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HUD Extends Existing COVID-19 Waivers Releases New Waivers

Note: This article was originally published on the NAHRO Blog.

On July 2, HUD released Notice PIH 2020-13 which provides relief to PHAs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic by extending current waivers and releasing new waivers to help ease administrative burden and provide safe, secure housing to low-income individuals. The CARES Act provided broad authority to HUD to provide waivers to PHAs to help them manage their properties and keep their residents safe during the pandemic. HUD released the first round of waivers on April 10. Through critical member feedback, NAHRO has consistently updated HUD on the need for additional waivers and flexibilities throughout the pandemic so that PHAs can better serve their residents and keep their staff safe.

All public housing and HCV waivers and alternative requirements that previously ended prior to December 31, 2020, have been extended to December 31, 2020. The only waiver period not extended is the period of availability for the Designated Housing Plan 60-day notification which remains in place until July 31, 2020. For any HQS inspection that authorizes a PHA to rely upon self-certification for the absence of life-threatening conditions, the PHA is now required to perform an inspection of the unit no later than one-year from the date of the owner’s certification. PHAs employing biennial HQS inspections must perform an inspection as soon as reasonably possible, but no later than 1 year from the date which the biennial inspection would have been required in the absence of a waiver. Lastly, the period of availability for Capital Fund grants is extended by one year from the obligation and expenditure dates in LOCCS as of April 10, 2020.

Notice PIH 2020-13 also includes six new waivers, four for the HCV program and two for the Public housing program. The HCV program waivers include two for the Family Unification Program (FUP) that extend the length of assistance for youth and the timef rame for referral. The maximum term of assistance has also been extended for the HCV homeownership program, and the notice includes an extension of the mandatory removal of a unit from an PBV HAP contract.

For the Public Housing Program, the notice extends the designated housing plan renewal until December 31 and allows PHAs to waive annual self-inspections through CY 2020. This waiver does not alleviate the PHA of its responsibility to provide safe housing.

Notice PIH 2020-13 can be found here. A list of waiver revisions and technical correction for the initial COVID-19 related waivers can be found here.

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Sylvia Gimenez

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