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BHHC ACOP - Chapter 16

Chapter 16

PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION

INTRODUCTION                                                                          

This chapter discusses administrative policies and practices that are relevant to the activities covered in this ACOP. The policies are discussed in seven parts as described below:

 

Part I: Setting Utility Allowances. This part describes how utility allowances are established and revised. Also discussed are the requirements to establish surcharges for excess consumption of PHA-furnished utilities.

 

Part II: Establishing Flat Rents and Public Housing Maximum Rents. This part describes the requirements and policies related to establishing and updating flat rent amounts and public housing maximum rents.

 

Part III: Repayment of Family Debts. This part contains policies for recovery of monies that have been underpaid by families, and describes the circumstances under which the PHA will offer repayment agreements to families. Also discussed are the consequences for failure to make payments in accordance with a repayment agreement.

 

Part IV: Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS). This part describes the PHAS indicators, how PHAs are scored under PHAS, and how those scores affect a PHA.

Part V: Record-Keeping. All aspects of the program involve certain types of record-keeping. This part outlines the privacy rights of applicants and participants and record retention policies the PHA will follow.

 

Part VI: Reporting and Record Keeping for Children with Environmental Intervention Blood Lead Level. This part describes the PHA’s reporting responsibilities related to children with environmental intervention blood lead levels that are living in public housing.

 

Part VII: Violence against Women Act (VAWA): Notification Documentation, Confidentiality. This part contains key terms used in VAWA and describes

requirements related to notifying families about their rights and responsibilities under VAWA; requesting documentation from victims of domestic violence, sating violence, and stalking; and maintaining the confidentiality of information obtained from victims. 

 Revised 2011/SH

PART I: SETTING UTILITY ALLOWANCES [24 CFR 965 Subpart E]

16-I.A. OVERVIEW

PHAs must establish allowances for PHA-furnished utilities for all check metered utilities and for resident-purchased utilities for all utilities purchased directly by residents from a utility supplier [24 CFR 965.502(a)].

PHAs must also establish surcharges for excess consumption of PHA-furnished utilities [24 CFR 965.506].

The PHA must maintain a record that documents the basis on which utility allowances and scheduled surcharges are established and revised, and the record must be made available for inspection by residents [24 CFR 965.502(b)].

16-I.B UTILITY ALLOWANCES

The PHA must establish separate allowances for each utility and for each category of dwelling units the PHA determines to be reasonably comparable as to factors affecting utility usage [24 CFR 965.503].

The objective of a PHA in establishing utility allowances for each dwelling unit category and unit size is to approximate a reasonable consumption of utilities by an energy-conservative household of modest circumstances consistent with the requirements of a safe, sanitary, and healthful living environment [24 CFR 965.505].

Utilities include gas, electricity, fuel for heating, water, sewerage, and solid waste disposal for a dwelling unit. In addition, if the PHA does not furnish a range and refrigerator, the family must be granted a utility allowance for the range and refrigerator they provide [24 CFR 965.505].

Costs for telephone, cable/satellite TV, and internet services are not considered utilities [PH Occ GB, p. 138].

Utility allowance amounts will vary by the rates in effect, size and type of unit, climatic location and sitting of the unit, type of construction, energy efficiency of the dwelling unit, and other factors related to the physical condition of the unit.  Utility allowance amounts will also vary by residential demographic characteristics affecting home energy usage [PH Occ GB, p. 138].

Chapter 14 of the PH Occupancy Guidebook provides detailed guidance to the PHA about establishing utility allowances.

Air-Conditioning

“If a PHA installs air conditioning, it shall provide, to the maximum extent economically feasible, systems that give residents the option of choosing to use air conditioning in their units. The design of systems that offer each resident the option to choose air conditioning shall include retail meters or check meters, and residents shall pay for the energy used in its operation. For systems that offer residents the option to choose air conditioning but cannot be check metered, residents are to be surcharged in accordance with 965.506. If an air conditioning system does not provide for resident option, residents are not to be charged, and these systems should be avoided whenever possible.” [24 CFR 965.505(e)].

 

BHHC Policy

BHHC has installed air-conditioning in only two developments 10/2 Harbor Towers and

10/5 scattered site units.

 

Utility Allowance Revisions [24 CFR 965.507]

The PHA must review at least annually the basis on which utility allowances have been established and must revise the allowances if necessary in order to adhere to the standards for establishing utility allowances that are contained in 24 CFR 965.505.

The PHA may revise its allowances for resident-purchased utilities between annual reviews if there is a rate change, and is required to do so if such change, by itself or together with prior rate changes not adjusted for, results in a change of 10 percent or more from the rate on which the allowance was based.

Adjustments to resident payments as a result of such changes must be retroactive to the first day of the month following the month in which the last rate change taken into account became effective.

 

BHHC Policy

Between annual reviews of utility allowances, BHHC will only revise its utility allowances due to a rate change, when required to by the regulation.

