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2005 Hurricanes - State Housing Agency Efforts and Other State Level Information

Alabama

The Alabama Housing Finance Authority invites property owners to rent vacant units to displaced victims of Hurricane Katrina and has posted a Request for Approval to Provide Temporary Housing form for property owners on its web site along with a Hurricane Katrina Displaced Household Certification form for property managers, and other related information. AHFA also published an addendum to the 2006 QAP to to facilitate the allocation and use of additional LIHTCs authorized by H.R. 4440, the Gulf Opportunity Act, and related provisions allowing enhanced eligible basis under certain circumstances and adjusting the applicable gross median income in non-metropolitan areas.

Arizona

The Arizona Department of Housing invites local governments, public housing authorities, not-for-profit organizations, private property owners and management companies wishing to offer available vacant housing units to evacuees to fill out a form. ADOH will establish a list of available housing units and work with Red Cross personnel to match evacuees with long-term housing options as they arrive in Arizona.

Arkansas

Developers, owners and managers of low-income housing developments in Arkansas were invited by the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA) to participate in a statewide coordinated effort called Operation KARE (Katrina Assistance and Relief Effort). In addition, ADFA is working to identify resources to assist displaced evacuees, including releasing funds for rental assistance and identifying available housing units for families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. ADFA asks property owners with vacancies to provide the following information: Name of development, street address, contact person and telephone number, # of vacancies (LIHTC and market rate) and indicate the size by bedroom and the rent by bedroom. For more information contact: Patrick Patton at (501) 682-5902 or Layne Anderson at (501)682-5464. ADFA has also released an updated “Hurricane Katrina Displaced Household Certification” form (9/14/05) as part of its disaster relief procedures. Any questions regarding use of Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) by any displaced households should be directed to Victor Turner, ADFA HOME Program Manager, (501) 682-5860, [email protected].

California

The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) posted an updated notice on September 14 highlighting key points addressed in IRS Notice 2005-69 and providing some degree of guidance. The California Office of Emergency Service (OES) activated the state operations center and is in contact with the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to identify any additional needs that California might be able to meet through proper channels. OES has posted a map of evacuees and official FEMA shelters by state as of September 15, 2005. The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) published guidance on Sept. 22 to sponsors, owners and management agents of HCD-assisted rental projects on actions that may be taken in these projects to assist Hurricane Katrina evacuees with their housing needs.

Colorado

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), updated its Hurricane Notice for LIHTC properties with further guidance from the IRS. The authority also released a Hurricane Katrina Displaced Household Certification. CHFA is jointly sponsoring Coloradohousingsearch.com in conjunction with the state’s Division of Housing, USDA Rural Development and the City of Denver, to provide information on available affordable housing statewide. The service is free for both housing providers and housing seekers. Anyone with available housing units should take advantage of this opportunity to link units with people in need of housing, particularly now as evacuees come to Colorado for help. CHFA also announced that it will make 50 vacant units available (half of all vacancies) from its Rental Acquisition Program (RAP) portfolio for family victims for a period of nine months.  These units will be furnished by CHFA and we will provide a monthly stipend to the families depending upon family size. CHFA says its asset management staff is in contact with the appropriate federal and state officials to determine how to make these units available quickly and efficiently. CHFA released this information sheet on how the state is providing housing assistance for the victims of the Katrina Hurricane.

Delaware

The Delaware State Housing Authority is collecting information regarding housing available for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Florida

As part of its emergency response to recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, Florida Housing has posted a center for disaster information including a list of vacant units throughout the state that may be available for rent to displaced individuals and families, as well as resources and information for property owners and managers and housing finance agencies.

Georgia

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) has created a web site under contract with SocialServe.Com to provide information on the availability of affordable rental housing throughout the state in an internet friendly environment. DCA posted a memo to LIHTC property managers regarding the site. DCA warns that it does not screen postings to the site and does not screen landlords and/or prospective tenants using the site. DCA has no way of independently verifying the information posted by a potential tenant or a landlord.

Idaho

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) says that eligible evacuees who were receiving tenant-based Section 8 Rental Assistance before the storm, or those with emergency Section 8 Vouchers issued through FEMA may apply through any of Idaho’s local housing authorities. These vouchers are portable, and may be used to obtain approved housing from participating landlords in any Idaho community. Details are available on IHFA's Hurricane Relief web page.

Illinois

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has created a page for information for property owners and managers with housing available for hurricane victims. IHDA has also created a form to collect information on available units that are not participating in IHDA programs.

Kentucky

The Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) has created a special page on its web site to share information related to hurricane relief efforts. The page offers housing guidance for both hurricane evacuees as well as the property owners and managers who want to help displaced victims. KHC will continue to post updates to this page as they are made available. Specific housing questions that are not covered on the web page can be directed to KHC staff using KHC's Info Center, a new customer service tool available online, by selecting the "Disaster Relief" category to route questions to the appropriate KHC staff member. KHC has been working with FEMA and the Kentucky HUD office to assist displaced individuals and victims of Hurricane Katrina, and will use this page to keep property managers and owners abreast of the latest information regarding vouchers, waivers and other issues with regards to HUD and the IRS.

