Input on LIHTC Tenant Data Collection Requirement Sought by HUD

March 31, 2009
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HUD is seeking input from state agencies and other interested stakeholders on the method and approach it uses to gather low-income housing tax credit tenant collection data.

Last year, the House and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 required state agencies administering properties receiving LIHTCs to begin furnishing HUD—at least on an annual basis—with information concerning the race, ethnicity, family composition, age, income, use of rental assistance under Section 8(o) of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 or other similar assistance, disability status, and monthly rental payments of those households that are residing in each property.

According to the notice in the Federal Register (FR-5298-N-01), there is currently no comprehensive administrative database containing data on LIHTC tenant households. HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research has collected and published data on LIHTC projects periodically throughout the life of the LIHTC program, and annually since 1999. The HERA requirement reflects Congressional intent to have data on households residing in LIHTC properties collected annually and submitted under uniform standards.

Discussions on tenant data collection were initiated at the Tenant Rental Assistance Certification (TRACS) quarterly industry meeting in October 2008. At that time, HUD announced its intention to create an informal working group to share their individual views of this past data collection effort, as well as their experiences.

HUD is seeking feedback from the public on the standards, definitions, and procedures for collecting the required data. One possible approach, for which it solicits early comment, is to use two forms:

  • One requesting data on LIHTC properties, indicating among other things project-based subsidies (so that universally applicable project data need not be separately reported for each tenant; and
  • Another requesting data on LIHTC tenants and unit-specific characteristics.

HUD would like to find out whether this approach would minimize the reporting burden for property managers.

To collect LIHTC property characteristics, HUD is recommending two options: either use the form currently used to collect data in HUD’s LIHTC projects placed-in-service database or create a new one based on the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) best practices Tenant Income Certification (TIC) form. According to HUD, using the form that is used for PIS database collection has two advantages: (a) it is OMB-approved through 2011 and (b) state housing agencies are already familiar with it. NCSHA’s best practices TIC form is used by many state housing agencies, but would need to be amended to include race, ethnicity, and disability status.

Comments are due by May 29, 2009, and HUD anticipates publishing its formal proposal in the summer.

To see a copy of the notice, go to: www.huduser.org/datasets/lihtc.html.