Additional Clarifying Guidance, Waivers and Alternative Requirements for Grantees in Receipt of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Funds Under Public Law 113-2 for the Submission of Expenditure Deadline Extension Requests and Urgent Need Certification Extensions and for the Provision of Interim Mortgage Assistance by the State of New York, 7567-7569 [2016-02913]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 29 / Friday, February 12, 2016 / Notices 12,000 respondents from Individuals or Households and the estimated hour burden per response is 1.17 hours). (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated annual hour burden associated with this collection is 38,160 hours. (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The estimated total annual cost burden associated with this collection of information is $2,205,000. Dated: February 9, 2016. Samantha Deshommes, Acting Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security. I. Background II. Applicable Rules, Statutes, Waivers, and Alternative Requirements III. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance IV. Finding of No Significant Impact BILLING CODE 9111–97–P DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR–5696–N–18] Additional Clarifying Guidance, Waivers and Alternative Requirements for Grantees in Receipt of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Funds Under Public Law 113–2 for the Submission of Expenditure Deadline Extension Requests and Urgent Need Certification Extensions and for the Provision of Interim Mortgage Assistance by the State of New York Office of the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, HUD. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice provides additional clarifying guidance for all Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG–DR) grantees in receipt of funds under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 (the Appropriations Act), with regard to the submission of requests for an extension of the 2-year expenditure deadline established for funds provided under the Appropriations Act and the continued use of the alternative urgent need national objective. This notice also provides an alternative requirement for New York State as a grantee in receipt of CDBG–DR funds under the Appropriations Act. This alternative requirement addresses the period of time in which interim mortgage assistance may be provided to beneficiaries in the State’s housing recovery programs. DATES: Effective Date: February 17, 2016. asabaliauskas on DSK9F6TC42PROD with NOTICES2 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:38 Feb 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 Stanley Gimont, Director, Office of Block Grant Assistance, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 7286, Washington, DC 20410, telephone number 202–708– 3587. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service at 800–877–8339. Facsimile inquiries may be sent to Mr. Gimont at 202–401–2044. (Except for the ‘‘800’’ number, these telephone numbers are not toll-free.) Email inquiries may be sent to disaster_recovery@hud.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents [FR Doc. 2016–02942 Filed 2–11–16; 8:45 am] SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: I. Background The Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 113– 2, approved January 29, 2013) made available $16 billion in CDBG–DR funds for necessary expenses related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, and economic revitalization in the most impacted and distressed areas, resulting from a major disaster declared pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5121 et. seq.) (Stafford Act) due to Hurricane Sandy and other eligible events in calendar years 2011, 2012, and 2013. On March 1, 2013, the President issued a sequestration order pursuant to section 251A of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act, as amended (2 U.S.C. 901a), and reduced the amount of funding for CDBG–DR grants under the Appropriations Act to $15.18 billion. To date, a total of $15.18 billion has been allocated or set aside: $13 billion in response to Hurricane Sandy, $514 million in response to disasters occurring in 2011 or 2012, $655 million in response to 2013 disasters, and $1 billion set aside for the National Disaster Resilience Competition. This notice applies to all CDBG–DR grantees in receipt of allocations under the Appropriations Act, which are described within the Federal Register notices published by the Department on March 5, 2013 (78 FR 14329), April 19, 2013 (78 FR 23578), May 29, 2013 (78 FR 32262), August 2, 2013 (78 FR 46999), November 18, 2013 (78 FR 69104), December 16, 2013 (78 FR 76154), March 27, 2014 (79 FR 17173), June 3, 2014 (79 FR 31964), July 11, 2014 (79 FR 40133), October 7, 2014 (79 PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 7567 FR 60490), October 16, 2014 (79 FR 62182), January 8, 2015 (80 FR 1039), April 2, 2015 (80 FR 17772), May 11, 2015 (80 FR 26942), August 25, 2015 (80 FR 51589), and November 18, 2015 (80 FR 72102), referred to collectively in this notice as the ‘‘prior notices.’’ The requirements of the prior notices continue to apply, except as modified by this notice.1 II. Applicable Rules (Including Clarifying Guidance), Statutes, Waivers, and Alternative Requirements The Appropriations Act authorizes the Secretary to waive, or specify alternative requirements for, any provision of any statute or regulation that the Secretary administers in connection with HUD’s obligation, or use by the recipient, of these funds (except for requirements related to fair housing, nondiscrimination, labor standards, and the environment). Waivers and alternative requirements are based upon a determination by the Secretary that good cause exists and that the waiver or alternative requirement is not inconsistent with the overall purposes of title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.) (HCD Act). Regulatory waiver authority is also provided by 24 CFR 5.110, 91.600, and 570.5. For the waivers and alternative requirements described in this notice, the Secretary has determined that good cause exists and that the waiver and alternative requirements are not inconsistent with the overall purpose of the HCD Act. Grantees may request waivers and alternative requirements from the Department as needed to address specific needs related to their recovery activities. Under the requirements of the Appropriations Act, waivers must be published in the Federal Register at least 5 days before the effective date of such waiver. 1. Timeline for the submission of expenditure deadline extension requests. The Appropriations Act requires the Department to obligate all funds provided under the Appropriations Act by September 30, 2017, and requires grantees to expend funds within 24-months of the date on which the Department obligates funds to a grantee. The Appropriations Act also authorizes the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to grant waivers of the 24-month expenditure deadline. 1 Links to the prior notices, the text of the Appropriations Act, and additional guidance prepared by the Department for CDBG–DR grants, are available on the HUD Exchange Web site: https://www.hudexchange.info/cdbg-dr/cdbg-drlaws-regulations-and-federal-register-notices/. E:\FR\FM\12FEN1.SGM 12FEN1 asabaliauskas on DSK9F6TC42PROD with NOTICES2 7568 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 29 / Friday, February 12, 2016 / Notices OMB authorized the Department to provide CDBG–DR grantees with expenditure deadline extensions for activities that are inherently long-term and where it would be impracticable to expend funds within the 24-month period and still achieve program missions, up to amounts approved by OMB. In the Federal Register notice published on May 11, 2015, (80 FR 26942), the Department established the process and criteria for the submission of expenditure deadline extension requests for CDBG–DR grantees in receipt of funds under the Appropriations Act. The May 11, 2015, notice requires these grantees to submit requests for the extension of an expenditure deadline at least 120 calendar days in advance of the expenditure deadline (80 FR 26944). Since the May 11, 2015, notice was published, the Department subsequently received, reviewed, and acted upon expenditure deadline extension requests from a number of CDBG–DR grantees in receipt of funds under the Appropriations Act. In some instances, the Department observed that events and circumstances beyond the control of the grantee may require grantees to request an extension of an expenditure deadline after the 120-calendar-day deadline has passed. The Department is therefore amending this requirement of the May 11, 2015, notice to provide that a grantee ‘‘submits the completed CDBG–DR Expenditure Deadline Extension Request template and any attachments to HUD in order to request consideration of the extension request at least 120 calendar days in advance of the expenditure deadline on the funds (or 60 days for funds expiring in calendar year 2015). HUD may, however, also accept requests from CDBG–DR grantees for the extension of an expenditure deadline less than 120 calendar days in advance of the deadline upon receipt of a letter from the chief executive officer of the grantee requesting the extension and a demonstration by the grantee that the request is required in order to achieve program missions. Grantees are advised however, that time constraints may not permit HUD to act upon requests that are received in close proximity to an expenditure deadline.’’ 2. Urgent need national objective certification requirements. The March 5, 2013, notice (78 FR 14329) provided grantees receiving funds under the Appropriations Act with a waiver of the certification requirements for the documentation of the urgent need national objective, located at §§ 570.208(c) and 570.483(d), until 2 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:38 Feb 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 years after the date the Department obligates funds to a grantee. The May 11, 2015, notice allowed grantees seeking a waiver of an expenditure deadline to simultaneously seek an extension of the urgent need certification waiver. The extension of the urgent need certification waiver, however, is currently only effective after its publication in the Federal Register. This approach presents challenges for CDBG–DR grantees who receive an extension of an expenditure deadline for an activity associated with the urgent need certification, with the extended expenditure deadline in effect but with the urgent need certification waiver still requiring publication in the Federal Register. To accommodate the timely expenditure of funds, HUD is modifying the temporary, streamlined urgent need waiver and alternative requirement in paragraph VI.A.1.f. of the March 5, 2013, notice (78 FR 14336). This waiver and alternative requirement supersedes the information published in the May 11, 2015, notice and will allow grantees to more effectively implement urgent recovery activities by aligning the applicable urgent need national objective criteria with the expenditure deadline on the use of funds. The March 5, 2013, notice is modified to add the