Affordable Housing News

HUD Publishes Technical Corrections to HOTMA Implementation Notice

Posted by NMA on Jul 17, 2017 9:08:21 AM

technical corrects HOTMA implementation noticeOn Friday in the Federal Register, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published several technical corrections and clarifications to the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) provisions of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) it had issued on January 18. These changes are in part based on public comments from the first notice. In brief, the corrections and clarifications are as follows:

  • The original notice used the phrase ‘‘50 percent or more’’ to define a level of control that constitutes a controlling interest and would thus indicate PHA ownership. The threshold for control should be ‘‘more than 50 percent’’ rather than ‘‘50 percent or more.’’
  • The original notice inadvertently excluded from the list of excepted units those units that have received assistance under Section 201 of the Housing and Community Development Amendments of 1978. Today’s notice adds the Flexible Subsidy program in both lists.
  • The original document inadvertently referred to the ‘‘site of the original public housing development’’ instead of ‘‘site of the original development.’’ To avoid any indication that this requirement is only applicable to former public housing units as opposed to all the covered forms of HUD assistance, ‘‘public housing’’ is removed from this part.
  • The original guidance states that ‘‘if the FSS family fails to successfully complete the FSS contract of participation or supportive services objective and consequently is no longer eligible for the supportive services, the family must vacate the unit…and the PHA shall cease paying housing assistance payments on behalf of the ineligible family.’’ To avoid misinterpretation that could imply that a PHA could, under HOTMA, establish a supportive services exception based exclusively on participation in FSS, rather than in combination with another supportive services option where participation is voluntary, and to avoid being misconstrued that this conflicts with current FSS requirements, which do not allow termination from the housing assistance program for failure to complete the FSS contract of participation, HUD has amended this language to eliminate the ambiguities.
  • The definition of new construction units was previously inconsistent in the January 18 guidance, and has been updated to be both correct and consistent in sections referring to project-based voucher (PBV) assistance.
  • HUD stated in the original document that in order to avail itself of the exemption of the competitive award of PBVs, the PHA must “be planning rehabilitation or construction on the project with a minimum of $25,000 per unit in hard costs.” However, because this would not be applicable in a situation where the PHA is replacing a public housing site or property, or a site with PHA-owned or controlled existing housing, several corrections to Section H of the notice have been made.
  • Other typographical errors have also been corrected, as specified in today’s notice.

In a separate correction entry for the January 18 notice, PIH also noted that the original document had been published in the Proposed Rules section of the Federal Register, when it should have appeared in the Rules section. The effective date for the original notice—April 18, 2017—remains unchanged.

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: HOTMA, HQS, inspections, PBV, PIH notices, Program News and Notices, rent calculation, seniors and elderly, VASH, veterans, persons with disabilities

2017 MTW conference now open to all PHAs!

Posted by NMA on Mar 16, 2017 10:11:54 AM

Registration for the annual Moving to Work (MTW) national conference in Washington, DC, is now open to all housing authorities! View the agenda online here.

Topics at the 2017 MTW conference include:

  • Strategies to Address Homelessness in Your Locality
  • University Studies Update: Evaluating Work Requirements, Term-Limits, and Rent Reform
  • Portfolio Management: What’s Next After Development?
  • Leveraging External Partnerships
  • Current Legislative Climate
  • Expanding Opportunity and Choice: Mobility and Place-Based Strategies
  • Rent Reform
  • Interventions in a Tough Rental Market
  • Administrative/Operational Streamlining in MTW PHAs
  • Serving Specialized Populations
  • Creating Local Non-Traditional Service Programs to Support Seniors
  • Leveraging MTW Flexibility to Create Local Development Strategies
  • And more!

In previous years, registration has been open only to MTW agencies, universities, and industry groups working with the MTW program. Due to upcoming program changes, and increased interest in applying for MTW status, this year's conference is open to all PHAs on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited to 2 registrations per agency, and we encourage you to register immediately, as the event is quickly nearing capacity.

2017 MTW Conference

Visit our website to register!