 16-I.C. SURCHARGES FOR PHA-FURNISHED UTILITIES [24 CFR 965.506]

For dwelling units subject to allowances for PHA-furnished utilities where check meters have been installed, the PHA must establish surcharges for utility consumption in excess of the allowances. Surcharges may be computed on a straight per unit of purchase basis or for stated blocks of excess consumption, and must be based on the PHA’s average utility rate. The basis for calculating the surcharges must be described in the PHA’s schedule of allowances. Changes in the amount of surcharges based directly on changes in the PHA’s average utility rate are not subject to the advance notice requirements discussed under 16-I.D.

For dwelling units served by PHA-furnished utilities where check meters have not been installed, the PHA must establish schedules of surcharges indicating additional dollar amounts residents will be required to pay by reason of estimated utility consumption attributable to resident-owned major appliances or to optional functions of PHA-furnished equipment. The surcharge schedule must state the resident-owned equipment (or functions of PHA-furnished equipment) for which surcharges will be made and the amounts of such charges. Surcharges must be based on the cost to the PHA of the utility consumption estimated to be attributable to reasonable usage of such equipment.

 

BHHC Policy

BHHC does have PHA-furnished utilities. BHHC will charge a surcharge for air-conditioner usage at Harbor Towers.

16-I.D. NOTICE REQUIREMENTS [965.502]

The PHA must give notice to all residents of proposed allowances and scheduled surcharges, and revisions thereof. The notice must be given in the manner provided in the lease and must:

·          Be provided at least 60 days before the proposed effective date of the allowances, scheduled surcharges, or revisions.

·          Describe the basis for determination of the allowances, scheduled surcharges, or revisions, including a statement of the specific items of equipment and function whose utility consumption requirements were included in determining the amounts of the allowances and schedule of surcharges.

·          Notify residents of the place where the PHA’s documentation on which allowances and surcharges are based is available for inspection.

·          Provide all residents an opportunity to submit written comments during a period expiring not less than 30 days before the proposed effective date of the allowances, scheduled surcharges, or revisions.

16-I.E. REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION [24 CFR 965.508]

On request from a family that includes a disabled or elderly person, the PHA must approve a utility allowance that is higher than the applicable amount for the dwelling unit if a higher utility allowance is needed as a reasonable accommodation to make the program accessible to and usable by the family [PH Occ GB, p. 172].

Likewise, residents with disabilities may not be charged for the use of certain resident-supplied appliances if there is a verified need for special equipment because of the disability [PH Occ GB, p. 172].

See Chapter 2 for policies regarding the request and approval of reasonable accommodations.

PART II: ESTABLISHING FLAT RENTS AND
PUBLIC HOUSING MAXIMUM RENTS

16-II.A. OVERVIEW

Flat rents are designed to encourage self-sufficiency and to avoid creating disincentives for continued residency by families who are attempting to become economically self-sufficient.

Public housing maximum rents are needed to prorate assistance for a mixed family. A mixed family is one whose members include those with citizenship or eligible immigration status, and those without citizenship or eligible immigrations status [24 CFR 5.504].

This part discusses how the PHA establishes and updates flat rents and public housing maximum rents. Policies related to the use of flat rents, family choice of rent, flat rent hardships, and public housing maximum rents are discussed in Chapter 6.

16-II.B. FLAT RENTS [24 CFR 960.253(b)]

Establishing Flat Rents

Flat rents for public housing units are based on the market rent charged for comparable units in the private unassisted rental market. The flat rent should be equal to the estimated rent for which the PHA could promptly lease the public housing unit after preparation for occupancy.

The PHA must use a reasonable method to determine flat rents. In determining flat rents, PHAs must consider the following:

·          Location

·          Quality

·          Unit size

·          Unit type

·          Age of property

·          Amenities at the property and in immediate neighborhood

·          Housing services provided

·          Maintenance provided by the PHA

·          Utilities provided by the PHA


Review of Flat Rents

The PHA must ensure that flat rents continue to mirror market rent values [24 CFR 960.253(b)].

 

BHHC Policy

BHHC will review flat rents on an annual basis, and adjust them as necessary to ensure that flat rents continue to mirror market rent values.

 

Posting of Flat Rents

 

BHHC Policy

BHHC will publicly post the schedule of flat rents in a conspicuous manner in the applicable BHHC or project office.

 

Documentation of Flat Rents [24 CFR 960.253(b)(5)]

The PHA must maintain records that document the method used to determine flat rents, and that show how flat rents were determined by the PHA in accordance with this method.

16-II.C. PUBLIC HOUSING MAXIMUM RENTS

Establishing Public Housing Maximum Rents

PHAs are prohibited from making financial assistance available to persons who are not citizens or nationals of the United States, and to those who do not have eligible immigration status [24 CFR 5.500]. Therefore, in order to assist mixed families, PHAs must prorate assistance. Public housing maximum rents are needed in order to calculate the tenant rent for a mixed family.

