Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Sections

Federal Housing News

August 17, 2015

High Volume Two Quarters for GSEs Bodes Well for NHTF

The volume of business for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two housing government sponsored enterprises (GSEs), for the first two quarters of 2015 was significantly higher than originally estimated by the Administration in setting the FY16 budget for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHFT) and the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF).

NLIHC has received an unofficial new estimate for the NHTF from the Department of Treasury of $196 million, based on annualizing the volume of business for 2015 using the first two quarters. This is considerably higher than the estimate of $120 million that was in the President’s FY16 budget proposal. The new estimate for the CMF is $106 million, up from $64 million.

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), which established the NHTF and CMF, requires the GSEs to contribute 4.2 basis points of their volume of business each year to support the two funds. The requirement was suspended in November 2008 after the GSEs were taken into conservatorship during the financial disaster caused by the foreclosure crisis. Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt lifted the suspension on December 11, 2014 (see Memo, 12/15/14). HERA also requires that the first 25% of the total go to the Hope for Homeowners Reserve Fund, which is expected to be needed for the first year only.

For more information about the NHTF, go to www.nhtf.org.



HUD Issues Revised Section 8 Renewal Policy Guidebook

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs issued an updated Section 8 Renewal Policy Guidebook. A cover sheet summarizes 125 changes and provides links to the changes. The body of the Guide contains asterisks indicating specific revisions in the 221-page document. Two chapters are completely revised: Chapter 2 that outlines six options available to owners with expiring Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contracts, and Chapter 16 pertaining to the old State Housing Finance Agency form of HAP contract.

Because Section 8 policy continued to evolve dramatically since the mid-1990’s when long-term Project-Based Section 8 HAP contracts began expiring, HUD created the Guide to make Section 8 policy more effective and accessible for HUD’s partners. The Guide, which is updated periodically, provides comprehensive guidance for renewing expiring Section 8 HAP contracts. It incorporates the procedures contained in previous Section 8 expiring contract Housing Notices, along with a number of other changes.

Chapter 11, which highlights tenant issues, has seven revisions. This chapter has always explained the difference between a regular Housing Choice Voucher and an Enhanced Voucher, the meaning of “opting out” of a Section 8 HAP contract, details regarding an owner’s obligation to notify tenants well before opting out, and tenants’ right to remain in their homes with an Enhanced Voucher when an owner opts out.

The policy changes will be effective for all Project-Based Section 8 renewals or amended rent request packages received by HUD after November 5, 2015.

NLIHC wants to remind Memo readers about the National Housing Preservation Database (NHPD), which contains critical information about every federally assisted property in the country. The primary purpose of the NHPD is to provide local advocates with details about expiring use and other threats to preserving public and assisted housing. The NHPD is a joint project of NLIHC and the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PARHC) and is currently provided to the public free of charge. To become a NHPD user, go to http://www.preservationdatabase.org.

The revised Section 8 Renewal Policy Guidebook is at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=Section8_Renewal_Guide.pdf

Basic information about Project-Based Section 8 is on page 4-26 of NLIHC’s 2015 Advocates’ Guide, http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/Sec4.08_Project-Based-Rental-Assistance_2015.pdf


HUD Notice Provides Guidance Regarding Public Housing Community Service and Self-Sufficiency Requirements

HUD issued a Notice to help public housing agencies (PHAs) understand the Community Service and Self-Sufficiency Requirement (CSSR) for public housing residents so that PHAs can more effectively administer the requirement. In response to a report from HUD’s Office of the Inspector General on February 13, 2015 that was critical of how CSSR has been implemented, the Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) issued Notice PIH-2015-12 on August 13.

The Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 requires every adult resident of public housing to contribute eight hours of community service per month or to participate in an economic self-sufficiency program for eight hours per month. A public housing resident could meet the requirement by performing eight hours of some combination of community service or economic self-sufficiency activity. The requirement is not restricted to a precise eight hours per month; a resident could comply by performing any amount of hours per month, as long as at least 96 hours are accumulated by their annual certification.

Community service is defined as “The performance of voluntary work or duties that are a public benefit, and that serve to improve the quality of life, enhance resident self-sufficiency, or increase resident self-responsibility in the community.” The Notice lists examples of eligible community service activities such as serving at schools, Head Start Programs, child-care centers, or senior centers; assisting at nonprofits dedicated to special needs populations, environmental improvement, or the performing arts; improving conditions at their public housing development; and participating on resident councils or the Resident Advisory Board. A PHA may not substitute community service for work ordinarily performed by a PHA employee.

