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Ensuring up-to-date policies

Posted by Kaylene Holvenstot on Jul 11, 2019 7:15:00 AM

The importance of updating PHA policies

HUD issues new regulations, notices, and guidance on an ongoing basis, and PHAs are expected to stay abreast of these changes to remain in compliance and avoid audit findings. However, making sure your agency’s policy documents are in line with HUD can be a daunting, time-consuming task—not only do you need to know what’s changed and why, but you must also revise your policies accordingly.

PHAs who are out of compliance—depending on the reason—may be subject to monitoring and sanctions, or worse, lose out on program funding. Fair housing complaints can result from a lack of clear and current policies, and in the Housing Choice Voucher program, some incorrect policies can affect SEMAP as well.

Fortunately, there’s a solution. Our model policies and revision services take the guesswork out of keeping your policies up-do-date and in compliance, providing you with expert guidance in a timesaving, user-friendly format.

NMA’s Model Policy Revisions

This July, NMA will be releasing the 2019 revisions of our Model Administrative Plan and Model Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP). For this year’s revisions, these model policy documents contain updates for:

  • Notice PIH 2018-01 on the voluntary adoption of the use of Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs)
  • Notice PIH 2019-09 on the treatment of ABLE Accounts
  • Notice PIH 2019-11, which requires PHAs to publish and update public housing over-income limits in the ACOP
  • Notice PIH 2018-18, which updated HUD’s Verification Hierarchy
  • Notice PIH 2018-19, which established minimum heating standards in public housing
  • Notice PIH 2018-24 on verifying Social Security numbers, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, and the effective use of the EIV Identity Verification Report
  • Other clarifications and modifications to make sure the content is user-friendly, current, and in compliance with all HUD regulations and guidance

In other words, when you subscribe to the NMA Model Admin Plan or ACOP, we do the heavy lifting of updating your policies for you—potentially saving your agency hundreds of hours of work.

For each area in which your agency has discretion or flexibility, NMA model policies provide recommended language. Also, the accompanying instruction guide offers important points to consider for each policy and customizable policy choices so that you can choose the best policy to suit your agency’s needs.

All of our model policy documents cite and describe the most up-to-date HUD regulations and other requirements in detail, which presents your agency with a solid foundation in policymaking. Further, when you subscribe to the revision service, you can rest assured that your policies remain current with HUD’s most recent changes every year.

The new NMA revisions website

Remaining up to date with a subscription to the NMA Model Administrative Plan or Model ACOP revision service is now easier than ever. Last year we went completely digital with our model policy revisions, moving access to a new website, and this year we’re making our Master Book revisions available through the site as well.

On the new revisions site, each policy or Master Book revision to which an agency subscribes is available for digital download all in one convenient location. This not only eliminates the need for awkward discs or drives, but also allows subscribers to access their revisions online immediately after they are finalized.

Should you miss a revision, the site provides access to the two previous years’ revisions as well, in addition to providing access to other added features such as our searchable CFRs.

Tools like our model policies and their revision services are designed to ensure that you always have the most accurate and up-to-date information. Through these and our other products and services, we at NMA will always strive to find ways to assist you in the successful administration of your housing programs—both now and through whatever changes may come.

 

Learn more about  NMA's model policies

Find NMA's model  policy revisions here

 

Topics: books and revision services, EIV, over-income families, SAFMR

FAQ Friday: Withdrawal of cash from assets

Posted by Annie Stevenson on Jun 7, 2019 7:00:00 AM
withdrawal_of_cash_BLOG

Question

One of our clients recently reported that he cashed in a 401(k) account. The full value of the account was $25,000. $7,000 was deducted for taxes and the client received the remaining $18,000. What should we count as income, the full gross amount or the net amount received after taxes?

Answer

In the situation you described, none of the account proceeds would be included in the client’s annual income. Here’s an excerpt from the NMA HCV Master Book (and Public Housing Master Book) that discusses the issue. The references for this are 24 Code of Federal Regulations 5.609(b)(3) and HUD’s RHIIP FAQs.

Two general rules apply to withdrawals of cash from investment accounts. The first rule is that withdrawals are not included in annual income if a family can document (and the family’s PHA verifies) that amounts withdrawn are reimbursement of amounts invested by the family.

