HUDBlast June 9, 2008

For an archive of HUDBlasts visit RBD online at www.rbdnow.com

EIV Website Update

The EIV System for Multifamily Housing Programs Users website, located at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/mfh/rhiip/eiv/eivhome.cfm, has been updated and redesigned to include a new EIV Application and Online Access for Multifamily Housing Programs web page and EIV Training and Outreach for Multifamily Housing Programs web page. 

These new resources have been developed to meet the needs of HUD’s business partners, making it easier to find related EIV materials in one location.  Further updates were made on May 13, 2008, to include the following materials:

§  External (Non-HUD Coordinator/User) Instructions for Applying for EIV Access for Multifamily Housing Programs Updated

§  Multifamily Housing - Tenant Rental Assistance Certification System (TRACS)/ Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) User Access Guide For Multifamily Internal Users New

§  Coordinator Access Authorization Form  (CAAF) Updated

§  User Access Authorization Form (UAAF) Updated

§  EIV Security Awareness Training Questionnaires for Multifamily Housing Programs New

§  EIV 8.1 System User Manual for Multifamily Housing Programs New

§  EIV 8.1 System External User Administration Manual for Multifamily Housing Programs New

Questions concerning EIV website updates should be directed to HUD’s Multifamily Help Desk via email at Mf_EIV@hud.gov

Currently, EIV access is not mandatory.  However, HUD expects to receive permission to make use of the program mandatory for owner/agents.  RBD strongly encourages owner/agents to begin the process of obtaining access to secure systems and to EIV.  The tools provided in EIV help to ensure the Rental Housing Integrity Improvement Project’s (RHIIP) goal of reducing errors and ensuring that the correct assistance is provided.  This allows HUD to assist as many low-income families as possible. 

Please read all instructional documentation BEFORE you start to use EIV to ensure that you are complying with HUD’s security protocol.

EIV Update

On May 12, 2008, HUD applied a system update to the Enterprise Income Verification System.  System enhancements include, but are not limited to:

§  The ability for External users to assign multiple EIV roles to their User ID

§  A new “Failed Pre-screening Report,” accessible via the “Identify Verification Report,” that identifies tenants whose last name, birth date or social security number were not sent to the Social Security Administration (SSA) for verification because they did not pass the initial EIV screening (all three must match SSA before income verification is provided)

§  Identifying user information (M-ID and First and Last Name) on all of the printable reports from EIV – this ensures system security by identifying the name and MID used to access EIV information.  SHARING M-ID USER NAMES AND PASSWORDS IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

§  A checkbox on the electronic Coordinator Access Authorization Form (CAAF) and User Access Authorization Form (UAAF) for certification and re-certification requests prompting External users to certify to the completion of the newly developed Security Awareness Training Questionnaire that is now available via HUD’s EIV website for Multifamily Housing Programs

New EIV Security Awareness Training Questionnaire

Please beware of the following HUD warning. 

“The data share agreement between HUD and the Department of Health and Human Services requires that HUD ensure owner/agents are aware of and comply with stringent security protocol.  HUD also must be able to prove that they are monitoring security compliance so that we may continue to use EIV to verify income and monitor resident compliance. 

As part of this effort, HUD now requires all EIV Multi-family Housing Coordinators and EIV Multi-family Housing Users to review EIV training materials and complete the Security Awareness Training Questionnaire”. 

All current Coordinators and Users should complete this Questionnaire.  Coordinators must require new EIV Users to review the EIV security training materials and should refuse to authorize access until the completed questionnaire has been provided by each user.  Coordinators should collect the completed questionnaire when the user submits the required User Access Authorization Form. 

If you have access to EIV, RBD strongly recommends that this information is maintained in an EIV File to illustrate compliance with HUD’s Security Protocol during your next Management and Occupancy Review.  The file should also include:

§  The Owner Access Authorization Letter for each EIV Coordinator

§  The executed Coordinator Access Authorization Form for each EIV Coordinator

§  User Access Authorization Forms for all EIV Users

If you submitted an electronic Coordinator Access Authorization form to HUD on May 12, or May 13, HUD is mandated to deny the request.  After you have downloaded and completed the Security Awareness Training Questionnaire, you must submit a new request using the new CAAF form. 

Please note the CAAF and UAAF currently available in hardcopy on Multifamily Housing’s EIV website have been revised to include the certification of the Security Awareness Training Questionnaire.  The new CAAF has a revision date of May 12, 2008 and the new UAAF has a revision date of May 9, 2008.

External business partners and HUD staff may access the newly enhanced system via HUD’s Multifamily Housing Programs website at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/mfh/rhiip/eiv/eivapps.cfm/.

