43.185C.230  <<  43.185C.240 >>   43.185C.250

RCW 43.185C.240

Document recording surcharge funds—Use—Local government obligations—Washington state quality award program—Department's duties—Definitions. (Expires June 30, 2019.)

(1) As a means of efficiently and cost-effectively providing housing assistance to very-low income and homeless households:
(a) Any local government that has the authority to issue housing vouchers, directly or through a contractor, using document recording surcharge funds collected pursuant to RCW 36.22.178, 36.22.179, or 36.22.1791 must:
(i)(A) Maintain an interested landlord list, which at a minimum, includes information on rental properties in buildings with fewer than fifty units;
(B) Update the list at least once per quarter;
(C) Distribute the list to agencies providing services to individuals and households receiving housing vouchers;
(D) Ensure that a copy of the list or information for accessing the list online is provided with voucher paperwork; and
(E) Communicate and interact with landlord and tenant associations located within its jurisdiction to facilitate development, maintenance, and distribution of the list to private rental housing landlords. The department must make reasonable efforts to ensure that local providers conduct outreach to private rental housing landlords each calendar quarter regarding opportunities to provide rental housing to the homeless and the availability of funds;
(ii) Using cost-effective methods of communication, convene, on a semiannual or more frequent basis, landlords represented on the interested landlord list and agencies providing services to individuals and households receiving housing vouchers to identify successes, barriers, and process improvements. The local government is not required to reimburse any participants for expenses related to attendance;
(iii) Produce data, limited to document recording fee uses and expenditures, on a calendar year basis in consultation with landlords represented on the interested landlord list and agencies providing services to individuals and households receiving housing vouchers, that include the following: Total amount expended from document recording fees; amount expended on, number of households that received, and number of housing vouchers issued in each of the private, public, and nonprofit markets; amount expended on, number of households that received, and number of housing placement payments provided in each of the private, public, and nonprofit markets; amount expended on and number of eviction prevention services provided in the private market; amount expended on and number of other tenant-based rent assistance services provided in the private market; and amount expended on and number of services provided to unaccompanied homeless youth. If these data elements are not readily available, the reporting government may request the department to use the sampling methodology established pursuant to (c)(iii) of this subsection to obtain the data; and
(iv) Annually submit the calendar year data to the department by October 1st, with preliminary data submitted by October 1, 2012, and full calendar year data submitted beginning October 1, 2013.
(b) Any local government receiving more than three million five hundred thousand dollars during the previous calendar year from document recording surcharge funds collected pursuant to RCW 36.22.178, 36.22.179, and 36.22.1791, must apply to the Washington state quality award program, or similar Baldrige assessment organization, for an independent assessment of its quality management, accountability, and performance system. The first assessment may be a lite assessment. After submitting an application, a local government is required to reapply at least every two years.
(c) The department must:
(i) Require contractors that provide housing vouchers to distribute the interested landlord list created by the appropriate local government to individuals and households receiving the housing vouchers;
(ii) Convene a stakeholder group by March 1, 2017, consisting of landlords, homeless housing advocates, real estate industry representatives, cities, counties, and the department to meet to discuss long-term funding strategies for homeless housing programs that do not include a surcharge on document recording fees. The stakeholder group must provide a report of its findings to the legislature by December 1, 2017;
(iii) Develop a sampling methodology to obtain data required under this section when a local government or contractor does not have such information readily available. The process for developing the sampling methodology must include providing notification to and the opportunity for public comment by local governments issuing housing vouchers, landlord association representatives, and agencies providing services to individuals and households receiving housing vouchers;
(iv) Develop a report, limited to document recording fee uses and expenditures, on a calendar year basis that may include consultation with local governments, landlord association representatives, and agencies providing services to individuals and households receiving housing vouchers, that includes the following: Total amount expended from document recording fees; amount expended on, number of households that received, and number of housing vouchers issued in each of the private, public, and nonprofit markets; amount expended on, number of households that received, and number of housing placement payments provided in each of the private, public, and nonprofit markets; amount expended on and number of eviction prevention services provided in the private market; the total amount of funds set aside for private rental housing payments as required in RCW 36.22.179(1)(b); and amount expended on and number of other tenant-based rent assistance services provided in the private market. The information in the report must include data submitted by local governments and data on all additional document recording fee activities for which the department contracted that were not otherwise reported. The data, samples, and sampling methodology used to develop the report must be made available upon request and for the audits required in this section;
(v) Annually submit the calendar year report to the legislature by December 15th, with a preliminary report submitted by December 15, 2012, and full calendar year reports submitted beginning December 15, 2013; and
(vi) Work with the Washington state quality award program, local governments, and any other organizations to ensure the appropriate scheduling of assessments for all local governments meeting the criteria described in subsection (1)(b) of this section.
(d) The office of financial management must secure an independent audit of the department's data and expenditures of state funds received under RCW 36.22.179(1)(b) on an annual basis. The independent audit must review a random sample of local governments, contractors, and housing providers that is geographically and demographically diverse. The independent auditor must meet with the department and a landlord representative to review the preliminary audit and provide the department and the landlord representative with the opportunity to include written comments regarding the findings that must be included with the audit. The first audit of the department's data and expenditures will be for calendar year 2014 and is due July 1, 2015. Each audit thereafter will be due July 1st following the department's submission of the report to the legislature. If the independent audit finds that the department has failed to set aside at least forty-five percent of the funds received under RCW 36.22.179(1)(b) after June 12, 2014, for private rental housing payments, the independent auditor must notify the department and the office of financial management of its finding. In addition, the independent auditor must make recommendations to the office of financial management and the legislature on alternative means of distributing the funds to meet the requirements of RCW 36.22.179(1)(b).
(e) The office of financial management must contract with an independent auditor to conduct a performance audit of the programs funded by document recording surcharge funds collected pursuant to RCW 36.22.178, 36.22.179, and 36.22.1791. The audit must provide findings to determine if the funds are being used effectively, efficiently, and for their intended purpose. The audit must review the department's performance in meeting all statutory requirements related to document recording surcharge funds including, but not limited to, the data the department collects, the timeliness and quality of required reports, and whether the data and required reports provide adequate information and accountability for the use of the document recording surcharge funds. The audit must include recommendations for policy and operational improvements to the use of document recording surcharges by counties and the department. The performance audit must be submitted to the legislature by December 1, 2016.
(2) For purposes of this section:
(a) "Housing placement payments" means one-time payments, such as first and last month's rent and move-in costs, funded by document recording surcharges collected pursuant to RCW 36.22.178, 36.22.179, or 36.22.1791 that are made to secure a unit on behalf of a tenant.
(b) "Housing vouchers" means payments, including private rental housing payments, funded by document recording surcharges collected pursuant to RCW 36.22.178, 36.22.179, or 36.22.1791 that are made by a local government or contractor to secure: (i) A rental unit on behalf of an individual tenant; or (ii) a block of units on behalf of multiple tenants.
(c) "Interested landlord list" means a list of landlords who have indicated to a local government or contractor interest in renting to individuals or households receiving a housing voucher funded by document recording surcharges.
(d) "Private rental housing" means housing owned by a private landlord and does not include housing owned by a nonprofit housing entity or government entity.
(3) This section expires June 30, 2019.
NOTES:
Short title2015 c 69: See RCW 43.330.911.
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