Shutdown-FAQ

2018 - 2019 Shutdown NAHRO Frequently Asked Questions

(Last updated 2/7/2019) 

 

When will the Federal Government reopen?

The federal government has reopened. It is currently operating under a continuing resolution (CR), which extends FY 2018 funding levels for programs until February 15th. Congress and the President are still working on a longer-term compromise to either pass another extension of the CR, a full-year CR, or a funding bill with new funding levels. If another compromise is not found before the 15th, and Congress has not extended the CR, the federal government will once again shut down.

What do we know about funding?

In early February, HUD sent an email to Executive Directors with additional information about future payments for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and the Public Housing (PH) program. The email noted that the federal government was operating under a continuing resolution (CR) until Feb. 15, and provided information for potential future payments, if additional money is not allocated by Congress (either by extending the CR or passing a full budget).

2019 PH and HCV Funding

 

March

April

May

HCV HAP

On time; 99% proration

On time; 99% proration

Awaiting information from HUD

HCV Admin. Fee

On time

On time

Awaiting information from HUD

PH Operating Fund

On time; 88.7% proration

On time; 88.7% proration

On time; 88.7% proration

HCV Funding– The HAP prorations are calculated without applying Renewal Funding Inflation Factors (RFIFs). In some places, the actual HAP required may be greater than the amount disbursed as the HAP calculation is not factoring in rising rental prices. Those PHAs with HUD-held reserves (HHR) will still be able to request additional funding from their reserves, if the HUD amount is not enough to cover the PHA’s HAP needs through April. Additionally, some March and April disbursements may automatically include funding from the PHA’s available HHR, if required to meet the PHA’s HAP requirements. The Department has enough funding for March and April administrative fee payments and will also make HAP and administrative fee disbursements for mainstream vouchers for March and April. Finally, in situations where the availability of HCV or mainstream vouchers is in risk, HUD is planning to provide additional guidance on the use of outside funds for HAP and administrative fees–including modifications to the approval process (note: NAHRO asked HUD for this guidance and to modify the approval process). Questions may be directed to PIH.Financial.Management.Division@hud.gov.

PH Funding– The Department will provide funding based on a conservative estimate of need. As HUD receives data on need, it will update funding eligibility.

The full email can be found here.

Has HUD Released New Guidance After the Government Reopened?

The Department has sent an email to Executive Directors apologizing for not updating the Voucher Management System (VMS) during the shutdown, causing some PHAs to be unable to submit VMS data for December. The Department urges PHAs to work “to get all CY2018 data submitted, which includes December, 2018 data.” The relevant text of the letter is reproduced below:

As you are aware, the Federal Government was shutdown from December 22nd, 2018 through January 25th, 2019.  Therefore, most HUD programs and systems, including the Voucher Management System (VMS) were temporarily interrupted. That being said, needed uploads to the VMS were not performed, which resulted in technical issues and submission problems for many Public Housing Authorities (PHAs).

These uploads have now been completed, and Financial Analysts (FAs) at the Financial Management Center (FMC) will be working with their PHAs to get all outstanding VMS data submitted.  PHAs should be working to get all CY2018 data submitted, which includes December, 2018 data. 

Please contact your FA if you have any questions, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused your PHA.

Additionally, HUD released an email about its payment schedule (see question above). The full email can be found here.

How can I access my HUD-Held Voucher Reserves?

While HUD has released specific guidance on accessing HUD-held reserves during the shutdown, since the government has reopened, additional guidance has been released (see above). Housing authorities may access their HUD-held reserves to cover PHA's HAP payments through April, if their HAP disbursements are insufficient to cover their needs. Additionally, some March and April disbursements may automatically include funding from a PHA's reserves, if necessary.

Can I use outside sources of funds to supplement my HAP?

According to PIH 2013-28 titled “Guidance on the Use of Outside Sources of Funds in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program,” outside sources may be used for “PHAs that, despite taking reasonable cost-saving measures, are in a HUD-confirmed shortfall position and need additional funds in order to prevent the termination of current participants.” Prior HUD approval is required. The Department has also indicated that it is working on additional guidance, which will be released soon. The new guidance will have an altered approval process.

When the federal government re-opens, will retroactive HAP payments be made?

In the past, after the federal government re-opens after a shutdown, retroactive HAP payments have been made. 

Can retroactive HAP payments be used to reimburse entities that have made short-term loans to PHAs to cover HAP payments during the shutdown?

NAHRO is seeking clarification from HUD on whether this will be allowable. The Department is aware of the issue and is investigating its authority with respect to this issue.

Does NAHRO have a generic letter to send to landlords in the Housing Choice Voucher program informing them of the shutdown and the possibility of delayed HAP payments?

Since the shutdown is over, there should be no need for this letter. Nonetheless, this link will remain in place, in the event that the federal government shuts down again. The letter can be found here

What are some important shutdown-related documents?

At this time, since the shutdown has ended, these documents are unnecessary (except for the link to NAHRO's advocacy center, which should be checked frequently), but NAHRO will leave them in place in the event that the federal government shuts down again.

HUD’s documents

·         HUD’s February Email Guidance on PH and HCV Payments

·         HUD’s Guidance on Accessing HUD-Held Reserves;

·         HUD’s Additional Guidance for MTWs on Accessing HUD-Held Reserves

·         Cost-Savings Measures in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (PIH 2011-28); and 

·         Guidance on the Use of Outside Sources of Funds in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (PIH 2013-12). 

Other Relevant Websites and Documents

·         NAHRO’s Advocacy Center

·         National Housing Law Project’s Rights of Federally-Assisted Residents During the Government Shutdown; and 

·         Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding’s Impacts Of Government Shutdown on Affordable Housing Programs.

Have other shutdown related questions? Contact Tushar Gurjal at tgurjal@nahro.org.