Affordable Housing News

House releases omnibus appropriations bill for FY 2017

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


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

HUD publishes HOTMA implementation guidance

Posted by NMA on Oct 25, 2016 12:05:11 PM


Yesterday in the Federal Register, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published the initial implementation guidance for the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act (HOTMA).

The guidance sets forth the statutory provisions effective immediately under HOTMA, and the actions that may or should be taken now in order to comply with those changes, in addition to identifying the provisions that are not effective until HUD subsequently issues a notice or regulation to implement them.

As specified in the guidance, among the HOTMA provisions that are effective upon enactment, or otherwise in effect, are the following:

  • Reasonable accommodation payment standards. HOTMA allows PHAs to establish a payment standard of up to 120 percent of fair market rent (FMR) without HUD approval as a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability. Because the streamlining rule previously provided PHAs with this flexibility, no action is required to implement this provision.
  • Establishment of FMR. This provision changes how HUD publishes FMRs and the procedures for comment and requests for reevaluation. Additionally, HOTMA provides that in the housing choice voucher (HCV) program, no PHA is required as a result of a reduction in the FMR to reduce the payment standard of a family continuing to reside in a unit under HAP contract at the time the FMR was reduced. Should PHAs choose to use the higher payment standard for the family’s subsidy calculation, this must be specified in the administrative plan. HUD’s FMRs for 2017 already reflect the new procedures, and HUD will issue additional guidance with regards to payment standards in the future.
  • Family Unification Program (FUP) for children aging out of foster care. HOTMA revises the length of the term that an FUP-eligible youth may receive FUP assistance from 18 to 36 months, in addition to revising the eligibility requirements for FUP-eligible youth. Changes to the FUP program were effective upon implementation of HOTMA and PHAs were made aware of the new provision by means of a letter to FUP PHA executive directors on August 29, 2016. Further details can be found in today’s guidance.
  • Preference for United States citizens or nationals. This section applies to Guam only. The provisions were effective upon enactment of HOTMA and the details can be found within today’s guidance.
  • Exception to PHA resident board member requirement. Certain jurisdictions, as specified in the guidance, are excepted from the resident board member requirement. While effective upon implementation of HOTMA, this exception has already been effective for a number of years through various appropriations acts.
  • Inclusion of PHAs and local development authorities in Emergency Solutions grants. HOTMA authorized local governments receiving these grants to sub-award all or some of those funds to PHAs and local redevelopment authorities. The provision was effective upon implementation of HOTMA, although HUD does intend to issue further guidance on the matter.
  • Inclusion of Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) in certain fraud and abuse measures. This provision considers DHAP a HUD program for the purpose of income verifications. Like other provisions described in the notice, it has previously been in effect through appropriations acts for a number of years.
  • Energy efficiency requirements under the Self-Help Homeownership Program (SHOP). While this provision was effective upon enactment of HOTMA, changes will be reflected in the future SHOP notice of funding availability (NOFA), where more information will also be provided.
  • Formula and terms for allocations to prevent homelessness for individuals living with HIV or AIDS. This provision makes several changes to the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program. They apply to FY 2017 funds and HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) will issue further guidance on how the changes will affect future funding.

As mentioned above, today’s guidance also specifies several other pieces of HOTMA that will require further rulemaking or guidance in order to become effective. In other words, PHAs may not apply these provisions until HUD issues a rule or a notice addressing them. Because they are not immediately effective, they are summarized in brief below, although further details can be found in today’s guidance:

  • Changes regarding initial inspections in HCV units
  • Changes on the enforcement of housing quality standards (HQS) in HCV units
  • Changes regarding the frequency of income reviews
  • Changes on income reviews in project-based housing, in addition to changes on project-based assistance in general
  • Limitations on public housing tenancy for over-income families
  • Limitations on eligibility for assistance based on assets
  • Changes regarding PHA-owned units
  • Revisions to requirements regarding the public housing capital and operating funds
  • Changes regarding the use of vouchers for manufactured housing
  • Modifications of FHA requirements for mortgage insurance for condominiums
  • Changes regarding the definition of geographic area in the Continuum of Care program
  • Changes regarding HOPWA allocations

Got questions about HOTMA? All of NMA's HCV classes have been updated for the new payment standard rules. Register at least 45 days in advance for most seminars and you’ll receive a 10 percent discount. (The discount does not apply to seminars hosted by housing authorities or associations.)