Topics: MTW, Partnerships, Program News and Notices, seniors and elderly, streamlining

HUD publishes HOTMA implementation notice

Posted by NMA on Jan 24, 2017 8:44:00 AM

HOTMA implementation notice

On Wednesday in the Federal Register, HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published a notice implementing several of the provisions of the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act (HOTMA) that impact the housing choice voucher (HCV) and project-based voucher (PBV) programs, in addition to requesting comments on both current and future implementing requirements. The HOTMA implementation notice is broken down topic-by-topic, followed by specific questions for comment in each corresponding section. The first sections of the notice address:

  • Allowing PHAs to approve tenancy and commence HAP payments when a unit fails HQS, but only if it has non-life-threatening deficiencies.
  • Authorizing occupancy prior to inspection if the unit passed under an alternate inspection within the previous 24 months.
  • Amending the definition of units owned by the PHA so that the unit is PHA-owned only if unit is in a project that is: owned by the PHA, owned by an entity wholly controlled by the PHA, or owned by an LLC or limited partnership in which the PHA or entity wholly controlled by the PHA holds a controlling interest in the managing member or general partner.

The notice also addresses numerous statutory changes to the project-based voucher (PBV) program set forth under HOTMA, covering implementation requirements for the following:

  • Changing the terminology in the statute from “structure” to “project.”
  • Changing the PHA HCV program limitation on PBV vouchers from a 20 percent funding limitation to a 20 percent unit limitation calculation and allowing for additional project-basing of vouchers by raising the limit an additional 10 percent for homeless families, families with veterans, supportive housing for persons with disabilities or elderly persons, or in areas where vouchers are difficult to use.
  • Changing the income-mixing cap on the number of PBV units in a project to be the greater of 25 units in a project or 25 percent of the units in a project (the project unit cap), and making changes to the categories of PBV units that are excepted from this project unit cap.
  • Allowing the PHA to provide for an initial PBV contract of up to 20 years and to further extend that term for an additional 20 years.
  • Allowing the PHA to establish a selection preference for families who qualify for voluntary services, including disability-specific services, offered in conjunction with assisted units, provided that the preference is consistent with the PHA plan.
  • Allowing the PHA to attach assistance to structures in which the PHA has an ownership interest or control without following a competitive process.
  • Allowing PHAs to project-base HUD–VASH and FUP vouchers in accordance with statutory and regulatory requirements of the PBV program without additional requirements for approval by HUD.

The implementing requirements set forth in today’s notice become effective April 18, 2017. Comments on the specific questions posed in the notice are due by March 20.

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: HOTMA, HQS, inspections, PBV, PIH notices, Program News and Notices, rent calculation, seniors and elderly, VASH, veterans, persons with disabilities

Q&A: HOTMA implementation

Posted by NMA on Oct 3, 2016 2:01:08 PM

Q&A: HOTMA implementationQUESTION    We understand that HOTMA was signed into law by the president on July 29, 2016. Inasmuch as there are many substantive administrative changes to the HCV and public housing programs contained in this new law, we are wondering whether PHAs need to await the issuance of a HUD notice before they implement these changes (for example, increase in elderly/disabled deduction, asset limitations, reporting changes of 10 percent or more) or whether PHAs are obligated to immediately adopt these changes even before HUD issues new rules clarifying this new law? We have many recertifications in the pipeline and an answer to this question will obviously impact these pipeline cases.

ANSWER    Most provisions of the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) will not take effect until HUD has completed the formal rulemaking process. This typically involves issuance of a proposed rule, review of public comments, and publication of a final rule. Changes would likely go into effect 30 days after publication of the final rule, so it may be a year or more before PHAs are permitted to implement the new law.

Five self-implementing provisions of HOTMA were discussed in a letter to executive directors dated September 26. While the remaining HOTMA changes will be implemented through the formal rulemaking process, these five sections became effective immediately upon enactment. Implementation requirements are described below.

Reasonable accommodation payment standards: Section 102(d) of HOTMA provides that PHAs may establish, without HUD approval, a payment standard of up to 120 percent of the fair market rent (FMR) as a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability. Since this option was made available under the March 8 streamlining final rule, no further action is required.

