Tomorrow the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will post two notices that revise and clarify requirements for on-site physical inspections and file reviews conducted by state allocating agencies at low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) properties. Final and temporary regulations will be published in the Federal Register and, at the same time, the IRS will concurrently issue Revenue Procedure 2016-15. The revenue procedure and notice make several key changes, including:
- Amending the requirements for the number of LIHTC units and files that must be inspected by the state allocating agency as part of an on-site monitoring review. Formerly, the state agency was required to review 20 percent of the LIHTC units and files in the project. Now, the revenue procedure states that the minimum number of units and files that must undergo inspection is the lower of:
o 20 percent of the tax credit units in the project (rounded up to the nearest whole number); or
o The number of tax credit units as identified in the Low-Income Housing Credit Minimum Unit Sample Size reference chart included in the revenue procedure.
- Stating that HUD’s REAC protocol satisfies the physical inspection requirements of the LIHTC program. The revenue procedure makes clear that conducting an inspection under the REAC protocol does not excuse the state allocating agency from reviewing the low-income certifications in accordance with the regulations. The state agency may rely on a REAC inspections when:
o Both vacant and occupied LIHTC are included in the population of units selected for inspection
o The inspection complies with the procedural and substantive requirements of REAC, including using the most recent REAC UPCS inspection software
o The inspection is performed by a REAC inspector; and
o The inspection results are sent to HUD, reviewed and scored within HUD’s secure systems without any involvement of the inspector who conducted the inspection, and HUD makes the inspection report available.
- Removing the requirement that physical inspections must be conducted for the same units as the file reviews. While state agencies are no longer required to select the same LIHTC units for on-site inspections as for file reviews, they may continue to do so.
The revenue procedure is effective February 25, 2016. Agencies using the REAC protocol under the physical inspections pilot program may implement the provisions for onsite inspections retroactively to January 1, 2015. Although the proposed regulations are adopted as final, comments and requests for public hearings may be submitted within 90 days of the publication of the notice.
Senior trainer Samantha Sowards has been a part of the NMA team since 2008. As NMA’s manager of curriculum development, Samantha oversees publications from concept and creation through the ongoing revision process, including NMA Master Books, model policies, and handbooks. She has previously written for the NMA blog about the key differences between the project-based voucher (PBV) program and the (HCV) housing choice voucher program.
Is your staff in need of LIHTC training? NMA is the only training company that offers LIHTC classes from a PHA perspective. Register now and save $125 on each registration to our upcoming class in Chicago, Illinois or 10 percent on our upcoming class in Norfolk, Virginia. We can also bring the seminar to you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our affordable onsite training options.
We’re very excited to announce that NMA trainers Samantha Sowards and Sheryl Putnam are now authorized to administer the Housing Credit Certified Professional (HCCP) exam. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) HCCP designation is a specialized designation for developers, property managers, asset managers, and others who work in the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program. The HCCP is a well-known and respected designation in the LIHTC world.
Students who attend NMA’s Fundamentals of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Management course now have the option to take the HCCP certification exam instead of the NMA certification exam at the end of the seminar. Individuals interested in obtaining just the HCCP certification may also take the exam without attending the course, since the exam is given independently from the course. Attendance of an NMA course is not a prerequisite for taking the HCCP exam. Students who wish to receive both certifications may take the HCCP exam at the end of the seminar and the NMA exam online within six months of attending the seminar.
NAHB’s requirements for achieving the HCCP designation include:
- Successful completion of the HCCP exam ($175 fee; $100 for retakes)
- Minimum of two years’ experience in the LIHTC industry by graduation (those who fail to meet this requirement may consider themselves an HCCP candidate until reaching two years of experience)
- A total of 10 hours of LIHTC training
- Adherence to the HCCP Code of Ethics
What happens when you receive the HCCP designation?
