[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 231 (Friday, November 30, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 71439-71445]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-29038]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

[Docket No. FR-5675-N-01]


Regulatory and Administrative Waivers Granted for Public and 
Indian Housing Programs To Assist With Recovery and Relief in 
Superstorm Sandy Disaster Areas

AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian 
Housing, HUD.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice advises the public of HUD regulations and other 
administrative requirements governing HUD's Office of Public and Indian 
Housing (PIH) programs that have been waived in order to facilitate the 
delivery of decent, safe, and sanitary housing under these programs to 
families and individuals who have been displaced from their housing by 
Superstorm Sandy. Entities that administer PIH programs, which include 
public housing

[[Page 71440]]

agencies (PHAs), Indian and tribally designated housing entities 
(TDHEs), and local and tribal governments, and are located in an area 
declared by the President to be a federal disaster area as a result of 
Superstorm Sandy, may defer compliance with the regulations and other 
requirements listed in this notice for an initial period of 12 months 
or such other period as may be specified in this notice, and must 
provide notice to HUD of their decision to do so as described in 
Section II.A. below. PIH program administrations not located within a 
federal disaster area but assisting with Superstorm Sandy recovery and 
relief may request to defer compliance with these regulations and other 
requirements for the same period of time through the expedited waiver 
process described in Section II.B. below.
    This notice applies only to PIH programs or to cross-cutting 
regulatory or administrative requirements that are applicable to PIH 
program administrators.

DATES: November 15, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: PIH Disaster Relief Officer, Office of 
Policy Programs and Legislation, Office of Public and Indian Housing, 
Department of Housing and Urban Development, 490 L'Enfant Plaza SW., 
Suite 2206, Washington, DC 20024, telephone number (202) 402-5774 or 
(202) 402-5467. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access 
this number via TTY by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at 
(800) 877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background Information

    In late October 2012, Superstorm Sandy hit the east coast of the 
United States, causing loss of life, significant damage to property, 
and displacement of individuals and families from their homes and 
communities. The President has called upon all federal agencies to do 
everything in their power to assist the victims of Superstorm Sandy and 
to eliminate or reduce ``red tape'' that will impede the delivery of 
federal financial assistance and other needed benefits. To that end, 
this notice identifies HUD regulations and other administrative 
requirements governing HUD's PIH programs that may be waived or 
temporarily suspended or deferred in an area declared by the President 
to be a federal disaster area as a result of Superstorm Sandy 
(``disaster area'') or for other PIH entities impacted by the storm or 
providing assistance with Superstorm Sandy recovery and relief efforts.
    HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) examined the 
regulations governing PIH programs and recommended waiver or temporary 
suspension or deferral of those regulations that the office believes 
could impede PIH program administrators in their effort to 
expeditiously assist with housing current PIH program participants who 
lost housing as a result of Superstorm Sandy as well as others who now 
need housing assistance under PIH programs as a result of the 
Superstorm. For the majority of the regulations and administrative 
requirements listed in this notice and for which a waiver may be 
granted, HUD did not waive the requirements entirely but deferred 
compliance until such time as compliance may be feasible; for example, 
in many cases HUD extended deadlines for reports or other documents 
that PIH program administrators must submit to HUD. HUD is relying on 
its experienced partners in the HUD housing-assistance programs who are 
in the front-line of recovery efforts to meet the challenge of 
providing decent, safe, and sanitary housing as expeditiously as 
possible and to comply to the extent possible with the regulations that 
promote that goal. HUD does not want the time and resources of PHAs, 
Indian tribes, and THDEs diverted by requirements that are important 
but can be deferred until such time as a degree of normalcy in 
operations returns to the disaster areas.
    In addition to the waiver of regulatory requirements, some 
statutory provisions contain built-in waiver provisions that allow 
administrative waiver of the statutory requirements for cause. Certain 
of those provisions are included in Section III.A of this notice.
    This notice lists all HUD regulatory and administrative 
requirements that PIH determined needed to be waived or temporarily 
deferred or suspended during the Superstorm Sandy recovery period. If 
PHAs, Indian tribes, TDHEs, or other PIH program administrators 
identify other regulations that they believe should be waived, they 
should seek a waiver by submitting a waiver request as specified in 
Section II.C.

