Skip to Main Content
04/16/2020

COVID-19 Housing Choice Program Waivers

Waivers and alternative requirements the Cocoa Housing Authority is adopting and the impact the waivers and alternative requirements has on the resident and owner.

Date: April 16,2020

Subject: Waivers for Housing Choice Voucher Program Rules and Regulations

Guidance

  • PIH Notice 2020-05 - COVID-19 Statutory and Regulatory Waivers Requested for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and the Section Eight Management Assessment Program
  • State of Florida, Executive Order Number 20-52 declaring a state of emergency of the entire State of Florida as a result of COVID-19
  • CHA Resolution 211-Approving Policy and Procedural Changes in Reaction to the COVID-19 Pandemic

WAIVERS AND ALTERNATIVE REQUIREMENTS

  1. Family Income and Composition: Delayed and Annual Examinations

    HUD will allow PHAs to delay annual reexaminations of HCV. All annual recertification's due in CY 2020 must be completed by December 31, 2020.

  2. Family Income and Composition: Income Verification requirements

    HUD is waiving the requirement that PHAs must use the income hierarchy described by PIH Notice 2018-18. HUD will allow PHAs to forgo third-party income verification requirements for annual reexaminations, including the use of EIV, if a PHA opts to conduct annual recertification's rather than delaying them.

    CHA will use the self-certification as the highest form of income verification to process annual reexamination. This may occur over the telephone and will be documented for the written record by staff, through an email or postal mail with a self-certification form by the tenant, or through email. Income and family composition examinations and certifications do not have to be conducted in-person.

    This waiver is requested through July 31, 2020

  3. Family Income and Composition: Interim Examinations

    HUD is waiving the requirements to use the income hierarchy described by PIH Notice 2018-18 and is allowing PHAs to forgo third-party income verifications, including EIV.

    CHA will consider self-certification as the highest form of income verification for interim reexaminations. Interim reexaminations are not required to be held in-person.

    This waiver is requested through July 31, 2020

  4. Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) Monitoring

    HUD is waiving mandatory EIV requirements found in PIH Notice 2018-18 through July 31, 2020

  5. Waiting List: Opening and Closing: Public Notice

    HUD is waiving the requirement that PHAs must give public notice of opening a wait list by publication in a local newspaper and by minority media and other suitable means through July 31, 2020.

    CHA will provide public notice of an open waitlist for the Mainstream Grant program in a voicemail message on its main or general information telephone number and through our website. This message will meet applicable fair housing requirements. (The message will duplicate the public newspaper we would have published).

  6. Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspections

    CHA understands that any inspections delayed under any of these waivers will be done on the units as soon as reasonably possible, when it is safe to do so.

  7. Initial Inspection Requirements

    CHA may rely on the owner's certification that the owner has no reasonable basis to have knowledge that life-threatening conditions exist in the unit instead of conducting an initial inspection. CHA will conduct the HQS inspection on the units as soon as reasonable possible, but no later than October 31, 2020.

    CHA will accept self-certifications until July 31, 2020

  8. Initial Inspection: Non-Life-Threatening Deficiencies (NLT) Option

    A PHA has the option to approve an assisted tenancy for units that fail HQS with non-life threatening conditions, as long as PHAs withhold housing assistance payment from the owner if the non-life threatening failing conditions are not corrected within 30 days.

    CHA will now extend the requirement from 30 days to 60 days to correct any non-life-threatening conditions.

  9. HQS Initial Inspection Requirement -Alternative Inspection Option

    CHA will allow the occupancy of a unit prior to an initial inspection if the unit has passed an alternative inspection in the past 24 months.

    CHA will begin payments based on the alternative inspection and the owner's certification that the owner has no reasonable basis to have knowledge that life­ threatening conditions exist in the unit.

    This waiver is requested until July 31, 2020 and has until October 31, 2020 to inspect a unit that utilizes this waiver.

  10. Housing Quality Standards Quality Control Inspections

    HUD is waiving its supervisory quality control inspections until October 31, 2020

  11. Housing Quality Standards Space and Security

    HUD is waiving the regulation requiring one bedroom for every two people where the PHA wishes to assist a current participant that needs to add a member or members to the assisted household as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. This waiver does not apply to an initial or new lease.

    The waiver will be in effect for the duration of the current lease term or one year from the date of this notice, whichever period is longer.

  12. Revisions to the Administrative Plan

    CHA may revise the administrative plan without board approval though any revisions must be formerly adopted as soon as practicable following June 30, 2020, but no later than July 31, 2020.

  13. Information When Family is Selected- PHA Oral Briefing

    HUD is waiving the requirement that the PHA must give an oral briefing to families in the HCV program.

    CHA must instead conduct the briefing by other means such as video call. CHA must ensure that the method of communication for the briefing effectively communicates with each family member, including those with vision, hearing, and other communication-related disabilities and those with persons with limited English proficiency.

    This waiver is requested through July 31, 2020.

  14. Term of Voucher-Extension of Term

    HUD is waiving the requirement for voucher term extensions. They must be in accordance with the Cocoa Housing Authority's Administrative Plan.

    This waiver is requested through July 31, 2020

  15. PHA Approval of Assisted Tenancy - When HAP Contract is Executed

    HUD is waiving the requirement that the HAP contract may not be executed 60 days after the lease term begins.

    CHA can now execute a HAP contract 60 days after the lease term begins, but no later than 120 days from the beginning of the lease term.

    The period of availability to execute the HAP contract after the 60-day term ends on July 31, 2020.

  16. Absence from Unit

    HUD is waiving the requirement that a voucher family may be absent from a unit for a period of more than 180 consecutive calendar days.

    CHA has discretion whether to continue the HAP contract in this situation and not terminate due to extenuating circumstances (e.g., hospitalization, extended stays at nursing homes, or caring for family members).

    The period of availability to continue to make these HAP payments despite the family's absence ends on December 31, 2020. CHA will not make payments after this date if the family is absent and the HAP contract will terminate.

  17. Automatic Termination of HAP Contract

    HUD is waiving the requirement to terminate a HAP contract 180 days after a housing assistance payment is reduced to $0. This is in recognition that the COVID-19 emergency may cause the temporary addition of household members which causes the calculation of HAP to reach $0.

    CHA, following a written notice to the owner and family, may extend the period of time following the last payment to the owner that triggers the automatic termination.

    The extension beyond the 180 days may not extend beyond December 31, 2020.

  18. Increase in Payment Standard under HAP contract term

    HUD is waiving the requirement that if a payment standard is increased during the term of a HAP contract, the increased payment standard shall not be effective until the family's first regular reexamination.

    The increased payment standard may be effective at any time (e.g., interim reexamination, owner rent increase) after the effective date as long as it is not later than the family's first regular reexamination.

    This waiver ends on December 31, 2020.

  19. Utility Allowance Schedule - Required Review and Revision

    HUD is waiving the requirement to review the schedule of utility allowances and revise the allowance if there has been a change of 10 percent or more in the utility rate since the last time the utility allowance schedule was revised.

    CHA will delay the review and update of utility allowance. CHA acknowledges any review must be completed by no later than December 31, 2020

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:
Debra Krueger
Administrative Services Director
321-636-8535, ext. 106