HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) has posted a fourth update to its frequently asked questions (FAQs) about 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), and PIH announced the EHV allocations available to 696 PHAs (see Memo, 5/17). The fourth version updates ten FAQs from the previous version (see Memo, 6/14) and adds five new FAQs. The FAQs most important to residents and advocates are highlighted here.
Under the category of “Eligibility,” Q4 (page 2) discusses documentation that organizations must ask for from households applying for EHVs who claim that they do not have a support network. The update adds, “Certifying organizations may include institutional feeder agencies such as correctional settings, health agencies, nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, in-patient institutional settings, etc.”
A new Q8 (page 3) explains that the definition of “family” is the same as it is for the regular Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program: a person or a group of persons a PHA approves to live in a unit with assistance under the program. The term “family” used in the EHV or HCV context encompasses a family that is comprised of a single individual as well as a family consisting of “a group of persons.”
Q10 (page 4) has discussed the type of documentation acceptable when determining that a family falls under one of the four EHV eligibility categories. The update adds that sample certifications recently posted on the EHV website is acceptable documentation for survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking. Once a PHA receives documentation from a Continuum of Care (CoC) or Victims Service Provider (VSP) that a family falls under one of the four eligibility categories, no further documentation is needed from the CoC or VSP. The EHV website has also posted a sample certification of homelessness.
Updated Q11 clarifies that youth between the ages of 18 and 24 are eligible for EHVs. Youth under 18, however, must be part of a family that includes a person 18 years or older for the family to be eligible for an EHV.
Under the category of “Partnerships and Collaborations,” updated Q16 and Q17 offer more details for residents and advocates not familiar with the CoC terms “Victims Service Providers (VSP)” and “Coordinated Entry (CE) system.”
Under the category of “Administrative and Service Fees,” Q78 (bottom of page 20, top of page 21) is indicated as “updated,” when it is in fact new. The FAQ states that services fee funding received by a PHA for EHVs cannot be used to pay rental arrears, including debts owed to a PHA. However, PHAs, CoCs, and other service providers may choose to refer families to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or other state and local programs that may help with a tenant’s credit history. The Treasury Department’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program would also be a good resource for rental and utility arrearages.
New Q79 states that the income limits for EHVs are the same as for the regular HCV program.
“Emergency Housing Vouchers, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) v.4” is at: https://bit.ly/3rulOGA
Sample Certification of Homelessness (English) is at: https://bit.ly/3zkZsK3
Sample Certification of Homelessness (Spanish) is at: https://bit.ly/3kGq4RD
Sample Certification for Survivors of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking, and/or Human Trafficking (English) is at: https://bit.ly/3wZVJjA
Sample Certification for Survivors of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking, and/or Human Trafficking (Spanish) is at: https://bit.ly/3xX965w
Sample Human Trafficking Certification (English) is at: https://bit.ly/3eJOaam
Sample Human Trafficking Certification (Spanish) is at: https://bit.ly/3eG3FjL
NLIHC previously summarized key FAQs from the three previous FAQs that might be of most interest to residents and advocates.
The Emergency Housing Voucher website is at: https://bit.ly/3wdoeuG