Affordable Housing Connections

August 2021 Newsletter

What's New?

CDC Issues New Eviction Moratorium Order:

Please see the CDC's new order temporarily halting evictions in counties with heightened levels of community transmission in order to respond to recent, unexpected developments in the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic. The order went into effect Tuesday, August 3 and remains in effect through Sunday, October 3, 2021.


This Order applies in U.S. counties experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission levels of SARS-CoV-2 as defined by CDC, as of August 3. The CDC does provide information on their website CDC COVID Data Tracker.


The federal government, as well as many any states, cities, and counties are taking steps to minimize the impact of the novel coronavirus crisis on tenants, including placing moratoriums on evictions, holds on shutting off utilities due to nonpayment, and prohibiting late rent fees. The chart found here, attempts to capture the latest information on coronavirus-related tenant protections by state (and county and major cities, if applicable).

HUD releases new COVID-19 Q&A for Multifamily

Replace your past Q&A released in April with HUD's updated version effective 7-29-2021.


An updated copy can be found on AHC's website here.

AHC's New Business - Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Oversight

In addition to monitoring Saint Paul’s CDBG program funding for selected Subgrantees, AHC also will monitor the City’s ESG program contracts with Ramsey County. Naomi Hrncir will be the lead staff.


What are Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG)?


The purpose of the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program is to assist individuals and families quickly to regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness. ESG provides grants by formula to states, metropolitan cities, urban counties, and U.S. territories.

Emergency Rent Assistance Programs

Treasury Updates ERA

The U.S. Department of Treasury updated its Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) and has mentioned promising practices around eviction diversion, including example self-attestation forms to ensure that assistance is made available to all who qualify.

HOT OFF THE PRESS!

Treasury guidance has indicated that written attestation is an appropriate means for satisfying documentation requirements for Emergency Rental Assistance. More information can be found here Example self-attestation forms | U.S. Department of the Treasury.

RentHelpMN can help with past rent and utilities for those who qualify

RentHelpMN is currently working with renters who owe back rent and are at risk of eviction once the eviction moratorium ends. Those who owe past due rent, past due utilities, and possible upcoming eviction because of rent nonpayment, and meet the eligibility requirements, may apply for available assistance.


Learn more https://www.renthelpmn.org/

The Zero Balance Project: Rental Assistance in Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey Counties, and Minneapolis and St Paul

Landlords start and lead the application on behalf of their renters. Click here to learn more.

Emergency Rent Assistance – St Paul Residents

Program funds help eligible renters with rent and utility bills dated on or after March 13, 2020. Qualifying renters can receive up to 15 months in total financial assistance. If you, or your resident(s) need emergency rental assistance, follow link for further assistance. Renters with an outstanding claim for rent help are not allowed to be evicted before June 1, 2022.

Program Compliance News

CHART = NO CHANGES

We have learned from HUD that there are no changes to the Tenant Data tab for PY2021. Since HUD isn’t making any changes, we thought it would be a good time to tidy up other CHART tabs! We are currently working with our programmer to make updates and improvements to the Data tab. But have no fear – we will again have CHART Training after our Annual Conference and we will walk through each CHART tab during the training. Stay tuned for a Save the Date!

Federal Child Tax Credit direct payments started last month

The IRS has started sending payments to families eligible for the monthly Child Tax Credit payments. If using source documents such as bank statements to verify assets, you may see a deposit labeled CHILDCTC which is The Federal American Rescue Plan Child Tax Credit payment.


Please remember, the advanced Child Tax Credit as well as the $300/week unemployment benefit are not included in the annual calculation of income.


To learn more about the Child Tax Credit frequently asked questions.

Meet Our Team of Expert Consultants:

We are busy....

AHC Compliance Staff are busy, busy, busy reviewing tenant files and CHARTs! Thank you all for delivering tenant files to AHC’s office.

UPCS site visits resume

Reminder – As of now, both the HUD and IRS waivers for UPCS inspections are set to expire on September 30, 2021. This means that if your project is due for a site visit in 2021 and you opted out of doing a virtual UPCS inspection, that UPCS inspection will have to be rescheduled between October 1 and December 31, 2021. In the coming months, the AHC Portfolio Lead for your projects will contact you to get these inspections scheduled.

Compliance Clarification

What Should I Do?

Question: Our organization requires us to renew leases annually. To save on paper, our renewal lease has been condensed into one page. This one page document does not have attachments/addendums like our Initial lease. Do we have to incorporate our lease addenda with every lease signed? There are so many!

Answer: Maybe, but not necessarily. Standard leases often contain provisions that are prohibited by affordable housing programs such as LIHTC and HOME. To avoid having to rewrite a lease just to comply with the myriad of requirements of the various sources of financing that may be in one project, lease addenda can make what might be a noncompliant lease compliant with that program without having to change the overall lease. Here’s how …


If a new lease is signed to extend the term of tenancy, those previously signed lease addenda may not be in effect if new addenda are not also signed. So, if a lease is renewed by signing a new lease, any addenda that apply to that unit will also have to be re-signed to be part of the new lease. But, if the lease is extended by written agreement stating the new lease terms, and that agreement states all previously signed addenda are also extended, then there is no need to sign new addenda.


As always, owners/managers should check with their legal counsel to be sure their leases, which are legal contracts, are done correctly.

Sarah Thornton, Communications Intern

Sarah recently graduated from University of Minnesota Duluth this July with a degree in Communications and a minor in Latin American Studies. Sarah is conversant in Spanish and working towards written fluency. She has spent the last five years in Duluth, MN going to school and working as a barista at Caribou.

AHC would like you to get to know Sarah a little better – let’s get personal with Sarah

Why Communications?

Communication is key. This field has a wide variety of directions one can go. It is a way we can connect with people, share their stories, and get information out there in creative ways. Communication brings people closer together with a better understanding of each other and that is what I hope to do.


Why Spanish?

At the age of 10, I started going to El Lago del Bosque - a camp through Concordia Language Villages. I immediately fell in love with the culture and being able to speak in another language. I loved it so much that I was a camper for five years, a cook and a baker as well as a camp counselor.

Hobbies:

I love new experiences and traveling to locations I have not been. If I am not on the road, I can be found in the kitchen making a colorful seven-layer cake or decorating dozens of cookies (Sarah and Grace Riley should get in the AHC ‘kitchen’ together and share their creative cooking with the rest of us!)


A Cool Fact:

My name, Sarah, was inspired by my older brother’s favorite movie, Land Before Time. He wanted me to be named ‘triceratopses but my mother thought ‘Sarah’ would be a better fit.

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.