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March 06, 2024

President’s Forum: Four Years Since the Onset of COVID-19

We will soon mark the fourth anniversary of when the world effectively shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since those dark days, the situation has vastly improved. Still, the pandemic has created a “new normal,” changing the way we live, work, and interact with one another.

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February 21, 2024

President’s Forum: Joint Center Report Documents Vast Needs of Low Income Renters & Affordable Housing Stock

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently released its annual report. The sobering results serve as a stark reminder documenting the tremendous needs of low-income renters while also noting the great shortage of affordable housing units across the country. This comes at a time when Congress is moving to finalize HUD appropriations for the fiscal year that began more than four months ago.

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February 07, 2024

President’s Forum: PHADA’s Recent Commissioners’ Conference

PHADA held its annual Commissioners’ Conference earlier this month in San Diego, California. We were delighted to host more than seven hundred attendees in our first gathering of 2024, providing an opportune time to focus on key issues while also learning from informative presentations.

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January 17, 2024

President’s Forum: Please Help PHADA Spotlight Your Agency’s Work in the Community

We know that the programs we administer are dependent on the support of our communities, residents, and elected officials, especially those who represent us in Congress. PHADA has always stressed that we need to continually demonstrate the value of our services to ensure that support is maintained. One of the ways we do this is through the PHADA Member Spotlight.

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January 17, 2024

After a Decade of RAD, What Now?

HUD’s Office of Recapitalization, which administers the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, recently celebrated RAD’s 10-year anniversary with an impressive list of accomplishments (see below). RAD was created as part of the 2012 HUD appropriations bill, with the first transaction closing in 2013. As a demonstration, RAD was never intended as a permanent program but to inform future policy. That being the case, where do we go from here?

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December 24, 2023

President’s Forum: PHADA’s New Year Resolution

I was proud to be elected President this past spring and cannot believe how fast the time is passing. This is the last edition of the Advocate for 2023. It is natural at this time of year to think forward to the new year that is just days away. The rest of PHADA’s leadership, the staff and I will do our best to abide by the resolution in the sub-headline above.

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December 13, 2023

President’s Forum: Perfect Storm for Operating Funding

Much to our dismay, HUD recently announced the operating fund proration is now only 92 percent formula eligibility. Because Congress has not yet approved an FY 24 appropriations bill and we are still under a Continuing Resolution (CR), the Department plans to distribute “conservative” amounts of funds at least through January. Combined with a few other factors, this raises many concerns as we approach the colder – and more expensive – winter months.

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November 15, 2023

President’s Forum: QHWRA at 25

Some of us remember the enactment of a landmark law that resulted in significant changes in housing programs that are still in place with some still evolving. Signed by President Bill Clinton on October 21, 1998, the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 (QHWRA) just observed its 25th anniversary.

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November 01, 2023

President’s Forum: Congress Ponders Commission to Address Never Ending Budget Debates

We are almost one month into FY 24 and there is no sign of a budget deal in Congress. The Continuing Resolution (CR) lasts until November 17. At that point, lawmakers will either need to complete a final agreement or enact another CR, or parts of the government may shut down, an outcome that we obviously hope to avoid.

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October 17, 2023

President’s Forum: Recapping Our Recent Legislative Forum

PHADA conducted its Annual Legislative Forum in mid-September. Once again, the Washington, DC, meeting was quite timely, providing us the opportunity to meet with HUD officials, members of Congress and their staff as they (hopefully) soon finalize the 2024 federal budget. PHADA’s various committees also worked on some important legislative and regulatory objectives and addressed other organizational priorities.

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September 27, 2023

President’s Forum: New Legislation Would Provide HAs Relief and Real Opportunity to Innovate

You will receive this Advocate just a few days short of the new federal fiscal year that starts on October 1. As indicated in a separate article elsewhere in this edition, we are still a way off from enactment of a final spending bill. However, it does appear certain that funding for our programs will again be insufficient to address needs.

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August 15, 2023

President’s Forum: See You in September

There is a popular song more than six decades old called “See you in September,” which has been recorded by a few different artists. It centers on students entering the summer vacation season, looking forward to the return to school. The title could easily be applied to the current situation with Congress in recess and many people enjoying August vacations while getting ready for the busy fall season ahead.

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July 28, 2023

President’s Forum: Effective Advocacy with Congress

This edition of the Advocate includes information about the House of Representatives’ FY 24 HUD appropriations bill. Please review that important material. After doing so, I think you will agree that, if ever there is a time for effective advocacy with our Representatives and Senators, now is that time.

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July 19, 2023

President’s Forum: PHADA Shares HUD’s Objectives on Utilization, Occupancy

If your agency administers a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, you may have received recent messages from HUD about the need to maximize the usage of Section 8 funding. Similarly, the Department has been communicating with HAs about boosting their public housing occupancy rates. PHADA agrees with the Department’s well-intentioned objectives in both programs, and housing professionals have worked diligently to improve their overall rates despite the many challenges we face in this post-pande...

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July 05, 2023

President’s Forum: Congress Begins Consideration of FY 24 Spending Bills

As reported in the previous edition of the Advocate, Congress and the Biden Administration agreed on a debt ceiling measure that sets strict spending limits for fiscal years 2024 and 2025 while ensuring the ceiling will not have to be raised again before the 2024 elections. The agreement set spending caps that will make it particularly challenging for congressional appropriators to adequately fund domestic programs including housing. In a subsequent and surprising new development, an influentia...

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June 21, 2023

President’s Forum: Thank You for the Opportunity

I am honored to serve as PHADA’s President for the next two years. I appreciate the trust and confidence members have placed in me and want to thank my predecessor, David Northern (Houston, TX), for his leadership. I am glad that he remains on our executive committee as Immediate Past President along with the rest of the very capable team listed on the page 2 masthead of this edition. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the Oklahoma City Housing Authority Board of Commissioners for al...

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May 31, 2023

President’s Forum: It Has Been My Honor to Serve as PHADA President

This is my final column as PHADA’s President. The time has passed very quickly, partly because so much has happened as we came out of the COVID public health emergency with HUD initiating many regulatory changes at a breakneck pace. With everything considered, it has been rewarding to lead this association of dedicated housing professionals.

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May 17, 2023

President’s Forum: Contentious Budget Debate Now Underway

The FY 24 budget process began in earnest late last month as House and Senate appropriations panels conducted hearings on HUD’s proposed spending plan. HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge testified at both sessions to promote and defend the Biden Administration’s budget. In related action, the House of Representatives voted by a slim margin to increase the government’s debt ceiling while the Treasury Department notified Congress that a final deal is needed by early June. The House legislation also in...

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May 03, 2023

President’s Forum: PHADA Believes NSPIRE Needs Fixing

Public comments on HUD’s NSPIRE scoring notice are due at the end of the month. PHADA plans to provide the Department with extensive feedback, outlining our many concerns regarding the new inspections scoring methodology and standards. I wanted to take this opportunity to note some of our overarching concerns, identified below.

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April 19, 2023

President’s Forum: Groups Closely Collaborate on Budget and Policy Matters

I was pleased to join the leaders of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) and the Moving to Work (MTW) Collaborative in Washington on March 22. CLPHA and NAHRO both had conferences in the nation’s capital that week, so it was an opportune time to convene. We also took the opportunity to meet with HUD officials the same day. PHADA’s Senior Vice President Mark Gillett (Oklahoma City, OK) and Executive Dire...

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April 05, 2023

President’s Forum: Hot Topics Featured on PHADA’s Website

PHADA has recently covered all the hot topics in this newsletter and conducted a related zoom cast in mid-March. There is a lot going on right now and it is hard for many of us to keep up with the array of new regulations and program changes.

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March 22, 2023

President’s Forum: PHADA’s Upcoming Annual Convention in Denver

We are now almost one quarter through 2023 and spring is in the air in many parts of the country. I am sure many of you agree with me that the time is passing very quickly. In just about two months, PHADA will meet in Denver for its Annual Convention and Exhibition. I want to encourage you to join us there for what promises to be an informative meeting at an opportune time.

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March 08, 2023

President’s Forum: Three Years into the Pandemic

We are nearing the third anniversary of the worldwide pandemic. Last year around this time, I wrote that I looked forward to seeing even more progress in the fight against COVID-19. There is no doubt that things have steadily improved since then and we are getting closer to “normal.” The question remains, however, what the new normal will look like as the pandemic has forever changed the way we live, work and interact with one another.

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February 22, 2023

President’s Forum: The Debt Ceiling

We have all seen and read the reports about the looming debt ceiling deadline. Like the memorable movie Groundhog Day, the circumstances surrounding this issue seem repetitious. Indeed, many of us remember similar high profile “fiscal cliff” debates in 2011 and 2013.

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February 08, 2023

President’s Forum: A Report on the Commissioners Conference

PHADA held its annual Commissioners Conference a few weeks ago in the Orlando, Florida area. We were delighted to host more than 700 attendees in our first gathering of 2023, providing an opportune time to focus on some major issues while also learning from some informative presentations.

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January 18, 2023

President’s Forum: Present Realities Dictate Need for Change

Happy 2023 to all. Along with the new year comes a new congressional session with some Capitol Hill personnel changes that will affect our government’s policies in all areas including assisted housing programs. We have elaborated on those changes in recent editions of this newsletter. This time around, I wanted to lay out PHADA’s legislative approach in the 118th Congress.

