Office of Public Housing
Region X - Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
The Director's Corner
We already are in HUD's second quarter of 2012. We recognize that 2012 may be a challenging year for PHAs. Field Offices will be particularly reviewing HCV lease up data for potential shortfall situations, as well as monitoring PH occupancy and vacancy rates. Some of you may be contacted by field staff to gather more current data and discuss options that might be available to curtail any potential negative situation. We want to thank you up front for your cooperation in working to resolve any concerns.
We anticipate our FY2012 NOFAs to be coming earlier this year. We want to remind you all that HUD published the FY 2012 NOFA Policy Requirements and General Section on September 19, 2011. Updates on FY 2012 NOFAs can be found online.
Our goal is to ensure your PHA is in a position to make fully informed choices with regard to these primary areas that enhance, strengthen and sustain our communities. On behalf of Office of Public Housing team members in the Seattle, Portland & Anchorage offices, we hope this newsletter is helpful to you. Let us know if there are items you would like to see in future newsletters.
Joy McCray, Program Center Coordinator
Harlan Stewart, Director
Recovery Act in Action
Armed with more than $9.9 million in stimulus money from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), the Bellingham Whatcom County Housing Authority has undergone dramatic renovations to their 396 units of public housing in their 3 high-rise buildings. These renovations have helped their aging buildings become greener and more efficient.
The renovations included building the largest green roof in Bellingham and the largest solar installation in Whatcom County. Exterior improvements were undergone to improve building envelops, replace obsolete mechanical and electrical systems, add water savings systems, and other interior renovations.
The goal of these renovations is to make their public housing units more energy and water efficient, which will ultimately save the agency money in operating expenses. These changes will also help BHA use less fossil fuels, improve indoor air quality, and will reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. The expansive green roof at Lincoln Square, totaling 6200 square feet, will work to purify and reduce runoff, purify the air, insulate buildings, and reduce noise.
To truly promote and document the savings resulting from these renovations, BHA has partnered with the Whatcom County Community Energy Challenge to track gas emissions, waste reduction and energy use before and after the renovations. Other partners in these projects include Dawson Construction, RMC Architects, 360 Analytics, and Sustainable Connections.
New Green Operations and Maintenance Manual Available
There's a new resource available to PHAs exploring how to "go green" in business and maintenance operations: The Green Building Operations & Maintenance Manual: A Guide to Public Housing Authorities.
Developed through public/private partnerships, the free manual provides PHAs with information for more sustainable operating facilities, and offers a comprehensive resource for reducing energy, water, and toxic chemicals. Green Seal, a green-focused nonprofit group, and Siemens, a private technology company, collaborated to develop the user-friendly manual and customize it for three climate regions within the United States.
PHAs now have access to a peer-developed resource providing practical guidance important for the long term sustainability of their housing developments. The manual covers a broad range of facility maintenance and management best practices, including HVAC systems, plumbing fixtures, lighting, landscaping, and recycling. It also offers information on ways for building owners and operators to with engage residents on community sustainability. To download a free copy of the manual, visit website (www.greeningpublichousing.com/).
HUD Partners with Great Schools to Provide Valuable Resources to Participants
HUD has partnered with Great Schools, a national non-profit educational resource for parents, to provide their free web-based tool, www.GreatSchools.org, to parents who live in public housing or who receive Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance. This user-friendly website offers a database of more than 200,000 PreK-12 public, charter, magnet, and private schools, and includes information on how parents can choose the best schools for their children It also features about 2,000 articles that provide information on how parents can help their children be successful in school with free materials such as subject-based worksheets, parent-teacher conference information, homework help tip, college preparation support, and answers to parenting questions.
To find a school, users simply type in a city, zip code, or mailing address and their child's grade level. From there, a listing of local schools will appear with a GreatSchools Rating, including school performance information, school description, and parents' comments, and other relevant information, such as school address and contact information. School data on the website comes from a variety of sources, such as the National Center for Education Statistics.
By providing parents access to school-related information HUD hopes to: (1) enable parents to make informed educational choices for their children (2) empower parents to become further involved in their children's education and (3) increase the number of HUD-assisted households with school-age children who have access to schools performing at or above the local average.
HUD is seeking PHAs assistance in supporting this partnership by making the resources found on the GreatSchools website easily accessible to HUD-assisted parents, particularly HCV recipients.Information on the website can be useful to all families at any time, but this information can be especially useful when families are looking to move with a voucher. School differences vary by school district and can also vary by neighborhood, and Great Schools can help families choose a neighborhood or a better performing school in the neighborhood where they currently live. Providing this information when families first obtain a voucher or during their annual recertification will give parents and guardians timely access to details about schools, test scores and extracurricular activities where they live or choose to live.
PHAs are encouraged to provide printouts of the local school listings found on the website to all residents with a voucher. You can do this by taking the simple, easy step of visiting website (www.greatschools.org/find-schools/), typing in a city, zip code, or mailing address, then printing copies of the resulting list of schools to distribute to residents. Information can also be shared in resident newsletters, at resident meetings, at Neighborhood Networks Center or other computer labs, community centers, or through your local service providers.
