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2017 NMA Master Book updates

Posted by NMA on Sep 19, 2017 5:09:00 AM

master-book-updates.jpgNMA's revision services team has been working hard to get the latest editions of our Master Books written, published, and out to you! These books have been brought current with all recent regulatory updates, including HOTMA, VAWA 2013, and more. 

2017: For the 2017 revision, the NMA Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Master Book has been been brought current with all recent regulatory updates, in addition to making the following additions and clarifications:

  • Several additions and modifications to account for the impact of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program on FSS
  • Clarifications regarding the ability of ineligible immigrants to participate in FSS
  • Additional references for use in FSS program administration
  • Other corrections and changes for accuracy, logical flow, and ease of reading

2017: For the 2017 revision, the NMA HCV Executive Management Master Book has been been brought current with all recent HUD requirements and guidance, including the following:

  • Changes brought about by the final rule on small area fair market rents (SAFMRs), published November 16, 2016, specifically as relevant to rent reasonableness and changes in payment standard amounts
  • Modifications per the HOTMA implementation guidance published in the Federal Register on January 18, 2017, which revised some requirements for inspections, the
  • Project-Based Voucher program, and special housing types
  • Multiple revisions to account for changes brought about by the final rule implementing VAWA 2013, also published November 16, 2016
  • Other fair housing-related changes with respect to the OGC guidance on harassment and discriminatory practices, the use of nuisance ordinances, and limited English Proficiency, respectively
  • Other modifications for clarity, accuracy, and ease of reading

2017: For the 2017 revision, the NMA HCV Housing Qualty Standards Master Book has been completely revised, updated, and reformatted. This means that the book has an entirely new, streamlined look. The new book has likewise been brought current with all recent HUD requirements and guidance, edited for ease of reading, and is now presented in a more user-friendly format.

2017: For the 2017 revision, the NMA Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Master Book has been been brought current with all recent HUD requirements and guidance, including the following:

  • Changes with respect to moves with continued assistance as specified in Notice PIH 2016-09
  • Modifications regarding the definition of independent student set forth in the Additional Supplementary Guidance on the eligibility of independent students under Section 8, issued September 21, 2016
  • Multiple revisions to account for changes brought about by the final rule implementing VAWA 2013, published November 16, 2016, including the addition of a sample Emergency Transfer Plan and several new HUD-required forms
  • Changes brought about by the final rule on small area fair market rents (SAFMRs), also published November 16, 2016, specifically as relevant to rent reasonableness and changes in payment standard amounts
  • Revision of rent reasonableness criteria under the Project-Based Voucher program, and the addition of a completely new section on administering PBVs under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD PBV)
  • Updated reference citations for consistency as well as other minor modifications for clarity, accuracy, and ease of reading

2017: For the 2017 revision, the NMA Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) Master Book includes the following revision:

  • An explanation of PHAS scoring for conversions under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program

In addition, revision service subscribers and customers who purchase the product for the first time along with the revision service will also receive a copy of NMA’s Public Housing Occupancy Tool and its accompanying instructions for use (a $249 value). This tool allows agencies to track occupancy data by development as well as portfolio, do trend analysis, and spot problem areas quickly. A large portion of the PHAS score is dependent upon keeping your units filled, and this tool can help to ensure there are no surprises when it comes time for HUD’s evaluation.

2017: For 2017, the NMA Public Housing Management (PHM) Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory updates, including:

  • Sweeping changes brought about by the Streamlining Administration Regulations Final Rule, issued March 8, 2016, including modifications regarding verification, utility reimbursements, annual and interim reexaminations, and proration of assistance for mixed families, among other areas of program administration
  • Implementation guidance on the streamlining rule as described in Notices PIH 2016-05 and PIH 2016-06
  • Modifications for the final rule implementing VAWA 2013, issued November 16, 2016
  • Modifications for the final rule Instituting Smoke-Free Housing in Public Housing, issued December 5, 2016
  • Other minor modifications and clarifications to bring the content current with HUD regulations and guidance

2017: The 2017 edition of the NMA Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS) Master Book CD has been brought current with all regulatory guidance, resources, and tools, including:

  • The addition of UPCS Guidance and Protocol Clarifications from May 2016
  • The addition of Inspector Notice 2016-03 on UPCS deficiencies and industry standard repairs
  • Removal of obsolete software and other outdated reference materials

Questions about your revision services subscriptions? Contact Laurie Durrett in our accounting department and she'll be happy to assist you.

