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HUD Update: Three Documents Regarding Vouchers and Project-Based Section 8

5 May 2016
 May 5, 2016
Category HUD News, News

HUD recently issued the three following documents relating to the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and Project-Based Rental Assistance. The documents are attached to this message and may be found on the NAHMA website below.

Notice of Demonstration To Test Proposed USPC-V Method of Assessing the Physical Conditions of Voucher-Assisted Housing

On May 4, HUD issued a notice soliciting comments on a demonstration program to test the new Uniform Physical Condition Standards for Vouchers (UPCS–V) approach for inspecting voucher-assisted housing. The notice explains the three main areas that will be evaluated during the demonstration: the objective condition standards (including a list of life threatening and emergency items that must be addressed), the revised information technology (IT) processes, and the new oversight approach. The notice also discusses the general public housing agency (PHA) participation criteria that HUD will use to select a representative mix of volunteer PHAs to participate in the demonstration. Under this Demonstration, HUD will test the UPCS–V model with up to 250 PHAs for up to three years.

The UPCS-V inspection method is intended to replace the current housing quality standards (HQS) inspections. In the 2014 appropriations legislation, HUD was directed to move to a consistent inspection standard across housing assistance programs. This move by Congress was spurred after HUD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released several audit reports and evaluations that identified weakness in the HCV inspection program. HUD found that the current HQS protocol lacked objective, well defined deficiency descriptions, was unable to capture detailed unit conditions, and relied on a paper inspection form. In addition, HUD identified that there was a broad absence of modern health standards such as carbon monoxide detectors and sprinkler systems.

HUD has indicated that the results of the Demonstration will be evaluated frequently and the outcomes will determine future measures to be taken before a nationwide program will be implemented.

Comments are due July 5, 2016

The Notice on the USPC-V method is attached to this message and can be found on the NAHMA website here

Proposed Information Collection: Screening and Eviction for Drug Abuse and Other Criminal Activity

Today HUD announced that it is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for information collection on the screening and eviction for drug abuse and other criminal activity.

The requested information and collection requirements consist of the screening requirements that PHAs use in order to obtain criminal conviction records from law enforcement agencies which are used to support the prevention of admission of criminals into Public Housing and Section 8 programs. HUD is also seeking information on lease enforcement and eviction of individuals in the Public Housing and Section 8 programs who engage in criminal activity. The respondents of this information collection activity will include state, local or tribal governments, PHAs, and Individuals or Households.

This request is a procedural requirement and is not a proposed rule or guidance for federally-assisted properties. NAHMA would like to share this proposed information collection with members as it could lead to a formalized proposed rule or policy change in the future.

Annual Adjustment Factors for FY 2016

The fiscal year 2016 Annual Adjustment Factors (AFFs) for the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Program is now available on the NAHMA website. This document also contains a link to dataset tables displaying the AAFs for FY 2016. (http://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/aaf.html )

The factors are based on a formula using residential rent and utility cost changes from the most recent annual Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI) survey. AAFs established by this Notice are used to adjust contract rents for units assisted in certain Section 8 housing assistance payment programs during the initial (i.e., pre-renewal) term of the HAP contract and for all units in the Project-Based Certificate program.

There are three categories of Section 8 programs that use the AAFs:

Category 1: The Section 8 New Construction, Substantial Rehabilitation, and Moderate Rehabilitation programs;

Category 2: The Section 8 Loan Management (LM) and Property Disposition (PD) programs; and

Category 3: The Section 8 Project-Based Certificate (PBC) program

The FY 2016 AFFs are attached to this message and can be found on the NAHMA website here

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