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Northwest Notes
Office of Public Housing
Region X - Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington

The Director's Corner

As outlined in the HUD Strategic Plan, Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2011 Region X Management Plan efforts include focusing collaboration with public housing agencies in three primary areas:

  • Increase public housing occupancy by housing more families;
  • Optimize number of families served through Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program;
  • Timely public housing agency expenditure of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Public Housing Capital Funds on eligible activities.
Our goal is to ensure your PHA is in a position to make fully informed choices with regard to these primary areas that enhance, strengthen and sustain our communities. On behalf of Office of Public Housing team members in the Seattle, Portland & Anchorage offices, we hope this newsletter is helpful to you. Let me know if there are items you would like to see in future newsletters.
Harlan Stewart
Director, Office of Public Housing
Region X, Northwest/Alaska Office

FSS Conference Highlights

In 2010, rather than having a region-wide FSS Coordinator Conference, the Seattle and Portland Offices each conducted separate workshops. This decision was partly due to the space limitations for the large number of participants attending, as well as to generate more discussion and open dialogue by meeting in smaller groups.

In Seattle
The Seattle Office of Public Housing held its Annual Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS)/Homeownership Conference on Thursday September 23, 2010. Twenty-five (25) attendees representing twelve (12) different agencies from Washington and Idaho were present. The conference's morning session was on FSS and afternoon for Homeownership.

Suzanne Manville discussed the importance of correct reporting for FSS and Homeownership in PIC and reminded them that FSS grants are now awarded by the number participants in PIC and that they receive dollars for the Homeownership closings, but will not if they are not coded correctly in PIC. A question/answer period followed.

Becky Tuttle led a discussion on outreach and program management. The audience shared their successes and processes for outreach. Becky talked about how to request a waiver of the program requirements and advised that not all waivers are granted. Waivers are given if a PHA provides HUD a certification as defined in 24 CFR 984.201(d). Becky also talked about minimum program size and that it does not reduce your program size if someone gets terminated from the program. She also engaged them in conversation about motivating the clientele and ideas that work for them.

Ann Becker presented a PowerPoint on Logic Models. Ann engaged the audience in a question and answer session on how to use them, submit them and problem solving.

Julie Foss arranged for Christopher Bailey (Homeownership Specialist) from HQ, to present a Homeownership overview via phone and PowerPoint that included any new information and statistics on the success of the program Nationwide. He answered questions from the audience after the presentation was over. A number of handouts on Homeownership subjects was provided for the audience to take back to their PHAs with them.

Richard Wall presented information and instructions on how to fill out a good Individual Training and Services Plan via the overhead projector. He asked the audience to give him ideas on the progression of a fictitious participant from schooling, needs, etc.

The day ended with the sharing of success stories from many of the participants.  If you are in Washington, Idaho or Alaska and you would like more information about Family Self Sufficiency, please call Becky Tuttle at 206-220-6422; for the Homeownership Program, please call Julie Foss at 206-220-6215.

In Portland
The Portland Office had their annual FSS Coordinator Workshop on September 21, 2010. Forty-five FSS Coordinators and related staff from throughout Oregon and SW Washington attended the workshop. Topics covered at the workshop included tips on successfully marketing the FSS Program in present day economic conditions.  Techniques on how to establish and maintain a Program Coordinating Committee were presented by Biljana Pajic of the Housing Authority of Portland. Helen McClaine of the NW Oregon HA discussed FSS Action Plans and provided samples. Terry Frazier of the Salem HA explained the differences between voluntary and reduced mandated FSS slots.

This FSS Workshop was especially successful because of all of the interaction between HAs, and how differently and similarly they might perceive Program requirements. Attendees were divided into 5 breakout groups, met in separate locations and reviewed and answered challenging questions previously submitted by FSS Coordinators. When the attendees regrouped, the answers were shared. Some answers were very obvious, and other questions required additional discussion.

In addition to sharing success stories, the HAs also shared accomplishments that stand out in a unique way. Bruce Jaqua of Housing Works spoke about their 'Wall of Fame' consisting of one of their office walls dedicated to framed pictures of FSS homeowners and stories that lead to the participant's success. Other HAs may have similar tributes to their FSS participants and hopefully will share them at future meetings and workshops.

