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President’s Forum: Please Review HUD, PHADA Info on CARES Act Eligibility Issues

Other Pandemic Related Matters

John Hodge, PHADA President

As usual for the last few months, much of this newsletter centers around the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on information HAs need to know to address their local situations. I wanted to briefly highlight a few different things that may be helpful to your agencies.

First, the Department issued its most recent version of a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document at the very end of last month. Among other things, the FAQ includes some helpful updates and clarifications on CARES Act eligibility matters. For example, one of the FAQs states, “Are CARES Act Supplemental Operating Funds for the public housing program only for extraordinary COVID-related expenses? A: No, the funds can cover normal operating and capital funds expenses in addition to the extraordinary uses that arise as PHAs prevent, prepare, and respond to the pandemic.”

Similarly, another HUD sample question asks, “My PHA is small and in a rural area not directly impacted by COVID-19s. Can I use the CARES Act supplemental funds for normal operating expenses? A: Yes, as long as the funds are used by December 31, 2020, as described in Section 6 of PIH Notice 2020-07.”

There is more thorough reporting on the FAQ in this edition of the Advocate, which I strongly encourage you to review. You can also access the complete HUD FAQs on PHADA’ s website, or contact PHADA staff at: info@phada.org with questions.

We have expressed PHADA’s appreciation to HUD-PIH Assistant Secretary Hunter Kurtz and his headquarters staff for issuing these clarifications. With so many ongoing challenges at the local level, many HAs could understandably be confused how to best employ the additional operating money (which can also be used for capital expenses) and HCV administrative funds. Also, without clear guidance, HAs feared being second-guessed by the Inspector General, HUD Field Offices or another reviewer.

 

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