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April 02, 2020

Committee Releases Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About the CARES Act

On April 1, the House Financial Services Committee, led by Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), released a document with answers to frequently asked questions regarding financial services provisions in H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), legislation that was passed into law to provide relief to those who are impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

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March 17, 2020

President’s Forum: HUD Regulations, Requirements Should be Eased So HAs Can Focus on Residents’ Needs

These are unprecedented times. Dealing with the coronavirus outbreak is understandably our highest priority as we all work to preserve the health and safety of the residents and staffs in our communities. As always, PHADA can help be our voice in Washington and advocate for our needs to those at HUD and on Capitol Hill. With this in mind, I recently wrote to HUD Secretary Ben Carson on the public health crisis, and our staff sent similar communications to Congress. 

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March 04, 2020

Report Shows Dramatic Increases in Homeless Children

In January 2020, the National Center for Homeless Education at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro issued a report showing that children who experienced homelessness at some point in the prior three years increased by 15 percent between the 2015–2016 school year and the 2017–2018 school year. Sixteen states saw increases of 10 percent or more. The number of students in unsheltered situations increased by 137 percent. More than 1.5 million public school students nationwide said they w...

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March 04, 2020

PHADA Submits Comments on Proposed Information Collection on Project Based Vouchers

On December 26, 2019, HUD published in the Federal Register a 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Project Based Vouchers (PBV) Online Form. HUD’s intent is to fill a gap in existing HUD data, which currently only collects tenant-level data and HA level data on project based vouchers. HUD does not currently collect property level data on this program that allows local housing authorities to attach tenant-based Housing Choice Vouchers to specific units. While the data may be useful ...

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March 04, 2020

Deadline for AFFH Rule Comments Approaching

HUD published a proposed rule significantly amending its 2015 final AFFH rule that had established a framework for HUD grantees to submit Assessments of Fair Housing. PHADA described elements of that proposed rule in the Advocate of February 5. PHADA has continued to review the proposed rule and will prepare and submit comments by the March 16 deadline.

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March 04, 2020

HUD Budget Proposes Separate Line Item for Moving to Work Agency Funding

For the first time since the inception of the Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration Program in 1996, HUD is proposing to create a separate budget line item within HUD’s budget for the MTW program. No additional funding is proposed, and both the justifications narrative and the proposed legislative language state that existing MTW agencies will continue to be funded based upon their current funding agreements and are assured that they will not receive less funding than they would have received if t...

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March 04, 2020

New Policy Provisions in FY 21 HUD Budget

The President’s FY 21 budget has received a lot of attention for what was not included – sufficient funding to maintain housing assistance for millions of households or for housing authorities (HAs) to serve them. However, there were policy provisions that reveal the Department’s priorities and should cause careful contemplation.

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March 04, 2020

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

President Trump’s proposed budget was released on February 10. With its publication, the debate in Congress on FY 21 spending begins in earnest. There will be many budget hearings and other forums in the coming weeks, along with a great deal of media and public scrutiny. PHADA has included extensive coverage and analysis in this edition.

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March 04, 2020

President’s Budget Would Slash and Eliminate HUD Programs

On February 10 the White House released its FY 21 budget, “A Budget for America’s Future” (http://bit.ly/3bZilY2). The Budget, while adhering to the Defense spending limits agreed to between Congress and the Trump Administration in last July’s two-year budget deal, seeks to cut Non-Defense Discretionary (NDD) spending by nearly $45 billion.

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March 02, 2020

PHADA Members Should Submit AFFH Rule Comments by March 16

On January 14, 2020, HUD published a proposal to make significant changes to its regulations implementing the Fair Housing Act’s (FHA’s) Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) requirements. In addition to making substantial changes to HUD’s 2015 final AFFH rule that may confuse matters for HUD program participants, the notice fails to detail many significant components of HUD’s proposed changes. The following list indicates significant issues PHADA will include in its comments that are pa...

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February 24, 2020

HUD Publishes HCV Program Dashboard

HUD has published a new Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Data Dashboard to help the public understand how housing authorities (HAs) manage their voucher programs. It included vast amounts of data organized at the national, state, and HA level. Data published includes budget authority, HAP reserves, leasing rates, and more.

