Thanks to HUD for continuing to provide updates to guidance for owner/agents responding to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While HUD has provided new clarification about financing, RAD deals, rent increases, etc., of special note are the following changes/additions.
Residual Receipts: HUD will temporarily permit suspension of Residual Receipts Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) offsets in certain circumstances. All Project Rental Assistance Contracts (PRACs) may suspend offsets for Residual Receipts through December 31, 2020. Owners of properties receiving Section 8 HAP assistance payments must receive approval in advance to suspend offset payments. Asset Management Division Directors in the Multifamily Regional and Satellite Offices are authorized to suspend such offsets through December 31, 2020, for properties where COVID-19 expenses are anticipated to exceed available resources. After December 31, 2020, all properties must offset HAP vouchers for all Residual Receipts in excess of the minimum allowed balance.
Positive for COVID-19: If you discover that someone connected with the site has tested positive for COVID-19 - in coordination with local health officials - communicate the possible COVID-19 exposure to all residents and workers, volunteers, and visitors. This can be done by placing signage in common areas and entrances/exits and by letter to all residents, delivered to their doors. Messages should attempt to counter potential stigma and discrimination. Residents could be advised to inform their recent personal visitors of potential exposure. Owners and agents must maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Privacy Act. Owners and agents may provide notification of positive COVID-19 cases, but they must ensure the notification does not disclose any names, apartment numbers, and other personally identifiable information to residents, workers, volunteers, and visitors.
Accrual of Late Fees and Other Fees: An owner or agent of a multifamily property covered by the CARES Act may only charge fees and penalties during the eviction moratorium if the charge is wholly unrelated to a tenant’s nonpayment of rent. However, during the eviction moratorium, the CARES Act prohibits an owner or agent from filing for possession of a unit for nonpayment of any rent, fee or charge. This holds true regardless of the date the fee or charge was initially assessed. While the CARES Act is silent on what an owner or agent can charge after the eviction moratorium ends, HUD’s interpretation of this provision is that fees and charges that could not be assessed during the eviction moratorium should not accrue and should not be charged after the moratorium ends; however, rents not paid during the moratorium, as well as fees assessed prior to the eviction moratorium, which took effect on March 27, 2020, may be collected.
We can't recap all the additions and changes here but strongly encourage all of our customers to review the new information.
We continue to update our own RBD COVID-19 web page to help you address changes to the certification process during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We also have recorded our popular RBD Online Training Workshop COVID-19 Handling Recertifications in a Changing Environment - Recording.
We hope to help make your job a little easier. Please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions for additional resources.
We hope you and yours are healthy, safe and happy.