14th Annual Giving Tree Underway

Every year, HRHA invites community support to ensure children of families in our Family Self-Sufficiency program receive gifts around the Holiday season. Every year, Harrisonburg and Rockingham County families, organizations, and groups step up to make that happen. The 14th annual Giving Tree initiative is now underway, with trees at the Valley Mall in Harrisonburg (beginning November 30) and Agora Downtown Market (beginning November 10). We are thrilled to work for the first time this year with our new partner Agora Downtown Market.

Giving Tree with donation box at Agora Downtown Market

Giving Tree at Agora Downtown Market

Want to share some joy this Holiday season? Simply pick an ornament from either Giving Tree. Each ornament has a child’s name, age, clothing size, and a few items they asked for this year. Purchase anything on their card (or a gift card) and return the gift(s) with the ornament back to the box at Agora, Valley Mall, or the HRHA office at 143 Reservoir St.

We are incredibly grateful for the community’s support of our families throughout the year. Special thanks to WHSV for covering the initiative and Valley Mall and Agora Downtown Market for hosting trees.

Gifts are given to parents and guardians in our Family Self-Sufficiency program to give to their children around the Christmas Holiday. Donations of gift cards are used to purchase gifts for names that may have not been taken, or as gifts for teenagers who may be harder to buy for.

We would appreciate all gifts returned to the boxes at Agora or Valley Mall, or our office on 143 Reservoir St, by December 13. Please include the ornament(s) with donated gifts so we can connect them with the right families!

Thank you!

Moving to Work (MtW) Plan Available for Comment

In August, HRHA was selected to participate in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) cohort #1 of the Moving to Work expansion. Participation in the MtW expansion allows HRHA to develop local policies to meet MtW objectives, as well as flexibility on some spending. 

The MtW plan has been published, and will be available for pubic comment October 16, 2020 through November 16, 2020. The MtW plan will be posted online, on our Facebook page, and available for pick up at the HRHA Main Office during business hours (286 Kelley St., Harrisonburg).

From HRHA Executive Michael Wong:
Franklin Heights Unit in the fall
Residents, program participants and community partners,

The Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority (HRHA) is excited to share our Moving to Work (MtW) plan and invite comments on our proposed activities and goals. We are grateful for feedback over the last month and a half, which assisted in the drafting of the proposed plan. We encourage your participation in our public comment period, the public hearing at City Hall October 21, and the October 29th input meetings for residents and participants.

 

Explanation of plan, avenues for comment, and more at:

https://harrisonburgrha.com/mtw/

Public Comment and Hearing Notice – Moving to Work Plan

On October 16, 2020, the Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s Moving to Work Plan will be posted at the Authority’s website www.harrisonburgrha.com and available for public comment. Copies will also be available at the Authority’s administrative office. The Harrisonburg
Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners Meeting will hold a public hearing on its proposed Moving to Work Plan at its meeting on October 21, 2020 beginning at 4:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as possible.

Pursuant to Harrisonburg City Code Section 2-2-6, the Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority will hold its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 409 South Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA.

The agenda will be posted on the city’s website at: https://harrisonburg-va.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx

Residents/Media will be able to attend the meeting according to best practices and procedures associated with the pandemic.
1. Masks must be worn
2. Social Distance of at least 6 ft will be followed

Residents will also be able to watch the meeting live on:
• The City’s website: https://www.harrisonburgva.gov/agendas
• Public Education Government Channel 3

What does the CDC Eviction Moratorium Mean for Me?

The information below is from HUD Assistant Secretary Hunter Kurtz. The Declaration required to be considered under the order can be found HERE.

On September 4, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a Notice and Order under Section 361of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. § 264) and 42 CFR § 70.2, available here. To prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the Order is a temporary halt in residential evictions. This Order is separate from the now expired eviction moratorium in Section 4024 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

The Order applies to all tenants in the country (including assisted renters) who are subject to eviction for nonpayment of rent and who submit a Declaration as described in the Order (HERE). The Order is in effect from September 4, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

The Order does not relieve any tenant from paying rent and following the rules or the law. Evictions for other violations of the lease or criminal acts may still occur under this Order.

Under the Order, tenants cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent, provided the tenant signs the Declaration that is attached to the CDC Order certifying that:

  1. They have used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
  2. They expect to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), were not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act;
  3. They are unable to pay their full rent or make a full housing payment due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, lay-offs, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses;
  4. They are using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as their circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses;
  5. If evicted they would likely become homeless, need to move into a homeless shelter, or need to move into a new residence shared by other people who live in close quarters because they have no other available housing options.
  6. They understand they must still pay rent or make a housing payment, and comply with other obligations that they may have under their tenancy, lease agreement, or similar contract. The understand that fees, penalties, or interest for not paying rent or making a housing payment on time as required by their tenancy, lease agreement, or similar contract may still be charged or collected; and
  7. They understand that at the end of this temporary halt on evictions on December 31, 2020, their housing provider may require payment in full for all payments not made prior to and during the temporary halt and failure to pay may make them subject to eviction.

The Order does not relieve the tenants’ obligation to pay rent and the tenants must continue to comply with terms under the lease. However, tenants qualifying as “Covered Persons” under the Order cannot be evicted for nonpayment of rent in violation of the lease if the CDC eviction protections are invoked (see below). Nothing in the Order precludes the landlords from charging or collecting fees, penalties, or interest as a result of the tenants’ inability to pay rent on a timely basis. Evictions unrelated to nonpayment of rent can still take place, e.g., criminal activity. Any state, local, or territorial area with a moratorium on residential evictions that provides the same or greater level of public-health protection can supersede the Order.

