Rental Housing Development Assistance (RHDA) Program Annual Review

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Consultation has concluded

The City of Austin's Housing & Planning Department (HPD) invites you to take part in the annual review of the Rental Housing Development Assistance (RHDA) Program Guidelines! By providing feedback, you are helping improve access to stable affordable housing, supporting residents - including those experiencing homelessness or reentering to the community - and impacting policies that help reduce the number of incarcerated persons in Travis County.


DEPARTMENT SUMMARY

The City of Austin Housing & Planning Department (HPD) (previously Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department) and the Austin Housing Finance Corporation's (AHFC) Rental Housing Development Assistance and Acquisition & Development programs have provided funding to developers to create affordable rental and ownership units for over a decade.


PROJECT SUMMARY
In support of the City’s 2017 Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint, the Rental Housing Development Assistance (RHDA) Program works to expand the community’s supply of affordable rental housing for low-income households and increase the availability of permanent supportive housing for persons experiencing homelessness or low-income households with special needs.


The RHDA Program provides financing to both for-profit and non-profit developers of affordable housing projects. Assistance is primarily provided through loans. Eligible projects include acquisition, rehabilitation or construction of the development of affordable rental housing. Funding for RHDA comes from a variety of local and federal sources.


BACKGROUND

The Rental Housing Development Assistance (RHDA) Program Guidelines outline the framework within which the RHDA Program operations are carried out. The RHDA Program Guidelines undergo an annual review, with any necessary revisions made prior to the next application deadline.

In April 2018, the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable published the Texas Criminal Background Screening Guide for Rental Housing Providers to screen potential tenants. Referenced in the RHDA Screening Guidelines, the Screening Guide provides instruction to landlords and property managers on how best to comply with fair housing law and guidelines when implementing criminal background screenings for housing applicants. The RHDA Program Guidelines are review every year, and revisions are applied to all applications after the first of the year.


REASON FOR PROPOSED CHANGES
Since its inception in 2018, the RHDA Program Guidelines have undergone an annual review process:
  • December 2018 – Staff hosted the first annual Public Engagement session to announce the revised Rental Housing Development Assistance/Ownership Housing Development Assistance Program guidelines and program changes. Programmatic changes included:
    • Shifting to a quarterly review cycle
    • Incorporating multiple stages of review including an internal staff panel and an external review panel known as the Housing Investment Review Committee and a revised application.
  • December 2019 – Staff hosted a second Public Engagement session to review program requirements of the RHDA/OHDA guidelines.
    • Review resulted in minor revisions.


PROPOSED CHANGES FOR 2021
The RHDA Program Guidelines are currently in the review phase and staff has drafted revisions. The proposed, revised RHDA Program Guidelines document is available here and is located in the Document Library section of this web page. The document includes substantive changes, as well as additional edits to clarify language, improve readability or eliminate verbiage.

Topics with substantive revisions include:
  1. Definitions
  2. Terms of Financing
    1. Program Typologies
      1. Acquisition
      2. Pre-Development Loans
    2. Loans
    3. Loan Terms
  3. Eligibility Requirements
    1. Applicant Eligibility
    2. Minimum Requirements for Developers
    3. General requirements for Partnerships
    4. Ineligible Costs
  4. Application Review Process
    1. Required Attachments - Development Proposal Development Description - Continuum of Care
    2. Scoring - Financial Score - Subside Per AHFC Unit
    3. HPD Leadership Team Review
  5. Material Changes to the Application Post-Award
  6. Resident Protections
    1. Resident Selection Policies and Procedures


Once approved, the new guidelines will be apply to all applications after January 1, 2021.



COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
The public is invited to review the draft RHDA Program Guidelines and provide feedback on areas of substantive changes. Feedback will be collected and submitted to HPD for review. Your feedback will help staff finalize recommendations to the AHFC Board. The RHDA Program Guidelines document is available here and is located in the Document Library section of this web page.


I understand that any information I provide to the City of Austin is subject to release pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act unless otherwise excepted for disclosure and the information will be retained as required by record retention requirements.


