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Notice of Proposed Information Collection for Public Comment; Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) Program Reporting

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ACTION:

Notice of revised information collection.

SUMMARY:

The proposed information collection requirement described below will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act. The Department is soliciting public comments on the subject proposal.

The purpose of this notice is to solicit public comment on a revised Word version of HUD-52737, Indian Housing Plan/Annual Performance Report (IHP/APR), and two additional, automated versions of form: an Excel version and a version on HUD's Energy and Performance Information Center (EPIC) Web site. All three versions of the form request exactly the same information, but have different burdens due to the automated capabilities of the Excel and EPIC versions. These automated enhancements make the Excel and EPIC versions easier and faster to complete than the Word version. Respondents may elect to complete and submit to HUD either the Word, Excel, or EPIC versions; however, the Excel and EPIC versions are preferred because of their automated capabilities and reduced burden.

The Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA) requires recipients (tribes and tribally designated housing entities) to submit specific information that is necessary for the implementation and evaluation of low income housing programs using Indian Housing Block Grant funds (IHBG). Recipients of IHBG funds are required to submit the IHP/APR annually. In addition to the IHP/APR, each year recipients may submit a Formula Response Form (HUD-4117), and Formula Challenge Form (HUD-4119).

DATES:

Comments Due Date: October 15, 2012.

ADDRESSES:

Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name/or OMB Control number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Departmental Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4160, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 202-402-3400, (this is not a toll-free number) or email Ms. Pollard at Colette.Pollard@hud.gov for a copy of the proposed forms, or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. (Other than the HUD USER information line and TTY numbers, telephone numbers are not toll-free.)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Arlette Mussington, Office of Policy, Programs and Legislative Initiatives, PIH, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., (L'Enfant Plaza, Room 2206), Washington, DC 20410; telephone 202-402-4109, (this is not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Department will submit the proposed information collection to OMB for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended). This Notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information to: (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

This Notice also lists the following information:

Title of Proposal: Indian Housing Block Grant Information Collection, Word, Excel and EPIC Versions of the Indian Housing Plan/Annual Performance Report.

OMB Control Number: 2577-0218.

Description of the need for the information and proposed use:

Indian tribes, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, or tribally designated housing entities that receive IHBG funds are required annually to submit HUD-52737 that consists of two components: the Indian Housing Plan (IHP) component and the Annual Performance Report (APR) component.

The IHP is required by Section 102 of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) and describes the eligible IHBG-funded, affordable housing activities the recipient plans to conduct for the benefit of low and moderate income tribal members and identifies the intended outcomes and outputs for the upcoming 12-month year. The recipient submits the IHP at least 75 days prior to the beginning of its 12-month program year. HUD conducts a limited review of the IHP to determine that the planned activities are in compliance with NAHASDA requirements, as defined at 24 CFR Part 1000.

At the end of the 12-month period, the recipient submits the APR that is required by Section 404 of NAHASDA and describes (1) The use of grant funds during the prior 12-month period; (2) the actual outcomes and outputs achieved; (3) program accomplishments; and (4) jobs supported by IHBG-funded activities. HUD uses the information in the APR to review the recipient's progress in implementing the IHP, verify whether the activities are eligible and to determine if the recipient has the capacity to continue implementing the activities described in the IHP in a timely manner. The information in the APR also will be used to provide Congress, stakeholders, and other interested parties with information on how the IHBG funds are being used to meet affordable housing needs within Native American communities.

The IHP/APR is currently available in a Word version. With this submission HUD intends to make available a revised Word version, an Excel version, and a version on HUD's Energy and Performance Information Center (EPIC) Web site. All three versions of the IHP/APR request the same information and a recipient may elect to submit to HUD either the Word, Excel, or EPIC versions; however, the Excel and EPIC versions are preferred because of their automated capabilities and reduced burden. The Word, Excel, and EPIC versions differ from the current version of HUD-52737 with the elimination of Line 1 (Planned Grant-Based Budget for Eligible Programs) in Section 5 (Budgets) because collection of this information served no valid purpose.

Participants in the IHBG program are responsible for notifying HUD of changes to the Formula Current Assisted Stock (FCAS) component of the IHBG formula. HUD is notified of changes in the FCAS through a Formula Response Form (HUD-4117), as defined at 24 CFR 1000.302. A tribe, TDHE, or HUD may challenge the data from the U.S. Decennial Census or provide an alternative source of data by submitting the Guidelines for Challenging U.S. Decennial Census Data Document (HUD-4119). Census challenges are due June 15 of each fiscal year, as defined at 24 CFR 1000.336. This information collection is required of participants in the IHBG program to demonstrate compliance with eligibility and other requirements of NAHASDA; provision of correction or challenge documentation of the formula calculation; and provision of data for HUD's annual report to Congress. The information gathered will be used to allocate funds under the IHBG program. The quality assurance of data reported is a very important issue in maintaining HUD's databases used to monitor participant's proposed plans, accomplishments, determine program compliance, and to ensure fair and equitable allocations. In some cases, the FCAS information addressing the conveyances and conversions of units has resulted in the recouping of funds. The information collected will allow HUD to accurately audit the program.

Agency form numbers: HUD-52737, HUD-4117, HUD-4119.

Members of affected public: Native American Tribes and Tribally Designated Housing Entities, Alaska Natives and Corporations, and Native Hawaiians.

Estimation of the total number of hours needed to prepare the information collection including number of respondents, frequency of response, and hours of response: The estimated number of respondents is 579. The IHP/APR is submitted twice a year and the Formula Correction and Formula Challenge forms are submitted once per year for an estimated total of 1,326 responses. The total paperwork burden is estimated at 48,168 hours.

Status of the proposed information collection: Revision.

Authority: Section 3506 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended.

Dated: August 6, 2012.

Merrie Nichols-Dixon,

Deputy Director for Office of Policy, Programs, and Legislative Initiatives.

[FR Doc. 2012-19964 Filed 8-14-12; 8:45 am]

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