Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

SOCIAL SECURITY COLA FOR 2019

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

October 11, 2018: The Social Security Administration has announced the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2019.  According to www.ssa.gov:

“Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 67 million Americans will increase 2.8 percent in 2019.

The 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 62 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2019. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2018.”

You can add the 2.8% COLA by multiplying the current award amount by 1.028.

For management staff, be sure to apply this COLA to benefits for the appropriate number of months. 

Example:

Mrs. Smith would like to move in on December 1, 2018.  Her 2018 gross Social Security monthly amount is $928.  You will calculate her Social Security income as follows:

$928 x 1.028 = $953.98 (2019 monthly amount)

$928 x 1 = $928 (December 2018)

$953.98 x 11 = $10,493.78 (January – November 2019)

$928 + $10,493.78 = $11,421.78 (12 months)

If you have already processed files for move-in for January 2019, it is recommended that you review the household income and apply the COLA to benefits issued by the Social Security Administration since it is a known anticipated change in income.

 

2017 Income Limits

Friday, April 14th, 2017

HUD has announced the 2017 income limits for the MTSP housing programs effective April 14, 2017. This includes low income housing tax credits and tax exempt bond financing. HUD allows for a 45 day grace period, which means these limits must be in use by May 29, 2017.

Our advice to all housing professionals is to immediately check for an increase for your sites. If the income limits in your area have increased go back through any files denied over the past few months to see if any slightly over income households may qualify under the new limits.

To find your 2017 income limits visit this site (and make sure to bookmark it!):

https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il.html

2015-2016 Staffing Changes

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

The private monitoring division has experienced consistent growth over the past several years and we have made the following staffing adjustments to better serve our clients.

1. Jen Borland is now the main point of contact for all of our “File Pre Approval” work. Jen has taken an increased role in this division to oversee a staff of 12 full time employees providing this service to over a thousand properties across the US. If you have any questions about this service or want to request a proposal – please contact Jen Borland directly. (207) 805-0025 or jborland@spectrumlihtc.com

2. Jennifer Borland is now the main point of contact for all of our “Tenant File Training” work. Jennifer has several years experience providing LIHTC compliance reviews for hundreds of properties throughout the US. In recent years she has been delivering full day training sessions to groups of property managers on how to certify low income tenants and successfully maintain tenant file records to achieve clean reports from investor and state agency partners. If you have any questions about this service or want to request a proposal – please contact Jennifer Borland directly. (207) 805-0025 or jborland@spectrumlihtc.com

3. As of January 2016 Wesley Chisholm has been with Spectrum for 2 full years. In his current role, Wes has been the main point of contact for many of our clients to get proposals and contracts in place; working with sites on how to submit files to our office using our online portal; generating all invoices; and helping to shape the format of all reporting used by Spectrum. Wes will be gradually moving out of this role as he is being promoted to a full time compliance analyst. We have hired Daniel Warren to take over the role being vacated as a result. Daniel is a recent graduate of the inaugural Property Management Training class at Southern Maine Community College here in South Portland, ME. Wesley Chisholm: (207) 805-0028 or weslihtc@gmail.com Dan Warren: (207) 805-0933 or dwarren@spectrumlihtcom

4. It is always exciting to share news of promotions and new hires. Unfortunately, we are also losing a member of our staff who has been with us since 2009.  Melissa Flavell has given her notice and, while we have been very fortunate to have her part of our team for so long, we will miss working with her. Melissa has impressed many people throughout the industry with her dedication to providing compliance services of a very high caliber. She has been a terrifically dependable employee and many clients have expressed to me how grateful they are with the quality and care of her work. Hers will be large shoes to fill. Good luck with your next endeavor!

5. Tami Peterson has recently been hired by Spectrum as a full time Compliance Analyst. Tami has worked locally in Southern Maine for over 15 years in various affordable housing programs including HUD, HOME, LIHTC, and USDA. Most of her time was spent working for a public housing authority and she is extremely knowledgeable on LIHTC properties with mixed funding. Tammi: tpeterson@spectrumlihtc.com

6. In 2015 we were fortunate to add 2 additional Compliance Analysts to our company. Both Jennifer Guptill and Carolyn Price joined our team last year bringing with them a strong background in LIHTC compliance auditing. They both have worked extensively to properties in several states and with multiple sources of funding. Jennifer: (207) 805-0024 or jenlihtc@gmail.com, Carolyn: (207) 805-0041 or carolynlihtc@gmail.com.

Recertify your C3P Status Now!

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

It is that time again!  Time to send in your C3P recertification renewal forms.  If you have your C3P (or above) you are eligible to receritfy.  Even if you havnen’t done it in a few years, you are still eligible.  All we need is a copy of the renewal form, the renewal fee and proof that you have taken at least 3 hours of continuing education during the 2015 calendar year.

