HUD Housing Mandates

I have written several articles Racism and Slavery. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on Racism and Slavery.

The Trump administration said Thursday July 23rd, 2020 that it is revoking an Obama-era housing regulation designed to eliminate racial disparities in the suburbs, a move that fair housing advocates have decried as an election year stunt designed to manipulate the fears of white voters. Trump has repeatedly characterized the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation as an existential threat to the suburban way of life that will bring about more crime and lower home prices. Trump hinted at the move when he warned voters in a virtual town hall that Democratic candidate Joe Biden wants to “abolish” the suburbs and eliminate single family zoning. In a statement, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said the regulation known as AFFH, was “unworkable and ultimately a waste of time for localities to comply with.” Critics said the rule was confusing and the computer tool used to submit reports and measure progress was too difficult to use. It will be replaced by a new rule that reduces the burden on local jurisdictions to prove that they are actively taking steps to address historical patterns of racial segregation in order to qualify for HUD financing. “Washington has no business dictating what is best to meet your local community’s unique needs,” Carson said.

Debby Goldberg, vice president of housing policy and special projects for the National Fair Housing Alliance, said that HUD has removed almost any oversight or burden of proof for jurisdictions to show they are addressing racial disparities. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called the move, “a betrayal of our nation’s founding values of equality and opportunity for all.” Pelosi, a California Democrat, said in a statement: “It is a shameful abdication of our government’s responsibility to end discriminatory housing practices and to lift up our nation’s most vulnerable communities. The Administration must reverse this outrageous decision and uphold the law.” Which tells you if Pelosi is for it, there has to be something wrong with the deal.

The topic has become a potential hot-button issue in an election year as Trump, using language that housing advocates describe as openly racist, has repeatedly said the rule would force the construction of low-income housing in the suburbs. “Your home will go down in value and crime rates will rapidly rise,” Trump said. “People have worked all their lives to get into a community, and now they’re going to watch it go to hell. Not going to happen, not while I’m here.”

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited direct and intentional housing discrimination, such as a real estate agent not showing a home in a wealthy neighborhood to a black family or a bank not providing a loan based on someone’s race. HUD is now looking to root out more the subtle forms of discrimination that take shape in local government policies that unintentionally harm minority communities. “Racially-concentrated areas of poverty exist in virtually every metropolitan area,” HUD notes in the rule. “Disparities in access to important community assets prevail in many instances.”

The 2015 rule established a 92-question survey and grading tool requiring local jurisdictions to assess their own racial and economic disparities and present detailed plans on how to address them. Carson said the jurisdictions were “forced to comply with complicated regulations that require hundreds of pages of reporting.” We are now going to delve a little more into this 2015 bill. Basically it was an attempt to make all communities a mix of all races. It did not matter if the area was affluent or not, you were getting low income housing in it. If the communities refused, they lost all federal tax support, even though all of the communities residents were paying taxes. Like it or not this country is based on capitalism not socialism. Everybody is not equal when it comes to finances. We believe in this country if you work hard you will get ahead. We don’t believe in free hand-outs. By bringing in low income housing into affluent communities, you are essentially driving the value down of all the properties. But that doesn’t mater to the left or socialists, since they are anti small business and private ownership of property. So basically it was punishing affluent families. The scheme involves super-sizing vouchers to help urban poor afford higher rents in pricey areas, such as Westchester County, while assigning them government real estate agents called “mobility counselors” to secure housing in the exurbs. HUD plans to launch the Section 8 reboot this fall, even though a similar program tested a few years ago in Dallas has been blamed for shifting violent crime to affluent neighborhoods. It’s all part of a grand plan to forcibly desegregate inner cities and integrate the outer suburbs. HUD threatened to sue suburban landlords for discrimination if they refuse even Section 8 tenants with criminal records. And last year, he implemented a powerful new regulation — “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” — that pressures all suburban counties taking federal grant money to change local zoning laws to build more low-income housing (landlords of such properties are required to accept Section 8 vouchers). HUD is expected to finalize the new regulation, known as “Small-Area Fair Market Rents” (SAFMR), this October, in the last days of the Obama presidency. It will set voucher rent limits by ZIP code rather than metro area, the current formula, which makes payments relatively small. “We want to use our housing-choice vouchers to ensure that we don’t have a concentration of poverty and the aggregation of racial minorities in one part of town, the poor part of town,” the HUD chief said recently, adding that he’s trying to undo the “result of discriminatory policies and practices in the past, and sometimes even now.”

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) initiative is designed to diversify America’s wealthiest neighborhoods while reinvigorating poor communities around the country. Areas that don’t comply with the new rules risk losing federal funding.

HUD Secretary Julián Castro said the new rules would help America “overcome the legacy of segregation” in this country, and give poor families a better opportunity to succeed. “Where a child grows up should not dictate where they end up,” Castro told reporters. “Unfortunately, too many Americans find their dreams limited by where they come from.” HUD estimates the rule will cost local communities $25 million each year to comply, while the agency will spend another $9 million annually overseeing the process.

The rules attracted fierce criticism from Republicans who said the effort amounts to unwarranted social engineering. They threatened to block funding for the rule in Congress. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) decried the regulations as “President Obama’s most aggressive attempt yet to force his utopian ideology on American communities disguised under the banner of ‘fairness.’ ” He accused HUD of “punishing neighborhoods that don’t fall in line with [Obama’s] liberal agenda.”

The intent of the new rules, he said, is to provide local officials with data, tools and resources to allow local officials to make decisions that “ensure access to affordable, quality housing for every single American.” Under the new housing discrimination rules, HUD would provide communities with local and regional information about “segregated living patterns” and “racially or ethnically concentrated areas of poverty” that must be addressed. The agency would then use grant money as an incentive for these communities to become more diverse and “expand equal access to opportunity for all Americans.” A draft of the new HUD rule anticipates more than 350,000 Section 8 voucher holders will initially be resettled under the SAFMR program. Under Obama, the total number of voucher households has grown to more than 2.2 million. The document argues that larger vouchers will allow poor urban families to “move into areas that potentially have better access to jobs, transportation, services and educational opportunities.” In other words, offering them more money to move to more expensive neighborhoods will improve their situation.

