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Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher Statutory and Regulatory Waivers

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On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the CARES Act into law, providing the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with broad authority to waive statutes and regulations for the Public Housing (PH) and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs. These waivers provide administrative flexibility and relief to housing authorities (HA) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Use of these waivers for the PH and HCV programs is at the discretion of the HA. However, HUD strongly encourages housing authorities to utilize any and all waivers and alternative requirements as necessary to keep PH and HCV programs operational.

St. Louis Park Housing Authority waivers

Below are the waivers the housing authority will be applying. The waivers are effective immediately, and the period of availability will be determined by need and HUD’s established end date.
Public Housing
  • Family income and composition: annual examination, income verification requirements — HA will allow self-certification of income and family composition and conduct recertifications remotely.
  • Family income and composition: interim examinations — HA will allow self-certification of income and family composition and conduct interim certifications remotely.
  • Family self-sufficiency (FSS) contract of participation; contract extension — HA will allow extension of FSS contracts for COVID-19 related circumstances.
  • Adoption of tenant selection policies — HA is applying waiver to allow admissions and continued occupancy policy (ACOP) to be revised on a temporary basis without board approval. Formal adoption must occur by July 31, 2020.
  • Community service and self-sufficiency requirement (CSSR) — HA will suspend the community service requirement until March 31, 2021.
  • Review and revision of utility allowance — The St. Louis Park HA utilizes metro HA’s utility allowance. Waiver will be implemented if needed.
  • Tenant notifications for changes to project rules and regulations — Advanced notice to tenants of rule changes will be waived except for any changes related to tenant charges.
Housing Choice Voucher
  • Family income and composition: annual examination, income verification requirements — HA will allow self-certification of income and family composition and conduct recertifications remotely.
  • Family income and composition: interim examinations — HA will allow self-certification of income and family composition and conduct interim certifications remotely.
  • Family self-sufficiency (FSS) contract of participation; contract extension — HA will allow extension of FSS contracts for COVID-19 related circumstances.
  • Administrative plan — HA is applying waiver to allow the administrative plan to be revised on a temporary basis without board approval. Formal adoption must occur by July 31, 2020.
  • Information when family is selected: PHA oral briefing — HCV briefings are being conducted remotely using mail and telephone.
  • Term of voucher: extensions of term — HA will allow a 30-day extension of the voucher term beyond current adopted policy.
  • Absence from unit — HA will waive current policy requirements related to a family member being absent from the unit due to COVID-19 related circumstances.
  • Utility allowance schedule: required review and revision — The St. Louis Park HA utilizes metro HA’s utility allowance. Waiver will be implemented if needed.
  • HQS inspections: initial, biennial, interim, PBV turnover and contract substitutions, inspection requirements — HA will waive the requirement for conducting an on-site Housing Quality Standard (HQS) inspections prior to putting a unit under or remaining under housing assistance payments (HAP) contract, and will allow owner’s certification that the owner has no reasonable basis to have knowledge that life-threatening conditions exist in the unit. Waivered inspections will be conducted prior to Oct. 31, 2020.
  • HQS: housing quality standards; space and security — HA will waive space requirements for a participant that needs to add a member to the household due to a COVID-19 related emergency.
  • Extension of deadline for programmatic obligation and expenditure of capital funds — Although the HA anticipates obligating and expending capital funds within the time period allocated by HUD, the extension will be utilized if needed for COVID-19 related reasons.

HUD is also suspending the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) and the Section Eight Management Assessment Program (SEMAP).

Contact

Michele Schnitker
952.924.2571