rule. It is HUD’s intention to open this interim rule for public comment to solicit comments once funding is available and the grantees gain experience administering the HTF program.

According to the accompanying press release, “States and state-designated entities are eligible grantees for the HTF. Annual formula grants will be made, of which at least 80 percent must be used for rental housing; up to 10 percent for homeownership; and up to 10 percent for the grantee’s reasonable administrative and planning costs.” The press release also links to a new webpage for the HTF program at the HUD Exchange website.

Today’s interim rule will become effective on March 31. If you’re interested in learning more about the HTF program, the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) will be offering a free webinar next Thursday, February 5, from 1 to 2 p.m. eastern time (10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Pacific time). The webinar will provide state and local housing advocates and providers with detailed information on how to prepare for the first NHTF dollars coming to states in early 2016. If you would like to participate in the webinar, click here to register.

To receive updates and analysis on the latest PIH news, subscribe to NMA’s PIH Alert and receive a daily email with breaking news and other important information for PHAs and housing professionals.

HUD updates RAD application process

Today in the Federal Register, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) described its application review process for the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). The cap on RAD conversions was increased from 60,000 units to 185,000 units under the fiscal year 2015 appropriations act.

As described in today’s notice, HUD will now process existing applications from the RAD waiting list. HUD will issue a commitment to enter into a housing assistance payments contract (CHAP) for any eligible application that falls below the 185,000-unit cap.

According to the notice, if additional or updated information is needed to complete an application, the application will be held until the information is provided. HUD will review applications “in the manner it deems most expedient”:

HUD may consider deal-specific factors including program financing requirements in determining the order with which it processes applications. Applications that require a CHAP by a certain deadline in order to secure project financing may be reviewed prior to other applications in order to maximize resources and support the successful conversion of all transactions.

To stay updated on the latest program information, subscribe to the PIH Alert and receive a daily email with news and analysis for PHAs and housing professionals.

Get certified for housing quality standards (HQS) online!

Jay OrtenzoDid you know that you can receive an official HQS certification without even leaving your desk? Nan McKay and Associates is now offering our Housing Quality Standards (HQS) certification online:

Upon completion of this Nan McKay certification course, learners will have the information and skills required to complete HQS inspections on vacant or occupied units to determine if units pass or fail pursuant to HQS minimum standards. The course covers the correct completion of an HQS inspection form during the inspection, how to design an upgrade to HQS when given the assignment to develop a higher reasonable standard with HUD approval, as well as lead-based paint regulations and their impact on the HCV program. In addition, HQS-related SEMAP indicators and their impact on the PHA’s SEMAP score are included.

The 16-hour class is led by NMA senior trainer Jay Ortenzo, a seasoned expert in HQS inspections who will guide you through the standards in a practical and easy-to-understand format. You may also be interested in the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards certification, a 4.5-hour class in which Jay covers accessibility standards, fair housing, auditing, and compliance. Learners are taught about voluntary compliance agreement (VCA) trends, sample lawsuits, and how the Department of Justice (DOJ) is driving compliance.

Our longtime partnership with HTVN offers students the opportunity to enjoy many training options, all of which provide 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:

For more details, email sales@nanmckay.com. And don’t miss this recent blog post with tips to help you get the most out of your online training.

Specializing in real property services, Jay Ortenzo has been a technical trainer and consultant with Nan McKay and Associates for more than 20 years. With nearly four decades of housing experience in both public and private sectors, he develops technical training manuals and materials relating to federally subsidized programs on housing inspection, maintenance, and modernization.

Econometrica team—including Nan McKay and Associates, Inc.—awarded $3.25 million for HUD technical assistance

Econometrica was recently awarded $3.25 million under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s FY 2014 Community Compass Technical Assistance and Capacity Building competition. Econometrica’s success in receiving this award depended on organizing a diverse team of highly skilled experts with experience in all aspects of housing and community development. Nan McKay & Associates, Inc. (NMA) is one of the team members on this award. Econometrica has served as a technical assistance provider for HUD under a variety of technical assistance programs since 2007. NMA has provided a wide variety of consulting and training-related services since 1980.

This is the seventh-straight technical assistance award Econometrica has received and is the largest award that Econometrica has received to date. This funding will allow Econometrica and its partners to provide technical assistance to public housing authorities and HUD grantees nationwide and continue helping HUD to ensure safe, decent, and affordable housing; ensure fiscal integrity by all program participants; and develop viable communities by promoting integrated approaches that expand economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income persons. HUD grantees are encouraged to work with their respective field office in making requests for technical assistance; please visit https://www.hudexchange.info/ for a listing of currently available resources and to request assistance. For more information on HUD’s Community Compass initiative, please visit https://www.hudexchange.info/about-onecpd.

HUD posts updated HCV inspection forms

toolboxToday HUD’s Client Information and Policy System (HUDCLIPS) posted revised versions of housing choice voucher (HCV) program inspection forms on its “What’s New” list for January 23. The newly-revised forms are the HUD-52580 Inspection Checklist and the HUD-52580-A Inspection Form. Both forms are dated 9/2014 with an expiration date of 9/30/2017.

Updated HCV inspection forms were issued in September 2014 with other form revisions. After the September release, several NMA customers reported that the inspection form numbers were reversed and that fillable forms were not working properly. Revised forms were posted earlier this month, correcting the numbering error. HUD did not post an explanation for today’s re-release of the forms.

Could your agency use help with inspections? Our team of NMAI professionals have an average background of 12 years’ experience conducting inspections, are highly qualified and certified in HQS and/or UPCS, and have completed required sensitivity and sexual harassment training as well as extensive criminal background checks before beginning work. For more information about NMA Inspections, please visit our website or contact us directly at sales@nanmckay.com.

HCV funding disbursements for February and March 2015

HUD’s Financial Management Division (FMD) recently sent a letter to PHA executive directors describing the calculation and disbursement of renewal funding for February and March. The allocation of HAP renewal funds for calendar year (CY) 2015 has not yet been determined pending completion of Voucher Management System (VMS) data entry for CY 2014. February and March disbursements are based upon each PHA’s CY 2014 prorated renewal eligibility.

As explained in the letter:

  • February and March disbursements were determined on the basis of PHA-reported HAP expenses for November 2014, the most recent month of validated VMS data.
  • CY 2015 allocations will be calculated and communicated to PHAs before calculation of the obligation for April 2015.

To receive updates and analysis on the latest PIH news, subscribe to NMA’s PIH Alert and receive a daily email with breaking news and other important information for PHAs and housing professionals.

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