A. J. Johnson Partnering with Mid-Atlantic AHMA for March 2024 Affordable Housing Training

person A.J. Johnson today 02/12/2024

During March 2024, A. J. Johnson will be partnering with the MidAtlantic Affordable Housing Management Association for five live webinar training sessions intended for real estate professionals, particularly those in the affordable multifamily housing field. The following sessions will be presented:

March 12: Intermediate LIHTC Compliance  - Designed for more experienced managers, supervisory personnel, investment asset managers, and compliance specialists, this program expands on the information covered in the Basics of Tax Credit Site Management. A more in-depth discussion of income verification issues is included as well as a discussion of minimum set-aside issues (including the Average Income Minimum Set-Aside), optional fees, and use of common areas. The Available Unit Rule is covered in great detail, as are the requirements for units occupied by students. Attendees will also learn the requirements relating to setting rents at a tax-credit property. This course includes the recent HOTMA changes and contains some practice problems but is more discussion-oriented than the Basic course. A calculator is required for this course.

March 19: Two separate webinars will be offered on this date. An Overview of the HOME Program with HOTMA Changes will be offered in the morning. This three-hour course outlines the basic requirements of the HOME Investment Partnership Program, with particular emphasis on combining HOME funds with the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. The training provides an overview of HOME Program regulations, including rent rules, unit designations, income restrictions, and recertification requirements. The course also includes the recent HOTMA changes that impact the HOME program.  The course concludes with a detailed discussion of combining HOME and tax credits, focusing on occupancy requirements and rents, tenant eligibility differences, handling over-income residents, and monitoring requirements.

March 19: The afternoon session will be Management of Rural Development Section 515 Layered Deals. The development of affordable rental housing is a complex undertaking that often requires a combination of programs to succeed. While the foundation of most affordable rental housing today is the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, the tax credits alone are often not enough to ensure project feasibility. Successful properties often must "layer" programs to work. One such program is the Rural Development Section 515 program. When combining other programs with a Section 515 project, management must understand the rules of all, and be able to implement them at the project level. This three-hour session will cover some of the most common pitfalls when managing Section 515 layered properties and guide the knowledge required to be successful. Questions and discussions will be encouraged, and attendees will be able to ask specific questions about the issues facing their properties.

March 20: Advanced LIHTC Compliance - This full-day training is intended for senior management staff, developers, corporate finance officers, and others involved in decision-making concerning how LIHTC deals are structured. This training covers complex issues such as eligible and qualified basis, applicable fraction, credit calculation (including first-year calculation), placed-in-service issues, rehab projects, tax-exempt bonds, projects with HOME funds, Next Available Unit Rule, employee units, mixed-income properties, the Average Income Minimum Set-Aside, vacant unit rule, and dealing effectively with State Agencies.

March 21: Preparing Affordable Housing Properties for Agency Required Physical Inspections - Agency inspections of affordable housing properties are required for all affordable housing programs, and failure to meet the required inspection standards can result in significant financial and administrative penalties for property owners. This three-hour training focuses on how owners and managers may prepare for such inspections, with a concentration on State Housing Finance Agency inspections for the LIHTC program. Specific training areas include (1) a complete discussion of the most serious violations, including health & safety; (2) how vacant units are addressed during inspections; (3) when violations will be reported to the IRS; (4) the 20 most common deficiencies; (5) how to prepare a property for an inspection; (6) strategies for successful inspections; and (7) a review of the most important NSPIRE inspection requirements.  As part of the training, attendees will have a blueprint they can use to prepare their properties for agency-required physical inspections - regardless of the program under which they operate.

These sessions are part of the year-long collaboration between A. J. Johnson and MidAtlantic AHMA that is designed to provide affordable housing professionals with the knowledge needed to effectively manage the complex requirements of the various agencies overseeing these programs.

Persons interested in any (or all) of these training sessions may register by visiting either www.ajjcs.net or https://www.mid-atlanticahma.org.

Latest Articles

The Rural Development Service Announces HOTMA Implementation

A memorandum from Joaquin Altoro, the Administrator of the Rural Housing Service (RHS), addressed to Multifamily Housing Owners and Management Agents Multifamily Housing Partners, has explained how HOTMA will be implemented by the Rural Housing Service (RHS). All housing programs administered by RHS are affected, but the primary impact will be felt in the Section 515 Program.  The memorandum concerns an Administrator Exception related to implementing the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA).   The memorandum explains that the Housing Act of 1949, which governs the RHS, requires the calculation of a tenant's annual and adjusted household income to be based on the definition provided by the Housing Act of 1937. As a result, RHS must determine income for housing purposes per 24 CFR 5.609, the section of the Code of Federal Regulations governing HUD housing programs.  However, HOTMA directed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to issue a rule changing the income calculation requirements.  HUD published a Final Rule updating 24 CFR 5.609 on February 14, 2023, effective January 1, 2024.  The memorandum states that the Housing Act of 1949 does not incorporate the updates found in 24 CFR 5.609(c), and therefore, the RHS and Multifamily Housing (MFH) will not implement 24 CFR 5.609(c).   The memorandum further explains that under the authority granted in 7 CFR 3560.8, a regulatory waiver has been approved to exclude 24 CFR 5.609(c) from Rural Development's annual income calculation requirements.  The waiver is effective retroactive to January 1, 2024.  The memorandum lists the specific requirements that RD will not implement, including interim tenant income reexaminations where adjusted income is estimated to increase or decrease by 10% or more, using other programs' income determinations, and allowing de minimis errors resulting in $30 or less per month to remain in compliance. Concerning recertifications, tenants at RD properties must be income recertified at least annually and whenever household income changes by $100 or more per month or $50 or more per month if the tenant requests such a change be made. This requirement remains in place.  The Administrator's Exception will be in effect until 7 CFR 3560.153(a) is updated to refer only to 24 CFR 5.609(a) and (b). RD will apply all HOTMA changes regarding the definition of annual income, including all revised inclusions and exclusions from income.    The memorandum also mentions that full compliance with HOTMA is mandatory, effective January 1, 2025, and RD is establishing further guidance and updating handbooks and forms to incorporate the changes.   RD encourages owners and management agents to discuss the implementation with software providers to ensure seamless data transmission.   The memorandum concludes by stating that RD will not penalize owners for HOTMA-related tenant file issues during RD Supervisory reviews conducted before January 1, 2025. 

A. J. Johnson Partners with Mid-Atlantic AHMA for Affordable Housing Training - May 2024

During May 2024, A. J. Johnson will partner with the Mid-Atlantic Affordable Housing Management Association for training sessions for real estate professionals, particularly those in the affordable multifamily housing field. The sessions will be presented via live webinars.  The following sessions will be presented: May 8: Intermediate LIHTC Compliance  - Designed for more experienced managers, supervisory personnel, investment asset managers, and compliance specialists, this practical program expands on the information covered in the Basics of Tax Credit Site Management. A more in-depth discussion of income verification issues is included, as well as a discussion of minimum set-aside issues (including the Average Income Minimum Set-Aside), optional fees, and use of common areas. The Available Unit Rule is covered in great detail, as are the requirements for units occupied by students. Attendees will also learn the requirements for setting rents at a tax-credit property. This course contains some practice problems but is more discussion-oriented than the Basic course. A calculator is required for this course. May 14: Basic LIHTC Compliance - This training is designed primarily for site managers and investment asset managers responsible for site-related asset management and is especially beneficial to those managers who are relatively inexperienced in the tax credit program. It covers all aspects of credit related to on-site management, including the applicant interview process, determining resident eligibility (income and student issues), handling recertification, setting rents - including a full review of utility allowance requirements - lease issues, and the importance of maintaining the property. The training includes problems and questions to ensure students fully comprehend the material. May 16: The Verification and Calculation of Income and Assets on Affordable Housing Properties - The live webinar provides concentrated instruction on the required methodology for calculating and verifying income and determining the value of assets and income generated by those assets. The first section of the course involves a comprehensive discussion of employment income, military pay, pensions/social security, self-employment income, and child support. It concludes with workshop problems designed to test what the student has learned during the discussion phase of the training and serve to reinforce HUD-required techniques for determining income. The second component of the training focuses on a detailed discussion of requirements related to determining asset value and income. It applies to all federal housing programs, including the low-income housing tax credit, tax-exempt bonds, Section 8, Section 515, and HOME. Multiple types of assets are covered, both in terms of what constitutes an asset and how they must be verified. This section also concludes with problems designed to test the student s understanding of the basic requirements relative to assets. These sessions are part of a year-long collaboration between A. J. Johnson and MidAtlantic AHMA designed to provide affordable housing professionals with the knowledge needed to effectively manage the complex requirements of the various agencies overseeing these programs, ensuring long-term success in the field. Persons interested in any (or all) training sessions may register by visiting either www.ajjcs.net or https://www.mid-atlanticahma.org.

HUD Publishes 2024 Income Limits

On April 1, 2024, HUD published the 2024 income limits for HUD programs as well as for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and Tax-Exempt Bond programs. The limits are effective on April 1, 2024.  The limits for the LIHTC and Bond projects are published separately from the limits for HUD programs. LIHTC and Bond properties use the Multifamily Tax Subsidy Project (MTSP) limits and are held harmless from income limit (and therefore rent) reductions. These properties may use the highest income limits used for resident qualification and rent calculation purposes since the project has been in service. HUD program income limits are not held harmless. HUD publishes the 50% and 60% MTSP limits in the same table with the Average Income (AI) limits. AI limits are set at 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, and 80%. Projects in service prior to 2009 may use the HERA Special Income Limits in areas where HUD has published such limits. Projects placed in service after 2008 may not use the HERA Special Limits. Projects in rural areas that are not financed by tax-exempt bonds may use the higher of the MTSP limits or the National Non-Metropolitan Income Limits (NNMIL). According to HUD, the non-metropolitan median income has gone up approximately .78% from 2023 to 2024. Owners of LIHTC projects may rely on the 2023 income limits for all purposes for 45 days after the effective date of the newly issued limits. This 45-day period ends on May 16, 2024. The limits for HUD programs may be found at www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il.html. The limits for LIHTC and Bond programs may be found at www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/mtsp.html.

HUD Expands List of Federally Mandated Income Exclusions

On January 31, 2024, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published an updated list of income excluded for HUD-assisted housing programs. Since the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) must follow HUD rules regarding income determination, these exclusions also apply to the LIHTC program. Four new income exclusions were added, and existing exclusions were modified to specifically identify which sources of income are excluded from income calculations and asset determinations. This is the first comprehensive update of income exclusions since May 2014, and it incorporates the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) exclusions. New Income Exclusions HUD has added four types of income that will no longer be counted for affordable housing program purposes. These include specific tax refunds, allowances for children of some veterans, distributions from ABLE accounts, and emergency rental assistance payments. Tax Refunds: The amount of any refund (or advance payment for a refundable credit) issued under the Internal Revenue Code is excluded from income. Such refunds are also excluded from assets for 12 months after being received. Children of Certain Service Members: Allowances paid to children of certain Thailand service veterans born with spina bifida are excluded from income and assets. This is in addition to any allowances paid to children of Vietnam veterans born with spina bifida, children of women Vietnam veterans born with certain birth defects, and children of certain Korean service veterans born with spina bifida. ABLE Account Distributions: Any amount in an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account is excluded from income and assets. This includes the value of distributions from and certain contributions to ABLE accounts. Emergency Rental Payments: Payments received by a household under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which was part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, are excluded from income and assets. Modifications to Existing Exclusions In addition to adding new income exclusions, HUD is modifying existing exclusions. AmericorpsVISTA payments: In the past, payments to volunteers under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 were always excluded. Now, such payments are included in income if the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service determines that the value of the payments, adjusted to reflect the number of hours served by volunteers, is equal to or greater than the federal or state/local minimum wage, whichever is greater. Tribal Trust Settlements: The first $2,000 of per capita payments are excluded unless the per capita payments exceed the amount of the original Tribal Trust Settlement. NAHASDA Benefits: The change more accurately captures the language in the United States Code that describes the exclusion of programs under the Native American Housing Assistance & Self-Determination Act. Individual Development Accounts (IDA): Any amounts in an IDA are excluded from assets, and any assistance, benefit, or amounts earned by or provided to an individual development account are excluded from income. This exclusion was updated to clarify that an IDA is excluded from assets, and any IDA benefits are also excluded from income. This program was defunded in 2017, so the exclusion is moot. It is important to note that HUD s updated list of federally mandated income exclusions is not a comprehensive list of all exclusions from income. Following are the types of income that are expressly excluded by federal law. Other income exclusions, as listed in various HUD Handbooks and Notice H 2023-10/PIH 2023-27, remain applicable. Also note that the exclusions listed below apply to income only, except where noted concerning assets. The value of the allotment provided to an eligible household under the Food Stamp Act of 1977. This exclusion also applies to assets. Payments, including for supportive services and reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses, for volunteers under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 are excluded from income except that the exclusion shall not apply in the case of such payments when the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service appointed under 42 U.S.C. 12651c determines that the value of all such payments, adjusted to reflect the number of hours such volunteers are serving, is equivalent to or greater than the minimum wage then in effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 or the minimum wage, under the laws of the State where such volunteers are serving, whichever is the greater. This exclusion also applies to assets. Certain payments received under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. This exclusion also applies to assets. Income derived from certain submarginal land of the United States is held in trust for certain Indian tribes. This exclusion also applies to assets. Payments or allowances made under the Department of Health and Human Services Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This exclusion also applies to assets. Income derived from the disposition of funds to the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians. This exclusion also applies to assets. The first $2,000 of per capita shares received from judgment funds awarded by the National Indian Gaming Commission or the U.S. Claims Court, the interests of individual Indians in trust or restricted lands, and the first $2,000 per year of income received by individual Indians from funds derived in interests held in such trust or restricted lands. This exclusion does not include proceeds of gaming operations regulated by the Commission. This exclusion also applies to assets. Amounts of student financial assistance funded under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, including awards under Federal work-study programs or the Bureau of Indian Affairs student assistance programs. For Section 8 programs only, any financial assistance in excess of amounts received by an individual for tuition and any other required fees and charges under the Higher Education Act of 1965 from private sources or an institution of higher education (as defined under the Higher Education Act of 1965), shall not be considered income to that individual if the individual is over the age of 23 with dependent children. Payments received from programs funded under Title V of the Older Americans Act of 1965. Payments received on or after January 1, 1989, from the Agent Orange Settlement Fund or any other fund established pursuant to the settlement in Re Agent Orange Product Liability Litigation, M.D.L. No 381 (E.D.N.Y.). This exclusion also applies to assets. Payments received under the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980. This exclusion also applies to assets. The value of any childcare provided or arranged (or any amount received as payment for such care or reimbursement for costs incurred for such care) under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990. Earned income tax credit (EITC) refund payments received on or after January 1, 1991, for programs administered under the United States Housing Act of 1937, title V of the Housing Act of 1949, Section 101 of the Housing & Urban Development Act of 1965, and Sections 221(d)(3), 235, and 236 of the National Housing Act. This exclusion also applies to assets. Note - while this income exclusion addresses EITC refund payments for certain HUD programs, the exclusion in 26 U.S.C. 6409 excludes Federal tax refunds more broadly for any Federal program or under any State or local program financed in whole or in part with Federal funds. The amount of any refund (or advance payment for a refundable credit) issued under the Internal Revenue Code is excluded from income and assets for 12 months after receipt. Payments by the Indian Claims Commission to the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Indian Nation or the Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation. This exclusion also applies to assets. Allowances, earnings, and payments to AmeriCorps participants under the National and Community Service Act of 1990. Any allowance paid to children of Vietnam veterans born with spina bifida, children of women Vietnam veterans born with certain birth defects, and children of certain Korean and Thailand service veterans born with spina bifida. This exclusion also applies to assets. Any amount of crime victim compensation that provides medical or other assistance (or payment or reimbursement of the cost of such assistance) under the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 received through a crime victim assistance program, unless the total amount of assistance that the applicant receives from all such programs is sufficient to fully compensate the applicant for losses suffered as a result of the crime. This exclusion also applies to assets. Allowances, earnings, and payments to individuals participating in programs under the Workforce Investment Act of 1988, reauthorized as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014. Any amount received under the Richard B. Russell School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, including reduced-price lunches and food under the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This exclusion also applies to assets. Payments, funds, or distributions authorized, established, or directed by the Seneca Nation Settlement Act of 1990. This exclusion also applies to assets. Payments from any deferred U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs disability benefits that are received in a lump sum or in prospective monthly payments. Any amounts (i) not received by the family, (ii) that would be eligible for exclusion under 42 U.S.C. 1382b(a)(7), and (iii) received for service-connected disability under 38 U.S.C. chapter 11 or dependency and indemnity compensation under 38 U.S.C. chapter 13 as provided by an amendment by the Indian Veterans Housing Opportunity Act of 2010 to the definition of income applicable to programs under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA). A lump sum or a periodic payment received by an individual Indian under the class action settlement agreement in the case titled Elouise Cobell et al. v. Ken Salazar et al., 816 F. Supp.2d 10 (Oct 5, 2011, D.D.C), for one year from the time of receipt of that payment as provided in the Claims Resolution Act of 2010. This exclusion also applies to assets. As provided by the Assets for Independence Act, as amended, any amounts in an "individual development account are excluded from assets, and any assistance, benefit, or amounts earned by or provided to the individual development account are excluded from income. An Individual Development Account (IDA) is a special bank account that assists a family in saving for education, purchasing a first home, or starting a business. To enroll in the program, participants must (1) Have a paying job, (2) earn less than 200% of the federal poverty level, and (3) not have more than $10,000 in assets, excluding one car and one home. The owner of the account contributes money from their job to the account. The contributions are matched from the State TANF program or a special state fund. These additional funds are excluded from income or assets. Per capita payments made from the proceeds of Indian Tribal Trust Settlements listed in IRS Notice 2013-1 and 2013-55 must be excluded from annual income unless the per capita payments exceed the amount of the original Tribal Trust Settlement proceeds and are made from a Tribe s private bank account in which the Tribe has deposited the settlement proceeds. Such amounts received in excess of the Tribal Trust Settlement are included in the gross income of the members of the Tribe receiving the per capita payments as described in IRS Notice 2013-1. The first $2,000 of per capita payments are also excluded from assets unless the per capita payments exceed the amount of the original Tribal Trust Settlement proceeds and are made from a Tribe s private bank account in which the Tribe has deposited the settlement proceeds. Individuals and families receiving federal assistance for a major disaster or emergency under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and comparable disaster assistance that is provided by States, local governments, and disaster assistance organizations. This exclusion also applies to assets. Any amount in an Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) account, distributions from, and certain contributions to an ABLE account established under the ABLE Act of 2014, as described in Notice PIH 2019-09/H 2019-06 or a subsequent or superseding notice. This exclusion also applies to assets. Assistance received by a household under the Emergency Rental Assistance Program under the Consolidated Appropriates Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. While all these exclusions will be reflected in a future update of HUD Handbook 4350.3, that update is not yet available. Therefore, owners and managers of properties subject to HUD income and asset exclusions should keep this list handy.

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