The session was successful. Attendees were satisfied and look forward to the next FSS Workshop, but would like to meet more frequently.

New EIV Coordinator and PIC Coach in Portland

The previous Portland EIV coordinator and PIC Coach, Alice Ford, has transferred to the Atlanta, GA office. Her experience and expertise will be missed. Assuming her vacated duties, Raymond Phung will now be the EIV Coordinator and PIC Coach. His contact information is:


Raymond (Ray) Phung
Phone: (971) 222-2662
Email: Raymond.Phung@hud.gov

Though he is learning the ins and outs of both systems, Ray has the know-how and resources to resolve any PIC and EIV question/issue. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with him.
Betsy Marsh will remain a backup PIC coach for Portland. Suzanne Manville will still be the primary contact for EIV and PIC in the Seattle Office.  Their contact information is as follows:
Suzanne Manville at 206-220-6231
suzanne.manville@hud.gov
Betsy Marsh at 971-222-2664
betsy.marsh@hud.gov

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

In 2004, HUD and the Internal Revenue Service established a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.  The purpose of this partnership is to assist low-income, disabled, elderly and limited English proficient persons by:

  • Establishing education outreach on meeting tax obligations
  • Providing free tax preparation and free electronic filing
  • Disseminating information on tax credits and individual development accounts
  • Teaching how tax credits can be used to build assets

Low-income families tend to use vendors that either charge for preparation and/or will offer high-interest refund anticipation loans.  So connect with VITA centers now and connect these individuals with free educational and tax preparation services.  To find the nearest VITA center, visit: website. For information and resources on Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC), visit: online

Preparing Your Housing Choice Voucher Program for 2011

HUD is now operating under a Continuing Resolution that will expire March 4, 2011.  Remember that funding levels and formulas are uncertain until we have finalized 2011 appropriations.   PHAs should proceed cautiously into 2011.

The Office of Housing Choice Vouchers, on website has posted a 2011 HCVP Get Ready Letter, dated October 18th.   We also emailed a letter to PHAs on November 19th about disbursements beginning this January under the continuing resolution.  PHAs should review these letters.

We have been training PHAs, and also provided the Two Year HCV Forecasting Tool spreadsheet.  Now that 2010 is over, this spreadsheet is only useful for projecting lease-up and costs for 2011.  The spreadsheet calculates projected funding for 2011 using information from earlier proposed bills, but the assumptions built into the spreadsheet may not be correct.
We recommend focusing on projected leasing and HAP costs for 2011, using current information.  PHAs should also pin down their HAP Net Restricted Assets (NRA).

Points to remember
  • Be conservative, don't lease up units not able to be supported
  • Know current data trends, for attrition, lease-up, cost of HAP, and be prepared for trends to change
  • Know what is available in NRA
  • Most PHAs do not receive funding to support 100% lease-up levels
  • HUD cannot provide additional renewal funding
  • PHAs are prohibited from using HAP funds or NRA to lease over 100% for the calendar year
Field Office staff will be happy to discuss projections or scenarios.

VMS - Model Accrual Report
By David L Peters, Sr. QA Specialist

In an earlier edition of Northwest Notes (NWN), I stated that I would provide an example of the best Accrual Accounting report encountered during my 50+ VMS reviews [to date].  While it is somewhat difficult to see, I have included a screenshot and explanation for this edition.  By next month, I'll have my HCVQAD YouTube channel on-line and will endeavor to walk you through a short "class" on how the document is used.

As you are all aware, FMC bulletin 06-04 directed you to report your HCV numbers into VMS using the Accrual method. To date, we have had sporadic and sometimes inefficient reporting in VMS due to confusion and misunderstandings on how and what numbers to actually report, which often resulted in subsequent revisions in following months.

This model - in my professional opinion - is the most efficient at allowing both housing authority staff as well as oversight agencies the ability to track the changes to your program as variances occur in both your HAP costs as well as changes to your voucher counts in UML reporting.



In the screenshot above, please note that the period involved is October 2008-September 2009. This means that the OCT-DEC quarter is at the bottom and visually breaks the flow pattern you would expect to see.  Each line item for both HAP and UML counts are separated; i.e. 1 Yr Mainstream has its own "block", so too, does Homeownership, Portable Vouchers Paid, Tenant Protection, and any other field your agency reports.

