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Northwest Notes
Office of Public Housing
Region X - Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
FY2008 Quarter IV ? September 18, 2008

The Director's Corner
As we close-out Federal Fiscal Year 2008, we reflect on the most recent performance of public housing agencies in Region X. Region X PHAs have earned the following performance ratings in their most recent assessments: 81 percent are Section 8 Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) High Performers and 59 percent are Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) High Performers. The five Moving-to-Work agencies not subject to SEMAP and PHAS, many of which were high performers prior to MTW status, are not included in the assessments. We are all pleased to acknowledge there are no troubled PHAs in Region X and in the event a PHA needs help to improve performance, we all stand ready to provide necessary assistance. Congratulations!

Harlan Stewart, Director, Public Housing Division, Region X, Northwest/Alaska Office

Grand Opening of HAP's HOPE VI
[Photo 1: Iris Court] In 2005, the Housing Authority of Portland (HAP) was awarded $16.9 million by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a $40 million project to replace the aging Iris Court public housing apartment cluster (104 units), which had issues beyond repair. Iris Court (picture right) contained no accessible units for individuals with disabilities, poor outdoor play areas, crumbling infrastructure, and a site layout that created pockets of indefensible space. Humboldt Gardens (picture below) built on site of Iris Court is HAP's second redevelopment anchored by a HOPE VI grant.

[Photo 2: Humboldt Gardens]The new Humboldt Gardens is a 130-unit development featuring 100 units of public housing and 30 units of affordable housing. A striking mixed-use building on the site combines apartments with a ground floor retail space, Head Start classrooms, a community policing office, and a multi-use conference room available for residents and the community. Housing options include accessible units, loft-style studios, and two- and three-story buildings that feature a combination of flats and town homes with bedroom configurations for families of all sizes. The new community also includes 20 apartments for families in the Bridges to Housing program. ('Bridges' is a regional effort helping families that have been homeless move into housing and provide them with support services to help stabilize their lives.)

During the construction/contracting process, HAP's construction managers exceeded agency goals by ensuring 40% of all work was completed by Disadvantaged, Minority, Women or Emerging Small Businesses as certified by the state. In addition, 58% of all hours worked on site were completed by women and minority workers. More than 80% of demolition and construction debris was recycled, including re-use of old masonry as structural fill. Humboldt Gardens has Portland's first public-private storm water swale-water from public streets co-mingles with the runoff from the family housing resulting in 100% on-site storm water management. All new buildings have high-efficiency double-paned windows, Energy Star appliances and interior lights, and blown-in insulation. The mixed-use building has sun shades on south-facing windows. Dual-flush toilets reduce water use, as do low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators. The application for (US Green Building Council) LEED certification of the mixed-use building is in progress.

[Photo 3: Humboldt Gardens]HAP officially celebrated the grand opening of Humboldt Gardens with a community celebration on Tuesday, September 9 to show case their new development and thank their partners. Lease up began in June 2008 and all units are now occupied. CONGRATULATIONS TO HAP ON THEIR BEAUTIFUL NEW COMMUNITY!!

Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC)
PIH-REAC System Upgrade Release Schedule:
Friday, October 24, 2008 - 8 P.M. Eastern Time

With the March 2, 2007 release of Secure Systems, HUD has implemented an upgraded program for security, and has changed the URL for logging in. Please update all bookmarks to use the Secure System - Online Systems web page.

Please be familiar with the Rules of behavior for HUD systems. In granting you access to HUD's automated information resources you are expected to safeguard the information. As a condition of receiving this access, you are required to be aware of the HUD's system security policies and to abide by these policies. (See Rules of behavior for HUD systems.)

Voucher Management System: A Brief Overview
The Voucher Management System (VMS) supports the information management needs and functions performed by the Financial Management Center (FMC) and the Financial Management Division (FMD) of the Office of Public and Indian Housing and the Real Estate Management Center (PIH-REAC).

VMS's primary purpose is to provide a central system to monitor and manage the Public Housing Agency (PHAs) use of vouchers. The VMS collects PHA data that enables HUD to fund, obligate, and disburse funding in a timely manner, based on actual PHA use.

