Seventeen months after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, public housing agencies (PHAs) have been forced to quickly adjust their operational policies and procedures to protect their staff, residents and property owners, while continuing provide critical to housing supports. Many PHAs also embarked on providing new services to ensure residents had reliable access to public health information, food for the most vulnerable residents, and technology to support remote education and connect isolated senior residents with distant family and friends. Efforts like these would have been difficult to implement without the allowance of regulatory and statutory waivers for Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher (including Mainstream and Mod Rehab), Indian Housing Block Grant and Indian Community Development Block Grant programs.
In May 2021, the Urban Institute published a brief detailing insights from 10 PHAs on how certain regulatory and statutory waivers have granted public housing programs more operational flexibility than under normal circumstances. As the eviction crisis looms with the expiration of the CDC Eviction Moratorium on July 31, 2021, CLPHA is resurfacing this report to highlight certain permanent regulatory and statutory waivers that CLPHA continues to advocate are necessary for PHAs to continue to be responsive as the COVID-19 lingers on.
Among the regulatory and statutory waivers granted in Notice PIH 2021-14 (supersedes Notices PIH 2020-33; PIH 2020-13; PIH 2020–05), the brief summarizes that PHA leaders recommend the following waivers become permanent:
- Remote hearings and briefings;
- Family income self-certification and the ability to forgo third-party income verification requirements; and
- Extensions of voucher search term.
Click here to review the full brief, Public Housing Programs Could Benefit from Greater Flexibility: Learning from the COVID-19 Pandemic Experience.