Examples of eligible self-sufficiency activities include job readiness or training, higher education, apprenticeships, substance abuse counseling, literacy classes, English proficiency classes, and budgeting counseling.

The Notice provides examples of public housing residents who are exempt from the requirements, including people 62 years old or older, people with disabilities, and people engaged in work activities. The Notice provides a list of work activities, including employment, vocational education, on-the-job-training, and education directly related to employment. PHAs are encouraged to use 30 hours per week as the minimum number of hours for a work activity to be eligible.

PHAs must develop a policy for administering the CSSR and include the policy in the PHA’s Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policies (ACOP) document. The ACOP must describe the PHA’s responsibility for administering the CSSR, eligible and non-eligible activities, exemptions from the requirement, and compliance review standards.

PHAs may not evict a family due to an adult’s failure to comply with CSSR. However, if a tenant does not comply, the PHA must provide the tenant written notice indicating that the PHA will not renew the household’s lease at the end of the current 12-month lease, unless the tenant enters into a work-out agreement. The Notice details tenant procedural rights such as the right to request a grievance hearing and to be represented by counsel.

Notice PIH-2015-12 is at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=pih2015-12.pdf



 

HAC NEWS

HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE KEEPS MOST USDA SPENDING AT FY15 LEVELS. Approved by the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee on June 18, the FY16 agriculture appropriations bill holds funding for Section 523 self-help at $27.5 million and increases Rental Assistance funds slightly to $1.167 billion, the amount the Administration said will be needed to keep up with inflation. It does not include minimum rent for tenants and does not provide vouchers for tenants in maturing mortgage properties. Details are on HAC’s website. The full House Appropriations Committee postponed a June 25 markup, and the Senate has not yet released an agriculture funding bill.


USDA Rural Dev. Prog.
(dollars in millions)

FY13
Approp.a

FY14
Approp.

FY15
Approp.

FY16 Budget Proposal

FY16 House Subcmte. Bill

502 Single Fam. Direct
Self-Help setaside

$900
5

$900
5

$900
5

$900
0

$900
5

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

504 VLI Repair Loans

28

26.3

26.3

26.3

26.3

504 VLI Repair Grants

29.5

28.7

28.7

26

28.7

515 Rental Hsg. Direct Lns.

31.3

28.4

28.4

42.3

28.4

514 Farm Labor Hsg. Lns.

20.8

23.9

23.6

23.9

23.9

516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grts.

7.1

8.3

8.3

8.3

8.3

521 Rental Assistance

907.1

1,110

1,089

1,172

1,167

523 Self-Help TA

30

25

27.5

10

27.5

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

3.6

3.5

3.5

0

3.5

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

150

150

150

200

150

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

17.8

20

17

19

17

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

10

12.6

7

15

7

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

6.1

6

4

4

4

a. Figures shown do not include 5% sequester or 2.5% across the board cut.


SENATE COMMITTEE ADVANCES HUD BILL WITH LARGE CUT IN HOME.
On June 25 the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a HUD funding bill for FY16 (not yet available online). The measure cuts the HOME program by 93%, from $900 million in FY15 to $66 million. An amendment to restore HOME funding was offered by Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE) but was defeated. The bill does not make changes to the National Housing Trust Fund.


HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY13
Approp.a

 

FY14
Approp.

 

FY15
Approp.

FY16
Budget
Proposal

FY16
House Bill
(H.R. 2577)

FY16 Sen. Approps. Cmte. Bill

Cmty. Devel. Fund
CDBG

3,308
2,948

3,100
3,030

3,066
3,000

2,880
2,800

3,060
3,000

2,900
2,900

HOME 
SHOP setaside

1,000
b

1,000
b

900
b

1,060
10

767
b

66
b

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

13.5

10

10

b

10

10

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance
VASH setaside

18,939.4
75

19,177.2
75

19,304
75

21,123
c

19,919
-

19,934
75

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

9,339.7

9,516.6

9,330

10,360

10,254

10,426

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

1,886

1,875

1,875

1,970

1,681

1,743

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,262

4,400

4,440

4,600

4,440

4,500

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

120

90

80

250

20

65

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

650

650

650

660

650

650

Homeless Assistance Grantsd

2,033

2,105

2,135

2,480

2,185

2,235

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

334

330

330

332

332

330

202 Hsg. for Elderly

377

385.3

436

455

416.5

420

811 Hsg. for Disabled

165

126

135

177

152

137

Fair Housing

70.8

66

65.3

71

65.3

69.5

Healthy Homes & Lead Haz. Cntl.

