Federal Issues

HUD Multifamily Memo

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing issued a Memorandum to owners and management agents of private HUD-assisted multifamily properties reminding them about existing guidance regarding their obligations to residents. Five topics are addressed in the Memorandum dated July 8.

Owners must notify residents of planned physical inspections of their units or of the property in general and should give residents at least 24 hours’ advanced notice unless state or local law requires more than a 24-hour notice [24 CFR 200.857(g)].

  • Owners must make physical inspection documents available for review and comment, as well as copying, during regular business hours [24 CFR 200.857(g)(2)]. In addition to the physical inspection report, owners must make available for at least 60 days:
  • Any Notice of Default of the Housing Assistance Contract (NOD) or Notice of Violation of Regulatory Agreement (NOV). A copy of a NOD or NOV must be placed under each resident’s door and posted in the mail room and on each floor.
  • The “Owner’s Certification that the Physical Condition of the Project is in Compliance with HUD Contracts and the Physical Conditions Standards.”
  • The 100% survey of the project as requested in a NOD or NOV.
  • The owner’s Plan of Corrective Action if one is submitted.
  • The results of any re-inspections, technical review, and database adjustment appeal requests.
  • Owners must post notices in the management office and on any bulletin boards in all common areas informing residents that the above documents are available. The notice must include the name, address, and telephone number of the HUD Field Office account executive. Residents are encouraged to comment on all of the information and report any false certifications.

HUD reminds owners and management agents to consult residents before establishing or making significant adjustments to House Rules. House Rules are the owner’s written and displayed policies outlining the responsibilities of residents, owners, and management agents. They typically address topics such as noise, pest management, security, and trash disposal.

House Rules must be consistent with the HUD Model Lease and any applicable Use Agreement. All residents must receive a copy of the House Rules and have opportunities to ask questions about them.

When an owner or management agent submits a written response to a resident complaint to HUD or a Performance-Based Contract Administrator (PBCA), a copy of the response should be provided to the person who made the complaint.

Owners and management agents are encouraged to submit supporting information with their self-certifications of completed repairs. Examples could include photos, work orders or invoices, and letters from tenant organizations confirming satisfaction with the repairs.

HUD Posts New “Payment Standards” Chapter for Voucher Guidebook

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) has published a fourth new chapter, “Payment Standards,” as it incrementally revises the 13-chapter Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook  The previous guidebook (7420.10G) is from 2001. A notable change for this chapter is the inclusion of guidance regarding Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs), including detailed considerations a public housing agency (PHA) should take into account when deciding whether to apply SAFMRs to project-based vouchers (PBVs).

The new Payment Standards chapter, along with the three previous new chapters, is at: https://bit.ly/2XbzFEO

HUD Proposed Mixed-Status Immigrant-Family Rule

A group of 19 Democratic senators led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sent a letter on June 12 to HUD Secretary Ben Carson opposing the agency’s proposal to prohibit mixed-status immigrant families from living in public and other subsidized housing. The letter notes that 25,000 families, including 55,000 children who are U.S. citizens or who have legal status, are at risk of being made homeless by HUD’s proposal.

“Truncating current program benefits for residents in public and other assisted housing programs is misguided and will not solve the challenges our nation’s affordable housing programs face, as the Department and the Trump administration claim,” the senators state in the letter. “This is nothing more than an attempt to advance a dangerous agenda that targets and scapegoats the immigrant community.”

Additional signatories to the letter include Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Edward Markey (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Benjamin Cardin (D-MD).

See what other members of Congress have said in opposition to the rule at: https://www.keep-families-together.org/congress

House Committee Passes Bills Blocking Harmful HUD Proposals

The House Financial Services Committee passed two bills blocking harmful HUD proposals that would limit access to housing assistance for “mixed-status” immigrant families and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness. The “Keeping Families Together Act of 2019” (H.R. 2763) passed by a vote of 32-26 and the “Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act of 2019” (HR 3018) passed by a vote of 33-26, both along party lines.

Representative Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) introduced the “Keeping Families Together Act of 2019,” which would block HUD from implementing a proposed rule to prohibit “mixed-status” immigrant families from living in public and other subsidized housing, forcing families to either lose their homes or separate. Representative Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) introduced the “Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act of 2019,” which would prevent HUD from amending the Equal Access rule to allow homeless shelters to deny transgender people equal access to services, which could lead to increased deaths among transgender individuals experiencing homelessness. NLIHC strongly supports both of these bills.