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December 31, 2022

President’s Forum: HUD Should Defer NSPIRE Implementation

HUD has been working on its new physical inspections program, NSPIRE, for several years now and is making plans to officially implement it this coming spring. HAs with fiscal years ending March 31, 2023, and later would undergo REAC inspections under the new protocol and the scores would be binding.

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December 21, 2022

President’s Forum: Next Congress to Include Many New Members

The 118th congressional session starts in just a few weeks. Once again, the margins in each chamber will be very slim. This time, however, Republicans will hold the majority in the House of Representatives, meaning their leadership will set the policy and budget agenda on their side of the Capitol. Meanwhile, Democrats will retain control of the Senate and the White House.

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December 06, 2022

President’s Forum: Calling All New Executive Directors

PHADA returned to an in-person meeting mode more than a year ago. Since then, we have all noticed how many new faces have appeared at PHADA meetings and other industry gatherings. That is not surprising as we have often talked about the significant amount of turnover that is occurring in housing agencies and other professions.

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November 23, 2022

President’s Forum: Major Budget Challenges in Store for New Congress & Biden Administration

With Election Day now in its rearview mirror, Congress will return to Washington to hopefully reach agreement on a FY 23 omnibus spending bill. Action must be completed by December 16 when the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires. At this stage, the question is whether lawmakers can reach a deal by the middle of next month, or if they will opt to push a decision to later December, or the new year when the 118th Congress takes office. PHADA would prefer completion before the close of 2022....

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November 09, 2022

President’s Forum: PHADA Board Meets to Plan for Coming Changes

I was delighted to host PHADA’s Board of Trustees and staff for a strategic planning session in Houston from October 17–19. I really appreciate the commitment and dedication of Board members who took the time out of their busy schedules to help plan for the future of our organization and the entire industry.

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October 19, 2022

President’s Forum: CR in Effect Until December 16

Both houses of Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) before the October 1 deadline, which President Biden immediately signed into law. The measure is effective until December 16.

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October 05, 2022

President’s Forum: A Recap of PHADA’s Legislative Forum

PHADA conducted its annual Legislative Forum in Washington, DC, September 11–13. Once again, the meeting was well-timed and attended with our committees and participants focusing on several important topics.

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September 07, 2022

President’s Forum: So Close… Yet So Far

PHADA started working with House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) a few years ago on legislation that would boost spending for the public housing capital fund by $70 billion. The goal is to provide a onetime infusion that would address the large backlog of unmet modernization needs. Shortly after the 2020 presidential election, the association and others began communications with the Biden transition team and lawmakers on a similar package, which increased capital fu...

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August 24, 2022

President’s Forum: Your Return on Investment in PHADA

This edition of the Advocate includes two new publications that I wanted to bring to your attention. The first is an updated “Return on Investment” (ROI) piece that highlights PHADA’s most recent work on behalf of members. The second publication outlines some of the major concerns our members have about two important pending regulations. All the accomplishments and excellent feedback reflected in these publications are the byproduct of successful collaboration between our membership and staff. ...

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August 10, 2022

President’s Forum: Quiet August? Not This Year

The month of August is typically a quiet one in Washington D.C. and other parts of the country as people enjoy the last full month of summer with the congressional recess, vacations, and other personal activities. Nevertheless, there is quite a bit happening on some serious policy matters right now. Developments on those issues promise to heat up more by the time of PHADA’s Washington meeting in mid-September.

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July 13, 2022

President’s Forum: Almost 1 in 5 HAs “Severely Impacted” by Rental Income Losses

For quite some time now, and first in the industry, PHADA has raised the issue of rising tenant accounts receivable (TARs) and rental income losses with HUD and Congress. The problem stems from the pandemic as federal, state, and local eviction moratoriums and the economic shutdown affected the income of many residents and HAs. These circumstances have also raised the troubling prospect for more nonpayment-related evictions in some communities.

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June 29, 2022

President’s Forum: HUD’s Voter Registration Guidance

Many HAs have long engaged in nonpartisan voter registration efforts. With the 2022 general election season approaching, HUD-PIH recently issued helpful material reminding HAs of activities that are permitted and those that should be avoided.

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June 15, 2022

President’s Forum: A Brief Report on the Annual Convention

PHADA held its Annual Convention & Exhibition in San Antonio late last month. More than five hundred people attended our third in-person meeting since the pandemic’s onset, and I am happy to report that it was another success.

