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April 29, 2020

PHADA Continues to Monitor Effects of COVID-19

As reported in the last newsletter, the effects of COVID-19 on both housing authorities (HAs) and their residents and communities must continue to be monitored in order to mitigate adverse effects. PHADA has and will continue to discuss actual and potential impacts with HAs in order to advocate appropriately and timely on your behalf to Congress and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) throughout this crisis. To date, the association has successfully advocated for additional fu...

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April 29, 2020

PHADA Submits Comments on Community Reinvestment Act Proposed Rule

The Community Reinvestment Act requires banks to provides services and extend credit to the communities they serve. As reported in the January 25 issue of the  Advocate   the notice of proposed joint rulemaking was issued by the Office of the Controller of the Currency (Department of the Treasury) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), but the Federal Reserve Board has not signed on to the proposed rule. Many, including the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and ...

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April 29, 2020

Industry Letter to Congress

On April 8, PHADA, NAHRO, CLPHA, and the MTW Collaborative sent a letter to Congress, initiated by NYCHA and signed by 777 housing authorities across the U.S., calling for additional funds to help meet the needs of HAs and their residents during the COVID-19 emergency.

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April 29, 2020

Update and Analysis on LIHTC

On March 25, HUD released, “ Understanding Whom the LIHTC Program Serves: Data on Tenants as of December 31, 2017 ,” which summarizes data received from state housing finance agencies (HFAs) administering the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). Under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) of 2008, HFAs are required to submit certain demographic and economic information about tenants in LIHTC units to HUD. Findings in two key areas, income and rent burdens, show similar numbers betwee...

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April 29, 2020

Calls for Emergency Expansion of Rental Housing Assistance Raise Questions about How to Deliver

In his groundbreaking, Pulitzer-Prize winning book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond posits expanding Section 8 Voucher Assistance to all extremely low-income households. That was in March of 2016. In arguing that we could afford this expansion, he cites a 2013 Bipartisan Policy Center estimate that it would cost an additional $22 billion annually. He compared this amount favorably to a multitude of other expenses and tax provisions, including the home mortgage ...

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April 29, 2020

President’s Forum: A Former Colleague Serving in Congress Asks What We Need

As you may know, Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) is a former housing professional, having worked at the Biloxi, Mississippi HA for several years. He has been a strong advocate in Congress for deregulation, sponsoring the Small Housing Authority Reform Plan (SHARP) legislation a few years back. Some key provisions of SHARP were ultimately signed into law and implemented by HUD (see the  March 18  Advocate ).

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April 29, 2020

HUD Publishes Waiver Notice for Public Housing and Voucher Programs

Late on Friday, April 10, HUD published Notice PIH 2020-05 (https://bit.ly/3ahLmML) entitled, “COVID-19 Statutory and Regulatory Waivers for the Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, Indian Housing Block Grant and Indian Community Development Block Grant programs, Suspension of Public Housing Assessment System and Section Eight Management Assessment Program.” This Notice implements waivers authorized by the CARES Act which was enacted on March 27. PHADA, other associations, and HAs encouraged...

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April 21, 2020

PIH Answers HA's SEMAP Question

I have read through PIH Notice 2020-05 and part 11.b. SEMAP. We understand PIH will not issue new SEMAP scores until FYE March 31, 2021. However, if we are a 3/31 FYE, do we need to complete and send to our field office our SEMAP submission for our FYE March 31, 2020? Or do we not need to submit anything for SEMAP until after next year’s FYE?

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April 15, 2020

The 2020 Census Is Here

Right now, our nation is conducting the once-a-decade census with the goal to count every person living in the United States once, only once, and in the right place. The U.S. Constitution requires a census every 10 years to count the entire country. Everyone is required to respond to the 2020 Census and count everyone living in their household. No matter where you live, it is important that you are counted in the 2020 Census. Each response matters and answering the census helps guide how billio...

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April 15, 2020

Non-Profits May Be Eligible for Deferred, Forgivable Loans Under the CARES Act

Division A, Title I of the CARES Act is titled Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act. This provision authorizes $349 billion for loans under Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 USC 636(a)) and makes non-profit organizations eligible for such loans. The loans are designed to cover the cost of payroll; continuation of group health care and related benefits; employee salaries, commissions, or similar compensations; mortgage payments; rents; utilities; and interest on debt incurred ...

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April 15, 2020

Impacts of the Pandemic on Small Housing Authorities and Residents

There is no question that COVID-19 could adversely affect every housing authority and their residents across the nation. Since the start, PHADA has advocated on your behalf urging the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Congress to act in response to coronavirus. In addition to additional emergency federal funding, the Association urged Secretary Carson to implement broad and immediate support and regulatory relief in order to slow the spread of the virus and to protect vulner...

