Without further action from Congress, on July 24, 2020 the federal eviction moratorium will end. To assist housing authorities (HAs), tenants, and voucher landlords in advance of the transition, the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published the Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit. The Toolkit includes eight documents:
1. PHA Brochure: suggested policies to assist households that may be behind on their rent, prevent evictions, and connect residents to resources
2. Tenant Brochure: information on how to handle any accrued rent debts, report income changes, addressing health concerns, and additional resources including VAWA rights
3. Voucher Landlord Flyer: steps and resources to avoid evictions
4. Three examples of repayment agreements
5. Resident Needs Assessment Survey: facilitates conversations between the agency and participants for the purpose of supportive service referrals
Waiver Notice Revised
In an effort to continue to support HAs and participants through the coronavirus crisis, PIH issued PIH Notice 2020-13. This notice supersedes PIH Notice 2020-05, extends previously issued waivers and provides additional waivers for both the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and public housing programs. In this notice, HUD reiterates its suggestion that HAs “utilize any and all waivers and alternative requirements as necessary to keep Public Housing and HCV programs operational to the extent practicable.”
Highlights from the Notice
An Attachment to the notice provides a chart outlining the following:
- New Waivers (four HCV, two public housing – all effective July 2, 2020)
- Waiver Extensions
- Technical Corrections to Previous Waivers
All previously established waivers for HAs are extended to December 31, 2020.
– HAs must “post publicly or otherwise make available to the public a list of all waivers and alternative requirements” implemented.
– Amended waiver: Owner certifications in lieu of HQS inspections are valid for up to one year, by which time an inspection must be performed by the HA (previously, inspections were required by October 1, 2020). Biennial inspections due can be postponed up to one year beyond the due date. (HQS-1, HQS-5)
– Clarified waiver: Capital Fund grants obligation and expenditure deadlines in effect as of April 10, 2020 are extended for one year, up to one month prior to the closure of the relevant appropriation account. (Section 12c)
– New Waiver: The requirement that HAs remove PBV units from the HAP contract 180 days following the last housing assistance payment on behalf of the family is waived. An HA can extend the 180-day deadline at its discretion, but not beyond December 31, 2020. (HCV-14)
– New Waiver: Designated housing plans expiring in CY 2020 are extended through the end of the year. HAs will have to submit their renewal requests at least 60 days prior to the extended expiration date of December 31, 2020. PHADA recommended this waiver as HUD provided itself with flexibility in reviewing plans beyond the 60-day notification deadline. (PH-11)
– New Waiver: Public housing annual self-inspection requirements are waived for 2020. (PH-12)
HUD also reminded HAs that there is no waiver to the requirement that tenants pay rent and therefore HAs should expeditiously process requests for interim recertifications for income decreases.
HAs can continue to submit questions directly to HUD at PIHemail@example.com. PHADA is pleased that HUD extended waivers until the end of the year as the association had requested. This action will provide much-needed stability to HAs and tenants alike. To be sure, there were additional actions HUD could have taken, and PHADA will continue to advocate for the needs of the industry.
We recognize that you, along with every other housing authority in the country, are in unprecedented and uncertain territory, trying to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus by changing business practices while staying focused on your mission to provide housing to low-income members of your community. It is not an easy task, and while you are no stranger to operating in less than ideal conditions, we are working to make your job easier.
PHADA is in contact with HUD and Congress to advocate for adequate critical funding as well as any waivers necessary to address HA concerns for the coming months. PHADA has also been working with its leadership and members to ensure that all interests are represented in our work with HUD and Congress. If there is anything you need that you feel is not being addressed, please let us know as soon as possible.
This is a challenging time for the entire industry, but we are going to make it through together. We want to hear from as many of you as possible – both members, and non-members alike. Send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you think HUD and Congress can be doing for you and your community. PHADA will continue to make sure your voice is heard as decisions are being made.