On November 6, 2020, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued Notice H-2020-10, Electronic Signature, Transmission, and Storage – Guidance for Multifamily Assisted Housing Industry Partners.
This Notice provides guidance to HUD multifamily assisted housing industry partners on electronic signatures, electronic transmission, and electronic storage of documents as required by HUD’s Office of Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight (OAMPO).
OAMPO permits but does not require, industry partners, to use electronic signatures, electronically transmit, and electronically store files. Owners/Agents (O/As) choosing to use electronic signatures, electronic transmission, and/or storage of electronic documents must do so in compliance with federal, state, and local laws.
O/As adopting the terms of this Notice must provide applicants and tenants the option to utilize wet (i.e., original) signatures and paper documents upon request.
This Notice is applicable to the following assisted multifamily housing programs and pertains to all applicants, assisted tenants, and industry partners working with these programs:
- Project-based Section 8 programs;
- Section 202 Senior Preservation Rental Assistance Contracts (SPRAC);
- Section 202/162 Project Assistance Contract (PAC);
- Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC);
- Section 811 PRAC and Project Rental Assistance (PRA);
- Rent Supplement;
- Section 236 (including RAP); and
- Section 221(d)(3)/(d)(5) Below-Market Interest Rate (BMIR).
The guidance in this Notice does not apply to unassisted properties with a Section 221(d)(4) mortgage, the HOME program, or to Public and Indian Housing (PIH) programs.
O/As should keep in mind that some state and local laws or entities may require the use of wet signatures on some forms.
Sections of HUD’s regulations for multifamily housing programs (found at 24 CFR) require some notices to tenants be sent by first-class mail, delivered directly to tenants or their units, or posted in public spaces. In these situations, electronic communication (email, posting on website, etc.) does not satisfy the requirement. O/A and industry partners must comply with current and future regulatory requirements. Regulatory requirements supersede the administrative requirements provided in this Notice and other HUD Multifamily Housing handbooks and notices.
These include but are not limited to the following types of notices:
- Termination Notice;
- Change in leasing and/or occupancy requirements (e.g., proposed pet rules);
- Increase in Maximum Permissible Rents;
- Conversion of a project from project-paid utilities to tenant-paid utilities, or a reduction in tenant utility allowances;
- Conversion of residential units in a multifamily housing project to a nonresidential use or to condominiums, or the transfer of the project to a cooperative housing mortgagor corporation or association;
- A partial release of mortgage security (except for any release of property from a mortgage lien with respect to a utility easement or a public taking of such property by condemnation or eminent domain); and
- Making major capital additions to the project. (The term “major capital additions” includes only those capital improvements that represent a substantial addition to the project. Upgrading or replacing existing capital components of the project does not constitute a major capital addition to the project).
All owners and agents of properties subject to this Notice should obtain a copy of the full Notice and become familiar with the contents. The Notice may be downloaded from HUDCLIPS at https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/administration/hudclips/notices/hsg.