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Property Compliance News Briefs - November 2016

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1920 into law Sept. 25. The bill authorizes the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) to establish a list of fines for property owners who violate terms of its low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) agreements. Under the legislation, TCAC must define serious violations. For all other violations, first-time violators can correct the problem before a fine is imposed and can appeal any fines to TCAC. The agreements covered are those imposed by TCAC in addition to the basic LIHTC program requirements enforced by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). California A.B. 1920 is available at www.taxcredithousing.com.

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On Sept, 26, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) announced the OHFA Office of Program Compliance revised the owner/general partner and management company change policy and associated forms. The changes were made to provide additional explanation on owner requirements and in some cases to reduce the amount of documentation that must be submitted. The policy changes state that requests for owner and/or property management company changes must be submitted no later than 30 days before the proposed change. The previous policy notification requirement was 60 days. The policy now clearly defines different requirements for entities not known to the OHFA. There are also now requirements for community housing development organizations or gap-financing recipient changes. Lastly, the policy explains Ohio broker’s license requirements for property management companies that are fee-managing. Updated forms included the Disposition of Property Form PC-E37, Management Change Form PC-E39 and Management Company Capacity Review Form PC-E38. In addition, a new form, Owner Capacity Review Form PC-E40, was created. The revised policy and forms are available at www.ohio.home.org.

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued Limited English Proficiency (LEP) guidance on Sept. 15. The guidance addresses how the Fair Housing Act applies to claims of housing discrimination, specifically claims brought by people because they are not proficient in speaking, reading or writing in English. HUD lists discriminatory practices as applying a language-related requirement to people of certain races or nationalities, posting advertisements that contain blanket statements such as, “all tenants must speak English” or immediately turning away applicants who are not fluent in English. Targeting racial or national origin groups for scams related to housing also constitutes intentional discrimination. HUD states that determining whether a practice has a discriminatory effect involves a three-step legal evaluation of the statistical evidence of whether it has a discriminatory effect; whether the housing provider’s policy or practice is necessary to achieve a substantial, legitimate, nondiscriminatory interest; and lastly, if so, whether there is a less discriminatory alternative policy or practice. More information is available at www.hud.gov.

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HUD published Sept. 21 a notice in the Federal Register on the eligibility of independent students for assisted housing under Section 8. This notice updates that list of items to remain consistent with the U.S. Department of Education’s definition of ‘‘independent student,’’ and reduce barriers for vulnerable youth to receive assistance and continue their education. Specifically, HUD is updating the definition of independent student to include the definition found in the Higher Education Act. This definition of an independent student as one who is at least 24, is or was an orphan or ward of the court through the age of 18, is a veteran or currently serving on active duty, has legal dependents other than a spouse, is a graduate or professional student, or is married. 

Journal Category:

Property Compliance

Authors:

Novogradac

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