But HUD’s own studies show the theory doesn’t match reality. President Bill Clinton started a similar program in 1994 called “Moving to Opportunity Initiative,” which moved thousands of mostly African-American families from government projects to higher-quality homes in safer and less racially segregated neighborhoods in several counties across the country. The 15-year experiment bombed. A 2011 study sponsored by HUD found that adults using more generous Section 8 vouchers did not get better jobs or get off welfare. In fact, more went on food stamps. And their children did not do better in their new schools. Worse, crime simply followed them to their safer neighborhoods, ruining the quality of life for existing residents. “Males … were arrested more often than those in the control group, primarily for property crimes,” the study found. Dubuque, Iowa, for example, received an influx of voucher holders from projects in Chicago — and it’s had a problem with crime ever since. A recent study linked Dubuque’s crime wave directly to Section 8 housing.

HUD recently tested this new theory in Dallas with disastrous results. Starting in 2012, the agency sweetened Section 8 voucher payments, and pointed inner-city recipients to the far-flung counties surrounding Dallas. As government-subsidized rentals spread in all areas of the Metroplex (163 ZIP codes vs. 129 ZIP codes), so did crime. Now Dallas has one of the highest murder rates in the nation, and recently had to call in state troopers to help police control it. For the first time, violent crime has shifted to the tony bedroom communities north of the city. Three suburbs that have seen the most Section 8 transfers — Frisco, Plano and McKinney — have suffered unprecedented spikes in rapes, assaults and break-ins, including home invasions.

Although HUD’s “demonstration project” may have improved the lives of some who moved, it’s ended up harming the lives of many of their new neighbors. And now HUD wants to roll it out nationwide. Soon they will give Section 8 recipients money to afford rent wherever they choose — and if they don’t want to move, he’ll make them an offer they can’t refuse.

I am sure that the politicians pushing for this HUD policy are not being affected by it. Their communities are all gated, I am sure. If you are interested in seeing the actual language of the Act I have included it in the Addendum section below.*

Resources: apnews.com, “HUD revokes Obama-era rule designed to diversify the suburbs,” By Ashraf Khalil; nypost.com, “Obama’s last act is to force suburbs to be less white and less wealthy,” By Paul Sperry; thehill.com, “New Obama housing rules target segregated neighborhoods,” By Tim Devaney;

Addendum:

*U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
WASHINGTON, DC 20410-5000
OFFICE OF PUBLIC AND INDIAN HOUSING
NOTICE PIH 2017 – 20 (HA)
Issued: October 27, 2017
This notice remains in effect until amended,
superseded, or rescinded
SUBJECT: Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) – Housing
Quality Standards (HQS) Implementation Guidance

