HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) published proposed regulations in the Federal Register on October 8 implementing provisions of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) signed into law on July 29, 2016. The proposed rule also includes regulatory changes that HUD states are intended to reduce burdens on PHAs. The proposed rule addresses numerous changes that affect either the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) tenant-based program or the Project-Based Voucher (PBV) program, or both. NLIHC plans to provide detailed summaries and recommendation for comments. Comments are due December 7.
The preamble to the proposed rule lists HOTMA provisions already implemented through a Federal Register implementation notice published on January 18, 2017 including:
- Initial inspection options, Non-life-threatening deficiencies and alternative inspections (HOTMA section 101(a)(1))
- Definition of life-threatening deficiencies (HOTMA section 101(a)(1))
- Manufactured home space rent calculation (HOTMA section 112)
- PBV Program Cap (HOTMA section 106(a)(2))
- PBV Project Cap (HOTMA section 106(a)(3))
- PBV units not subject to project cap or program cap (HOTMA sections 106(a)(2) and (3))
- PBV initial term of HAP contract and extension of term (HOTMA sections 106(4) and (5))
- PBV priority of assistance contracts. Insufficient funding (HOTMA section 106(a)(4))
- PBV adding units to HAP contract without competition (HOTMA section 106(a)(4))
- PBV additional contract conditions/tenant-based assistance for families at termination/expiration without renewal of PBV HAP contract (HOTMA section 106(a)(4))
- PBV preference for voluntary services (HOTMA section 106(a)(7))
HUD had previously implemented, through the Federal Register implementation notice, a HOTMA provision authorizing PHAs to project-base Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers and Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers without requiring additional HUD approval. Consequently, VASH or FUP vouchers that are project-based must comply with the requirements of 24 CFR part 983.
HOTMA further provides that no PHA is required to reduce the payment standard applied to a family as a result of a reduction in the fair market rent (FMR). This provision was implemented in HUD’s Small Area FMR (SAFMR) final rule.
HUD also proposes to implement the HOTMA HCV provisions not yet implemented, including:
- Enforcement of Housing Quality Standards, HQS (HOTMA section 101(a)(3))
- Manufactured home space rental, PHA option to make single assistance payment to the household instead of the owner (HOTMA section 112)
- Entering into a PBV Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Contract for rehabilitation and new construction projects without an Agreement to Enter a HAP Contract (HOTMA section 106(a)(4))
- Providing rent adjustments using an operating cost adjustment factor, OCAF, (HOTMA section 106(a)(6))
- Owner-maintained site-based waiting lists (HOTMA section 106(a)(7))
- Environmental requirements for existing housing (HOTMA section 106(a)(8))
In addition to the HOTMA changes, HUD is also proposing numerous non-HOTMA related changes. Some changes are to clarify existing regulatory requirements, while others are intended to improve program administration, simplify program rules, or reduce administrative burden and cost. For example, HUD is inserting references to obligations under Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act as a tool for entities implementing HOTMA that are covered by those laws. In addition, HUD is replacing the term “disabled person” with “person with disabilities.” A person with a disability is a qualified individual with a disability if the individual meets the definition of “disability” under the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Amendments Act.
Furthermore, the Federal Register version of the proposed rule is at: https://bit.ly/33CR6k6
An easy-to-read version of the proposed rule is at: https://bit.ly/36E6D5b
More information about public housing is on page 4-30 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.
More information about Housing Choice Vouchers is on page 4-1 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.
More information about Project-Based Vouchers (PBVs) is on page 4-8 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.
More information about VASH is on page 4-26 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.
More information about FUP is on page 4-17 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.