Topics: capital fund, disaster programs, energy efficiency, FMR, HOTMA, HQS, inspections, operating subsidy, over-income families, Program News and Notices, reasonable accommodation, rent calculation, streamlining, voucher reform legislation

Affordable Housing and CDBG-DR

Posted by NMA on Sep 1, 2016 9:26:23 AM

As NMA's director of consulting, Catherine Ures brings significant expertise in HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, with the unique qualifications of having worked in a management capacity in both the public and private sectors. Her public service encompasses over a decade in municipal government in both the housing and redevelopment fields, with extensive experience managing the full lifecycle project development of multiple five-year strategic plans, housing elements, and several other assessments for planning purposes.

With over a decade of experience working in the affordable housing industry, NMA senior consultant Nathan Paufve has done everything from supervising a team of housing specialists to developing OIG responses, overseeing a document management team, serving as an internal auditor for PBCA operations in multiple states nationwide, and strategic planning related to Moderate Rehabilitation (Mod Rehab), project-based voucher, and housing choice voucher programs. Catherine and Nate will be presenting the following session on CDBG-DR at The Housing Conference.

Executive Leadership for Performance Excellence

Affordable Housing and CDBG-DR
Presenters, Catherine Ures and Nathan Paufve

CDBG-DR is a HUD program that provides flexible grants to help cities, counties, and states recover from disasters, especially in low-income areas. In response to disasters, Congress may devote additional funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program as disaster recovery grants to rebuild the affected areas and provide money to start the recovery process. Through CDBG disaster recovery (CDBG-DR) assistance, HUD helps communities and neighborhoods that otherwise might not recover due to limited resources.

Catherine Ures and Nathan Paufve head up a team that is currently running one of the most successful CDBG-DR home buyer assistance programs in the country. Since NMA began administering the program in Joplin, Missouri, in early 2014, their team has implemented highly successful operational efficiencies and enabled the City of Joplin to provide more than $12 million of assistance for nearly 500 closings. In this session, Catherine and Nate will provide an in-depth look at how the CDBG program works, including:

  • An overview of CDBG and CDBG-DR grants
  • How those grants are used in the creation of affordable housing
  • An overview of the types of housing programs that are allowable under those grants
  • Case study: Joplin, Missouri home buyer assistance program

The Housing Conference, presented by NMA and HAI Group, will spotlight three tracks: an executive track, a regulatory track, and a best practices track. Go here to view a list of the session descriptions that have been published so far.

Topics: CDBG, disaster programs, Partnerships, The Housing Conference

Affordable housing news 1/22/16

Posted by NMA on Jan 22, 2016 9:26:18 AM

CBPP: Realizing the housing voucher program's potential to enable families to move to better neighborhoods

HUD: $1 billion awarded through National Disaster Resilience Competition

Make Room (via CSSP): Here's where it's getting harder to be a renter (and it might surprise you)

Next City: When a family gets a voucher, they typically don’t move to substantially better neighborhoods

NLIHC: How households in the Moving to Opportunity demonstration fared after leaving housing assistance

Topics: disaster programs, Program News and Notices

Friday news roundup 8/28/15

Posted by BEMuser on Aug 28, 2015 11:04:23 AM

Brookings: The deep and durable influence of HUD secretary Henry Cisneros

CityLab: Why Louisiana fought low-income housing in New Orleans after Katrina

The HUDdle: Helping affordable housing managers get ready to respond to natural disasters

Planetizen: A conversation with HUD secretary Julián Castro

Urban Institute: A housing policy recap of week two of HBO's Show Me A Hero

Washington Post: Housing subsidies reduce inequality, but mortgage tax breaks make it worse

