Affordable Housing Connections

October 2021 Newsletter

What's New?

Cost of Living Adjustments for 2022, 5.9%, The Most in Four Decades

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 5.9 percent in 2022, the Social Security Administration announced today.


Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail starting in early December about their new benefit amount. Most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their personal my Social Security account. People may create or access their my Social Security account online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Average Retiree Payment Example

With the just announced COLA, the estimated average Social Security payment for a retired worker will be $1,657 per month. The COLA, as it's commonly called, amounts to $92 a month for the average retired worker, according to estimates released Wednesday by the Social Security Administration.

HUD Announces New Eviction Requirements

HUD Extends Lease Termination Period for COVID-Related Evictions at PBRA Projects


HUD updated its eviction regulations in a notice titled Extension of Time and Required Disclosures for Notification of Nonpayment of Rent for public housing and project based rental assistance (PBRA). HUD’s guidance requests PHA’s and owners to work with tenants to ensure tenants are aware of all ERA funding. The rule extends the lease termination period for such tenants to at least 30 days following notification for those using Section 8, Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation, Section 202/162 Project Assistance Contract, Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC), Section 811 PRAC, Section 236 Rental Housing Assistance Program and Rent Supplement. The rule does not apply to the Housing Choice Voucher program.


Households with incomes at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI) are eligible for the available ERA funds. The rule takes effect Nov. 6, which is also the comment due date.

Availability of Additional Funding to Offset Costs Related to COVID-19

HUD’s Multifamily Housing Division recently released HUD HSG Notice 2021-05 Continued Availability of Funds for COVID-19 Supplemental Payments for Properties Receiving Project-Based Rental Assistance under the Section 8, Section 202, or Section 811 Programs.


Unused funds are available; owner/agent should read the above Notice and complete the required forms to apply.


The Office of Multifamily Housing Programs published Frequently Asked Questions in response to inquiries received after the release of HSG Notice 2021-05. Owner/agents should take time to review this Notice to see if you qualify for reimbursement of expenses, including some internet expenses, related to COVID-19.

Eviction Protections – Two Options for Applying for Help Paying Rent & Utilities

As of October 12, all lease termination and eviction protections for non-payment of rent are lifted, according to the State of Minnesota's evictions moratorium off-ramp, except for eligible renters with pending COVID-19 rental assistance applications.


There are two options for applying for help paying rent and utilities:

  • RentHelpMN is a statewide emergency rent assistance program where the renter leads the application process.
  • Zero Balance Project is a metro area emergency rent assistance program where rental property owners and managers lead the application process.


Completed applications in either program will protect you from eviction for non-payment of rent. Work with your landlord to select only one program to use.

Introducing our New Board Member!

Dr. Jae Hwan Lee

Dr. Jae Hwan Lee is an associate professor at Hamline University. He teaches Strategic Management capstone courses to both undergraduate and MBA students as well as Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics. He received his Ph.D. from Texas Tech University and MBA from Brigham Young University. He also obtained M.A. in Political Science and B.A. in Communication both from Seoul National University in South Korea. His research interests include stakeholder theory and corporate social responsibility/corporate citizenship. His work has been published in various management journals including the Journal of Business Ethics and the Business & Society.

** Mark Your Calendar **

2021 Annual Industry Seminar

Thursday, Dec. 2nd, 9am-12pm

This is an online event.

AHC's 11 Annual Affordable Housing Industry Seminar


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 local affordable housing binding agreements. Speakers will include Renee Dickinson, Compliance Manager-Multifamily, Minnesota Housing, and others to be announced.

2021 CHART Training

Thursday, Dec. 2nd, 1:30-3:30pm

This is an online event.

Training will be offered online the afternoon of the Annual Industry Seminar.


Who should attend?

All management company staff who are involved in data input to third party vendor software programs such as Yardi or Real Page and all property management staff who are responsible for use of CHART as a direct software application for compliance reporting.

On September 27, the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) recognized state housing finance agencies (HFAs) for programs and practices that effectively address the affordable housing community’s toughest challenges. Of the seven categories, Minnesota Housing was honored in four.


The following state housing finance agencies were honored during NCSHA’s 50th Annual Conference:


  1. Communications: Special Event Marketing
    Minnesota Housing: Going Big Selections Announcement
  2. Homeownership: Home Improvement and Rehabilitation
    Minnesota Housing: Minnesota Home Improvement Loan Program Revitalization
  3. Management Innovation: Technology
    Minnesota Housing: Multifamily Scoring Wizard
  4. Special Needs Housing: Housing for Persons with Special Needs

    Minnesota Housing: Tenant Selection Plan Guidelines

Appreciation

Thank you to all Management Company staff who worked on getting your project PY2020 CHARTs ready for data upload to HUD by our Minnesota report date. AHC met our deadline!

Valerie Bell’s Achievement!

Over the summer, our very own Valerie Bell successfully completed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Public and Indian Housing (PIH), Real Estate Assessment Center’s (REAC) Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS) field training and examination courses and earned her HUD REAC Certification for the title HUD REAC Inspector-HFA!


Please join AHC in congratulating Valerie on her accomplishment!

Welcome Back Mabruka!

Mabruka Abdisamad, Coordinator, Education and Leadership Center


Where Has She Been?

Ethiopia! From early 2019 to July of 2021, Mabruka took some time off to move herself and family there after leaving AHC.


What Was She Doing?