HUD Issues Three Chapters of Revised Housing Voucher Guidebook

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) has published three of thirteen chapters of a revised Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook. The three chapters are “Eligibility Determination and Denial of Assistance,” “Moves and Portability,” and “Rent Reasonableness.” The previous guidebook (7420.10G) is from 2001.

The purpose of the revised guidebook is to inform public housing agencies (PHAs), households, and other stakeholders about how the voucher program is administered. It will contain regulatory requirements, PIH Notices, Federal Register notices, and other forms of guidance issued by HUD.

Because program policies and procedures change over time, the guidebook chapters will be active documents on HUD’s website. Individual chapters will be amended as policies are refined. The revised guidebook will have footnote citations whenever the word “must” is used. In many policy areas, HUD allows PHAs the flexibility to make local policy decisions, so it is important to note when HUD requires a policy to be adopted.

The Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook webpage is at:  https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/hcv/guidebook

PIH-REAC and Multifamily (MFH) Industry Day PowerPoint Presentation

Through its Physical Inspections Line of Business, HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) improves housing quality by performing accurate, credible, and reliable assessments of HUD’s real estate portfolio; helps ensure safe, healthy, decent affordable housing; and promotes sound property management practices.

Continue reading

Keep Families Together – HUD Proposed Rule Separating Immigrant Families

On May 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a proposed rule that would prohibit “mixed-status” families from living in public and other subsidized housing. Mixed-status families are households that include both members who are eligible and ineligible for housing assistance based on their immigration status. Both statute and regulation allow families to live together in subsidized housing even if one family member is ineligible so long as the housing subsidy is decreased to exclude the ineligible person from the assistance. Importantly, just because a household member is an “ineligible” immigrant, it doesn’t mean that they are undocumented. Immigrants can have legal status and still not be eligible for public housing and Section 8 programs.

Continue reading

President Trump Proposes Drastic Cuts to Affordable Housing Programs

National Low Income Housing Coalition Memo to Members  Mar 11, 2019

President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget request – released today – proposes to drastically cut housing benefits that help millions of low-income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, veterans, and other vulnerable people afford their homes. Like his other budget requests in FY18 and FY19, the proposal would reduce housing benefits for the lowest-income people by slashing federal investments in affordable homes, increasing rents, and imposing harmful work requirements on America’s struggling families. If enacted, the budget could leave even more low-income people without stable homes, undermining family stability, increasing evictions, and, in worst cases, leading to more homelessness.

Overall, the administration proposes to cut HUD by an astounding $9.6 billion or 18% below 2019 enacted levels, imposing deep cuts to affordable housing and community development, as well as other essential programs that ensure basic living standards.

NLIHC strongly urges Congress not only to reject Mr. Trump’s budget, but to significantly expand the investments in affordable homes that America’s families and communities need to thrive.

At a time when the affordable housing crisis has reached new heights and homelessness is increasing in some communities, the president’s proposal would eliminate or deeply cut essential housing and community development programs like the national Housing Trust Fund, the HOME Investments Partnership program, and public housing capital repairs.

The president would underfund rental assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher program and raise rents – by as much as three times current levels – on America’s poorest families. While the administration suggests its proposed budget would provide an increase in funding to the voucher program, this is misleading; the budget, in fact, includes cuts to housing assistance.

The budget would also impose punitive measures that would jeopardize family stability, increasing the financial burdens they face through higher rents and harmful work requirements that often push families deeper into poverty. Last year, HUD unveiled legislation to cut housing benefits through rent increases and work requirements. Learn more about President Trump’s proposed legislation to cut housing benefits, how cutting housing benefits would increase homelessness and housing poverty, and why this approach is has nothing to do with “increasing family self-sufficiency.”

