Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - November 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the expansion of its low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) pilot program. HUD will open new processing offices in Atlanta, Denver, Fort Worth, San Francisco and Seattle. The five new offices will join existing HUD locations in Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles. The purpose of the pilot program is to streamline Federal Housing Administration (FHA) application requirements and processing by opening new markets. The pilot program has expanded its geographic reach to the whole country so that every state can be served. Projects not located within the jurisdictions of the nine offices will be assigned by HUD headquarters to one of the pilot offices. More information is available at www.hud.gov.

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HUD published additional instructions in the Federal Register for participants in its Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, which tests the conversion of HUD-assisted properties to long-term, project-based Section 8 rental assistance. Under a previous partial implementation notice (PIH Notice 2012-18), rental supplement (Rent Supp) and rental assistance payment property (RAP) owners could submit requests for converting tenant-based vouchers to project-based vouchers if their contract expires or terminates between Oct. 1, 2006 and Sept. 30, 2013. The conversion application time period was between the original notice date on March 8, 2012 and the final notice date on July 26, 2012. HUD received many requests to convert Rent Supp and RAP assistance prior to publication of the final notice. Last month’s update said that assistance conversions underway following the publication of the original notice may still be processed under the conditions of PIH Notice 2012-18 if the multifamily field office received a written request or supplemental materials from the owner during the application time period. The materials should have included information on the number of units proposed for conversion, background on the trigger event, evidence of owner actions to meet tenant requirements and information on owner/property compliance with business practices. Owners must meet all submission requirements outlined by PIH Notice 2012-18 within 45 calendar days of Sept. 24, 2012. More information is available at www.hud.gov.

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HUD and the Residential Knowledge Community of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) are accepting applications for the 2013 Housing and Community Design Awards program. The awards recognize architectural design excellence in four categories: affordable housing, creating community connection, community-informed design and accessibility. Winners will be publicized by HUD and honored at the 2013 AIA National Convention in Denver June 20-22. Recipients will also be featured in AIA’s online newsletter, AIArchitect at www.aia.org. Applications must be submitted online at www.aia.org/hudawards by Nov. 30.

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In a recent Federal Register notice, HUD invited comments from resident councils, advocacy groups, housing providers, stakeholders and the general public on the best way for HUD to provide support and resources to housing providers who wish to implement smoke-free policies. HUD especially requested insight from providers who have implemented smoke-free policies already, as well as input from those who have chosen not to implement a smoke-free policy. In the notice, HUD outlined four specific issues it hopes respondents will address: benefits/risks/costs of implementing a smoke-free housing policy, initial policy development and implementation, policy enforcement and resources for policy implementation. Comments are due Nov. 5.

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HUD began its Partners in Housing Advanced Preservation training series for multifamily owners and senior level management staff. Scheduled to run Oct. 2012 through Jan. 2013, the free three-day training sessions will be held in Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Boston. The workshops build upon HUD’s basic preservation training released this past spring and summer, although participation in the basic workshop is not a prerequisite for the advanced training. Sessions will focus on rental assistance for the first day and Sections 202 and 236 loan prepayment and refinancing plus LIHTC details on the second and third days. Industry professionals will discuss case studies and elaborate on refinancing and repositioning options for multifamily properties. There will also be information on current HUD programs. Information and registration is available on www.tdpsvs.com/hud.