Working as a Country Director of Ethiopia for an organization called Women’s Hope International (WHI). WHI is an international aid organization based in Switzerland that involves the improvement of women’s sexual as well as reproductive health in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Chad. One of the main goals of the organization’s work in Ethiopia is to support and assist women in need of professional support during either pregnancy, childbirth, or the postnatal period. There also is a big focus on encouraging and strengthening women and girls in their social status which empowers these women with their independence and self-determination through their sexual and reproductive health rights, both on the grassroots and on the policy level. With all that, WHI then can help fight the battle with early marriages and are invested in preventing teenage pregnancies.

Biggest Struggle?

Not having the easy access to healthcare, water, and electricity that she and many of us are fortunate to have here in the United States.


The Upside?

It was an experience that brought her and children closer to her relatives. Having them be able to learn how to read and write in Somali allowed deeper connections with their grandmother and other relatives who only speak Somali. What an opportunity! On top of that, she was working for an amazing organization that she feels very passionate about.


So welcome back Mabruka to AHC and the states! We are all excited to have Mabruka help develop and teach the newest AHC-ELC Certificate courses. Watch for additional information about our Affordable Housing Programs Compliance (AHPC) Certificate to be offered in 2022 in collaboration with Hamline University.

City of Saint Paul, Planning & Economic Development (SPPED), HOME (Post-2013) Utility Allowances Are Now Available

Utility Allowance (UA) = The maximum gross rent includes the amount of tenant paid utilities inclusive of costs for heat, lights, air conditioning, water, sewer, oil, and gas, where applicable. Utilities do not include telephone or cable television. Whenever the tenant pays utility costs directly (not by or through the owner of the building), the gross rent for that unit includes the applicable utility allowance. The utility allowance must be subtracted from the maximum gross rent to calculate the maximum tenant portion of rent.


Please remember, UAs must be updated at least annually since they are included in the maximum allowable rent calculations. Copies of utility allowance documentation must be submitted with AHC’s required annual year-end reports. Realize that any changes in utility allowances have a direct impact on the net chargeable rent to the tenant. Any new allowance must be implemented within 90 days of the change. Rent increases for occupied HTC units are limited to once annually. This limit applies regardless of the term of the lease or any language in the lease that would allow rents to increase more than once annually.


A copy of SPPHA’s template Utility Allowance may be found HERE

Compliance Clarification

What should I do?

I currently have two households with rental assistance through social service organizations. In both cases, the assistance is vendor-paid directly to the landlord. My question, do I need to count this vendor-paid rental payment as household income?

Answer:

It depends…


If the source of the rent assistance from the social service organization is from a local, state, or federal funding source, then the rent assistance is NOT income.


If the source of the rent assistance is from private donations that fund a rent assistance program offered by the social service organization, then the rent assistance IS considered income to the tenant and should be documented as a regular contribution. To determine the funding source, you will have to contact the social service organization. Be sure to document the tenant file with your findings.

Big picture

Sarah visits with past intern, Sam McCarthy

From AHC, to a gas purification company, to the original goal: an ad agency.


Sam McCarthy was a former Communications and Training Program intern for AHC from June 2018 through May 2019. He learned basic information about affordable housing, including Section 8 and developed a draft low income housing tax credit training guide with another former intern, Cam Kipper. He had the chance to work on some articles for the newsletter and produced a promotional booklet for the AHC Annual Industry Seminar before leaving his AHC internship to a new job.


Post AHC, Sam found himself at Entegris, a gas purification company. His role was a marketing design contractor from June to September 2019. What he did there was more project based. He had to rebrand about 400 documents, documented the status reports of his projects, and helped train a designer on brand standards with conversion projects.


In February 2020, Sam scored his current job with a public relations firm, Ainsley Shea, as a content specialist and is loving it. He is pitching, writing, editing, and doing lots of digital advertising. He is learning a lot while working as much as 100 hours a week. It may be stressful, but he says he is starting to better understand a balance of work and play.

The people for how accepting they were. The work demographic is primarily women, but Sam never felt out of place. Everyone there welcomed him with open arms and took him under their wings. He misses all of them dearly and hopes they are doing well. The best advice he had for a new intern starting at AHC is that after doing your dishes in the office, make sure there are no soap suds left in the sink because Peris appreciates that!


Up next, Sam would love to eventually move to Chicago since he has been in Saint Paul, Minnesota all his life but he is happy with what he does and where he is now. Only time will tell what is next on Sam’s journey!

Leadership in Affordable Housing Certificate (LAHC) Program 2022

Do you want to develop a solid knowledge of the economics of affordable housing as well as the key political and economic issues that created the affordable housing crisis? Then, armed with that knowledge, identify opportunities to address the issue?


The Certificate program will examine the roots of the nation’s affordable housing crisis and seek to prepare the next generation of diverse community leaders to address this ongoing problem. Classes are taught by Zoom in two sequential courses offered two evenings every other week over an 8-week period.


Registration already is underway! Click HERE to register! Class size will be limited to 30 students.


For more information, see our website. Click HERE.


COURSE 1:

The Affordable Housing Crisis

2022 SPRING Semester (January - April)


COURSE 2:

The Affordable Housing Policy

2022 FALL Semester (September - December)


The initial cohort of 22 students is completing Course 2 now. Students will be awarded their Certificate in December. We will share some of their stories at our Annual Industry Meeting on December 2.

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.