HUD issued identical notices, H 2012-15 and PIH 2012-39, which revise notice PIH 2012-19 that was withdrawn after objections from advocates. The notices implement the Durbin-Brown Amendment to the FY12 Appropriations Act that sets aside $10 million of tenant protection vouchers for previously ineligible low income households in low-vacancy areas that may have to pay more than 30% of their income for rent at three types of HUD-assisted multifamily properties (see Memo, 11/18/11, 3/23 and 4/20). The tenant protection assistance may be enhanced vouchers or project-based vouchers. Notice PIH 2012-19 was withdrawn as a result of advocacy with Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Scott Brown (R-MA).
The three types of HUD-assisted housing that are eligible for these vouchers are:
- Those that experienced in FY12 or earlier a maturing HUD-insured or HUD-held mortgage, or a Section 202 direct loan which requires HUD permission to prepay,
- An expiring rental assistance contract for which tenants are not eligible for tenant protection assistance under existing law, or
- An expiring affordability restriction that accompanies a HUD mortgage or preservation program.
The new notices favorably address many of the concerns advocates raised. For example:
- One of the key improvements was broadening eligibility to years prior to FY12.
- Rather than selecting owner applications by lottery, HUD will make selections based on the date a mortgage matured, or a rental assistance contract or affordability agreement expired. This is intended to prioritize assistance to households that have been without affordability restrictions or rental assistance the longest.
- HUD will also prioritize applications that have households facing the greatest rent burden.
However, a number of concerns remain:
- If an owner does not request assistance, tenants will not receive vouchers.
- To be eligible, HUD requires a household to be paying at least 40% of their income for rent. That high threshold could leave cost-burdened households paying between 30% and 40% without assistance.
- If an owner requests enhanced vouchers or project-based vouchers, and a public housing agency (PHA) administering Housing Choice Vouchers does not want to participate, HUD will attempt to identify a PHA that will administer the vouchers. However, if no PHA agrees, there will be no tenant protection for residents.
- HUD continues to make only $6 million available. HUD states that because the $10 million is a set-aside within $75 million appropriated for all tenant protection needs, such as tenants displaced by public housing demolition, the department wants to ensure resources are available for other tenant protection assistance needs.
The notices contain a list of properties in low-vacancy areas potentially eligible if at-risk households live in them.
HUD will accept comments until October 10 and could make revisions after.
Click here for Notice H 2012-15.