First of all, Mark, Larue and I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year! The upcoming year is a time to live, to banish worry, doubt and fear and to love and laugh and give. May this year be the best year ever!
We certainly were busy over the holidays. We were able to spend time with family and loved ones, but there also was a lot of work to do.
The implementation of the new VAWA 2013 requirements drove the most inquiries to our office. One question came up repeatedly.
As stated in RHIIP ListServ #376 issued on December 21, 2016, owner/agents must start providing the VAWA Notice and VAWA Certification 1) to existing residents at the next certification 2) any time a new family moves in, 3) any time a household is rejected, 4) any time a notice of termination (assistance or tenancy) is issued and 5) any time a notice of eviction is issued.
We have received several inquiries about the requirement to keep a copy of the VAWA Notice/VAWA Certification in the applicant/resident file and if residents have to acknowledge whether they received the forms.
Please note page 80771 of the VAWA Final Rule:
"HUD's final rule does not require housing providers to document in tenant files that they provided the required notice at the required times, nor does HUD's final rule require an acknowledgement of receipt."
Acknowledgement forms are optional. OAs usually provided them at Move-in and at each Annual Certification. At RBD, we have updated the Acknowledgement of Receipt of Documents to include the VAWA Notice/VAWA Certification. We will use this version through 2017 to document provision of required forms at MI and at AR.
We have also updated all rejection notices and notices of termination to reference, as attachments, the VAWA Forms. This should remind property managers to include the forms when issuing rejections or termination notices.