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PIH Posts Implementation Guidance for HOTMA HCV and PBV Provisions

Posted by NMA on Nov 2, 2017 8:34:18 AM

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) recently released Notice PIH 2017-21, “Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) – Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Project-Based Voucher (PBV) Provisions.” The 67-page notice provides guidance on changes to the HCV and PBV programs as implemented in a Federal Register notice on January 18, 2017, in addition to superseding and consolidating guidance from prior PBV-related PIH notices.

As you recall, the January 18 Federal Register notice and subsequent technical corrections amended the definition of units owned by the PHA, and addressed various implementation requirements for the statutory changes to the PBV program set forth under HOTMA. The notice is organized as a set of individual attachments and appendices dedicated to each of the requirements touched upon in the original implementation notice, summarizing and offering additional insight and guidance on:

  • PHA-owned units
  • PHA-owned units and independent entities
  • Percentage limitation (program cap) and PHA submission requirements
  • PBV percentage limitation (10 percent increase for eligible units)
  • Income mixing requirement (project cap)
  • Units not subject to the program cap or project cap
  • PBV HAP contract initial term and extensions, including different scenarios
  • Priority of PBV HAP contracts
  • PBV biennial inspections
  • Adding units to the PBV HAP contract without competition
  • PBV HAP contract termination or expiration without extension
  • Attaching PBVs to certain PHA-owned projects without following a competitive process
  • Project-basing Family Unification Program (FUP) and HUD–Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers
  • PBV program cap calculation instructions
  • PHA plan, administrative plan, and other PBV topics
  • Reporting
  • HCV, homeownership, and PBV inspection requirements

As mentioned above, the notice also consolidates and supersedes a number of prior PBV-related PIH notices:

  • Notice PIH 2002-22, which aligns with current PBV regulations and was written before such regulations existed, is rescinded due to no longer being necessary.
  • Notice PIH 2006-16 is rescinded because PBV rents are no longer capped at the LIHTC rent as they once were, so “grandfathering” of PBV projects is no longer necessary.
  • Notice PIH 2011-54 is superseded due to the definition of PHA-owned units and the proposal selection process being revised by HOTMA. Much of this notice is unchanged, however, and is included in as part of Appendix II of today’s notice.
  • Notice PIH 2015-05 adopted with updates to VMS reporting to include the latest release of the VMS User’s Manual, and also amended where Sections II and III of that notice, on the maximum amount of PBV assistance and PHA-owned units, respectively, have been superseded by HOTMA.
  • Notice PIH 2015-10, which covered project-basing HUD-VASH vouchers, is superseded in its entirety now that HOTMA authorizes project-basing VASH vouchers (and FUP vouchers for that matter) without prior approval.

Other HOTMA provisions related to the PBV program that were not implemented in the January 18 Federal Register notice are likewise not covered in Notice PIH 2017-21. You can access the notice on this page, at HUD’s website.

To receive more updates and analysis like this on the latest HUD news, subscribe to NMA’s PIH Alert and receive a daily email with breaking stories and other important information for PHAs and housing professionals.

Topics: HOTMA, PBV, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, VASH, Industry News

2017 NMA Master Book updates

Posted by NMA on Sep 19, 2017 5:09:00 AM

master-book-updates.jpgNMA's revision services team has been working hard to get the latest editions of our Master Books written, published, and out to you! These books have been brought current with all recent regulatory updates, including HOTMA, VAWA 2013, and more. 

2017: For the 2017 revision, the NMA Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Master Book has been been brought current with all recent regulatory updates, in addition to making the following additions and clarifications:

  • Several additions and modifications to account for the impact of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program on FSS
  • Clarifications regarding the ability of ineligible immigrants to participate in FSS
  • Additional references for use in FSS program administration
  • Other corrections and changes for accuracy, logical flow, and ease of reading

2017: For the 2017 revision, the NMA HCV Executive Management Master Book has been been brought current with all recent HUD requirements and guidance, including the following:

  • Changes brought about by the final rule on small area fair market rents (SAFMRs), published November 16, 2016, specifically as relevant to rent reasonableness and changes in payment standard amounts
  • Modifications per the HOTMA implementation guidance published in the Federal Register on January 18, 2017, which revised some requirements for inspections, the
  • Project-Based Voucher program, and special housing types
  • Multiple revisions to account for changes brought about by the final rule implementing VAWA 2013, also published November 16, 2016
  • Other fair housing-related changes with respect to the OGC guidance on harassment and discriminatory practices, the use of nuisance ordinances, and limited English Proficiency, respectively
  • Other modifications for clarity, accuracy, and ease of reading

2017: For the 2017 revision, the NMA HCV Housing Qualty Standards Master Book has been completely revised, updated, and reformatted. This means that the book has an entirely new, streamlined look. The new book has likewise been brought current with all recent HUD requirements and guidance, edited for ease of reading, and is now presented in a more user-friendly format.