Because VMS is the primary tool used by the FMC/FMD for these functions, it is important for PHAs to submit timely and accurate data. The FMC has a page on the hud.gov website (www.hud.gov/offices/pih/centers/fmc/highlights.cfm) that routinely provides VMS submission reminders and any changes to reporting criteria. It is a good page to place in your [frequently checked] browser bookmarks.

A short scan of the current "What's New" reveals that new instructions for VMS system administration were released by the FMC a little over 3 months ago. The current instruction manual is dated May 2008 and corresponds to VMS release 4.6. The 4.6 release supplanted release 8.0 due to a numbering error by the system administrators.

Additionally, the HCV Quality Assurance Division (QAD) has conducted more than 100 VMS reviews in FFY2008. These reviews have provided a number of opportunities for PHAs to receive technical assistance from the reviewer. There are however, many PHAs who have not had this opportunity. To date, the most common errors across the nation include:

  • Using guidance from previously issued users manuals. The newest release (4.6, dated May 2008) includes major revisions in the manner in which data is to be submitted.
  • Accrual Reporting. Many PHAs are not following HAP expense reporting rules as listed in Appendix A, page 138 of the manual.
    • "All HAP expense data is to be reported in the voucher categories below as of the first day of the month. HAP expenses should be entered under the month to which they apply rather than under the month in which they are paid. A separate line item at the end of the section collects HAP costs incurred for new contracts effective after the first of the month."

These issues are in current discussion both in the field and at the FMC & FMD. Remember the "What's New" link provided above and you will be kept aware of any changes or notifications to the VMS program.

Top 10 form 50058 Errors
(By frequency of occurrence during the last 3 months)

Rank Error No. Count Error Message Solution
1 4174 38,090 No 50058 data for this Head of Household exist. At least one New Admission or Historical Adjustment record should be present for any other Action Types to be accepted Upload an action 1 or 14 to establish the household.
2 4080 36,707 A record with a later Effective Date exists in the database VOID the later one or make this effective date later.
3 4046 20,247 The submitted combination of Building Number, Building Entrance Number & Unit Number does not exist for selected development number Verify the development, building, entrance and unit numbers exist. Check the Development Mapping Report in Housing Authority
4 4044 19,039 Building Number, Building Entrance Number & Unit Number should be vacant in case of New Admission, Historical Adjustment, or Other Change of Unit Submit the LIPH move-out before the move-in.
5 5332 17,347 The SSN/AID in this household appears in other households. Please refer to Chapter 5 of Technical Reference Guide (TRG) for instructions to submit Form 50058 for this SSN. Check the Possible Dupe Tenant Report in Tenant ID Mgt to determine other agency. Coordinate with other agency mgt to decide who is in error.
6 4042 15,157 Head of Household or Former Head of Household SSN should be same as the one existing for this Building Number, Building Entrance Number & Unit Number If changing Head of Household (HOH), put new one as HOH and put former HOH SSN in field 3W (first report of HOH change only).
7 4176 14,135 This SSN has been found to be Invalid upon verification with Social Security Administration. Please refer to Chapter 5 of Technical Reference Guide (TRG) for instructions to submit Form 50058 for this SSN. There can be up to a 4-month delay between filing at local SSA office and national validation.
8 4182 11,851 A record is already present for this Head of Household. New Admission can not be accepted Probably a duplicate submission. Ignore.
9 5326 11,543 This SSN has been found to have an incorrect last name upon verification with Social Security Administration. Please refer to Chapter 5 of Technical Reference Guide (TRG) for instructions to submit Form 50058 for this SSN. Ask the tenant if he/she has used other last names or changed the way they spell it. Tell him/her to request verification at the SSA office.
10 4186 9,994 A record is already present for this Household. Historical Adjustment cannot be accepted Probably a duplicate submission. Ignore.

