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Resident Selection Plan for CARE Housing, Inc.

Revised 10/19/2016

CARE Housing was established in 1992.
 
The mission of CARE Housing is to advocate for and provide affordable housing to low income working families, with supportive services to strengthen and empower families, and build community.
 
INTRODUCTION: CARE Housing owns and operates seven multifamily communities throughout Fort Collins, CO and one in Windsor, CO which makes up 324 apartments.  CARE leases and manages all 7 communities from one location in Fort Collins.  CARE has three main affordable housing programs.  The first and largest program which is made up 265 of the apartments is the Affordable Housing Tax Credit for Families program.  This program offers qualified families reduced rate rentals.  The second program which is made up of 10 apartments is Senior Housing.  The third program is made up of 37 apartments and is a subsidized community located in Windsor where qualified residents pay 30% of their adjusted income towards rent and the rest is paid through a government subsidy. 
 
The procedures used for selection of residents shall be implemented in compliance with all LIHTC rules and regulations and RD (Rural Development) subsidized housing when applicable.   CHFA (Colorado Housing and Finance Authority), is the designated state allocating agency for Colorado, and is responsible for designing and implementing the program in Colorado and all other applicable federal statutes and regulations.

NON-DISCRIMINATION: CARE Housing shall comply with all federal, state and local fair housing and civil rights laws and with all equal opportunity requirements as required by law, including without limitation HUD administrative procedures. Federal laws forbid discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, familial status, or national origin and in the State of Colorado sexual orientation, creed, marital status and ancestry are also protected.  Discrimination against a particular social or economic class is also prohibited (for example: welfare recipients; single parent households, etc.) These requirements apply to all aspects of tenant relations including without limitation: accepting and processing applications, selecting residents from among eligible Applicants on the waiting list, assigning units, certifying and re-certifying eligibility for assistance, granting accommodation and terminating tenancies.
 
ELIGIBILITY FOR LIHTC (LOW INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT) HOUSING PROGRAM:  Applicants seeking LIHTC affordable housing through CARE Housing must meet the mandated income guidelines set in place by CHFA within the set AMI (Area Medium Income) guidelines mapped out per community and apartment by CARE Housing.  CARE Housing requires all residents to recertify each year to make sure they meet the affordable guidelines. 
 
RECERTIFICATION: Effective January 1, 2015, CARE Housing tenants will no longer be required to move-out because of being over the 140% CHFA max income limit, no longer having any dependents, nor for no longer working. They must still meet these qualifications at their initial move-in and if they transfer to another property at any time during their tenancy. If a household is over the maximum 140% CHFA income limit at recertification, their rent amount may change depending on the stated CHFA limits at that time and which Area Median Income percentage the unit is designated at.
 
FULL TIME STUDENT RULES: Full Time Student Rules; IRC Sec. 42(i)(3)(D), IRC §141(c)(4), IRC §170(b)(1)(A)(ii), Treasury Regulation §1.151-3(b)
Whether or not a student is full time is determined by the educational organization, not by the owner. A verification of student status completed by the educational organization must be obtained to verify whether a student is full time or part time. The full time student rule must be considered if a student who is head, co-head or spouse is enrolled in an educational organization for at least five months during the calendar year. The five months need not be consecutive. Enrollment during any point in a month counts as a full month. For example, a student enrolled from January 21 through May 12 has been enrolled for five months per IRS guidance. Qualification under any of the full time student exceptions listed below must be 3rd party verified.

A. Full Time Student Exceptions
A household comprised of full time students will qualify only if one or more of the following criteria are met:
  • a student receives assistance under Title IV of the Social Security Act, also known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF);
  • a student is enrolled in a job training program receiving assistance under the Workforce Investment Act (formerly known as the Job Training Partnership Act) or under a similar Federal, State, or local program;
  • a student was previously under the care and placement responsibility of the State agency responsible for administering a plan under title IV of the Social Security Act (Foster Care);7
  • a student is a single parent with children and is not a dependent of another individual and the children are not dependents of anyone other than a parent. The household qualifies if either parent claims the children as dependents regardless of whether or not the parent claiming the dependents resides in the unit and/or students are married and file a joint tax return.
 