2017: For the 2017 revision, the NMA Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Master Book has been been brought current with all recent HUD requirements and guidance, including the following:

  • Changes with respect to moves with continued assistance as specified in Notice PIH 2016-09
  • Modifications regarding the definition of independent student set forth in the Additional Supplementary Guidance on the eligibility of independent students under Section 8, issued September 21, 2016
  • Multiple revisions to account for changes brought about by the final rule implementing VAWA 2013, published November 16, 2016, including the addition of a sample Emergency Transfer Plan and several new HUD-required forms
  • Changes brought about by the final rule on small area fair market rents (SAFMRs), also published November 16, 2016, specifically as relevant to rent reasonableness and changes in payment standard amounts
  • Revision of rent reasonableness criteria under the Project-Based Voucher program, and the addition of a completely new section on administering PBVs under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD PBV)
  • Updated reference citations for consistency as well as other minor modifications for clarity, accuracy, and ease of reading

2017: For the 2017 revision, the NMA Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) Master Book includes the following revision:

  • An explanation of PHAS scoring for conversions under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program

In addition, revision service subscribers and customers who purchase the product for the first time along with the revision service will also receive a copy of NMA’s Public Housing Occupancy Tool and its accompanying instructions for use (a $249 value). This tool allows agencies to track occupancy data by development as well as portfolio, do trend analysis, and spot problem areas quickly. A large portion of the PHAS score is dependent upon keeping your units filled, and this tool can help to ensure there are no surprises when it comes time for HUD’s evaluation.

2017: For 2017, the NMA Public Housing Management (PHM) Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory updates, including:

  • Sweeping changes brought about by the Streamlining Administration Regulations Final Rule, issued March 8, 2016, including modifications regarding verification, utility reimbursements, annual and interim reexaminations, and proration of assistance for mixed families, among other areas of program administration
  • Implementation guidance on the streamlining rule as described in Notices PIH 2016-05 and PIH 2016-06
  • Modifications for the final rule implementing VAWA 2013, issued November 16, 2016
  • Modifications for the final rule Instituting Smoke-Free Housing in Public Housing, issued December 5, 2016
  • Other minor modifications and clarifications to bring the content current with HUD regulations and guidance

2017: The 2017 edition of the NMA Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS) Master Book CD has been brought current with all regulatory guidance, resources, and tools, including:

  • The addition of UPCS Guidance and Protocol Clarifications from May 2016
  • The addition of Inspector Notice 2016-03 on UPCS deficiencies and industry standard repairs
  • Removal of obsolete software and other outdated reference materials

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, FSS, HOTMA, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, public housing management, RAD, UPCS, VAWA

Legislative Update with Nan McKay

Posted by NMA on Aug 2, 2017 11:48:32 AM

The Housing Conference | August 21-22, 2017 | Boston, MA

While serving as executive director of a Minnesota housing authority, Nan McKay started one of the nation’s first Section 8 programs. She has previously written for the NMA blog on the topic of executive management and high performance as well as stories from her fifty years in the housing industry.

With three decades of experience in welfare and public housing, Annie Stevenson shares her expertise in many ways at NMA, serving as a trainer to thousands of housing authority staff every year; as a technical researcher who analyzes and deciphers new HUD regulations; and as a technical writer, contributing to NMA Master Books, seminars, and model policies as well as writing the popular daily PIH Alert. Nan and Annie will be presenting the following session at The Housing Conference.

Regulatory Knowledge for Smart Management

Legislative Update with Nan McKay

Presenters:
Nan McKay, President, NMA
Annie Stevenson, Senior Trainer and Technical Writer, NMA

Learn “the latest and greatest” from technical expert Annie Stevenson and get the overall legislative perspective from Nan McKay. This is always one of our most popular sessions; don’t miss it! Nan and Annie will fill us in on the most important changes of 2017, plus a forecast of what’s ahead for 2018.

