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Frequently Asked Questions


General

Where do I find the Operating Cost Adjustment Factor (OCAF)?

The OCAF for South Dakota can be found in the Section 8 resources page.


What is the term of a Rent Comparability Study (RCS)?

A RCS is good for 5 years.


 How long do I have to keep tenant files?

  • Active Tenants: Keep everything as long as they are active tenants.
  • Moved Out Tenants: 3 years.
  • Rejected applicants: 5 years.

 

TRACS

What is the TRACS compliance threshold percentage?

90%


 

Why is the compliance percentage important?

Because the property will not be paid if the TRACS compliance percentage falls below the threshold.


 

How do you correct a Social Security number in TRACS?

An interim certification with the previous HOH information included.


 

How do you change a Head of Household in TRACS?

An interim certification with the previous HOH information included.


 

On a late recertification, how long will TRACS pay before subsidy is terminated?

15 months


 

What date are paper vouchers and electronic submissions due to SDHDA?

10th of the Month


 

True/False: The owner/agent is responsible for verifying all tenant transmissions (MI, MO) to TRACS prior to submitting a special claim.

True - according to the current special claims guidebook dated June 2006


 

Who is responsible for monitoring and reviewing TRACS reports and submissions, correcting deficiencies\errors on a monthly basis?

Owner\Agents


 

How long must copies of claims and supporting documents be retained by the owner/agent?

Three years after the date the claim was paid


 

True/False: If the owner/agent did not collect the appropriate security deposit from the tenant, a special claim will be reduced by the amount the owner should have collected?

True


 

Can the owner/agent implement the GR (Gross Rents) on a HAP Request before all documents have been executed by all parties?

No


 

If TRACS will not accept a move out, how will the tenant be removed from the prior unit in TRACS?

A manual move out form must be completed.


 

What tool can be utilized to prevent a double occupancy situation?

EIV Existing Tenant Search. Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) system allows owners and management agents to search if an applicant or a member of the applicant’s household is being assisted at another location under an Office of Housing and/or Public and Indian Housing (PIH) rental assistance program. HUD strongly encourages use of the Existing Tenant Search option before admitting new applicants into subsidized properties. If the search reveals the applicant or a member of the applicant’s family is being assisted at another location, the owner or management agent (O/A) should confirm with the applicant, the applicant’s program participation status at the other location before admission of the applicant to his/her property. The O/A may also need to contact management at the other location where the applicant is being assisted to determine the applicant’s move-out date or termination of assistance at that location. Assistance will not be paid for more than one unit per household.


 

Financial Reporting

What kind of test is required to be performed when renewing the Section 8 contract under option 4 for Initial and Subsequent renewals?

Determine the lesser rent based on the OCAF worksheet or budget computation.


 

As an owner, if I prepay my mortgage and have a recorded use agreement, what happens to the use agreement if I sell the property?

It stays with the land.


 

True/False: If an owner prepays a 236 mortgage, the interest reduction automatically ceases?

False


 

True/False: It will not affect my funding if I transfer my property to a new owner without getting HUD approval?

False - In one situation we are aware of, it took over two years to rectify the situation after an owner sold a property without HUD approval and the property did not get paid during the interim.


 

If the ownership changes on a HUD assisted property, when does the HUD financial reporting become effective?

Once the HAP assignment is fully executed.


 

What are the new funding notices for?

To provide the owner and management agent notice that funding has been obligated to the property to pay HAP payments for the estimated number of months stated in the letter.


 

Who can sign HAP Contract Documents?

  • Management agent with a Power of Attorney from owner
  • Owner
  • Chairperson or Vice Chairperson (if corporation).
  • Owner signatures are required on contract renewal and rent adjustment request documents and rent schedules. If the management agent has Power of Attorney (POA) it must be very specific as to timeframe and tasks allowed to perform. For properties governed by a Board of Directors, these documents will be accepted if signed by the Chairperson or Vice Chairperson of the board. If the documents are signed by someone else, a copy of the bylaws or a resolution authorizing the signatory must be submitted. Per SDHDA Memo document 06-12-04 MF-113 (32 KB)  dated December 5, 2006.

