Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs – June 2018

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a memo May 1 announcing new guidelines for closing a Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) transaction after the RAD conversion commitment (RCC) is made. The memo, by HUD Office of Recapitalization Director Tom Davis, says agencies undergoing RAD conversions have 90 days to close their transactions after receiving the RCC, unless granted an extension by HUD. HUD created a new delayed submission status for properties whose closing packages are not received by HUD two months after the RCC is issued. If there is no evidence the public housing agency is progressing to closing the transaction, the RCC may expire. The new delayed submission status began with RCCs issued May 1. The memo is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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Ben Carson, HUD secretary, released April 25 the Making Affordable Housing Work Act of 2018. The proposed bill includes rent reforms such as rent increases for certain households and would allow public housing agencies (PHAs) and owners to impose work requirements on families and individuals receiving housing assistance. The proposal would also require PHAs and owners to verify income every three years instead of annually. HUD also released a section-by-section bill summary. The legislative text has not been introduced in Congress, although Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., has circulated a similar discussion draft bill. The text is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com. 

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HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced $43 million April 6 to help homeless veterans find permanent homes. The funding will go to 325 local PHAs throughout the country to provide a permanent home to more than 5,200 veterans experiencing homelessness. The supportive housing assistance is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program.

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HUD, along with the Department of Justice, recognized the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act April 12, announcing the nationwide rollout of an initiative aimed at increasing awareness and reporting of sexual harassment in housing. The announcement includes an interagency task force between HUD and the Justice Department to combat sexual harassment in housing, an outreach toolkit and a public awareness campaign. There are three main components to the initiative. First, the new HUD-DOJ Task Force to Combat Sexual Harassment in Housing will drive a shared strategy between the Justice Department and HUD for combatting sexual harassment in housing across the country. Second, the outreach toolkit is designed to leverage the HUD and Justice Department’s nationwide network of U.S. Attorney’s Offices. Third, the public awareness campaign has three major components: a partnership package with relevant stakeholders, launch of a social media campaign and public service announcements run by the executive office of U.S. Attorneys. More information is available at www.hud.gov.

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HUD released April 10 the fiscal year 2018 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants notice of funding availability. HUD is making up to $5 million available for planning grants, including planning and action grants. Planning grants are two-year grants that assist communities with severely distressed public or HUD-assisted housing in developing a successful neighborhood transformation plan and building the support necessary for that plan to be successfully implemented. Planning action grants are 3½-year planning grants that pair planning with action. Applications were due June 12.