NMA revision services provide a yearly update to your NMA Master Books and model policies with explanations and guidance regarding the most current HUD rules and regulations. To stay updated on the latest program information, try a free 30-day trial subscription to the PIH Alert. Email sales@nanmckay.com to get started.

Topics: books and revision services, FSS, HOTMA, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, public housing management, RAD, UPCS, VAWA

HCV and PH question: VAWA certification issues

Posted by NMA on Sep 18, 2017 8:52:04 AM

VAWA certification issuesQUESTION     Is the PHA allowed to question a client’s VAWA certification? A client has requested a mid-year transfer based on a list of claimed incidents (stalking). The alleged perpetrator is a former significant other of the client. The case manager questions whether any of these incidents actually happened. The case manager suspects that the client may be claiming VAWA protections in order to leverage a transfer to a more desirable dwelling unit. Is the PHA allowed to ask questions or to investigate the current whereabouts of the alleged perpetrator?

ANSWER     No, the PHA is not permitted to investigate the client’s claims for protections under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The regulation governing permissible documentation requirements is at 24 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 5.2007(b). The rule states that the PHA may accept an individual’s verbal statement, or may request documentary evidence such as a certification (Form HUD-5382).

While the PHA may request third-party documentation if there is conflicting evidence (for example, when two household members each claim to be the victim), the PHA cannot investigate further. The staff member’s suspicion does not rise to the level of reliable conflicting evidence.

Here is an excerpt from Notice PIH 2017-08:

PHAs and owners are prohibited from conducting further fact finding for the purpose of trying to verify the “validity” of an applicant or tenant’s victim status. For example, PHAs and owners are prohibited from conducting interviews with neighbors or employers to determine if the applicant or tenant is “really” a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking. Doing so would be in violation of the documentation requirements of the VAWA final rule and may result in a violation of the victim confidentiality requirements of the VAWA final rule.

However, if the PHA or owner already has or regularly receives reliable information that conflicts with the submitted documentation the PHA may require third-party documentation of victim status, based on information outside of the submitted documentation. Examples of reliable information include surveillance footage, police report(s), and other verifiable information. This information must not be collected for the purpose of discrediting claims for VAWA protections, but may be collected for other legitimate reasons; such as addressing safety in the community.

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, Program News and Notices, Q&A, VAWA

NMA Model Policies: Second revision for 2017

Posted by NMA on Sep 15, 2017 5:02:00 AM

NMA Model Policies: Second revision for 2017Our technical writers and subject matter experts have just completed a special mid-year revision to both our Model Administrative Plan and Model ACOP. These revisions incorporate extensive policy changes brought about by Notice PIH 2017-08, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) guidance  published this past May, along with additional revisions due to January’s Lead-Based Paint Final Rule.

If you are a subscriber to our Model Admin Plan or Model ACOP revision services, you should have received the files. If you are a subscriber and did not receive an email with the revision files, please send your current information via email to Marné Cales including:

  1. Your agency name and mailing address.
  2. Name, phone number, and email address of the contact person for the revision service. If your agency has multiple revisions and would like different people to receive revisions, please identify which person should receive each revision.

NMA Model Administrative Plan and Guide 

2017: The bulk of the changes for the second revision for 2017 of the NMA Model Administrative Plan and Guide are due to the issuance of Notice PIH 2017-08, which provided guidance on the implementation of the VAWA 2013 final rule. This affected multiple chapters and required extensive revisions throughout the plan. In addition, the Model Administrative Plan has also been brought current with all recent HUD requirements and guidance, including the following:

  • Changes with respect to the alternative requirements set forth in FR Notice 12/29/14, which prohibited denial of assistance or termination for failure to comply with the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) contract of participation
  • Additional changes with respect to the Lead-Based Paint final rule, particularly as it relates to housing quality standards (HQS)
  • Updates to the policies and procedures regarding hearings and rehearings to clarify and more closely match regulations
  • Other clarifications and corrections to bring the content current with HUD regulations and guidance

NMA Model Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP) and Guide 

2017: The bulk of the changes for the second revision for 2017 of the NMA Model Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP) and Guide are due to the issuance of Notice PIH 2017-08, which provided guidance on the implementation of the VAWA 2013 final rule. This affected multiple chapters and required extensive revisions throughout the plan. In addition, the Model ACOP also contains multiple clarifications and corrections to bring the content current with HUD regulations and guidance.

