Affordable Housing News

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

OCI revises capital fund guidebook

Posted by NMA on Apr 15, 2016 10:34:19 AM

This week on the Office of Capital Improvements (OCI) website, HUD posted a revised version of the Capital Fund Guidebook. The new, undated version replaces the original guidebook, which was dated August 2015. While the 2015 version was numbered “Handbook 7600.1,” the new version does not have a handbook number.

The following brief announcement was posted to the OCI home page:

The capital fund guidebook details the requirements contained under the public housing capital fund program final rule, including but not limited to eligible and ineligible activities and cost limits; decoupling of the capital fund from the PHA plan submission; replacement housing factor grants (RHF) and demolition and disposition transitional funding (DDTF); changes in obligation and expenditure end dates and close-out requirements; emergency, non-presidentially declared natural disaster, and safety and security grant program requirements; streamlined mixed-finance and other public housing modernization and development requirements; changes to demonstration programs such as RAD and MTW; and capital fund rule impact on security interests and financing activities.

Got questions about RAD, MTW, and the capital fund? Don’t miss the The Housing Conference this September in San Antonio, Texas, where NMA's Carrol Vaughan and other industry experts will address hot topics around those issues. Register online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: capital fund, final rule, mixed financing, MTW, Program News and Notices, public housing conversion, RAD, The Housing Conference

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

How does the capital fund final rule affect PHAs? Part IV

Posted by BEMuser on Sep 4, 2014 9:52:34 AM

Late last year, HUD published the much-anticipated capital fund final rule in the Federal Register. Effective November 25, 2013, the new regulation combined and streamlined former capital fund program (CFP) requirements for rehabilitation and development into one comprehensive regulation.

It goes without saying that while much has remained the same, some significant changes have occurred, and understanding these changes is crucial for efficient and uniform program implementation and management. We hope that this blog series will provide you not only with an overview of the final rule, but also the answers to some questions you many have, and that it will ultimately help you navigate these changes.

What do I need to know about changes to mixed-finance requirements?

The capital fund final rule requires submission of evidentiary documents for mixed-finance projects at HUD's discretion. It also eliminates the requirement for a separate waiver to use identity of interest approvals as part of the development process. Separate waivers are no longer required.

And energy efficiency?

The rule puts into regulation that Energy Star appliances are eligible capital fund costs. It also implements the 009 Energy Conservation Code (IEDD) or ASHRAE standard 90-1-2010 for multifamily highrises (four stories or higher, which is consistent with the standard used in over 40 states throughout the U.S.). Accordingly, all modernization projects must be designed and constructed with cost-effective energy conservation measures identified in the PHA's most recently updated energy audit. PHAs must purchase appliances that are Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) or Energy Star-designed products, although exceptions will be given if the purchase of these appliances is not cost-effective.

While public housing funds may not be used to pay for housing construction costs (HCCs) and community renewal costs in excess of the total development cost (TDC) limit, under the final rule, PHAs may request a TDC exception for integrated utility management, capital planning, and other capital and management activities that promote energy conservation and efficiency.

Resources

We hope that this summary helps to make the capital fund final rule more understandable. For more information about the provisions of the final rule, our Capital Fund Program seminar provides an in-depth look. You can also access the final rule in the Federal Register here.

Kaylene Holvenstot has been a technical writer at NMA since 2008. She contributes to and edits NMA Master Books, seminars, and model policies while researching and analyzing the latest HUD guidance to ensure that all course material is always up to date and fully accurate.

Looking for more in-depth analysis of PIH notices and proposed, interim, and final rules, plus much more, in a daily email? Try a free 30-day trial subscription to the PIH Alert. Email sales@nanmckay.com to get started.

Topics: capital fund, energy efficiency, final rule, green building, mixed financing, Trainers and Consultants, utilities

How to Avoid Noncompliance: Blended Occupancy

Posted by BEMuser on Jul 1, 2014 11:06:53 AM

Sheryl Putnam NMA professional development manager Sheryl Putnam will be presenting a session on blended occupancy at this year’s NMA Housing Conference

As NMA's professional development manager, Sheryl Putnam spearheaded the development of our new Blended Occupancy Management and Fundamentals of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Management certification seminars. Prior to joining Nan McKay and Associates in 2011, she managed the compliance department for a state housing finance agency, providing compliance oversight activities for the LIHTC, PBRA, and HOME programs. Sheryl recently wrote a series for the NMA blog about blended occupancy projects and will be presenting the following session at the 2014 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference.