II. Waiver Process

A. For PIH Program Administrators in Declared Disaster Areas

    PIH program administrators in the Superstorm Sandy disaster areas 
may defer or suspend compliance with the regulations or other 
administrative requirements upon the effective date of this notice, for 
an initial period of 12 months or for such other period as may be 
specified in this notice. These entities, however, should notify HUD 
within two weeks of determination of the need to utilize the waived 
requirements in this notice, or as soon as possible, by contacting HUD 
in the manner detailed in the following paragraph.
    An official of the PHA, TDHE, tribal or local government that seeks 
the suspension of compliance with requirements listed in this notice 
must contact HUD in writing (email communication is allowed) and 
identify the requirements they have chosen to waive using the checklist 
provided by HUD for this purpose. This checklist is available at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/sandy. The instructions on the 
checklist require the PHA, TDHE, tribal or local government to select 
the desired provisions and to submit the completed checklist by email 
to PIH_Disaster_Relief@hud.gov. If you are a PHA, this email should 
also include either the Field Office Public Housing Director or the 
Program Center Coordinator as a recipient. For the Office of Native 
American Program's (ONAP) grantees, this email should also be addressed 
to Kevin.Fitzgibbons@hud.gov. This email notification process will 
remain open for use for 75 days after the publication date of this 
notice.
    This is a notification process only, and HUD asks that this 
notification be made to HUD before a PHA begins to rely on one or more 
or all of the waived or suspended requirements in this notice. While, 
as noted earlier, HUD does not want to impose additional administrative 
requirements on PIH program administrators located in the disaster 
areas during this period, it is important and helpful for HUD to know 
how these entities are administering their PIH programs during the 
recovery period. Thus, HUD has tried to make this notification process 
as easy as possible. HUD will maintain information on the names of the 
PHAs, Indian tribes, or TDHEs that have deferred compliance with 
certain regulatory and administrative requirements in accordance with 
this notice. The regulation or administrative requirement will remain 
inapplicable for a period of 12 months, or for the period specified 
below, and will be considered waived or suspended by HUD. If an 
extension is necessary, this extension may be made available for an 
additional three months upon notification to HUD following the same 
notification process described above.

[[Page 71441]]

B. For PIH Program Participants in Non-Disaster Declared Areas

    PIH program administrators that are not located in a Superstorm 
Sandy disaster area but were impacted by the storm or are contributing 
to relief and recovery efforts may request a waiver of the regulations 
or administrative requirements listed below by sending the checklist 
referenced in Section II.A. above to the PIH_Disaster_Relief@hud.gov 
email address. The submission must specify the need, including 
justification, for the waiver of the requirement in the space provided. 
Waiver requests submitted through this email address will receive 
priority processing. This email notification process will remain open 
for use for 75 days after the publication date of this notice.

C. Regulations and Requirements Not Waived in This Notice

    Based on experience to date with Superstorm recovery efforts, PIH 
believes that this notice contains a comprehensive list of waivers that 
will assist with relief efforts. However, for any regulation or other 
administrative requirement not listed for which a PIH program 
administrator seeks waiver or suspension, the program administrator may 
seek a waiver by sending a request to the PIH_Disaster_Relief@hud.gov 
email address. The request must specify the need, including 
justification, for the waiver of the requirement. As noted earlier, 
waiver requests submitted through this email address will receive 
priority processing, and HUD will respond to the requestor by email.
    The expedited waiver process is provided only for waiver or 
suspension of requirements that will assist with the Superstorm Sandy 
relief and recovery efforts. HUD will not respond to any waiver 
requests submitted to this email address that are unrelated to relief 
and recovery of the disaster areas. This email notification process 
will remain open for use for 75 days after the publication date of this 
notice.