Special Offers and Rebates from Energy Star Partners
To encourage purchase of energy-efficient products, ENERGY STAR partners occasionally sponsor special offers such as sales tax exemptions, credits, or rebates on qualified products. The ENERGY STAR website has search capability that identifies local opportunities to reduce the purchase price of specific ENERGY STAR products. The search is provided as a service to consumers to find special offers or rebates where they exist, based on information that partners submit to ENERGY STAR. Enter the local zip code to find out if there are any special offers or rebates currently available on ENERGY STAR qualified products in a specific area. PHAs must follow established procurement requirements when making purchases using special offers. (Reference: PIH Notice 2007-30)

Energy Audit Requirements
All PHAs shall complete an energy audit for each PHA-owned project under management, not less than once every five years. Standards for energy audits shall be equivalent to State standards for energy audits. Energy audits shall analyze all of the energy conservation measures, and the payback period for these measures, that are pertinent to the type of buildings and equipment operated by the PHA. (Reference: 24 CFR 965.302)

Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs)
The use of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) is on the rise. Over 290 million CFLs were sold in 2007- more than double the 2006 number. They now make up 20% of the U.S. light bulb market, and growing. The reasons are simple. They last about 10 times longer and use 75 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs.

Some Public Housing Authorities are changing all their bulbs to CFLs and experiencing significant energy savings. However, people should be aware that CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, less than 5 milligrams per bulb. Mercury is a naturally occurring metal that accumulates in the body and can harm the nervous system of a fetus or a young child if ingested in sufficient quantity. No mercury is emitted when compact fluorescents are intact, but a small amount is vaporized if they break, posing a small risk of mercury poisoning to infants, young children and pregnant women.

Overall, the advantages of CFLs far outweigh their disadvantages. Even though they contain mercury, since they are so much more efficient, CFLs are responsible for less mercury entering the atmosphere than incandescent bulbs.

For the complete story, please visit www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/ph/phecc/newsletter/jun08.pdf

REAC Readiness - Prevalence Reports
REAC provides Prevalence Reports periodically to all Executive Directors based on the last REAC inspection. Included in this report is a spreadsheet comparing common systemic deficiencies percentages for your specific PHA interpolated against a historical database of inspection results and Exigent Health and Safety findings.

Make use of this helpful planning tool in developing maintenance, repair and modernization programs for your PHA!

REAC Inspections Under Asset Management
Beginning with PHA fiscal years ending June 30, 2008 and after, REAC PASS will conduct inspections on the basis of a PHA's AMPs.

PHAs that have already begun (or are in the process of beginning) to manage their properties according to AMPs must provide the REAC inspector with the most recent rent roll showing all occupied and unoccupied units on the basis of each ACC (PIC) development as well as the configuration for each such development (the buildings, site, common areas, etc.) before the PHA established the AMP configurations.

REMINDER: All Exigent Health and Safety (EHS) violations must be certified online through the REAC website. For certification instructions, see PIH Notice 2004-04.

PIH Information and Resource Center
HUD's Public and Indian Housing Information and Resource Center (PIH-IRC) was created to serve as a central source of information for all programs operated by the Office of Public and Indian Housing.

The PIH Customer Service Center is designed to provide information to the general public, Public Housing Agencies, Public and Indian Housing residents, members of resident associations, recipients of Housing Choice Voucher assistance, housing professionals, members of local Boards of Commissioners, landlords and HUD staff on various aspects of Public, Indian and Assisted Housing Programs.

Please contact the PIH Customer Service Center through our toll-free number at 1 (800) 955-2232 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST) daily Monday through Friday, except for Federal holidays.

Plan Ahead
The Annual PHA Plan is due 75 days prior to commencement of the PHA's fiscal year. A PHA's schedule for plan development should build in sufficient time for the following: submission of the plan by the due date; the 45-day public review period; the public hearing and incorporation of public comments received on the plan; and obtaining the proper signed certifications and board certification. A PHA must begin the process of plan development well ahead of the due date for submission!

Action Jan. 1
FY Start
April 1
FY Start
July 1
FY Start
Oct. 1
FY Start
Begin preparations for developing PHA Plan, including compiling information and obtaining a copy of the jurisdiction's Consolidated Plan May Aug. Nov. Feb.
Draft Plan developed for discussion with partners Mid-July Mid-Oct. Mid-Jan. Mid-April
Notice of hearing and Plan on file for review Mid-Aug. Mid-Nov. Mid-Feb. Mid-May
Public Hearing First week of Oct. First week of Jan. First week of April First week of July
PHA Plan due Mid-Oct. Mid-Jan. Mid-April Mid-July

Plan Resources
For complete information on PHA Plan requirements, submission procedures, guidance and PH Notices, visit: www.hud.gov/offices/pih/pha/index.cfm

