HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) issued two notices on August 1. Notice PIH 2013-18 provides guidance to public housing agencies (PHAs) on the process for review and approval of exception payment standards for vouchers as a reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities. This notice supersedes Notice PIH 2011-19, making only one meaningful change. Now, exception payment standards “must” remain in effect until or unless a higher exception payment standard is warranted, requested, and subsequently approved. The new notice substitutes the word “must” for “may.”
One of the purposes of an exception payment standard is to ensure that a household with a person with disabilities can rent a unit that meets the disabled person’s needs. On a case-by-case basis, as a reasonable accommodation, a PHA may approve a payment standard up to 110% of the fair market rent (FMR). Such a higher payment standard must be requested by the family and approved by the PHA after the household locates a unit.
If an even higher payment standard is needed as a reasonable accommodation, Notice PIH 2013-03 temporarily allows a PHA to establish an exception payment standard as a reasonable accommodation up to 120% of FMR by simply notifying HUD without seeking HUD approval (see Memo, 1/25). This temporary flexibility expires on March 31, 2014. After that time, practice reverts to the process in the regulations, which allows a PHA to seek HUD Field Office approval for an exception greater than 110% but less than 120% of FMR. Any request for an exception payment standard greater than 120% must obtain approval from HUD headquarters.
The second notice issued on August 1, Notice PIH 2013-19, revises policies and procedures for special purpose housing choice vouchers for non-elderly disabled families and other special populations. When a voucher originally designated for a non-elderly disabled (NED) household turns over, that voucher must be reissued to the next NED household on the waiting list. Notice PIH 2013-19 indicates that for each PHA with NED vouchers, HUD has a baseline showing the number of NED vouchers the PHA is responsible for leasing to a non-elderly disabled household.
The notice revises PIH 2011-32 (see Memo, 6/24/11) in several ways.
- For PHAs that fail to meet and maintain a NED voucher leasing rate of at least 95%, the new notice adds that HUD may impose sanctions, such as withholding administrative fees. Moving to Work (MTW) agencies are not exempt from NED requirements.
- A new provision states that when an existing NED household member becomes elderly that household does not “age out” of the NED program.
- In accordance with the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010, when a Five-Year Mainstream (MS5) voucher turns over, it must be issued to a household with a spouse, head, or co-head of household who is a person with a disability. The qualifying household member does not have to be non-elderly as well.
View Notice PIH 2013-18 at: http://1.usa.gov/1cyGWPE
View Notice PIH 2013-3 at: http://1.usa.gov/XNNTBa
View Notice PIH 2013-19 at: http://1.usa.gov/14SbrZ8
View the NED voucher baseline under “Reestablishing NED Vouchers” at: http://1.usa.gov/sNVTqh