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HUD Withdraws Five Proposed Rules and Publishes FY18 Regulatory Agenda

HUD’s Regulatory Task Force, formed in response to Executive Order (EO) 13777 (see Memo, 3/6/17), decided to withdraw five proposed rules, publishing the withdrawal in the Federal Register on December 22.  HUD also announced its Fall 2017 Statement of Regulatory Priorities for Fiscal Year 2018, which anticipates two regulatory and eleven deregulatory actions.

HUD proposed to withdraw the following five rules:

  • A proposed rule to better protect public housing residents from public housing agency (PHA) abuses in the demolition/disposition application and implementation process. Among the improvements, the proposed rule would:
    • Provide more specific guidance regarding resident consultation to ensure that such consultation was more effective.
    • State explicitly that HUD would not consider an application unless the application contained all of the substantive information required so that residents could be fully informed.
    • State clearly that demolition or disposition is a Significant Amendment to the PHA Plan. It would also require a PHA to certify that it had specifically authorized the demolition or disposition in its PHA Plan or as a significant amendment to its PHA Plan in order to ensure involvement by the Resident Advisory Board and energetic outreach to residents and the public and to ensure a public hearing is held.
    • Strengthen the notice to be provided to residents who would be relocated.
    • Add civil rights requirements.

Advocates worked for years to secure the provisions in the proposed rule (see Memo, 10/20/14).

  • A proposed rule to increase administrative efficiencies associated with forming a PHA consortium (allowing two or more PHAs to join to carry out planning, reporting, and other administrative and management functions) and to help ensure maximum family choice in locating suitable housing by revising the existing consortium rule (see Memo, 7/11/14).  The revisions would allow for the formation of a single-Annual Contributions Contract cross-jurisdictional consortium to administer either the Section 8 voucher program or the public housing program.
  • A final rule to require PHAs to use a Physical Needs Assessment (PNA) to project current modernization and life-cycle replacement repair needs of its projects over a 20-year period, rather than a 5-year period, to better coincide with the useful life of individual properties and their building components and systems to ensure the long-term viability of the property (see Memo, 7/22/11).
  • A proposed rule to implement the Rural Housing Stability Assistance Program (RHSP) authorized by the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Re-Housing Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009 (see Memo, 3/29/13).
  • A three-part rule proposed after Hurricane Sandy: “Floodplain Management Protection of Wetlands; Minimum Property Standards for Flood Hazard Exposure; Building to the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard.”

On December 14, HUD announced its Fall 2017 Statement of Regulatory Priorities for Fiscal Year 2018. The statement anticipates two regulatory actions and eleven deregulatory actions. The deregulatory actions are, for the most part, streamlining rules that were already in the pipeline, such as those implementing provisions of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA). The announcement was part of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) presentation of the administration’s Unified Agenda of Regulatory Actions.

The two regulatory actions are:

  • A rule to be proposed in 2018 called “Strengthening the Section 184 Indian Housing Loan Guarantee Program.”
  • An interim rule to be issued to implement Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products in new manufactured homes.

The deregulatory actions can be discovered by looking at the Agency Rule List – Fall 2017 and clicking on each RIN.  Every RIN has an “EO 13771 Designation,” which refers to the administration’s Executive Order 13771 calling for the elimination of two regulations for each new regulation (see Memo, 2/6/17, 2/13/17, 3/6/17, 4/10/17, and 5/8/17). Some items are minor and deemed inapplicable to EO 13771; they have as their EO 13771 status “Other” or “Fully or Partially Exempt.” Five of the eleven deregulatory actions are relevant to advocates:

  • The interim rule implementing several provisions of the FAST Act (see Memo, 12/18/17).
  • A proposed rule (estimated publication date of June, 2018) to codify various provisions of HOTMA previously implemented through a Federal Register notice (see Memo, 1/23/17).
  • A proposed rule (estimated publication date of September, 2018) to remove “outdated or unnecessary reporting requirements” in the Consolidated Plan process.
  • A proposed rule (estimated publication date of July, 2018) to revise and replace the current test for cost-effectiveness used under the rules for Section 22 voluntary conversion of public housing to vouchers. The proposed change would streamline the test to make it more usable for PHAs.
  • A final rule (estimated publication date of March, 2018) amending the existing Management and Occupancy Reviews (MORs) for properties assisted through various project-based Section 8 programs. The intent is to reduce the frequency of MORs by conducting them according to a schedule published in the Federal Register.

In addition, HUD identifies eleven long-term regulatory plans, including: