October 1, 2010
Public and Indian Housing Policy Guide
Table of Contents
Section A. Introduction……………………………………. 2
Section B. Policy Authority………………………………. 2
Section C. Federal Register Requirements……………..... 3
Section D. Compliance Requirements……………………. 3
D1. Impacts on Small Entities
D2. Paperwork Reduction Act
D3. Environmental Findings
D4. Front End Risk Assessments
D5. Analysis of Unfunded Mandates
Section E. Rulemaking…………………………………… 6
E1. Rule Types
E2. OMB review under EO 12866
E3. Rulemaking Timeline
Section F. Federal Register Documents………………… 8
F1. FR Document Types
F2. FR checklist
Section G. PIH Directives……………………………….. 10
G1. Directive Types
G2. Directive Guidelines
G3. Notice Requirements
G4. Updating Directives
Section H. Clearance Process…………………………... 14
H1. Clearance Options
H2. Clearance Steps
H3. Information Quality Guidelines on Web Postings
PIH Policy Guide 10/2010 Page 1
PIH Policy Guide
The Office of Policy, Program and Legislative Initiatives (OPPLI) coordinates the clearance
process for HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH). OPPLI offers this guide as a
reference manual for the development and clearance of policy. Development of policy refers to
early discussions with interests internal to draft a written statement; clearance is the formal
process through which policy is internally affirmed.
Section A: Introduction
This guide presents procedural, formatting and government-wide requirements for policy
proposals. The objective of this guide is to provide a user-friendly overview of the requirements
to coordinate a single policy within the broader universe of existing federal policies. The
handbook entitled HUD’s Directives System 000.2, REV-2, dated 4/2001 (and referred to as the
directives handbook) continues to provide the overriding requirements for all of HUD, while this
guide serves as a companion document for PIH staff.
The directives handbook stipulates the process to develop and issue directives to assure clear and
non-conflicting policy and maintain statutory compliance. This PIH guide is organized to give
readers basic information as to why a provision is required and then sufficient directions on how
to work through each requirement. The directives handbook is found at:
http://ptp.hud.gov/reqdirect/ddsimage/1.pdf . Forms referenced in this guide are available
electronically through links within the directives handbook or on HUDclips.
Section B. Policy Authority
Policy is created generally by a statute passed by Congress or an executive order issued by the
President. Policy creation is also initiated by agencies within the executive branch. Federal
agencies may initiate policy in order to adjust programs, incorporate research or respond to
legislative or executive edicts. The statutory framework through which agencies establish policy
includes the following:
Federal Register Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 15)
Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. subchapter II)
Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. appendix)
Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552)
Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a)
Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b(e)(3))
Negotiated Rulemaking Act (5 U.S.C. 561 et seq.)
Small Business Regulatory Fairness Enforcement Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.)
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)
Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.)
PIH Policy Guide 10/2010 Page 2
Section C: Federal Register Requirements
Documents prescribing a penalty or course of action, conferring a right, privilege, authority or
immunity, or imposing an obligation intended to bind an agency are published in the Federal Register
(FR). Documents categorized and described herein as "rules" require FR publication. Executive
orders (EOs) and Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) require FR publication. See Section F for
more on the requirements and types of FR notices. In addition to items mandated for FR publication,
HUD may elect to use the FR system to enhance the public notice and comment process.
Section 552 of the Administrative Procedures Act requires FR publications for:
1. Descriptions of central and field organization through which the public may obtain information
and submit comments;
2. Statements as to how agency functions are operated and determined;
3. Rules of procedure, descriptions and availability of forms and instructions on scope and
content of papers, reports and examinations;
4. Substantive rules of general applicability as authorized by law and statements of general policy
adopted by the agency; and
5. Each amendment, revision or repeal of the foregoing.
Section D: Compliance Requirements
Certain overlaying federal requirements may impact new PIH policies which need to be
addressed before formal clearance is initiated. In requesting clearance through OPPLI, the
initiating office indicates compliance with four statutory requirements on the clearance record
(HUD form 22). Should a subsequent challenge arise concerning the adequacy of compliance
with these requirements, the initiating office is invited to present verifying documentation.
In addition to the HUD-22 certifications, HUD programs and activities must comply with civil
rights laws and executive orders listed at 24 CFR 5.105(a) and must affirmatively further fair
housing in accordance with 24 CFR 903.7(o).
The four broad compliance items required prior to PIH clearance are:
1. Impacts on small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (#12 on HUD-22)
2. Information Collection Requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act (#11)
3. Environmental findings (#13)
4. Front-End Risk Assessments (FERA) to protect against waste, fraud, abuse and
A fifth compliance item required for Departmental clearance concerns unfunded mandates (D.5)
and appears as item #8 on form HUD-22A (with the above four measures rearranged as items #7
through #11 on HUD-22A). Compliance with the Information Quality Act is required for policy
guidance posted on the internet (H.3).
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D.1: Impact on Small Entities
Small entities have fewer resources and staff to fully respond to federal requirements. For HUD,
a small entity is a small business, nongovernmental organization, governmental jurisdiction or
public housing agency (PHA). PIH generally applies this requirement to PHAs with 250 or
fewer public housing units; 250 or fewer vouchers; or 250 or fewer units and vouchers
Options to address disproportionate impacts include waiving or relaxing certain requirements.
The Office of Economic Affairs in HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R)
is available to assess potential impacts. Certification is required by section 605 of the Regulatory
Flexibility Act (RFA). Agencies prepare an RFA assessment if a rule significantly impacts a
substantial number of small entities.
D.2: Information Collection under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)
The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) protects the public from undue paperwork burdens
by ensuring that information collected is necessary. PRA seeks to minimize the cost of
information collection. In order to implement HUD programs, data is collected and reported.
Such data collections and the associated forms must have Office of Management and Budget
(OMB) approval if there are ten or more respondents. The PRA process requires submission of
information collection instruments, calculation of paperwork burden hours and a formal
justification statement by the initiating program office. The process averages six months and is
often processed in conjunction with the clearance process.
PRA requires OMB approval before public information is collected. Collected information
includes questionnaires, applications, focus groups, surveys, performance reports, studies,
evaluations, interviews, forms and any other means of requesting information. PRA addresses
recordkeeping requirements all the way down to information disclosures on food labels.
PRA is applicable to any policy with information collected from PHAs, tribal entities, program
participants, corporate/political entities or individuals. Statutes or appropriations may call for
information collections, but the subsequent method to address the legislative mandate still needs
PRA approval. Applications, submissions, reporting requirements or recordkeeping systems
contained in PIH directives all trigger PRA. OMB approval is shown by an OMB control
number. Federal Register documents or PIH directives may state OMB approval is pending once
submissions are made, but the actual information collection may not occur until final OMB
approval is received.
Obtaining OMB approval starts with a Federal Register (FR) notice of proposed information
collection with an initial 60-day public comment period. A second notice then announces that a
proposed information collection has been submitted to OMB with another 30-day comment
period for the Information Collection Request (ICR). The ICR, also known as form OMB 83i,
provides the legal authority for the collection, describes the collection instruments and justifies
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the need for the information collection. The 83i requires concise answers to a list of questions
which start with, “Is the information collection necessary for the proper performance of agency
New information collections are generally approved by OMB for a period of 3 years. Revisions
to existing OMB approvals refer to substantive amendments and can take the same time to
process as new requests. Minor adjustments are processed as a change request with less time
requirements. Emergency clearance offers an abbreviated process when there is compelling
justification, but such emergencies are limited. Information collection associated with
rulemaking is described in Section E.
Once a PRA packet completes the initial comment period through FR publication, OMB may
approve, approve with changes, disapprove or rule the ICR was not properly submitted. OMB’s
notice of action outlines terms for collections. Agencies may elect to withdraw a pending PRA.
Each HUD program office has a PRA point-of-contact known as the Reports Liaison Officer
(RLO). PIH’s RLO is located in OPPLI. ICRs are processed for existing and new information
collections, both those associated with ongoing rulemaking and outside of FR rulemaking, such
as PIH notices. Both types are cleared through HUD and submitted to OMB for approval.
D.3: Environmental findings
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other related laws mandate procedures for
protecting, restoring and enhancing environmental quality before a new policy is made law. The
Environmental Review Division within HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development
(CPD) functions as the environmental clearance office for all of HUD. In addition, each
program area has an environmental officer with PIH’s Environmental Clearance Officer in
OPPLI. The program office originating a directive indicates status of environmental compliance
on the HUD-22 item #13. This review is initiated prior to clearance.
24 CFR Part 50 are regulations on HUD’s preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) or
an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), whereas Part 58 provides for preparations by State,
local, and tribal entities. The regulations address federal responsibilities under NEPA and
related laws. Regulations outside of NEPA address clean air, flood management, historic and
farmland preservation. Part 51 is unique to HUD and addresses noise abatement, sites near
hazardous operations and sites near runway clear zones. Part 52 addresses intergovernmental
Categorical Exclusions refer to activities or actions that are exempt from environmental reviews
if certain criteria are met pursuant to 24 CFR 50. Exemptions include:
1. Assistance to homebuyers to purchase existing dwelling units or units under construction;
2. Housing pre-development costs;
3. Refinancing of HUD-insured mortgages that does not result in physical impacts;
4. Approval of the sale of HUD-held mortgages; and
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5. Sale of foreclosed properties with HUD-held mortgages, with historic property
Projects that are not exempt or categorically excluded require an Environmental Assessment
(EA) or an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that considers a broad range of impacts. An
Environmental Assessment concludes with either a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) or
a Finding of Significant Impact (FOSI). In the latter case, the review then requires the
preparation of a full EIS.
Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is made by an agency's environmental compliance
officer and presents the reasons why an action, not otherwise excluded, has no significant effect
on the human environment based on a written EA. This finding is subsequently confirmed
through the Department's environmental compliance process.
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required if a federal action or program has a
significant effect on the physical and/or human environment. An EIS is a detailed evaluation of
the proposed action and alternatives. The public, other federal agencies, and outside parties may
provide input into the preparation of an EIS and/or comment on the draft EIS. An EIS discusses
the need for the federal action, alternatives, the affected environment and consequences and
identifies preparers and reviewers.
D.4: Front-End Risk Assessments
Front-End Risk Assessments (FERAs) are formal documented reviews by management to
determine the susceptibility of a new or substantially revised program or administrative function
to waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement. A FERA is conducted for new programs or
administrative functions with funding or costs over $10 million. This program funding or cost
level applies to the expected annual level related to the new program when fully implemented. A
FERA is also required if the Principal Organization Head (POH) determines that a new program
or administrative activity has significant potential risk of fraud, abuse, waste or mismanagement.
FERAs are also required for substantially revised programs or administrative functions with an
increase or decrease in annual funding or costs of over $10 million and a 5 percent change in the
affected budget line item. A FERA is also required if the POH determines that a substantially
revised program or administrative activity has significant potential risk of fraud, abuse, waste or
The Risk Management Division under the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is the point-of-contact
for FERAs. Instructions for the preparation of a FERA are presented in the Chief Financial
Officer Handbook: 1840.1 Rev 4, (10/2009) chapter 8. The policy clearance process may
continue as long as a FERA is in process and indicated as "in-process" in the response to item
#10 on form HUD-22. New or revised programs may not be implemented until the FERA is
completed. PIH’s Office of Audits, Evaluations and Risk Management coordinates these
activities for PIH and should be contacted as soon as the need for a FERA is identified.
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D.5: Analysis of Unfunded Mandates
Under the Unfunded Mandates Act, agencies prepare written statements about benefits and costs
prior to issuing a proposed or final rule that may result in aggregate expenditure by State, local,
and tribal governments, or by the private sector, of $100,000,000 or more in any one year
(adjusted annually for inflation). Analytical requirements are outlined in Executive Order 12866
entitled “Regulatory and Planning Review.” Each Assistant Secretary determines if their
program constitutes an unfunded mandate with confirmation by OGC.
Section E: Rulemaking
A federal rule is designed to: (1) Implement, interpret or prescribe a law or policy or (2) describe
an agency’s organization, procedures or requirements. Although the term “rule” is often
interchangeable with “regulation,” a regulation generally refers to a rule once it is codified in the
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Rules are first published in the Federal Register (FR) and
then codified in the CFR. Rulemaking is the process of considering, formulating, issuing or
modifying binding requirements into regulations. Rulemaking may also repeal regulations.
HUD’s rulemaking process is dictated by 24 CFR Part 10.
When a rule is initiated internally in PIH, the process begins with approval from the Assistant
Secretary, who in turn directs OPPLI to review and subsequently request assistance from the
Office of General Counsel (OGC). Policy creation through new PIH rules may impact other
HUD offices; invitations to other HUD offices to informally review proposed initiatives can ease
subsequent conflicts that substantially slow down the formal clearance process. Creation of
policy vetting teams gathers inputs from HUD colleagues who share responsibility for
subsequent policy outcomes.
Rulemaking is not always required for rules governing internal practices or interpretive findings.
It generally takes one year to establish a rule, inclusive of reviews by the Office of Management
and Budget. Rules follow a dictated format presented in the directives handbook. The
departmental clearance process for rulemaking is outlined here, with PIH clearance described in
E.1: Rule Types
Proposed Rules announce changes to HUD regulations or new program initiatives and request
public participation through a comment period of at least 60 days. Notices of proposed
rulemaking describe the subject matter and issues involved. Terms are defined and the legal
authority under which the proposal is issued is referenced. A proposed rule states how and to
what extent interested persons may participate, whether participation is limited to written
comments and the timeframe for submitting comments. The proposed rule explains that issues
and recommendations raised by the public will be analyzed. If information collection is part of
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the proposed rule, compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) can occur
simultaneously (see Section D.2).
Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) may be used for greater initial public
participation. An ANPR outlines and justifies a proposal and identifies how, where and when
submissions are made. ANPRs are rarely used by PIH. Instead, PIH informally solicits
stakeholder inputs through meetings coordinated with OPPLI and other HUD offices.
Interim Rules may be issued in response to an emergency situation or urgent national need.
Interim rulemaking requires a finding that advanced notice and public comments are
unnecessary, impracticable or contrary to the public interest. Interim rules are usually followed
by a final rule with or without further amendments. Interim rules remain in effect during the full
Final Rules complete the rulemaking process after the public comment period for a proposed
rule ends. Final rules contain a summary of the public comments received on the proposed rule
along with the agency’s responses to the public comments. What was the proposed rule is now
revised into a final rule with the final rule’s preamble summarizing revisions to the proposed rule
resulting from the public comments.
E.2: OMB Review
Executive Order (EO) 12866, entitled Regulatory Planning and Review, requires HUD to submit
regulatory actions for review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for 90 calendar
days. This review is a statutory requirement to address significant economic impacts and
requires the preparation of an economic impact assessment by PD&R. A signature package
prepared by OGC’s Regulations Division secures sign-off approvals from all necessary
principals and the Secretary on HUD form 1047.
The need to complete OMB’s review in a timely fashion often causes time constraints during the
signature approval process. Use of a hot pink folder attempts to highlight the importance of
E.3: Rulemaking Timeline
The clearance process for rules through the Department is managed by OGC’s Legislation and
Regulations Division. Clearance provides the opportunity for HUD offices, through their
respective Assistant Secretaries, to comment on the legal, policy, compliance, procedural or
operational implications of the rule. OGC offers further information and a more detailed
timeline of the rulemaking process at: http://hudatwork.hud.gov/po/c/timeline.cfm.
If there is a non-concurrence due to conflicts with an existing policy or there are concerns as to
how the rule impacts operations, the Regulations Division works with the offices involved to
resolve the issues. A non-concurrence means the rule cannot move forward. If the non-
concurrence is due to a legal deficiency, General Counsel has final say. If the non-concurrence is
PIH Policy Guide 10/2010 Page 8
due to policy issues that cannot be resolved between the originating and reviewing offices,
resolution is elevated to the Deputy Secretary. Ideally, such potential policy conflicts are
resolved prior to formal clearance by informal invitations to Departmental Offices to review
draft rules or by creating cross-departmental policy vetting teams.
