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HUD requests comments on AFFH changes

Posted by Annie Stevenson on Aug 16, 2018 2:36:17 PM

Today in the Federal Register, HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking public comment on amendments to HUD’s affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH) regulations. As we reported on Monday, HUD issued a press release regarding the publication of this notice requesting comments with the goal to offer more helpful guidance to states and local communities to effectively promote fair housing choice. While public comment is not limited to the following, HUD is particularly interested in comments centering on these questions:

  • What type of community participation and consultation should program participants undertake in fulfilling their AFFH obligations?
  • How should the rule weigh the costs and benefits of data collection and analysis?
  • How should PHAs report their AFFH plans and progress?
  • Should the proposed rule specify the types of obstacles to fair housing that program participants must address as part of their AFFH efforts, or should program participants be able to determine the number and types of obstacles to address?
  • How much deference should jurisdictions be provided in establishing objectives to address obstacles to identified fair housing goals, and associated metrics and milestones for measuring progress?

Comments are due by October 15, 2018. Further details, including background on the rule’s review and how to submit comments, can be found in the notice.

In a related blog post today, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) explained how HUD’s proposed changes to the AFFH rule are inconsistent with research on the effect of neighborhoods on the well-being of children and adults.

Also today on the HUD channel at YouTube, HUD posted a video on the basics of the Fair Housing Act. The nearly 90-minute training video includes detailed explanations of the protections provided by the act and discusses the continued relevance of the law.

Learn more about fair housing regs

Topics: fair housing, proposed rule, Industry News

HUD publishes disaster recovery funding notice

Posted by Annie Stevenson on Aug 14, 2018 5:00:00 PM

Today in the Federal Register, HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) published a notice on the allocations, common application, waivers, and alternative requirements for funds allocated to address unmet needs from disasters that occurred in 2017. This $10.03 billion allocation supplements the $7.4 billion in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds previously granted in February. The funds are part of the $28 billion allocated on April 10, 2018 under the Further Additional Supplemental appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2018. Specifically, the notice allocates the additional funding to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and covers the following:

  • Allocations
  • Use of funds
  • Overview of the grant process
  • Duration of funding
  • Catalog of federal domestic assistance
  • Finding of “no significant impact”

The notice also contains an appendix detailing the methodology used in the allocation of CDBG-DR funds to the most impacted and distressed areas due to 2017 federally declared disasters. Further details can be found in the notice.

Learn more about preparing for a disaster

Topics: disaster programs, CDBG-DR, Industry News

HUD Approves Disaster Recovery Plans

Posted by Annie Stevenson on Jul 13, 2018 11:40:06 AM

In a press release this week, HUD announced that it is approving a disaster recovery plan to help the U.S. Virgin Islands recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The action plan is funded through the Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG–DR) program, where HUD allocated $243 million in November 2017. As part of the action plan, various programs have been designed to address unmet needs that the U.S. Virgin Islands have identified in housing, infrastructure, and economic development recovery. More about these programs can be found in the press release. HUD also notes that for the additional $1.621 billion in CDBG–DR funding it allocated to the U.S. Virgin Islands back in April for similar purposes, HUD will be shortly issuing requirements governing those funds, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with other states allocated CDBG–DR funds, will be required to submit plans addressing the use of those funds as well.

HUD recently issued a press release to announce that it has approved a $616 million disaster recovery plan to help Florida recover from Hurricane Irma. The grant is through the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program and will support the repair of damaged homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure in the state. In April, HUD allocated an additional $791 million of CDBG-DR funding to Florida for unmet need, infrastructure and mitigation purposes.

HUD also announced that it has approved a $5 billion disaster recovery plan to help Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey. The CDBG-DR funds will support long-term recovery efforts. An additional $4.726 billion was allocated in April for unmet need, infrastructure and mitigation purposes.

Learn more about preparing for a disaster

Topics: disaster programs, CDBG-DR, Industry News

HUD Publishes Two RAD Notices, Schedules Q&A

Posted by Annie Stevenson on Jul 12, 2018 10:37:17 AM

Last week HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published two Federal Register notices concerning the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. Both notices implement program changes under the fiscal year (FY) 2018 appropriations act.