Under the Order, public housing and section 8 tenants are “Covered Persons” with eviction protection if they complete and provide the required Declaration referenced in the Order to their PHA or landlord. A tenant cannot be required to complete the Declaration. However, without it, tenants will not have the CDC eviction protection.

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HRHA continues to reach out to tenants behind on rent and encourages clear and quick communication from tenants to work out a repayment plan.

HRHA invites public comments to 2021 Annual Plans

Public Comment Notice

 

The Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners Meeting will receive public comment on its proposed FY 2021 Annual Plan, Admission and Continued Occupancy Policies and Budgets at its meeting on August 19, 2020 beginning at 4:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as possible.  This meeting will be held at the Authority’s administrative office located at 286 Kelley Street, Harrisonburg, Virginia.

 

The Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority announces that its proposed FY2021 Annual Plan, FY2021 Budget, Administrative Plan for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, and Admissions and Continued Occupancy Policies for JR “Polly” Lineweaver, Lineweaver Annex, Franklin Heights and Commerce Village programs will be available for public review and comment beginning August 19, 2020 through October 3, 2020.  Copies may be obtained during office hours at the Authority’s administrative office, located at 286 Kelley Street, Harrisonburg, VA as well as on its website, https://harrisonburgrha.com/document-center/#board-of-commissioners-reports–minutes

VA Fair Housing Law Updated to Include “Source of Funds”

From J. Michael Hawkins, Virginia Housing:  

As a result of legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor, the Virginia Fair Housing Law has added discrimination on the basis of a person’s “source of funds” to the list of unlawful discriminatory housing practices.  “Source of funds” is defined as any source that lawfully provides funds to or on behalf of a renter or buyer of housing, including any assistance, benefit, or subsidy program, whether such program is administered by a governmental or nongovernmental entity.

This new provision has implications for the HUD Housing Choice Voucher Program administered by HRHA by helping to expand housing choice options for assisted households.

The provision allows an owner or owner’s managing agent to deny or limit a person’s rental or occupancy of a rental dwelling unit based on the person’s source of funds for that unit if such source is not approved within 15 days of the person’s submission of the request for tenancy approval.

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HRHA will continue working towards efficient and transparent operations as we work with landlords, tenants, and HUD requirements. Somethings we are doing since launching our 100 Families campaign include:

For more about the new Fair Housing law provision, participating in the HCV program, and more, check out these brief videos developed by Virginia Housing:

 

Securing housing for 100 Families in 100 Days – Join us

With additional funding through the 2020 CARES Act, Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority (HRHA) is urgently looking to find housing for 100 new Harrisonburg and Rockingham families by September 30, 2020. As a result of COVID-19, individuals and families have seen increased challenges in accessing affordable housing.

In our community, we simply do not have enough landlords who accept housing vouchers. This means individuals and families who have been approved for housing assistance, looking for a place to rent, are unable to find one. We need your help!

Throughout this campaign we will be offering information sessions about leasing with HRHA, sharing landlord and resident perspectives around our housing needs, and working hard to secure housing for 100 individuals and families.

Please join us in connecting with Harrisonburg and Rockingham landlords. Follow our Facebook for updates and check in with our 100 Families webpage. Thanks!

Are you a Harrisonburg or Rockingham landlord interested in learning more about accepting vouchers? Check out our Landlord Page for upcoming info sessions, FAQs, and more!

COVID-19 Temporary Waivers & Alternative Requirements

Summary of Public Housing and HCV Temporary Waivers and Alternative Requirements

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released waivers and alternative requirements for Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. HRHA has adopted specific waivers noted in the chart linked below, effective April 15, 2020, with the respective time frames and details included.

View: HRHA COVID-19 Temporary Waivers & Alternative Requirements

Community Call for Cloth Face Masks

The Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority (HRHA) is asking for community support in providing washable face masks for our residents and staff. We will also connect donated masks to those experiencing homelessness and the community members who work with them. HRHA is willing to provide compensation. Masks can be dropped off at our main office at 286 Kelley St in Harrisonburg. We are aiming to gather and distribute 1,000 cloth face masks over the next month. Can you help us do that?

Questions? Contact our Resident Services Coordinator Everett Brubaker
– Through our Facebook page
– Though email: ebrubaker@harrisonburgrha.com
– Through the website contact form

You may also call our main office M-F 9:00am to 4:30pm at 540 – 434- 7386

Please share with your neighbors and networks!

Instructions for making cloth face masks from the CDC

HRHA Updates Policies and Procedures Regarding COVID-19

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Cases in the United States began in January 2020 and continue to increase. In response, HRHA will be reducing person to person contact and restricting and/or eliminating office visits.

Updates to HRHA Operations effective March 16, 2020

1. All interim and re-certifications will be conducted through an online form (www.harrisonburgrha.com/covid19) or over the phone until further notice.

2. The main office as well as satellite offices will not be open to the public. Documents can be signed/dropped off but in person meetings will not be held.

3. Work orders will only be completed if life or safety issue.

4. Rent statements for Franklin Heights residents will be mailed, NOT picked up in office.

5. HRHA is working diligently to prevent delays in housing assistance payments to HCV landlords. Thank you for being patient during this time.

 

Additional policy clarifications and resources will be updated regularly at: https://harrisonburgrha.com/covid19/

HRHA General Information and Protocol to COVID-19 (March 11,2020)

COVID-19 Information from the Virginia Department of Health 

COVID-19 Information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention