Low-Income Housing Advocacy Amid COVID-19
On April 14, 2020 by Bobbie Guidry
LeadingAge continues to urge various program offices within HUD, and the agency at large, to provide further support and guidance for housing providers serving older adults during this health and economic emergency.
HUD has provided key relief options in response to our advocacy in the areas of:
- Temporary relief from physical property inspections, except for in health or safety emergencies;
- Expanded access to reserve funds and residual receipts for COVID-19 expenses; and
- Electronic or streamlined options for certain operational requirements.
LeadingAge has requested immediate relief for providers in the following areas in order to preserve the well-being of older adults in HUD-assisted communities:
- Office Hours and Assistance – Provide regular stakeholder updates, trainings, and assistance
- Stimulus Checks – Clarify exclusion of stimulus checks from income determinations
- Waiver Authority – Broadly apply optional regulatory waivers for owners
- Supplemental Funds – Quickly allocate emergency funds for increased property subsidy, unanticipated health and safety costs, and replace non-traditional reserve draws
- Service Coordination Funds – Waive requirements of NOFA process to expeditiously and equitably allocate funds for Service Coordinator-specific costs
- Income Certifications – Provide clarity on self-certifications and provide TRACS overrides
- Electronic Files and Signatures – Waive future need for original documents and wet signatures
- Unit Turnover – Expedite, expand, and extend vacancy loss payments
- Unit Turnover – Waive eligibility requirements for vacancy loss payments
- Accounts Receivable – Allow properties to claim assistance payments for “financial vacancies”
- Unit Turnover - Relax move-out timelines and extend subsidy payments
- Capital Needs Assessments – Extend CNA deadlines or allow for provisional transactions approvals
- Management and Occupancy Reviews – Issue complete postponement of MORs
- Incurred Costs – Expand eligible use categories and relax requirements around reserve accounts
- Surplus Cash – Implement surplus cash flexibilities for delay projects and annual budgets
- Loans and Grants – Issue guidance for secondary financing and mortgagee options
- Rental Assistance Demonstration – Extend Deadlines and Shift Onsite Requirements Online
- Fair Housing – Issue resident rights and responsibilities, and clarify owner obligations
- Access and Support – Coordinate with other agencies to increase access to services
LeadingAge is also encouraging HUD to continue working with other agencies to help communities access cleaning, PPE, in-unit internet access, and other critical supplies and services needed to continue serving older adults. HUD should also issue support or guidance for owners to assist residents with food insecurity.
See the full letter at LeadingAge HUD COVID-19 Asks (April 13).