COVID-19: What steps should owners and agents take for subsidized residents who experience a reduction in income due to COVID-19? Can HUD provide any flexibilities for recertifications under the circumstances?

Current policy states that Property Owners (Owner) must process an interim recertification if a tenant reports a decrease in income that will last for more than one month. The Owner should already have this policy in writing and apply it consistently. See HUD Handbook 4350.3, Chapter 7, Section 2 for details. 
 
Since Owners and Property Management Agents (Agents) are required to make interim re-examinations of a tenant’s income upon tenant request within a reasonable timeframe, HUD encourages Owners and Agents to review and update their current policies to allow for expedited reviews of these requests. HUD will also work to expedite its review and approval of these interim certifications.    
 
For Owners/Agents that are continuing to work on recertifications for residents impacted by COVID-19, HUD will allow electronic signatures contingent upon obtaining original, “wet” signatures on recertification documents at a later date. In particular, the Form HUD-9887/9887A, Document Package For Applicant’s /Tenant’s Consent, and, Other Languages addendum, which is usually signed at the beginning of the recertification process and allows the Owner/Agent to begin verifying documentation, requires an original, “wet” signature. Other recertification documents that will require original, “wet” signatures to be obtained at a later date, include, but are not limited to, the Form HUD-50059, Owner’s Certification of Compliance with HUD’s Tenant Eligibility and Rent Procedures; lease agreements/addendums; Form HUD-9887/9887A; affidavits of unemployment and zero income; and state lifetime sex offender forms.   
 
Tenants can, at their discretion, provide (by email) to the Owner/Agent, the background documentation for the recertification process. This documentation includes, but is not limited to, paystubs, Social Security/Social Security Income/State Supplemental Program awards, bank statements, and public assistance documents. With the flexibility outlined above, Owners/Agents can complete a temporary recertification using electronic versions of these documents and obtain the original documents from the tenant at a later date. 

 
If you are looking to see if your apartment is covered under the CARES Act eviction moratorium, you can search for FHA-insured or Multifamily Assisted properties at the following website: 
https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/mfh/hsgrent/mfhpropertysearch
A HUD Multifamily Assisted property includes properties that receive HUD project-based assistance through its Section 8 rental assistance program; Section 202 Housing for Low-income Elderly; or Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities programs; and formerly assisted Multifamily properties with continuing use restrictions.  Properties that are part of HUD’s Public and Indian Housing programs, including Housing Choice Vouchers, Project-Based Vouchers, or Public Housing, or are participating in Community Development Block Grant programs, are not part of this database and will not appear in search results.
 
For additional information, see:
You may also contact the Multifamily Housing Clearinghouse with questions by calling 1-800-685-8470.  The line is staffed Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern).   
 
If you’re among those financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be concerned about how to pay your mortgage or rent. Federal and state governments have announced plans to help struggling homeowners during this time.  For more information, visit: 
https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/mortgage-and-housing-assistance/help-for-homeowners/learn-about-forbearance/        
Additional information is available in the following video: 
VIDEO: CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance: What You Need to Know
 
Benefits.gov is an online resource to help you find federal benefits you may be eligible for in the United States.  Visit
https://www.benefits.gov/  for more information and a link to the Benefit Finder, to find information on government benefits you may be eligible to receive. 

HQ Policy Determination - COVID-19 guidance.

All policy information contained in this knowledge base article is based upon the referenced HUD policy document. Any lending or insuring decisions should adhere to the specific information contained in that underlying policy document.


Topic Number: KA-05450