MaineHousing’s Landlord Participation Incentive Program (the “Program”) provides funds for Maine Public Housing Authorities (“PHAs”) to incent landlords to participate in the PHAs’ Housing Choice Voucher (“HCV”) programs. MaineHousing is making $380,000 of HCV Program Administrative Fees from the Coronovirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) available until funding runs out.
Funding requires compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations and notices including the CARES Act, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) PIH Notice PIH-2020-18, and any other relevant guidance from HUD or MaineHousing.
MaineHousing is administering the Program through the Maine Association of Public Housing Authority Directors (“MAPHD”), which will disburse funds to participating PHAs, collect data on use of funds from the PHAs, and report the data quarterly to MaineHousing.
The following are eligible uses in conjunction with HUD HCVs:
Landlord Repair Grants.
Funds may be used to repair items that fail an initial HQS inspection subject to the following:
- Only failed initial inspection items qualify
- Qualifying failed items include but are not limited to the following:
- Bedroom windows that do not meet egress
- Deteriorated paint
- Installation of hard-wired smoke detectors
- Installation of sprinkler system
- Tie downs
- The landlord pays the first $250 toward the repair
- PHA’s reimbursement to landlord may not exceed $5,000 a year per PHA
- The unit must pass HQS inspection before payment to the landlord
- A one-year lease and Housing Assistance Payment Contract must be executed before payment to the landlord
- Landlord Repair Grant Agreement signed by PHA and landlord (Exhibit A)
PHAs may pay the security deposit for first time Housing Choice Voucher applicants who are searching for a new unit within the PHA’s jurisdiction subject to the following:
- The tenant requests assistance in writing or verbally with an explanation of the need.
- The PHA pays the amount listed on the Request for Tenancy Approval (RFTA)
- The “Request and Acknowledgement of Security Deposit” form (Exhibit B), the HAP contract, and VAWA addendum are complete
- The landlord certifies that upon receipt from PHA, the security deposit funds will be held in accordance with Maine State Statute, Title 14, Chapter 710-A, Sections 6031-6039
- The Security Deposit funds are paid directly to the landlord with the first month’s rent paid by PHA
- Families are not required to repay the funds to PHA
Damage Repairs Reimbursement.
PHAs may reimburse landlords up to $1,500 for physical damages to a unit occupied by an HCV holder subject to the following:
- The damages are above and beyond normal wear and tear as defined by Maine State Law §6031
- The cost to fix the damages is greater than the security deposit collected
- Landlords must submit:
- Date stamped pictures of the specific damages they are requesting reimbursement for
- Copies of receipts from cost of repair(s) of damages
- A completed Damage Repair Reimbursement Landlord’s Request for Payment form (Exhibit C)
- PHA’s reimbursements to a landlord will not exceed $6,000 per calendar year (if submitting more than one damage reimbursement request)
Landlord Incentive Fees.
PHA will pay landlords a $750 Signing Bonus for every unit newly leased to a PHA HCV participant subject to the following:
- Rental rates are affordable within HCV program guidelines
- The rental unit passes a Housing Quality Standards Inspection
- Landlords enter into a one-year lease with a new tenant and sign a contract with the PHA after June 1, 2021 and before funding is exhausted
- Landlords receive $750 at or around the time of the first monthly payment
To participate PHAs must
- Comply with all of the requirements of the Program
- Enter into an agreement with MAPHD for disbursement of funds and reporting of data
- Use the funds only for direct payments to landlords in accordance with the Program
- Provide participating landlords with a 1099 for the Landlord Incentive fees and Security Deposits.
- Return any unspent CARES Act funds by December 31, 2021, or sooner if directed by MaineHousing
- Return any funds not spent in accordance with the Program to MaineHousing
- Track outcomes and participate in Program and data collection requirements required by HUD or MaineHousing
- Make its records available to MaineHousing so MaineHousing may conduct routine monitoring and oversight of progress and expenditures during the term of the Program
- Maintain records relating to the Program for five years after the Program ends
The Portland Housing contact for all questions and for submission is:
Office Assistant II
Portland Housing Authority, 14 Baxter Blvd, Portland, ME