New York State Homeowner Assistance Fund
The New York State Homeowner Assistance Fund (“ NYS HAF”) was established under section 3206 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and provides nearly $540 million in financial assistance to New York State, through the United States Department of the Treasury. The aim of HAF is to mitigate financial hardships associated with the coronavirus pandemic by preventing homeowner mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures.
HCR submitted our proposed HAF plan to Treasury on August 20th, and we are awaiting their final approval in order to launch the program. We hope this will be in late September or early October.
In the meantime, homeowners can submit questions or provide us with contact information by emailing [email protected].
NYSHCR remains open and will continue to provide mission critical business during this unprecedented period of time. With the Governors disaster declaration related to the novel Coronavirus and his direction to State agencies, our workforce is teleworking and attempting to be as responsive as possible with all essential functions. The information provided here is subject to change based on any future guidance or regulations issued by an appropriate federal, state or local entity, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the State Department of Health, the Center for Disease Control, etc. Please monitor the IRS website for COVID-19 at: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus. All on-site compliance monitoring visits and inspection are postponed. If your property is in the Extended Use Period and due for a cyclical compliance visit, these reviews have been suspended through 9/30/2021. Your Asset Manager will contact the project when these cyclical visits and inspections will be reinstated.
COVID19 – 2021 RELIEF MEASURES
In accordance with IRS Notice 2021-12 New York State Homes and Community Renewal provides the following information to our external partners, owners, and agents. The latter extends two (2) compliance waivers detailed in IRS Notice 2020-53 effective August 3, 2020.
IRS Notice 2012-12 is effective January 15, 2021
For purposes of §1.42-5, an Agency is not required to conduct compliance-monitoring inspections or reviews in the period beginning on April 1, 2020 and ending on September 30, 2021. The Agency must resume compliance-monitoring inspections or reviews as due under §1.42-5 after September 30, 2021.
II) GRANT OF RELIEF PURSUANT TO §1.42-13(a)
An Owner of a low-income building is not required to perform income recertifications under §1.42-5(c)(1)(iii) in the period beginning on April 1, 2020 and ending on September 30, 2021. The Owner must resume the income certifications as due under §1.42-5(c)(1)(iii) after September 30, 2021.
- Owner/Agents will be required to resume income recertifications as due under §1.42-5 (c)(1)(iii) after September 30, 2021.
- Owner/Agents will be required during calendar year 2021 to provide 120-day initial notifications to households for income recertification due as of January 1, 2022.
Notwithstanding any of the aforementioned, New York State Homes and Community Renewal reminds Owner/Agents that the following are still required to be executed and maintained in tenant files during the period April 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021.
- HFA Lease Rider -applies to 4% HFA projects only
- DHCR Exhibit D Lease Rider – applies to 9% DHCR projects only
- Full Time Student Status Affidavit (For all LIHTC projects within their initial 15 year compliance period)
- VAWA Lease Addendum
- Certification that units are decent, safe and sanitary
NYS HFA and NYS DHCR, as separate tax credit allocating agencies are temporarily suspending the Full Time Student Status Affidavit requirement for projects in their extended-use period to coincide with the IRS recertification waiver period beginning April 1, 2020 and extended through September 30, 2021.
- New Move-Ins during the period April 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021 There is no change to the required process or documentation necessary to confirm income eligibility at initial move in for households during the period April 1, 2020 through September 30, 2021. Files must comply with NYS criminal reentry and credit check worksheets when applicable.
- New York State Homes and Community Renewal -applies to 4% HFA Projects only, will accept Owner/Agent submission of the Pre 8609 Annual Income Qualified Unit Report (AIQUR) for purposes of review and sign off for issuance of Form 8609 Low-Income Housing Credit Allocation and Certification.
For questions surrounding Pre 8609 AIQUR requirements, Owner/Agents may contact Pamela Butler, AVP/Manager of Compliance, at [email protected]
Lastly, where the IRS has not provided clear guidance, monitoring and compliance guidelines have not been waived.
IRS issued Notice 2021-12
On January 15, 2021, IRS issued Notice 2021-12 providing temporary relief to state Housing Credit allocating agencies, owners, and residents of Housing Credit properties in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This matrix compares the accommodations IRS provides in that notice to recommendations for COVID-19 guidance that NCSHA sent to IRS in a November 16, 2020, letter and to existing disaster relief IRS provides under Revenue Procedures 2014-49 and 2014-50, which are applicable in cases of a Presidentially-declared Major Disaster.