Fair market rents: Two changes involving FMRs are included in Section 107 of HOTMA. The first change involves HUD’s methods for establishing and publishing FMRs. HUD will no longer publish “proposed” and “final” versions of the FMRs, but PHAs and other interested parties may comment on the FMRs and request HUD to reevaluate them in a jurisdiction before those rents become effective. FMRs for fiscal year 2017 were published on August 26 using the new method.

HOTMA also provides that no PHA in the housing choice voucher (HCV) program is required, as a result of a reduction in the FMR, to reduce the payment standard applied to a family continuing to reside in a unit under a housing assistance payment (HAP) contract at the time the FMR was reduced. PHAs must adopt policies in their administrative plans that further explain this provision. According to the letter:

Effective July 29, 2016, PHAs may choose, but are no longer required, to reduce the payment standard for a family that remains under HAP contract at the family’s second annual reexamination if, as the result of a decrease in the FMR, the payment standard would otherwise fall outside the basic range. HUD will issue additional guidance on this change in the future.

Family Unification Program (FUP) changes: HOTMA expanded FUP eligibility and increased time limits for eligible youth. The changes were effective upon enactment. HUD issued a letter to FUP executive directors on August 29 to ensure awareness of the changes.

Citizenship preference: This provision applies only to Guam and requires a preference for U.S. citizens and nationals over citizens of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. It was effective upon enactment of HOTMA.

Exception to resident board member requirement: HOTMA provides an exception to the requirement that the board must include at least one public housing resident for the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles and for any PHA in the states of Alaska, Iowa, and Mississippi. Since the provision has been in effect for a number of years through appropriations acts, no further action is required.

The letter contained the following guidance on HOTMA implementation:

All of the other sections in HOTMA that impact the HCV and public housing programs require that HUD first issue a notice or regulation for the provision to become effective. Until HUD issues the applicable notices or regulations, your PHA may not implement those additional sections. This information will also be transmitted in the near future via a Federal Register notice.

We realize that many PHAs are eager to implement the flexibilities and other statutory changes provided under HOTMA, so please be assured that HUD is working diligently to develop and provide the necessary implementation guidance in a timely manner. If you have any questions, please send them to HOTMAquestions@hud.gov.

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

Topics: appropriations, final rule, FMR, HOTMA, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, proposed rule, Q&A, reasonable accommodation, recertification, rent calculation, seniors and elderly, streamlining, voucher reform legislation

Affordable housing news 9/16/16

Posted by NMA on Sep 16, 2016 4:26:55 PM

Boston Globe: Housing subsidies represent perhaps the country’s best shot at breaking intergenerational poverty

CityLab: The case for preservation instead of construction

CityLab: Most Americans are worried about losing their housing

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: How do U.S. renters fare compared to those around the world?

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: Older single women face greatest housing challenges

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: New data on incomes suggests growing demand for housing

Next City: What Texas ruling means for fair housing

Next City: Nashville affordable housing advocates score 2 victories

NLIHC: Congress debates stopgap funding to avoid government shutdown

NLIHC: U.S. ranks poorly in housing affordability among advanced countries

Rooflines: Why we need to invest greater resources into the role of residential property managers

San Francisco Chronicle (via Planetizen): Housing crisis linked to public health problems

Urban Wire: What new programs and policies should PHAs be testing?

Urban Wire: How MTW could teach us about the benefits and costs of car access

Urban Wire: How HUD and PHAs can support students

Urban Wire: To increase housing choice, try incentivizing landlords

Topics: appropriations, fair housing, government shutdown, MTW, Program News and Notices, seniors and elderly

Senate passes HOTMA

Posted by NMA on Jul 15, 2016 12:20:35 PM

Senate passes HOTMA

Last night the Senate voted to approve the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA). The bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives in February, is expected to be signed into law next week. The bill has received widespread support from industry groups and advocacy organizations.

The new law contains a number of changes to program rules for the public housing and housing choice voucher (HCV) programs, homeless and veteran programs, and the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program.

Here is a brief synopsis of major HOTMA changes. Remember that HUD must complete the formal rulemaking process before changes take effect.

