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HUD Updates “Questions and Answers for Office of Multifamily Housing Stakeholders: Coronavirus (COVID-19)”

HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs, which oversees contracts with private owners of HUD-assisted properties, made a fifth update to its “Questions and Answers for Office of Multifamily Housing Stakeholders: Coronavirus (COVID-19)” (see Memo, 4/20) on May 1.

Under “Moratorium on Evictions Under the CARES Act,” Q17 (page 13) is modified to emphasize that it is permissible to evict perpetrators of domestic violence and those with criminal activity or other lease violations. Q17 adds: “Protections under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) remain in effect, and owners/agents should consult Housing Notice 2017-05 for more information about the housing rights of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking under VAWA.” Q17 deletes: “Therefore, owners and agents may still undertake an eviction/termination of assistance action against a tenant, in accordance with allowable circumstances in accordance with the applicable provisions of the lease and related guidance in HUD Handbook 4350.3, Chapter 8, as long as the eviction/termination of assistance is unrelated to nonpayment of rent.”

Under “Asset Management Policy and Operations,” Q9 (page 18) confirms that a resident who is unemployed or furloughed can continue to receive an income deduction for childcare expenses.

Under “Staffing and Building Operations,” Q23 (page 22) states that multifamily owners and agents can access property operating accounts for all reasonable and necessary coronavirus-related preparedness and response actions, including supplies, staff hours, and overtime. Supplies include protective gloves and masks for staff and residents. Q26 (page 23) states that property owners or managing agents may close or only offer limited hours/access to rental offices and indoor common spaces (e.g., community rooms) based on guidance from local or state jurisdictions and the particular circumstances at their property. HUD defers to them to determine the best course of action, accounting for the importance of ensuring the safety of residents, staff, and the property.

“Questions and Answers for Office of Multifamily Housing Stakeholders: Coronavirus (COVID-19” is at: https://bit.ly/3ck73NO

More information about Project-Based Rental Assistance is on page 4-61 of NLIHC’s 2020 Advocates’ Guide.