Here is the link to the form.

If you need to take a continuing education course we have a 3 hour LIHTC brush up video that will qualify you.  The course is $195, and the $50 renewal fee is waived.

FAQ About C3P Renewal

What if I earned my C3P this year (2015)?

You will be eligible for your C4P certificate in 2016.  Keep track of any training you take and submit at the end of next year.

How much does it cost?

The renewal fee is $50.  However, if you have taken a training class with Spectrum during the 2015 calendar year your fee is waived.  All you  need to do is note that on your renewal form.  

Why should I recertify?  

It is not required but it does show that you are keeping up with your continuing education.  Many companies require employees to show they are current with their certificates.  

How do I submit my recertification form?  

You can mail it to our home office or you can email it to: admin@spectrumseminars.com .  

When will I receive my new certificate?

The certificates go out by the end of January.  

I’m getting back into the business and I haven’t updated my certificate in a few years.  How do I recertify?

No problem!  Although you do need to show that you have taken at least 3 hours of continuing education to qualify you can still update your certificate.  Please note, we cannot bump you up more than one number per year.

What qualifies as continuing education?

We need proof that you are continuing to learn and hone your skills.  We will accept any LIHTC training, Fair Housing, Real Estate renewals and anything you can relate to the Tax Credit program.  Don’t forget we offer a 3 hour online training that qualifies you!  If you have any doubts, contact me!

Questions? Email: admin@spectrumseminars.com or call 207-767-8000 x201.

Thank you NEAHMA

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Written by Edward Clark, Spectrum Enterprises

The October NEAHMA conference held in Randolph, MA this past week. They were kind enough to ask me again to participate in there agency update forum.  NEAHMA puts on this show every year and every year attendees have the opportunity to become better informed, and better prepared to address issues pertinent to the affordable housing industry. It’s a great conference, and I get out of the office for the day.

This time they took me by surprise and gave me their “Industry Partner of the Year” award. Nancy Hogan of NEAMHA said kind words about my responsiveness to questions and common sense answers. Honestly, I wish I had a transcript just to prove to my children that some people think I am smart. Whenever I say I am smart, they just roll their eyes.

So let me take this opportunity to give a very sincere THANK YOU to this organization for their acknowledgment. It was very flattering to be recognized by people I hold in such high regard.

Military Reserve and National Guard Pay

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Written by Melissa Zera-Flavell, Spectrum Enterprises

When household members serve in the National Guard and Reserve, they normal receive Drill Pay and Annual Training pay.  The Drill Pay is earned by working (primarily) on weekends and Annual Training is earned at full-time training events. 

The National Guard and Reserve usually perform a minimum of one weekend of drills per month. Compensation for drills is called Drill Pay.  Rank and years of service determine the pay rate.  For example, an E-2 who has been in the service for 4 years earns $231.20 per month.  Each weekend generally counts as 4 days of active duty for pay purposes.  (More specifically, each drill Reserve members perform is paid as one day.  The minimum duration of a drill is four hours, and Reservists usually perform two drills per day – hence four days pay over the weekend.)  Active duty monthly pay for an E-2 over four years is $1,734.00 per month.  The prorated calculation is $1,734.00/30*4 = $231.20.  Monthly pay charts can be found at http://www.dfas.mil/militarymembers/payentitlements/military-pay-charts.html .

In addition to monthly drills, Reservists typically work an additional two weeks per year called (AT) Annual Training.  More often than not, this pay is missed when calculating annual income.  AT pay is considered active duty pay which also entitles them to receive food and housing allowances (BAS and BAH respectively) for that time period. These benefits are also countable. 

Be sure to inquire about  AT pay on any 3rd party income verification forms and look for it on the LES (Leave and Earnings Statement).  See the Military Income blog article for more details on the how to read the (LES).  Depending on the time of year it may be included in the year-to-date.  

C3P Course Available Online Now!

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Spectrum Seminars is now offering the C3P course online.  If you are unable to attend one of our live seminars with Steve this may be a good option for you. 

Details:

  • Register online at www.spectrumseminars.com
  • Once registered you will receive your training material via Fed Ex and a log via in email.
  • When you log in you will have two weeks to complete the course and take the certification test.
  • You have two weeks to complete the course.
  • If you pass the test you can print your certificate right away!  And you can always sign up for a retest if you don’t.

 Group and government discounts available upon request.  If you have any questions contact us at admin@spectrumseminars.com or 207-767-8000 x201.

Register Now!

