HUD’s Multifamily Housing Q&A Updated Yet Again

On May 1, HUD once again updated its Q&A for Multifamily Housing document making this the 5th update. This recent updated addresses TRACS vacancy claims, emergency evictions, food insecurity concerns, handling income from COVID-19-related benefits such as the CARES, Act and several other issues. I have summarized the ones I thought the most relevant to the majority of readers:

  • Food Insecurity Concerns: Encourages owners/managers to explore all local, state and federal resources to assist households with access to food and provides a list of potential sources including but not limited to a food pantry directory and U.S. Administration on Aging’s Eldercare Locator .
  • CARES Act Income: Indicates the Economic Impact Payment and the temporary weekly federal unemployment enhancement are not included as income for income eligibility purposes.
  • Standard Forbearance Agreement: Provides guidelines in developing forbearance agreements in Mortgagee Letter 2020-09 dated April 10 and indicates it will remain in effect until HUD issues a formal rescission.
  • Emergency Evictions:¬†Clarifies the eviction moratorium only applies to non-payment of rent or other charges due and indicates perpetrators of domestic violence or criminal activity may still be evicted as per VAWA 2013. Also indicates Housing Notice 2017-05 should be consulted in such cases.
  • Deduction for Child Care Expenses: Clarifies residents who are furloughed or unemployed can continue to receive the income deduction for childcare expenses if they continue to have such expenses as such a deduction is permitted for unreimbursed childcare expenses to enable an individual to seek employment, be employed or further his/her education.
  • Vacancy Claims: Indicates that if an owner/manager is not able to fill vacancies due to local COVID-19 related restrictions, then it should be reported to their Contact Administrator or HUD office indicating why filling such vacancies is infeasible. HUD will then review this information on a case-by-case basis and process vacancy claim requests accordingly.
  • Subsidy Payment Extensions: Clarifies that, at this time, if a tenant passes but family members are unable to remove the individual’s possessions due to COVID-19 restrictions, subsidy payments will not be extended past the the EARLIER of the date a tenant passed OR the date vacated rather CDC guidelines should be followed when determining if the possessions are safe to remove from the unit.
  • Project Funds Used To Provide Direct Services to Residents: Clarified that providing direct services such as meals to those who are home-bound are not eligible use of project funds.
  • Project Funds Used to Purchase Masks & Other Protective Equipment: Clarifies property operating account funds can be accessed for all reasonable and necessary COVID-19 related actions including purchasing supplies such as masks.
  • Office Hours and Common Spaces: Clarifies owners/managers should make decisions on limiting access to their rental offices and common areas on a case-by-case basis based local or state restrictions.

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