  1. PURPOSE
    This notice provides guidance on two provisions that relate to the initial inspection of dwelling
    units for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) tenant-based and Project-Based Voucher (PBV)
    assistance programs resulting from the enactment of the Housing Opportunity Through
    Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA). These provisions were implemented through Federal
    Register Notice “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016: Implementation of
    Various Section 8 Voucher Provisions” (82 FR 5458) and became effective on April 18, 2017.
    The provisions offer public housing agencies (PHAs) additional administrative flexibility over
    the initial inspection process. The decision to implement these provisions rests with the
    individual PHAs.
  2. BACKGROUND
    On July 29, 2016, HOTMA was signed into law (Public Law 114–201, 130 Stat. 782). HOTMA
    made numerous changes to statutes that govern HUD programs, including section 8 of the United
    States Housing Act of 1937 (1937 Act) (42 U.S.C. 1437f). On January 18, 2017, HUD issued a
    notice in the Federal Register (82 FR 5458) implementing some HOTMA provisions impacting
    the HCV and PBV programs (“January 18, 2017, implementation notice”). Among the
    provisions implemented by the January 18, 2017, implementation notice are two provisions
    related to the initial unit inspection requirements for HCV tenant-based and PBV assistance.
    These provisions went into effect on April 18, 2017.
    Section 8(o)(8) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (1937 Act) requires that units assisted
    under Section 8(o) be inspected to determine that the units meet housing quality standards (HQS)
    before the PHA makes a housing assistance payment (HAP) pursuant to a HAP contract. The two
    HOTMA provisions discussed in this guidance do not remove the requirement that the PHA
    conduct an inspection prior to making a HAP, but give PHAs two options for bringing units
    under HAP contract (or, in the case of PBV, approving occupancy and the execution of a lease)
    more quickly. These options may be especially useful for PHAs operating in tight rental markets,
    where the ability to approve a unit and execute a HAP contract with the landlord more quickly
    could improve families’ ability to use their vouchers to lease housing.
    The first provision allows a PHA to approve the assisted tenancy and make HAPs on a unit that
    fails to meet HQS, provided the unit only has non-life-threatening (NLT) deficiencies. This
    provision is referred to throughout this guidance as the “NLT provision.”
    The second provision allows the PHA to approve assisted tenancy of a unit prior to the HQS
    inspection if the property has passed an alternative inspection within the past 24 months. This
    provision is referred to throughout this guidance as the “Alternative Inspection provision.”
    These provisions are discretionary. Therefore, a PHA may choose to adopt neither, one, or both
    provisions.
  3. NOTICE ORGANIZATION
    The main body of this notice is divided into two parts:
    • Implementing the NLT Provision, divided into the following subparts:
    A. HUD definition of non-life-threatening and life-threatening conditions
    B. Incorporating life-threatening conditions for all inspections
    C. Documenting the presence or absence of life-threatening conditions
    D. Notification of owners and tenants
    E. Effective date of HAP contract
    F. Housing assistance payments
    G. Administrative plans
    H. Notification of HUD
    I. Section Eight Management Assessment Program (SEMAP)
    • Implementing the Alternative Inspections Provision, divided into the following
    subparts:
    A. Eligible alternative inspection methods
    B. Timing of the initial HQS inspection
    C. Approval of assisted tenancy and execution of HAP contract
    D. Housing assistance payments
    E. Notification of owners and tenants
    F. Administrative plans
    G. Notification of HUD
    H. SEMAP
  4. IMPLEMENTING THE NLT PROVISION
    The NLT provision allows a PHA to approve the assisted tenancy and begin paying HAP on a
    unit that fails to meet the HQS, provided the deficiencies are not life-threatening. This provision
    is optional for PHAs and may be applied to all or a portion of the PHA’s tenant-based and
    project-based portfolio.
    PHAs that choose to implement this provision must:
    • amend their HCV administrative plan to adopt HUD’s definition of non-life-threatening
    as well as life-threatening deficiencies;
    • amend their administrative plan to explain the specific details on how the provision will
    be applied (e.g., PHA will apply the NLT provision to all or a portion of their initial
    inspections);
    • inform owners and families of the new policy and procedures; and
    • notify HUD via email of their choice to implement the provision so that HUD can ensure
    that PHAs’ SEMAP scores are not negatively impacted.
    The details of all the requirements listed above are explained further below.
    Figures 1 and 2, located at the end of Part 4, illustrate the steps involved in establishing the NLT
    provision at the PHA (Figure 1) and how the NLT provision affects the initial inspection process
    (Figure 2).
    A. HUD DEFINITION OF NON-LIFE-THREATENING (NLT) AND LIFE-THREATENING (LT)
    CONDITIONS
    A PHA that implements the NLT provision must adopt HUD’s definition of NLT conditions in
    its HCV administrative plan. An NLT condition is defined as any condition that would fail to
    meet the housing quality standards under 24 CFR 982.401 and is not a life-threatening (LT)
    condition as defined by HUD. HUD’s definition of LT conditions includes specific conditions
    under 10 categories, as described in the January 18, 2017, implementation notice:
    (1) Gas (natural or liquid petroleum) leak or fumes
    (2) Electrical hazards that could result in shock or fire
    (3) Inoperable or missing smoke detector
    (4) Interior air quality (inoperable or missing carbon monoxide detector, where required)
    (5) Gas/oil fired water heater or heating, ventilation, or cooling system with missing,
    damaged, improper, or misaligned chimney or venting
    (6) Lack of alternative means of exit in case of fire or blocked egress
    (7) Other interior hazards (missing or damaged fire extinguisher, where required)
    (8) Deteriorated paint surfaces in a unit built before 1978 and to be occupied by a family
    with a child under 6 years of age
    (9) Any other condition subsequently identified by HUD as life-threatening in a notice
    published in the Federal Register.
    (10) Any other condition identified by the administering PHA as life-threatening in the
    PHA’s administrative plan prior to April 18, 2017 (the effective date of the January
    18, 2017, implementation notice).
    Table 1 lists the specific LT conditions identified in the January 18, 2017, implementation notice
    under each of the 10 categories. Only the specific conditions listed in the second column of
    Table 1 are life-threatening conditions for the purposes of implementing the NLT provision. The
    third column of Table 1 provides the relevant inspection item number from form HUD-52580 or
    52580-A for each the LT conditions. As described in Part 4.C. below, PHAs must document the
    presence of any LT conditions on form HUD-52580, HUD-52580-A, or successor form.
    Table 1. Life-Threatening Conditions and Where to Record on HUD Inspection Form
    Category Life-Threatening Conditions
    Where to Record on HUD-52580 or HUD-52580-A
    (1) Gas (natural or liquid petroleum) leak or fumes
    • A fuel storage vessel, fluid line, valve, or connection
    that supplies fuel to a HVAC unit is leaking.
    • A strong gas odor detected with potential for
    explosion or fire, or that results in health risk if
    inhaled. 7.2 or 8.9
    (2) Electrical hazards that could result in shock or fire
    • A light fixture is readily accessible, is not securely
    mounted to the ceiling or wall, and electrical
    connections or wires are exposed.
    • A light fixture is hanging by its wires.
    • A light fixture has a missing or broken bulb, and the
    open socket is readily accessible to the tenant during
    the day to day use of the unit.
    • A receptacle (outlet) or switch is missing or broken
    and electrical connections or wires are exposed.
    • A receptacle (outlet) or switch has a missing or
    damaged cover plate and electrical connections or
    wires are exposed.
