Affordable Housing News

NMA's 2016 model policies shipped to subscribers!

Posted by NMA on May 26, 2016 10:55:58 AM

model policiesWe're pleased to announce that the 2016 editions of our model policies have shipped out! All revision service customers should receive these within a week or so.

2016: For 2016, the NMA Model Administrative Plan and Guide has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Sweeping changes brought about by the final rule on streamlining administrative regulations, issued March 8, 2016, including modifications regarding verification, utility reimbursements, the earned income disallowance, annual and interim reexaminations, inspection protocol, among other areas of program administration
  • Further clarifications on the streamlining rule as described in Notice PIH 2016-05, which provided implementation guidance on various aspects of the rule
  • Updates to policies on the use of arrest records per Notice PIH 2015-19
  • Clarifications regarding the definition of tuition, as specified in Notice PIH 2015-21
  • Other minor modifications and clarifications to bring the content current with HUD regulations and guidance

2016: For 2016, the NMA Model Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP) and Guide has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Sweeping changes brought about by the final rule on streamlining administrative regulations, including modifications regarding verification, utility reimbursements, the earned income disallowance, annual and interim reexaminations, calculating rents for mixed families, grievances, and the community service requirement, among others
  • Implementation guidance on the final rule as described in Notices PIH 2016-05 and PIH 2016-06
  • Further clarifications on the community service requirement found in Notice PIH 2015-12
  • Modifications to policies on phasing-in flat rents per Notice PIH 2015-13
  • Updates on the use of arrest records as described in Notice PIH 2015-19
  • Revision of the definition of tuition specified in Notice PIH 2015-21
  • Discussion in the model ACOP instruction guide on over-income families following the letter to executive directors issued September 3, 2015
  • Other minor changes and clarifications throughout to bring the content current with HUD regulations and guidance

2016: For 2016, the NMA Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Revisions regarding Notice PIH 2015-12 on the community service and self-sufficiency requirement (CSSR)
  • Modifications concerning the redesignation of 24 CFR Part 85 to 2 CFR Part 200
  • Updates to relevant references, including regulatory updates for the final rule on streamlining administrative regulations, issued March 8, 2016
  • Other corrections and modifications for clarity and ease of reading

2016: COMING SOON! For 2016, the NMA Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Sweeping changes brought about by the final rule on streamlining administrative regulations, issued March 8, 2016, including modifications regarding verification, utility reimbursements, the earned income disallowance, annual and interim reexaminations, and inspection protocol, among other areas of program administration
  • Further clarifications on the streamlining rule as described in Notice PIH 2016-05, which provided implementation guidance on various aspects of the rule
  • Changes to account for the final rule on streamlining portability, issued August 20, 2015
  • Updates regarding the use of arrest records in denials and terminations per Notice PIH 2015-19
  • Revisions for Notice PIH 2016-02 on enhanced voucher requirements for over-housed families
  • Other minor modifications and clarifications to bring the content current with HUD regulations and guidance

Questions about your revision services subscriptions? Contact Laurie Durrett in our accounting department and she'll be happy to assist you.

NMA revision services provide a yearly update to your NMA Master Books and model policies with explanations and guidance regarding the most current HUD rules and regulations. To stay updated on the latest program information, try a free 30-day trial subscription to the PIH Alert. Email sales@nanmckay.com to get started.

Topics: books and revision services, community service, criminal records, EID, flat rent, HQS, inspections, over-income families, PIH Alert, portability, Program News and Notices, recertification, rent calculation, streamlining, utilities

HUD publishes new guidance on streamlining final rule

Posted by NMA on Apr 12, 2016 12:52:19 PM

Samantha Sowards discusses the streamlining final rule

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has published a 33-page notice containing guidance for implementing the streamlining final rule. The streamlining rule was published on March 8 in the Federal Register. Notice PIH 2016-05 is dated April 7, 2016.

The notice includes a three-page narrative followed by 15 attachments, each addressing a separate provision of the streamlining rule. Each attachment describes the applicable regulation, the programs to which the rule applies, a background and description of the change, whether the change is mandatory or discretionary, and the effective date for the change.

In the narrative portion of the notice, HUD discusses the requirement for revisions to an agency’s administrative plan and/or admissions and continued occupancy policies (ACOP). PHA policies must be revised prior to the implementation of discretionary changes. Each PHA must also determine whether policy revisions constitute a significant amendment to the agency plan, and if so, must follow the agency plan amendment process before implementing the change. Furthermore, the notice states that a PHA must begin the process of revising its administrative plan/ACOP/agency plan as soon as possible so that modifications may be implemented in a timely manner.

