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HUD Posts Contingency Plan in Case of Lapse in Appropriations

Posted by NMA on Jan 19, 2018 11:57:14 AM

HUD Posts Continugency Plan in Case of Lapse in AppropriationThis morning the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) posted a contingency plan to provide guidance for PHAs in the event of a lapse in appropriations. The 86-page PDF document outlines general guidance and legal decisions, guidance for program operations by HUD office, legal issues, internal and external communications plans, critical information technology and systems infrastructure, contract support, and other topics. The document also contains three appendices, one that includes drafted templates for internal communications, one with FAQs for external stakeholders, and one listing excepted employees by office and exception or exemption. For specific program operations guidance for HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH), see page 8 of the document.

HUD has also posted a 29-page FAQ document titled “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in the Event of a Government Shutdown.” The FAQs applicable to PIH programs begin on page 16.

Topics: appropriations, government shutdown, Program News and Notices, Industry News

FAQ Friday: VA Aid and Attendance Benefits

Posted by NMA on Jan 19, 2018 9:13:00 AM
FAQ Friday: VA Aid and Attendance Benefits

QUESTION     An applicant for assisted housing receives a pension from the VA. In addition to his pension he receives VA “aid and attendance” benefits. The veteran’s representative states that these payments are excluded federally but we cannot find an applicable reference in the HUD regulations. Are we supposed to include this income in the family’s annual income?

ANSWER     HUD has issued written guidance on the treatment of aid and attendance funding from the Department of Veterans Affairs. There is also a pending regulatory change which has not yet been implemented.

The current guidance is found in the FAQs for the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program:

4. Should VA Aid and Attendance and VA Housebound allowances be counted as income?

VA Aid and Attendance and VA Housebound allowances may be excluded under 24 CFR § 5.609(c)(4), which excludes amounts received by a family “specifically for, or in reimbursement of, the cost of medical expenses for any family member.” Live-in or periodic medical assistance and services of doctors and health care professionals are among the services that can be counted as medical expenses. The PHA should verify with the VA the amount received by the Veteran for Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits. The portion of the total benefit amount that the Veteran uses for medical expenses must be excluded from income. Any portion of the allowance not going towards such expenses would continue to be counted as income by the PHA when computing the family’s share of the rent.

A new exclusion is awaiting implementation under the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA). Aid and attendance benefits will be excluded in their entirety when HOTMA is implemented, and this may be the basis of the applicant’s belief that the benefits are “federally excluded.” However, this and other HOTMA changes to income and rent determinations cannot be implemented until HUD has completed the formal rulemaking process. HUD has declined to estimate an effective date for the HOTMA changes. Here is an excerpt from a letter to executive directors dated September 26, 2016:

All of the other sections in HOTMA that impact the HCV and public housing programs require that HUD first issue a notice or regulation for the provision to become effective. Until HUD issues the applicable notices or regulations, your PHA may not implement those additional sections. This information will also be transmitted in the near future via a Federal Register notice.

We realize that many PHAs are eager to implement the flexibilities and other statutory changes provided under HOTMA, so please be assured that HUD is working diligently to develop and provide the necessary implementation guidance in a timely manner. If you have any questions, please send them to HOTMAquestions@hud.gov.

 

Are you a PIH Alert subscriber? Every Friday, the PIH Alert includes one frequently asked question (FAQ) submitted by our readers. Sign up today for a free 30-day trial subscription! Email sales@nanmckay.com to get started. To submit your question, email Annie Stevenson at annie@nanmckay.com with the subject line "FAQ Friday."

Topics: HOTMA, PIH Alert, Q&A, Knowledge Base

Just released: NMA's Q2 2018 seminar calendar 

Posted by NMA on Jan 9, 2018 5:00:00 AM
Affordable housing seminars for 2018

New year, new seminars! NMA's seminar calendar for the second quarter of 2018 is now available. We are pleased to offer our extensive roster of affordable housing training, including new dates for Multifamily Rent Calculation, HCV Financial Management, UPCS Fundamentals, and more. 

Don't forget that when you plan ahead with NMA, you can save 10% on most seminars by registering 45 days in advance. (The discount does not apply to seminars hosted by housing authorities or associations.)