Questions about your revision services subscriptions? Contact Laurie Durrett in our accounting department and she'll be happy to assist you.

NMA revision services provide a yearly update to your NMA Master Books and model policies with explanations and guidance regarding the most current HUD rules and regulations. To stay updated on the latest program information, try a free 30-day trial subscription to the PIH Alert. Email sales@nanmckay.com to get started.

Topics: books and revision services, domestic violence, FSS, HQS, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, VAWA, lead-based paint

From the Desk of John McKay: 9.14.2017

Posted by NMA on Sep 14, 2017 5:00:00 AM

John McKayOur fifth annual national housing conference was our best one yet, and we couldn't have done it without you! Thank you to everyone who joined us at the The Housing Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. To view the gallery of photos from the event, go here. I’d like to extend a warm thank-you to our generous sponsors, GoSection8 and HAI Group, who helped make the conference a very special event.

It was a real joy to have wonderful conversations with so many passionate and insightful members of our industry who appreciate the particular challenges and successes we all navigate, whether new to affordable housing or an old pro. I continue to be inspired by all of the ways you're improving the lives of the families in your communities. For some more incredible achievements, go here to read about the honorees of the 2017 NMA Housing Awards.

If you missed us in Boston, we'd love to say hi to you at another event! The NMA team will be attending a couple of conferences next month. I'll be attending national NAHRO, and you can meet Sheryl Putnam and Samantha Sowards at the New England Affordable Housing Management Association (NEAHMA). Stop by our booth, pick up some goodies, and chat with us!

Stay tuned for more updates!

John McKay has been with NMA since 1998, and has served as CEO of the company since 2007. He brings his knowledge of housing regulations and industry best practices into his role as project executive on many of NMA’s contracts with large housing authority clients and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He has assessed, analyzed, and provided feedback to some of the country’s most well-run private and public organizations.

Topics: Executive Team, GoSection8, HAI Group, NMA Housing Awards, The Housing Conference

HUD announces disaster relief for Puerto Rico

Posted by NMA on Sep 12, 2017 11:17:30 AM

govt-columns.jpgIn a press release yesterday, HUD announced that it will speed federal disaster relief to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and provide support to low-income renters and homeowners forced from their homes due to Hurricane Irma.

Among the assistance discussed in the press release, HUD is currently contacting state and local officials to explore streamlining the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs to expedite the repair and replacement of damaged housing. These programs give communities the flexibility to redirect funds to address critical needs, such as housing and services for disaster victims. For more information, click here.

Topics: CDBG, disaster programs, HOME, CDBG-DR

HUD announces Hurricane Harvey resources

Posted by NMA on Sep 5, 2017 11:58:41 AM

govt-columns.jpgToday HUD introduced two websites offering information and resources for Hurricane Harvey disaster relief. An accompanying press release discusses the housing needs of hurricane survivors.

First, in an email this morning HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) announced that it has established a website devoted to Hurricane Harvey Latest News. The site includes links to resources to assist survivors in beginning the building clean-up process safely so that they can get back into their homes as soon as possible. The site also features guides on dealing with mold, asbestos, lead, and other home health hazards that can occur after a disaster. Click here to join the OLHCHH mailing list.

A hurricane recovery website has also been posted on HUD Exchange. The site contains information and resources for HUD grantees, partners, and residents. Resources include links to press releases, disaster recovery toolkits, information for HUD and non-HUD residents, and resources for the care of pets and other animals.

In a press release posted this morning, HUD addressed the need for affordable rental housing for hurricane survivors. In partnership with other federal departments and agencies, HUD is the lead coordinating agency for long-term disaster-related housing needs resulting from Hurricane Harvey. HUD, its federal partnering agencies, and the Texas state housing task force are focused on identifying strategies to strengthen the housing market, building inclusive and sustainable communities, and integrating disaster mitigation measures into community design and development to reduce future damages.

Topics: disaster programs, indoor air quality, Program News and Notices, CDBG-DR

Announcing: The winners of the 2017 NMA Housing Awards!