“With this budget request, President Trump and Secretary Carson are making clear in no uncertain terms their willingness to increase evictions and homelessness – for the vulnerable seniors, people with disabilities and families with kids who will be unable to manage having to spend more of their very limited incomes to cover rent hikes,” said Diane Yentel, NLIHC president and CEO. “The administration callously disregards its responsibility to the millions of households living in deteriorating public housing and to low-income people and communities working to recover and rebuild after disasters by eliminating critical resources for public housing, rental housing construction and community development. This is a cruel and unconscionable budget proposal, and it should be soundly rejected by Congress.”

View FY19 Budget Chart for Selected HUD and USDA Programs

HUD Shortens REAC Inspection Notification Period

On February 20, 2019, HUD announced in a press release a new Notice that reduces to 14 calendar days (from 120-days) the advance notification inspectors will give before conducting physical inspections of public housing and private HUD-assisted multifamily housing. The intent is to reduce the lead time owners and PHAs have to make cosmetic repairs in order to secure a passing score on a REAC inspection. The Notice – PIH-2019-02/H-2019-04 – applies to all properties subject to REAC inspections. Continue reading

HUD Inspector General Identifies the Department’s Top Six Management Challenges

The HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report on the top management challenges facing HUD in 2019, identifying six specific issues which, according to the report, “impact HUD’s ability to meet the needs of its beneficiaries and protect taxpayer dollars.” Two of the six issues relate to ensuring the availability of safe, decent, affordable housing and administering disaster recovery assistance.

Read more.

Mark Calabria Nominated as New FHFA Director

President Trump has nominated Mark Calabria to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) once current Director Mel Watt’s term ends in January 2019. Calabria, currently chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, previously served as the director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute as well as deputy assistant secretary for regulatory affairs at HUD during former President George W. Bush’s administration. He was also a senior aide on the Senate Banking Committee, where he was one of the lead drafters of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which created FHFA. In 2015, Calabria opined that one way to pursue housing finance reform is to end Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s (the Government Sponsored Enterprises, or GSEs) housing goals, a reference to the GSEs’ mandate to serve low-income communities. He also endorsed eliminating 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and tightening homebuying standards by requiring minimum down payments of 5 percent and minimum FICO scores of 700.

Freddie Mac to offer loan support for shared equity home ownership

Analysis: On Nov. 5, the mortgage giant Freddie Mac is launching a new initiative: Community Land Trust Mortgages. Up until now, a major barrier for potential buyers to participate in a community land trust was getting a loan. Historically, financial institutions have been reluctant to lend money to borrowers interested in community land trusts because of the complexity of initiating and foreclosing a loan for a deed-restricted home. Deed restrictions ensure the permanent affordability of homes. Under its new program, Freddie Mac says it will make it easier for banks to engage in the process of underwriting properties with such deed restrictions. It will also standardize the process for foreclosing on such homes in case the community land trust does not exercise its right of first refusal, the right for the community land trust to be the first to purchase the property once it falls into foreclosure.

Read more.

HUD Updates Guidance for Addressing Low Multifamily Housing Physical Inspection Scores

HUD Notice H-2018-08

Servicing of Projects That Do Not Meet HUD’s Physical Condition Standards and Inspection Requirements (PCS&IR) or Fail to Certify That Exigent Health and Safety (EH&S) Deficiencies Have Been Resolved as Required.

Read more.

HUD Announces Intent to Revise REAC Scoring System

RESIDENTS HAVE A RIGHT TO LIVE IN HOUSING THAT IS DECENT, SAFE AND SANITARY

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) helps 4.7 million families to access affordable, quality housing. HUD supports these households through several rental assistance programs, primarily relying upon private owners to house these households. For example, local housing agencies own and operate approximately 900,000 public housing units. By contrast, HUD contracts with a growing number of private owners of apartment buildings to house another 1.2 million households.

Read more.

HUD Publishes FY19 Fair Market Rents

HUD announced in the August 31 Federal Register the publication of FY19 Fair Market Rents (FMRs). FMRs are used to determine payment standards for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, initial renewal rents for some expiring project-based Section 8 contracts, initial rents in the Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy program, and rent ceilings for the HOME Investment Partnerships program and the Emergency Solutions Grants program.

Read more.

HUD Provides CDBG FAQs on Meeting National Objectives for Acquisition, Demolition, and Disposition

HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) issued a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grantees determine whether use of CDBG for acquisition, demolition, or disposition meets one of the CDBG “national objectives.”

Read more.

