X
GO
Become a Member to Access the Advocate
Sign up for membership today to access The Advocate articles.
May 2

May 2 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

Presidents Forum: Why Congress Increased the Capital Fund

After years of declining appropriations, we are all going to soon see a healthy increase in our Capital Fund allocations. Indeed, Congress raised the overall amount by more than $800 million compared to last year. This is very welcome news and HAs will no doubt put the funds to good use to enhance living conditions for hundreds of thousands of low-income residents.
Read More..

GAO Publishes Another Moving to Work Report

In January 2018, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) forwarded a report on the Moving to Work (MTW) program to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee entitled,  Rental Housing: Improvements Needed to Better Monitor the Moving to Work Demonstration, Including Effects on Tenants . The report used a sophisticated methodology to assess the performance of MTW agencies compared with hypothetical, virtual agencies assembled by the GAO using information from many local HAs.
Read More..

Administration’s Proposed Budget Cuts Undermine Programs

During HUD Secretary nominee Ben Carson’s Senate confirmation hearing in January of 2017, Sen. Brian Shatz (D-HI) questioned Mr. Carson as to whether he would properly advocate for an adequate HUD budget rather than undermine HUD’s mission. In response, then HUD Secretary nominee Carson replied, “Not only do I want to advocate for the HUD budget, but, you know, in the process of doing a listening tour and talking to the people who are there already, I want to put together a world-class plan on housing in this country, and then I want to come to you with that world-class plan. And I want to convince you all that this is what we need to do. I do not know what that number is going to be, quite frankly. It might be more, it might be less. But it will be what is required to accomplish what we need to do. ”
Read More..

HUD Publishes FY 18 NOFA for Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants Program

On April 10, HUD issued its FY 18 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Choice Neighborhoods program shortly after the final bill was enacted. Congress appropriated $150 million for the Choice Neighborhoods program. HUD’s application deadline is on June 12, 2018.
Read More..

Capital and Operating Fund Program Updates

On April 10, 2018, PHADA staff attended a session, along with a number of other housing authorities (HAs) and HA finance and accounting groups, led by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Philadelphia. HUD’s public housing Financial Management Division conducted a two-part session on a new Operating Fund web portal reporting module for HAs currently in development, and a training/review session on a number of public housing topics, like the operating subsidy formula, for example.  
Read More..

HUD Senior Official Has Difficulty Defending HUD FY 19 Budget

On April 17 Acting Assistant Secretary Dominique Blom testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies on HUD’s budget and policy priorities for FY 19. While Ms. Blom’s responses were articulate, they did not satisfactorily address many concerns raised about the FY 19 HUD budget or its priorities.
Read More..

PHADA Congratulates the 2018 Bollinger Scholarship Winner, Jamillah Amina Kinsey

PHADA is pleased to announce the winners of its annual Scholarship Programs.  Jamillah Amina Kinsey  of Dothan, AL, has been awarded the 2018 Stephen J. Bollinger Memorial Scholarship. A senior at Northview High School, Jamillah is a resident of the Dothan Housing Authority. DHA’s Executive Director, Samuel Crawford, states that Jamillah’s “level of academic discipline shows a young woman with great promise and dedication. ”
Read More..

HUD Issues $398 Million NOFA for Over 40,000 New Mainstream Vouchers

On April 18, HUD posted its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) containing $398 million for over 40,000 new Mainstream vouchers to assist non-elderly persons with disabilities. The Mainstream voucher program is a sub-set of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. HUD competitively awards Mainstream vouchers to housing authorities (HAs). The FY 17 Omnibus Appropriations Act, made approximately $13 million available for new mainstream Vouchers. 
Read More..
April 18

April 18 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

Additional Policy and Program Provisions in Final 2018 Appropriations Law Are Noteworthy

After more than a year in the FY 18 budget and appropriations process, Congress enacted a final $1.3 billion Consolidated Appropriations Act that involved a fast-paced negotiation process. Substantial changes were made to HUD program accounts in the final law, based on the two-year bipartisan increase in budget authority for non-defense domestic discretionary (NDD) programs for FY 18 and FY 19. In every annual spending bill, there is a lot of information in terms of funding levels, authorizing language and report language governing HUD and Federal rental assistance programs. 
Read More..

President’s Forum: PHADA Organizes Effort to Increase Admin Fees

Now that Congress has completed action on FY 18 appropriations, lawmakers will turn their attention to HUD’s FY 19 budget request. With this in mind, PHADA and three other organizations, the National Leased Housing Association (NLHA), National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), and the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) sent a letter to Congress asking appropriators to allow HAs to use a small portion of voucher funding for administrative purposes. 
Read More..

HOTMA Guidance on the Use of Operating Subsidy for Capital Fund Purposes

Congress passed the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) in 2016. Section 109(b) of HOTMA provides Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) flexibility to use up to 20 percent of its Operating Subsidy appropriated each year for Capital Fund Program (CFP) activities. PIH Notice 2018-3 was issued on February 28 and provides the necessary guidance on the use of Operating Funds for Capital Fund purposes.
Read More..

GAO Issues Report Critical of HUD’s RAD Monitoring

In late March, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its evaluation report, Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD): HUD Needs to Take Action to Improve Metrics and Ongoing Oversight, and found that HUD failed to measure some key indicators accurately and/or fully, particularly as relates to private sector leveraging, which is required by Congressional authorizing language. The GAO also reported that HUD has not developed and implemented monitoring procedures to ensure resident safeguards. In its responses to the GAO findings, HUD acknowledged some deficiencies – with caveats that it has established measures and systems where it perceived the greatest risks – and provided solutions to address GAO concerns. 
Read More..

The New Demolition and Disposition Notice

On March 22, HUD published Notice PIH 2018-7 concerning, “Demolition and/or disposition of public housing property, eligibility for tenant protection Vouchers and associated requirements.” This notice supersedes Notice PIH 2012-7, the most recent major HUD guidance on demolition and disposition of public housing. PHADA reported on this earlier notice in the February 22, 2012, edition of the Advocate and categorized the notice as including, “many reminders and new hurdles.” In particular, PHADA expressed concern that the 2012 notice (1) required submission of an environmental review prior to submission of a demolition or disposition application; (2) announced that HUD would reject any application based on the insufficiency of resources to support the maintenance and operation of the public housing; and (3) announced criteria making it more difficult to justify demolition or disposition based on obsolescence of the public housing property.
Read More..

PHADA Staff and Members Attend First Section 3 Listening Session

On March 28, 2018, PHADA and NAHRO staff, as well as members from both organizations met with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to discuss Section 3. A total of 10 small housing authorities (HAs) were present. The meeting marked the first of a series of HUD listening sessions on a new Section 3 proposed rule.
Read More..

The Affordable Housing Accreditation Board’s Accreditation Pilot Program

The Affordable Housing Accreditation Board (AHA Board) is currently piloting accreditation across the country. They are seeking an additional 10 organizations of different sizes to evaluate the standards, guidelines and indicators in 2018. In addition to the standards, they are seeking feedback on the accreditation process – ease of understanding, and applicability to all types and sizes of affordable housing organizations. The AHA Board will publish the evaluation results and share findings across the industry upon completion of the pilots. 
Read More..
April 4

April 4 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

The Affordable Housing Accreditation Board’s Accreditation Pilot Program

The Affordable Housing Accreditation Board (AHA Board) is currently piloting accreditation across the country. They are seeking an additional 10 organizations of different sizes to evaluate the standards, guidelines and indicators in 2018. In addition to the standards, they are seeking feedback on the accreditation process – ease of understanding, and applicability to all types and sizes of affordable housing organizations. The AHA Board will publish the evaluation results and share findings across the industry upon completion of the pilots. 
Read More..

President Trump Signs Massive Spending Bill

House and Senate appropriators released a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus bill for FY 18 on March 21. The measure was approved by both chambers and signed by President Trump before the Continuing Resolution expired on March 23. The bill is more than 2,000 pages in length. 
Read More..

President’s Forum: New Developments on Infrastructure and Rent Changes

I wrote about the Trump Administration’s infrastructure plan in the February 21 edition of the  Advocate . PHADA is disappointed in that proposal because HUD Secretary Ben Carson had told me and others that housing would be a major component (it is not). My column also cited a letter from Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the ranking member on the Banking and Housing Committee. That correspondence reminded the Secretary of his earlier commitment to seek housing funding, quoting Carson from his April 2017 appearance before the Low Income Housing Coalition. “The part that people are not hearing even though I’ve said it several times is that this Administration considers housing a significant part of infrastructure in our country. And as such, the infrastructure bill that’s being worked on has a significant inclusion of housing in it,” said the Secretary. 
Read More..

HUD’s Proposed Evaluation of Public Housing Activities

On January 31, HUD published a notice soliciting comments on its evaluation of public housing activities information collection. PHADA has prepared the following comments in response to HUD’s notice, asking the department to withdraw the notice and reconsider the purpose and approach of this information collection. PHADA members should submit comments, and they may use PHADA’s comments as a template. HAs must email comments to Colette.Pollard@hud.gov by April 2, 2018.sequent HUD action have slowed if not stopped implementation.
Read More..

