Rural Development Voucher Program Guide

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RuralDevelopmentVoucherProgramGuideSEPTEMBER 2010UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURERURAL DEVELOPMENTMULTIFAMILY HOUSING PROGRAMSi

TABLE OF CONTENTSCHAPTER 1INTRODUCTION TO THE GUIDE1.11.21.31.41.51.61.71.81.91.101.11CHAPTER 2RD VOUCHER PROGRAM PURPOSE AND AUTHORIZATIONKEY FEATURES OF THE RD VOUCHER PROGRAMPURPOSE AND ORGANIZATION OF THE GUIDEPARTICIPATION IN THE RD VOUCHER PROGRAMKEY PLAYERS IN THE RD VOUCHER PROGRAMROLE OF RDROLE OF THE CONTRACTORROLE OF OWNERROLE OF TENANTTASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CONTRACTORACRONYMS AND DEFINITIONSPAGE .72.82.9CHAPTER OVERVIEWSTEPS PRIOR TO VOUCHER ISSUANCEDOCUMENTS TIMELINEFORECLOSURE ACTIONS AND OTHER PAYOFF ACTIONSTENANTS UNDER LEASETENANTS WHO WANT TO MOVEHAP RENEWALVOUCHER TRANSFERDCFO REPORT REVIEW141419212122222323ATTACHMENTS2A2BRCS LETTER TO OWNERS2CSAMPLE TENANT NOTIFICATION LETTER #1A FOR LOANACCELERATION322D2EMULTIFAMILY HOUSING VOUCHER REQUEST FOR OBLIGATION (VOF)AMAS INSTRUCTIONS FOR VOUCHER OBLIGATION AND DEOBLIGATION3335PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP492FCHAPTER 3SAMPLE TENANT NOTIFICATION LETTER #3 A VOUCHERDETERMINATION LETTER2527HOW TO OBTAIN AN RD VOUCHER3.13.23.33.4CHAPTER OVERVIEWSTEPS IN THE VOUCHER PROCESS505051563ATENANT INFORMATION SUMMARY60TENANT ELIGIBILITYINFORMING TENANTSATTACHMENTSCHAPTER 4DETERMINATION OF THE RD VOUCHER AMOUNT4.14.24.3CHAPTER 5CHAPTER OVERVIEWDETERMINATION OF THE VOUCHER AMOUNTNO TENANT CERTIFICATION DATA646466HOUSING SEARCH AND LEASING5.15.25.35.45.55.65.75.8CHAPTER OVERVIEWVOUCHER ISSUANCETENANT OBLIGATIONSSEARCH TIME, EXTENSIONS AND VOUCHER EXPIRATIONREQUESTS FOR TENANCY APPROVALAPPROVAL OF THE TENANCYTENANT SCREENINGLEASE AND TENANCY6767676869707171ii

ATTACHMENTS5A5B5CCHAPTER 6SAMPLE TENANT LETTER #4VOUCHER PACKAGE LETTERRD VOUCHERREQUEST FOR TENANCY APPROVAL FORM737578RURAL DEVELOPMENT INSPECTION STANDARDS6.16.26.36.46.5CHAPTER OVERVIEWRD INSPECTION STANDARDS: GENERAL REQUIREMENTSCONDUCTING RTA INSPECTIONSINSPECTION OF FORMER RD UNITSVOUCHER TRANSFERS AND RENEWALS8080808182ATTACHMENTS6A6B6CCHAPTER 7REQUEST FOR TENANCY INSPECTION FORM AND INSTRUCTIONSRTA INSPECTION RESULTS LETTERSAMPLE LETTER FROM RD STATE DIRECTOR REGARDING RD UNITINSPECTIONS839092HOUSING ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS (HAP) CONTRACT7.17.27.37.47.57.67.77.8OWNER BREACH OF HAP CONTRACT9393949599100100101RD HAP CONTRACT RD HAP CONTRACT INCLUDING PARTS A-C103CHAPTER OVERVIEWTERM OF THE HAP CONTRACTPAYMENT TO THE OWNERCONTENTS OF THE HAP CONTRACTHAP CONTRACT EXECUTION AND TIME LIMITSCHANGES REQUIRING NEW HAP CONTRACTOWNER RESPONSIBILITIESATTACHMENTS7ACHAPTER 8MOBILITY AND PORTABILITY OF VOUCHERS8.18.28.3CHAPTER 9OVERVIEWHOLDERS OF RD VOUCHERSINFORMATION ABOUT PORTABILITY113113113TERMINATION OF ASSISTANCE AND HAP CONTRACTS9.19.29.39.49.59.69.79.8CHAPTER OVERVIEWTERMINATION OF TENANCYHAP CONTRACT TERMINATIONRD TERMINATION OF ASSISTANCE TO THE TENANTUNAUTHORIZED ASSISTANCEDOCUMENTATION OF UNAUTHORIZED ASSISTANCENOTICE TO THE OWNER OT TENANTSDEBT COLLECTION IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 1996 ER 10RD VOUCHER CONTACTS121122123RD APPEAL RIGHTS125SAMPLE NOTICE OF CONTRACT TERMINATIONSAMPLE NOTICE OF TERMINATION OF ASSISTANCEAPPENDIXiii

