Affordable Housing Connections
July 2020 Newsletter
COVID-19 and Dealing with Anxiety
Lyn provides suggestions for staying connected to your team and clients served, she also emphasizes the importance of staying connected during these stressful times.
Electronic Signatures and COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, adjustments are being made to stay as close to “business as usual” as possible. That includes accepting forms and documents in ways that we haven’t before. To a certain extent…
The IRS has offered very limited guidance when it comes to compliance and the tax credit program during this pandemic. We also understand that HUD does allow electronic signatures. With that said, we are willing to accept electronic signatures if/when getting a “wet” signature is not possible. Should an electronic signature be used, there should be a note to file explaining the reason for being unable to obtain a “wet” signature. The note to file should be specific to the file and not a blanket “Because COVID” statement. The electronic signature must be followed up with a wet signature as soon as it is safe to do so. True and correct as of language must be used when the wet signature and date are obtained.
When we receive the “all clear” and we can truly get back to business as usual, electronic signatures on required tax credit documents and/or verification forms will not be accepted unless and until we receive further guidance from the IRS.
Notice of Owner Contact Change Form
Affordable Housing Connections has published its "Notice of Owner Contact Change" form for use when updates to owner contact information occurs. Submission of the Notice of Owner Contact Change form will update the contact name used for notification of audits, distribution of regulation updates, etc.
This form is not a replacement to use of form HTC 27 when a transfer of title, change in partnership name, corporate name or status occurs.
Submission of this form will also not release your organization from needing to update the proper fields on your Owner's Certification of Continuing Program Compliance report at year end.
HOME Program Training Date Scheduled
Save the Date!
Learn from anywhere!
Training Launch Date:
August 17, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Soon to follow!
HOME Investment Partnerships Program Agenda:
- HOME - Section 1 (Program Basics)
- HOME - Section 2 (Maintaining HOME Compliance)
- HOME - Section 3 (Advanced HOME)
A comprehensive look at the HOME Investment Partnership Program regulations and guidance, including Participating Jurisdiction (PJ) regulatory interpretation; legal documents
and period of affordability; HOME income and rent limits; 'Fixed and Floating' unit status; Balancing of multiple programs such as LIHTC and Section 8, Fair Housing and Lease requirements; Property standards; Key compliance reports and records.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
Section One - Program Basics: Participants are presented with a thorough introduction to the HOME Funding program, from background and history to a comprehensive review of period
of affordability and your property's lifecycle. Overall program basics and requirements.
Section Two - Maintaining HOME Compliance: Compliance with occupancy requirements begins with the correct identification and calculation of income and assets. Course reviews the guidelines set forth in HUD Handbook 4350.3 Rev.1 with attention to HOME applicability. This course delves deeply into the intricacies of HOME Program eligibility requirements that go beyond income qualification.
Section Three - Advanced HOME: Participant will learn how to maintain ongoing eligibility, 'Fixed' and Floating,' 'Low' versus 'High' unit status, over income households and unit transfers will be addressed, all while being aware of Fair Housing compliance. Utility Allowance methodology options will be presented, and participant will learn to fiscally and operationally viable property over long-term while staying in compliance with HOME's objectives.
2020 FY Income & Rent Limit Updates
On June 17, 2020 HUD published the FY 2020 Income and Rent Limits for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). These updated limits are effective as of July 1, 2020 and can also be accessed on AHC's Website QUICK LINKS or you can click here for the direct location.
Minnesota Eviction Suspension
Minnesota eviction suspension: Governor Walz declared multiple Peacetime Emergencies, starting with an executive order on March 27th that suspended evictions, and several executive orders that direct Minnesotans to stay at home, until May 18th. After notifying the Legislature, on April 13, 2020, May 13, 2020, June 12, 2020, and July 13, 2020, Walz issued additional Executive Orders extending the peacetime emergency. In this Executive Order, the peacetime emergency declared in Executive Order 20-01 and extended in Executive Orders 20-35, 20-53, and 20-75 is referred to as the “COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency."
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to endanger life and property in Minnesota therefore Governor Waltz issued the newest proclamation on July 10th, calling the Legislature into a second special session beginning July 13th, 2020. The Minnesota COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency is now extended through August 12, 2020 for all Minnesota properties. This means the suspension of evictions currently remains in place until then. Please click on the link for specifics on the updated Emergency Executive Order 20-78.
Federal CARES Act: eviction moratorium operates by restricting lessors of covered properties from filing new eviction actions for non-payment of rent, and prohibits “charg[ing] fees, penalties, or other charges to the tenant related to such nonpayment of rent.” Sec. 4024(b). The federal moratorium also provides that a lessor (of a covered property) may not evict a tenant after the moratorium expires except on 30 days’ notice—which may not be given until after the moratorium period.
Evictions Covered properties include:
Properties covered in Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and must follow the Federal CARES Act
- HUD assisted – Section 8, Section 811, HOME, NHTF, Section 202, Housing Choice Vouchers
- USDA assisted
- Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)
The federal moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent or related fees in “Eviction Covered Properties” took effect on March 27, 2020 and extends for 120 days until July 24, 2020.
The federal eviction moratorium does NOT affect:
- Evictions that were filed before the moratorium started or that are filed after it ends.
- Cases where the eviction is based on reasons other than non-payment of rent or non-payment of other fees or charges.
Once the moratorium ends, owners can file for evictions with 30 days’ notice and removals can be enforced for non-payment of rent.
Late Fees: A landlord of a residential building may not charge a late fee if the rent is paid after the due date, unless the tenant and landlord have agreed in writing that a late fee may be imposed. In no case may the late fee exceed either percent of the overdue rent payment. The landlord of a residential unit may not charge a late fee for the first 60-days after the declaration of public health emergency.
HOME CARES Act
The sample forms attached are specific to the HOME CARES Act. More information can be obtained on AHC's main website under COVID-19 Resource Links or at this link here.
Resident Notification Letter/Lease Rider
Please remember, all Tax Credit qualified households must be provided a copy of the Resident Notification Letter (page 1 of document) and execution of the Lease Rider (page 2 of document) must be completed by 12/31/2020.
NOTE: This letter/lease rider is not required for households assisted with project-based Section 8 using the HUD Model Lease.
CARES Act Stimulus Payments & Federal Unemployment Insurance
What is included and what is excluded when determining household/applicant income?
The Federal CARES Act includes household stimulus payments and temporary federal enhancement to unemployment insurance. Please keep in mind the following while determining applicant and household income:
- CARES Act One-Time Stimulus Payment is EXCLUDED as income of its "temporary, non-recurring, or sporadic income status as laid out in the HUD Handbook 4350.3 Exhibit 5-1.
- CARES Act Federal Unemployment Insurance Supplement in the amount of $600 per week is EXCLUDED as income as well. Page 9. Q4 of HUD's COVID-19 Q&A for Multifamily (05-21-20) advises that this payment is not to be considered income. There is precedence for this decision: In 2008, HUD Notice 08-05 (issued 8/18/2008) specifically excluded a similar stimulus payment made in 2008 from income calculations for HUD covered housing programs.
HUD notes that regular payments of unemployment insurance (issued by the state) are treated as income and owner/agent is to project the unemployment for 52 weeks.
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.