Updates to the HUD Multifamily Housing COVID-19 Q&A

On January 4, 2021, HUD published the fifth version of the HUD Multifamily Housing COVID-19 Q&A. We appreciate HUD’s continued dedication to answering COVID-19 related questions from Industry Stakeholders. 

In this Q&A, HUD notes that the expiration date of certain COVID-19 exceptions has changed from December 31, 2020, to May 31, 2021.

Some key questions and answers affecting property operations and occupancy requirements are:

General Multifamily Housing Q15: Can properties provide on-site flu shots, COVID-19 testing, and COVID-19 vaccines?

Summary from Mary: HUD says that "Yes" you can, but there are things to consider.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Eviction Moratorium Order Q1: Does the CDC eviction moratorium automatically apply to, and protect, all HUD-assisted residents?

Summary from Mary: The CDC Moratorium does apply to HUD-assisted residents unless a state or local moratorium provides equal or more protections.

Asset Management Q3: In light of concerns about site visits to HUD properties, what is the status of Management and Occupancy Reviews (MORs) performed by Traditional and Performance-Based Contract Administrators (TCA/PBCAs) and HUD staff?

Summary from Mary: Effective May 22, 2020, HUD and Contract Administrators started conducting Management and Occupancy Reviews (MORs).

CAs and HUD staff may offer owner/agents the option of providing information, necessary to conduct the MOR electronically. Owner/agents are not required to provide information electronically.

If an owner/agent opts to provide information electronically, the OA must comply with encryption and password protection requirements to ensure that Personally Identifiable Information is protected in compliance with the Privacy Act.

Data exchange methods must conform to requirements set forth in HUD's latest Notice - HSG Notice - Electronic Signature, Transmission and Storage - Guidance for Multifamily Assisted Housing Industry Partners

Asset Management Q4: During tenant file reviews, owners are concerned about being penalized on MORs for not having conducted annual unit inspections due to COVID-19. Will HUD forgo annual inspections for the tenant files represented at Addendum A, Section C, question 7 of form HUD-9834?

Summary from Mary: HUD will not waive the requirement for an owner to perform annual unit inspections at this time. If local or state health department COVID-19 guidance prevents owners from entering a unit, the owner should work with residents to conduct the review.

Policy and Operations Q16: May Section 8 HAP owners and agents temporarily stop reducing their vouchers to offset Residual Receipts as a precaution against COVID-19 expenses?

Summary from Mary: HUD will temporarily permit suspension of Residual Receipts Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) offsets. Owners of properties receiving Section 8 HAP assistance payments must receive approval in advance to suspend offset payments.

After May 31, 2021, all properties must offset HAP vouchers for all Residual Receipts in excess of the minimum allowed retainable balance.

Recapitalization and Rental Assistance Demonstration Q6: If a PHA/owner anticipates needing more time after a RAD closing to sign tenant leases, will HUD provide any flexibility around the timing of the effective date of the HAP contract as outlined in Section 1.13.A of the RAD Notice?

A: In order to provide PHAs and owners additional time to execute individual leases with tenants in light of social distancing measures, HUD will permit the HAP effective date to be the first day of the third full month after closing upon request (rather than the first day of either of the first two months following closing).

These are not the only new questions and answers. 

To review HUD's complete responses and to review additional questions and answers, industry stakeholders should access HUD’s new Q&A to determine if any of the new or modified guidance affects your operations.

We have posted the new Q&A on our COVID-19 web site at https://www.rbdnow.com/resources/covid-19.

The MOR Binder FASTForms Package is currently under review so we can update the forms included.