The time needed for each stage depends on the complexity of the subject matter. The basic steps
and time estimates are presented below as a simple outline of the process. If there are issues or
non-concurrences raised during the review process, time is extended.
1. Pre-drafting development and internal discussions 60 days
2. Formal request to OGC for formatting 60
3. PIH clearance 30
4. Departmental clearance 30
5. Preparation and circulation of OMB submission packet 30
6. OMB review of economic impacts and approval 90
7. Congressional committees prepublication review 15
8. Publication in the Federal Register 5
9. Public comment period 60
As noted earlier, before a formal request to OGC is submitted, the program office initiating a
proposed rule has already secured approval from the Assistant Secretary for PIH and involved
OPPLI in reviewing potential impacts to other HUD agencies. Creation of department-wide
policy vetting teams to review legislative initiatives prior to formal clearance enhances the goal
of uniform and sound policy creation outside of time pressures associated with formal clearance.
Section F: Federal Register Documents
The Federal Register (FR) provides public notice of federal actions and functions. FR notices
prescribe a penalty or course of action, confer a right, privilege, authority or immunity, or
impose a binding obligation. FR documents are subject to compliance measures presented in
Section D. Notices of proposed rulemaking, interim rules, and final rules, as described in
Section E, are published in the Federal Register. Documents published in the FR are managed
by the Office of General Counsel (OGC) during the clearance process.
F.1: FR Document Types
Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) advises the public of competitive funds to be awarded
based on stated selection criteria and a stipulated process including a deadline for applications.
Each NOFA follows a prescribed format available through the Office of Departmental Grants
Management and Oversight (ODGMO). HUD annually develops a general section applicable to
all NOFAs. Each NOFA is cleared with signatures from PIH's Assistant Secretary to start
departmental clearance, to transmit the NOFA to OMB and to publicly release the NOFA. For
each A/S sign-off, a clearance analysis is transmitted. NOFAs are publicly released through
HUD's website on grants.gov with a notice of the NOFA's posting published in the FR.
Following selections, an announcement of funding awards is also published in the FR.
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Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) announcements give public notice that an information
collection process is proposed and provide a time period for comments. The FR notice reports
the number of respondents, whether more than one response is required each year, the hours
estimated to complete the information collection and the calculated total number of burden
hours. The name and contact information for PIH’s Reports Liaison Officer is provided. (See
Program Guidance in the FR offers greater public notice of mandatory provisions. PIH notices
are the standard means through which procedural guidance is provided based on statutes,
regulations, appropriations or other mandates. When program guidance is issued through a PIH
notice without FR publication, both the PIH clearance and departmental clearance processes are
managed by OPPLI.
Program Implementation notices provide guidance to HUD field offices and public housing
agencies on competitive, formula, discretionary or emergency programs. An example of an
emergency program was the 2006 Emergency and Supplemental Appropriations for states
impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Section 901 authorized the combining of multiple
sources of HUD funding to aid families displaced from their housing. The subsequent notice
provided eligibility requirements, funding and accounting provisions and outlined permitted
EIS Availability announcements follow completion of an Environmental Impact Statement
(EIS) and provide a comment period. Electronic posting of the EIS and locations, such as public
libraries or local zoning offices, are provided along with a contact person. The supplemental
information summarizes the development proposal in terms of what had been on the land and
future plans for the site.
Delegations of Authority mean the Secretary of HUD directs specific programs, responsibilities
and functions to Assistant Secretaries who, in turn, carry out programs on behalf of the HUD
Secretary. This may follow a new rule for a specific program or come with a new
administration. The statement clarifies the authority that is delegated, what authority is not
delegated and what authority may be again delegated from Assistant Secretaries to others.
Regulatory Waivers refer to approved relief from strict adherence to HUD regulations when
just cause exists, with OGC concurrence and approval by the Assistant Secretary responsible for
the specific regulation. Summaries of approved waivers are published in the Federal Register on
a quarterly basis. The HUD Reform Act restricts the granting of regulatory waivers to Assistant
Secretaries with no further redelegation of this authority.
Meeting Notices in the Federal Register ensure that all parties or individuals who may want to
attend a discussion receive notice that a meeting is planned. Such invitations comply with open
meeting laws. For major policy reviews and negotiated rulemaking, regular notices of meetings
scheduled over longer periods of time allow for transparency and full public involvement.
PIH Policy Guide 10/2010 Page 10
F.2: Federal Register Checklist
1. Complete PIH Clearance (see Section H.2)
2. OPPLI transmits A/S approval for Departmental clearance to OGC
3. OGC reviews and transmits HUD-22A to PIH A/S.
4. OGC routes clearance to Departmental reviewing offices
5. Departmental comments and revisions presented to OGC in consultation with PIH
6. OGC circulates signature package under cover of HUD-1047
7. OGC transmits to OMB, if required by EO 12866
8. OMB revisions presented to OGC in consultation with PIH
9. OGC transmits to PIH A/S for publication authorization.
10. OGC processes FR publication (the following steps remain in proposed rulemaking)
11. Public comments and revisions presented to OGC in consultation with PIH
12. Responses to public comments and revisions cleared through PIH
13. Responses to public comments and revisions cleared through Department
14. Final rule FR publication with effective date
Section G: PIH Directives
In general, directives refer to a HUD document that conveys guidance, meaning a document that
implements, clarifies, or refines a policy or mandate, which includes both rules and notices.
