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HUD Releases Additional Resources on SAFMR Implementation

Posted by NMA on Mar 21, 2018 2:23:09 PM

Recently on HUD Exchange, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) posted several new resources to aid in the implementation of the Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMR) final rule. Chief among these resources is a new guidebook, which provides guidance and practical examples for PHAs implementing SAFMRs. Topics covered in the guidebook include the policy background of SAFMRs, how SAFMRs will affect payment standards, and administrative and programmatic impacts of the rule.

In addition to the guidebook, HUD has also posted several other resources providing additional information and guidance on the rule. These include:

You can find links to all of these resources here, on the Small Area Fair Market Rents webpage, at HUD Exchange.

Does SAFMR implementation sound like a headache for your time-crunched, budget-burdened agency? Let us take on that project for you. We’ll conduct rent burden analyses, analyze vacancy rates, and conduct other required actions to ensure you’re in full compliance with all HUD rules and regulations. Click here to learn more

Topics: FMR, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, Industry News, SAFMR

PIH Posts 2018 Admin Fee Rates

Posted by NMA on Feb 20, 2018 11:05:08 AM

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) posted the 2018 administrative fee tables for the voucher program. As a document accompanying the tables explains, there are two fee rates for each PHA, Column A and Column B. As usual, the Column A rate applies to the first 7,200 unit months leased in calendar year (CY) 2018, and the Column B rate applies to all remaining unit months leased. These fees apply to PHA-owned units as well as to non-PHA-owned units. As the document also explains:

  • PIH will once again follow a “hold harmless” rule. So PHAs that would otherwise have seen their fee rates go down in 2018 will receive the 2017 rates instead.
  • The fee rates for each PHA are those rates covering the areas in which each PHA has the greatest proportion of its participants. A PHA with participants in more than one fee area may request that the PIH office establish a blended fee rate schedule that will consider proportionately all areas in which participants are located. Once a blended rate schedule is calculated, it will be used to determine the PHA’s fee eligibility for all quarters of CY 2018. A PHA that received a blended fee rate schedule for 2017 will not receive it automatically for 2018. Instructions for applying and the deadline date for submitting requests will be detailed in the 2018 HCV funding implementation notice.
  • A PHA that operates over multiple counties may request higher administrative fees. To request higher fees, a PHA must submit specific financial documents to the Financial Management Center (FMC). Documents, submission requirements, and the deadline date for submitting requests will be detailed in the upcoming implementation notice.
  • Current administrative fee disbursements are based on the most recent leasing data available and an estimated proration. PHAs should not assume that the fees actually earned for CY 2018 will match the funds being disbursed. Each PHA’s fee eligibility will be calculated after the Voucher Management System (VMS) data for each quarter is available. Each PHA’s fees will be prorated if necessary to ensure that fees granted do not exceed appropriated funds.
  • Due to the new billing requirements under the final portability rule, receiving PHAs must calculate the lesser of 80% of the initial PHA’s column B administrative fee rate (then prorated to the national proration level) or 100% of their own column B administrative fee rate (then prorated to the national proration level). The PHA may use a national proration rate of 77% for CY 2018 billings. Going forward, although the national proration level will change, the “lesser of” calculation provided in the final portability rule will continue. An example of the prorated calculation is provided.
  • In addition to the voucher program, the 2018 administrative fee rates apply to the Moderate Rehabilitation program and the Five-Year Mainstream program.

You’ll find links to the 2018 administrative fee tables and the document that accompanies them on the HCV home page.

Topics: financial management, PIH Alert, PIH notices, portability, Program News and Notices, Industry News

HUD Publishes Notice for CDBG Disaster Recovery Grantees

Posted by NMA on Feb 15, 2018 9:16:52 AM

Recently 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 2017 Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) grantees. Specifically, the notice allocates $7.39 billion in CDBG-DR funds and covers the following:

  • Allocations
  • Use of funds
  • Management and oversight of funds
  • Authority to grant waivers
  • Overview of the grant process
  • Applicable rules, statutes, waivers, and alternative requirements
  • Grant administration
  • Housing and related flood plain issues
  • Infrastructure
  • Economic revitalization
  • Certifications and collection of information
  • Duration of funding
  • Catalog of federal domestic assistance
  • Finding of “no significant impact”

The notice also contains an appendix on 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.

Through CDBG disaster recovery (CDBG-DR) assistance, HUD helps communities and neighborhoods that otherwise might not recover due to limited resources. Nan McKay & Associates can help you prepare for disasters through our more than 35 years of experience assisting agencies, cities, and communities. From land use planning to housing rehabilitation, click here to find out how NMA can help.

