Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - December 2021
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced in a Nov. 1 press release the allocation of more than $2 billion in Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery and Community Development Block Grant-Mitigation funds. Alabama, California, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Oregon, Puerto Rico and Tennessee were the 10 areas receiving funds, which bolster communities that experienced hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters in 2020 and the final days of 2019. Among the aims of the grants is restoration of housing. The grants were included as part of the continuing resolution, the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act signed into law Sept. 30.
HUD, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Public and Indian Housing and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner issued in the Oct. 7 Federal Register an interim final rule extending the period housing providers give tenants facing eviction for nonpayment of rent due to complications arising from the COVID-19 pandemic for project-based rental assistance programs. The rule extends the lease termination period for such tenants to at least 30 days following notification for those using Section 8, Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation, Section 202/162 Project Assistance Contract, Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC), Section 811 PRAC, Section 236 Rental Housing Assistance Program and Rent Supplement. The guidance extends the time to allow tenants in these programs to be informed about and given the opportunity to secure emergency funding before eviction. COVID-19 rental assistance relief is available through two Emergency Rental Assistance programs totaling more than $46 billion. The funds are available to those with household incomes at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI). The rule took effect Nov. 6.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Oct. 13 announced $78 billion each in 2022 multifamily loan purchase caps for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Multifamily Caps Fact Sheet states at least 25% of Fannie and Freddie’s multifamily businesses are required to be affordable to residents at or below 60% of the AMI, up from 20% in 2021. In 2022, FHFA will allow loans on affordable units in cost-burdened renter markets and loans to finance energy or water efficiency improvements with units affordable at or below 60% of the AMI to be classified as mission-driven. At least 50% of multifamily business must be mission-driven affordable housing, according to the fact sheet. To provide sufficient liquidity and support in the multifamily mortgage market, FHFA will not reduce the caps due to fluctuations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
HUD’s Office of Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight made changes to the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) assignment form to better indicate the roles of various signatories in the process. In the future, the revised form must be used for all HAP assignments. If the contract being assigned is administered by a contract administrator, that individual must sign the HAP assignment form before HUD doing so.