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February 19, 2020

Cityscape Focuses on Small Area FMRs and Alternative Measures of Market Rents

The third issue of Cityscape in 2019 features a trove of research on both the Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR) Demonstration and implementation of SAFMRs along with alternative measures of rents. The SAFMR research examines the policy’s impact on the neighborhoods families with children are able to access, and whether voucher families’ length of stay in the program is affected, among other research questions. In the second category of research, papers examine the quality of SAFMRs compared t...

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February 19, 2020

New Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Released

On January 31, the Department of Homeland Security released a new, revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is “used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States.” All employers in the United States are required to implement procedures for the use of Form I-9 that ensure its proper completion for each individual that is hired for employment – citizens and noncitizens alik...

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February 19, 2020

In Memory of Otto Hetzel

Otto Hetzel, an esteemed lawyer who once served in HUD’s Office of General Counsel, passed away on January 26. Hetzel was 86 years old.

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February 19, 2020

Return on Investment from PHADA Membership

PHADA membership yields an exceptional “return on investment” (ROI) that is measured in both tangible and intangible benefits. This ROI makes PHADA membership one of the most cost-effective decisions you can make for you and your housing authority.

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February 19, 2020

HUD News: HUD Issues Guidance on Reasonable Accommodations Under the Fair Housing Act Relating to Assistance Animals

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the publication of guidance clarifying how housing providers can comply with the Fair Housing Act when assessing a person’s request to have an animal in housing to provide assistance because of a disability.

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February 19, 2020

New Report Examines Accessibility Features for Older Households in Subsidized Housing

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University released a report entitled “Accessibility Features for Older Households in Subsidized Housing” in January 2020. The report aims to answer the following questions to determine whether the subsidized housing stock is suitable for aging in place.

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February 19, 2020

House Committee Discusses the Future of Public Housing

On February 6, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance held a hearing titled, “A Future Without Public Housing? Examining the Trump Administration’s Efforts to Eliminate Public Housing.” The slate of witnesses included representatives of three housing authorities (HAs), along with an advocate and researcher, all of whom brought a wealth of experience and knowledge to the hearing. While the hearing was billed as an examination of harm caused by ...

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February 19, 2020

The Latest on the Public Charge Rule

On January 27, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) stayed several injunctions imposed by some federal trial court judges and upheld by some courts of appeal that had prevented the administration’s implementation of a new public charge rule affecting documented immigrants and other resident aliens. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted an announcement that it would proceed to implement the new public charge rule on February 24, 2020.

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February 19, 2020

HUD Focuses on Landlord Participation in the Voucher Program

In August of 2018, HUD began to plan a series of events to address problems with landlord participation in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program. Participation has a serious impact on the ability of program participants to find homes in the private rental market utilizing their vouchers. This was partly a result of HUD learning that the number of landlords participating in the program declined by 62,000, from 704,000 to 642,000 between 2009 to 2016.

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February 19, 2020

President’s Forum: The Benefits of Voter Registration

In the last edition of the Advocate, I wrote about a timely issue that is important to all U.S. communities and our own agencies – the 2020 Census. There is another important matter coming up on the calendar. With Election Day now less than nine months away, some HAs may want to step up voter registration efforts.

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February 19, 2020

PHADA Replies to HUD’s Request for Information on Barriers to Affordable Housing

On November 22, on behalf of the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing, HUD requested information from the public to identify barriers and possible solutions. PHADA submitted a response. An excerpt of PHADA’s submitted comments are below. 

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February 05, 2020

PHADA “HUDdles” with Secretary Carson

PHADA Executive Director Tim Kaiser and others met with HUD leadership in a January 16 stakeholder “HUDdle” on the subject of shared housing. HUD says it will be developing future guidance to let HAs more easily use voucher funding in shared housing situations. In addition to Secretary Ben Carson, Assistant Secretaries Hunter Kurtz and Seth Appleton participated along with General Counsel Paul Compton.

