24 CFR § 248.145 - Criteria for approval of a plan of action involving incentives.
(a) Approval. The Commissioner may approve a plan of action for extension of the low income affordability restrictions on an eligible low income housing project or for transfer of the housing to a qualified purchaser, other than a resident council acquiring the project under a resident homeownership plan, only upon a finding that—
(1) Due diligence has been given to ensuring that the package of incentives set forth in the plan of action is, for the Federal Government, the least costly alternative that is consistent with the full achievement of the purposes of this subpart.
(2) The project will be retained as housing affordable for very low, low and moderate income families and persons, as determined under paragraph (a)(8) of this section, for the remaining useful life of the project;
(3) Throughout the remaining useful life of the project, adequate expenditures will be made for maintenance and operation of the project and the project meets the housing standards established in § 248.147 as determined by inspections conducted by the Commissioner;
(5) Any increase in rent contributions for current tenants will be to a level that does not exceed 30 percent of the adjusted income of the tenant or the fair market rent, whichever is lower. However, the rent contributions of any tenants occupying the project at the time of any increase may not be reduced by reason of this paragraph, except with respect to tenants receiving section 8 assistance in accordance with paragraph (a)(7) of this section;
(6) Any resulting increase in rents for current tenants (except for increases made necessary by increased operating costs) shall be phased in as follows:
(i) If such increase is 30 percent or more, the increase shall be phased in equally over a period of not less than three years, with the first increase occurring upon the effective date of the plan of action, and the subsequent two increases occurring annually thereafter;
(ii) If such increase is more than 10 percent but less than 30 percent, it shall be limited to not more than 10 percent per year;
(7) Section 8 assistance shall be provided, to the extent appropriations are available, if necessary to mitigate any adverse effect on current very low and low income tenants;
(8) Rents for units becoming available to new tenants shall be at levels approved by the Commissioner, taking into account any incentives provided under subpart B of this part, that will ensure, to the extent practicable, that the units will be available and affordable to the same proportions of very low, low and moderate income families and persons, including families and persons whose incomes are 95 percent or more of area median income, as based on the area median income limits established by the Commissioner in February 1987, as resided in the project as of the date of the tenant income profile submitted under § 248.135(e)(5), or the date the plan of action is approved, whichever date results in the highest proportion of very low income families. This limitation shall not prohibit a higher proportion of very low income families and persons from occupying the project;
(9) Future rent adjustments shall be—
(i) Made by applying an annual factor, to be determined by the Commissioner, to the portion of rent attributable to operating expenses for the project, and, where the owner is a priority purchaser, to the portion of rent attributable to project oversight costs, as that term is defined in § 248.101; and
(ii) Subject to a procedure, established by the Commissioner, for owners to apply for rent increases not adequately compensated by annual adjustment under paragraph (a)(9)(i) of this section, under which the Commissioner may increase rents in excess of the amount determined under paragraph (a)(9)(i) of this section only if the Commissioner determines such increases are necessary to reflect extraordinary necessary expenses of owning and maintaining the project;
(10) Any savings from reductions in operating expenses due to management efficiencies shall be deposited in project reserves for replacement and the owner shall have periodic access to such reserves, to the extent the Commissioner determines that the level of the reserves is adequate and that the project is maintained in accordance with the standards established in § 248.147;
(11) The mortgage on the project is current; and
(12) There are no open audit findings, open findings of noncompliance with title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d); the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601–3619); Executive Order 11063 (3 CFR 1959–1963 comp., p. 652); the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101–6107); section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794); and all regulations promulgated under such statutes and authorities (including, but not limited to, 24 CFR part 100), or outstanding violations of the regulatory agreement.
(b) Compliance with housing standards. No incentives under § 248.153 may be provided, other than to qualified purchasers under §§ 248.157 and 245.161, and no distributions may be taken by the owner or purchaser, until the Commissioner determines that the project meets the housing standards set forth in § 248.147, except that incentives designed to correct deficiencies in the project may be provided.
(c) Implementation. Any agreement to maintain the low income affordability restrictions for the remaining useful life of the project may be made through execution of a new regulatory agreement, modifications to the existing regulatory agreement or mortgage, or in the case of prepayment of a mortgage or voluntary termination of mortgage insurance, a recorded instrument.
(d) Determination of remaining useful life. The Commissioner shall make determinations, on the record and after opportunity for a hearing, as to when the useful life of an eligible low income housing project has expired. Under procedures and standards to be established by the Commissioner, owners of eligible low income housing may petition the Commissioner for a determination that the useful life of such project has expired. Such petition may not be filed before the expiration of the 50-year period beginning upon the approval of a plan of action under subpart B of this part with respect to such project. In making a determination pursuant to a petition under paragraph (d) of this section, the Commissioner shall presume that the useful life of the project has not expired, and the owner shall have the burden of proof in establishing such expiration. The Commissioner may not determine that the useful life of any project has expired if such determination results primarily from failure to make regular and reasonable repairs and replacement, as became necessary. In making a determination regarding the useful life of any project pursuant to a petition submitted under paragraph (d) of this section, the Commissioner shall provide for comment by tenants of the project and interested persons and organizations with respect to the petition. The Commissioner shall also provide the tenants and interested persons and organizations with an opportunity to appeal a determination under paragraph (d) of this section.
(e) In the case of any plans of action involving incentives the owner must agree to comply with title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d); the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601–3619); Executive Order 11063 (3 CFR 1959–1963 comp., p. 652); the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (42 U.S.C. 6101–6107); section 504 of the Rehabilitiation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794) (including the Department's Accessibility Guidelines (24 CFR chapter I, subchapter A, appendix II) and all regulations issued pursuant to these authorities.