On May 26, 2020, HUD issued Notice H20-4, Electronic Signature, Transmission and Storage – Guidance for Multifamily Assisted Housing Industry Partners.
This Notice provides guidance to HUD multifamily assisted housing partners on electronic signatures, electronic transmission, and electronic storage of documents and forms required by HUD Multifamily Housing Programs.
With the issuance of this Notice (which is effective immediately), HUD permits, but does not require, industry partners to use electronic signatures. The Notice also permits electronic transmission and storage of files.
Owners and management agents (O/As) adopting the terms of the Notice must provide applicants and tenants the option to utilize wet (i.e., original) signatures and paper documents upon request. When feasible, O/As, applicants, and tenants should have the option of providing signatures and documents in wet or paper form.
The Notice does not change the nature or use of required documents and all such guidance remains the same. For example, an O/A may accept a tenant’s notarized statement or signed affidavit regarding the veracity of information submitted, if the information cannot be verified by another acceptable verification method. However, the document may be submitted in paper form or signed and/or transmitted to the O/A electronically.
The Notice is applicable to the following HUD programs:
- Project-based Section 8, including
- New Construction;
- HFA financed;
- Substantial Rehabilitation;
- Section 202/8;
- Rural Housing Section 515/8;
- Loan Management Set-Aside (LMSA);
- Property Disposition Set-Aside (PDSA); and
- RAD projects with Project Based Rental Assistance.
- Other Programs
- Section 202 SPRAC;
- Section 202/162 PAC;
- Section 202 (PRAC);
- Section 811 PRAC;
- Rent Supplement;
- Section 236 (including RAP); and
- Section 221(d)(3)/(d)(5) BMIR.
The guidance does not apply to the 221(d)(4) program, the HOME program, or Public & Indian Housing Programs.
The Notice pertains to all HUD forms and O/A created documents relating to asset management, Section 8 contract renewal, and occupancy policies.
When implementing this Notice, O/As should ensure that all applicable laws relating to electronic transactions are followed. This includes:
- Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act;
- The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act; and
- Government Paperwork Elimination Act.
O/As interested in utilizing electronic signatures and transmissions should obtain a copy of this Notice and should also download and review “Use of Electronic Signatures in Federal Organization Transactions,” which provides greater discussion and detail on items discussed in the HUD Notice.