Affordable Housing News

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

Registration now open for 2017 national conference

Posted by NMA on Feb 2, 2017 4:11:45 PM

The Housing Conference in Boston, 2017Registration for The Housing Conference is now open! All of us at Nan McKay & Associates are thrilled to be taking our fifth annual national housing conference to Boston, MA.

We have a fantastic schedule of sessions underway, including topics like how to manage your PBV and PBRA programs, streamlining your HCV program, multigenerational workplaces and succession planning, what's new in RAD, applying to be an MTW agency, CDBG-DR and resilience, best practices for wait lists, and much, much more. As in previous years, we'll also be announcing the winners of the 2017 NMA Housing Awards. Stay tuned for the agenda, which will be available very soon. 

The Housing Conference

Visit our website to register!

Topics: CDBG, MTW, NMA Housing Awards, Partnerships, PBRA, PBV, Program News and Notices, RAD, streamlining, The Housing Conference

Are your NMA Master Books up to date?

Posted by NMA on Nov 2, 2016 9:36:18 AM

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

2016: COMING SOON! For 2016, the NMA Public Housing Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Sweeping changes brought about by the final rule on streamlining administration regulations, 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 final rule as described in Notices PIH 2016-05 and PIH 2016-06
  • Updates regarding the use of arrest records in denials and terminations per Notice PIH 2015-19
  • Other minor modifications and clarifications to bring the content current with HUD regulations and guidance

2016: COMING SOON! For 2016, the NMA Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Financial Management and Reporting Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Clarifications for HAP funding allocations based on the 2016 appropriations act, in addition to other updates as specified in Notice PIH 2016-04
  • Modifications to audit requirements to account for the redesignation of regulations to 2 CFR Part 200
  • Clarifications on the use of administrative fees per Notice PIH 2015-17
  • Revised reporting procedures for executive compensation as delineated in Notice PIH 2015-14
  • Changes to requirements regarding portability as set forth in the streamlining portability final rule
  • Modifications to account for the updated VMS user manual
  • The addition of several new exhibits to illustrate and explain financial concepts and processes
  • Insertion of additional citations and references to substantiate source material
  • Other modifications and clarifications to bring the content current with HUD regulations and guidance

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, criminal records, fair housing, portability, Program News and Notices, recertification, rent calculation, streamlining, utilities

HUD publishes HOTMA implementation guidance

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

HOTMA

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, Program News and Notices, reasonable accommodation, rent calculation, streamlining, voucher reform legislation

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

Q&A: Flat rent annual review

Posted by NMA on Sep 6, 2016 12:32:53 PM

Flat rent annual reviewQUESTION    I’m confused about all of the flat rent changes over the past couple of years. I see that HUD has published FMRs for 2017 and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with them. Help, please!

ANSWER    You’re correct that HUD published the fair market rents (FMRs) for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017 on August 26. The FMR data set includes a table of unadjusted rents. Small area fair market rents (SAFMRs) were posted on August 30. Your agency will need one or more of these data sets in order to comply with HUD’s current requirements for reviewing flat rents on an annual basis. The flat rent annual review must be completed within 90 days after the issuance of new FMRs.

The current requirements for determining public housing flat rents were published in the streamlining final rule (published March 8 in the Federal Register) and in Notice PIH 2015-13 (published September 8, 2015). The corresponding regulations are at 24 Code of Federal Regulations 960.253. PHAs are now required to set flat rents at no less than the lower of:

  • 80 percent of the applicable FMR
  • 80 percent of the SAFMR (published for metropolitan areas)
  • 80 percent of unadjusted rents (published for nonmetropolitan areas)

Alternatively, PHAs may apply for an exception waiver through HUD to allow a lower flat rent. For areas in which HUD has not published a SAFMR or unadjusted rent, flat rents must be set at no less than 80 percent of the applicable FMR.

Since FMRs are published annually, PHAs must now review flat rents each year to ensure compliance with the current rule. The following is an excerpt from Notice PIH 2015-13 which describes the requirements for the flat rent annual review:

In order to comply with the flat rent requirements annually, no later than 90 days after issuance of new FMRs or SAFMRs by HUD, the PHA must:

1. Compare the current flat rent amount to the applicable FMR and SAFMR/unadjusted rent:

a) If the flat rent is at least 80 percent of the lower of the FMR or SAFMR/unadjusted rent, the PHA is in compliance with the law, and no further steps are necessary;

b) If the flat rent is less than 80 percent of the lower of the FMR and SAFMR, the PHA must set flat rents at no less than 80 percent of the lower of the FMR or SAFMR/unadjusted rent, subject to the utilities adjustment in this notice, or the PHA may request an exception flat rent pursuant to the requirements of Section 4 of this notice;

2. Update the flat rent policies in the admissions and continued occupancy policies (ACOP) as necessary;

3. At all new admissions, permit the family to choose between the flat rent amount and the income-based rent; and

4. For families that are current public housing residents, offer the updated flat rent amount at the next annual rent option, and permit the family to choose between the flat rent amount and the income-based rent

Flat rent increases must be capped at 35 percent per year. PHAs are no longer permitted to phase in increases of 35 percent or less.

