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House releases omnibus appropriations bill for FY 2017

Posted by NMA on May 2, 2017 11:46:13 AM

appropriations

The House Appropriations Committee yesterday released the fiscal year 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which would provide discretionary funding for the federal government for the remainder of the current fiscal year. Congress is expected to vote on the bill later this week, in time to avoid a government shutdown when the current continuing resolution expires on Friday.

Proposed funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is described in a summary prepared by the House committee. The legislation includes a net total of $38.8 billion for HUD, a $513 million increase above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level, and $824 million below the requested funding level. Highlights include:

  • Section 8 and Public Housing – Included in the bill is $27.5 billion for Public and Indian Housing. This is an increase of $623 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $760 million below the requested level.
  • Office of Housing – Other housing programs are funded at $11.5 billion – an increase of $259 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. Project-Based Rental Assistance is funded at $10.8 billion; Housing for the Elderly is provided with $502 million; and Housing for Persons with Disabilities receives $146 million.
  • The bill cuts HUD’s administrative payments to public housing agencies by $427 million below the previous administration’s request. It also includes a provision prohibiting HUD from guaranteeing mortgages seized by eminent domain.
  • Community Planning and Development – The bill contains $6.8 billion for Community Planning and Development programs – $152 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level.
  • Community Development Block Grants are funded at $3 billion – the same as the fiscal year 2016 level. The HOME Investment Partnerships Program is funded at $950 million – the same as the current year. Grants for homeless assistance are funded at $2.4 billion, an increase of $133 million over current level.
  • Emergency Funding for Disaster Relief – In addition to regular appropriations, the legislation includes an additional $948 million in disaster relief. Of this amount, $528 million is for the Emergency Relief Program for qualifying emergency road and bridge repair expenses, and $400 million is for Community Development Block Grant disaster recovery assistance.

The full 92-page committee report is available here.

Topics: appropriations, CDBG, disaster programs, government shutdown, HOME, PBRA, Program News and Notices

PIH issues 2017 HCV funding guidance

Posted by NMA on Apr 27, 2017 12:35:49 PM

Yesterday HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) issued Notice PIH 2017-07 to provide guidance on funding for the housing choice voucher (HCV) program for calendar year 2017. The notice discusses eligibility for potential shortfall funding as well as calculation of administrative fees.

The notice explains that HUD is currently operating under a continuing resolution (CR) which provides funding at 2016 levels. The CR will remain in effect until another CR is enacted, an appropriations bill is enacted, or April 28, 2017.

Based on possible funding scenarios if a full-year CR is enacted, or if an appropriations act is enacted at either the House or Senate proposed levels, a deeper HAP proration than previously experienced may occur.

Below are a few highlights from the 5-page notice:

  • PHAs identified by the shortfall prevention team as having a potential shortfall must cease issuing vouchers to applicants and rescind vouchers issued to applicants who have not yet leased a dwelling unit. Affected agencies must also stop absorbing portable vouchers and must not issue tenant-based vouchers to families who wish to move out of project-based voucher (PBV) units.
  • There is currently no full-year CR or full-year appropriation in place for HUD to provide shortfall funding to any agency. If shortfall funding is made available, a PHA’s eligibility for such funding will be contingent on the PHA having taken the actions described above.
  • PIH intends to make available up to $10 million in administrative fee funding, subject to availability under a full-year CR or appropriation, for homeownership fees, special fees for multifamily housing conversion actions, audit costs for HCV voluntary transfers, and special fees for receiving PHAs where portability vouchers are a significant portion of vouchers under lease.
  • Applications for blended rate fees (by PHAs serving multiple administrative fee areas) must be submitted by Monday, May 22, 2017. Requests for higher administrative fee rates for PHAs serving large geographical areas are also due by May 22.
  • Requests for blended rate fees and higher administrative fees may be submitted via email or regular mail, but PHAs may not submit requests using both methods.

Topics: appropriations, PBV, PIH notices, portability, Program News and Notices

Affordable housing news 2/3/17

Posted by NMA on Feb 3, 2017 3:46:54 PM

CBPP: Every state will likely lose housing vouchers, unless Congress boosts funding

CHA: 2017 Moving to Work annual plan approved by HUD

CityLab: Fair housing faces an uncertain fate

CityLab (via Planetizen): This start-up takes (some) of the hassle out of renting

Homelessness Law: Communities count people experiencing homelessness

Minnesota Star-Tribune: Renters become homeowners through public housing program

Next City: How tax promises could affect the LIHTC program

Next City: New York public housing steps up on climate change

NHC: Appropriations will be messy, again

NLIHC: Affordable housing and transportation programs threatened by severe cuts

NLIHC: New blog series on affordable housing as infrastructure

Rooflines: AFFH: Moving the debate from concept to practice

Topics: appropriations, budget cuts, fair housing, LIHTC, MTW, Program News and Notices

