Rental Assistance Requirements for DCA ESG Rapid Re-Housing and Prevention

DCA ESG subgrantees provididng rental assistance with Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing projects are responsible for ensuring that all assisted units meet HUD requirements before any ESG funds are committed.  This page provides forms and guidance to assist with this.  For further details, please refer to the DCA ESG Guidebook.

Rent Payment Standards

GHFA Utility Allowances (required)

In determining rent reasonableness, the base rent, plus utility charges (excluding phone, internet, cable) must be at or below both the HUD Fair Market Rent (FMR) and the Rent Reasonableness determination.  Utility charges may be based on the lower of (1) the most recent utility schedule linked above, or (2) an actual 12-month average for the unit under evaluation. 

Important!!! Note that PHAs in Bibb, Chatham, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Glynn, Muscogee, Richmond and Sumter Counties publish utility allowances for their jurisdictions.  In these areas, the local utility allowances, or an evaluation of actual 12-month utility costs, must be used.  GHFA provides utility allowances for the remainder of the state.  Retain evidence of utility cost findings in file.

HUD Fair Market Rents (FMR) (required)

Subgrantees must use the most recent HUD payment standard (or "Fair Market Rent") for the jurisdiction where the service is provided.  Subgrantees must retain a copy of the rent standard and utility allowance in the file, together with the "Rent Reasonableness" finding.  Note that the FMRs for unit sizes larger than four bedrooms are calculated by adding 15 percent to the four-bedroom FMR for each extra bedroom.  For example, the FMR for a five-bedroom unit is 1.15 times the four-bedroom FMR, and the FMR for a six-bedroom unit is 1.30 times the four-bedroom FMR.  FMRs for single-room-occupancy (SRO) units are 0.75 times the zero-bedroom FMR.

Rent Reasonableness (required)

In addition to the FMR requirements above, subgrantees must also ensure that the rental amount for any assisted unit is reasonable in comparison to rent for other comparable unassisted units.  To make this determiniation, subgrantees must considert he location, quality, size, unit type, and age of the contract unit; and any amenities, housing services, maintenance and utilities to be provided by the owner in accordance with the lease.  This comparison must be documented using the Rent Reasonableness Checklist and Certification.

Environmental Review Requirements

All DCA ESG projects must receive an approved environmental review from DCA, pursuant to 24 CFR part 58, before any ESG funds may be committed.  Beginning on July 1, 2017, environmental reviews for all ESG project types will be conducted by DCA and approved as part of the contract execution process for subgrantees.  Rapid re-housing and prevention projects are not required to obtain an environmental review beyond that included with the contract for each unit, unless the unit is located in a county with Coastal Barrier Resources.  Subgrantees providing rapid re-housing and/or prevention in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty, and McIntosh (counties with Coastal Barrier Resources) must obtain an approved environmental review from DCA for each unit in those counties before any ESG funds may be committed.  Funds committed before receipt of an approved environmental review will not be reimbursed.

Subgrantees providing emergency shelter must notify DCA immediately and request a new environmental review in the event that the location of emergency shelter changes from that identified in the executed ESG contract.  No ESG funds may be committed to a new service location until an environmental review for that location is approved by DCA.

Environmental reviews may be requested by emailing a DCA Environmental Review Request form to ERRequest@dca.ga.gov.  This should be done any time a project’s physical location changes, and for each rapid re-hosing and/or prevention unit assisted in the Coastal Barrier Resource counties named above.

Habitability Standards

The standards for housing unit inspections under ESG are the Housing Habitability Standards.  Inspections must be conducted upon initial occupancy and then on an annual basis for the term of ESG assistance.  The habitability standards are different from the Housing Quality Standards (HQS) used for other HUD programs.  Because the HQS criteria are more stringent than the habitability standards, a grantee could use either standard.  In contrast to HQS inspections, the Housing Habitability Standards do not require a certified inspector.  As such, ESG program staff at the subgrantee agency may conduct the inspections.
 
Housing Habitability Standards compliance may be documented by completing the DCA Housing Habitability Standards Checklist and maintaining a copy in the client file.  Further information can be found on the HUD Exchange website.

Lead Based Paint Disclosure and Remediation

All units assisted with DCA ESG funds must meet the federal requirements for lead based paint disclosure and remediation.  For detailed information, and to obtain required documentation, please see the Lead Based Paint Disclosure and Remediation dedicated page.

Other Forms and Requirements

  • Rental Assistance Agreement
    • Required for all participants receiving ESG rental assistance
  • VAWA Lease Addendum
    • Required for all participants receiving ESG rental assistance, except for prevention assistance solely for arrears or prevention assistance where there is already a lease in place