Los Angeles Office of Public Housing
Quarterly Newsletter Issue 8: July - September 2010
Serving Southern California

HUD Secretary Donovan visits Los Angeles in groundbreaking on Skid Row

On September 27, 2010, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary Shaun Donovan, City of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, U.S. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, and District 9 Councilwoman Jan Perry along with Rudolf C. Montiel, CEO for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) visited the construction site of New Genesis Apartments that will provide 98 affordable units to the homeless population living on downtown Los Angeles "Skid Row" thanks to $9.6 million from HUD's Recovery Act Tax Credit Assistance Program.

The New Genesis Apartments will be a mixed residential/commercial project with 98 rental efficiency units, 6 one bedroom units, and 2 one bedroom managers' units. These units will be affordable to very low- and low-income formerly homeless, and at risk of homelessness individuals with disabilities. Seventy-five percent of the project tenants will be special needs and 35 percent will be chronically homeless The building will be the first permanent supportive housing development in Los Angeles built to Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design LEED Platinum certification standards and will feature a solar panel array on the rooftop to supplement energy needs, as well as recreational spaces, and healthcare and counseling offices.

In addition to creating affordable housing, the project will create 220 construction jobs, and 222 additional jobs through indirect economic activity and eight permanent jobs. During Secretary Donovan's remarks he noted, "When President Obama signed the Recovery Act into law, he said it would do three things: create jobs, helped those most harmed by economic crisis, and lay the foundation for long-term growth. Here today, we can see very clearly that the Recovery Act is realizing all three of these goals at New Genesis."

Construction on New Genesis Apartments began in March 2010 and is scheduled to be completed in August 2011.

Rehabbed Commercial Space in Long Beach to Provide Low Income Housing

The Palace Hotel is located at 2640 E. Anaheim St. in Long Beach and will be rehabilitated from a dilapidated 24-room hotel with commercial space into a 14-unit studio apartment with meeting space for the residents, retail space, and other amenities. The project will serve low-income aged out foster care persons who will live in the units and receive rental assistance and social services including life skills training. This project meets the Redevelopment Plan for the Long Beach Central Redevelopment Area to remove blight.

The project is in the predevelopment stage and has received funding commitments from the Long Beach Housing Development Company, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, the Federal Home Loan Bank's Affordable Housing Program and US Bank. A disposition and development agreement and a ground lease have been executed with the Long Beach Housing Development Company, the current owner of the property. Construction is anticipated to start in the spring of 2010.

This historic property is located at 2640 East Anaheim Street, Long Beach, California, and is located at the southwest corner of East Anaheim Street and Ohio Avenue. The property is currently vacant. LINC will be the project developer and will partner with United Friends of the Children (UFC).

The project consists of one two-story brick building with approximately 5,750 square feet on each floor. The second floor is divided into rooms and upon completion will house the residential units. The first floor is currently divided into three areas. Upon completion, the first floor will house a community room, counseling room(s), a manager's unit, and retail space.

The rehabilitation plan will include a complete gut rehabilitation of the property, including electrical and plumbing replacements. The exterior of the building will be restored according to historical guidelines as determined by the Long Beach Cultural Heritage Commission. LINC will also include significant green components, possibly including a green roof and photovoltaic panels for energy production. LINC will build 14 studio apartments (including a manager's unit) that are between 280 to 400 square feet. Each unit will include a full kitchen and bathroom. The downstairs will include gathering/meeting space, three offices and retail space for a potential job training venture.

Housing Authority Residents Graduate from Green Training

On July 29, 2010, 10 residents of the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura graduated from the agency-sponsored Green Construction program.

The Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura partnered with Environmental Green Industries, LLC to provide a six-month hands-on training in green building basics for residents of the agency's Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) programs. The graduating residents successfully completed the program and will now be referred to employers in the growing area of green practices for job placement.