FY 2019 Public Housing and Section 8 Program Funding Needs (March 2018)

Download a PDF version of this industry joint letter here .
Read More..

HUD’s Strategic and Annual Performance Plans Reveal More About Its Budgets

Examination of HUD’s FY 19 Annual Performance Plan and FY 19–22 Strategic Plan, shows that the Department’s rhetoric about program improvements that it touts for FY 19, is far ahead of its schedule of performance milestones. Comparison of HUD’s FY 18 and FY 19 budgets before and after enactment of a two-year budget agreement that increased non-defense domestic discretionary programs, shows that the Department’s goals for its Enhanced Housing Assistance proposal are undermined by its proposed severe funding cuts.
Read More..

A Comparison of Public Housing and PBRA in the Administration’s Budget

PHADA has long supported and advocated to HUD and Congress about the need to provide adequate resources to the Public Housing Operating and Capital Funds. Severe underfunding of the Capital Fund, especially, has led to the loss of approximately 5–10,000 hard units per year. A study report by Abt Associates in 2010, Capital Needs in the Public Housing Program, showed a capital backlog of $26 billion combined with an annual accrual estimate of $3.4 billion. Abt also estimated that Public Housing capital needs compound at an additional 8.7 percent each year, bringing the total of unmet needs to well over $30 billion at present.
Read More..

HUD Hosts 6th Quarterly UPCS-V Update Call

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) hosted its 6th quarterly update call on February 28, 2018, to update key stakeholders on the status of the Uniform Physical Condition Standards for Vouchers (UPCS-V) demonstration. As we last reported in July 2017, the Department’s efforts to replace the current inspection standard for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, HQS or Housing Quality Standards, with UPCS-V, continues steadily. The call included a UPCS-V overview, program updates related to the inspection protocol, training, as well as time for questions.
Read More..

Bollinger Foundation Seeks Nominations for Scholarship Grants

The Bollinger Foundation is now accepting nominations for its 2018 grant awards. The scholarship grants are presented to families who have lost a parent or guardian where the deceased or surviving parent worked or works in the field of public housing, community development, or economic development. Grants are primarily awarded for educational expenses, including special educational needs, school materials, and college tuition.
Read More..
March 21

March 21 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..
March 7

March 7 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

PHADA Advocates to Appropriators for FY 2018 Funding

Now that the budget is signed into law and the top line numbers are agreed to, PHADA will press for our priorities to the T-HUD Appropriations Committee. These priorities are Public Housing Operating and Capital Funds, RAD, and Housing Choice Voucher Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) renewals and Administrative Fees.
Read More..

President’s Forum: Two Budgets at Once

This edition of the Advocate includes PHADA’s letter to congressional appropriators, pushing our FY 2018 priorities for increases, including operating, capital, RAD, voucher and admin fee funding. There is also a good deal of information on the Trump Administration’s FY 2019 proposed budget, which would zero out capital funding, drastically cut the operating account, make RAD unworkable, and eliminate several other programs such as CDBG and HOME. While these proposals are deeply troubling, it is important to remember that the Administration proposed large cuts last year, which proved unacceptable to Congress. Still, we must remain vigorous in our advocacy. 
Read More..

President Trump’s FY 2019 HUD Budget Would Eviscerate Rental Assistance Programs

On February 10, the Trump Administration released its FY 2019 HUD budget and addendum, which proposes $6.8 billion in cuts or a 14.1 percent reduction to public and assisted housing programs compared to FY 2017 enacted levels. PHADA strongly opposes the irresponsible cuts in the Administration’s proposed budget, which could have a devastating impact to low-income families nationwide.
Read More..

Administration’s Proposed FY 2019 Public Housing Program Budget

An overview of the Administration’s proposal for all HUD programs can be found  here . The following details specific funding and regulatory provisions contained in the Administration’s FY 2019 budget proposal for public housing programs. 
Read More..

FY 2019 Budget Proposal – Section 8 Programs

Below is a short summary of the major issues of the President’s  FY 2019 budget proposal pertaining to Section 8 rental assistance programs, followed by an in-depth analysis:
Read More..

President’s Budget Abandons Community Development Programs

At a time when only one in five low-income renters with severe housing burdens receives housing assistance, the Administration has proposed a budget that really is Dickensian in its lack of empathy for society’s most vulnerable – the elderly, disabled, families with children, working families with low wages, and veterans. 
Read More..

WEBINAR – Connecting Housing and Education: How a Data-Sharing Partnership Can Improve Outcomes for Children in your Community

On Thursday, March 8, from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) will host a joint webinar on improving student outcomes through data-sharing partnerships between public housing authorities, multifamily housing providers, and school districts.
Read More..

HUD Posts 2018 Administrative Fee Rates

HUD recently posted 2018 administrative fee rates for the voucher programs. For the time being, HUD states that housing authorities (HAs) may use a national proration rate of 77 percent for 2018.
Read More..

Congress Passes $89.3 Billion Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Bill Into Law

On February 9, Congress passed $89.3 billion in additional emergency funds for communities related to disaster relief, long-term recovery, restoration of infrastructure and housing, economic revitalization, and mitigation in the most impacted and distressed areas resulting from recent major declared disaster. The disaster relief and recovery package signed into law by President Trump was part of a larger package that included the bipartisan two-year budget cap increase for both defense and non-defense domestic discretionary (NDD) spending. A series of important programs were funded along with much-needed legislative language that will benefit the low-income residents housing authorities (HAs) serve. Importantly, Congress did not impose offsets to NDD funding to pay for the emergency supplemental funding package.
Read More..

Comments on HUD’s Evaluation of Public Housing Activities are Due on April 2, 2018

On January 31, HUD published a  60-day notice  requesting comments on a new information collection, an “Evaluation of Public Housing Activities.” PHADA described the collection, the department’s  draft survey instrument , and some of the association’s  concerns  ( Advocate , February 21, 2018). 
Read More..
February 21

February 21 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

Congress Reaches a Two-Year Budget Deal

Congress reached a two-year budget deal on February 9 that provides increased funding of nearly $300 billion for defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding. Military spending was increased by $165 billion and domestic spending was increased by $131 billion. 
Read More..

President’s Forum: Public Housing Should Be Included in Infrastructure Package

During the 2016 presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump spoke frequently about an infrastructure plan he would send to Congress. After more than a year in the making, the Trump Administration is set to release that plan. Many housing advocates, including PHADA, were encouraged last year when HUD Secretary Ben Carson said a few times that housing would be a significant component of the plan. At this stage, however, housing does not appear to be included in the Administration’s blueprint.
Read More..

HAs Should Download HUD’s Prepopulated Spreadsheets to Learn About 2018 HAP and Fee Funding

Congress passed a measure to extend the existing Continuing Resolution (CR) until March 23. Even with the two-year budget agreement to increase the caps for both defense and non-defense domestic discretionary (NDD) programs, the increase in NDD budget authority for FY 2018 will likely translate very differently in the percentage of funding among domestic programs. As a result, there still is uncertainty about what final FY ’18 Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) funding and administrative fee levels might be once a final Omnibus Appropriations Act is passed and signed into law. In the past, HAs that faced these scenarios that relied on HUD’s advanced financial information and voucher spreadsheet tools to continue their leasing operations, fared better than HAs that waited until four to six months into the year to receive HUD’s official HAP budget authority notice for their agency and resume their leasing.
Read More..

Urban Institute Releases New Report

Urban Institute published a research report entitled,  The Case for More, Not Less: Shortfalls in Federal Housing Assistance and Gaps in Evidence for Proposed Policy Changes , in January. According to the Executive Summary, the report “'…provides an overview of the current landscape of housing assistance, its central role in the safety net, and the evidence on contemporary policy proposals.” The report discusses the current administration’s recent policy proposals (e.g. time limits, work requirements, etc.), the administration’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget, the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s A Better Way Plan. 
Read More..

HUD Has Published a Notice Concerning “Evaluation of Public Housing Activities”

On January 31, 2018, HUD published a Federal Register notice asking for public comments on a new information collection. The department is considering a survey of HAs concerning, “…policies and programs pertaining to public housing operations.” HUD plans to use widely available platforms, such as SurveyMonkey, to collect survey data. By this notice, the department requests public comment concerning this proposal by April 2, 2018.
Read More..

Update on the Impact of Tax Reform on Low Income Housing Tax Credits

With the passage of the tax bill that the President signed into law in December, the use of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) as an effective affordable housing development tool is significantly at risk. Novogradac, a leading tax advisory firm, estimates that approximately 235,000 units of affordable housing will not be built over the next ten years as a result of the reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.
Read More..