RD Voucher Program GuideChapter 1 IntroductionCHAPTER 1INTRODUCTION TO THE GUIDE1.1RD VOUCHER PROGRAM PURPOSE AND AUTHORIZATIONPurposeThe RDVP was created to offer some protection to eligible multifamily housing tenantsin properties financed through Rural Development’s Section 515 Rural Rental HousingProgram who may be subject to economic hardship through prepayment of the RDmortgage. When the owner of such a development pays off the loan, the RD affordablehousing requirements may be modified. (Rents may increase thereby making the housingunaffordable to tenants.) The RD Voucher Program applies to any property financedthrough Section 515 where the mortgage is paid off prior to the maturity date in thepromissory note. This includes foreclosed properties. Tenants in these properties areeligible for an RD Voucher under the same conditions as properties that go through thestandard prepayment process. The RD Voucher will help tenants by providing a shortterm rental subsidy that will supplement the tenant’s rent payment. Low-income tenantsin the prepaying property are eligible to receive a voucher that they may use at thatproperty or take to any other rental unit in the United States that passes RD inspectionand where the owner will accept an RD Voucher, with the exception of rental units insubsidized housing like USDA Section 521 Rental Assistance, HUD Section 8 and publichousing where two housing subsidies would result. The RD Voucher may not be used atthis time for the purchase of a home.AuthorizationThis program was initially authorized by Congress as a demonstration program in FY2006. The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and RelatedAgencies Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. L. 111-80) (Appropriations Act, 2010) wasenacted on October 16, 2009, and appropriated 16, 400,000 to USDA for the RuralDevelopment Voucher Program as authorized under Section 542 of the Housing Act of1949, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1471 et. seq. (without regard to Section 542(b)).The Appropriations Act, 2010 provided that the Secretary of the U.S. Department ofAgriculture shall carry out the Rural Development Voucher Program as follows:That of the funds made available under this heading, 16,400,000 shall beavailable for rural housing vouchers to any low-income household (includingthose not receiving Rental Assistance) residing in a property financed with aSection 515 loan which has been prepaid after September 30, 2005: Providedfurther, That the amount of such voucher shall be the difference betweencomparable market rent for the Section 515 unit and the tenant paid rent for suchunit: Provided further, That funds made available for such vouchers shall besubject to the availability of annual appropriations: Provided further, That theSecretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, administer such voucherswith current regulations and administrative guidance applicable to Section 81