The notice’s 15 individual attachments contain implementation guidance for regulatory changes to the following program areas:

  • Verification of social security numbers
  • Definition of extremely low-income families
  • Exclusion of mandatory education fees
  • Streamlined annual reexaminations for fixed sources of income
  • Earned income disregard
  • Family declaration of assets which do not exceed $5,000
  • Utility reimbursements
  • Public housing rents for mixed families
  • Self-certification for the community service requirement
  • Public housing grievance procedures
  • Biennial inspections and use of alternative inspections
  • HQS reinspection fees
  • Exception payment standards as reasonable accommodations
  • Regular and interim reexaminations
  • Utility allowance schedules

HUD followed that guidance with Notice PIH 2016-06, “Administering the Self-Certification Flexibility when Verifying Community Service and Self-Sufficiency Requirement (CSSR) Compliance.” The notice provides clarification of the self-certification option introduced in the streamlining final rule, specifically regarding tenant notification and validation requirements.

Under the streamlining rule, agencies adopting a policy permitting self-certification of community service compliance must notify residents of the option. The notice contains revised versions of Attachment A (Entrance Acknowledgment) and Attachment B (Annual Renewal) containing the required language. The attachments are examples and are not HUD-required forms.

The notice directs PHAs that plan to accept self-certifications to develop standardized forms which must include:

  • A statement that the resident has completed the number of hours listed and this statement is subject to penalties of perjury
  • The number of hours and type of activity (community service or self-sufficiency) that the resident completed
  • The name of the organization or person for which the activity was completed
  • The address of the organization or person
  • The phone number of the organization or person, and
  • A contact person in the organization or the person for which the activity was completed

PHAs that adopt a policy for accepting self-certification must validate a sample of the certifications through third-party documentation. The required sample size, based on a universe of residents who submitted self-certifications, is shown in Appendix C to the notice. For example, a PHA with a universe of 27 self-certifications must validate at least 21 self-certifications. Validation procedures must follow the verification requirements of Notice PIH 2010-19.

As explained in the notice, PHAs must update their community service policies prior to accepting resident self-certifications, and may only accept such certifications prospectively.

For residents under lease at the time the PHA amends its policies, the PHA must review annual compliance and obtain third-party verification for that lease cycle. However, for any subsequent lease cycles beginning after the PHA has adopted the policy change, the PHA may accept resident self-certifications for those periods. A PHA may not accept resident self-certifications for tenants subject to a work-out agreement until the resident has completed, and the PHA has verified through a third party, that the resident has completed the required hours.

Our technical writers and subject matter experts are currently working on a revision to both our model ACOP and model administrative plan. Because the streamlining final rule includes several new policy options, we will be issuing a special mid-year revision rather than having customers wait for the standard annual revision. We were in the process of formatting the revision when HUD released these two clarifying notices, and are now going back to rework our revisions. This has pushed our timeline back a bit.

Once the revision is done, we’ll be releasing it in two ways: we will announce on our website and in the PIH Alert when electronic copies are available to be emailed by request, and we will also offer copies on CD through the mail. I anticipate that the electronic copies will be ready in about three weeks. Once you see our announcement, you can just request that we email them to you. If you’d prefer to get them through the mail, those will take longer since you have to wait for us to print CDs and ship them, probably about a month from now.

We have also reviewed all our seminars and updated them with new guidance as needed.

HCV seminars updated for the streamlining final rule:

Public housing seminars updated for the streamlining final rule:

Multifamily seminars updated for the streamlining final rule:

Thank you to all our subscribers and students. If you have any questions, you can get in touch with the NMA team by emailing sales@nanmckay.com or calling us at (800) 783-3100.

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.

Topics: books and revision services, community service, EID, eligibility, final rule, HQS, inspections, occupancy, PIH notices, Program News and Notices, reasonable accommodation, rent calculation, streamlining, Trainers and Consultants, utilities

Are your NMA Master Books up to date?

Posted by NMA on Feb 11, 2016 2:38:38 PM

Master BooksNMA's revision services team has been working hard to get the latest editions of our Master Books written, published, and shipped to you!