following alternative requirement for grantees that receive an extension of the expenditure deadline: For activities designed to respond to a disaster-related impact that poses a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community, the grantee may continue to use the urgent need national objective until the end of the new expenditure deadline if the grantee meets the following requirements from the March 5, 2013, notice: (1) Before seeking the expenditure deadline extension, the grantee must reference in its Action Plan the type, scale, and location of the disaster-related impacts addressed by each program and/or activity that will meet the urgent need national objective; (2) before seeking the expenditure deadline extension, the grantee must identify these disaster related impacts in its Action Plan needs assessment; (3) the needs assessment must be updated as new or more detailed/accurate disaster-related impacts are known; and (4) the grantee must document how all programs and/ or activities funded under the urgent need national objective respond to a disaster-related impact identified by the grantee. 3. Alternative requirement to permit extended time for the provision of interim mortgage assistance (State of New York only). In the Federal Register PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 notice published on March 5, 2013, the Department established an alternative requirement to 42 U.S.C. 5305(a)(8) to extend the authority of grantees under the Appropriations Act to provide interim mortgage assistance to qualified individuals from 3 months to up to 20 months (78 FR 14345). A grantee using this alternative requirement is required to document in its policies and procedures how it will determine the amount of assistance to be provided is necessary and reasonable. The State of New York has requested a modification of the 20-month limitation on the provision of interim mortgage assistance to authorize the assistance for a period of up to 36 months. Under the State’s existing Interim Mortgage Assistance (IMA) program, financial assistance is available to eligible applicants to the NY Rising Housing Recovery Program who demonstrate financial difficulty in paying their mortgage due to additional housing expenses incurred as a result of their primary residence no longer being habitable. Interim mortgage assistance may be provided for past, current, and future debt obligations of the mortgage, capped at $3,000 per month for a maximum of 20 months or $60,000. On November 15, 2013, the Department approved Amendment 4 to the State’s disaster recovery Action Plan to allocate $80,000,000 to the initial State IMA program. On May 27, 2014, the Department approved Amendment 6 to the State’s disaster recovery Action Plan to modify the calculation of the IMA grant award based on a participant’s monthly mortgage amount for their primary residence and proof of an additional housing payment. On April 13, 2014, the Department approved Amendment 8 to the State’s disaster recovery Action Plan to enable the State to calculate partial IMA grant awards that reflect rental housing expenses incurred by participants while displaced, less any rental assistance received from insurance or government agencies. At the time the State submitted a request for a modification of the alternative requirement, 454 program participants were receiving IMA assistance and approximately 25 percent of those participants were low- and moderate-income households. In its request for a modification of the alternative requirement, the State indicated that in the absence of additional time to provide assistance, 287 IMA recipients would no longer qualify for IMA funds within the succeeding 12 months and that 26 percent of those recipients were lowand moderate-income households. In its E:\FR\FM\12FEN1.SGM 12FEN1 asabaliauskas on DSK9F6TC42PROD with NOTICES2 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 29 / Friday, February 12, 2016 / Notices request to provide IMA payments for a period of up to 36 months, the State cited a number of unanticipated developments that contributed to delays in the completion of assisted housing projects. Most notably, the State pointed to the prospect of increased National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claim payments to NY Rising program participants as a result of fraudulent damage assessments conducted on behalf of the NFIP in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. The State indicated that uncertainty surrounding these payments, and the potential impact of the payments on the amount of CDBG–DR funds ultimately available to the homeowner, contributed to delays and supports an extended period of availability for IMA. Other factors cited by the State as contributing to the need for extended IMA are the limited pool of contractors experienced in undertaking the elevation of homes and the shorter Northeastern United States construction season. The State further noted that its own clarification process, through which applicants may appeal the ultimate amount of their CDBG–DR award, can also slow progress in completing repairs and contribute to the need for additional IMA. The State proposed to implement the extended period for IMA by initially maintaining the current 20 months of assistance for IMA participants. At the end of the 20-month period of assistance, the State may subsequently determine a need for an additional 16 months of IMA, for a total not to exceed 36 months of assistance. When a need for an extension of IMA is identified, the State will conduct an inspection of the property to determine if substantial construction progress has been made. If substantial construction progress has been made, the State may provide IMA for the additional authorized period of time, for a total period of assistance up to 36 months. If the inspection indicates that substantial progress has not been made, the extension of IMA will be provided only when the recipient agrees to participate in the newly established construction program within the NY Rising Housing Recovery Program. Under the construction program, the State will contract for and manage, on behalf of the IMA recipient, the rehabilitation of the IMA recipient’s home. Prior to its initial implementation of the construction program, the State will determine the need for the IMA extension in those instances where substantial construction progress has not occurred and will give priority to the rehabilitation of homes for those VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:38 Feb 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 IMA recipients receiving a total up to 36 months of IMA. After reviewing the State’s request, and for the State of New York’s IMA program only, the Department is modifying the provision of the March 5, 2013, Federal Register notice that limits the provision of interim mortgage assistance to a period of 20 months and establishing an alternative requirement that allows for the payment of assistance for a period of up to 36 months if the State meets the other requirements described in the above paragraph. The goal of this alternative requirement is to provide an extended period of IMA in order to minimize the risk of foreclosure of storm damaged homes while they are being rehabilitated with CDBG–DR funds and to return IMA recipients to their rehabilitated homes as quickly as possible. The State must implement this alternative requirement consistent with the approach outlined in its request and as described herein. This waiver and alternative requirement shall remain in effect until December 31, 2017, after which the State shall be authorized to offer interim mortgage assistance for a period no more than 20 months. Interim mortgage assistance is an authorized eligible public service activity and the State is reminded that IMA expenditures are subject to the 15 percent cap on public services established pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 5305(a)(8). Within 30 days of the effective date of this notice, the State must begin to implement its construction program for IMA recipients receiving an extended period of assistance and without substantial construction progress in the rehabilitation of their home. The State must have fully implemented the construction program for all IMA recipients within 6 months of the effective date of this notice. In addition, the State’s policies and procedures must: (1) Document how the State will determine that ‘‘substantial progress’’ has or has not been made in the rehabilitation of an IMA recipient’s home; (2) Document how the State will determine that the amount and period of assistance to be provided under this alternative requirement is necessary and reasonable; (3) Document how the State will prioritize the rehabilitation of homes of IMA recipients receiving a total up to 36 months of IMA; (4) Include internal controls designed to ensure that IMA provided to recipients is being used for its authorized purpose; and PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 7569 (5) Include a plan for assisting recipients that exhaust their IMA after 36 months but continue to have a need for assistance because the rehabilitation of their home has not been completed. III. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number for the disaster recovery grants under this notice is 14.269. IV. Finding of No Significant Impact A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) with respect to the environment has been made in accordance with HUD regulations at 24 CFR part 50, which implement section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)). The FONSI is available for public inspection between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays in the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410–0500. Due to security measures at the HUD Headquarters building, an advance appointment to review the docket file must be scheduled by calling the Regulations Division at 202–708–3055 (this is not a toll-free number). Hearingor speech-impaired individuals may access this number through TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service at 800– 877–8339 (this is a toll-free number). Dated: February 8, 2016. Nani A. Coloretti, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. 2016–02913 Filed 2–11–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR–5927–N–01] Mortgage and Loan Insurance Programs Under the National Housing Act—Debenture Interest Rates Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing—Federal Housing Commissioner, HUD. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice announces changes in the interest rates to be paid on debentures issued with respect to a loan or mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration under the provisions of the National Housing Act (the Act). The interest rate for debentures issued under section 221(g)(4) of the Act during the 6-month period beginning January 1, 2016, is 21⁄4 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\12FEN1.SGM 12FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 29 (Friday, February 12, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7567-7569]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-02913]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

