Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program-Fiscal Year 2018 Inflation Factors for Public Housing Agency Renewal Funding, 24815-24817 [2018-11587]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 104 / Wednesday, May 30, 2018 / Notices other qualification requirements under the MD.2 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Use of Retired Badge and/or Credential If the employee is approved for a retired badge and/or credential, his or her badge and/or credential will be replicated by TSA and marked with the word ‘‘RETIRED,’’ to indicate that the retired employee no longer has the authority to perform specific official functions pursuant to law, statute, regulation or DHS Directive. In the case of a retired LEO, the individual is prohibited from using the TSA retired credential as photographic identification for the purposes of the LEOSA. Purpose and Description of Data Collection Under TSA’s current application process for these two programs, qualified applicants may apply for a LEOSA ID Card, a Retired Badge, and/ or a Retired Credential, as applicable, either while still employed by TSA (shortly before separating or retiring) or after they have separated or retired (after they become private citizens, i.e., are no longer employed by the Federal Government). The LEOSA Identification Card Application (TSA Form 2825A) requires collection of identifying information, contact information, official title, separation date, and last known field office. Identifying information, such as the date of birth and social security number (SSN), are necessary to confirm the individual’s identity and to process the individual through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. Similarly, for purposes of a retired badge and/or credential, TSA Form 2808, Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Card, Badge, Credential or Access Control Application, requires collection of identifying information, contact information, TSA employment/position information (TSA component or Government agency), official title, and entry on duty date. This collection of information is necessary to confirm the identity of the individual, conduct the necessary qualification process to determine the individual’s eligibility for a retired badge and/or credential, and to contact the individual if needed. Based on current data, TSA estimates 32 LEOSA Application Forms 2825A and 30 Retired Badge and Credential Application Forms 2808 will be 2 These instructions are included in DHS Instruction: 121–01–002 (Issuance and Control of DHS Badges); DHS Instruction 121–01–008 (Issuance and Control of the DHS Credentials); and the associated Handbook for TSA MD 2800.11. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 May 29, 2018 Jkt 244001 submitted, for a total of 62 respondents annually. It takes approximately 5 minutes (0.08333 hours) to complete either form, so the total annual hour burden to the public will be 62 multiplied by 0.08333 hours, or 5.17 hours. Use of Results TSA will use the information to conduct the qualification review for: (1) retired and separated law enforcement officers requesting LEOSA identification cards, and (2) retiring individuals requesting a retired badge and/or credential. Dated: May 23, 2018. Christina A. Walsh, TSA Paperwork Reduction Act Officer, Office of Information Technology. [FR Doc. 2018–11509 Filed 5–29–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–05–P DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR–6099–N–01] Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program—Fiscal Year 2018 Inflation Factors for Public Housing Agency Renewal Funding Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research, HUD. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice establishes Renewal Funding Inflation Factors (RFIFs) to adjust Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 renewal funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program of each public housing agency (PHA), as required by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. HUD produces the FY 2018 RFIFs by apportioning the expected percent change in national per unit cost (PUC) for the HCV program, 3.47 percent, to each PHA based on the change in Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for their operating area. HUD’s FY 2018 methodology is the same as that which was used in FY 2017. However, HUD is seeking comment on potential RFIF methodology changes related to the use of ad hoc surveys conducted for purposes of reevaluating FMRs and their effect on the calculation of RFIFs. DATES: Comment Due Date: June 29, 2018. Applicability Date: May 30, 2018. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical information regarding the development of the schedules for specific areas or the methods used for calculating the inflation factors, contact: Miguel A. Fontanez, Director, Housing SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24815 Voucher Financial Division, Office of Public Housing and Voucher Programs, Office of Public and Indian Housing, telephone number 202–402–4212; Peter B. Kahn, Director, Economic and Market Analysis Division, Office of Policy Development and Research, telephone number 202–402–2409, or Adam Bibler, Economist, Economic and Market Analysis Division, Office of Policy Development and Research, telephone number 202–402–6057. Mail for these individuals should be addressed to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20410. Hearing- or speech-impaired persons may contact the Federal Relay Service at 800–877– 8339 (TTY). (Other than the ‘‘800’’ TTY number, the above-listed telephone numbers are not toll free.) SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background Division L, Title II of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 requires that the HUD Secretary, for the calendar year 2018 funding cycle, provide renewal funding for each PHA based on validated voucher management system (VMS) leasing and cost data for the prior calendar year and by applying an inflation factor as established by the Secretary, published in the Federal Register. This notice announces the availability of the FY 2018 inflation factors and describes the methodology for calculating them. Tables in PDF and Microsoft Excel formats showing RFIFs will be available electronically from the HUD data information page at: https:// www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/rfif/ rfif.html. II. Methodology RFIFs are used to adjust the allocation of HCV program funds to PHAs for local changes in rents, utility costs, and tenant incomes. To calculate the RFIFs, HUD first forecasts a national inflation factor, which is the annual change in the national average PUC. HUD then calculates individual area inflation factors, which are based on the annual changes in the two-bedroom FMR for each area. Finally, HUD adjusts the individual area inflation factors to be consistent with the national inflation factor. HUD’s forecast of the national average PUC is based on forecasts of gross rent and tenant income. Each forecast is produced using historical and forecasted macroeconomic data as independent variables, where the forecasts are consistent with the economic assumptions of the Administration’s FY 2018 Budget. The forecast of gross rent is itself based on E:\FR\FM\30MYN1.SGM 30MYN1 24816 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 104 / Wednesday, May 30, 2018 / Notices forecasts of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Rent of Primary Residence Index and the CPI Fuels and Utilities Index. Forecasted values of these series are applied to the FY 2018 national average two-bedroom FMR to produce a projected calendar year (CY) 2018 gross rent value. A ‘‘notional’’ PUC is calculated as the difference between gross rent value and 30 percent of average tenant income (the standard percentage for tenant rent contributions in the voucher program). The change between the CY 2017 notional PUC and the forecasted CY 2018 notional PUC is the expected national change in PUC, or 3.47 percent. HUD uses a notional PUC as opposed to the actual PUC to project costs that are consistent with PHAs leasing the same number and quality of units. For several years, growth in observed PUC was lower than this notional PUC as PHAs reacted to reduced overall program funding by reducing payment standards relative to the FMR. For more information on HUD’s forecast methodology, see 82 FR 26710. The inflation factor for an individual geographic area is based on the annualized change in the area’s FMR between FY 2017 and FY 2018. These changes in FMRs are then scaled such that the voucher-weighted average of all individual area inflation factors is equal to the national inflation factor, i.e., the expected annual change in national PUC from CY 2017 to CY 2018, and such that no area has a factor less than one. For PHAs operating in multiple FMR areas, HUD calculates a voucher-weighted average inflation factor based on the count of vouchers in each FMR area administered by the PHA as captured in HUD administrative data as of December 31, 2017. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES III. The Use of Inflation Factors HUD subsequently applies the calculated individual area inflation factors to eligible renewal funding for each PHA based on VMS leasing and cost data for the prior calendar year. IV. Geographic Areas and Area Definitions As explained above, inflation factors based on area FMR changes are produced for all FMR areas and applied to eligible renewal funding for each PHA. The tables showing the RFIFs, available electronically from the HUD data information page, list the inflation factors for each FMR area on a state-bystate basis. The inflation factors use the same OMB metropolitan area definitions, as revised by HUD, that are used for the FY 2018 FMRs. PHAs should refer to the Area Definitions VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 May 29, 2018 Jkt 244001 Table on the following web page to make certain that they are referencing the correct inflation factors: http:// www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/rfif/ FY2018/FY2018_RFIF_FMR_AREA_ REPORT.pdf. The Area Definitions Table lists areas in alphabetical order by state, and the counties associated with each area. In the six New England states, the listings are for counties or parts of counties as defined by towns or cities. HUD