What is an acceptable level of bad debt written off according to the HUD 9834?

1% or less of gross rents for last two fiscal years.


 

If a property is suffering vacancies, what are the types of exception waivers that can be requested for approval by HUD?

  • Age ineligible for elderly property, except for 515/8 properties;
  • Market rent waiver for over income applicants;
  • Occupancy waiver to allow single occupant to occupy two bedroom unit. RD 515/8 properties are not eligible for age waiver, but must request designation change.

In an SDHDA financed Section 8 property, a management agent must submit, in writing, a request to exceed a budget line item by what percentage rate?

10%


 

What month are HOME and Tax Credit Annual Compliance Reports and SDHDA audits due to SDHDA?

March


 

Compliance

The EIV System verifies what?

Income


 

What is the amount of earned income that you count for a dependent minor full time student?

Zero, HUD 4350.3 pg. 5-6 3(a). Full-time students who are 18 years and older are dependents, and not the head of family, spouse or co-head count up to the maximum $480. If the income is less than $480 annually, count all the income.


 

To be counted as a household member for tax credit purposes, a child must live in the unit...

At least 50% of the time


 

A 3rd party verification form is good for how many days?

120 days


 

True/False: You must acquire a building to claim rehabilitation credits under the Housing Tax Credit Program.

False


 

True/False: It is OK to charge fees to our tenants for damages/repairs so long as the charges don’t exceed $250.

False - All fees must be actual incurred expenses, must be made available to the tenants, and must be pre-approved by SDHDA/HUD.


 

True/False: If a tenant has a pension plan and is receiving a periodic payment from it, you count the value as an asset and the payment amount as income.

False - only the periodic payment is counted as income


 

True/False: Nutritional supplements can be included as a medical expense for the elderly or persons with a disability.

True - if they are prescribed in writing by a medical practitioner for a specific medical condition.


 

What is the threshold for completing an interim certification?

$200 per month


 

How many months average on a checking account do you use when verifying?

6 months


 

Do you use an average or current balance for a savings account when verifying?

Current


 

In an elderly Rural Development financed property with Section 8, what amount of security deposit should be collected from the tenant?

One month’s total tenant payment


 

True/False: Initial recertification notice is sent out only at Move In?

False


 

True/False: The Initial notice is only signed by the tenant?

False


 

True/False: The security deposit is always the TTP at Move In?

False - Exhibit 6-1 in Chapter 6 of 4350.3 REV-1 Handbook


 

What is the date that should be inserted in paragraph 15, page 7 of a Section 8 lease regarding the Annual recertification?

120 days prior to annual recertification


 

How long must Section 8 tenant records be kept after move out and how must they be destroyed?

3 years - shredded, burned or pulverized in Section 8 properties.


 

Who must sign the 50059, Lease, lease addendum, 9887/9887A Consent Form?

All adult household members.


 

If applicant is disabled, but does not receive SSI, how do you verify the disability?

Use federal definition of disability verification form, signed by licensed medical provider.


 

Who must sign Addendum B Section I, II, and III of the 9834 form?

Owner


 

True/False: You can access and use EIV without a coordinator and user ID under HUD Secure Systems?

False


 

What is HUD’s Income Targeting goal/requirement and who must track this?

40% of new move-ins during year at ELI (Extremely low income) - owner/agent must track


 

What are the five required elements of a waiting list?

Name, date, time application received, bedroom size and reasonable accommodation.


 

How long do you have before a security deposit refund and/or final disposition letter of security deposit is sent to a former tenant?

14 days, according to State Law 43-32-24.


 

True/False: The only time a tenant does not sign a 50059 is when there is a gross rent change.

True - unless there is a change in the TTP or utility reimbursement, then the 50059 must be signed by the tenant.


 

What lease is used for Section 8 properties and where is the current version available?

SDHDA/HUD approved version, available at Section 8 Forms, Manuals & Resources.