EIV 8.1 Instructional Course for Multifamily Housing Program Users

HUD has announced another in-depth, two-day EIV instructional course that will be conducted July 8 and 9, 2008, via HUD Webcast at: http://www.hud.gov/webcasts/index.cfm.  Owners and management agents (O/As), contract administrators (CAs) and service bureaus are invited to attend the course, delivered by HUD staff.  As with the June 2007 course, HUD staff will deliver an informative slide presentation providing information about gaining and continuing EIV access, reading reports and monitoring compliance. 

Course materials, including Power Point presentations and case studies, will be posted to the EIV Training and Outreach for Multifamily Housing Programs web page at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/mfh/rhiip/eiv/eivtraining.cfm .

Questions concerning the instructional course should be directed to Kevin Garner, Housing Program Manager, who can be reached by telephone at 202/402-2057 or by email at Kevin_Garner@hud.gov.  

USING ENTERPRISE INCOME VERIFICATION (EIV) SOCIAL SECURITY INCOME INFORMATION AS THIRD PARTY VERIFICATION

When a resident reports Social Security (SS) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and the benefit amount reported agrees with the benefit information in EIV, the owner/agent does not need to request a copy of the benefit award letter provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or other documentation to supplement the EIV data.  The EIV Income Report containing the SSA benefit information may be used as third party verification. 

For example:

If the tenant reports his/her social security check/deposit is $600 and he/she pays the Medicare premium and the EIV benefit information supports that the net social security benefit amount paid to the tenant is $600 and that the tenant pays the Medicare premium, then the owner can use the EIV Income Report as third party verification.  The owner/agent will use the gross benefit amount from the EIV Income Report for determining the tenant’s annual income and will include the cost of the Medicare premium as a medical expense.

If the tenant reports his/her social security check/deposit is $600 and he/she does not pay the Medicare premium and the EIV benefit information supports that the gross and net social security benefit amount paid to the tenant is $600 and there is a “Y” in the Buy-in column, then the owner can use the EIV Income Report as third party verification.  The owner/agent will use the gross benefit amount from the EIV Income Report for determining the tenant’s annual income and will not include the cost of the Medicare premium as a medical expense.

Whenever the SS/SSI benefit information in EIV does not agree with what the resident reports; when the resident disputes the SS/SSI benefit information in EIV; or, there is no SS/SSI benefit information in EIV, the owner must obtain verification, as discussed in HUD guidance, “Resolving Income Discrepancies between Tenant-Provided and Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) System Income Data,” located on the Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) System for Multifamily Housing Programs website at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/mfh/rhiip/eiv/eivhome.cfm.

EIV and Tax Credits

The EIV Social Security (SS), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), new hires (W-4), wage and unemployment compensation information contained in the EIV system may only be used for limited official purposes.

§  By Contract Administrators (CAs) for monitoring and oversight of the tenant recertification process

§  By the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for investigative purposes

§  By owners/agents (O/As) for verifying the employment and income at the time of certification for residents participating in one of HUD’s rental assistance programs listed below:

§  Project-based Section 8

o   New Construction

o   State Agency Financed

o   Substantial Rehabilitation

o   Section 202/8

o   Rural Housing Services Section 515/8

o   Loan Management Set-Aside (LMSA)

o   Property Disposition Set-Aside (PDSA)

§  Rent Supplement

§  Rental Assistance Payment (RAP)

§  Section 202/162 Project Assistance Contract (PAC)

§  Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC)

§  Section 811 PRAC

§  Section 236

§  Section 221(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR)

Official use does not include using the EIV data for certifying tenants under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) or Rural Housing Services (RHS) Section 515 programs.  Neither the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) nor RHS are a party to the computer matching agreements HUD has with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and with the Social Security Administration (SSA). 

The fact that there is financing through other federal agencies involved in a particular property under one of the authorized HUD programs does not permit that federal agency to use or view information from the EIV system for certifying tenants for their programs or for monitoring purposes.

This creates a challenge for those property managers who have properties with assistance layering.  RBD suggests that you create a separate EIV verification file to ensure the privacy of EIV information.  This means that you would keep a file of EIV printouts in a locked, secure file where the only access is by individuals responsible for HUD lease and HUD assistance activities.  For HUD certifications, document the resident file stating that EIV information has been obtained and is maintained in a separate file for security purposes.  You can make that file available to HUD or to CA Reviewers when you are participating in the HUD Management and Occupancy Review conducted using HUD Form 9834. 

Alternative verification should be collected for Tax Credit and 515 verification purposes.

EIV and Record Keeping (File Maintenance)

Most of you are familiar with HUD Record Keeping requirements outlined in HUD Handbook 4350.3 Revision 1, Change 2 Paragraphs 4-22 and 5-23.  In addition, HUD has clarified record-keeping requirements for data retrieved through EIV. 

1)      Social security benefit reports –term of tenancy plus 3 years

2)      New hires (W-4), wage, unemployment compensation –no more than 2 years

3)      Tenant has both social security benefits and employment or wage information – no more than 2 years

You must document the resident’s file when information is destroyed. 