HUD News

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is offering $25 million in grants to identify and eliminate lead-based paint hazards in public housing. Read HUD’s Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).
Read More..
February 7

February 7 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

PHADA Submits Comments In Response to HUD’s Proposed FSS Performance Measurement System

PHADA has submitted comments in response to the Federal Register Notice (Docket No. FR-6046-N-01) pertaining to a HUD proposed Family Self-Sufficiency Performance Measurement System, which PHADA strongly opposes. Not only does current funding for FSS coordinators fail to compensate housing authorities for the full cost of administering an FSS program, inadequate funding for all programs and operations, particularly a prorated administrative fee at 76 percent, makes it extremely difficult for housing authorities to remain operational, much less run a successful FSS program. Considering the sorely inadequate federal funding, it is especially objectionable that HUD would suggest a performance measurement system for housing authorities that do not even receive funding for an FSS coordinator. 
Read More..

President’s Forum: Better Messaging on Voucher Administration Needed

In San Diego during our recent Commissioners Conference, the PHADA Board of Trustees approved a resolution suggesting a name change for the Section 8 administrative fee. Our suggestion is that it instead be called the “Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Services Fund” or “HCV Services Account. ”
Read More..

HUD Publishes a New Notice Concerning Small Area Fair Market Rents

On January 17, 2018, HUD published Notice PIH 2018-01 concerning, “Guidance on Recent Changes in Fair Market Rent (FMR), Payment Standard, and Rent Reasonableness Requirements in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.” This is the first guidance HUD has offered since the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a December 23, 2017 preliminary injunction barring HUD from implementing a national suspension of requirements for 200 HAs in 24 metropolitan areas to implement SAFMRs.
Read More..

Performance Measures for the MTW Program

HAI Group commissioned Abt Associates to conduct a two-part study of the Moving to Work (MTW) program, sponsored by the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC), in collaboration with the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), the Public Housing Director’s Association (PHADA), the National Association of Housing and  Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), and the MTW Steering Committee.
Read More..

HUD REAC Organizes Listening Sessions on HUD Form 50058

Over the last two years, a number of housing authorities (HAs) have participated in efforts to move the Public Housing Information Center (PIC) 50058 module to a new IT solution and platform. The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) stated that its focus has been on the most immediate priority of upgrading the underlying IT infrastructure , including: improving the availability of PIC; reducing down time in processing PIC data; reducing PIC data error rates; and, making enhancements to facilitate PIC integration with multiple vendor applications. Your agencies have made meaningful contributions to the Department’s modernization of PIC to PIC Next Generation (PIC-NG).
Read More..

PHADA Files Comment Letter with HUD Regarding Triennial Recerts for Fixed-Income Households

With the active engagement of HAs starting in Colorado and Ohio and then followed by other HAs around the country, the original sponsors of the Triennial Income Verification Relief Act – Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-OH) were successful in getting the bill enacted as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) on December 4, 2015. In response to HUD’s interim final rule implementing the law and requesting public comments, PHADA filed a letter on January 11, regarding streamlining administrative regulations and implementing triennial family income reviews for eligible households.
Read More..
January 10

January 10 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

Congress Passes Major Tax Reform Legislation

On December 22, the President signed the GOP tax bill into law after it passed in the Senate the day before with a vote of 51–48 and in the House 224–201. Democrats unanimously voted against the bill in both the House and Senate as did twelve House Republicans. Eleven of the twelve Republicans were from California, New Jersey and New York, high tax states that would be hit hard by the provision in the bill that limits the deduction for state and local taxes to $10,000. 
Read More..

President’s Forum: Tax Bill Becomes Law

Right before Christmas, following a lot of anxiety and even alarm in the affordable housing community, Congress adopted a final tax package (H.R. 1) and sent it to the White House. President Trump signed the legislation into law on December 22, 2017. 
Read More..

HUD Continues to Discourage Public Housing Non-Rental Income

Seven days after Thanksgiving 2017, HUD elected to publish Notice PIH 2017-24 (HA) concerning, “Guidance on Third-Party Agreements Encumbering Public Housing Property.” The notice offered HAs guidance concerning when they may need to request HUD approval for certain agreements concerning the use of public housing assets, including non-dwelling structures, (e.g. administrative and community buildings), and land. The notice defines these third-party agreements as, “including but not limited to leases, licenses, leaseholds, rights-of-ways, easements, operating agreements, contracts, liens, assignments, and asset transfers.”
Read More..

NLIHC Opposed to Regulatory Relief Bill for Small Agencies

On November 17, 2017, Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), Chairman of the Small Business Committee, introduced S. 2155, the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act.” According to a news release from Senator Crapo, this bipartisan legislation “…right-sizes regulation for smaller financial institutions and includes important consumer protections for veterans, senior citizens and victims of fraud.” In addition to providing regulatory relief to small financial institutions, the bill also includes a section related to regulatory relief for small public housing agencies.
Read More..

PHADA and CLPHA Submit Freedom of Information Act Request to HUD

In early 2017, a number of housing authorities (HAs) noticed  significant and unexpected reductions in Operating Fund subsidy, utilized to manage and maintain public housing properties nationwide. PHADA has been working diligently with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since April to determine the cause of these sudden decreases, and to gather data in an effort to clarify questions and concerns. On multiple occasions, both verbally and in writing, PHADA requested very specific data associated with the existing methodology, which HUD has yet to provide. 
Read More..

Family Self-Sufficiency Legislation Moves Forward in the Senate and House

Among other provisions, Senate and House versions of the “Family Self-Sufficiency Act” which are moving through both chambers, would allow participating housing authorities (HAs) to combine their public housing and housing choice voucher FSS programs, broaden the services that can be provided to participants, and extend the program to tenants who live in privately-owned properties backed by project-based rental assistance (PBRA). Both bills would also codify HUD’s existing regulatory processes regarding its existing FSS grant programs.
Read More..

HUD Issues New Performance Measurement System For FSS

On December 12, HUD issued a notice describing a new performance measurement system for the Family Self-Sufficient (FSS) program that it plans to implement for housing authorities (HAs). In its notice, HUD also requests comments on whether and, if so, how to develop a performance measurement system for HAs with FSS participants that do not receive grants. PHADA plans to file comments by the deadline of January 26. The Association welcomes HAs with and without grants to contact us with their comments and concerns.
Read More..

PHADA and CLPHA’s FOIA Request to HUD

In early 2017, a number of housing authorities (HAs) noticed significant and unexpected reductions in Operating Fund subsidy, utilized to manage and maintain public housing properties nationwide. Consequently, the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA) and the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) reached out to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) in an effort to determine the cause of these sudden decreases. 
Read More..
December 27

December 27 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

HUD Implements Triennial Recertification Law for Households with Mostly Fixed-Incomes

On December 4, 2015, President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) into law. The main housing feature of the law, includes language giving housing authorities (HAs) and owners/managers the discretionary authority to conduct full income recertifications every three years for households with 90 percent or more of their unadjusted income from fixed-income instead of annually. The Department estimates that affected households make up 53 percent of all households, or 2.5 million of 4.7 million households in the housing choice voucher (HCV), public housing (PH), and project-based rental assistance (PBRA) programs are eligible to benefit from the Act. HUD’s interim final rule amends the regulatory language to implement the FAST Act and aligns the current regulatory flexibilities with those provided in it. In addition, HUD extends to certain MFH programs some of the streamlining changes that the Department previously implemented for the HCV and PH programs.
Read More..

President’s Forum: PHADA Meets With HUD Deputy Secretary

PHADA Executive Director Tim Kaiser and I were pleased to meet with HUD Deputy Secretary Pamela Patenaude and others from the Department on December 11. Ms. Patenaude started work earlier this autumn following her U.S. Senate confirmation. She’s no stranger to the Department, however, having served as Assistant Secretary for Community Development during the George W. Bush Administration. 
Read More..

PHADA is Ending the Year with a Fresh New Look

As we all begin to wind down this past year, following a busy holiday season with friends and family, PHADA is gearing up with the launch of a fresh new website design! The new site is going to make it much easier to communicate with PHADA and fellow members while enhancing your online experience with more interactive and real-time features. We’ve all grown accustomed to conducting more and more of our personal and professional business through our PCs, tablet devices, and smart phones. PHADA is being responsive to this reality and is making changes that I’m very excited to tell you about!
Read More..

HUD Releases Report on Mortgaging

In 1998, Congress provided PHAs with a tool to access capital markets to address substantial capital needs. Under the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act (QHWRA), Section 30 was added to the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, authorizing PHAs “to mortgage or otherwise grant a security interest in any public housing project or other property of the public housing agency.’’ 
Read More..

PHADA Meets with HUD REAC Staff on UPCS

Earlier this year PHADA reached out to members requesting feedback as a result of an increase in questions and concerns related to Uniform Physical Condition Standard (UPCS) inspections and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) processes. A number of members provided some very helpful insights into inspection protocol and process-related issues. In addition to specific details and examples of issues provided by members, PHADA staff attended two related process improvement meetings at HUD REAC, the first in January 2017 and the second in September 2017. 
Read More..

PHADA Submits Comments on HUD’s Proposed Collection of HA Service Areas

On October 11, HUD published a notice announcing a 60-day comment period concerning an information collection it was proposing to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an online site it would use to check on HAs service areas. The notice indicated that HUD would post what it believed to be each HAs service area, and that thereafter HAs would have an opportunity to correct or confirm the boundaries HUD had proposed.
Read More..