 

Learn more

 

Nan, Annie, and many other incredible presenters will be available for limited free one-hour Q&A sessions at the The Housing Conference this month in Boston, MA. Registered participants can sign up on a first-come, first-served basis now. Register online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: Executive Team, final rule, HOTMA, Program News and Notices, The Housing Conference

HUD Publishes Technical Corrections to HOTMA Implementation Notice

Posted by NMA on Jul 17, 2017 9:08:21 AM

technical corrects HOTMA implementation noticeOn Friday in the Federal Register, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published several technical corrections and clarifications to the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) provisions of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) it had issued on January 18. These changes are in part based on public comments from the first notice. In brief, the corrections and clarifications are as follows:

  • The original notice used the phrase ‘‘50 percent or more’’ to define a level of control that constitutes a controlling interest and would thus indicate PHA ownership. The threshold for control should be ‘‘more than 50 percent’’ rather than ‘‘50 percent or more.’’
  • The original notice inadvertently excluded from the list of excepted units those units that have received assistance under Section 201 of the Housing and Community Development Amendments of 1978. Today’s notice adds the Flexible Subsidy program in both lists.
  • The original document inadvertently referred to the ‘‘site of the original public housing development’’ instead of ‘‘site of the original development.’’ To avoid any indication that this requirement is only applicable to former public housing units as opposed to all the covered forms of HUD assistance, ‘‘public housing’’ is removed from this part.
  • The original guidance states that ‘‘if the FSS family fails to successfully complete the FSS contract of participation or supportive services objective and consequently is no longer eligible for the supportive services, the family must vacate the unit…and the PHA shall cease paying housing assistance payments on behalf of the ineligible family.’’ To avoid misinterpretation that could imply that a PHA could, under HOTMA, establish a supportive services exception based exclusively on participation in FSS, rather than in combination with another supportive services option where participation is voluntary, and to avoid being misconstrued that this conflicts with current FSS requirements, which do not allow termination from the housing assistance program for failure to complete the FSS contract of participation, HUD has amended this language to eliminate the ambiguities.
  • The definition of new construction units was previously inconsistent in the January 18 guidance, and has been updated to be both correct and consistent in sections referring to project-based voucher (PBV) assistance.
  • HUD stated in the original document that in order to avail itself of the exemption of the competitive award of PBVs, the PHA must “be planning rehabilitation or construction on the project with a minimum of $25,000 per unit in hard costs.” However, because this would not be applicable in a situation where the PHA is replacing a public housing site or property, or a site with PHA-owned or controlled existing housing, several corrections to Section H of the notice have been made.
  • Other typographical errors have also been corrected, as specified in today’s notice.

In a separate correction entry for the January 18 notice, PIH also noted that the original document had been published in the Proposed Rules section of the Federal Register, when it should have appeared in the Rules section. The effective date for the original notice—April 18, 2017—remains unchanged.

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: HOTMA, HQS, inspections, PBV, PIH notices, Program News and Notices, rent calculation, seniors and elderly, VASH, veterans, persons with disabilities

Big Changes to the PBV Program

Posted by NMA on Jun 22, 2017 7:00:00 AM

HOTMA and RAD Changes
HOTMA and RAD changesOn January 18, 2017, HUD published a Federal Register Notice implementing several of the major provisions of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA). Provisions of this notice impact both the standard and RAD project-based voucher (PBV) programs. The important thing to note about this notice is that the effective date was April 18, 2017. This means that whether or not some of the major provisions apply to your project depends on when the project’s PBV HAP contract was signed.

  • Both standard and RAD projects with PBV HAP contracts in place prior to 4/18/17 are “pre-HOTMA” projects
  • Both standard and RAD projects with PBV HAP contracts executed on or after April 18, 2017 are subject to the new requirements

Further if your PBV units are public housing conversions to RAD PBV, another important notice was released on January 19, 2017. Notice PIH 2012-32, REV-3 revised the existing RAD notice (PIH 2012-32, REV-2) that had been in effect since June 15, 2015.

  • All programmatic requirements in REV-3 were effective 1/19/17
  • Properties that closed before 1/19/17 are subject to REV-2 of the notice

Taken together, this means that there are some very important dates in PBV program, particularly if your units are RAD PBV:

  • For both standard and RAD PBV projects:
    • PHAs with HAP contracts effective prior to 4/18/17 are pre-HOTMA (although the may adopt certain aspects of HOTMA prospectively)
    • PHAs with HAP contracts effective on or after 4/18/17 are post-HOTMA and fall under FR Notice 1/18/17
  • For RAD PBV projects only:
    • PHAs who closed their RAD deal prior to 1/19/17 fall under REV-2 of Notice PIH 2012-32
    • PHAs who closed their RAD deal on or after 1/19/17 fall under REV-3 of Notice PIH 2012-32

Cap on Assisted Units
Let’s look at one area that effected by these dates - the number of units in your project that may receive PBV assistance.