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April 15, 2020

Relief Sought for LIHTC During the COVID-19 Crisis

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a $2.3 trillion relief package to address the COVID-19 crisis. It provides $12.4 billion in new appropriations for HUD programs, including significant funding for public and assisted housing programs (see page 1) but was short on funding or provisions to assist renters and managers of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) units.

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April 15, 2020

PHA Common Practices in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

In the spirit of finding ways to accomplish the mission in times of unprecedented disruption, PHADA is providing this summary of some common practices adopted by member agencies and shared with us. As always, follow the directives of state and local officials, and use your best judgment in responding to the unique situations in your locality and at your agency while focusing on the core mission of providing housing and housing assistance. HUD advises and requests agencies, to the extent possibl...

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April 15, 2020

HUD Publishes Notice of FY 20 HCV Funding

On March 31,  PIH Notice 2020-04 , “Implementation of the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2020 Funding Provisions for the Housing Choice Voucher Program” was issued. Required by law to be issued by March 1, 2020, the Notice outlines how HUD will implement the HCV provisions of the FY 20 appropriations law, including renewal funding, administrative fees, and new incremental funds. The FY 20 appropriations bill contained only a few new provisions compared to FY 19. Therefore, the major changes in the N...

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April 15, 2020

HUD Issues Important Update to Frequently Asked Questions for Public Housing Agencies

On Monday, March 30, HUD released an updated COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document on their website. While many important questions regarding waivers are deferred until a formal waiver notice is issued, many questions are clearly answered in this document. 

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April 15, 2020

President’s Forum: PHADA Bolsters Efforts with HUD & Congress to Address Crisis

I hope all PHADA members, your families, residents and communities are coping as best as possible under very difficult circumstances. I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what the association is doing to help HAs as we address the unfolding crisis gripping so many of our communities. PHADA’s staff in Washington is in regular communications with HUD headquarters, advocating for the resources and flexibility we need to operate right now. Similarly, PHADA has been coordinating with NA...

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April 15, 2020

A Review of the CARES Act

On Friday, March 27 the President signed H.R. 748, the  CARES Act  into law, the same day it was passed by the House of Representatives. The Act is the latest federal effort to provide emergency assistance and response to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to the relief provided to families and businesses, the Act provides supplemental appropriations for various governmental activities including the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s housing, homelessness, and community development...

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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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April 01, 2020

Bollinger Foundation Seeks Nominations for Scholarship Grants

where the deceased or surviving parent worked or works in the field of public housing, community development, or economic development. Grants are primarily awarded for educational expenses, including educational needs, school materials, and college tuition.

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April 01, 2020

HUD Issues Important Notice on March and April Operating Funds

Housing authorities (HAs) now have access to Operating Fund subsidies for the final one-third of March and all of April in eLOCCS. HAs may have noticed that the three obligations they have received this year have all been for different amounts due to a variety of factors. First, the federal government was funded through continuing resolutions (CRs) at the start of FY 20. The timing and amount of funds HUD had available did not align with the Department’s monthly disbursement schedule which resu...

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April 01, 2020

HUD Secretary Defends the Administration’s Budget Before House and Senate

HUD Secretary Ben Carson testified on March 4 and March 12 before the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies regarding the FY 21 Budget. The Budget, which was released in February, includes $8.6 billion in cuts, a 15.2 percent reduction to public and assisted housing programs from FY 20 enacted levels.

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April 01, 2020

PHADA Launches COVID-19 Resource Webpage

PHADA continues to monitor the rapidly changing situation related to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). We understand that concerns for health, safety, and the impact on housing authorities’ staff and residents across the US, among a myriad of regulatory and funding issues, are affecting our members.

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April 01, 2020

NYU Study Evaluates Public Housing Repairs and Resident Health

New York University’s (NYU) Furman Center discussed public housing repairs and resident health in their blog  The Stoop  in early February. The blog discusses a new study that explores whether transferring ownership to private developers, and subsequent housing renovations, led to improvements in residents’ health over a three-year period. The article notes that there is an abundance of research that has shown that poor housing quality can expose residents to health hazards such as lead and mol...

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April 01, 2020

Research Shows the Effects of Small Area Fair Market Rents

Relocation Act, the Uniform Act, or the URA, the original Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 provides important protection and assistance for people affected by federally funded projects. Congress enacted this law to ensure that people whose real The final 2019 issue of  Cityscape  features a symposium of research on various elements of Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs) grouped into two categories: research on HUD’s SAFMR Demonstration and res...

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April 01, 2020

PHADA Comments on Proposed Rule Updating Uniform Relocation Act Regulations

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition for Federal and Federally Assisted Programs. Also known as the Uniform Relocation Act, the Uniform Act, or the URA, the original Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 provides important protection and assistance for people affected by federally funded projects. Congress enacted this law to ensure that people whose real property is acquired, or who have to move as...

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April 01, 2020

PHADA Comments on HUD’s Proposed AFFH Rule

On March 16, PHADA submitted comments concerning HUD’s proposed changes to its AFFH rule. That proposal would amend the department’s Assessment of Fair Housing (AFFH) process implemented in a final rule published in 2015. This proposal makes significant changes to HUD’s AFFH processes consistent with PHADA’s comments prior to 2015 and in response to a 2018 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Unfortunately, this proposed rule also includes significant deficiencies in supporting HUD’s and progr...

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April 01, 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 18, 2020

IRS Publishes Population Figures to Calculate LIHTC and PAB Caps for 2020

On March 2, the Internal Revenue Service published population figures to calculate 2020 limits for low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) and private activity bonds (PABs). The formula for LIHTC cap for each state is the greater of: 1) the population multiplied by $2.8125 or 2) $3,217,500. For PABs it is the greater of: 1) the population multiplied by $105 or 2) $321,775,000. For the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, the population figures for calculating the Credit Ceiling, t...

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March 18, 2020

PHADA Representatives Meet with REAC to Discuss PHAS Changes

POn March 4, 2020, PHADA staff participated in a conversation with staff from the Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) on the future of the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS). Also representing the industry were staff from NAHRO. To provide on-the-ground perspectives and expertise, PHADA asked Bryan Hoffman, Executive Director of the Lebanon (PA) Housing Authority and Jason Casterline of BDO to attend the meeting along with staff, and their attendance and participation are appreciated. PHA...

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March 18, 2020

Industry Recommendations for FY 21 Budget

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

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March 18, 2020

PHADA “HUDdles” with Secretary Carson on Credit Reporting of Rental Payment Data

PHADA policy analysts Arlene Conn and David Weber met with HUD leadership in a February 24 stakeholder “HUDdle” on the subject of credit reporting for public housing residents. A recent report (http://bit.ly/2VPnoVp) from the Policy and Economic Research Council (PERC) through HUD’s Policy Development and Research (PD&R) unit’s Research Partnership program studied the effects of public housing authority (HA) reporting of rent payments made by public housing residents as a means to either create...

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March 18, 2020

HUD Launches Housing Choice Voucher Data Dashboard

In an effort to help public housing authorities (HAs) improve operations of their Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs, HUD recently made public a version of its HCV Data Dashboard. This version provides an overview of national and state level data on voucher program leasing and related data. The tool organizes data collected from HAs through the regular reporting mechanisms and data held by HUD. While the dashboard will be updated on a monthly basis, the data will typically be two months behi...

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March 18, 2020

PAHRC Releases Research Spotlight

The Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC), an independent, nonprofit research center of HAI Group dedicated to promoting the importance of affordable housing, released its recent research spotlight. The spotlight, A Platform to Learn: How Housing Programs Can Support the Educational Needs of Children Living in Publicly Supported Homes, examines the educational needs of children living in publicly supported homes, assesses school quality and how to promote school success, an...

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March 18, 2020

HUD Proposes New Rules for Faith Based Organizations

On February 13, HUD published a proposed rule entitled “Equal Participation of Faith-Based Organizations in HUD Programs and Activities: Implementation of Executive Order 13831,” the latest in a string of rules and Executive Orders dating back to 2001 when the George W. Bush administration established a White House Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives. The current proposal is responsive to Executive Order 13831 establishing a White House Faith Based and Opportunity Initiatives. HUD’s...

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March 18, 2020

President’s Forum: Budget Action Moves to Capitol Hill

My last column focused on President Trump’s proposed budget for FY 21, which starts on October 1. Overall, the Administration’s plan would cut $8.6 billion from HUD’s current budget, a total of roughly 15 percent. As reported in the  March 4  edition of the  Advocate , the controversial proposal would eliminate the Public Housing Capital Fund, CDBG, and HOME programs.

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March 18, 2020

HUD Issues Notice on Long Awaited Deregulation for Small Rural Agencies

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a notice entitled, “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act: Initial Guidance on Property Inspections and Environmental Reviews,” (the Act) on February 27, 2020. This long-awaited guidance implements useful provisions that can reduce administrative burdens for small, rural public housing authorities (PHAs).

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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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