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June 13, 2022

HUD Undertakes a Review of Uses of Criminal Histories

On April 14, HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge published a memorandum to HUD’s principal staff concerning, “Eliminating Barriers That May Unnecessarily Prevent Individuals with Criminal Histories from Participating in HUD Programs.” Secretary Fudge took this step as part of HUD’s response to President Biden’s 2021 Executive Order concerning racial equity and serving underserved communities. In addition to this memorandum, HUD published its Equity Action Plan (described in this issue of the Advocate...

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May 25, 2022

President’s Forum: Biden Administration Prepares Broadband Expansion

Even before the pandemic, it was clear how critically important internet access is to our way of life. We rely on it for our daily business, social and educational communications. The onset of Covid in March 2020 forced much of the world into isolation, further boosting our reliance on the internet and our dependence has increased exponentially since then. As we know all too well, however, many people still do not have adequate access, placing them at a major disadvantage.

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May 11, 2022

President’s Forum: Looking Forward to PHADA’s Annual Convention

PHADA’s Annual Convention & Exhibition is now just a couple of weeks away and I wanted to offer a preview for those planning to attend and perhaps attract others who might still be undecided. This will be our third in-person meeting since vaccines became widely available and people grew more comfortable traveling. We are expecting over 400 attendees at the May 19–22 meeting at the Grand Hyatt on the San Antonio Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX.

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April 27, 2022

President’s Forum: Your PHADA Membership

I wanted to highlight some of the “other” services PHADA provides to make them better known so more members might take advantage of them. For reasons explained below, we also make some of our resources (but certainly not all) available to nonmembers and other interested parties.

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March 30, 2022

President’s Forum: PHADA Concerned About Lost Rental Income

PHADA has lately been focusing on rental income matters because of serious concerns some members have raised about HUD’s operating fund formula as well as lost revenues and inflation. The association has broached the problem with HUD and suggested ways the Department could help mitigate it.

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March 16, 2022

President’s Forum: The Two-Year Anniversary of the Pandemic

It is now two years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, we will soon surpass one million American deaths with about six million persons worldwide perishing from the virus. Obviously, with effective vaccines and better treatments, things today are much better than the darkest days of 2020. Still, the pandemic is the greatest public health crisis the world has faced in the last century. Its impact will be felt for decades to come.

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March 07, 2022

Upcoming Affordable Connectivity Program and IIJA Broadband Webinars

ConnectHomeUSA is accepting questions about the Affordable Connectivity Program which will be posed directly to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)  before the March 15 webinar. The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. Th...

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March 02, 2022

President’s Forum: Latest CR Effective Until March 11

Even though FY 22 began last October 1, Congress has yet to complete action on appropriations bills for the year. The most recent Continuing Resolution (CR) was set to expire February 18, but lawmakers agreed to another extension until March 11. House and Senate leaders said they hope to wrap up a final measure by then. I want to encourage all members to use this interval to convey PHADA’s priorities to your Representatives and Senators.

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February 16, 2022

President’s Forum: Another Successful PHADA Meeting

PHADA recently held its first in-person Commissioners Conference in two years. Many members and I appreciated the opportunity to get together to learn, network, share information and enjoy one another’s company. Even with some cancellations stemming from the omicron variant, other health-related concerns and flight problems, we still had a good turnout of roughly 450 people. Most important, we were able to conduct the meeting safely, requiring that all participants show proof of vaccination and...

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January 05, 2022

President’s Forum: A Happy and Healthy 2022 to All

This is PHADA’s first edition of the Advocate in 2022 so I would like to wish a Happy New Year to all members and other readers. I hope you had a joyous and healthy holiday season.

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December 15, 2021

President’s Forum: Looking Back on 2021

This is the last edition of the Advocate that you will receive in 2021. The time sure has gone by fast. I thought it would be worth taking a brief look back on a period in our professional and personal lives that none of us will forget.

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December 01, 2021

President’s Forum: Rapidly Approaching, December 3 is a Big Day

December 3 is a big day for Congress and our programs. By that day, lawmakers must extend the FY 22 Continuing Resolution (CR) or risk a government shutdown with the holiday season approaching. Congress set the same deadline for raising the debt ceiling so that the U.S. retains uninterrupted ability to borrow money. Without that statutory authority, the government will not have sufficient funds for many federal programs. In addition, Congress is moving towards conclusion of debate on legislatio...

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November 17, 2021

President’s Forum: Thank You, Two Former Trustees

Two longtime members of PHADA’s Board of Trustees recently retired so I wanted to recognize their valuable service to the association. At the same time, I want to reiterate a point I mentioned in my last column. We need – and want – the support and participation of members and more leaders to ensure PHADA remains an effective advocate and provides the types of services desired by the membership.