For the standard PBV program, HOTMA changes the number of units that may be assisted in a project.

  • For pre-HOTMA projects, no more than 25 percent of the units (assisted or unassisted) in the project can receive PBV assistance, unless the project has excepted units
  • For projects that fall under HOTMA requirements, HOTMA changed the cap to no more than the greater of 25 units or 25 percent of units in a project, unless the project has excepted units
Note: The definition of excepted units also changed, which will be discussed more later.

What if your PHA has RAD PBV units?
  • Under REV-2 of Notice PIH 2012-32, the cap on the number of PBV units in a project is 50 percent, unless the project has excepted units
  • REV-3 of Notice PIH 2012-32 eliminated the cap on the number of PBV units entirely so excepted units no longer apply to these projects since 100 percent of units in a project may now be RAD PBV

Excepted Units
As noted above, HOTMA also changed the definition of excepted units. Pre-HOTMA PBV HAP contracts (both RAD and standard) follow the “old” statutory PBV requirements found at 24 983.56(b)(2)(ii). Projects with HAP contract executed on or after 4/18/17 (in this case just standard PBV projects since the RAD PBV cap was eliminated) follow the new requirements that were implemented as a result of HOTMA.

Under the “old” statutory requirements, for both standard and RAD projects, the cap did not apply to units for:

  • Elderly and/or disabled families
  • Families receiving supportive services
    • To qualify, the family must have at least one member receiving at least one qualifying supportive service (the PHA may not require participation in medical or disability-related services other than drug and alcohol treatment)

Under the new HOTMA provisions, for standard PBV projects, units that are not subject to the cap include:

  • Units that are exclusively for elderly families
  • Units that are for households eligible for supportive services available to all families receiving PBV assistance in the project, although the family is not required to accept or receive such services
  • Units where the project is located in a census tract with a poverty rate of 20 percent or less, as determined in the most recent American Community Survey Five-Year estimates

Supportive Services
When it comes to excepted units, the big change under HOTMA is that it modified the supportive services component to make it optional. Now, in order to meet this exception, the PHA must make supportive services reasonably available to families at the project, but the PHA may not require participation as a condition of living in an excepted unit. Remember under the pre-HOTMA requirements a family must have at least one member receiving at least one qualifying supportive service to qualify.

Projects under the old pre-HOTMA regulations (PBV HAP contracts executed prior to 4/18/17) may continue to follow the “old” regulations and require families to receive at least one supportive service. However, HOTMA allows the PHA and owner to mutually agree to change the HAP contract and make supportive services optional. The change can only be made if it would not jeopardize an assisted family’s eligibility for continued assistance. So PHAs with projects that have excepted units for supportive services that fall under the old requirements have a decision to make – they can either continue to make supportive services mandatory and monitor families who receive them or they can, by mutual agreement with the owner, make them optional. The PHA cannot eliminate supportive services entirely at these developments.

FSS and PBV Supportive Services
A very popular type of supportive service that many PHAs couple with PBV is the Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program. Under both the “old” and “new” PBV regulations, if the family enrolls in FSS and does not comply with their contract of participation, the family must vacate the unit.

  • Federal Register Notice 1/18/17 states: If the FSS family fails to successfully complete the FSS contract of participation or supportive services objective and consequently is no longer eligible for the supportive services, the family must vacate the unit within a reasonable period of time
  • 24 CFR 983.56(b)(2)(ii)(B) states: If a family in an excepted unit fails without good cause to complete its FSS contract of participation or if the family fails to complete the supportive services requirement as outlined in the PHA administrative plan, the PHA will take the actions provided under 983.262(d), and the owner may terminate the lease in accordance with 983.257(c).

While the current termination regulations at 24 CFR 982.552(c)(1)(viii) allow the PHA to adopt a discretionary termination in the administrative plan for failure comply without good cause with the FSS contract of participation, the 12/29/14 Federal Register Notice on FSS waivers and alternative requirements states that "housing assistance may not be terminated or withheld as a consequence of failure to complete the FSS contractor participation.” In the situation where a PBV family participating in FSS does not comply with their FSS contract of participation, the PBV regulations require that the family’s tenancy in the PBV unit is terminated, but the PHA could not terminate the family’s assistance.

Questions about HOTMA implementation? Join senior trainer Samantha Sowards for our upcoming Housing Help Session, Changes to the PBV Program, where she will discuss HUD's HOTMA implementation notice and its affects on the project-based voucher (PBV) program.  

Topics: FSS, HOTMA, PBV, RAD

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