This is how simple the report is. Read down to the total to see what the General Ledger numbers are for a particular field. Read across to the far right to see what the "current" VMS numbers are for a particular month and field.

An example:  Look at the 1 Yr Mainstream amount for January 2009. In mid-February the PHA would have reported $132,127.00 into VMS for the January 2009 field amount. By reading down, you can see that the General Ledger matched the VMS perfectly.

During February, however, the PHA pulled back $413 from that total for some reason.  You'll note that the GL amount doesn't change. Those are your books and the total is the total. But in Mid-March when the agency files their February VMS numbers ($132,577 for February), they would go into the January report and revise the January numbers with at value of $131714; reflecting that loss of $413. During that month, the VMS total to the right on this model report would show that delta of $413; accordingly, the VMS report should match.

The same concept goes for UML. If a line item's value changes sometime later in the year and it was effective some months prior, those prior monthly VMS reports need to change accordingly. The PHA's GL doesn't change. Those are your books. VMS however is HUD's system and we read the numbers according to the definitions and protocols established within the instructions and guidance articles like this one.

Stopping Subsidy Payments to Deceased Tenants

According to HUD's Office of Inspector General (OIG), approximately $7 million of questionable housing assistance payments have been made on behalf of deceased tenants in single member households.  Despite continued efforts to identify and correct payments to deceased tenants, these erroneous payments are still being made.  In PIH Notice 2010-9 and further in 2010-50, HUD released formal guidance for proper utilization of the Deceased Tenant Reports in the EIV system.

PHA's must generate Deceased Tenant Report at least once a month. The link to the report can be found on the side bar under "Verification Reports" header in the EIV system.  After selecting the appropriate PIH Program type and Reexam month (defaulted to ALL), click on Get Report.


When an individual is identified as deceased, the PHA should send a letter to the head of household (HOH), or emergency contact person if the HOH is deceased, to confirm the death of the household member.  For Section 8, the property owner should be notified of a deceased HOH.

For Public Housing, the PHA must conduct a home visit to identify any persons still residing in the unit.  Unauthorized person's (including live-in aides) must be removed using judicial intervention.  Be sure to refer to your local Tenant and Landlord laws to properly regain possession of the unit.

For Section 8, PHAs are required to discontinue HAP to the owner for single member households.  This must be done no later than the first of the following month after the month in which the death occurred.  The owner is not entitled to HAP for any month following the month in which the death occurred.  If the owner does receive HAP for any month that the owner is ineligible because of a deceased tenant, the PHA must immediately notify the owner of the overpayment and require repayment within 30 days.

The deceased tenant report is updated every weekend and the information comes from the Social Security Administration (SSA).  For individuals incorrectly reported as deceased, the misidentified living individual should contact SSA or visit their local SSA office to correct their records.  Be sure to keep applicable information on deceased tenant errors in the tenant's file. Note: only the SSA can correct erroneous death information.

For complete guidance on Deceased Tenants and live-in aids, surviving household members, minors, time-frames, 50058 reporting actions, and non-compliance penalties, refer to PIH Notice 2010-50.

IMS/PIC Corner

IMS/PIC Website Updates
The IMS/PIC website has been thoroughly updated and re-designed to better serve users!  The site provides information to both HUD and HA users. You can access the new site using the link http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/systems/pic/index.cfm
The purpose of the re-design was threefold:

  • To better serve novice users
  • To direct users to the information they need in three clicks or less
  • To serve as a platform from which to post new information.

While the changes to the structure of the site are largely complete, you will continue to see "under construction" banners on certain pages as we work to update the content and prepare to post new resources. New and exciting features of the site include a "Quick Find" box on the homepage enabling users to scroll through keywords in ABC order and instantly jump to the page they seek, and a comprehensive "Get Help" page pulling together technical assistance from many, many sources.

It is our hope that you will bookmark this page and visit it frequently. The site will serve as our primary means of communication with you on system releases, known system issues, and new initiatives related to IMS/PIC.

Problem with updating information in the Housing Agency Submodule
There is a known problem that PIC will not allow PHA and HUD Field Office PIC users to make changes to HA Contacts. A few users are able to make necessary changes individually.

