Faces of Affordable Housing
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PHFA_logo_300The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) has updated their Placed-In-Service Package requirements. There are numerous changes and clarifications to the package; which PHFA believes will help developers submit complete Placed-In-Service Packages, and therefore reduce the time it takes to receive their IRS Form 8609.

The changes to the Placed-In-Service Package were introduced in two sessions called “Navigating the Cost Certification” presented at the Commonwealth Housing Forum, which was held in May. If you were unable to attend those sessions, you can view them on PHFA’s YouTube channel here and here

The first new requirement is a cover letter. Carol Carroll of PHFA stated in the above referenced sessions that this letter should not only contain the basic, requested information, but it should also “tell your story”. If there is anything unusual or that PHFA isn’t expecting in your Placed-In-Service Package, you should explain that in the cover letter. Try to anticipate questions that PHFA might ask or clarifications that they might need and include those answers and that information in your cover letter.

PHFA has new forms and revised formats to previous forms that can be found with the Placed-In-Service Package Requirements on their web-site. PHFA has also added instructions for the architect’s certifications. As part of the updated requirements, PHFA is requiring additional financial information, consisting of detailed schedules of rent up expenses, furnishings & equipment, legal fees, relocation costs, and change orders; and those schedules must agree to the amounts presented on the Development Cost Certification.

New items applicable to developments starting with Program Year 2016 include a $1,500 Energy Benchmarking Fee payable to PHFA and certifications relating to ranking consideration for material participation of minority, women’s, and veteran’s businesses.

PHFA stated that the most common items that delay the Placed-In-Service Package review are incomplete architect certifications, incomplete or incorrect Owner’s Certification of Placed-In-Service Date forms, missing bank statements for funding the reserves, and not having the required PHFA reserve language included in the partnership agreement. Each time PHFA has to ask for additional information or clarification to submitted information, it causes a delay in the processing of the Placed-In-Service Package.

The new requirements and forms can be found at PHFA’s web-site.

If you have any questions regarding PHFA’s Placed-in-Service Package or the cost certification, please contact Elizabeth Harriger at [email protected] or Dan Kern at [email protected]


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