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HUD publishes HOTMA implementation guidance

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

HOTMA

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

Hats off to the 2016 NMA Housing Awards winners!

Posted by NMA on Sep 20, 2016 4:13:08 PM

Yesterday at our fourth annual national housing conference in San Antonio, Nan McKay and Associates announced the four winners of the 2016 NMA Housing Awards. We first launched these awards nearly a decade ago to recognize excellence and innovation in the affordable housing industry.

Since then, we’ve been honored to read and evaluate a great number of worthy entries, and this year was no exception. Read on to learn more about this year’s winning agencies.

2016 Development Award
(Large Agency)

Barton Block
Indianapolis Housing Agency

Barton Tower is one of IHA’s largest and oldest public housing communities, set in an urban neighborhood vastly different than the one that existed in 1968 when the tower originally opened. During the last decade, the surrounding area became one of Indianapolis’ premier cultural districts, turning the site into incredibly valuable real estate. Facing pressure to close Barton Tower and sell the property, IHA instead chose to reinvest in the tower and develop the remaining, underused parcel into Barton Block. IHA used innovative mixed financing to create a community asset that includes public open space, new and renovated affordable housing, and new businesses while preserving 372 rehabbed public housing units.

2016 Development Award
(Small Agency)

Rockford Veterans Drop-In Center
Winnebago County Housing Authority

The Center provides supportive services to veterans and had been using shared, donated space with another nonprofit’s building. However, the Center was about to lose this space and the ability to provide services. When WCHA learned of the problem, they offered a large home recently acquired through the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) program as a rehab and repurposed building for the Center. The home was rehabbed over approximately 90 days, providing a like-new building with energy-efficient appliances, located next to public transportation and within a two-block radius of a pharmacy, retail shops, banks and restaurants. The work was so well-received that the city was able to pass a special zoning use permit in just 60 days.

2016 Resident Service Award
(Large Agency)

Conversation Over Pizza
Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority

In August of 2015, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority launched a community initiative, Conversation Over Pizza, to provide a platform for residents to engage in productive dialogue. The goal of this resident-driven approach is to address the societal challenges faced by residents. CMHA, law enforcement, and community partners have facilitated ongoing focus groups to discuss and develop viable solutions for reducing crime, violence, and other community challenges. By raising awareness, listening to the community and working with residents, COP serves as a catalyst for building stronger community relationships and safer neighborhoods. This program is the first of its kind and has already been replicated by other cities, creating a national model that originated at CMHA.

2016 Resident Service Award
(Small Agency)

Full Circle Wrenching Crew
Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority

Full Circle is a year-round out-of-school program that provides youth receiving housing assistance with a positive and structured environment at no charge. Programs focus on empowering youth to develop new skills by trying new activities. As part of the program, children earned refurbished bicycles, helmets, lights, and locks. Once participants chose their bicycles, they learned how to properly put on a helmet, use and care for their bicycles and equipment, and ride safely. Full Circle Wrenching Crew promotes a can-do mentality along with the values of leadership, cooperation, and volunteerism by working with young people in a way that addresses their needs and wants. The responsibility, leadership, and maintenance skills gained through the program will benefit the participants for years to come.

The NMA Housing Awards is an annual event created to honor agencies that build bridges to the future and generate real change in their communities and the affordable housing industry. Entries for the 2017 awards will open this spring.

Topics: energy efficiency, mixed financing, NMA Housing Awards, Program News and Notices, The Housing Conference, veterans

Affordable housing news 4/15/16

Posted by NMA on Apr 15, 2016 4:36:32 PM

CBPP: Cuts in federal housing have exacerbated families' struggles to afford housing

CityLab: Deadlock over the federal budget made the affordable-housing crisis worse

Democracy Journal (via Rooflines): Making housing affordable for all the working poor

The HUDdle: Race should never defer the dream of homeownership

NLIHC: Concentrated poverty increased dramatically after Great Recession

Rooflines: Energy efficiency is vital to the budgets of low-income households

Shelterforce: Long-forgotten battle over a set of row houses in South Philadelphia makes current-day NIMBYism look tame

Urban Institute: For families who are stuck in place, it’s much harder to break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage

Topics: energy efficiency, fair housing, Program News and Notices

HUD issues report to Congress on PNA rule

Posted by BEMuser on Oct 13, 2015 10:40:27 AM

PNA ruleThis week on the physical needs assessment (PNA) web page, HUD posted a report to Congress on the status of the PNA proposed rule. This week’s report, dated July 2015, follows HUD’s first PNA progress report issued in 2014. Congress directed HUD to expand upon the 2014 report to implement more detailed requirements for the PNA, specifically to:

  • Assess how the specific aspects of the PNA tool compare to PNAs utilized by HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing, and by unassisted housing managed by PHAs
  • Review if all data sought by the proposed PNA are necessary or if simplification of the tool makes sense from an oversight and management perspective
  • Reflect a department-wide effort to identify similar data collection requirements on PHAs to ensure no duplication or overlapping of requirements
  • Determine if the objective of the PNA can be achieved by alternative means such as, but not limited to, collection as part of HUD’s Line of Credit Control System, or the acceptance of multiple formats.

