HUD issued joint Notice PIH 2021-29/H 2021-06 providing supplemental guidance to implement the requirements of the interim final rule titled “Extension of Time and Required Disclosures for Notification of Nonpayment of Rent” (see Memo, 10/12). The most important component of the joint notice is an appendix containing language that public housing agencies (PHAs) and private owners of properties with Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) must include in the required 30-day advance notice before an assisted tenant can be evicted for nonpayment of rent.
The interim final rule applies when there is a national emergency such the current pandemic and when federal funding is available to assist public housing- and PBRA-assisted tenants facing eviction for nonpayment of rent. HUD is requiring providers of public and PBRA housing to give tenants facing eviction for nonpayment of rent at least 30 days’ advance notice before evicting them. The interim final rule states that the notice must give tenants information about the availability of federal emergency funding intended to prevent eviction. In addition, PHAs must provide all public housing tenants information about the availability of federal emergency rental assistance. The appendix to Joint Notice PIH 2021-29/H 2021-06 provides the text of the notice to be used in in the current context of the availability of the Treasury Department’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, ERA (see NLIHC’s COVID-19 State and Local Assistance webpage).
The interim final rule applies to public housing and private, multifamily properties with project-based rental assistance (PBRA), which includes:
- Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance
- Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation
- Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly programs (Section 202/162 Project Assistance Contract and Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC))
- Section 811/PRAC Supportive Housing for People with Disabilities
- Section 236 Rental Housing Assistance Program and Rent Supplement
Note that the interim final rule does not apply to Housing Choice Vouchers.
The one-page appendix containing the minimum text a 30-day notice must contain is written in a bureaucratic manner that is not tenant-friendly. In addition, it includes a reference to a PIH frequently asked question (FAQ) clarifying for PHAs and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) landlords that ERA assistance can be used to cover rent arrearages and utilities owed that exceed utility allowances. However, the appendix text fails to include a similar Office of Multifamily Question and Answer (Q&A) for PBRA properties.
The appendix text also fails to include references to a PIH FAQ and a Multifamily Q&A clearly stating that ERA may be used to cover late fees assessed to residents. In addition, while the text accurately states that HCV-assisted tenants may receive ERA, it fails to clearly state that the 30-day notice provision of the interim final rule does not apply for HCV-assisted tenants.
On page 7 of the joint notice is a link intended to go to PIH FAQs related to how ERA interacts with the public housing and HCV programs; instead, it links to now outdated CDC Moratorium FAQs. The proper link is: https://bit.ly/3mUHKIJ
Also on page 7, the joint notice indicates that Multifamily has Q&As on page 51 related to how ERA interacts with its programs. The relevant Q&As are on page 57.
As NLIHC previously indicated (see Memo, 10/12), HUD considered imposing a requirement on PHAs and PBRA owners to apply for emergency funding on behalf of tenants before proceeding with eviction, but HUD chose not to do so even though some jurisdictions administering ERA require it. In addition, HUD considered requiring retroactive income recertifications and repayment plans for tenants who would qualify for ERA assistance – policies NLIHC and the National Housing Law Project urged HUD to do at the outset of the pandemic. While HUD has encouraged PHAs and PBRA owners to carry out such policies, it decided to not require them because “implementing these changes by regulation would be overly burdensome and create multiple implementation challenges.”
Joint Notice PIH 2021-29/H 2021-06 is at: https://bit.ly/3oUZc2B
More information about public housing is on page 4-30 of NLIHC’s 2021 Advocates’ Guide.
More information about Project-Based Rental Assistance is on page 4-64 of NLIHC’s 2021 Advocates’ Guide.
More information about the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly program is on page 4-71 of NLIHC’s 2021 Advocates’ Guide.
More information about the Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program is on page 4-74 of NLIHC’s 2021 Advocates’ Guide.