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NAHMA Rural Housing Update: Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards Compliance in RD Multi-family housing

  • By: admin
  • On: 02/03/2020 16:56:05
  • In: RD
On January 10, USDA released an Unnumbered Letter to provide reminders and updated guidance to the field office staff and borrowers for compliance with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards for Rural Development Multi-Family Housing Sections 514, 515, 516, and 521 housing programs.

On January 10, USDA released an Unnumbered Letter to provide reminders and updated guidance to the field office staff and borrowers for compliance with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards for Rural Development Multi-Family Housing Sections 514, 515, 516, and 521 housing programs.
 
Regardless of when a project was ready for occupancy, all borrowers are required to have policies and practices that do not discriminate against persons with disabilities. RD is requesting that all properties are brought into compliance within 12 months of the date of this issuance. To view the UL online, please click here.
 
More info is available from Rural Development below. 
 
Juliana Bilowich, Manager of Government Affairs
National Affordable Housing Management Association
400 N. Columbus St., Suite 203, Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone 703-683-8630, ext.116 Email jbilowich@nahma.org, Website www.nahma.org
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.


 
The Unnumbered Letter (UL) “Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Compliance in RD MFH Properties” signed on January 10, 2020, provides reminders and updated guidance to the field office staff and borrowers for compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards, Departmental Regulation 7 CFR 15b as it pertains to Rural Development Multi-Family Housing Sections 514, 515, 516, and 521 housing programs.

UL Highlights :

  • Borrowers receiving Federal financial assistance are subject to the requirements of Section 504 for the period during which the real property or structures are used for the purpose for which Federal financial assistance is extended or for another purpose involving the provision of similar services or benefits.
  • Regardless of when a project was ready for occupancy, all borrowers are required to have policies and practices that do not discriminate against persons with disabilities.
  • We are requesting that all properties within your State are brought into compliance within 12 months of the date of this issuance.
  • Borrowers with properties having 15 dwelling units or less with a referral agreement will be considered in compliance with the five percent UFAS requirement for as long as the referral agreement is in place.
  • The cost of the Self Evaluation and Transition Plan report preparation is an eligible project expense and may be paid from the housing project's Reserve Account or excess Operating and Maintenance account funds with prior Agency approval.
  • The local field office specialist will no longer perform reviews of initial and updated Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan (SE/TP) reports. When a new or an updated SE/TP report is received from the borrower, the local field office specialist shall accept it and upload it to the SharePoint site (currently under construction) for Technical Support Service Requests where a Rural Development architect, engineer, or other technical staff will perform a quality assurance review at random, from a chosen Nationwide sample to ensure that the SE/TP report has been prepared according to prescribed standards as outlined in 7 CFR 15b.
To view full version of UL, click here.
If there are questions about this UL, Borrowers and Management Agents should contact their local field office specialist.
Questions from the Multi-Family Housing program staff should be directed to their National Office Portfolio Management Analyst.

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