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November 03, 2021

President’s Forum: HUD Acknowledges Continuing “Emergency”

As the end of 2021 approaches, we are getting closer to a “return to normal” but we are not there yet. Indeed, HUD reminded us that we are still in a national “emergency” with its recent issuance of a rule that affords residents more time to pay their back rent before owners and HAs can pursue eviction proceedings.

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October 20, 2021

President’s Forum: Please Contact Congress Now on Reconciliation Bill

Congress approved a Continuing Resolution (CR) in late September, funding government operations until December 3. All federally funded programs, including those under HUD’s jurisdiction, are set at existing levels until then. It is essential for us to weigh in on the Build Back Better Act (BBBA, reconciliation bill) as lawmakers near decisions on a potentially historic package for our industry. This is necessary because there have been some reports that the capital, Section 8 funding, and the L...

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October 06, 2021

President’s Forum: PHADA’s DC Meeting Successful at an Opportune Time

For the first time since early 2020, PHADA conducted an in-person meeting September 12–14, in Washington, DC. I am happy to report the meeting was both safe and successful, giving us the opportunity to convene at the very moment Congress was writing historic legislation to provide billions of dollars in additional assistance to our long-neglected programs.

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August 09, 2021

President’s Forum: Congressional Break Will Lead to Busy Autumn

By the time you receive this edition of the Advocate in the mail, Congress will be on its annual summer recess until after Labor Day. I thought this would be a good time to provide a brief update on where things stand on the FY 22 budget and a few of our other major priorities. When Congress returns to Washington, Senators and Representatives will not have much time to act. The new fiscal year begins on October 1 and there is little doubt a Continuing Resolution (CR) will be needed to fund the ...

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August 04, 2021

CDC Issues Targeted Eviction Moratorium Through October 3

On August 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued a targeted moratorium on evictions through October 3, 2021, for counties experiencing “heightened levels of community transmission.” The order is intended to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including the rise in the Delta variant. The previous moratorium expired on July 31, 2021.

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August 04, 2021

President’s Forum: HUD Should Reconsider its Decision Rescinding MTW Work Cohort

PHADA worked diligently to help secure the expansion of the Moving to Work (MTW) program in 2016. HUD has been implementing the expansion in a few stages and topical areas or “cohorts.” PHADA was disappointed to learn recently that HUD was rescinding cohort number 3, which was focused on incentivizing residents to seek employment and move up the ladder of self-sufficiency.

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July 20, 2021

President’s Forum: Encouraging News on Voucher Expansion and Affordable Housing Development

I encourage readers to review the joint industry statement expressing support for a major expansion of the Housing Choice Voucher program. I was delighted to help represent PHADA in conversations with leaders at NAHRO, CLPHA, and the MTW Collaborative on this important initiative. The statement points out how the pandemic has highlighted the critical role housing stability plays in the lives of Americans, especially when they experience a loss of income due to health challenges and economic d...

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July 07, 2021

President’s Forum: The Latest on the American Jobs Plan

PHADA participated in a June 21 meeting with HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge, Department staff and dozens of national housing organizations to discuss the Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan (AJP), which contains about $150 billion in housing investments under HUD’s jurisdiction. PHADA supports provisions in the plan and encourages members to contact their Representatives and Senators to help move the legislation forward.

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June 22, 2021

President’s Forum: See You in September!

There is a popular hit song from the mid-1960s titled “See You in September” by a group called “The Happenings.” The song and the band’s titles are both apt for what will be PHADA’s first in person meeting since our January 2020 Commissioners Conference in Phoenix. I am looking forward to our gathering and I know many PHADA leaders feel the same. The 2021 Legislative Forum comes at a most opportune time (with much happening) so I hope many of you will join us in the nation’s capital.

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June 08, 2021

President Releases Budget with 15 Percent Increase for HUD Programs

On May 28, the White House released its FY 22 budget, the first budget in a decade without federal sequestration or strict budget cap limits. This allowed the President the opportunity to significantly increase domestic discretionary spending, which he did by 16 percent. In contrast, Defense funding is increased by only 1.7 percent, a fact that is sure to create opposition among many members of Congress. With very tight vote margins in both chambers of Congress, and with several other costly pl...

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May 12, 2021

REAC Makes Plan to “Substantially Increase” Inspections

On Friday, April 23, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge sent a letter to public housing authority Executive Directors (EDs) and Multifamily housing owners and property managers announcing that REAC will conduct “increased inspections” of its portfolio beginning June 1. In the letter, Secretary Fudge writes that the Department’s priorities are for the health and well-being of residents, and that “REAC will conduct inspections using protocols informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (...

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May 12, 2021

Policy Perspectives: Rent Arrears, Credit Reporting, and Tenant Screening

Last week a member of the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF, of which PHADA is a member) circulated a request to sign on to a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau requesting that they prohibit debt collectors from reporting rent arrears debt to the nationwide consumer credit reporting agencies i.e. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. It immediately brought to mind a February Urban Institute webinar on Credit Reporting Financial Inclusion: Lessons Learned...

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May 07, 2021

Policy Perspectives: Utility Allowances, Energy Efficiency, and HUD Regulations

The recent Federal Register Notice about regulatory waivers granted in the third quarter of 2020 included many waivers regarding Utility Allowances. For those unfamiliar, households who receive Section 8 or other rental assistance for units where the tenant has to pay for utilities, the subsidy is adjusted based on estimates of utility costs. This can be a challenging calculation of varying accuracy due not only to user behavior but also variations in building efficiency, utility rates, and typ...

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April 14, 2021

The Racial Homeownership Gap

On March 23 in The Edge, an online magazine published by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R), HUD published an article summarizing a December 1, 2020, panel sponsored by the National Housing Conference (NHC) entitled, “Closing the Black Homeownership Gap”. Connie Wright of Wells Fargo moderated the panel that included Steve O’Connor of the Mortgage Bankers Association, Lisa Wright of the National Fair Housing Alliance, Cy Richardson of the National Urban League, and Antoine Tho...

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March 31, 2021

A Review of the American Rescue Plan

On March 10, the U.S. House of Representatives, on a vote of 220–211, passed the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that includes nearly $50 billion in assistance for housing and homelessness, with $27.4 billion for rental assistance. A total of $5 billion is provided for emergency vouchers.

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March 17, 2021

President’s Forum: An Unhappy Anniversary

It is now one full year ago since the entire world changed. Beginning in March 2020, we all had to make adjustments in our professional and personal lives, adjustments that will continue into some unknown time in the future depending on a variety of factors. In the interim, more than half a million Americans have tragically lost their lives to COVID-19 and about 2.5 million worldwide have perished. The pandemic has resulted in the greatest public health crisis the world has faced in 100 years w...

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March 03, 2021

President’s Forum: What is “Reconciliation” and Why is it Important?

Like me, many of you follow what is happening in Congress and have been hearing and reading a lot about the term “budget reconciliation” in recent weeks. In fact, we have more frequently heard those two words over the last several years, but we may not totally understand what the process entails and why it is so important in public policy formulation and even to the programs we administer.

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February 17, 2021

PHADA Pushes for Waiver Extensions, Permanence

Since the start of the pandemic, PHADA has taken the lead in advocating for broad regulatory relief for public housing authorities, sending a letter to the HUD Secretary calling for such relief on March 13. Since then, we have worked closely with the dedicated staff at HUD and our members to identify, clarify, and implement the much-needed waivers authorized by the CARES Act and the HUD Secretary.

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February 03, 2021

Proposed Rule on Inspections and Conditions of HUD Housing Published

On January 13, HUD’s proposed rule outlining a new physical inspection protocol was published in the Federal Register. The National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) will be the foundation for assessing the quality of housing assisted by the federal government. For several years, the Department has been evaluating various aspects of its main inspection models (HQS and UPCS) and this proposed rule is one part of the “effort across HUD to revise the way HUD-assisted ho...

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January 20, 2021

A Review of FY 21 HUD Appropriations

A massive $2.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, including $1.4 trillion in Appropriations and $900 billion for COVID-19 funding, was passed by the House and Senate on December 21 and signed by the President on December 27. The Appropriations measure funds federal agencies through next September. The spending package includes $740.5 billion in defense spending and $664.5 billion for domestic programs.

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December 23, 2020

Rep. Marcia Fudge Tapped to be Next HUD Secretary

Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH) is President-elect Biden’s pick to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The appointment had been announced by several media outlets early in the second week of December and a December 10 post on the Biden transition team’s website made it official, stating that the “driving mission of [Fudge’s] career has been to reduce poverty and address inequality.”

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December 22, 2020

Congress Approves Massive Omnibus Spending Bill

A massive $2.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, including $1.4 trillion in Appropriations and $900 billion for COVID-19 funding was passed by the House and Senate late last night. The Appropriations measure funds federal agencies through next September. The spending package includes $740.5 billion in defense spending and $664.5 billion for domestic programs. According to The Hill, “the bill… now goes to President Trump’s desk, where the White House has said he will sign it.”

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December 09, 2020

PHADA Provides Recommendations to Biden-Harris Transition Team

On November 24, PHADA submitted the following memo to the Biden-Harris transition team, outlining priorities for the new administration’s first 100 days. Below is an excerpt of PHADA’s correspondence.

