Federal Issues

Secretary Carson Applauds Nomination of Brian Montgomery as Deputy Secretary

Secretary Ben Carson applauds the nomination of Brian D. Montgomery to serve as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As the second most senior official at HUD, Mr. Montgomery will manage the day-to-day operations of the agency and will advise and assist the Secretary in leading the Department’s nearly 8,000 employees. Read more

HUD REAC Posts NSPIRE Health and Safety Risks

HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) has posted lists of health and safety items for each inspectable area to be inspected as part of REAC’s National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) Demonstration. The three inspectable areas are individual units, common areas inside buildings, and outside areas such as the site, building envelope, and building systems outside of a building or unit. There are two levels of health and safety severity: Severe health and safety risks, also known as exigent or life-threatening risks. These require immediate corrective action. Standard health and safety risks, also known as non-life-threatening risks. These require correction within 30 days. According to a Federal Register Notice on August 21, over the course of two years HUD will inspect 4,500 properties whose public housing agencies and owners of private HUD-assisted multifamily properties are willing to voluntarily adopt HUD’s new NSPIRE model (see Memo, 8/26).

The NSPIRE health and safety risks postings are at: https://bit.ly/2mh8rMj The NSPIRE homepage is at: https://bit.ly/2mh8rMj.

Disparate Impact

HUD formally published in the Federal Register on August 19, proposed changes to the fair housing Disparate Impact rule that would make it far more difficult for people experiencing various forms of discrimination to challenge the practices of businesses, governments, and other large entities. As proposed, the current three-part “burden shifting” standard to show disparate impact would be radically changed to a five-component set of tests placing virtually all of the burden on people who are in “protected classes” – people of color, women, immigrants, families with children, people with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and people of faith. The proposed rule also would provide special defenses for business practices that rely on statistics or algorithms.

Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 160 / Monday, August 19, 2019 / Proposed Rules 

HUD proposes rule that would make housing discrimination lawsuits ‘impossible’

Today, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) introduced a proposal that would overhaul the Disparate Impact rule, a 2013 regulation from the Obama administration that created uniform standards for the application of disparate impact—the idea that a policy can be discriminatory even if discrimination is not the policy’s intent—in housing discrimination lawsuits. Read more

Representative Waters Statement on HUD’s Move to Weaken Protections Against Housing Discrimination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement condemning the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposal to weaken a key aspect of the Fair Housing Act, the disparate impact standard, under which defendants can be held liable for policies or practices that have a discriminatory impact without proof of malicious intent.

“For too long, the federal government played a heavy hand in the institutionalization of overt racism and systemic inequality in our housing market through redlining practices, residential segregation, and lax industry regulation. While great strides have been made since the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968, housing discrimination continues to exist, and we must remain diligent in the face of artificial intelligence, algorithms, and other innovations in our housing market that can perpetuate discriminatory outcomes.

“Since January 2019, the Committee on Financial Services has held a variety of hearings that have demonstrated that housing discrimination remains persistent and threatens our economic prosperity as a country.

“Rather than taking these fair housing concerns seriously, Secretary Carson has proposed a rule that represents yet another egregious step by this Administration toward the dismantling of key civil rights protections in America. The proposed rule would make it substantially more difficult for victims of housing discrimination, including persons with disabilities, families with children, and racial minorities, to prove their case in a court of law and thereby hold bad actors accountable for their actions.”

HUD’s announcement that it plans to weaken the disparate impact standard is part of a series of efforts by the Trump Administration to dismantle key civil rights protections in this country, including Secretary Carson’s refusal to implement the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule and HUD’s cruel proposal to terminate housing benefits for families with mixed-immigration status.

Chairwoman Waters continues to fight against these efforts, and in the 116th Congress, she convened hearings on numerous issues including homelessness, homeownership, appraisals, access to credit and financial technology to shed light on housing discrimination and the resulting disparities in housing trends.

In 2015, the Supreme Court upheld the disparate impact standard under the Fair Housing Act in its Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs et al. v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., et al. decision, thereby affirming the majority of appellate court decisions on the issue. Chairwoman Waters led the effort to submit a Congressional amicus brief in the Inclusive Communities case in support of the disparate impact standard under the Fair Housing Act.

HUD Encourages Partnerships Between CDBG Recipients and Non-Profit Organizations

In accordance with Senate Report 115-268 accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 (P.L. 116-6), HUD has issued new clarifying guidance to further advance and leverage partnerships between Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grantees and subrecipients at the local level. This guidance describes key tools and resources available to assist CDBG grantees in facilitating partnerships with nonprofit organizations and other key stakeholders to complete community development, revitalization, and rehabilitation projects in local communities. Read more

HUD Seeks Housing-Provider Volunteers in REAC Pilot

HUD is seeking public housing agencies (PHAs) and owners of private HUD-assisted multifamily properties to volunteer for its Real Estate Inspection Center (REAC) pilot project. Read more

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.

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.

