As we follow the news of Hurricane Michael, our thoughts are with those in the storm’s path. CLPHA stands ready to work in support of low-income Americans impacted by the disaster and, as we have in the past, will advocate for HUD and FEMA programs such as DHAP and CDBG-DR that provide funds to assist recovery efforts.
On Wednesday, October 3, Congress passed the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018 (FAA), which included $1.68 billion in in Community Development Block Grant- Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding to help with recovery efforts from Hurricane Florence.
On September 12, HUD released a notice on expedited regulatory waiver review for PHAs in disaster areas impacted by Hurricanes Florence. HUD has issued similar waiver opportunities following previous hurricanes including Katrina, Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as Superstorm Sandy.
PHAs covered by MDDs (major disaster declarations) related to Florence can apply for expedited waivers to provide relief from HUD regulatory and/or administrative requirements that may otherwise delay recovery efforts. Key waiver flexibilities listed in the notice include, but are not limited to:
- Waiving the Family Self-Sufficiency minimum program size for up to 24 months
- Extension of financial (audited and unaudited) information reporting dates
- Temporary revisions to tenant selection policies or Section 8 administrative plan that would address circumstances unique to relief and recovery efforts
- Waiving certain requirements related to public notice when opening tenant-based waiting lists
- Allowing PHAs to carry forward previous SEMAP scores
- Extension of deadline for obligations and expenditure of Capital Funds
- Allowing PHAs to receive operating subsidies for disaster-affected units
- Waiver of inspection and scoring requirements under PHAS
- Allowing all Capital Fund Replacement Housing Factor Grants with undisbursed balances to be used for public housing replacement/modernization.
- Waiving certain requirements related to environmental review, TPVs, and Total Development Costs (TDCs) for demo/dispo applicants
- Request of exception payment standards up to 150% of FMR without supporting data
PHAs in disaster-affected areas that wish to apply for waivers should send their request to PIHDisasterRelief@hud.gov. HUD has developed a checklist (Attachment A of the notice) that MDD PHAs must complete and submit, along with requested documentation. PHAs can also request a waiver of a HUD requirement that is not listed in the notice and receive expedited review if the PHA can document that the waiver is needed for relief and recovery purposes. If written documentation is not possible, the PHAs can submit other forms of documentation.