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Industry Updates
Monthly News & Updates - October 2016

Editor's Letter

Just yesterday, the Social Security Administration announced a 0.3% cost of living adjustment to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits. As you’ll recall, last year there was no adjustment. The methodology for determining whether a change in benefits will occur is based on inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index and the increase takes effect in January 2017. This information is important to you because the increase must be taken into account when calculating household income for those that receive Social Security benefits.

In order to help you understand these calculations, we’ve provided a cheat sheet on “How to do the COLA math” in the article below. Additionally in this month’s newsletter, both of our Senior Trainers - Breana Thomas and Randy McCall - build upon Familial Status of Fair Housing and also design and accessibility in their respective articles. As always, we strive to provide you with rich, meaningful information you can use each month. Get in touch at any time with a “client question” or any topic you might be interested in learning more about. 


Jeffrey Promnitz
Acting Executive Vice President

Social Security Announces 0.3 Percent Benefit Increase for 2017

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 65 million Americans will increase 0.3 percent in 2017, the Social Security Administration announced Tuesday, October 18, 2017.

The 0.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 60 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2017. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2016. 

Click HERE for Information about Medicare premiums for 2017 

Click HERE for rest of the Article

Getting to Know Us!

Lauren Daugherty
Human Resource Generalist

866-760-6000 Toll Free

Lauren comes to Zeffert & Associates with over 7 years of experience in Human Resources. In previous roles, Lauren assisted with the implementation new performance appraisal systems and employee engagement survey to improve employee experience. She also helped to create a new hire training program to ensure greater employee development. Lauren has her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certificate and graduated from Bradley University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and Administration with a concentration in Human Resources. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews, being outdoors, and finding new recipes to try.


 by Breana Thomas, Senior Training Specialist   

Earlier this year we outlined Fair Housing basics in our April newsletter. This month we are going to focus on one of the specific protected classes—Familial Status. The familial status protection applies to:
• Families with children under the age of 18
• Pregnant women
• Persons in the process of securing legal custody of children under the age of 18

Let’s define these a bit further…

Click HERE to read more


Fair Housing Design and Accessibility
Article 21
by Randy McCall, Senior Training Specialist

Overview: Seven basic requirements of fair housing accessibility  

Accessible Entrances & Property Routes 
Site Impracticality
Fair Housing Act Design Manual Chapter 1 Page 1.47 -1.50

As previously stated, according to the Fair Housing Design Manual, there are two tests for determining site impracticality.  The two tests are the 1.) Individual Building Tests and the 2.) Site Analysis Tests.
In the last issue we introduced you to the Individual Building Test that should be used when there is a single building on the site with one common entrance.
Below are the two requirements for determining if a site is impractical:

Click HERE for rest of the article

Quizzle - Familial Status


1. There is a fitness center at Lovely Lake Chateau Village Plaza, a tax credit property. You have been put in charge of making sure that the House Rules are in compliance with Fair Housing Laws. Which rule(s) would be acceptable?

a.  No children allowed.
b.  Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult
c.  Adults only between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.
d. Age limit restrictions are determined by the manufacturer of the equipment’s suggested age for safety. Please see age requirements for each piece of equipment on the Fitness Center Addendum of your lease and on the sign in the fitness center.

2. Lovely Lake Chateau Village Plaza has a new leasing professional. Our new staff member, Ima Lovethisjob, is trying to lease a unit to a family of 3 (parent, boy age 7 and girl age 1). The property has 1, 2, & 3 bedroom units available. The family income qualifies for all three unit sizes. What should Ima do?

a. Give the applicant a list of available units and let them decide.
b. Give them information about the 2-bedroom unit only. Because there would be too many occupants for a 1-bedroom and not enough occupants for 3 bedroom.
c. Give them information about the 3-bedroom unit only. (Because there is an adult and a boy and a girl, none of them should share a room.)
d. Give them the information for the 1-bedroom only because the property’s occupancy guidelines are 2 per bedroom plus one.

3. The Manager of Lovely Lake Chateau Village Plaza, Sheda Ratherbesomewhereelse, was having issues with revenue on the property. She has a list of ideas that might help bring in some money. Choose any (or all) of the following that would be a violation based on familial status.

a. Charging maintenance fees to a family because the child is bad and maintenance doesn’t want to go there.
b. Charging children a daily fee to use the swimming pool.
c. Charging $5 for each child after the 1st child.
d. All of the above.

