March 26, 2020
COVID-19 Notice
To: Owners and Managers of Multifamily Housing Projects

Governor DeWine declared a state of emergency for Ohio on March 9, 2020. Subsequently, on March 13, 2020, President Trump issued a Nationwide Emergency Declaration regarding the coronavirus outbreak. In accordance with those declarations and subsequent state and federal guidance, OHFA is issuing the following temporary guidance. 
 
Provision of Supportive Services
Delivery and provision of supportive services should, when feasible, continue remotely. However, services may be suspended to ensure the safety of residents in accordance with guidance provided by state executive orders, the Ohio Department of Health, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Centers for Disease Control, etc. Please consider certain supportive services, such as transportation services for healthcare and medication, food and groceries, etc., as necessities. Should you choose to suspend such service provision, please attempt to make alternative arrangements for your residents as some of these services are critical to the health and well-being of your residents.

Emergency Maintenance
OHFA recognizes that only emergency maintenance work may be able to be completed at this time. OHFA encourages owners and management agents to continue permitting residents to report all maintenance issues as they occur, with the intent of processing all maintenance requests quickly once normal operations resume. 

Recertifications
Recertifications can be completed remotely (via phone, mail, drop box, email, etc.) through April 30, 2020, unless otherwise extended by OHFA. The resident’s signature(s) must be obtained within 120 days of the original due date, unless otherwise extended by OHFA. An OHFA clarification memo must be added to each resident’s file explaining the process by which the recertification was delayed and completed. This detailed clarification memo is required to remain in compliance.

New Move-Ins
New move-ins can be processed with electronic signatures and/or with residents completing the paperwork via phone, mail or drop box, email, etc., following the same process as recertifications, including creation of detailed clarification memos. If a new move-in is not completed in person, management must ensure that all forms, processes and procedures, are thoroughly explained to the new resident. If the move-in inspection form is not completed by both management and resident on the same day, then a clarification memo must be added to the resident’s file to explain how the move-in inspection process was completed.

Annual Unit Inspections
OHFA encourages owners and managers to postpone Annual Inspections of residents’ units until later in the calendar year. Annual Inspections must still be completed no later than 12/31/2020.

Tenant Events
All tenant events must still be updated in DevCo in a timely manner, in keeping with existing OHFA policy.

Audit Response Extensions
If requested in writing, OHFA will provide extensions on Compliance Audit Report (CAR) responses for the maximum amount of time allowed by the IRS. These extensions will only be granted in 30 day increments and will not be automatically granted. Extensions must be requested through the OHFA Inspection system prior to their due date.

Income Verification
Please remember that OHFA does allow pay stubs as the first form of income verification without attempting to obtain 3 rd party verification from employers. Four (4) to six (6) pay stubs are required. If you choose to attempt to obtain 3rd party verification but are unsuccessful, please document the situation and the steps taken to obtain the third-party verification. Documentation should include a copy of the original verification that was sent, including the date is was sent and should also include a clarification memo explaining your steps.

Clarification Memos
Please use the following verbiage on all clarification memos: "Due to COVID-19 Emergency Declaration, in-person signatures were not collected at the time of certification, new move-in, etc. This action was taken to adhere to state and federal orders and recommended practices provided by the State of Ohio, the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other government agencies." Remember to sign and date all clarification memos.

Electronic Signatures
OHFA will be accepting electronic signatures on most, if not all, compliance forms. Please stay tuned for further guidance to be issued very soon.

*All documents must be signed and dated in real-time, backdating is still not allowed.*

Continue to check OHFA's COVID-19 page for additional information and further guidance as it is released.

Helpful Links:

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Compliance Division at Compliance@ohiohome.org.