Topics: CDBG, Program News and Notices, CDBG-DR, Industry News

HUD Issues Guidance on SAFMR Final Rule

Posted by NMA on Jan 25, 2018 5:00:00 AM

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) recently issued Notice PIH 2018-01 providing guidance on recent changes in fair market rent (FMR), payment standard, and rent reasonable requirements set forth in the Small Area FMR (SAFMR) final rule. As you know, in August of last year HUD exercised its authority to suspend SAFMRs for 23 out of the 24 designated areas that would have gone into effect on October 1, 2017. However, in late December, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia entered a preliminary injunction voiding that suspension, meaning that the mandatory use of SAFMRs is now in effect for all 24 areas (listed in Appendix A of the notice). PHAs must now complete the SAFMR implementation as quickly as possible—no later than April 1, 2018. The notice is meant to help with that task, allowing PHAs to better understand their options under the final rule.

  • The notice primarily summarizes the changes and requirements specified in the final rule, with some examples and additional guidance provided for implementation purposes. Highlights include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • he notice provides scenarios that may apply when a new payment standard schedule goes into effect, i.e., specifically when to use the old vs. the new payment standard schedule.
  • HUD recommends that PHAs provide both the old and new payment standard schedules to families issued a voucher whose search term extends beyond the effective date of the new schedule.
  • PHAs adopting an exception payment standard area must revise their briefing materials to make families aware of the exception payment standard and the area it covers.
  • The notice provides policy possibilities that may be adopted if there is a decrease in the payment standard schedule during the term of a family’s HAP contract.
  • Where the PHA chooses to reduce the payment standard for a family under HAP contract, the initial reduction cannot take place before the effective date of the family’s second regular reexam following the effective date of the decrease—meaning PHAs must conduct a reexamination of family income and composition at least annually. This is the case even if the PHAs had implemented a streamlined income determination for fixed-income families.
  • Notice to families is required for any reduction in payment standard, even if choosing to do so gradually. Appendix B of the notice provides tips for strengthening written notices to such families.
  • HUD recommends that any agency required to adopt SAFMRs review the SAFMRs for the fiscal year prior to mandatory adoption to estimate the effect of moving from metropolitan area FMRs (MAFMRs) to SAFMRs, and to use this to inform its policy.
  • The notice provides various considerations PHAs can use to evaluate whether to “opt in” to using SAFMRs. Of course, such agencies must request approval from HUD to voluntary adopt SAFMRs.
  • The notice provides examples of “grouping” by ZIP code areas for agencies adopting SAFMRs, since the percent of the SAFMR that the payment standard equals may vary between different unit sizes and from ZIP code area to ZIP code area, and PHAs have the flexibility to do so.
  • The notice also offers various considerations and recommendations for whether an agency should adopt SAFMRs for its Project-Based Voucher (PBV) program, including examples.
  • The vouchers of families who port will be administered according to the policies of the receiving PHA (RHA)—if the RHA is operating under SAFMRs, the family’s voucher will be administered using SAFMRs. If the RHA is not, the family’s voucher will not.
  • If the use of SAFMRs has been designated for a metropolitan area or the PHA has voluntarily chosen to use SAFMRs, the SAFMRs would apply to all tenant-based vouchers, including special housing vouchers such as single room occupancy (SRO) and the homeownership option.
  • MTW PHAs are exempt from the requirement to use SAFMRs if that agency has an alternative payment standards policy in its HUD-approved Annual MTW plan.
  • With regard to the transition out 50th percentile rents over a three-year period, if the PHA scored the maximum number of points on the SEMAP deconcentration bonus indicator in the prior year or in two of the last three years, then upon expiration of the three-year period, the PHA may request HUD approval of payment standard amounts based on the 50th percentile rent. The request must be made to the local HUD field office during the period between the release of the revised FMRs and the effective date of those FMRs.
  • For PHAs requesting a suspension of the SAFMR designation for the metro area due to an adverse housing market condition, the PHA must administer more than 50 percent of the vouchers leased in that metro area. The notice also defines what constitutes an adverse housing market condition.

In addition to developing this guidance, HUD has also established a set of FAQs specific to SAFMRs, available here. Questions may be sent to SAFMRs@hud.gov.

Does SAFMR implementation sound like a headache for your time-crunched, budget-burdened agency? Let us take on that project for you. We’ll conduct rent burden analyses, analyze vacancy rates, and conduct other required actions to ensure you’re in full compliance with all HUD rules and regulations. Click here to learn more

Topics: FMR, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, Industry News, SAFMR

HUD Posts Contingency Plan in Case of Lapse in Appropriations

Posted by NMA on Jan 19, 2018 11:57:14 AM

HUD Posts Continugency Plan in Case of Lapse in AppropriationThis morning the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) posted a contingency plan to provide guidance for PHAs in the event of a lapse in appropriations. The 86-page PDF document outlines general guidance and legal decisions, guidance for program operations by HUD office, legal issues, internal and external communications plans, critical information technology and systems infrastructure, contract support, and other topics. The document also contains three appendices, one that includes drafted templates for internal communications, one with FAQs for external stakeholders, and one listing excepted employees by office and exception or exemption. For specific program operations guidance for HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH), see page 8 of the document.

HUD has also posted a 29-page FAQ document titled “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in the Event of a Government Shutdown.” The FAQs applicable to PIH programs begin on page 16.

Topics: appropriations, government shutdown, Program News and Notices, Industry News

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