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UPDATED – Rights of Federally-Assisted Residents during the Government Shutdown

NHLP has prepared a memo detailing the legal implications of the government shutdown. This memo provides an overview of the impact of the shutdown on tenants in the various federally-assisted housing programs, including ways you can talk to clients about their legal rights. View NHLP’s memo here. Read More »

UPDATE: NHLP Litigation

NHLP has updated its litigation webpage. Read More »

LIHTC Preservation and Compliance

Compliance Although LIHTC properties must commit to at least 30 years of affordability, they are only subject to a 15-year “compliance period.” This is the period of time where the tax credits that have been given to developers can be taken away or “re-captured” if the property fails to comply with LIHTC regulations. A re-capture is only used in extreme cases. During the following 15 years (or more) the property is still required to maintain affordability and comply with LIHTC rules and regulations. However, without the ability to take back the credits, the state allocating agencies do not have much of an enforcement arm in which to ensure compliance. The IRS has not issued guidance regarding this issue. However, state... Read More »

Advocating for changes in your state through the QAP process

Becoming involved in the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) process is a way to advocate for changes to the LIHTC program in your state. Each state tax credit allocating agency develops a QAP to set priorities and criteria for how it will award tax credits taking into account the affordable housing needs of the state. Every state agency must review their QAP annually. The reviews must be properly noticed and include a public hearing and an opportunity for public comment. A QAP may contain either preferences or set-asides to ensure that its priorities are met. With preferences, a housing finance agency awards extra points when scoring applications to proposals that meet certain desired characteristics, such as longer use restrictions or deeper... Read More »

LIHTC and the Violence Against Women Act

The 2013 amendments of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) explicitly extended VAWA’s protections to applicants of and tenants in LIHTC properties. However, the IRS has failed to issue any regulations or guidance on VAWA implementation for the LIHTC program. Some state tax credit allocating agencies have taken steps to implement VAWA. This has led to a state-by-state variation in the implementation of VAWA protections in the LIHTC program. This report provides a state-by-state analysis of LIHTC VAWA implementation. For more information on VAWA’s housing protections, see NHLP’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Project. Read More »

LIHTC Tenant Protections

Good Cause for Eviction Owners of LIHTC properties must have good cause to evict tenants. The good cause requirement provides an important tool to ensure that low-income tenants can remain in their homes. Some states such as California have implemented the good cause requirement by requiring all LIHTC properties to have a good cause lease rider and providing all tenants with a letter informing them of their rights. Other States, such as Massachusetts and Wisconsin, reference good cause in LIHTC regulatory agreements. However, many state tax credit allocating agencies have entirely failed to implement the good cause requirement. Advocates can and should work with agencies to implement good cause because of the important due process protections it provides to tax... Read More »

LIHTC Admissions, Rents, and Grievance Procedures

Admissions To qualify for admission, applicants must fall within the unit’s income limits. This is usually 50% or 60% of the AMI (Area Median Income). In addition, LIHTC owners cannot discriminate against voucher families and must accept Section 8 voucher tenants. Unlike the HUD housing programs, there are no immigration restrictions for admission to LIHTC properties. However, a restriction may apply if the property receives funding from a source outside of the LIHTC program. LIHTC properties must comply with the Fair Housing Act and cannot deny admission based on membership in a protected class. Rents LIHTC rents are not based on a tenant’s income. Instead, rent is set by the use restriction tied to the unit. This means that a... Read More »

HUD Mortgage Programs

HUD’s multifamily mortgage programs remain an important source of affordability. Two such programs include the Section 236 program, and the Section 221(d)(3) Below Market Interest Rate (BMIR) program. In these programs, HUD provided mortgage insurance and an interest rate subsidy to private housing providers in exchange for these owners providing affordable units to low-income families by restricting rents and occupancy. While no new units are being created under these programs, thousands of these units still exist. Rents in these properties are budget-based, meaning that rent is determined by the operating cost at the property. Some tenants may also receive rental assistance, whereby their contribution is based upon their income (usually 30 percent of adjusted income). Read More »

Public Housing Authority Local Policies

Overseen by a locally appointed board of commissioners, PHAs have discretion to adopt local policies and procedures that do not conflict with federal laws and regulations. These policies and procedures are incorporated into the PHA Plan, Administrative Plan, and the Admission and Continued Occupancy Plan (ACOP). What is the PHA Plan? The Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 (QHWRA) devolved responsibility for administering public housing and voucher programs to local PHAs. In exchange for the increased authority given to PHAs, QHWRA required that PHAs develop a PHA Plan that must be approved by HUD. The PHA Plan includes certain limited information and policies for the PHA’s administration of its public housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Section... Read More »

Moving To Work

In 1996, Congress authorized the Moving to Work Demonstration program. The program allows selected public housing authorities (PHAs) to design and test ways to promote self-sufficiency among assisted families, achieve programmatic efficiency and reduce costs, and increase housing choice for low-income households. There are roughly 38 PHAs participating in the MTW demonstration program. In 2016, Congress expanded the demonstration to include 100 additional PHAs. Participating PHAs may waive many statutory requirements otherwise applicable to the public housing and Voucher program. PHAs favor the program but tenants and advocates have had a mixed response depending on which rules are waived and the effect of the changes on the lowest income families. NHLP continues to monitor the expansion of the program as... Read More »