All Topics     |     Industry News     |     Knowledge Base     |     Company News     |     Product Updates

4 tips for being a fair housing superstar (part 3)

Posted by Adam Ensalaco on Apr 2, 2019 11:01:00 AM

How to become a fair housing superstar

April is Fair Housing Month! In honor of this occasion, I’m sharing four tips I’ve learned over the years. From “senior buildings” and reasonable accommodation to service animals and housing terminology, I’m here to get you on the path to becoming the fair housing superstar I know you are. This is a four part series, so be on the lookout for part four coming out next week!


Understand The "Critters" of Public Housing

There are three legally distinct types of animals in public housing.

Service Animals:

Service animals are dogs or miniature horses that have been trained to do something specifically related to a disability. Examples include a guide dog (or guide horse) for a client with vision impairment, a seizure alert dog, or a dog trained to bring various items (shoes, medicine, remote control) to a client with disabilities. PHAs may only ask if the dog is needed for a disability and what it has been trained to do. However, if it’s clearly obvious to the PHA (i.e. a guide dog for a client you can tell or already know to have a vision impairment) then no questions should be asked. PHAs may not ask what the disability is, how extreme it is, proof that the dog can do it, proof that it has been trained or licensed. Note that service animals are not reasonable accommodations. The same four-step process outlined above does not apply here (see the Americans With Disabilities Act for more guidance).

Assistance Animals:

assistance animals, on the other hand, are reasonable accommodations. These animals do not have to be a dog or a miniature horse, do not need to be trained to do anything specific but do need to be related to a disability. This is the category where we would find “emotional support” animals. Here’s what FHEO 2013-01 has to say:

An assistance animal is not a pet. It is an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability. Assistance animals perform many disability-related functions, including but not limited to, guiding individuals who are blind or have low vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds, providing protection or rescue assistance, pulling a wheelchair, fetching items, alerting persons to impending seizures, or providing emotional support to persons with disabilities who have a disability-related need for such support. For purposes of reasonable accommodation requests, neither the FHAct nor Section 504 requires an assistance animal to be individually trained or certified. While dogs are the most common type of assistance animal, other animals can also be assistance animals.

Neither service animals nor assistance animals are pets, and neither of them are subject to the regulatory restrictions under 24 CFR Part 960 Subpart G and Part 5 Subpart C.

Pets:

24 CFR 960 Subpart G and Part 5 Subpart C cover pet ownership in public housing. As PHAs that own public housing are landlords in their jurisdictions, HUD intends for them to follow all the state or local laws and ordinances that govern pet ownership in their area. This includes establishing pet fees, inoculation requirements, limitations on the number and size of animals per square foot of living space, etc.

From a fair housing perspective, what’s most important to remember is that service animals and assistance animals are not pets.

Next: Don’t Confuse Yourself

 

Want to build up your fair housing knowledge?

Check out our fair housing resources

 


More about the author:

Headshot of Adam Ensalaco

Adam Ensalaco specializes in making rent calculation easier to understand and clearing up common misconceptions about the process. Adam has previous experience in the affordable housing industry working to house people with disabilities and training housing authorities on reasonable accommodations and has been a part of the NMA team for nearly a decade.

Topics: eligibility, fair housing, service animals, Knowledge Base

ACOP: Hands-on Development Session

Posted by BEMuser on Aug 25, 2015 8:32:41 AM

 Terry Provance has been a trainer and consultant at Nan McKay and Associates since 1999. He recently took the lead role in creating and developing NMA’s PH Occupancy Tracking Tool, which can be used by any rental development, whether or not it’s HUD-assisted, including mixed finance and LIHTC properties. Terry will be presenting the following session at the 2015 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference.

Hands-on Learning for Active Solutions

ACOP: Hands-on Development Session
Presenter, Terry Provance

Join us for this intensive hands-on ACOP workshop! We’ll review mandatory changes required under VAWA 2013, service animal and assistance animal policies, and HUD guidance on public housing provisions in the 2014 appropriations act, as well as more recent HUD changes in the equal access and community service PIH notices.

We’ll also discuss some of the important discretionary policies that further the mandatory requirements. Are your waiting list preferences working for you? Is your definition of family compliant with recent regulatory changes? Is your repayment agreement policy effective? Are your termination actions meeting due process requirements? Compliant and specific policies are a critical factor in navigating these complex areas of public housing.

Bring your PHA’s ACOP to this session and be prepared to take notes. Time will be reserved for discussing your policies. Join us for this fast-paced session!

This is an interactive policy workshop. Please bring a copy of your PHA's ACOP.

Terry and other industry experts will be available for limited free one-hour consulting sessions at the 2015 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference. Registered participants can sign up on a first-come, first-served basis now. Register online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: appropriations, assistance animals, community service, equal access, fair housing, service animals, The Housing Conference, VAWA

Are your NMA model policies and Master Books up to date?

Posted by BEMuser on Aug 24, 2015 12:33:08 PM

NMA's revision services team has been working hard to get the latest editions of our model policies and Master Books written, published, and shipped to you!

2015: For 2015, the NMA Model Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy (ACOP) and Guide has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Updated language regarding nondiscrimination as outlined in Notice PIH 2014-20, which provides guidance on the equal access final rule
  • Revised policy changes concerning flat rent requirements mandated under the 2014 appropriations act and outlined in Notice PIH 2014-12 and its accompanying PIH-issued FAQs
  • Removal of the ACOP addendum due to the expiration of the temporary compliance provisions set forth in Notice PIH 2013-03 and extended by Notice PIH 2013-26
  • Revised clarifications regarding the definition of extremely low-income family, area median income, and other requirements per the implementation of the 2014 appropriations act and the HERA final rule
  • Other modifications for clarification and wording

2015: For the 2015 revision, the  NMA HCV Executive Management Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Updates regarding the applicability of the equal access final rule to administrators and owners of HUD-assisted housing per Notice PIH 2014-20
  • Additions regarding PHA-owned units to account for Notice PIH 2015-05 on project-based voucher (PBV) guidance
  • Updates to all regulatory references concerning 24 CFR part 982, which has been revised to reflect the sunset of the former certificate program
  • An entirely new section providing guidance and clarification on service and assistance animals
  • Other changes and updates for clarity, accuracy, and ease of reading

2015: For the 2015 revision, the NMA Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Updates regarding the applicability of the equal access final rule to administrators and owners of HUD-assisted housing per Notice PIH 2014-20
  • Revisions to VAWA certification guidance pertaining to the transmittal of the newly updated form HUD-50066
  • Minor modifications to account for Notice PIH 2014-25 on over-subsidization in the HCV program
  • Updates to all regulatory references concerning 24 CFR part 982, which has been revised to reflect the sunset of the former certificate program
  • Other changes and updates for clarity, accuracy, and ease of reading

2015: For the 2015 revision, the NMA HCV Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Updates to all regulatory references concerning 24 CFR part 982, which has been revised to reflect the sunset of the former certificate program
  • Revisions concerning the required frequency of inspections—either annually or biennially—per HUD’s implementation of the 2014 appropriations act provisions
  • Other changes for clarity, accuracy, and ease of reading

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: appropriations, assistance animals, books and revision services, equal access, executive management, fair housing, final rule, flat rent, HERA, inspections, PBV, service animals, VAWA

Hot Topics in Reasonable Accommodation: Live-in Aides, Service Animals, and Exception Payment Standards

Posted by BEMuser on Aug 17, 2015 11:54:58 AM
In her capacity as one of NMA's primary fair housing experts, trainer and consultant Becky Gligo has previously written for the NMA blog on such topics as fair housing and limited English proficiency (LEP), ensuring accuracy in rent calculation, and ideas for affirmatively furthering fair housing at your PHA. Her most recent series of posts focuses on how to make informed reasonable accommodation decisions. Becky will be presenting the following session at the 2015 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference.

Regulatory Knowledge for Smart Management

Hot Topics in Reasonable Accommodation: Live-in Aides, Service Animals, and Exception Payment Standards
Presenter, Becky Gligo

This session will cover the latest updates in fair housing in the area of live-in aides, service animals, and exception payment standards. The session will include the most recent HUD guidance and notices in these areas as well as recent case law. Reasonable accommodation processes, procedures, and common areas will be workshopped in this highly interactive training.

Becky and other industry experts will be available for limited free one-hour consulting sessions at the 2015 NMA and GoSection8 Housing Conference. Registered participants can sign up on a first-come, first-served basis starting today. Register online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: fair housing, reasonable accommodation, service animals, The Housing Conference

NMA's Public Housing Master Book has shipped!

Posted by BEMuser on Jan 14, 2015 10:34:23 AM

Subscribers to our annual revision service can expect to receive the latest version of the NMA Public Housing Master Book this week or next. If you have any questions about your subscription, please contact Laurie Durrett in our accounting department and she'll be happy to assist you.

The 2014 revision to the NMA Public Housing Master Book includes the addition of the following regulatory changes:

  • Extensive additions regarding the new flat rent requirements mandated under the 2014 appropriations act and outlined in Notice PIH 2014-12 and its accompanying PIH-issued FAQs
  • Updates to account for the issuance of Notice PIH 2013-26, which extends the temporary compliance provisions of 2013-03
  • Updated language regarding nondiscrimination as outlined in Notice PIH 2014-20, which provides guidance on the equal access final rule
  • Changes throughout the book for the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA)
  • A new section for service animals and assistance animals incorporating the latest guidance, including Notice FHEO 2013-1
  • A revised definition for extremely low-income (ELI) family, as per the Federal Register notice published June 25, 2014
  • Updates to the list of federally mandated income exclusions as published in the Federal Register, as well as other changes required by the HERA final rule
  • Additions, updates, and corrections to important HUD references
  • Minor modifications for clarification and wording

Looking for further guidance? Don’t miss our recent blog series on the new flat rent requirements, in which Annie Stevenson, author of the daily PIH Alert, analyzes how the new regulations will affect housing authorities and the families they serve.

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: appropriations, assistance animals, books and revision services, fair housing, final rule, flat rent, HERA, Notice PIH 2013-03, service animals, VAWA

Subscribe to our blog via email!    

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all