PHADA Submits Comments to MTW Information Collection

On December 11, PHADA submitted comments to a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection related to HUD Form 50900 “Elements for the Annual Moving to Work Plan and Annual Moving to Work Report.” PHADA reiterated many of the concerns of the Moving to Work (MTW) Executive Steering Committee and requested that the Department re-submit the information collection due to HUD’s failure to follow procedures required by the Paperwork Reduction Act and the Administrative Procedures Act.
Read More..
December 13

December 13 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

President’s Forum: Final Stretch on HUD Appropriations

Even though the new fiscal year began three months ago, there is still not a final budget in place for FY 2018. The present Continuing Resolution (CR) runs to December 8. As this edition of the Advocate was headed to print, it appeared that another short term CR would be adopted, which would last right up to around Christmas. The most significant issue Congress is trying to resolve centers on the “top line” dollar amounts available for domestic discretionary spending.
Read More..

HUD Issues Notice on Public Housing Flat Rents

On November 15, HUD issued a notice (PIH 2015-13) to provide guidance on public housing flat rents and supplemental guidance to its final streamlining rule. Subsequently, HUD realized that its notice contained an error regarding the flat rent option based on unadjusted rents. As a result, HUD republished a corrected version of its notice dated November 30. HUD’s notice includes detailed instructions on each of the flat rent options and examples of how to apply them. One noteworthy aspect of HUD’s notice is that for the first time since flat rents have been in existence, HUD’s new notice provides housing authorities (HAs) with guidance and examples about the intersection in rent setting between flat rents and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) maximum rents. HUD and PHADA’s useful resources regarding exception flat rents are also made available in the related resources section below. 
Read More..

U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Introduces Regulatory Relief Bill

On November 17, 2017, Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), Chairman of the Small Business Committee, introduced S.2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. According to a news release from Senator Crapo, this bipartisan legislation “…right-sizes regulation for smaller financial institutions and includes important consumer protections for veterans, senior citizens and victims of fraud.” In addition to providing regulatory relief to small financial institutions, the bill also includes a section related to regulatory relief for small public housing agencies. Specifically, Section 210 streamlines certain requirements for small public housing authorities operating in rural areas. 
Read More..

PHADA’s Demolition and Disposition Survey Confirms Spotty Experiences of Housing Authorities

In July, PHADA reported on ongoing issues reported by members concerning demolition or disposition applications. PHADA discussed application experiences with consultants who have helped several agencies navigate the application process, and they indicated that, although the process has continued to be opaque, unpredictable, and time consuming, matters had improved. HUD issued Notice PIH 2012-7 which changed the demolition and disposition application process and approval standards and appeared to constrain grounds for approval of applications. In addition, senior HUD staff which had managed review of these applications at HUD’s Special Applications Center (SAC) changed. Events did not seem to bode well for applications to demolish or dispose of public housing assets.
Read More..

Urban Institute Traces Housing Market Trends, Documents Housing Assistance Gap

An Urban Institute research paper surveying affordable housing trends describes a growing “housing assistance gap” between the housing needs of low income families and the actual number of households that receive federal assistance, and predicts this gap will likely widen due to current trends.
Read More..

Housing America’s Families Forum Held in the Motor City

The J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation held its annual meeting in Detroit in November, gathering practitioners and experts to focus on the nation’s affordable housing crisis. High rent burdens, the decrease in the homeownership rate, financial and regulatory obstacles, and demographic trends that will affect the rental housing market over the next decade and beyond were discussed.
Read More..
November 29

November 29 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

The House Tax Bill Is Devastating to Affordable Housing Development

Early indications from the President’s tax proposal, which explicitly retained the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), created optimism for its preservation as an affordable housing development tool. But while the House tax reform bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, does preserve the LIHTC, the unexpected elimination of private-activity bonds – including multifamily tax-exempt bonds – would have devastating effects on the construction and preservation of affordable housing. The housing tax credit is responsible for virtually all construction and preservation of low-income housing units, financing more than 40 percent of all LIHTC-financed affordable homes annually. 
Read More..

President’s Forum: Please Contact Congress on Tax Bills

Two significant issues arose in the last few weeks, and are covered in further detail elsewhere in this edition of the Advocate. I wanted to add my brief perspective on those matters. The issues are the tax bills presently making their way through both chambers of Congress, and a new report concerning the Moving to Work (MTW) program.
Read More..

UC Berkley Publishes an Assessment of Early RAD Implementation

The Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkley published a report entitled, “Lessons for the Future of Public Housing: Assessing the Early Implementation of the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program,” in October 2017. The Center is an initiative supported by the College of Environmental Design and the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Housing Economics of the Haas School of Business. The center is directed by Carol Galante who served as the Assistant Secretary for Housing and the Federal Housing Commissioner in the Obama administration.
Read More..

Announcing The Mutual of America Life Insurance Company Scholarship

Mutual of America Life Insurance Company recently committed $5,000 for PHADA’s 2018 scholarship which is awarded to a deserving public housing resident student, selected by the PHADA Scholarship Committee. Shown here with the signed agreement are LaDoverick “Dobie” Huggins, Senior Field Vice-President National Accounts for MOA, and Hershel Thrasher, PHADA Trustee. This agreement with MOA enables PHADA to continue to award three scholarships each spring: The Bollinger, The Freedom & Civil Rights, and now, The Mutual of America Life Insurance Company Scholarship.
Read More..

HUD Issues Long Awaited Guidance on HOTMA – Housing Quality Standards Provisions

The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA) was unanimously passed by both houses of Congress and became law in 2016. The bill institutes modest reforms over a range of programs, including public housing, Section 8 tenant-based, project-based rental assistance, HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH), Family Unification Program (FUP), Emergency Solution Grants, and rural housing programs. Several provisions became effective upon enactment, some provisions require further rulemaking, and others became effective after the issuance of a notice by the Department. As a result, the Department recently published guidance related to a few of these reforms. One such notice issued is PIH Notice 2017-20 entitled, “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) – Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Implementation Guidance” on October 27, 2017.
Read More..

HUD Issues Detailed Guidance on HOTMA – PBV and HCV Provision

On October 30, HUD issued a 67-page notice (PIH 2017-21) to provide detailed implementing guidance on the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) – Project-Based Voucher (PBV) and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) provisions. 
Read More..

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Fact Sheet

PHADA has established a working group related to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, which continues to be the major production program for affordable rental housing. Two bills, Senate 548 and House of Representatives 1661, propose expanding and strengthening the LIHTC program. Below you will find some basic background information about the LIHTC program as well as a  synopsis of the bills.
Read More..
November 16

November 15 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

President’s Forum: Update on the Operating Reserves Litigation

PHADA was pleased to announce this past January that the U.S. Court of Federal Claims found in favor of nearly 350 housing authorities that brought a lawsuit against the government challenging HUD’s reduction of their FY 2012 operating subsidies. The government decided not to appeal the decision and damages totaling about $136 million are expected to be distributed soon. Within a matter of days, more than 500 HAs will initiate a second round of litigation related to the same matter.  
Read More..

Thank You, John Bohm

Longtime NAHRO staffer John Bohm recently left the association to relocate with his wife to the Richmond, VA, area. “It’s been a pleasure to work with John over so many years, even before he came to NAHRO,” said PHADA Executive Director Tim Kaiser. 
Read More..

Final Lead Safe Housing Rule

Despite drastically reduced numbers of children exposed to lead today as a result of long-term and ongoing efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), blood level monitoring continues to uncover some children exposed to elevated blood lead levels. As a result, this time last year, the HUD issued a proposed rule entitled, “Requirements for Notification, Evaluation and Reduction of Lead-Based Paint Hazards in Federally Owned Residential Property and Housing Receiving Federal Assistance; Response to Elevated Blood Lead Levels.” The final rule was published on January 13, 2017. 
Read More..

Is Your Housing Authority Prepared for a HUD/EPA Lead Based Paint Review/Audit? Quick Tips

HUD and the EPA are clearly putting a large focus back on lead based paint. Recently, staff from both agencies in D.C. swung through the Pacific Northwest and conducted lead based paint reviews with several housing authorities. There is a good chance that more housing authorities will be reviewed in the upcoming weeks and months. With this renewed emphasis on lead based paint comes a chance for housing authorities to ensure they are protecting their families and being compliant with HUD and EPA standards. 
Read More..

HUD Publishes the First Report on Its Rent Reform Demonstration

In the fall of 2012, HUD contracted with MDRC to conduct a rental assistance demonstration in collaboration with several other research organizations including the Urban Institute, Quadel, the Bronner group, and scholars at the City University of New York, and New York University. MDRC also assembled an expert panel to advise MDRC on the project that includes representatives of PHADA and other housing industry groups.
Read More..