4. Gotta Getitdone is the Maintenance Supervisor for Lovely Lake Chateau Village Plaza. He is normally very punctual with all of the work orders, but he’s had some recent problems with children. He has brought the following suggestions to his Manager, Sheda Ratherbesomewhereelse. Of the following suggestions, which are Fair Housing violations based on Familial Status?

a. Let’s only do work orders on the units with children when the other Maintenance Technician can deal with the screaming children.
b. Let’s put all of the new families in building D, it is the other Maintenance’s Technician’s building.
c. Let’s not fix the playground equipment, the kids will mess it up again anyway.
d. Let’s see if I can get some PTO to have more time to meet all the requests and be able to refocus on my job.

5. Across town at Mountain Top Mansions, a HUD Section 8 Property, the Manager, Dooja Wannalivehere, is working with an applicant who is, in her opinion visibly expecting a child. What should Dooja do?

a. Congratulate the applicant, make sure she listed the unborn child on the application, and ask for a sonogram photo?
b. Nothing unless the applicant discloses the unborn child.
c. If the applicant lists the unborn child on the application, have the applicant complete a Self-Certification regarding the unborn child.
d. Ask the applicant to name the baby Dooja and throw a baby shower.
e. Both B and C
Click HERE for the Questions and Answers

Question from a Client

Question:  In an acquisition rehab say a tenant who is disabled moves into a regular unit because the disabled units are not yet completed. The tenant turned on the credits in the unit he moved into. The tenant now needs to be transferred to a disabled unit. How does it [the credits] work?

Click HERE for the answer

Zeffert's Training Calendar

Click on the topic for more information or to register online

MOR (Management Occupancy Reviews) Webinar 
1.5 hour Webinars and Full Day Training
Topic Location
October 25 LIHTC/Qualifying Households Columbus, OH 
October 25  Farm Labor 
Sponsored by OR AHMA
Boardman, OR
October 25  Practical Fair Housing in the 21st Century
Sponsored by OR AHMA
Boardman, OR
October 27 LIHTC/Qualifying Households  Pittsburgh, PA  
October 27-28 Managing RD Compliance 
Sponsored by OR AHMA

Salem, OR 
November 1  MOR (Management Occupancy Review) -
Preparing for MOR
November 8 LIHTC/Qualifying Households  Greenville, SC
November 8 HOME Funds Compliance Workshop
Sponsored by ADOH
Phoenix, AZ
November 10  LIHTC/Qualifying Households Charlotte, NC
November 10-11  HOME Rental Compliance
Sponsored by IHCDA
Fort Wayne, IN
November 15 LIHTC/Qualifying Households  Jackson, MS 
November 17  LIHTC/Qualifying Households  Nashville, TN
November 17  MOR Training (Management Occupancy Review) Preparedness
Sponsored by OR AHMA
Salem, OR 
November 29-December 1 LIHTC with HCCP exam Buena Park, CA 
December 6  LIHTC/Qualifying Households        Birmingham, AL
December 8 LIHTC/Qualifying Households  Atlanta, GA 
December 13 LIHTC/Qualifying Households Oklahoma City, OK
December 15  LIHTC/Qualifying Households  Dallas, TX 
December 13-15 LIHTC with HCCP exam  St. Louis, MO
*** For any questions or concerns, please contact Susan Barnett...314-336-4853 direct.

How can WE help!
Need to stay in Compliance with your tenant files?

Zeffert & Associates provides quality compliance services at affordable prices. As leaders in the housing industry, we strive to delight our clients and give unbeatable results.  Trust us to handle your compliance needs and leave the properties fully protected.

 ~ Zeffert & Associates will provide you with ongoing file review services to ensure your files are in full compliance. Simply send us your tenant file and our compliance specialists will deliver a report listing the corrections needed or approving the file within two full business days.
 ~ “Rush” files will be reviewed and delivered within one full business day! Clients also have the option of sending tenant files in bulk. By choosing this option, the bulk of the property’s files are provided upfront by the client and a report is delivered within two to three weeks of receipt.

Don't forget to consider how our compliance department services can support your compliance efforts at your properties.

For further information on the services and pricing, contact Linda Warner, at 314-336-4836

Discounted Package Program
If you need more than one of our services then let us offer them at a discount in one package.
  • Training
  • File reviews
  • Capital Needs Assessments
  • Accessibility Assessments
  • Transition Plans
  • Utility Allowance Calculations    

Click HERE for more information

Contact us by calling 1-866-760-6000 or visit our website at

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