Getting Started

PHAs may project-base up to 20% of the amount of their budget authority allocated by HUD in the PHA voucher program. A PHA has discretion whether to operate a project-based voucher program. HUD approval is not required. PHAs must, however, address their plans to project-base vouchers in their PHA Plans, which are approved by HUD.[1] MTW status is not needed in order to implement a project-based supportive housing program. All of the information in this chapter applies to non-MTW agencies.

If your PHA is project-basing vouchers for the first time, there are three key aspects of the work you’ll need to be familiar with:

  1. The Impact Your Vouchers Have on Housing Finance. It is important that the people administering your project-based program understand how project-basing impacts capital financing. By no means do you need to know all the nuances of development finance, but having a basic understanding will help you make strategic decisions about aligning your resources with other funders and determining how many units to subsidize in each building. Access CSH’s Quality Supportive Housing Toolkit to learn more about housing finance.
  2. Services. When your PHA project-bases vouchers to create supportive housing, you need to make sure that the services paired with your subsidies are professionally delivered, adequately funded and aligned with the goals of your administrative plan. Learn more about supportive services in supportive housing on our toolkit page.
  3. Regulations. Most of the tenant-based rules in 24 CFR Part 982 also apply to the PBV program, so you already have a head start.

 

The following types of provisions in 24 CFR Part 982 do not apply to PBV assistance under Part 983:

  1. Provisions on issuance or use of a voucher;
  2. Provisions on portability;
  3. Provisions on the following special housing types: shared housing, cooperative housing, manufactured home space rental and the homeownership option.

 

Once you and your team are clear about your starring role as a funder of housing development and the importance of partnering with service providers, it’s time to learn the project-based voucher regulations. The Final Rule on project-basing was published in 2014. This rule updates HUD's rule published in 2005 and adds a number of provisions enacted in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. Please see CSH's Pipeline article about the changes made in 2014.

In 2013, HUD released Public and Indian Housing (PIH) Notice 2013-15. This notice provides very clear guidance for using Housing Choice and Project-based Vouchers to end homelessness serve people with special needs who need supportive housing. Other helpful (PIH) Notices that provide additional guidance include PIH Notice 2011-56, Guidance on the Project-Based Voucher Program contains additional information regarding PBV requirements. Additional requirements for project-basing HUD-VASH vouchers are covered in PIH Notice 2011-50

This toolkit provides additional guidance and implementation tips on the key regulations that most PHAs have questions about. CSH also offers training and technical assistance in creating project-based voucher supportive housing programs. For more information, please contact us at consulting@csh.org.

 

Writing your Administrative Plan
Your board will need to adopt changes to your administrative plan before you start project-basing. Because the project-based regulations are so thorough, one option for drafting your plan is to essentially cut and paste them into your administrative plan and highlight the areas where you are making a specific local decision about your program. While this will give you a head start, it’s important to also be clear about the purpose of your program. This is not required by HUD, but CSH recommends having a purpose statement so that everyone who is administering your program or contracting with your PHA is clear about the intent behind your decision to project-base.

 

Go to the next section to learn about soliciting and selecting owner proposals.

Go back to the PHA Toolkit Homepage.

 


[1] Please note that plans to project-base HUD-VASH vouchers must be approved by HUD prior to making commitments for project-basing.

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