NLIHC and National Women’s Law Center Publish New Factsheet on the Impacts of Housing Benefit Cuts on Women and Families

NLIHC partnered with the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) to create a new factsheet titled Cutting Housing Assistance is a Bad Deal for Women and Families. This resource provides information on the need for affordable housing across the country, and cites statistics showing why housing assistance is particularly critical for children and women, especially women of color, domestic violence survivors, women with disabilities, and LGBTQ individuals.

Read more.

HUD Publishes Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Streamlining AFFH

HUD published in the Federal Register on August 16 an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Streamlining and Enhancements,” inviting public comment on amending the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. NLIHC previously reported that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget received a “prerule” on August 2 (see Memo8/6). OIRA concluded its review of the prerule after only five working days. Comments are due October 15.

Administration Proposes Major Changes to the Nation’s Housing Finance System

Last month the Trump Administration unveiled a proposal to overhaul the federal government, including a number of major changes to the nation’s housing finance system.

Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations (PDF)

GAO Finds Flaws in HUD Lead Mitigation Efforts

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report evaluating HUD’s lead grant and rental assistance programs. The study found that HUD lacked standards and proper oversight for identifying and mitigating lead hazards, which could be increasing child exposure to unsafe conditions.

Read more.

HUD Indefinitely Suspends AFFH Rule, Withdraws Assessment Tool

A HUD Exchange email arriving at 4:34 pm on Friday, May 18 announced that HUD would be publishing three separate notices in the Federal Register indefinitely suspending implementation of the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule and removing its Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) tool for local governments.

Read more.

Advocates Publish Resident Handbook about RAD Conversions

Resident Handbook: A Guide to NYCHA RAD Conversion was published to help residents of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) understand and influence the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) process. Although written for NYCHA residents, the Handbook can also be a useful tool for public housing residents anywhere whose homes will be converted under RAD, are in the process of converting, or already have converted.

Read more.

HUD Names New Deputy Assistant Secretary of Multifamily Housing

HUD announced that C. Lamar Seats is the new deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Multifamily Housing Programs. Mr. Seats was a managing director at M&T Realty Capital Corporation, responsible for multifamily loan production related to Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac products. Prior to that, he was CEO of Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital LLC, senior vice president at Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., and senior vice president of Reilly Mortgage Group.

Read more.

HUD Issues Notice Regarding Refinancing Section 202 Housing for the Elderly 

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs issued Notice H 2018-02, providing guidance to owners of pre-1974 Section 202 Direct Loan properties serving the elderly that have the option of refinancing to make capital improvements and/or to reduce the interest rate. To prevent displacement of elderly residents, owners may seek Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPVs) or Senior Preservation Rental Assistance Contracts (SPRACs).

Read more.

NLIHC Creates Outline of CDBG-DR Federal Register Notice for Residents and Advocates

NLIHC has prepared a simple outline for residents and advocates to help them understand the requirements related to an Action Plan, public participation, and reporting that must be met in order to receive and use Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds. NLIHC’s outline summarizes key features to help residents and advocates better shape a CDBG-DR grantee’s Action Plan and to monitor uses of CDBG-DR over time…Read More.

New Energy & Water Efficiency Resources, Partner Triumphs and More – BBC Multifamily February Newsletter

In This Issue: Key Announcements | Access New Energy and Water Efficiency Resources! | Spotlight on Partner Energy Efficiency Successes

Read The February Issue

HUD

Programs of HUD is Now Available

Visit the HUD.gov/program_offices

FEMA

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief for Housing Cooperatives

HUD announced that $2.5 billion of Community Development Block Grant Funding (CDBG) was available through a Competitive Federal Grant from HUD to four states and New York City to address the remaining needs and promote resiliency for Sandy hurricane disaster relief – View here.

In response to a congressional request, FEMA released its report to Congress in June of 2014, confirming and stating more or less publicly that housing cooperatives are not covered by FEMA Disaster Relief. The wording in the conclusion to amend the Stafford Act is stated in a positive way.  Rep. Israel plans to meet with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Johnson.

Reverse Mortgages- Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM’s)

Without Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines the institutions of the secondary market will not purchase reverse mortgages on cooperative units. We need congressional help in urging HUD to release the Housing Cooperative HECM guidelines!

