X

Follow Us! 

October 22, 2019

HUD News Release: Secretary Carson Applauds Nomination of Brian Montgomery as Deputy Secretary

Secretary Ben Carson applauds the nomination of Brian D. Montgomery to serve as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As the second most senior official at HUD, Mr. Montgomery will manage the day-to-day operations of the agency and will advise and assist the Secretary in leading the Department’s nearly 8,000 employees.

More

October 22, 2019

PHADA Comments on HUD’s Proposed Disparate Impact Rule Revision

On August 19, 2019, HUD published a proposed rule that would modify its regulation implementing a disparate impact standard for fair housing complaints. The current rule was published for effect in 2013. At that time, several fair housing cases were reaching the United States Supreme Court and PHADA urged HUD to wait until the court acted on some of these cases before finalizing its treatment of disparate impact in regulation. HUD disregarded that suggestion, and the court published a decision ...

More

October 22, 2019

Congressman Blumenauer Issues Housing Report, Proposes Bold, Transformative Solutions

In September 2019, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) issued a report entitled “Locked Out: Reversing Federal Housing Failures and Unlocking Opportunity.” On October 11, he convened a group of housing experts, including PHADA’s Seth Embry, to discuss the report and provide feedback as they develop the report into possible legislation. The report is notable in that it calls out the federal government’s failure to support funding and programs to ensure safe, decent and sanitary housing. It also d...

More

October 22, 2019

Public Housing Capital Needs is a Focus of Lawmakers

There has been a wave of activity related to improved funding for the Public Housing Capital Account, beginning last April with draft legislation from Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) and more recently with legislation introduced by Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and a plan from Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) as part of his presidential candidacy platform.  

More

October 22, 2019

Public Charge Rule Blocked by Federal Courts

Three Federal Judges recently blocked implementation of the Trump Administration’s Public Charge rule, which was scheduled to become effective on October 15. The Administration has said it will challenge the rulings, which are temporary in nature. The issue is now likely to move to other courts and possibly on to the U.S. Supreme Court. Late last year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule titled  “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.”  Under the proposed rule...

More

October 22, 2019

President’s Forum: Boosting PHADA’s Presence on Social Media

Other PHADA members and I have always taken great pride in this newsletter, which we believe is the most thorough and analytical industry publication available. We will continue to use the Advocate as the best way to communicate important information to you. Nowadays, however, there are additional tools that can be employed, and we have made a conscious decision to try and effectively use them. Over the last year, PHADA has intentionally boosted its presence in the digital, video, and social me...

More

October 22, 2019

PHADA Submits Comments to NSPIRE Demonstration Notice

On October 18, PHADA submitted comments to HUD’s Notice describing the NSPIRE Demonstration. PHADA has been a leading voice asking for change to HUD’s REAC inspections for well over a decade and looks forward to a new protocol. A partial reprint of PHADA’s comment is below and centers on the following concepts: PHADA fully supports the greater focus on resident health and safety over item condition and appearance. HUD must prioritize reductions in administrative burden and...

More

October 16, 2019

HUD News

You may have noticed a small decrease in the Operating Fund proration for December 2019 at 96.33 percent compared to 97.16 percent in October and November. According to HUD, the Department is not yet finished reviewing requests for revisions to housing authorities’ (HAs’) FY 19 Operating Subsidy submissions which were due to Field Offices by August 1, 2019. In order to accommodate potential adjustments to HAs’ subsidy calculations, HUD increased its reserve of operating funds to $80 million fro...

More

October 16, 2019

In Memory of Shauna Sorrells

PHADA members and staff were deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Shauna M. Sorrells, who worked at HUD headquarters for more than a decade. She was 47 and died of an apparent heart attack. Sorrells most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer at the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) of Montgomery County, MD. Prior to joining HOC, she was the Director of the Office of Public Housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

More

October 16, 2019

PHADA Attends NAR SAAH Conference

The conference began with a tour of several HANO redevelopment sites. Like many large public housing authorities across the country, HANO initiated redevelopment in the mid-1990’s through HOPE VI and other programs. This redevelopment process was aggressively accelerated by Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed much of HANO’s housing stock and forced redevelopment of those sites. As of the summer of 2019, HANO has 4,790 public housing and other affordable units and 18,722 Housing Choice Vouchers.

