BEFORE THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the amendment of ARM 8.111.602 definitions and 8.111.603 housing credit allocation procedure
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED AMENDMENT
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On April 5, 2018, at 11:00 a.m., the Department of Commerce will hold a public hearing in Room 228 of the Park Avenue Building at 301 South Park Avenue, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment of the above-stated rules.
2. The Department of Commerce will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact Department of Commerce no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 4, 2018, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Bonnie Martello, Board of Housing, Department of Commerce, 301 South Park Avenue, P.O. Box 200501, Helena, Montana, 59620-0501; telephone (406) 841-2596; fax (406) 841-2771; TDD (406) 841-2702; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. The rules as proposed to be amended provide as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:
8.111.602 DEFINITIONS (1) and (2) remain the same.
(3) "QAP" means the board's "Housing Credit Program
2018 2019 Qualified Allocation Plan," which sets forth the application process and selection criteria used by the board for evaluation and selection of projects to receive awards for allocation of housing credits for calendar year 2018 2019, copies of which may be obtained by contacting the Board of Housing by mail at P.O. Box 200528, Helena, MT 59620-0528, by telephone at (406) 841-2845 or (406) 841-2838, or at the board's web site www.housing.mt.gov.
(4) remains the same.
AUTH: 90-6-106, MCA
IMP: 90-6-104, MCA
REASON: The proposed amendments to ARM 8.111.602 are necessary to update the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) definition to reference the 2019 Qualified Allocation Plan for the Montana Housing Credit Program.
Federal low-income housing tax credits are allocated by the federal government to the states, according to their population, for allocation to particular buildings. Each state's share of federal low-income housing tax credits is allocated to particular buildings under programs administered by the respective states' housing credit agencies. The Montana Board of Housing is Montana's housing credit agency for purposes of administering the tax credit program and allocating tax credits in the state of Montana. In Montana, the program is known as the Montana Housing Credit Program. Federal law requires that tax credits allocated to the state by the federal government must be allocated by the state pursuant to a "qualified allocation plan" or "QAP."
Prior to publication of this notice, the board conducted several public meetings to consider suggestions and comments regarding the provisions of the 2019 QAP. Thereafter, at its January 8, 2018 meeting, the board considered and approved public notice and distribution of the proposed 2019 QAP. After public notice of the proposed 2019 QAP and of the opportunity for public comment was published and distributed, a public hearing on the proposed 2019 QAP was held on January 23, 2018 and written comments were also received. At its February 13, 2018 meeting, after considering all written and oral comments on the proposed 2019 QAP, staff recommendations, additional public comment and various proposed revisions in response to comments, the board approved the 2019 QAP for submission to and approval by the Montana Governor, as required by the federal tax credit statute, 26 U.S.C. § 42. The 2019 QAP has been submitted to the Governor for approval.
A copy of the 2019 QAP is available on the internet at http://housing.mt.gov/MFQAP or by requesting a copy from: Mary Bair, Board of Housing, Department of Commerce, 301 South Park Avenue, P.O. Box 200528, Helena, Montana, 59620-0528; telephone (406) 841-2845; fax (406) 841-2841; or e-mail email@example.com.
8.111.603 HOUSING CREDIT ALLOCATION PROCEDURE (1) through (8) remain the same.
(9) The board will select those projects to receive an award of housing credits that it determines best meet the most pressing housing needs of low income people within the state of Montana, taking into consideration the selection criteria as defined in the QAP. The awarding of points to projects pursuant to the development evaluation criteria of the QAP is for purposes of determining that the projects meet at least the minimum criteria required for further consideration under the QAP and to assist the board in evaluating and comparing projects. Development evaluation criteria scoring is only one of several considerations taken into account by the board and does not control the selection of projects that will receive an award of housing credits. In addition to any other selection criteria specified in the QAP, the board may consider the following factors in selecting projects for an award of housing credits to qualifying projects:
(a) and (b) remain the same
(c) the overall income levels targeted by the projects (including deeper targeting of income levels);
(d) through (k) remain the same.
AUTH: 90-6-106, MCA
IMP: 90-6-104, MCA
REASON: The proposed amendment to ARM 8.111.603 would clarify that, in consideration of income levels targeted by proposed projects for purposes of housing credit awards, the board may consider deeper targeting of income levels. The same provision is included in the 2019 QAP. The proposed amendment is necessary to encourage development and consideration of housing projects targeting relatively lower-income individuals and families. While all housing credit projects are targeted to lower-income individuals and families, targeting to relatively lower income levels may address the housing needs of the lowest-income individuals and families which may otherwise go unmet. Under the proposed amendment, such deeper income targeting could be considered by the board in addition to all other factors as specified in the QAP.
4. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing, at the hearing. Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Mary Bair, Board of Housing, Department of Commerce, 301 South Park Avenue, P.O. Box 200528, Helena, Montana, 59620-0528; telephone (406) 841-2845; fax (406) 841-2841; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., April 15, 2018.
5. Mary Bair, Department of Commerce, has been designated to preside over and conduct this hearing.
6. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency. Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 4 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.
7. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.
8. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the amendment of the above-referenced rules will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.
/S/ MARTY TUTTLE___________ /S/ PAY HAXBY-COTE___________
MARTY TUTTLE PAM HAXBY-COTE
Rule Reviewer Director
Department of Commerce
Certified to the Secretary of State March 5, 2018.