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Code of Federal Regulations Title 7. Agriculture § 7.3560.303 Housing project budgets

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(a) General requirements.

(1) Using an Agency-approved format, borrowers must submit to the Agency for approval a proposed annual housing project budget prior to the start of the housing project's fiscal year. The capital budget section of the annual project budget must include anticipated expenditures on the project's long-term capital needs as specified in § 3560.103(c).

(2) Budget projections regarding income, expenses, vacancies, and contingencies must be realistic given the housing project's history, current circumstances, and market conditions.

(3) Borrowers must document that the operating expenses included in the budget accurately reflect reasonable and necessary costs to operate the housing project in a manner consistent with the objectives of the loan and in accordance with the applicable Agency requirements.

(4) Borrower must submit supporting documentation to justify housing project utility allowances.

(5) Upon Agency request, borrowers must submit any additional documentation necessary to establish that applicable Agency requirements have been met.

(b) Allowable and unallowable project expenses. Expenses charged to project operations, whether for management agent services or other expenses, must be reasonable, typical, necessary and show a clear benefit to the residents of the property. Services and expenses charged to the property must show value added and be for authorized purposes.

(1) Allowable expenses. Allowable expenses include those expenses that are directly attributable to housing project operations and are necessary to carry out successful operations.

(i) Housing project expenses must not duplicate expenses included in the management fee as defined in § 3560.102(i).

(ii) Actual costs for direct personnel costs of permanent and part-time staff assigned directly to the project site. This includes managers, maintenance staff, and temporary help including their:

(A) Gross salary;

(B) Employer FICA contribution;

(C) Federal unemployment tax;

(D) State unemployment tax;

(E) Workers compensation insurance;

(F) Health insurance premiums;

(G) Cost of fidelity or comparable insurance;

(H) Leasing, performance incentive or annual bonuses;

(I) Direct costs of travel to off-site locations by on-site staff for property business or training;  and/or

(J) Retirement benefits.

(iii) Legal fees directly related to the operation and management of the property including tenant lease enforcement actions, property tax appeals and suits, and the preparation of all legal documents.

(iv) All outside account and auditing fees, if required by the Agency, directly related to the preparation of the annual audit, partnership tax returns and 401–K's, as well as other outside reports and year-end reports to the Agency, or other governmental agency.

(v) All repair and maintenance costs for the project including:

(A) Maintenance staffing costs and related expenses.

(B) Maintenance supplies.

(C) Contract repairs to the projects (e.g., heating and air conditioning, painting, roofing).

(D) Make ready expenses including painting and repairs, flooring replacement and appliance replacement as well as drapery or mini-blind replacement. (Turnover maintenance).

(E) Preventive maintenance expenses including occupied unit repairs and maintenance as well as common area systems repairs and maintenance.

(F) Snow removal.

(G) Elevator repairs and maintenance contracts.

(H)Section 504 and other Fair Housing compliance modifications and maintenance.

(I) Landscaping maintenance, replacements, and seasonal plantings.

(J) Pest control services.

(K) Other related maintenance expenses.

(vi) All operational costs related to the project including:

(A) The costs of obtaining and receiving credit reports, police reports, and other checks related to tenant selection criteria for prospective residents.

(B) The cost of duplicating forms for those properties not owning a copier. This will include the costs of producing or purchasing forms and mailing or delivering those forms to the project site.

(C) All bank charges related to the property including purchases of supplies (e.g., checks, deposit slips, returned check fees, service fees).

(D) Costs of site-based telephone including initial installation, basic services, directory listings, and long-distances charges.

(E) All advertising costs related specifically to the operations of that project. This can include advertising for applicants or employees in newspapers, newsletters, radio, cable TV, and telephone books.

(F) Postage and delivery costs from the site including expenses to the Agency or other governmental agencies, tenants, verifying third parties, central management offices, etc.

(G) Partnership or corporate business expenses including state taxes and other mandated state or local fees as well as other relevant expenses required for operation of the property by a third-party governmental unit. Costs of continuation financing statements and site license and permit costs.

(H) Expenses related to site utilities including actual costs and surcharges as well as deposits and expense of utility bonds in lieu of bonds.

(I) Site office furniture and equipment including site based computer and copiers. Service agreements and warranties for copiers, telephone systems and computers are also included (if approved by the Agency).

(J) Real estate taxes (personal tangible property and real property taxes) and expenses related to controlling or reducing taxes.

