Kathy Lykins & Melissa Mattox Compliance Officers
Documenting Homelessness & Disability Status Calculation of Income 6 Common Compliance Issues
Calculation of Rent Rent Reasonableness Ineligible & Undocumented Costs Time & Activity Reporting
Step 1: Become familiar with HUD’s definition of homelessness as it applies to your program. • Step 2: Obtain adequate documentation to determine the eligibility of persons served by HUD’s homeless assistance programs. • Step 3: Always maintain the documentation in the client file.
Third Party Documentation Documentation from staff based upon observation Client Self Certification HUD Preferred order of documentation
Written signed and dated documentation prepared on letterhead from an outside source (Emergency shelter staff, clergy, street outreach workers, social service workers) that document the clients homeless situation. Formal Eviction Notice Third Party
Persons living on the street: A signed statement on letterhead from police, clergy, street outreach social service worker or person who knows the living situation. Persons in an emergency shelter: A statement on emergency shelter letterhead which is signed, dated, and reveals dates of stay in the shelter. Third Party Examples
Persons being evicted: A copy of the formal eviction notice indicating an eviction date within one week. Also requires information of the clients income, efforts to obtain housing and why the person would be living on the streets or in an emergency shelter without this assistance. Third Party Examples cont.
Eviction by family: A signed statement from the family member stating the reason they are evicting the person, the reason for the eviction, and a firm date the client must be out. Third Party examples cont.
Discharged from a short term (30 days or less) stay in an institution who was homeless before entry: A letter from the institution verifying the dates of stay, and that the client was homeless before entry. Long term stay (30 days or more) in an institution: Evidence on letterhead that the client was there over thirty days, income documentation, efforts to obtain other housing, and why they would be homeless without this assistance. Third Party examples cont.
Persons coming from transitional housing: Signed documentation on agency letterhead reflecting the dates the client resided in transitional housing, and documentation of homelessness prior to entering the transitional housing program. Third Party examples cont.
A prepared, signed, and dated statement from agency staff confirming that they have witnessed or can attest to the client’s living situation. Should be used only when third party documentation cannot be obtained. Efforts to obtain third party documentation and the reason for non-success must accompany staff verification in the client file. Intake Staff Verification
A dated written statement prepared by or on behalf of the client defining the living situation. Used when a person has been forced out of their dwelling by circumstances beyond their control- such as a result of a fire. Efforts must be documented to validate that the statements are true such as by obtaining a fire department report. Client Self Certification
Also used for clients fleeing a domestic violence situation Obtain a signed and dated self certification statement from the client. Client Self Certification
HUD defines a chronically homeless person as an unaccompanied individual who has either been continually homeless for one year or more, OR has had at least four (4) episodes of homelessness in the past three (3) years. Each episode (separate, distinct, and sustained stay on the streets or in an emergency shelter) must be completely documented using the methods described above. Documenting Chronic Homelessness
Do • Remember homelessness status must always be documented for the client for the night immediately before entering the program. • Ensure that dates are consistent
Documenting Disability Status
Permanent Supportive Housing Programs are designed to serve person’s with a diagnosed and documented disability.
Step 1: Review Section B of the SHP desk guide for HUD’s definition of disability for the Permanent Supportive Housing Program and Chronically Homeless Housing Programs. • Step 2: Obtain acceptable documentation BEFORE enrolling the client.
SSI Award letter OR What is acceptable documentation?
Written verification from a state-licensed qualified source that the person has a disability that (1) identifies the physical, mental, or emotional impairment, why it is expected to be of long –continued or indefinite duration, how it impedes the individuals ability to live independently, and how the individual’s ability to live independently could be improved by more suitable housing conditions; (2) identifies a developmental disability; or (3) identifies AIDS or related conditions.
A qualified source includes medical service providers, certified substance abuse counselors, physicians, or treating health care providers. WHO is a qualified source ?
Acceptable file documentation will include identification of the disability which meets the required criteria and the signature of the qualified source on their letterhead, and indicate the license category and/or number. WHAT is required?
Note:Beginning with 2011 grants, guidance HUD requires the diagnosis be made only by a professional licensed by the in the state to diagnose and treat the disability. • IMPORTANT ! Documentation must indicate receipt by the Permanent Housing provider before the client is accepted into the Permanent Housing program.
5 Methods of Calculating Annual Income If paid by the hour: Hourly rate x # of hours x 52 weeks = Annual Income If paid salary by the week: Weekly salary x 52 weeks = Annual Income If paid salary on a bi-weekly basis (paid every other week): Bi-weekly salary x 26 pay periods = Annual Income
5 Methods, cont. If paid salary on a bi-monthly basis (paid twice per month): Bi-monthly salary x 24 pay periods = Annual Income If paid salary on a monthly basis (or government benefit): Monthly amount x 12 pay periods = Annual Income
Special Circumstances • School personnel and Bus Drivers: • Most jurisdictions now allow these employees to choose either year round pay, or seasonal pay. If paid seasonal then you need to confirm with Board of Education’s personnel department the number of paid weeks per year. • Self employed housekeepers, babysitters and caretakers: • Use one of the 5 methods discussed earlier that best fits the pay pattern. • Self employed business owners (including construction): • Review the client completed self employment affidavit and most recent tax return, compare income and expenses. Any large discrepancies must be reasonably explained in writing
Averaging Pay Fluctuations • Gather pay data for 30 days or more • For Hourly Employees: • Add up the hours on each pay stub and divide by the number of pay stubs you have collected. This will give you the average number of hours. Then follow the method for hourly employees. • For Salary Employees: • Add up the GROSS amount received on each pay stub and divide by the number of pay stubs you have collected. This will give you the average pay stub salary. Then follow the method for the correct salary equation.
Tips • Be CONSISTENT. • Use CURRENT income • Use GROSS pay (before taxes taken out) • SHOW your calculations • Don’t forget to count overtime, bonuses, and holiday pay. (These count for eligibility purposes) • FOLLOW UP on incomplete verification forms
More Tips • All household members (age 18 +) with zero income must complete zero income certifications • Don’t assume 4 weeks per month • It is better to err on the high side when calculating income for eligibility purposes. • If an agency has questions regarding how to calculate income please contact a compliance or program representative for assistance. We are here to help.
Calculating Rent For Rent
Base the rent on an accurate income determination Rent cannot exceed the higher of 30% of the family’s monthly adjusted income 10% of the family’s adjusted gross income Facts for programs requiring residents to pay rent
If utilities are not included in the rent, the accurate utility allowance must be calculated as a part of the rent calculation. • Rent must be re-calculated annually or sooner if requested by the family due to a change in family composition or decrease in family income. • Documentation must clearly show how rents were calculated.
NOTE: For the Permanent and Transitional Housing Programs and Shelter Plus Care, an increase in family income does NOT constitute that household rents be recalculated, but will be considered at the next annual recertification.
Requirements for HOPWA rents can be found at this link. http://www.hudhre.info/index.cfm?do=viewhopwaprgmadmintoolkit#rent
HUD provides a guide and worksheet for assistance in calculating rent amounts. See CPD Notice 96-03 Tenant Rent Calculations for Certain HUD McKinney Act Programs. Program Tools for Determining Resident Rents
Rent Reasonableness • Is Different than FMR • Recipient must establish policy for determining & documenting
Assistance cannot be provided for units that do not meet this standard • Required for both Prevention Rapid Re housing assistance, and for all programs using HUD leasing dollars.
Rent Reasonableness Checklist & Certification Form Available at: www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/library/forms/rentreasonablechecklist.doc
Most Common Mistakes: • Missing Address of Proposed unit and/or does not match • Missing Addresses of comparable units • Missing Number of bedrooms for proposed and comparable units
Mistakes (cont.): • Missing Utility Types • Missing Utility Allowance • Gross Rent not figured • Incomplete Certification (not signed or dated)
Costs are eligible when they are allowable under the grant, allocable to the grant, and are determined to be reasonable. What is an eligible cost?
Examples of ineligible costs: • Costs incurred for ineligible clients or an ineligible unit • Costs for items and or activities that are not approved in the grant agreement • Salary incurred for a case mgt. supervisor when not working directly on participant issues.
Ineligible (cont.): • Conferences, fund raising, and training in professional fields. • Salary of an organizations ED unless carrying out documented eligible activities. • Costs associated with the organization rather than the supportive housing project. (fundraising, advertising pamphlets, etc…)
Costs missing support documentation or where the documentation is inadequate Undocumented Costs