HUD Issues HOTMA Implementation Guidance
HUD recently published in the Federal Register the initial implementation guidance for the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act (HOTMA). HOTMA, which President Obama signed into law in July, makes several modifications to housing assistance programs. The programs included in HOTMA include public housing, Housing Choice Vouchers, moderate rehabilitation, HOME investment partnership, Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS, and other programs.
HUD’s guidance clarifies which statutory provisions went into effect immediately upon the president signing HOTMA into law and which provisions will be phased in as HUD promulgates further regulations.
HOTMA provisions in effect since the law’s enactment include:
- Allowing PHAs to establish a payment standard of up to 120 percent of the Fair Market Rent (FMR) as a reasonable accommodation for a person with a disability without first getting HUD approval;
- A modified method for publishing FMRs and receiving comments;
- A provision that allows children aging out of foster care to receive assistance for 36 months, rather than the previous limit of 18 months;
- Exempting certain jurisdictions from the PHA resident board member requirement;
- Authorizing local governments that receive Emergency Solutions Grants funds to sub-award all or a portion of those funds to PHAs; and
- Considering the Disaster Housing Assistance Program to be a program of HUD for the purpose of income verifications.
Several other HOTMA provisions will require further rulemaking or guidance before becoming effective. These include changes to the frequency of family income reviews and the calculation of income under Section 8 programs, as well as changes to initial inspections and housing quality standards enforcement requirements in voucher units.