For more information on the HUD-GreatSchools partnership, visit HUD's website or contact your local HUD Field Office.
PIH One Stop Tool for PHAs
HUD is announcing the launch of the Public and Indian Housing One-Stop Tool (POST) for PHAs, as part of HUD's Delivering Together initiative. POST for PHAs is a one-stop website that enables PHAs to quickly access PIH systems, tools, program requirements, and much more. The POST homepage organizes information into eight categories PHAs have indicated make the most sense to them: (1) Public Housing Program; (2) Housing Choice Voucher Program; (3) Grants; (4) Other Programs; (5) Systems; (6) Tools; (7); Laws and Policies; and (8) Directories. Another exciting feature of POST for PHAs is the PIH A-Z Index, an exhaustive alphabetical list of information relevant to PHA programs. Additionally, HUD has several new features under development that will make useful web content even more accessible, including a Calendar of Due Dates for PHAs, an email box for PHAs to suggest improvements to POST, and a list of PIH Forms. Rather than spend considerable time searching for information and resources, PHAs will be able to access all the material they need on POST for PHAs.
Reporting FUP and other Special Purpose Vouchers
HUD is monitoring Voucher utilization monthly. Part of this monthly monitoring includes the lease up of special purpose vouchers. Those PHAs who have received special purpose vouchers may be getting questions on lease up rates. HUD asks PHAs to report in the Voucher Management System, VMS, as well as in PIC.
VMS has specific lines for some programs, including VASH, 1-Year Mainstream and FUP. In VMS there are two fields, "Family Unification" and "2008 & 2009 Family Unification". Until VMS is revised to combine these fields, PHAs should use the "2008 & 2009" field to report any FUP vouchers awarded under 2008, 2009 and any subsequent appropriations.
Notice PIH 2011-52, issued on September 20, 2011, has useful information on Family Unification Program Vouchers, or FUP. This notice contains additional information on FUP vouchers awarded before 2008, and how they should be treated. PIH 2011-32 has information on reporting NED and Mainstream Vouchers in PIC and VMS
PIC has a field for special program codes on the HUD 50058, field 2n. The list on page 12 of the old Form 50058 Instruction Book has not been updated. The list below has new codes that should be utilized when reporting on special purpose vouchers:
PIH 2011-52 also explains the changes to FUP reporting in PIC. FUP program codes on HUD 50058, line 2n, have changed. There are now two codes. FUPF is the code for a FUP-eligible family, and FUPY is the code for a FUP-eligible youth. PHAs must implement these codes no later than the next annual reexam for every FUP participant.
Any questions about any of the Special Purpose Vouchers should be directed to the HUD Field Office contact, or the FMC Financial Analyst.
Avoiding HUD Notice of Deficiency and Potential Improper Payments
Public Housing Agencies can avoid receiving a HUD notice of deficiency by frequently and thoroughly analyzing their program. To prevent a PHA from receiving such quarterly notices, PHAs need to ensure the following six qualifications are met:
These reports should be pulled on a regular basis from EIV and PIC. PHAs may view a copy of HUD-issued deficiency notices and guidance to address the deficiencies online.
"Faircloth" Limit on Public Housing
On December 27, 2011 the Department released PIH Notice 2011-69, advising PHAs and HUD Field Offices of HUD's decision that all PHAs, including MTWs, are prohibited from adding public housing units in excess of their statutory "Faircloth limit." The "Faircloth limit" is the number of public housing units owned, assisted, or operated by the PHA on October 1, 1999. The notice also describes the exceptions to the general rule.
As a first step, PHAs should verify that their Faircloth limit is accurately indicated here. This data is collected from IMS/PIC.
The notice also explains several situations in which a PHA may be allowed to exceed the published Faircloth Limit. These exceptions are:
Additional detail regarding the prohibition and exceptions are in PIH Notice 2011-69. PHAs with questions about this notice should contact your local Office of Public Housing.
2011 HUD Going Green Conference Archives
In July of 2011, HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing brought together public housing agency staff, stakeholders from the green building realm, and energy efficiency industry groups to Boston for Going Green: Intelligent Investments for Public Housing. The two- day conference featured strategies for integrating the concepts and practices of sustainability into the everyday management of public housing.
Presentations and videos from this conference have been made available to the public at HUD's Green Conference 2011 website. Additional coverage of the conference is available on the web by The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA - www.clpha.org/clpha-hud_going_green_conference_video_presentations).
Information on the Public and Indian Housing Green Initiative can be found online.
Announcement on Public Housing Capital Fund Program Awards - FFY 2012
The Department anticipates posting the Public Housing Capital Fund Program grant awards and Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) Amendments for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2012 in January 2012. PHAs will be given 3 – 4 weeks to sign and return ACC Amendments to the local HUD Field Offices. The Department will send each PHA an email (based on the addresses in PIC) with a link to the HUD PIH website for the Capital Fund Program when the ACC Amendments are available.
Recently Published Guidance
|Content Archived: November 14, 2014|