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LIHTC Allocating Agencies Respond to Coronavirus
The agencies responsible for administering the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) have hard-earned experience dealing with challenges and disasters. Whether its legislation enacted with no notice, historic hurricanes/flooding, or sudden equity market changes, allocators respond quickly and effectively.
Despite its rapidly changing nature, the current public health crisis is no exception. The following announcements from agencies taking proactive steps; this list is presented alphabetically and is being updated as new information becomes available.
The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee will not conduct physical inspections through April 30 and has rescheduled compliance monitoring workshops.
The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) is suspending site visits (compliance and construction) by its asset management staff and third party provider. CHFA will consider visits that are critical, related to an emergency or immediate need, or in response to a resident complaint.
The Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHC) is suspending inspections of occupied units, both for compliance and physical needs assessments, and determined that “the notice of physical inspections may be bifurcated from the file inspections and file inspections may be performed via desk audit.” FHC also said it will hold off on monitoring resident programs, which may allow owners to cancel group events, especially at senior properties.
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) interim policy postpones its deadline for 9 percent LIHTC applications by a month and construction inspections for occupied rehabilitation properties by two weeks. Compliance monitoring visits are suspended until further notice, and DCA asks owners to discontinue social gatherings and other services until further notice.
The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) posted a notice on its COVID-19 policy for compliance and monitoring. In essence the policy suspends any work that would have involved staff interacting with developers, tenants or others. Inspecting properties without residents and desk reviews of files will continue. Inspections for Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) move-ins are an exception, and IHCDA will consider its response to tenant complaints on a case-by-case basis.
The Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) informed its partners that construction inspections of occupied rehabilitation properties will not occur until April 3 and KHC will accept video submissions. KHC also will stop physical inspections (other than for HCV move-ins) and technical assistance site visits. Visits in response to tenant complaints may occur based on consideration of factors including severity of alleged issue (e.g. life and safety issue)and occupancy of the building (e.g. is the building age-restricted or otherwise occupied by particularly vulnerable populations). File monitoring and review of annual owner certifications will continue.
Effective March 16 the Ohio Housing Finance Agency will suspend all physical inspections and transition to desktop monitoring of tenant files, both until further notice.
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs has postponed physical compliance and final construction inspections until further notice. Other monitoring reviews will continue as desk reviews.
Internal Revenue Service
The IRS has a long history of partnership with agencies in all matters, especially in the context of declared disasters. While the IRS has not yet made any announcements related to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are several ways the IRS could assist agencies in their efforts to minimize risk, including:
- suspending physical inspection requirements (especially since the new rules are already unnecessarily excessive), and
- making changes to avoid problems from Forms 8609 being issued after the deadline to amend tax returns (some require now-suspended physical inspections).
Novogradac is closely monitoring federal and state agency decisions and will update this post with future announcements as they become available. Please submit any such policy announcements to [email protected].