Tools and Templates
HOPWA Program Administration Toolkit
Date Published: October 2008
These resources are designed to help agencies that receive Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) funding comply with applicable laws and regulations and administer programs more efficiently and effectively. Please note that use of the specific tools below is not required; they are provided as an example with the goal of preventing grantees from having to recreate the wheel.
If you have developed program administration tools for use in your local program and would like to share them with other grantees, please send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "HOPWA tools."
Select from the list below to view resource descriptions and links:
Client File Contents Checklist
Statement of HIV Verification
Housing Application and Assessment
Income Eligibility Calculation Worksheet
Income and Resident Rent Calculation Worksheet
Accepted Forms of Income Verification
Disallowance of Increase in Annual Income (Earned Income Disregard)
Sample Domestic Partnership Declaration for HOPWA Assistance
Shared Housing Rent Calculation
Rent Reasonableness Checklist and Certification
HOPWA Housing Habitability Standards
Client Housing Plan
Client Budget Worksheet
Permission to Release Confidential Information
Absence From Unit Policy
TBRA Tracking Form
STRMU Tracking Sheet
HOPWA Inventory Policy and Equipment and Furnishings Inventory
This checklist serves as a "cheat sheet" to ensure all the necessary paperwork has been completed by HOPWA applicants and that project sponsors have compiled all of the required documentation. It is a good practice to include a completed copy of the checklist in each case file.
To receive assistance under the HOPWA program, a client's HIV status must be documented. The HIV/AIDS diagnosis must be made by a health professional competent to make such a determination; case manager statement is not sufficient. Project sponsors can use this form to document the client's HIV status. (Note, information on the HIV/AIDS status of a client is subject to confidentiality requirements.)
This sample program application and assessment form is designed to help project sponsors collect the information necessary to make a program eligibility determination. It will also help case managers better understand a client's needs and barriers, thereby allowing them to develop an appropriate service plan. Finally, this form is structured to capture client-level information that sponsors are required to report to HUD through the end-of-year performance reporting process.
To be eligible for assistance under the HOPWA program, individuals must be at or below 80 percent of area median income (AMI). Project sponsors can use this worksheet to calculate household income and determine eligibility for assistance.
With the exception of persons in short-term supported housing, persons receiving rental assistance under the HOPWA program must pay rent. According to the HOPWA regulations, tenants must pay the higher of: (1) 30 percent of the family's monthly adjusted income; (2) 10 percent of the family's monthly gross income; or (3) The portion of any welfare assistance payments specifically designated for housing costs. This worksheet can be used by HOPWA project sponsors to determine the Resident Rent Payment.
HOPWA program regulations require verification of all income from participant households. This tool provides examples of acceptable forms of income documentation.
In February 2001, HUD finalized regulations that require housing providers in certain HUD programs to disregard some or all of the earned income for tenants with disabilities. The Earned Income Disregard, as it is commonly called, allows qualified individuals and families receiving housing assistance to keep more of their earned income for a period of up to two years following an increase in employment income. This resource provides guidance on implementing the Earned Income Disregard for the purpose of calculating client income and resident rent payment.
HOPWA program regulations require verification of all income from participating households. This form can be used as documentation when a household has no income.
Domestic partners known to identify as such in the community and other aspects of their lives will be considered a family household and treated as such for eligibility purposes under the HOPWA program. This sample form can be used to document the domestic partner relationship for the purpose of determining eligibility and calculating the resident rent payment. The form is also used to ensure beneficiaries understand program policy in the event of a family split.
When a HOPWA client lives in shared housing (i.e., rents a room in a house), rent is adjusted based on the pro rata share of the private space used by the HOPWA beneficiary (excluding common space). This worksheet can be used to help project sponsors accurately calculate the beneficiary's rental portion.
According to the HOPWA regulations, the maximum housing subsidy a client may be provided under the HOPWA program is the difference between the rent standard (FMR) or reasonable rent - whichever is lower - and the client's contribution. Rent reasonableness means that the rent charged for a unit must be reasonable in relation to rents currently being charged for comparable units in the private, unassisted market. This worksheet provides a means for project sponsors to document the rents of comparable units and thereby certify rent reasonableness.
All housing subsidized under 24 CFR 574.300(b)(3),(4),(5), and (8), including units assisted under HOPWA tenant-based and project-based rental assistance, must be safe and sanitary. Units must undergo inspection to ensure compliance with HUD habitability standards before assistance can be paid. HOPWA project sponsors that are not HUD-certified inspectors can use this tool as a basis for performing inspections and documenting compliance.
HOPWA regulations require appropriate supportive services to be provided as part of any HOPWA-assisted housing. Individualized plans are required as a means to address the HOPWA outcome goals. The plan should address all needs and barriers to housing stability identified through the assessment. This plan template can be used by case managers to develop a strategy for helping clients obtain and maintain housing stability. Regular follow-up should occur at a frequency appropriate to need. HOPWA requires at least annual income and rent recertification, presenting an opportunity for reassessment.
An essential tool for clients struggling to maintain housing stability is a household budget. This budget worksheet can be used to help clients develop a budget, if they do not already have one. It is particularly important for clients being served with Short Term Rent, Mortgage, and Utility (STRMU) assistance to have a feasible budget since the assistance is not intended to be ongoing.
While HOPWA clients have the right to privacy, sharing certain information with other agencies may increase the client's access to services and supports. Before any information is released, however, the organization serving the individual must seek permission from the client to release confidential information. This form can be used to obtain that approval.
This sample policy can be provided to clients or other relevant parties to ensure that they are informed of the terms and conditions regarding client absences from units assisted with HOPWA funds. Because this is just a sample policy, project sponsors should be certain to read through it carefully and modify it as needed before using it.
The ability to accurately estimate your program budget is important. On one hand, it is important to spend program resources within the grant agreement period, and on the other hand, it is important to carefully manage resources so that you have enough funds to fulfill your obligations. This is particularly true for a rental assistance program. This excel-based tracking tool will allow project sponsors operating TBRA programs to make projections at the beginning of the year regarding the number of clients they anticipate serving and the amount of rental assistance they expect to pay monthly. Subsequently, sponsors can update the chart from month to month with actual expenses. Over time, this will provide the sponsor with historical data that can then be used for the next year's projections. Note: The current file includes sample data. Before using this tool, sample data should be deleted.
Under the STRMU program, grantees may provide assistance for rent, mortgage, and/or utilities for up to 21 weeks of assistance in any 52-week period (weeks do not need to be consecutive). The amount of assistance varies by client depending on funds available, tenant need, and program guidelines. Grantees may authorize project sponsors to cap payments, though caps must be applied uniformly. For all of these reasons, it is important for sponsors to track STRMU payments for each client. This excel spreadsheet provides a simple framework for tracking such payments. A copy should be kept in each client's file and updated every time a payment is made.
Federal regulations regarding property controls at 24 CFR 84.34(f) provide guidance on tracking assets purchased with grant funds to ensure that they are properly maintained, secure, and being used for authorized purposes. These items are federal property and cannot be disposed of without requesting permission from HUD. Agencies and funders should do a periodic physical inventory of these items to verify their existence, current utilization, and continued need. This sample form will help agencies that have used federal funds to purchase equipment and furnishings for a project keep accurate records.