One of the many highlights of the program was the class provided by Chad Lambert and James Black of Proven Energy Solutions. During their two intensives on solar power, Mr. Lambert commented that the students were clearly "thirsting for knowledge" as they trained on both concepts and hands�on experience with solar panels provided by his company.

Other topics in the Environmental Green Industries, LLC curriculum included an overview of conservation of energy, water, and materials; occupant health and safety; landscaping, blueprint reading, tankless water heaters, tool safety, light technologies, and Certified Professional Restoration (CPR).

"I strongly believe that in order to have healthy, vibrant communities we must not only invest in our properties but also in the people who live in them. This program was started to give program participants an opportunity to obtain marketable skills in a field with a future which will allow them to earn a livable wage," said Ed Moses, the agency's Chief Executive Officer. "It provides a hand up towards a better life for program participants, their families and our communities."

The Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura, which recently received an 'A+' rating from Standard & Poor's, has served the needs of low income residents since 1949 with 716 public housing units and 1189 Section 8 vouchers and prides itself in providing decent, safe and affordable housing to approximately 2000 low and moderate income families in the City of Ventura.

Photo Caption: Residents Juan Medel (left) and Matthew Mulcahy (right) learn to install solar panels during one of the classes of the Housing Authority of the City of San Buenaventura's Green Construction training program.

FY 2011 Fair Market Rents (FMRs)

The Federal Register notice of final FY 2011 FMRs for Housing Choice Voucher and Moderate Rehabilitation Programs (75 FR 61254) was issued October 4, 2010. FY 2011 FMRs are effective October 1, 2010.

Final FY 2011 FMRs are available at HUDUSER website (http://www.huduser.org/datasets/fmr.html)

Federal Register notice is also available at the following GPO Access website: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2010_register&docid=fr04oc10-106.pdf

HUD shares findings and concerns from reviews recently conducted

Findings, concerns and observations from reviews recently conducted.

Finding #: The Housing Authority is using several different passbook savings rates.

Condition: Reviewers noted that several different passbook rates were used when completing line 6h, Passbook Rate, on the form HUD-50058.

Criteria: A provision of 24 CFR 5.609 requires the Housing Authority to use the passbook rate established by the local Field Office, to calculate imputed asset income when family assets are more than $5,000. The Housing Authority must use the greater of actual income from assets or a percentage of the value of such assets based upon the current passbook savings rate to determine income from assets.

Cause: The Housing Authority had not provided the correct passbook rate to the caseworkers.

Consequence: Using the incorrect passbook rate could result in an inaccurate determination of annual income

Corrective Action: The Housing Authority must use the current passbook rate of two percent. The Director of the Field Office establishes the passbook rate for Housing Authorities in that Field Office's jurisdiction. The annual determination is based on the average interest rate received on passbook saving accounts at several banks in the local area. Since this is a systemic error for all tenant files where family assets exceed $5,000, the Housing Authority must review all the files in that category and ensure that the correct passbook rate is used. If this cannot be corrected within 30 days, please provide our office with a corrective action plan on how the Housing Authority plans to correct the error and the expected completion date.

Finding #: Not including all sources of income

The Housing Authority is not considering all sources of income when determining annual income.

In accordance with 24 CFR §5.609, total tenant payment is based on a participant family's annual income. Annual income means all amounts, monetary or not, that go to or are on behalf of family members, or all amounts anticipated to be received from a source outside the family during the 12-month period following admission or annual reexamination effective date that are not specifically excluded by regulation.

The Housing Authority's Administrative Plan does not adequately define income inclusions and exclusions as published in the regulation neither does the staff have a clear understanding of this program requirement. Further, the Housing Authority has not implemented quality control procedures to identify errors and correct them before they result in miscalculation and over/under payment of Housing Assistance Payments.

Not calculating annual income properly can result in over and under payment of Housing Assistance Payments (HAP), which subsequently must be repaid with non-HAP funds.

