GFHA Administrative Plan for the Housing Choice Voucher Program
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Chapter 1: Overview of the Program and Plan
PART III: THE HCV ADMINISTRATIVE PLAN 1-III.A. OVERVIEW AND PURPOSE OF THE PLAN The administrative plan is required by HUD. The purpose of the administrative plan is to establish policies for carrying out the programs in a manner consistent with HUD requirements and local goals and objectives contained in the PHA’s agency plan. This administrative plan is a supporting document to the PHA agency plan, and is available for public review as required by CFR 24 Part 903.
This administrative plan is set forth to define the GFHA’s local policies for operation of the housing programs in accordance with federal laws and regulations. All issues related to the HCV program not addressed in this document are governed by such federal regulations, HUD handbooks and guidebooks, notices, and other applicable law. The policies in this administrative plan have been designed to ensure compliance with the consolidated ACC and all HUD-approved applications for program funding.
The PHA is responsible for complying with all changes in HUD regulations pertaining to the HCV program. If such changes conflict with this plan, HUD regulations will have precedence.
Administration of the HCV program and the functions and responsibilities of GFHA staff shall be in compliance with the GFHA's personnel policy and HUD regulations as well as all federal, state and local fair housing laws and regulations.
1-III.B. CONTENTS OF THE PLAN [24 CFR 982.54] The HUD regulations at 24 CFR 982.54 define the policies that must be included in the administrative plan. They are as follows:
Selection and admission of applicants from the GFHA waiting list, including any GFHA admission preferences, procedures for removing applicant names from the waiting list, and procedures for closing and reopening the GFHA waiting list (Chapter 4);
Issuing or denying vouchers, including the GFHA policy governing the voucher term and any extensions of the voucher term. If the GFHA decides to allow extensions of the voucher term, the administrative plan must describe how the GFHA determines whether to grant extensions, and how the GFHA determines the length of any extension (Chapter 5);
Any special rules for use of available funds when HUD provides funding to the GFHA for a special purpose (e.g., desegregation), including funding for specified families or a specified category of families (Chapter 4);
Occupancy policies, including definition of what group of persons may qualify as a 'family', definition of when a family is considered to be 'continuously assisted'; standards for denying admission or terminating assistance based on criminal activity or alcohol abuse in accordance with 982.553 (Chapters 3 and 12);
Encouraging participation by owners of suitable units located outside areas of low income or minority concentration (Chapter 13);
Assisting a family that claims that illegal discrimination has prevented the family from leasing a suitable unit (Chapter 2);
Providing information about a family to prospective owners (Chapters 3 and 9);
Disapproval of owners (Chapter 13);
Subsidy standards (Chapter 5);
Family absence from the dwelling unit (Chapter 12);
How to determine who remains in the program if a family breaks up (Chapter 3);
Informal review procedures for applicants (Chapter 16);
Informal hearing procedures for participants (Chapter 16);
The process for establishing and revising voucher payment standards, including policies on administering decreases in the payment standard during the HAP contract term (Chapter 16);
The method of determining that rent to owner is a reasonable rent (initially and during the term of a HAP contract) (Chapter 8);
Special policies concerning special housing types in the program (e.g., use of shared housing) (Chapter 15);
Policies concerning payment by a family to the GFHA of amounts the family owes the GFHA (Chapter 16);
Interim redeterminations of family income and composition (Chapter 11);
Restrictions, if any, on the number of moves by a participant family (Chapter 10);
Approval by the board of commissioners or other authorized officials to charge the administrative fee reserve (Chapter 16);
Procedural guidelines and performance standards for conducting required housing quality standards inspections (Chapter 8); and
GFHA screening of applicants for family behavior or suitability for tenancy (Chapter 3).
Mandatory vs. Discretionary Policy HUD makes a distinction between:
Mandatory policies: those driven by legislation, regulations, current handbooks, notices, and legal opinions, and
Optional, non-binding guidance, including guidebooks, notices that have expired and recommendations from individual HUD staff.
HUD expects PHAs to adopt local policies and procedures that are consistent with mandatory policies in areas where HUD gives the PHA discretion. The PHA's administrative plan is the foundation of those policies and procedures. HUD’s directions require PHAs to make policy choices that provide sufficient guidance to staff and ensure consistency to program applicants and participants.
Creating policies based upon HUD guidance is not mandatory, but provides a PHA with a “safe harbor.” HUD has already determined that the recommendations and suggestions it makes are consistent with mandatory policies. If a PHA adopts an alternative strategy, it must make its own determination that the alternative approach is consistent with legislation, regulations, and other mandatory requirements. There may be very good reasons for adopting a policy or procedure that is different than HUD’s safe harbor, but PHAs should carefully think through those decisions.
1-III.C. ORGANIZATION OF THE PLAN The plan is organized to provide information to users in particular areas of operation.
1-III.D. UPDATING AND REVISING THE PLAN The PHA will revise this administrative plan as needed to comply with changes in HUD regulations. The original plan and any changes must be approved by the board of commissioners of the agency, the pertinent sections included in the Agency Plan, and a copy provided to HUD. GFHA Policy The GFHA will review and update the plan as needed, to reflect changes in regulations, GFHA operations, or when needed to ensure staff consistency in operation.