The City of Austin's Housing & Planning Department (HPD) invites you to take part in the annual review of the Rental Housing Development Assistance (RHDA) Program Guidelines! By providing feedback, you are helping improve access to stable affordable housing, supporting residents - including those experiencing homelessness or reentering to the community - and impacting policies that help reduce the number of incarcerated persons in Travis County.


DEPARTMENT SUMMARY

The City of Austin Housing & Planning Department (HPD) (previously Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department) and the Austin Housing Finance Corporation's (AHFC) Rental Housing Development Assistance and Acquisition & Development programs have provided funding to developers to create affordable rental and ownership units for over a decade.


PROJECT SUMMARY
In support of the City’s 2017 Austin Strategic Housing Blueprint, the Rental Housing Development Assistance (RHDA) Program works to expand the community’s supply of affordable rental housing for low-income households and increase the availability of permanent supportive housing for persons experiencing homelessness or low-income households with special needs.


The RHDA Program provides financing to both for-profit and non-profit developers of affordable housing projects. Assistance is primarily provided through loans. Eligible projects include acquisition, rehabilitation or construction of the development of affordable rental housing. Funding for RHDA comes from a variety of local and federal sources.


BACKGROUND

The Rental Housing Development Assistance (RHDA) Program Guidelines outline the framework within which the RHDA Program operations are carried out. The RHDA Program Guidelines undergo an annual review, with any necessary revisions made prior to the next application deadline.

In April 2018, the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable published the Texas Criminal Background Screening Guide for Rental Housing Providers to screen potential tenants. Referenced in the RHDA Screening Guidelines, the Screening Guide provides instruction to landlords and property managers on how best to comply with fair housing law and guidelines when implementing criminal background screenings for housing applicants. The RHDA Program Guidelines are review every year, and revisions are applied to all applications after the first of the year.


REASON FOR PROPOSED CHANGES
Since its inception in 2018, the RHDA Program Guidelines have undergone an annual review process:
  • December 2018 – Staff hosted the first annual Public Engagement session to announce the revised Rental Housing Development Assistance/Ownership Housing Development Assistance Program guidelines and program changes. Programmatic changes included:
    • Shifting to a quarterly review cycle
    • Incorporating multiple stages of review including an internal staff panel and an external review panel known as the Housing Investment Review Committee and a revised application.
  • December 2019 – Staff hosted a second Public Engagement session to review program requirements of the RHDA/OHDA guidelines.
    • Review resulted in minor revisions.


PROPOSED CHANGES FOR 2021
The RHDA Program Guidelines are currently in the review phase and staff has drafted revisions. The proposed, revised RHDA Program Guidelines document is available here and is located in the Document Library section of this web page. The document includes substantive changes, as well as additional edits to clarify language, improve readability or eliminate verbiage.

Topics with substantive revisions include:
  1. Definitions
  2. Terms of Financing
    1. Program Typologies
      1. Acquisition
      2. Pre-Development Loans
    2. Loans
    3. Loan Terms
  3. Eligibility Requirements
    1. Applicant Eligibility
    2. Minimum Requirements for Developers
    3. General requirements for Partnerships
    4. Ineligible Costs
  4. Application Review Process
    1. Required Attachments - Development Proposal Development Description - Continuum of Care
    2. Scoring - Financial Score - Subside Per AHFC Unit
    3. HPD Leadership Team Review
  5. Material Changes to the Application Post-Award
  6. Resident Protections
    1. Resident Selection Policies and Procedures


Once approved, the new guidelines will be apply to all applications after January 1, 2021.



COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
The public is invited to review the draft RHDA Program Guidelines and provide feedback on areas of substantive changes. Feedback will be collected and submitted to HPD for review. Your feedback will help staff finalize recommendations to the AHFC Board. The RHDA Program Guidelines document is available here and is located in the Document Library section of this web page.


I understand that any information I provide to the City of Austin is subject to release pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act unless otherwise excepted for disclosure and the information will be retained as required by record retention requirements.


  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    Members of the public are invited to review and provide feedback on the draft revisions to the Rental Housing Development Assistance (RHDA) Program Guidelines. How to participate:

    1. View the full RHDA Guidelines document, available here or in the Document Library section.
    2. Read through the survey, which is organized by sections outlined in the redlined RHDA Program Guidelines.
    3. Provide feedback within the survey on each section.
    Consultation has concluded
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