This handbook specifies the environmental review and documentation

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CHAPTER 1. Introduction

1-1 Purpose

This handbook specifies the environmental review and documentation

requirements to be followed by HUD Field Offices for grants under

HUD's program for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS

(hereafter, HOPWA Grants).

The handbook explains the manner in which HOPWA grantees, before

undertaking property acquisition, rehabilitation, conversion, lease,

repair or construction activities, are to submit to HUD Field Offices

property-specific information so that HUD may assure conformance with

requirements related to the environment. Definition: "Property

acquisition, rehabilitation, conversion, lease, repair or construction

activities" means the recipient's commitment or expenditure of any

HUD, State, local or other funds for property acquisition,

rehabilitation, conversion, lease, repair, or construction activities

under the HOPWA Program.

HUD Field Offices shall provide a copy of this handbook to all HOPWA

grantees with the grant approval letter. Field CPD Representatives

for the HOPWA Program assisted by Environmental Officers shall provide

assistance to grantees and their staff to ensure full understanding

and implementation of this handbook. This handbook alerts grantees of

the environmental criteria important in the selection of properties

free of major hazards and problems.

This handbook contains special procedures only for HOPWA Grants and

does not affect the environmental procedures for any other HUD


1-2 Authority

A. The authority for this policy is set forth in HOPWA Program

Regulations at Sect. 574.510 of 24 CFR part 574 (hereafter, the HOPWA

Program Regulations).

B. HUD Environmental Regulations at Sect. 50.3(i) and 50.17(i) of 24

CFR part 50 (hereafter HUD Environmental Regulations) allow a new

post-award decision point for compliance with the National

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Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and the other applicable

Federal environmental laws and authorities listed in § 50.4. The

decision point for environmental compliance review is not the

approval by HUD of the award of grants to successful applicants,

but rather HUD approval of specific properties identified by the

grantee for use in a HOPWA program. The reasons for this post-

award decision point are the following:

1. Applications for funding under Formula Entitlement grants

are not likely to identify specific properties to be used in

local HOPWA programs, whereas Federal environmental laws and

authorities require review of specific properties; and

2. Applications for funding for Competitive grants are to

identify specific properties to be used in the local HOPWA

programs, but for administrative convenience, HUD has

determined that an award of a grant will be conditioned on

the applicant's compliance with Federal environmental

policies and procedures that require environmental approval

of the property by HUD before any funds are used in support

of the property.

C. To implement Sect. 50.3(i) and 50.17(i), HUD Environmental

Regulations provide for an environmental assurance.

D. The Department has determined that NEPA and the other Federal

laws and authorities listed at § 50.4 apply to: (i) physical

development activities listed under § 574.300(b) (3) and (4), and

(ii) project-based rental assistance under § 574.300(b) (5).

Also HUD has determined that the other activities cited in §

574.300(b), which by their nature do not propose a physical

change to a property, are categorically excluded from NEPA review

and do not trigger the laws and authorities in § 50.4.

1-3 Activities not subject to environmental review

To preclude the need for doing repetitive findings of no significant

impact for non-physical development activities and to provide for an

efficient and effective use of resources and staff responsible for

compliance with HUD Environmental Regulations, §§ 50.19 and 50.20(b)

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and (o) authorize the following list of activities, which HUD has

determined are categorically excluded from NEPA and not subject to the

§ 50.4 authorities:

A. Information services;

B. Resource identification and planning to establish and coordinate

strategies, including feasibility studies, environmental studies

and testing;

C. Tenant-based rental assistance;

D. Supportive services including, but not limited to, health care,

permanent housing placement, day care, nutritional services,

short-term payments for rent/mortgage/utility costs, and

assistance in gaining access to local, State, and Federal

government benefits and services;

E. Operating costs including maintenance, security, operation,

insurance, utilities, furnishings, equipment, supplies, staff

training and recruitment, and other incidental costs;

F. Technical assistance; and

G. Administrative expenses.

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