In recent months, there have been some changes in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) program. Revisions to the MAP Guide were posted on January 29, 2016, with some additional minor changes implemented in January 2017. Some of these changes include the new HEROS forms, updated radon regulations for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), intrusive testing required for properties older than 30 years, and the Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) e-Tool (to be launched in October 2017).
What does this mean for lenders?
HUD’s ultimate goal is to go paperless. This will mean that lenders, due diligence companies, and HUD will all be able to access the new CNA e-Tool Excel forms and ESA report and attachments like the HEROS forms through a secure Internet-based system.
Over the past year, Nova’s Senior Management Team and newly appointed HUD Program Manager have focused on these new regulations and requirements. Nova is also training employees across the country on the new regulations. Our dedication to staying informed, alongside our ability to serve all U.S. markets, should make Nova your go-to HUD due diligence company.
What specifically has changed?
- HEROS forms: The HUD Form 4128 has now been replaced with the HUD Environmental Review Online System (HEROS). These forms are used to document compliance with environmental requirements regulated by federal law and authorities. Each form walks you through specific steps to determine if your property is in compliance. Additional attachments and research must be submitted with each form. HEROS forms include the following:
- Air Quality
- Airport Hazards
- Coastal Barriers
- Costal Zones
- Endangered Species
- Environmental Justice
- Explosive and Flammable Facilities
- Farmland Protection
- Flood Insurance
- Historic Preservations (SHIPO letter is required)
- Noise Abatement and Control (CEST)
- Noise Abatement and Control (EA)
- Site Contamination (Multifamily)
- Sole Source Aquifer
- Wetlands Protection
- Wild and Scenic Rivers
The HEROS forms and corresponding documents, maps, and letters are incorporated as attachments to the ESA Report, making review of the Phase I ESA simpler for both lenders and HUD. Additionally, descriptions of each of these areas are discussed in the body of the ESA Report. This streamlined review process allows the lender to schedule a commitment meeting with HUD and secure the loan faster.
- Radon policy: According to HUD, applications for properties in ALL zones received on or after January 15, 2017, will require radon sampling.
- All zones are required to be tested.
- Testing is required for new construction, substantial rehab, and refinance.
- The AARST Large Building Standard is to be followed instead of the Multifamily testing standard.
- Unoccupied ground-contact rooms must be tested (for example, utility rooms, storage rooms, and maintenance rooms) if they could easily be converted for occupancy.
- Duration for short-term tests is extended to 3 or 4 significantly occupied days.
- Initial testing of 25% of all areas is permitted; however, if results are high (>4.0pCi/L), 100% building mitigation OR 100% follow-up testing is required.
With the knowledge we now have about radon and possible health implications from over-exposure, radon regulations all over the country have been tightened. By eliminating zones, every property owner will now have peace of mind regarding potential radon exposure. Currently 25% testing is allowed; however, if one (1) radon can has an elevated reading, 100% testing must be completed. One hundred-percent testing (basement levels and first-floor only) the first time will eliminate the need to retest a significant number of units, cutting down on time and possibly cost.
- HUD CNA e-Tool: The Capital Needs Assessment e-Tool (CNA e-Tool) is an electronic template developed by HUD Multifamily and USDA Rural Development. A CNA is a due diligence report commonly used in the multifamily industry to examine current physical conditions at a property, specifically repairs and replacements that are needed immediately and/or over the term of a loan. This helps with long-term budgeting. Currently, the CNA e-Tool is a voluntary tool for due diligence companies to use until October 1, 2017, when it will become required. HUD is providing HUD-approved lenders and due diligence companies like Nova with extensive training. On Monday, June 26, 2017, Nova will be attending a workshop hosted by HUD in Fort Worth, Texas, to gather information on how to use this tool.
The CNA e-Tool will provide industry standards and pricing for components that need to be replaced or repaired immediately or over the term of the loan. This will prevent fluctuations in the reserve from varying state to state. Varying feedback has been shared when it comes to the CNA e-Tool, but Nova ‘s view is that once the learning curve is over, this tool will help streamline and possibly expedite the approval process of HUD loans.
Account Manager/HUD Program Manager
Nova Consulting Group, Inc.