However, this guide separates rules and FR publications as directives managed through OGC
from PIH directives which are PIH guidance cleared through OPPLI.
Directives are instructions on how to accomplish a regulatory requirement or how to change past
actions in order to meet new Congressional or presidential mandates. Unlike Federal Register
(FR) publications, PIH directives are binding only when authority is previously granted by a
statute or regulation.
Directives follow a standard format and are processed through clearance. Clearance refers to the
process through which HUD offices are invited to comment on a proposed policy to ensure there
are no conflicts and to secure coordination with existing operations. (See Section H).
PIH directives that impact, or that have the potential to impact, other HUD offices and/or their
programs may be flagged during formal clearance. The option to secure informal reviews
throughout the department or to create policy vetting teams during the initial creation of new PIH
directives may ease the time required for formal clearance.
Directives may follow a FR publication or rulemaking. Directives may provide clarification of
or procedures for implementing statutes, appropriations or Executive Orders. Directives may
originate from program practices over time. Directives are formatted in compliance with the
directives handbook and then complete clearance as discussed in Section H. Currently, PIH
notices are renewed annually to remain effective. To avoid the need for annual renewals,
guidance within notices may be subsequently incorporated into handbooks.
PIH Policy Guide 10/2010 Page 11
G.1: Directive Types
PIH Notices address programs under HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) and
other HUD agencies. PIH notices provide stakeholders with instructions and/or procedural
guidance to administer PIH programs, but the enforcement of notice requirements must stem
from an authorization statute or regulation. PIH notices follow a standard format and are
generally cleared through both PIH and the Department.
PIH notices may implement transitional programs authorized through annual appropriations or
new rules. Examples of policies that required subsequent guidance include the transition of
public housing to project-based management, creation of the Moving-to-Work (MTW)
demonstration program, revisions to the Family Report form 50058 and funding provisions for
the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. PIH notices are the most commonly used
directives for providing guidance on formally-approved policy.
PIH Letters are currently not used to implement PIH directives. This type of directive was
temporarily used by PIH in 2007 on a pilot basis and remains in use by other HUD offices, such
as Housing’s Mortgagee Letters, Title 1 Letters and Direct Endorsement Letters. Like notices,
letters permit timely instructions or guidance that may later be incorporated into a handbook or
guidebook so to reduce annual renewals.
Handbooks are comprehensive and more permanent in nature than notices. Handbooks
prescribe procedures and program requirements that implement program regulations.
Handbooks may include policy clarifications, instructions, procedures, reporting requirements
and forms. Handbooks follow a required format pursuant to the directives handbook and contain
a table of contents, followed by a list of forms, appendixes and/or reports. A subject
classification number appears on each page along with the effective date. Other requirements
include the identification of changes, page numbering and the labeling of attachments.
Guidebooks are less prescriptive than handbooks and provide helpful information, but not
program requirements. Guidebooks provide sample implementation strategies, best practices or
lessons learned. They do not have specific formatting requirements and are less formal in style.
Like handbooks, guidebooks go through PIH clearance and possibly full Departmental
clearance. Guidebooks do not expire and can be used as long as they remain applicable.
Information presented in a guidebook is optional, not required.
G-2: Directive guidelines
When Congressional directions are clear within an appropriation act, statute or regulation, or
when an Executive Order issued by the President needs no further instructions to implement,
HUD may proceed directly to a directive outside of the FR system. This means there are no
sweeping policy changes or vague mandates to “improve affordable housing”; the originating
policy presents straightforward requirements or prohibitions. Due process measures for public
input through the FR process are not required. If a question exists regarding the need for FR
PIH Policy Guide 10/2010 Page 12
publication as opposed to a PIH directive, the Office of Policy, Program and Legislative
Initiatives (OPPLI) secures an OGC determination.
When authorizing statutes, regulations or other policies are not clear as to what is required, the
relevant HUD office develops and clears a notice for FR publications. Subsequent HUD
directives may still be needed to expand upon or clarify the FR publication. A follow-up notice
may provide step-by-step implementation procedures, describe information collections or explain
an initiative through case studies. Directives are usually specific directions or requirements
targeted to program users (or HUD staff) rather than the general public. HUD’s directives
handbook notes the objectives are to:
1. Provide accurate, complete and concise instructions on policies and procedures to those
who carry out HUD programs;
2. Provide a writing style, organization and format so that information is easy to locate,
understand and use;
3. Keep directives up-to-date with current information essential to program delivery and
cancel obsolete directives; and
4. Assure individual directives do not contradict or serve cross-purposes.
Each HUD office has a Directives Management Officer (DMO) designated by the respective
Assistant Secretary to serve as a point-of-contact on directives. PIH’s DMO is in OPPLI,
responsible for tracking and posting notices and other directives. This tracking system is
regularly reviewed by the Assistant Secretary for PIH to ensure that the policy process is not
PIH staff present subjective issues to the Assistant Secretary before drafting a directive. OPPLI
is available to help determine the type and format for new directives and to coordinate proposed
directives with other impacted offices to avoid subsequent disagreements or formal “non-
concurrence” later in the process. Offices with cross-program responsibilities and field
managers with direct operational input on programs can resolve conflicts before starting the
formal clearance process.
