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Charging Rent on Exempt Units

Posted on: May 27th, 2020 by Christa Landram No Comments

Exempt units, such as Exempt Management units and Exempt Security units, are very common in LIHTC projects. They help maintain safe, decent and sanitary living arrangements for everyone. Since these units are an integral part of the LIHTC program, the IRS allows all exempt units that have been deemed necessary for the project, to be included in the eligible basis; however, they are excluded from the applicable fraction. This is so it does not affect how much credit the project can generate.

In most cases, exempt units are approved at time of application. For those projects that determine they are needed after the time of application, most state agencies have a process that must be adhered to prior to considering one or more of your units exempt.

A gray area regarding these units has been whether or not rent can be charged. The IRS issued a Program Manager Technical Assistance (PMTA) memo that stated, “The general-public use requirement of 1.42-9 does not apply in the case of units for resident manager or maintenance personnel in a qualified low-income building because the units are not residential units, but facilities reasonably required for the project.” This guidance clarifies that charging rent for an exempt unit is not a factor in determining if a unit or units can be considered exempt.

With this guidance it is still important that an owner show that the exempt unit is reasonably required for the project. There are many factors involved in making this determination and typically, it will need to go through your state agency. Additionally, an owner should check with their agency to determine their policies on charging rent on these units.

COVID Income Updates

Posted on: May 13th, 2020 by Christa Landram No Comments

On April 2, 2020 the HUD Office of Multifamily Housing issued an updated Q&A.

Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, you may have encountered unusual difficulty is complying with HUD/ IRS regulations regarding the completion of required certifications and documentation. HUD has defined a term called “extenuating circumstances” as “a certain event that has occurred beyond a borrower’s [owner’s] control, which as a result, led to…shortfalls…” Many eligibility challenges may be present due to the virus and it has been determined that HUD considers the CDC’s recommendations for controlling the spread of the virus (as well as the Stay at Home and similar orders) as qualifying as an extenuating circumstance.

An extenuating circumstance does not change the tenant’s recertification anniversary date and it is recommended by HUD that owners complete the recertification process within 90 days of being advised of the extenuating circumstance.

Self-certification, or family certification, can be used if the information cannot be verified by another acceptable verification method. When this method is used, owners must document the tenant file to explain why the preferred third-party verification was not available. During this pandemic, this certification can be provided to the owner by mail or email and does not need to come directly from the applicant. It should be noted that original documents will be necessary later.

Also, HUD will allow alternate signatures such as copies or images of signatures sent by email, fax, or other electronic means, if original signatures are obtained within 90 days from the termination of national, state, or local orders restricting movement to essential activities, whichever comes later. Forms that will require original, “wet” signatures to be obtained in the time noted above include most documents that we inspect.

In line with the above request to properly document the file with the reason for the absence of third-party documentation, the file must also be documented with why the tenant’s wet signature cannot be obtained. Instruct the owner to document the tenant file with the reason for the delay and the specific plans to obtain the signature(s). As noted above, HUD will permit alternate signatures if original signatures are obtained within 90 days from the termination of national, state, or local orders restricting movement to essential activities, whichever comes later.

Tenants experiencing extenuating circumstances due to COVID-19 can provide the owner with documentation for the recertification by email or other means at the owner’s discretion. As a reminder, owners should remind tenants to retain the original documents since they will be needed at a later date.

The Exchange Opens in St. Petersburg’s Innovation District

Posted on: May 7th, 2020 by Anne Gehlsen No Comments

First Housing is excited to report the opening of the Exchange, a 132-unit market rate multifamily development. First Housing provided construction and permanent financing of $22+ million through the HUD 221(d)(4) insured mortgage loan program to finance the development. Located in the City of St. Petersburg, Florida, the project is within the City’s Innovative District and is walkable to major employers and the newly constructed St. Pete Pier. The Exchange was developed by The Richman Group (America’s 7th Largest Rental Apartment Owner) and features a clubhouse with fitness and conference centers, a resort style swimming pool, an internet café, and a game lounge, including a billiard table and media wall.

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