Affordable Housing Connections

September 2020 Newsletter

YWCA is on a MISSION!

YWCA St. Paul and YWCA USA are on a mission and are providing nonpartisan space to encourage individuals to use their voice to vote!


In preparation for the election on Tuesday, November 3rd, YWCA encourages voters to:


· Check your registration status online here.

· If needed, register or update your information. You can do this online here or print and mail in your registration here. You can also register at the polls by bringing an acceptable ID.

· Ask your friends and family if they’re registered to vote and show them how they can use their voices and votes too!

Congratulations to Barbara Dacy!

Affordable Housing Connections is honored to share Board Member, Barbara Dacy, has been awarded the 2020 Charles A. Thompson Memorial Award for Distinguished Service.


North Central Regional Council of NAHRO's website states "The Charles A. Thompson Memorial Award for Distinguished Service is named to honor the memory of the man who, up until his life was taken in 1977, was for many years Executive Director of the Inkster, MI Housing and Redevelopment Commission. Charlie served as president of the Michigan Chapter, as president of the North Central Regional Council, and on the NAHRO Board of Governors. Each year the NCRC president appoints a Thompson Award Selection Committee, which solicits nominations for the honor from among the eight state chapters, and from individuals within those chapters. From among the nominations received, the committee selects as recipient the person who most typifies the dedication of Thompson in his pursuit of better communities, adequate housing for all citizens, service to fellow man, and the high ideals of NAHRO."

Facilitating Leadership for the Affordable Housing Industry

Lyn as Fellow of the American Academy of Housing and Communities.


Visit the Trailblazers Impact website to hear Lyn discuss her historical experiences in affordable housing and plans to "pay it forward" by partnering with Hamline University Graduate School of Business to design and teach leadership in our industry.

Federal Eviction Moratorium Takes Effect

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at the direction of the President, filed an Order in the Federal Register to temporarily halt residential evictions to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The CDC Moratorium On Evictions, effective September 4th through December 31st, is separate from the earlier moratorium provided under the CARES Act, which is still in effect for properties under forbearance.


To be protected from eviction, qualified renters must complete, sign and turn in a declaration to their landlords. For more information regarding the CDC's issue of this order, and to determine the steps a renter(s) must take to be protected, please see Overview of National Eviction Moratorium and the National Eviction Moratorium: FAQ for renters which includes a sample Tenant Declaration.

A Message to HUD Program Grantees

As you know, the CARES Act Eviction Moratorium ended on July 24, 2020 however HUD encourages all grantees and owners of HUD assisted housing to keep tenants from losing their housing by working with them if they are at risk of eviction.


To help grantees and owners of HUD assisted housing, HUD has tools available for landlords and tenants that are impacted by COVID-19. These tools can be accessed via this link: Eviction Prevention for At Risk Tenants: A Message to HUD Program Grantees.


Please keep in mind that tenant-landlord relationships are governed by state and local law. Landlords must comply with these laws as well as Governor Walz’ Executive Order 20-79 (Peacetime Emergency extension through October 12, 2020).


This information is also available on AHC’s website at www.ahcinc.net under the COVID-19 Resource Links.

COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program

The COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program provides housing assistance payments to help prevent eviction, prevent homelessness, and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners. To learn more, please visit Minnesota Housing's website.

Surety Bonds in Lieu of Security Deposits

Q: Can surety bonds be accepted as an option for security deposits?


A: No. Minnesota’s statute governing security deposits requires that security deposits be refunded, with interest, when a tenant moves out of a rental unit. As a general rule, surety bonds are not refunded. https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/504B.178


For those that aren’t familiar with surety bonds, a surety bond is an alternative to a security deposit. It is a contractual agreement between three parties; a management company, an applicant/tenant and a surety bond company.


With a surety bond, an applicant/tenant puts up a nonrefundable percentage of the required deposit for a surety bond equal to their security deposit. If the management company has a claim against the tenant that would otherwise count against the security deposit, the management company files the claim with the surety bond company and the surety bond company pays the management company up to the amount of the surety bond. The tenant does not have the opportunity to dispute any charges.


If the tenant moves out without owing any rent and/or without any damage to the unit, the tenant does not get any money back, not even the fee paid for the bond.

CARES Act identifies different types of Unemployment Compensation


Section 2102: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

This is an unemployment benefit for individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or whom otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment insurance (UI). HUD has determined that PUA benefits must be included as annual income.


Section 2104: Federal Pandemic UE Compensation (FPUC) program.

This program provides eligible individuals who are collecting certain UI benefits, including regular unemployment compensation to receive an additional $600 in federal benefits per week for weeks of unemployment ending on or before July 31, 2020. HUD has determined that FPUC benefits meet the definition of temporary income and must NOT be included as annual income.


Section 2107: Pandemic Emergency UE Compensation (PEUC) program.

This program provides an extension to regular unemployment insurance benefits for eligible individuals, allowing them to receive up to 13 weeks of additional benefits (this extends UI from 26 weeks to 39 weeks in total). HUD has determined that PEUC benefits must be included as annual income.

Where Are They Now?

AHC Features Se Kwon

Since the inception of the summer internship program at Affordable Housing Connections, many individuals have had the opportunity to work with AHC while pursing further educational instruction and college degrees.


AHC's past interns have been stellar; it's no wonder they have continued to amaze and forge their own superior job paths. We caught up with one of our past interns to get the lowdown on what she's doing now. Get your pens ready - you'll want to take notes from this student-turned-news reporter!


Se Kwon, 2019 Summer Intern, graduated Spring 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of North Dakota.


Describe your internship.

My responsibilities as an intern at AHC included putting the monthly newsletters together, updating social media platforms, and organizing presentations for upcoming webinars. I shadowed multiple office positions and trained in a variety of tasks and held a support role to those I worked with.


What led you to apply for the internship at AHC?

I studied communications in college, and I knew I wanted to do something along those lines whether it was marketing, PR, advertising, and/or sales. I landed this internship through one of my communications professors at the University of North Dakota and it was perfect because at that time, I was still contemplating what exactly I wanted to do.


What did you learn from your experience at AHC?

Interning at AHC taught me a lot more than what I had expected. I didn't go in expecting to spearhead critical projects. I did, however, run general errands that educated me on the ins-and-outs of a business which brushed up my soft skills. The experience taught me to be vocal, how to get inspired and inspire others, communicate effectively with my peers and most importantly, it’s taught me to love learning!


So, where are you now?

Today, I’m a News Reporter at WDAY News in Fargo, ND! I work pretty crazy hours, usually from 2 AM-10 AM but news operates 24/7 so it’s important I’m there, ready for anything to be thrown at me. I am very grateful for my internship at AHC and would encourage other individuals to remember getting a taste of any industry can build skills useful in any career path.

**SAVE THE DATE**

AHC's 10th Annual Update Seminar

Thursday, Dec. 10th, 9am

This is an online event.

This seminar is intended to update knowledge and skills for the senior-level housing professionals who help ensure compliance with the Section 42 Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, HOME Program requirements, and other related locally-imposed affordable housing restrictions. Representatives of MN Housing, local credit allocators, and HOME Participating Jurisdictions will be available to provide additional expertise, as needed, during Q & A sessions.

Affordable Housing Connections

We deliver monitoring, training and technical assistance to property owners and managers to protect the investment of private equity and tax dollars and to ensure continued quality affordable rental housing.