HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) posted an eighth update to its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) resource for the Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program created by the “American Rescue Plan Act” (ARPA). Public housing agencies (PHAs) were eligible to apply for 70,000 EHVs (see Memo, 5/10/21), and PIH announced the EHV allocations available to 696 PHAs (see Memo, 5/17/21).
NLIHC has published a summary of the key FAQs from the first three sets of FAQs, as well as from the fourth (see Memo, 7/26/21), fifth (see Memo, 10/4/21), sixth (see Memo, 11/1/21), and seventh updates (see Memo, 12/6/21). The eighth version adds 11 new FAQs and updates one. The new FAQs most relevant to residents and advocates are as follows:
Under the category “Voucher Administration,” new FAQ 44 (page 14) states that EHVs cannot be used to provide temporary hotel stays while permanent housing is sought. (Note: The previous FAQ 44 has been relabeled “FAQ 53” and all previous FAQs have been renumbered.)
New FAQ 45 clarifies that if a PHA receives referrals that exceed available EHVs, the PHA may pause receipt of EHV referrals. A PHA does not have to follow regular Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rules to announce a pause or announce when it will again accept referrals.
New FAQs 47 and 48 (page 15) note that PHAs can request technical assistance from PIH’s On-Call and Direct Technical Assistance via the Request Technical Assistance page on HUDExchange. Examples of the technical assistance available include help establishing and updating a Memorandum of Understanding with support from Continuums of Care (CoCs) and other Victim Services Providers; increasing voucher utilization; and optimizing the use of the service fee and other EHV fees.
New FAQ 49 clarifies that a PHA may admit an EHV applicant who owes previous debts to the PHA and that such an applicant may enter into a repayment agreement. The FAQ reminds readers that PIH Notice 2021-15 prohibits PHAs from denying admission to the EHV program because an applicant owes rent or other debts to the PHA or another PHA.
New FAQ 50 (page 16) indicates that PHAs have until December 31, 2022, to award initial EHVs. After that date, PIH will begin to revoke and reallocate EHVs of PHAs that have failed to use their allocations.
New FAQ 52 (page 16) reminds PHAs that they are responsible for conducting income recertifications of EHV households and should plan for recertification as outlined in their Administrative Plan for regular HCVs.
Under the category “Administration and Service Fees,” new FAQ 84 (page 26) states that PHAs can use service fees to provide EHV households with gift cards to purchase essential items. A PHA’s Administrative Plan should specify which items are essential. PHAs should provide a list of essential items to a household when they receive a gift card and inform them that they must obtain and keep receipts.
Under the category “Portability,” new FAQ 108 (page 33) clarifies that when a household’s initial lease-up entails “porting” an EHV, the “receiving PHA” and the “initial PHA” must coordinate about EHV services and assistance that will be available to the household. (“Porting” an EHV occurs when a household uses an EHV awarded by one PHA (the “initial PHA”) in the service area of another PHA (the “receiving PHA”). The FAQ also discusses service fee compensation owed to a receiving PHA from an initial PHA.
Read “Emergency Housing Vouchers, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) v.8” at: https://bit.ly/3Hhet3j
Find the Emergency Housing Voucher website at: https://bit.ly/3wdoeuG