PART III: SELECTION FOR HCV ASSISTANCE 4-III.A. OVERVIEW As vouchers become available, families on the waiting list must be selected for assistance in accordance with the policies described in this part. The order in which families are selected from the waiting list depends on the selection method chosen by the GFHA and is impacted in part by any selection preferences for which the family qualifies. The availability of targeted funding also may affect the order in which families are selected from the waiting list.
The GFHA must maintain a clear record of all information required to verify that the family is selected from the waiting list according to the PHA’s selection policies [24 CFR 982.204(b) and 982.207(e)].
4-III.B. SELECTION AND HCV FUNDING SOURCES Special Admissions [24 CFR 982.203] HUD may award funding for specifically-named families living in specified types of units (e.g., a family that is displaced by demolition of public housing; a non-purchasing family residing in a HOPE 1 or 2 projects). In these cases, the GFHA may admit such families whether or not they are on the waiting list, and, if they are on the waiting list, without considering the family’s position on the waiting list. These families are considered non-waiting list selections. The GFHA must maintain records showing that such families were admitted with special program funding.
Targeted Funding [24 CFR 982.204(e)] HUD may award a PHA funding for a specified category of families on the waiting list. The PHA must use this funding only to assist the families within the specified category. In order to assist families within a targeted funding category, the HA may skip families that do not qualify within the targeted funding category. Within this category of families, the order in which such families are assisted is determined according to the policies provided in Section 4-III.C.
GFHA Policy The GFHA administers the following types of targeted funding:
Regular HCV Funding Regular HCV funding may be used to assist any eligible family on the waiting list. Families are selected from the waiting list according to the policies provided in Section 4-III.C.
4-III.C. SELECTION METHOD PHAs must describe the method for selecting applicant families from the waiting list, including the system of admission preferences that the PHA will use [24 CFR 982.202(d)].
Local Preferences [24 CFR 982.207; HCV p. 4-16] PHAs are permitted to establish local preferences, and to give priority to serving families that meet those criteria. HUD specifically authorizes and places restrictions on certain types of local preferences. HUD also permits the HA to establish other local preferences, at its discretion. Any local preferences established must be consistent with the PHA plan and the consolidated plan, and must be based on local housing needs and priorities that can be documented by generally accepted data sources.
GFHA Policy The GFHA will use the following local preferences:
Insufficient Funding (5 points): The GFHA will offer a preference to any family that has been terminated from its HCV program due to insufficient program funding. VAWA (5 points): The GFHA will offer a preference to families that include victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking who is seeking an emergency transfer under VAWA from the GFHA’s public housing program or other covered housing program operated by the GFHA. The applicant must certify that the abuser will not reside with the applicant unless the GFHA gives prior written approval.
Residency Preference (5 points): The GFHA will provide a residency preference to families who live, work, or who have been hired to work within either the state of North Dakota or Polk County, Minnesota, or who are attending an institution of higher education in the defined area.
Use of the residency preference will not have the purpose or effect of delaying admission to the program on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, familial status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.
Homeless applicants will qualify for the residency preference if homeless within the residency preference area.
For purposes of this preference, the term “homeless” generally means— (1) An individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; (2) An individual or family with a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings, including a car, park, abandoned building, bus or train station, airport, or camping ground; (3) An individual or family living in a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living arrangements (including hotels and motels paid for by Federal, State, or local government programs for low-income individuals or by charitable organizations, congregate shelters, and transitional housing); or (4) An individual who resided in a shelter or place not meant for human habitation and who is exiting an institution where he or she temporarily resided.
Chronically Homeless (5 points): The GFHA will offer a preference to the Chronically Homeless, defined as a homeless individual or family, where at least one member of the household has a disabling condition, has been homeless continuously for at least one year or four or more times in the last three years. A disabling condition is defined as a diagnosable substance use disorder, serious mental illness, developmental disability, or chronic physical illness or disability, including the co-occurrence of two or more of these conditions.
Transitional Housing Preference (5 Points): In order to facilitate the smooth transition from instituonal living into community-based settings, the Grand Forks Housing Authority has passed a local waiting list preference for individuals referred by a program in which they were institutionalized for at least 30 consecutive days immediately prior to application, and through which supportive services will continue to be available to the participant as they transition into independent living.
Working Preference (5 Points): The GFHA Board of Commissioners has temporarily suspended the Working Preference. When active, the preference reads as follows: The GFHA will offer a working family preference (includes families where head AND spouse/cohead are elderly or disabled): A working preference will be provided to an applicant whose head of household, spouse, or co-head is employed. Employed is defined as working an average of 10 hours a week for the past 6 months.
An applicant where the head and spouse (or co-head) or sole member is a person age 62 or older, or is a person with disabilities, must also be given the benefit of this preference. Example 1: Head of household is elderly, but does not work. There is no spouse or co-head. This family receives the benefit of working preference. Example 2: Head of household is 64, spouse is disabled. Neither work. This family receives the benefit of working preference. Example 3: Head of household is 63, spouse is neither elderly nor disabled. Neither work. This family does NOT receive benefit of the working preference since both the head of household and spouse (or cohead) must be elderly and/or disabled to receive benefit of the working preference, unless one is working an average of 10 hours a week for the past 6 months.