is also releasing the data in Microsoft Excel format to assist users who may wish to use these data in other calculations. The Excel file is available at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/ datasets/rfif/rfif.html. V. Request for Comment on the Use of FMRs Based on Ad Hoc Surveys for Renewal Funding As described above, HUD uses the annual change in an area’s FMR in part to produce its inflation factor. HUD allows for the use of PHA-sponsored local rent survey data in calculating FMRs, and the use of this data can produce erratic RFIFs as certain areas switch from FMRs based on American Community Survey (ACS) data to FMRs based on local rent surveys and vice versa. For example, in cases where rents are increasing and an area’s FMR was based on the same sponsored local rent survey for two consecutive years, or was previously based on a (higher-rent) local survey that was superseded by more current (lower-rent) ACS data, that area’s RFIF will be lower relative to underlying rent growth in the area, leaving PHAs with the choice to either fund additional surveys or accept the lower RFIF. With this notice, HUD seeks comment on this issue, including its equitability to PHAs that have not sponsored local surveys, and on potential method changes to the RFIF calculation. Funds are not available for HUD to carry out extensive local rent surveys. Given this limitation, HUD seeks comment on the following possible ways to calculate the local rent change used in the calculation of RFIFs: • Maintain the current policy of including the survey-based FMR change in the first calculation of RFIFs following the implementation of the survey and continue using the change in FMRs while the survey is still in effect. • Stop incorporating local rent surveys in the calculation of the FMR change component of the RFIF calculation. • As with current policy, include the survey-based FMR change in the first calculation of RFIFs following the implementation of the survey. In subsequent years, while the survey is still being used in the calculation of the PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 published FMRs, use the change in underlying rent data collected via the ACS. By doing this, the rent change component of the RFIF will be based on a local measure of actual year-to-year rent change. • Instead of having a large increase in the FMR in the first year of using local survey data, with little to no inflation for the next several years, spread the increase over the expected usable life of the survey. HUD would do this by calculating the average annual change between the survey-derived rent and the ACS rent over a two- or three-year period. Surveys conducted in January through June generally are used in two FMR calculations and surveys conducted in July through December are typically used in three FMR calculations. By using the annual average increase as the FMR change component of the RFIF calculation, PHAs in areas submitting local survey data will ultimately have the full increase in their survey-based FMR realized in their inflation factors, but the distortive impacts of implementing the entire change in the first year of the use of the local survey-based rent will also be ameliorated. This would also likely lessen the mismatch between the RFIF and local rent growth rates at the transition back from survey data to ACS data. • Pursue another strategy recommended by commenters. HUD recognizes that PHAs may need additional renewal funding to support their HCV program when they must increase payment standards commensurate with increases in FMRs due to submission of locally funded survey data. Including the full surveybased FMR change in the RFIF calculation helps to achieve this need; 1 however, use of survey-based FMRs in the RFIF calculation skews the distribution of renewal funding towards those areas where surveys are conducted, all other factors remaining constant. Therefore, HUD is interested in comments from all interested parties, including those PHAs that have engaged in a local survey program, and those PHAs that have not supplied local survey data. VI. Environmental Impact This notice involves a statutorily required establishment of a rate or cost determination which does not constitute 1 HUD notes that even when the FMR change component of the RFIF calculation uses a local survey, the RFIF calculated for the given area is not as large as the FMR change itself since no PHA may receive a negative RFIF. Consequently, the allocation process dampens both FMR increases and FMR decreases towards a central value. E:\FR\FM\30MYN1.SGM 30MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 104 / Wednesday, May 30, 2018 / Notices a development decision affecting the physical condition of specific project areas or building sites. Accordingly, under 24 CFR 50.19(c)(6), this notice is categorically excluded from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321). Dated: May 23, 2018. Todd Richardson, Acting General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research. [FR Doc. 2018–11587 Filed 5–29–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Geological Survey [GX18LR000F60100; OMB Control Number 1028–0053] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Nonferrous Metals Surveys U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Interior. ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey is proposing to renew an information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before June 29, 2018. ADDRESSES: Send written comments on this information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget’s Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior by email at OIRA_Submission@omb.eop.gov; or via facsimile to (202) 395–5806. Please provide a copy of your comments to U.S. Geological Survey, Information Collections Officer, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive MS 159, Reston, VA 20192; or by email to gs-info_collections@ usgs.gov. Please reference OMB Control Number 1028–0053 in the subject line of your comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information about this ICR, contact Elizabeth S. Sangine by email at escottsangine@usgs.gov, or by telephone at 703–648–7720. You may also view the ICR at http:// www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we provide the general public and other Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 May 29, 2018 Jkt 244001 continuing collections of information. This helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand our information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. A Federal Register notice with a 60day public comment period soliciting comments on this collection of information was published on February 16, 2018, 83 FR 7065. One comment was received from Bureau of Economic Analysis supporting the collection of this data as nationally important. We are again soliciting comments on the proposed ICR that is described below. We are especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is the collection necessary for the USGS to perform its duties, including whether the information is useful; (2) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) ways to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) how to minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Comments that you submit in response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. An agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Abstract: Respondents to these forms supply the USGS with domestic production and consumption data for 22 ores, concentrates, and metals, some of which are considered strategic and critical to assist in determining stockpile goals. These data and derived information will be published as chapters in Minerals Yearbooks, monthly Mineral Industry Surveys, annual Mineral Commodity Summaries, and special publications, for use by Government agencies, industry education programs, and the general public. PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24817 Title of Collection: Nonferrous Metals Surveys. OMB Control Number: 1028–0053. Form Number: Various, 27 forms. Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Respondents/Affected Public: Business or Other-For-Profit Institutions: U.S. nonfuel minerals producers and consumers of nonferrous metals and related materials. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 3,647. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 2,636 hours. Total Estimated Number of Annual Respondents: 1,400. Estimated Completion Time per Response: 20 minutes to 90 minutes. Respondent’s Obligation: Voluntary. Frequency of Collection: Monthly, Quarterly, or Annually. Total Estimated Annual Nonhour Burden Cost: There are no ‘‘nonhour cost’’ burdens associated with this IC. The authorities for this action are the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.), the National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act of 1980 (30 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and the National Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 21(a)). Michael J. Magyar, Associate Director, National Minerals Information Center. [FR Doc. 2018–11510 Filed 5–29–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4338–11–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service [NPS–WASO–NRNHL–DTS#–25616; PPWOCRADI0, PCU00RP14.R50000] National Register of Historic Places; Notification of Pending Nominations and Related Actions National Park Service, Interior. Notice. AGENCY: ACTION: The National Park Service is soliciting comments on the significance of properties nominated before May 12, 2018, for listing or related actions in the National Register of Historic Places. DATES: Comments should be submitted by June 14, 2018. ADDRESSES: Comments may be sent via U.S. Postal Service and all other carriers to the National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 1849 C St. NW, MS 7228, Washington, DC 20240. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The properties listed in this notice are being considered for listing or related actions SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30MYN1.SGM 30MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 104 (Wednesday, May 30, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24815-24817]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-11587]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