 

In the HOME program, how many years must tenant records, including income verifications, development rents, and unit inspections must be retained?

5 years. The most recent five year period, until five years after the affordability period terminates.


 

In the HOME program, if family income increases above the HOME income eligibility guidelines, how much rent do they have to pay?

30 percent of their adjusted monthly income or market rent, whichever is less


 

In the HOME program, tenant recertifications should be done when?

Annual recertifications must be effective on or before (but not more than 30 days before) the occupancy anniversary date.


 

In the HOME program, what are floating units?

The HOME designated units may change within the development, as long as the total number of units are income qualified as stated in the HOME covenants.


 

Can the Under $5,000 Asset Verification Form be used for HOME program?

No, only the HTC program.


 

What is the minimum initial term of the lease that is required for the HTC program?

6 months


 

For the HTC program, how long are you required to keep the initial tenant files?

21 years.


 

True/False: In the HTC program the transfer of a household from one building to another is treated as a new move-in.

False - if the household is under 140% of AMI, the household can transfer without recertification.


 

For Tax Credit purposes, how long are third party verifications good for?

120 days


 

True/False: Rural Development 515/8 properties follow the Rural Development model lease instead of the HUD model lease.

False - The HUD model lease in Appendix 4-A of the 4350.3 Chg 2 must be used at Rural Housing Service’s (RHS) Section 515 projects that have Section 8 assistance. default Exhibit 6-2  contains the lease provisions required by RHS. Owners will be responsible for ensuring that any RHS required provisions not already included in the HUD model lease are added to the lease as an addendum. The lease addendum must be reviewed and approved by HUD or the Contract Administrator, ensuring the addendum does not include provisions that conflict with HUD requirements or regulations. The RHS required lease provisions are also provided in Attachment 6-E of the USDA MFH Asset Management Handbook, HB-2-3560.**


 

Marketing\Fair Housing

How often should an Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan be reviewed?

5 years or shorter if demographics change


 

What does LEP stand for?

Limited English Proficiency - it is Federal guidance to recipients and federal agencies stating that they are required to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to their programs and activities to persons who have limited English proficiency.


 

What constitutes strong evidence of compliance with the written translation obligations of LEP?

Translating vital documents for each eligible LEP language group that constitutes 5 percent or 1,000, whichever is less, of the population of persons eligible to be served or likely to be affected or encountered


 

True/False: The fact that a person has a disability does not automatically entitle him or her to an assistance animal.

True - There must be a relationship between the person’s disability and his or her need for the animal.


 

True/False: A housing provider may refuse to allow a person with a disability to have an assistance animal because the animal does not have formal training.

False - In some cases no formal training is required for the animal to perform the disability-related assistance or provide the disability-related benefit needed by the person with the disability.


 

What must the owner pay if a tenant requests a transfer to another unit and the request is justified based on the nature of the tenant’s disability?

Actual moving expenses. The owner must state this in their written policies and procedures.


 

Who is the biggest Fair Housing liability on a property?

Maintenance staff, if they are not trained in fair housing, as they have the most interaction with the residents on property and in their units.


 

What are some effective marketing tools?

Newspaper, signage at the property, good curb appeal, local housing authorities, churches, social service providers, word of mouth, friendly staff, quick responses to inquiries/complaints.


 

How important is it to retain your current residents?

Priceless! These are the people that make your community work!


 

What percent of all Fair Housing complaints occur as a result of perceived discrimination during the leasing process?

Approximately 70%


 

True/False: Failure to investigate, attempt resolution, or take any action to stop harassing behavior from one resident to another may leave you open to a fair housing complaint.

True - however, reasonable attempts to rectify a resident’s racist behavior toward another resident can insulate you from fair housing liability


 

True/False: Section 8 properties are exempt from complying with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2005.

False - Public Housing, Section 8 Voucher Programs, and owners participating in the Section 8 voucher and project-based programs must comply with this law. Full text of the law.


 

True/False: A reasonable accommodation is a structural modification that is made to allow persons with disabilities the full enjoyment of the housing and related facilities.