All NMA classes have been updated for the latest HUD rules and regulations, including Notice PIH 2017-08, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 Guidance, which is applicable to both the public housing and HCV programs, including the project-based voucher (PBV) and moderate rehabilitation programs.

See the full schedule

Having trouble finding the class you want? We can bring the seminar to you. Email sales@nanmckay.com for more information about our affordable onsite training options.

Topics: books and revision services, PBV, VAWA, product updates, company news

HUD Announces SAFMR Implementation Effective January 1

Posted by NMA on Jan 8, 2018 3:30:58 PM

In an email from the Financial Management Center (FMC) on December 29, HUD announced that a federal district court has issued an order setting aside the suspension of the small area FMR (SAFMR) final rule. The rule, which impacts 24 metropolitan areas, was originally scheduled for implementation on January 1, 2018. On August 11 HUD announced that it had suspended mandatory implementation for two years, until January 1, 2020. A complaint filed in October by a Connecticut non-profit corporation resulted in a preliminary injunction setting aside the suspension.

The following is the full text of HUD’s December 29 email:

Dear Executive Director,

On December 23, 2017, a Federal District Court in Washington issued an Order in OCA vs. Carson (https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2017cv2192-29) setting aside the Secretary’s August 23rd suspension of the SAFMR Rule (https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr2016f/SAFMR-Final-Rule.pdf). Accordingly, this means that the implementation date is January 1, 2018. While HUD understands that some PHAs will be at a serious disadvantage regarding immediate implementation due to the suspension, PHAs must immediately take all steps necessary with respect to dedicating monetary and human resources towards the implementation; as well as integrating the new FMR requirements in any planning the PHA conducts. As expeditiously as possible, HUD will issue guidance addressing implementation issues, technical assistance, and potential obstacles to implementation.

Signed,
Milan Ozdinec

 

PHAs affected by this requirement must put together a new payment schedule that includes individual payment standards for each zip code. Our team of FMR experts is ready to take on that project for you, creating a new, compliant payment schedule without any additional workload for your staff. Click here to learn more

Topics: PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, Industry News, SAFMR

FAQ Friday: Port Returning to Initial PHA

Posted by NMA on Jan 5, 2018 8:50:51 AM
FAQ Friday: Port Returning to Initial PHA

QUESTION     We are not sure what to do in this situation. An HCV participant has been in the process of moving into our PHA’s jurisdiction for several months. Our PHA issued a voucher with an expiration date 30 days after the expiration date of the voucher the client received from the initial PHA. We later approved a 30-day extension of the voucher term at the client’s request, and the extension is about to expire.

The client has not submitted any requests for tenancy approval (RFTAs). She says that she has applied with several local landlords, who have rejected her due to a recent history of eviction. The client has decided to return to her original PHA and seek housing in its jurisdiction. She is requesting that we grant a 60-day extension to seek housing there. We are hesitant to do this since it ties up one of our vouchers. Is our PHA responsible for extensions in this situation?

ANSWER     No, the receiving PHA (in this case, your agency) is not responsible for extending the voucher term when a client exercising portability decides to return to the initial PHA or to seek housing in a third jurisdiction. While not addressed in the applicable regulations, HUD has issued guidance on the issue in Notice PIH 2016-09:

Family Decides Not to Lease in the Receiving PHA’s Jurisdiction. If an incoming family ultimately decides not to lease in the jurisdiction of the receiving PHA, the receiving PHA must refer the family back to the initial PHA. The voucher of record for the family is once again the voucher originally issued by the initial PHA, and the initial PHA’s policies apply. Any extensions of the initial PHA’s voucher to allow the family additional search time to return to the initial PHA’s jurisdiction or to move to another jurisdiction are at the discretion of the initial PHA. The initial PHA must apply its own policies on moves for families that decide not to use their voucher to port to another jurisdiction.

Once the participant has decided not to lease a unit in your jurisdiction, your agency is no longer responsible for voucher extensions. The initial agency will have to decide whether to extend its voucher to provide additional search time.

Are you a PIH Alert subscriber? Every Friday, the PIH Alert includes one frequently asked question (FAQ) submitted by our readers. Sign up today for a free 30-day trial subscription! Email sales@nanmckay.com to get started. To submit your question, email Annie Stevenson at annie@nanmckay.com with the subject line "FAQ Friday."

Topics: PIH Alert, Q&A, Knowledge Base

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