Housing Plus

Housing Plus

Guidance and legal insight for all aspects of housing and community development

By the Housing Group at Ballard Spahr

Category Archives: Enforcement

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HUD Activity – Week of November 28, 2016

Posted in Community Development, Enforcement, Government-Assisted Housing, Policy, Public Housing, Section 8
HUD Announces Nationwide Smoke-Free Policy in Public Housing The most talked about HUD development this week has been Secretary Castro’s announcement on Wednesday, November 30th that HUD will require all public housing developments to be smoke-free environments. By early February, public housing agencies (PHAs) must implement smoke-free policies that ban listed prohibited tobacco products from… Continue Reading

HUD Expands Fair Housing Liability to Include LEP Discrimination

Posted in Enforcement, Fair Housing, Policy
ScaleLast week, HUD issued new guidance confirming that persons with limited English proficiency (LEP) are protected under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). LEP includes a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English.  The guidance reasons that LEP persons are covered by the FHA because of their close nexus with the protected class of… Continue Reading

New Fair Housing Rule Extends Liability to Housing Providers for Harassment

Posted in Enforcement, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Policy
This week, HUD issued a final rule that creates liability under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) for housing providers for occurrences of “quid pro quo harassment” or “hostile environment harassment.” The new rule takes effect on October 14, 2016. The rule prohibits both quid pro quo and hostile environment harassment because of a resident’s protected class… Continue Reading

District Court Dismisses Disparate Impact Claims in Texas

Posted in Community Development, Enforcement, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Tax Credits
After several years of litigation, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas recently dismissed disparate impact claims filed against the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) in the fair housing case, The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc. v. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The Inclusive Communities Project (ICP)… Continue Reading

OIG criticizes HUD’s enforcement of community service requirement

Posted in Enforcement, Government-Assisted Housing, Policy, Public Housing
This week, HUD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report critical of HUD’s oversight of the community service and economic self-sufficiency requirement (CSSR).  This federal requirement, applicable only to public housing residents, generally requires unemployed, non-elderly, non-disabled residents to perform community service or participate in an economic self-sufficiency program for a minimum of 8 hours monthly.  Housing authorities are… Continue Reading

Please join us for the fifth annual Western Housing Conference

Posted in Budget, Community Development, Enforcement, Fair Housing, FHA and GSE Financing, FHA-Insured Financing, Government-Assisted Housing, GSE Financing, Housing Bonds, Legislative Initiatives, Multifamily, Policy, Public Housing, RAD, Section 8, Single-Family, Tax Credits, Tax Reform, Tax-Exempt Bonds
Several exciting developments have recently brought changes to the affordable housing industry and we are inviting you to explore them with us at our fifth annual Western Housing Conference. Ballard Spahr and CSG Advisors are pleased to announce this year’s Best of the West in Affordable Housing Development and Financing conference on March 13, in… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court hears disparate impact case

Posted in Enforcement, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Legislative Initiatives, Policy
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case which questioned whether the Fair Housing Act (FHA) allows for a disparate impact theory of liability.  The disparate impact theory of liability is one in which a plaintiff shows (usually through statistical analysis) that a protected class was harmed by a policy even… Continue Reading

HUD Multifamily provides guidance on marijuana use in assisted housing

Posted in Enforcement, Government-Assisted Housing, Policy, Public Housing, Section 8
On December 29, 2014, Benjamin Metcalf, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Assisted Properties, issued a memo to HUD Multifamily directors and contract administrators clarifying the impact of medical marijuana use on the admissions process and ongoing occupancy of Multifamily assisted properties located in states that have decriminalized marijuana.  The Metcalf memo echoes similar guidance issued by… Continue Reading

Federal court strikes down HUD’s disparate impact regulations

Posted in Enforcement, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Policy, Tax Credits
On Monday, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a scathing opinion that struck down HUD’s disparate impact rule. The disparate impact rule, also referred to as a “discriminatory effects” standard, established liability under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) for the discriminatory effect of a housing practice, even in the midst of no discriminatory intent. Although many… Continue Reading

LIHTC discrimination suit filed against federal government

Posted in Enforcement, Fair Housing, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Policy, Public Housing, Section 8, Tax Credits, Tax-Exempt Bonds
A lawsuit was recently filed alleging that the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) and Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) perpetuated racial segregation in the City of Dallas in their administration of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. The plaintiff alleges that the agencies’ conduct violated their duty to affirmatively further fair housing… Continue Reading

HUD OIG report critical of asset repositioning fee calculations

Posted in Enforcement, Policy, Public Housing
HUD’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued an audit of HUD last week pertaining to awards of asset repositioning fees (ARF), the funds that public housing authorities (PHAs) may receive in connection with demolishing or disposing of public housing units in certain circumstances.  The audit examined ARF awards to 14 PHAs and determined that 10 of those 14… Continue Reading

HUD PIH issues Equal Access Rule implementation guidance

Posted in Enforcement, Fair Housing, Government-Assisted Housing, Public Housing, RAD, Section 8
HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) recently issued PIH 2014-20 (PIH Notice) providing guidance to public housing authorities (PHAs), PHA affiliates and instrumentalities, mixed-finance owners and owners of Section 8-assisted properties regarding the implementation of the final rule entitled Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity… Continue Reading

How the MCDC Initiative affects bond issuers and borrowers

Posted in Enforcement, Housing Bonds, Multifamily, Policy, Single-Family, Tax-Exempt Bonds
If you have ever issued (or borrowed the proceeds of) bonds then you should know about the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Compliance Initiative (the “Initiative”) and take the appropriate steps to determine your compliance with Rule 15c2-12 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Rule”). The Rule generally prohibits underwriters from purchasing or selling municipal… Continue Reading

OIG audit criticizes public housing asset management

Posted in Enforcement, Government-Assisted Housing, Policy, Public Housing
A new HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit published last week levied intense criticism at HUD’s implementation of public housing asset management.  Focusing on HUD’s methodology and monitoring of asset management and other fees and central office cost centers – the cornerstone of HUD’s public housing asset management requirements – the OIG audit recommends the reversal… Continue Reading

Service animals in residence halls – an overview of federal requirements

Posted in Enforcement, Fair Housing, Policy
Increasingly, students with disabilities bring service animals to college campuses. This means that educational institutions must sort through an array of competing federal and state laws governing the use of such animals in school communities. The Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Fair Housing Act have implications for which… Continue Reading

HUD seeks more limited denials of participation for multifamily borrowers

Posted in Enforcement, FHA-Insured Financing
Last week, HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing issued a new notice explaining the procedures its field leadership should use in initiating proceedings to disqualify FHA-insured multifamily borrowers, including the principals of borrower entities, from program participation using Limited Denials of Participation (LDPs). The procedures are intended to comply with current HUD regulations for issuance of… Continue Reading