120

110

110

120

75

110

Housing Counseling

45

45

47

60

47

47

Local Housing Policy Grants

-

-

-

300

-

-

a. Figures shown do not include 5% sequester. b. In FY13, FY14, and FY15 SHOP was funded under the Self-Help & Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program account. Recent Obama budgets have proposed making the program a setaside in HOME. Congress has rejected that proposal. c. VASH vouchers for homeless veterans would be part of a new $177.5 million account of incremental rental vouchers for families, veterans, and tribal families experiencing homelessness and for victims of domestic violence. d. Includes the Rural Housing Stability Program, which is not yet operational.


SUPREME COURT APPROVES USE OF DISPARATE IMPACT FOR FAIR HOUSING CLAIMS.
On June 25 the court ruled in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. that a Fair Housing Act claim may be based on a disproportionately adverse impact on minorities even where there is no discriminatory intent.


INDIAN COUNTRY NEEDS CAPITAL, WITNESSES TELL SENATE PANEL.
"Accessing Capital in Indian Country," an oversight hearing by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, focused on business financing, but touched on housing as well. Witnesses spoke favorably of HUD’s Section 184 program, CRA, and the Native American CDFI program. One recommended allocating Low Income Housing Tax Credits directly to tribes.


FUNDS FOR HOUSING AND HEALTH RESEARCH OFFERED.
Nonprofits, for-profits, tribes, PHAs, state and local govern-ments, and others can submit preapplications by July 16 for Healthy Homes Technical Studies grants. Contact Dr. Peter Ashley, HUD, 202-402-7595.


REMINDER: USDA HAS EMAIL LISTS FOR SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING LOAN PROGRAMS.
Sign up for a list that distributes information about Section 502 direct, 504, and 523, or for others covering the Section 502 guarantee program, at http://www.rdlist.sc.egov.usda.gov/listserv/mainservlet.


RD ALTERS MULTIFAMILY RESERVE ACCOUNT COUNTERSIGNATURE REQUIREMENTS.
A final rule provides that when a property has both a Section 515 or 514 loan and also a Section 538 loan, USDA’s countersignature will not be required to draw funds from the reserve account. (See HAC News, 8/20/14.) The rule also requires guarantee fees to be paid from operating accounts, not reserve accounts. Contact Tammy S. Daniels, RD, 202-720-0021.


HUD
RENTAL ASSISTANCE DEMONSTRATION CHANGED. A notice in the June 26 Federal Register will expand and amend RAD, which allows some public housing to convert to long-term, project-based Section 8 rental assistance. Comments will be due in 30 days. Contact rad@hud.gov.


FEDERAL HOMELESSNESS PLAN REVISED.
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness updated its “Opening Doors” strategy and added an operational definition of ending homelessness: “An end to homelessness does not mean that no one will ever experience a housing crisis again. . . . [It] means that every community will have a systematic response in place that ensures homelessness is prevented whenever possible or is otherwise a rare, brief, and non-recurring experience.” USICH also says chronic homelessness can be ended in 2017 (rather than the original 2015 goal) if Congress funds new permanent supportive housing.


HOMEOWNERSHIP DOWN, RENTERS’ COST BURDEN RATES INCREASING, HARVARD REPORTS.
In its annual State of the Nation’s Housing study, the Joint Center on Housing Studies says that in 2013, almost half of all renters had housing cost burdens, including more than a quarter who were paying more than 50% of income for housing). The report notes that cuts in federal funds and increases in subsidy costs add to the problem, and that expiring affordability requirements will be a serious issue over the next decade.


PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES EXPAND FOR HOUSING AND HEALTH PROVIDERS.
Affordable Housing’s Place in Medicaid Reform: Opportunities Created by the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Reform examines how changes in health care law create the potential for affordable housing providers to collaborate with health care providers and others. The report, published by the National Housing Conference, includes examples of programs already underway.

Document Actions