G-3: Notice Requirements
Once a notice is informally reviewed and properly drafted, it is ready for the clearance process as
discussed in Section H. The respective Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) transmits a request for
clearance to OPPLI with a signed form HUD-22 indicating compliance with the four statutory
reviews described in Section D and a hard copy of the directive. OPPLI must receive an
electronic copy in Microsoft Word format in order to transmit a directive into clearance.
Notices follow a defined format. Refer to HUD Form 21-B for correct header format. The
subject line is a short title for the guidance. The purpose states the reason for the policy directive
and the background provides sufficient information for users to understand how the policy
guidance came to be and interrelated requirements for implementation. The authorizing
PIH Policy Guide 10/2010 Page 13
legislation with full citation is referenced and then defined. First use of acronyms are fully
spelled out and then defined (in parentheses).
The clearance record is logged using form HUD-22. Form HUD-171 is an optional document to
track the review process and indicates which HUD Departments completed reviews and when.
This clearance summary is usually used when hardcopy draft directives are very large files and
cannot be easily distributed electronically. When directives are circulated electronically, a HUD-
171 is not used.
OPPLI logs directives for tracking purposes and assigns a clearance control number
chronologically by year. The clearance control number is not the same as PIH Notice numbers
assigned at the time of release and posting of the notice on PIH’s website and HUDclips.
Distribution: In April 2010, notice was provided that hard copy mailing of directives to PHAs,
field offices and tribal entities was replaced solely with electronic postings on HUDclips and
PIH’s webpage. The memorandum to PIH colleagues on electronic notice distribution indicated
the need to regularly check electronic postings and to print copies if entities maintain hard copy
Cross References: Notices may refer to other documents, such as regulations, previous notices
or handbooks and guidebooks. Cite related directives in the upper right corner next to “Cross
Dates: The effective date is entered by PIH’s DMO once clearance is completed. One year
from the effective date is the expiration date. Description of effective dates within the notice is
Information Collections: Any information or data submission mentioned or referenced in a
notice, with or without an accompanying form, is considered an information collection. Such
notices must include an OMB approval number (see Section D).
Further Information: The last item in notices presents a phone number for the appropriate
program office. Email addresses and an identified point-of-contact are recommended.
G.4: Updating directives
PIH Notices carry an expiration date not to exceed one year. After one year, the notice must be
renewed or extended. Extension requests (without any changes to the existing notice) are sent to
OPPLI at least 45 days prior to the notice’s expiration date. Extensions result in a new PIH
notice number for the posted extension. If an existing PIH notice expires before it can be updated
or if any language is changed, then clearance is required.
If a notice requires changes or is a completely new directive, a request for clearance and a HUD-
22 are transmitted to OPPLI at least 60 days prior to the notice’s scheduled expiration or desired
posting date. The transmittal memo justifies the need for the directive and specifies changes to
PIH Policy Guide 10/2010 Page 14
an existing notice, if applicable. Form HUD-22 presents responses to items 10, 11, 12 and 13
indicating compliance with the four requirements presented in Section H.
Handbooks are updated by transmitting form HUD-23 to OPPLI’s DMO with the revised pages
or an entirely new handbook if there are substantial changes. Handbooks follow strict formatting
guidelines, updating and cancellation requirements pursuant to the directives handbook.
Requests for cancellation ensures that references to the cancelled handbook are removed
Program offices are responsible for monitoring the expiration of their directives. Handbooks and
guidebooks remain valid until cancelled.
Section H: Clearance Process
The objective of clearances is to permit offices within HUD to comment on whether draft notices
and rules are legally sound, in compliance with Departmental and government-wide policies and
are consistent with policies under the purview of the reviewing offices. OPPLI manages PIH and
Departmental clearance for PIH directives. OGC manages Departmental clearance for Federal
Register documents. OPPLI works with the originating office to complete clearance in a timely
fashion and to coordinate inputs from other offices.
Clearance ensures that PIH directives and FR publications provide clear, coordinated and
consistent policy, to best serve those with a stakeholder interest in PIH programs. Clearance is
required before a directive or policy guidance is publicly released. This includes policy within
handbooks, notices, letters or memoranda; whether issued on paper, electronically or posted on
HUD programs and activities must comply with the civil rights laws and executive orders listed
at 24 CFR 5.105(a) and must affirmatively further fair housing in accordance with 24 CFR
903.7(o). Program offices should consider these requirements when formulating, modifying, or
withdrawing rules or directives.
Fair housing and civil rights requirements apply to virtually all housing and urban development
programs and activities, even those that do not directly deal with civil rights issues. If a program
office needs guidance on how to incorporate these requirements, consult with OPPLI, who will
coordinate with FHEO. It is recommended that program offices involve FHEO early in the
process to avoid a non-concurrence during clearance.
Additionally, provisions for Section 3 compliance pursuant to 24 CFR part 135 may also be
coordinated in advance with FHEO. Section 3 requires recipients of HUD financial assistance to
provide job training, employment, and contract opportunities for low- or very-low income
residents in connection with new construction and housing rehabilitation.
PIH Policy Guide 10/2010 Page 15
H.1: Clearance Options
The type of clearance depends on content and time requirements. If a policy is released prior to
clearance and users of that policy are subsequently found in non-compliance, HUD’s
enforcement of that directive is subject to legal challenges. The public has the right to seek
judicial redress if presented with conflicting requirements. Directives must receive positive
clearance from the Offices of General Counsel (OGC), Chief Information Officer (CIO),
Inspector General (OIG), HUD's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and HUD's Office of the Chief
Human Capital Officer (OCHCO), formerly known as the Office of Administration. Depending
on the subject matter, concurrence by additional offices may be required.
Pre-Clearance seeks informal inputs on a proposed directive before or during the drafting
process. The originating office either circulates a draft or meets with relevant offices to secure
broader inputs. Inviting field managers through the Office of Field Operations (OFO) adds a
heightened understanding of how a policy is implemented. Prior to the clearance process, it is
advisable for program offices to obtain basic agreements on certain new policies. Originating
offices are assisted by OPPLI and/or OGC to identify such offices within and external to PIH
where concurrence is necessary. Some new policies warrant the creation of policy vetting teams
to assure internal coordination prior to clearance.
PIH Clearance means only PIH offices receive a directive for review from OPPLI. Officially,
the distribution is to Deputy Assistant Secretaries (DAS) who are then responsible for
distributing the directive to their appropriate staff and divisions. Each DAS may designate
individuals within their office to receive transmittals directly from OPPLI. PIH clearance
includes: the Office of Public Housing and Voucher Programs (OPHVP); Office of Public
Housing Investments (OPHI); Office of Field Operations (OFO); Office of Budget; Grants
Management Center (GMC); Office of Native American Programs (ONAP); Real Estate
Assessment Center (REAC); Office of Planning, Resource Management and Administrative
Services (OPRMAS) and OPPLI. PIH clearance presents a deadline for comments two weeks
after the release date. If non-concurrences are not resolved during PIH clearance, resolution is
elevated to the Assistant Secretary for PIH. As noted on form HUD-22, if a program office
response is not received by the deadline date, the originating office may proceed without it.
Departmental Clearance means review by HUD offices external to PIH. The Assistant
Secretary’s signature on a HUD-22 is required for departmental clearance. Again, two weeks
are generally provided for the comment period. Each departmental office has an assigned DMO
recording the review process. If additional time is required, extensions are tracked by the DMO.
If additional time is not granted by the originating office, the non-agreeing office has the option
to non-concur. If non-concurrences are not resolved at the departmental clearance level,
resolution is elevated to the HUD Deputy Secretary.
Departmental clearances for Federal Register documents are managed by OGC; whereas
departmental clearance for PIH directives is managed by OPPLI. Department offices may
include: Chief Procurement Officer (CPO); Office of Community Planning and Development
(CPD); CPD's Environmental Office only; Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations
PIH Policy Guide 10/2010 Page 16
(CIR); Office of Departmental Operations and Coordination (ODOC); Office of Faith Based and
Community Initiatives (FBCI); Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO); HUD's
Field Policy and Management (FPM); Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA);
Office of Housing; Housing's Office for Economic Analysis only for an economic impact
analysis; Office of Healthy Homes and Lead-hazard Control (OHHLC); Office of Labor
Relations (OLR); Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU); Office of
Departmental Grants Management and Oversight (ODGMO); and Office of Policy, Development
and Research (PD&R).
Departmental clearance must include each division of the Office of General Counsel (OGC),
Chief Information Officer (CIO), Office of Inspector General (OIG), Chief Financial Officer
(CFO) and HUD's Office of Administration. Depending on the subject matter, concurrence by
specific offices beyond the five mandatory reviews may be required. Comments provided during
departmental clearance are to be under the purview of the reviewing agency. Grammatical
corrections need not be submitted as OGC submits documents for review by Executive Secretary
staff prior to publication.
Concurrent Clearance means OPPLI distributes PIH directives to both PIH offices and
Departmental offices at the same time when warranted. Program offices may request
concurrent clearance, but the decision to use a concurrent review rests with either the Assistant
Secretary or the DAS of OPPLI. Concurrent clearances are used only in justified circumstances,
as Handbook 000.2 1-4 B (4) requires each Assistant Secretary to ensure basic agreement within
their own offices before a new directive affecting their areas enters clearance.
Limited Departmental Clearance means selected HUD offices are invited to comment. This
process is reserved for time-sensitive policy managed by OGC and includes, at a minimum, the
Inspector General (IG), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the Chief Information Officer (CIO)
in HUD’s Office of Administration (Admin).
Expedited Clearances are reserved for notices generated by an emergency or urgent need. such
as potential or actual financial loss; fraud, waste, or mismanagement; legislative deadlines or
mandates; items resulting from litigation or time-sensitive documents with deadlines imposed by
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) or Congress.
H.2: Clearance Steps
Basic steps for clearing PIH directives through PIH and Departmental Clearance:
1. Originating office transmits to OPPLI;
2. DMO routes clearance to PIH offices;
3. PIH comments and revisions presented to A/S;
4. A/S executes HUD-22 and DMO routes for Departmental clearance;
5. Departmental comments and revisions presented to OPPLI and originating office;
6. OGC reviews and returns HUD-22 to OPPLI; and
7. OPPLI transmits directive to A/S for approval to post.
PIH Policy Guide 10/2010 Page 17
Step 1: Originating office transmits to OPPLI: Directives are logged with a PIH tracking
number and assigned an OPPLI Program Analyst. The Clearance and Approval Record (form
HUD-22) is electronically circulated to PIH offices along with the directive. Reviewing offices
generally have two weeks to comment. Acceptance is shown by the DAS’s dated concurrence
on the HUD-22.