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February 05, 2020

Introduction to Affordable Housing Accreditation Webinars

The Affordable Housing Accreditation Board (AHAB) is presenting an hour-long interactive session with slides and a Q&A. Learn about the industry adopted standards, the process to become accredited, tips for preparing, and ways accreditation has benefited organizations.

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February 05, 2020

House Financial Services Committee Holds Hearing on Risks of Homelessness

On Tuesday, January 14, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing entitled “On the Brink of Homelessness: How the Affordable Housing Crisis and the Gentrification of America Is Leaving Families Vulnerable.” Hearing witnesses featured Karen Chapple, Professor and Chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkley; Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, and Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology and Director...

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February 05, 2020

Update on LIHTC

As previously reported in the  Advocate  in late 2018, 2020 marks the first year of a decade in which nearly approximately half a million LIHTC units will reach the end of all federally mandated rent-affordability and income restrictions. A 2018 Report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC) uses information from the National Housing Preservation database and other sources and finds that these LIHTC units, which are locat...

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February 05, 2020

HUD Proposes New Information Collection for Project Based Vouchers

On December 26, 2019, HUD published in the Federal Register a 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Project Base Vouchers (PBV) Online Form. The deadline for comments is February 24, 2020.

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February 05, 2020

VASH Program in the Spotlight

The Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) Program was first authorized in a 2001 act aimed at reducing homelessness among veterans, although the program began in the previous decade as a partnership between HUD and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). Since Congress began appropriating incremental vouchers in 2008 (prior years’ VASH vouchers were provided through set-asides from the larger housing choice voucher account), $755 million has been appropriated for approximately 94,383 new...

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February 05, 2020

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

PHADA held its 2020 Commissioners’ Conference in Phoenix in early January. Attended by roughly 600 Commissioners, Executive Directors and agency staff, the meeting was a big success. It gave us an opportunity to address several important policy and organizational matters, and included a number of timely and informational sessions. Some of the meeting’s highlights are outlined below.

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February 05, 2020

HUD Publishes a New Proposed AFFH Rule

On January 14, 2020, HUD published a proposed rule entitled, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.” This is the latest proposal in HUD’s 10-year effort to revise the affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH) rule. This proposal makes significant revisions to the requirements for HUD’s governmental grantees to complete periodic Assessments of Fair Housing (AFHs), and to the standards for assessing success in complying with AFFH policies. The public may comment on this latest proposal by March ...

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January 05, 2020

PHADA Responds to Public Housing Critic

On November 25, 2019, the website of  The Atlantic  published an opinion piece in its Ideas section on public housing. The piece, originally under the headline “Public Housing is Fundamentally Flawed” and then changed to “Public Housing Becomes the Latest Progressive Fantasy,” is by longtime public housing critic Howard Husock of the Manhattan Institute. Written in response to recent proposals to revive and expand public housing, Husock continues his unsubstantiated attacks on the program. Po...

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January 05, 2020

HUD’s Top Management Challenges for 2020

Since 2000, HUD’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has published an annual report describing what it views as major challenges facing HUD in the coming year. PHADA described last year’s report in the January 9, 2019,  Advocate . The new report may be found on PHADA’s  website .

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January 05, 2020

HUD Counselor Certification

Nearly three years after HUD published its final rule on housing counselor certification, the mandate will go into effect on August 1, 2020. The final rule states that all housing counseling required under HUD programs must be conducted by exam-certified counselors. The requirement also has implications for individuals working on other HUD programs where homeownership or rental counseling are part of the supportive services provided to residents. CDBG, HOME, and public housing authority program...

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January 05, 2020

Community Reinvestment Act Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Published

On December 12, 2019, the Office of the Controller of the Currency (a part of the Department of the Treasury) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issued a Joint Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and request for comment on proposed regulations implementing the Community Reinvestment Act. Comments will be due 60 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register, which had not yet occurred as of press time. The Federal Reserve Board (the Fed) also has authority in enforcing the Comm...