The public housing maximum rent is based on value of the 95th percentile of the total tenant payment (TTP) for each tenant within the PHA. PHAs may calculate a maximum rent on either a PHA- or project wide basis. A separate maximum rent can be provided for each separate project or projects may be combined into logical groups, if appropriate. HUD recommends that a single project basis be avoided for a project unless at least 50 dwelling units are involved.

PHAs may use the “direct comparison” or the “unit distribution” method for establishing the public housing maximum rents for each unit size. Appendix H, of Guidebook 7465.G, Restrictions on Assistance to Noncitizens provides detailed guidance on how to establish public housing maximum rents using the methodologies identified above.

Review of Public Housing Maximum Rents

 

BHHC Policy

BHHC will recalculate the public housing maximum rents on an annual basis.

Posting of Public Housing Maximum Rents

 

BHHC  Policy

BHHC will publicly post the schedule of public housing maximum rents in a conspicuous manner in the applicable BHHC or project office.

Documentation of Public Housing Maximum Rents

 

BHHC  Policy

BHHC will maintain records that document how BHHC determined the 95th percentile of TTP, whether the maximum rent was determined BHHC-wide, project-wide, or with groupings of projects, and the methodology used to determine maximum rents for each unit size.

PART III: FAMILY DEBTS TO THE PHA

16-III.A. OVERVIEW

This part describes the PHA’s policies for recovery of monies owed to the PHA by families.

BHHC Policy

When an action or inaction of a resident family results in the underpayment of rent or other amounts, BHHC holds the family liable to return any underpayments to BHHC.

BHHC will enter into repayment agreements in accordance with the policies contained in this part as a means to recover overpayments. The term repayment agreement refers to a formal document signed by a tenant and provided to BHHC in which a tenant acknowledges a debt in a specific amount and agrees to repay the amount due at specific time periods.

When a family refuses to repay monies owed to BHHC, BHHC will utilize other available collection alternatives including, but not limited to, the following:

Collection agencies

Small claims court

Civil law suit

State income tax set-off program

16-III.B. REPAYMENT POLICY

Family Debts to the PHA

BHHC Policy

Any amount due to BHHC by a public housing family must be repaid. If the family is unable to repay the debt within 30 days, BHHC will offer to enter into a repayment agreement in accordance with the policies below.

If the family refuses to repay the debt, dose not enter into a repayment agreement, or breaches a repayment agreement, BHHC will terminate the family’s tenancy in n accordance with the policies in Chapter 13. BHHC will also pursue other modes of collection.

In accordance with PIH Notice 2010-09 and 2010-19 debt owed to a PHA when reported in the EIV System may be available to other agencies.  Debt reported in EIV may cause denial of Federal Housing assistance.

Repayment Agreement Guidelines

Down Payment Requirement

BHHC Policy

Prior to the execution of a repayment agreement with a family, BHHC will generally require a down payment of 10 percent of the total amount owed.  If the family can provide evidence satisfactory to BHHC that a down payment of 10 percent would impose a undue hardship, BHHC may at the Executive Directors sole discretion require a lesser percentage or waive the requirement.

Payment Thresholds

Notice PIH 2010-19 recommends that the total amount that a family must pay each month- the family’s monthly share of rent plus the monthly debt repayment amount-should not exceed 40 percent of the family’s month adjusted income, which is considered “affordable.”  Moreover, Notice PIH 2010-19 acknowledges that PHAs have the discretion to establish “thresholds and policies” for repayment agreement with families.                                          [24 CFR 982.552(c)(1)(vii)].

BHHC Policy

If the family is paying less than 40 percent of its monthly adjusted income (MAI) in rent, the minimum monthly payment amount will be the greater of the following two amounts:

The difference between 40 percent of the family’s MAI and the total family share at the time the agreement is executed

If the family can provide evidence satisfactory to BHHC that a monthly payment amount of $25.00 would impose a undue hardship, BHHC may at the Executive Directors sole discretion require a lower monthly payment amount.

If the family’s income increases or decreases during the term of a repayment agreement either BHHC or the family may request that the monthly payment amount be adjusted accordingly.

All BHHC repayment agreements will have the following timeline:

§   Amounts between $3,000 and the Federal or State threshold for criminal prosecution must be repaid within 36 months.

§   Amounts between $2,000 and $2,999 must be repaid within 30 months.

§   Amounts between $1,000 and $1,999 must be repaid within 24 months.

§   Amounts under $1,000 must be repaid within 12 months.


Execution of the Agreement

BHHC Policy

Any repayment agreement between BHHC and the family must be signed and dated by BHHC representative and by the head of household and spouse/cohead (if applicable).

Due Dates

BHHC Policy

All payments are due by the close of business on the 15th day of the month. If the 15th does not fall on a business day, the due date is the close of business on the first business day after the 15th.