Maximize Leverage

Capital Fund Financing Program
HUD's Capital Fund Financing (CFFP) represents a viable development strategy for your PHA. CFFP can even be combined with Low Income Housing Tax Credits (commonly referred to as "lights.") See complete CFFP information.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credits
The IRS allocates LIHTC to State Housing Credit Agencies (HCAs). HCAs award those LIHTC to for-profit and non-profit affordable housing developers, including PHAs. Developers use the equity capital generated from the sale of LIHTC to lower the debt burden on tax credit properties, making it easier to offer more affordable housing. Many states also offer LIHTC which can be combined with federal LIHTC to foster even more affordable housing!

LIHTC developments set aside either 40 percent of units for residents earning no more than 60 percent of the area's median income, or 20 percent of the units for residents earning 50 percent or less of the area's median income. Units are subject to rent restrictions regarding the maximum gross rent that can be charged, including an allowance for utilities. Units must be restricted to occupancy by income-eligible households for at least 30 years.

CFFP + LIHTC = Maximum Leverage
Consider what combining CFFP and LIHTC could mean to your PHA. HUD's LIHTC database contains comprehensive information on 27,410 projects and 1,530,000 affordable housing units placed into service using LIHTC between 1987 and 2005.

Find info on upcoming Maximizing Leveraging Conferences.

Recently Published Guidance
For a complete list of Federal Register and PIH Notices published, please visit HUDCLIPS

Federal Register
Date Issued Purpose
09/04/08 Notice of Proposed Information Collection for Public Comment; Capital Fund
08/21/08 Eligibility of Students for Assisted Housing under Section 8 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937; Conforming Amendment to Include Students with Disabilities Receiving Assistance as of November 30, 2005
08/21/08 Public Housing Evaluation and Oversight: Changes to the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) and Determining and Remedying Substantial Default
08/21/08 Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS): Asset Management Transition Year Information and Uniform Financial Reporting Standards (UFRS) Information
08/05/08 Streamlining Public Housing Programs
07/24/08 Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Comment Request; Moving to Work Demonstration: Elements for the Annual MTW Plans and Annual MTW Reports
07/10/08 OIG Fraud Alert: Bulletin on Charging Excess Rent in the Housing Choice Voucher Program
06/26/08 HOPE VI Main Street Grants Notice of Funding Availability
06/12/08 Notice of HUD's Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 General Section and FY2008 SuperNOFA for HUD's Discretionary Grant Programs; Correction
06/12/08 Proposed Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2009
06/06/08 Public Housing Financial Management Template
05/23/08 Public Housing Admissions/Occupancy Policies and Procedures
05/23/08 Public Housing Inventory Removal Application
05/19/08 Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers: Implementation of HUD-VA Supportive Housing Program--Correction
05/12/08 Fiscal Year 2008 SuperNOFA for HUD's Discretionary Programs
 
PIH Notices
PIH Notice No. Date Issued Purpose
2008-35 08/20/08 Cost Test & Market Analysis Guidelines for the Voluntary Conversion of PH Units
2008-34 08/14/08 Public Housing Operating Subsidy Calculations for Calendar Year (CY) 2009
2008-33 08/13/08 Instructions for operating subsidy calculation submissions in Calendar Year (CY) 2009 as funded from Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2009 appropriations.
2008-32 08/08/08 Recipient inspection requirements for housing assisted under Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act, the United States Housing Act of 1937, and housing units under the control of Indian Housing Block Grant.
2008-31 07/17/08 Operating Fund Program: Guidance on Demonstration of Successful Conversion to Asset Management to Discontinue the Reduction of Operating Subsidy, Year 3 Applications
2008-30 07/14/08 Income exclusion of Kinship Guardian Assistant Payments (Kin-GAP) and other guardianship care payments
2008-29 07/08/08 Extension of the Disaster Voucher Program (DVP)
2008-28 07/02/08 Extension - Housing Choice Voucher Program - Enhanced Vouchers - Adjustment of Voucher Housing Assistance Payments for Certain Families that Received "Preservation" Voucher Assistance as the Result of an Owner Prepayment or Voluntary Termination of Mortgage Insurance for a Preservation Eligible Property in Federal Fiscal Years 1997-1999
2008-27 07/02/08 PIH 2007-15 (HA) Regarding the Applicability of Public Housing Development Requirements to Transactions between Public Housing Agencies and their Related Affiliates and Instrumentalities
2008-26 06/24/08 Income exclusion under temporary employment by U.S. Census Bureau
2008-25 06/11/08 Renewable energy and green construction practices in Public Housing
2008-24 05/29/08 Extension - Guidance on Integrated Pest Management
2008-23 05/16/08 Exclusion of tax rebates from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.

