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PIH Issues Notice for Remaining 2017 Voucher Program Set-Aside Funds

Posted by NMA on Dec 7, 2017 10:59:39 AM

pih-alert.jpgHUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) has issued Notice PIH 2017-26 announcing the process HUD will use to award the limited amount of funding remaining from the FY 2017 HAP set-aside (approximately $15 million) that was not awarded under the initial application process set forth in Notice PIH 2017-10 earlier this year. These remaining set-aside funds will be used for increased portability costs where the initial agency is in a major disaster declaration area, established between August 25, 2017, and December 31, 2017.

The Consolidated Continuing Appropriations Act, 2017, established a $75 million set-aside for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program HAP renewal account for specific purposes, namely:

  • Category 1: Prevention of terminations due to insufficient funding (shortfall funding)
  • Category 2a: Unforeseen circumstances
  • Category 2b: Portability cost increases
  • Category 3: Project-based vouchers
  • Category 4: HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH)

Originally HUD estimated that the entire $75 million HAP set-aside would be necessary for Category 1 due to 2017 funding levels, and as a result, applications for other categories of set-aside funding were not initially accepted. HUD is now reopening the set-aside applications for Category 2b: Portability cost increases, as long as the PHA is an initial PHA of a voucher ported from a major disaster area during the dates specified above. Note that only 2017 costs will be considered for funding, and that increased costs for portability for 2018 will be addressed elsewhere. Submission requirements are specified in the notice, and HUD will award the remaining funds on a first-come, first-served basis. After all eligible applications are funded, any remaining funds would be distributed nationally on a prorated basis to all PHAs.

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

Notice Explains Requirements for Encumbering PH Property

Posted by NMA on Dec 5, 2017 5:04:00 AM

Notice Explains Requirements for Encumbering PH PropertyHUD recently posted Notice PIH 2017-24, “Guidance on Third-Party Agreements Encumbering Public Housing Property.” The six-page notice discusses the HUD approval process for specific types of agreements that encumber a PHA’s use or interest in public housing property.

HUD provides responsibility and flexibility to PHAs regarding third-party agreements. HUD encourages PHAs to employ innovative approaches to achieve optimal program operations and revenue. However, HUD needs to balance PHA flexibility with public operational and financial stability. HUD is concerned with any third-party agreement that interferes with the use of the public housing property or puts the PHA’s finances at risk.

As explained in the notice, HUD approval is generally not required for third-party agreements for normal uses associated with the operation of public housing. These may include agreements related to standard resident amenities (e.g., laundry rooms), resident supportive services, police sub-stations (to the extent they are necessary for crime prevention or to serve public housing residents), utilities, and cable service.

PHAs may need to seek HUD approval for other agreements unrelated to normal uses associated with the operation of public housing, including telecommunication and cell tower agreements, solar panel agreements, and dedication of public housing property for use as streets, alleys, or other public rights-of-way.

PHAs are responsible for determining if a third-party agreement is subject to HUD review and, if so, whether such review must be done by HUD’s Special Applications Center (SAC) or the local HUD Office of Public Housing (field office). Instructions for making the determination and for requesting HUD approval are included in the notice. Technical assistance may be requested by email to SACTA@hud.gov or by contacting the HUD field office.

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: PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, Industry News

FAQ Friday: HCV Rent Increases

Posted by NMA on Dec 1, 2017 5:00:00 AM

Editor’s Note: Due to HUD’s recent publication of 2018 annual adjustment factors, we are reprising this FAQ from August 2015. The links have been updated for this year’s notice.

q-and-a-standard.jpgQUESTION     You mentioned during a webinar that the only limit on rent increases in the HCV program is rent reasonableness. Our PHA restricts rent increases to the annual adjustment factors (AAFs) published by HUD. We have this policy in our administrative plan and have imposed this limit for years. We feel that this helps to control program costs and helps to control rents in the community as a whole. Why isn’t this permissible as long as it is stated in the administrative plan?

ANSWER     This is an example of a policy that was valid when written, but which is now obsolete. AAFs were used in the old certificate program to determine (or limit) owner rent increases. The certificate program came to an end 17 years ago. AAFs have never been used in the voucher program.

Each year HUD publishes a Federal Register notice discussing the AAFs. Here is an excerpt from this year’s notice, published November 8:

Housing Choice Voucher Program: AAFs are not used to adjust rents in the tenant-based or the project-based voucher programs.

Since agency policies must comply with regulatory requirements, PHAs do not have discretion to impose limits on rent increases in this manner. The applicable regulation is at 24 CFR 982.308(g):

The owner must notify the PHA of any changes in the amount of the rent to owner at least sixty days before any such changes go into effect, and any such changes shall be subject to rent reasonableness requirements.

The following is an excerpt from Section 12.5 of HUD’s HCV Guidebook:

INCREASES IN RENT TO OWNER
An owner may increase the unit rent any time an increase is allowed under the terms of the lease. The owner must give the PHA at least 60 days advance notice of any changes in the amount of rent to the owner. The allowed rent increase is the lesser of the following:

  • The reasonable rent as determined by the PHA; or
  • The amount requested by the owner.

Also please note the table in Chapter 1 of the guidebook, comparing the certificate and HCV programs:

Rent Increases:

CERTIFICATES: Annually on the anniversary date, the PHA uses annual adjustment factors published by HUD to approve rent increases which are subject to a rent reasonableness test.

HCV: Rent increases are not limited by the annual adjustment factor but are subject to a rent reasonableness test.

The current rule is intended to increase program participation by owners of properties in lower-poverty areas. The “market” rent is to be charged for both assisted and unassisted tenants.

Are you a PIH Alert subscriber? Every Friday, the PIH Alert includes one frequently asked question (FAQ) submitted by our readers. Sign up today for a free 30-day trial subscription! Email sales@nanmckay.com to get started. To submit your question, email Annie Stevenson at annie@nanmckay.com with the subject line "FAQ Friday."

Topics: PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, rent calculation, Industry News, Knowledge Base

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

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