Tenant Selection: Follow 9 Steps To Create Homeless Admissions Preferences

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Key: Don’t forget to update your TSP and AFHMP

If homelessness is a big problem in your jurisdiction -- as it is in many areas across the United States -- you can make a difference by adopting special admissions preferences. And now you have a step-by-step process to create and implement your homeless admissions preferences.

On July 25, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released Notice H 2013-21 on the "Implementation and Approval of Owner-Adopted Admissions Preferences for Individuals or Families Experiencing Homelessness." The Notice is a key step in a large initiative that HUD is undertaking to encourage owners to provide admission preferences for homeless people (see also "Are You Using Public Housing & Vouchers For The Homeless?" AHA Vol. 9, No. 8, page 57).

Important: First and foremost, understand that developing homeless admissions preferences is completely optional, urges Amanda Atkins, president of Atkins Consulting Professionals LLC, headquartered in Asheville, NC. But if you decide to adopt such preferences, be sure to follow these crucial steps laid out by HUD in the Notice.

1. Inform All Applicants of Admissions Preferences

If you adopt admission preferences for homeless individuals and families, you must inform all applicants about the preference and give all applicants (including those on your waiting list) the opportunity to show that they qualify for the preferences, according to the HUD Notice.

Also, keep in mind that adopting homeless preferences affect only the order in which you select applicants from the waiting list, HUD stresses. Such preferences "do not make anyone eligible who was not otherwise eligible, and they do not change an owner’s right to adopt and enforce tenant screening criteria."

2. Amend Your TSP & AFHMP

You must update your Tenant...

 

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