Feature Articles

Implementing Integrated Pest Management

March 28, 2017    

By Carolyn E. Zezima, Esq.

Controlling pests is an essential aspect of maintaining your site in a safe and healthy condition as well as complying with HUD physical inspection standards. Pest infestations create significant health risks for people and can result in a pretty big...

How to Avoid Fair Housing Problems When Applicants and Residents Use Wheelchairs

March 10, 2017    

Federal fair housing law bans discrimination against people on the basis of disability. And mobility impairment is a disability under the law. So if you or your staff treat mobility-impaired applicants and residents in a discriminatory manner, you’re violating the law.

HUD Provides Guidance to PHAs on Implementing Smoke-Free Public Housing Rule

March 10, 2017    

HUD recently published Notice PIH-2017-03, which provides guidance to public housing agencies (PHAs) regarding the implementation and enforcement of smoke-free policies as required by HUD’s final rule prohibiting smoking in public housing. The effective date of the rule is Feb. 3, 2017,...

Five Dos & Don'ts for Calculating Income from 'Gig Economy' or Irregular Employment

February 10, 2017    

With the rising popularity of online services that match freelance labor and local demand, you may find that an increasing number of applicants or residents are earning their income from Uber and other “gig” companies like Lyft and TaskRabbit. These companies hire their workers as...

FTC Issues Screening Guidance for Owners

February 10, 2017    

Screening for credit and rental history are among the list of permitted screening criteria commonly used by owners [HUD Handbook 4350.3, par. 4-7(F)]. The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued new guidance for owners who use background checks to screen tenants to help them comply with the...

PHA Verification Procedures When Noncitizen Claims VAWA Protections

February 10, 2017    

HUD recently issued a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) notice relating to noncitizen self-petitioner procedures under VAWA. This notice applies to public housing, Housing Choice Voucher assistance (including project-based vouchers), and Section 8 Mod Rehab.

Nine Requirements to Charge Sites for Frontline Retirement Plan Costs

January 13, 2017    

Offering a retirement account plan, such as a 401(k) plan, for your frontline on-site staff is a good way to attract and keep quality employees. And HUD lets you charge your contributions to these plans, as well as related administrative costs, to your site’s operating account.

HUD Posts Model Forms for VAWA Compliance

January 13, 2017    

HUD’s final rule implementing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013 was published in November 2016. The final rule details the requirements for HUD-covered programs and became effective on Dec. 16, 2016.

VAWA 2013 maintains protections for public housing,...

Save Time by Knowing When to Deal Directly with HAP Contract Administrator

December 13, 2016    

Your site’s Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) contract may be administered by a contract administrator other than your HUD field office. In these cases, where HUD isn’t the contract administrator, the HUD field office is responsible for monitoring the contract administrator...

Take Five Steps to Keep Residents' Grievances from Becoming Formal Complaints or Lawsuits

December 13, 2016    

Even if you have a solid fair housing policy, train your employees well, and apply your policies consistently, misunderstandings and mistakes can occur. Despite your best efforts, a resident may complain to you that you’ve treated him unfairly in violation of fair housing laws. The...

Best Practices for Complying with HUD’s Criminal Background Check Guidance

November 15, 2016    

This year, HUD and the courts have brought much attention to possible Fair Housing Act violations from criminal screening policies. In April, HUD issued guidelines that spell out how HUD will evaluate fair housing complaints in cases where a site rejects an applicant based on criminal history....

Include Five Items in Your Nonpayment Stipulations to Ensure Effective Settlements

November 15, 2016    

When you settle an eviction case involving nonpayment of rent, you and your resident must sign an agreement that’s reviewed and approved by the court. In a typical agreement, the resident agrees to pay back rent and charges according to a set payment schedule.