Late or Missed Payments

BHHC Policy

If payment is not received by the end of business day on the date due, and prior approval for the missed payment has not been given by BHHC, BHHC will send the family a delinquency notice giving the family 10 business days to make the late payment.  If the payment is not received by the due date of the delinquency notice, it will be considered a breach of the agreement and BHHC will terminate tenancy in accordance with the policies in Chapter 13.

If a family receives three delinquency notices for unexcused late payments in a 12-month period, the repayment agreement will be considered in default, and BHHC will terminate tenancy in accordance with the policies in Chapter 13. 

Non-Payment

BHHC Policy

If a payment is not received by the end of the business day on the date due, and prior approval for the missed payment has not been given by BHHC, BHHC will send the family a delinquency notice giving the family 10 business days to make the late payment. If the payment is not received by the due date of the delinquency notice, it will be considered a breach of the agreement and BHHC will terminate tenancy in accordance with the policies in Chapter 13.

If a family receives three delinquency notices for unexcused late payments in a 12 month period, the repayment agreement will be considered in default, and BHHC will terminate tenancy in accordance with the policies in Chapter 13.

No Offer of Repayment Agreement

BHHC Policy

BHHC will not enter into a repayment agreement with a family if there is already a repayment agreement in place with the family, or the amounts owed by the family exceed the Federal or State threshold for criminal prosecution.


Repayment Agreements Involving Improper Payments

 Notice PIH 2010-19 requires certain provisions to be included in any repayment agreement involving amounts owed by a family because it underreported or failed to report income:

§   A reference to the items in the public housing lease that state the family’s obligation to provide true and complete information at every reexamination and the grounds on which the  PHA may terminate assistance because of a family’s action or failure to act

§   A statement clarifying that each month the family not only must pay to the PHA the monthly payment amount specified in the agreement but must also pay to the owner the family’s monthly share of the rent to owner

§   A statement that the terms of the repayment agreement may be renegotiated if the family’s income decreases or increases

§   A statement that late or missed payments constitute default of the repayment agreement and may result in termination of tenancy

BHHC Policy

BHHC repayment agreement will clearly indicate the provisions as indicated in PIH Notice 2010-19.

Offer of Repayment Agreement

BHHC Policy

BHHC will not enter into a repayment agreement with a family if there is already a repayment agreement in place with the family, or the amounts owed by the family exceed the Federal or State threshold for criminal prosecution.


PART IV: PUBLIC HOUSING ASSESSMENT SYSTEM (PHAS)

16-IV.A. OVERVIEW

The purpose of the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) is to improve the delivery of services in public housing and enhance trust in the public housing system among PHAs, public housing residents, HUD and the general public by providing a management tool for effectively and fairly measuring the performance of a public housing agency in essential housing operations. 

16-IV.B. PHAS INDICATORS [24 CFR 902 Subparts A, B, C, D, and E]

The table below lists each of the PHAS indicators, the points possible under each indicator, and a brief description of each indicator. A PHA’s performance is based on a combination of all four indicators.

 

Indicator 1: Physical condition of the PHA’s properties

Maximum Score: 40

·          The objective of this indicator is to determine the level to which a PHA is maintaining its public housing in accordance with the standard of decent, safe, sanitary, and in good repair.

·          To determine the physical condition of a PHA’s properties, inspections are performed of the following five major areas of public housing: site, building exterior, building systems, dwelling units, and common areas. The inspections are performed by an independent inspector arranged by HUD, and include a statistically valid sample of the units in the PHA’s public housing portfolio.

Indicator 2: Financial condition of a PHA

Maximum Score: 25

·          The objective of this indicator is to measure the financial condition of a PHA for the purpose of evaluating whether it has sufficient financial resources and is capable of managing those financial resources effectively to support the provision of housing that is decent, safe, sanitary, and in good repair.

·          A PHA’s financial condition is determined by measuring each public housing project’s performance in each of the following subindicators: quick ratio, months expendable net assets ratio, and debt service coverage ratio.

 

 

Indicator 3: Management operations of a PHA

Maximum Score: 25

·          The objective of this indicator is to measure certain key management operations and responsibilities of a PHA for the purpose of assessing the PHA’s management operations capabilities.

·          Each project’s management operation are assessed based on following subindicators: occupancy tenant account receivables, account payables.

·          An on site management review may be conducted as a diagnostic and feedback tool for problem performance areas, and for compliance.  Management reviews are not scored.

 

Indicator 4: Capital Funds

Maximum Score: 10

·          The objective of this indicator is to measure how long it takes the PHA to obligate capital funds and to occupy units.

·          The PHA’s score for this indicator is measured at the PHA level and is based on the following subindicators: timeliness of fund obligation and occupancy rate. 