2016: COMING SOON! For the 2016 revision, the NMA Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Expansion of the annual plan contents per Notice PIH 2015-18 on PHA plans
  • Replacement of Notice PIH 2009-48 with Notice PIH 2015-12 on administering the community service and self-sufficiency requirement (CSSR)
  • Deletion of references to the now obsolete certificate program per Federal Register 2/17/15
  • Other changes and corrections for relevance, clarity, and ease of reading

2016: COMING SOON! For 2016, the NMA Public Housing Management (PHM) Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, in addition to expanding on useful information for public housing managers. Changes include:

2016: COMING SOON! The 2016 edition of the NMA Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS) CD has been brought current with all regulatory guidance, resources, and tools, including:

  • The latest version of the RAPID DCD 4.0 software, current as of September 2015
  • Additional information pertaining to the latest software, such as the most recent installation guide and instructions for scroll bar usage
  • REAC’s most recent Compilation Bulletin, dated March 2015

Questions about your revision services subscriptions? Contact Laurie Durrett in our accounting department and she'll be happy to assist you.

NMA revision services provide a yearly update to your NMA Master Books and model policies with explanations and guidance regarding the most current HUD rules and regulations. To stay updated on the latest program information, try a free 30-day trial subscription to the PIH Alert. Email sales@nanmckay.com to get started.

Topics: appropriations, books and revision services, community service, flat rent, FSS, Notice PIH 2013-03, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, public housing management, RAD, UPCS

Community service reports now available

Posted by NMA on Feb 2, 2016 11:16:46 AM

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) has announced the availability of four new reports to assist PHAs in administering the community service and self-sufficiency requirement (CSSR). Plans for release of the reports were announced in Notice PIH 2015-12, published in August 2015. The notice and the new reports were issued to assist PHAs’ understanding and administration of the CSSR and in response to an audit report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued in February 2015.

The new reports, which will be provided to PHAs quarterly, include:

  • A CSSR summary report
  • A list of household members listed as noncompliant in HUD’s Inventory Management System/Public and Indian Housing Information Center (IMS/PIC)
  • A list of “potentially misreported exempt tenants—non-disabled”
  • A list of “potentially misreported exempt tenants—disabled”

The announcement notes that the third and fourth reports do not necessarily point to problems requiring correction. They are provided to assist PHAs in identifying potentially misreported tenants.

Instructions for accessing the reports are provided in the announcement. PHAs must save the reports to a local server by February 12. The web page will no longer be available after that date.

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.

Topics: community service, PIH Alert, PIH notices, Program News and Notices

The NMA year-end sale is back!

Posted by BEMuser on Nov 3, 2015 3:50:48 AM

2016 clockIn the spirit of customer appreciation, NMA is once again holding our much-anticipated year-end sale! Now through December 31, save 20 percent on January–March 2016 seminars. (The discount does not apply to seminars hosted by housing authorities or associations.)

You can view a list of the training opportunities that Nan McKay and Associates is offering from now through the end of March on this page at our website. Our seminars have been updated for:

  • The streamlining portability final rule, issued August 20, 2015, which includes changes to definitions, briefings, procedures, billing, and mandatory suspensions, among others
  • Changes to the Community Service and Self-Sufficiency Requirement (CSSR) brought about by Notice PIH 2015-12
  • Modifications regarding flat rent provisions set forth in the 2015 appropriations act, implemented in the Federal Register notice dated September 8, 2015 and Notice PIH 2015-13
  • And more!

 
Having trouble finding the class you want? We can bring the seminar to you. Email sales@nanmckay.com for more information about our affordable onsite training options.

Topics: appropriations, books and revision services, community service, final rule, flat rent, PIH notices, portability, Program News and Notices, streamlining

Are your NMA model policies and Master Books up to date?

Posted by BEMuser on Oct 26, 2015 11:48:34 AM

NMA's revision services team has been working hard to get the latest editions of our model policies and Master Books written, published, and shipped to you!

