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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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August 07, 2019

PHADA Video Brief: FY 20 Budget Appropriations

Before leaving for their August recess, the House and Senate adopted important legislation that will avert sequestration in the coming fiscal year and raise the overall spending caps for domestic discretionary programs in both FY 20 and 21. Under the terms of the agreement, Congress will be able to increase non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending by $27 billion compared to FY 19.  While the increase is certainly welcome news, it remains to be seen exactly how it will impact our programs. It is...

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July 31, 2019

Comments to Proposed Rule Reveal Strong Opposition

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

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July 31, 2019

Public Comments to Proposed FMR Methodology Changes

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

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July 31, 2019

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Protect Long-Term Affordability Under LIHTC

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

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July 31, 2019

Summary of the Fair Chance at Housing Act of 2019

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

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July 31, 2019

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

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

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July 31, 2019

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

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

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July 17, 2019

President’s Forum: Unfinished Business Means Another Busy September

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

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