More

October 16, 2019

Congress Redoubles Efforts to House Foster Youth

With the affordable housing crisis and homelessness receiving ample attention from policymakers, authorizers and appropriators have aligned and seek to address what one Congressman called “government-created homelessness.” Legislators have built on the existing Family Unification Program (FUP) to provide a more robust platform for youth aging out of foster care to receive assistance in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program.

More

October 16, 2019

PHADA Submits Comments to Federal Register on HUD’s Proposed FMRs for FY 20

HUD issued its Federal Register Notice for FY 20 Fair Market Rents on August 30, 2019, for comments due on September 30. Along with PHADA and NAHRO, many housing authority directors from across the country submitted comments and appeals to their inadequate FMRs. These include, California, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Utah, and the Seattle area. PHADA submitted comments on September 30. Below is a partial reprint of PHADA’s letter, along with a summary of the comments. The full letter can be ac...

More

October 16, 2019

HUD Publishes a New Proposed Rule Implementing HOTMA Provisions

On September 17, HUD published a proposed rule implementing sections of the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act (HOTMA).

More

October 16, 2019

President’s Forum: Industry Group Plan Would Help Achieve More Landlord Participation in Voucher Program

In the summer of 2018, HUD Secretary Ben Carson launched a campaign to increase landlord acceptance of the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. At the time, HUD noted that two studies found that “most landlords do not accept voucher-holders and those who do complain about the program’s administrative requirements….”

More

October 02, 2019

HUD-PIH News: Thanks to DJ LaVoy and Introducing David Vargas

Following is an excerpt of the September 17 news release from R. Hunter Kurtz, Assistant Secretary, HUD-PIH: It is with great excitement and sadness that I announce that Deputy Assistant Secretary DJ LaVoy has been asked to serve as the Deputy Under Secretary of Rural Development at the Department of Agriculture. PIH has been fortunate enough to have had DJ’s talent and commitment for over 20 years, leading innovative reforms that have and will improve service for our partners, PHAs, and r...

More

October 02, 2019

Senate Appropriations Committee Passes T-HUD Bill

On September 19, the Senate Committee on Appropriations unanimously approved $56 billion in funding for HUD programs. This figure is offset by $7.4 billion in receipts from FHA/GNMA, for a net funding level of $48.6 billion, and an increase of $2.3 billion above the FY 19 enacted level. Since the Senate will likely be unable to consider all 12 appropriations bills by the end of September, when the current fiscal year ends, the House passed a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR), by a vote of 3...

More

October 02, 2019

HUD Proposes Organizational Changes

On September 5, 2019, both the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued reports titled “Housing Finance Reform Plan.” The reports were issued pursuant to the Presidential Memorandum on Housing Finance Reform issued March 27, 2019.

More

October 02, 2019

Housing Committee Discusses NSPIRE

At last month’s Legislative Forum, the Housing Committee held a detailed and productive discussion about HUD’s plans to overhaul the inspection process for assisted housing programs. Members continue to raise issues with the 14-day notification period as HUD’s and the inspectors’ inflexibility unnecessarily complicate and burden housing authorities. Members report apparent inconsistencies between the Department’s stated policy concerning scheduling and the practices of inspectors. (At a separat...

More

October 02, 2019

HUD Proposes Changes to its 2013 Fair Housing Disparate Impact Rule

On August 19, HUD published proposed changes to its 2013 fair housing disparate impact rule designed to bring the regulation into conformance with standards established by the Supreme Court of the United States in its 2015 Inclusive Communities decision. On August 18, 2018, PHADA submitted comments in response to an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and participated in comments submitted by a consortium of multi-family housing organizations. The import of those comments was that HUD should...

More

October 02, 2019

D.C. Housing and Other PHAs Tackle Unit Conditions

For nearly two decades the nation’s public housing program has experienced significant reductions in federal funding, especially in the critical Capital Fund. With few options and a declining funding source, housing authorities, large and small, are tackling the nation’s aging public housing stock. The DC Housing Authority (DCHA) has joined a long-list of PHADA members who are grappling with the realities of the federal government’s policies and its latest strategy to preserve public housing, a...

