MEMORANDUM FOR: Owners and Agents of HUD Assisted Housing
FROM: Joe Crisafulli, Asset Management Division Director, Boston Satellite Office.
SUBJECT: Assistance for Residents Impacted by the Recent Hurricanes
It has come to our attention that persons displaced from the recent Hurricanes will be arriving soon. Owners and agents are reminded that Chapter 38 of HUD Handbook 4350.1 provides important guidance for assisting residents of HUD-assisted housing displaced in a Presidentially Declared Disaster. Specifically:
38-21. PRIORITY FOR TEMPORARY AND PERMANENT RENTAL HOUSING
Displaced residents may be moved to the top of the waiting list in Section 221(d) and 236 projects for temporary or permanent rental housing as long as the residents are displaced and are FEMA certified as disaster victims. This preference is only available after a Disaster has been declared by the President.
Federal statue and HUD regulations require that PDD displaced residents be given priority over other applicants for either temporary or permanent housing in all multifamily properties currently insured under sections 221(d)(3), 221(d)(4) and 221(d)(3) BMIR and 236 programs (See HUD handbook 4350.3 REV-1, chapter 4, paragraph 4-6). The term of this requirement is for 18 months from FEMA’s publication of the PDD declaration, unless extended by Congress. The PDD displaced resident is required to provide their FEMA certification to qualify for priority on the waiting list and must also be eligible for the unit (cannot be over or under housed). An owner should maintain the same waiting list preferences that were in place prior to the PDD except for the preference priority for the 18-month period referenced above. This is a one-time preference per PDD.
When a displaced resident secures temporary housing using this preference rule and they decide to remain in the unit and not return to the unit which they occupied at the time of the disaster they are considered permanently housed. They lose their right to return to the unit they occupied at the time of the disaster when it is repaired, and they are no longer afforded any preference.
38-22. MULTIPLE OCCUPANTS IN A UNIT
The Department will allow multiple occupants who were displaced to live in the same apartment unit provided it does not create a health and safety problem. Only FEMA-certified displaced residents can move in with families and friends occupying HUD-assisted units on a temporary basis, provided that the host household obtains the project owner’s approval.
In the case of a project based Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) assisted unit, if a current, eligible family chooses to allow a non-eligible, but FEMA-certified individual/family to move into the unit on a short-term basis, the non-eligible family is considered a guest. A multifamily project owner may allow the eligible family to house the guest(s) for a limited period (e.g., 90 days) without interruption of the subsidy. Residence by the eligible family is the predicate for continuation of the Section 8 subsidy. As a condition of approval the “guest” must endorse a lease addendum (see Appendix A-9). Should the eligible family move out, the “guest” must vacate also.
38-23. LEASES AND RENTS FOR NON-PERMANENT RESIDENTS
Owners with displaced persons to be housed under these temporary housing measures in available vacant units should have the family or individual execute a 30-day renewable lease. Subject to state and local law, the lease should have a provision which states that the lease terminates when the resident’s permanent housing becomes available or when FEMA no longer certifies a resident’s FEMA eligibility. Rents for these temporary housing units must be set at the rents that were in effect immediately prior to the Presidential declaration. In the event the rents are more than the FEMA-approved rental assistance, the resident is responsible for paying the difference.
38-24. USE OF COMMUNITY SPACE
Owners are encouraged to allow community space, kitchens, restrooms and other facilities to be used as shelters or disaster recovery-related activities. However, use of these areas should be balanced to not overly disturb current residents or significantly interfere with the use by current residents.
38-31. OTHER REGULATORY/POLICY RELIEF
C. Occupancy Requirements – Program occupancy requirements do not apply for residents who are afforded temporary housing. Certain exceptions for 202/811 are covered immediately below in Section D.
D. Vacant Units – Owners are encouraged to hold vacant units off the market in anticipation of providing temporary housing to FEMA-certified displaced residents. However, for Section 202/811 projects, vacant units can only be provided for temporary housing for FEMA-certified displaced residents, if there is no waiting list of otherwise eligible tenants. If a former Section 8 unit is used to house someone displaced by the PDD, he/she must pay market rent.