RD Voucher Program GuideChapter 1 Introductionhousing vouchers administered by the Secretary of the Department of Housingand Urban Development (HUD).HUD Regulations and RequirementsRD does not currently have regulations for this demonstration program. All references toHUD regulations and requirements mentioned in the description of the RDVP areavailable on HUD’s website (http://www.hudclips.org/cgi/index.cgi.). Interested partiesmay order copies of HUD handbooks and other directives through the HUD website. Theregulations and directives listed may be updated from time to time. HUD’s codifiedregulations are issued as Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Revisions oradditions to HUD regulations are initially published in the Federal Register. HUD mayalso publish Federal Register notices. In addition to publication in the Federal Registerand the CFR, HUD and the USDA RD issue additional program requirements as HUD orRD “directives,” including HUD or RD notices, handbooks and forms. References tocitizenship are required as stated in the Personal Responsibility and Work OpportunityReconciliation Act of 1996.1.2KEY FEATURES OF THE RD VOUCHER PROGRAMKeyFeaturesof theProgramDemonstration Program – In FY 2009, the RDVP continues to be ademonstration program. RD anticipates establishing a permanentprogram based on experience in the demonstration program. Programfeatures are highlighted below.One Household-One Voucher – The RD Voucher is issued tohouseholds that reside at the property on the day of prepayment orforeclosure. The Primary tenant signs for the Voucher. The primary tenant is consideredthe voucher holder for the household. The RD voucher may only be transferred to the cotenant in the event of death of the voucher holder.Eligibility to Receive a Voucher – The tenant must be a citizen, United States non-citizennational or qualified alien in residence and qualify as a low-income tenant on the date ofprepayment of or termination of the RD mortgage of a Section 515 property.Waiting List – There is no waiting list for RD Vouchers.Voucher Amount – This is determined as the difference between the comparable marketrent for the Section 515 unit being rented by the tenant and the amount being paid as rentby the tenant – the net tenant contribution. The Voucher payment cannot exceed thelease rent for the approved unit. Once established, the maximum voucher amount doesnot change. The voucher payment in the RDVP does not relate to the resident’s income.RD is responsible for calculating the maximum voucher amount. However, RD mayreduce the voucher amount if the tenant moves and the maximum voucher amountexceeds the rent at the new location (See Chapter 4)2

RD Voucher Program GuideChapter 1 IntroductionPortability – The RD Voucher may be used at the prepaid property or any other rentalsituation in the United States and its territories that passes RD physical inspectionstandards and where the owner will accept an RD Voucher. Units subsidized by USDASection 521 Rental Assistance, HUD Section 8 and public housing are excluded from theRDVP because these units are already assisted. Tenants with an RD Voucher would haveto give up their voucher to accept the assistance at those properties.Utility Allowance – The RDVP does not include an allowance for utilities.RD Inspection Standards – Any unit rented by an RD Voucher holder must meet RDinspection standards using the RD unit inspection. Units will be inspected and approvedby RD staff.Tenant Choice – All tenants meeting the eligibility requirements of the program will beoffered RD Vouchers even though they may have other housing assistance options. Someresidents will be able to choose between an RD Voucher and a transfer of subsidy. Otherswill be able to choose between ongoing Project-based Section 8 or an existing HousingChoice Voucher and the RD Voucher. Residents in rent-restricted units may choose tocontinue with the rent restriction instead using a voucher in another property.Eligibility Period – The demonstration program is limited to prepayments andforeclosures after September 30, 2005. This means that a property must have a triggeringevent (prepayment or foreclosure) on or after October 1, 2005 (FY 2006). Onceprepayment occurs, eligible tenants have 10 months to begin using the voucher.How to Help Tenants Obtain a Voucher – In the event of a prepayment or foreclosure,tenants will be notified of the availability of RD Vouchers and how to obtain a voucher.If a tenant has questions, they can contact Rural Development or its contractor, QuadelConsulting Corporation. For RD office locations and telephone numbers, go tohttp://www.rurdev.usda.gov/recd map.html. To contact Quadel, send an email toRDVoucher@Quadel.com or call 1-866-258-1167.Net Tenant Contribution (NTC) – The Net Tenant Contribution or NTC is the GrossTenant Contribution less the Utility Allowance. This data is found on the MultifamilyInformation System (MFIS) Report PRJ2000 or the Project Worksheet. RD uses theNTC as part of the calculation of the voucher amount.In addition, the following table compares the HUD HCV Program to the RDVP andhighlights differences between the two programs.3

RD Voucher Program GuideChapter 1 IntroductionComparison Table:Housing Choice Vouchers vs. Rd VouchersHUD FEATUREAdministered by PHAsOutreach and Program PlansEligibility Determination byPHAsRent Reasonableness TestTenant Income Certificationsand Annual Reexaminations ofIncomePHA Administrative PlansVoucher calculated on familyincome and sizeHCVPROGRAMYESYESNONOYESNO – This is done by RDYESNOYES– Tenants must certify annually to low-incomestatus.YESYESYESYESNONO – Voucher payment based exclusively on thedifference between the tenant’s contribution and thecomparable market rent for the unit and is a fixeddollar amount.NO – All eligible tenants are offered vouchers.NO – RD Voucher amount is only subsidy availableYESNO – RD inspection standards.YESNO with exceptionYESNO with exceptionYESTenant SelectionUtility AllowanceRental unit must meet HUDHousing Quality StandardsOwner must comply with allHCV Program requirementsTenants must comply with allHCV Program requirementsBriefing for ProgramApplicantsBriefing Packet with materialsYESTenants need to complete anapplication to obtain aVoucherYESTenants may lease a unitanywhereNO – HUDhas a list ofrestrictedhousing typesTenant must meet HCVProgram citizenship eligibilityrequirementsYESAdditional Services areavailable to voucher holdersMinimum and MaximumTenant Rent paymentsVoucher issuance isauthorization to find a unitVoucher Term expirationSubsidy Payment TermRequest for Tenancy Approvalon HUD FormAutomatic Termination ofHAP Agreement under certainconditionsRD VOUCHER PROGRAMYESYES – RD provides information for the property thatis leaving the 515 program.YES – RD may provide a Tenant InformationSummaryNO – Tenant must complete VOF and provideproper proof of US citizenship.YES – so long as the unit meets RuralDevelopments’ housing inspection standards and theowner will accept an RD Voucher; USDA RA,Section 8 and Public Housing units are excluded.YES - the tenant must be a citizen, United States noncitizen national or qualified alien as required bysection 214 of the Housing and CommunityDevelopment Act of 1980 [42 U.S.C. § 1436a]YESNOYESNOYESYESVariesNOThe voucher term is 60 days.YES – 12 paymentsYESYES, modified HUD formYESYES – plus termination upon tenant relinquishmentof RD Voucher, which ends tenant’s participation inthe program4

RD Voucher Program GuideHUD FEATUREHAP payment to ownerPenalties for late paymentUse HAP Contract with PartsA, B and CUse HUD Lease AddendumUse HCV Program tenancytermination guidelinesUse HCV Program assistancetermination guidelinesHearing upon denial ofassistance from PHA or OAEHUD reporting requirementsPHA portabilityProgram Integrityrequirements and Improperpayment awarenessFamily Self SufficiencyrequirementsPHA Voucher utilizationrequirementsRD Appeal Rights to TenantsChapter 1 IntroductionHCVPROGRAMRD VOUCHER PROGRAMYESYESYESYESYESYES – with modifications.YESYES – with modifications.YESYESYESYESYESYESN/A – Rural Development Appeal rights asapplicableNONOYESNOYESNOYESNONOYES – For tenant’s voucher amount and eligibilitydeterminationYES5

RD Voucher Program Guide1.3Chapter 1 IntroductionPURPOSE AND ORGANIZATION OF THE GUIDEBOOKThe purpose of this guide is to provide information to participants in the RuralDevelopment Voucher Demonstration Program (referred to in this guide as the RDVoucher Program [RDVP]). This includes Rural Development (RD) staff, owners andtenants of Section 515 RD Properties with prepaid mortgages, landlords who elect toaccept RD Vouchers, or the contractor providing services to RD regarding theadministration of the RDVP. The RDVP will be utilized for tenants of RD propertieswhose owners prepay their RD mortgage. Throughout this guide, references toprepayment, prepaying or prepaid properties include RD properties in which prepaymentwas voluntarily initiated by the owner, and those properties that have been the subject offoreclosure or other payoff actions. In broad aspects, the RDVP will generally beadministered similar to the HUD Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. However,this guide is designed to direct the reader to specific differences between the RDVP andthe HCV Program.In general, this guide describes program participation, including eligibility, voucheramount determination, leasing, inspections, and termination of assistance. This guideincludes required forms and sample form letters that RD and the Contractor may finduseful.The Contractor, Quadel Consulting Corporation will carry out many of the administrativetasks and responsibilities related to contract administration under the program. They willperform these functions using the procedures in this Guide, all applicable HUDregulations, and other applicable HUD requirements in effect from time to time. TheContractor should follow this Guide as closely as possible in carrying out these tasks.Where conflicts arise, the Contractor should contact the Rural Development MultifamilyHousing Portfolio Management Division at the Rural Development National Office inWashington DC (see Chapter 10 for RD contact information).1.4PARTICIPATION IN THE RD VOUCHER PROGRAMVouchers shall be available to any low-income household (including those not receivingRD rental assistance) that is a citizen, United States non-citizen national, or qualifiedalien as described by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity ReconciliationAct of 1996, residing in a property financed with a Section 515 loan where the ownerprepays the mortgage or the mortgage is terminated after September 30, 2005. TheRDVP will not replace other housing assistance options, e.g., transfer of RD rentalassistance to another Section 515 property, contracts providing Section 8 project-basedsubsidy in the property, or contracts providing HUD HCV Program assistance forhouseholds living in the property. (See Eligibility in Chapter 3.)Tenants who receive RD Vouchers do so as a form of protection against rent increasesexpected as a result of RD mortgage prepayment. Every low-income resident in aprepaying property is potentially eligible to receive this Voucher. Participation in theRDVP is voluntary and no tenant is required to accept a Voucher.6

RD Voucher Program GuideChapter 1 IntroductionFor those tenants who do participate, compliance with the RD Voucher’s “Obligations ofthe Family” section of the Voucher is mandatory in order to retain the subsidy. Onceassistance is terminated, no subsequent RD Voucher will be issued and the tenant will nolonger participate in the RDVP.Likewise, if a tenant who is using an RD Voucher relinquishes that Voucher (i.e., electsto no longer use the Voucher or moves to a property where the Voucher is not accepted),no subsequent Voucher will be issued and the tenant will no longer participate in theRDVP.1.5KEY PLAYERS IN THE RD VOUCHER PROGRAMThe key players involved in the RDVP are:‡‡‡‡Owners and tenants of Section 515 Rural Rental Housing properties where the RDmortgage is being prepaid;The Contractor who is administering the RDVP;Property owners who utilize the RD Voucher from tenants of previous RDproperties; and,RD staff.Each key player has a special interest in the RDVP. Areas of this guide that pertain toeach key player are highlighted below. For a comprehensive understanding of theRDVP, the entire guide should be reviewed.Section 515 OwnersTenants’ prepay notice and meeting on-site. Note especially Chapter 3.Section 515 TenantsLook for special boxes indicating “Tenant Alert!” that point out important informationspecifically for tenants. Note especially Chapter 3; Chapter 4; Chapter 5; Chapter 8;Chapter 9The ContractorThe Contractor will implement RD policy, and act on behalf of RD in delivery of the RDVoucher. Note especially Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 9.Property Owners who utilize the RD VoucherThese owners accept the RD Voucher and agree to comply with HCV Program andRDVP requirements. In exchange, the owner is promised and receives payment througha housing assistance payments contract. Note especially Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 9.RD StaffThe RD Staff can direct tenants of prepaying properties to appropriate sources ofassistance to obtain and manage an RD Voucher. RD staff will also be responsible fordisseminating RD Voucher information at on-site meetings with tenants of Section 515prepaying properties. Note especially Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 9.7

RD Voucher Program Guide1.6Chapter 1 IntroductionRole of RDRD has major responsibilities:‡Developing policy, regulations, handbooks, notices, and guidance to implementhousing legislation;‡Allocating and obligating housing assistance funds;‡Providing technical assistance and t

ii table of contents chapter 1 introduction to the guide page # 1.1 rd voucher program purpose and authorization 1 1.2 key features of the rd voucher program 2 1.3 purpose and organization of the guide 7 1.4 participation in the rd voucher program 7 1.5 key players in the rd voucher program 8 1.6 role of rd 9 1.7 role of the contractor 9 1.8 role of owner 9

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