B. Non-Qualifying Student Households
 
A full time student household does not qualify to occupy a low income unit if:
  • at any time during occupancy, the household ceases to meet one of the above exceptions; or a previously non-student household becomes comprised of full time students and the residents do not meet one of the above exceptions. The change in status results in noncompliance.
 
APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: Anyone who wishes to secure housing must fully complete the pre qualification and application form provided by CARE Housing. The information provided must contain enough information for management to make an initial determination of the income eligibility of the household; the size of unit desired or needed and sufficient information to screen Applicant’s prior landlord history. Applicants must consent to management’s requirement to secure a credit and criminal background history and must provide sufficient information to enable management to secure such reports. Incomplete applications will not be processed.
 
 
CHANGES IN INCOME OR FAMILY COMPOSITION FOR WAITING LIST APPLICANTS: If an Applicant’s income changes to an amount which is no longer eligible under the limitations of the CHFA income and rent table by the time the application reaches the top of the waiting list, written notice will be given advising the Applicant that: (1) they are not presently eligible; (2) the Applicant could become eligible if the household income decreases, the number of household members changes, and/or the Income Limit changes.  If an Applicant’s Family composition changes resulting in a need for a different apartment size, management will, upon notification by Applicant, place the Family on the appropriate waiting list, maintaining their current waiting list status.
 
DETERMINING UNIT SIZE AT MOVE-IN:  To determine how many bedrooms a Family may have, the management agent shall count:
  1. All full-time members of the household;
  2. Children who are away at school but live with the Family during school recesses;
  3. Children who are subject to a joint custody agreement but live in the unit at least 50% of the time;
  4. An unborn child or children who are in the process of being adopted or whose custody is being obtained; except in the case of a State or Local “HOME” program designated unit.  In this case unborn children are NOT to be counted as per the HUD HOME program guidelines.  Inform CARE if you have an unborn child and CARE will simply make sure you are on a non-HOME designated unit waitlist.
  5. Foster children or children who are temporarily absent due to placement in a foster home;
  6. Live-in attendants;
  7. Foster adults.
 
The management agent shall not provide bedroom space for persons who are not members of the household, such as adult children on active military duty, permanently institutionalized Family members or visitors. Although Colorado and local code does not specifically declare that no more than 2 people may occupy a bedroom, generally, CARE does not permit more than two (2) persons to occupy a bedroom. Children ages five and older of opposite sex may be considered for additional bedrooms.  Household composition will be considered when applying this general rule.

OVERCROWDED OR UNDER-UTILIZED UNITS: Units, which are smaller or larger than needed by the Applicant, may be assigned if doing so will not cause serious overcrowding, the action will not conflict with local codes and no units of appropriate size are available. In such cases, the Family must agree to move to the correct sized unit, at its own expense, when one becomes available. After move-in, if a unit becomes overcrowded or under-used because of changes in household composition, the management agent may require the Family to move to an appropriate sized unit when one becomes available or pay the HUD approved market rent if they remain in the same unit. In such instances, transfers will take priority over any preference or chronologically-placed Applicants on the waiting list.  CARE Housing will only allow a maximum of 2 (two) people per bedroom.
 
PREFERENCES: Management will observe preferences listed below, prioritized in the order of the list:
 
Accommodations/Modifications for Existing Residents: Requests for reasonable accommodation/modification from existing residents requiring unit transfers will take priority over all waiting list Applicants. Accommodation/modification results when a disability requires a change or repairs which make it easier for the existing resident to reside in the community.
 
Units Specifically Designed for Disabled or Disabled Persons: Preference will be granted to Disabled Persons (who otherwise qualify) in units designed for Disabled Persons. In Elderly apartment communities, the management agent shall give first preference for a unit specifically designed for Disabled Persons to otherwise qualified Families who have a household member who is disabled. In Family apartment communities, households with Disabled members (who otherwise qualify) receive preference for units designed for Disabled Persons over other households who have no Disabled members. For units designed for accessibility to individuals with mobility, hearing or vision impairments, preference shall be given to Applicants requiring such units. This preference will be granted upon proper notification by Applicant and verification of need by management.
 