Ensuring Compliance and Maximizing Financial Resources

How to Avoid Noncompliance: Blended Occupancy
Presenter, Sheryl Putnam

Managing housing developments with multiple funding sources can be complicated. Requirements from multiple oversight agencies need to be satisfied, and there's an overall lack of guidance on how to operate blended developments, since each monitoring agency audits for compliance with its own program requirements. Because penalties for noncompliance can be severe, this session will explore some of the most complicated compliance areas, including:

  • Applying income limits and income targeting requirements
  • Applying correct rent limits/restrictions
  • Understanding and applying the LIHTC and Section 8 student rules
  • Differences in income and asset calculation and verification
  • Applying utility allowances correctly

Sheryl and other industry experts will be available for limited free one-hour consulting sessions at the 2014 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference. Registered participants can sign up on a first-come, first-served basis starting July 14. Register online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: blended occupancy, GoSection8, income limits, LIHTC, mixed financing, The Housing Conference, Trainers and Consultants, utilities

HUD issues implementation notice for appropriations act changes

Posted by BEMuser on Jun 25, 2014 12:11:28 PM

This morning HUD published a Federal Register notice implementing program changes contained in the 2014 appropriations act. Like last month’s implementation notice on flat rents (Notice PIH 2014-12), today’s notice will serve as interim guidance pending HUD rulemaking. The effective date for the changes discussed in the notice is July 1.

➤  PHA Consortia: The appropriations act changes the definition of “public housing agency” to include a PHA consortium. While PHAs may request waivers of existing restrictions, HUD notes that it will not approve any consortium for administration of multifamily project-based Section 8 contracts.

➤  Biennial Inspections: In the voucher program, PHAs may now elect to conduct housing quality standards (HQS) inspections biennially rather than annually for assisted units. According to the notice, HUD is implementing this change on a limited basis pending stakeholder input through future rulemaking.

The option to perform biennial inspections applies to assisted units during the term of a HAP contract. PHAs must still perform inspections prior to executing a HAP contract, and on an interim basis when requested by a family or government official. For units which have been inspected during the last 12 months, PHAs may reinspect within 24 months of the most recent inspection. For units which have not been inspected within the past 12 months, PHAs must conduct an annual inspection, and may then schedule the next inspection within 24 months.

The new rule does not require PHAs to adopt a 24-month inspection cycle. PHAs may inspect more frequently if they wish to do so. SEMAP scores will reflect the new requirement.

The rule also permits PHAs to substitute “alternative inspections” for required HQS inspections in some circumstances. After submitting a certification to HUD, the PHA could accept inspection results from the HOME program, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, or similar sources.

For mixed-finance properties, HUD will address changes to inspection requirements in the rulemaking process rather than in this interim notice. Meanwhile, PHAs may adopt biennial inspection policies or alternative inspection methods for these properties.

➤  Definition of Extremely Low Income: In the appropriations act, Congress broadened the definition of “extremely low income (ELI) family” to include families whose income does not exceed the federal poverty level. Under the prior rule, only families whose income did not exceed 30 percent of area median income qualified as ELI.

HUD’s income targeting rule requires that during the PHA’s fiscal year, 75 percent of new admissions to the voucher program and 40 percent of public housing new admissions must be ELI families. The new provision was meant to provide financial relief to PHAs by permitting them to “target” ELI families with slightly higher incomes than the previous rule allowed. For the current fiscal year, PHAs must account for their ELI admissions separately for the period prior to July 1 (under the old rule) and after July 1 (under the new rule).

HUD has recalculated the 2014 income limits to include the new ELI amounts. The revised tables are available here.

➤  Utility Allowances: A change in voucher program rule requires the PHA to now use the utility allowance for the lower of the actual unit size or the voucher bedroom size. Under the previous rule the PHA used the utility allowance for the actual unit size regardless of the voucher bedroom size.