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're attending The Housing Conference this month in San Antonio, you can also ask Annie your question in person! Don't miss her sessions on the fair housing final rule and new and upcoming affordable housing legislationRegister online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: final rule, flat rent, FMR, PIH Alert, PIH notices, Program News and Notices, Q&A, streamlining

Technology Strategies for PHAs to Thrive In A Changing Industry

Posted by NMA on Aug 22, 2016 11:00:31 AM

Dave Sagers, director of market intelligence for HAI Group, will present a session on technology strategies at The Housing Conference

Nan McKay and Associates is a proud partner of HAI Group, a family of companies serving the public and affordable housing community, including HousingHub, HTVN, and the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC). As a co-sponsor of The Housing Conference, HAI Group will be presenting the following session at the conference in San Antonio this September.


Executive Leadership for Performance Excellence

Technology Strategies for PHAs to Thrive In A Changing Industry
Presenter, Dave Sagers of HAI Group

As director of market intelligence for HAI Group, Dave Sagers has spent several years analyzing housing authorities' strategies, challenges, key processes, and opportunities for operational improvement. This session will leverage industry research and PHA experiences to focus on:

  • Trends impacting PHAs, including regulatory streamlining, LIHTC real estate development, HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), and the Moving to Work (MTW) expansion
  • How PHA business models, strategies, and needs are changing in response
  • How technology is and can be strategically leveraged to support these strategies

The Housing Conference, presented by NMA and HAI Group, will spotlight three tracks: an executive track, a regulatory track, and a best practices track. Go here to view a list of the session descriptions that have been published so far.

Topics: HTVN, LIHTC, MTW, Partnerships, RAD, streamlining, The Housing Conference

Congratulations to Sheron Stepney!

Posted by NMA on Aug 2, 2016 11:28:04 AM

Congratulations to Sheron Stepney at the East St. Louis Housing Authority, the winner of our #ThrowbackThursday contest! She shared a fantastic #NMAthrowback from 2001 on our Facebook page and has won an NMA Master Book of her choice. Thanks to everyone who participated!

NMA’s Master Book series is a complete program guide providing you with detailed explanations on how to apply the latest rules and regulations for the public housing and housing choice voucher programs.

These books clarify tough HUD regulations and are a valuable asset to anyone working in the affordable housing industry. NMA's revision services team has been working hard to get the latest editions of our Master Books written, published, and shipped to you.

2016: COMING SOON! For 2016, the NMA HCV Executive Management Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Sweeping changes brought about by the final rule on streamlining administration regulations, issued March 8, 2016, including modifications regarding verification, utility reimbursements, annual and interim reexaminations, and inspection protocol, among other areas of program administration
  • Changes to account for the final rule on streamlining portability, issued August 20, 2015
  • The addition of a new section on required PHA policies and policy development, with a focus on the consolidated plan, the PHA plan, the assessment of fair housing (AFH), and the administrative plan
  • Updates regarding the use of arrest records in denials and terminations per Notice PIH 2015-19
  • Other minor modifications and clarifications to bring the content current with HUD regulations and guidance

2016: COMING SOON! For 2016, the NMA HCV Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Several changes regarding inspection requirements brought about by the final rule on streamlining administration regulations, issued March 8, 2016
  • Further clarifications on the streamlining rule as described in Notice PIH 2016-05, which provided implementation guidance on various aspects of the rule
  • Other clarifications and corrections to bring the content current with HUD regulations and guidance, including topics such as lead-based paint and inspection accuracy

Got questions about the final rules on streamlining administrative regulations and portability? Don’t miss Nan’s legislative update at the The Housing Conference next month, where she’ll discuss acts of Congress, regulation changes, and what’s ahead for 2017.

Topics: books and revision services, criminal records, fair housing, inspections, portability, Program News and Notices, recertification, streamlining, utilities

NMA's seminar calendar for Q4 2016 is now available!

Posted by NMA on Jul 13, 2016 2:32:17 PM

We’re pleased to announce the release of NMA's seminar calendar for the fourth quarter of 2016. You can view a list of the affordable housing training that Nan McKay and Associates is offering from now through December on this page at our website.

Start planning your autumn training now and save! If you register at least 45 days in advance for most seminars, you’ll receive a 10 percent discount. (The discount does not apply to seminars hosted by housing authorities or associations.)

Upcoming classes updated for the streamlining final rule include:

Topics: books and revision services, fair housing, final rule, hearing officer, HQS, MHS, PBV, Program News and Notices, public housing management, RAD, reasonable accommodation, rent calculation, streamlining

Managing Portability

Posted by NMA on Jul 7, 2016 9:33:00 AM

NMA senior trainer Gail Gillispie will be presenting a session on portability at The Housing Conference in San Antonio

Gail Gillispie brings to her position as NMA senior trainer extensive knowledge of federally subsidized housing programs and two decades of experience in property management and development. Her knowledge and experience are complemented by a keen aptitude for analysis, an informed perspective on housing issues, a vivacious personality, and superb communication and presentation skills. Gail will be presenting the following session at The Housing Conference this September in San Antonio, Texas.

Regulatory Knowledge for Smart Management

Managing Portability
Presenter, Gail Gillispie

Portability is always a hot topic, and with the recent issuance of Notice PIH 2016-09, many PHAs have more questions than answers. We'll cover the new notice in depth, including its changes related to last year's streamlining portability final rule. This session will also focus on the responsibilities of both the initial and receiving PHAs and how to track key portability functions. To manage the portability process effectively, you must create systems and tools to monitor and track the status of portable families. We will be utilizing the HUD-52665 Family Portability Information form to outline the process and provide you with a tool to successfully track the status of portable families.

Gail and other industry experts are available for limited free one-hour Q&A sessions at The Housing Conference to registered participants. Don’t delay, signups are first-come, first-served! Register online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: final rule, PIH notices, portability, streamlining, The Housing Conference, Trainers and Consultants

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