The Federal Budget Process Moves Forward

On October 26, by a vote of 216–212, the House adopted the Senate’s version of the budget resolution, providing a pathway for tax reform legislation. With the prospect of adding at least $1.5 trillion to the debt in tax cuts over the next 10 years, no Democrats voted in favor of the House resolution, citing concern that it favors the wealthy and corporations but hurts the middle class, despite Republican claims to the contrary.
Read More..

Elderly and Disabled Have Increased Reliance on HUD Housing Programs

The length of stay in HUD’s rental assistance programs grew longer in 2000 through 2015, lengthening from an average 4.4 years in 2000 to 6.0 years in 2015, an increase of 1.6 years, according to a HUD-commissioned report authored by Kirk McClure of the University of Kansas. According to the report, an increase in elderly and disabled households is the likely reason since recent research shows these residents tend to stay longer than non-elderly renters.
Read More..

PHADA’s Analysis of HUD’s FMRs and Recommended Improvements

In the last two rounds of regulatory comments, PHADA expressed its support of the HUD’s four proposed methodological changes in the way it calculates Fair Market Rents (FMRs) and Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs) for those areas where they represented an improvement. However, the Association found that HUD also failed to produce rent estimates that reflected consistent increases in other rental markets where warranted, but resulted in decreasing FMRs instead. The rent estimates stemming from HUD’s changes were also negligible for other areas and failed to adequately deal with the underlying problems of erratic and inaccurate FMRs. As a result, PHADA conveyed to the Department that its FMR and SAFMR data sources and methods still needed substantial improvement. 
Read More..

Zillow’s Study Shows HUD’s FMRs Are Too Low in the 100 Largest U.S. Counties

Zillow Group Rentals, the nation’s largest online rental network, recently published a study of HUD’s FY 2017 Fair Market Rents (FMRs) showing that in 75 of the nation’s 100 largest counties, rent estimates were insufficient for voucher holders to access the bottom 40th percentile of rental markets. HUD’s FMRs were only sufficient to allow voucher holders access to less than 10 percent of available rental units in 15 counties. As a result of HUD’s inadequate FMRs, Zillow’s analysis shows that voucher holders’ housing options are significantly limited. 
Read More..
November 1

November 1 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

President’s Forum: PHADA’s Perspective on the “Numbers Debate”

There has long been a debate in housing policy circles concerning how to best measure the success of HUD’s various programs. This debate re-surfaced at a recent hearing of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee during Secretary Ben Carson’s testimony before the panel (see separate article on page 14). During that meeting, one lawmaker summarized the matter succinctly. He said Democrats tended to determine success by the number of people served by the programs. Republicans, he added, gauge success by the number of people who leave the programs, ostensibly because they have become self-sufficient. We would argue that BOTH of these measures have merit and that they should not be considered mutually exclusive. 
Read More..

PHADA, CLPHA, and NAHRO Meet with HUD Again on Operating Fund Eligibility

On October 11, 2017, PHADA, CLPHA, and NAHRO met with staff from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to discuss significant decreases in Operating Fund eligibility nationwide earlier this year. This meeting follows a previous meeting with HUD in April 2017 and two industry letters sent to the Department requesting information in an effort to clarify questions and concerns related to Operating Fund data and methodologies used to arrive at agency eligibility. 
Read More..

HAs Deal with FY 2018 Appropriations Limbo in the Voucher Program

There are significant uncertainties at this time about the total amount of appropriations for Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and administrative fee funding and prorations in voucher programs. Given this fact, housing authorities’ (HAs) would be well-served by accessing a number of easy-to-use features in HUD’s pre-populated and formula-driven HCV Two-Year Tool (TYT). This is also a good time for HAs to assess different funding scenarios and to make good use of valuable features in HUD’s spreadsheet that may be overlooked or unknown to them. This will help HAs maximize their funding and mitigate harmful outcomes in HAs’ voucher programs next year. 
Read More..

Housing Authorities Encouraged to Stay in Touch With Officials as Recovery Begins

With the federal disaster funds starting to flow, housing authorities can get needed help for their communities by staying in touch with their state and local governments, letting their governor and state agencies know what the recovery needs are and updating these estimates over time. PHADA is also encouraging HAs to stay in touch with members of Congress to provide them with types and estimates of unmet needs. 
Read More..

HUD’s Office of Inspector General Publishes Many Audit Reports in September

In September, HUD’s OIG published 34 audit reports, following its practice of 2016 when it published 33 reports. September’s issued reports represent approximately one third of the 100 reports the OIG has issued so far in calendar year 2017. In 2016, the OIG issued 110 audit reports, so it seems likely that the office will meet or exceed that number by the end of December 2017. This recent volume of issuances may be related to the close of the federal fiscal year on September 30.
Read More..

A Tale of Two HUDs

In an emotionally charged atmosphere, the House Financial Services Committee met on October 12, with HUD Secretary Ben Carson as the sole witness. The Committee examined HUD’s vision for the future of federal housing policy as well as whether its programs have furthered its mission. On one side the Democrats, some with personal tales of family hardship and the public housing that improved their lives, spoke in favor of HUD programs and against $6 billion in HUD budget cuts put forth by the Administration. On the other, comments by Republican members focused on their belief that public housing can inhibit residents from reaching their potential and, instead, encourage too much reliance on the government for housing and other supports.
Read More..

HUD’s Published FY 2018 FMRs and SAFMRs Take Effect

HUD’s methodological changes to its Fair Market Rents (FMRs) and Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs) published on September 1, 2017, took effect on October 2, 2017. The exception to this effective date, is for housing authorities that submitted a reevaluation request by the end of the comment period on October 2.
Read More..
October 18

President’s Forum: Three Short Messages for Congress

October 1 has now come and gone, and we again begin a new fiscal year without a federal budget in place. Members of Congress often talk about the need to return to the “regular order” of enacting the 12 appropriations bills that comprise the budget, but the reality is that lateness has become the “regular order.” In fact, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the last time all appropriations bills were enacted by the start of the new fiscal year was in 1996. Not even a single appropriations bill has been enacted on time since 2009. 
Read More..

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Preserved in the Current Tax Reform Package

On September 27 the Trump Administration, the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee leadership issued its tax reform proposal, Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code. According to the ACTION (A Call To Invest in Our Neighborhoods) Campaign, a national, grassroots coalition of over 2,000 entities engaged to strengthen and preserve the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), the plan seeks to lower tax rates (from 35 percent to 20 percent for the corporate tax rate), simplify the tax code, bring business back into the US, broaden the tax base and encourage economic growth. It also urges Congress to protect, expand and strengthen the LIHTC.
Read More..

The Shrinking Affordable Housing Portfolio

As federal resources for affordable housing shrink, the inventory of housing units affordable to the lowest income families in the U.S. is decreasing as well. According to new data from the National Housing Preservation Database (NHPD), nearly 500,000 units have affordability restrictions through rental assistance programs, including project-based Section 8, the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Sections 515 and 538, Section 202 direct loans, and HOME, which are set to expire by 2020. This figure equates to one in ten of the almost five million homes supported by federal rental programs. Properties with expiring Section 8 contracts make up the largest portion of those with upcoming affordability expirations. While many of these properties will likely renew their contracts, recent research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) suggests that 8 percent of properties could fall out of the inventory altogether, leading to a loss of over 39,000 affordable units by 2020
Read More..

Assessment of Fair Housing Update

On September 26, via email through HUD Exchange, HUD has announced that data and maps for six HAs are available through its latest update to the AFFH Data and Mapping Tool. That data became available on October 2.
Read More..

PHADA Requests Meeting with HUD Staff Related to Public Housing Physical Inspections

PHADA staff attended two process improvement meetings with HUD staff and UPCS contract inspectors earlier this year in January and September. These meetings were informative and constructive for both the Department and inspectors, and resulted in some improvements to the REAC inspection process. Due to this, and the fact that a number of members continue to have significant concerns, PHADA is adamant that members should be involved in the decision making process and information sharing related to improvements, as well. PHADA requested to meet with the Department to discuss this in greater detail on October 3.
Read More..

HUD Issues Expedited Waivers to Disaster Affected HAs and Updates PHA Groups

On October 2, senior HUD PIH officials held a conference call with PHADA, NAHRO and CLPHA to provide an update on the general impacts of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria on households assisted under public housing and voucher programs as well as what the Department has done to date. As a result of Presidentially-declared Major Disaster Declarations (MDD) following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria HUD issued an expedited waiver process for the review of requests for relief from HUD statutory, regulatory and/or administrative requirements for housing authorities (HAs) that are located in Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Florida, and Georgia. PHADA will continue to provide details as they become available.
Read More..

HUD News: HUD Publishes Notice Implementing 40k Cap Increase and New Resident Materials

On May 5, 2017, the FY 2017 Appropriations Act amended the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) statute, by increasing the cap of public housing units that can be converted from 185,000 units to 225,000 and extending the period for project applications until September 30, 2020.
Read More..