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November 25, 2020

Senate Appropriations Committee Releases FY 21 Spending Bills

With the election over, the Senate Appropriations Committee released drafts of all 12 spending bills for FY 21. The House released its bills earlier this year and now negotiations will begin with the hope of a deal before the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires on December 11, averting the need for another CR or a government shutdown.

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November 11, 2020

PHADA Advocates for Extension of Waiver Authority and Flexibilities

The Association met with Assistant Secretary of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) Hunter Kurtz, PIH staff, and the industry groups in late October to discuss several topics. On the call, PHADA requested an update on the extension of all waivers associated with PIH Notice 2020-13. Notice PIH 2020-13 (HA), REV-1 is entitled, COVID-19 Statutory and Regulatory Waivers and Alternative Requirements for the Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Indian Housing Block Grant and Indian Community Developme...

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October 28, 2020

HUD Publishes HOTMA HCV and PBV Proposed Rule

On October 8, 2020, HUD published a proposed rule titled: “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 – Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Project-Based Voucher Implementation; Additional Streamlining Changes” in the Federal Register. This rule largely does three things: codifies previously implemented parts of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA), proposes to implement certain HCV and Project-Based Voucher (PBV) provisions of HOTMA, and proposes regulatory...

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October 14, 2020

HUD’s Final Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule

On August 7, following 4 years reconsidering a 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) final rule, HUD published a “brand new” AFFH rule effective on September 8, 2020, entitled, “Preserving Neighborhood and Community Choice.” The Obama administration had published a final AFFH rule to replace the prior Analysis of Impediments (AI) requirement that had been in place since 1994. In 2018, HUD suspended implementation of that AFFH rule and solicited comments concerning how the department...

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September 29, 2020

News Release: House Democrats Release Updated Version of The Heroes Act

House Democrats today released an updated version of The Heroes Act, addressing needs that have developed since the House passed an earlier iteration and reflecting negotiations between Democrats and Republicans. 

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September 24, 2020

A Blueprint for Change: NYCHA Unveils Ideas to Invest in Its Properties and People

To ensure that public housing is here for New Yorkers for generations to come, New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chair and CEO Greg Russ unveiled A Blueprint for Change, a set of ideas that outlines potential ways that NYCHA can invest in its properties, residents, and organization. These proposals will also create jobs for residents while generating economic activity that will help New York City recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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September 04, 2020

There is a New Eviction Moratorium

On September 4, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order under its authorities due to the COVID-19 pandemic to impose a national moratorium on evictions through December 31, 2020. The moratorium will apply to all rental housing and may preclude the eviction of a mortgagor in default after foreclosure proceedings as well. The order prevents, “… any action … to remove or cause the removal of a covered person from a residential property …” but does not preclude foreclosu...

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August 24, 2020

Granite State Isn't Immune to Structural Racism

We find ourselves in a perfect storm with multiple flashpoints: a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and a centuries-old struggle for justice. One is a public health emergency that has lasted for months and promises many future challenges: COVID-19. The other is the most insidious, long-standing public health emergency which has lasted for hundreds of years: Racism.

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August 05, 2020

PHADA Trustee Mary Mayrose Named Executive Director of the Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority

The Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority (LRHA) Board of Commissioners has announced the appointment of Mary E. Mayrose, currently the Executive Director of the Phenix City Housing Authority, to the position of Executive Director of the Lynchburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Mayrose succeeds Dawn Fagan who resigned earlier this year.

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August 05, 2020

PHADA Small PHA Committee Holds Virtual Meeting

On July 1, 2020, PHADA’s Small PHA Committee held its first virtual meeting via Zoom. While there were no action items before the committee, there was discussion of a variety of items.

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August 05, 2020

PHADA Position Paper: FY 21 Appropriations

The FY 21 federal budget process, which began on February 10 with the release of the White House budget, was sidelined while Congress focused instead on several supplemental funding packages to address the effects of COVID-19. The Administration’s proposed budget, while adhering to the Defense spending limits agreed to between Congress and the President in the July 2019 two-year budget deal, seeks to cut Non-Defense Discretionary (NDD) spending by nearly $45 billion. The HUD budget would be cut...

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August 05, 2020

Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) recently released its 2020 report, Out of Reach, The High Cost of Housing. Published annually since 1989, the report details the gap between actual wages and what wages people need to earn to afford their rents, both at the national and local level

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August 05, 2020

Fair Housing Rules Gain National Attention

In recent weeks, HUD’s efforts to amend Obama administration rules implementing the Fair Housing Act and related court decisions have garnered attention from a surprising set of institutions.  POLITICO  reported an interchange between Bank of America’s Vice Chairperson and Federal Housing Commissioner Brian Montgomery concerning a possible amended disparate impact rule.  The New York Times  reported reactions to HUD’s efforts to amend that rule from Citi Bank, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan Ch...

