On December 12, 2017, HUD published an interim final rule in the Federal Register that amends the regulatory language for PIH and Multifamily Housing rental assistance programs. This interim rule went into effect Monday, March 12, 2018. The rule aligns the current regulatory flexibilities with those provided in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. In addition, it extends two of the administrative streamlining changes that were adopted in 2016 for the Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing programs to Multifamily programs.
The interim final rule implements FAST Act provisions that allow public housing agencies (PHAs) and multifamily housing owners to conduct full income recertification for families with 90 percent or more of their income from fixed-income sources every three years instead of annually. This interim final rule also aligns the current regulatory flexibilities with those provided in the FAST Act by modifying the earlier streamlining regulations. This makes the procedures for families meeting the fixed-income threshold as similar as possible to families who do not have 90 percent or more of their income from fixed sources, but still have some fixed income.
In addition to streamlining fixed income stipulations, the interim final rule also indicates that an owner may:
o Make utility reimbursements of $45 or less per quarter ($15 a month) on a quarterly basis.
o Accept family declaration of assets under $5,000. Third-party verification of all family assets will be required every 3 years.
Use of streamlined procedures authorized by the rule are all at the option of the owner and not required.
A FAQ file is available on HUD.gov. Additional FAQ’s and a supporting Housing Notice are currently being developed. Project owners are encouraged to submit any questions to their assigned Contract Administrator or local HUD office.