Under the new rule, a family with a 2-bedroom voucher that chooses to lease a 3-bedroom unit will now have the 2-bedroom utility allowance applied. Of course, the PHA must make exceptions if necessary as a reasonable accommodation for a family that includes a person with disabilities.

The new rule on utility allowances is to be applied for all new admissions. For current program participants, the new rule must be applied at the family’s next annual reexamination, as long as the PHA is able to provide the family with written notice at least 60 days in advance of the effective date.

Need help with inspections? Our team of NMAI inspectors have an average background of 12 years’ experience conducting inspections, are highly qualified and certified in HQS and/or UPCS, and have completed required sensitivity and sexual harassment training as well as extensive criminal background checks before beginning work. For more information about NMA Inspections, please visit our website or contact us directly at sales@nanmckay.com.

Topics: appropriations, HQS, income limits, inspections, LIHTC, mixed financing, PBV, PIH notices, Program News and Notices, utilities

PIH posts FAQs on flat rent

Posted by BEMuser on Jun 13, 2014 1:53:25 PM

Late yesterday HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) posted a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to supplement the guidance provided in Notice PIH 2014-12 on implementing changes to public housing flat rent requirements as required by the 2014 appropriations act. The set consists of 14 FAQs on the following topics:

  • Demonstrating compliance by June 1
  • Formally adopting the new requirements
  • Amending the five-year plan
  • Completing the required steps and adopting acceptable policies
  • Charging new flat rents to new program admissions
  • Charging new flat rents to current program participants
  • Demonstrating compliance if flat rents are already set at 80 percent or above
  • Requesting a waiver
  • Phasing in flat rent changes
  • Establishing a utility allowance for flat rent units
  • Offering families a choice between income-based and flat rent
  • Determining rents for mixed-finance projects

You’ll find a link to the FAQs on the PIH office’s “News-to-Use” Web page. Any additional questions on Notice PIH 2014-12 should be directed to the public housing staff at your HUD field office.

To stay updated, follow the #flat-rent 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.

Topics: appropriations, flat rent, mixed financing, PIH Alert, PIH notices, Program News and Notices, utilities

Join NMA for our national housing conference in San Diego

Posted by NMA on Mar 12, 2013 10:10:44 AM

Registration for the first-ever NMA Housing Conference is now open, and session information has been announced.

2013 NMA Housing Conference
and GoSection8 User Conference

September 9–10 in San Diego, CA

Sign up now and receive 20% off Blended Occupancy Management and HCV Program Management!

Choose one of these new certification classes to attend directly following the conference, and make it a complete week of learning in beautiful San Diego on the bay.

Visit our website to register

With four tracks of concurrent sessions, you'll enjoy the opportunity to explore two very full days of expert panels, round-table discussions, free consulting, and networking with key players in the industry. You'll also receive a certificate of achievement for attending an entire track (choose from executive, regulatory, financial, and GoSection8).

Keynote Speaker

Leading at a Higher Level: Creating High-Performing Organizations
Presenter, Ann Phillips of the Ken Blanchard Companies

Executive Leadership for Performance Excellence

Ensuring the Best Performance for the Money: Quality Assurance from the Executive Level
Presenters, John McKay, Dorian Jenkins, Michael Petragallo, Andrew Denicola

This session will focus on how successful housing executives ensure excellent staff performance and the overall cost efficiency of their agency by applying performance management metrics and a proactive quality assurance approach. We will discuss methods to ensure staff performance, covering all personnel from line staff to finance and inspection, as well as provide information about cost-saving measures to take back to your agency.

Managing a Public Agency with a Corporate Sector Approach
Presenter, Cydney Jones

Applying private sector techniques to your agency doesn't have to mean losing focus of its social mission. This informative session will provide PHA leaders with tools and insight to develop an organizational culture of performance excellence, accountability, fiscal responsibility, and organizational sustainability. The session will provide tips, tools, and guidance used in the corporate sector to develop and maintain high performance and fiscal prudence within the public sector environment.

How to Improve the Quality and Value of Your Services at a Reduced Cost
Presenter, Mark Frater, President, LeanFirm

Attend this session and learn how to employ a collaborative methodology at your housing authority by adopting lean principles. Discussion topics will include developing a highly effective path to maximizing the talents and contributions of your agency, facilitating motivation, productivity, customer satisfaction, and fiscal control. In today's era of budget cuts, it's more important than ever to improve the timeliness and quality of services throughout your housing agency by eliminating waste and inefficiency.

