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The letter is below the fleur de kos.

I am still in semi hiatus but the reception of this letter in our mailboxes has created panic amongst many of the residents in my building. We know what it is like to be homeless. We put up with bedbug heaven (building infestation) here because we know the streets are worse. The creepy stalker security guards that are sourced from the lowest bidder do not deter us from our tenuous hold on housing.

But if Congress doesn't fund us there is no way for us to pay our rent. The letter mentions Section 8. The Section 8 list has been open once in the last decade in most communities and for only several hundred recipients. This is when 47% would have some eligibility for assistance.

So other than scaring residents already overstressed by their conditions what is the purpose of this letter?

We never get mailings our correspondence is invariably of the door hanger variety. But this was mailed. Is this some half assed attempt to influence policy by having residents beg Congress for Quantum?

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Comment Preferences

  •  can't read what letter says even when I click (12+ / 0-)

    to larger version (except the 1 year notification part
    But if people are suddenly made to fear losing funding that makes housing possible, so sorry
    and if it happens even sorry
    This is a sad time in politics because of the real lives being messed with
    misery ignored
    But if there is some real policy threat then I hope people do contact congress. The lower income arer easy to ignore, no lobbyists, not much political voice
    We all need to be heard

  •  Sorry to hear it, (3+ / 0-)

    i didn't know you were on hiatus, does that mean i should have sent my kosmail to another admin of the koscadia?

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 04:57:52 PM PST

  •  I can't read most of the document, (11+ / 0-)

    but it appears to be either good or neutral news.

    If a 283-pg pdf is no problem, see: HUD sec 8 renewal guide and search for Appendix 11-2 to see if it's what you posted. If so, it's a notice that nothing's changing & the owner plans to renew whatever the current deal is with HUD -- which may or may not apply to your unit, which is why it could be neutral, but shouldn't be bad. If not, you should be able to find something that matches what you got and read the related text.

    The content of the letter -- including the language about being subject to appropriations -- is prescribed by law. An excerpt from the guide:

    OWNER NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
    Section 11-4

    A. Law. Section 8(c)(8) of the United States Housing Act requires that Owners give a one-year written notice to tenants and HUD of the contract’s termination or expiration. The one-year notification must state the owner’s intentions (i.e. to renew or not renew) at the time of the contract’s expiration.

    B. Format. The Notice must be:

    1. On the Owner’s or duly authorized representative’s letterhead and signed.

    2. The notice must be served by delivery directly to each unit in the project or mailed to each tenant. Note: taping the Notice to the outside of each unit is not acceptable. [bold in original]

    ...

    C. Content of Notification Letter. Owners must include certain information in a notification letter. In order to meet the legal requirements for notification, this Guide provides Owners with a sample one-year notification letter for use when an Owner intends to opt-out of the Section 8 project-based contract (see Appendix 11-1). Appendix 11-2 is HUD’s sample one-year notification letter when an Owner intends to renew the Section 8 project-based contract.

    1. Owners must use a letter that contains the language included in the sample letters provided in this Guide.

    2. While Owners are not required to specify the reasons for contract termination, Owners are strongly encouraged to provide as much information as possible to the tenants and HUD.

    3. Owners must state that they will honor the residents’ right to remain and will continually renew leases as long as the property is offered as rental housing, the PHA continues to find the rent reasonable and there is no cause for eviction under Federal, State or local law.

    4. If an owner states that they intend to renew the contract but later changes their mind and decides to opt-out of the contract, they must provide tenants with a new one-year notification of this change of plans. In other words, tenants must receive a one-year notification of an owner’s decision to opt-out.

    And if that doesn't help, maybe contact sfbob. I have a vague and perhaps faulty recollection that he works for HUD.
  •  I agree with Villanova (7+ / 0-)

    Sounds like fear mongering on behalf of the owner.
    Any owner can opt out of leasing on section 8.  I was a property manager and many owners do not accept it.
    That may mean you just move to an apt more desirable that is in the program  because the owners opted out of HUD.  They are not responsible for moving costs but I would surely call the owner and ask if he is opting out or ask the property manager and then call the housing authority and see what the deal is.  It does not mean you are disqualified...Just that that owner does not want guaranteed money from da liburals.. You know like Scott doesn't want exchanges or fed funds... Assholes..  the whole lot of them.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 05:38:18 PM PST

    •  The thing is this property was willed to be (5+ / 0-)

      affordable housing.

      Can this company change that?

      "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

      by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 05:57:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well I would talk to HUD (5+ / 0-)

        but I was told years ago, anyone can opt in or out on the subsidy.   Be sure...Ask Hud

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 06:17:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Affordable Housing's not the same as Subsidized (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife, Villanova Rhodes, VickiL

        Housing. This one I can speak to with some degree of expertise.

        Subsidized housing comes in a variety of flavors but Section 8 is the most common. Under Section 8, regardless of what the unit's stated rent is, the resident pays 30% of his or her income and the rest is paid by direct subsidy. In some older properties, the subsidy goes directly to pay the mortgage based on the difference between a stated interest rate for that mortgage and a rate (usually either 1% or 3%) established by HUD at the time the property was constructed. Based on the interest subsidy the actual tenant rent is reduced to whatever it takes to operate the project, allocated to each unit using a formula. Most of these properties are very close to the end of the term of their original mortgage. In some cases, because operating expenses have increased, there is also a Section 8 contract on top of the written-down rent, and some--or perhaps even all--residents receive Section 8 in addition to the benefit of the decreased rent.

