Affordable Housing News

HUD publishes HOTMA implementation notice

Posted by NMA on Jan 20, 2017 1:44:27 PM

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

Affordable housing news 1/13/17

Posted by NMA on Jan 13, 2017 4:17:07 PM

Bloomberg: Wall Street, America's new landlord, kicks tenants to the curb

Brookings: 3 opportunities for Ben Carson as the next HUD secretary

Chicago Business: What Chicago learned from privatizing some affordable housing

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: Housing policy in the next administration

Homelessness Law: The top 5 threats to people experiencing homelessness

NCSHA: Senate banking committee holds nomination hearing for Carson

Next City: Ben Carson on 5 big issues facing U.S. cities

Next City: NYC releases design guidelines for public housing

NHC: Placing housing costs in context

NLIHC: 115th Congress begins 2017 term with flurry of legislative activity

NLIHC: Families with vouchers are underrepresented in low-distress neighborhoods

New York Times: D.C. homelessness doubles national average as living costs soar

Rooflines: Carson tries to please everyone in confirmation hearing, mostly succeeds

Rooflines: Take the best of public housing, and make more

Urban Wire: What is the Obama administration's legacy on housing?

Urban Wire: Is Ben Carson ready to handle America's rental housing crisis?

Urban Wire: How a voucher program sparked interest in housing homeless veterans

Urban Wire: The role of housing in stabilizing children's lives

Washington Post: America's concern for the poor is about to be tested

Topics: Program News and Notices, VASH, veterans

Affordable housing news 11/18/16

Posted by NMA on Nov 18, 2016 3:48:45 PM

CBPP: Housing voucher reform will boost efficiency and opportunity

CBPP: Veterans' homelessness cut in half since 2010

Chicago Business: CHA tests new timer on housing vouchers

Chicago Tribune (via Planetizen): Chicago to co-locate libraries and public housing

CityLab: Fighting loneliness with public living rooms

CMHA: [VIDEO] VASH vouchers: How veterans and their families are housed

Curbed: Low-income housing doesn't hurt property values, says report

Curbed: The affordable housing crisis is a rural issue, too

Delaware Public Media: Delaware becomes third state to end veteran homelessness

Fast Company: In cities across the country, voters passed affordable housing measures

HUD: Renters more likely to be food insecure than homeowners

HUD: HUD and VA announce additional VASH funding

Next City: D.C. mayor says city's taking affordable housing to "next level"

Rooflines: 74% of U.S. households who are eligible do not receive Section 8 assistance

Topics: Program News and Notices, VASH, veterans

Hats off to the 2016 NMA Housing Awards winners!

Posted by NMA on Sep 20, 2016 4:13:08 PM

Yesterday at our fourth annual national housing conference in San Antonio, Nan McKay and Associates announced the four winners of the 2016 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.

2016 Development Award
(Large Agency)

Barton Block
Indianapolis Housing Agency

Barton Tower is one of IHA’s largest and oldest public housing communities, set in an urban neighborhood vastly different than the one that existed in 1968 when the tower originally opened. During the last decade, the surrounding area became one of Indianapolis’ premier cultural districts, turning the site into incredibly valuable real estate. Facing pressure to close Barton Tower and sell the property, IHA instead chose to reinvest in the tower and develop the remaining, underused parcel into Barton Block. IHA used innovative mixed financing to create a community asset that includes public open space, new and renovated affordable housing, and new businesses while preserving 372 rehabbed public housing units.

2016 Development Award
(Small Agency)

Rockford Veterans Drop-In Center
Winnebago County Housing Authority

The Center provides supportive services to veterans and had been using shared, donated space with another nonprofit’s building. However, the Center was about to lose this space and the ability to provide services. When WCHA learned of the problem, they offered a large home recently acquired through the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) program as a rehab and repurposed building for the Center. The home was rehabbed over approximately 90 days, providing a like-new building with energy-efficient appliances, located next to public transportation and within a two-block radius of a pharmacy, retail shops, banks and restaurants. The work was so well-received that the city was able to pass a special zoning use permit in just 60 days.