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Federal Issues

HUD Multifamily Memo

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing issued a Memorandum to owners and management agents of private HUD-assisted multifamily properties reminding them about existing guidance regarding their obligations to residents. Five topics are addressed in the Memorandum dated July 8.

Owners must notify residents of planned physical inspections of their units or of the property in general and should give residents at least 24 hours’ advanced notice unless state or local law requires more than a 24-hour notice [24 CFR 200.857(g)].

  • Owners must make physical inspection documents available for review and comment, as well as copying, during regular business hours [24 CFR 200.857(g)(2)]. In addition to the physical inspection report, owners must make available for at least 60 days:
  • Any Notice of Default of the Housing Assistance Contract (NOD) or Notice of Violation of Regulatory Agreement (NOV). A copy of a NOD or NOV must be placed under each resident’s door and posted in the mail room and on each floor.
  • The “Owner’s Certification that the Physical Condition of the Project is in Compliance with HUD Contracts and the Physical Conditions Standards.”
  • The 100% survey of the project as requested in a NOD or NOV.
  • The owner’s Plan of Corrective Action if one is submitted.
  • The results of any re-inspections, technical review, and database adjustment appeal requests.
  • Owners must post notices in the management office and on any bulletin boards in all common areas informing residents that the above documents are available. The notice must include the name, address, and telephone number of the HUD Field Office account executive. Residents are encouraged to comment on all of the information and report any false certifications.

HUD reminds owners and management agents to consult residents before establishing or making significant adjustments to House Rules. House Rules are the owner’s written and displayed policies outlining the responsibilities of residents, owners, and management agents. They typically address topics such as noise, pest management, security, and trash disposal.

House Rules must be consistent with the HUD Model Lease and any applicable Use Agreement. All residents must receive a copy of the House Rules and have opportunities to ask questions about them.

When an owner or management agent submits a written response to a resident complaint to HUD or a Performance-Based Contract Administrator (PBCA), a copy of the response should be provided to the person who made the complaint.

Owners and management agents are encouraged to submit supporting information with their self-certifications of completed repairs. Examples could include photos, work orders or invoices, and letters from tenant organizations confirming satisfaction with the repairs.

HUD Posts New “Payment Standards” Chapter for Voucher Guidebook

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) has published a fourth new chapter, “Payment Standards,” as it incrementally revises the 13-chapter Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook  The previous guidebook (7420.10G) is from 2001. A notable change for this chapter is the inclusion of guidance regarding Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs), including detailed considerations a public housing agency (PHA) should take into account when deciding whether to apply SAFMRs to project-based vouchers (PBVs).

The new Payment Standards chapter, along with the three previous new chapters, is at: https://bit.ly/2XbzFEO

HUD Proposed Mixed-Status Immigrant-Family Rule

A group of 19 Democratic senators led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sent a letter on June 12 to HUD Secretary Ben Carson opposing the agency’s proposal to prohibit mixed-status immigrant families from living in public and other subsidized housing. The letter notes that 25,000 families, including 55,000 children who are U.S. citizens or who have legal status, are at risk of being made homeless by HUD’s proposal.

“Truncating current program benefits for residents in public and other assisted housing programs is misguided and will not solve the challenges our nation’s affordable housing programs face, as the Department and the Trump administration claim,” the senators state in the letter. “This is nothing more than an attempt to advance a dangerous agenda that targets and scapegoats the immigrant community.”

Additional signatories to the letter include Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Edward Markey (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Benjamin Cardin (D-MD).

See what other members of Congress have said in opposition to the rule at: https://www.keep-families-together.org/congress

House Committee Passes Bills Blocking Harmful HUD Proposals

The House Financial Services Committee passed two bills blocking harmful HUD proposals that would limit access to housing assistance for “mixed-status” immigrant families and transgender individuals experiencing homelessness. The “Keeping Families Together Act of 2019” (H.R. 2763) passed by a vote of 32-26 and the “Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act of 2019” (HR 3018) passed by a vote of 33-26, both along party lines.