2015: For 2015, the NMA Model Administrative Plan and Guide has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • The streamlining portability final rule, issued August 20, 2015, which includes changes to definitions, briefings, procedures, billing, and mandatory suspensions, among others
  • The letter to executive directors dated September 15, 2015, which affects portability billing deadlines
  • Changes to VAWA policy based on counsel from the National Housing Law Project
  • Changes to policy on PHA-owned units in the project-based voucher program per Notice PIH 2015-05
  • Removal of references to the certificate program due to the streamlining of 24 CFR Part 982
  • Removal of outdated or expired guidance, such as the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act and temporary compliance assistance
  • Other minor modifications and clarifications to bring the content current with HUD regulations and guidance

2015: For 2015, the NMA Public Housing Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Changes to the Community Service and Self-Sufficiency Requirement (CSSR) brought about by Notice PIH 2015-12
  • Modifications regarding flat rent provisions set forth in the 2015 appropriations act, implemented in the Federal Register notice dated September 8, 2015 and Notice PIH 2015-13
  • Updated citations to account for the final rule on affirmatively furthering fair housing
  • Other modifications and corrections for clarification and wording

2015: The 2015 revision to the NMA Code of Federal Regulations on CD includes the following regulatory changes:

  • Added 2 CFR Part 200 for the updated procurement regulations set forth by the joint interim final rule, “Federal Awarding Agency Regulatory Implementation of Office of Management and Budget’s Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards”
  • Removed most of 24 CFR Part 85 regulations, except where stated that these regulations have been redesignated as 2 CFR Part 200
  • Revised 24 CFR Part 982 regulations for the housing choice voucher program, which has had all obsolete references to the Section 8 rental assistance certificate program regulations removed throughout, in addition to several additions and revisions to account for the final rule on streamlining the portability process
  • Made regulatory revisions to several parts of 24 CFR to account for the changes brought about by the final rule on affirmatively furthering fair housing

Questions about your revision services subscriptions? Contact Laurie Durrett in our accounting department and she'll be happy to assist you.

NMA revision services provide a yearly update to your NMA Master Books and model policies with explanations and guidance regarding the most current HUD rules and regulations. To stay updated on the latest program information, try a free 30-day trial subscription to the PIH Alert. Email sales@nanmckay.com to get started.

Topics: appropriations, books and revision services, community service, fair housing, final rule, flat rent, Notice PIH 2013-03, PBV, PIH Alert, portability, procurement, Program News and Notices, streamlining, VAWA

A note about community service and students

Posted by BEMuser on Sep 1, 2015 2:13:31 PM

In yesterday's Q&A about community service and students, we pointed out that part-time or full-time students residing in public housing are not exempt from the community service and self-sufficiency requirement (CSSR). Students may, however, be in compliance with the CSSR by performing at least 8 hours per month of self-sufficiency activities. We also advised that such students should be reported as “in compliance” on Form HUD-50058 rather than reported as “exempt.”

A PIH Alert subscriber has brought to our attention the fact that the PIC system will reject a 50058 form where a family member is coded as a full-time student on line 3h and is coded as anything but exempt from the CSSR on line 3q. While this conflicts with the controlling regulations and with Notice PIH 2015-12, it appears that PIC will not currently accept the correct classification for full-time students. We’ll report the error to HUD, and meanwhile PHAs will need to submit Forms 50058 in a manner that will be accepted by PIC.

Thanks to Ohio subscriber Ratico Lake for pointing out the issue.

Are you a PIH Alert subscriber? Every Friday, the PIH Alert includes one frequently asked question (FAQ) submitted by our readers. Sign up today for a free 30-day trial subscription! Email sales@nanmckay.com to get started. To submit your question, email Annie Stevenson at annie@nanmckay.com with the subject line "FAQ Friday."

Topics: community service, PIH Alert, PIH notices, Program News and Notices, Q&A

Q&A: Community service and students

Posted by BEMuser on Aug 31, 2015 8:30:21 AM

QUESTION    I have read the new HUD notice on community service and I’m a little confused. I reviewed the list of exemptions and none of them seem to apply to full-time college students. Only students seeking a high school diploma or general equivalency (GED) certificate are exempted under "work activities." We exempt all of our full-time students. Are they supposed to be performing community service activities?

ANSWER    College students, whether part-time or full-time, are not automatically exempted from the community service and self-sufficiency requirement (CSSR). However, as described in Notice PIH 2015-12 (and in the HUD regulations at 24 Code of Federal Regulations 960 Subpart F), students may be complying with the CSSR by performing self-sufficiency activities.

Under the CSSR, non-exempt adult residents must perform 8 hours per month of community service activities or self-sufficiency activities (or a combination of both). A list of eligible self-sufficiency activities contained in Notice PIH 2015-12 includes "higher education (community college or college)." So college students are meeting the CSSR requirement as long as their educational activities total at least 96 hours per year. A student would not need to be enrolled full-time to be in compliance with the CSSR.