Non-Profit Partnerships: Preference will be granted to families who have been approved and are participating in the One Village One Family (OVOF) program and/or Project Self-Sufficiency (PSS).  Both of these organizations have a separate application process that must be completed, and these families will still be required to pass all of CARE Housing’s application and screening requirements. 
 
PROCESSING STEPS: CARE Housing Communities shall be rented and occupancy maintained on a first-come, first-served basis with preferences taken into consideration.  All persons wishing to be admitted to our communities or placed on the waiting list must complete an application and supply all documentation required. Prospective tenants submitting incomplete applications will not be considered for occupancy. The initial application shall be timed and dated when received, and our property managers shall maintain at the rental office a chronological list of all Applicants (categorized on a bedroom size/income requirement).  Applicants may be included on one or more waiting list, depending upon the needs of the Family and management’s determination of overcrowding or under-utilization. Preference households and existing residents requiring unit transfers because of accommodation/modification will move ahead of chronological status Applicants.
 
Applicants shall be offered housing (after meeting all selection criteria requirements including the verification process), placed on the waiting list, or declined. Potentially eligible Applicants who have met tenant selection criteria and for whom the right size unit is not available will be placed on the waiting list and contacted when an appropriate unit becomes available. The Applicant must contact CARE Housing Property Management every 90 days to remain on the waiting list. Applicants who fail to provide acceptable landlord references, credit history or who have a criminal background will be notified that they have been removed from the waiting list.
 
When an appropriate unit is available, the waiting list shall be reviewed to identify the Applicant who meets preference criteria or whose name is chronologically at the top of the list. The property manager shall interview the Applicant; confirm and update all information provided on the application; update credit reports older than 120 days; obtain current information of income, expense and Family composition as applicable and necessary to certify eligibility and compute the resident’s rent. Each Applicant will be required to evidence citizenship and comply with the Social Security Disclosure Regulations which means each Family member must supply his/her Social Security number and verification of the same. The Applicant shall be informed that a final decision on eligibility cannot be made until all verifications are complete and current income has been verified.
 
Applicants, whose position on the waiting list enables application processing, will receive only two consecutive notices of housing availability. If the Applicant is unable or decides not to complete the application process, the Applicant shall be removed from the waiting list upon receiving the second notice and must reapply for eligibility. 

SCREENING CRITERIA: The following factors shall be considered in screening Applicants for occupancy:
  1. Demonstrated ability to meet financial obligations and to pay rent on time.  Applicants must meet HUD guidelines for Affordable Housing which includes earning at least 3 times the monthly rental rate.
  2. History as a good resident.
  3. History of disturbing neighbors or destroying property.
  4. Applicant’s credit history only as it applies to utilities and past landlords.
  5. Ability to maintain (or with assistance would have the ability to maintain) the housing in a decent and safe condition based on living or housekeeping habits and whether such habits adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of the household and other residents in the community.
  6. Ability to meet all obligations of the lease and resident handbook.
  7. Current use or history of using illegal drugs or current use or history of abusing alcohol in a way that may interfere with the health, safety or right to peaceful enjoyment of others.
  8. History of felony or misdemeanor convictions by any household member involving crimes of physical violence against persons or property, fraud, dishonesty and any other criminal activity including but not limited to Drug-Related Criminal Activity.
  9. Any household member, including a Live-in Aide, has been evicted from affordable/assisted housing within three years as a result of Drug-Related Criminal Activity.
  10. Any household member has registered sex offender status.
  11. Income Limit qualification.
 
Note: Live-In Aides will be screened for drug abuse and criminal activity and must sign required release forms.
 
REFERENCES; CRIMINAL AND CREDIT HISTORY: CARE Housing will require consent of all adult household members and Live-In Aides for verification of references and permission to seek criminal background history.  CARE Housing uses several investigation sources including but not limited to Trans Union, CBI or Colorado Bureau of Investigation, The Department of Health and Human Services, SSI or The Social Security Administration, Family Support Registry,   Medicare/Medicaid, Advanced Screening Research and any other sources that CARE Housing feels might be necessary to fully verify household eligibility.
 
Landlord References: Landlord references will be required for up to five (5) years, including the present landlord. Applicants, who have had no previous rental or homeownership history, must provide references from present and former employers, teachers or clergy. Unfavorable landlord or professional references may result in removal from the waiting list.
 
