NAHMA HUD Update: HUD will withhold Section 8 for units without electricity in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Today, HUD held a conference call to provide updates to industry stakeholders on recovery efforts from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the recent west coast wildfires.  HUD is on the ground and conducting damage assessments in Florida, Georgia, and will soon begin in Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands.

HUD continues to work with FEMA to find assistance for those impacted.  Members should be aware of a few important takeaways from the call:
  1. In Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, HUD will begin withholding rental assistance (Section 8) for units without electricity.  According to HUD, properties without electricity do not meet the agency's requirements for decent, safe, and sanitary housing.  HUD will continue to provide disaster relief, including mortgage relief to FHA-owners in disaster areas (other federal agencies are providing similar mortgage relief).  
  2. Please let me know, as soon as possible, If you have properties in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands that will be impacted by this decision to withhold rental assistance. I will need the property name, location, and unit count.  I am drafting an appeal to HUD Secretary Carson and likely Congress.
  3. Meanwhile, HUD Multifamily staff let us know they will work to get an opinion from HUD general counsel on whether the requirement to provide electricity means that there must be electricity available 24 hours per day at a property, or whether providing power for a portion of the day is acceptable during the recovery period. We will share this information as so as we receive it from HUD.
  4. HUD is requesting information on any vacancies in Florida properties that could provide housing for assisted families relocating from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Please let me know if you have vacancies in Florida to house assisted families, as well, as in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands (if they have electricity).
Larry Keys, Director of Government Affairs
National Affordable Housing Management Association
400 N. Columbus St., Suite 203, Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone 703-683-8630, ext.111 Email lkeys@nahma.orgWebsite
NAHMA is the leading voice for affordable housing management, advocating on behalf of multifamily property managers and owners whose mission is to provide quality affordable housing.



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