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This April is Fair Housing Month During a Pandemic
April is designated as Fair Housing Month and annually we recommit ourselves to the spirit and legal obligations of the Fair Housing Act.  This year will be remembered by the sudden onset of a global pandemic.  Our daily lives are hardly the same as just a month ago.  By providing access to quality affordable housing you are making it more possible for residents to have good health. 

During this time, we understand that many - individuals and businesses - are experiencing hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic so keeping your staff compliant needs to be as easy and flexible as possible.  Discrimination is not always intentional and the best medicine is preventative so keep your staff current on all requirements.

To this end, our Compliance Department is always at your immediate service.  The department manager has shared the below guidance for your teams and waiving any applicable property setup fees through at least May for new and existing clients to provide relief you may need.  The secure client portal offers 24 hour access to upload tenant files and generate up-to-date status reports because you may have staff working with different hours or locations. 

Additionally, in our Training Department, all in-person classes are now virtual learning sessions, including designation courses.  To differentiate, these are interactive and live.  And for your flexibility, new self-paced trainings have been rolled out and with more to follow.

I encourage you to keep your staff as up-to-date as possible in one way or another.  We constantly review and update our internal controls so that you can be confident in being compliant.  Please do not hesitate to contact me or any of our managers at anytime.  

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Promnitz
Chief Executive Officer
Guidance regarding tenant eligibility compliance impacted by COVID-19

Carol Rathman - Manager, Compliance Department
crathman@zeffert.com

The health and safety of staff and residents should always be your priority. Especially during this unprecedented time, maintaining affordable housing in your community is critically important. Operating a viable property, while keeping it as illness-free as possible, must be simultaneously accomplished.

Always consult with your regulatory/legal authority for exact policy during this time. If this is not feasible, then consider these actions (as directed by the Office of MFH Programs released 3/24/2020):

  • Make all reasonable attempts to secure third-party income and asset verifications.
  • When third-party verification is not successful, utilize tenant provided electronic version verifications, (required number of pay stubs, SS/SSI/SSP award letters, bank statements, public assistance documents, etc.), including scanned (e-mailed) or photocopied documents. Owners/management can complete a temporary recertification using electronic versions of these documents and can collect the original documents from the tenant at a later date.
  • If a tenant cannot provide official third-party documentation – and only as a last resort – secure a self-certified affidavit. This is NOT recommended for initial occupancy.

HUD 4350.3 Chapter 5 Acceptable Verification Methods:

  • Upfront-income verification (UIV) with use of EIV being mandatory and use of non-EIV UIV being optional; (2) third-party verification from source (written), (3) third-party verification from source (oral), and (4) family certification.  If third-party verification is not available, owners must document the tenant file to explain why third-party verification was not available.
  • Consider introducing “drop boxes” on your property so residents can deposit the required documents if you are short on staffing (and to maintain social distancing).
  • HUD will allow electronic signatures as long as they obtain original, “wet” signatures on recertification documents at a later date. These include, but are not limited to the HUD-50059 (TIC), lease agreements/addendums, HUD-9887/9887A (Authorization of Release of Information), affidavits of unemployment and zero income, and state lifetime sex offender forms.

The owner must document the file why the signature(s) was not obtained and, if applicable, when the signature(s) will be obtained.

Feel free to contact me with questions at anytime.

Training Calendar

Mandi Lewis, Training Department Manager
mlewis@zeffert.com


To keep with making our training as accessible and affordable as possible during the pandemic, all live classes will be delivered as a Virtual Class and eLearning is being bundled into discounted packages with new self-paced formats now available.

Please feel free to contact me at anytime if you need assistance or would like to request a topic or large group discount.  A complete listing of training can be found here.

Date

Course

Location

April 21 - 22

Mastering the RD Program
(optional HCM-R online exam)

Virtual Class


May 20 - 21

Mastering LIHTC Compliance
(optional HCCP exam)

Virtual Class

May 26

Modern Self-employment

Webinar

May 26

HUD’s New Guidelines on Assistance Animals

Webinar

May 27

Essentials of Fair Housing

Virtual Class

May 28

Average Income Minimum Set-aside

Webinar

Self-paced

Essentials of LIHTC – Qualifying Households
(optional HCM-TC online exam)

eLearning

Self-paced

Essentials of HOME Funds
(optional HCM-HF online exam)

eLearning

Self-paced

Essentials of Fair Housing

eLearning

Self-paced

The Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan

eLearning

 
About Us

Zeffert & Associates, Inc. is a nationwide leader of affordable housing compliance. Since 1994, property managers, owners, syndicators, housing authorities, and state agencies have partnered with Zeffert for accuracy and speed on utility allowances, tenant file reviews, building accessibility, and training. Headquartered in St. Louis, Zeffert’s service excellence reaches every state and territory within the jurisdiction of the IRS, HUD, and USDA.

 12101 Woodcrest Executive Drive, Suite 180, St. Louis, MO 63141
(866) 760-6000  |  Website  |  Email

OUR VISION is to see a nation where serving those in need of affordable housing is easier than yesterday, less restrictive today, more certain tomorrow, and possible every single day.

OUR MISSION is to support the property managers, owners, syndicators, and agencies with quality education and consulting services and to do it better than anyone else through our speed in acquiring and delivering knowledge.

All Funding Restrictions Nationwide

 Compliance Inspections Training Utility Allowance

Electronic and onsite file reviews.  In two days or less

Physical and photo design reviews, UPCS, 504s, CNAs

Public, Private, and eLearning courses with designations

Actual use and consumption models


Zeffert & Associates
12101 Woodcrest Executive Drive
Suite 180
St. Louis, MO 63141
www.zeffert.com
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