More

October 02, 2019

HUD Postpones Implementation of FSS Performance Measurement System for 2019 NOFA

On September 10 at PHADA’s 2019 Legislative Forum, HUD-PIH General Deputy Assistant Secretary Dominique Blom announced that HUD will not implement the FSS Performance Measurement System for the 2019 NOFA. The system was proposed in a Federal Register Notice two years ago and PHADA has continuously advocated for improvements since that time, including meeting with HUD FSS and executive staff on numerous occasions.

More

October 02, 2019

HUD Issues Revised RAD Notice

On September 5, 2019, HUD issued Notice H-2019-09-PIH-2019-23 (HA) to provide guidance for the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). This Notice, which is titled, “Revision 4, Final Implementation,” includes a change in eligibility and selection criteria as well as clarifications of existing instructions. This Notice is effective immediately except with respect to changes in the project eligibility and selection criteria, which are subject to a 30-day comment period. HUD indicates that unless ...

More

October 02, 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 pane...

More

September 13, 2019

Secretary Carson Addresses PHADA Attendees

On Monday, September 9, HUD Secretary Ben Carson greeted attendees of PHADA's 2019 Legislative Forum via a videotaped message. Secretary Carson was originally scheduled to attend the meeting in person, but due to unexpected travel, he was out of town that morning. During the video remarks, the Secretary covers a few important topics including deregulation, the Disparate Impact rule, and a few other timely issues.

More

September 11, 2019

PHADA Advocacy Leads to HUD Postponement of Flawed FSS Performance Measurement System for 2019 NOFA

On September 10 at PHADA’s 2019 Legislative Forum, HUD-PIH General Deputy Assistant Secretary Dominique Blom announced that HUD will not implement the FSS Performance Measurement System for the 2019 NOFA. The System was proposed in Federal Register Notice two years ago and PHADA has continuously advocated for improvements since that time, including meeting with HUD FSS and executive staff on numerous occasions.

More

September 05, 2019

HUD Issues Revised RAD Notice

On September 5, 2019, HUD issued Notice H-2019-09-PIH-2019-23 to provide guidance for the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). This Notice, which is titled, “Revision 4, Final Implementation,” includes a change in eligibility and selection criteria as well as clarifications of existing instructions. This Notice is effective immediately except with respect to changes in the project eligibility and selection criteria, which are subject to a 30-day comment period. HUD indicates that unless it re...

More

August 23, 2019

Raj Chetty Discusses New Research on HCV Program

Recently, the Opportunity Insights research team published research demonstrating that families participating in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program who receive supportive services during their housing search would successfully move to high-opportunity areas. The findings were based on a pilot program at the Seattle and King County Housing Authorities. In the paper, the authors write, “These findings imply that most low-income families do not have a strong preference to stay in low-opportu...

More

August 15, 2019

Wall Street Journal Highlights a Problem, but Poses the Wrong Solution

In a July 30 editorial, the Wall Street Journal highlights federal monitor Bart Schwartz’s report citing instances of waste and inefficiency at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). They then call out Democratic candidates’ proposals to spend more on housing programs, concluding that “Voters should demand that politicians clean up nightmares like NYCHA before spending another dime.” Voters should demand and expect better performance from our public agencies, staff, labor unions and po...

More

August 14, 2019

Setting the Record Straight on the Annual Contributions Contract

Since 1937, HUD has contracted with Housing Authorities (HAs) to develop and manage public housing apartment complexes. The Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) is the document that governs HUD’s relationship with HAs. Recently, HUD has been meeting with Congressional staff to discuss its proposed new ACC. In response to HAs’ and the industry association’s expressions of concern, staff of the Offices of General Counsel and Public and Indian Housing have asserted that the new ACC did not contain ...

More

August 14, 2019

Trends in Housing Assistance and Who It Serves

The Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC) recently issued its 2019 Housing Impact Report entitled, “Trends in Housing Assistance and Who it Serves.” PAHRC is a nonprofit research center dedicated to promoting the national conversation about the importance of affordable housing. Each year, they produce a number of research reports that examine key themes in affordable housing (e.g. employment trends) and provide updated statistics on the supply of housing assistance, those r...

More

August 14, 2019

White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing Established

On June 25, President Trump issued an Executive Order establishing the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing. Chaired by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, the Council is tasked to identify laws, regulations, and administrative practices that hinder and/or increase the cost of housing development and to take actions to reduce or remove such barriers. The task includes not just federal, but also state and local laws, regulations, and ag...