[Docket No. FR-5696-N-18]


Additional Clarifying Guidance, Waivers and Alternative 
Requirements for Grantees in Receipt of Community Development Block 
Grant Disaster Recovery Funds Under Public Law 113-2 for the Submission 
of Expenditure Deadline Extension Requests and Urgent Need 
Certification Extensions and for the Provision of Interim Mortgage 
Assistance by the State of New York

AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and 
Development, HUD.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice provides additional clarifying guidance for all 
Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) grantees 
in receipt of funds under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 
(the Appropriations Act), with regard to the submission of requests for 
an extension of the 2-year expenditure deadline established for funds 
provided under the Appropriations Act and the continued use of the 
alternative urgent need national objective. This notice also provides 
an alternative requirement for New York State as a grantee in receipt 
of CDBG-DR funds under the Appropriations Act. This alternative 
requirement addresses the period of time in which interim mortgage 
assistance may be provided to beneficiaries in the State's housing 
recovery programs.

DATES: Effective Date: February 17, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stanley Gimont, Director, Office of 
Block Grant Assistance, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 
451 7th Street SW., Room 7286, Washington, DC 20410, telephone number 
202-708-3587. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access 
this number via TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-
8339. Facsimile inquiries may be sent to Mr. Gimont at 202-401-2044. 
(Except for the ``800'' number, these telephone numbers are not toll-
free.) Email inquiries may be sent to disaster_recovery@hud.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. Applicable Rules, Statutes, Waivers, and Alternative 
Requirements
III. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
IV. Finding of No Significant Impact

I. Background

    The Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 113-2, approved January 29, 2013) 
made available $16 billion in CDBG-DR funds for necessary expenses 
related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of 
infrastructure and housing, and economic revitalization in the most 
impacted and distressed areas, resulting from a major disaster declared 
pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency 
Assistance Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5121 et. seq.) (Stafford Act) due to 
Hurricane Sandy and other eligible events in calendar years 2011, 2012, 
and 2013. On March 1, 2013, the President issued a sequestration order 
pursuant to section 251A of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit 
Control Act, as amended (2 U.S.C. 901a), and reduced the amount of 
funding for CDBG-DR grants under the Appropriations Act to $15.18 
billion. To date, a total of $15.18 billion has been allocated or set 
aside: $13 billion in response to Hurricane Sandy, $514 million in 
response to disasters occurring in 2011 or 2012, $655 million in 
response to 2013 disasters, and $1 billion set aside for the National 
Disaster Resilience Competition.
    This notice applies to all CDBG-DR grantees in receipt of 
allocations under the Appropriations Act, which are described within 
the Federal Register notices published by the Department on March 5, 
2013 (78 FR 14329), April 19, 2013 (78 FR 23578), May 29, 2013 (78 FR 
32262), August 2, 2013 (78 FR 46999), November 18, 2013 (78 FR 69104), 
December 16, 2013 (78 FR 76154), March 27, 2014 (79 FR 17173), June 3, 
2014 (79 FR 31964), July 11, 2014 (79 FR 40133), October 7, 2014 (79 FR 
60490), October 16, 2014 (79 FR 62182), January 8, 2015 (80 FR 1039), 
April 2, 2015 (80 FR 17772), May 11, 2015 (80 FR 26942), August 25, 
2015 (80 FR 51589), and November 18, 2015 (80 FR 72102), referred to 
collectively in this notice as the ``prior notices.'' The requirements 
of the prior notices continue to apply, except as modified by this 
notice.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Links to the prior notices, the text of the Appropriations 
Act, and additional guidance prepared by the Department for CDBG-DR 
grants, are available on the HUD Exchange Web site: https://www.hudexchange.info/cdbg-dr/cdbg-dr-laws-regulations-and-federal-register-notices/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Applicable Rules (Including Clarifying Guidance), Statutes, 
Waivers, and Alternative Requirements

    The Appropriations Act authorizes the Secretary to waive, or 
specify alternative requirements for, any provision of any statute or 
regulation that the Secretary administers in connection with HUD's 
obligation, or use by the recipient, of these funds (except for 
requirements related to fair housing, nondiscrimination, labor 
standards, and the environment). Waivers and alternative requirements 
are based upon a determination by the Secretary that good cause exists 
and that the waiver or alternative requirement is not inconsistent with 
the overall purposes of title I of the Housing and Community 
Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.) (HCD Act). Regulatory 
waiver authority is also provided by 24 CFR 5.110, 91.600, and 570.5.
    For the waivers and alternative requirements described in this 
notice, the Secretary has determined that good cause exists and that 
the waiver and alternative requirements are not inconsistent with the 
overall purpose of the HCD Act. Grantees may request waivers and 
alternative requirements from the Department as needed to address 
specific needs related to their recovery activities. Under the 
requirements of the Appropriations Act, waivers must be published in 
the Federal Register at least 5 days before the effective date of such 
waiver.
    1. Timeline for the submission of expenditure deadline extension 
requests. The Appropriations Act requires the Department to obligate 
all funds provided under the Appropriations Act by September 30, 2017, 
and requires grantees to expend funds within 24-months of the date on 
which the Department obligates funds to a grantee. The Appropriations 
Act also authorizes the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to grant 
waivers of the 24-month expenditure deadline.

[[Page 7568]]

OMB authorized the Department to provide CDBG-DR grantees with 
expenditure deadline extensions for activities that are inherently 
long-term and where it would be impracticable to expend funds within 
the 24-month period and still achieve program missions, up to amounts 
approved by OMB. In the Federal Register notice published on May 11, 
2015, (80 FR 26942), the Department established the process and 
criteria for the submission of expenditure deadline extension requests 
for CDBG-DR grantees in receipt of funds under the Appropriations Act. 
The May 11, 2015, notice requires these grantees to submit requests for 
the extension of an expenditure deadline at least 120 calendar days in 
advance of the expenditure deadline (80 FR 26944). Since the May 11, 
2015, notice was published, the Department subsequently received, 
reviewed, and acted upon expenditure deadline extension requests from a 
number of CDBG-DR grantees in receipt of funds under the Appropriations 
Act. In some instances, the Department observed that events and 
circumstances beyond the control of the grantee may require grantees to 
request an extension of an expenditure deadline after the 120-calendar-
day deadline has passed. The Department is therefore amending this 
requirement of the May 11, 2015, notice to provide that a grantee 
``submits the completed CDBG-DR Expenditure Deadline Extension Request 
template and any attachments to HUD in order to request consideration 
of the extension request at least 120 calendar days in advance of the 
expenditure deadline on the funds (or 60 days for funds expiring in 
calendar year 2015). HUD may, however, also accept requests from CDBG-
DR grantees for the extension of an expenditure deadline less than 120 
calendar days in advance of the deadline upon receipt of a letter from 
the chief executive officer of the grantee requesting the extension and 
a demonstration by the grantee that the request is required in order to 
achieve program missions. Grantees are advised however, that time 
constraints may not permit HUD to act upon requests that are received 
in close proximity to an expenditure deadline.''
    2. Urgent need national objective certification requirements. The 
March 5, 2013, notice (78 FR 14329) provided grantees receiving funds 
under the Appropriations Act with a waiver of the certification 
requirements for the documentation of the urgent need national 
objective, located at Sec. Sec.  570.208(c) and 570.483(d), until 2 
years after the date the Department obligates funds to a grantee. The 
May 11, 2015, notice allowed grantees seeking a waiver of an 
expenditure deadline to simultaneously seek an extension of the urgent 
need certification waiver. The extension of the urgent need 
certification waiver, however, is currently only effective after its 
publication in the Federal Register. This approach presents challenges 
for CDBG-DR grantees who receive an extension of an expenditure 
deadline for an activity associated with the urgent need certification, 
with the extended expenditure deadline in effect but with the urgent 
need certification waiver still requiring publication in the Federal 
Register.
    To accommodate the timely expenditure of funds, HUD is modifying 
the temporary, streamlined urgent need waiver and alternative 
requirement in paragraph VI.A.1.f. of the March 5, 2013, notice (78 FR 
14336). This waiver and alternative requirement supersedes the 
information published in the May 11, 2015, notice and will allow 
grantees to more effectively implement urgent recovery activities by 
aligning the applicable urgent need national objective criteria with 
the expenditure deadline on the use of funds. The March 5, 2013, notice 
is modified to add the following alternative requirement for grantees 
that receive an extension of the expenditure deadline: For activities 
designed to respond to a disaster-related impact that poses a serious 
and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community, the 
grantee may continue to use the urgent need national objective until 
the end of the new expenditure deadline if the grantee meets the 
following requirements from the March 5, 2013, notice: (1) Before 
seeking the expenditure deadline extension, the grantee must reference 
in its Action Plan the type, scale, and location of the disaster-
related impacts addressed by each program and/or activity that will 
meet the urgent need national objective; (2) before seeking the 
expenditure deadline extension, the grantee must identify these 
disaster related impacts in its Action Plan needs assessment; (3) the 
needs assessment must be updated as new or more detailed/accurate 
disaster-related impacts are known; and (4) the grantee must document 
how all programs and/or activities funded under the urgent need 
national objective respond to a disaster-related impact identified by 
the grantee.
    3. Alternative requirement to permit extended time for the 
provision of interim mortgage assistance (State of New York only). In 
the Federal Register notice published on March 5, 2013, the Department 
established an alternative requirement to 42 U.S.C. 5305(a)(8) to 
extend the authority of grantees under the Appropriations Act to 
provide interim mortgage assistance to qualified individuals from 3 
months to up to 20 months (78 FR 14345). A grantee using this 
alternative requirement is required to document in its policies and 
procedures how it will determine the amount of assistance to be 
provided is necessary and reasonable. The State of New York has 
requested a modification of the 20-month limitation on the provision of 
interim mortgage assistance to authorize the assistance for a period of 
up to 36 months.
    Under the State's existing Interim Mortgage Assistance (IMA) 
program, financial assistance is available to eligible applicants to 
the NY Rising Housing Recovery Program who demonstrate financial 
difficulty in paying their mortgage due to additional housing expenses 
incurred as a result of their primary residence no longer being 
habitable. Interim mortgage assistance may be provided for past, 
current, and future debt obligations of the mortgage, capped at $3,000 
per month for a maximum of 20 months or $60,000.
    On November 15, 2013, the Department approved Amendment 4 to the 
State's disaster recovery Action Plan to allocate $80,000,000 to the 
initial State IMA program. On May 27, 2014, the Department approved 
Amendment 6 to the State's disaster recovery Action Plan to modify the 
calculation of the IMA grant award based on a participant's monthly 
mortgage amount for their primary residence and proof of an additional 
housing payment. On April 13, 2014, the Department approved Amendment 8 
to the State's disaster recovery Action Plan to enable the State to 
calculate partial IMA grant awards that reflect rental housing expenses 
incurred by participants while displaced, less any rental assistance 
received from insurance or government agencies.
    At the time the State submitted a request for a modification of the 
alternative requirement, 454 program participants were receiving IMA 
assistance and approximately 25 percent of those participants were low- 
and moderate-income households. In its request for a modification of 
the alternative requirement, the State indicated that in the absence of 
additional time to provide assistance, 287 IMA recipients would no 
longer qualify for IMA funds within the succeeding 12 months and that 
26 percent of those recipients were low- and moderate-income 
households. In its

[[Page 7569]]