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January 05, 2020

Senators Smith and Klobuchar Introduce Public Housing Fire Safety Act

Sens. Tina Smith (D-MN) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced the Public Housing Fire Safety Act on December 18, 2019. The simple and straightforward bill will authorize establishment of a competitive grant program for public housing authorities that want to install automatic sprinkler systems in their mid-rise and high-rise buildings of more than four stories. The legislation would authorize $25 million annually, above what is authorized and appropriated for the Capital Fund, in each of the next...

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January 05, 2020

FY 20 Voucher Programs Get Boost

After months of planning, drafting, and negotiating, the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations unveiled a FY 20 government spending bill on December 16, 2019. The release of the text came four days before authority for the government to spend money was due to lapse, and seventy-six days into the fiscal year. Signed into law on December 20, the bill provides $49.1 billion in total appropriations for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, $23.6 billion of which is dedicated to H...

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January 05, 2020

President’s Forum: Ensuring Safe Living Conditions for Residents

The health, safety and security of residents ranks at the top of every housing authority’s priorities. Unfortunately, the fact that we have inadequate resources can sometimes have harsh and even tragic consequences for residents and our communities. As noted below, this reality played out too often in 2019. To its credit, Congress recently boosted capital funding for the third straight year, which will help HAs address things that undermine health and safety conditions. While this is steady pro...

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January 05, 2020

A Review of Final FY 20 HUD Appropriations

A final FY 20 appropriations package was released by House and Senate leaders on December 16, allocating $1.4 trillion in federal spending for the fiscal year that began on October 1. The legislation resolves differences between the House and Senate bills, which were put forward by each chamber earlier this year. The negotiated bill was approved on December 17 by the House on a vote of 297–120, on December 19 by the Senate on a vote of 71–23 and signed by the president on December 20, averting ...

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December 25, 2019

Industry Groups Ask Congress to Include Senate ACC Language in Appropriations Bill

On November 8, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published its most recent proposed revision to the public housing program Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) and is accepting public comment on this revision for 30 days until December 9. Fulfilling a commitment he made prior to publication of this revision, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing R. Hunter Kurtz organized a meeting between HUD staff and the staff of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (...

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December 25, 2019

Challenges to Expanding the HCV Program

The topic of affordable housing is receiving unprecedented amounts of attention in the public consciousness. Despite almost a decade of economic expansion in the United States, a record-breaking stock market, and robust corporate earnings, households across the country are putting larger shares of their income towards housing costs. That fact, coupled with large numbers of people experiencing homelessness has prompted elected officials, researchers, and advocates to search for solutions to help...

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December 25, 2019

Changes Made to FMRs and RFIFs for FY 20

The calculation of Fair Market Rents (FMRs) includes three parts: An estimate of gross rents paid by recent movers from the American Community Survey (ACS), an inflation adjustment measured using components of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and a trend factor. There are also relationships between HUD’s FMRs and its formulation of Rental Housing Inflation Factors (RFIFs), which affect every HA’s renewal HAP funding eligibility each year.

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December 25, 2019

HUD Issues HCV CY 20 Funding Renewal Letter

On November 27 HUD issued its “Get Ready” letter for (http://bit.ly/36umsIm) calendar year (CY) 2020 renewal funding for the Housing Choice Voucher program. Currently operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR), HUD notes that the current FY 19 federal budget is carried forward through to the last day of the CR, December 20, 2019. 

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December 25, 2019

HUD Requests Information on Barriers to Affordable Housing

On Friday, November 22, 2019, HUD published a formal Request for Information (RFI) (http://bit.ly/2RLb6LZ) seeking public comment on “Federal, State, local, and Tribal Laws, regulations, land use requirements, and administrative practices that artificially raise the costs of affordable housing development and contribute to shortages in housing supply.” Comments are due on January 21, 2020.

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December 25, 2019

America’s PHAs Are Reinventing Themselves

The confluence of HOPE VI, Choice Neighborhoods, and Rental Assistance Demonstration is having a lasting impact on the structure and complexity of America’s Public Housing Authorities. An infusion of private, often intricate, financial transactions as well as corresponding regulatory changes is causing Public Housing Authority (PHA) directors to rethink, realign, and reinvent their organizations.

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December 25, 2019

President’s Forum: PHADA Encourages HAs to Explore Accreditation

I recently met in Washington with leaders from the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), HAI Group, and the National Association of Housing Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) to discuss the industry’s accreditation system. Other PHADA participants included Executive Director Tim Kaiser and Vice President Josh Meehan (Keene Housing, NH), the association’s representative to the Affordable Housing Accreditation Board (AHAB). Josh has devoted a considerable amount of time to this initia...

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December 25, 2019

PHADA Comments on the New Annual Terms and Conditions for the ACC

On December 9, PHADA submitted its comments concerning HUD’s latest proposed changes to the Annual Contributions Contract (ACC). HUD made substantial changes to the language in the new ACC that could have addressed many of the concerns raised with the previous version of the ACC. However, in HUD’s notice and in a meeting with industry associations on November 19, HUD has asserted that the changes to this language do not represent changes to the policy positions the department adopted in earlier...

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November 27, 2019

Happenings at HUD HQ

HUD Secretary Ben Carson conducted a “HUDdle” at Headquarters on November 14 regarding the Department’s recent evaluation of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). The HUD report concluded that RAD has been successful in leveraging non-public housing sources, improving physical conditions for residents and putting the properties on more stable financial footing for the future. PHADA reported on the study in the November 13 Advocate. PHADA Executive Director Tim Kaiser and Policy Analyst Dav...

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November 27, 2019

Reminder: Follow PHADA and Staff on Twitter

Over the last year, PHADA has intentionally boosted its presence in the digital, video, and social media arenas, and encourages members to look for us on those platforms, especially through our enhanced website and social media channels. PHADA has been tweeting for some time and the number of our followers has been steadily increasing, but we would like to see more.

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November 27, 2019

2019 Family Unification Program NOFA Published

In the FY 2019 T-HUD Appropriations bill, Congress provided $20 million for new incremental vouchers for assistance under the Family Unification Program FUP). HUD is accepting applications from housing authorities (HAs) interested in this funding. Applications are due by December 17, 2019.

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November 27, 2019

Examining the Adequacy and Efficiency of LIHTC

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) was established by revision to the U.S. Tax Code in 1986 (P.L. 99-514) to provide private owners with an incentive to create and maintain affordable housing for low income households. Tax credits provide a dollar-for dollar reduction of income tax liability. By many measures this effort has been highly successful, dramatically transforming thousands of landscapes and profoundly improving millions of lives. Over its more than three decades of existence, ...

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November 27, 2019

HUD Housing Finance Reform Plan Proposes Reorganization of Rental Housing Assistance Departments

As previously reported in the  October 2  issue of the  Advocate , on September 5, 2019, HUD issued a  “Housing Finance Reform Plan”  pursuant to the  Presidential Memorandum  issued March 27, 2019. The Department of the Treasury also issued a separate  Housing Reform Plan  pursuant to the same memorandum. The memorandum discusses changes in the housing finance system, continued conservatorship of the Government Sponsored Entities (the GSEs – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), and the increased exposu...

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November 27, 2019

Senate Banking Committee Holds Hearing on Affordable Housing Access and Safety

On November 7 the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing titled “Examining Bipartisan Bills to Promote Affordable Housing Access and Safety.” Testimony in the hearing was provided by Interim Executive Director of the City of Columbia (SC) Housing Authority (Columbia Housing) Ivory Matthews, President and CEO of the Skyline Champion Corporation Mark Yost, and Vice President for Housing at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Policy (CBPP) Peggy Bailey. Accor...

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November 27, 2019

President’s Forum: PHADA Rising in Phoenix

A new year – and new decade – is now just weeks away. Along with it, PHADA’s 2020 Commissioners’ Conference in Phoenix is right around the corner, too. The upcoming year is an important one as it relates to the federal government when all members of the House of Representatives, one-third of the Senate, and the presidency are at stake. It’s also a year in which the government will take the important decennial census, a process that has a significant effect on all our communities. All these fact...

