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Additional Guidance on New Low/Moderate Income Summary Data Based on 2006-2010 American Community Survey

The new Low/Moderate Income Summary Data (LMISD) went into effect on July 1, 2014; on June 11, 2014, HUD issued two companion CPD Notices explaining the transition to using this new data. HUD has received numerous questions about the transition to the use of new data, so we are providing the following additional guidance in response to some of the most frequently asked questions:

  • View the prior, 2000 Census-based data on HUD.gov. Some users have been confused by this site because it contains data titled "FY 2014 Participations." That is not the new 2006-2010 ACS-based LMISD. The prior data set will be retained and will remain available, as it is still valid for activities for which funds were obligated prior to July 1, 2014. The 2000 Census-derived LMISD has been updated every year, to account for brand new entitlement grantees, annexations, incorporations, and local governments joining or dropping out of urban counties (FY 2014 is no exception). The base data is still derived from the 2000 Census; the percentages for any given census tract or block group have not been recalculated.
  • The jurisdiction that those census tracts/block groups (and their data) are associated with changes every year.
  • Both the 2006-2010 ACS-derived LMISD and the prior 2000 Census-derived LMISD are available for grantee use in IDIS. The prior data still applies to activities for which funds were obligated prior to July 1, 2014.
  • HUD has received inquiries from several grantees requesting a special exception to the July 1, 2014 effective date for using the new data. In most of these cases a special exception is not necessary. Page 3 of CPD Notice 14-11, "Transition Policy for Low/Moderate Income Summary Data Updates during Fiscal Year 2014…" already provides exceptions for situations in which a given activity comprises multiple phases, some of which were obligated prior to July 1, 2014.
  • Here is an excerpt from the language in the Notice:

"Multiple Contracts. Often, more than one contract is involved in the life of a single activity. To the extent that the contracts are dependent upon one another, the obligation date of such an activity will be the date of execution of the first contract."

“Acquisition of Real Property. For area benefit activities based on the prior LMISD that include the acquisition of property with CDBG funds, the development of the property may be completed only if CDBG funds were obligated for acquisition prior to July 1, 2014 and the use planned for the property at the time of acquisition does not change. If the planned use changes after the effective date, the new activity must re-qualify based upon the updated LMISD."

A grantee that may have an activity meeting one of the limited exceptions to the July 1, 2014 effective date, as described in this Notice, should confer with their field office to obtain field office concurrence that the activity qualifies to continue using the prior LMISD.

  • Should a grantee have an unusual case that does not meet any of the exception provisions provided in this notice, and the implementation of the July 1, 2014 effective date will create a hardship on a grantee or activity, a grantee may request a waiver of the implementation provisions of Notice 14-11. If a grantee wishes to request a waiver, the process is identical to a grantee requesting a waiver of regulations. A grantee will need to submit a written request for a waiver to the field office, who will then transmit it with a recommendation to the Office of Block Grant Assistance (OBGA). The grantee needs to propose a specific alternative provision or implementation effective date, needs to identify specific activities that this would apply to, and needs to provide a justification that would give HUD good cause to grant a waiver. In addition, an entitlement grantee will also need to request a simultaneous regulatory waiver of 24 CFR 270.208(a)(1)(vi). [This is the section of the regulation that says grantees are to use the most recent available data].  If the entitlement grantee is an upper quartile exception grantee, it will also need to request a waiver of 24 CFR 570.208(a)(1)(ii) to allow it to continue using the previously-determined upper quartile percentage. Waivers of the provisions of CPD Notice 14-11 and the regulations can only be granted by HUD Headquarters. The grantee's other alternative is to do a local income survey of the area.
  • A Note about "Exception Grantees" and NRSAs: certain entitlement grantees qualify as "exception" grantees, whereby the percentage of low/moderate income benefit that must be achieved for low/moderate income area benefit activities is determined by the upper quartile percentage from the LMISD. However, this upper quartile percentage calculation is of interest and use to entitlement grantees who have (or who plan to apply for) an approved Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA). CPD Notice 96-01, which spells out the NRSA qualification and approval process, states that in general, an NRSA should have a percentage of low/moderate income persons at least equal to the grantee's upper quartile percentage from the LMISD (even if the grantee is not an "exception grantee"). HUD's data staff have now calculated the upper quartile percentage for all CDBG entitlement grantees. This information is available upon request from your HUD field office.

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