request to provide IMA payments for a period of up to 36 months, the 
State cited a number of unanticipated developments that contributed to 
delays in the completion of assisted housing projects. Most notably, 
the State pointed to the prospect of increased National Flood Insurance 
Program (NFIP) claim payments to NY Rising program participants as a 
result of fraudulent damage assessments conducted on behalf of the NFIP 
in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. The State indicated that 
uncertainty surrounding these payments, and the potential impact of the 
payments on the amount of CDBG-DR funds ultimately available to the 
homeowner, contributed to delays and supports an extended period of 
availability for IMA. Other factors cited by the State as contributing 
to the need for extended IMA are the limited pool of contractors 
experienced in undertaking the elevation of homes and the shorter 
Northeastern United States construction season. The State further noted 
that its own clarification process, through which applicants may appeal 
the ultimate amount of their CDBG-DR award, can also slow progress in 
completing repairs and contribute to the need for additional IMA.
    The State proposed to implement the extended period for IMA by 
initially maintaining the current 20 months of assistance for IMA 
participants. At the end of the 20-month period of assistance, the 
State may subsequently determine a need for an additional 16 months of 
IMA, for a total not to exceed 36 months of assistance. When a need for 
an extension of IMA is identified, the State will conduct an inspection 
of the property to determine if substantial construction progress has 
been made. If substantial construction progress has been made, the 
State may provide IMA for the additional authorized period of time, for 
a total period of assistance up to 36 months. If the inspection 
indicates that substantial progress has not been made, the extension of 
IMA will be provided only when the recipient agrees to participate in 
the newly established construction program within the NY Rising Housing 
Recovery Program. Under the construction program, the State will 
contract for and manage, on behalf of the IMA recipient, the 
rehabilitation of the IMA recipient's home. Prior to its initial 
implementation of the construction program, the State will determine 
the need for the IMA extension in those instances where substantial 
construction progress has not occurred and will give priority to the 
rehabilitation of homes for those IMA recipients receiving a total up 
to 36 months of IMA.
    After reviewing the State's request, and for the State of New 
York's IMA program only, the Department is modifying the provision of 
the March 5, 2013, Federal Register notice that limits the provision of 
interim mortgage assistance to a period of 20 months and establishing 
an alternative requirement that allows for the payment of assistance 
for a period of up to 36 months if the State meets the other 
requirements described in the above paragraph. The goal of this 
alternative requirement is to provide an extended period of IMA in 
order to minimize the risk of foreclosure of storm damaged homes while 
they are being rehabilitated with CDBG-DR funds and to return IMA 
recipients to their rehabilitated homes as quickly as possible. The 
State must implement this alternative requirement consistent with the 
approach outlined in its request and as described herein. This waiver 
and alternative requirement shall remain in effect until December 31, 
2017, after which the State shall be authorized to offer interim 
mortgage assistance for a period no more than 20 months. Interim 
mortgage assistance is an authorized eligible public service activity 
and the State is reminded that IMA expenditures are subject to the 15 
percent cap on public services established pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 
5305(a)(8).
    Within 30 days of the effective date of this notice, the State must 
begin to implement its construction program for IMA recipients 
receiving an extended period of assistance and without substantial 
construction progress in the rehabilitation of their home. The State 
must have fully implemented the construction program for all IMA 
recipients within 6 months of the effective date of this notice. In 
addition, the State's policies and procedures must:
    (1) Document how the State will determine that ``substantial 
progress'' has or has not been made in the rehabilitation of an IMA 
recipient's home;
    (2) Document how the State will determine that the amount and 
period of assistance to be provided under this alternative requirement 
is necessary and reasonable;
    (3) Document how the State will prioritize the rehabilitation of 
homes of IMA recipients receiving a total up to 36 months of IMA;
    (4) Include internal controls designed to ensure that IMA provided 
to recipients is being used for its authorized purpose; and
    (5) Include a plan for assisting recipients that exhaust their IMA 
after 36 months but continue to have a need for assistance because the 
rehabilitation of their home has not been completed.

III. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number for the disaster 
recovery grants under this notice is 14.269.

IV. Finding of No Significant Impact

    A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) with respect to the 
environment has been made in accordance with HUD regulations at 24 CFR 
part 50, which implement section 102(2)(C) of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)). The FONSI is 
available for public inspection between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays in 
the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of 
Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, 
Washington, DC 20410-0500. Due to security measures at the HUD 
Headquarters building, an advance appointment to review the docket file 
must be scheduled by calling the Regulations Division at 202-708-3055 
(this is not a toll-free number). Hearing- or speech-impaired 
individuals may access this number through TTY by calling the Federal 
Relay Service at 800-877-8339 (this is a toll-free number).

    Dated: February 8, 2016.
Nani A. Coloretti,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2016-02913 Filed 2-11-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4210-67-P