    • An open circuit breaker position is not appropriately
    blanked off in a panel board, main panel board, or
    other electrical box that contains circuit breakers or
    fuses.
    • A cover is missing from any electrical device box,
    panel box, switch gear box, control panel, etc., and
    there are exposed electrical connections.
    • Any nicks, abrasions, or fraying of the insulation that
    expose conducting wire.
    • Exposed bare wires or electrical connections.
    • Any condition that results in openings in electrical
    panels or electrical control device enclosures.
    • Water leaking or ponding near any electrical device.
    1.3, 2.3, 3.3, 4.3, or 5.3
    Category Life-Threatening Conditions
    Where to Record on HUD-52580 or HUD-52580-A
    • Any condition that poses a serious risk of electrocution or fire and poses an immediate life threatening condition.
    (3) Inoperable or missing smoke detector
    • The smoke detector is missing.
    • The smoke detector does not function as it should.
    (4) Interior air quality (inoperable or missing carbon monoxide detector)
    • The carbon monoxide detector (where required) is
    missing.
    • The carbon monoxide detector does not function as it
    should.
    (5) Gas/oil fired water heater or heating, ventilation, or
    cooling system with missing, damaged, improper, or
    misaligned chimney or venting
    • The chimney or venting system on a fuel fired water
    heater is misaligned, negatively pitched, or damaged,
    which may cause improper or dangerous venting of
    gases.
    • A gas dryer vent is missing, damaged, or is visually
    determined to be inoperable, or the dryer exhaust is
    not vented to the outside.
    • A fuel fired space heater is not properly vented or
    lacks available combustion air.
    • A non-vented space heater is present.
    • Safety devices on a fuel fired space heater are
    missing or damaged.
    • The chimney or venting system on a fuel fired
    heating, ventilation, or cooling system is misaligned,
    negatively pitched, or damaged which may cause
    improper or dangerous venting of gases.
    7.2, 7.4, or 8.9
    (6) Lack of alternative means of exit in case of fire or blocked egress
    • Any of the components that affect the function of the
    fire escape are missing or damaged.
    • Stored items or other barriers restrict or prevent the
    use of the fire escape in the event of an emergency.
    • The building’s emergency exit is blocked or impeded, thus limiting the ability of occupants to
    exit in a fire or other emergency.
    (7) Other interior hazards (missing or damaged fire extinguisher,
    where required)
    • A fire extinguisher (where required) that is missing,
    damaged, discharged, overcharged, or expired. (This
    applies only if the PHA has adopted an acceptability
    criteria variation to the HQS to require fire extinguishers.)
    (8) Lead-Based Paint • Deteriorated paint surfaces in a unit built before
    1978 and to be occupied by a family with a child
    under 6 years of age.
    1.9, 2.9, 3.9, 4.9, or 6.6
    (9) Any other condition subsequently identified by HUD
    in a notice published in the Federal Register N/A N/A
    (10) Any other condition identified by the PHA
    • Any other condition identified by the administering
    PHA as life-threatening in the PHA’s administrative
    plan prior to April 18, 2017.
    Per PHA policy
    Most of the categories of life-threatening conditions are self-explanatory. The following
    additional guidance may be helpful for categories 7 through 10:
    • Category (7): Other interior hazards (missing or damaged fire extinguisher, where
    required). PHAs may adopt, with HUD approval, acceptability criteria variations to the
    HQS. A PHA may have adopted an acceptability criteria variation to the HQS to require
    fire extinguishers in HCV units. If the PHA using the NLT provision requires fire
    extinguishers, then if a required fire extinguisher is missing, damaged, discharged,
    overcharged, or expired, it must be considered a life-threatening condition per HUD’s
    definition, even if the PHA had previously considered such a condition to be non-lifethreatening.
    If the PHA has not adopted an acceptability criteria variation to the HQS to
    require fire extinguishers in HCV units, this category does not apply.
    • Category (8): Deteriorated paint surfaces of a unit built before 1978 and to be
    occupied by a child under 6 years of age. The presence of deteriorated paint surfaces in a
    unit built before 1978 and where a child under 6 years of age resides or is expected to
    reside is a life-threatening condition only for determining whether the family can move into
    the unit. The presence of such hazards during the initial HQS inspection means a PHA may
    not approve the tenancy, execute the HAP contract and make assistance payments until
    lead hazard reduction is complete. However, in the case where the deficiency is identified
    for a unit under HAP contract during a regular or interim HQS inspection, lead hazard
    reduction need not be completed within 24 hours. Instead, PHAs and owners must follow
    the requirements in 24 CFR part 35.
    • Category (9): Any other condition subsequently identified by HUD. At a future date,
    HUD may add to the list any other condition(s) that HUD identifies as life-threatening. If
    HUD makes such changes, HUD will publish the changes in a Federal Register notice and
    notify PHAs.
    • Category (10): Any other condition identified by the PHA. PHAs that adopt the NLT
    provision may add any other condition (not covered by the LT conditions on HUD’s list)
    that the PHA defined as life-threatening in its HCV Administrative Plan prior to April 18,
  5. The PHA may not add its own conditions to HUD’s definition of LT conditions after
    April 18, 2017. The reason for this restriction is that HUD wants to avoid inconsistent
    definitions of LT conditions for the purposes of implementing this provision of HOTMA.
    B. INCORPORATING LIFE-THREATENING CONDITIONS FOR ALL INSPECTIONS
    A PHA that chooses to adopt the NLT provision must apply their list of LT conditions to all
    HQS inspections (e.g. annual, interim, special), not just initial inspections subject to the NLT
    provision. In other words, a PHA must use its newly adopted list of LT conditions in its
    ongoing HQS inspections and HQS enforcement activities even if the PHA adopts this
    provision for only a portion of its initial inspections.
    PHAs that adopt the NLT provision will do so as of a certain date after amending their HCV
    Administrative Plan. As of the effective date of the PHA’s NLT provision, the new list of LT
    conditions will be in effect for all inspections the PHA conducts from that date on. The PHA
    is not required to conduct special inspections, outside of the normal schedule, to determine
    whether units already under HAP as of the effective date of the PHA’s NLT provision have any
    LT deficiencies based on the new standard.
    There may be cases where the effective date of the PHA’s NLT provision falls in the middle of a
    30-day correction period for a deficiency that was previously identified as non-life-threatening,
    but as of the effective date of the provision is now defined as life-threatening. In such a case, the
    owner would have the remainder of the original 30-day cure period to make the repair, but at the
    end of the original cure period the 24-hour standard would take effect.
    The presence of deteriorated paint in units built before 1978 to be occupied by a family with a
    child under the age of 6, which is a LT condition under the NLT provision, is treated differently
    from other LT conditions. If the PHA identifies such hazards during the initial HQS
    inspection, the PHA may not approve the tenancy, execute the HAP contract (or, in the
    case of PBV, approve occupancy and the execution of a lease), or make assistance payments
    until lead hazard reduction is complete. However, if the deficiency is identified for a unit
    already occupied by an assisted family under a HAP contract as of the effective date of the
    PHA’s NLT provision, for example during a regular or interim HQS inspection, lead hazard
    reduction does not need to be completed within 24 hours as is the case for all other LT
    conditions. Instead, PHAs and owners must follow the requirements in 24 CFR part 35.
    C. DOCUMENTING THE PRESENCE OR ABSENCE OF LIFE-THREATENING CONDITIONS
    PHAs that choose to implement the NLT provision must ensure that the unit does not have any
