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President’s Forum: PHADA’s DC Meeting Successful at an Opportune Time

PHADA President David A. Northern, Sr.

For the first time since early 2020, PHADA conducted an in-person meeting September 12–14, in Washington, DC. I am happy to report the meeting was both safe and successful, giving us the opportunity to convene at the very moment Congress was writing historic legislation to provide billions of dollars in additional assistance to our long-neglected programs.

I was pleased with our Legislative Forum on an organizational level because we were able to act on so many important issues. For example, our Housing and Legislative Committees discussed and refined PHADA’s positions on the pending appropriations legislation, and the reconciliation bill that contains a $75 billion voucher expansion and an infusion of $80 billion in capital funds. In addition, we developed several recommendations advising HUD that HAs with voucher programs should still be able to apply for needed set-aside funding resulting from increased costs. You can read more about these matters and see photos from the event by downloading a PDF of the October 6 Advocate.

Our committees also devised our latest recommendations on the extension of needed waivers. The most notable one is our view that the two assessment programs (PHAS, SEMAP), should continue to be deferred considering the ongoing challenges and extraordinary circumstances we face because of the pandemic. Please see the PDF link above for the recommendations we sent to HUD on several important waiver extensions.

There were also some good training and informational sessions held in Washington including two Executive Director Education Program (EDEP) courses and conference workshops on the emergency voucher and rental assistance programs, as well as the latest on the expansion of the Moving to Work program. You can access some of the presentation materials from those sessions on our website.

 

PHADA Meets with HUD Secretary Fudge, Deputy Secretary Todman, and Congressional Leaders

Remarks from HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge during PHADA’s 2021 Legislative Forum.

The meeting also provided us with the chance to meet with key policy leaders from both HUD and Congress. We were honored that HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge took the time to meet with PHADA’s leadership to discuss the capital fund infrastructure proposal and voucher expansion along with several other priorities. We were also pleased that Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman came over and spent time with members and our staff while we were in the nation’s capital. PHADA is continuing to work closely with the Secretary and her team on the reconciliation legislation as it advances through the two chambers.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) spoke to us in-person and discussed his noteworthy legislation, the “Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act of 2021,” which he has co-authored with Sen. Todd Young (R-IN). In addition, Rep. David Price (D-NC) addressed the conference in a video that focused on the FY 22 HUD appropriations package and capital fund infrastructure package.

Several HUD-PIH staff also came by in person and addressed PHADA on REAC and NSPIRE inspections, the Section 3 and Fair Housing rules, CARES act waiver extensions, and new federal employee vaccination requirements proposed by the Biden Administration (see PDF Advocate link above).

All attendees complied with PHADA’s request for either vaccination documentation or recent covid-19 testing, which we very much appreciated. In sum, the meeting was successful on both organizational and substantive levels.

Now that we have “broken the ice” and returned to in-person meetings, I’m hoping this trend will continue into mid-January when we convene in San Diego for our 2022 Commissioners' Conference. Please see the material in this edition for the schedule and other related materials. I hope to see many of you there.