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HUD publishes HOTMA implementation guidance

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


Yesterday in the Federal Register, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published the initial implementation guidance for the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act (HOTMA).

The guidance sets forth the statutory provisions effective immediately under HOTMA, and the actions that may or should be taken now in order to comply with those changes, in addition to identifying the provisions that are not effective until HUD subsequently issues a notice or regulation to implement them.

As specified in the guidance, among the HOTMA provisions that are effective upon enactment, or otherwise in effect, are the following:

  • Reasonable accommodation payment standards. HOTMA allows PHAs to establish a payment standard of up to 120 percent of fair market rent (FMR) without HUD approval as a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability. Because the streamlining rule previously provided PHAs with this flexibility, no action is required to implement this provision.
  • Establishment of FMR. This provision changes how HUD publishes FMRs and the procedures for comment and requests for reevaluation. Additionally, HOTMA provides that in the housing choice voucher (HCV) program, no PHA is required as a result of a reduction in the FMR to reduce the payment standard of a family continuing to reside in a unit under HAP contract at the time the FMR was reduced. Should PHAs choose to use the higher payment standard for the family’s subsidy calculation, this must be specified in the administrative plan. HUD’s FMRs for 2017 already reflect the new procedures, and HUD will issue additional guidance with regards to payment standards in the future.
  • Family Unification Program (FUP) for children aging out of foster care. HOTMA revises the length of the term that an FUP-eligible youth may receive FUP assistance from 18 to 36 months, in addition to revising the eligibility requirements for FUP-eligible youth. Changes to the FUP program were effective upon implementation of HOTMA and PHAs were made aware of the new provision by means of a letter to FUP PHA executive directors on August 29, 2016. Further details can be found in today’s guidance.
  • Preference for United States citizens or nationals. This section applies to Guam only. The provisions were effective upon enactment of HOTMA and the details can be found within today’s guidance.
  • Exception to PHA resident board member requirement. Certain jurisdictions, as specified in the guidance, are excepted from the resident board member requirement. While effective upon implementation of HOTMA, this exception has already been effective for a number of years through various appropriations acts.
  • Inclusion of PHAs and local development authorities in Emergency Solutions grants. HOTMA authorized local governments receiving these grants to sub-award all or some of those funds to PHAs and local redevelopment authorities. The provision was effective upon implementation of HOTMA, although HUD does intend to issue further guidance on the matter.
  • Inclusion of Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) in certain fraud and abuse measures. This provision considers DHAP a HUD program for the purpose of income verifications. Like other provisions described in the notice, it has previously been in effect through appropriations acts for a number of years.
  • Energy efficiency requirements under the Self-Help Homeownership Program (SHOP). While this provision was effective upon enactment of HOTMA, changes will be reflected in the future SHOP notice of funding availability (NOFA), where more information will also be provided.
  • Formula and terms for allocations to prevent homelessness for individuals living with HIV or AIDS. This provision makes several changes to the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program. They apply to FY 2017 funds and HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) will issue further guidance on how the changes will affect future funding.

As mentioned above, today’s guidance also specifies several other pieces of HOTMA that will require further rulemaking or guidance in order to become effective. In other words, PHAs may not apply these provisions until HUD issues a rule or a notice addressing them. Because they are not immediately effective, they are summarized in brief below, although further details can be found in today’s guidance:

  • Changes regarding initial inspections in HCV units
  • Changes on the enforcement of housing quality standards (HQS) in HCV units
  • Changes regarding the frequency of income reviews
  • Changes on income reviews in project-based housing, in addition to changes on project-based assistance in general
  • Limitations on public housing tenancy for over-income families
  • Limitations on eligibility for assistance based on assets
  • Changes regarding PHA-owned units
  • Revisions to requirements regarding the public housing capital and operating funds
  • Changes regarding the use of vouchers for manufactured housing
  • Modifications of FHA requirements for mortgage insurance for condominiums
  • Changes regarding the definition of geographic area in the Continuum of Care program
  • Changes regarding HOPWA allocations

Got questions about HOTMA? All of NMA's HCV classes have been updated for the new payment standard rules. Register at least 45 days in advance for most seminars and you’ll receive a 10 percent discount. (The discount does not apply to seminars hosted by housing authorities or associations.)

Topics: capital fund, disaster programs, energy efficiency, FMR, HOTMA, HQS, inspections, operating subsidy, over-income families, reasonable accommodation, rent calculation, streamlining, voucher reform legislation

PIH updates op sub tools, explains September and October obligations

Posted by NMA on Aug 29, 2016 12:06:21 PM

This morning on the calendar year (CY) 2016 subsidy processing webpage, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) posted several updated op sub tools as well as explanations of public housing operating subsidy obligations for September and October.

The revised materials include new versions of the CY 2016 HUD-52723 and HUD-52722 Excel op sub tools. Version 1.12 of the HUD-52723 and version 1.09 of the HUD-52722 are dated August 29, 2016. The accompanying technical notes were last updated on February 4, 2016 and have not been revised.

PIH has also posted an updated PDF tracking log of all new project requests submitted by field offices to the Financial Management Division (FMD). The document, with a revision date of August 29, now shows the funding status for 143 new projects. An 8-page guidance document on funding for new projects was issued last November. The log will be updated frequently, so PIH advises PHAs to check back often for the status of any pending requests.

