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Consumer Alert #1 -
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Multi-Family Housing Production and Compliance

This section provides information for Developers and for Property Managers on Montgomery County's multi-family housing development and rehabilitation programs.  The county utilizes two main funding sources for multi-family projects including county Housing Initiative Funds (HIF) and federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funds.

For Developers

Standard Applications

The Multifamily Section has developed two standard applications.  One is for small projects, and the other is for large projects.  Large projects are defined as projects with 10 or more County-funded units with $500,000 or more in County funds.  Developers requesting County funds for projects with less than 10 County-funded units or requesting less than $500,000 may use the small project application.

Guides and Useful Information

Please contact Lawrence Cager if you need additional information. We look forward to working with you if you decide to pursue an affordable housing development in Montgomery County.

For Property Owners/Managers

Many of the County’s HOME and HIF projects are funded with multiple funding sources.  Sources like the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program and various rental subsidy programs mandate annual tenant certification to ensure that assisted units are occupied by income-eligible households.  In order to eliminate duplication, the County allows property managers to use many of the certification forms developed for the LIHTC and other affordable housing programs.  Samples of some of the forms most frequency used by property managers to certify the income eligibility of a prospective tenant and to recertify tenant income in subsequent years are included below.  Property owners/managers are responsible for maintaining up-to-date tenant files and records that document how their assisted rental properties comply with the affordability requirements and their written agreements with the County.

2015 Update on Utility Allowance Schedules for HOME-Assisted Units

HOC Utility Allowance Schedule Discontinued
Effective April 2015, the Housing and Opportunities Commission (HOC) is no longer providing the area-wide Utility Allowance Schedules for multifamily property owners in Montgomery County. DHCA will not be posting the UA Schedules as previously distributed on our Multifamily Website.  Due to changes made in the 2013 HUD HOME Final Rule, as outlined below, owners/manager of new and existing properties with HOME-assisted units are no longer able to apply area-wide UA Schedules in making rent determinations for their multifamily properties.  Effective July 1, 2015, the UA for each project must be based on the type of utilities used at that property, i.e., the determination must be “project-specific”.   Property owners should begin Implementation of the methodology now so that the Project-Specific UA for HOME-Assisted units will be in effect by the time the FY 2016 HOME Compliance Report is required.  

HOME Rule Changes re Utility Allowances
A key provision under the new HUD 2013 Final HOME Rule (published July 24, 2013), curtails the use of area-wide PHA utility schedules for new project commitments and allows the Participating Jurisdiction (i.e., Montgomery County/DHCA) to apply this provision to existing projects as well.  Instead of the area-wide UA Schedule, the Final HOME Rule requires the determination of a project’s utility allowance based upon the utilities used at the project.  In other words, the utility allowance must be “project-specific”.

Starting with the County’s 2016 Fiscal Year (effective July 1, 2015), Montgomery County/DHCA will comply with the changes in the HOME Rule by requiring all new, and existing, projects with HOME-Assisted units to use one of HUD’s “Acceptable UA Methodologies” listed below to determine the UA based on the type of utilities used.  DHCA will review each Property Owner’s efforts to comply with the new UA guidance and will provide assistance to project management on a project by project basis.

Under HUD’s 2013 Final Rule, the following Acceptable UA Methodologies may be used:

  1. HUD Utility Schedule Model
  2. Utility Company Estimate
  3. LIHTC Agency Estimate
  4. Energy Consumption Model
  5. UA approved by HUD’s contract administration (e.g., Section 8, USDA 515, etc.)

Projects with HOME-Assisted Units only:

If you have any questions regarding use of the HUD Utility Schedule Model, please contact Anita Hamilton, DHCA HOME Compliance Manager.

HIF-Funded Units
If you have any questions regarding Utility Allowances for restricted units funded through the County’s Housing Initiative Fund (HIF), please contact Lawrence Cager, Multifamily Housing Manger at (240) 777-3620.