Recent HUD COVID-19 Guidance Affecting PHAs and Multifamily Owners
As public housing authorities (PHAs) and multifamily housing owners grapple with protecting their residents, employees and stakeholders amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, HUD has issued several pieces of guidance in recent days that impact public housing, Section 8 and multifamily housing. Among the current guidance is the following:
- Resident Health and Safety of Resident Communities. While HUD acknowledges that PHAs, multifamily owners, and management agents have a number of concerns about protecting their resident communities, they mostly defer to the CDC and local health organizations for guidance on quarantines and other measures that may be taken. HUD does direct multifamily stakeholders to Chapter 38 of Handbook 4350.1, Multifamily Asset Management and Project Servicing, which covers Multifamily emergency and disaster guidance. HUD also urges PHAs and others to create a clear plan for managing situations of resident COVID-19 infection or if local quarantine directives are issued, and recommends a number of considerations that could be included in those plans.
- RAD Transactions and Closings. HUD has indicated that current Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) transaction processing is not anticipated to change as staff move to telework. Deadline extensions may be requested if capital needs assessments cannot be conducted due to the pandemic. For RAD closings, HUD anticipates that it will be able to execute and notarize documents that need to be recorded in public records. HUD will distribute documents electronically or by mail to the extent practicable. Ballard Spahr will keep clients updated if HUD changes its requirements for RAD closings.
- HUD Competitive Procurement Requirements. For PHAs and other recipients using HUD funds, competitive procurement requirements typically apply. HUD reminds PHAs that existing regulations at 2 CFR Part 200.320 already authorize sole-source, noncompetitive proposals in emergency situations. PHAs that use this authorization for appropriate situations will want to ensure that they follow (and document following) all sole-source procurement requirements. Ballard Spahr also reminds HUD recipients that the small purchase thresholds for purchase are now $250,000 (subject to state or local law limitations). If recipients have implemented these thresholds, many procurement needs may also be covered using the small purchase procedures.
- Suspension of HUD Inspections and Certain Reviews
- All HUD Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) inspections for public housing and multifamily housing programs are suspended. However, HUD may still conduct inspections in the event of exigent circumstances impacting health and safety.
- All Management and Occupancy Reviews (MOR) for multifamily housing are suspended until the applicable performance based contract administrator can determine that local conditions do not limit or prevent the safe completion of an MOR.
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