24 CFR 811.110 - Refunding of obligations issued to finance Section 8 projects.
(a) This section states the terms and conditions under which HUD will approve refunding or defeasance of certain outstanding debt obligations which financed new construction or substantial rehabilitation of Section 8 projects, including fully and partially assisted projects.
(b) In the case of bonds issued by State Agencies qualified under 24 CFR part 883 to refund bonds which financed projects assisted pursuant to 24 CFR part 883, HUD requires compliance with the prohibition on duplicative fees contained in 24 CFR part 883 and with paragraphs (f) and (h) of this section, as applicable to the projects to be refunded.
(c) No agency shall issue obligations to refund outstanding 11(b) obligations until the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing sends the financing agency a Notification of Tax Exemption based on approval of the proposed refunding's terms and conditions as conforming to this part's requirements, including continued operation of the project as housing for low-income families, and where possible, reduction of Section 8 assistance payments through lower contract rents or an equivalent cash rebate to the U.S. Treasury (i.e. Trustee Sweep). The agency shall submit such documentation as HUD determines is necessary for review and approval of the refunding transaction. Upon conclusion of the closing of refunding bonds, written confirmation must be sent to the Office of Multifamily Housing by bond counsel, or other acceptable closing participant, including a schedule of the specific amount of savings in Section 8 assistance where applicable, CUSIP number information, and a final statement of Sources and Uses.
(1) HUD approval of the terms and conditions of a Section 8 refunding proposal requires evaluation by HUD's Office of Multifamily Housing of the reasonableness of the terms of the Agency's proposed financing plan, including projected reductions in project debt service where warranted by market conditions and bond yields. This evaluation shall determine that the proposed amount of refunding obligations is the amount needed to: pay off outstanding bonds; fund a debt service reserve to the extent required by credit enhancers or bond rating agencies, or bond underwriters in the case of unrated refunding bonds; pay credit enhancement fees acceptable to HUD; and pay transaction costs as approved by HUD according to a sliding scale ceiling based on par amount of refunding bond principal. Exceptions may be approved by HUD, if consistent with applicable statutes, in the event that an additional issue amount is required for project purposes.
(2) The stated maturity of the refunding bonds may not exceed by more than one year the remaining term of the project mortgage, or in the case of an uninsured loan, the later of expiration date of the Housing Assistance Payments Contract (the “HAPC”) or final maturity of the refunded bonds.
(3) The bond yield may not exceed by more than 75 basis points the 20 Bond General Obligation Index published by the Daily Bond Buyer for the week immediately preceding the sale of the bonds, except as otherwise approved by HUD. An amount not to exceed one-fourth of one percent annually of the bonds' outstanding principal balance may be allowed for servicing and trustee fees.
(e) For projects for which the Agreement to enter into the HAPC was executed between January 1, 1979, and December 31, 1984 (otherwise known as “McKinney Act Projects”), for which a State or local agency initiates a refunding, the Secretary shall make available to an eligible issuing agency 50 percent of the Section 8 savings of a refunding, as determined by HUD on a project-by-project basis, to be used by the agency in accordance with the terms of a Refunding Agreement executed by the Agency and HUD which incorporates the Agency's Housing Plan for use of savings to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing for very low-income households. In determining the amount of savings recaptured on a project-by-project basis, as authorized by section 1012(b) of the McKinney Act, HUD will take into account the physical condition of the projects participating in the refunding which generate the McKinney Act savings and, if necessary, HUD will finance in refunding bond debt service correction of existing deficiencies which cannot be funded completely by existing project replacement reserves or by a portion of reserves released from the refunded bond's indenture. For McKinney Act refundings of projects which did not receive a Financing Adjustment Factor (“FAF”), HUD will allow up to 50 percent of debt service savings to be allocated to the project account; in which case, the remainder will be shared equally by the Agency and the U.S. Treasury.
(f) For refundings of Section 8 projects other than McKinney Act Projects, and for all transactions which substitute collateral for, but do not redeem, outstanding obligations, and for which a HUD approval is needed (such as assignment of a HAPC or insured mortgage note), the Office of Multifamily Housing in consultation with HUD Field Office Counsel will review the HAPC, the Trust Indenture for the outstanding obligations, applicable HUD regulations, and reasonableness of proposed financing terms. In particular, HUD review should be obtained for the release of reserves from the trust indenture of the outstanding 11(b) bonds that are being refunded, defeased, or pre-paid. A proposal to distribute to a non-Federal entity the benefits of a refinancing, such as debt service savings and/or balances in reserves held under the original Trust Indenture, should be referred to the Office of Multifamily Housing for further review. In proposals submitted for HUD approval, HUD will consent to release reserves, as provided by the Trust Indenture, in an amount remaining after correction of project physical deficiencies and/or replenishment of replacement reserves, where needed. In the case of a refunding of 11(b) bonds by a public agency issuer which is the owner of the project and is entitled to reserves held under the Trust Indenture, HUD requires execution by the project owner of a use agreement, and amendment of a regulatory agreement, if applicable, to extend low-income tenant occupancy for ten years after expiration of the original HAPC term. In the case of HAP contracts with renewable 5-year terms, the Use Agreement shall extend for 10 years after the project owners first opt-out date. The Use Agreement may also be required of private entity owners, unless the refunding is incidental to a transfer of project ownership or a transaction which provides a substantial public benefit, as determined by the Office of Multifamily Housing. Proposed use of benefits shall be consistent with applicable appropriations law, the HAPC, and other requirements applicable to the original project financing, and the proposed financing terms must be reasonable in relation to bond market yields and transaction fees, as approved by the HUD Office of Multifamily Housing.
(g) Agencies shall have wide latitude in the design of specific delivery vehicles for use of McKinney Act savings, subject to HUD audit of each Agency's performance in serving the targeted income eligible population. Savings may be used for shelter costs of providing housing, rental, or owner-occupied, to very low-income households through new construction, rehabilitation, repairs, and acquisition with or without rehab, including assistance to very low-income units in mixed-income developments. These include programs designed to assist in obtaining shelter, such as rent or homeownership subsidies. Self-sufficiency services in support of very low-income housing are also eligible, and may include, but are not limited to, homeownership counseling, additional security measures in high-crime areas, construction job training for residents' repair of housing units occupied by very low-income families, and empowerment activities designed to support formation and growth of resident entities. Except for the cost of providing third-party program audit reports to HUD, eligible costs exclude consultant fees or reimbursement of Agency staff expenses, but may include fees for professional services required in the Agency's McKinney Act programs of assistance to very low-income families. Unless otherwise specified by HUD in a McKinney Agreement, savings shall be subject to the above use requirements for 10 years from the date of receipt of the savings.
(h) Refunding bonds, including interest thereon, approved under this Section shall be exempt from all taxation now or hereafter imposed by the United States, and the notification of approval of tax exemption shall not be subject to revocation by HUD. Whether refunding bonds approved under this section meet the requirements of Section 103 or any other provisions of the Internal Revenue Code is not within the responsibilities of HUD to determine. Such bonds shall be prepaid during the HAPC term only under such conditions as HUD shall require.