Credit History: Although CARE realizes that often families are coming to CARE due to financial hardships that result in negative credit reports CARE will run reports for purpose of verifying any outstanding utility or landlord obligations.  Credit reports will be ordered for each Applicant. Applicant's credit history must be acceptable to management before they will be approved to occupy a unit. The credit report will be reviewed to:
  1. Confirm current address;
  2. Confirm credit sources included on the application;
  3. Confirm current and past employment listed on the application; and
  4. Outstanding utility or prior landlord defaults may disqualify applicants
 
Applicants whose credit histories are unacceptable will be declined and removed from the waiting list. An unacceptable credit history is one that reflects consistent, past-due payments of more than 90 days to utilities and/or landlords; a history of repeated insufficient fund checks; derogatory credit (repossessions, foreclosures, judgments, collections, charge-offs, liens, bankruptcy not yet discharged, etc); delinquent or charge off debt due other apartment communities; or unpaid utility company collections which would prohibit applicant from obtaining services. The lack of credit history or past due payments or derogatory credit relating to medical expense or student loans will not be considered as grounds for declining an Applicant. Consideration will be granted when current credit history demonstrates a pattern of improvement; history of rent payment overshadows other debt issues or Applicant can demonstrate acceptable reasons for credit history. Applicants may wish to provide an explanation that evidences efforts to correct credit deficiencies through payment plans or other  solutions. If such explanation is acceptable to management, further screening may be conducted and written confirmation of payment plans may be required from the creditor(s).
 
In the event of decline based upon credit, the Applicant has 14 days to provide an explanation and request further consideration. It is the Applicant's responsibility to contact the credit-reporting agency to resolve any items that have been incorrectly reported.  CARE will not negotiate with credit-reporting agencies.  CARE takes credit reports as is.
 
Criminal Activity Reports: A criminal activity report will be ordered for each Applicant, and an Applicant with a history that includes ANY felonious crimes, serious misdemeanors, Drug-Related crimes, violent crimes or sexual crimes will be declined and removed from the waiting list. Reports will be obtained from local and/or state records. Consideration may be granted to Applicants with past nonviolent criminal records with felonies occurring five or more years in the past with no further criminal record on a case by case consideration.  Consideration may be granted to Applicants with past nonviolent criminal records with misdemeanors occurring 1 1/2 or more years in the past with no further criminal record on a case by case consideration.  Any probation or parole must be completed before being approved. A criminal report will be required for every state that an applicant has lived to determine if any applicant has a past conviction which will automatically result in the application being denied. Applicants will be required to certify that they or members of their household are not Registered Sex Offenders. Registered Sex Offenders will not be admitted to the apartment community.  CARE runs sex offender inquiries for each of our apartments on a monthly basis. CARE Housing management reserves the right to refuse an applicant, on a case by case basis, based on criminal history that could be detrimental to the apartment community.
 
DECLINING APPLICANTS: Applicants may be declined if any one of the following categories applies:
  1. Failure to meet one or more of the screening criteria.
  2. Information required by the application and income verification process is not provided.
  3. Failure to respond to written requests for information.
  4. Declaration by Applicant that they are no longer interested in housing.
  5. Unacceptable credit history.
  6. Income exceeds the appropriate Income Limit (when dictated by Federal programmatic requirements).
  7. Income does not meet the minimum 3x the rental rate
  8. Inability to appropriately maintain housing in a decent safe and sanitary condition.
  9. Applicant is single, under 18 years of age
  10. Family size is too large for available units, and serious overcrowding would result in providing a smaller unit.
  11. Family size is too small for available units, and serious underutilization would occur.
  12. History of unjustified and chronic nonpayment of rent and financial obligations.
  13. History of disturbing the quiet enjoyment of others.
  14. A risk of intentional damage or destruction to the unit or surrounding premises by the Applicant or those under the Applicant’s control.
  15. History of violence and harassment of others.
  16. History of violations of the terms of previous rental agreements such as destruction of a unit or failure to maintain a unit in a decent, safe, and sanitary condition.
  17. Criminal history includes felony or misdemeanor convictions for Drug Related Activity, violent crimes, sexual crimes, physical violence against persons or property, fraud, dishonesty or any other criminal activity (excepting traffic violations) which, at the sole discretion of management, is deemed a risk to the well being of the community.
  18. Illegally using a controlled substance or abusing alcohol in a way that may interfere with the health, safety and well being of other residents. Waiver of this requirement is subject to Applicant demonstrating they are no longer engaging in such activity and producing evidence of participation in or completion of a supervised rehabilitation program.
  19. Applicant or a household member has engaged in or threatened abusive or violent behavior towards any staff member of management or another resident.
  20. Applicant or a member of household was evicted from housing within three years as a result of Drug-Related Criminal Activity.
  21. Applicant does not meet the criteria for a full or part time student household as defined by LIHTC or these criteria.
  22. Application is incomplete, or is found to contain false information.
  23. Appropriately sized housing is not and will not be available in the apartment community.
  24. Households must have at least one (1) dependent family member, unless person(s) with a disability.
 