[Docket No. FR-6099-N-01]


Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program--Fiscal Year 2018 
Inflation Factors for Public Housing Agency Renewal Funding

AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and 
Research, HUD.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: This notice establishes Renewal Funding Inflation Factors 
(RFIFs) to adjust Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 renewal funding for the Housing 
Choice Voucher (HCV) program of each public housing agency (PHA), as 
required by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. HUD produces the 
FY 2018 RFIFs by apportioning the expected percent change in national 
per unit cost (PUC) for the HCV program, 3.47 percent, to each PHA 
based on the change in Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for their operating 
area. HUD's FY 2018 methodology is the same as that which was used in 
FY 2017. However, HUD is seeking comment on potential RFIF methodology 
changes related to the use of ad hoc surveys conducted for purposes of 
reevaluating FMRs and their effect on the calculation of RFIFs.

DATES: 
    Comment Due Date: June 29, 2018.
    Applicability Date: May 30, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical information regarding 
the development of the schedules for specific areas or the methods used 
for calculating the inflation factors, contact: Miguel A. Fontanez, 
Director, Housing Voucher Financial Division, Office of Public Housing 
and Voucher Programs, Office of Public and Indian Housing, telephone 
number 202-402-4212; Peter B. Kahn, Director, Economic and Market 
Analysis Division, Office of Policy Development and Research, telephone 
number 202-402-2409, or Adam Bibler, Economist, Economic and Market 
Analysis Division, Office of Policy Development and Research, telephone 
number 202-402-6057. Mail for these individuals should be addressed to 
the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW, 
Washington, DC 20410. Hearing- or speech-impaired persons may contact 
the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 (TTY). (Other than the 
``800'' TTY number, the above-listed telephone numbers are not toll 
free.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    Division L, Title II of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 
requires that the HUD Secretary, for the calendar year 2018 funding 
cycle, provide renewal funding for each PHA based on validated voucher 
management system (VMS) leasing and cost data for the prior calendar 
year and by applying an inflation factor as established by the 
Secretary, published in the Federal Register. This notice announces the 
availability of the FY 2018 inflation factors and describes the 
methodology for calculating them. Tables in PDF and Microsoft Excel 
formats showing RFIFs will be available electronically from the HUD 
data information page at: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/rfif/rfif.html.

II. Methodology

    RFIFs are used to adjust the allocation of HCV program funds to 
PHAs for local changes in rents, utility costs, and tenant incomes. To 
calculate the RFIFs, HUD first forecasts a national inflation factor, 
which is the annual change in the national average PUC. HUD then 
calculates individual area inflation factors, which are based on the 
annual changes in the two-bedroom FMR for each area. Finally, HUD 
adjusts the individual area inflation factors to be consistent with the 
national inflation factor.
    HUD's forecast of the national average PUC is based on forecasts of 
gross rent and tenant income. Each forecast is produced using 
historical and forecasted macroeconomic data as independent variables, 
where the forecasts are consistent with the economic assumptions of the 
Administration's FY 2018 Budget. The forecast of gross rent is itself 
based on

[[Page 24816]]

forecasts of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Rent of Primary Residence 
Index and the CPI Fuels and Utilities Index. Forecasted values of these 
series are applied to the FY 2018 national average two-bedroom FMR to 
produce a projected calendar year (CY) 2018 gross rent value. A 
``notional'' PUC is calculated as the difference between gross rent 
value and 30 percent of average tenant income (the standard percentage 
for tenant rent contributions in the voucher program). The change 
between the CY 2017 notional PUC and the forecasted CY 2018 notional 
PUC is the expected national change in PUC, or 3.47 percent. HUD uses a 
notional PUC as opposed to the actual PUC to project costs that are 
consistent with PHAs leasing the same number and quality of units. For 
several years, growth in observed PUC was lower than this notional PUC 
as PHAs reacted to reduced overall program funding by reducing payment 
standards relative to the FMR. For more information on HUD's forecast 
methodology, see 82 FR 26710.
    The inflation factor for an individual geographic area is based on 
the annualized change in the area's FMR between FY 2017 and FY 2018. 
These changes in FMRs are then scaled such that the voucher-weighted 
average of all individual area inflation factors is equal to the 
national inflation factor, i.e., the expected annual change in national 
PUC from CY 2017 to CY 2018, and such that no area has a factor less 
than one. For PHAs operating in multiple FMR areas, HUD calculates a 
voucher-weighted average inflation factor based on the count of 
vouchers in each FMR area administered by the PHA as captured in HUD 
administrative data as of December 31, 2017.

III. The Use of Inflation Factors

    HUD subsequently applies the calculated individual area inflation 
factors to eligible renewal funding for each PHA based on VMS leasing 
and cost data for the prior calendar year.

IV. Geographic Areas and Area Definitions

    As explained above, inflation factors based on area FMR changes are 
produced for all FMR areas and applied to eligible renewal funding for 
each PHA. The tables showing the RFIFs, available electronically from 
the HUD data information page, list the inflation factors for each FMR 
area on a state-by-state basis. The inflation factors use the same OMB 
metropolitan area definitions, as revised by HUD, that are used for the 
FY 2018 FMRs. PHAs should refer to the Area Definitions Table on the 
following web page to make certain that they are referencing the 
correct inflation factors: http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/rfif/FY2018/FY2018_RFIF_FMR_AREA_REPORT.pdf. The Area Definitions Table 
lists areas in alphabetical order by state, and the counties associated 
with each area. In the six New England states, the listings are for 
counties or parts of counties as defined by towns or cities. HUD is 
also releasing the data in Microsoft Excel format to assist users who 
may wish to use these data in other calculations. The Excel file is 
available at https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/rfif/rfif.html.

