HUD recently instituted a process enabling owners and managers of HUD-assisted multifamily properties to more easily access Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) money by self-certifying that a building meets the WAP income criteria. The Department of Energy (DOE) administers WAP, which had $5 billion available for weatherization as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Traditionally, weatherization funds tended to be used primarily for single-family homes, but the Secretaries of DOE and HUD signed a Memorandum of Understanding, in connection with ARRA, placing greater emphasis on federally assisted multifamily properties (see Memo, 5/8/09).
On January 25, 2010, DOE published a regulation intended to streamline the income eligibility requirements for HUD-assisted multifamily rental properties, properties assisted with Low Income Housing Tax Credits, or public housing properties identified by HUD. Subsequently, HUD provided DOE with an initial list of properties that it could verify were income eligible for WAP, meaning that at least 66% of the residents in each building had incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level (see Memo, 3/5/10).
However, data limitations kept many multi-building properties off of the list, hampering the ability to utilize weatherization assistance. Therefore, effective February 1, 2011, HUD established a procedure for owners and managers of HUD-assisted multifamily properties to certify that a given building meets the WAP income requirements.
After noting that two thirds of federally assisted affordable multifamily buildings in California were not on the DOE list, and hearing about similar situations in other states, the California Housing Partnership Corporation, an NLIHC state partner, proposed a self-certification process, which HUD has now adopted.
The HUD guidance is at http://nlihc.org/doc/HUD_Multifamily_WAP_Guidance.pdf
Self-certification materials, the existing and supplemental lists of HUD-approved properties, and more information about the HUD-DOE partnership for multifamily weatherization of public and assisted housing is at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/recovery/partnerships/HUD_DOE