Grant Administration Policies & Procedures

Housing Opportunities for Persons With HIV/AIDS (HOPWA) Overview

The City of Baltimore’s Mayor’s Office of Human Services (MOHS) is the HOPWA Grantee for the Baltimore Eligible Metropolitan Statistical Area. The Baltimore EMSA covers Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, and Queen Anne’s County. 

The Baltimore EMSA provides rental assistance and supportive services to eligible low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). The goal for HOPWA in the Baltimore EMSA is to provide persons living with HIV/AIDS with a stable living environment to gain better access to care. We understand that housing is healthcare, and HOPWA-supported services allow this to be a reality.

Purpose

The AIDS Housing Opportunity Act of 1992, was purposed to provide states and localities with the resources and incentives to develop long-term strategies to meet the housing needs of persons with AIDS. The Act made it possible for PLWHA to obtain safe, decent, and sanitary housing along with the supportive services necessary to maintain housing stability and enhanced their quality of life. Stable housing and supportive services have proved to be necessary for PLWHA to participate fully in community living.

Responsibility of the HOPWA Grantee

As defined in 24 CFR, Part 574.120, the EMSA shall serve eligible persons who live anywhere within the EMSA, except that housing assistance shall be provided only in localities within the EMSA that have a consolidated plan prepared, submitted, and approved in accordance with 24 CFR Part 91.

Prohibition of substitution of funds (574.400)

HUD prohibits the amounts received from grants under HOPWA to be used to replace other amounts made available or designated by State or local governments through appropriations for use.

Capacity (574.410)

MOHS ensures that any project sponsor that is contracted to carry out a HOPWA activity has the capacity to effectively administer the activity.

Cooperation (574.420)

MOHS requires that each project sponsor agrees to cooperate and coordinate with other agencies of the relevant state, local, private, and public organizations, and agencies responsible for providing services in the area for eligible persons. The Baltimore EMSA shall also coordinate with other units of general local government located within the metropolitan statistical area to address the needs within that area.

Fee prohibition (574.430)

MOHS prohibits any of its project sponsors from charging fees other than rent to any eligible person for housing or services under the HOPWA grant.

Confidentiality (574.440)

MOHS requires that each project sponsor develop a policy that ensures the confidentiality of the names of any individual assisted under HOPWA and any other information regarding individuals receiving assistance.  These policies should include:

  1. How client data is collected
  2. How data is stored
  3. How data is shared
  4. What data is reported
  5. How data breaches are handled

Financial records (574.450)

MOHS requires that each project sponsor agrees to maintain and make available to HUD for inspection financial records sufficient, as determined by HUD, to ensure proper accounting and disbursing of amounts received from HOPWA.

Remaining participants following bifurcation of a lease as a result of domestic violence (574.460)

When a covered housing provider exercises the option to bifurcate a lease, as provided in 24 CFR 5.2009(a), in order to evict, remove, terminate occupancy rights, or terminate assistance to a person with AIDS or related diseases that receives rental assistance or resides in rental housing assisted under the HOPWA program from engaging in criminal activity relating to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking, the covered housing provider shall provide the remaining person residing in the unit a reasonable grace period to establish eligibility to receive HOPWA assistance or find alternative housing. 

MOHS shall require each project sponsor to set a reasonable grace period, which shall be no less than 90 calendar days, not more than one year, from the date of the bifurcation of the lease.  Housing assistance and supportive services under the HOPWA program shall continue for the remaining persons residing in the unit during the grace period.  The project sponsor shall notify the remaining person residing in the unit of the duration of the reasonable grace period and assist them with information on other available housing programs and with moving expenses.

Payment Review and Approval Process

MOHS’ established protocol for expenditure report processing is as follows:

  1. All expenditure reports are due to MOHS by the 8th of the month following the report month.  ALL expenditure reports should be submitted via email to MOHS Invoices.
  2. The submitted expenditure report should contain all back-up documentation including:
  • The coversheet (detailed report for back-up documentation)
  • Payroll register (circle amount paid to the employee
  • Activity report (employees not charged 100% to grant)
  • Annual staff certification (employees charged 100% to grant)
  • Copy of monthly General Ledger Report
  • Receipt or statement for all expenses reported
  • Copy of canceled checks
  1. All expenditure reports and back-up documentation are reviewed and approved by Program Compliance Officer for eligibility, as related to approved budgets.
  2. All signed and approved expenditure reports are submitted to HOPWA Accountant for fiscal review and approval.
  3. All approved expenditures are submitted to accounts payable for check disbursement, within 30 days of receipt.

Housing Assistance Program (HAP) Payment Process

MOHS’ established protocol for processing HAP landlord payments is as follows:

  1. The HAP Operations Specialist will generate a payment file for submission to the HOPWA Program Compliance Officer by the 15th of the month for the upcoming month’s payment of rent.
  2. The HOPWA Program Compliance Officer will review the generated payment file against the data contained in the Housing Pro System.
  3. The approved payment file will be signed by both the HAP Operations Specialist and HOPWA Program Compliance Officer and scanned onto the City’s G: drive for storage.
  4. The signed and approved file will be submitted to MOHS’ Fiscal Director for a technical review and submission to the accounts payable system for check disbursement by the 25th of the month.

Fiscal Compliance Review for HAP

Purpose:

  • To ensure fiscal compliance.
  • To test the viability of fiscal controls.
  • To mitigate the risks of weaknesses in tenant files.

Process:

  1. The accountant submits a list of randomly selected tenants to the HOPWA manager for monthly submission for fiscal review.
  2. Accountant reviews each file for:
    1. Current Lease or Addendum;
    2. Tenant Certification;
    3. Proof of Income for all household members (including Affidavits of No Income, when required);
    4. Tenant Rent Calculation Worksheet;
    5. Landlord W-9.
  3. At the conclusion of the review, the accountant identifies a list of concerns for the HOPWA manager to address.
  4. Accountant and HOPWA Manager meet to address concerns and/or implementations.
  5. The final report is maintained in fiscal records.

Responsibility of the HOPWA Project Sponsor

  1. Project Sponsors must comply with all applicable federal and state regulations, policies, standards, and guidelines as specified in the contract and grantee policy and procedure manual.
  2. Project Sponsors must properly manage HOPWA funds in compliance with HUD and MOHS regulations.
  3. Project sponsors must have policies in place that address:
  1. Confidentiality
  2. Non-discrimination, Fair Housing, and Equal Opportunity Requirements
  3. Conflict of interest
  4. Grievances
  5. Scope of services
  6. Eligibility requirements
  7. Documentation requirements
  8. STRMU caps
  9. Survivor grace periods
  10. Management of waiting list
  11. Participation requirements
  12. Terminations
  13. Organizational Financial Management
  1. Project Sponsors must ensure that only eligible participants are receiving HOPWA assistance.
  1. Documentation of eligibility must be maintained in each client file.
  2. Continued eligibility must be assessed annually.
  1. Project sponsors must track the delivery of HOPWA-funded services, client outcomes, as well as non-HOPWA funds used to support HOPWA activities.
  2. Project Sponsors must adhere to limitations on health care-related expenditures.
  3. Project Sponsors must ensure that monthly expenditure reports are submitted no later than the 8th of the month following the report month.  The following documentation is required (if applicable):
  1. Payroll register (circle amount paid to the  employee)
  2. Activity report (for employees that are not charged 100% to the grant)
  3. Annual Staff Certification (for employees that are charged 100% to the grant)
  4. Copy of monthly General Ledger Report
  5. Receipt or statement for all expenses reported
  6. Copy of canceled checks
  7. Coversheet (detailed report for back-up documentation)
  1. Project Sponsors must ensure that compliance with 2 CFR Part 200 Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal awards are maintained.
  2. Project Sponsors must ensure that administrative costs do not exceed 7% of the grant award.
  3. Project Sponsors must submit all budget modification/amendments within 3 months of the close of the HOPWA grant.  The request must include:
  1. A letter to justify the requested changes to the budget and/or scope of services.
  2. A completed budget modification template with the requested budget line item changes that includes the currently approved budget.
  1. Project Sponsors must ensure that Quarterly Activity Reports are submitted timely.
  2. Project Sponsors must ensure that Annual Progress Reports are submitted within 30 days of the close of the grant.
  3. Project Sponsors must maintain all records and documents for a minimum of four years from the date of the final payment under the grant.
  4.  Project Sponsors must ensure that at least one of its employees obtains a certificate of completion of the Getting to Work Training Curriculum, ever three years.
  5.  Project Sponsors must ensure that at least one of its employees obtains a certificate of completion of the HOPWA Oversight Training Curriculum within twelve months of the execution of the contract.

HOPWA REGULATIONS

As the HOPWA grantee for the Baltimore EMSA, we are required to ensure that all project sponsors/sub-recipients are administrating grants in accordance with all applicable laws and regulatory requirements. (24 CFR, Part 574.500(a))

The Housing for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) regulations can be found under 24 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 574.

Eligible Activities (574.300)

  1. Prevention of Homelessness: HOPWA funds may be used to assist all forms of housing designed to prevent homelessness including emergency housing, shared housing arrangements, apartments, single room occupancy (SRO) dwellings, and community residences. Appropriate supportive services, as required by (574.310(a), must be provided as part of any HOPWA assisted housing, but HOPWA funds may also be used to provide services independently.
  2. Housing Information Services including, but not limited to, counseling, information, and referral services to assist an eligible person to locate, acquire, finance, and maintain housing.  This may also include fair housing guidance for eligible persons who may encounter discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, familial status, or handicap.
  • Any person living with HIV/AIDS or a family, member regardless of income is eligible to receive housing information services, as described in 24 CFR, Part 574.300(b)(1).
  1. Resource Identification to establish, coordinate, and develop housing assistance resources for eligible persons (including conducting preliminary research and making expenditures necessary to determine the feasibility of specific housing-related initiatives).
  2. Acquisition, rehabilitation, conversion, lease, and repair of facilities to provide housing and services.
  3. New Construction (for single room occupancy (SRO) dwellings and community residences only).
  4. Project or tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA), including shared housing arrangements.
  5. Short-term rent, mortgage, and utility (STRMU) payments to prevent the homelessness of the tenant or mortgagor of a dwelling.
  6. Supportive Services that assist persons in obtaining or maintaining housing, including, but not limited to the following:
  • Adult daycare and personal assistance
  • Alcohol and drug abuse treatment and counseling services
  • Assessment
  • Assistance in gaining access to the city, state, and federal benefits and services.
  • Case management/advocacy/coordination of benefits
  • Child care
  • Education
  • Employment assistance and training (for PLWHAs)
  • Health and medical services (which may only be provided to PLWHAs and not to family members) [with restrictions described in 574.310(a)2]
  • Intensive care (when required)
  • Legal services
  • Life skills management
  • Mental health services
  • Nutritional services (including meals)
  • Personal assistance
  • Outreach
  • Transportation
  1. Permanent Housing Placement Services may help eligible persons establish a new residence where ongoing occupancy is expected to continue. Costs may include fees for housing services or activities, such as:
    1. Tenant counseling;
    2. Assisting individuals and families to understand leases, secure utilities, and make moving arrangements;
    3. Paying for representative payee services for persons who utilize them to better manage their own finances,
    4. Mediation services related to neighbor/landlord issues that may arise.
    5. Costs may also include application fees, credit checks, and security deposits, of which are not considered rental assistance and should be accounted for as permanent housing placement costs.  Permanent housing placement costs cannot exceed the value of two (2) months’ rent in the new unit.
  1. Operating Costs for facility-based housing including maintenance, security, operation, insurance, utilities, furnishing, equipment, supplies, and other incidental costs.
     
  2. Technical assistance in establishing and operating a community residence, including planning and other pre-development or pre-construction expenses and including, but not limited to, cost relating to community outreach and educational activities regarding AIDS or related diseases for persons residing in the proximity to the community residence
     
  3. Administrative expenses
     1. Each grantee must not use more than 3 percent of the grant amount for its own administrative cost relating to administering the grant amount and allocating such amounts to project sponsors.
    2. Each project sponsor receiving amounts from grants made under this program may not use more than 7 percent of the amounts received for administrative costs.

Grant Administration, Monitoring, and Compliance

As required under 24 CFR Part 574.500, MOHS is responsible for ensuring that all grants are administered in accordance with the requirements in Part 574 and all other applicable laws.  MOHS ensures that each project sponsor agrees to:

1. Operate the program in accordance with the provisions of 24 CFR Part 574 and other applicable HUD regulations;

2. Conduct an ongoing assessment of the housing assistance and supportive services required by the participants in the program;

3. Assure the adequate provisions of supportive services to the participants in the program; and

4. Comply with other terms and conditions, including recordkeeping and reports (which must include racial and ethnic data on participants) for program monitoring and evaluation purposes, as HUD may establish for purposes of carrying out the program in an effective and efficient manner.

Environmental review (574.510)

MOHS acts as the responsible entity; therefore, required to provide environmental certification prior to the request for release of funds from HUD, when applicable. (574.510)

Performance reports (574.520)

Quarterly Activity Report

All project sponsors are required to submit a HOPWA Quarterly Activity Report, also Exhibit E of all HOPWA sub-recipient contracts.  The reporting schedule is as follows:

FY Quarterly Reporting

Due Date

July – September

October 15th

October – December

January 15th

January – March

April 15th

April – June

July 15th

Annual Progress Report

All project sponsors are required to submit an Annual Progress Report (APR), also Exhibit F of all HOPWA sub-recipient contracts.

(a) For formula grant recipient, the performance reporting requirement are specified in 24 CFR, part 91.

(b) Competitive grants. A grantee shall submit to HUD annually a report describing the use of the amounts received, including the number of individuals assisted, the types of assistance provided, data on emergency transfers requested under 24 CFR 5.2005(e), pertaining to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including data on outcomes of such requests, and any other information that HUD may require. Annual reports are required until all grant funds are expended.

Recordkeeping (574.530)

MOHS and all of its project sponsors are required to maintain records for a 4-year period to document compliance with provisions of this part. MOHS and project sponsors must maintain the following:

          (a) Current and accurate data on race and ethnicity of program participants.

(b) Documentation related to the formula grantee’s Assessment of Fair Housing, as described in 24 CFR 5.168.

(c) Data on emergency transfers requested under 24 CFR 5.2005(e), pertaining to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, including data on outcomes of such requests.

Nondiscrimination and equal opportunity (574.603)

Within the population eligible for this program, the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity requirements set forth in 24 CFR part 5 and the following requirements apply:

(a) Fair housing requirements.

(1) Grantees and project sponsors shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101-12213) and implementing regulations at 28 CFR part 35 (States and local government grantees) and part 36 (public accommodations and requirements for certain types of short-term housing assistance).

(2) Executive Order 11246, as amended by Executive Orders 11375, 11478, 12086, and 12107 (3 CFR, 1964-1965 Comp., p. 339; 3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 684; 3 CFR, 1966-1970 Comp., p. 803; 3 CFR 1978 Comp., p. 230; and 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 264) (Equal Employment Opportunity) does not apply to this program.

(b) Affirmative outreach. A grantee or project sponsor must adopt procedures to ensure that all persons who qualify for the assistance, regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, familial status, or handicap, know of the availability of the HOPWA program, including facilities and services accessible to persons with a handicap, and maintain evidence of implementation of the procedures.

Protections for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking (574.604)

(a) General—(1) Applicability of VAWA requirements. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) requirements set forth in 24 CFR part 5, subpart L (Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking), apply to housing assisted with HOPWA grant funds for the acquisition, rehabilitation, conversion, lease, and repair of facilities to provide housing; new construction; and operating costs, as provided in §574.300. The requirements set forth in 24 CFR part 5, subpart L, also apply to project-based and tenant-based rental assistance, as provided in §§574.300 and 574.320, and community residences, as provided in §574.340.

(2) Limited applicability of VAWA requirements. The VAWA requirements set forth in 24 CFR part 5, subpart L do not apply to short-term supported housing, as provided in §574.330, except that no individual may be denied admission to or removed from the short-term supported housing on the basis or as a direct result of the fact that the individual is or has been a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking if the individual otherwise qualifies for admission or occupancy.

(3) The terms “affiliated individual,” “dating violence,” “domestic violence,” “sexual assault,” and “stalking” are defined in 24 CFR 5.2003.

(b) Covered housing provider. As used in this part, the term, “covered housing provider,” which is defined in 24 CFR 5.2003, refers to the HOPWA grantee, project sponsor, housing or facility owner, or manager, as described in this section.

(1)(i) For housing assisted with HOPWA grant funds for the acquisition, rehabilitation, conversion, lease, and repair of facilities to provide housing; new construction; operating costs; community residences; and project-based rental assistance, the HOPWA grantee is responsible for ensuring that each project sponsor undertakes the following actions (or, if administering the HOPWA assistance directly, the grantee shall undertake the following actions):

(A) Sets policy for determining the “reasonable grace period” for remaining persons residing in the unit to establish eligibility for HOPWA assistance or find alternative housing, which period shall be no less than 90 calendar days nor more than one year from the date of bifurcation of a lease, consistent with 24 CFR 574.460;

(B) Provides notice of occupancy rights and the certification form at the times listed in paragraph (d) of this section;

(C) Adopts and administers an emergency transfer plan, as developed by the grantee in accordance with 24 CFR 5.2005(e) of this section, and facilitates emergency transfers; and

(D) Maintains the confidentiality of documentation submitted by tenants requesting emergency transfers and of each tenant's housing location consistent with §574.440 and 24 CFR 5.2007(c).

(ii)(A) If a tenant seeks VAWA protections, set forth in 24 CFR part 5, subpart L, the tenant must submit such request through the project sponsor (or the grantee if the grantee is directly administering HOPWA assistance). Grantees and project sponsors will work with the housing or facility owner or manager to facilitate protections on the tenant's behalf. Project sponsors must follow the documentation specifications in 24 CFR 5.2007, including the confidentiality requirements in 24 CFR 5.2007(c).

(B) The grantee or project sponsor is responsible for ensuring that the housing or facility owner or manager develops and uses a HOPWA lease addendum with VAWA protections and is made aware of the option to bifurcate a lease in accordance with §574.460 and 24 CFR 5.2009.

(2)(i) For tenant-based rental assistance, the HOPWA grantee is responsible for ensuring that each project sponsor providing tenant-based rental assistance undertakes the following actions (or, if administering the HOPWA assistance directly, the grantee shall undertake the following actions):

(A) Sets policy for determining the “reasonable grace period” for remaining persons residing in the unit to establish eligibility for HOPWA assistance or find alternative housing, which period shall be no less than 90 calendar days and no more than one year from the date of bifurcation of a lease, consistent with 24 CFR 574.460;

(B) Provides notice of occupancy rights and the certification form at the times listed in paragraph (d) of this section;

(C) Adopts and administers an emergency transfer plan, as developed by the grantee in accordance with 24 CFR 5.2005(e) of this section, and facilitates emergency transfers; and

(D) Maintains the confidentiality of documentation submitted by tenants requesting emergency transfers and of each tenant's housing location consistent with §574.440 and 24 CFR 5.2007(c).

(ii)(A) If a tenant seeks VAWA protections set forth in 24 CFR part 5, subpart L, the tenant must submit such request through the project sponsor (or the grantee if the grantee is directly administering HOPWA assistance). The project sponsor will work with the housing owner or manager to facilitate protections on the tenant's behalf. Project sponsors must follow the documentation specifications in 24 CFR 5.2007, including the confidentiality requirements in 24 CFR 5.2007(c). The project sponsor (or the grantee if the grantee is directly administering HOPWA assistance) is also responsible for determining on a case-by-case basis whether to provide new tenant-based rental assistance to a remaining tenant if lease bifurcation or an emergency transfer results in the division of the household.

(B) The grantee or project sponsor is responsible for ensuring that the housing owner or manager develops and uses a HOPWA lease addendum with VAWA protections and is made aware of the option to bifurcate a lease in accordance with §574.460 and 24 CFR 5.2009.

(c) Effective date. The core statutory protections of VAWA that prohibit denial or termination of assistance or eviction because an applicant or tenant is a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking applied upon enactment of VAWA 2013 on March 7, 2013. For formula grants, compliance with the VAWA regulatory requirements under this section and 24 CFR part 5, subpart L, are required for any project covered under §574.604(a) for which the date of the HOPWA funding commitment is made on or after December 16, 2016. For competitive grants, compliance with the VAWA regulatory requirements under this section and 24 CFR part 5, subpart L, are required for awards made on or after December 16, 2016.

(d) Notification requirements. (1) As provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the grantee is responsible for ensuring that the notice of occupancy rights and certification form described in 24 CFR 5.2005(a) is provided to each person receiving project-based or tenant-based rental assistance under HOPWA or residing in rental housing assisted under the eligible activities described in §574.604(a) at the following times:

(i) At the time the person is denied rental assistance or admission to a HOPWA-assisted unit;

(ii) At the time the person is admitted to a HOPWA-assisted unit or is provided rental assistance;

(iii) With any notification of eviction from the HOPWA-assisted unit or notification of termination of rental assistance; and

(iv) During the 12-month period following December 16, 2016, either during annual recertification or lease renewal, whichever is applicable, or, if there will be no recertification or lease renewal for a tenant during the first year after the rule takes effect, through other means.

(2) The grantee is responsible for ensuring that, for each tenant receiving HOPWA tenant-based rental assistance, the owner or manager of the tenant's housing unit commits to provide the notice of occupancy rights and certification form described in 24 CFR 5.2005 with any notification of eviction that the owner or manager provides to the tenant during the period for which the tenant is receiving HOPWA tenant-based rental assistance. This commitment, as well as the confidentiality requirements under 24 CFR 5.2007(c), must be set forth in the VAWA lease term/addendum required under paragraph (f) of this section.

(e) Definition of reasonable time. For the purpose of 24 CFR 5.2009(b), the reasonable time to establish eligibility or find alternative housing following bifurcation of a lease is the reasonable grace period described in §574.460.

(f) VAWA lease term/addendum. As provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the grantee or project sponsor is responsible for ensuring that the housing or facility owner or manager, as applicable, develops and uses a VAWA lease term/addendum to incorporate all requirements that apply to the housing or facility owner or manager under 24 CFR part 5, subpart L, and this section, including the prohibited bases for eviction under 24 CFR 5.2005(b), the provisions regarding the construction of lease terms and terms of assistance under 24 CFR 5.2005(c), and the confidentiality of documentation submitted by tenants requesting emergency transfers and of each tenant's housing location consistent with 24 CFR 5.2007(c). The VAWA lease term/addendum must also provide that the tenant may terminate the lease without penalty if a determination is made that the tenant has met the conditions for an emergency transfer under 24 CFR 5.2005(e). The grantee or project sponsor is responsible for ensuring that the housing or facility owner, or manager, as applicable, adds the VAWA lease term/addendum to the leases for all HOPWA-assisted units and the leases for all eligible persons receiving HOPWA tenant-based rental assistance.

Applicability of uniform administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements for Federal awards (574.605)

The provisions of 2 CFR, Part 200, “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles”, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, apply to HOPWA grants.

Conflict of interest (574.625)

(a) In addition to the conflict of interest requirements in 2 CFR 200.317 (for recipients and sub-recipients that are States) and 2 CFR 200.318 (for recipients and sub-recipients that are not States), no person who is an employee, agent, consultant, officer, or elected or appointed official of the grantee or project sponsor and who exercises or has exercised any functions or responsibilities with respect to assisted activities, or who is in a position to participate in a decision making process or gain inside information with regard to such activities, may obtain a financial interest or benefit from the activity or have an interest in any contract, subcontract, or agreement with respect thereto, or the proceeds thereunder, either for himself or herself or for those with whom he or she has family or business ties, during his or her tenure or for one year thereafter.

(b) Exceptions: Threshold requirements. Upon the written request of the recipient, HUD may grant an exception to the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section when it determines that the exception will serve to further the purposes of the HOPWA program and the effective and efficient administration of the recipient's program or project. An exception may be considered only after the recipient has provided the following:

(1) A disclosure of the nature of the conflict, accompanied by an assurance that there has been public disclosure of the conflict and a description of how the public disclosure was made; and

(2) An opinion of the recipient's attorney that the interest for which the exception is sought would not violate State or local law.

(c) Factors to be considered for exceptions. In determining whether to grant a requested exception after the recipient has satisfactorily met the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, HUD will consider the cumulative effect of the following factors, where applicable:

(1) Whether the exception would provide a significant cost-benefit or an essential degree of expertise to the program or project that would otherwise not be available;

(2) Whether the person affected is a member of a group or class of eligible persons and the exception will permit such person to receive generally the same interests or benefits as are being made available or provided to the group or class;

(3) Whether the affected person has withdrawn from his or her functions or responsibilities, or the decision-making process with respect to the specific assisted activity in question;

(4) Whether the interest or benefit was present before the affected person was in a position as described in paragraph (a) of this section;

(5) Whether undue hardship will result either to the recipient or the person affected when weighed against the public interest served by avoiding the prohibited conflict; and

(6) Any other relevant considerations.

Lead-based paint (574.635)

The Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (42 U. S. C. 4821-4846), the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (42 U. S. C. 4851-4856), and implementing regulations as part 35, subparts A, B, H, J, K, M, and R of this part apply to activities under this program.

Flood insurance protection (574.640)

No property to be assisted under this part may be located in an area that has been identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as having special flood hazards, unless:

(a)(1) The community in which the area is situated is participating in the National Flood Insurance Program and the regulations thereunder (44 CFR parts 59 through 79); or

(2) Less than a year has passed since FEMA notification regarding such hazards; and

(b) The grantee will ensure that flood insurance on the structure is obtained in compliance with section 102(a) of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.).

Audit (574.650)

Grantees and project sponsors are subject to the audit requirements set forth in 2 CFR part 200, subpart F.

Wage rates (574.655)

The provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act (40 U.S.C. 276a-276a-5) do not apply to this program, except where funds received under this part are combined with funds from other Federal programs that are subject to the Act.

Housing counseling (574.660)

Housing counseling, as defined in §5.100, that is funded with or provided in connection with HOPWA funds must be carried out in accordance with §5.111. When grantees provide housing services to eligible persons (including persons undergoing relocation) that are incidental to a larger set of holistic case management services, these services do not meet the definition of housing counseling, as defined in §5.100, and therefore are not required to be carried out in accordance with the certification requirements of §5.111.

Other Regulatory Requirements and Guidance

24 CFR Part 91 – HUD regulations define the consolidated planning process, which is required for all formula grants.

24 CFR Part 5.111 – HUD regulations defining Housing information service provided under HOPWA.

24 CFR Part 5.403 – HUD regulations defining a family.

24 CFR Part 5.609 – HUD regulations define the elements of a household’s annual income that must be counted in determining income eligibility for HOPWA and other HUD programs.

24 CFR Part 5.611 – HUD regulations defining calculating the family’s monthly adjusted income and required deductions.

24 CFR Part 5.617 – HUD regulations defining earned income disallowance (EID).

24 CFR Part 5.2005 – HUD regulations define the protections for participants under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

24 CFR Part 5.2009 (a) – HUD regulations defining remaining participants following bifurcation of a lease or eviction as a result of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

24 CFR Part 58 – HUD regulations defining the environmental review process.

24 CFR Part 5.2005(e) – HUD regulations define the data reporting requirement for emergency transfers made pertaining to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

28 CFR Part 35 and 36 – Americans with Disabilities Act and implementing regulations

2 CFR Part 200 – “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards”

2 CFR 200.318 – Conflict of interest requirements

Fire Administration Authorization Act of 1992

Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (LBPPA) of 1973

HUD’s 1999, “Guidance on the Restricted Use of HOPWA Funds for AIDS Drug Assistance and Other Health Care Costs” 

Client Eligibility

Under the HOPWA regulation (2 CFR, Part 574.3), there are two basic requirements that deem a person eligible for assistance under HOPWA.  Those requirements are as follows:

1. Households must have at least one person who has HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).  This includes households where the only eligible person is a minor.
  
Acceptable Medical documentation includes:

  • A statement of HIV verification must be signed by a physician, certified healthcare worker, or HIV testing site representative;
  • Social Security Administration records  must indicate the nature of the disability determination;
  • Other relevant federal program records verifying HIV status

2. Total household income is less than 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), as defined by HUD.

  • Income verification should be collected from all household members, including minors.
  • Adult household members with no income should have a signed statement stating that they have no income.
  • All income should reflect current income and should be verified annually.

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA)

TBRA under HOPWA is much like the Housing Choice Voucher Program.  The tenant is able to select a unit of choice and the HOPWA program pays the difference between the Fair Market Rent or rent reasonableness and the tenant’s portion of rent.  The HOPWA program pays the HOPWA subsidy directly to the landlord and the tenant pays a portion of the rent based on their adjusted gross income.

Supportive Services

In order to maintain housing stability, 24 CFR 574.300 requires that appropriate supportive services be provided by qualified providers in the area to all participants receiving any HOPWA housing assistance.

Eligibility

In order to qualify for TBRA under HOPWA you must:

1.  Have at least one household member that has HIV or AIDS;

2.  Have income that is at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, as defined by HUD;

Occupancy Standards

The guidelines for determining the unit size for an eligible family are as follows:

  • A single person or couple with no children will be eligible for a studio or one-bedroom.
  • The head of the household (and partner, if applicable) will be eligible for a separate bedroom.
  • All other family members will use the standard of two persons per bedroom.
  • Persons of the opposite sex will not be required to share a bedroom except in the case of infants or small children.
  • A live-in aide will be provided with a separate bedroom.  No additional bedrooms will be provided for the aide’s family.

Unit Size

Minimum # of Persons in HH

Maximum # of Persons in HH

SRO

1

1

Studio

1

1-2

1 Bedroom

1

2

2 Bedrooms

2

4

3 Bedrooms

4

6

4 Bedrooms

6

8

Income Verification and Rent Calculation

All households receiving TBRA are required to pay rent, including utilities, an amount which is the higher of:

  1. 30% of the families adjusted income (adjustment factors include the age of the individual, medical expenses, size of family, and child care expenses).  The calculation of monthly adjusted income must also include the disallowance of earned income, if applicable. HUD regulations for income verification and subsidy calculation for HOPWA are found in 24 CFR Part 5.
  2. 10% of the family’s monthly gross income; or
  3. If the family is receiving payments for welfare assistance from a public agency and a part of the payment, adjusted in accordance with the family’s actual housing cost, is specifically designated by the agency to meet the family’s housing cost, the portion of the payment that is designated for housing cost.

Leases

A copy of the fully executed lease should be maintained in each participant file.  The lease should meet state and local standards.  The lease should be for a period of at least one year.  Participants are prohibited from leasing from family members without the approval of reasonable accommodation for a disabled person.

Housing Quality Standards

All units subsidized under HOPWA assistance must pass a housing quality inspection.  The HQS inspection should take place prior to the initial move-in and annually during the term of the rental assistance.  HOPWA habitability standards are outlined in 24 CFR 574.310(b).

Comparable Rents

The total rent being charged for a unit must be reasonable, compared to current rents being charged for unassisted units.  It is possible for a unit to be within the FMR limits and still not meet the rent reasonableness standards.  Rent reasonableness can be found in 24 CFR 574.320(a)(3).

Lead Paint and Fire Safety

All units subsidized with HOPWA funds must be in compliance with federal regulations set forth in the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act (LBPPA) of 1973 and the Fire Administration Authority Act of 1992.  The tenant's file should include proof of compliance with these regulations. The regulations for the implementation of the LBPPA can be found at 24 CFR 35, including sub-part M, “Tenant-Based Rental Assistance.

Termination of Assistance due to Violation

Assistance may be terminated if a participant violates program requirements or conditions of occupancy, subject to VAWA protections in 24 CFR 5.2005(b) and 24 CFR 5.2005(c).  Supportive services must be provided in order to ensure that a participant’s assistance is terminated only in the most severe cases.

  1. Providers must have a formal termination process in place that recognizes the rights of individuals receiving assistance to due process of law.  The process at a minimum must consist of:

a. Serving the participant with a written notice containing a clear statement of the reasons for the termination;

b. Permitting the participant to have a review of the decision, in which the participant is given the opportunity to confront opposing witnesses, present written objections, and be represented by their own counsel, before a person other than the person (or a subordinate of that person) who made or approved the termination decision; and

c. Providing prompt written notification of the final decision to the participant.

Short-Term Rent, Mortgage, and Utility (STRMU) Assistance

STRMU is rent, mortgage, and utility assistance paid on behalf of a participant in order to prevent homelessness, which allows the current housing to remain in place.  As provided in 24 CFR 574.330 STRMU assistance cannot exceed 21 weeks in a 52 week period.  Project sponsors are responsible for the tracking time limitations of STRMU assistance.  STRMU payments cannot be made on behalf of a family that is already receiving rental assistance through HOPWA or another federal, state, or local housing subsidy program.  Further guidance for STRMU assistance can be found in CPD Notice 06-07.

The need for STRMU assistance must be documented in the participant’s file, as such:

  1. The participant must be HOPWA eligible person or household.
  2. There must be evidence of tenancy, ownership, or residency.
  3. There must be evidence of need.  To assess need the sponsor will need to:

a. Verify that the applicant’s request is for the actual cost (e.g. utility bill, lease, default payment notice

b. Verify that other resources such as household income are not reasonably available to address the unmet need.

c. Verify that STRMU assistance will meet the identified need (e.g. terminate eviction or shut-off proceedings); and

d. Assess the applicant’s ongoing housing needs and develop a housing plan for more permanent or stable housing solutions.

Annual Eligibility Period

MOHS, as the HOPWA grantee is required to determine the method used by all of its project sponsors for calculating the annual eligibility period for STRMU assistance.  The method determined by the grantee must be consistently applied by all project sponsors for all clients.  The required method is as follows:

  • The standard annual period for all clients will be in agreement with the annual contract year, July 1st through June 30th of the following year.
  • The client’s period of eligibility for STRMU assistance would end on June 30th and reset July 1st.

Method to Track

MOHS has determined that all project sponsors will use Rounding a Month to Four Weeks as the method for tracking the STRMU assistance.

  • Each month is rounded to four weeks of assistance, up to the maximum 21 weeks of assistance.
  • This method allows 5 months and one week of assistance as the limit, regardless of the number of days in those months.

Case Management and Permanent Housing Plan

As noted in 24 CFR 574.330(e) all project sponsors that provide STRMU assistance are required to provide participants with the opportunity to receive case management services.  Each client’s housing situation should be assessed and a housing plan should be created with the participant, in order to promote long-term housing stability.

Facility-Based Housing Assistance

HOPWA funds can be used for facility-based housing assistance, such as:

  1. Facility-based housing rental assistance, including master-leased units and project-based rental assistance
  2. Operating cost for housing including maintenance, security, operation, insurance, utilities, furnishings, equipment, supplies, and other incidental costs
  3. Capital funds for the acquisition, rehabilitation, conversion, lease, and repair of facilities to provide housing and services; and
  4. Capital funds for new construction of single-room occupancy units or community residences.

As with TBRA, participants under facility-based housing assistance are required to pay rent.  Fair Housing, Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, fee prohibition, confidentiality procedures, and termination policies are applicable under facility-based housing.  Facilities are also required to adhere to housing quality standards and remain compliant with local and state housing codes, licensing standards, and any other jurisdictional requirements.  Facilities must certify that HOPWA participants will receive an adequate level of support and work with qualified service providers.

Capital Projects

HOPWA funds that are utilized for Capital projects have a 3-10 year minimum use period.  The time is dependent upon the level of rehabilitation.  Non-substantial rehabilitation means that the costs are less than or equal to 75% of the value of the building after rehabilitation.  Substantial rehabilitation means rehabilitation involves costs in excess of 7% of the value of the building after rehabilitation.  For units developed for non-substantial level, there is a 3-year minimum use period.  For substantial rehabilitation, the period is not less than 10 years.  The project sponsor is required to report on the annual use data and ongoing use certifications for the HOPWA CAPER or APR report.

Permanent Housing Placement (PHP) Services

Permanent Housing Placement Services can be used to assist eligible participants to establish a new residence where ongoing occupancy is expected to continue.  Placement costs cannot exceed the value of 2 months’ rent in the new unit.  Eligible cost includes:

  1. Tenant counseling
  2. Assistance with understanding lease
  3. Making moving arrangements
  4. Pay for representative payee services
  5. Mediation for tenant /landlord issues
  6. Application fees
  7. Reasonable security deposit (should be returned back to the provider at move-out)
  8. Fees associated with securing utilities at new residence

Supportive Services

Supportive services are an essential part of helping eligible HOPWA participants stabilize their living situations while improving access to care.  Services provided with HOPWA funds should focus on supporting the housing stability of program participants.  Though there is a range of services that are eligible under HOPWA, which are identified in 24 CFR 574.300(b)(7), HOPWA funds can only be used for eligible activities related to housing needs.

Limitations on Health care expenditures:

  1. Health services can only be provided to persons living with HIV/AIDS (24 CFR Part 574.300b(7))
  2. Payments for health services cannot be made to the extent that the payment can come from another public or private source (24 CFR Part 574.310a(2));
  3. Payments may not be made in substitution for AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) payments;
  4. Any health services to be paid by HOPWA must be approved directly by HID
  5. Health-related payments can only be considered for approval on a case-by-case basis; and
  6. Organizations must document reasonable efforts to qualify beneficiaries for available types of health care support, including health insurance and other programs.

HOPWA Project Sponsors are required to demonstrate that HOPWA funds have been used for eligible participants and activities.  This can be documented by showing that:

  1. Recipients of supportive services were eligible, as defined by HOPWA regulations
  2. The activity itself is an eligible HOPWA activity
  3. The services were adequate and appropriate for the level of support required by the participants
  4. Records of supportive services back up the beneficiary data and expenditures reported to the grantee.

HOPWA Competitive Application Process

Every January, MOHS announces the release of the Consolidated Funding Application for the upcoming City Fiscal Year.  It’s during this time new and renewing HOPWA applicants are able to submit project proposals for funding.  Projects are selected based on the project’s relevance to the assessed community needs, established priorities, and availability of funding.

Only eligible organizations can apply for funding awards.  Prior to awarding any agency, MOHS will verify compliance with each of the following items below.

Eligible organizations are:

  • A Non-Profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt or another city agency;
  • In good standing with the State of Maryland (certificate of Good Standing can be obtained through the Department of Taxation website);
  • Must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) and have an active DUNS number; and
  • Must have two years of the most recent A-133 financial audits (renewal projects that do not have audits may submit two most recent years of accountant-prepared financial statements).

HOPWA Formula Award Process

As the HOPWA Grantee for the Baltimore-Towson EMSA, the City of Baltimore’s Mayor’s Office of Human Services is required to serve eligible persons that live anywhere within the EMSA.  Housing Assistance can only be provided in localities within the EMSA that have a consolidated plan prepared, submitted, and approved in accordance with 24 CFR Part 91, that covers the use of HOPWA assistance.  Grant amounts will be allocated among eligible activities that address the needs of eligible persons that reside in the EMSA, including those that live outside of the City of Baltimore.  Awards are determined based on the level of funding approved by HUD for the EMSA, data provided by the Maryland Health Department regarding living HIV cases, poverty rate, and fair market rent.  MOHS reserves the right to withhold funding from any jurisdiction that has one (1) full year’s allocation unutilized at the close of the prior fiscal year’s cycle.  Upon issuance of the notice of award, counties within the EMSA will be required to submit the items listed below.  MOHS will verify compliance with each item prior to the issuance of awards.

  1. Approved consolidated plan, where the use of HOPWA funds have been identified;
  2. Most recent A-133 financial audits;
  3. Must be registered in SAM and have an active DUNS number;
  4. Scope of services, that identifies the number of eligible persons anticipated to be serviced and the types of services that will be delivered;
  5. Budget and budget narrative;
  6. Non-discrimination and equal opportunity policy; and
  7. Conflict of Interest policy.

Program Definitions

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or related diseases means the disease of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or any conditions arising from the etiologic agent for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, including infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Administrative costs mean costs for general management, oversight, coordination, evaluation, and reporting on eligible activities. Such costs do not include costs directly related to carrying out eligible activities since those costs are eligible as part of the activity delivery costs of such activities.

Eligible Metropolitan Statistical Area (EMSA) means a metropolitan statistical area that has a population of more than 500,000 and has more than 1,500 cumulative cases of AIDS.

An eligible person means a person with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or related diseases who is a low-income individual, as defined in this section, and the person's family. A person with AIDS or related diseases or a family member regardless of income is eligible to receive housing information services, as described in §574.300(b)(1). Any person living in proximity to a community residence is eligible to participate in that residence's community outreach and educational activities regarding AIDS or related diseases, as provided in §574.300(b)(9).

Family is defined in 24 CFR 5.403 and includes one or more eligible persons living with another person or persons, regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, who are determined to be important to the eligible person or person's care or well-being, and the surviving member or members of any family described in this definition who were living in a unit assisted under the HOPWA program with the person with AIDS at the time of his or her death.

Live-In Aide is not a household member; but, a person who resides with the HOPWA eligible individual and who meets the following criteria:

  1. Is essential to the care and welfare of the person
  2. Is not obligated for the support of the person
  3. Would not be living in the unit except to provide the necessary supportive services

The low-income individual has the meaning given it in section 853(3) of the AIDS Housing Opportunity Act (42 U.S.C. 12902).

Nonprofit organization means any nonprofit organization (including a State or locally chartered, nonprofit organization) that:

(1) Is organized under State or local laws;

(2) Has no part of its net earnings inuring to the benefit of any member, founder, contributor, or individual;

(3) Has a functioning accounting system that is operated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, or has designated an entity that will maintain such an accounting system; and

(4) Has among its purposes significant activities related to providing services or housing to persons with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or related diseases.

Non-substantial rehabilitation means rehabilitation that involves costs that are less than or equal to 75 percent of the value of the building after rehabilitation.

The Project sponsor means any nonprofit organization or governmental housing agency that receives funds under a contract with the grantee to carry out eligible activities under this part. The selection of project sponsors is not subject to the procurement requirements of 2 CFR part 200, subpart D.

Rehabilitation means the improvement or repair of an existing structure or an addition to an existing structure that does not increase the floor area by more than 100 percent.

Substantial rehabilitation means rehabilitation that involves costs in excess of 75 percent of the value of the building after rehabilitation.