(K) All costs of insurance including property liability and casualty as well as fidelity or crime and dishonesty coverage for on-site employees and the owners.

(L) Costs of collecting rents on-site including bookkeeping supplies and recordkeeping items.

(M) Costs of preparing and maintaining tenant files and processing tenant certifications including all office supplies, copies and other associated expenses.

(N) Public relations expense relative to maintaining positive relationships between the local community and the tenants with the management staff and the borrowers. Chamber of Commerce dues, contributions to local charity events, and sponsorship of tenant activities, are examples.

(O) Tax Credit Compliance Monitoring Fees imposed by HFAs.

(P) All insurance deductibles as well as adjuster expenses.

(Q) Professional service contracts (audits, owner-certified submissions in accordance with § 3560.308(a)(2), tax returns, energy audits, utility allowances, architectural, construction, rehabilitation and inspection contracts, etc.)

(R) On-site training pre-approved by the Agency provided by outside training vendors.

(S) Site manager salary for additional hours associated with congregate housing.

(vii) With prior Agency approval, cooperatives and nonprofit organizations may use housing project funds to pay asset management expenses directly attributable to ownership responsibilities. Such expenses may include:

(A) Errors and omissions insurance policy for the Board of Directors.

(B) Board of Director review and approval of proposed Agency's annual operating budgets, including proposed repair and replacement outlays and accruals.

(C) Board of Director review and approval of capital expenditures, financial statements, and consideration of any management comments noted.

(D) Long-term asset management reviews.

(2) Unallowable expenses. Housing project funds may not be used for any of the following:

(i) Equity skimming as defined in 42 U.S.C. 543 (a).

(ii) Purposes unrelated to the housing project.

(iii) Reimbursement of inaccurate or false claims.

(iv) Settlement agreements, court ordered decrees, legal fees, or other costs that result from the filing of civil rights complaints or legal action alleging the borrower, or a representative of the borrower, has committed a civil rights violation.

(v) Fines, penalties, and legal fees where the borrower or a borrower's representative has been found guilty of violating laws, including, but not limited to, civil rights, and building codes.

(vi) Association dues to be paid by the project should be related to training for site managers or management agents. To the extent that association dues can document training for site managers or management agents related to project activities by actual cost or pro-ration, a reasonable expense may be billed to the project.

(vii) Pay for bonuses or monetary performance awards to site managers or management agents that are not clearly provided for by the site manager salary contract.

(viii) Billing for parties that are large or unreasonable, such as renting expensive party halls or hotel rooms and payment for alcoholic beverages or gifts to management agent staff.

(ix) Billing for practices that are inefficient such as routine use of collect calls from a site manager to a management agent office.

(c) Priorities. The priority order of planned and actual budget expenditures will be:

(1) Senior position lienholder, if any;

(2) Operating and maintenance expenses, including taxes and insurance;

(3) Agency debt payments;

(4) Reserve account requirements;

(5) Other authorized expenditures;  and

(6) Return on owner investment.

(d) Agency review and approval.

(1) The Agency will only approve housing project budgets that meet the requirements of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this section.

(2) If no rent change is requested, borrowers must submit budget documents for Agency approval 60 calendar days prior to the start of the housing project's fiscal year. The Agency will notify borrowers if the budget submission does not meet the requirements of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section. The borrower will have 10 days to submit the additional material.

(3) If a rent change is requested, the borrower must submit budget documents to the Agency and notify tenants of the requested rent change at least 90 calendar days prior to the start of the housing project's fiscal year.

(i) The Agency will notify borrowers if the budget submission does not meet the requirements of paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section, or if the rent and utility allowance request has been denied in accordance with § 3560.205(f). The borrower will have 10 days to submit the additional material to address any issues raised by the Agency.

(ii) The rent change is not approved until the Agency issues a written approval. If there is no response from the Agency within the 30–day period, the rent change is considered automatic. The following budgets are not eligible for automatic approval:

(A) Budgets with rent increases above $25 per unit;  and

(B) Budgets that are submitted late or that miss other deadlines set by the Agency.

(4) If the Agency denies the budget approval, the Agency will notify the borrower in writing.

(5) If budget approval is denied, the borrower shall continue to operate the housing project on the basis of the most recently approved budget.

Cite this article: - Code of Federal Regulations Title 7. Agriculture § 7.3560.303 Housing project budgets - last updated October 03, 2022 |

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