        In most cases owners can chose to opt out of the Section 8 program; there are rules and procedures which must be followed. Chief among them is that residents must be provided with Housing Choice Vouchers (another name for Section 8 Vouchers, which is another name for what used to be called Section 8 Certificates. I've been around a long time).

        Affordable housing is quite different. HUD doesn't have that many rules regarding affordable housing; in general those are established under IRS rules. Rents are established so that (in theory at least) the entire rent can be paid with 30% of a resident's income; affordability restrictions can be set at one or more levels but in general those restrictions are set such that those eligible to live in affordable units earn no more than 60% of area median rent (AMI). I've seen them as low as 30% of AMI. In some cases all units are affordable at the same income level while other properties have units that pegged to varying percentages of AMI. Some affordable properties have HUD-insured mortgages; most do not. There are some that also have Section 8 contracts for some or (rarely) all of the units. Others don't have Section 8 contracts but have groups of Section 8 vouchers assigned to them or else accept Section 8 vouchers from individuals or families.

        Affordability restrictions come in many, many flavors. The most common are based on a portion of the money used to construct or renovate them having been generated from the sale of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs). In other cases the affordability restriction is based on financing from some other program (either federal, state or local or sometimes a combination of two or more of those), or is made a requirement of zoning approval at the local level. Generally speaking in those cases the affordability restrictions are incorporated in the deed and cannot be abandoned without great difficulty no matter who owns the property or what their intentions may be.

        LIHTCs are a tax benefit, the rules of which are written and overseen by the IRS. Someone in effect the right to be exempt from paying a certain amount of federal income tax in exchanged for having agreed to purchase the tax credits; the purchase price is what generates some of the funds needed to develop or renovate the property.

        Violating the affordability rules established by the IRS in conjunction with LIHTCs is not something an owner should ever want to do since it subjects the people who purchased the tax credits to a sudden and unexpected tax bill. Which will I suspect subject the owner to some very undesirable legal consequences. I think there are sanctions against the property owner as well the likelihood that he or she (or they; most such properties are corporations of one sort or another) will be sued by the people who have lost their tax write-offs.

        Where affordability restrictions are NOT tied to LIHTCs, the consequences of violating them vary depending on the who imposed the restriction. Most affordability restrictions have sunset dates but those tend to be set very far into the future.

        •  That was encouraging and informative (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Villanova Rhodes

          thanks sfbob.   I have only been familiar with the section 8 part as a landlord....I would think the owner would sell before putting themselves in such a jeopardy of sorts with the IRS,, huh?

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:52:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'll have to read the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vetwife

          leagleze.

          The sort of thing I tend to put off.

          They took the trouble to put up a large bronze plaque. So it isn't a secret.

          "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

          by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 03:01:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It can be boring that's for sure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Horace Boothroyd III

            I noted above that affordability restrictions are usually things that HUD has nothing to do with.

            Strictly speaking that isn't entirely true; there are situations where, for one reason or another, HUD imposes affordability restrictions on a property where its original financing came from HUD in one way or another. Those restrictions take the form of a use agreement that is recorded like a deed and usually are set to extend beyond the time of HUD's involvement in the property.

            Details don't generally matter here unless you own such a property or live at one. Or maybe if you're a lawyer. :)

    •  Hi Vetwife! Agreement is always nice, but (5+ / 0-)

      in this case, I don't think it's fearmongering -- more the opposite. I think the owner intends to keep the property in the program. It is at worst a notice that the current arrangement between HUD and the owner will expire in a year. At present, the owner plans to try to renew that arrangement. If the owner changes that plan, there has to be a new one-year notice.

      So I don't see any reason for immediate concern, although I might have had a similar reaction to receiving the notice.

    •  HUD REquires this (8+ / 0-)

      It is not fear mongering.  This tenant apparently lives at a site that has project-based section 8, where the subsidy stays with the property.  One year in advance of the contract termination, the owner must provide his tenants with a notification of his intentions to stay in the program or opt out.  

      If he opts out, all income eligible tenants will receive a portable voucher that can be used to continue to live at the project, or they can use it at another building.

  •  Don't Worry (6+ / 0-)

    I work for HUD and although I can't read all of the detail, this looks like a standard one year notice.  All owners must provide this to their tenants one year in advance of the Sec 8 contract termination.  In it, they must state their intentions to stay in the program or to opt out.

    In the worst case scenario, should HUD not have the funds to renew the contract, all eligible tenants would be given a tenant based Sec 8 voucher - this also happens when an owner opts out of the Sec 8 program.  There are 2 differences with this voucher: 1) This one is portable and stays with the tenant for as long as you are income eligible.  You can use it to stay put or to move to another building.  Your current subsidy "belongs" to the building.  If you move, it will not go with you.  (2) Instead of the voucher being administered by HUD like it currently is, this one will be administered by the local Public HOusing Agency.
    Again, please don;t worry.  If you have any questions, the letter should have provided you with the name and telephone number of the HUD Project Manager overseeing your building.  Good luck!

  •  I *think* the bold text in the middle of the page (5+ / 0-)

    says:

    This letter is to notify you that we intend to renew the current Section 8 contract when it expires.

    IANAL, but that sounds like "no change".

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