Affordable Housing Connections

March 2021 Newsletter

Inclusionary Zoning - AHC's New Role

AHC is pleased to announce that the City of Minneapolis has selected AHC as the Certifying Entity for their new Inclusionary Zoning affordable housing program!


This is one of several strategies the City has implemented to address the affordable housing crisis. It supports the affordable housing goals of Minneapolis 2040, the City’s Comprehensive Plan that took effect Jan. 1, 2020. As the City implements new zoning consistent with Minneapolis 2040, opportunities to increase the supply of housing and create new housing options are envisioned to expand through the city. The inclusionary zoning policy ensures that affordable homes are built in exchange for increased development capacity.


The Inclusionary Housing policy applies to residential development projects with 20 or more dwelling units that file a site plan review application. It will phase in over time for smaller projects (20-49 units) and owner-occupied condo developments. Developers can comply with the policy by doing the following:


  • Make 8% of the project units affordable to households with incomes at or below 60% area median income (AMI) for 20 years.
  • Make 4% of project units affordable at 30% AMI for 20 years.
  • Pledge to make 20% of units affordable at 50% of AMI for 30 years – a level that would allow the developer to seek City financial assistance for the project.


The role as Certifying Entity will be a new one for AHC and we are excited to be part of implementing this pioneering initiative with our longstanding local government partner.

Leadership in Affordable Housing Certificate

AHC’s Education and Leadership Center and Hamline University announce a second offering of Course 1 of the Leadership in Affordable Housing Certificate (LAHC) for the Summer Semester (May – August 2021). Registration now is open! The class size will be limited to a new cohort of 12 students.


Students from the Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 cohorts are eligible to enroll in Course 2 which will be offered September – December 2021.

A summary description of the courses follows

Course 1: The Affordable Housing Crisis.

This course will examine impacts of government policies on equity and affordability in the housing market and will explore the successes and limitations of policies that have not fully addressed the housing crisis.


Course 2: Leadership in Affordable Housing Policy.

This course will guide students in policymaking across multiple entities in government, industry, and the nonprofit sector through interactive case studies and the creation of original affordable housing policies.

Annual Owner Certifications for PY2020: Update

Thank you to all who submitted your PY2020 Annual Owner Certifications and supporting CHARTs! We appreciate the timely submission from nearly all of you. We are reviewing 216 LIHTC annual owner reports and 223 annual HOME reports.


By now you should have received an email from your portfolio lead outlining AHC’s monitoring process for this year as well as a list of your projects that are due for site visits. We will continue to follow COVID-19 protocols for reviews. Compliance review will include tenant file reviews and review of administrative documents as well as any information provided with the Annual Owner Certification. We are planning to inspect at least a portion of the units in properties scheduled for site visits (virtual inspections and vacant units) as well as common areas and exterior grounds (parking lots, sidewalks, etc.) until in-person inspections can be resumed safely. Please be prepared to share any inspection reports from other inspection entities (Section 8, fire inspector, etc.) during 2020/2021 including your Bright Line Date and actual inspection, as part of our review.

IRS Notice 2021-12

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 2021-12 extended relief provisions for Annual Recertifications taking place between April 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021. AHC created a form for use in documenting Annual Recertifications that have utilized these provisions.


The form is File Documentation to Obtain HTC 2020-2021 Annual Recertification and can be found on the main page of the Affordable Housing Connections website (https://www.ahcinc.net/) under the COVID-19 Resource Links.


Please remember that although the LIHTC annual income recertification requirement is waived, the requirement to document student status is not.


Both the IRS and HUD extended monitoring relief provisions through September 30, 2021 and therefore AHC will continue to complete remote file reviews in the same manner as last year. Details will be enclosed in your Site Visit Notices.


Absent any further relief from the IRS and/or HUD, AHC must begin performing the 2021 Uniform Physical Conditions Standards (UPCS) inspections after September 30, 2021. It is unclear at this time whether AHC will be required to conduct all 2021 UPCS inspections after September 30, 2021 but before December 31, 2021.


Due to the quantity of UPCS inspections that are potentially required to be completed by December 31, 2021, AHC is asking that management companies consider participating in virtual UPCS inspections.


Virtual inspections will begin in April and continue through the end of the year (if necessary,) pending further relief provisions from the IRS and/or HUD. Management would work with an AHC inspector(s) to complete the physical inspections utilizing Microsoft Teams meeting.


Participation is optional, however please keep in mind any potential hardships that may be incurred, if no further relief is provided, thereby requiring all UPCS inspections be completed in a 4-month timeframe. If Management chooses to not participate in virtual inspections, the timeframe will be conducted in a 3-month period.


While AHC cannot disclose the units that are subject to inspection, we have disclosed specific projects with UPCS inspection workload for this year in an email directly to your organization. Questions regarding this previous communication, please reach out to your assigned compliance lead.