Let the PIC Coaches know if the email address for the Executive Director is no longer accessible, and what changes need to be made.  We will forward this information to the team making these changes.

HUD requires PHAs to put the Executive Director in PIC.  It is important to update the PHA Executive Director name and email address as necessary.  HUD uses the Executive Director's name and email address in PIC to email the PHA.  If emails are sent to an inaccessible address, the HA may miss out on important information.   Not receiving information due to a bad email address is not an excuse for missing a deadline.

Once users are able to update the information in HA Contacts, we will expect PHAs to make any other changes and corrections needed.  We can walk you through the process as necessary.   For information on adding or changing contacts, refer to Housing Agency FAQs, www.hud.gov/offices/pih/systems/pic/faq/ha.cfm.

Section 8 Homeownership

Closings as of 01/06/2010


State

No. of  Closings

Alaska

46

Idaho

133

Oregon

127

Washington

228

HUB Total

534

Recently Published Guidance


E-Memos (electronic memoranda)

Seattle HUB

Issued

Purpose

12-23-2010

Initial Calendar Year (CY) 2011 Obligation Public Housing Operating Fund

12-09-2010

Next Webinar on December 14, 2010: Healthy Lifestyles

12-07-2010

Capital Fund Community Facilities (CFCF) NOFA Webcast

11-15-2010

2011 Energy Star Awards Application Deadline

11-10-2010

Healthy Neighborhoods: A Webinar Training and Discussion on Teen Health on 11/16/10

11-04-2010

Announcement of PH FSS. HCV FSS and ROSS-SC Webcasts

10-23-2010

Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)

10-21-2010

Webinar on Homeownership Programs with Long-Term Affordability Controls

10-08-2010

FY 2010 Capital Fund Education and Training Community Facilities (CFCF) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)

10-05-2010

FY 2010 Family Unification Program (FUP) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)

10-04-2010

FY 2011 Fair Market Rents (FMR's)

10-01-2010

Public Housing Operating Funds - Final CY Obligations and Availability of Funds for Disbursement

10-01-2010

Changes in Staff & Assignments - Seattle Public Housing Hub



Portland FO

Issued

Purpose

12-27-2010

Initial Calendar Year (CY) 2011 Obligation Public Housing Operating Fund

12-15-2010

Unauthorized Section 3 Services Provided by Private Vendors

12-07-2010

Healthy Neighborhood Webinar-December 14, 2010

12-06-2010

CFP Facilities Webcast

11-16-2010

Energy Star Awards

11-10-2010

Webinar on Teen Health

11-05-2010

Upcoming Grant Webcasts

11-04-2010

Garnishment of HAP Paid to Landlords/Owners

10-20-2010

Webinar on Homeownership for Low-Income Families

10-12-2010

Capital Fund Education and Training Community Facilities Program (CFCF) NOFA

10-05-2010

FY10 Family Unification Program (FUP) NOFA

10-04-2010

FY11 Fair Market Rents (FMRs)

10-01-2010

Garnishment of HAP Paid to Landlords/Owners

Federal Register Notices

Document

Date Issued

Title

FR-5420-N-03

20101227

Notice of Regulatory Waiver Requests Granted for the Third Quarter of Calendar Year 2010

FR-5383-N-27

20101217

Notice of Proposed Information Collection for Public Comment for the Family Unification Program (FUP)

FR-5300-FA-23

20101122

Announcement of Funding Awards for the HOPE VI Revitalization Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2009

FR-5415-N-19

20101102

Notice of Availability: Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for HUD's Fiscal Year 2010 Public and Indian Housing Family Self-Sufficiency Program Under the Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) Program

FR-5415-N-20

20101102

Notice of Availability: Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for HUD's Fiscal Year 2010 Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS)--Service Coordinators Program

FR-5383-N-24

20101029

Notice of Proposed Information Collection for Public Comment; FY 2010 Capital Fund Community and Education Training Facilities NOFA

FR-5415-N-14

20101028

Notice of Availability: Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for HUD's Fiscal Year 2010 Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency Program