Louisiana

The Louisiana Housing Finance Agency has made a special request of LIHTC property owners and developers to advise the agency via e-mail at [email protected], of units available by unit type in an effort to provide disaster relief assistance to displaced persons. LHFA announced that the deadlines for submission of applications for the LIHTC and HOME programs have been re-established. The new deadline for application submission is October 31, 2005 at 4:30 pm. LHFA says "the devastation throughout the southern part of the state and the subsequent relocation of Foley & Judell New Orleans office to Baton Rouge necessitates the change in the submission deadlines. Although the circumstances warranted a change in the deadlines, LHFA is strongly committed to moving forward to develop and preserve affordable housing for the residents of the state."

Maryland

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is seeking owners and managers of multifamily properties that are willing to participate in relief and relocation efforts on behalf of the victims of this catastrophe. The responses will be used by housing officials in Louisiana and Mississippi in conjunction with HUD and FEMA to direct hurricane victims to appropriate housing opportunities.  A survey is available online and can be answered by emailing [email protected] or calling the Multifamily Programs at (410) 514-7446.

Mississippi

The Mississippi Home Corporation reports that it is receiving requests for housing by many of those displaced by the hurricane and is attempting to assist those in need. Owners or managers of LIHTC developments are asked to complete a Unit Availability Assessment form online and submit it to Robert Collier at [email protected]. This form will help MHC assess the number of vacant HTC units, as well as those units which may have sustained damage. MHC staff received MHC board approval to allow LIHTC developers who have previously received a tax credit allocation, but not yet begun construction on a previously approved site, to move those tax credits to a site located in certain areas as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This approval is expected to allow LIHTC developers to more quickly get rental housing on the ground in these areas thus addressing some of the many critical housing needs.

In response to Hurricane Katrina, MHC staff has received approval to allow tax credit developers who have previously received a tax credit allocation, but not yet begun construction on a previously approved site, to move those tax credits to a site located in a blue colored county on the attached map. Such approval would allow the tax credit developer to more quickly get rental housing on the ground in these areas thus addressing some of the many critical housing needs.

North Carolina

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is seeking owners willing to have their property management staff process move-ins at the evacuee shelters. Those interested in participating should contact Susan Westbrook at (919) 877-5647 or [email protected] or Theresa McSorley (919) 877-5673 [email protected]. NCHFA has also posted information and links for evacuees, rental owners and managers including: how to find an apartment; LIHTC rule changes; National Registry Participation; basic questions and answers; and suggestions for a federal response.

Ohio

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) has guidance for owners of LIHTC projects. The Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) published a Q&A document for LIHTC Housing. OCCH warns that "Questions and Answers: LIHTC Housing and Hurricane Katrina," was prepared based on the information received by federal agencies as of September 12, 2005 and is not intended to provide specific legal advice or tax advice to readers. For specific tax and or legal advice, OCCH instructs people to contact their own advisers.

Oregon

Oregon Housing and Community Services is currently planning for assistance to Hurricane Katrina evacuees. OHCS is seeking information from its housing partners and property managers on vacant LIHTC and HOME units that might be made available for housing families. Updates from OHCS are available here.

South Carolina

The South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority (SCSHFDA) reports that South Carolina is receiving victims of the hurricane who are in need of immediate housing. SCSHFDA is looking for owners willing to house these victims; interested property owners are asked to fax or e-mail the following information to Laura Nicholson at (803) 551-4925 or e-mail [email protected]: contact name and phone number, development name, address, city, county, vacant units by bedroom size, and corresponding rent. If the development will pay utilities, please indicate such, otherwise provide approximate utility allowance. Questions can be directed by phone to (803) 896-9190.

Texas

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) has asked owners and managers of LIHTC developments are being asked to submit vacancy information submitted through the TDHCA Compliance Monitoring Tracking System (CMTS). Owners are asked to be sure to identify disability units listed and other special needs availability. Additional information from TDHCA is also available, including rule waivers.

The Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers (TAAHP) has posted a Vacant Unit Availability List on its web site: Information on Leasing to those Displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Parties assisting displaced persons with special needs should contact TAAHP, which will be working with United Cerebral Palsy of Texas to provide donated wheelchairs, etc. as they are needed and available.

Washington

Multifamily Affordable Properties (MAP) is an internet resource listing affordable housing opportunities in Washington State. The site, established before Hurricane Katrina features apartment rentals listed by owners, managers, housing authority agencies and other agencies. It also includes links to income limit and program eligibility requirements.

Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) is advising owners of tax credit properties to house displaced families as vacancies permit. While formal guidance has not been issued by the IRS WHEDA has posted on its web site sample lease addendums, affidavits of displacement, and implementation instructions that have been approved for past hurricane relief efforts and should be used until further guidance is received. The agency says any compliance issues that result from leasing these units prior to the formal guidance from the IRS will be waived by WHEDA, provided the issues can be resolved within 12 months. WHEDA may require additional due diligence from owners once the IRS issues additional guidance. It should be noted that the guidance in this memorandum pertains to only properties financed with Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Additional guidance is expected from other federal agencies regarding how displaced families can be assisted with programs administered by those agencies.

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