VA Updates Circular on Specially Adapted Housing Protocol for COVID-19

The VA recently issued an update to Circular 26-20-9: Specially Adapted Housing Protocol for COVID-19 Veteran Engagement – Moratorium on In-Home Visits.  The VA issued the original Circular to provide guidance to Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) Agents, Assistant Valuation Officers, Valuation Officers, and Loan Guaranty Officers on how to process new SAH grant requests during the moratorium on in-home visits resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Circular established protocols related to: (i) the initial interview and feasibility process (to be performed virtually); (ii) the compliance inspection and final field review process (also generally to be performed virtually); (iii) communications with builders and contractors; and (iv) various other contact requirements.

The updated Circular provides additional guidance to SAH field staff regarding the initial interview and feasibility process.  If the Veteran is prepared to proceed through the grant process, the updated Circular instructs the SAH Agent to proceed with the case, including collecting the necessary feasibility and suitability evidence and granting conditional grant approval.  The updated Circular further instructs that Agents who are unable to collect the necessary evidence to grant conditional grant approval will advise the veteran that the feasibility and suitability review will be scheduled and completed after the moratorium on in-home visits has been lifted.  The updated Circular is rescinded on April 1, 2022.