February 4, 2021
Columbus, Ohio
OHFA Multifamily Housing: Compliance Updates

IRS COVID-19 Relief Extension

On January 15, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2021-12, which extended all COVID-19 relief measures originally provided under Notice 2020-53, and provides further relief not included in that original COVID-19 relief notice. The deadline extensions and waivers provided under Notice 2020-53 expired at the end of 2020.

The Notice 2021-12 extends the two compliance monitoring waivers as follows:

  • Building owners are not required to perform income recertifications for the period beginning April 1, 2020, and ending September 30, 2021; and

  • State Housing Credit agencies are not required to conduct compliance monitoring inspections or reviews for the period beginning April 1, 2020, and ending September 30, 2021.

Finally, the notice provides guidance clarifying the following:

  • Housing Credit agencies may satisfy their Qualified Allocation Plan public comment requirements through telephonic hearings rather than in-person meetings from April 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021;

  • The temporary closure of property amenities and common space facilities from April 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will not negatively impact a property’s eligible basis; and

  • Housing Credit properties may be used temporarily to provide emergency housing for medical personnel and other essential workers providing services during the COVID-19 pandemic regardless of income eligibility.

While owners are not required to perform recertifications and annual inspections during the allowed time periods, OHFA requires a clarification record stating the recertification and/or the annual inspection was not conducted due to Notice 2020-53. Regardless of the waivers permitted under the Notice, owners are still required to ensure all units and common areas are maintained in good working order to provide safe and sanitary conditions for all residents.
HUD Issued COVID-19 Relief Extension for HOME Units

HUD recently issued two new memoranda to revise, extend, and update the pair of memoranda issued on April 10, 2020, suspending certain statutory and regulatory requirements for the HOME Investment Partnership program and HOME-Assisted Tenant-Based Rental Assistance for Emergency and Short-Term Assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first memorandum revises and extends certain statutory suspensions and regulatory waivers provided by the April 10, 2020 memorandum and adds a new statutory suspension and regulatory waiver. The memorandum revises the income documentation waiver to exclude Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation provided under the CARES Act and the Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance provided under the Stafford Act, revises requirements for Housing Quality Standard inspections and annual re-inspections, expands the four-year project completion requirement waiver, and expands the use of HOME funds for operating reserve assistance for troubled HOME projects to cover additional HOME-assisted rental projects and imposes additional requirements on owners receiving HOME operating reserve assistance.

This second memorandum adds a new statutory suspension and regulatory waiver of the maximum per-unit subsidy limit and a new regulatory waiver of the income documentation requirement for owners of a HOME project in a sixth year of the period of affordability. Additionally, the memorandum extends the on-site inspections of HOME-assisted rental housing, nine-month deadline for sale of homebuyer units, and the time frame for a participating jurisdiction’s response to findings of noncompliance waivers from the original deadline of December 31, 2020, to September 30, 2021.
Annual Unit Inspections, Emergency Repairs and Work Orders

OHFA is dedicated to ensuring residents reside in safe, decent and sanitary conditions. If you were unable to complete your 2020 calendar year annual unit inspections between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please remember that OHFA still requires owners to complete any necessary emergency repairs and complete work orders in a timely manner that were requested during calendar years 2020 and 2021. Additionally, OHFA is reinstating the annual unit inspection requirement for the 2021 calendar year. While these inspections do not need to be completed now, these inspections must be completed by the normal December 31, 2021 deadline.
E-Signature Recertification Guidance

If you have already received initial approval to use e-signatures:
In connection with OHFA’s Electronic Signature Policy, all sponsors and partners must complete and submit the "Partner Recertification for Use of Electronic Signatures" form found in Appendix B of the E-Signature Policy no later than February 15 of each year following the year of initial approval in order to continue the use of e-signatures on eligible program documents.

If you are seeking approval to use e-signatures for the first time:
In order to utilize electronic signatures you must complete the "Partner Certification for Use of Electronic Signatures" form found in Appendix A of the E-Signature Policy. Please also include a list of all projects for which your organization will be using this procedure when you submit the form. A template chart for the project listing can be found on page 6 of the policy document.

Submit forms to OHFA via email: mfesignature@ohiohome.org.
OHFA Inspection Access Update

Use pcInspect.ohiohome.org

OHFA staff recently removed the OHFA Inspection access button from the DevCo Online page to ensure OHFA Inspection software is fully functional and to decrease confusion between DevCo and the software. 

Please access OHFA Inspection directly through your Chrome web browser:

  • After logging in, click the star in your address bar to save the URL as a favorite for easy access. 

  • If you forgot your password, click the ‘reset your password’ link.
New Forms and Other Updates

New HOME Lease Addendum
OHFA’s Training and Technical Assistance Office has developed a new HOME Lease Addendum. The new Addendum reflects required and prohibited lease provisions of §92.253(c) and those from the 2013 Final HOME Rule (24 CFR 92,253)(2013), and is in response to many industry partners requesting a standardized HOME Lease Addendum. 

Effective March 1, 2021, the new HOME Addendum must be used for all units funded with HOME or National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF). The new Addendum must be used for new move-in residents or at the next recertification date for existing tenants. Once the tenant signs the new Addendum, it will only have to be signed again when a new lease is executed. Owners should not use this Addendum for HOME units receiving project-based Section 8 where the HUD Model Lease is used or those receiving USDA Rural Development (RD) subsidy.  

Updated Student Certification and Sworn Income and Asset Statement Forms
These have been updated with a few minor changes after we received some valued feedback from our partners. Use of these updated forms are also effective March 1, 2021.
Annual Owner Certifications Due March 1, 2021

Owners are required to submit their 2020 Annual Owner Certifications and Tenant Data for each of their projects via OHFA's online reporting system, DevCo Online. OHFA recommends you start the reporting process as early as possible; the information is due by March 1, 2021. See the 2020 Annual Reporting Requirements Chart for more details on requirements by funding source. To get started on your annual owner report(s), please click here.

For additional information on DevCo and to review online resources, visit our website. You can also view how-to videos and read the DevCo Compliance User Guide online. If you are having problems with DevCo, please contact the DevCo Help Desk.  
Other Form Updates

OHFA will be updating all of our suggested Compliance forms within the next few weeks. Please watch the website for updated forms. Stay tuned.

Reminder: OHFA prohibits backdating any form. 

OHFA does not accept “True & Correct” statements as a cure for non-compliance. Owners and managers should utilize a signed and dated clarification record to communicate any corrections that cannot be corrected by initialing and dating the correction.