Affordable housing news 2/5/16

CBPP: House unanimously passes bill improving housing programs

CBPP: 2017 budget gives lawmakers a renewed chance to reduce homelessness

CSSP: New award to help accelerate positive change for women and girls of color

Governing: While homeless veterans get housing, the rest are left in the cold

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: The future of renting among older adults

HUD: First public housing units to be connected to gigabit internet

The HUDdle: A big housing problem requires clever, collaborative solutions

Motherboard: Google’s free gigabit internet for public housing no replacement for reform

NCSHA: House unanimously passes rental assistance reform bill

The New Yorker (via CSSP): Forced out: For many poor Americans, eviction never ends

Next City: 10 metros where rising rent is a big threat to America’s seniors

NHC: In 1952, then-senator Hubert H. Humphrey gave a speech to a National Housing Conference convening

NLIHC: Congress passes housing reform bill with rare bipartisan support

NLIHC: Rent increases forecasted to slow down in 2016, but not for low-income renters

Rooflines: The real rental housing issue

Rooflines: Why the presidential race ignores urban America

San Francisco Magazine (via Planetizen): Welcome to the strange politics of affordable housing in San Francisco

HUD solicits comments for over-income families rule

Over-income familiesYesterday in the Federal Register, HUD published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking concerning “over-income” public housing residents. HUD refers to resident families whose income exceeds current program limits for applicants as over-income families.

The new notice follows a letter to executive directors published last month in response to the July 2015 publication of an internal audit report by HUD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG). In the report, OIG recommended that HUD direct PHAs to establish policies to minimize the number of over-income families in public housing, and put their funding to better use by providing those funds to eligible low-income families in need. Termination of tenancy for over-income families has been optional for PHAs since 2004.

In a press release dated February 2, HUD explained that it is soliciting comments on twelve specific issues:

  1. How should HUD define income that “significantly” exceeds the income limit for public housing residency? Should such higher amount be determined by dollar amount, by a percentage, or as a function of the current income limit, and what should the amount be?
  2. Should area cost of living and family finances be taken into consideration when determining whether an individual or family no longer needs public housing assistance?  Are there limits to the circumstances in which said data should be requested and applied in a determination?
  3. What period of time in which an individual or family has had income that significantly exceeds the income limits should be determined as indicative that the individual or family no longer needs public housing assistance?
  4. How should local housing market conditions or housing authority wait list data be considered?
  5. What period of time should be allowed for an individual or family to find alternative housing?
  6. Are there exceptions to eviction or termination of tenancy that HUD should consider beyond those listed in HUD’s regulation?
  7. Should HUD allow over-income individuals or families to remain in public housing, while paying unsubsidized or fair market, rent?  How would such a provision impact PHA operations and finances?
  8. Should HUD require a local appeals process for individuals or families deemed over-income?
  9. Where over-income policies have been implemented, what were the results to public housing residents and PHAs? What were the specific positive and negative impacts?
  10. What financial impact would over-income policies have on PHA operations, and how can any negative impacts be mitigated?
  11. What are the potential costs and benefits to public housing residents and PHAs that could result from the forcible eviction of public housing tenants?
  12. What evidence currently exists in favor of or against the adoption of this type of policy?


Comments are due by March 4. HUD strongly encourages interested parties to submit their comments electronically.

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

Join us for a free rent reasonableness webinar

rent reasonablenessRegister now to get a first look at the latest enhancements to the new rent reasonableness software, RentWatch5. Improvements include better methodology for selecting comparables, increased performance speed, advanced address verification and much more.

GoSection8.com is hosting a free webinar February 29 for new users and anyone who’s interested in how Go8 improves workflow, increases accuracy, and implements a more proactive approach to negotiating rents.

Go8: First Look at RentWatch5

  • Monday, February 29, 2016
  • 1–2 p.m. eastern time (10–11 a.m. Pacific time)
  • After registering, you’ll receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the webinar
  • Space is limited, don’t delay!

Register online now!

Nan McKay and Associates is a proud partner of GoSection8, the largest rental listing service for the Section 8 housing program, serving tenants, landlords, and public housing agencies across the United States since 2004. To learn more about how you can bring Go8 to your agency, email sales@nanmckay.com.

Community service reports now available

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) has announced the availability of four new reports to assist PHAs in administering the community service and self-sufficiency requirement (CSSR). Plans for release of the reports were announced in Notice PIH 2015-12, published in August 2015. The notice and the new reports were issued to assist PHAs’ understanding and administration of the CSSR and in response to an audit report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued in February 2015.

The new reports, which will be provided to PHAs quarterly, include:

  • A CSSR summary report
  • A list of household members listed as noncompliant in HUD’s Inventory Management System/Public and Indian Housing Information Center (IMS/PIC)
  • A list of “potentially misreported exempt tenants—non-disabled”
  • A list of “potentially misreported exempt tenants—disabled”

The announcement notes that the third and fourth reports do not necessarily point to problems requiring correction. They are provided to assist PHAs in identifying potentially misreported tenants.

Instructions for accessing the reports are provided in the announcement. PHAs must save the reports to a local server by February 12. The web page will no longer be available after that date.

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.

Q&A: Underpaid subsidies due to PHA error

Q&A: Underpaid subsidies due to PHA errorQUESTION    It’s recently come to my agency’s attention that some of our clients have been paying too much rent. This was due to a calculation glitch and applies to both public housing (PH) residents and participants in the housing choice voucher (HCV) program.

We’ve fixed the error, but what about subsidy underpayments for past months? The monthly underpayments are small amounts but the error existed for several years. Does the PHA have to repay these amounts to our clients? If the agency retains documents for three years, can we limit repayments to the three-year period?

ANSWER    While the HUD regulations do not address this issue, HUD has issued written guidance on the subject. The most recent guidance is in Notice PIH 2007-27, Disallowed Costs and Sanctions Resulting from On-Site Monitoring Reviews. Treatment of underpaid subsidies depends upon the program.

Here’s an excerpt from the section on underpaid subsidy due to PHA error in the HCV program:

PHAs will not be reimbursed for underpayment of subsidies. PHAs are required to reimburse families for overpayment of the total family share. Such reimbursements of the tenant portion of the rent can be made in current and future months through an increase in HAP to the landlord and a decrease in the family share until the family’s overpayment is fully compensated. A PHA may not use funds from its HAP account or HAP net restricted assets to directly reimburse families for overpayment of the total family share. If the family did not receive the full amount of utility reimbursement from the PHA, the PHA must reimburse the family.

Here’s the guidance for the PH program:

PHAs will not be reimbursed for underpayment of subsidies. PHAs are required to reimburse residents for overpayment of tenant rent in accordance with PHA policy.

Since the notice does not require a specific look-back period for reimbursement, it’s probably safe to limit repayment to the period for which the PHA has records. In the HCV program, records from interim and annual reexaminations must be retained for at least three years. In the PH program, record retention periods are determined by policy, and three years is a popular option.

We recommend reimbursing the family for the full period for which the PHA has records for that family, regardless of the agency’s record retention policy. For example, if the family was charged too much rent for seven years and the family’s file contains records for the last five years, reimbursement should be made for five years.

Is keeping up with reexams giving you a headache? NMA can help make the process painless. We’ll handle your recertifications offsite, saving money for your agency while ensuring you’re still in compliance. It’s easy—the processing work simply happens in our offices instead of yours. Visit our website or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Affordable housing news 1/29/16

NMA Infographic 2015
Click to view at full size (you might have to click a second time to zoom in).

This week, the NMA design department put together the fun infographic that you see on the right.

Click to view the infographic at full size (you might have to click a second time to zoom in).

In other news, last week HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH)–Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) issued a notice for all certified inspectors who conduct physical inspections of HUD assisted and insured properties in accordance with the Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS).

Inspector Notice No. 2016-01 amends inspection requirements for properties reported to have or suspected of having bed bug infestations. The updated protocol, which among other things now requires inspectors to enter all units in which bed bugs are reported, becomes effective February 1, 2016.

You will find a link to the notice on this page at REAC’s website, along with a link to a compressed (WinZip) file of a recorded conference call discussing the new notice.

This week HUD also published its January newsletter for RAD participants, which includes a very positive article about the Housing Authority of Greene County (HAGC) in Illinois, who replaced obsolete units with new single family homes through a RAD conversion.

The January newsletter also includes an announcement that RAD’s first substantial rehab project, an extensive rehabilitation of 150 units in Washington State, is now complete. Congratulations to the Housing Authority of the City of Yakima (YHA) for their success!

HUD’s newsletter concludes with a page of handwritten thank-you notes from happy residents impacted by RAD at the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura (HACSB).

Any interesting stories that we missed? Leave your links and recommendations in the comments!

Affordable housing news 1/22/16

CBPP: Realizing the housing voucher program’s potential to enable families to move to better neighborhoods

HUD: $1 billion awarded through National Disaster Resilience Competition

Make Room (via CSSP): Here’s where it’s getting harder to be a renter (and it might surprise you)

Next City: When a family gets a voucher, they typically don’t move to substantially better neighborhoods

NLIHC: How households in the Moving to Opportunity demonstration fared after leaving housing assistance

PIH posts additional op sub materials for 2016

operating subsidy

Today HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published user guides for calendar year (CY) 2016 operating subsidy processing. The newly-posted guides include:

The user guides were posted to the CY 2016 subsidy processing page at the operating fund website. The Excel tools themselves have not yet been posted. According to the CY 2016 submission schedule issued last week, the HUD-52722 and HUD-52723 tools will be made available to PHAs by January 29. The forms will then be due to the field offices by February 19.

PIH has also posted revised versions of two PDF documents containing prepopulated unit months by development number for CY 2016 operating subsidy submissions. The documents have a revision date of January 13 and include:

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.

Affordable housing news 1/15/16

Center for Community Progress: Public displays of affection for revitalization projects

CityLab: The housing crisis for Americans with disabilities

CityLab: How permanent supportive housing really works

CityLab: Racially concentrated disadvantage remains a much bigger urban problem than gentrification

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: Surge in new rental construction fails to met need for low-cost housing

NLIHC: New infographics illustrate federal budget

Next City: Which 2016 presidential candidate has an affordable housing solution?

PIH posts 2016 op sub submission schedule

operating subsidy

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) has posted version 1.1 of its schedule for calendar year (CY) 2016 public housing operating subsidy submissions. The schedule contains the following expected submission dates:

  • Forms HUD 52723 and 52722 made available to PHAs: January 29
  • Forms due from PHAs to field offices: February 19
  • Publication of preliminary eligibility based upon HUD-52723 submissions: April 8
  • PHAs contact field offices with any issues regarding preliminary eligibility: April 15

The document goes on to note that PHAs will be funded based upon an estimate in January, February, March and April. The schedule is posted on the CY 2016 subsidy processing page at the operating fund website.

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.