False - this is a reasonable MODIFICATION. A reasonable accommodation is a change in rules, policies, practices, or services so that a person with disability will have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling unit or common space.


 

What new language has been added to the denial letter for applicants to assisted housing?

Reasonable accommodation for appeal hearing.


 

Are you required to have a reasonable accommodation policy?

Yes


 

What is the maximum pet deposit that can be charged for a service or companion animal?

Zero


 

Physical Reviews

Most recent REAC score is 87, when will be the next inspection?

2 years. 90 and higher 3 years, 80-89 2 years, 79-less annually and 60 and below (Enforcement Center)


 

True/False: The statement “The unit is in decent, safe and sanitary condition” is required on the Move In and Move Out Inspection form.

True, according to Change 2 of HUD Handbook 4350.3 REV-1


 

Lead based paint notifications pertain to housing built prior to what year?

1978


 

What is the first item to be completed on-site each and everyday?

Walk the property, all the common areas and pick up any debris and note any corrections or infractions.


 

What can be done during a move-in inspection to cut down on nuisance maintenance calls?

  • Educate your residents how to reset GFCI’s, garbage disposal, self cleaning oven, and thermostat
  • Educate your residents on how to install batteries in smoke detectors
  • Educate your residents on how to shut the water off in case of an emergency
  • Explain to residents the need to report maintenance problems (like a leaky faucet or pipe) early to avoid emergencies and expensive damages.

Should your maintenance personnel be involved in the budget process?

Yes. They are your eyes and ears at your property and really are the only ones that know what the property needs first hand. They can save you money in the long run.


 

When is it appropriate to show a unit that is not ready to rent?

NEVER show a unit that is not ready. If you don’t have a rent ready unit, ask a tenant with a very nice apartment if you could show theirs.


 

Why is it important for your maintenance staff to have materials on hand, keep tools organized and keep an inventory of both?

  • It will save them time if they don’t have to track down tools when you need them.
  • It is more expensive to purchase common materials as needed than to purchase them in bulk.
  • If an inventory is maintained, you will have parts you need on hand to complete the repair.

 

Why is it important for onsite maintenance staff to receive training?

  • Using proper maintenance procedures can save the property money
  • Providing Fair Housing Training to them can help you avoid a lawsuit
  • They can harm themselves or others if not properly trained

 

Why is it important to have a preventative maintenance schedule that everyone follows?

  • So you can be proactive with scheduling rather than always being reactive to problems; stop the crisis management syndrome!
  • You can prevent potential life threatening situations from occurring
  • It provides an audit trail of corrective maintenance, which in the event of a lawsuit, will reflect due diligence on the part of the owner

 

Wild Card

What does RHIIP stand for?

Rental Housing Integrity Improvement Project


 

What do you do with SDHDA memos?

  • Place them in your memo book so you can refer to them later
  • Make sure you have implemented all of the suggestions/changes that are appropriate
  • Ask the appropriate SDHDA staff for clarification if needed

 

What should I do if I have a question on how to handle the calculation of income?

  • Research your issue in the 4350.3 Chg 2 before calling SDHDA
  • Check the RHIIP Guide on the HUD website for the answer
  • Attend Occupancy Training if you have not done so in the last 6 months

 

What is SDHDA’s website address?

http://www.sdhda.org


 

What are the benefits of using www.sdhousingsearch.com?

  • It is free to the landlord
  • It is free to the tenants
  • It is updated regularly and only lists available units or properties that maintain a waiting list
  • You can list both assisted and conventional units on it
  • It is easy to use

 

What are some services that are provided by the STAR Coordinators?

  • Important referrals for residents to area community services such as homemaker and healthcare services
  • Assistance with receiving/updating Medicare insurance and benefits
  • Assistance applying for the telephone discount program
  • Assistance applying for energy assistance

 

Can an owner be subject to HAP abatement for bed bug infestation?

Yes, however only after the owner has been given an opportunity to correct the problem, and hasn’t done so.