- You receive a congratulatory welcome kit, including a plaque, HCCP lapel pin, HCCP ribbon, and sample press release for your company to use internally or for local media recognition
- Your name listed in the online HCCP Directory
- You receive a subscription to The Credential, a quarterly e-newsletter developed by the HCCP Board of Governors to bring HCCPs the latest tax credit industry information
- You are eligible for discounted registration to one-hour educational webinars offered quarterly; HCCPs that attend each webinar fulfill their annual continuing education requirement
- You have the opportunity to attend the annual reception and networking event honoring the HCCP of the Year
- You have access to the professional LinkedIn group exclusively for active HCCPs
- You have access to LIHTC technical assistance through NAHB staff and the HCCP Board of Governors
If you’d like more information on the HCCP exam, please visit NAHB’s website at www.nahb.org.
Samantha, Sheryl, and other industry experts will be available for limited free one-hour consulting sessions at the 2015 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference. Registered participants can sign up on a first-come, first-served basis now. Register online or email email@example.com for more information.
Housing Finance: IRS announces 2015 LIHTC, bond caps
Off the Charts: Neighborhoods do matter to kids’ success
Off the Charts: Tens of thousands apply for scarce housing vouchers
PD&R Edge: Why did Pruitt-Igoe fail?
Shelterforce: Lifting the fog on Section 3
Washington Post (via Planetizen): These five charts show the progress made in fighting homelessness
And don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour on Sunday, when daylight saving time ends.
In other news:
PD&R Edge: Demystifying LIHTC
Social Security Administration: Social Security benefits to increase by 1.7% in 2015
U.S. News & World Report (via CBPP): Low-income households are better off moving to low-poverty neighborhoods
Even if your agency is not participating in the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, you may be interested in the inaugural issue of the monthly “RAD Newsletter” launched today. The two-page issue includes recent RAD news, highlights key program statistics, and lists recently closed projects. You’ll find a link to the newsletter on the RAD news page.
In other RAD news, last week HUD posted a “case studies” document spotlighting four agencies participating in the demonstration program. The eight-page document focuses on the differing issues faced by the participating housing authorities, including:
- Combining RAD and Moving to Work (Cambridge, MA)
- A small PHA leveraging private financing (Ilion, NY)
- Financing substantial rehabilitation (Lexington, NC)
- Effective resident engagement (Broward County, FL)
Notable articles this week in the affordable housing blogosphere:
The IRS has published the new audit technique guide (ATG) for the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) program. The ATG is not yet available on the IRS website, but you can download it here.
Late last year a draft version was released and the comment period extended through mid-March. The revised, final version that was just released is meant to help IRS examiners audit the tax returns of LIHTC owners. The ATG is not meant to replace the 8823 Guide, which was written to help state housing finance agencies (HFAs) perform compliance monitoring and is an invaluable tool for property management staff. Rather, the two documents are meant to be used in conjunction since the new ATG references the 8823 Guide in many places.
A few highlights from the new ATG include three helpful appendices: Appendix A which contains of IRC 42 terms, Appendix B which contains references with citations, and Appendix C with frequently asked questions.
Trainer and consultant Samantha Pratter has been a part of the NMA team since 2008. As NMA’s writing supervisor, Samantha oversees publications from concept and creation through the ongoing revision process, including NMA Master Books, model policies, course books, and handbooks. She has previously written for the NMA blog about the key differences between the project-based voucher (PBV) program and the (HCV) housing choice voucher program.
Is your staff in need of LIHTC training? NMA is the only training company that offers LIHTC classes from a PHA perspective. NMA recently published our seminar calendar for the first quarter of 2015, and when you register now you can save 10 percent on our upcoming LIHTC seminars in Birmingham, AL and Denver, CO. We can also bring the seminar to you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our affordable onsite training options.
In case you missed the update to our recent blog post about increased admin fees, we’ll repeat it here: there is NO time limit on using the new funding. We had originally stated that HUD would recapture unused amounts after December 31, 2014. Our apologies for the error.
Affordable Housing Finance: David Gasson reflects on how the LIHTC program fared in the 113th Congress and looks ahead to the 114th
Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: The U.S. population has aged significantly (interactive map)