NOTE: NCSHA initially sent IRS a letter dated March 23, 2020, requesting COVID-19 relief for the Housing Credit program. IRS responded by publishing Notice 2020-53, which provided certain deadline extensions and waivers through December 31, 2020. NCSHA's November 16, 2020, letter requested further extensions of and additions to that relief. Notice 2021-12 extends the deadlines and waivers provided under Notice 2020-53 and, consistent with NCSHA's recommendations, expands relief measures to include additional relief not previously provided by the Service.
Regarding Resident Certifications Completed or Due during this time period:
- For 100% LIHTC HFA projects with no federal funds (i.e. section 8, HOME), HFA is waiving the pre-approval requirement for annual recertification waivers in alignment with current IRS guidelines. Tenant Self-certifications are now authorized commencing with the first annual recertification.
- Content may be entered electronically by residents on certification forms.
- Signatures by residents and management on certification forms, including the Tenant Income Certification (TIC), may be completed electronically as long as each signature is authenticated and date- and time-stamped by the software.
- Typed and unauthenticated signatures are not permitted (example: Docuserve or other signature authenticating software).
- If management is unable to complete recertifications timely due to COVID-19-related issues, either in person or using an electronic format, the file must include a clarification record explaining the specific delay.
The move-in/initial tax credit certifications and annual recertifications may be completed electronically with the following requirements:
All normal HCR program reporting requirements (monthly operating reports, monthly occupancy reports, annual income qualified unit reports, and requirements contained in Chapter 7 of the Capital Programs Manual) will remain in place but for approved exceptions. Any requests for any extensions must be sent directly to your HCR Asset Manager/Housing Representative.
As a reminder, Project Reserve for Replacement/Operating Reserve withdrawals should continue to be emailed directly to your HCR Asset Manager/Housing Representative. Any requests to withdraw reserve funds due to cash flow shortages incurred under the COVID 19 crisis would follow this standard HCR protocol.
Most of our communication is already performed electronically, rather than by hard copy mail.
We encourage you to reach out to your assigned Asset Manager through email until further notice. Property Owners and Managers have begun instituting increased safety measures following DOH and CDC issued guidance to reduce exposure to the virus. This includes closing community rooms, public bathrooms, on-site gyms, and staggered hours for the laundry facilities. Project specific permission from NYSHCR is not required to implement these and similar government recommended/directed health care measures. Please follow the most restrictive requirements that may apply to your property - such as senior properties with designated assisted living units. For the elderly and home bound residents that rely on Meals on Wheels and other essential services, it is our understanding that these services are still continuing and your cooperation is appreciated.
We will continue to monitor the situation and any guidance received from our State/Federal partners will be shared as it evolves. We’ll strive to provide any updates as needed.
Updated HOME Sample Self-Certification of Income Form to Implement COVID-19 Waivers Now Available
HUD’s Office of Affordable Housing Programs (OAHP) has updated the sample self-certification of income form originally published in June 2020. The revised form supersedes previous form and is valid for use through September 30, 2021, the extended HOME COVID-19 waiver period.
Participating Jurisdictions (PJs) can use the sample self-certification of income form to document the annual income of:
- New applicants of HOME-assisted rental units
- New applicants of HOME Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) programs, including emergency and short-term TBRA
- Existing TBRA tenants requiring assistance under an emergency TBRA program
- Existing tenants of HOME rental units up for income re-examination (annual and 6th year redeterminations)
- Prior applicants denied assistance due to the inclusion of excludable unemployment benefits
Visit the HUD Exchange HOME COVID-19 Guidance page for additional information and resources.
Any questions or concerns can be directed to the following individuals:
9% LIHC/HTFC portfolio:
Maralyne Fleischman, Director/Vice President – [email protected]
Margaret Feml, Assistant Director – [email protected]
4% LIHC/HFA Bond portfolio:
Kathryn Marnell, Vice President – [email protected]
Pamela Butler, Assistant Vice President – Compliance –[email protected]
Q: I’m a landlord and my tenants are unable to pay rent due to the virus, so I am unable to make my mortgage payments. What should I do?
The Governor ordered a 90-day mortgage relief period for borrowers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Eviction proceedings and pending eviction orders are suspended for renters, but rental payments have not been waived. There is no moratorium on a tenant’s obligation to pay rent or an owner’s obligation to provide essential services.