    life-threatening deficiencies before approving the unit and executing the HAP contract (or, in the
    case of PBV, approves occupancy and the execution of a lease). PHAs must document that the
    unit passes all components of the inspection that relate to any life-threatening conditions
    identified in the PHA’s administrative plan (including those on HUD’s list) before approving the
    assisted tenancy and executing the HAP contract (in the case of HCV). PHAs must note and
    describe any life-threatening conditions on HUD’s inspection form (HUD-52580, HUD-52580-
    A, or successor form). If a unit’s completed inspection form has no noted life-threatening
    conditions, the PHA is certifying that the unit was free of life-threatening deficiencies at the time
    of the initial inspection.
    D. NOTIFICATION OF OWNERS AND TENANTS
    After the initial inspection is complete, the PHA must notify the owner and the family of the
    inspection results in writing. The notification of the inspection results must include detailed
    information for all failed and inconclusive inspection items so that the owner and family are fully
    aware of the work necessary to pass the HQS inspection.
    For a unit that fails the HQS inspection, the notification must list the individual HQS fail items
    and identify which, if any, of the failed items meet the PHA’s definition of life-threatening
    conditions.
    If any of the items are LT conditions, the owner must be notified, in writing, that these
    deficiencies must be corrected before the PHA can approve the tenancy.
    If the unit has only NLT conditions, the PHA must offer the family the choice to accept the units
    or to decline the unit and continue their housing search. The PHA must notify the family that if
    the owner fails to correct the NLT deficiencies within the PHA-specified timeframe, the
    PHA will terminate the HAP contract, which in turn terminates the assisted lease and the
    family will have to move to another unit to continue receiving voucher assistance. If the
    family declines the unit, the PHA must inform the family of how much search time they have
    remaining consistent with the PHA’s policies. In accordance with 982.303(c), the PHA must
    provide for the suspension of the initial or any extended term of the voucher from the date the
    family submitted the request for PHA approval of the tenancy until the date the PHA notifies the
    family in writing whether the request has been approved or denied. In this circumstance, the date
    of the family’s choice to decline the unit would be the date of the end of the suspension of the
    voucher term. As a reminder, families with disabilities may make a reasonable accommodation
    request for an extension of the search time at any time.
    If the family accepts the unit with the NLT conditions, the PHA must notify the owner, in
    writing, that PHA has approved the assisted tenancy and the owner has 30 calendar days from
    the date of the notification to correct the NLT conditions, after which time the PHA will
    withhold the HAP and follow its policy regarding owner non-compliance with HQS.
    E. EFFECTIVE DATE OF HAP CONTRACT
    The process for approving a unit and executing the HAP contract (or, in the case of PBV,
    approves occupancy and the execution of a lease) for a unit under the NLT provision is like the
    regular practice of approving an assisted tenancy. The only difference is that the unit does not
    need to pass the inspection before the PHA can approve the leasing of the unit, but the
    PHA must still inspect the unit before the initial lease term and HAP contract term (in the
    case of PBV) may commence. Under the NLT provision, the following steps must occur before
    the date the initial term of the lease for the unit commences in the case of TBV (the date the
    initial term of the lease commences is the same as the effective date of the HAP contract in the
    case of PBV):
    1) The family finds a unit and submits a request for tenancy approval (RFTA), Form HUD-
    52517.
    2) The PHA determines the unit is an eligible unit.
    3) The unit has been inspected by the PHA and has no life-threatening deficiencies.
    4) The PHA determines the rent to owner is reasonable, the family share does not exceed 40
    percent of monthly adjusted income (unless gross rent is equal or less than the payment
    standard), and the lease includes the tenancy addendum.
    5) The family and owner execute the lease (including HCV tenancy addendum and leadbased
    paint disclosure information as required).
    F. HOUSING ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS
    PHAs that adopt the NLT provision may, with the agreement of the family, approve the assisted
    tenancy, execute the HAP contract (in the case of TBV), and make HAPs for a unit that fails the
    initial HQS inspection only because of NLT conditions as defined above.
    If the NLT conditions are not corrected within 30 days of the PHA notifying the owner of
    the unit’s failure of HQS, the PHA must withhold any further HAPs until those conditions
    are addressed and the unit complies with HQS. The 30-day requirement is statutory, the PHA
    may not extend the time for the owner to correct the repairs before the PHA withholds payment.
    After the 30-day correction period has passed and the PHA begins withholding payments, the
    PHA may establish a policy regarding the maximum amount of time it will withhold payments
    before abating payments or terminating the HAP contract for owner non-compliance with HQS.
    Once the unit is in compliance with HQS, the PHA must recommence making HAPs. The PHA
    may use any payments withheld to pay the owner for the period during which payments were
    withheld. However, the PHA is not required to provide HAP to the owner for the time that HAP
    was withheld. The PHA’s policy regarding withheld payments should be detailed in the PHA’s
    administrative plan.
    PHAs have discretion over the maximum amount of time the PHA will withhold payments
    before ultimately terminating the HAP contract for owner non-compliance with HQS. However,
    under no circumstance may the HAP contract continue beyond 180 days of the effective date of
    the HAP contract if the unit is not in compliance with HQS.
    The PHA must follow its administrative policy on when to issue a new voucher to the family and
    when to terminate the HAP contract for owner non-compliance with HQS.
    G. ADMINISTRATIVE PLANS
    Before implementing the NLT provision, PHAs must amend their HCV administrative plan to
    add HUD’s definition of NLT conditions (and LT conditions) and to specify how the PHA will
    apply the flexibility for initial inspections in its HCV and PBV programs.
    Specifically, the PHA must add:
    • HUD’s definition of NLT conditions, as defined in the January 18, 2017, implementation
    notice. HUD defines a NLT condition as “any condition that would fail to meet the HQS and
    is not a life-threatening condition.”
    • HUD’s list of LT conditions, as defined in the January 18, 2017, implementation notice. If
    the PHA had LT conditions listed in its HCV administrative plan prior to April 18, 2017 that
    are not covered by the LT conditions on HUD’s list and that the PHA wishes to include in the
    new definition of LT, the PHA must also include these conditions in the amended plan.
    • The PHA’s policy for how it will apply the NLT provision across the initial inspections that
    it conducts for tenant-based HCV and/or PBV units. The policy must indicate whether the
    provision will be applied to all initial inspections or a portion of initial inspections. If the
    provision will be applied to some inspections and not others, the PHA’s policy must explain
    how units will be selected for this provision using objective criteria. Possible criteria include
    program type (e.g., tenant-based HCV versus PBV units), unit location (e.g., if the PHA
    wants to apply the policy in areas where lease-up is particularly challenging), or unit age.
    The policy must explain the criteria in sufficient detail so that they can be fairly evaluated by
    the PHA’s Board and others reviewing the policy.
    • The PHA’s policy on suspending or abating any HAP withheld from owners due to failure to
    address NLT conditions, including whether the PHA will repay the owner for the HAP
    withheld during the period of non-compliance. However, if the PHA took enforcement action
    to abate payment when repairs were not made within the cure period, the owner would not be