Corrective Action:
The Housing Authority should correct these deficiencies in the tenant files reviewed and provide documentation that this has been done within 30 days of the date of this letter. Since this finding is a systemic deficiency, a review of all tenant files is required to ensure all annual incomes are calculated properly. Please provide our office with a corrective action plan on the Housing Authority plans to correct the error and the expected completion date. If the results of this review result in overpayment of subsidy, these costs will be recalculated and must be repaid from non-HAP funds.

Concern #2: Inadequate standard operating procedures (SOPs) for income determination and rent calculation.
The Housing Authority does not have SOPs that address discretionary policy requirements for income and rent determination. Without detailed procedures, inconsistencies in income and rent determinations occur. The Housing Authority should develop SOPs for income determination and rent calculations. It should detail the steps by which the staff determines all aspects of income and rent calculations, ensuring consistency in rent determination and compliance with HUD rules. The Housing Authority may consider including minimum thresholds for verifying assets in their SOPs and discretionary policies. The Housing Authority must distinguish between mandatory and discretionary policy requirements. The Authority should analyze the language in the regulations to determine what decisions must be made and included in the SOP. Please provide a copy of the SOP when completed.

Further guidance on developing policy and procedures can be found from the materials from the PIH Rental Integrity Summit-Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), located on The Rental Housing Integrity Improvement Project (RHIIP) webpage (http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/ph/rhiip/tr_janfeb2004.cfm).

The Los Angeles Office of Public Housing Welcomes New Team Members: Rosanne Chavez, Deputy Director, and Stephen Kidd, Program Analyst

We welcome Rosanne Chavez, Deputy Director, Office of Public Housing. Rosanne has been a senior Public Housing Revitalization Specialist in the Seattle HUD Office of Public Housing since 2002. She has participated in several Quality Management Reviews (QMRs). In addition, she led the Seattle Field Office's 2008 Hispanic Heritage Month celebration that was spotlighted nationally by HUD's Office of Departmental Equal Employment Opportunity (ODEEO). She is experienced in the areas of HOPE VI, Moving to Work (MTW), Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Public Housing management and occupancy.

Her most recent prior professional experience includes positions as the Director of Resident Development at the Tacoma Housing Authority and as Director of Operations at the Martin Luther King Housing Development Association, both located in Tacoma, Washington. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from The Evergreen State College with a concentration in Public Administration, is a graduate and past coach of HUD's Leadership Development Program, and is a National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) certified Public Housing Manager (PHM).

The Los Angeles Office of Public Housing welcomes Stephen Kidd, Program Analyst. After graduating from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, Stephen entered Peace Corps Service in the Republic of Moldova. There he served as an Agriculture and Rural Business Development consultant. During this time he worked with a regional non-governmental organization, Cutezatorul, and collaborated with the regional government to implement development projects, provide training to staff members, and host public events. As a volunteer he worked with a wide variety of beneficiaries and took on various tasks ranging from designing and securing funding for a computer center for the regions farmers and entrepreneurs to conducting seminars regarding recycling in rural village schools.

VASH Program Participant Speaks During Los Angeles Office of Public Housing Hub-wide Retreat

HUD staff were honored to have Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) participant, Jon Henri Matteau speak at their September 2010 retreat in Los Angeles. The 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act provided $75 million dollars of funding for the HUD-VASH voucher program as authorized under section 8(o)(19) of the United Stated Housing Act of 1937. The HUD�VASH program combines HUD HCV rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management and clinical services provided by the Veterans Affairs at its medical centers and in the community. HUD has awarded funding for HUD-VASH vouchers in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Mr. Matteau is a participant through the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA). He spoke of the barriers he overcame in search of housing.

PIH Customer Service Center

This is a reminder to please refer tenants to the Public and Indian Housing (PIH) Customer Service Center phone line, for inquiries, or help resolving disputes through clarification of regulation. We have noted a major increase in tenant complaint calls.