EXAMPLE—WITHDRAWAL OF CASH FROM AN ASSET

Josefina and Rodrigo Gomez have received $300 a month from an annuity for 9.5 years. The Gomezes’ insurance agent has confirmed that the couple paid $36,000 for the annuity when they purchased it years ago. Six months after their annual reexamination becomes effective, the Gomezes will have reclaimed the full amount of their investment. For the second six months of the coming year, therefore, the Gomezes’ PHA will include the $300 monthly annuity payment in the family’s income, but for the first six months it will not.

The second rule is that withdrawals are included in annual income only if they are made on a periodic basis. If the withdrawals are not made on a periodic basis, they are treated as lump sums not intended as periodic payments.

EXAMPLE—WITHDRAWAL OF CASH FROM AN ASSET

Isaac Freeman retired recently. He has an IRA account but is not receiving periodic payments from it because his pension is adequate for his routine expenses. However, he has withdrawn $2,000 for a trip with his children. The withdrawal is not a periodic payment and is not counted as income.

Learn more about how to correctly calculate rent

Topics: books and revision services, Q&A, rent calculation, Knowledge Base

What to know about HOTMA's new income limits

Posted by Samantha Sowards on Aug 7, 2018 1:00:00 PM

On July 26, 2018, HUD published Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016: Final Implementation of Public Housing Income Limits in the Federal Register, which placed an income limitation on public housing tenancy. The rule requires that after a family’s income has exceeded 120 percent of area median income (AMI), or a different limitation established by the Secretary based on local housing costs, for two consecutive years, the PHA must either:

  • Terminate the family’s tenancy within 6 months of the second income determination; or
  • Charge the family a rent equal to the greater of the:
    • Applicable fair market rent
    • Amount of monthly subsidy for the unit, including amounts from the operating and capital fund

For annual or interim recertifications performed on or after the applicable date of the notice (September 24, 2018), the PHA must determine whether the family’s income exceeds the applicable HUD-published over-income limit. If so, the PHA must document the family’s file. If, 12 consecutive months from the annual or interim recertification, the family’s income continues to exceed the over-income limit, the PHA must notify the family in writing that their income has exceeded the over-income limit for one year, and that if the family’s income continues to exceed the over-income limit for the next 12 consecutive months, the family will be subject to the PHA’s over-income policies. The PHA may not exempt any public housing families from the over-income limitation.

If the family’s income continues to exceed the over-income limit for another 12 consecutive months, the family will either experience an increase in rent or be subject to termination after 6 months, depending on PHA policy. HUD will issue a notice detailing how these new rent policies will be implemented.

Note, the time period is two consecutive years. If the family’s income is reduced below the over-income limit at any time, these policies no longer apply. If the family subsequently experiences an increase that again causes their income to be at or above the over-income limit, the 2-year period starts over.

This notice does not apply to PHAs operating fewer than 250 public housing units that are renting to families with income exceeding the over-income limit, if the PHA is renting to those families because no income-eligible families are on the PHA’s waiting list.

Important things to note from the notice include:

  • HUD will publish the over-income limits. The PHA does not have to calculate them.
  • PHAs must complete changes to the PHA Plan (if applicable) and the ACOP no later than six months from the effective date of the notice.
  • The PHA will need to develop a tracking system for over-income families to monitor the one and two-year time periods.
  • Increases in the over-income limit may cause a previously over-income family to be under the over-income limit.
  • Over-income policies apply to both annual and interim recertifications.

HUD will issue additional guidance on the following:

  • The calculation of a unit’s monthly subsidy
  • Whether utility allowances apply to the calculation of rent under these options
  • The requirement to report the number of over-income families and the number of families on the waiting list
  • How PHAs are supposed to track over-income families
  • How to notify familiesGet help updating your ACOP

Topics: books and revision services, HOTMA, income limits, over-income families, PIH notices

HUD Issues Guidance on New PH Income Limit

Posted by Annie Stevenson on Jul 26, 2018 12:14:24 PM

Today in the Federal Register, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published a notice titled “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016: Final Implementation of Public Housing Income Limit.” The 5-page notice’s “applicable date” is September 24, 2018.

As explained in the notice, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) imposes an income limit on public housing residents. The law applies to families whose income has exceeded 120 percent of the area median income (AMI) for two consecutive years. PHAs must either terminate the tenancies of such families within six months of the second income determination or must charge the family a monthly rent equal to the greater of (1) the applicable fair market rent, or (2) the amount of monthly subsidy for the unit including amounts from the operating and capital fund, as determined by regulations.