PIH Letters
No new letters published since 2007-05.

E-MEMOS (electronic memoranda)
Sent from Seattle HUB:
08/26/08 Region Wide Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Coordinator Meeting/Workshop
08/19/08 Financial Data Schedule (FDS) Training, consolidation to August 27th
08/11/08 Financial Data Schedule (FDS) Training Aug. 20th and 27th
Sent from Portland FO:
08/20/08 Financial Data Schedule (FDS) Training, consolidation to August 27th
08/11/08 Financial Data Schedule (FDS) Training August 20th and 27th
07/28/08 Difficulties Submitting Grants.gov Applications
05/28/08 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Homeownership Training
05/22/08 Demo/Dispo Training on May 29, 2008 - Opportunity to Participate via Webinar

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

FYE 3/31PHAs
01/17/09 PHA Plan Submission (CFP Performance and Evaluation Reports must be included in PHA Plan)
05/30/09 SEMAP Submission due in PIC (60 days after FYE)
06/30/09 Unaudited FASS for FYE 3-31-09 submission due to REAC - Low rent PHAs
 
FYE 6/30 PHAs
01/24/09 Unaudited FASS for FYE 06-30-2008 submission date to REAC - Low rent PHAs
03/31/09 Audited FASS for FYE 6-30-08 submission due to REAC
03/31/09 One Copy of IPA Audit due to Field Office with Management letter, Corrective Action Plan, and other relevant written communications. See PIH Notice 2006-15.
04/17/09 PHA Plan Submission (CFP Performance and Evaluation Reports must be included in PHA Plan)
 
FYE 9/30 PHAs
01/24/09 Unaudited FASS for FYE 09-30-2008 submission date to REAC - Low rent PHAs
06/30/09 Audited FASS for FYE 09-30-08 submission due to REAC
06/30/09 One Copy of IPA Audit due to Field Office with Management letter, Corrective Action Plan, and other relevant written communications. See PIH Notice 2006-15.
07/18/09 PHA Plan Submission. (CFP Performance Evaluation Reports must be included in PHA Plan.)
 
FYE 12/31 PHAs
09/30/08 Audited FASS for FYE 12-31-07 submission due to REAC
09/30/08 One Copy of IPA Audit due to Field Office with Management letter, Corrective Action Plan, and other relevant written communications. See PIH Notice 2006-15.
10/18/08 PHA Plan Submission
03/31/09 Unaudited FASS for FYE 12-31-08 submission due to REAC - Low rent PHAs
02/28/09 SEMAP Submission due in PIC (60 days after FYE)
 
Upcoming Training
09/26/08 Regional FSS Conference, 9:00 AM-4:30 PM, Vancouver Housing Authority
Every Month 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
Every Month 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
Quarterly 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.
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).
  90 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.

Lead Based Paint Reporting
Lead Based Paint concerns may be brought to the attention of PHAs from a public health department or a medical health care provider. PHAs are required to report each known case of a child with Environmental Intervention Blood Lead Level (EIBLL) to the HUD Field Office using form HUD-52850 (Annual Lead-Based Paint Activity Report) for pre-1978 developments in the low-rent public housing program 30 days after fiscal year end (24 CFR Part 35.1130(e) and under the HCV program regulations (24 CFR Part 35.1225(f)). See complete details for compliance with the Lead Safe Housing Rule

Stay Current
Access a calendar of upcoming energy events around the country as well as HUD energy webcasts. Visit the Public Housing Environmental Conservation Clearinghouse website frequently and stay current!

Northwest Notes Newsletter
Our Northwest Notes Newsletter is issued quarterly and is intended to provide helpful information and share knowledge about Public Housing programs throughout the Northwest/Alaska Public Housing family.

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