Posted by NMA on Aug 29, 2017 10:06:04 AM

awards-banner.jpg

Last week at our fifth annual national housing conference in Boston, Nan McKay and Associates announced the winners of the 2017 NMA Housing Awards. We first launched these awards a decade ago to recognize excellence and innovation in the affordable housing industry.

Since then, we’ve been honored to read and evaluate a great number of worthy entries, and this year was no exception. Read on to learn more about this year’s winning agencies.

san-bernardino.jpg

2017 Development Award
Large Agency

Valencia Grove
Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino

Built in 1942, Valencia Grove wasthe first public housing site built in the County of San Bernardino. The original 115 public housing unit site was long overdue for a major revitalization. In 2013, the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino (HACSB) and its’ affiliate non‐profit developer, Housing Partners I, Inc. began the revitalization of its first public housing site in Redlands. The revitalization of this public housing site consists of a three pronged innovative approach: 1) demolition through a deconstruction/construction program; 2) use of factory‐built modular units; and 3) transitioned away from a traditional public housing site to a mixed‐used community (eventually to include homeownership), with a multi‐use educational and recreational facility.

nevada-rural.jpg

2017 Development Award
Small Agency

Richards Crossing
Nevada Rural Housing Authority

NRHA has been instrumental in the development of the supportive housing project, Richards Crossing in Carson City. This innovative and unique new construction project is highly needed in the area and the first of its kind in northern Nevada. Richards Crossing includes 38 affordable housing units developed specifically for the homeless and extremely low-income individuals. Eight units will be reserved for chronically homeless veterans who receive rental assistance from the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA), while the other 30 units will receive Section 8 project-based rental assistance.

fresno.jpg

2017 Development Award
Honorable Mention

Legacy Commons
Fresno

Legacy Commons is a brand new innovative multi-family housing community in southwest Fresno. Designed to provide high-quality, affordable housing with modern amenities and on site services, the Mediterranean style apartment homes consists of one, two, three, and four bedroom apartment homes for a total of 128 units. Legacy Commons offers several impactful amenities including a community multi-purpose room with a kitchen, on site recording studio, fitness center, play structures and a swimming pool.

nycha.jpg

2017 Resident Service Award
Large Agency

Food Business Pathways
New York City Housing Authority

In 2014, NYCHA, NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), and NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) with support from Citi Community Development and nonprofits Hot Bread Kitchen and Start Small Think Big collaborated in an unprecedented way to develop a full-scale business career accelerator called Food Business Pathways (FBP). Food Business Pathways is part of Doorways to Opportunity, a $1.4 million investment from Citi Community Development to expand access to economic opportunities through a network of community services.

cincinnati-metro.jpg

2017 Resident Service Award
Large Agency

M.O.V.E.
Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority

The Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) developed the M.O.V.E. Program in November of 2015. M.O.V.E. stands for Motivate, Opportunity, Vision and Empowerment and focuses on providing employment, job training, educational opportunities and support services to the Asset Management residents, Housing Choice Voucher participants, and Section 3 residents. That effort increases their chances of becoming economically self-sufficient.

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2017 Resident Service Award
Small Agency

Summer BreakSpot Mobile Program
Broward County Housing Authority

Broward County Housing Authority (BCHA) partnered with community agencies in an innovative program called Summer BreakSpot Mobile Program (SBSP) of Broward County to provide nutritious lunches and snacks to local children/young adults ages 0-18. The program operates in summer months from June through August, and combines healthy food choices with nutrition education, cooking demonstrations, a literacy program, physical fitness, personal enrichment workshops, and other fun activities. At its inception the program started with 7 feeding sites and as of summer 2016 it has grown to host 75 locations, which includes over 60 community partners.

The NMA Housing Awards is an annual event created to honor agencies that build bridges to the future and generate real change in their communities and the affordable housing industry. Entries for the 2018 awards will open this spring.

Topics: NMA Housing Awards, Program News and Notices, The Housing Conference

HUD suspends mandatory SAFMRs

Posted by NMA on Aug 15, 2017 9:00:12 AM

govt-columns.jpgIn a letter to PHAs dated August 11, HUD announced that it has suspended the mandatory use of small area fair market rents (SAFMRs) for a period of two years. The suspension applies to 23 of the 24 metropolitan areas which had been selected to use SAFMRs beginning on October 1, 2017. The requirement has been suspended for two years, until October 1, 2019.

