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ADVOCATE – October 2, 2019

President’s Forum: PHADA’s DC Meeting

PHADA held its Legislative Forum in Washington September 8–10. As in the past, the meeting was especially timely, highlighting several important issues that we will be dealing with for some time to come. We were fortunate to hear from some influential policymakers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development including Secretary Ben Carson and Assistant Secretary R. Hunter Kurtz, as well as prominent lawmakers including Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who chairs the Senate’s HUD spending panel. Also on hand were Reps. David Price (D-NC) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), the Chairman and ranking Republican, respectively, of the House of Representatives’ T-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee.

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ADVOCATE – August 14, 2019

President’s Forum: Please Contact Congress Soon About Potential Funding Impacts

Before leaving for their August recess, the House and Senate adopted important legislation that will avert sequestration in the coming fiscal year and raise the overall spending caps for domestic discretionary programs in both FY 20 and 21. The bipartisan package will also help the government avoid a fiscal meltdown by raising the debt limit ceiling for the next two years. The latter provision is needed because the government has reached its maximum borrowing authority and would have been forced to drastically cut spending had Congress not acted.

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ADVOCATE – July 31, 2019

Reversing ‘One Strike’ Policies: Fair Chance at Housing Act Introduced

On July 10, 2019, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) introduced companion bills in the Senate and House called the Fair Chance at Housing Act. Both the sponsors and the supporters of the bills present them as part of larger criminal justice system reform efforts, and as a means of minimizing the harm caused by ‘tough on crime’ policies of the 1980s and 1990s. “This legislation is one of many steps that need to be taken to repair our broken criminal justice system,” said Representative Ocasio-Cortez in a press release.

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ADVOCATE – July 17, 2019

President’s Forum: Unfinished Business Means Another Busy September

With Independence Day now behind us, we are well into the summer as Congress approaches its August recess. Between now and when lawmakers return to Washington after Labor Day, they will confront a large amount of unfinished business. This includes the need to enact a large-scale budget agreement that averts sequestration in FY 20 along with a measure that raises the debt limit ceiling, authorizing the Federal Government to continue borrowing.

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ADVOCATE – July 3, 2019

LIHTC Legislation Reintroduced in Congress

Bipartisan legislation to strengthen and increase the flexibility of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC, pronounced lie-tek) has been reintroduced in Congress. The Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019 would build upon the proven success of LIHTC. Both S. 1703… and H.R. 3077 are comprehensive bills that would expand LIHTC, which is considered to be the primary vehicle for encouraging private investment in affordable rental housing.

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ADVOCATE – June 12, 2019

House Appropriations Committee for T-HUD Releases FY 20 Funding Bill

On May 22, the House Appropriations Committee released the draft FY 20 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD) funding bill, which was considered in subcommittee on Thursday, May 23. The bill provides a total of $50.1 billion for HUD, which is $5.9 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $13.4 billion above the President’s budget request.

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ADVOCATE – May 29, 2019

OMB Seeks Comments on Inflation and Poverty Measures

On May 7, 2019, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a Notice of Solicitation of Comment in the Federal Register. OMB is seeking comment on varying methodologies for calculating inflation “and in particular how those differences might influence the estimation of the Official Poverty Measure (OPM).” The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at the Department of Labor produces several inflation measures, including the one currently used.

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ADVOCATE – May 15, 2019

HUD Proposes Rule on Non-Citizen Residency in Assisted Housing

An April 17, 2019, article in The New York Times detailed, for the first time, HUD’s intent to fundamentally change the rules regarding non-citizen residency in assisted housing. The article surprised the affordable housing industry, which had not previously been aware of the Department’s intent to amend such regulations. A draft of the proposed rule obtained by PHADA is concerning because it would separate families, disrupt current business practices....

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ADVOCATE – May 1, 2019

President’s Forum: PHADA Meets with New Assistant Secretary Hunter Kurtz

On Monday, April 8, PHADA Senior Vice President John Hodge (Brunswick, ME), Vice President for Housing David Northern (Champaign County Il), Executive Director Tim Kaiser, and I had a productive meeting with Hunter Kurtz. Kurtz, who has previously worked in a few different capacities at HUD as well as the city of Detroit’s housing department, is President Trump’s nominee for Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing.

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ADVOCATE – April 17, 2019

GAO Issues Report on REAC’s Inspection Process

On March 21, 2019, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) titled, “HUD Should Improve Physical Inspection Process and Oversight of Inspectors” (www.gao.gov/products/GAO-19-254). This report was the result of an assessment required by Congress in the 2017 appropriations bill.

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ADVOCATE – April 3, 2019

President’s Budget Would Slash and Eliminate HUD Programs

The President’s FY 20 Budget, A Budget for A Better America, was released on March 11. The Public Housing budget is hit hard with a $4.6 billion reduction, which is more than 60 percent of the FY 19 enacted budget. The Operating Fund, with a proposed budget of $2.863 billion, is $1.79 billion (nearly 40 percent) lower than the FY 19 enacted level of $4.653 billion. PHADA, CLPHA, and NAHRO have put forth a joint industry needs statement that estimates a $5.4 billion budget for the Operating Fund.

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ADVOCATE – March 20, 2019

HUD Holds First REAC Listening Session, Releases Outline for New Inspection Protocol

On February 21, HUD held the first of a series of listening sessions concerning new and planned changes to the REAC inspection protocol in Philadelphia. PHADA President John Clarke and a number of PHADA trustees, members, and staff were in attendance at the meeting. In addition to reviewing the ill-conceived change to the inspection notification period, HUD staff unveiled the outline of an inspection Demonstration to be piloted in Region 3 later this year.

