Act Before September: Updated EHV Guidance On Voucher Terminations

HUD issued Notice PIH 2021-15 on May 5, 2021, to provide operating requirements to PHAs administering the Emergency Housing Voucher (EHV) program. Section 13 of Notice PIH 2021-15 provides initial guidance for the termination of vouchers upon turnover after September 30, 2023. On August 11, 2022, HUD issued Notice PIH 2022-22, which reminded PHAs of the initial termination of vouchers upon turnover after September 30, 2023. PIH Notice 2023-14, "The Notice," provides additional guidance regarding EHV leasing terminations and HAP shortfall funding due to per-unit cost increases and over-leasing. 

The Notice clarifies the difference between a re-issued voucher and a new voucher with respect to the termination of vouchers upon turnover applicability. When an EHV family's participation in the EHV program ends (i.e., the family is no longer under an HAP contract or in the process of moving to another unit, including under the portability procedures), any subsequent issuance of that voucher to another family is a reissuance. HUD is identifying whether a voucher issuance is a turnover voucher or a voucher that has never been leased by counting the number of cumulative EHV lease-ups. (Note that cumulative leased vouchers are equal to all households leased since the start of the EHV program—this includes households that have left the program.)

Once a PHA's total cumulative leased EHV count reaches their total EHV allocation of the Consolidated Annual Contributions Contract (EHV-CACC), any EHV issuance is considered a reissuance. PHAs that have reached their cumulative EHV lease-up count may not reissue any EHV vouchers after September 30, 2023. All EHVs under lease on or after October 1, 2023, may not, under any circumstances, be reissued to another family when the participant leaves the program for any reason. For example, as of October 1, 2023, a PHA has cumulatively leased 60 of its 100 EHV allocation under their EHV-CACC. The PHA may continue to issue and lease the remaining 40 EHVs that have never been leased. The PHA must also use their historical success rate when issuing EHVs to be careful not to over-lease the program. HUD created an easy-to-use dashboard that is specific to each PHA and contains success rates and vouchers leased, which will assist the PHA in issuing the appropriate number of vouchers with the intention for the PHA to not be over-leased.

EHV participants may still move (including portables) after September 30, 2023. The termination of vouchers upon turnover provision does not impact an individual or family's ability to move within the PHA's jurisdiction or their ability to move under the portability procedures to another PHA's jurisdiction. As a reminder, if the EHV family moves under portability to another PHA that does not administer EHV under its own EHV-CACC, the receiving PHA may absorb the family into its regular HCV program or administer the voucher and bill the initial PHA. For example, PHA 1 is at its maximum cumulative EHV lease-ups of 100 as of 10/1/2023. And an EHV tenant decides to move from PHA 1 to PHA 2 (Port-out) and PHA 2 is not at its maximum cumulative lease-ups and absorbs the tenant, then PHA 1 will have to decrease to 99 and not exceed that while PHA 2 will add one to their maximum lease-up towards their EHV-CACC.

In addition to maximum lease-ups, the Notice discusses HAP funding shortfalls for per-unit cost increases and over-leasing. Per PIH Notice 2021-15, HUD may adjust renewal allocations during the renewal calendar year for per-unit cost increases for unforeseen circumstances that occurred within or after the benchmarking period which the PHA could not reasonably have anticipated and were out of the PHA's control. When applying for the per-unit-cost adjustment, the PHA must indicate the number of voucher holders that are actively searching for a unit and the number of currently leased voucher holders, as well as the unforeseen circumstances (e.g., higher rents/unexpectedly higher success rate/rent increases above and beyond the Renewal Funding Inflation Factor (RFIF) used to calculate the PHA's renewal funding allocation).

Through the issuance of the Notice, HUD is amending PIH Notice 2021-15 to allow for adjustments upon request by the PHA for cost increases that are not out of the PHA's control or unforeseen but that were deemed reasonable and necessary by HUD for the effective administration of the EHV program. For example, if the PHA increased its EHV payment standards to improve success rates and/or allow EHV families to continue to afford to remain in their units when owners increase the rents and as a result, the PHA has insufficient funding available, HUD may adjust the PHA's EHV funding allocation accordingly.

HUD is aware of potential or actual over-leasing; a PHA must immediately stop issuing EHVs, including when directed to do so by HUD. HUD is further amending PIH Notice 2021-15 to allow for adjustments to the PHA's renewal allocation to temporarily cover the costs of over-leased units if necessary to prevent the termination of EHV families due to insufficient funds until the over-leasing is corrected through attrition, provided the PHA has taken reasonable steps as determined by HUD to mitigate the extent and duration of the over-leasing.

EHV HAP funding shortfall requests should be sent to [email protected].