Don't Waste Strategy Time on Goal Setting!
Presenter, Eric Kaufmann, President, Sagatica LLC

Most strategy sessions are merely operational — a missed leadership opportunity. Eric Kaufmann guides leadership teams across the country and coaches corporate CEOs. He will present the way to prepare a strategic action plan that becomes a useful resource to accomplish your agency’s goals within limited funding. You will discover the six deadly mistakes of strategy planning. Ask the right questions, set the right measurements, and get to work!

PHA Resiliency in the Post-Sequestration World
Presenter, Kevin Sheriff, ERS Senior Manager, Deloitte & Touche LLP

This session will explore the short- and long-term future of PHAs' roles in their communities and how they can survive and thrive in the face of dwindling federal resources and ongoing chatter about consolidation. We will discuss strategies that PHAs can explore beyond the traditional methods (e.g. mixed finance, alternative revenue-generating activities, energy performance contracts) to recast their organizations for sustainable, long-term success.

Regulatory Knowledge for Smart Management

Why Your Agency Should Be Taking a Second Look at RAD
Presenter, Carrol Vaughan

The RAD demonstration program is a unique opportunity for housing authorities to convert their at-risk public housing to long-term Section 8 rental assistance contracts. In this session, we’ll cover the latest information on the program and discuss why your housing authority should take a serious look at whether RAD would work for your agency. We’ll also hear from staff at a large housing authority on why their agency is considering submitting an application, and review the thought process involved in making the decision to apply.

Legislative Update
Presenter, Nan McKay and Terry Provance

What's the latest news in the industry? In this session we'll review the most important notices released in 2013, any breaking news that you need to be aware of, and what we see coming down the pipe for 2014.

Fair Housing/Civil Rights Reviews: Are You Prepared?
Presenter, Annie Stevenson

Using HUD’s civil rights review checklist, we’ll discuss fair housing requirements for the public housing and HCV programs. Topics will include limited English proficiency (LEP), reasonable accommodations, alternative communication methods, and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to prepare for civil rights monitoring.

EIV, PIC, VMS: Are These Systems Costing Your Agency Money?
Presenters, Dorian Jenkins and Raymond Buhr

In this session, NMA staff will go over HUD's reporting requirements and provide tips to help your agency properly utilize Enterprise Income Verification (EIV), maximize your PIH Information Center (PIC) reporting rate, simplify the Voucher Management System (VMS), and ensure you aren't losing precious housing dollars.

Sustainability: Cost-Effective Renovation
Presenter, Jay Ortenzo

Are you tired of hearing phrases like, “We have to do more with less”? Truth is, we have to plan and be smart about the way we use our resources. While there’s always a cost associated with any renovation we do, labor, materials, overhead, profit, bad design, poor product choice, and installation mistakes cost your agency more than necessary. This session will focus on how to ensure you're getting the best renovation work for the money.

Financial Strategy for Maximizing Resources

The Impact of the Treasury's Cash Management Requirements on the HCV Program
Presenter, Ray Adair

This session will explain the impact that the implementation of the Treasury's cash management requirements will have on HCV housing assistance payment (HAP) revenue recognition, the formation of the HCV program reserve, net restricted assets (NRA) reporting, and interest earned on invested NRA balances.

Reporting Public Housing Operating Fund Activity on the FDS
Presenter, Ron Urlaub

This session will cover how new public housing and mixed-finance projects are created in the Financial Data Schedule (FDS), general project-level reporting for both conventional public housing projects and mixed-finance projects, and common public housing operating fund reporting issues on the FDS.

Using HUD's Two-Year Forecasting Tool for HAP Expense Planning
Presenter, Ray Adair

HUD has developed an Excel forecasting tool (posted with a user guide on the HCV home page) to assist PHAs in the financial management of the HCV program. The focus of this session will be on reviewing the funding available to support HAP (annual budget authority, net restricted assets, program reserves, and unrestricted net assets) and how to make the best use of the two-year forecasting tool. We will review the major sections of the tool, as well as what data is needed to use the tool and where to find it. In addition, you will learn how to use the tool to run "what if" scenarios, and how to use the tool's dashboard to determine whether leasing is within available funding.