2016 Resident Service Award
(Large Agency)

Conversation Over Pizza
Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority

In August of 2015, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority launched a community initiative, Conversation Over Pizza, to provide a platform for residents to engage in productive dialogue. The goal of this resident-driven approach is to address the societal challenges faced by residents. CMHA, law enforcement, and community partners have facilitated ongoing focus groups to discuss and develop viable solutions for reducing crime, violence, and other community challenges. By raising awareness, listening to the community and working with residents, COP serves as a catalyst for building stronger community relationships and safer neighborhoods. This program is the first of its kind and has already been replicated by other cities, creating a national model that originated at CMHA.

2016 Resident Service Award
(Small Agency)

Full Circle Wrenching Crew
Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority

Full Circle is a year-round out-of-school program that provides youth receiving housing assistance with a positive and structured environment at no charge. Programs focus on empowering youth to develop new skills by trying new activities. As part of the program, children earned refurbished bicycles, helmets, lights, and locks. Once participants chose their bicycles, they learned how to properly put on a helmet, use and care for their bicycles and equipment, and ride safely. Full Circle Wrenching Crew promotes a can-do mentality along with the values of leadership, cooperation, and volunteerism by working with young people in a way that addresses their needs and wants. The responsibility, leadership, and maintenance skills gained through the program will benefit the participants for years to come.

The NMA Housing Awards 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. Entries for the 2017 awards will open this spring.

Topics: energy efficiency, mixed financing, NMA Housing Awards, Program News and Notices, The Housing Conference, veterans

Best Practices in Managing VASH Vouchers

Posted by NMA on Aug 31, 2016 9:46:36 AM

 

Michele Lazdowsky NMA director of program management Michele Lazdowsky will be presenting a session on VASH at The Housing Conference

Michele Lazdowsky, NMA's director of program management, will be presenting a session this year at The Housing Conference on best practices in managing VASH vouchers. Michele is a strong leader with over two decades of housing experience in the areas of compliance, HCV operations, inspections, management, project-based programs, public housing, state housing operations, and the VASH program.

Best Practices for Program Success

Best Practices in Managing VASH Vouchers
Presenters, Michele Lazdowsky and Becky Gligo

Leasing our nation’s veterans has recently been a top priority for HUD, as well as for many PHAs awarded funding under the HUD–Veterans Affairs (VA) supportive housing (HUD-VASH) program, which provides special vouchers for homeless veterans. As a PHA, you don’t get paid an administrative fee for unleased VASH vouchers — so the sooner a veteran is leased, the sooner fees are earned for you to administer the program. In working with PHAs and the VA through the Housing First initiative, we’ve discovered some best practices to quickly and effectively lease up homeless veterans. In this session, presenters Michele Lazdowsky and Becky Gligo will share those best practices and discuss what your agency needs to know in order to run a successful VASH program.

Interested in learning more about VASH? Make an appointment to talk with one of our experts at The Housing ConferenceMichele, Becky, and other industry experts are available for limited free one-hour Q&A sessions with registered conference attendees. Don’t delay, signups close this Friday! Register online or email sales@nanmckay.com for more information.

Topics: Executive Team, The Housing Conference, VASH, veterans

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 5/6/16

Posted by NMA on May 6, 2016 4:00:18 PM

CBPP: Drop in veterans' homelessness highlights vouchers' effectiveness

CityLab: What does Beyonce's Lemonade video have to do with affordable housing?

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: Why does affordable housing need saving?

The HUDdle: Expanding the blueprint for prosperity

Mobility Lab (via Planetizen): Affordable housing and transit should go hand-in-hand

NLIHC: Senate consideration of THUD spending bill delayed

NLIHC: Federal housing assistance declines despite increase in need

NPR: Most social programs in America work like this: if you qualify for assistance, you get it—but not housing

Rooflines: Does screening for eviction records violate the Fair Housing Act?

