HUD has issued a notice to address concerns about the project-basing of vouchers (PBV) program, which attaches a portion of a PHA’s tenant-based vouchers to specific physical units. Under the program, the subsidy stays with the unit, not with the household once it leaves.
A household may move after one year and continue to be assisted, but with a tenant-based voucher from the PHA’s waiting list. However, no more than 20% of a PHA’s voucher budget can be project based, nor can more than 25% of the units in a building. This cap can be exceeded for households that are elderly, disabled, or receive supportive services.
Notice PIH 2011-54 (HA) specifies policies and procedures that a PHA must address in its Administrative Plan if it decides to project base vouchers, including:
- A tenant screening policy.
- A policy for selecting PBV sites and the standards used to deconcentrate poverty and expand opportunities.
- A waiting list policy for selecting households that apply for PBV units. The notice outlines options that PHAs may use to establish them, such as separate lists for tenant-based vouchers and project-based vouchers, a single list for both, or separate lists for individual projects.
- A description of the type and extent of supportive services offered to non-elderly and non-disabled families if the PHA intends to exceed the 25% cap on the number of PBV units in a project.
The PHA Plan template also must reflect the PHA’s intention to use the PBV program and project the number of units and their general locations.
In addition to environmental and subsidy layering reviews, the notice provides guidance on the selection of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) projects. HUD commented that LIHTC developers often approach PHAs seeking a commitment of PBVs. The notice instructs that a PHA cannot commit PBVs to a project that has not yet secured LIHTC assistance; otherwise, it would give the project an unfair advantage at the state-level competition.
HUD will provide an in-depth guidebook covering all aspects of the PBV program in the future.
To read the HUD Notice, go to: http://nlihc.org/doc/HUD_Notice_PIH_2011-54.pdf