On June 25, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published a final rule in the Federal Register conforming existing Project-Based Voucher (PBV) program regulations with changes authorized by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA). PIH issued a proposed rule on May 15, 2012 (see Memo, 5/18/12).
NLIHC submitted comments on the proposed rule (see Memo, 7/20/12) focusing on three provisions. One comment concerned language that seemed to limit to 30 years the maximum possible period for which a unit could be assisted under a PBV contract. This would be contrary to the statute, which permits a potentially unlimited number of 15-year contract extensions. In the preamble to the final rule, HUD responds that the intent of the provision is to allow for an extension at the beginning of an initial Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contract term, essentially providing for a 30-year commitment at the commencement of the HAP contract. The preamble concludes, “HUD’s initial limitation on contract extensions is not intended to bar the possibility of future extensions. The final rule therefore allows for future extensions at the end of any extension term…”
A second concern raised by NLIHC regarded proposed language that would allow an owner to terminate a lease without “good cause,” even though the preamble to the proposed rule stated an intent to provide tenants with a reliable long-term lease unless an owner has a “good cause” to terminate or not renew a lease. The preamble to the final rule explains that the provision in question must be read in context with two other provisions. HUD concludes: “To eliminate the possibility of confusion the final rule is revised to clearly state that an owner may only terminate a lease for good cause.”
The third issue raised by NLIHC supported the proposed rule’s requirement that owners provide tenants with a one-year notice of intent not to renew a PBV contract. NLIHC suggested improving the provision by requiring the notice be in writing and by requiring owners to accept any replacement tenant-based assistance after a contract is terminated. The preamble acknowledges the comment but does not reply or amend the rule.
The final rule is at: http://1.usa.gov/1jCyPD9