Affordable housing news 12/2/16

Posted by NMA on Dec 2, 2016 3:41:45 PM

Affordable Housing Finance: Historic furniture factory transformed into affordable housing

CBPP: More than 100,000 families could be frozen out of housing vouchers for 2017

FiveThirtyEight: Stop treating HUD like a second-tier department

The HUDdle: Creating healthier communities with smoke-free public housing

NHC: How to counter community opposition to affordable housing

NLIHC: House Republicans opt for stopgap spending bill through March

Rooflines: Stop subsidizing bad landlords

San Jose Mercury News: Facebook commits $20 million for affordable housing

Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce: Affordable housing is getting bigger and better

Trulia: Low-income housing has no impact on nearby home values

Topics: appropriations, indoor air quality, Program News and Notices

Q&A: HOTMA implementation

Posted by NMA on Oct 3, 2016 2:01:08 PM

Q&A: HOTMA implementationQUESTION    We understand that HOTMA was signed into law by the president on July 29, 2016. Inasmuch as there are many substantive administrative changes to the HCV and public housing programs contained in this new law, we are wondering whether PHAs need to await the issuance of a HUD notice before they implement these changes (for example, increase in elderly/disabled deduction, asset limitations, reporting changes of 10 percent or more) or whether PHAs are obligated to immediately adopt these changes even before HUD issues new rules clarifying this new law? We have many recertifications in the pipeline and an answer to this question will obviously impact these pipeline cases.

ANSWER    Most provisions of the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) will not take effect until HUD has completed the formal rulemaking process. This typically involves issuance of a proposed rule, review of public comments, and publication of a final rule. Changes would likely go into effect 30 days after publication of the final rule, so it may be a year or more before PHAs are permitted to implement the new law.

Five self-implementing provisions of HOTMA were discussed in a letter to executive directors dated September 26. While the remaining HOTMA changes will be implemented through the formal rulemaking process, these five sections became effective immediately upon enactment. Implementation requirements are described below.

Reasonable accommodation payment standards: Section 102(d) of HOTMA provides that PHAs may establish, without HUD approval, a payment standard of up to 120 percent of the fair market rent (FMR) as a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability. Since this option was made available under the March 8 streamlining final rule, no further action is required.

Fair market rents: Two changes involving FMRs are included in Section 107 of HOTMA. The first change involves HUD’s methods for establishing and publishing FMRs. HUD will no longer publish “proposed” and “final” versions of the FMRs, but PHAs and other interested parties may comment on the FMRs and request HUD to reevaluate them in a jurisdiction before those rents become effective. FMRs for fiscal year 2017 were published on August 26 using the new method.

HOTMA also provides that no PHA in the housing choice voucher (HCV) program is required, as a result of a reduction in the FMR, to reduce the payment standard applied to a family continuing to reside in a unit under a housing assistance payment (HAP) contract at the time the FMR was reduced. PHAs must adopt policies in their administrative plans that further explain this provision. According to the letter:

Effective July 29, 2016, PHAs may choose, but are no longer required, to reduce the payment standard for a family that remains under HAP contract at the family’s second annual reexamination if, as the result of a decrease in the FMR, the payment standard would otherwise fall outside the basic range. HUD will issue additional guidance on this change in the future.

Family Unification Program (FUP) changes: HOTMA expanded FUP eligibility and increased time limits for eligible youth. The changes were effective upon enactment. HUD issued a letter to FUP executive directors on August 29 to ensure awareness of the changes.

Citizenship preference: This provision applies only to Guam and requires a preference for U.S. citizens and nationals over citizens of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. It was effective upon enactment of HOTMA.

Exception to resident board member requirement: HOTMA provides an exception to the requirement that the board must include at least one public housing resident for the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles and for any PHA in the states of Alaska, Iowa, and Mississippi. Since the provision has been in effect for a number of years through appropriations acts, no further action is required.

The letter contained the following guidance on HOTMA implementation:

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. To submit your question, email Annie Stevenson at annie@nanmckay.com with the subject line "FAQ Friday." If you'd like to try a free 30-day trial subscription to the PIH Alert, email sales@nanmckay.com to get started.

Topics: appropriations, final rule, FMR, HOTMA, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, proposed rule, Q&A, reasonable accommodation, recertification, rent calculation, seniors and elderly, streamlining, voucher reform legislation

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