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Possible Labor Law Conflict

We issued a question to HUD’s Section 3 New Final Rule transition leadership dealing with the serious issue of a possible conflict with labor laws. Because the final rule states the proper method of certifying a Section 3 Worker is to use their prior year income or current income annualized means using income/salary as part of the hiring process. The current laws dealing with protections against asking such questions would put PHA’s and contractors in risky position. Below is HUD’s response:

An employer could ask, on a certification form, if the applicant qualifies under the regulation as a Section 3 worker or a Targeted Section 3 worker without asking directly about income. Since there are other ways that an individual can qualify to be a Section 3 worker under the reg other than just income, the PHA or whoever is doing the hiring would not be directly asking anything about salary, as long as the applicant is not required to indicate how he or she qualifies. After hire, the employer can then periodically ask the employee to recertify for Section 3 purposes, again without asking the worker to disclose anything specifically about compensation.

…We think that you would just need to know that they were one of the criteria to self-certify, not necessarily which ones. If the applicant checks the box that they are Low or very low income (certifying they make below the listed value) that is asking them to identify if they make a maximum wage, which may run afoul of the Illinois law.

If the form were to ask them to certify that they were a Section 3 worker without asking them to identify which criteria they meet, that would be ideal. Then there could be a follow-up question about Targeted Section 3 workers. Something like “if you certified that you are a Section 3 worker above… do you meet one of the following additional criteria?”

J. Keith Swiney

J. Keith Swiney


Mr. Swiney initially launched his career in real estate in 1986 and has since gone on to diversify his real estate knowledge by strategically securing positions with industry leaders that kept him at the forefront of management and operations concepts. Mr. Swiney has managed properties utilizing a diverse representation of financing avenues for purchase, construction or rehabilitation that include: Community Block Grants, Conventional, Farmers Home and Federal (HUD) Loans, Section 8 Certificates and Vouchers, Section 202 (elderly housing), Section 235, Section 42 (tax credits) and Tax Exempt Bonds.

Today, Mr. Swiney is considered the nation’s leading authority on HUD Section 3 Compliance. Since 1997, he has trained 84% of the nations public housing and housing and community development associations, conducted hundreds of client specific technical assistance and regulatory trainings, over 100 resident employment soft, and hard skills trainings, and created and/or supported about 22 resident owned businesses nationally. Federally, Mr. Swiney has conducted Section 3 Regulatory Training at the Black Expo in Indianapolis, IN for HUD and for the Department of Interior (National Parks Service at Central High School in Little Rock, AR. Mr. Swiney set the industry standard for Section 3 policy/procedures/forms and implementation for all recipients, contractors and developers. He created the nation’s only Section 3 Compliance software database capable of managing national compliance for every HUD recipient, sub-recipient, contractor, and sub-contractor including all employment, hours works, gross pay, M/W/VBE percentages, and much more.

His experience includes the acquisition, lease-up, operations, repositioning and disposition of multiple classes of real estate from A++ conventional to public housing. He has structured and managed several properties from site selection through construction and full occupancy. Mr. Swiney’s diverse experience includes the management of 260,000 square feet of office, retail, industrial and warehouse space. He has overseen portfolios as large as 40 properties in five states and hundreds of employees. His construction experience includes identifying, contracting and supervising more than $14 million of renovation/rehabilitation projects and $40 million in new construction. In addition, he has created and operated three management and one full service corporate accommodation companies, including Millennium Management, Snyder Multi-family Management, Snyder Corporate Accommodations, Camden Housing Group, LLC and Motivation, Inc. He currently owns and operates two successful firms today from his Atlanta office.

Mr. Swiney understands the many needs of his owner clients, having worked with a variety of non-profit and for-profit owner entities from individual investors, community development corporations (CDCs), private corporations, REIT’s and partnerships to institutional owners such as insurance companies, pension funds and banks.

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