Emergency Response Planning

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Written by Ed Clark, Spectrum Enterprises

At a conference earlier this year I attended a discussion regarding emergency preparedness. Credit to Lenora Nelson for some excellent advice. Remember, in the event there is a major event at your property, you should consider yourself a kind of “first responder” because your tenants do! This past year properties all over the country had to cope with fires/floods/hurricanes/tornadoes/power outages/explosions and all manner of potential chaos. Being prepared for the unlikely can help your property get back to normal quickly.

Things to have:

                                Flashlights and extra batteries

                                Handheld weather radio with crank for charging

                                At least 3 gallons of drinking water for each staff member

                                Non-perishable foods

                                Cleaning agents

                                Emergency blankets

                                First Aid Kit

HELPFUL TIPS:

                                 

    • REMAIN CALM! Your tenants will take their cues from you.
    •                              

    • Check for damage in the office.  If electrical power is out, turn off the main breaker.
    •                              

    • Know where to shut off the gas supply if requested by either the Utility Company or Emergency Responders.
    •                               

    • Social Media (Facebook, Google Plus etc.) have proven to be very helpful. So are having two way radios and cell phones. If your weather radio has a USB port you can charge up cell phones.
    •                                

    • COMPANY CONTACTS: Regional Corporate office staff. Make sure these numbers are readily available to all site staff.
    •                               

    • EMERGENCY NUMBERS: Local PD/Local FD/Red Cross/Emergency Shelters/ Hospitals/etc.
    •                               

    • VENDOR LIST: should include contact numbers/account numbers/Tax ID/Passwords and any other information needed to restore services
    •                                

    • SITE STAFF: Ask them what tools are critical for them to continue to perform their dutiesin a disaster and make sure those tools are on hand.

I’ll post more on this issue in my next blog.

Spectrum Enterprises on Facebook

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

 

Spectrum Enterprises is now on Facebook!  

Our Facebook page will be a place for us to post thinks like:

  • Links to this blog when a new post is put up.
  • Notices when Income Limits change ( Any day now! )
  • Links to LIHTC related news around the country.
  • Reminders to submit EOY materials for our state contracts.
  • Notices when monitors are on the road
  • Fun stats about our staff and the LIHTC program
  • In class and online training updates
  • A place for LIHTC community!

 

LIHTC Property Owners May Provide Temporary Housing to Individuals Displaced by Hurricane Sandy

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Written by Erik Whitton, Spectrum Enterprises

As a result of the recent storm which caused massive damage along the east coast and displaced thousands of individuals from their homes, property owners of LIHTC properties may provide immediate housing to such individuals with a temporary lift of the income limit and transient use restrictions.

Under normal circumstance a property owner must verify all income and assets for a family and make sure they fall within the income limit for that town, city, or county. And, individuals must sign a minimum 6 month lease (with the exception of single room occupancy SRO properties).

IRS notice 2012-68 provides guidance that these 2 requirements can be waived in order to provide emergency housing to individuals displaced by Hurricane Sandy. Here are the important notes:

  1. The displaced individual must have lived in a jurisdiction designated for Individual Assistance by FEMA as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Here is a link to the FEMA page with disaster declarations:  http://www.fema.gov/disasters
  2. The property owner must obtain written approval from the state housing agency for this relief. Each state housing agency will identify the time frame for this temporary housing but it will not extend beyond November 30, 2013. Here is a list of state agency websites and contact info: https://www.ncsha.org/node/2608
  3. The owner must notify the state housing agency that vacant units are available for rent to displaced individuals
  4. Owners must record the following data for their required record keeping:
    • Name of displaced individual
    • Address of damaged residence
    • Social Security Number
    • Statement signed under penalty of perjury by the displaced individual that, because of damage to the individual’s residence caused by Hurricane Sandy, the individual requires temporary housing. Owner must certify the date the displaced individual began temporary occupancy and the date the project will discontinue providing temporary housing as established by the state housing agency.
  5. The income limit requirement and transient housing requirement are the only 2 rules of LIHTC housing to be lifted during this period. All other rules apply. These would include rent restrictions, student  restrictions, etc.
  6. For a new LIHTC project in the first year of the credit period: a displaced individual temporarily residing in such a unit will be deemed a qualified low income tenant for the purposes of determining the qualified basis and minimum set aside. At the end of the temporary housing period (established by the state housing agency) the displaced individual will no longer be considered qualified.
  7. For vacant* units after the first credit year: the status of a vacant unit that becomes temporarily occupied by a displaced individual remains the same as the unit’s status before the individual moved in. *such a unit could have been considered a previously qualified vacant unit or an empty unit that had never previously been qualified.

Please refer to the following IRS links for the full text of this notice before making any decisions about providing temporary housing to displaced  individuals:

 

 

 


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