COVID-19 Waivers Updated December 21, 2021
The Providence Housing Authority (PHA) releases public notice of HUD waivers utilized during COVID-19 pandemic, updated as of December 31, 2021. Note that most waivers below other than HCV-3 relating to term of vouchers expire on 12/31/21 or have already expired.
HUD-Issued COVID-19 Waivers
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued a series of waivers which PHAs may utilize to adopt public housing and housing choice voucher (section 8) program operations to the COVID-19 emergency. The most up to date list of waivers allowed by HUD, which are optional for PHAs, was released on through PIH Notice 2021-14 on May 4, 2021 (most waivers were established in earlier notices in April of 2020 and November of 2020).
Providence Housing Authority has reviewed the waivers and opted to make use of the following at the present time. PHA will update this document if we determine that we no longer will use any waiver before its expiration date, if the expiration dates are extended, or if we adopt any new waivers listed here.
Any questions on this document may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Waivers are listed and explained below in the order they appear in the table provided by HUD with Notice 2021-14. Waivers that the PHA may have utilized earlier but are no longer using have been removed from this page.
Key terms & abbreviations:
A full list of commonly used abbreviations and acronyms can be found here.
- PHA – can either refer to the formal Providence Housing Authority or to public housing authorities in general.
- PH – Public housing
- HCV – housing choice voucher, otherwise known as “Section 8”. Below can also be interchanged with “Leased Housing”
- EIV – Enterprise Income Verification
- HAP – housing assistance payment contract
- ACOP- Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policy
- PBV – Project based voucher
Waivers Related to Both Public & Housing Choice Voucher/Section 8 Programs
PH and HCV 2 – Delayed annual examination – Permits the PHA to delay the annual re-examination of income and family composition. PHA initially adopted this waiver for the Mod Rehab program only, and suspended its use once a Mod Rehab specific waiver was introduced (see waiver MR 1 below).
PH and HCV 3 – Annual reexamination income verification. Waives the requirements to use the income hierarchy, including the use of EIV, and will allow PHAs to consider self-certification as the highest form of income verification. PHAs that implement this waiver will be responsible for addressing material income discrepancies that may arise later. For the public housing program, property management will continue to follow the HUD hierarchy for income verification when possible for all annual reexaminations. Self-certifications of income will be accepted from tenants unable to verify their income including email, hard copy letter or a documented phone call.
For the leased housing program, PHA will accept self-certifications from participants unable to verify their income including email, hard copy letter or a documented phone call. The use of this waiver is currently set to expire on December 31, 2021.
PH and HCV-4 Interim Reexaminations. Waives the requirement to use the income verification requirements, including the use of EIV, for interim reexaminations. For public housing, property management will continue to follow the HUD requirements for income verification when possible for all interim reexaminations. Any deviation will be documented within the tenant file. The Leased Housing program will continue to process interim changes; however, it will waive the use of EIV. The use of this waiver is currently set to expire on December 31, 2021.
PH and HCV-5 EIV System Monitoring. Waives the mandatory EIV monitoring requirements. Public housing will waive the EIV monitoring requirement. HCV will waive the monitoring requirement but record in a log any households that cannot be validated to avoid delay of any new leases in the future. The use of this waiver is currently set to expire on December 31, 2021.
PH and HCV 6- Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program Contract of Participation. Provides for extensions to FSS contract of participation. Requests for extensions of Family Self Sufficiency contracts will be considered on a case by case basis and will be approved if related to the COVID-19 emergency. The use of this waiver is currently set to expire on December 31, 2021.
PH and HCV 7 – Waiting List. Waives public notice requirements for opening and closing waiting list. Requires alternative process. If PHA opens or closes a waiting list during the COVID-19 emergency period covered by this waiver, it will notify the public via its website and Facebook page, and will also email community organizations and housing advocacy organizations. The use of this waiver is currently set to expire on December 31, 2021.
PH and HCV 8 – Eligibility Determination: Income Verification. Waives the third-party income verification requirements for applicants and will allow PHAs to consider self-certification as the highest form of income verification at admission. PHAs must review the EIV income and IVT reports to confirm/validate family income reported within 90 days. The use of this waiver will expire on December 31, 2021.
Waivers Related to Housing Quality Standards Inspections
HQS 1 – Initial Inspection. Changes initial inspection requirements, allowing for owner certification that there are no life-threatening deficiencies. PHA is continuing to require initial inspections conducted by the agency. However, we are currently waiving the required Lead Conformance Certificate, which is a state level requirement for all homes built before 1978 and not owner occupied. An owner without such a certificate must sign a PHA certification that there are no known lead hazards, that the owner has self-inspected the unit for lead hazards, and that the owner will get a lead conformance certificate and submit it to the PHA by December 31, 2021.