    paid for the time the abatement was in effect.
    These changes to the HCV administrative plan may constitute a significant amendment to the
    PHA Plan, in which case the PHA must follow its PHA Plan amendment and public notice
    requirements before using the NLT provision.
    H. NOTIFICATION OF HUD
    The PHA is required to notify HUD 30 days before the policy becomes effective by sending an
    email to HOTMA_HQS@HUD.GOV. This notification should take place after the PHA amends
    its HCV Administrative Plan to reflect the NLT provision but at least 30 days before the PHA
    implements the new policy. If the PHA choses to no longer use the provision, the PHA must
    send another email to the same mailbox indicating they will no longer be applying the NLT
    provision.
    I. SECTION EIGHT MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT PROGRAM (SEMAP)
    PHAs that have adopted the NLT provision will be given full points on SEMAP indicator 11
    until the indicator is revised or the system is updated to allow PHAs to identify the specific
    unit(s) to which the PHA has applied the provision.
    This process applies specifically to TBV, the process for PBV will be slightly different.
    IMPLEMENTING THE ALTERNATIVE INSPECTION PROVISION
    The alternative inspection provision allows the PHA to approve assisted tenancy of a unit before
    the PHA conducts the initial HQS inspection if the property has, in the previous 24 months,
    passed a qualifying alternative inspection. Under this provision, HAP is not paid to the owner
    until the PHA completes its initial HQS inspection. The PHA then makes assistance payments
    retroactively, dating back to the effective date of the HAP contract and assisted lease term, once
    the unit has been inspected and found to meet HQS standards. The guidance on how to
    implement the requirements for this provision is discussed in detail below.
    Flow charts showing the steps involved in establishing the alternative inspection provision at the
    PHA (Figure 3) and how the alternative inspection provision changes the initial inspection
    process (Figure 4) are found at the end of this section.
    A. ELIGIBLE ALTERNATIVE INSPECTION METHODS
    The alternative inspection method must meet all the following requirements:1
    1) The PHA must be able to obtain the results of the alternative inspection.
    2) If the alternative inspection method uses sampling, the unit in question must be included in
    the universe of units from which the sample was drawn. For example, if a 100-unit property
    includes 20 units that are occupied by HCV-assisted families or are under a PBV contract,
    then those 20 units must have been included in the universe of units from which the
    alternative inspection sample was pulled. However, this does not mean that any of the 20
    units would necessarily have to been part of the sample of units selected for inspection.
    3) A PHA may rely upon inspections of housing assisted under the HOME Investment
    Partnerships (HOME) program or housing financed using Low Income Housing Tax Credits
    (LIHTCs), or inspections performed by HUD, without prior HUD approval. However, before
    employing this alternative method the PHA must amend its HCV administrative plan and
    notify HUD (as described below in Parts F and G).
    4) If the PHA wishes to rely on an alternative inspection method other than that used for
    HOME, LIHTC, or inspections performed by HUD, that method must be approved by
    HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC). The PHA must obtain REAC approval
    before amending its HCV administrative plan. If the PHA has already obtained REAC
    approval for the method for the purposes of satisfying the biennial inspection requirement,
    the PHA does not need to obtain separate REAC approval to use the method for initial
    inspections. Requests to use an alternative inspection method may be submitted to Director,
    Real Estate Assessment Center, 550 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20410. All requests
    are to include a copy of the inspection method the PHA wishes to use, along with an analysis
    of the inspection method that shows that the method provides the same or greater protection
    1 Note that these requirements are substantially the same as those in place for the use of alternative inspections for
    the annual (or biennial) inspection requirement (see 24 CFR 982.406).
    to occupants of dwelling units as would HQS. The PHA must also monitor this inspection
    method for changes to the standards in the inspection requirements. If any change is made to
    the inspection method requirements, the PHA must submit a copy of the revised standards
    and requirements to the REAC Director along with a revised comparison to HQS. If the PHA
    or REAC determines that the revision would cause the alternative inspection to no longer
    meet or exceed HQS, then the PHA may no longer rely upon the alternative inspection
    method and the PHA would have to amend its administrative plan.
    B. TIMING OF THE INITIAL HQS INSPECTION
    The alternative inspection provision does not eliminate the requirement for the PHA to conduct
    the initial HQS inspection. All PHAs that implement this provision, regardless of the size of their
    voucher program, must conduct the initial HQS inspection within 15 days of receiving the RFTA
    (Form HUD-52517). This applies even for those PHAs with greater than 1250 units for whom
    this is not the case under the regular voucher program rules.
    C. APPROVAL OF ASSISTED TENANCY AND EXECUTION OF HAP CONTRACT
    The PHA approves the assisted tenancy in response to a RFTA received from the family and
    executes the HAP contract (in the case of TBV) before the PHA’s initial inspection takes place.
    The process, which is also illustrated in Figure 4, will generally work as follows in the case of
    TBV:
    1) At the time of voucher issuance, as part of the tenant package, the PHA provides the
    family with the list of conditions defined as life-threatening in the PHA’s Administrative
    Plan.
    2) The family finds a unit and submits a RFTA.
    3) The PHA determines the unit is an eligible unit.
    4) The PHA determines the property passed an inspection within the previous 24 months
    that qualifies as an alternative inspection.
    5) The PHA determines the rent to owner is reasonable, that the family share does not
    exceed 40 percent of monthly adjusted income (unless gross rent is equal or less than the
    payment standard), and that the lease includes the tenancy addendum.
    6) PHA notifies both the owner and the family that unit is eligible for approval based on
    alternative inspection.
    7) The PHA explains to the family how the alternative inspection provision applies to the
    unit they have selected. The family may choose to accept the unit, decline the unit until it
    has passed the PHA’s inspection (assuming the owner is willing), or decline the unit and
    search for another unit with their voucher.
    8) The PHA establishes that the owner is willing to execute the HAP contract. PHAs should
    keep in mind that some owners may not want to commit to this policy, since they do not
    get paid until the PHA inspects the unit and may be concerned about assuming liability
    for repairs without knowing what the PHA may require them to fix. The PHA needs to
    ensure the owner understands that they will not receive the initial HAP until the PHA has
    inspected the unit and determined the unit meets HQS, even though the family’s assisted
    tenancy has commenced and the HAP contract is executed before that time.
    9) The PHA executes the HAP contract with the owner, and the family and owner execute
    the lease (including HCV tenancy addendum and lead-based paint disclosure information
    as required). The effective date of the HAP contract (for TBV) must be on or before the
    date of the HQS inspection.
    10) The PHA conducts the initial HQS inspection (within 15 days of receiving the RFTA).
    A key requirement of the alternative inspection provision is that the PHA must execute the HAP
    contract with the owner before the assisted lease and assisted tenancy commences. The
    alternative inspection provision overrides the current regulation at 24 CFR 982.305(c). That
    regulation provides that the PHA must use best efforts to execute the HAP contract before the
    beginning of the lease term, but allows for the HAP contract to be executed no later than 60