III. Authority To Grant Waivers

    Generally, waivers of HUD regulations are handled on a case-by-case 
basis. Under statutory requirements set forth in section 7(q) of the 
Department of Housing and Urban Development Act (42 U.S.C. 3535(q)) and 
its implementing regulations, 24 CFR 5.110,, a regulated party that 
seeks a waiver of a HUD regulation must request a waiver from HUD in 
writing and the waiver request must specify the need for the waiver. 
HUD then responds to the request in writing and, if the waiver is 
granted, HUD includes a summary of the waiver granted (and all 
regulatory waivers granted during a three-month period) in a Federal 
Register notice that is published quarterly. Since the damage to 
property and the displacement of families and individuals in the 
disaster areas is widespread, and the need for regulatory relief in 
many areas pertaining to HUD-assisted housing is readily apparent, HUD 
is suspending its usual regulatory waiver protocols for the disaster 
areas and has substituted an expedited process that meets the 
requirements of section 7(q) and 24 CFR 5.110.
    In a quarterly notice of regulations waived, HUD will identify the 
PIH program administrators in the disaster areas that are utilizing one 
or more of the waived regulations in this notice or other regulations 
for which a waiver was requested or granted. The quarterly notice will 
also identify PIH program administrators located in non-federally 
declared disaster areas that are either impacted by the storm or 
contributing to Superstorm Sandy relief and recovery efforts that 
requested and were granted waivers in accordance with the expedited 
waiver process provided in this notice.
    The regulatory and administrative requirements set forth in Section 
III of this notice have been waived or temporarily deferred or 
suspended as provided in this notice. This action was determined 
necessary to assist PIH program administrators in the disaster areas in 
facilitating the identification and delivery of housing for families 
and individuals displaced from their homes by Superstorm Sandy. PIH 
program administrators referenced in Section III of this notice (e.g., 
PHAs, TDHEs), even if, at times, not specifically described as PIH 
program administrators located in a disaster area, refer only to 
administrators located in disaster areas.

A. Statutory Requirements With Built-in Waiver Authority

    1. Extension of Deadline for Obligation and Expenditure of Capital 
Funds. Section 9(j)(2) of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 
1437g(j)(2)) (1937 Act) authorizes the Secretary to extend the time 
period for obligation of Capital Funds by PHAs, as set forth in section 
9(j)(1), for such period as the Secretary determines necessary if the 
Secretary determines that the failure of the agency to obligate 
assistance in a timely manner is attributable to, among other criteria 
listed, an event beyond the control of the PHA, or any other reason 
established by the Secretary by notice published in the Federal 
Register. Pursuant to section 9(j)(1) of the 1937 Act, PHAs are 
required to obligate Capital Funds not later than 24 months after the 
date on which the funds became available, or the date on which the PHA 
accumulates adequate funds to undertake modernization, substantial 
rehabilitation, or new construction of units, plus the period of any 
extension approved under section 9(j)(2). The occurrence of Superstorm 
Sandy was beyond the control of the PHAs located in the disaster areas 
and caused widespread destruction and displacement. Thus, all Capital 
Fund Grants with undisbursed balances and FY 2013 Capital Fund Grants' 
obligation deadlines under section 9(j)(1) of the 1937 Act, are hereby 
extended pursuant to section 9(j)(2) of the 1937 Act an additional 12 
months for PHAs located in the areas declared a federal disaster area 
for all Capital Fund Grants with undisbursed balances that had not 
reached the expenditure end date prior to Superstorm Sandy and for FY 
2013 Capital Fund Grants. Capital Fund grants include Replacement 
Housing Factor grants.
    For Capital Fund grants whose obligation end date has been approved 
for extension under section 9(j)(2), the expenditure period under 
section 9(j)(5) is accordingly also extended in the affected areas for 
12 months to include the extension approved under section 9(j)(2). The 
extension of the section 9(j) obligation and extension deadlines made 
in this notice also apply to the implementing regulation for section 
9(j) at 24 CFR 905.120.
    2. Waiver of ICDBG 50 Percent Downpayment Assistance Limitation for 
Low- and Moderate-Income Homebuyers. Section 122 of the Housing and 
Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5321) authorizes the 
Secretary to suspend requirements for activities to address the damage 
in a Presidentially declared disaster area. Section 105(a)(24)(D) of 
the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5305) 
permits a grantee to provide downpayment assistance to low- and 
moderate-income homebuyers, but limits the assistance to 50 percent of 
the amount of downpayment the homebuyer must provide. Because of the 
extraordinary need for housing among low- and moderate-income evacuees, 
HUD finds good cause to permit downpayment assistance of up to 100 
percent for the purchase of homes in the disaster area.
    3. Waiver of Indian Housing Plan (IHP) Submission Deadline. Section 
101(b)(1) of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-
Determination Act of 1996 (25 U.S.C.