According to the letter, HUD decided to suspend the requirement for three reasons:

  • Interim findings of the SAFMR demonstration, in operation since 2012, indicate the need for further analysis of benefits and costs
  • Responses to HUD’s request for comments on regulatory reform recommended a suspension of the requirement
  • HUD has not yet provided guidance and technical assistance

The letter further states that PHAs may request permission from HUD to implement SAFMRs on a voluntary basis. Some PHAs may have already prepared for implementation and may wish to proceed. HUD will expedite the approval process for PHAs impacted by the suspension of mandatory SAFMRs.

PHAs designated to use 50th-percentile FMRs, for which the three-year authorization period did not expire before January 17, 2017, will continue to use them until October 1, 2019. These PHAs will then transition to the use of SAFMRs.

HUD plans to provide implementation guidance and training on all aspects of the rule, including voluntary use of SAFMRs and options for PHAs operating in 50th-percentile FMR jurisdictions. Questions may be directed to HUD field offices or to SAFMR_Rule@hud.gov.

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

Topics: flat rent, FMR, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices

Hearings

Posted by NMA on Aug 15, 2017 5:00:00 AM

The Housing Conference | August 21-22, 2017 | Boston, MA

NMA senior trainer Rhonda Brown, an attorney, has served as a hearing officer for nearly a decade. In addition to handling both HCV and public housing hearings for PHAs in western Washington State, she is also a full-time administrative review judge for a state agency, where she has been hearing appeals and writing decisions for over 20 years. Rhonda, who currently teaches the NMA Hearing Officer Workshop, was also part of the team that developed the workshop. NMA is proud to have her present the following session at The Housing Conference next week.

Best Practices for Program Success

Hearings

Presenter:
Rhonda Brown, Senior Trainer, NMA

Don’t miss this valuable session on hearing best practices, including a due process review and the latest HUD updates. Refresh your due process practices, hear the latest HUD changes and requirements for your reviews and hearings, join in an open Q&A, and make sure your hearing decisions are bulletproof!

 

Learn more

 

The Housing Conference, presented by NMA, will spotlight three tracks: an executive track, a regulatory track, and a best practices track. Go here to view a list of the session descriptions that have been published so far.

Topics: hearing officer, Program News and Notices, The Housing Conference

Managing Your FSS Program and How to Start a New FSS Program in PBRA

Posted by NMA on Aug 14, 2017 12:35:26 PM

The Housing Conference | August 21-22, 2017 | Boston, MA

In her capacity with the San Diego Housing Commission, Patti Zatarian-Menard designed, developed, and implemented one of the nation’s largest and most successful family self-sufficiency programs. For the past two decades, she has worked with Nan McKay & Associates conducting training seminars nationally and undertaking consulting assignments on federally subsidized housing. Patti will present the following session at The Housing Conference next week.

Best Practices for Program Success

Managing Your FSS Program and How to Start a New FSS Program in PBRA

Presenter:
Patti Zatarian-Menard, Senior Associate Consultant, NMA

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the Family Self-Sufficiency program. In this interactive session, we’ll highlight best practices learned during these years and explain FSS’ expansion to new housing programs. We’ll review with attendees the basic regulations for the FSS program and touch on major changes in key regulations in portability and PIC tracking and clarify the sometimes confusing relationships among FSS regulations in the various housing programs. This session will cover best practices in managing an effective FSS program with key, concrete suggestions for FSS excellence at all levels of the housing agency from executive management to supervisor to frontline case manager. We’ll detail the requirements, activities, and steps needed to start an FSS program for those PBRA agencies who have made the decision to join the Self-Sufficiency arena. The session will close with an introduction to HUD’s new best practices guide books and HUD’s upcoming 2017 FSS program evaluation results and the status of roll out of the new FSS program evaluation. Bring your questions for Q&A!

 

Learn more

 

The Housing Conference, presented by NMA, will spotlight three tracks: an executive track, a regulatory track, and a best practices track. Go here to view a list of the session descriptions that have been published so far.

Topics: FSS, PBRA, Program News and Notices, The Housing Conference

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