Please let us know if you would be willing to participate in virtual inspections for these projects, along with any known dates that management will not be available for a UPCS inspection.

HOME Continues to Require Annual Recertification

The HOME program still requires annual recertifications for households in HOME assisted units, however HUD is permitting self-certifications for recertifications due between April 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021, even if the HOME project is in its 6th year of Period of Affordability (POA).

Section 1-42.5 In Effect

As discussed during AHC’s Annual Conference on December 10, 2020, Section 1.42-5 of the Final Regulations (the compliance monitoring regulations) is now in effect and declares that advance notice of unit selection cannot be provided to the owner.


AHC recognizes the impact that COVID has had on staffing and despite the 1.42-5 requirement, AHC will provide the unit selections for file review 7 days prior to the start of the file review date to allow management time to retrieve and provide the selected files. This is the same date the Site Visit Compliance Review Information is due back to AHC. If virtual unit inspections are planned, the list of selected units will be provided on the day of the inspection.


Link to CFR requirements can be found here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/26/1.42-5

Fair Housing Law

On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 13988 which addresses the enforcement of the Fair Housing Act. HUD issued a memorandum on February 11, 2021 regarding their implementation of the order. In summary, the memorandum concludes that the interpretation of sex discrimination includes discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity.


For more details, please see the full HUD memo located at the following link: https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/PA/documents/HUD_Memo_EO13988.pdf

CDC Extends Eviction Moratorium

The Biden administration announced an extension of the federal eviction moratorium through June 30, 2021.


Like the original order, this order does not relieve individuals from their rent obligation or other lease responsibilities, nor does it prevent landlords from evicting for other lease violations.


You can read the White House press release with additional resources here.

HELP!

Household refusing to certify student status....


The IRS recently clarified how to treat households that refuse to provide an annual student certification during the COVID pandemic.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Question: How should monitoring agencies treat occupied units where the owner/agent properly notified the household of the annual recert (the student certification), but the household is not cooperating, and the owner/agent is unable to remove the noncompliant household due to the eviction moratoriums?


Answer: The Owner/agent should document their attempts to secure the student certifications as well as when they receive the certification, or the student tenant vacates the unit.


Question: Are these units out of compliance for failing to certify student status?


Answer: No, as long as the owner/agent documents the attempts to secure the student certification while the moratorium is still in effect. Once the moratorium expires, the owner/agent should attempt to secure the student certification one more time before proceeding to take the next action.


Question: Should these units be reported on form 8823?


Answer: Generally speaking, during the moratorium, the refusal of a household to provide the annual student certification does not require a Form 8823 as long as the owner/agent is documenting attempts to obtain the student certification. However, if the owner/agent is not making ongoing attempts to secure the certifications, or the moratorium expires with the owner still not taking appropriate actions then it would be a reportable noncompliance issue.

Farewell – Rachele Wilson

AHC would like to thank Rachele Wilson for her dedication and hard work as the Office Administrator over the last year and a half. Rachele’s last day at AHC was Wednesday, February 24th, as she is now living in Dallas, Texas!


We wish Rachele the best in her future endeavors!

AHC Welcomes Grace Riley

Office Manager, AHC

AHC welcomed Grace to our team on March 1st. We are very excited to have her as she fills the role of Office Manager for AHC.


Grace Riley previously worked for the League of Women Voters of Minnesota as the Operations Manager, leading event planning, database administration, and member management for the 35 chapters in Minnesota. She attended New York University and graduated with a B.F.A. in acting and a minor in Irish Studies, running a theater company for a time after graduation. While working in restaurants, she developed a catering and event management side business before transitioning to e-commerce and then nonprofit operations. She returned to Minnesota in 2015 and recently bought a house in South Minneapolis.


We would like you to get to know Grace a little better:


I love

Baking, and my freezer often has cookie dough, scones, and biscuits ready to be baked on demand.


First job

I worked as an usher at the Guthrie Theater during high school.


Pathway to this career

I spent over a decade in New York City acting, directing, and producing theater. I transitioned out of that industry, moved back to Minnesota, and stumbled into nonprofit operations. I had been a development intern at The Public Theater and fundraised for my own theater company, but I enjoy how operations is similar to producing theater.


Personal growth

I am the advisory board chair of a fiscally sponsored nonprofit program, Leaders of Today and Tomorrow, and we are exploring what it means and takes to become our own nonprofit. It is one of the big questions from our strategic plan, and it is exciting that the organization has grown and settled into the new structure that we can now consider the action.

Affordable Housing Connections

Our Mission


We deliver monitoring and consulting services to governmental organizations, property owners and managers; and education to individuals who aspire to leadership in the affordable housing industry. Our aim is to protect the investment of private equity and tax dollars and to ensure continued quality affordable rental housing.