October 18 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..
October 4

October 4 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

Current Spending Bill Goes Through December 8

Averting a government shutdown, Congress and the Administration acted on some key spending items in the House and Senate’s first week back in session. On Sept. 8, the House passed (by a vote of 316-90) H.R. 601, Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 and Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements Act, 2017, a spending package that the Senate approved (by a vote of 80-17) the previous day after revisions to increase funding in the original House bill.
Read More..

President’s Forum: A Report on the Legislative Forum

PHADA held its annual Legislative Forum in Washington September on 10–12. The meeting was productive from both an organizational and policy standpoint. We heard from influential congressional and HUD staff and many of our members fanned out across Capitol Hill to meet with their own Representatives, Senators and their staffs. We also heard about the drastic effects of Hurricane Harvey from PHADA Trustee Tory Gunsolley, the Executive Director in Houston, which was ravaged by the storm. I thought I would take this opportunity to report some of the meeting highlights below. 
Read More..

HUD Reorganization Plan Encompasses Rent Reform, Potential Staff Cuts, New Flexibilities

HUD has been unsuccessful thus far in getting its rent reform proposals through Congress, but a draft reorganization plan filed with the Office of Management and Budget shows the Trump Administration will continue to push the issue next year by proposing comprehensive rent reform legislation. Other changes in the works include new administrative flexibility for HUD and housing authorities, the potential closure of some field offices that could result in staff reductions, and better monitoring of programs to reduce financial risk.
Read More..

Hurricane Disaster Relief and Recovery Funds Enacted and Implemented

At the time of publication, the Federal government made disaster declarations for areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and other ongoing disaster response efforts in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 
Read More..

The New Moving to Work Performance Measures Report

In the just released second of two research publications, Abt Associates reports on performance measure for assessing MTW agency success in fulfilling the statutory goals for the program. The firm identified 19 measures and applied them to MTW agencies and to non-MTW agencies matched on several dimensions to MTW agencies. Abt Associates reports that on almost all measures, MTW agencies outperform non-MTW agencies by modest but significant margins.
Read More..

PHADA, CLPHA, and NAHRO Request Operating Fund Eligibility Data from HUD

On April 24, 2017, PHADA, CLPHA and NAHRO met with HUD staff regarding questions and concerns related to sudden significant decreases in Operating Fund eligibility for a number of housing authorities (HAs) nationwide. These decreases in eligibility are due to overly optimistic and unrealistic assumptions of increases in tenant rental income and utilities expense-level savings. As a follow-up to this meeting, PHADA sent a letter to HUD requesting additional information and specific eligibility data on May 17, 2017 to verify accuracy of the data and any methodologies utilized by HUD. 
Read More..

HUD News: New Leadership and Breaking News

The U.S. Senate confirmed President Trump’s nomination of Pamela Patenaude to serve as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD Secretary Ben Carson welcomed the Senate’s action and said it comes at a critical time as the Department prepares to support the long-term recovery following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Read More..

HUD Reports on Worst Case Housing Needs for a Growing Number of Renter Households

HUD issued its biennial report to Congress on August 9. The report, Worst Case Housing Needs, provides national data and analysis of the critical problems facing low-income renters. According to HUD, severe housing problems are on the rise, with 8.3 million households having worst case needs in 2015, up from 7.72 million in 2013. These households are defined as very low-income renters (incomes below 50 percent of the area median income or AMI) who do not receive government assistance and who pay more than half their gross income towards rent, live in severely substandard housing, or both. In 2015, the majority of households with worst case housing needs had severe housing cost burdens while only two percent living in severely inadequate conditions.
Read More..

HUD Provides “Technical Corrections” to PBV Provisions from HOTMA

The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) contains provisions including but not limited to the Section 8 Project-Based voucher (PBV) program, which PHADA supported. The act’s PBV provisions are among the most important for additional affordable housing preservation, revitalization and development opportunities to assist low-income households. Among other PBV provisions enacted, are measures allowing HAs to increase the overall percentage of their vouchers for project-basing and to increase the percentage of PBV-assisted units within each project. Earlier this year, HUD issued nine “technical corrections” to its previous notice regarding the PBV program. 
Read More..
July 26

House Marks Up FY 2018 HUD Spending Bill

On July 11, the House of Representatives T-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee marked up an FY 2018 spending bill. As the Advocate went to print, the bill was scheduled to be marked up by the full committee the week of July 17. A copy of the bill language is available at: http://bit.ly/2tfaCO9 , and a subcommittee explanation may be accessed at: http://bit.ly/2uaMGja . As expected, the measure provides grossly insufficient funding for public and assisted housing programs, although it is clearly preferable to the Trump Administration’s proposed budget for the new fiscal year, which starts October 1.
Read More..

President’s Forum: NAHRO, PHADA, and CLPHA Leaders Meet to Discuss the Future of Public Housing

I was delighted to be an active participant in the recent industry group meeting referenced on the opposite page. Also attending on behalf of PHADA were our former President Nancy Walker (Laurinburg, NC) and Senior Vice President John Hodge (Brunswick, ME) along with some of our policy staff. As per the joint statement, the three groups are now developing specifics into a more detailed paper that will be shared with the broader leaderships of the three associations. 
Read More..

A Joint Statement on the Future of Funding for Public Housing

On June 20, a working group of industry leaders and staff from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), and the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA) met in Washington, D.C., primarily to discuss the challenges facing the public housing program, and also to enhance voucher programs, to identify promising legislative and regulatory initiatives that will preserve and improve the public housing portfolio in the long-term, and to foster industry collaboration and coordination.
Read More..

Ranking Member Waters Introduces Bill to Fully Fund Public Housing

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, recently introduced legislation, the Public Housing Tenant Protection and Reinvestment Act Of 2017 (H.R. 3160). The bill proposes full funding of operating and capital funds for the more than one million families who reside in public housing.
Read More..

PHADA Investigates Impacts of HUD’s Demolition and Disposition Policies

For decades, HUD has had processes in place to approve HAs’ plans to demolish or dispose of public housing property, including dwelling units, non-dwelling structures, and land. As part of the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act (QHWRA), Congress vested significant discretion for decisions to demolish or dispose of public housing assets in local HAs. Under QHWRA, HUD’s role was to approve demolition or disposition proposals that HAs determined were in the residents’ and the HA’s best interests and certified that determination to HUD. HUD could deny approval of an application only if it was “clearly inconsistent with information and data available to the Secretary,” or otherwise failed to comply with procedural requirements.
Read More..
July 12

July 12 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the  Advocate  here.
Read More..

Federal Housing Programs Contribute to Resilient Families, Sustainable Communities

In its latest annual research report, the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corp. (PAHRC) takes a holistic look at publicly assisted housing programs, examining how they support economic mobility for families, save money for communities, and stimulate economic growth. “The 2017 PAHRC Report: How Sustainable Communities Create Resilient People” has a wealth of data showing why federal spending on housing is an investment that brings savings and economic returns for all. 
Read More..

President’s Forum: More Flexibility & Fungibility Would Help with Budget Uncertainty

President Trump’s FY 2018 budget continues to undergo congressional scrutiny on Capitol Hill while PHADA and others remind lawmakers of some of the spending plan’s more harmful aspects. Among other serious problems, the budget would cut the Operating Fund by about $600 million and slash the Capital Fund to well below $1 billion. It also reduces voucher funding to the point that as many as 250,000 vouchers could be lost next year. 
Read More..

Housing Authorities Collaborate on a Concept for the Future of the Public and Assisted Housing Programs

The following concept paper was developed by the individuals cited below following a recent meeting they held in Denver concerning the future of the public and assisted housing programs. The housing professionals shared their ideas with the three industry groups in advance of a recent joint meeting of PHADA, CLPHA, and NAHRO. PHADA thought the paper was well done, appreciates the effort, and supports many of the concepts advanced in it. 
Read More..

Update to FY 2017 Capital Fund Awards Announcement

PHADA staff recently spoke with the Department regarding Capital Fund grant awards for FY 2017. According to HUD, housing authorities (HAs) should keep an eye out for the award announcement as they plan to issue the notice, as well as ACC amendments online at the end of June 2017.
Read More..

HUD Notifies HAs of 74.25 Percent Fee Prorations in First Quarter

As PHADA reported on June 15, HUD recently notified all Housing Authorities (HAs) administering voucher programs that for the first quarter of this year, ongoing administrative fee prorations would be 74.25 percent of the amounts for which agencies are eligible. This fee proration, which is based on directly appropriated funds from Congress for FY 2017, represents the second lowest one in the history of the voucher program. 
Read More..

HAI Group Press Release: HAI Announces Appointment of Interim President and Chief Executive Officer

Cheshire, CT, June 20 – HAI Group, a national provider of innovative solutions tailored for the public and affordable housing industry, is pleased to announce that Edmund (Ed) Malaspina, Jr., has been appointed Interim President and Chief Executive Officer. 
Read More..

An Update on PHADA’s New Website Development

This past May, PHADA members received an email announcing the redesign of the association’s website. Once completed, the new site – scheduled to launch in early 2018 – will offer improved features including the following:
Read More..

