Industry Letter to Congress
On April 8, PHADA, NAHRO, CLPHA, and the MTW Collaborative sent a letter to Congress, initiated by NYCHA and signed by 777 housing authorities across the U.S., calling for additional funds to help meet the needs of HAs and their residents during the COVID-19 emergency.
PHADA Urges HUD to Act in Response to Coronavirus
On March 13, PHADA wrote to HUD Secretary Ben Carson today urging the Department to act in response to the coronavirus. PHADA’s letter asks HUD to take “all necessary steps to waive or suspend all rules and regulations that require actions by PHAs and/or their residents to engage in one on one personal interactions, or to complete steps and tasks that cannot be effectively completed because of the adoption of recommended social distancing practices.”
President’s Forum: HUD Regulations, Requirements Should be Eased So HAs Can Focus on Residents’ Needs
5/14/20: HUD Alters CARES Act Funding Availability Dates
On Wednesday, May 13, 2020, HUD sent an email to all public housing authorities clarifying and updating previously provided information regarding the first date of eligible use of CARES Act Funding. According to the email, HUD is now allowing expenses incurred beginning on March 27, 2020, the date of passage of the CARES Act. This is a significant improvement over previous guidance, which had disallowed expenses incurred prior to April 29 or May 1. PHADA sent a letter to HUD and to Congress on May 8, raising concerns about HUD’s initial guidance and providing rationale for utilizing an earlier date.
5/8/20: PHADA Writes to Congress on HUD’s Flawed CARES Act Interpretation
PHADA contacted Congress today to express its serious concerns regarding how HUD is interpreting the recent CARES Act provision on the Operating Fund and HCV administrative fee. To date, HUD has taken an overly narrow interpretation of the CARES Act, disallowing significant costs HAs have incurred prior to May 1, 2020
4/29/20: HUD Releases Guidance on CARES Act Funding
On April 28, 2020, HUD published two PIH Notices, 2020-07 and 2020-08, which provide guidance on the use of supplemental public housing operating and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) administrative funds, respectively. The Notices were published in advance of the funds being made available to housing authorities to assist with planning and response to the effects of COVID-19.
4/28/20: HUD Posts CY 20 Administrative Fee Rate Schedule for the Voucher Program
HUD has posted the Calendar Year (CY) 2020 Administrative Fee Rate Schedule for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, including instructions for calculating administrative fee rates under portability. The estimated national proration rate from January to May 2020 was a grossly inadequate 79 percent. The estimated national proration rate from June to October 2020 will be a little better, 81 percent. The proration factor is not applied to the MOD Rehab programs. The Administrative Fees rates are applicable to the Mainstream Program.
4/22/20: HUD Releases Guidance on Eviction Moratorium
On April 21, 2020 HUD released guidelines for housing authorities (HAs) regarding the temporary eviction moratorium (Section 4024 of CARES Act) which began March 27, 2020.
4/20/20: HUD FHEO Updates FAQ, Extends Section 3 Reporting Deadline to July 31
In response to follow-up correspondence from PHADA, HUD’s office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) has updated its COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions and extended the deadline to submit reports in SPEARS until July 31. Last week, FHEO had responded to a PHADA inquiry requesting an automatic extension of deadlines for Section 3 reporting with an email indicating that all reporting had been extended until June 1.
4/15/20: At PHADA’s Request, HUD Grants Blanket Extension of Section 3 Reporting Due Date to June 1
In response to a PHADA email request on April 10, HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) has clarified that the deadline for Section 3 reporting in SPEARS is delayed until June 1 for agencies unable to report due to COVID-19. When HUD’s waiver notice PIH 2020-5 was published, PHADA immediately identified that Section 3 reporting requirements were not addressed.
4/15/20: HUD Releases May/June Operating Subsidy
HUD has made May and June 2020 operating subsidy available in eLOCCS. In its Explanation letter, HUD reminds HAs of their ability to request funds in excess of their monthly installment to fund “unanticipated and immediate” needs. This is particularly relevant as HAs plan for and respond to COVID-19 in their properties and communities.
4/14/20: HUD Publishes Waiver Notice
On Friday April 10, HUD issued PIH Notice 2020-05, outlining statutory and regulatory waivers that housing authorities can utilize as they plan for and respond to COVID-19. In a change from prior disaster voucher procedures, the Notice provides broad authority to HAs to implement waivers of their choosing without any prior permission from or notification to HUD. PHADA advocated for this authority from the beginning of the crisis and is pleased that HAs will be able to easily access these waivers.
4/8/20: HUD Accepts PHADA Request to Amend Funding Application Deadlines
In the FY 20 HCV Program funding Notice (PIH Notice 2020-04), HUD set deadlines by which applications must be submitted. For five of the seven categories, the Department set deadlines of May 15. Given the focus on planning and response efforts for COVID-19, these deadlines did not seem reasonable. PHADA staff raised this issue on a recent call with HUD staff, and as a result of that advocacy, the Department updated deadlines for those categories of funding.
4/7/20: HUD to Housing Authorities: Help is On the Way
On Friday, April 3, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) held a national call with housing authorities (HAs) to discuss COVID-19 response efforts. Led by Assistant Secretary Hunter Kurtz, PIH staff discussed the relevant provisions of the CARES Act and the Department’s plans to implement those provisions for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Public Housing programs.
3/31/20: HUD Issues Important Update to FAQs for Public Housing Agencies
On Monday, March 30, HUD released an updated COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document on their website. While many important questions regarding waivers are deferred until a formal waiver notice is issued, many questions are clearly answered in this document.
3/30/20 (Updated): Congress Expands FMLA, Required Paid Sick Leave in Response to COVID-19
3/25/20: Senate Passes Emergency Spending Bill
On March 25, the Senate passed H.R. 748, the CARES Act to provide emergency assistance and response to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to relief provided to families and businesses, the bill provides supplemental appropriations for various governmental activities including the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s housing, homelessness, and community development programs
3/23/20: House and Senate Bills Include Appropriations for Housing Programs
On March 23, the House introduced H.R. 6379, Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act, in response to COVID-19 along with DIVISION A – Third Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020. The bill includes $720 million to be used flexibly between Operating and Capital for these funds as well as FY 20 funds, and $1.5 billion for Tenant Based Rental Assistance, with $1 billion for Administrative Fees and $500 million for HAP.
3/22/20: PHADA Advocates with Senators, Congresswomen, for Regulatory Relief and Supplemental Funding
On March 22, PHADA sent a letter to Sens. Warren, Sanders, Merkley, and Reps. Porter and Pressley regarding the letter they sent to Secretary Carson the previous week.
Housing Authorities’ Responses
Below are links to local housing authorities’ contingency plans, policies and procedures, and other outreach in their response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
If your agency has completed its planning, we are requesting you share any documents with PHADA so that we can make them available to your colleagues in the industry. If you are willing to participate in this effort, please send them to Blake Stenning at: email@example.com.