Through PIH Notice 2020-05 HUD is making waivers and alternative requirements in administering Housing Choice Voucher Program. Below are the waivers MBHA has determined to adopt.
PH and HCV-3: Family Income and Composition: Annual Examination – Income Verification effective 4/16/2020
MBHA may consider self-certification as the highest form of income verification to process annual reexaminations. This may occur over the telephone (but must be documented by PHA staff with a contemporaneous written record), through an email or postal mail with a self-certification form by the tenant, or through other electronic communications.
MBHA will use self-certification from the family by email, fax, USPS or drop box. MBHA will also print/verify EIV income report
As a last resort MBHA will take telephone self-certification from the family
MBHA will send a separate letter along with the Rent Change Notice that if a tenant self-certified that the tenant had a change in their income, but later the EIV Income Validation Tool (IVT) shows the tenant’s employment or other income continued that they reported ended, MBHA will take enforcement action in accordance with our policies and procedures.
PH and HCV-4: Family Income and Composition: Interim Examinations Effective 4/7/2020 and ends 7/31/2020
MBHA has revised how we process a families’ report of decreases in income revising the policy regarding how to determine the effective date of an interim examination.
MBHA will process a retroactive Interim decrease if the loss of income occurred in the month preceding the interim rent change month and as long as the family reports in the interim rent change month. MBHA will not process any interim rent change for any other retroactive month (e.g. If a tenant reports a loss of income for March, In April we will make it effective in APRIL and do an Request For Payment. If they wait until May to report we make it effective in May. If they lose their job in April we make it effective in May, If they report in May, it’s effective in May)
PH and HCV-5: Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) Monitoring effective 4/16/2020 and ends 7/31/2020
MBHA will continue to monitor the Deceased Tenants Report and the Multiple Subsidy Report in EIV. Based on HUD waiver, will not monitor Identity Verification Report, Immigration Report, IVT Report and New Hires Report on a monthly basis
PH and HCV-6: Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Contract of Participation; Contract Extension effective 4/16/2020 and ends 12/31/2020
Part 984 establishes the requirements for the Section 8 and Public Housing FSS Program. Section 984.303(d) authorizes a PHA to extend a family’s contract of participation for a period not to exceed two years upon a finding of good cause. HUD has made a determination that the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 qualify as “good cause” to extend family contracts, and FSS programs may consider this expanded definition of “good cause” as they make their determinations on each family’s eligibility for an extension.
HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM WAIVERS – HOUSING QUALITY STANDARDS (HQS) INSPECTIONS effective 4/16/2020 and ends 10/31/2020
HQS-1: Initial Inspection Requirements
In order to place the unit under HAP contract and commence making payments, MBHA may rely on the owner’s certification (1) that the owner has no reasonable basis to have knowledge that life threatening conditions exist in the unit or units in question instead of conducting an initial inspection for units that are occupied at the time of inspection. If the unit is not occupied, MBHA will conduct the inspection as CFR and policy requires.
MBHA will conduct an HQS inspection on the unit as soon as reasonably possible but no later than 10/31/2020
The owner certification must be signed and dated by the owner and the HQS inspection is considered passed as of the date of the signature.
MBHA will provide notification to the tenant (2) the explains that MBHA has received notification that the owner has no reasonable basis to have knowledge that life threatening conditions exist in the unit and are approving the admission and will place the unit under HAP Contract and commence making payments.
HQS-5: HQS Inspection Requirement – Biennial Inspections
HUD is waiving this requirement and is allowing PHAs to delay biennial inspections for both tenant-based and Project Based Voucher (PBV) units. MBHA will delay all biennial inspections and will complete the HQS Inspection as soon as reasonably possible but no later than 10/31/2020
HQS-6: HQS Interim Inspections effective 4/16/2020 and ends 7/31/2020
MBHA must inspect the unit within 24 hours of when the MBHA received the notification if the condition is life-threatening. 24 CFR 982.405(g) provides that if the reported condition is not life threatening, MBHA must inspect the unit within 15 days. The regulation further provides that in the event of extraordinary circumstances HUD may waive the 24-hour or the 15-day inspection requirement until such time as an inspection is feasible.
