HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs announced its top 25 policy priorities for 2014 in a memorandum dated March 5 from Deputy Assistant Secretary Benjamin Metcalf. Included among the priorities are:
- Assess how to replicate a Baltimore area demonstration program to encourage owners and developers of multifamily housing to make their properties available in “communities of opportunity.” This is in response to the Thompson v. HUD fair housing court decision finding that HUD violated the Fair Housing Act by unfairly concentrating African-American public housing residents in the most impoverished, segregated areas of Baltimore (see Memo, 8/31/12).
- Issue a policy notice setting forth policies and procedures about a long-available affordable housing preservation tool, Section 8bb transfer authority. Section 8bb allows HUD to approve transferring a project-based Section 8 contract from a physically obsolete or economically unviable project to another property.
- Implement enforcement requirements introduced in the FY14 appropriations act for all properties that receive Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) scores below 30, and for certain properties receiving scores below 60. REAC measures a property’s physical, financial, and managerial conditions. Enforcement tools include civil money penalties, full or partial abatement of the Section 8 contract, transfer of a contract to another owner, and judicial receivership.
- Enhance the service coordinator program for elderly residents, which may include standardizing the work that service coordinators perform, mandating best practices, and facilitate training.
View the Multifamily Policy Priorities for Calendar Year 2014 at: http://bit.ly/1dh2Yol