Return on Investment from PHADA Membership
PHADA continues to conduct effective policy analysis and advocate vigorously to HUD and Congress on behalf of its 1,900 members. The association has provided members with extensive information and material including Position Papers and Issue Briefs, as well as timely conferences and webinars. Above are recent photos of PHADA’s leadership with HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge (center) and Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman (right).
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 HA.
In addition to the association’s ongoing advocacy related to the federal budget, legislation, regulations, and other work, PHADA has advocated aggressively on behalf of its members to HUD and Congress during the past several years as the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on residents, staff, and the fiscal solvency of HAs across the country. This work includes emergency relief such as waivers and waiver extensions, $3 billion in funding for public housing and Section 8 under the CARES Act with added funding flexibility, and deferment of PHAS and SEMAP scoring. PHADA took the lead in the industry on many of these issues and provided complimentary webinars and a guide for HAs to help navigate waivers under the CARES Act. PHADA also took the lead on addressing HA concerns with rising TARS and declining rent revenues through intensive and ongoing advocacy with leadership at HUD and Congress regarding the financial impact on HAs, the conflict between the goals of collecting rent and preventing evictions, and other challenges to rent collection.
PHADA members value the information and expertise we provide year-round, including unlimited access to the PHADA website with in-depth coverage of today’s current issues; a subscription to the association’s biweekly newsletter, the Advocate, which includes industry-leading analysis on important legislative and regulatory matters by PHADA’s senior policy team; topic-specific email alerts; Issue Briefs and Position Papers; and breaking news notices. PHADA members also benefit from essential and timely professional development programs; discounts on PHADA conference registrations and publications; and members-only online access to our library of presentations from PHADA conferences covering a variety of relevant industry topics. Members also enjoy our complimentary biweekly “Must Reads” electronic publication that features links to the major current news stories of the day of interest to HAs and their staffs. PHADA membership extends to all agency staff so you can share all electronic communications among your team of HA professionals, ensuring they stay informed about important legislative and regulatory issues.
Budget, Legislation, and Regulatory Efforts
PHADA continues to vigorously pursue housing authority funding needs, RAD improvements, and deregulation.
- Helped secure increases in FY 22 capital and operating funding and all Section 8 accounts. Full funding of the capital fund is PHADA’s highest funding priority, and the near 16 percent increase reflects PHADA’s persistent advocacy for this account. Section 8 admin fees, another of PHADA’s top priorities, were increased by nearly 12 percent. The current proration for admin fees is the highest in 20 years and reflects PHADA’s vigorous advocacy, as do the many more flexible uses allowed under HUD Notice PIH 2022-18, released in June.
- Conducted analysis and advocated for support of $70 billion for the Capital Fund backlog nationwide, a figure now cited by numerous legislators in housing plans and legislation. This figure is included in the Housing is Infrastructure Act of 2021 and was attributed to PHADA’s analysis by the House Financial Services Committee.
- Led almost 900 HAs in two successful lawsuits against the federal government for its illegal operating reserves recapture. The government has paid approximately $270 million in damages in the PHADA-initiated litigation.
- Submitted comments, and provided members with a suggested template for their own comments on the Biden Administration’s proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) and Disparate Impact rules. PHADA’s common sense suggestions stressed more streamlined compliance for HAs while still adhering to the core objectives of the Fair Housing Act.
- Collaborated with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to secure a major Moving to Work (MTW) expansion. PHADA also worked with the original sponsors of the Tenant Income Verification Relief Act that allows HAs to conduct triennial recertifications in certain instances.
- Submitted comments to HUD on numerous regulations including Family Self Sufficiency, Fair Market Rents, the Credit Reporting Act, HOTMA, Section 3 and non-citizen rules, as well as on proposed information collections for Section 3 and PBV programs. Many of PHADA’s positions were subsequently adopted in the HUD regulations and information collections, streamlining reporting.
- Offered numerous recommendations to REAC on its NSPIRE inspections rule. PHADA continues to advocate that the new inspections system be truly objective and that HAs not be accountable for tenant caused damages. In addition, HUD should ensure the rule does not score HAs on measures outside of their control such as water quality.
- Analyzed, critiqued, and recommended changes that led to improved Fair Market Rents, Small Area Fair Market Rents, and voucher HAP contract renewal funding inflation factors (RFIF) in a significant number of geographical areas. This work also influenced HUD to seek academic studies on better methodologies of establishing these rents. The results of these studies will be released by HUD in the near future and it is hoped they will have a positive effect on FMRs across the country.
- Following four years of advocacy and leadership by PHADA, Congress continues to include language in annual appropriations bills that prohibits HUD from making funding awards for Family Self Sufficiency coordinators based on a flawed Performance Measurement System.
- Supported the ACTION Campaign and advocated for significant changes to enhance the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. Recent provisions include a permanent hard 4 percent for private activity bonds and an Average Income Test, which allows projects to serve households earning up to 80 percent of area median income (AMI), so long as the average designation of Housing Tax Credit homes is no higher than 60 percent of AMI. PHADA has also advocated for improvements to this language; Treasury and the IRS are working to this end.
Other Gains for Our Members
PHADA’s other notable accomplishments and work include:
- Advocated as the only industry group to formally protest and write HUD when it dropped the MTW work requirement cohort. The association believes that this MTW flexibility would permit HAs to further innovate and better incentivize work and self-sufficiency, while expanding the knowledge base on what program and policy elements are effective, or ineffective at achieving the goals of the demonstration.
- Issued a renewed call for repeal of the 1998 public housing Community Service and Self-Sufficiency Requirement (CSSR) after the Biden administration included this in the proposed FY 23 budget. PHADA’s position is that for over 20+ years the law has been ineffective and administratively burdensome and should be removed as unnecessary over-regulation.
- Provided detailed and up to date information to members on the implementation of the Section 3 rule and prepared a guide for members while continuing advocacy with HUD for simple and common-sense tracking and reporting methods.
- Instituted racial equity focused elements for all PHADA conferences as recommended by PHADA’s 2020 Strategic Planning Racial Equity subcommittee, and have included some racial equity resources for members on the PHADA website. Advocated early and often to establish and expand broadband opportunities for residents and HAs to ensure cooperation by HUD and the federal agencies administering broadband funds to include housing authorities and their residents and their efforts.
Join PHADA and Make Your Interests Heard
If you value pertinent industry information, expert analysis, and the opportunity to be connected with industry thought leaders, then please consider a PHADA membership. Our online membership application is available here. With the additional support and involvement of your agency, we can be even more effective representing the industry’s interests in Washington.