HUD is waiving these requirements and establishing an alternative requirement for both tenant-based and Project Based Voucher units. If the reported deficiency is life-threatening, MBHA must notify the owner of the reported life-threatening deficiency and that the owner must correct the life-threatening deficiency within 24 hours of the MBHA notification or provide documentation the reported deficiency does not exist via HQS Certification (3) In the case of a reported non-life-threatening deficiency, MBHA must notify the owner of the reported deficiency within 30 days and the owner must either make the repair or document that the deficiency does not exist within 30 days of MBHA notification or any approved PHA extension.
HQS-9: HQS Quality Control Inspections Regulatory Authority effective 4/16/2020 and ends 10/31/2020
24 CFR § 982.405(b) Description: The regulations require PHAs to conduct supervisory quality control inspections of a sampling of units under contract. HUD is waiving this regulatory requirement. Period of Availability: The period of applicability ends on October 31, 2020.
HQS-10: Housing quality standards; Space and Security effective 4/1/2020 and ends one year from lease term or date of notice whichever is longer
HUD is waiving this requirement for PHAs where the PHA wishes to assist a current participant that needs to add a member or members to the assisted household as a result of the COVID-19 emergency, and the additional family members would result in the unit not meeting the space and security standards. MBHA will implement this on a case by case basis
HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHER PROGRAM WAIVERS – GENERAL HCV-
1: Administrative plan
HUD is waiving the requirement to allow the PHA administrative plan to be revised on a temporary basis without Board approval. As an alternative requirement any informally adopted revisions under this waiver authority must be formerly adopted as soon as practicable following June 30, 2020, but no later than July 31, 2020
HCV-2: Information When Family is Selected – PHA Oral Briefing effective 3/23/2020 and ends 7/31/2020
The regulation requires when the PHA selects a family to participate in either the HCV or PBV program, the PHA must give the family an oral briefing. HUD is waiving this requirement and as an alternative requirement allowing the PHA to conduct the briefing by other means
MBHA will conduct oral briefings by telephone
HCV-3: Term of Voucher – Extensions of Term effective 4/16/2020 and ends 7/31/2020
The regulation provides that at its discretion, the PHA may grant a family one or more extensions of the initial voucher term in accordance with the PHA policy as described in the PHA administrative plan. HUD is waiving the requirement that the extension(s) must be accordance with the PHA’s administrative plan in order to allow the PHA to provide extensions even though it has been unable to formally amend its policy in the administrative plan.
MBHA will extend vouchers to 8/1/2020 upon the written request of the family. As of 4/16/2020 MBHA will accept requests from families with expired vouchers that expired 3/1/2020 or after and will continue until 8/1/2020. MBHA will apply this to families that have ported out and have been referred back to MBHA for an extension
HCV-4: PHA Approval of Assisted Tenancy – When HAP Contract is Executed effective 4/16/2020 and ends 7/31/2020
HUD is waiving the regulatory requirement to allow PHAs to execute the HAP contract after the 60-day deadline has passed and make housing assistance payments back to the beginning of the lease term. However, the PHA and owner must execute the HAP contract no later than 120 days from the beginning of the lease term.
MBHA will accept electronic signature of a HAP Contract by email or fax in order to commence payment. The HAP Contract with the original signature must be provided to MBHA within 120 days of the effective date of the Contract.
HCV-5: Absence from Unit effective 4/16/2020 and ends 12/31/2020
The regulation requires that a family may not be absent from the unit for a period of more than 180 consecutive calendar days for any reason. HUD is waiving this regulatory requirement. MBHA will implement this on a case by case basis
HCV-6: Automatic Termination of HAP contract effective 4/16/2020 and ends 121/31/2020
When an HCV family’s income increases to the extent that the housing assistance payment is reduced to $0, PHAs are required by this regulation to automatically terminate HAP contracts 180 days after the last housing assistance payment to the owner.
HUD is waiving this requirement. As an alternative requirement, the PHA, upon written notice to the owner and family, may extend the period of time following the last payment to the owner that triggers the automatic termination of the HAP contract. The extension beyond the normally applicable 180 days is determined by the PHA but may not extend beyond December 31, 2020.
MBHA will send a new notice to the tenant indicating the new automatic termination of HAP Contract date.
MBHA will put a summary of the waivers we are implementing on our website