Representative Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) introduced the “Keeping Families Together Act of 2019,” which would block HUD from implementing a proposed rule to prohibit “mixed-status” immigrant families from living in public and other subsidized housing, forcing families to either lose their homes or separate. Representative Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) introduced the “Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act of 2019,” which would prevent HUD from amending the Equal Access rule to allow homeless shelters to deny transgender people equal access to services, which could lead to increased deaths among transgender individuals experiencing homelessness. NLIHC strongly supports both of these bills.

HUD Issues Three Chapters of Revised Housing Voucher Guidebook

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) has published three of thirteen chapters of a revised Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook. The three chapters are “Eligibility Determination and Denial of Assistance,” “Moves and Portability,” and “Rent Reasonableness.” The previous guidebook (7420.10G) is from 2001.

The purpose of the revised guidebook is to inform public housing agencies (PHAs), households, and other stakeholders about how the voucher program is administered. It will contain regulatory requirements, PIH Notices, Federal Register notices, and other forms of guidance issued by HUD.

Because program policies and procedures change over time, the guidebook chapters will be active documents on HUD’s website. Individual chapters will be amended as policies are refined. The revised guidebook will have footnote citations whenever the word “must” is used. In many policy areas, HUD allows PHAs the flexibility to make local policy decisions, so it is important to note when HUD requires a policy to be adopted.

The Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook webpage is at:  https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/hcv/guidebook

PIH-REAC and Multifamily (MFH) Industry Day PowerPoint Presentation

Through its Physical Inspections Line of Business, HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) improves housing quality by performing accurate, credible, and reliable assessments of HUD’s real estate portfolio; helps ensure safe, healthy, decent affordable housing; and promotes sound property management practices.

Continue reading

Keep Families Together – HUD Proposed Rule Separating Immigrant Families

On May 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a proposed rule that would prohibit “mixed-status” families from living in public and other subsidized housing. Mixed-status families are households that include both members who are eligible and ineligible for housing assistance based on their immigration status. Both statute and regulation allow families to live together in subsidized housing even if one family member is ineligible so long as the housing subsidy is decreased to exclude the ineligible person from the assistance. Importantly, just because a household member is an “ineligible” immigrant, it doesn’t mean that they are undocumented. Immigrants can have legal status and still not be eligible for public housing and Section 8 programs.

Continue reading

President Trump Proposes Drastic Cuts to Affordable Housing Programs

National Low Income Housing Coalition Memo to Members  Mar 11, 2019

President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget request – released today – proposes to drastically cut housing benefits that help millions of low-income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, veterans, and other vulnerable people afford their homes. Like his other budget requests in FY18 and FY19, the proposal would reduce housing benefits for the lowest-income people by slashing federal investments in affordable homes, increasing rents, and imposing harmful work requirements on America’s struggling families. If enacted, the budget could leave even more low-income people without stable homes, undermining family stability, increasing evictions, and, in worst cases, leading to more homelessness.

Overall, the administration proposes to cut HUD by an astounding $9.6 billion or 18% below 2019 enacted levels, imposing deep cuts to affordable housing and community development, as well as other essential programs that ensure basic living standards.

NLIHC strongly urges Congress not only to reject Mr. Trump’s budget, but to significantly expand the investments in affordable homes that America’s families and communities need to thrive.

At a time when the affordable housing crisis has reached new heights and homelessness is increasing in some communities, the president’s proposal would eliminate or deeply cut essential housing and community development programs like the national Housing Trust Fund, the HOME Investments Partnership program, and public housing capital repairs.

The president would underfund rental assistance through the Housing Choice Voucher program and raise rents – by as much as three times current levels – on America’s poorest families. While the administration suggests its proposed budget would provide an increase in funding to the voucher program, this is misleading; the budget, in fact, includes cuts to housing assistance.

The budget would also impose punitive measures that would jeopardize family stability, increasing the financial burdens they face through higher rents and harmful work requirements that often push families deeper into poverty. Last year, HUD unveiled legislation to cut housing benefits through rent increases and work requirements. Learn more about President Trump’s proposed legislation to cut housing benefits, how cutting housing benefits would increase homelessness and housing poverty, and why this approach is has nothing to do with “increasing family self-sufficiency.”