FASS-PH System Updates
Presenter, Ray Adair

This session will explain the recent and planned REAC Financial Assessment System for public housing agencies (FASS-PH) system updates that impact financial reporting on the Financial Data Schedule (FDS) for both the public housing and HCV programs.

Reconciling VMS Reporting to the FDS
Presenter, Ron Urlaub

This session will review which fields on the Voucher Management System (VMS) are expected to tie or come close to the values reported on the Financial Data Schedule (FDS).

The Ins and Outs of CFP Reporting and Close-Out
Presenter, Ray Adair

This session will focus on how budget line items (BLI) are used for budgetary control of the Capital Fund Program (CFP), CFP eligible and ineligible expenses, Financial Data Schedule (FDS) reporting of the CFP and the Capital Fund Financing Program at the project level, and CFP close-out.

How Go8's Technology Can Be a Cost-Saving Resource for Your Agency

Introduction to GoSection8
GoSection8 is the largest rental-listing service for the Section 8 housing market. We service families, landlords, and public housing agencies across the United States. Hundreds of thousands of tenants and landlords nationwide benefit from our programs.

Don't Spend Money on Software: We Have the Solution
In an environment of eminent budget cuts, learn how Go8's free listing service can save you time and money.

GoSection8 Software Demonstration
Since our inception in 2004, GoSection8 (Go8) has been an effective resource for housing agencies across the country. Our software streamlines the rent reasonable process, automatically integrating comparable data and generating HUD-compliant rent reasonable reports. Go8 will save your staff valuable time, eliminating the need for mining data or contracting with an outside vendor to purchase comparables.

Best Practices of Different-Size Agencies and Their Savings with Go8 Software
A detailed study of various-sized agencies with different asking rents, approved rents, and annual savings received by implementing the Go8 software. We offer an audit-proven and efficient way to determine rent reasonableness as required by HUD.

The Growth of Technology and Its Impact on Rent Determination
Go8 offers on-demand mobile applications and software integration. Users can perform rent reasonable comparisons on-site, in real time, using their current housing software — no need to log into your Go8 account.

How to Focus on Landlord Retention and Participation: Why It's Important in This Economy and with Budget Cuts
Landlord outreach and participation are more important than ever. We will discuss current market trends and automated marketing solutions and review Go8's HCV Landlord Participation Index.

Educate Your Staff: How to Do Certifications, Review Annual Savings, and Analyze Reports
Learn how Go8 can help your agency do more with less effort. This training module will ensure you are maximizing the Go8 software and performing rent reasonable determinations correctly.

How to Get the Most out of Your Go8 Software: Review New Features, Upgrades, and Reports
Find out about Go8's newest features and give us your feedback. We have been busy building new improvements to our site to make the user experience even better.

Customized Search Results for Your Families Based on Their Income and Your Jurisdiction
Go8's affordability calculator tailors search results based on a family's income, using payment standards and the landlord's utility schedule.

Deconcentration and Its Impact on Rent Reasonableness
Learn how to improve your agency's SEMAP scores. Go8's listings can be customized to exclude HUD-determined low-income qualified census tracks.

Are You Using Asking Rents or Actual Rents? How It Affects the Open Market
We will demonstrate the surprising difference between asking rent and actual rent.

Go8's Custom Listing Service
We manage and maintain your landlord's listings and also offer a mobile platform to view tenant leads.

Registrations for the NMA Housing Conference and GoSection8 User Conference are now 20% off when you register before July 15, 2013. Sign up online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: blended occupancy, capital fund, EIV, executive management, fair housing, FASS-PH, GoSection8, IMS/PIC, mixed financing, program management, Program News and Notices, RAD, rent reasonableness, sequestration, sustainable communities, The Housing Conference, VMS

Navigating the maze of regulatory differences in blended occupancy projects: Part III

Posted by NMA on Nov 13, 2012 2:50:56 PM

blended occupancy projectsWith aging housing stock and dwindling resources, it's not uncommon to manage projects with two, three, or more separate sources of funding and/or subsidy, each with different oversight agencies and compliance requirements.