The PIH Customer Service Center is designed to provide information to the general public, Public Housing Agencies, Public and Indian Housing residents, members of resident associations, recipients of Housing Choice Voucher assistance, housing professionals, members of local Boards of Commissioners, landlords and HUD staff on various aspects of Public, Indian and Assisted Housing Programs.

Toll-free Number
Please contact the PIH Customer Service Center through our toll-free number at (800) 955-2232 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST) daily Monday through Friday, except for Federal holidays.


PIC Moments with Martha

Housing Authority contact person in Public and Indian Housing Information Center (PIC). Executive Directors and/or their designee must ensure that their current email address is noted in PIC correctly. PIH is relying more on emailing notices to PHAs.

Electronic Distribution
PIH is now electronically posting notices and no longer duplicating communications through hard copy mailings. Notices can be found at hud.gov under HUDclips or by searching "Notices, Rules, and Regulations" (http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/publications/notices/index.cfm)

HUD Form 50058
PHAs at the issuance of vouchers must indicate on the 50058 action10 for port, new admissions, or other unit change. Failure to do so will result at first in a warning and then next time as a fatal error. The purpose of this requirement is due to Congress wanting to know the success rate of locating a rental unit.

***SEMAP Certifications Due November 29, 2010***
Section Eight management assessment program (SEMAP) Certifications for PHAs with FYE June 30, 2010 are due Saturday November 29, 2010

Early reminder to 9/30 FYE PHAs with Section 8 programs that your SEMAP certifications are due in IMS-PIC production by no later than Monday November 29, 2010.

  1. Failure to complete the certification or to submit it in Inventory Management System IMS-PIC by the due date will result in a SEMAP designation of "Troubled" for your agency. Please contact your Field Office staff with programmatic questions and call the Real Estate Assessment Center Technical Assistance Center (REAC TAC) line at (888) 245-4860 (or email REAC_TAC@hud.gov) with IMS-PIC technical questions.

All PHAs with a Fiscal Year Ending 9/30 are required to submit a SEMAP Certification.

IMS-PIC technical problems reported to REAC TAC on or after the November 29, 2010 submission deadline will not be considered as justification for a late FYE 9/30/10 certification.

Executive Directors: Make sure that your Secure Connection / Secure Systems (WASS) and PIC accounts are active, as failure to submit because your PIC and WASS account were inactive will also result in a SEMAP designation of "Troubled" for your Housing Authority.

If your PIC has expired or is inactive, you must email Martha Murillo (Martha.E.Murillo@hud.gov) to get it activated. Include in the email your assigned WASS identification number and the Housing Authority code.


SEMAP Certifications Due November 29, 2010

Voucher Management System (VMS)

Notice PIH 2010-16 Adds 4 New VMS Data Reporting Fields

Issued May 6, 2010: Notice PIH 2010-16, "Voucher Management System Enhancements and Reporting Requirements." This notice adds to the Voucher Management System (VMS) the four new reporting fields listed below. Implementation and other details regarding the new fields were addressed in a February 2010 satellite broadcast. Definitions for these fields are provided in the Notice that can be accessed at the Financial Management Center's FMC-related Notices page (http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/centers/fmc/notices.cfm).

The four new fields are titled as follows:

  1. Net Restricted Assets (NRA) as of the last day of the month
  2. Unrestricted Net Assets (UNA) as of the last day of the month
  3. Cash/Investments as of the last day of the month
  4. Vouchers issued but not under HAP contract as of the last day of the month

The system is fully operational to receive the PHAs' data in the new fields

VMS data schedule of submissions:
September 1, 2010 October 4-22, 2010
October 1, 2010 November 4-22, 2010
November 1, 2010 December 4-22, 2010
December 1, 2010 January 4-22, 2011

Instructions for submitting the VMS data can be found at the following website: www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/hcv/pubs/instructions.pdf

Content Archived: September 28, 2011