FR-5056-F-02

20101027

HUD Programs: Violence Against Women Act Conforming Amendments

FR-4843-F-02

20101021

Use of Public Housing Capital Funds for Financing Activities

FR-5415-N-21

20101018

Notice of Availability: Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for HUD's Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Capital Fund Education and Training Community Facilities (CFCF) Program

FR-5415-N-15

20101014

Notice of Availability: Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Family Unification Program (FUP)

PIH Notices

Notice

Issued

Title

10-51

12/30/2010

Over Subsidization in the Housing Choice Voucher Program

10-50

12/30/2010

Effective Use of the Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) System's Deceased Tenants Report to Reduce Subsidy Payment & Administrative Errors

10-49

12/28/2010

Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act - Guidance on New Tenant Protections

10-48

10/01/2010

Extension -- Cost-Test and Market Analyses Guidelines for the Voluntary Conversion of Public Housing Units Pursuant to 24 CFR Part 972

10-47

11/19/2010

Total Development Costs (TDC) for Affordable Housing under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA)

10-46

11/10/2010

Performance of Physical Needs Assessments by Public Housing Authorities

10-45

10/29/2010

Financial Reporting Requirements for the Housing Choice Voucher Program Submitted through the Financial Assessment Subsystem for Public Housing and the Voucher Management System

10-44

10/20/2010

Revision and Extension of Guidance on requirement for PHAs to record current Declaration of Trusts (DOTs) against all public housing property and guidance on adding and removing public housing units and other property from the Annual Contributions Contract (ACC)

10-43

10/19/2010

Continuation of Disaster Voucher Program (DVP) Housing Assistance Payments

10-42

10/13/2010

Certification of accuracy of data in the Inventory Management/Public Housing Information Center System used to calculate the Capital Fund formula allocation

10-41

10/12/2010

Using Energy Star to Promote Energy Efficiency in Public Housing

Important Dates
Please Note:  All dates subject to change.  Refer to program websites for complete list of forms due!!!

FYE 3-31 PHAs

 

01-16-2011

PHA Plan Submission (CFP Performance and Evaluation Reports must be included in Plan)

05-30-2011

SEMAP Submission due

05-31-2011

MASS Certification due to REAC

05-31-2011

Unaudited FASS due to REAC

FYE 6-30 PHAs

 

03-31-2011

Audited FASS for FYE 6-30-2010 due to REAC

03-31-2011

IPA Audit due to FO

04-14-2011

PHA Plan Submission

FYE 9-30 PHAs

 

06-30-2011

Audited FASS for FYE 09/30/2010 due to REAC

06-30-2011

IPA Audit due to FO

FYE 12-31 PHAs

 

02-28-2011

MASS Certification due to REAC

02-28-2011

Unaudited FASS due to REAC

03-01-2011

SEMAP Submission due

All PHAs

 

Monthly

CFP obligated-expended data is submitted through eLOCCS.  CFP work completion activities where pre-audit is required, are reminded to submit Final P&E Reports with AMCC to Field Office.

Monthly

Send complete copy of renewal Mod Rehab program HAP contracts with owners to FMC representative.  Please include Attachment A.  Contracts needed to request renewal funds and to release payments.

Monthly

VMS data collection (HUD 52681B submitted electronically). Ensure data is submitted timely and accurately. Failure to report timely could result in loss of Administrative Fees. Check VMS website for exact submission dates
http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/
programs/hcv/fmd.cfm

Reminder

Please continue to submit Year-End Settlement Statements (HUD-52681) for Section 8 Mod Rehab, SROs, and Mainstream (DV) vouchers ONLY. Submit to FMC (45 calendar days after FYE).  Ninety days prior to FYB, submit complete budget (HUD-52673, 52672, 52663) for Mod Rehab, SRO, HOPE VI, Mainstream (DV code-5 year increments), to FMC representative.

ARRA

 

03-17-2011

PHAs must expend at least 60% of the Formula Grant

09-2011

PHAs must expend at least 60% of Competitive Grants



Open Government Initiative


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HUD.GOV/Open
Learn more about HUD's Open Government Initiative

HUD Implementation of the Recovery Act
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Learn more about HUD's Implementation of the Recovery Act

Making Home Affordable


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Learn more about Making Home Affordable
Innovation of the Day


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Innovation of the Day