The PNA proposed rule was published in July 2011. Due to funding constraints impacting PHAs, HUD has delayed implementation of the rule and publication of a final rule. Since its 2014 report, HUD has decided not to require small PHAs (those with fewer than 250 public housing units under management) to perform a PNA. HUD has also decided to delay implementation of the more detailed energy audit standards to integrate with the PNA activity. The report concludes:

As demonstrated in both this report and our earlier report submitted in June 2014, the Department is working diligently to develop a PNA tool that provides the greatest value and the least burden to PHAs. The proposed PNA requirements for large PHAs are consistent with those required for other types of HUD assisted housing but are much less stringent. HUD has performed a comprehensive review of PNA/CNA and energy audit standards across the Department and has concluded that it is appropriate for public housing to employ a less burdensome PNA process because of the non-transactional nature of its use. The proposed rule nevertheless preserves baseline asset management principles inherent in standard industry PNA practices.

To stay updated, follow the #PNA tag to keep up with all related blog posts, or subscribe to the PIH Alert and receive a daily email with breaking news and analysis for PHAs and housing professionals. Does your agency need assistance with PNA planning and energy audits? NMA can help. Contact [email protected] for details.

Topics: energy efficiency, final rule, PIH Alert, PNA, Program News and Notices, proposed rule

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 NMA Housing Awards!

Posted by NMA on Oct 5, 2015 2:31:33 PM

Today at the third annual NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference in Miami, Nan McKay and Associates announced the four winners of the 2015 NMA Housing Awards. We first launched these awards nearly a decade ago to recognize excellence and innovation in the affordable housing industry.

Since then, we’ve been honored to read and evaluate a great number of worthy entries, and this year was no exception. Read on to learn more about this year’s winning agencies.

2015 Excellence in Housing

Fort Wayne Housing Authority

The Fort Wayne Housing Authority offers a truly remarkable spread of achievements, including a robust partnership with the City of Fort Wayne to help the homeless, a resident resource center that promotes self-sufficiency, a financial literacy program, a newly constructed energy-efficient senior housing community built with mixed financing, a newly constructed permanent supportive housing complex for young adults aging out of foster care, and an urban gardening program that has been so successful, participants are able to sell excess produce at a local farmer's market. 

2015 Excellence in Housing
(Honorable Mention)

Nevada Rural Housing Authority

Nevada Rural Housing Authority has long been a member of the Rural Nevada Continuum of Care (RNCoC), but in 2012, NRHA began chairing the organization and providing guidance to the state's small nonprofit and county social service agencies to improve assistance offered to the homeless. NRHA volunteered to lead the effort to create and implement centralized or coordinated intake centers, a complex task with no additional funding.

Through 2014, 11 centralized intake centers were created and the NRHA has become a clearinghouse of sorts for homeless rental assistance in rural Nevada.

2015 Pioneer in Housing
(Large Agency)

King County Housing Authority

King County Housing Authority has been working to address the lack of affordable housing and resulting homelessness in its community for decades. Recognized by HUD as a high-performing housing authority, KCHA was granted Moving to Work (MTW) status in 2003 to develop innovative responses to the region's housing crisis.

KCHA stepped up and took action by building strong community partnerships, aggressively pursuing all competitive voucher allocations, implementing flexible programs through MTW, and designing multiple supportive housing programs that have received local and national attention, including one of the nation's largest housing choice voucher programs for non-elderly persons with disabilities. 

2015 Pioneer in Housing
(Small Agency)

Housing Authority of the City of Freeport

The Housing Authority of the City of Freeport has received local, state, regional, and national recognition for the innovative ways in which it encourages and supports residents in achieving self-sufficiency. HACF offers services and programming above and beyond basic housing, including educational, employment, and empowerment opportunities. Its workforce training has graduated over 100 participants, and 90 percent of its graduates have retained employment.

With this success, HACF added youth programs and additional hands-on training, transforming the local workforce and helping its students achieve self-confidence and personal development.

The #NMAHousingAwards is an annual event created to honor agencies that build bridges to the future and generate real change in their communities and the affordable housing industry.

Topics: energy efficiency, foster children, literacy, mixed financing, MTW, NMA Housing Awards, Program News and Notices, seniors and elderly, The Housing Conference

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