Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ANNUAL REPORT: One Month to the Deadline

If you have ever created annual reports before, you know that the report is connected to the SHIP tracking spreadsheet your jurisdiction maintains for each SHIP distribution. When they are fully updated, these spreadsheets contain the data you need to complete the annual reports. But where exactly is the spreadsheet data you need for Annual Report Form 1, for Form 2 and for the rest of the report? The answers are illustrated in the following ‘Cheat Sheets’. The Florida Housing Coalition has created a sample report and sample tracking spreadsheet that show how these two documents match up.

As you assemble the data needed to complete your jurisdiction’s annual reports, the documents “Cheat Sheet Annual Report” and “Cheat Sheet Trak SHIP” may help. “Cheat Sheet Trak SHIP” shows where data required on the reports is located on the SHIP tracking spreadsheet designed by the Florida Housing Coalition. The red letters on this document correspond to the red numbers on “Cheat Sheet Annual Report”.

Can you pass the test? Looking at the two cheat sheets, match the proper letters to the numbers. Check your accuracy using “Cheat Sheet KEY”.

Download these documents from the following links:
· “Cheat Sheet Trak SHIP”
· “Cheat Sheet Annual Report”
· “Cheat Sheet KEY”

As you update your SHIP tracking spreadsheets, you may discover that your jurisdiction has not yet expended all the funds in the 06/07 close out distribution. Since SHIP funds must be expended within three years after they are received, how should you proceed?

First, recognize that it is common to have a small amount of unspent SHIP funds from a close out distribution; this is not a violation of the three year expenditure deadline. Whether the amount is $300 or $3000, this small unencumbered amount is insufficient to fully assist the next recipient for any of your strategies. In such a case, you may simply “carry forward” these remaining dollars. The new Web Report will identify these unencumbered funds as the carry forward amount and will automatically add this amount as the carry forward revenue on the 07/08 annual report.

However, consider the case of a jurisdiction that has tens or hundreds of thousands of 06/07 SHIP dollars left to expend. Perhaps the remaining funds are encumbered for projects that are not yet completed and occupied by eligible households. As soon as you discover that you have missed the expenditure deadline, you should request an expenditure deadline extension from Florida Housing. This request must be done in writing. Direct your correspondence to SHIP staff member Terry Auringer.

Your request should include:
The exact amount of funds still encumbered and/or unencumbered, and the number of months for which an extension is requested.
A brief explanation of why these funds have not been expended within the three year deadline. Was there, for example, a lack of contractors or materials, or is the jurisdiction still working to achieve some set-aside compliance?
Outline your plan to expend funds quickly, along with a timeline and estimate of when the funds will be fully expended. Indicate if changes have been made to SHIP strategies to address the delays. If a strategy has not been working, have you redesigned it, replaced it, or reallocated funds to a strategy known to be successful?

You should notify Florida Housing of your situation even if you anticipate that remaining 06/07 encumbered funds will be expended soon and before September 15th. The fact remains that funds were not expended by the June 30th deadline, so Florida Housing should be notified.

A handful of communities may receive extensions for expending their 06/07 funds, but they will still be required to submit a set of annual reports on September 15th. Every jurisdiction must submit their reports by this date, and there is no extension for submitting them after September 15th. Start now to ensure their timely completion. Many administrators find that these reports require more of their attention than originally expected.

The Coalition fields questions on a myriad of report-related topics. This year, the Coalition is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays to provide this assistance through its technical assistance line: 800 677-4548. In addition, a full and updated collection of frequently asked questions about annual reports is available at

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