§92.351 is revised to extend the applicability of affirmative marketing procedures to all HOME-funded programs, including TBRA and downpayment assistance programs. The pre-2013 affirmative marketing requirements were applicable only to HOME-assisted projects with five or more HOME units. The previous exception to the affirmative marketing requirements for tenants receiving Section 8 rental assistance has been eliminated. The specific affirmative marketing procedures to be used will depend on the type and size of the program or project. For instance, a PJ administering a downpayment assistance program must affirmatively market the program (i.e., the availability of federal funds for downpayment assistance), rather than units available for purchase.
This section is further modified to specify that to the extent that a project is implementing tenant preferences, the PJ must have affirmative marketing procedures that apply in the context of limited/preferred tenant selection policies. For example, a project for homeless persons must be marketed to the universe of persons who would meet the preference. The project could not rely solely on referrals from a specific homeless provider when there are other homeless providers with potential applicants in the market area.
Finally, §92.351 is also revised to clarify that PJs must not only adopt, but also follow their affirmative marketing procedures, and that the requirements apply to subrecipients as well as owners.
Develop guidance on affirmatively marketing tenant-based rental assistance and homebuyer assistance programs that were previously not covered by the HOME Rule.
The policies must state the specific actions that staff, subrecipients, or State recipients must take in order to attract eligible persons in the market area without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, familial status, or disability.
Refer to §92.351(b) for specific items that the procedures must address.
Revise policies and procedures for tenant-based rental assistance programs and homebuyer development programs to incorporate this new guidance.
Review existing guidance in the rental and homebuyer housing development programs to make sure these policies reflect that this requirement applies to projects with five or more HOME-assisted units, and make required revisions.
Be sure any written agreements with State recipients; subrecipients; and owners, developers, or sponsors, in accordance with §92.504(c), include the affirmative marketing requirements.
August 23, 2013
§92.352 is revised to address the applicability of the environmental review regulations in 24 CFR parts 50 and 58. This change clarifies that the applicability of environmental review regulations is based on the type of HOME project (new construction, rehabilitation, acquisition) or activity (tenant-based rental assistance), not the particular cost paid with HOME funds. For example, if a HOME-assisted project is a new construction project, but the HOME funds are used for acquisition of vacant land for the project, the environmental review is based on new construction of housing, as well as the acquisition of the land.
This change is a clarification of existing policy.
Review environmental review policies and procedures to confirm that the PJ is in compliance.
If in compliance, no action is needed.
If not in compliance, revise policies and procedures and train the Environmental Review Officer in the requirements.
August 23, 2013
There are no changes to the labor-related regulations that relate to HOME. §92.354(a)(3) is revised only to remove a reference to HUD Handbook 1344.1, Federal Labor Standards Compliance in Housing and Community Development Programs. In place of this reference, the regulation now describes the PJ’s monitoring and oversight responsibilities, which were addressed in the handbook. This is intended to make clear that PJs retain these responsibilities. The procedures and processing provisions of the handbook remain applicable to PJs.
August 23, 2013
The conflict of interest provision of §92.356(b) is revised to specify that the type of covered conflict is a financial benefit or interest. It further specifies that covered familial relationships are limited to immediate family members. These changes align the HOME conflict of interest provisions with the CDBG regulations.
This change narrows the interpretation of the previous regulatory language. For instance, it is common for State and local governments to designate elected or appointed officials to serve on the boards of nonprofit organizations that may provide affordable housing within their communities. Under the pre-2013 Rule, an official might have a personal interest in this appointment, and if interpreted broadly the previous regulations might have prohibited this type of arrangement. The change in the Rule clarifies that in such situations, if the public official does not receive a salary or any other financial compensation for serving on the board, the official’s interest would be a personal one only. This kind of public participation often is beneficial and should not be discouraged.
The conflict of interest provisions at §92.356(f)(1) prohibit certain persons from occupying HOME-assisted housing. This provision has been revised to clarify that immediate family members of an officer, employee, agent, elected or appointed official or consultant of an owner, developer, or sponsor are prohibited from occupying a HOME-assisted affordable housing unit in a project. This amendment further clarifies that the restriction on occupancy applies during the period of affordability only, and not to the entire period of ownership by the entity that received the HOME assistance.
HUD plans to issue additional guidance on the issue of conflict of interest.
Review and revise conflict of interest policies to clarify that:
The type of conflict covered is a financial benefit or interest.
Covered familial relationships include immediate family members, as defined in the regulation for both the prohibition against gaining a financial benefit or interest, and from occupying a HOME-assisted unit.
Notify staff and program partners of these clarifications.
Be sure the written agreements [as required by §92.504(c)] with State recipients, subrecipients, owners, developers, and sponsors include the conflict of interest provisions as amended by this Rule.
Notify monitoring staff of these clarifications, and be sure that conflicts of interest are included in monitoring checklists to verify compliance.
Look for additional HUD guidance in this area and update PJ policies as needed.
August 23, 2013