 


16-IV.C. PHAS SCORING [24 CFR 902.63 and 902.67]

HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) issues overall PHAS scores, which are based on the scores of the four PHAS indicators, and the subindicator under each indicator. The PHA’s indicator scores are based on weighted average of the PHA’s public housing projects’ scores. PHAS scores translate into a designation for each PHA as high performing, standard, or troubled.

A high performer is a PHA that achieves an overall PHAS score of 90 or greater, and achieves a score of at least 60 percent of the points available under the physical, financial, and management indicators and at least 50 percent of the points available under the capital fund indicator.

A standard performer is a PHA that has an overall PHAS score between 60 and 89, and achieves a score of at least 60 percent of the points available under the physical, financial, and management indicators and at least 50 percent of the points available under the capital fund indicator.

A substandard performer is a PHA that has an overall PHAS score between 60 and 89, and achieves a score of less than 60 percent under one or more of the physical, financial, or management indicators.  

A troubled performer is a PHA that achieves an overall PHAS score of less than 60, or achieves less than 50 percent of the total points available under the capital fund indicator.

These designations can affect a PHA in several ways:

·          High-performing PHAs are eligible for incentives including relief from specific HUD requirements and bonus points in funding competitions [24 CFR 902.71].

·          PHAs that are standard performers may be required to submit and operate under a corrective action plan to eliminate deficiencies in the PHA’s performance [24 CFR 902.73(a)(1)].

·          PHAs that are substandard performers will be required to submit and operate under a corrective action plan to eliminate deficiencies in the PHA’s performance [24 CFR 902.73(a)(2)]

·          PHAs with an overall rating of  “troubled” are subject to additional HUD oversight, and are required to enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with HUD to improve PHA performance [24 CFR 902.75].

·          PHAs that fail to execute or meet MOA requirements may be referred to the Assistant Sectary to determine remedial actions, including, but not limited to, remedies available for substantial default [24 CFR 902.75(g) and 24 CFR Part 907].

PHAs must post a notice of its final PHAS score and status in appropriate conspicuous and accessible locations in its offices within two weeks of receipt of its final score and designation [24 CFR 902.64(b)(2)].


PART V: RECORD KEEPING

16-V.A. OVERVIEW

The PHA must maintain complete and accurate accounts and other records for the program in accordance with HUD requirements, in a manner that permits a speedy and effective audit. All such records must be made available to HUD or the Comptroller General of the United States upon request.

In addition, the PHA must ensure that all applicant and participant files are maintained in a way that protects an individual’s privacy rights.

16-V.B. RECORD RETENTION

The PHA must keep the last three years of the Form HUD-50085 and supporting documentation during the term of each assisted lease, and for a period of at least three years from the end of participation (EOP) date

 [24 CFR 908.101]

BHHC Policy

During the term of each public housing tenancy, and for at least five years thereafter,  BHHC will keep all documents related to a family’s eligibility, tenancy, and termination.

In addition, BHHC will keep the following records for at least five years:

An application from each ineligible family and notice that the applicant is not eligible
Lead-based paint records as required by 24 CFR 35, Subpart B
Documentation supporting the establishment of flat rents and the public housing maximum rent
Documentation supporting the establishment of utility allowances and surcharges
Documentation related PHAS
Accounts and other records supporting PHA budget and financial statements for the program
Other records as determined by BHHC or as required by HUD 

If a hearing to establish a family’s citizenship status is held, longer retention requirements apply for some types of documents. For specific requirements, see Section 14-II.A.

16-V.C. RECORDS MANAGEMENT

PHAs must maintain applicant and participant files and information in accordance with the regulatory requirements described below.

BHHC Policy

All applicant and participant information will be kept in a secure location and access will be limited to authorized BHHC staff.

BHHC staff will not discuss personal family information unless there is a business reason to do so. Inappropriate discussion of family information or improper disclosure of family information by staff will result in disciplinary action.

 In addition, BHHC will ensure that all applicant and participant information and files are                           maintained in a secure locked file cabinet in a way that protects an individual’s privacy rights.

Applicant files will not be shared with a database nor provided to any related entity, except where written permission by the applicant is given to BHHC.

Applications will be stored for no less than (5) five years.   If the applicant is determined to be eligible, the criminal history report shall be shredded as soon as the applicant is housed.  The file will be noted that a Criminal Background check was performed.  Applicant denied housing, due to an unfavorable criminal background history.  The file will be noted with the statement adverse reporting.  The actual report will be kept in a separate locked file cabinet.  The information will only be retained during the allotted time limit granted by BHHC’s grievance procedures.  Once the time limit has expired and if there has been no request made by the applicant for a hearing, the record will be shredded.  BHHC will shred negative criminal background reports.

Privacy Act Requirements [24 CFR 5.212 and Form-9886]

The collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of social security numbers (SSN), employer identification numbers (EIN), any information derived from these numbers, and income information of applicants and participants must be conducted, to the extent applicable, in compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974, and all other provisions of Federal, State, and local law.