Managing Properties in the Age of Coronavirus
Bisnow hosted a webinar with NAA and IREM experts and members Barry Blanton, CPM® and Pat Hutchison, CPM®. The webinar covers strategic planning for property owners and managers, specifically looking at:
- Continuity of business planning
- Reviewing lease agreements in case of business disruptions
- Creating healthy and hygienic work and living environments
- Strategies for resident and tenant communications
NAA offers operational insight for how to handle a resident testing positive for COVID-19 . Guidance is presented by Ayiesha Beverly, NAA Senior Staff Attorney, National Lease Program. Released 3/24/2020
NAA provides insight into how to handle maintenance during the spread of COVID-19. Guidance is presented by Paul Rhodes, NAA National Safety and Maintenance Instructor. Released 3/20/2020
For more information visit https://www.dfs.ny.gov/
For more information on the Governor’s directive visit: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home
CARES Act - Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Guide for Nonprofits
Guidance on CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funds which are available to nonprofits and small businesses impacted by COVID-19
MWBE & SDVOB Compliance Reporting
Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) & Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Enterprises (SDVOB) Reporting
As a condition of project funding, New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s (HCR) Office of Economic Opportunity & Partnership Development is charged with monitoring and requires submission of compliance reports relating to Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) activity, Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Enterprises (SDVOB) activity and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO). Reports for the MWBE, SDVOB and EEO programs are required for submission quarterly.
Please be advised, payments made January 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020, submissions are due no later than April 5th, 2020.
To ensure reports are processed, please send your reports to:
- [email protected] - for HFA Development Program reports
- [email protected] - for AHC Grant Program reports
- [email protected] - for Capital Program reports
- [email protected] - for DHCR grants excluding AHC, Public Housing Modernization Program, Preventive Troubled Asset Program, Weatherization, HFA/SONYMA/HTFC Procurement
Please be certain to indicate your project name/number or contract number in the email subject line.
- Forms may be found at:
Please submit the following forms electronically, as Excel spreadsheets:
- Utilization Plan- Only submit this form (amended) if the MWBE and/or SDVOB firm(s), contract amounts, etc. on your project have changed.
- Cumulative Payment Statement- List payments made to all subcontractors working on your project. Please report all MBE, WBE, SDVOB and non-MWBE (any subcontractors that do not qualify as a certified MBE, WBE or SDVOB) payments. Please ensure that the correct Federal ID Number (FEIN) is provided for each MWBE and SDVOB vendor. If the FEIN is incorrect, MWBE and SDVOB Utilization credit will not be given.
- Affirmation of Income Payments to MBE/WBE and/or SDVOB - Submit a form for each payment made to an MWBE and/or SDVOB. Please ensure that the amounts submitted on these forms matches what is submitted on the cumulative payment statement form.
- Monthly Employment Utilization Report - Account for the number of minorities and women working on your project. Please note the second tab on the spreadsheet for instructions. Also, please do the following
- Provide separate EEO report sheets for each month (e.g. January, February and March); and
- In your workbook, please complete an EEO form in a tab for each subcontractor, for each reporting month. For example: Project A has 20 subcontractors working on their project. They will submit an Excel workbook containing a total of 60 tabs: 20 January tabs, 20 February tabs, and 20 March tabs.
Please Note: If your project has not started and/or did not issue payments during January 1, 2020- March 31, 2020 submit a cumulative payment statement stating “No Activity and No Payments” for our records. Please fill out the top portion of the cumulative payment statement with the project number.
Rent Administration - Guidance
Update to our previous notice regarding all Agency matters that were not final as of March 13, 2020
All extensions previously granted by Advisory Opinions 2020-1 and 2020-1.2, have been extended an additional thirty days from May 3, 2020.
All extensions previously granted by Advisory Opinions 2020-1, 2020-1.2, and 2020-2 have been extended by an additional thirty (30) days to July 6, 2020.
All extensions previously granted by Advisory Opinions 2020-1, 2020-1.2, 2020-2, and 2020-3 have been extended by an additional thirty (30) days to August 6, 2020.
The deadline for filing annual rent registrations has been extended to September 30, 2020.
All extensions previously granted by Advisory Opinions 2020-1, 2020-1.2, 2020-2, 2020-3, 2020-4 have been extended by an additional thirty (30) days to September 4, 2020.
All extensions previously granted by Advisory Opinions 2020-1, 2020-1.2, 2020-2, 2020-3, 2020-4, and 2020-6 have been extended by an additional thirty (30) days to October 4, 2020.
ALL EXTENSIONS PREVIOUSLY GRANTED BY ADVISORY OPINIONS 2020-1, 2020-1.2, 2020-2, 2020-3, 2020-4, 2020-6, AND 2020-7 HAVE BEEN EXTENDED BY AN ADDITIONAL THIRTY (30) DAYS TO NOVEMBER 3, 2020.
Rent Relief Program
HCR’s COVID Rent Relief Program stopped receiving applications on Feb. 1 and the Call Center closed on March 24.
Households impacted by COVID who are still in need of rental assistance should visit otda.ny.gov for more information regarding the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s (OTDA) forthcoming, federally-funded Emergency Rental Assistance Program to provide rental subsidy to eligible households in New York State.