Urban Institute: Do people in poverty create bad neighborhoods, or do bad neighborhoods cause people to be poorer?

Topics: appropriations, fair housing, Program News and Notices, veterans

Affordable housing news 3/18/16

Posted by NMA on Mar 18, 2016 4:37:45 PM

If you're interested in the status of voucher utilization and funding, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) announced earlier this week that it will be hosting a free webinar next Wednesday, April 6, at 2:30 p.m. eastern time (11:30 a.m. Pacific time):

As of the end of 2015, state and local housing agencies had restored about half of the nearly 100,000 housing vouchers that they had cut after sequestration in 2013, and many were poised to restore additional vouchers in 2016. Some agencies that could be assisting additional families are instead leaving funds on the table unspent, however. Webinar panelists will provide a status update on voucher utilization and funding, discuss steps that housing agencies can take to improve utilization, and briefly assess the funding outlook for 2017.

Click here to register for the webinar. In other news:

NeighborWorks: More than 20 cities and states across the country have declared an end to veteran homelessness

NLIHC: Senate subcommittee holds hearing on FY17 HUD budget request

It's the first weekend of daylight saving time—enjoy the sunshine! We'll be back next week with more affordable housing news and analysis.

Topics: appropriations, HCV utilization, Program News and Notices, sequestration, VASH, veterans

President Obama releases proposed 2017 HUD budget

Posted by NMA on Feb 10, 2016 2:29:12 PM

Proposed 2017 HUD budget

Yesterday the Obama administration released its proposed budget for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017.

In a news release, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro praised the HUD portion of the budget for its focus on securing quality housing for Americans, ending homelessness, making communities more resilient, protecting people from housing discrimination, and providing critical rental assistance:

HUD’s proposed budget was built on the values that we uphold as Americans. That our entire nation benefits when our children grow up in a community that’s full of promise, not problems. When a hard-working family is able to responsibly buy their first-home, put down roots, and build wealth. When homeless veterans are able to get the housing they need to succeed in the very nation they risked so much to protect. When every person gets a fair shot and a fair shake to achieve their dreams.

What does the Obama administration propose for the housing choice voucher (HCV) and public housing programs in 2017? The proposed budget for HUD requests a total of $20.9 billion for the HCV program, or not quite 1 percent less than it requested for 2016. The total breaks down this way:

  • $18.4 billion for voucher renewals, or 0.6 percent more than was requested for 2016
  • $110 million for tenant protection activities, 27 percent less than was requested for 2016
  • $2 billion for administrative fees, or 3 percent less
  • $110 million for renewal of vouchers for persons with disabilities under Section 811 of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act, or 2 percent more
  • $60 million for the supportive housing program for homeless veterans, a 20 percent decrease from the amount provided the past several years
  • $88 million for new vouchers for families with children who are experiencing homelessness
  • $15 million for a new housing choice voucher mobility demonstration

As for the public housing program, the HUD portion of the proposed 2017 budget includes these requests:

  • $1.87 billion for the capital fund, or about 5 percent less than requested for 2016
  • $4.6 billion for the operating fund, or 0.7 percent less than was requested for 2016
  • $200 million for Choice Neighborhoods, or 20 percent less

For the consolidated family self-sufficiency (FSS) program, the proposed budget includes $75 million for family self-sufficiency coordinators, 12 percent less than requested for 2016.

You will find the president's message to Congress here, a slide presentation of the proposed HUD budget here, a brief summary of it here, a press release about it here, links to the congressional justifications for the various parts of it here, and the appropriations language submitted to Congress here.

To stay updated on the latest program information, subscribe to the PIH Alert and receive a daily email with news and analysis for PHAs and housing professionals.

Topics: appropriations, capital fund, Choice Neighborhoods, FSS, operating subsidy, PIH Alert, Program News and Notices, VASH, veterans

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

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