Section 236 and 221(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR) Properties without Subsidy Contracts: Unavailable Tenant Data in EIV & System Failures

Benefit and wage-related information, including Social Security (SS), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), wage, unemployment compensation, and new hires (W-4) information is currently unavailable in EIV for 236 and 221(d)(3) residents who are not receiving Section 8, Rental Assistance Payments (RAP), or Rent Supplement at Section 236 and 221(d)(3) BMIR properties (Section 236 and 221(d)(3) BMIR properties without subsidy).  This does not apply to Section 236 properties with subsidy contracts such as 236/8s.

For those of you who have 236 or 221(d)(3) without subsidy, data may not be available.  HUD expects to correct this problem with the next EIV release scheduled for September 22, 2008.

An EIV Coordinator who manages or operates a Section 236 and/or 221(d)(3) BMIR property that does not have a subsidy contract will not be able to successfully submit an electronic CAAF to HUD’s Multifamily Helpdesk (for that property) and will not be able to process Users’ UAAF (for that property).  The electronic CAAF and UAAF and User Certification features in EIV will not be operative for these properties until September 22, 2008.

This will not affect access to other, subsidized properties.

Therefore, until 1) the benefits and wage-related information is available in EIV for tenants not receiving Section 8, Rental Assistance Payments (RAP), or Rent Supplement at Section 236 and 221(d)(3) BMIR properties, and 2) the electronic CAAF and UAAF and User Certification features in EIV are functional, you may obtain Social Security Administration (SSA) benefit letters, dated within the last 120 days, from tenants and document in the tenant file why third party verification was not available. Tenants can call SSA at 1-800-772-1213 to request current benefit verification letters or request benefit verification letters via SSA’s Website. There is no cost to tenants for making these requests.

New HUD Today Class - Training for TRACS 202C, EIV and the Latest HUD News

In response to your requests for a one-day combination class covering the TRACS 202C Update, EIV and the latest announcements from HUD, RBD is offering a new class called HUD Today. 

In 2008, HUD will be releasing an update to significantly enhance the TRACS submission process.  The update will drive changes to your site operations.  In this new class, we will discuss the planned enhancements including:

§  Replace TRACSMail with iMAX

§  Require Secure Systems access for TRACS submissions

§  Add new fields to the 50059 to comply with Handbook changes

§  Edit and Enhance HUD form 50059

§  Add HUD Form 50059-A for partial certification submissions (MO, UT, etc.)

§  Modify the 52670 Voucher to enhance usability

§  Incorporate use of mid-month interim certifications to eliminate risk of dual subsidy

In addition, we will be discussing The Enterprise Income Verification System (EIV).  EIV has been introduced as a new verification and discrepancy reporting tool.  Find out how to access and use EIV to:

§  Verify SSA/SSI Income

§  Verify Employment and Unemployment Income

§  Uncover Identity Discrepancies

§  Address Income Discrepancies

§  Identify applicants who are currently receiving assistance to help avoid dual assistance

§  Expose potential identity fraud

Last but not least, we will provide up-to-date information on as many HUD compliance issues as possible.  Learn about:

§  Clarifications about:

o   HUD Handbook 4350.3 Revision 1 Change 2

o   New Forms

§  New Leases

§  New 9887

§  New 50059

o   Required Changes

§  Unit Transfers

§  Resident Selection Plans

§  Rejection Letters

§  Student Forms

§  Medical Expenses

§  Etc.

§  Preparing the site for the MOR

§  Organizing and auditing files

We will provide you with samples to help with major processes.

Sign Up For the RHIIP ListServ

RBD encourage our customers to sign-up for the RHIIP Listserv, so you too can receive current RHIIP related information from HUD http://www.hud.gov/subscribe/mailinglist.cfm.  Then click on the Multi-family Housing RHIIP (Rental Housing Integrity Improvement Project) Tips.  You can view the RHIIP Tips Archives, under "Listserv-Multifamily RHIIP Tips" at http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/mfh/rhiip/mfhrhiip.cfm

Using this ListServ provides you with a great response during the Management and Occupancy Review when your reviewer asks what you do to keep up with compliance changes.  Take 2 minutes and sign up today.

To register for training, visit our web site at www.rbdnow.com of contact our Training Coordinator (Larue Marin) at 770-4260577 or email her at larue.marin@rbdnow.com.

 

RBD does not act as a legal advisor nor as a regulatory governing agency.  The recipient should understand that any materials or comments contained herein are not designed for, nor should be relied upon as a source of legal guidance or as a final authority with respect to any particular circumstance. Ross Business Development, Inc. makes no warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or any other warranty of any type. Owners and management should seek competent legal advice in developing and carrying out policies and procedures.  While we have been diligent in our efforts to provide comprehensive and accurate regulatory information, Ross Business Development, Inc. shall not be responsible for errors or inaccuracies.