HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) posted a sixth 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). NLIHC created a summary of the key FAQs from the first three sets of FAQs, as well as those from the fourth (see Memo, 7/26) and fifth updates (see Memo, 10/4). The sixth version adds 14 new FAQs. Five new FAQs relevant to residents and advocates are highlighted here.
Under the category “Voucher Administration,” FAQ 37 (page 14) states that a Continuum of Care (CoC) and PHA may choose to give priority to households currently living in Rapid Rehousing (RRH), Transitional Housing (TH), or Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) to open up space for new households in those programs.
Under the category “Administrative and Services Fee,” FAQ 64 (page 21) clarifies that a PHA may use a portion of the EHV services fee for groceries and toiletries. PIH Notice 2021-15 allows PHAs to use the EHV services fee funding to assist a household with some or all costs of acquiring essential household items as defined by a PHA. The Notice gives tableware and bedding as examples, but PIH provides PHAs with the flexibility to define which household items are essential.
Under the category “Portability.” FAQ 85 (page 27) clarifies that if a household with an EHV moves with the EHV to another PHA’s jurisdiction (“ports” the EHV), the PHA to which the household moves (the “receiving PHA”) does not have to “absorb” the EHV (use one of the receiving PHA’s EHVs); the receiving PHA may bill the “initial PHA,” the PHA from where the household originally secured the EHV.
FAQ 86 explains that if an EHV household ports to a PHA that does not have an EHV program, their EHV becomes a regular Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), subject to the regular HCV rules. It is important for the initial PHA to inform a household of this change before porting.
FAQ 88 (page 28) indicates that a receiving non-EHV PHA absorbing a household whose EHV becomes a regular HCV can perform a criminal background check and deny the household based on the PHA’s HCV criminal background policy.
“Emergency Housing Vouchers, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) v.6” is at: https://bit.ly/2XWppmk
The Emergency Housing Voucher website is at: https://bit.ly/3wdoeuG