More

August 14, 2019

Uniting Technologies for Smart Public Housing Facilities

Among daily operations and maintenance, Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) are always working to improve or modernize their public housing infrastructure. Whether aiming to maintain the quality of living environments or reduce utility bills, optimizing facilities plays a crucial role in developing affordable, comfortable, efficient and safe homes for current and future residents – but it doesn’t come without its challenges. Establishing smart infrastructure is not always possible while dealin...

More

August 14, 2019

Get Ready for New Performance Measurement System Under the FSS Program

Last month, HUD issued its 2019 Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program Coordinator Funding “Get Ready” letter in anticipation of the 2019 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), which is usually issued by September 30 annually. The letter outlines the new performance measurement system (System) that HUD has been rolling out for the past year. Based on PHADA’s concerns with that System, HUD held a series of meetings in an attempt to explain the new System and gain industry support. PHADA was succe...

More

August 14, 2019

Early Findings From the Family Self Sufficiency Program Released

In March of 2019, MDRC submitted a report to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) entitled “Promoting Work and Self-Sufficiency for Housing Voucher Recipients: Early Findings from the Family Self-Sufficiency Program Evaluation.” The report presents initial results from the first 24 months of a five-year analysis of the national Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. As this early analysis takes places less than halfway thr...

More

August 14, 2019

Syracuse Housing Authority Works to Reduce Evictions

As discussed in the May 1, 2019, issue of the  Advocate , the topic of evictions is gathering significant attention from researchers, policymakers, and advocates. Princeton professor and Pulitzer Prize winning author Matthew Desmond’s widely praised book,  Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City  has spurred policymakers at the local and state levels to take a hard look at how to reduce evictions in their communities. Recently, the Syracuse Housing Authority (SHA) worked with local off...

More

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 force...

More

August 07, 2019

PHADA Video Brief: FY 20 Budget Appropriations

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. Under the terms of the agreement, Congress will be able to increase non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending by $27 billion compared to FY 19.  While the increase is certainly welcome news, it remains to be seen exactly how it will impact our programs. It is...

More

July 31, 2019

Comments to Proposed Rule Reveal Strong Opposition

In response to HUD’s proposed rule on noncitizen residency in assisted housing programs, a diverse array of housing authorities, elected officials, and advocacy organizations submitted comments outlining their opposition to the rule. While over 30,000 comments were submitted through the online portal, as of the writing of this article, only one-third of those comments were available for public review, including those of more than three dozen housing authorities (HAs). The comments submitted ...

More

July 31, 2019

Public Comments to Proposed FMR Methodology Changes

On June 5, 2019, HUD published a Federal Register notice concerning proposed changes in the methods it used to estimate Fair Market Rents (FMRs). That proposal was discussed in the July 3  Advocate . Comments concerning the proposal were due July 5, and HUD received 28 comments through Regulations.gov by that date. PHADA submitted comments that expressed general support for HUD’s efforts to (1) produce more accurate estimates of FMRs based on American Community Survey (ACS) data projected to...

More

July 31, 2019

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Protect Long-Term Affordability Under LIHTC

On June 25, The Save Affordable Housing Act of 2019 was introduced with bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House. The Senate bill ( S. 1956 ) was introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-WA) and Todd Young (R-IN), with Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) as original co-sponsors, and the House bill ( H.R. 3479 ) was introduced by Representatives Joe Neguse (D-CO-02), Don Beyer (D-VA-08), and Jackie Walorski (R-IN-02). The legislation would reduce the loss of Low Income H...

More

July 31, 2019

Summary of the Fair Chance at Housing Act of 2019

On Wednesday, July 10, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) introduced the Fair Chance at Housing Act of 2019. A draft of the bill was initially circulated after the May 21 House Financial Services Committee hearing on Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Staff from PHADA met with Committee staff about the bill on June 19. The bill as introduced makes several changes to Subtitle F of the Quality Housing and Work Responsibili...

More

July 31, 2019

President’s Forum: Respected Think Tank Sounds Alarm on Debt Limit

I mentioned in the July 17 column that Congress will have to raise the debt limit ceiling before the end of September. Otherwise, the federal government will run out of borrowing authority, potentially setting off a chain reaction of serious economic problems including the inability to pay some of its bills. A respected Washington think tank recently published a report indicating that the government may have to act even sooner. The report is being taken seriously in Congress, which must als...

More

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 j...

More

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.

More