Eligible TBRA Program Activities
- Housing costs:
Rent and utility costs for housing.
- Security deposit assistance:
TBRA programs can be used to help tenants with security deposits that equal up to two months' rent
- Utility deposit assistance:
Utility deposit assistance can only be provided in conjunction with a TBRA security deposit or rental assistance program, and only for Section 8 eligible costs
- Homebuyer programs:
TBRA may assist a tenant who has been identified as a potential low-income homebuyer with monthly rental and/or utility expenses until the purchase is completed.
Eligible Complementary Activities
- Self-sufficiency programs:
PJs may require TBRA recipients to articipate in self-sufficiency programs
as a condition of rental
- Targeted populations programs:
PJs may establish local special-needs preferences.
- Anti-displacement assistance:
TBRA may be used to minimize displacement.
Ineligible TBRA Program Activities
- TBRA as relocation assistance:
PJs cannot require households who receive TBRA as relocation assistance to participate in self-sufficiency programs.
TBRA may not be used to assist a resident owner of a cooperative or a mutual housing unit when that resident is recognized by state law as a homeowner.
- Rental Rehabilitation Program displacement:
TBRA may not be used to prevent the displacement of tenants from projects assisted with Rental Rehabilitation Program funds.
- Temporary shelter:
PJs may not provide TBRA to homeless persons for overnight or temporary shelter.
- Duplication of existing rental assistance programs:
Households already receiving assistance under other rental assistance programs may not also receive assistance under HOME TBRA (unless they are still paying more than 30% of their income for rent).
Ongoing Monitoring Responsibilities
PJs have significant ongoing responsibilities for monitoring a TBRA program in the following areas:
- Occupancy and Unit Requirements:
PJs must verify that the property standards and occupancy requirements are met over the term of the TBRA assistance. The PJ must conduct an annual inspection to ensure that the unit still meets Section 8 Housing Quality Standards, and annually verify that the unit is appropriate for the household in order to meet the occupancy standard.
- Rent Increases:
The PJ must also review and approve rent increases by landlords renting to TBRA tenants. Owners may adjust rents as leases are renewed (generally on an annual basis). The PJ must reject a lease if the rent is not reasonable, based on rents that are charged for comparable unassisted rental units.
- Recertifying Income:
The incomes of tenants receiving rental assistance must be re-examined at least annually using source documentation. The PJ must re-evaluate family income, size and composition. Rent and TBRA must be adjusted accordingly, based on the circumstances in effect at the time of re-certification. Assistance must be terminated if the tenant's income goes above the Section 8 low-income limit (with reasonable notice to the tenant and landlord.)
- Tenants on Section 8 Waiting List:
Special provisions are necessary for tenants who were on the Section 8 waiting list at the time of selection for HOME TBRA assistance. These households must remain in place on the Section 8 list while receiving the HOME-funded TBRA.
The monitor must review participant case files to confirm that annual inspections and income re-certifications were conducted on schedule, and appropriate documentation should be maintained in the files. The monitor must also determine whether procedures for complaint-based property inspections are included in the PJ's policies, and verify that they are being followed.
The following types of documentation should be maintained in TBRA project files:
- Application, Eligibility Verification and Disposition Records:
An application should be on file for all applicants, and should include documentation of a determination of the applicant's basic eligibility and preferences. Each file also should contain documentation of the final disposition of the household's application.
- TBRA Coupon:
A copy of the executed coupon should be retained in the file of all applicants who are issued a coupon.
- Request for Unit Approval:
A copy of all Requests for Unit Approval, including those that were rejected, should be maintained.
- PJ/Owner Contract:
Once the household locates a unit, the owner must agree to participate in the program. The tenant file must include a copy of the executed contract between the owner and the PJ.
- Property Inspections:
Copies of all inspections conducted should be maintained in the file.
- Lease and Lease Addendum:
The HOME program allows owners to use their own leases. Monitors should review the lease to ensure that it does not contain any prohibited language. The monitor must also determine that tenant files include an executed lease and lease addendum.
- Tenant Payment:
The tenant file should document the tenant payment amount, and the TBRA payment. The monitor must verify that the tenant and the PJ are paying appropriate amounts, given the structure of the PJ's program and its payment standard.
- Annual Income Re-certification:
Tenant income must be verified annually in accordance with initial income certification. The monitor must review tenant files to determine whether annual determinations are being completed accurately and on time. Supporting documentation should also be retained in the files.
- Documentation of Termination:
When a tenant leaves the TBRA program, the PJ must keep careful documentation of the dates and reasons for leaving.
Case File: TBRA Project
The Case File: TBRA Project Checklist should be used by a monitor to ensure that all proper documentation is found within each case file.
A monitor should evaluate TBRA program performance in terms of participation, program effectiveness, and program administration.
The following areas should be reviewed to evaluate participation:
- Outreach to prospective applicants
- Application procedures
The areas listed below should be reviewed for program effectiveness:
- Program successes
- Lease-up time
- Tenant briefings and search assistance
- Participant turnover
- Rent burden
Expenditure tracking and reporting should be reviewed to ensure effective program administration.
Monitoring Summary: TBRA Program
The monitoring summary should be used by a monitor to ensure that programs are following proper procedures. HOME Monitoring Checklist.