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Property Compliance News Briefs - December 2010

State agencies are issuing revised Tenant Income Certification and Tenant Data Collection Form to comply with the data collection required under the Housing Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA). The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (CTCAC) issued a memo on November 23, 2010 advising owners and managers of the revised forms and that the new forms must be used beginning January 1, 2011. The Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) published the two new forms on its web site and the forms also must be used beginning January 1, 2011. Owners and managers should check the state agency website for updates to ensure that the revised forms are used.

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The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) will begin collecting data on low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) property residents and submitting their reports to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in January 2012 according to the timeline established by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA). The law requires WHEDA and other housing finance agencies to annually collect LIHTC resident data such as race, ethnicity, family composition, age, income, rental assistance use, disability status and monthly rent payments, and transmit the information to HUD. Management companies should be collecting and reporting to WHEDA the data for each LIHTC property household member, submitting unit status reports throughout the 15-year compliance period or in the extended–use period. The agency will continue to accept unit status reports in the current upload file format in January 2011. WHEDA said it recognizes residents' rights to decline to provide information on race, ethnicity or disability.

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HUD issued a notice to encourage owners and managers of multifamily rental assistance programs to implement smoke-free housing policies for their properties. The guidance is in Housing Notice 2010-21, "Optional Smoke-Free Housing Policy Implementation." Housing Notice 2010-21 contains instructions and requirements for voluntarily implementing such policies. Owners and managers should update their house rules and policies and procedures to implement the requirement; establish smoke-free policies that pertain specifically to their building and grounds; and identify specific smoking areas with signage unless a totally smoke-free policy is established. Policies may not allow the owner or manager to ask at the time of application or move-in whether household members smoke; to deny occupancy to any otherwise eligible individual who smokes; or to require existing tenants to move out or transfer to another unit. View the specific requirements in the notice, available on HUD's web site at www.hud.gov.

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Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) issued guidance on implementing a policy to require liability insurance for LIHTC property residents who use motorized wheelchairs. KHRC posted the notice on its compliance web site as part of a question and answer discussion. The agency called the issue a gray area, but pointed out that the policy could leave an owner open to discrimination suits and put the property at risk of losing credits. Even if the policy required all tenants to purchase liability insurance, KHRC wrote, HUD or the Justice Department could view a liability insurance policy as having a disparate impact under the Fair Housing Act because it may create an additional financial burden and a barrier to a disabled person's housing choices. KHRC recommended that owners considering such a policy contact an attorney for guidance.

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MassHousing recognized 95 property management companies that endeavor to do business with minority and women-owned businesses (M/WBEs). As part of the effort to encourage equal opportunities for M/WBEs, the agency tracks property maintenance, goods and services expenditures within the 536 apartment communities it finances. This year, MassHousing estimated that its developments have generated approximately $34 million to date in goods, services and supplies contracts for M/WBEs. Maloney Properties of Wellesley, Peabody Properties of Braintree, United Housing Management Corp. of Boston and WinnResidential Management of Boston received top honors for their multi-million dollar expenditures.

Journal Category:

Property Compliance

Authors:

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