The first notice, titled “Rental Assistance Demonstration: Implementation of Certain Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Appropriations Act Provisions,” describes the following changes to RAD’s first and second components.

RAD First Component (Public Housing Conversions)

The 2018 appropriations act authorized an increase in the cap on public housing conversions to 455,000. Properties currently on the waiting list that receive awards will have rents based on modified FY 2016 public housing levels.
At the end of the calendar year, HUD will calculate RAD rents based on FY 2018 operating fund, capital fund, and tenant rent levels (“FY 18 RAD rents”) and any new awards made after January 1, 2019, will use these rent levels.
Any PHAs that submitted “letters of interest” to reserve their position on the waiting list have 60 days to submit a complete RAD application, portfolio award request, or multi-phase award requested for the number of units included in their letter of interest. HUD has sent an email to these PHAs notifying them of this deadline.
HUD is establishing a simpler process for PHAs to withdraw and reapply for RAD in order to receive more current rent levels.

RAD Second Component (Rent Supp, RAP, Mod Rehab, SRO)

Conversion of properties assisted by Section 202 supportive housing for the elderly (202 PRACs) will be addressed in a later notice.
Conversions of Rent Supp and RAP projects in high-cost areas shall have initial rents set at comparable market rents for the market area.
Second component conversions may not be the basis for re-screening or termination of assistance or eviction of any tenant family, and such families will not be considered new admissions for any purpose.

The PIH office also published a Federal Register notice titled “Rental Assistance Demonstration: Supplemental Guidance on Final Notice.” The notice announces revisions to Notice PIH 2012-32/H-2017-03 (the “RAD notice”) pursuant to yesterday’s release of Notice PIH 2018-11. The RAD statute requires that all changes to the RAD notice must be published in the Federal Register at least 10 days prior to implementation. The new guidance makes five changes to the Revision 3 notice:

  • It authorizes a streamlined conversion option for some small PHAs with 50 or fewer public housing units.
  • It expands “rent bundling” flexibility to allow PHAs to blend the subsidy between RAD project-based voucher (PBV) and non-RAD PBV contracts.
  • PHAs will be permitted to establish project-specific utility allowances, allowing for increased rents due to reductions in utility costs.
  • A higher developer fee will be allowed for owners who adopt a waiting list preference for households exiting homelessness or permanent supportive housing.
  • It preserves resident relocation rights under demolition/disposition actions.

This week the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced via RADBlast! that it has archived a Q&A webinar on these new notices. Both the recording of the webinar and the slide deck are available on the RAD Resource Desk.

The RADBlast! also announced that due to technical issues, some of those who originally had registered for the webinar were unable to participate. As a result, HUD is hosting another session for additional Q&A on the two notices this Friday, July 13, at 2:30 p.m. eastern time. To register for tomorrow's webinar, click here. To join the RADBlast! mailing list, click here.

Learn more about RAD

Topics: PIH notices, Q&A, RAD, Industry News

HUD Suspends AFFH Implementation

Posted by Annie Stevenson on May 23, 2018 12:46:36 PM

Today in the Federal Register, HUD published three notices concerning its suspension of implementation of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) final rule. Draft versions of the notices were posted on May 18 with an accompanying press release.

The notices include:

In January, HUD announced the extension of the deadline for submission of an assessment of fair housing (AFH) by local government consolidated plan program participants until at least 2020. Earlier this month, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) announced that it filed a fair housing complaint against HUD over suspension of implementation of the AFFH rule.

In today’s first notice, HUD announces that it is withdrawing its January AFH suspension notice. In the second notice, HUD announces its withdrawal of the local government assessment tool “because it is inadequate to accomplish its purpose of guiding program participants to produce meaningful AFHs.” The third notice states that without the assessment tool there can be no AFH, and by extension the AFFH rule and its other components cannot be implemented. Any local government that has not yet submitted an AFH that has been accepted by HUD must instead conduct an analysis of impediments (AI), which was required prior to 2015.

For more information, see the AFFH page on HUD Exchange.

Topics: fair housing, final rule, Industry News

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