These blended occupancy projects, also referred to as mixed-finance projects, have multiple funding and/or subsidy sources, creating a maze of complicated and often conflicting regulations. In addition to being proficient in the HCV and public housing programs, PHA managers and staff must now be knowledgeable in a variety of other programs such as project-based vouchers (PBV), Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and HOME.

Failure to maintain continuous program compliance in these programs can result in serious consequences. Follow our three-part series to learn more about some of the major regulatory differences in blended occupancy projects.

Part I: Inspection Standards/Frequency

Part II: Annual Recertification Requirements

Part III: Student Rules

Student Rules

Part-time students. Full-time students. Under the age of 24. No dependent children. Huh? If you're confused about the eligibility of students in your project, you're not alone. Depending on the funding and/or subsidy sources in your project, certain students are not eligible to live in blended occupancy projects. We've highlighted a few of the areas of student eligibility for certain programs below.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Student Eligibility Requirements:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines a student a bit differently than HUD does. At IRC §152 (f)(2), the IRS defines a student as:

An individual, who during each of 5 calendar months during the calendar year in which the taxable year of the taxpayer begins, is a full-time student at an educational organization described in IRC § 170(b)(1)(A)(ii) or is pursuing a full-time course of institutional on-farm training under the supervision of an accredited agent of an educational organization described in IRC §170(b)(1)(A)(ii) or of a state or political subdivision of a state. Treasury Regulation §1.151-3(b) further provides that the five calendar months need not be consecutive.

What does this mean to you? It means that units receiving LIHTCs, comprised entirely of full-time students (none of which meet one of the exceptions outlined in the Internal Revenue Code), do not qualify as low-income units and are out of compliance.

You must have verification and documentation policies in place to verify student status when households initially move into LIHTC units. You must also have verification and documentation policies in place to verify a household's student status within 120 days before the anniversary of the effective date of the initial student verification.

Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) Student Eligibility Requirements:

HUD regulations prohibit PBRA assistance to any individual who is enrolled (either full or part time) as a student at an institution of higher education for the purpose of obtaining a degree, certificate, or other program leading to a recognized educational credential who is:

  • Under the age of 24
  • Not a U.S. veteran
  • Unmarried
  • Does not have a dependent child
  • Is not a person with disabilities, as such term is defined in 3(b)(3)(E) of the United State Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437a(b)(3)(E)), and was not receiving Section 8 assistance as of November 30, 2005
  • Is not living with his or her parents who are receiving Section 8 assistance
  • Is not individually eligible to receive section 8 assistance and has parents (the parents individually or jointly) who are not income eligible to receive Section 8 assistance

This means that unless the student qualifies as an "independent student" as provided in HUD Handbook 4350.3, Chapter 3, Section 3-13, Paragraph (A)(3), assistance must be denied and/or terminated for students meeting all of the criteria listed above.

You must have verification and documentation policies in place to verify student status at the time households initially qualify for PBRA. You must also have verification and documentation policies in place to verify households’ student status at annual recertification, initial certification (when an in-place tenant begins receiving Section 8), and at the time of an interim recertification if one of the family composition changes reported is that a household member is enrolled as a student.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Project-Based (PBV) Student Eligibility Requirements:

HUD regulations for the PBV program are exactly the same as the PBRA program above. Unless the student qualifies as a "independent student" as provided in your PHA's administrative plan, assistance must be denied and/or terminated for students meeting all of the criteria listed above in the PBRA section.

You must have verification and documentation policies in place to verify student status at the time households initially qualify for PBV. You must also have verification and documentation policies in place to verify household’s student status at annual recertification, and at the time of an interim recertification if one of the family composition changes reported is that a household member is enrolled as a student.

Public Housing Student Eligibility Requirements:

The prohibition on providing HUD rental assistance to students in the PBRA and PBV programs does not apply to the public housing program, meaning that both part-time and full-time students can live in public housing.

HUD did issue Notice PIH 2005-26, based on a concern that PHAs might be admitting ineligible college students to HUD's public and assisted housing programs. The notice provides guidance for determining and verifying the eligibility of full-time college students of non-parental/guardian households.

