HUD Publishes Updated COVID-19 Q&A, Addresses ERA Program
On July 29, 2021, HUD published an update to the COVID-19 Q&A that started more than a year ago. Many of the updates to existing questions were to clarify previously issued guidance and extend certain deadlines and waivers. The majority of the new questions added are regarding the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Below is an overview of the updated Q&A.
PUA Repayment (Question 6, Page 12)
If a household member is found to have received PUA benefits they were not entitled to and have to repay the benefits, HUD states that the amounts of PUA repaid must not be included when determining household income IF evidence of the repayment can be provided by the household member.
ARP Child Tax Credit (Question 7, Page 12)
Question 7 on page 12 previously addressed Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) and replaced it with a question regarding the ARP Child Tax Credit. HUD’s answer reflects previously issued guidance in April of 2021 and states that the monthly payment from the enhanced child tax credit must be EXCLUDED when determining a household’s annual income.
CDC Eviction Moratorium Order (Question 26, page 18)
HUD added a new question and answer regarding the penalties for an owner/agent for violating the CDC Order. In their answer, HUD refers owner/agents to refer to the HHS/CDC Temporary Halt In Residential Evictions to Prevent The Further Spread of COVID-19 FAQs, the CDC Declaration Form, and more information at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-eviction-declaration.html
Management & Occupancy Review (Question 3, page 20)
HUD extended the deadline for which they will allow on-site MORs to be conducted without entering resident units to September 30, 2021(previously 5/31/21)
HAP Offsets (Question 19, page 27)
All Project Rental Assistance Contracts (PRACs) may suspend offsets for Residual Receipts through December 31, 2021 (previously May 31, 2021).
Common Area Usage (Question 36, page 32)
HUD updated their answer to the question regarding common area usage to specify that if local rules and health conditions allow community rooms to re-open, they must also be made available to tenant organizations and for related purposes without further restrictions.
RAD Lease Execution After Closing (Question 1, page 37)
HUD extended the closing date time frame for extending the HAP effective dates to the first day of the third full month after closing. This option will be available for any closing that occurs through September 30, 2021.
Site Inspections and Appraisals (Question 6, page 37)
HUD extended the temporary waiver until December 31, 2021 ( previously May 31, 2021) to permit lenders to submit a sampling of units that is less than what is prescribed by the MAP Guide.
Emergency Rental Assistance (Questions 1-8, page 57)
HUD added eight questions and answers regarding the utilization of the Department of Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance program for HUD’s Multifamily Housing Programs. Essentially, HUD answers stipulated the following:
- For ERA payments to be paid directly to the project, the ERA payment must be used for rental arrears (past due rent) and not for prospective rent (future rent payments)
- However, if a tenant receives ERA payments directly from an ERA grantee ( such as a state housing finance agency), the tenant may use such payments to pay their portion of rent. The owner/agent does not need to verify the source of the payment.
- ERA Payments must not be treated as income when determining a household income eligibility or rent.
- Owners/agents can share a participant’s data with an ERA Grantee only if that individual consents to the data sharing.
- The owner/agent’s responsibilities for ensuring no duplication of benefits are as follows:
- Ensure the ERA payments received directly from an ERA grantee are for rent amounts that are currently due (not for future rent payments)
- Follow HUD’s requirements to complete an interim recertification making the rent effective date retroactive to the first of the month following the loss of income.
- Owners/agents of Multi-Family Housing cannot forgive rent owed or reduce the amount owed for a tenant in order for the tenant to receive ERA benefits.