Reno,NV., Mar 27, 2012 -- Nevada Selected to Launch Federal Rental Alignment Effort to Improve Affordable Rental Housing Programs
Process will streamline review process to better meet needs of low-income families for rental housing; ease burdens for multi family housing developers
(March 27, 2012-RENO, NV) --The Nevada Housing Division (NHD), the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD) and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will today launch a program to reduce the regulatory burden on Nevada’s affordable housing developers and owners while streamlining the agency review process, to better meet the needs of low-income families for rental housing.
Officials with NHD, USDA-RD and HUD will approve a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to align Subsidy Layering Review requirements among the three agencies during a formal signing and media event at the River Place Apartment Homes, 895 Kuenzli Street, Reno, today at 11:00 a.m.
“The goal of this agreement is to create seamless coordination between the agencies providing housing assistance,” said Sarah Adler, USDA RD State Director. “Our willingness to communicate and cooperate will eliminate duplication and improve service to developers working hard to provide affordable housing.”
In response to the White House’s Domestic Policy Council request for better coordinated federal rental policy, NHD has worked closely with USDA RD and HUD to align the often burdensome requirements of different affordable rental housing programs. Because almost all federal housing programs by law require confirmation that, at the time of making a grant or subsidized loan, the total amount of subsidy from public sources does not exceed eligible costs, affordable housing developers have been subject to Subsidy Layering Reviews from multiple agencies, adding delays and costs to projects that hold up construction.
The new initiative will increase communication between agencies, provide a “one-stop-shop” for development applicants, implement timelines to ensure expediency of reviews and simplify the application process, which will benefit owners, developers, tenants and local communities working to create and preserve affordable housing.
“This initiative is an excellent example of HUD partnering with federal and state agencies to eliminate burdensome requirements for our customers,” said Ophelia Basgal, Regional Administrator, Region IX, of HUD. “The subsidy layering review process has been streamlined to create a more timely and effective process for those who pursue financing options with the federal government.”
Historically, the issue of subsidy layering has been addressed differently by the United States Department of Treasury (Treasury), HUD, and USDA RD. Subsidy layering review is a HUD statutory requirement to assure that federal resources are neither duplicative nor wasteful when applied to affordable rental housing. These differences are reflected in the extent of subsidy layering analysis that the agencies require: USDA relies on the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) review and does not require a formal subsidy layering analysis, while HUD’s multi-family HOME program has detailed guidance on how the analysis must be completed.
The MOU approved by NHD, HUD and USDA RD is an administrative solution that better aligns and utilizes state and federal affordable rental housing program policies.
“The MOU initiative is an important step forward in NHD’s effort to continue affordable rental housing’s success in serving our most rent-challenged and at-risk families,” said NHD Administrator Chas Horsey. “Through the launch of NHD’s pilot program, our partners and customers can begin to realize cost- and time-savings that will help enable low-income families to have access to affordable housing where it is needed most.”