Carolyn Kornegay Punter
Senior Vice President, Housing Choice Voucher Program and Eligibility and Continued Occupancy Division
Franselene St. Jean
Vice-Chair of the District of Columbia Housing Authority Board of Commissioners and HCVP Commissioner
DCHA HUD Waiver Updates:
The global public health pandemic has presented significant challenges to several entities in the exercise of their traditional roles and duties. The District of Columbia Housing Authority remains committed in its efforts to carry out our mission to provide decent, safe, and sanitary affordable housing for our families. Program operations have been impacted as DCHA complies with critically important advisories and directives from public health professionals, including social distancing and other preemptive measures that are meant to slow the spread of and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. In accordance with the authority provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is waiving and establishing alternative requirements for various statutory and regulatory requirements for the Housing Choice Voucher Program. These waivers provide administrative flexibilities and relief in response to the national public health emergency.
On April 10, 2020, HUD issued Notice PIH 2020-05 that outlined various statuary and regulatory waivers available to public housing authorities due to the public health emergency. On July 2, 2020, HUD issued Notice PIH 2020-13 (HA), Rev-1, which replaces April’s Notice. In an effort to allow HCVP to continue its operations, DCHA informally adopted 15 of the available waivers that will permit greater flexibility to voucher holders and landlords during the public health emergency. For a list of waivers that have been informally adopted please log on to www.dchousing.org and click on COVID-19.
Virtual Landlord Briefings
The Housing Choice Voucher Program reintroduced the quarterly landlord briefing on June 2, 2020, rebranded as the Introduction for Prospective Landlords and Refresher for Current Landlords Briefing. The briefing is designed to provide our prospective and current landlords with valuable information that increases their knowledge base about the program along with offering points of reference and contacts that will help them navigate the District as a landlord. The briefing is held twice per month and will be a requirement for all participating landlords and prospective landlords coming into the program effective October 1, 2020.
Since June 2, 2020, HCVP’s Relocation, Orientation, Training, and Counseling (ROTC) Team conducted landlord briefings on a bi-monthly schedule with a total of more than 30 landlords in attendance. The landlord briefing agenda provides an opportunity for landlords to learn about the basics surrounding the HCV program, receive updated information surrounding HCV program changes/implementations as well as a question and answer period for participants to engage with our staff.
HCVP continues to work innovatively to ensure services to DCHA landlords and families are not disrupted. For more information regarding the virtual landlord briefings and the upcoming briefing dates, please call DCHA’s main number at (202) 535-1000 or email us at email@example.com.
Attention All Landlords – Mandatory HAP Direct Deposit
As of September 1, 2020, paper checks for housing assistance payments (HAP) will no longer be distributed by DCHA to owners/landlords. All HAP subsidies will be made through electronic funds transfer (EFT). Please update the DCHA Authorization Agreement for EFT/Direct Deposit form on the owner’s portal, https://dcha.hcvportal.org/Account/Login and email the updated form to firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than Friday, August 14, 2020. Failing to do so will impact your September 1, 2020, HAP subsidy.
Don’t Forget to Fill Out the Census
The time is now. It’s time to shape your future by completing the 2020 Census. A complete and accurate census count will inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are distributed in your community. These funds will benefit children, families, and older adults with health care services, schools, parks, public transit, new roads, and more! Census results will affect your community every day for the next 10 years.
Still need to answer the census questionnaire? It takes only 10 minutes and now you can complete the Census online or by phone. Please visit 2020census.gov or call (844) 330-2020.
Get Your Absentee Ballot
Ready to Vote? All eligible voters in the District of Columbia can choose to vote by mail by completing and submitting your absentee ballot form online, or by completing the absentee ballot online and then printing the form to place in the mail. View the instructions and deadlines here to make sure you’re in! Vote By Mail
Now you can follow the progress! Here’s where you can track your absentee ballot: Track Your Ballot
Not yet registered to vote? You can register and submit your application online or mail it in as long as you qualify and have a Department of Motor Vehicles ID.
Complete your application online here: Register To Vote
To qualify to register to vote you must:
- Be a United States Citizen
- Be a resident of the District of Columbia for at least 30 days immediately prior to the election
- Not claim voting residence or the right to vote in another U.S. state or territory
- Be at least 16 years old (You may pre-register to vote if you are at least 16 years old. You may vote in a primary election if you are at least 17 years old and you will be at least 18 years old by the next general election.) You may vote in a general or special election only if you are at least 18 years old.
- Not be in jail serving a sentence for conviction of a crime which is a felony in the District of Columbia
If you or someone you know is experiencing difficult times and assistance is needed there is help for you.
Access Helpline: (888) 793-4357 – Access Helpline is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it is the easiest way to get connected to services provided by the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health.
Call the Access Helpline to:
- Get emergency psychiatric care
- Help with problem solving
- Determine whether to seek ongoing mental health services or other types of services
- Find out what services are available