If an Applicant is declined, Applicant will be informed in writing with an explanation of the reasons for decline. The Applicant will be notified that they have 14 days to respond in writing or to request a meeting with the Director of Property Management to discuss the decline. All declined applications and supportive documentation shall be maintained at the management agent’s home office in a manner that assures confidentiality.
 
WAITLIST:  It is the policy of CARE Housing to keep the waitlist open and manage the list in accordance with LIHTC and CHFA guidelines.
 
DEFINITIONS:
 
APPLICANT includes all adult members of the Family or household, 18 years of age or older.
               
DISABLED PERSON is a person with a disability as defined by HUD Section 504.
Definition of Disability:Federal laws define a person with a disability as "Any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment."
 
 Social Security Act or as generally defined in 42 USC Section 6001(8) as a severe, chronic disability which:
  1. Is attributable to a mental/or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;
  2. Was manifested before age 22;
  3. Is likely to continue indefinitely;
  4. Results in substantial limitations in three (3) or more of the following areas of major life activities: self care, receptive and responsive language, learning mobility, self direction, capacity for independent living, and economic Self Sufficiency; and
  5. Reflects the person’s need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic care, treatment, or the other services which are of lifelong, or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.
  6. Is a person with a physical or mental impairment that:
  7. Is expected to be of long, continued and indefinite duration;
  8. Substantially impedes the person’s ability to live independently; and
  9. Is such that the person’s ability to live independently could be improved by more suitable housing conditions.
  10. Is a person with a developmental disability.
 
DISPLACED PERSON is a person displaced by governmental action or a person whose dwelling has been extensively damaged or destroyed as a result of a disaster declared or otherwise formally recognized pursuant to Federal disaster relief laws.
 
DRUG RELATED CRIMINAL ACTIVITY Drug Related Activity means the illegal manufacture, sale, distribution or use of a drug or the possession with the intent to manufacture, sell or distribute a controlled substance. Drug-Related Criminal Activity does not include the use or possession, if the household member can demonstrate that they:
  1. Have an addiction to a controlled substance, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment; and
  2. Have recovered from such addictions and do not currently use or possess controlled substances. The household member must submit evidence of participation in, or successful completion of, a treatment program as a condition to being allowed to reside in the unit.
 
ELDERLY PERSON is a person who is at least 62 years old.
 
ELDERLY HOUSEHOLD / SENIOR HOUSING is a household whose head or spouse is 62 years of age or older.  The household may be two or more Elderly Persons who are not related, or one or more such persons living with a Live-in Aide(s) essential to their care or well being.
 
INCOME LIMITS are defined as those income limitations published by CHFA ( Colorado Housing Finance Authority) which change annually and can be found at:
 
http://www.chfainfo.com/multifam/Multifam_asset_management/tax_credit_compliance/Tax_credit_compliance.icm.
 
LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLD is a Family whose income does not exceed 60 percent (60%) of the area median income as determined by CHFA.
 
LIVE-IN AIDE/ATTENDANT is a person who lives with an Elderly or Disabled individual(s), is essential to that individual’s care and well being, is not obligated for the support of the person, and would not be living in the unit except to provide the support services. While a relative may be considered to be a Live-in Aide/Attendant, the relative can reside in the unit as a Live-in Aide/Attendant only if the tenant requires special care.