Applicants and participants, including all adults in the household, are required to sign a consent form, HUD-9886, Authorization for Release of Information. This form incorporates the Federal Privacy Act Statement and describes how the information collected using the form may be used, and under what conditions HUD or the PHA may release the information collected.

Upfront Income Verification (UIV) Records

PHAs that access UIV data through HUD’s Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) System are required to adopt and follow specific security procedures to ensure that all EIV data is protected in accordance with Federal laws, regardless of the media on which the data is recorded (e.g. electronic, paper). These requirements are contained in the HUD issued document,

Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) System, Security Procedures for Upfront Income Verification (UIV) Data.

BHHC Policy

Prior to utilizing HUD’s EIV system, BHHC will adopt and implement EIV security procedures required by HUD.

Criminal Records

The PHA may only disclose the criminal conviction records which the PHA receives from a law enforcement agency to officers or employees of the PHA, or to authorized representatives of the PHA who have a job-related need to have access to the information [24 CFR 5.903(e)].

The PHA must establish and implement a system of records management that ensures that any criminal record received by the PHA from a law enforcement agency is maintained confidentially, not misused or improperly disseminated, and destroyed, once the purpose for which the record was requested has been accomplished, including expiration of the period for filing a challenge to the PHA action without institution of a challenge or final disposition of any such litigation [24 CFR 5.903(g)].

The PHA must establish and implement a system of records management that ensures that any sex offender registration information received by the PHA from a State or local agency is maintained confidentially, not misused or improperly disseminated, and destroyed, once the purpose for which the record was requested has been accomplished, including expiration of the period for filing a challenge to the PHA action without institution of a challenge or final disposition of any such litigation. This requirement does not apply to information that is public information, or is obtained by a PHA other than under 24 CFR 5.905.

Medical/Disability Records

PHAs are not permitted to inquire about the nature or extent of a person’s disability. The PHA may not inquire about a person’s diagnosis or details of treatment for a disability or medical condition. If the PHA receives a verification document that provides such information, the PHA should not place this information in the tenant file. The PHA should destroy the document.

PART VI: REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR CHILDREN WITH ENVIRONMENTAL INTERVENTION BLOOD LEAD LEVEL

16-VI.A. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS [24 CFR 35.1130(e)]

The PHA has certain responsibilities relative to children with environmental intervention blood lead levels that are living in public housing.

The PHA must report the name and address of a child identified as having an environmental intervention blood lead level to the public health department within 5 business days of being so notified by any other medical health care professional. The PHA must also report each known case of a child with an environmental intervention blood lead level to the HUD field office.

 

BHHC Policy

BHHC will provide the public health department written notice of the name and address of any child identified as having an environmental intervention blood lead level.

BHHC will provide written notice of each known case of a child with an environmental intervention blood level to the HUD field office within 5 business days of receiving the information.

PART VII: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT (VAWA): NOTIFICATION, DOCUMENTATION, CONFIDENTIALITY

16-VII.A. OVERVIEW

The Violence against Women Act of 2005 (VAWA) provides special protection of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking who are applying for or receiving assistance under the public housing program,  If your state or local laws provide greater protection for such victims, those laws take precedence over VAWA.

In addition to definitions of key terms used in VAWA, this part contains general VAWA requirements and PHA policies in three areas: notification, documentation, and confidentiality.  Specific VAWA requirements and PHA policies are located in Chapter 3, “Eligibility” (sections 3-I.C and 3-III.F); Chapter 5 “Occupancy Standards and Unit Offers “ ( section 5-II. D); Chapter 8, “Leasing and Inspections” (section 8-I.B); Chapter 12, “Transfer Policy” (section 13-III.F and 13-IV.D).

16-VII.B. DEFINITIONS

As used in VAWA:

·          The term bifurcate means, with respect to a public housing or Section 8 lease, to divide a lease as a matter of law such that certain tenants can be evicted or removed while the remaining family members’ lease and occupancy rights are allowed to remain intact.

·          The term dating violence means violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors:

-          The length of the relationship

-          The type of relationship

-          The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship

·          The term domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

·          The term immediate family member means, with respect to a person:

-          A spouse, parent, brother or sister, or child of that person, or an individual to whom that person stands in the position or place of a parent; or

-          Any other person living in the household of that person and related to that person by blood and marriage.

·          The term stalking means:

-          To follow, pursue, or repeatedly commit acts with the intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate; or

-          To place under surveillance with the intent to kill, injure, harass, or intimidate another person; and

-          In the course of, or as a result of, such following, pursuit, surveillance, or repeatedly committed acts, to place a person in reasonable fear of the death of, or serious bodily injury to, or to cause substantial emotional harm to (1) that person, (2) a member of the immediate family of that person, or (3) the spouse or intimate partner of that person.

16-VII.C. NOTIFICATION [24 CFR 5.2005(a)]

Notification to the Public

The PHA adopts the following policy to help ensure that all actual and potential beneficiaries of is public housing program are aware of their rights under VAWA.