HUD Continues to Move Forward with UPCS-V Demonstration

The Department’s efforts to replace the current inspection standard for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, HQS or Housing Quality Standards, with UPCS-V, or Uniform Physical Condition Standards for the voucher program, continues steadily. At the time of PHADA’s last report on the status of UPCS-V in November 2016, HUD began training on the protocol at 11 agencies participating in the demonstration. Since that time, the Department has trained 24 agencies on the proposed standard and has completed at least 1,019 UPCS-V inspections of record. 
Read More..

PHADA Issue Brief: Update - Over 100,000 Go Without Housing

Download a PDF version of the Issue Brief  here.
Read More..
June 28

June 28 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

Senators Protest HUD Budget Cuts

HUD Secretary Ben Carson testified before the Senate T-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee on June 7 and faced stiff opposition to the President’s FY 2018 proposed budget. In addition, Senate Banking Committee members informed HUD Deputy Secretary nominee Pamela Patenaude of their many concerns in her June 6 confirmation hearing. President Trump’s plan would cut HUD’s budget by more than 15 percent compared to this year with large reductions proposed in almost all accounts. Senators were particularly vocal about the proposed elimination of the CDBG program. 
Read More..

President’s Forum: Please Use Effective Advocacy Guide and Tool

One point I have often heard repeated in our industry is that we must all be more effective advocates for our individual agencies and our industry. With so much happening in Washington affecting our operations, this has never been truer. With this in mind, PHADA staff recently reminded me of a quality publication on this topic. 
Read More..

The Moving to Work Program Expansion Operations Notice Comments

As it proceeds to implement the 100-agency expansion of the Moving to Work (MTW) Program authorized by Congress in 2015, HUD has published a series of notices requesting public comments on its plans to change the MTW Program. On December 20, HUD published a proposal concerning standards to use in evaluating the statutory requirement that an MTW agency serve substantially the same number of families (STS) as the agency would have served had it not combined Section 8 and Section 9 funds under the U.S. Housing Act of 1937. 
Read More..

PHADA Submits Comments to the Department

On, June 14, PHADA submitted extensive comments to the Federal Register Notice entitled, “Reducing Regulatory Burden; Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda Under Executive Order 13777.” On a number of occasions, PHADA has provided the Department with recommendations and proposals to reduce administrative and regulatory burdens so that housing authorities (HAs) could focus efforts on their core mission of providing affordable rental housing and related services to residents. We welcome this formal opportunity to assist HUD’s Regulatory Task Force with the charge of identifying agency regulations that may be outdated, ineffective and/or excessively burdensome. 
Read More..

HUD Issues Guidance on the “Violence Against Women Act” (VAWA)

On May 19, 2017, HUD issued a notice (PIH Notice 2017-08) regarding the “Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013” (VAWA). HUD’s notice provides guidance to Housing Authorities (HAs) and owners on the requirements of VAWA. In the near future, PHADA will provide additional information regarding HUD’s implementation of VAWA.
Read More..

HUD Proposes Changes to Its Method for Estimating FMRs, SAFMRs and Inflation Factors

Over the years, PHADA has pointed out to HUD and Congress that the Department’s Fair Market Rents (FMRs) and Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs) have had extreme year-to-year fluctuations that adversely affect low-income households subject to a wide range of Federal programs. PHADA has also raised concerns that the FMRs and SAFMRs are either not timely enough and/or are not based on enough local information.
Read More..

Senate Press Release: Blunt, Reed, Scott, and Menendez Introduce Legislation to Improve Education and Economic Opportunities for Low-Income Families

Washington, DC, March 2  – U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today introduced the bipartisan Family Self Sufficiency Act, which would streamline and improve the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program.
Read More..
June 14

June 14 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate  here.
Read More..

President’s Forum: A Closer Look at the President’s Budget

Congress just completed action on 2017 appropriations in mid-May and must now move on immediately to consideration of the FY 2018 budget. President Trump released an early “skinny budget” a few months back, and his Administration has now issued a more detailed version of the plan. As expected, the proposed budget contains deep cuts in many domestic discretionary programs including those we administer.
Read More..

Farewell to PHADA Policy Analyst, Kathi Whalen

The members and staff of PHADA would like to wish a fond farewell to Kathi Whalen, who, for the past 10 years, has been a policy analyst here.
Read More..

HUD Establishes Task Force to Consider Repeal, Replacement, or Modification to Regulations

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a notice of request for comment in the Federal Register on May 15, 2017. The notice is entitled, “Reducing Regulatory Burden; Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda Under Executive Order 13777.” A summary of the notice, provided by the Department, states that: “In accordance with Executive Orders 13771, ‘Reducing and Controlling Regulatory Costs,’ and 13777, ‘Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,’ HUD is reviewing its existing regulations to assess their compliance costs and reduce regulatory burden.” 
Read More..

Inspector General Faults HUD for Inadequate Implementation of Mandatory Conversions

A HUD Inspector General audit concluded that the Office of Public and Indian Housing has not adequately implemented the mandatory conversion of distressed public housing to tenant-based assistance authorized in Section 33 of the U.S. Housing Act of 1937, which is intended to remove rental units from the HUD inventory that are not cost effective to replace and to continue rental assistance to residents.
Read More..

PHADA Encourages HAs To Move Forward with Voucher Leasing Plan Now

All Housing Authorities (HAs) are encouraged to download HUD’s Voucher Two-Year-Tool (TYT) for their specific agency now in order to learn how much total Housing Assistance Payment funding they have to work with for 2017 and to move forward with their voucher leasing plans now. HUD’s TYT uses the identical data and calculations the Department will use in its pending notice over the next several weeks. 
Read More..

PHADA Comments on HUD’s Operations Notice Governing the Moving to Work Expansion

On June 5, PHADA submitted comments to HUD concerning the revised draft of its Operations Notice governing the MTW expansion. In 2015, Congress enacted a 100-unit expansion of the MTW program and since then HUD has formed and met with a Research Advisory Committee, and has received recommendations from that committee. 
Read More..
May 31

May 31 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

Summary of FY 2017 Spending Bill

Congress recently passed and President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 – seven months into the fiscal year. The long awaited spending bill delivered disappointing funding levels to public housing programs as Congress continues to withdraw from decades-old funding commitments made to local housing agencies. PHADA had hoped that the final bill would include the slightly more helpful numbers contained in the Senate proposal. In the end, however, both the Operating Fund, the Capital Fund received low funding – shortchanging public housing residents and their homes by more than $4 billion for the fiscal year. This spending level is well below the estimate of actual need – and far below the level of funding received by the similarly-sized privately-owned publicly-assisted housing portfolio (PBRA).
Read More..

President’s Forum: Thank You for the Honor

I am honored to serve as PHADA’s new President and will do my best to live up to the standards set by my predecessor, Nancy Walker (Laurinburg, NC). We owe a large debt of gratitude to Nancy for her excellent leadership the past two years. I sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence that the PHADA Board of Trustees and the entire membership has placed in me.
Read More..

Letter to HUD on Operating Subsidy

In response to some members’ questions and concerns regarding significant changes to their Operating Fund subsidy in March and April 2017, PHADA and other industry groups met with the Department on April 24, 2017. HUD provided a considerable amount of information and data at that time – a summary of the additional details made available related to the operating subsidy calculation can be accessed online at: http://bit.ly/2qEJp7W. 
Read More..

Industry Accreditation Standards Released; PHADA Member Comments Needed

The Affordable Housing Accreditation Board (AHAB) has released draft AHAB Accreditation Standards and Guidelines, a project that has been in the works during the past five years and a major advance toward the goal of an industry accreditation system that relies on peer review and support to achieve organizational excellence.
Read More..

HUD Implements Various Provisions of HOTMA with Different Effective Dates

The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) was signed into law in July 2016, following unanimous passage of the bill by both houses of Congress. Under HOTMA, HUD has the authority to implement many statutory changes by notice. HUD published several notices to put into play specific provisions that impact the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), PBV and other programs.  
Read More..
May 3

May 3 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

President’s Forum: Thank You for the Honor

This is my final column as your President so I wanted to take the opportunity to thank some of those who assisted me since I took office in May, 2015.
Read More..

PHADA Congratulates the 2017 Bollinger Scholarship Winner, Marwat Mohammed Al-Olefi (Oakland, CA)

PHADA is pleased to announce the winners of its annual Scholarship Programs. Marwat Mohammed Al-Olefi of Oakland, CA, has been awarded the 2017 Stephen J. Bollinger Memorial Scholarship. A senior at Life Academy of HealthBioscience, Marwat is a resident of the Oakland Housing Authority. OHA’s Executive Director, Eric Johnson, states that Marwat is a “very socially conscious student who has incorporated social-justice advocacy in her high-school life.”
Read More..

Bipartisan Legislation to Improve, Strengthen Housing Tax Credit Reintroduced in Congress

Bipartisan legislation to strengthen and increase the flexibility of the low income housing tax credit has been reintroduced in Congress at a time when tax reform remains a top priority of President Trump and congressional Republicans. The Senate bill would increase the amount of available housing tax credits by 50 percent over five years, while both the House and Senate measures have features to improve the financial feasibility of projects, to better target housing toward extremely low-income households, and to facilitate development in challenging markets.
Read More..

