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

John Hodge, PHADA President

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).

Many of us were pleasantly surprised to find the following recent email from the Congressman in our inboxes:

Friends,

During the best of times, you have difficult jobs, in times like these, your work may seem downright impossible. I want to be one of the first to thank you for what I know you are doing for your communities. As a former housing authority executive,

I am well aware of the challenges facing you and your communities daily, but as the world is forever changed by the worldwide pandemic of Coronavirus, I am reaching out to see what we in Congress can do to help.

Although Members of Congress are home in their districts working to respond to this crisis, we are still working together to make changes to and extend the coordinated federal response as needed to respond to COVID-19. To get this right, I believe we must enlist the input of those on the ground.

If you have suggestions about how we can help our housing authorities respond to COVID-19, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or my staff (s.palazzo@mail.house.gov).

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