Section 8 and Public Housing Authorities
Section 8 Voucher Program
Participants in HCR’s Section 8 voucher program in New York City ONLY.
The Governor has ordered all nonessential State employees to work from home until June 9th due to the concerns with the Corona Virus (COVID-19).
This means that most HCR staff will be telecommuting during this time (and possibly longer). This includes employees working in the New York City Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program based at 25 Beaver Street in Manhattan. The 25 Beaver Street Section 8 office is normally open for in-person, previously scheduled appointments between families and their Section 8 case manager. However, at this time all appointments will be conducted by telephone or email. You may still leave a message at the direct extension for your case manager, or call the general phone number at (212) 480-6672. Calls will be returned as soon as possible. Appointments may need to be temporarily rescheduled during this transition. Your patience is appreciated.
Please note that during this period we will only be conducting Housing Quality Standards (“HQS”) inspections for families who are either new to the program or relocating, and in response to immediate health and safety complaints. Annual re-inspections may be temporarily delayed. Additional information will be forthcoming. Owners and managers should monitor the Landlord Portal.
HCR Section 8 voucher families and landlords outside of New York City should check with their Local Administrator – a list of can be found at: https://hcr.ny.gov/section-8-housing-choice-voucher-hcv-program.
If your voucher is with the New York City Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York City Housing Authority or another Public Housing Authority, you should contact that organization directly.
Updated August 19, 2020
Updated April 20, 2020
Guidance regarding Operations Public Housing Authorities and Local Administrators
State of NY Mortgage Agency (SONYMA)
SONYMA Response to COVID-19
If you have a SONYMA mortgage and are experiencing the financial impacts of coronavirus, or COVID-19, please be advised that SONYMA’s long standing procedures concerning loss mitigation continue in place and our Servicers may offer qualified borrowers the following loss mitigation options, all of which are part of SONYMA’s existing menu of options.
Mortgage Relief for Homeowners
If you are experiencing a hardship such as job loss, income reduction, or sickness due to COVID-19 and you are no longer able to make your mortgage payment, your mortgage servicer is available to help with mortgage relief options, including:
- Payment relief through a forebearance plan that offers a reduction or suspension of your mortgage payments.
- Repayment options following your forbearance include:
- A repayment plan to catch up gradually
- A permanent loan modification that adds the suspended payments on the end of your mortgage term
- Extension of your mortgage term to reduce your payments in the event your income has been permanently reduced
- There will be no negative credit reporting or late fees assessed during your forbearance plan period
Please note that Per Executive Order, SONYMA has put a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for 90 days. Additional foreclosure and eviction relief may be available through the federal CARES Act signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020.
How do you get relief?
Contact Your Mortgage Servicer: If you're concerned about your mortgage payments, take the first step and call your mortgage servicer—that's the company listed on your monthly statement— to request help. Keep in mind that many servicers are experiencing increased call volumes and hold times due to COVID-19. If you aren't sure who your mortgage servicer is, please call us at (800) 382-4663 and we can research it for you.
Weatherization Assistance Program
As a result of the on-going COVID-19 health emergency, in order to minimize the potential for spreading the virus through personal contact HCR’s regional offices are not currently open to the public. However, all Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) staff are working from remote locations and all daily operations of the program continue uninterrupted. WAP staff can be contacted directly by email using their existing email addresses. All phone inquiries can be directed to the central office line at 518-474-5700.
The Weatherization Assistance Program is administered through a network of local non-profit community-based organizations and government entities. If you want to apply for WAP, have questions, or are in need of information specific to the local provider, please proceed to the section below and contact the appropriate local provider directly:
Please be assured that the Weatherization Assistance Program is committed to providing the same quality service it has for over 40 years, despite the situation. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this challenging time.
Guidance from the Governor's Office and other State Agencies
Guidance from Governor's Office
- COVID 19 - Executive Order - Suspension and Modification of Laws
- Executive Order 202.6 - Guidance on COVID 19 Workforce Reduction
- Executive Order 202.12 - Extension of Workforce Reduction
- Guidance on the Contacts of a Close or Proximate Contact of a Confirmed or Suspected Case of COVID-19
Other State Agencies
- Department of Health - COVID 19 - Guidance on Gatherings, Public Spaces, and Public and Private Sector Entities
- Department of Health - COVID 19 - Outdoor Guidance
- Department of Health - Protocols for Personnel to Return to Work after Exposure
- Department of Motor Vehicles - Covid 19 - Customer Transaction Guidance
- Office of General Services - Covid 19 - Limited Visitor Access
- Office of Mental Health - COVID 19 - Managing Anxiety Guide
- Office of New Americans - COVID 19 - Guidance