HAC News

HAC News: August 5, 2015

HAC News Formats. pdf

August 5, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 16

• Americans with Disabilities Act turns 25 • FY16 appropriations stall • USDA offers debt deferral for maturing mortgages as well as MPR preservation funds • HUD has funding for fair housing, Jobs Plus, and Main Street • Rural broadband loans and loan guarantees available, new rule published • Tenants displaced by maturing mortgages eligible for LOPEs • USDA proposes changes to multifamily owners’ financial reporting • Promise Zone comments requested • HUD suggests changes to faith-based organizations regulations • Inspector General recommends reducing number of overincome families in public housing • HAC explains federal funding and sequestration • Two HAC trainings offered September 15-16

HAC News Formats. pdf

August 5, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 16

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT TURNS 25. A presidential proclamation recognizes July 26, 2015 as the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Additional information is online from HUD and the Justice Department.

FY16 APPROPRIATIONS STALL. All 12 spending bills have passed the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, but further progress seems unlikely. Legislators do not agree whether to continue sequestration, and the Administration has written a series of letters asking Congress to reverse sequestration and make “commonsense” cuts for FY16, focusing most recently on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s USDA appropriations bill. The House is in recess and the Senate goes out of session after this week, with both houses returning on September 8. A Continuing Resolution is likely for at least the early part of FY16.

USDA OFFERS DEBT DEFERRAL FOR MATURING MORTGAGES AS WELL AS MPR PRESERVATION FUNDS. The Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization demonstration can be used for existing Section 515 and Section 514/516 properties. No additional Section 521 Rental Assistance is available. Properties with USDA multifamily mortgages maturing on or before December 31, 2018 are eligible for debt deferral to extend the affordable use of the housing and continue its RA eligibility. Applications that request debt deferrals and also other MPR funding tools are due December 1. Applications requesting only debt deferral are due December 31. Contact a Housing Programs Specialist at a USDA RD State Office.

HUD HAS FUNDING FOR FAIR HOUSING, JOBS PLUS, AND MAIN STREET. Fair housing organizations and other nonprofits can apply by August 26 for Fair Housing Initiative Program funds; contact Myron P. Newry, HUD, 202-402-7095. Applications from PHAs are due September 28 for the Jobs Plus Pilot; contact HUD staff, jobsplus@hud.gov. Small communities’ governments are eligible for the HOPE VI Main Street Grant Program with an August 27 deadline; contact Lawrence Gnessin, HUD.

RURAL BROADBAND LOANS AND LOAN GUARANTEES AVAILABLE, NEW RULE PUBLISHED. Get an application guide online or request one from Shawn Arner, RUS, 202-720-0800. Deadline is September 30. Comments are due September 28 on an interim rule that implements changes made by the 2014 Farm Bill. Contact Kenneth Kuchno, RUS, 202-720-9554.

TENANTS DISPLACED BY MATURING MORTGAGES ELIGIBLE FOR LOPEs. Tenants who cannot stay in their Section 515 apartments because of rent increases after the mortgage expires are now entitled to receive Letters of Priority Entitlement giving them priority on the waiting lists of other Section 515 properties. Contact a USDA RD State Office.

USDA PROPOSES CHANGES TO MULTIFAMILY OWNERS’ FINANCIAL REPORTING. To reduce the burden on owners, RD suggests removing engagement requirements and unit-based requirements for annual financial reporting on Section 515 and 514/516 properties and replacing them with risk-based audit requirements based on HUD’s. Comments are due in early October. Contact Stephanie White, USDA, 202-720-1615.

PROMISE ZONE COMMENTS REQUESTED. The third and final round of the Promise Zones Initiative will select five urban communities, one rural, and one tribal. Comments on the proposed selection process, criteria and submissions are due September 28. Contact Bryan Herdliska, PromiseZones@hud.gov, 202-402-6758.

HUD SUGGESTS CHANGES TO FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS REGULATIONS. The revisions would implement an Executive Order that clarifies religious providers are welcome to compete for federal funding and provides protections for program beneficiaries, including a referral process for those who object to an organization’s religious character. Comments are due in early October. Contact Paula Lincoln, HUD, 202-708-2404.

INSPECTOR GENERAL RECOMMENDS REDUCING NUMBER OF OVERINCOME FAMILIES IN PUBLIC HOUSING. HUD OIG Audit Report Number 2015-PH-0002, Overincome Families Residing in Public Housing Units, says over 25,000 families in public housing have incomes over the eligibility limits because HUD gives public housing authorities discretion to set policies that would require overincome families to move and some PHAs allow them to stay. The study included PHAs of all sizes. OIG recommends that HUD direct housing authorities to establish policies to reduce the number of overincome families in public housing, so more eligible low-income families can receive housing assistance.

HAC EXPLAINS FEDERAL FUNDING AND SEQUESTRATION. The Federal Budget, Appropriations, Sequestration and Rural Communities: Expanding the Conversation, a new HAC policy note, tells how spending caps impact housing programs.

TWO HAC TRAININGS OFFERED SEPTEMBER 15-16. The cost is $75 each for these courses in North Charleston, SC. Register online for Sharpening Your Skills: Financial Management for Rural Nonprofits or Utilizing the LIHTC Program: Creating and Preserving Affordable Housing. Contact Shonterria Charleston, HAC, 404-892-4824.