Upcoming Public Comment Sessions- learn more below!
-Thursday 4/18 5:30 pm Westhaven Community Center
-Monday 4/22 7:00 pm City Hall PUBLIC HEARING
-Wednesday 4/24 5:30 Location TBA
Facts about the ACOP and the Annual Plan:
What is the ACOP?
The Admissions and Continued Occupancy Plan (ACOP) is a required policy document that all housing authorities must have. It must contain: selection from waiting list, screening of applicants, occupancy standards and policies, assisting families claiming illegal discrimination, informal review/grievance hearing procedures, rent determinations, annual and interim redetermination of family income and composition, procedures for inspections and the Violence Against Women Act
Why are they changing it?
The current policy does not address all of the issues that HUD says it must address. In late 2012 HUD did a review of the CRHA and is requiring that they create a new ACOP. CRHA claims that the fee and rent increases, and the stricter enforcement will off set the financial problems the housing authority has. HUD has recommended some changes.
When will they change it?
A final policy will be approved at the May CRHA meeting. A series of meetings and public input sessions will be held throughout April and May.
What is the Annual Plan?
The ACOP is a part of the annual plan. The annual plan must contain the ACOP, financial information, responses to the resident advisory board, capital improvements, and plans for demolition. HUD requires all housing authorities to submit an annual plan as part of a 5 year planning process.
Are the changes mandatory?
NO- only a few of the changes are mandatory, they are listed below.
How will this affect the CRHA?
CRHA will become more compliant with HUD regulation, they will have policies that will allow them to strictly enforce rent collections and evictions. The new increases WILL NOT raise the kind of revenue that the housing authority needs to survive.
How will this affect me?
Late fees are increasing, minimum rents are increasing, pet fees are increasing. If you pay your rent late it will be much harder for you to avoid possession and eviction, and it will cost you more money! More questions will be asked about your income at recertification.
Won’t they make these changes anyways?
NO- if residents stand together, speak up, and demand that they be heard we can stop the worst parts of the ACOP from passing.
Changes that are not mandatory
– Late fees will increase to $15
– The due date before late fees are charged will be on the 5th of the month instead of the 10th
– Automatic eviction will occur if you pay rent late 4 times in one year
– Minimum rent (for zero income families) will increase to $50
– Pet fees will increase dramatically- $200 deposit PLUS $10 per month
– Personal checks will not be accepted for late rent payments
– Must report income changes within 10 days instead of 30
– Includes RAD (rental assistance demonstration) in annual plan, this is a plan for decreasing public housing units
Changes required by HUD and Congress
– Lease renewal can be denied for failure to comply with terms and community service requirements
– Transfers will be prioritized in the following order- 1. Emergency situations, 2. reasonable accommodation, 3. Mandatory occupancy (unit size), and 4. Resident request for transfer
– defines “working” for exemption from community service as being 25 hours
– Deconcentration of poverty to allow higher incomes to be in public housing (some of this is not mandatory!)
– Zero income families must re-certify every 90 days
What isn’t in the plan
– eviction prevention
– rent calculation for people whose income changes frequently
– allowing for different rent due dates
There are many more changes contained in the ACOP, above are the highlights. For more information and to learn how to help stop these changes please call PHAR at (434) 984-3255 or e-mail Brandon at firstname.lastname@example.org