Students who are meeting the CSSR requirement through self-sufficiency activities should be coded as "in compliance" in field 3q of Form HUD-50058 (code 1). They should not be coded as exempt from the requirement. It’s worth noting HUD has announced that it will be monitoring CSSR compliance on a quarterly basis. Per Notice PIH 2015-12, PHAs "must be prepared" to supply adequate supporting documentation for residents coded as compliant, noncompliant, and exempt.

NOTE: See this follow-up post for more information.

Are you a PIH Alert subscriber? Every Friday, the PIH Alert includes one frequently asked question (FAQ) submitted by our readers. Sign up today for a free 30-day trial subscription! Email sales@nanmckay.com to get started. To submit your question, email Annie Stevenson at annie@nanmckay.com with the subject line "FAQ Friday."

Topics: community service, PIH Alert, PIH notices, Program News and Notices, Q&A

ACOP: Hands-on Development Session

Posted by BEMuser on Aug 25, 2015 8:32:41 AM

NMA trainer and consultant Terry Provance will be presenting a hands-on ACOP workshop at this year's NMA Housing Conference NMA trainer and consultant Terry Provance will be presenting a hands-on ACOP workshop at this year's NMA Housing Conference

Terry Provance has been a trainer and consultant at Nan McKay and Associates since 1999. He recently took the lead role in creating and developing NMA’s PH Occupancy Tracking Tool, which can be used by any rental development, whether or not it’s HUD-assisted, including mixed finance and LIHTC properties. Terry will be presenting the following session at the 2015 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference.

Hands-on Learning for Active Solutions

ACOP: Hands-on Development Session
Presenter, Terry Provance

Join us for this intensive hands-on ACOP workshop! We’ll review mandatory changes required under VAWA 2013, service animal and assistance animal policies, and HUD guidance on public housing provisions in the 2014 appropriations act, as well as more recent HUD changes in the equal access and community service PIH notices.

We’ll also discuss some of the important discretionary policies that further the mandatory requirements. Are your waiting list preferences working for you? Is your definition of family compliant with recent regulatory changes? Is your repayment agreement policy effective? Are your termination actions meeting due process requirements? Compliant and specific policies are a critical factor in navigating these complex areas of public housing.

Bring your PHA’s ACOP to this session and be prepared to take notes. Time will be reserved for discussing your policies. Join us for this fast-paced session!

This is an interactive policy workshop. Please bring a copy of your PHA's ACOP.

Terry 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 sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: appropriations, assistance animals, community service, equal access, fair housing, GoSection8, service animals, The Housing Conference, Trainers and Consultants, VAWA

Community service notice expands exemption

Posted by BEMuser on Aug 18, 2015 12:17:02 PM

As noted in Thursday's blog post, HUD has published Notice PIH 2015-12 on “Administering the Community Service and Self-Sufficiency Requirement (CSSR).” The notice, which replaces Notice PIH 2009-48, was issued to assist PHAs’ understanding and administration of the CSSR and in response to an audit report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued on February 13, 2015.

The new notice contains several clarifications to previous HUD guidance. First, the notice expands the exemption from the CSSR for “a member of a family receiving assistance, benefits, or services under a state program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Section 601 et seq.), or under any other welfare program of the state in which the PHA is located, including a state-administered welfare-to-work program, and has not been found by the state or other administering entity to be in noncompliance with such a program.” According to a footnote to the notice:

HUD has determined that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) qualifies as a welfare program of the state. Therefore, if a tenant is a member of family receiving assistance under SNAP, and has been found by the administering state to be in compliance with the program requirements, that tenant is exempt from the CSSR.

The second clarification in the new notice has to do with when non-exempt residents must complete their CSSR hours. Prior HUD guidance stated that residents were not permitted to “double up” and should complete eight hours each month of community service or self-sufficiency activities. According to the current notice:

The required community service or self-sufficiency activity may be completed at 8 hours each month or may be aggregated across a year. Any blocking of hours is acceptable as long as 96 hours is completed by each annual certification.

The new notice also contains:

  • Several suggestions for combining Family Self-Sufficiency or ROSS program activities to assist with CSSR
  • A statement that while PHAs may not substitute resident community service activities for work performed by PHA employees, residents may “assist or enhance” the work of employees through the CSSR
  • A revised Attachment B, the sample form for the required certification that non-exempt adults must sign at annual reexamination. The resident certification of compliance has been deleted, leaving only the certification of understanding of the CSSR requirement

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.

Topics: community service, FSS, PIH Alert, PIH notices, Program News and Notices, ROSS

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