“With this budget request, President Trump and Secretary Carson are making clear in no uncertain terms their willingness to increase evictions and homelessness – for the vulnerable seniors, people with disabilities and families with kids who will be unable to manage having to spend more of their very limited incomes to cover rent hikes,” said Diane Yentel, NLIHC president and CEO. “The administration callously disregards its responsibility to the millions of households living in deteriorating public housing and to low-income people and communities working to recover and rebuild after disasters by eliminating critical resources for public housing, rental housing construction and community development. This is a cruel and unconscionable budget proposal, and it should be soundly rejected by Congress.”

View FY19 Budget Chart for Selected HUD and USDA Programs

HUD Shortens REAC Inspection Notification Period

On February 20, 2019, HUD announced in a press release a new Notice that reduces to 14 calendar days (from 120-days) the advance notification inspectors will give before conducting physical inspections of public housing and private HUD-assisted multifamily housing. The intent is to reduce the lead time owners and PHAs have to make cosmetic repairs in order to secure a passing score on a REAC inspection. The Notice – PIH-2019-02/H-2019-04 – applies to all properties subject to REAC inspections. Continue reading

HUD Inspector General Identifies the Department’s Top Six Management Challenges

The HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report on the top management challenges facing HUD in 2019, identifying six specific issues which, according to the report, “impact HUD’s ability to meet the needs of its beneficiaries and protect taxpayer dollars.” Two of the six issues relate to ensuring the availability of safe, decent, affordable housing and administering disaster recovery assistance.

Read more.

Mark Calabria Nominated as New FHFA Director

President Trump has nominated Mark Calabria to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) once current Director Mel Watt’s term ends in January 2019. Calabria, currently chief economist for Vice President Mike Pence, previously served as the director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute as well as deputy assistant secretary for regulatory affairs at HUD during former President George W. Bush’s administration. He was also a senior aide on the Senate Banking Committee, where he was one of the lead drafters of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which created FHFA. In 2015, Calabria opined that one way to pursue housing finance reform is to end Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s (the Government Sponsored Enterprises, or GSEs) housing goals, a reference to the GSEs’ mandate to serve low-income communities. He also endorsed eliminating 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and tightening homebuying standards by requiring minimum down payments of 5 percent and minimum FICO scores of 700.

Freddie Mac to offer loan support for shared equity home ownership

Analysis: On Nov. 5, the mortgage giant Freddie Mac is launching a new initiative: Community Land Trust Mortgages. Up until now, a major barrier for potential buyers to participate in a community land trust was getting a loan. Historically, financial institutions have been reluctant to lend money to borrowers interested in community land trusts because of the complexity of initiating and foreclosing a loan for a deed-restricted home. Deed restrictions ensure the permanent affordability of homes. Under its new program, Freddie Mac says it will make it easier for banks to engage in the process of underwriting properties with such deed restrictions. It will also standardize the process for foreclosing on such homes in case the community land trust does not exercise its right of first refusal, the right for the community land trust to be the first to purchase the property once it falls into foreclosure.

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HUD Updates Guidance for Addressing Low Multifamily Housing Physical Inspection Scores

HUD Notice H-2018-08

Servicing of Projects That Do Not Meet HUD’s Physical Condition Standards and Inspection Requirements (PCS&IR) or Fail to Certify That Exigent Health and Safety (EH&S) Deficiencies Have Been Resolved as Required.

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HUD Announces Intent to Revise REAC Scoring System

RESIDENTS HAVE A RIGHT TO LIVE IN HOUSING THAT IS DECENT, SAFE AND SANITARY

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) helps 4.7 million families to access affordable, quality housing. HUD supports these households through several rental assistance programs, primarily relying upon private owners to house these households. For example, local housing agencies own and operate approximately 900,000 public housing units. By contrast, HUD contracts with a growing number of private owners of apartment buildings to house another 1.2 million households.

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HUD Publishes FY19 Fair Market Rents

HUD announced in the August 31 Federal Register the publication of FY19 Fair Market Rents (FMRs). FMRs are used to determine payment standards for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, initial renewal rents for some expiring project-based Section 8 contracts, initial rents in the Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy program, and rent ceilings for the HOME Investment Partnerships program and the Emergency Solutions Grants program.

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HUD Provides CDBG FAQs on Meeting National Objectives for Acquisition, Demolition, and Disposition

HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) issued a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grantees determine whether use of CDBG for acquisition, demolition, or disposition meets one of the CDBG “national objectives.”