For purposes of the notice, the income limit established by HOTMA will be referred to as the ‘‘over-income limit.’’ HUD may adjust the applicable percentage of AMI above or below 120 percent based on housing costs in the PHA’s jurisdiction.

Highlights of the notice include:

  • The over-income limit does not apply to PHAs operating fewer than 250 public housing units that are renting to families with income exceeding the over-income limit, if the PHAs are renting to those families because there are no income-eligible families on the PHA’s waiting list.
  • Each PHA must submit a report annually to HUD about the number of families residing in public housing with incomes exceeding the over-income limit and the number of families on the waiting lists for admission to public housing projects. Such reports must be publicly available.
  • The existing regulation at 24 Code of Federal Regulations 960.261, which authorizes discretionary termination of tenancies of families whose incomes exceed the applicable income limits for admission to the program, remains in effect.
  • HUD intends to provide guidance on how to notify families, track over-income families, and report into HUD systems.

PHAs must revise their admissions and continued occupancy policies (ACOPs) to comply with today’s notice. Revisions to the PHA’s annual plan may be required if implementation of the rule constitutes a significant amendment. Policies must include the imposition of an over-income limit in the program, all instances of when the two-year timeframe begins, and notification requirements. Policy and plan revisions must be completed no later than six months after the effective date of the notice (by March 24, 2019).

Finally, the notice describes implementation steps as follows:

  • When the PHA becomes aware, through an annual reexamination or an interim reexamination for an increase in income, that a family’s income exceeds the applicable income limit, the PHA must document that the family exceeds the threshold to compare with the family’s income a year later.
  • If, one year after the initial determination by the PHA that a family’s income exceeds the over-income limit, the family’s income continues to exceed the over-income limit, the PHA must provide written notification to the family that their income has exceeded the over-income limit for one year, and that if the family’s income continues to exceed the over-income limit for the next 12 consecutive months, the family will be subject to either a higher rent or termination of tenancy based on the PHA’s policies.
  • If, however, a PHA discovers through an annual or interim reexamination that a previously over-income family has income that is now below the over-income limit, the family is no longer subject to these provisions. The family is entitled to a new two-year grace period if the family’s income once again exceeds the over-income limit.

Today’s notice does not address the following issues, which will be covered in subsequent notices:

  • PHA determination of the amount of monthly subsidy for a unit
  • The requirement to submit an annual report on the number of over-income families and the number of families on the public housing waiting lists

Questions may be directed to HUD program analyst Todd Thomas or to HOTMAquestions@hud.gov.

Get help updating your ACOP

Topics: books and revision services, HOTMA, income limits, over-income families, PIH notices

Model policy revisions now available online

Posted by NMA on Jul 23, 2018 9:22:10 AM

Our writing team has been working hard to make our policy updates available immediately, so our revision services customers don't have to wait to receive a CD with updates in the mail. (And a lot of our customers don't even have CD drives anymore to access the files with!)

With that in mind, we've created a new site where agencies who have signed up for policy updates can access the files as soon as we upload them. If you're a subscriber, you should have received an email with your login information. If you haven't, please contact revisions@nanmckay.com.

The new site will include policy updates for the following products:

It will also provide:

  • Our searchable and updated CFRs as a free service for all revisions subscribers
  • Two years of back policies for subscribers who may need to catch up
  • A hands-on video to help you step-by-step through the download process

If you're a subscriber to our model admin plan updates, you can get on the site now and download the brand-new 2018 revision! The model plan has been brought current with all recent HUD requirements and guidance, including the following:

  • Changes to account for the updated administrative guidance for the effective and mandated use of the EIV system, as outlined in Notice PIH 2017-12
  • Updates concerning Notice PIH 2017-13, which discusses the Lead Safe Housing Rule as it relates to elevated blood lead levels (EBLLs) in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Project-Based Voucher (PBV) programs
  • Revisions for the implementation guidance on the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) HCV and PBV provisions described in Notice PIH 2017-21
  • Modifications pertaining to the interim final rule published December 12, 2017, which implemented the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, slightly revising some of the streamlining options allowable under the streamlining final rule from March 2016
  • Changes for guidance set forth in Notice PIH 2018-01 on recent changes in Fair Market Rent (FMR) payment standard, and rent reasonableness requirements

The 2018 model ACOP revisions will be posted in a few weeks.

View our library of model policies

Topics: books and revision services, EIV, FMR, HOTMA, rent reasonableness, streamlining, lead-based paint, product updates

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