[[Page 71442]]

4111(b)(1)) requires that an Indian Housing Plans (IHP) must be 
submitted by an Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) recipient no later 
than 75 days prior to the start of the recipient's program year. 
Section 101(b)(2) of NAHASDA authorizes HUD to waive the IHP submission 
requirements Section 101(b)(1) for up to 90 days if the Secretary 
determines that the recipient has not complied with, or is unable to 
comply with, the IHP submission requirements due to exigent 
circumstances beyond the control its control. HUD recognizes that 
Superstorm Sandy has caused significant disruption in operations. 
Because of the exigent circumstances created by Superstorm Sandy, HUD 
finds good cause to extend the IHP submission deadline, for those 
recipients impacted by Superstorm Sandy, by 90 days from the 
recipient's original IHP submission deadline.
    The chart provided below indicates when each IHP is due by calendar 
quarter. If the IHP ``Sandy Waiver'' submission deadline falls on a 
weekend or holiday, the IHP will be due on the working day immediately 
after the weekend or holiday.

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                                            Original IHP submission
         Recipient program year                     deadline            IHP submission ``Sandy waiver'' deadline
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April 1, 2013...........................  January 17, 2013...........  April 17, 2013.
July 1, 2013............................  April 17, 2013.............  July 16, 2013.
October 1, 2013.........................  July 18, 2013..............  October 16, 2013.
January 1, 2014.........................  October 18, 2013...........  January 16, 2014.
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    4. Waiver of ICDBG 15 Percent (%) Cap on Public Services to assist 
displaced individuals due to Superstorm Sandy. Section 105(a)(8) of the 
Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5305(a)(8)) 
authorizes the use of ICDBG grant funds for public services, including 
but not limited to those concerned with employment, crime prevention, 
child care, and health. The Act sets a 15 Percent (%) per grant cap on 
the amount of funds that can be spent on public services. Section 122 
of the Act states that for funds designated by a grantee to address the 
damage in areas where the President has declared a disaster under title 
VI of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance 
Act (42 U.S.C. 5170 et seq), HUD may suspend all requirements except 
for those related to public notice of funding availability, 
nondiscrimination, fair housing, labor standards, and requirements that 
activities benefit persons of low- and moderate-income (42 U.S.C. 
5321).
    In order to assist grantees in providing needed services to 
individuals impacted by Superstorm Sandy, particularly displaced 
individuals and households, ICDBG grantees may request that HUD suspend 
the ICDBG 15 Percent (%) cap on public services. Upon the granting of 
this waiver, ICDBG grantees may expend up to 100% of their ICDBG grant 
funds on public services. This applies only to ICDBG funds designated 
by a grantee to address Superstorm Sandy-related damage in the 
Presidentially declared disaster areas.

B. Regulatory Requirements.

    1. 24 CFR 5.512(c) (Verification of Eligible Immigration Status; 
Secondary Verification). Section 5.512 provides the process by which 
verification of eligible immigration status must be undertaken for 
families seeking assistance under certain HUD programs. While the 
declaration of eligibility and this verification process is required by 
statute and cannot be waived, HUD does have the authority to waive 
certain deadlines. Section 5.512(d) provides the time frame under which 
a secondary verification must be requested of the Immigration and 
Customs Enforcement (ICE), by the responsible entity when the primary 
verification (the automated verification system) is not conclusive of 
immigration status. The responsible entity must request ICE to 
undertake a secondary verification within 10 days of receipt of the 
results of the primary verification, and must provide the ICE with all 
records on the applicant evidencing citizen or eligible immigration 
status that the applicant has provided to the responsible entity. This 
notice provides that the time frame under which a secondary 
verification must be requested is expanded from 10 days of the date of 
the results of the primary verification to 90 days from such date.
    2. 24 CFR 5.801(c) and 5.801(d)(1) (Uniform Financial Reporting 
Standards (UFRS); Reporting Due Date). These sections establish uniform 
financial reporting standards for PHAs and other owners and 
administrators of HUD-assisted housing. Section 5.801(c) establishes 
the financial information requirements. Section 5.801(d)(1) establishes 
the filing deadline for financial information and provides that PHAs 
must submit their unaudited financial information no later than 60 days 
after the end of their fiscal year. This deadline is changed from 60 
days to 180 days after the end of the PHA's fiscal year for PHAs with 
fiscal years ending September 30, 2012, December 31, 2012, March 31, 
2013, and June 30, 2013. Section 5.801(d)(1) further requires that PHAs 
submit their audited financial information no later than nine months 
after the PHA's fiscal year end. For PHAs with fiscal years ending 
March 31, 2012, June 30, 2012, September 30, 2012, and December 31, 
2012, this deadline is changed from nine months to 13 months after the 
end of the PHA's fiscal year. Although PHAs are still required to 
submit unaudited and audited financial information pursuant to UFRS, as 
more fully discussed in Section III.B.3 below, they will not be scored 
under the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS).
    3. 24 CFR part 902 (Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS)). Part 
902 sets out the indicators by which HUD measures the performance of a 
PHA. The indicators measure a PHA's physical condition, financial 
condition, management operations, and Capital Fund performance. For 
PHAs in the areas declared a federal disaster area, beginning with 
fiscal year end September 30, 2012, through and including fiscal year 
end June 30, 2013, and with fiscal years ending March 31, 2012, and 
June 30, 2012, that have not yet received their physical condition 
inspections for fiscal year 2012, the PHAS score of record will be the 
PHA's previous year PHAS score. All affected PHAs, however, are still 
required to submit unaudited and audited information in accordance with 
Section III.B.2. above.
    4. 24 CFR 903.5 (Annual Plan Submission Deadline). Section 5A(h)(2) 
of the 1937 Act (42 U.S.C. 1437c-1(h)(2)) and 24 CFR 903.5 provide that 
a PHA Annual Plan must be submitted no later than 75 days before the 
commencement of a PHA's fiscal year. Each PHA affected may have a 
different fiscal year and for those PHAs that are approaching this 
submission deadline, this requirement may be impossible to

[[Page 71443]]

meet because the PHAs are not operating. This requirement is a 
statutory one and not waivable by HUD without further authority. 
However, HUD will accept as a submission a letter from the PHA stating 
that HUD should consider its existing annual plan to be the plan for 
the next year or until it submits another annual plan. For Capital Fund 
activities, PHAs may obligate their Capital Funds for any activity 
listed in their existing and approved 5-year plan. PHAs should also 
submit amendments to their 5-year plan to the extent necessary.
    5. 24 CFR 905.10(i) (Capital Fund Formula; Limitation of 
Replacement Housing Funds to New Development). Section 905.10 describes 
the Capital Fund formula. Section 905.10(i) limits the use of 
replacement housing funds to the development of new public housing. 
This section is waived to allow all Capital Fund Replacement Housing 
Factor Grants with undisbursed balances and FY 2013 Capital Fund 
Replacement Housing Factor Grants to be used for two additional areas, 
public housing modernization and homeownership for public housing 
families. This waiver will help address housing needs as a result of 
the displacement caused by Superstorm Sandy.
    6. 24 CFR 941.306 (Maximum Project Cost). Section 941.306 
establishes the calculation of maximum project cost and the calculation 
of the total development cost. In order to facilitate the use of 
Capital Funds for repairs and construction for needed housing in the 
disaster areas, HUD has waived the total development cost (TDC) and 
housing cost cap limits for all work funded by the Capital Fund 
(Capital Fund Grants with undisbursed balances and FY 2013 Capital Fund 
Grants; including Replacement Housing Factor Fund grants), Choice 
Neighborhood, and HOPE VI funds until issuance of 2014 TDC levels. 
Until 2014 TDC levels are issued, PHAs should strive to keep housing 
costs reasonable given local market conditions.
    7. 24 CFR 965.302 (Requirements for Energy Audits). This section 
establishes the requirement that all PHAs complete an energy audit for 
each PHA-owned project under management, not less than once every five 
years. PHAs that are required to conduct or update an audit this year 
are given an additional 12 months after September 30, 2012, to complete 
the audit. HUD is relieving PHAs of this administrative burden so that 
they may focus on the more urgent need to house impacted families.
    8. 24 CFR 982.54 (Administrative Plan). This section provides that 
a PHA must adopt a written administrative plan that establishes local 
policies for the administration of the Housing Choice Voucher Program 
in accordance with HUD requirements. In order to allow PHAs to exercise 
maximum flexibility with program administration as a result of 
Superstorm Sandy, the PHA may temporarily revise the administrative 
plan to address unique circumstances without PHA Board of Commissioners 
approval or other authorized PHA official approval if such Board or 
officials also waive this requirement.
    9. 24 CFR 982.206 (Waiting List; Opening and Public Notice). This 
section requires a PHA to give the public notice that families may 
apply for tenant-based assistance. The regulation requires a PHA to 
publish a notice of the opening of the list in a local newspaper of 
general circulation, and also by minority media and other suitable 
means. The requirement to publish in a newspaper of general circulation 
and also by minority media is waived, and a PHA may provide such 
information on its Web site and at any of its offices and in a voice 
mail message for any callers that may inquire whether a list is opened.
    10. 24 CFR 982.401(d) (Housing Quality Standards: Space 
Requirements). By regulation, section 982.401 establishes housing 
quality standards. Section 982.401(d) provides, among other things, the 
requirement for adequate space for the family. With respect to space, 
this section provides that each dwelling unit must have at least one 
bedroom or living/sleeping room for each two persons. The spacing 
requirements of this section can be waived only if the family 
understands and consents to a waiver of this provision. The waiver of 
this regulation does not represent a long-term change but rather a 
temporary suspension of requirements to address emergency needs.
    11. 24 CFR 984.303 (Contract of Participation; Family Self-
Sufficiency (FSS) Program; Extension of Contract) and 24 CFR 984.105 
(Minimum Program Size). Part 984 of HUD's regulations provide the 
requirements for the Section 8 and Public Housing FSS Program. Section 
984.303 sets out the requirements for the contract of participation and 
section 984.303(d) allows for an extension of the FSS program for a 
period not to exceed two years. For those families at the end of their 
initial contract term, the two-year limitation is waived and PHAs may 
provide an extension for a period not to exceed three years. This 
additional time period would account for any time lost on the FSS 
contract as a result of the displacement of families participating in 
the FSS program. Section 984.105 sets out the requirements for minimum 
FSS program size. The minimum program size requirement provision is 
also waived; PHAs are exempt from the minimum program size (Sec. Sec.  
984.105(a) and (b)) for a period of two years.
    12. 24 CFR part 985 (Section 8 Management Assessment Program 
(SEMAP)). Part 985 sets out the requirements by which section 8 tenant-
based assistance programs are assessed. Similar to the action that HUD 
has taken with respect to the PHAS regulations in 24 CFR part 902 (see 
Section III.B.3.), PHAs administering a section 8 tenant-based 
assistance program are eligible to defer compliance with the SEMAP 
certification requirements for a period of 12 months. HUD will defer 
issuing the PHA a new SEMAP score and overall performance rating based 
on PHA submissions during the waiver period.
    13. 24 CFR 990.145 (Dwelling Units with Approved Vacancies). 
Section 990.145 of the Operating Fund Program regulation (79 FR 54984, 
September 19, 2005) lists the categories of vacant units that are 
eligible to receive operating subsidy and, therefore, are considered 
approved vacancies. PHAs that had vacant units during the reporting 
period that were not ``approved'' vacancies pursuant to section 
990.145, but were available for occupancy, may treat those units as 
approved vacancies if: (1) the PHA anticipates the units will be 
occupied by families and individuals affected by the disaster during 
the upcoming funding year, or (2) the PHA is holding the units vacant 
for families and individuals affected by the disaster.
    14. 24 CFR 982.503(b) and (c) (Waiver of payment standard limit; 
Establishing Payment Standard Amounts, HUD approval of exception 
payment standard amount). For Disaster Area PHAs only. Section 
982.503(b) limits the payment standard amount a PHA may establish 
without HUD approval to no greater than 110 percent of the published 
fair market rent (FMR). Section 982.503(c) sets forth the requirement 
for HUD approval of an exception payment standard that is higher than 
the 110 percent of FMR limitation. In order to expand the housing 
available to families displaced by Superstorm Sandy and to prevent the 
displacement of assisted families where rents may be increasing 
significantly as the result of the loss of rental housing stock, PHAs 
in disaster areas may establish payment standards amounts up to 120 
percent of the published FMR for part or all of their jurisdiction by 
requesting a waiver of 24 CFR

[[Page 71444]]

982.503(b) and (c). This waiver will allow the PHA to establish the 
exception payment standard up to 120 percent of the FMR in an expedited 
manner by waiving the requirement at 24 CFR 982.503(b) that the PHA 
must request HUD approval to establish a payment standard that is 
higher than the basic range. The requirement at 24 CFR 982.503(c)(2) 
that exception payment standards above 110 percent to 120 percent of 
the published FMR must be justified by either the median rent method or 
the 40th or 50th percentile rent method will also be waived. Finally, 
the requirement at 24 CFR 982.503(c)(2) that the PHA must present 
statistically representative rental housing survey data to justify HUD 
approval will be waived as well. Please note: the exception payment 
standard established by the PHA under this notice may only be applied 
to the area of PHA's jurisdiction that falls within the Presidentially 
Declared Disaster Area in the case of multi-county or Statewide PHAs.
    PHAs must keep in mind that although this waiver will allow the PHA 
to establish payment standards up to 120 percent of the FMR, it does 
not increase the PHA's program funding. The PHA must continue to manage 
its program within its budgetary constraints, and the increased costs 
resulting from the exception payment standards may require the PHA to 
reduce the number of families it is assisting through attrition or to 
take other actions to stay within its funding limitations. In addition, 
it is important to note that the rent reasonableness requirements apply 
to all housing choice voucher units, regardless of whether the PHA 
receives an exception payment standard through this expedited waiver 
process.
    Higher exception rents above 120 percent of the FMR may be 
requested through the expedited waiver process by PHAs located in 
disaster areas but must be justified by rental housing data. However, 
the requirement at 24 CFR 982.503(c)(4)(ii) that HUD will only approve 
an exception payment standard amount above 120 percent of the FMR after 
six months from the date of HUD approval of an exception payment 
standard above 110 percent to 120 percent of the FMR is waived for PHAs 
in disaster areas.
    15. PIH Notice 2012-10 (Verification of Social Security Numbers 
(SSNs), Social Security (SS) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 
Benefits; and Effective Use of the Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) 
System's Identity Verification Report). Section 8(c) of PIH Notice 
2012-10 requires that a PHA submit form HUD-50058 to HUD no later than 
30 days after receiving SSN information from applicants or 
participants. This 30-day requirement is extended to 90 days for all 
families.
    16. 24 CFR 1000.156 and 1000.158 (IHBG Moderate Design Requirements 
for Housing Development). The IHBG program regulations at Sec. Sec.  
1000.156 and 1000.158 require that housing developed with IHBG funds 
must be of moderate design. Under these regulatory sections, IHBG 
recipients must either adopt written moderate design standards or 
comply with the TDC limits issued by HUD. In recognition of the higher 
development costs in communities affected by Superstorm Sandy, and to 
facilitate the development of housing for families in these 
communities, these moderate design requirements are waived for IHBG 
recipients until issuance of new TDC levels. Until new TDC levels are 
issued, IHBG recipients should strive to keep housing costs reasonable 
given local market conditions.
    17. 24 CFR 1000.514 (Annual Performance Report (APR) Submission 
Deadline. 24 CFR 1000.514 establishes the due date for submission of 
the APR to HUD no later than 90 days of the end of the recipient's 
program year. 1000.514 also states that if a justified request is 
submitted by the recipient, the Area ONAP may extend the due date for 
submission of the APR. Due to the disruption of normal operations and 
damage caused by Superstorm Sandy HUD has determined that Tribes and 
TDHE's located in the disaster area are justified in requesting up to 
an additional 90 days for submission of the APR to HUD for program 
years ending September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2012. HUD may also 
consider additional requests for APR deadline extensions if 
justification is shown.
    18. 24 CFR 1003.400(c) and Section I.C. of FY 2012 Indian Community 
Development Block Grants (ICDBG) Program Notice of Funding Availability 
(NOFA) (Grant Ceilings for ICDBG Imminent Threat Applications). The 
application funding ceiling for ICDBG Imminent Threat (IT) grants in 
the FY 2012 NOFA is $450,000, if the applicant is not located in a 
Presidentially declared disaster area, and $900,000, if the applicant 
is located in a Presidentially declared disaster area. In order to 
maximize the availability of ICDBG IT grants to Indian tribes, HUD is 
waiving these caps to enable all applicants located in areas impacted 
by Superstorm Sandy to request funds to quickly address critical and 
emergency needs. HUD reserves the right to award a lesser amount than 
requested by an applicant based on available funds and if it receives 
multiple applications from applicants located in the areas impacted by 
this disaster.
    19. 24 CFR 1003.401 and Section I.C. of FY 2012 Indian Community 
Development Block Grants (ICDBG) Program Notice of Funding Availability 
(NOFA) (Application Requirements for ICDBG Imminent Threat Funds). 
Section I.C.2 of the FY 2012 ICDBG NOFA requires applicants of Imminent 
Threat grants to include the following documentation in its application 
for funding: independent verification from a third party of the 
existence of the threat (such as the Indian Health Service, or the 
Bureau of Indian Affairs); the threat must not be recurring in nature; 
the threat must impact an entire service area; and it must be 
established that funds are not available from other tribal or federal 
sources. Because obtaining this documentation can lead to delays in 
requesting emergency IT assistance, these provisions and the related 
regulatory provisions in 24 CFR 1003.400 are waived to permit Indian 
tribes located in areas affected by Superstorm Sandy to more 
expeditiously request and receive ICDBG imminent threat funds without 
having to obtain extensive documentation. Applicants in these areas are 
still required to submit an application for imminent threat assistance 
to HUD which includes the following: HUD 424 (Application for Federal 
Assistance); a brief description of the project; HUD-4123 (Cost 
Summary); and HUD-4125 (Implementation Schedule) in accordance with 
Section 1003.401 and the NOFA after the letter to proceed has been sent 
to the applicant.
    20. 24 CFR 1003.604 (ICDBG Citizen Participation Requirements). 24 
CFR 1003.604 requires ICDBG applicants to involve residents in the 
development of their grant applications. Applicants must: furnish 
residents with information about the amount of funds available and the 
range of activities that may be undertaken; hold one or more meetings 
to obtain the views of residents on the needs; publish a statement of 
needs; and afford residents an opportunity to review the applicant's 
performance under previous ICDBG awards. The holding of one or more 
public meetings may be time consuming and result in delays to any 
relief effort. To quickly meet the demand for funds impacted by 
Superstorm Sandy, 24 CFR 1003.604(a)(2) is waived so that the tribe 
will not have to hold one or more meetings to obtain the views of 
residents on community development and housing needs. Tribes will be

[[Page 71445]]

required to meet the remaining citizen participation requirements by 
publishing or posting information on their plans to use ICDBG funds and 
soliciting comments on such plans.

    Dated: November 15, 2012.
Sandra B. Henriquez,
Assistant Secretary, Public and Indian Housing.
[FR Doc. 2012-29038 Filed 11-29-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4210-67-P