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NLIHC and National Women’s Law Center Publish New Factsheet on the Impacts of Housing Benefit Cuts on Women and Families

NLIHC partnered with the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) to create a new factsheet titled Cutting Housing Assistance is a Bad Deal for Women and Families. This resource provides information on the need for affordable housing across the country, and cites statistics showing why housing assistance is particularly critical for children and women, especially women of color, domestic violence survivors, women with disabilities, and LGBTQ individuals.

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HUD Publishes Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Streamlining AFFH

HUD published in the Federal Register on August 16 an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Streamlining and Enhancements,” inviting public comment on amending the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. NLIHC previously reported that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget received a “prerule” on August 2 (see Memo8/6). OIRA concluded its review of the prerule after only five working days. Comments are due October 15.

Administration Proposes Major Changes to the Nation’s Housing Finance System

Last month the Trump Administration unveiled a proposal to overhaul the federal government, including a number of major changes to the nation’s housing finance system.

Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations (PDF)

GAO Finds Flaws in HUD Lead Mitigation Efforts

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report evaluating HUD’s lead grant and rental assistance programs. The study found that HUD lacked standards and proper oversight for identifying and mitigating lead hazards, which could be increasing child exposure to unsafe conditions.

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HUD Indefinitely Suspends AFFH Rule, Withdraws Assessment Tool

A HUD Exchange email arriving at 4:34 pm on Friday, May 18 announced that HUD would be publishing three separate notices in the Federal Register indefinitely suspending implementation of the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule and removing its Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) tool for local governments.

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Advocates Publish Resident Handbook about RAD Conversions

Resident Handbook: A Guide to NYCHA RAD Conversion was published to help residents of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) understand and influence the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) process. Although written for NYCHA residents, the Handbook can also be a useful tool for public housing residents anywhere whose homes will be converted under RAD, are in the process of converting, or already have converted.

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HUD Names New Deputy Assistant Secretary of Multifamily Housing

HUD announced that C. Lamar Seats is the new deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Multifamily Housing Programs. Mr. Seats was a managing director at M&T Realty Capital Corporation, responsible for multifamily loan production related to Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac products. Prior to that, he was CEO of Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital LLC, senior vice president at Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., and senior vice president of Reilly Mortgage Group.

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HUD Issues Notice Regarding Refinancing Section 202 Housing for the Elderly 

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs issued Notice H 2018-02, providing guidance to owners of pre-1974 Section 202 Direct Loan properties serving the elderly that have the option of refinancing to make capital improvements and/or to reduce the interest rate. To prevent displacement of elderly residents, owners may seek Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPVs) or Senior Preservation Rental Assistance Contracts (SPRACs).

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NLIHC Creates Outline of CDBG-DR Federal Register Notice for Residents and Advocates

NLIHC has prepared a simple outline for residents and advocates to help them understand the requirements related to an Action Plan, public participation, and reporting that must be met in order to receive and use Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds. NLIHC’s outline summarizes key features to help residents and advocates better shape a CDBG-DR grantee’s Action Plan and to monitor uses of CDBG-DR over time…Read More.

New Energy & Water Efficiency Resources, Partner Triumphs and More – BBC Multifamily February Newsletter

In This Issue: Key Announcements | Access New Energy and Water Efficiency Resources! | Spotlight on Partner Energy Efficiency Successes

Read The February Issue

HUD

Programs of HUD is Now Available

Visit the HUD.gov/program_offices

FEMA

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief for Housing Cooperatives

HUD announced that $2.5 billion of Community Development Block Grant Funding (CDBG) was available through a Competitive Federal Grant from HUD to four states and New York City to address the remaining needs and promote resiliency for Sandy hurricane disaster relief – View here.

In response to a congressional request, FEMA released its report to Congress in June of 2014, confirming and stating more or less publicly that housing cooperatives are not covered by FEMA Disaster Relief. The wording in the conclusion to amend the Stafford Act is stated in a positive way.  Rep. Israel plans to meet with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Johnson.

Reverse Mortgages- Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM’s)

Without Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines the institutions of the secondary market will not purchase reverse mortgages on cooperative units. We need congressional help in urging HUD to release the Housing Cooperative HECM guidelines!