    calendar days from the beginning of the lease term. A PHA that utilizes the alternative
    inspection provision for a unit must enter into the HAP contract before the beginning of the
    lease term, regardless of the 60-day window that is normally applicable under 982.305(c).
    Since the family will have moved into the unit before the PHA conducts the initial inspection,
    the executed HAP contract ensures that the owner is contractually responsible to make any
    repairs that are necessary for the unit to meet HQS and provides protections for the family not to
    be charged the full amount of the rent if the owner fails to make the necessary repairs.
    D. HOUSING ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS
    Under the alternative inspection provision, no housing assistance payments are made to the
    owner until the unit passes the PHA’s initial HQS inspection. If the unit passes the HQS
    inspection, the PHA makes housing assistance payments retroactively to the effective date of the
    HAP contract (or, in the case of PBV, the effective date of the lease).
    The rules for making housing assistance payments are different depending on whether the PHA
    has only adopted the alternative inspection provision or has adopted both the alternative
    inspection provision and the NLT provision described in Part 4 above.
    IF THE PHA HAS ADOPTED THE ALTERNATIVE INSPECTION PROVISION ONLY:
    • The PHA must not make any HAPs until all HQS deficiencies identified through the
    HQS inspection have been corrected.
    • After the PHA inspection, the PHA notifies the owner and family in writing of the
    inspection results.
    • If the unit passes HQS, the PHA begins making HAPs retroactively to the start of the
    effective date of the HAP contract and the assisted lease term.
    • If the unit fails HQS:
    a. The PHA must require life-threatening deficiencies (as identified in the PHA’s
    HCV administrative plan) to be corrected within 24 hours. Non-life-threatening
    deficiencies are to be corrected within 30 calendar days or any reasonable time
    established by the PHA.
    b. If the deficiencies are corrected within the timeframes established in paragraph a
    above and the unit passes HQS, the PHA makes HAPs retroactively to the start of
    the effective date of the HAP contract and the start of the assisted lease term.
    c. The PHA must withhold HAP during the cure period described in paragraph a
    above. Once the deficiencies are corrected and the unit passes HQS, the PHA
    may pay the owner any amount withheld.
    d. If the deficiencies are not corrected within timeframe established in paragraph a
    above, the PHA must abate the HAP.
    e. The PHA must follows its administrative policy on when to terminate the HAP
    contract and issue a new voucher to the family due to owner non-compliance with
    HQS. Under no circumstances can the HAP contract continue beyond 180 days of
    the effective date of the HAP contract if unit is not in compliance with HQS.
    IF THE PHA HAS ADOPTED THE ALTERNATIVE INSPECTION PROVISION AND THE NLT
    PROVISION:
    • After the inspection, the PHA notifies the owner in writing of the inspection results.
    • If the unit passes HQS, the PHA begins making HAPs. The PHA makes HAPs
    retroactively to the start of the effective date of the HAP contract and the start of the
    assisted lease term.
    • If the unit fails HQS with only non-life-threatening deficiencies:
    a. The PHA begins making HAPs. The PHA makes HAPs retroactively to the start
    of the effective date of the HAP contract and the start of the assisted lease term.
    b. After 30 days from the notification of the owner of the inspection results, if the
    deficiencies have not been corrected, the PHA must begin withholding HAP (as
    described in Part 4).
    • If the unit fails HQS with life-threatening deficiencies:
    a. The PHA does not begin making HAPs until the life-threatening deficiencies are
    corrected.
    b. The PHA takes enforcement action against the owner if any life-threatening
    defect is not corrected within 24 hours.
    c. Once the life-threatening deficiencies have been addressed, the PHA makes HAPs
    retroactively to the start of the effective date of the HAP contract and the start of
    the assisted lease term.
    d. If the unit also has non-life-threatening conditions, the owner has 30 days to make
    those repairs before the PHA begins withholding HAP.
    e. The PHA may pay the owner any withheld HAP once the unit passes HQS.
    f. If the PHA took enforcement action to abate payment when repairs were not made
    within the cure period, the owner would not be paid for the time the abatement
    was in effect.
    g. If the owner fails to correct the deficiencies within the PHA’s timeframes, the
    PHA follows its administrative policy on when to terminate the HAP contract and
    issue a new voucher to the family due to owner non-compliance with HQS. Under
    no circumstances can the HAP contract continue beyond 180 days of the effective
    date of the HAP contract if unit is not in compliance with HQS.
    E. NOTIFICATION OF OWNERS AND TENANTS
    PHAs that adopt the alternative inspection provision must notify owners and families, as
    applicable, of the new procedures and timelines for assistance payments.
    In addition, the PHA must advise families of the PHA’s list of life-threatening deficiencies so
    that families can look for such items in the unit and notify the PHA immediately if such
    deficiencies are found or decline to enter into the lease with the owner. The best time to provide
    the list of life-threatening deficiencies is at the family briefing or voucher issuance so that the
    family is aware of the list while they are searching.
    HUD also strongly encourages PHAs to notify families that if the family agrees to the unit and
    the unit does not pass the initial inspection, the family may be obligated to stay in the unit, in
    accordance with the lease, until the repairs are made or the PHA terminates the HAP contract (in
    accordance with the PHA’s HQS enforcement policy), and that if the PHA terminates the HAP
    contract, the family will have to move to retain use of the voucher.
    F. ADMINISTRATIVE PLANS
    Before implementing the alternative inspection provision, PHAs must amend their HCV
    administrative plan to include the following:
    • The specific alternative inspection method(s) that will be used.
    • How the PHA intends to use the alternative method(s), including details around specific
    properties or types of properties for which each method will be employed.
    When considering whether to adopt the alternative inspection provision, HUD recommends the
    PHA consider the complications that could arise if a PHA enters into a HAP contract with an
    owner but then identifies HQS deficiencies in its initial inspection. The family may be living
    with these deficiencies during the correction period and may ultimately have to move if the
    owner is not willing to make the corrections.
    These changes may be a significant amendment to the PHA Plan, in which case a PHA must
    follow its PHA Plan amendment and public notice requirements before using the alternative
    inspection method.
    G. NOTIFICATION OF HUD
    The PHA is required to notify HUD 30 days before the policy becomes effective by sending an
    email to HOTMA_HQS@HUD.GOV. This notification should take place after the PHA
    amends its HCV Administrative Plan to reflect adoption of the alternative inspection provision
    but at least 30 days before the PHA implements the new policy. The notification to HUD should
    list the alternative inspection method(s) to be used. If the PHA plans to use a method other than
    the pre-approved methods listed in Part 4.A. above (HOME, LIHTC, and inspections performed
    by HUD), the PHA should provide the date when HUD approved the use of the other method. If
    the PHA decides to no longer use the provision, the PHA must amend their HCV Administrative
    Plan to reflect the change then must send another email to HOTMA_HQS@HUD.GOV
    indicating they will no longer be applying the alternative inspection provision.
    H. SECTION EIGHT MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT PROGRAM (SEMAP)
    PHAs that have adopted the alternative inspection provision will be given full points on SEMAP
    indicator 11 until the indicator is revised or the system is updated to allow PHAs to identify the
    specific unit(s) to which the PHA has applied the provisi


