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HUD Spring Regulatory Agenda Released; Obama Administration's Proposed Section 3 Rule Scrapped with New Proposed Rule Scheduled for July

HUD’s Spring Regulatory Agenda was posted on May 9, 2018 by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget. Notably, the Fall 2017 Long-Term Agenda had the proposed rule for Section 3 (“Economic Opportunities for Low and Very Low Income Persons”), which was developed in the Obama administration with significant input from advocates. In the Spring 2018 Agenda, the Trump administration appears to be poised to announce, without input from advocates, a new notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Section 3. The tentative schedule for the Section 3 proposed rule is July, 2018.

The OIRA description of the proposed Section 3 rule is substantially changed. One sentence is a cause of potential concern: “The rule proposes to align and integrate oversight and reporting by eliminating complaint and compliance review provisions in favor of program-specific mechanisms, thereby reducing burden.” The other new descriptive text is:

“The rule also proposes opportunities to encourage the training of low- and very low-income persons to ensure the availability of a skilled workforce once the construction or renovation begins. Finally, it would establish thresholds at levels at which federal assistance effectively generates new economic opportunities, provide a mechanism to adjust thresholds over time, align requirements to typical recipients’ business practices to reduce burden, and clarify the obligations of covered recipient agencies.”

The Section 3 summary lists three HUD officials as references: one from the Office of Community Planning and Development, one from the Secretary’s office, and one from the Office of Recapitalization (which oversees the Rental Assistance Demonstration) – but no one from the Office of Public and Indian Housing.

A final rule for the national Housing Trust Fund remains on the long-term list, but the anticipated date of moving from an interim regulation to a final regulation has been pushed back from December, 2018, to May, 2019.

The anticipated periods for two final rules pertaining to lead-based paint hazards have also been pushed back: “Streamlining Reporting Requirements for Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Project-Based Assistance Housing and Tenant-Based Assistance Housing” (now November, 2018), and “Conforming Lead Disclosure Rule to Include Zero Bedroom Dwellings in the Definition of Target Housing and Making Clarifying Changes” (now December, 2018).

The Fall 2017 Agenda had a single proposed rule for the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016” (HOTMA). The Spring 2018 Agenda has HOTMA regulations separated into four proposed rules, one about income reviews (September, 2018), one about project-based voucher implementation (December, 2018), one about over-income public housing tenants (September, 2018), and one about capital fund replacement reserve funds (December, 2018).

The final rule, “Streamlining Administrative Regulations for Multifamily Housing Programs and Implementing Family Income Reviews Under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act” is now scheduled for December 2018 instead of December 2017. And the final rule for “Streamlining Management and Occupancy Reviews for Section 8 Housing Assistance Programs” is pushed back from March 2018 to September 2018.

A new rule will be proposed in December to implement a single inspection protocol for public housing and voucher units, as required by the Appropriations Act of 2016. The proposed rule would revise the physical inspection regulations for HUD’s Housing Choice Voucher program to conform to the Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS) used by other HUD programs. A UPCS-based inspection protocol would take the place of the existing housing quality standards (HQS).

The Spring 2018 Long-Term Agenda adds a notice of proposed rulemaking about voluntary conversions of public housing developments. Still on the long-term list, but with later anticipated dates, are “Tenant-Based Assistance: Enhanced Vouchers” and “Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities Implementing New Project-Rental Assistance Authority.”

These agendas are aspirational and may not be strictly adhered to.

The Spring 2018 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Action is at: https://bit.ly/2vIJI2G

The full Spring Agenda is at: https://bit.ly/2KQl8W4

The full Spring 2018 Long-Term Agenda is at: https://bit.ly/2I6jGkR

The Fall 2017 Agenda is at: https://bit.ly/2Ia0Ysn

The Fall 2017 Long-Term Agenda is at: https://bit.ly/2rBQuqu