President Obama Signs Housing Assistance Reform Bill into Law

President Obama Signs Housing Assistance Reform Bill into Law

On July 29, President Obama officially signed into law H.R. 3700, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA). Although HOTMA touches on a variety of housing issues such as veteran’s assistance, rural housing, and mortgage insurance, the bulk of the legislation deals with reforms to the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program and public housing.

Changes to the Section 8 program as a result of the new law will be effective when HUD publishes final regulations. The changes to the Section 8 program will impact the LIHTC program because tax credit law requires owners to use those HUD Handbook rules regarding income calculations and verifications.

According to HOTMA, owners may use income determinations from other agencies such as TANF, Medicaid, and SNAP. In addition, income will not be imputed to assets unless the total cash value of the assets exceeds $50,000. For HUD purposes, residents with total assets of $50,000 or less will be able to provide affidavits stating the value of their assets.

These and other changes that may apply to the LIHTC program won’t be implemented until HUD publishes final regulations and updates to HUD Handbook 4350.3 are made.