Income Targeting Requirement [24 CFR 982.201(b)(2)] HUD requires that extremely low-income (ELI) families make up at least 75 percent of the families admitted to the HCV program during the PHA’s fiscal year. ELI families are those with annual incomes at or below the federal poverty level or 30 percent of the area median income, whichever number is higher. To ensure this requirement is met, a PHA may skip non-ELI families on the waiting list in order to select an ELI family. Low-income families admitted to the program that are “continuously assisted” under the 1937 Housing Act [24 CFR 982.4(b)], as well as low-income or moderate-income families admitted to the program that are displaced as a result of the prepayment of the mortgage or voluntary termination of an insurance contract on eligible low-income housing, are not counted for income targeting purposes [24 CFR 982.201(b)(2)(v)].
GFHA Policy The GFHA will monitor progress in meeting the income targeting requirement throughout the fiscal year. Extremely low-income families will be selected ahead of other eligible families on an as-needed basis to ensure the income targeting requirement is met.
Order of Selection The GFHA system of preferences may select families based on local preferences according to the date and time of application or by a random selection process (lottery) [24 CFR 982.207(c)]. If a GFHA does not have enough funding to assist the family at the top of the waiting list, it is not permitted to skip down the waiting list to a family that it can afford to subsidize when there are not sufficient funds to subsidize the family at the top of the waiting list [24 CFR 982.204(d) and (e)].
GFHA Policy Families will be selected from the waiting list based on the targeted funding or selection preference points. Within each targeted funding or preference point category, families will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis according to the date and time their complete application is received by the GFHA.
Documentation will be maintained by the HA as to whether families on the list qualify for and are interested in targeted funding. If a higher placed family on the waiting list is not qualified or not interested in targeted funding, there will be a notation maintained so that the HA does not have to ask higher placed families each time targeted selections are made.
4-III.D. NOTIFICATION OF SELECTION When a family has been selected from the waiting list, the GFHA must notify the family [24 CFR 982.554(a)].
GFHA Policy The GFHA will notify the family by first class mail and/or email when it is selected from the waiting list. The notice will provide the family with information on how to access and complete the full online application, and the deadline (30 calendar days) by which they must complete the application. Families may request assistance in completing the online application.
Based on the information provided, the GFHA will determine what additional verifications and documents are to be provided by the family. The family will be contacted by mail and/or email and provided a list of required documents and a deadline (30 calendar days) by which the documents are to be provided. The notification will advise the family that failure to provide by the deadline will result in the family being removed from the waiting list for failure to respond to the HA’s request for information.
The required information will include a GFHA-designated reexamination form, an Authorization for the Release of Information/Privacy Act Notice, as well as supporting documents or forms related to the family’s income, expenses, and family composition.
Documents will be accepted electronically, by mail, or in person. If the family is unable to obtain the information or materials within the required time frame, the family may request an extension.
If the family does not provide the required documents or information within the required time period (plus any extensions), the family will be removed from the waiting list.
If a notification letter is returned to the GFHA with no forwarding address, or the email address is rejected as invalid, the family will be removed from the waiting list.
4-III.E. THE APPLICATION INTERVIEW HUD recommends that the HA obtain the information and documentation needed to make an eligibility determination through a face-to-face interview with a HA representative [HCV GB, pg. 4-16]. Being invited to attend an interview does not constitute admission to the program.
Assistance cannot be provided to the family until all SSN documentation requirements are met. However, if the GFHA determines that an applicant family is otherwise eligible to participate in the program, the family may retain its place on the waiting list for a period of time determined by the GFHA [Notice PIH 2018-24].
Reasonable accommodation must be made for persons with disabilities who are unable to attend an interview due to their disability.
GFHA Policy Families are generally not required to participate in an initial eligibility face-to-face interview. A telephone or in person interview will be scheduled if the family requests assistance in providing information or documentation requested by the GFHA.
4-III.F. COMPLETING THE APPLICATION PROCESS The GFHA must verify all information provided by the family (see Chapter 7). Based on verified information, the GFHA must make a final determination of eligibility (see Chapter 3) and must confirm that the family qualified for any special admission, targeted funding admission, or selection preference that affected the order in which the family was selected from the waiting list.
GFHA Policy If a family fails to qualify for any criteria that affected the order in which it was selected from the waiting list (e.g. claimed preferences, targeted funding, extremely low-income), the family will be returned to its original position on the waiting list. The GFHA will notify the family in writing that it has been returned to the waiting list, and will specify the reasons for it. If the GFHA determines that the family is ineligible, staff will send written notification of the ineligibility determination within 10 business days of the determination. The notice will specify the reasons for ineligibility, and will inform the family of its right to request an informal review (Chapter 16). If the GFHA determines that the family is eligible to receive assistance, staff will invite the family to attend a briefing in accordance with the policies in Chapter 5.