 

BHHC Policy

BHHC will post the following information regarding VAWA in its offices and on its Web site.  It will also make the information readily available to anyone who request it.

A summary of the rights and protection provided by VAWA to public housing applicants and residents who are or have been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking (see notice Exhibit 16-1)

The definition of domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking provided in VAWA (included in Exhibit 16-1)

An explanation of the documentation that the PHA may require from an individual who claims the protection provided by VAWA                          (included in Exhibit 16-1)

A copy of HUD-50066, Certification of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, or Stalking

A statement of BHHC’s obligation to keep confidential any information that is received from a victim unless (a) BHHC has the victims written permission to release the information, (b)it needs to use the information in a eviction proceeding, or (c) it is compelled by law to release the information (included in Exhibit 16-1)

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1800-799-SAFE (7322) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) (included in Exhibit 16-1)

Contact Information for local victim advocacy groups or service providers

NOTIFICATION TO APPLICANTS AND TENANTS [24 CFR 5.2005(A)(1)]

PHAs are required to inform public housing tenants of their rights under VAWA, including their rights to confidentiality and the limits thereof.  Since VAWA provides protection for applicants as well as tenants, PHAs may elect to provide the same information to applicants.

BHHC Policy

BHHC will provide all applicants with information about VAWA t the time they request an application for housing assistance.  The PHA will also include such information in all notices of denial od assistance (see Section 3-III.F).

BHHC will provide all tenants with information about VAWA at the time of admission (see Section 8-I.B) and at annual reexamination.  BHHC will also include such information in all lease termination notices (see Section 13-IV.D).

The VAWA information provided to applicants and tenants will consist of the notice in Exhibit 16-I and a copy of form HUD-50066, Certification of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking. 

 Datinnotification of their protections and rights under VAWA at the time they request an application for housing assistance.

The notice will explain the protections afforded under the law, inform each applicant of BHHC confidentiality requirements, and provide contact information for local victim advocacy groups or service providers.

BHHC will also include in all notices of denial a statement explaining the protection against denial provided by VAWA (see section 3-III.F).

16-VII.B. NOTIFICATION TO TENANTS [Pub.L. 109-162]

VAWA requires PHAs to notify tenants assisted under public housing of their rights under this law, including their right to confidentiality and the limits thereof.

BHHC Policy

BHHC will provide all tenants with notification of their protections and rights under VAWA at the time of admission and at annual reexamination.

The notice will explain the protections afforded under the law, inform the tenant of BHHC confidentiality requirements, and provide contact information for local victim advocacy groups or service providers.

BHHC will also include in all lease termination notices a statement explaining the protection against termination or eviction provided by VAWA (see Section 13-IV.D).

 

Revised by Sheila Hill 2012/Benton Harbor Housing Commission
Prepared By:
Sheila Hill 
Nan McKay and Associates Inc. 
 
AMENDMENT VAWA POLICY
FINAL GUIDANCE – FEDERAL REGISTER – OCTOBER 27, 2010
BENTON HARBOR HOUSING COMMISSION AMENDS ITS
PUBLIC HOUSING AGENCY PLAN
 
The authority citation for part 903 continues to read as follows:
 
 Authority:  42 U.S.C. 1437c; 42 U.S.C. 3535(d).
 
Amend Sec.  903.6 to revise paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:
 
Sec.  903.6  What information must a PHA provide in the 5-Year Plan?
 
(3) A statement about goals, activities, objectives, policies, or 
programs that will enable a PHA to serve the needs of child and
adult victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual
assault, or stalking.
* * * * *
Amend Sec.  903.7 to revise paragraph (m)(5) to read as follows:
Sec.  903.7  What information must a PHA provide in an annual plan?
 
(5) A statement of any domestic violence, dating violence, 
sexual assault, and stalking prevention programs:
 
(i) A description of any activities, services, or programs provided 
or offered by an agency, either directly or in partnership with
other service providers, to child or adult victims of domestic
violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
 
(ii) Any activities, services, or programs provided or offered by a 
PHA that help child and adult victims of domestic violence, dating
violence, sexual assault, or stalking to obtain or maintain housing; and
 
(iii) Any activities, services, or programs provided or offered by a 
PHA to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault,
or stalking, or to enhance victim safety in assisted families.
* * * * 

 

AMENDMENT VAWA POLICY
FINAL GUIDANCE – FEDERAL REGISTER – OCTOBER 27, 2010
BENTON HARBOR HOUSING COMMISSION AMENDS ITS
ADMISSION AND CONTINUED OCCUPANCY PLAN
 
The authority citation for part 960 continues to read as follows:
 
 Authority:  42 U.S.C. 1437a, 1437c, 1437d, 1437n, 1437z-3, and  3535(d).
 
