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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

HUD Announces SAFMR Implementation Effective January 1

Posted by NMA on Jan 8, 2018 3:30:58 PM

In an email from the Financial Management Center (FMC) on December 29, HUD announced that a federal district court has issued an order setting aside the suspension of the small area FMR (SAFMR) final rule. The rule, which impacts 24 metropolitan areas, was originally scheduled for implementation on January 1, 2018. On August 11 HUD announced that it had suspended mandatory implementation for two years, until January 1, 2020. A complaint filed in October by a Connecticut non-profit corporation resulted in a preliminary injunction setting aside the suspension.

The following is the full text of HUD’s December 29 email:

Dear Executive Director,

On December 23, 2017, a Federal District Court in Washington issued an Order in OCA vs. Carson (https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2017cv2192-29) setting aside the Secretary’s August 23rd suspension of the SAFMR Rule (https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/fmr/fmr2016f/SAFMR-Final-Rule.pdf). Accordingly, this means that the implementation date is January 1, 2018. While HUD understands that some PHAs will be at a serious disadvantage regarding immediate implementation due to the suspension, PHAs must immediately take all steps necessary with respect to dedicating monetary and human resources towards the implementation; as well as integrating the new FMR requirements in any planning the PHA conducts. As expeditiously as possible, HUD will issue guidance addressing implementation issues, technical assistance, and potential obstacles to implementation.

Signed,
Milan Ozdinec

 

PHAs affected by this requirement must put together a new payment schedule that includes individual payment standards for each zip code. Our team of FMR experts is ready to take on that project for you, creating a new, compliant payment schedule without any additional workload for your staff. Click here to learn more

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

HUD Implements FAST Act, Authorizes Triennial Reexams

Posted by NMA on Dec 19, 2017 11:24:10 AM

HUD recently published an “interim final rule” in the Federal Register implementing the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), which authorizes triennial reexams for some assisted families. As noted in the rule’s summary, similar options for verifying income from fixed sources were included in the streamlining final rule and were implemented in 2016. Today’s rule slightly revises related streamlining options to unify the two rules, and extends certain options to HUD multifamily programs.

The streamlining rule, which has been in effect since April 2016, offered PHAs the option of verifying income from fixed income sources once every three years, applying the reported cost of living adjustments (COLAs) in the intervening years. Under today’s rule, when at least 90 percent of a family’s income is from fixed income sources, PHAs using streamlined income verification may, but are not required to, adjust the non-fixed income. For families with at least one source of fixed income, but for whom less than 90 percent of the family’s income is from fixed sources, PHAs and owners must verify and adjust non-fixed sources annually.

The notice extends some streamlining options to multifamily programs including project-based rental assistance (PBRA). The options include triennial verification of assets (when total assets do not exceed $5,000) and quarterly payment of utility reimbursements when the quarterly total is $45 or less.

The notice states that HUD is seeking comments on the following specific issues:

The language in this interim final rule proposes a policy on utility reimbursements and asset certification identical to that applying to the HCV and PH programs contained in the March 8, 2016, final rule. Comments on this interim final rule may lead us to reconsider those policies as they apply to the HCV and PH programs, in the interest of aligning policies across HUD programs. Are there program-specific or unintended impacts in the HCV, PH, or MFH programs that should be considered in aligning these policies across programs? Would any difference cause a burden to entities administering these forms of assistance or to the tenants receiving the assistance?

The effective date of the interim final rule is March 18, 2018. Comments are due no later than January 11, 2018.

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

FAQ Friday: Social Security/SSI COLA

Posted by NMA on Dec 15, 2017 5:03:00 AM

q-and-a-standard.jpgQUESTION     I see that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced the 2018 cost of living adjustment (COLA). We are currently processing annual reexaminations which will be effective January 1, 2018. However, our clients have not yet received 2018 award letters for Social Security (SS) or SSI, and the EIV system is still showing the 2017 benefit amounts. Can we wait for updated documentation or must we apply the COLA beginning with January reexaminations?

ANSWER     Yes, you must apply the COLA beginning with January reexaminations which have not yet been completed. The SSA announced on October 13 that the Social Security and supplemental security income (SSI) benefits will increase 2 percent in 2018. HUD has issued guidance on applying the SSA COLA in Notice PIH 2012-10:

Effective the day after SSA has announced the COLA, PHAs are required to factor in the COLA when determining SS and SSI annual income for all annual reexaminations and interim reexaminations (in accordance with PHA-established policy) of family income which have not yet been completed and will be effective January 1st or later of the upcoming year.

To factor in the COLA, multiply the current benefit amount by the percentage increase. For example, imagine that you are processing a January reexam for Mr. Miller. The EIV printout shows current SS benefits of $1000 per month and Mr. Miller agrees with this amount. To project annual income for 2018:

  • Multiply the current benefit amount by the percentage increase: $1000 X 2% [or 0.02] (COLA rate) = $20 COLA
  • New gross SS benefit effective 01/01/2018 = $1020 ($1000 current benefit + $20 COLA)
  • Annual income effective 1/1/2018: $1020 X 12 = $12,240
  • Alternatively, you could multiply the current benefit by 102%

Document your calculation on the EIV report or case narrative. Leave a clear audit trail showing how you arrived at annual income shown on form HUD-50058.

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, Q&A, Industry News, Knowledge Base

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.

Want to receive updates and analysis like this directly to your inbox? Subscribe to NMA's PIH Alert, a daily email with breaking stories and other important information for PHAs and housing professionals. It's a simple way to stay current with the latest notices, regulation changes, guidance, acts of Congress, and more. Click here to learn more

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

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