V. Request for Comment on the Use of FMRs Based on Ad Hoc Surveys for 
Renewal Funding

    As described above, HUD uses the annual change in an area's FMR in 
part to produce its inflation factor. HUD allows for the use of PHA-
sponsored local rent survey data in calculating FMRs, and the use of 
this data can produce erratic RFIFs as certain areas switch from FMRs 
based on American Community Survey (ACS) data to FMRs based on local 
rent surveys and vice versa. For example, in cases where rents are 
increasing and an area's FMR was based on the same sponsored local rent 
survey for two consecutive years, or was previously based on a (higher-
rent) local survey that was superseded by more current (lower-rent) ACS 
data, that area's RFIF will be lower relative to underlying rent growth 
in the area, leaving PHAs with the choice to either fund additional 
surveys or accept the lower RFIF. With this notice, HUD seeks comment 
on this issue, including its equitability to PHAs that have not 
sponsored local surveys, and on potential method changes to the RFIF 
calculation. Funds are not available for HUD to carry out extensive 
local rent surveys. Given this limitation, HUD seeks comment on the 
following possible ways to calculate the local rent change used in the 
calculation of RFIFs:
     Maintain the current policy of including the survey-based 
FMR change in the first calculation of RFIFs following the 
implementation of the survey and continue using the change in FMRs 
while the survey is still in effect.
     Stop incorporating local rent surveys in the calculation 
of the FMR change component of the RFIF calculation.
     As with current policy, include the survey-based FMR 
change in the first calculation of RFIFs following the implementation 
of the survey. In subsequent years, while the survey is still being 
used in the calculation of the published FMRs, use the change in 
underlying rent data collected via the ACS. By doing this, the rent 
change component of the RFIF will be based on a local measure of actual 
year-to-year rent change.
     Instead of having a large increase in the FMR in the first 
year of using local survey data, with little to no inflation for the 
next several years, spread the increase over the expected usable life 
of the survey. HUD would do this by calculating the average annual 
change between the survey-derived rent and the ACS rent over a two- or 
three-year period. Surveys conducted in January through June generally 
are used in two FMR calculations and surveys conducted in July through 
December are typically used in three FMR calculations. By using the 
annual average increase as the FMR change component of the RFIF 
calculation, PHAs in areas submitting local survey data will ultimately 
have the full increase in their survey-based FMR realized in their 
inflation factors, but the distortive impacts of implementing the 
entire change in the first year of the use of the local survey-based 
rent will also be ameliorated. This would also likely lessen the 
mismatch between the RFIF and local rent growth rates at the transition 
back from survey data to ACS data.
     Pursue another strategy recommended by commenters.
    HUD recognizes that PHAs may need additional renewal funding to 
support their HCV program when they must increase payment standards 
commensurate with increases in FMRs due to submission of locally funded 
survey data. Including the full survey-based FMR change in the RFIF 
calculation helps to achieve this need; \1\ however, use of survey-
based FMRs in the RFIF calculation skews the distribution of renewal 
funding towards those areas where surveys are conducted, all other 
factors remaining constant. Therefore, HUD is interested in comments 
from all interested parties, including those PHAs that have engaged in 
a local survey program, and those PHAs that have not supplied local 
survey data.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ HUD notes that even when the FMR change component of the 
RFIF calculation uses a local survey, the RFIF calculated for the 
given area is not as large as the FMR change itself since no PHA may 
receive a negative RFIF. Consequently, the allocation process 
dampens both FMR increases and FMR decreases towards a central 
value.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

VI. Environmental Impact

    This notice involves a statutorily required establishment of a rate 
or cost determination which does not constitute

[[Page 24817]]

a development decision affecting the physical condition of specific 
project areas or building sites. Accordingly, under 24 CFR 50.19(c)(6), 
this notice is categorically excluded from environmental review under 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321).

    Dated: May 23, 2018.
Todd Richardson,
Acting General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and 
Research.
[FR Doc. 2018-11587 Filed 5-29-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4210-67-P