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ADVOCATE – March 6, 2019

A Look at the Final FY 19 Spending Deal

Congress passed a full year spending package for FY 19 for the remaining seven appropriations bills, including T-HUD, and President Trump approved it slightly before the expiration of the existing continuingesolution (CR) on February 15. The other five appropriations bills had been previously enacted through two spending packages before the start of the fiscal year on October 1.

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ADVOCATE – February 20, 2019

PHADA Has Serious Concerns With HUD’s Proposed ACC Changes

In the spring of 2018, HUD began to implement a new Consolidated Annual Contributions Contract (CACC) for public housing. A number of PHADA members expressed serious concern with the document and with the method HUD proposed to use to implement the new contract.

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ADVOCATE – February 6, 2019

House Passes FY 19 Appropriations for HUD

On Wednesday, January 23, the House passed an FY 19 appropriations bill (H.R. 648) for HUD and other agencies. The bill reflects the agreements reached by the House and Senate late last year. If passed by the Senate and signed by the President, the bill would provide full-year funding for the Department…

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ADVOCATE – January 9, 2019

President’s Forum: Shutdown, Fiscal Uncertainty Dictate Need for Reserves

As this edition of the Advocate went to print, subject to change at any time, the federal government is partially shut down including the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This means the brand new 116th Congress may have to deal with the shutdown and figure a way to finalize FY 19 appropriations (months after the October 1 deadline) while beginning work almost immediately on the FY 20 budget.

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ADVOCATE – DECEMBER 26, 2018

HUD Pursues Changes to REAC Inspection Protocols

Along with other groups representing the public and multifamily housing industries, PHADA attended a meeting at HUD on November 29, 2018, billed to discuss improvements to the physical inspection process. To demonstrate the importance of the issue, the Department’s Chief of Staff Andrew Hughes led a contingent of principal aides to Secretary Carson in attending the meeting.

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ADVOCATE – DECEMBER 12, 2018

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

On November 26, PHADA submitted comments on HUD’s recent version of its Operations Notice applicable to the 100 agency Moving to Work (MTW) expansion authorized in the 2016 appropriations statute. HUD had published an initial version of this notice in January 2017 which was broadly critiqued at the time.

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ADVOCATE – NOVEMBER 28, 2018

President’s Forum: Changes Coming in Congress

I noted in my late August column that, due to retirements and other factors, we could expect a lot of personnel changes in Congress even before the votes were counted. Now that Election Day has come and gone, the political lay of the land we will be dealing with for the next two years is much clearer.

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ADVOCATE – NOVEMBER 14, 2018

PHADA and Member HAs Join with HUD to Address Landlord Participation in the Voucher Program

As part of an effort by HUD to increase landlord participation in the Housing Choice Voucher Program, HUD asked PHADA to convene an expert panel of its members in late October to address programmatic barriers, incentives and other ways to attract and retain landlords.

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ADVOCATE – OCTOBER 31, 2018

HUD Reverses Course on Unfair ACC

In important news, Dominique Blom, HUD’s Acting Assistant Secretary for PIH, informed the Directors of PHADA, NAHRO, and CLPHA on October 15 that HUD will pull back its revised version of the Annual Contributions Contract (ACC). PHADA has been strongly advocating this action since the spring...

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ADVOCATE – OCTOBER 17, 2018

President’s Forum: Another Year, Another CR

October 1 has now come and gone, and with that, we are now in federal fiscal year 2019. For the first time in years, Congress was able to complete work on time on a large portion of the overall federal budget. In fact, Politico reported that the mammoth $854 billion spending bill signed into law... 

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ADVOCATE – OCTOBER 3, 2018

PHADA Announces Launch of New Website

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ADVOCATE – AUGUST 22, 2018

President’s Forum: Big Changes Coming in Congress

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ADVOCATE – AUGUST 8, 2018

Groups Continue to Raise Concerns with HUD on the New Annual Contributions Contract

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ADVOCATE – JULY 25, 2018

President’s Forum: Please Ask Your Reps. to Join Public Housing Caucus

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ADVOCATE – JULY 11, 2018

PHADA Raises Concerns with the New Annual Contributions Contract

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ADVOCATE – JUNE 27, 2018

Senate Appropriations Committee Marks-up Its FY 19 T-HUD Appropriations Bill

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ADVOCATE – JUNE 13, 2018

HUD Publishes Three New Assessment of Fair Housing Notices – Likely to Extend AFH Delays

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ADVOCATE – MAY 30, 2018

House T-HUD Marks Up FY 19 Appropriations Bill

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ADVOCATEMAY 2, 2018

Presidents Forum: Why Congress Increased the Capital Fund

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ADVOCATE – APRIL 18, 2018

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

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ADVOCATE – APRIL 4, 2018

President Trump Signs Massive Spending Bill

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ADVOCATE – MARCH 21, 2018

Presidents Forum: Proposed Budget Includes Flawed, Misleading Assumptions

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ADVOCATE – MARCH 7, 2018

PHADA Advocates to Appropriators for FY 2018 Funding

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ADVOCATE – FEBRUARY 21, 2018

Congress Reaches a Two-Year Budget Deal

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ADVOCATE – FEBRUARY 7, 2018

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

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ADVOCATE – JANUARY 10, 2018

Congress Passes Major Tax Reform Legislation

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