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August 05, 2020

Eviction Prevention Toolkit Provided by HUD as Eviction Moratorium Ends

On July 2, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing released the Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit, a collection of information and resources for public housing authorities and Housing Choice Voucher program landlords on ways to stabilize families and reduce evictions during and after COVID-19. The release of the toolkit comes in anticipation of the July 24 end of the federal moratorium on evictions in federally supported housing included in the CARES Act. HUD’s Eviction Prevention and...

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August 05, 2020

HUD Publishes Voucher Mobility Demonstration Notice

On July 15, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a  notice  to implement the voucher mobility demonstration which was funded in the Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020 Appropriations Acts. The 2019 Act also contained the authorizing legislation. The notice invites interested housing authorities (HAs) to apply for funding made available through the Acts – a total of $50 million. In many ways, the notice validates PHADA’s concerns that the statutory language allowed the Secretar...

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August 05, 2020

President’s Forum: Correcting a Misleading Report

“Nationwide, more than 1.6 million older adults live in low-income housing subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development – most in apartment buildings with shared common spaces, elevators, staircases, mailrooms, hallways and laundry rooms where the coronavirus might lurk. Most of these seniors have endured a life of disadvantage, have chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, and lack financial reserves to draw upon.  Yet in the midst of the pandemic, this population...

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July 08, 2020

Highlights from Two Recent PHADA Webinars

On June 17, PHADA held a webinar entitled “CARES Act Accounting, Eligibility, and Reporting” to update our members on the best ways to track and report how they are spending CARES Act funds. Speakers included Jason Casterline, CPA & Managing Director of BDO PHA Finance, PHADA Trustee Bryan Hoffman, Executive Director of Lebanon County Housing Authority (PA), and David Weber, Policy Analyst for PHADA. Arlene Conn of the Association’s policy team moderated the panel. The speakers shared a wealth ...

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July 08, 2020

Choice Mobility and the Mobility Demonstration

In recent weeks, HUD has taken steps concerning a mobility demonstration authorized and funded by Congress in 2019 and 2020, and in evaluating the impact of the choice mobility option in Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) conversions.

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July 08, 2020

Industry Recommendations for FY 21 Budget

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA), the Council of Large Public Housing Agencies (CLPHA) and the MTW Collaborative are pleased to release joint funding recommendations for Office of Public and Indian Housing and Office of Housing programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These programs provide resources essential to ensuring that seniors, families, veterans, an...

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July 08, 2020

House Financial Services Committee Hearings on Possible Eviction Crisis

The House Financial Services Committee, led by Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA), was busy during the month of June holding multiple virtual and hybrid hearings on a variety of topics. Between June 3 and June 25, six separate hearings were held. The full list, with links to videos of the hearings, can be found on the  Financial Services Committee website . On June 10, the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance held a hearing titled “The Rent Is Still Due: America’s Renters, C...

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July 08, 2020

HUD Releases On-Line Section 3 Training Curriculum

On June 17, HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) launched a new on-line, self-paced training curriculum, “Understanding Section 3.” The full notice from FHEO is available online. The new training curriculum is structured around fundamentals of the law, current regulations, and reporting requirements. It is a straightforward presentation of a complex topic. It focuses on high-level rules and guidelines and practical use of the SPEARS reporting system. It does not, however, a...

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July 08, 2020

HUD’s Office of Inspector General Announces the Department’s Management Challenges Associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic

In April 2020, a few weeks after passage of the CARES Act, HUD’s Office of the Inspector General published a COVID-19 Oversight Framework that described areas of the Act affecting HUD that the IG believed would deserve oversight attention.

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July 08, 2020

Looking Ahead: Funding and Other Considerations for the Voucher Program

In typical years, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees would have completed work on funding bills for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This year, the coronavirus has delayed committee work on the bills in both chambers of Congress. In fact, coronavirus’ effects have been felt in virtually every industry, including affordable housing, and will play a large part in the operation of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program at least through the end of Fiscal Year 202...

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July 08, 2020

President’s Forum: The Latest on the FY 21 Budget

The Senate had planned to mark up some bills right around now, but that timetable has been delayed because of contentious debate on potential police reforms. The House still plans to start up its process after Independence Day.

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July 08, 2020

House Announces Infrastructure Package with $70 Billion for Public Housing Capital Fund

On June 18, the House leadership, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), and House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), announced a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package, the  Moving Forward Act  (H.R. 2), which represents a merger of several bills into one massive package for roads and bridges, housing, education, clean air and water, broadband and more. At the press conference, where the ambitious House plan was reveal...

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