HUD publishes guide comparing PBV and PBRA conversions

Today on the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) website, HUD posted a guide to choosing between project-based vouchers (PBV) and project-based rental assistance (PBRA) for RAD conversions.

The seven-page comparison guide was published by the Office of Multifamily Housing and the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH). According to the guide’s introduction:

Under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, a public housing authority (PHA) may convert assistance under the public housing program to long-term, project-based Section 8 assistance. A PHA must choose between two forms of project-based Section 8 assistance: project-based vouchers (PBVs) and project-based rental assistance (PBRA). To assist PHAs in making this decision, this guide compares key requirements between these two forms of project-based Section 8 assistance.

To stay updated, follow the #RAD tag to keep up with all related blog posts, or subscribe to the PIH Alert and receive a daily email with breaking news and analysis for PHAs and housing professionals.

Friday news roundup 2/6/15

Center for the Study of Social Policy: Aligning resources and results: FY 2016 budget

Housing Finance: 2016 budget proposal seeks $4 billion boost for HUD

Housing Finance: Looking to the future with RAD

MetroTrends: Could the president’s budget put us on an optimistic path for long-term growth?

NCSHA: Preliminary analysis of the administration’s proposed FY 2016 budget

NHC: How to save your housing program during budget battles

NHC: The Obama administration’s vision for housing: A look at the FY 2016 budget request

NLIHC: Federal budget and appropriations

NLIHC: Increasing rent assistance could lift 2.3 million children out of poverty

Off the Charts: President Obama is proposing a surprisingly ambitious budget

Off the Charts: Obama budget restores lost housing vouchers

Obama administration releases proposed budget for FFY 2016

Yesterday the Obama administration released its proposed budget for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2016. As part of the budget rollout, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a summary of its portion of the 2016 budget and discussed the budget in a town hall meeting broadcast yesterday.

In a news release, HUD Secretary Julián Castro praised the HUD portion of the budget for its focus on securing quality housing for Americans, ending homelessness, making communities more resilient, protecting people from housing discrimination, and providing critical rental assistance:

HUD is the Department of Opportunity, and the president’s budget proposal is a blueprint for greater opportunity for all Americans. By increasing our department’s funding level by nearly $4 billion over current levels, the president’s budget helps us continue our progress toward achieving our mission to promote homeownership, support community development, and expand access to affordable housing for all.

What does the Obama administration propose for the housing choice voucher (HCV) and public housing programs in 2016? The proposed budget for HUD requests a total of $21.1 billion for the HCV program, or 5.4 percent more than it requested for 2015. The total breaks down this way:

  • $18.3 billion for voucher renewals, or almost 2 percent more than was requested for 2015
  • $150 million for tenant protection activities, the same amount requested for 2015
  • $2 billion for administrative fees, or 18 percent more
  • $108 million for renewal of vouchers for persons with disabilities under Section 811 of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act, or not quite 1 percent less
  • $75 million for the supportive housing program for homeless veterans, the same amount provided the past several years
  • $178 million for new vouchers for families, veterans, and tribal families who are experiencing homelessness, as well as victims of domestic and dating violence
  • $38 million for new vouchers for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking who require an emergency transfer
  • $20 million for new Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers

The budget document explains that the new funding “restores the approximately 67,000 vouchers that were lost as a result of sequestration cuts in 2013.” It also proposes expanding the Moving to Work (MTW) program, allowing fixed-income families to recertify their incomes every three years, and increasing the threshold used to determine deductions for unreimbursed medical expenses from 3 to 10 percent of family income.

As for the public housing program, the HUD portion of the proposed 2016 budget includes these requests:

  • $1.97 billion for the capital fund, or about 2 percent more than requested for 2015
  • $4.6 billion for the operating fund, the same amount requested for 2015
  • $250 million for Choice Neighborhoods, or 108 percent more

The proposed budget also requests $50 million, a 400 percent increase, for “a targeted expansion of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) to public housing properties that cannot feasibly convert at existing funding levels and are located in high-poverty neighborhoods, including designated Promise Zones, where the administration is supporting comprehensive revitalization efforts.”

For the consolidated family self-sufficiency (FSS) program, the proposed budget includes $85 million for family self-sufficiency coordinators, 13 percent more than requested for 2015.

You will find the president’s message to Congress here, a slide presentation of the proposed HUD budget here, a brief summary of it here, a press release about it here, links to the congressional justifications for the various parts of it here, and the appropriations language submitted to Congress here.

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.

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 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.

HUD posts updated RAD rents for 2014

Last week on its RAD Tools webpage, HUD posted a spreadsheet showing updated 2014 rent levels for the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). The new spreadsheet updates preliminary figures posted in June 2014. AS HUD announced in June:

Upon an increase in the RAD cap, the department will use the fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding levels to set RAD rents for all pending, active applications above RAD’s current 60,000 unit threshold that are currently in hand or received in 2014.

The RAD cap was increased from 60,000 to 185,000 units under 2015 appropriations. As noted in the revised spreadsheet:

The table below includes HUD’s calculations of RAD contract rents for each public housing property based on 2014 appropriation levels, which will form the basis of the conversion rents for properties awarded CHAPs (commitment to enter into a housing assistance payments contract) as a result of the increase in the RAD unit cap.

To stay updated, follow the #RAD tag to keep up with all related blog posts, or subscribe to the PIH Alert and receive a daily email with breaking news and analysis for PHAs and housing professionals.

Congress to act soon on omnibus appropriations bill for 2015

Yesterday Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, introduced an omnibus bill (H.R. 83) to wrap up all of the unfinished appropriations business for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2015. You can read the text of the HUD portion of the bill here (see PDF pages 38 to 55) and the HUD portion of the explanatory statement here. In brief, the bill provides the following amounts for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):

  • Public housing operating fund: $4.4 billion, $40 million over the 2014 amount
  • Public housing capital fund: $1.9 billion, no change from the 2014 amount
  • Section 8 tenant-based vouchers: $19.3 billion, $127 million over the 2014 amount (This total includes funding for voucher renewals, tenant protection vouchers, administrative fees, and new vouchers for homeless veterans, nonelderly disabled families, and the family unification program.)

If approved by both chambers of Congress, the bill will raise the cap on the number of public housing conversions allowed under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) from 60,000 to 185,000, relax the flat rent requirements that were mandated under the 2014 appropriations act, and increase the cap on fungibility between public housing capital and operating funds. The bill also includes the following language regarding physical needs assessments:

The agreement prohibits HUD from requiring or enforcing the physical needs assessment (PNA) in fiscal year 2015. HUD is not, however, prohibited from continuing to work on a PNA tool that will help PHAs assess the physical quality of their public housing stock in a way that is not overly burdensome. HUD is expected to continue to evaluate the PNA tool and update its 2014 report to the Committees on Appropriations, as specified in the Senate report accompanying this act, no later than March 2, 2015.

Currently, much of the federal government is being funded under a continuing resolution (CR). That resolution will expire tomorrow, so the House likely will pass a new CR to give the Senate time to approve the omnibus bill.

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. Save 10% on your subscription when you order before January 1 during the NMA year-end sale!

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