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

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Federal Issues

Secretary Carson Applauds Nomination of Brian Montgomery as Deputy Secretary

Secretary Ben Carson applauds the nomination of Brian D. Montgomery to serve as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As the second most senior official at HUD, Mr. Montgomery will manage the day-to-day operations of the agency and will advise and assist the Secretary in leading the Department’s nearly 8,000 employees. Read more

HUD REAC Posts NSPIRE Health and Safety Risks

HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) has posted lists of health and safety items for each inspectable area to be inspected as part of REAC’s National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) Demonstration. The three inspectable areas are individual units, common areas inside buildings, and outside areas such as the site, building envelope, and building systems outside of a building or unit. There are two levels of health and safety severity: Severe health and safety risks, also known as exigent or life-threatening risks. These require immediate corrective action. Standard health and safety risks, also known as non-life-threatening risks. These require correction within 30 days. According to a Federal Register Notice on August 21, over the course of two years HUD will inspect 4,500 properties whose public housing agencies and owners of private HUD-assisted multifamily properties are willing to voluntarily adopt HUD’s new NSPIRE model (see Memo, 8/26).

The NSPIRE health and safety risks postings are at: https://bit.ly/2mh8rMj The NSPIRE homepage is at: https://bit.ly/2mh8rMj.

Disparate Impact

HUD formally published in the Federal Register on August 19, proposed changes to the fair housing Disparate Impact rule that would make it far more difficult for people experiencing various forms of discrimination to challenge the practices of businesses, governments, and other large entities. As proposed, the current three-part “burden shifting” standard to show disparate impact would be radically changed to a five-component set of tests placing virtually all of the burden on people who are in “protected classes” – people of color, women, immigrants, families with children, people with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and people of faith. The proposed rule also would provide special defenses for business practices that rely on statistics or algorithms.

Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 160 / Monday, August 19, 2019 / Proposed Rules 

HUD proposes rule that would make housing discrimination lawsuits ‘impossible’

Today, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) introduced a proposal that would overhaul the Disparate Impact rule, a 2013 regulation from the Obama administration that created uniform standards for the application of disparate impact—the idea that a policy can be discriminatory even if discrimination is not the policy’s intent—in housing discrimination lawsuits. Read more

Representative Waters Statement on HUD’s Move to Weaken Protections Against Housing Discrimination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement condemning the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) proposal to weaken a key aspect of the Fair Housing Act, the disparate impact standard, under which defendants can be held liable for policies or practices that have a discriminatory impact without proof of malicious intent.

“For too long, the federal government played a heavy hand in the institutionalization of overt racism and systemic inequality in our housing market through redlining practices, residential segregation, and lax industry regulation. While great strides have been made since the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968, housing discrimination continues to exist, and we must remain diligent in the face of artificial intelligence, algorithms, and other innovations in our housing market that can perpetuate discriminatory outcomes.

“Since January 2019, the Committee on Financial Services has held a variety of hearings that have demonstrated that housing discrimination remains persistent and threatens our economic prosperity as a country.

“Rather than taking these fair housing concerns seriously, Secretary Carson has proposed a rule that represents yet another egregious step by this Administration toward the dismantling of key civil rights protections in America. The proposed rule would make it substantially more difficult for victims of housing discrimination, including persons with disabilities, families with children, and racial minorities, to prove their case in a court of law and thereby hold bad actors accountable for their actions.”

HUD’s announcement that it plans to weaken the disparate impact standard is part of a series of efforts by the Trump Administration to dismantle key civil rights protections in this country, including Secretary Carson’s refusal to implement the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule and HUD’s cruel proposal to terminate housing benefits for families with mixed-immigration status.

Chairwoman Waters continues to fight against these efforts, and in the 116th Congress, she convened hearings on numerous issues including homelessness, homeownership, appraisals, access to credit and financial technology to shed light on housing discrimination and the resulting disparities in housing trends.

In 2015, the Supreme Court upheld the disparate impact standard under the Fair Housing Act in its Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs et al. v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., et al. decision, thereby affirming the majority of appellate court decisions on the issue. Chairwoman Waters led the effort to submit a Congressional amicus brief in the Inclusive Communities case in support of the disparate impact standard under the Fair Housing Act.

HUD Encourages Partnerships Between CDBG Recipients and Non-Profit Organizations

In accordance with Senate Report 115-268 accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019 (P.L. 116-6), HUD has issued new clarifying guidance to further advance and leverage partnerships between Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grantees and subrecipients at the local level. This guidance describes key tools and resources available to assist CDBG grantees in facilitating partnerships with nonprofit organizations and other key stakeholders to complete community development, revitalization, and rehabilitation projects in local communities. Read more

HUD Seeks Housing-Provider Volunteers in REAC Pilot

HUD is seeking public housing agencies (PHAs) and owners of private HUD-assisted multifamily properties to volunteer for its Real Estate Inspection Center (REAC) pilot project. Read more

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.

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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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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

FEMA

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!