The transmittal from the originating office requesting clearance consists of a memorandum from
the appropriate DAS presenting the need for the directive and a point-of-contact. This
transmittal includes a signed HUD-22 with the four compliance measures marked (items 11-13).
These compliance measures are required before clearance is requested; the originating office
ensures compliance by marking the appropriate response. If there are unique time requirements
associated with a specific directive, they are described within the transmitting memorandum to
OPPLI’s DAS. The originating office submits both a hard copy of the directive and an identical
electronic version that is thoroughly edited and spellchecked.
Step 2: DMO routes clearance to PIH offices: The DMO for PIH adds the reviewing offices
to a HUD-22, distributes the directive electronically and collects the HUD-22s with the
appropriate concurrence option marked and dated. Each reviewing marks a response to concur,
concur-with-comments or non-concur. Non-concurrence comments are clearly identified and are
within the reviewer's program authority. A non-concurrence indicates resolution is essential and
the reviewing office provides alternative language, unless a "drop-dead" meeting is required to
discuss the non-concurrence. The recommended alternative language is subject to editing by the
originating office for clarity and coherence, but the originating office must secure approval from
the non-concurring office through a HUD-22 showing the date the non-concurrence was lifted.
If resolution is not possible, the non-concurrence is elevated to the Assistant Secretary. If
resolution cannot be ruled by the A/S, the issue is elevated to HUD Deputy Secretary. The
DMO’s file documents actions by reviewing offices. If more than six months is required to
resolve a non-concurrence, then re-clearance is required once resolution is obtained. Re-
clearance is required if the originating office or OPPLI find substantial alteration to the original
Step 3: PIH comments and revisions presented to A/S: When disagreements occur, OPPLI
serves as a liaison between the originating and non-agreeing offices. Acceptance of comments
from a non-agreeing office is at the discretion of the originating office unless a formal non-
concurrence is logged. Meetings scheduled by OPPLI with the participating offices may resolve
disagreements. Timely consensus within PIH expedites the subsequent clearance through the
Reviewing offices are obliged to respond by the clearance deadline and should initiate reviews as
soon as possible so to avoid subsequent delays. The reviewing office may contact the originating
office to request a time extension and/or to work with the originating office’s point-of-contact to
discuss issues. Requests for time extensions include a date for response by the reviewing office.
Reviewing offices limit comments to delegated areas of responsibility.
PIH Policy Guide 10/2010 Page 18
Step 4: A/S executes HUD-22 and DMO routes for Departmental clearance: Approval by
the PIH A/S means all internal PIH offices are in agreement and the directive is ready for review
by external HUD offices. An individual PIH office may still elect to comment as part of the
Departmental clearance process, but this indicates that PIH concurrence under the A/S failed to
occur. The A/S for PIH retains the option to withdraw a directive from Departmental clearance.
If the directive requires publication in the Federal Register, then OGC is responsible for
Departmental clearance and not OPPLI’s DMO.
Step 5: Departmental comments and revisions presented to OPPLI and originating office:
Department offices have the same option to concur, concur-with-comment or non-concur as
presented in Step 2 for PIH offices. "Drop-dead" meetings are scheduled to resolve issues. If
resolution is not secured at the A/S level, then the issue is elevated to HUD Deputy Secretary.
Step 6: OGC reviews and returns HUD-22 to OPPLI: PIH directives may not be publically
released, including postings on PIH websites, until a signed HUD-22 is received from OGC
indicating that legal requirements are addressed. OGC often has work overloads, staff shortages
or pressing demands that may cause departmental clearance deadlines to be missed. The option
to pre-clear a directive with program attorneys may facilitate OGC reviews. The originating
program office contacts OPPLI before contacting OGC's Legislation and Regulations staff.
Once a directive reaches OGC, a Directives Identification (DI) number and OGC point-of-
contact is assigned. If OGC finds that one of the required compliance measures, shown on the
HUD-22 as items 11-13, is not complete, then the time required to complete such statutory
mandates delays activation of the subject directive.
Step 7: OPPLI transmits directive to A/S for approval to post: During the clearance process,
the signature space for the A/S is left blank. Once a signature is added to a hard copy of the
directive, the electronic version shows the symbol for signature approval as /s/.
Once a notice is electronically posted, non-substantive changes to correct improper references or
other provisions is a lengthy process. If such changes are deemed substantive, the entire
clearance process is started anew. The A/S retains the right to withdraw a PIH directive by
removing it from electronic postings and circulating a notice of cancellation to affected parties.
H.3: Information Quality Guidelines on Web Postings
Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 2001 directs OMB
to issue guidelines that provide policy and procedural guidance to federal agencies for ensuring
and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including statistical
information) disseminated by federal agencies. This includes information posted on websites as
issued in HUD's final Information Quality Guidelines published in the Federal Register on
November 18, 2002.
There should be no posting of any content to a PIH website without a signature from the
appropriate Deputy Assistant Secretary. Web posting of policy statements require clearance.
PIH Policy Guide 10/2010 Page 19
Announcement postings, such as awardees of competitive grants, do not require clearance. Each
Deputy Assistant Secretary is responsible for clearing appropriate web postings and for quarterly
certifications that posted information remains current and valid. Posted information remains
subject to clearance compliance requirements as presented in Section D.
PIH Policy Guide 10/2010 Page 20