Comments Are Due Within 30 Days of the Federal Register Notice
On November 8, HUD published a 30-Day Notice of a Proposed Information Collection announcing that it has issued a third iteration of its revised Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) for public comment during the next 30 days. This latest step caps three years of effort surrounding the ACC. The Department published a revised ACC in 2016 after two notices concerning the form when it received no public comments. Since then, PHADA, other industry associations, and law firms have commented extensively on unacceptable language in the revised ACC and the unacceptable process for its implementation. As a result, HUD chose to reconsider the form and published a 60-day notice in December 2017. PHADA and other associations submitted comments. HUD received 79 comments on that form, including PHADA’s and other industry associations’, along with two letters received after the comment period closed.
In this notice’s summary, HUD indicated that it will be referring to the ACC as the “Annual Contributions Terms and Conditions for the Public Housing Program” rather than as an Annual Contributions Contract. This may reflect the Department’s efforts to insulate itself from future money damage lawsuits resulting from HUD’s abrogating the ACC (a contract) despite a requirement of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 that the government enter into contracts with local agencies to develop and operate public housing apartment complexes.
HUD’s summary also announces several revisions to its 2018 ACC version that seem to address some concerns PHADA and others raised. For example, it appears that the ACC no longer imposes guidance the department publishes in notices as “requirements.” The new form deleted the mission statement the original document imposed on HAs. The new ACC no longer includes mixed finance terms that caused some concern in earlier iterations of the ACC.
In addition to this new ACC, HUD has published a revised MTW ACC that is also open for comment for the coming 30 days. Finally, HUD published a document comparing this most recent ACC version with the one it published in December 2017, available here.
PHADA will analyze this recent version of the ACC and publish its views concerning the latest iteration of the form to keep members informed. HAs should review the new form, HUD’s descriptions of the changes it has made, and consider submitting comments concerning the form in the next 30 days.