Office of Public Housing
Region X - Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
The Director's Corner
In this edition we begin by highlighting some recent successes, including HUD's Secretary Award and Special Purpose Vouchers in Region X. Please consider attending HUD Region X Going Green/ Energy Conference for PHAs focusing on "moving toward green" and "energy efficiency," August 2 in Portland, OR. Registration for Conference.
As we are now in the final quarter of FFY 2012, we are all well underway with the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act (Minibus) 2012, "HUD Appropriations Act" enacted November 18, 2011 (P.L. 112-55), that included a number of PHA program funding opportunities. The list of FY2012 programs available is on the website and on the Grants.gov website.
We are over midway through the CY12 HCV funding year and PHAs are encouraged to continually monitor their HCV program for over/ under utilization to identify shortfall or leasing potential. PHAs are also encouraged to continually monitor PH occupancy and vacancy rates and to take appropriate action.
Also, during this final quarter of FFY 2012, OPH team members from the Seattle and Portland Office's are traveling on-site to a number of PHAs to provide on-site technical assistance and conducting program monitoring.
On behalf 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
Bud Clark Commons Wins AIA / HUD's Secretary Award
Every year, the prestigious HUD Secretary's Housing and Community Design Awards are given out in recognition of excellence in affordable housing architecture, neighborhood design, and accessibility. One award, the Creating Community Connection Award, was given to Home Forward's Bud Clark Commons located in Portland, Oregon. This award recognizes projects that incorporate housing within other community amenities for the purpose of either revitalization or planned growth.
Bud Clark Commons was opened in 2011 and combines a continuum of services to help transition homeless individuals to permanent housing. The facilities at the Bud Clark Commons include a day center with access to services, a temporary shelter for men, and apartments for homeless adults needing long-term supportive housing. Bud Clark Commons is setting a new standard for access to combined housing services. The building also boasts a LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Funding for this project came from the Recovery Act, low-income housing tax credits, and urban renewal funding.
The award jury, consisting of AIA members and representatives from HUD, note that, "This building is more than an institution. Considering the homelessness initiative - most homeless projects seem institutionalized and one dimensional, but this is not stigmatized, it is thoughtful and brings a new way of thinking about how these facilities should be done. It is a gorgeous project."
Special Purpose Vouchers: Success Stories from Snohomish County
Through special appropriations, HUD has awarded funds to many housing agencies across Regions 9 and 10 to target specific groups of individuals with unique housing and service needs. This article highlights several success stories from Special Purpose Voucher holders from Snohomish County in Washington State.
Family Unification Program (FUP) Vouchers
FUP vouchers provide housing assistance to families involved with the child welfare system, to reunify families or keep them together, and youths aged 18-21 who have aged out of the foster care system. To qualify, families and youths must lack adequate housing. Referrals and services for these vouchers come from the Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Below are stories from some of the clients who have been assisted in the Housing Authority of Snohomish County's FUP Program.
"About 16 months ago I struggled with a drug addiction that I thought I could never overcome. It was killing me. It broke me away from my children and my family, who meant the world to me.
"I found out I was going to have another baby. One baby before was not enough to get me sober. But something clicked in me this time. I wanted a different way of life. I found a six-month inpatient treatment before I gave birth to my baby. I knew CPS would be there to take her from me, and they were, but I had a plan and told them I was not going to give up on this baby, and to please place her with family for six months [until] I could get a bed, and I would prove I could do this.
"So, about three months later I got my inpatient bed. I was CPS-involved and determined to get my little girl back. So I did what I had to do - I stayed clean, waiting for my bed. And I could not believe my eyes when they placed my baby back in my care. That was huge for me.
"Well, it was getting close to our discharge and we had nowhere to go. Too many housing programs were full and if I had nowhere to go, my baby could not leave with me. I was a mess, thinking I was going to lose what I worked so hard to get back, but my CPS worker said, "I can get you a housing program. It's new and you would be the third person to get on the program." I was so happy. It is through the Housing Authority of Snohomish County. Little did I know I would be getting Section 8 and my own place. It was a struggle to get someone to rent to me but I found this place and had my heart set on it. And thanks to Phyllis, she talked to [the landlord] and got me in.
