COVID-19 – Changes from the Field
The Section 8 & Compliance Division continues to evolve to reduce the impact COVID-19 related to Site Visits.
Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program unit inspections remain postponed. Electronic file audits have resumed and properties are doing very well with the electronic communications. In order to remain in compliance with IRS guidelines, we will be performing unit inspections when the situation improves, and time permits, but not later than December 31, 2020.
The Project Based Contract Administration (PBCA) – Management and Occupancy Review (MOR) Site Visits that were scheduled for April 2020 and forward were postponed but resumed (in a modified format) based on guidance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
In general, Arizona Department of Housing staff must visit the property and properties must all receive an exterior property review that will include pictures of exteriors and common areas. Properties that have had a HUD – Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) inspection within the last year or so will receive a unit review that includes physical distancing and personal protective gear.
Depending on the specific situation at the time, we may:
Choose another sample unit.
Verify with the resident verbally, telephonically, electronically, or in writing that specific deficiencies have been corrected, and/or
Forego a unit review all-together, with HUD-approved reasoning. These must have good-cause and may be followed up on at a later date.
If the property has not had a REAC Inspection within the year or so and has had confirmed cases of COVID-19, we may forego the unit review with HUD-approved reasoning and file documentation.
The remainder if the PBCA tasks are continuing from both in-office and teleworking team members. The same goes for Section 811 PRA and Housing Choice Vouchers that are administered through our Arizona Public Housing Authority.
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. This type of information may be provided at any time and we will take the applicable action at that time.
If you would like more information, please feel free to contact the Arizona Department of Housing.
Arizona Department of Housing
1110 W. Washington Street, Suite 280
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Housing Matters | Summer 2020