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November 27, 2019

HUD’s Latest Version of the Annual Terms and Conditions for the Public Housing Program (ACC)

On November 8, HUD published its latest version of a revised document laying out the terms and conditions under which HAs will operate public housing. This is the latest step in the department’s 3-year effort to implement a document replacing the 1995 version of the Annual Contributions Contract (ACC). This effort has generated significant concerns among HAs, their associations, and attorneys involved in public housing conversions and other assisted housing development.

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November 22, 2019

Public Housing Operating Fund Update

Without a full-year FY 20 appropriations bill in place, Congress has funded the government with temporary measures known as “Continuing Resolutions” or “CRs.” To date, Congress passed, and the President signed two CRs into law; the latest bill funds the government through December 20, 2019. In the absence of full-year funding, CRs are preferred to the alternative of a government shutdown, but do not come without complications.

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November 05, 2019

Commenters Largely Aligned in Responses to NSPIRE Demonstration Notice

In response to the NSPIRE Demonstration Notice, HUD received thirty-one comments including PHADA’s. In reviewing the twenty-nine posted to the regulations.gov site, PHADA found consistent themes and repeated messages from a diverse array of commenters. These commenters, which include public housing agencies (HAs), multifamily property owners, researchers, various industry associations and one tenant’s group all provided valuable information that HUD can use to improve the Demonstration from bot...

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November 05, 2019

Department of Labor Issues Final Overtime Rule

On September 24, 2019, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (DOL) issued a final rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) implementing changes to the exemptions from minimum wage and overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and computer employees. The new rule takes effect on January 1, 2020.

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November 05, 2019

HUD’s Proposed Changes to its Disparate Impact Rule Draw 45,740 Comments

The history of HUD’s rule concerning the treatment of fair housing disparate impact claims is long and winding. The department chose to publish a final disparate impact rule in 2013 while several fair housing complaint cases were pending in various federal courts. In January 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision commonly referred to as, “Inclusive Communities,” where the court recognized the validity of disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act and also describ...

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November 05, 2019

PHADA Continues to Advocate for Appropriations

Following the release of the Senate’s T-HUD Appropriations bill, PHADA sent correspondence to both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees requesting that the eventual conference negotiations result in the greater of the proposed figures for the major accounts (Public Housing Operating and Capital Funds and Voucher Renewals and Administrative Fees). 

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November 05, 2019

House Financial Services Committee Holds Hearing on Housing Finance

On October 22 the House Committee on Financial Services held a hearing, “The End of Affordable Housing? A Review of the Trump Administration’s Plans to Change Housing Finance in America.” Testimony was provided by Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Mark Calabria, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson. The hearing covered a number of topics, with a focus on the impact of FHFA’s plans on housing affordability, and also offe...

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November 05, 2019

President’s Forum: Please Contact Congress

Fiscal Year 2020 began on October 1 and as in past years Congress did not finish the budget on time. The Continuing Resolution (CR) that is now keeping the government running will expire on November 21. Key congressional leaders have already signaled yet another CR will likely be needed because the November 21 deadline cannot be met. In fact, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) recently stated a CR could remain in effect until next February or even March.

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November 05, 2019

HUD Releases Evaluation of Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD)

On October 22, 2019, HUD released an evaluation of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) prepared by Econometrica, Inc. under contract with HUD. The report concludes that RAD has been successful in leveraging non-public housing sources, improving physical conditions for residents and putting the properties on more stable financial footing for the future. It also indicates broad tenant satisfaction with the improvements to their properties and the communications they received about the progr...

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October 30, 2019

PHADA Membership: Protecting and Improving Affordable Housing Options

Day after day, all year long, PHADA membership yields an exceptional return on investment that provides benefits to housing authorities, staff, and the low-income people and communities they serve. Hear from PHADA members about why they value being a part of the Association and how membership has benefitted them both personally and professionally.

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October 25, 2019

HUD News Release: Register for the Public Housing Repositioning Webinar

On the heels of our series of in-person Repositioning training sessions for small PHAs, PIH is happy to announce that we will be hosting a four-part Repositioning Webinar training series open to PHAs of any size on November 12, 14, 19, and 21.

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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.

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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 ...

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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...

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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.  

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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).

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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….”

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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 ...

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 ...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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