"If it was not for Phyllis and the Housing Authority, I don't think I would be in my own place the last nine months. I have almost 17 months clean, my license back, my own home, and full custody of my baby girl, and I am working and going to college full-time. I want to thank Phyllis and the Housing Authority - you guys changed my life."
Non-Elderly Disabled Category 2 (NED-2) Vouchers
These vouchers are designated for disabled persons under the age of 62 who are living in an institution or a nursing facility but wish to transition to living in their own home. Referrals and services for these vouchers are provided by the Department of Social and Health Services, Roads to Community Living (RCL) program staff. Below are stories from some of the clients who have been assisted in the Housing Authority of Snohomish County's NED-2 Program.
When Charles checked into the hospital in December 2010, he gave up everything he owned except the clothes on his back and the briefcase he carried with him. For six years prior to entering the hospital, he had suffered from a series of illnesses that interfered with his ability to work, and drained what few assets he had been able to accumulate during his working life.
Charles now has a stable home with his NED Category 2 voucher. Thanks to his voucher, he is beginning to recover his health and is starting to think about what kinds of employment would be possible for him, given his health and age. He feels that "this program is going to enable [him] to get back on [his] feet, and become a regular taxpaying citizen again." He says he can't thank the staff at HASCO and DSHS enough for all of the assistance he's received to establish a new home in Snohomish County.
Prior to entering a nursing facility due to health issues, Wes faced many challenges and lacked stability in his life and housing, residing in drug treatment facilities as well as homeless shelters.
While living in the nursing facility prior to getting his NED-2 voucher, Wes was focused on the moment he was in and just getting through each day at the facility where he had ended up due to health issues. In his own words, he "found victory" at the end of each passing day.
When he began the process to receive his voucher, he said that having so many people concerned about his wellbeing and future life, and helping him get a place of his own, was such a surprise. "A group of people [came] to my bedside, all working together" to help him get a place he could call home.
With assistance through the NED-2 program, Wes now has a cozy apartment of his own with furniture and household supplies. Every night, as before, victory takes him into sleep, but now he can see the future ahead of him more clearly as he has a stable place to live. He is now in an environment where he can work on literally getting back on his feet!
Meet the HUD Staff - Seattle
Special Purpose Voucher Reporting
Over the last several months, several notifications have been sent to PHAs across the country asking that the reporting of special allocated vouchers be reviewed for accuracy. Because these vouchers are from specially appropriated funds, proper reporting is essential to measure the success of these programs and to ensure continued funding.
An e-mail was sent out around June 1 asking all PHAs who have VASH vouchers to reconcile data reported in VMS and PIC. This exercise compared data from leasing in VMS as of January 1, 2012 and PIC data as of December 31, 2011. If there were a difference between the reported numbers, it should be researched, and a response should be sent to PHAS@hud.gov. Because of the date overlap between the two reports, some differences are expected. For any VASH voucher reported as leased in VMS, there should be a corresponding 50058 with VASH listed on line 2n, or line 2p for MTW-50058s.
HUD released PIH Notice 2011-32 that specified the requirements for non-elderly disabled (NED) families. In PIC, any vouchers that were awarded in a special appropriation for NED families since 1997 should be entered on line 2n (or 2p for MTW Agencies). These include such various programs as:
Rental Assistance for Non-Elderly Persons with Disabilities in Support of Designated Housing Plans (Designated Housing); Rental Assistance for Non-Elderly Persons with Disabilities Related to Certain Types of Section 8 Project-Based Develop- ments (Certain Developments); One-Year Mainstream Housing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and the Project Access Pilot Program (formerly Access Housing 2000).
PHAs should no longer report any other codes for NED families in PIC. Thus, MS1, PHDES, MFDES, and PA are all obsolete codes and should be replaced by NED. In VMS, all NED families, including those reported as MS1, must be reported under the 2008 and 2009 NED heading, even if they were awarded prior to 2008. These field labels are incorrect should be corrected soon. The number of NED families reported in VMS should equal the number reported in PIC. These NED families should not be confused with the Category 2 tenants awarded under Fiscal Year 2009 Rental Assistance for Non-Elderly Persons with Disabilities. These should be coded as "NHT" in PIC as specified in the NOFA.
Capital Fund Certification
The 2013 Capital Fund Certification process has started. The window for certification opened on July 3, 2012, and will continue until July 31, 2012. PHAs must go into the "CAPFUND B&U Certification" tab under the Development sub-module in IMS-PIC, and certify each public housing development. PHAs should verify the ACC and CF unit status, bedroom count, zip code, and removed units, as these items will alter the calculation. PHAs should also ensure the correct DOFA is entered.
Unlike last year, developments should be rejected ONLY when it's due to system error. Currently, the only known system error comes from regrouping proposals. If these errors occur, the development is rejected with the REAC-TAC ticket number entered into PIC. Any other error in the PIC data should be corrected before the certification close date. Depending on the type of change needed, corrections can either be done by a PHA user, HUD Field Office User, or a PIC SuperUser.
The Capital Fund Certification uses approved Building and Unit data from the Development sub-module. During the certification period, changes to Building and Unit data will be uploaded to the Certification page on a nightly basis so long as the PHA has not started the certification process. As soon as a PHA has certified even one development, the Cap Fund Certification page freezes the Building and Unit data. To unfreeze the Certification so that updated Building and Unit data can be used, the certification must be reset. Please ensure all corrections are made, and that Building and Unit data is approved and updated before certifying.
Establishing the Passbook Savings Rate
PIH Notice 2012-29 gives PHAs the ability to establish their own passbook savings rate used in calculating income from imputed assets. When establishing the passbook savings rate, the PHA must keep the rate within 75 basis points (plus or minus .75 percent) of the Savings National Rate in effect at the time the PHA establishes the passbook rate. The Savings National Rate is calculated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and it is updated on a weekly basis (www.fdic.gov/regulations/resources/rates/). PHA's should review its passbook rate at least annually to determine its within the appropriate range, and the PHA must apply the passbook rate to all participants.
The guidance included in PIH 2012-29 should supersede the guidance in the HUD-50058 Instruction Booklet, Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook, and the Housing Choice Voucher Program Guidebook on calculating imputed income from assets using the passbook savings rate
Preliminary Operating Fund Tool
For the CY 2013 Operating Subsidy Process, HUD will use PIC data to pre-populate the unit status fields in HUD-52723. Unlike in years past, the unit status field in the HUD-52723 will be locked and can not be edited by PHAs. This effort is to increase the accuracy of occupancy data. Because the information cannot be edited, it is essential that the information populated from PIC is correct. To improve the visibility of PHA data and to provide an opportunity to make corrections, HUD has published a preliminary worksheet of current data populated from PIC. The report can be found on HUD's website. The current unit status data covers part of the reporting period from July 1, 2011 to April 30, 2012. HUD will publish subsequent reports for the remaining time period, and will send out notifications to the PHAs when they are posted to the above website.
To use the tool, simply enter the PHA number at the top, and select the development number in field 6. This will automatically populate the table below. The table has calculations for both First of the Month calculations and Last of the Month calculations. Additionally, there is also a projection for the remaining time period. PHAs should review the unit status data report for accuracy and submit any corrections to PIC if necessary
Region X Going Green / Energy Conference
HUD's Region X Going Green / Energy Conference will be held on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at the New Columbia HOPE VI site in Portland, Oregon. This year's conference will be focused on "moving towards green" and "energy efficiency." HUD Headquarters staff will be present to discuss the new Physical Needs Assessment rule and the Energy Performance Contracting Program. All Region X PHAs are encouraged to attend this conference. If you plan to attend this conference, please register in advance online. If you have questions, please contact Dan Esterling (email@example.com) or Ryan Mielcarek (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Recently Published Guidance
Federal Register Notices
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|Content Archived: November 17, 2014|