Amend Sec.  960.103 to revise the section heading and paragraph (d)  to 
read as follows:
 
Sec.  960.103  Equal opportunity requirements and protection for victims of 
domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking.
 
* * * * *
(d) Protection for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, 
or stalking. The PHA must apply 24 CFR part 5, subpart L in all
applicable cases where there is involved or claimed to be
involved incidents of, or criminal activity related to, domestic
violence, dating violence, or stalking.
 
Amend Sec.  960.200 to revise paragraph (b)(8) to read as follows:
 
Sec.  960.200  Purpose.

* * * * *
 (8) Protection for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, 
or stalking, 24 CFR part 5, subpart L.
 
Amend Sec.  960.203 to revise paragraph (c)(4) to read as follows:
 
Sec.  960.203  Standards for PHA tenant selection criteria.
 
* * * * *
(4) PHA tenant selection criteria are subject to 24 CFR part 5, 
subpart L, protections for victims of domestic violence, dating
violence, or stalking.
 
* * * * *

AMENDMENT VAWA POLICY
FINAL GUIDANCE – FEDERAL REGISTER – OCTOBER 27, 2010
BENTON HARBOR HOUSING COMMISSION AMENDS ITS
LEASE AND GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
 
The authority citation for part 966 continues to read as follows:
 
Authority:  42 U.S.C. 1437d and 3535(d).
 
In Sec.  966.4, revise paragraph (a)(1) and paragraph (e) to read as follows:
 
Sec.  966.4  Lease requirements.
 
* * * * *
                    (a) Parties, dwelling unit and term. (1) The lease shall state:
                    
                    (i) The names of the PHA and the tenant;
 
(ii) The unit rented (address, apartment number, and any other 
information needed to identify the dwelling unit);
 
(iii) The term of the lease (lease term and renewal in accordance 
with paragraph (a)(2) of this section);
 
(iv) A statement of what utilities, services, and equipment are to 
be supplied by the PHA without additional cost, and what utilities
and appliances are to be paid for by the tenant;
 
(v) The composition of the household as approved by the PHA 
(family members and any PHA-approved live-in aide). The family
must promptly inform the PHA of the birth, adoption, or
court-awarded custody of a child. The family must request
PHA approval to add any other family member as an occupant
of the unit;
 
(vi) HUD's regulations in 24 CFR part 5, subpart L, apply, if a 
current or future tenant is or becomes a victim of domestic
violence, dating violence, or stalking, as provided in
24 CFR part 5, subpart L.
* * * * *

(e) The PHA's obligations. The lease shall set forth the PHA's 
obligations under the lease, which shall include the following:
                    
                    (1) To maintain the dwelling unit and the project in decent, safe, 
and sanitary condition;
(2) To comply with requirements of applicable building codes, 
housing codes, and HUD regulations materially affecting health
and safety;
(3) To make necessary repairs to the dwelling unit;
 
(4) To keep project buildings, facilities, and common areas, not 
otherwise assigned to the tenant for maintenance and upkeep,
in a clean and safe condition;
 
(5) To maintain in good and safe working order and condition 
electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, and other
facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required
to be supplied by the PHA;
 
(6) To provide and maintain appropriate receptacles and facilities 
(except containers for the exclusive use of an individual tenant
family) for the deposit of ashes, garbage, rubbish, and other
waste removed from the dwelling unit by the tenant in
accordance with paragraph (f)(7) of this section;
 
(7) To supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot 
water and reasonable amounts of heat at appropriate times of
the year (according to local custom and usage), except where
the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law
to be equipped for that purpose, or where heat or hot water is
generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the
tenant and supplied by a direct utility connection; and
 
(8)(i) To notify the tenant of the specific grounds for any 
proposed adverse action by the PHA. (Such adverse action
includes, but is not limited to, a proposed lease termination,
transfer of the tenant to another unit, or imposition of charges
for maintenance and repair, or for excess consumption of
utilities.)
 
(ii) When the PHA is required to afford the tenant the opportunity 
for a hearing under the PHA grievance procedure for a
grievance concerning a proposed adverse action:
 
(A) The notice of proposed adverse action shall inform the
 tenant of the right to request such hearing. In the case of a
lease termination, a notice of lease termination, in accordance
with paragraph (l)(3) of this section, shall constitute adequate
notice of proposed adverse action.
 
(B) In the case of a proposed adverse action other than a 
proposed lease termination, the PHA shall not take the proposed
action until the time for the tenant to request a

grievance hearing has expired, and (if a hearing was timely 
requested by the tenant) the grievance process has been
completed.
 
(9) To consider lease bifurcation, as provided in 24 CFR 5.2009, 
in circumstances involving domestic violence, dating violence,
or stalking addressed in 24 CFR part 5, subpart L.
* * * * *

Copyright 2008 Benton Harbor Housing Commission 721 Nate Wells sr Drive, Benton Harbor, MI 49022