PHAs are encouraged (but not required) to adopt policies stating that the following must also be verified:

  • That the student does or does not anticipate receiving income from an outside source, such as a parent
  • That the student has established a household separate from his or her parents or guardian for at least one year prior to applying for admission
  • That the student is not claimed as a dependent by anyone, such as a parent, on that individual’s tax return

What does this mean to you? Both part-time and full-time students can reside in public housing. A blended occupancy unit with LIHTC will have to comply with the more restrictive LIHTC student eligibility requirements.

HOME Student Eligibility Requirements:

The prohibition on providing HUD rental assistance to students in the PBRA and PBV programs does not apply to the HOME program. Both part-time and full-time students can reside in HOME-assisted units. A blended occupancy unit with LIHTC, PBRA or PBV will have to comply with the most restrictive program requirements regarding student eligibility.

This concludes our three-part series on regulatory differences in blended occupancy projects. As an NMA trainer and consultant, Sheryl Putnam spearheaded the development of the new Blended Occupancy Management course. Upcoming sessions are scheduled for Baton Rouge, Las Vegas, and Miami. Contact sales@nanmckay.com to bring this training to your agency.

Topics: blended occupancy, combined funding, LIHTC, mixed financing, PBRA, PBV, Trainers and Consultants

Navigating the maze of regulatory differences in blended occupancy projects: Part II

Posted by NMA on Nov 1, 2012 3:14:16 PM

blended occupancy projectsWith aging housing stock and dwindling resources, it's not uncommon to manage projects with two, three, or more separate sources of funding and/or subsidy, each with different oversight agencies and compliance requirements.

These blended occupancy projects, also referred to as mixed-finance projects, have multiple funding and/or subsidy sources, creating a maze of complicated and often conflicting regulations. In addition to being proficient in the HCV and public housing programs, PHA managers and staff must now be knowledgeable in a variety of other programs such as project-based vouchers (PBV), Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and HOME.

Failure to maintain continuous program compliance in these programs can result in serious consequences. Follow our three-part series to learn more about some of the major regulatory differences in blended occupancy projects.

Part I: Inspection Standards/Frequency

Part II: Annual Recertification Requirements

Part III: Student Rules

Annual Recertification Requirements

Annual recertification requirements can vary significantly in projects with multiple funding/subsidy sources. We recommend adherence to the most restrictive annual recertification requirement to ensure that your projects and units remain in continuous program compliance. Some of the major differences are outlined below:

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Annual Reexamination Requirements:

Annual recertifications of household income and composition must be conducted for all LIHTC units located in certain LIHTC projects.

In projects maintained as 100% LIHTC, HERA (The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008) eliminated the requirement for annual recertifications. Many state agencies, owners, and syndicators, however, still require full annual recertifications, or a combination of full/partial annual recertification for 100% LIHTC projects. Check with your owner, syndicator and state monitoring agency on annual recertification requirements.

Projects with a mix of LIHTC and non-LIHTC projects must conduct annual recertifications according to owner, syndicator, and state agency requirements.  For both types of LIHTC projects, many owners, syndicators, and state agencies may require that you use specific forms to capture household composition and income/asset information.

Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) Annual Recertification Requirements:

Annual recertifications of household income and composition must be conducted by the household’s anniversary date. Annual recertification requirements are outlined in HUD Handbook 4350.3, Chapter 7.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Project-Based (PBV) Annual Recertification Requirements:

Annual recertifications of household income and composition must be conducted by the PHA in accordance with the PHA’s administrative plan within 30 days prior to the anniversary date.

Public Housing Annual Recertification Requirements:

Annual recertification of household income and composition must be conducted for families paying income-based rent at least annually. Families paying flat rent require income recertification at least once every three years.

HOME Annual Recertification Requirements:

Annual recertifications of household income and composition must be conducted in accordance with the participating jurisdictions' policies for the HOME program. HUD regulations require that every 6th year of the project’s affordability period, not the tenancy period, source documentation must be used by the owner to verify household income. Self-certification can be used in the intervening years, if allowed by the participating jurisdictions' policies.

As an NMA trainer and consultant, Sheryl Putnam spearheaded the development of the new Blended Occupancy Management course. Upcoming sessions are scheduled for Baton Rouge, Las Vegas, and Miami.

Topics: blended occupancy, combined funding, flat rent, HERA, LIHTC, mixed financing, PBRA, PBV, recertification, Trainers and Consultants

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