Friday news roundup 10/10/14

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: The 1968 HUD act forever changed the politics and policy of low-income housing in this country

Next City: Inside HUD’s favorite new program, the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)

Rooflines: The vast majority of people making less than 60 percent of AMI are working at essential jobs that make our economies function

Friday news roundup 10/3/14

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:

NCSHA: Supreme Court agrees to hear Texas disparate impact fair housing case regarding tax credits

New Yorker: Over time, Housing First has saved the government money

Next City: Making the renters vs. homeowners competition a thing of the past

Friday news roundup 8/29/14

In last week’s roundup, we shared HUD’s revised addendum for the 2015 proposed FMRs. This week, HUD officially announced the correction to the 2015 proposed fair market rents (FMRs) published on August 15 in a Federal Register notice. The new notice includes a corrected version of the Schedule B addendum, which contains proposed small area FMRs for the five demonstration participants. According to the notice:

Unfortunately, the Schedule B addendum published on August 15, 2014 inadvertently excluded the small area FMRs for Dallas, Texas. This notice provides the corrected Schedule B addendum.

You can review the 2015 proposed FMRs on HUD’s Policy Development and Research (PD&R) FMR page. In other news:

GoSection8: Upgraded map feature for RentWatch4

HUD: Veteran homelessness has declined by 33 percent since 2010

The HUDdle: How the collaboration between agencies helps bridge gaps between organizations

NCSHA: NLIHC report describes growing affordable rental housing gap

Next City: 4 public housing lessons the U.S. could learn from the rest of the world

NHC: RAD isn’t as radical as it sounds

NLIHC: Nationwide, there are only 31 affordable and available units for every 100 extremely low-income renters

Rooflines: Going beyond the discussion of concentrated poverty and environmental influences of bad neighborhoods

PIH publishes notice on equal access rule

Late yesterday, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) posted Notice PIH 2014-20, “Program Eligibility Regardless of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Marital Status as Required by HUD’s Equal Access Rule.” The notice is dated August 20 and is effective on that date.

The equal access final rule was published in the Federal Register on February 3, 2012. The rule provides that eligibility for HUD programs must be determined regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. It also prohibits inquiries as to sexual orientation or gender identity for purposes of determining eligibility or making housing available.

The new notice “provides guidance on how the equal access rule applies to PIH-assisted housing programs administered by public housing agencies (PHAs).” Subjects addressed in the notice include the following:

  • Applicability: The rule applies to all HUD-assisted housing, including public housing, the housing choice voucher (HCV) program, project-based vouchers (PBV), and the moderate rehabilitation program. It also applies to PHAs under the Moving to Work (MTW) program and the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD).
  • The notice also clarifies that the equal access rule applies to landlords participating in the HCV program. The landlord becomes subject to the rule when he or she executes a housing assistance payments (HAP) contract with the PHA. Housing providers are also subject to state and local fair housing laws.
  • Fair Housing Act: The federal Fair Housing Act does not include sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status as protected classes. However, violations of the equal access rule could violate the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition on discrimination based on gender or disability.
  • Plan and Policy Revisions: PHAs must review and update their annual plans, HCV administrative plans, and public housing admissions and continued occupancy policies (ACOPs) to comply with the equal access rule. PHAs may have already made these revisions in response to the 2012 final rule.
  • Prohibited and Permissible Inquiries: The notice points out that the equal access rule does not prohibit all inquiries as to an applicant’s or participant’s sex, including inquiries necessary to determine the number of bedrooms for which a family may qualify. However, PHAs and owners are prohibited from inquiring about an applicant’s or participant’s sexual orientation or gender identity for the purpose of determining eligibility or otherwise making housing available.
  • Complaints to PHAs: Upon receipt of a complaint from an applicant or participant alleging a violation of the equal access rule, the PHA must determine if a program violation occurred and implement appropriate corrective action(s). The PHA must follow its written policies for responding to complaints. These policies must include a requirement that the PHA provide written notice of receipt of the complaint to those alleged to have violated the rule, and the complainant must be informed that such notice was made. After investigating the complaint, the PHA must provide the complainant and those alleged to have violated the rule with findings from the investigation, and a proposed corrective action or explanation as to why corrective action is not required. The PHA must keep records of all complaints, investigations, notices and corrective actions consistent with its current record-keeping obligations.

The notice also contains examples of program violations under the equal access rule, and examples of actions that may violate both the rule and the Fair Housing Act. Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to the local HUD field office or fair housing field office.

Do you have concerns about whether or not your agency is compliant with federal fair housing law? Nan McKay and Associates can help. Contact sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Friday news roundup 8/8/14

On August 22, 1974, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law creating one of HUD’s hallmark programs, the CDBG program.

On August 22, 1974, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law creating one of HUD’s hallmark programs, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: Landlords and the geographic sorting of low-income renters

HUD: The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program’s 40th anniversary

The HUDdle: Why the RAD program, created to preserve the nation’s stock of deeply affordable rental housing, means so much more to me now

MetroTrends: Protecting children from instability

NCSHA: Congress begins August recess with FY 2015 appropriations work unfinished

Off the Charts: Why the Ryan plan should worry those concerned about the affordable housing crisis, part 2

Rooflines: Three years at HUD gives you quite the perspective

Friday news roundup 7/25/14

Affordable Housing Finance: New Jersey project becomes first Mod Rehab RAD deal

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: A view from the National Healthy Homes Conference

Next City: “Housing First” helps keep ex-inmates off the streets (and out of prison)

Next City: In San Diego, the number of homeless families more than tripled between 2010 and 2013

Next City: The “poor door”: Segregation of people based on how much rent they can pay

NHC: Fair housing and the data paradox

Off the Charts: Fewer poor children under welfare law, but more very poor children

PBS (via Planetizen): Since 2001, the U.S. has lost nearly 13 percent of its low-income housing

Rooflines: The specific stumbling blocks getting in the way of vouchers fulfilling their promise of mobility

Rooflines: Subsidizing the upper middle class?

HUD publishes new RAD notice, updates FAQs

Late yesterday the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) posted new guidance for the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) in Notice PIH 2014-17. The new notice, which fills 31 pages, provides guidance on resident relocation requirements and procedures, including:

  • Recommended elements of a relocation plan
  • Suggested sequencing of relocation planning activities
  • Residents’ right to return to the project after conversion
  • Required relocation assistance and resident notification
  • Fair housing and civil right requirements
  • Public housing program compliance
  • Evictions for cause

In an email, HUD announced that it will be hosting a question-and-answer (Q&A) session in the coming weeks on Notice PIH 2014-17. The Q&A has not yet been scheduled; we’ll let you know when more details are available.

HUD also posted two new frequently asked questions (FAQs) about RAD. The new questions cover the following topics:

You can access the RAD FAQs in two different ways from the RAD home page. One way will take you directly to the full collection of FAQs, categorized by topic. The other will take you to the RAD Resource Desk, where you’ll find a searchable database of the FAQs.

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