HUD PIH Establishes Process for CARES Act Mainstream Voucher Allocation

HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) posted Notice PIH 2020-09 on May 12. The notice describes the process for allocating unobligated Mainstream Voucher Program funding for incremental tenant-based rental assistance for public housing agencies (PHAs) that were previously awarded funding in the 2017 and 2019 competitions. This additional funding will enable PHAs to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus.

According to the notice, the CARES Act allows HUD to award without competition any remaining unobligated balances of prior Mainstream Voucher appropriations to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, and to pay for extraordinary administrative fees. The CARES Act provides that no less than 25% of these funds are to be allocated proportionally within 60 days to PHAs that received awards in the 2017 and 2019 competitions.  

Eligible PHAs will receive a 30% increase in Mainstream Voucher units. The amounts awarded to PHAs under the notice are housing assistance payment (HAP) funds and do not include any extraordinary administrative fees. Information on extraordinary administrative fees specifically for the Mainstream Voucher Program under the CARES Act will be provided in separate guidance.

Mainstream Voucher Programs are also eligible for additional funding under the $400 million in supplemental renewal funding set aside for voucher renewals for PHAs encountering significant increases in voucher per-unit costs or that would otherwise have to terminate vouchers for households as a result of insufficient funding. HUD will issue a notice addressing how PHAs can use this $400 million set-aside.

Waivers provided in PIH Notice 2020-05 (see Memo, 4/13) may be applied to Mainstream Vouchers according to the terms of that notice.

Notice PIH 2020-09 is at:

More information about Mainstream Vouchers is on page 4-23 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.