HQS 5 – Biennial Inspections. Allows for a delay in biennial inspections. The HCV program has adjusted its policy during COVID-19 to require inspections only every other year. As of December 10, 2020 this move to biennial inspections was approved by the Board of Commissioners as a permanent change. The PHA must resume all delayed biennial inspections by December 31, 2021. The PHA must conduct all delayed biennial inspections from CY2020 as soon as reasonably possible but no later than June 30, 2022 and must conduct all delayed biennial inspections from CY2021 as soon as possible but no later than December 31, 2022.
HQS 6- Interim Inspections. Waives the requirement for the PHA to conduct interim inspection and requires alternative methods. Allows for repairs to be verified by alternative methods. For any reported housing quality standards violation reported by a tenant or otherwise, Section 8 staff will contact the owner, and allow the owner to self-certify that the issue has been addressed and send a photo or other verification if applicable. Existing time requirements for addressing violations remain in place. Staff will confirm with the tenant that the issue has been addressed. The use of this waiver is currently set to expire on December 31, 2021.
HQS 10 – HQS Space and Security. Waives the requirement have at least one bedroom or living/sleeping room for each two persons. If tenants request to move into a unit with less than one sleeping room for each two persons, or if a request to add members to the household results in this circumstance, PHA will allow this as long as the change is in accordance with all other HUD regulations. PHA will notify tenants at the time use that this waiver is only allowed for one year from the lease term or until May 4, 2022, whichever is later, per HUD.
HQS 11 – Homeownership HQS. Waives the requirement to perform an initial HQS inspection in order to begin making homeownership assistance payments. Requires family to obtain independent professional inspection. If a family purchasing a home through the Section 8 homeownership program is required by a lender or otherwise to get a professional inspection, PHA staff will review the results of that inspection to see if there are any HQS violations rather than conduct its own in-person inspection. The PHA may conduct an in-person inspection if the review turns up a potential violation that has not otherwise jeopardized the home purchase. The use of this waiver is currently set to expire on December 31, 2021.
Waivers Related to Housing Choice Voucher Program
HCV 1 – Administrative Plan – Establishes an alternative requirement that policies may be adopted without Board approval. The PHA will adopt any program changes that alter the administrative plan no later than September 30, 2021 and will post those changes through any updates to this document or additional documents as needed. The Board of Commissioners will adopt any changes that need to remain in place beyond December 31, 2021 before that date.
HCV 2- PHA Oral Briefing – Waives the requirement for an oral briefing. PHA will brief all new applicants and port-ins via phone call rather than in person and will email or mail a briefing packet to the participant. If the voucher participant is unable to participate in a phone call or zoom briefing, we will consider utilizing this waiver by only conducting the briefing through providing written materials. The use of this waiver is currently set to expire on December 31, 2021.
HCV 3- Term of Voucher – Extensions of Term. Allows PHAs to provide voucher extensions regardless of current PHA policy. PHA will provide an additional 60 days to voucher holders whose voucher is in the last 30 days of its 120 day period, so long as the voucher holder has demonstrated best efforts to look for housing during the first 90 days of the voucher term. PHA may consider additional extensions on a case by case basis where a voucher holder has been unable to find and be offered suitable housing. Effective December 21, 2021, HUD has approved PHA’s request to continue extending voucher terms for up to 90 additional days after their last expiration. That waiver is approved through December 31, 2022.
HCV-4 PHA Approval of Assisted Tenancy. Provides for HAP payments for contracts not executed within 60 days. If for any reason an owner takes more than 60 days but not more than 120 days to execute a HAP contract, PHA will still honor the contract using this waiver and make housing assistance payments back to the beginning of the lease term. However, we are unable to make any HAP payments to an owner until the contract is executed. The use of this waiver will expire on December 31, 2021.
HCV-5 Absence from unit. Allows for PHA discretion on absences from units longer than 180 days. On an individual basis, the Director and Associate Director of leased housing will review any extensions to the 180 day absence rule to determine if COVID-19 is a factor. HAP payments for extended absences may not currently be made beyond December 31, 2021.
HCV-6 Automatic Termination of HAP Contract. Allows PHA to extend the period of time after the last HAP payment is made before the HAP contract terminates automatically. On a case by case basis, the Director and Associate Director of Leased Housing will consider whether to extend a HAP contract even if a tenant’s income has resulted in zero housing assistance payment for six months, (the usual required time-frame for terminating assistance), and approve if there is a reasonable tenant concern that COVID-19 related circumstances could result in the family qualifying for HAP assistance again before December 31, 2021.
HCV-9 Homeownership Counseling. Waives the requirement for the family to obtain pre-assistance counseling. PHA is waiving this requirement but is still offering virtual counseling and referrals to other services as needed. The use of this waiver is currently set to expire on December 31, 2021.
HCV-13 Homeownership – Max Term. Allows the PHA to extend homeownership assistance up to one additional year. The Director and Associate Director of Leased Housing will consider extension requests for anyone with expiring homeownership assistance on an as needed basis. In accordance with the waiver authority, PHA may extend assistance for up to one year at any time up until December 31, 2021.