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4 thoughts on “HUD Housing Mandates

  1. Excellent article. Does anyone understand this? Speaking as a Brit it seems overly complicated. Perhaps the underlying issue, the driver is the perfectly natural urge that everyone has including black, ethnic and legitimate migrant the majority of whom are law-abiding to live in a crime free area. The rich and higher middle class, can self insulate with money and get good protection from the police. If everyone had the same level of service the good areas would not fear newcomers and many would be happy where they are. But criminals have to live somewhere, and the rich prefer somewhere else. So the crims get dumped on the poor. And the better off do what they can to pull up the drawbridge.

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    1. It is not that we are against minorities living in our communities. It is the buildings that they are going to build. They are going to be cheap, multifamily buildings. They are never maintained. It has happened all over the country. Good families move out and are eventually replaced with drug addicts. It usually takes 10 years to happen. The only thing that keeps our neighborhoods nice are the dreaded Home Owners Association, or HOA’s. Nobody likes them but they do work. The cities do not monitor these developments otherwise. The higher the density the units the more likely they will be full of crime. My next door neighbor is mixed race couple, the gentleman is black and his wife is Hispanic. They are great people very nice. They keep an eye on our house when we are out of town. Most people feel the way I do. I hope that this helps.

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  2. Afterthought. Isn’t it interesting when politicians address a problem they don’t solve the problem but make it bigger or spread it around so everybody gets a share ( and never at their own expense).

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  3. I get it. Thanks for the clarification. The issue is bad planning instigated by half-baked socio-political agendas (social engineering but reckless to consequences).

    Like

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