Topics: disaster programs, Program News and Notices

Friday news roundup 7/17/15

Posted by BEMuser on Jul 17, 2015 11:26:06 AM

NCSHA: HUD publishes AFFH final rule and revised assessment tool

NeighborWorks: Key lesson from Supreme Court fair housing ruling

NHC: Climate resilience and equity in low-income communities

NHC: House subcommittee discusses strengths and challenges of PIH

NLIHC: Take action to stop sequestration now

NLIHC: OMB sends letter to Senate Appropriations Chair on THUD bill

Rooflines: A clear SCOTUS statement on disparate impact and AFFH

White House: Making our communities stronger through fair housing

Topics: appropriations, disaster programs, fair housing, Program News and Notices, sequestration

Friday news roundup 10/17/14

Posted by BEMuser on Oct 17, 2014 10:18:46 AM

Having a housing voucher substantially reduces the likelihood of living in an extreme-poverty neighborhood.Confronting Suburban Poverty: Behind the “poor door” controversy: inclusionary zoning policies in cities and suburbs

MetroTrends: If well-designed, constructed, and maintained, affordable housing is a vital economic and social asset

NHC: Disaster resilience and affordable housing

Off the Charts (Will Fischer): Rental assistance kept over 3 million people out of poverty last year

Off the Charts (Douglas Rice): Violent, stressful, high-poverty neighborhoods can compromise children’s cognitive development, school performance, and health

Off the Charts (Barbara Sard): Rental assistance can do more to help kids live in better neighborhoods

Rooflines: Inclusionary upzoning is gaining ground

TalkPoverty: The criminalization of poverty and the high costs that result

ThinkProgress: It would actually be very simple to end homelessness forever

Topics: disaster programs, PBRA, Program News and Notices

Friday news roundup 9/26/14

Posted by BEMuser on Sep 26, 2014 10:56:04 AM

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: Indoor air quality has been a major component of modern healthy home research dating back to the 1970s

Housing Finance: Is your PHA prepared for a disaster?

The HUDdle: Promise Zones create opportunity

Huffington Post: Jewel crowd-sourced a song and now it's going to support public housing

MetroTrends: Is housing assistance a safety net or a springboard?

NHC: New HUD secretary puts broadband connectivity among his policy priorities

NLIHC: Renters continue to face high rates of housing cost burden and low vacancy rates

Off the Charts: The top priority of the nation’s rental assistance programs should be to help the neediest families afford housing

Rooflines: Americans now rank addressing poverty as a high priority on the national agenda

Topics: disaster programs, flat rent, indoor air quality, Program News and Notices

Friday news roundup 5/2/14

Posted by BEMuser on May 2, 2014 11:14:32 AM

Monday’s webcast on the 2014 notice of funding availability (NOFA) for the HCV and public housing family self-sufficiency (FSS) programs is now available for viewing on demand in the HUD webcast archive. You can also watch it here on the HUD channel at YouTube. For the PowerPoint presentation shown during the webcast, click here.

Previously the 2014 FSS NOFA was accessible only at It is now accessible, as well, at HUD’s "Funds Available" website. While in previous years HUD issued two separate NOFAs for the HCV and public housing programs, this year the NOFA is combined. You’ll find the 2014 combined FSS NOFA on this page. The application deadline is May 29.

Katie Couric (via GoSection8): Musician Jewel shares stories from her past, encourages Americans to rethink public housing

NCSHA: Senators introduce disaster relief bill

NHC: A grim picture for renters

Off The Charts: A new tool against hunger in high-poverty neighborhoods

Topics: disaster programs, FSS, GoSection8, Program News and Notices

Friday news roundup 5/3/13

Posted by NMA on May 3, 2013 10:11:02 AM

Center for American Progress: Low-income families receiving federal housing assistance are bearing the brunt of some of the most painful sequestration cuts

Homelessness Law Blog: The human right to housing

Next City: Six months after Sandy, "every day is a struggle"

NHC: More than a quarter of working renter households spends more than half of income on housing

Rooflines: Four messages from the new documentary film Envisioning Home

Topics: disaster programs, Program News and Notices, sequestration

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