HCV-14 Mandatory removal of unit from PBV HAP contract. Allows a PHA to keep a PBV unit under contract for a period of time that extends beyond 180 days from the last HAP but does not extend beyond December 31, 2021. The Leased Housing department will consider requests not to remove units from a PBV HAP contract where no HAP has been paid for 180 days. This will not include cases where the unit has been vacant unless there is a continued vacancy as the result of COVID-19 related circumstances. The use of this waiver will expire on December 31, 2021.
Waivers Related to Mod Rehab Program
MR 0 – Annual Examination; Income Verification Requirements. Waives the requirements to use the income hierarchy described by PIH 2018-18 and will allow PHAs to forgo third-party income verifications for annual re-examinations, including the use of EIV, if the PHA wishes to conduct the annual re-exam rather than delaying the family’s annual re-exam ad permitted under MR-1. The use of this waiver will expire on December 31, 2021.
MR 1- Delay of annual reexamination. Permits the PHA to delay the annual reexamination of income and family composition. This applies to the Mod Rehab program and the leased housing program will utilize it if necessary. Any such delayed recertifications from calendar year 2020 must have been completed by December 31, 2020; any from 2021 must be completed by December 31, 2021.
MR 3 – Interim Examinations. Waives the requirements to use the income hierarchy described by PIH 2018-18 and will allow PHAs to forgo third-party income verifications for annual interim re-exams, including the use of EIV. During the allowable period of eligibility PHAs may consider self-certification as the highest form of income verification to process interim re-exams. The use of this waiver will expire on December 31, 2021.
MR 4 -Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) Monitoring. Waives the mandatory EIV monitoring requirement. The use of this waiver will expire on December 31, 2021.
MR 7 – PHA Reporting Requirements for Mod Rehab on HUD Form 50058. Waived the requirement to submit 50058 within 60 days. Provided an alternative requirement to submit within 90 days of the effective date of the action. The use of this waiver expired on 12/31/20.
Waivers Related to Public Housing
PH-1 Fiscal Closeout of Capital Grant Funds. Provides an extension for submission of grant closeout documents (ADCC and AMCC) for grants that were open on March 19,2020. The availability period end date varies by PHA. The deadline for submission of grant closeout documents is extended from 120 days to one year.
PH-4 ACOP. Changes approval process for ACOP. The PHA will adopt any program changes that alter the ACOP no later than September 30, 2021 and posted through any updates to this document or any additional documents as needed. The Board of Commissioners will adopt any changes that need to remain in place beyond December 31, 2021 before that date.
PH-5 CSSR. Temporary suspends community service requirement which applies to some tenants. HUD has suspended the CSSR program through April 30, 2022. PHA had suspended it through an optional waiver before HUD made the waiver mandatory in May of 2021.
PH-6 Energy Audits. Allows for the delay in due dates for energy audits. Any energy audits due from PHA to HUD before December 31, 2020 will have their due dates extended by one year.
PH-8 Resident Council Elections. Allows for PHA to delay resident council elections beyond the three- year limit if necessary. HUD regulations require that resident councils must adhere to certain minimum standards regarding election procedures, including that all procedures assure fair and frequent elections of resident council members – at least once every three years for each member. HUD is waiving these regulations to allow PHAs to delay resident council elections beyond the three-year limit if necessary. However, the delayed resident council election must be rescheduled and held as soon as reasonable possible once circumstances permit, after December 31, 2021.
PH-10 Tenant Notifications for Changes to Project Rules and Regulations. Advance notice not required except for policies related to tenant charges. PHA will notify tenants of rule changes as soon as practicable using safe notification methods, including phone, text, email, and in some cases mail. Information will also be posted here at www.ProvHousing.org.
PHA-12 Public Housing Agency Annual Self-Inspections. Waived the requirement that the PHA must inspect each project. The use of this waiver expired on December 31, 2020 and the PHA begin self-inspections again in 2021.
PH-14 Annual Choice of Rent. Allows families an additional opportunity to select an income-based or flat rent. PHA will provide tenants with the choice of flat or income-based rent for a second time in a given year, if a tenant has a recertification with an increase in income, anytime between Nov. 30 and December 31, 2021.
Other Waivers & Administrative Relief
Waiver 12a – Reporting Requirements on HUD Form 50058. Waived the requirement to submit 50058 within 60 days. Provided an alternative requirement to submit within 90 days of the effective date of the action. The use of this waiver expired on 12/31/20.
Waiver 12c – Deadline for reporting Operating and Capital Fund Expenditures. Provides the PHA a 24-month extension on closure of all capital fund grants. However, no programmatic expenditure end date shall be extended beyond one month prior to closure of relevant appropriations Annual Contributions Contract (ACC).