On March 14, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing released a notice offering eligible PHAs the opportunity to apply for admission to the MTW program, as the second cohort under the expansion process.
Per the 2016 MTW Expansion statute, eligible PHAs must be high performing, meet certain size and selection requirements, and represent geographic diversity across the country. Additionally, the expansion of MTW includes a significant research and evaluation component. Housing agencies will be added to the MTW demonstration as part of a cohort, and each cohort will be directed to enact a specific policy change subject to evaluation by HUD. HUD has created a research advisory committee, including members of HUD, housing experts, and existing MTW agencies, to determine which policy changes will be enacted and evaluated.
Following recommendations from the MTW Research Advisory Committee, the second cohort will be required to study alternative rent reform policies designed to increase resident self-sufficiency and reduce PHA administrative burdens. Per the notice, the second cohort will consist exclusively of mid/large sized agencies, with 1,001 units or more of combined public and HCV housing. The alternative rent policies will be limited to non-elderly, non-disabled households, so eligible agencies must have 1,000 or more existing non-elderly, non-disabled public housing and/or HCV households within their units.
Per the notice, agencies will be able to select one of four proposed alternative rent policies listed below, including the option of creating their own policy:
- MTW Test Rent #1 – Tiered Rent (Income-Based): Households are grouped by income into tiers.
- MTW Test Rent #2 – Stepped Rent: 5% Step (Decoupled from Income): Rents are increased annually (or, in the HCV program, the participant contribution is increased) according to a fixed schedule of 5% of Fair Market Rent (FMR) by bedroom size.
- MTW Test Rent #3 – Stepped Rent: 3% Step (Decoupled from Income): Rents are increased annually (or, in the HCV program, the participant contribution is increased) according to a fixed schedule of 3% of Fair Market Rent (FMR) by bedroom size.
- MTW Test Rent #4 – PHA Proposed Alternative Tiered/Stepped Rent: PHAs may propose a tiered or stepped rent that is different from the three HUD test rent policies above.
Agencies interested in applying to the second cohort will be chosen through a two-step selection process that is outlined in the Notice. PHAs selected will be required to forgo the ability to utilize certain rent reform MTW waivers/activities outside of those within the scope of the evaluation, these waivers are listed in the Notice. Additionally, PHAs selected may not pursue RAD conversions to Project-Based Rental Assistance during the evaluation time period, but can still pursue Project-Based Voucher conversions.
Agencies who are interested in applying must submit a letter of interest by June 12, 2019. To view the full notice, click here.
Please contact MTW Program Manager Nicole Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.