House Authorizers Consider Changes to HUD Programs

The Views and Estimates (V&E) of the Committee on Financial Services for FY ’18 passed February 28 on a 33–25 party line vote. The document is prepared annually and sent to the House Budget Committee. The V&E allows the Financial Services Committee to provide information and authorizing plans on topics within its jurisdiction that could impact the federal budget. The FY ’18 V&E begins with a desolate vision of the U.S. economy and urges Congress to “rein in spending and put our nation onto a sustainable fiscal path.” 
Read More..

Three Groups Write to Congress on Infrastructure Package

PHADA, CLPHA, and NAHRO sent Congress a detailed letter outlining why housing should be included in any infrastructure legislation. Among other things, the groups noted the potential economic and health benefits, the growing modernizations needs of HAs, and the successful track record of agencies with the ARRA stimulus spending just a few short years ago. Following is an abridged version of the letter. The full version may be accessed at: www.phada.org/news.php?id=2693. 
Read More..

PHADA Continues to Remind HUD About HAs’ OPEB Commitments Prior to FY 2018 Budget Release

Budget and appropriation pressures for non-defense domestic discretionary (NDD) program accounts like public housing operating and capital funds, remain under enormous pressure now and into the future, for reasons PHADA members are well aware. PHADA recently reported ( www.phada.org/news.php?id=2670 ) about an article by The Washington Post based on leaked copy of HUD’s FY 2018 budget showing a proposed $600 million reduction in operating funds and more than $1.3 billion in planned cuts to the capital fund. 
Read More..

PHADA Position Paper: Trump Administration and 115th Congress Must Enact Major Changes in Housing Programs

Download a PDF version of the Position Paper here.
Read More..

Adrianne Todman Named New NAHRO CEO

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) recently announced the appointment of Adrianne Todman as the incoming Chief Executive Officer. She will assume this position on June 1.
Read More..
April 19

April 19 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

President’s Forum: Thank You for the Great Support

With so much happening in our industry these days, the PHADA staff and I thought this would be an opportune time to share some of the things we have been working on with your continuing support, which enables us to push important priorities that members have identified. 
Read More..

PHADA Leadership Meets With Secretary Ben Carson

PHADA appreciated the opportunity to meet with HUD Secretary Ben Carson at the Department’s headquarters on Wednesday, April 5. 
Read More..

HUD Publishes Three PIH Notices

Read More..

First Things First – Pass FY 2017 Spending Bills

Six months into the fiscal year and with less than a week in session before the FY 2017 continuing resolution (CR) expires, Congress needs to pass appropriations bills (including T-HUD) to avert a possible shutdown of the government. The current CR that expires April 28th was passed to accommodate the new Trump Administration’s interest in influencing funding decisions for the current year. 
Read More..

Persistent Funding Shortfalls Warrant Bolder Strategies, Not Just Modest Deregulation

PHADA has repeatedly expressed concern for the Public Housing (PH) and the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs as a result of significantly reduced federal funding and drastic increases in regulatory and administrative burdens. The Association on its own, and as part of a joint letter with CLPHA and NAHRO have recommended a number of ways the Department could reduce burdens, scale back its regulatory agenda, and provide some much needed relief to agencies so that HAs can focus on their key mission and objectives to better serve their residents and house families.
Read More..

Moving to Work Expansion

On Friday, March 31, HUD held a meeting with staff of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment and Housing Officials (NAHRO), and the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA) to discuss the expansion of the Moving to Work (MTW) program and the department’s recently published Operations Notice for that expansion.
Read More..

FY 2018 Public Housing and Section 8 Program Funding Needs

Download a PDF version of the joint funding recommendations here.
Read More..
April 6

April 6 Advocate: PDF Version

Download a PDF version of the Advocate here.
Read More..

President’s Forum: Administration Releases Budget Blueprint

The Trump Administration released a FY 2018 budget blueprint on March 16. Otherwise known as the “skinny budget,” the plan does not provide much detail on specific HUD line items. However, as PHADA recently reported, the Washington Post obtained a copy of a draft plan, publishing more detailed information including more than $1.3 billion in planned cuts to the Capital Fund and a $600 million reduction in Operating Funds. 
Read More..

Why Public Housing Operating Subsidy Is Lower In 2017

Housing authorities across the country have seen significant decreases in CY 2017 operating funding. Per the Department, these decreases are a result of alleged significant increases in tenant rental income and corresponding reductions in utility costs. PHADA has raised some serious concerns with the formula calculation as whole, particularly tenant rental income assumptions. The following article, which discusses this topic in greater detail, was provided by Brian Alten of BDO PHA Finance. PHADA would like to thank Brian for providing us with some additional information to clarify why public housing Operating Subsidies have decreased in 2017.
Read More..

HUD’s Letter Provides HAP and Admin Fee Estimates During Limbo Period

On March 15, HUD sent a “Get Ready” letter to all Housing Authorities (HAs) administering voucher programs, regarding what the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) renewal funding and administrative fee prorations would be if either the House of Representatives or Senate’s FY 2017 T-HUD appropriation bills were to be enacted. Final funding levels are likely to remain unknown until final resolution between House and Senate’s FY ’17 T-HUD Appropriations bills, which is expected to take place before the Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on April 28. HUD’s letter is intended to provide HAs with the most up-to-date FY ’17 proration estimates for both voucher accounts during this limbo period. 
Read More..

HUD Issues Final Rule: New Housing Counseling Certification Requirements

On December 14, 2016, the Department issued a final rule entitled, “Housing Counseling: New Certification Requirements.” The final rule implements statutory requirements that housing counseling required under or provided in connection with all HUD programs be provided by HUD-Certified Housing Counselors and HUD-certified agencies. HUD expects that more knowledgeable housing counselors and standardized certification requirements will lead to better identification of housing issues, more knowledgeable referrals and resolution of barriers, and a greater ability to avoid scams. Counselors have up to 36 months after the date that the certification examination becomes available, which will be published in a separate Federal Register Notice sometime in the future.
Read More..

Congress in Recess from April 10–21

The Trump Administration has proposed outrageously low funding numbers for virtually all non-Defense discretionary programs in its FY 2018 budget proposal. The White House wishes to reduce non-Defense spending by $54 billion in order to provide that amount to the Defense side of the budget. As a consequence, the spending numbers for the HUD budget proposed in the Administration’s “skinny budget” and released March 16th are unacceptably low. The Operating Fund, already prorated at 85 percent, would see the loss of $600 million and the Capital Fund would be decimated by lowering funding by $1.3 billion. These drastic reductions would be widely felt. This level of reductions would likely lead to: a lower the quality of life for public housing residents,  housing units being boarded, and growing losses to the public housing inventory as more units – without needed repairs – become candidates for demolition. 
Read More..

The Ambiguous Status of Assessments of Fair Housing

Since its publication of a new final Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule on July 16, 2015, HUD has been developing data resources, forms, and web based user interfaces for various kinds of program participants to use to submit their Assessments of Fair Housing (AFHs).  AFHs become due in coordination with program participants’ multi-year planning submissions. For entitlement communities, states and insular areas, that submission is the Comprehensive Plan that covers three to five years. For HAs, that submission is the PHA Plan that covers five years.
Read More..

PHADA Members Continue Their Advocacy with Congress for HUD to Implement It Now!

In a rare feat, the House passed a piece of affordable housing legislation by unanimous consent entitled, The Triennial Income Verification Relief Act on March 23, 2015. The bill allows housing authorities (HAs)/owners and managers to conduct triennial recertifications for households with fixed incomes of 90 percent or more where their sources of income have not changed. The measure also requires HUD to establish policies to adjust for inflation-based income changes. Congress amended the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” (FAST Act) with the triennial recert provision on December 4, 2015. Despite several letters from the law’s cosponsors – Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Rep. Ed Perllmutter (D-CO) – including one on March 2, HUD has yet to implement it over a year later.
Read More..

PHADA Seeks Feedback from Members on UPCS REAC Inspections

Over the last few months, a number of questions and concerns related to the Real Estate Assessment Center’s (REAC) administration of Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS) in public housing have come to the attention of the Association. The following information lists and describes these concerns; we would like to encourage members to contact us if your housing authority (HA) has additional information related to these specific examples, or additional concerns that may not be listed. 
Read More..

PHADA Issue Brief: Update - Over 100,000 Go Without Housing

Download a PDF version of the Issue Brief here.
Read More..

Rent-Assisted Families Have an Education Gap That Can Be Overcome

“The Education Boost,” a report from the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corp. (PAHRC), identifies education as a crucial tool for helping families successfully leave HUD rental assistance programs and explores the barriers low-income individuals must overcome to complete high school and attend college. The report is especially timely, since one of HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s stated priorities is for HUD to work with other federal agencies to help families get the job training and education they need to raise their incomes and graduate from public and assisted housing. 
Read More..