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President’s Forum: Looking Forward to PHADA’s Annual Convention

PHADA’s Annual Convention & Exhibition is now just a couple of weeks away and I wanted to offer a preview for those planning to attend and perhaps attract others who might still be undecided. This will be our third in-person meeting since vaccines became widely available and people grew more comfortable traveling. We are expecting over 400 attendees at the May 19–22 meeting at the Grand Hyatt on the San Antonio Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX.

 

Most Committee Meetings Are Open to All Registrants

We recently held a special task force meeting and some members remarked that our committee meeting day is so valuable that we should promote it more. They rightly noted it affords time to network with – and learn from – other participants while also providing an opportunity to help shape PHADA’s positions.

I therefore want to encourage registrants to attend the committee meetings on Thursday, May 19 including the legislative briefing that morning.

We will be discussing some prominent issues including the FY 23 HUD budget, rental income losses, Section 8 utilization challenges, and the new Section 3 guidance HUD just issued. On the membership and professional development side, we are exploring ways we can provide more training and other opportunities for new executive directors, among other things.

 

Session Highlights

As always, our meeting will include timely and informative sessions on a variety of topics. For example, we will cover the latest regarding the ongoing NSPIRE physical inspections demonstration including HUD’s 2023 implementation plans. Related to this, our policy team will discuss PHADA’s efforts to make the inspections system and assessment scoring (PHAS, SEMAP) fairer in the context of the ongoing pandemic.

We are fortunate that Marianne Nazzaro of HUD headquarters will attend and brief us on the Department’s implementation of the Moving to Work expansion, outlining how more HAs can apply if they are interested. Other informative workshops are planned on effective resident screening, and how HAs can protect themselves from cyber security threats.

Last autumn, President Biden signed into law a new infrastructure program, which includes tens of billions of dollars for broadband expansion. The new law also includes billions for internet subscriptions targeted to underserved communities including the residents we serve. This important initiative will be discussed at the convention.

PHADA’s Board has made racial equity a priority in both our legislative advocacy and training. We are pleased to have a knowledgeable speaker who will discuss the state of “housing insecurity” and the current wealth gap that exists in our society. