The Arizona Department of Housing has implemented several measures within the Section 8 & Compliance Division as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) property Site Visits that were scheduled from the middle of March and forward have been postponed until further notice. Traditionally during the month of April, the LIHTC team works in the office processing Annual Reports and that is what they are doing at this time.
The Section 8 Project Based Contract Administration (PBCA) – Management and Occupancy Review (MOR) Site Visits that were scheduled for April and forward have been postponed until further notice based on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidance. The remainder of the PBCA tasks are continuing from both in-office and teleworking team members. The same goes for Section 811 and Housing Choice Vouchers administered through the Department.
What emergency preparedness steps does the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recommend or require property owners and agents take?
Owners and agents should generally follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and the directions given by local health officials for emergency preparedness. Chapter 38 of Handbook 4350.1, Multifamily Emergency/ Disaster Guidance, should also be consulted. The CDC provides guidance for communities, businesses and schools that can assist housing providers. The CDC also provides specific guidance for retirement communities and independent living facilities, including federally assisted independent housing with support services for older adults.
In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case at a HUD-assisted property, what steps should property owners and managers take to protect residents, staff, and the community? How should the owner/agent share this information?
HUD suggests property owners and agents follow CDC guidelines and the direction of local health officials, especially in the event of property quarantine.
HUD recommends that owners/agents create communication plans for distributing timely and accurate information during an outbreak. First, owners/agents should identify everyone in their chain of communication (for example, staff, volunteers, key community partners and stakeholders, and clients) and establish systems for sharing information. After identifying this information, they should maintain up-to-date contact information for everyone in the chain of communication as well as identify platforms, such as a hotline, automated text messaging, and a website to help disseminate information to those inside and outside of their organizations.
Owners/agents can provide notification of positive COVID-19 cases without giving the name/apartment number/other personally-identifiable information to their residents and staff. HUD reminds them that they continue to remain subject to HIPAA and other privacy laws.
If you have questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact us. We’re here to help!
Arizona Department of Housing
1110 W. Washington Street, Suite 280
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Housing Matters | Spring 2020