HRA of KOOCHICHING CO. COVID-19 response planUpdated 9/8/2020In accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health, the Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Koochiching Co. adjusted its services and operations to protect staff and the individuals and families it serves from further spread of COVID-19. The HRA will continue to update its action plan. In accordance with the State of Minnesota’s requirement that all essential businesses have a preparedness plan, the Housing and Redevelopment Authority of Koochiching Co. has put together a plan to supplement the existing guidance listed below. The HRA office remain open to residents and visitors, however, on a limited basis and due mainly to the location of the office. The HRA will did suspend all internal and external meetings with the exception of the Board meetings which offered Zoom as well as in person. As much business as possible will be conducted by telephone and other electronic means. The HRA will continue to respond as needed to emergency situations.The HRA is not closed. We remain committed to our mission and the individuals and families we serve. Staff will continue to conduct as much business as possible via U.S. Mail and electronic means – as in the past. Updated 9/8/2020 During the COVID-19 crisis, HUD has waived or extended certain regulatory requirements. See HUD Attachment 1Applicant Interviews: As in the past, all Applicant information will be done over the phone or via email.Resident Hearings:All in-person denial hearings are cancelled.Applicants may appeal their denial by submitting via fax, email, U.S. Mail, a written explanation of why their denial should be overturned along with supporting documentation. Inspections and Accessing of Units: All routine, annual inspections will be postponed until further notice.Life and Safety inspections will be conducted by staff as needed.Transfers: Reasonable Accommodations/Emergency Transfers and Ports will continue as usual.Rent Calculations/Certifications/Evictions: Income changes reported by the resident will continue to be done via U.S. Mail, email, fax, or phone.Lease violation notices will continue to be sent, and we will follow up on any applicable executive orders.Section 8/Housing Choice Voucher ProgramActions affecting people new to the Housing Choice Voucher program:Intake appointments will continue to be conducted via U.S. Mail and phone.Briefings will continue to be held via phone or electronic means and U.S. MailActions affecting on going file processing for current participants:Mailings will continue as in the past along with a reminder of all the documents needed and will also encourage participants to return via email, mail, drop box, or fax to limit contact. Return/stamped envelopes are always sent/availableStaff will contact existing appointments to cancel in-person appointments and to request return of documents by mail, fax, or email. Inspections of assisted units:Inspections for participants moving to a new unit and/or entering our program for the first time will continue. These are needed in order to begin housing assistance. Virtual inspections and detailed pictures are allowed if available. Inspectors will have PPE available for each inspection.Participants can request an inspection if they have a complaint that would warrant an inspection.Many re-inspections will be completed via self-certifications with pictures, and can be submitted by mail, fax, or email. Some inspections remain on a more frequent/quarterly basis.During the COVID-19 crisis, HUD waived or extended certain regulatory requirements. The A CHART can be found at HUD.gov “Summary of Public Housing & HCV Waivers and Alternative Requirements.” The HRA of Koochiching Co. did not choose to waive or extend any requirements.