HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs issued an updated Section 8 Renewal Policy Guidebook. A cover sheet summarizes 125 changes and provides links to the changes. The body of the Guide contains asterisks indicating specific revisions in the 221-page document. Two chapters are completely revised: Chapter 2 that outlines six options available to owners with expiring Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contracts, and Chapter 16 pertaining to the old State Housing Finance Agency form of HAP contract.
Because Section 8 policy continued to evolve dramatically since the mid-1990’s when long-term Project-Based Section 8 HAP contracts began expiring, HUD created the Guide to make Section 8 policy more effective and accessible for HUD’s partners. The Guide, which is updated periodically, provides comprehensive guidance for renewing expiring Section 8 HAP contracts. It incorporates the procedures contained in previous Section 8 expiring contract Housing Notices, along with a number of other changes.
Chapter 11, which highlights tenant issues, has seven revisions. This chapter has always explained the difference between a regular Housing Choice Voucher and an Enhanced Voucher, the meaning of “opting out” of a Section 8 HAP contract, details regarding an owner’s obligation to notify tenants well before opting out, and tenants’ right to remain in their homes with an Enhanced Voucher when an owner opts out.
The policy changes will be effective for all Project-Based Section 8 renewals or amended rent request packages received by HUD after November 5, 2015.
NLIHC wants to remind Memo readers about the National Housing Preservation Database (NHPD), which contains critical information about every federally assisted property in the country. The primary purpose of the NHPD is to provide local advocates with details about expiring use and other threats to preserving public and assisted housing. The NHPD is a joint project of NLIHC and the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PARHC) and is currently provided to the public free of charge. To become a NHPD user, go to http://www.preservationdatabase.org.
The revised Section 8 Renewal Policy Guidebook is at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=Section8_Renewal_Guide.pdf
Basic information about Project-Based Section 8 is on page 4-26 of NLIHC’s 2015 Advocates’ Guide, http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/Sec4.08_Project-Based-Rental-Assistance_2015.pdf