Revisions to the calculation of annual and adjusted income

  • After the initial year of assistance, prior-year income use is mandatory. Adjustments will be available to reflect current income
  • Exclusion of imputed asset income, unless net assets exceed $50,000
  • Increase in the allowance for elderly and disabled families from $400 to $525
  • Deduction for medical expenses which exceed 10 percent of annual income (changed from 3 percent)
    • Hardship exemptions required

Changes impacting the public housing and HCV programs

  • Requirement to provide a preference or priority for financial assistance to U.S. citizens or nationals before any alien who is otherwise eligible for assistance
  • Revisions to inspection requirements for the HCV program, including authorization for permitting families to occupy a unit prior to inspection (where the unit has been inspected within the past 24 months and no life-threatening deficiencies were found)
  • Imposition of an asset cap of $100,000
  • Optional termination of tenancy for public housing residents whose annual income exceeds 120 percent of fair market rent for two years
  • Changes to rules governing interim reexaminations
    • Interim decreases required only if rent will decrease by 10 percent or more
    • Interim increases required if rent will increase by 10 percent or more

Other HOTMA changes

  • Options to increase the allowable percentage of project-based vouchers (PBVs) and to extend PBV contract terms
  • Requirements for HUD to provide PHAs with
    • Data on local utility consumption for use in determining utility allowances
    • Guidelines for minimum heating requirements in public housing

Click here for a Congressional summary of HOTMA or here for the full text.

Got questions about HOTMA? Don’t miss Nan’s legislative update at the The Housing Conference this September, where she’ll discuss acts of Congress, regulation changes, and what's ahead for 2017.

Topics: HOTMA, inspections, over-income families, PBV, Program News and Notices, recertification, rent calculation, seniors and elderly, utilities, veterans, voucher reform legislation

Affordable housing news 2/5/16

Posted by NMA on Feb 5, 2016 4:52:51 PM

CBPP: House unanimously passes bill improving housing programs

CBPP: 2017 budget gives lawmakers a renewed chance to reduce homelessness

CSSP: New award to help accelerate positive change for women and girls of color

Governing: While homeless veterans get housing, the rest are left in the cold

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: The future of renting among older adults

HUD: First public housing units to be connected to gigabit internet

The HUDdle: A big housing problem requires clever, collaborative solutions

Motherboard: Google's free gigabit internet for public housing no replacement for reform

NCSHA: House unanimously passes rental assistance reform bill

The New Yorker (via CSSP): Forced out: For many poor Americans, eviction never ends

Next City: 10 metros where rising rent is a big threat to America's seniors

NHC: In 1952, then-senator Hubert H. Humphrey gave a speech to a National Housing Conference convening

NLIHC: Congress passes housing reform bill with rare bipartisan support

NLIHC: Rent increases forecasted to slow down in 2016, but not for low-income renters

Rooflines: The real rental housing issue

Rooflines: Why the presidential race ignores urban America

San Francisco Magazine (via Planetizen): Welcome to the strange politics of affordable housing in San Francisco

Topics: HOTMA, Program News and Notices, seniors and elderly, veterans

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

Friday news roundup 8/7/15

Posted by BEMuser on Aug 7, 2015 9:29:54 AM

CityLab: How the clean power plan will affect low-income communities

NHLP: New domestic violence web page includes VAWA resources and more

NLIHC: Representative Waters introduces bill to reform MTW demonstration

PD&R: Discrimination in the rental housing market against people who are deaf or use wheelchairs

Rooflines: "Aging in community" is the next frontier in community development

ThinkProgress (via CSSP): Could NYC's new affordable housing requirements work in your community?

Urban Institute: Why we should place choice at the center of affordable housing strategies

Topics: domestic violence, fair housing, MTW, Program News and Notices, seniors and elderly, VAWA

Friday news roundup 4/3/15

Posted by BEMuser on Apr 3, 2015 10:57:26 AM

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: Challenges ahead in housing America's older adults

The HUDdle: How the ROSS program helps public housing residents find jobs (and a follow-up here)

The HUDdle: The right to live in a home free from violence

NLIHC: 2015 edition of Advocates’ Guide now available online

Off the Charts: Senate should follow House and streamline rental assistance for people with fixed incomes

Topics: domestic violence, Program News and Notices, ROSS, seniors and elderly, VAWA

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