Finally, PIH has posted a document explaining public housing operating subsidy obligations for September and October. The two most important details in the document are these:

  • The interim proration for September and October is 89.81 percent
  • Funding is expected to be made available in eLOCCS no later than August 30

Neither the September nor October obligation letters have yet been posted.

Got questions about how to maximize funding in the public housing program? Don’t miss The Housing Conference this September in San Antonio, Texas, where NMA’s Terry Provance will lead a hands-on occupancy workshop designed to get your program in peak performance. Register online or email for more information.

Topics: operating subsidy

PIH announces plan to “re-federalize” COCC fees

Posted by NMA on Apr 6, 2016 11:48:49 AM

In a letter to executive directors dated April 1, Public and Indian Housing Deputy Assistant Secretary Milan Ozdinec announced upcoming changes to the treatment of fees paid to PHA central office cost centers (COCCs). The changes resulted from a critical OIG audit published in June 2014.

While the audit report recommended that HUD eliminate asset management fees, the OIG ultimately agreed not to pursue this recommendation. However, HUD will be implementing rulemaking to “re-federalize” fees paid to the COCC as recommended in the audit report. The letter states that no changes by PHAs are required at this time, but HUD is notifying agencies for planning purposes.

According to the letter:

This will mean that Section 8 (HCV) and 9 (operating fund and capital fund) funded fees that paid into the COCC will be limited to authorized Section 8 and 9 uses and eligible activities. Once paid into the COCC, these fees will become fully fungible and available for any Section 8 and 9 allowable uses, providing some flexibility to PHAs. Any non-federal fees paid to the COCC will still be considered non-federal, and remain subject to state, local and PHA-allowed activities, but will need to be tracked separately. This change only affects PHAs currently utilizing a COCC, and not those using a cost allocation method.

HUD will provide guidance and written procedures through the rulemaking process, which will begin later this year.

NMA's financial management experts will be available for limited free one-hour Q&A sessions at the The Housing Conference this September in San Antonio, Texas. Registered participants can sign up on a first-come, first-served basis starting April 15. Register online or email for more information.

Topics: capital fund, financial management, operating subsidy, The Housing Conference

President Obama releases proposed 2017 HUD budget

Posted by NMA on Feb 10, 2016 2:29:12 PM

govt-white-house.jpgYesterday the Obama administration released its proposed budget for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017.

In a news release, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro praised the HUD portion of the budget for its focus on securing quality housing for Americans, ending homelessness, making communities more resilient, protecting people from housing discrimination, and providing critical rental assistance:

HUD’s proposed budget was built on the values that we uphold as Americans. That our entire nation benefits when our children grow up in a community that’s full of promise, not problems. When a hard-working family is able to responsibly buy their first-home, put down roots, and build wealth. When homeless veterans are able to get the housing they need to succeed in the very nation they risked so much to protect. When every person gets a fair shot and a fair shake to achieve their dreams.

What does the Obama administration propose for the housing choice voucher (HCV) and public housing programs in 2017? The proposed budget for HUD requests a total of $20.9 billion for the HCV program, or not quite 1 percent less than it requested for 2016. The total breaks down this way:

  • $18.4 billion for voucher renewals, or 0.6 percent more than was requested for 2016
  • $110 million for tenant protection activities, 27 percent less than was requested for 2016
  • $2 billion for administrative fees, or 3 percent less
  • $110 million for renewal of vouchers for persons with disabilities under Section 811 of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act, or 2 percent more
  • $60 million for the supportive housing program for homeless veterans, a 20 percent decrease from the amount provided the past several years
  • $88 million for new vouchers for families with children who are experiencing homelessness
  • $15 million for a new housing choice voucher mobility demonstration

As for the public housing program, the HUD portion of the proposed 2017 budget includes these requests:

  • $1.87 billion for the capital fund, or about 5 percent less than requested for 2016
  • $4.6 billion for the operating fund, or 0.7 percent less than was requested for 2016
  • $200 million for Choice Neighborhoods, or 20 percent less

For the consolidated family self-sufficiency (FSS) program, the proposed budget includes $75 million for family self-sufficiency coordinators, 12 percent less than requested for 2016.

You will find the president's message to Congress here, a slide presentation of the proposed HUD budget here, a brief summary of it here, a press release about it here, links to the congressional justifications for the various parts of it here, and the appropriations language submitted to Congress here.

To stay updated on the latest program information, subscribe to the PIH Alert and receive a daily email with news and analysis for PHAs and housing professionals.

Topics: appropriations, capital fund, Choice Neighborhoods, FSS, operating subsidy, VASH, veterans

PIH posts additional op sub materials for 2016

Posted by NMA on Jan 20, 2016 11:40:53 AM

Today HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published user guides for calendar year (CY) 2016 operating subsidy processing. The newly-posted guides include:

The user guides were posted to the CY 2016 subsidy processing page at the operating fund website. The Excel tools themselves have not yet been posted. According to the CY 2016 submission schedule issued last week, the HUD-52722 and HUD-52723 tools will be made available to PHAs by January 29. The forms will then be due to the field offices by February 19.

PIH has also posted revised versions of two PDF documents containing prepopulated unit months by development number for CY 2016 operating subsidy submissions. The documents have a revision date of January 13 and include:

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

Topics: operating subsidy

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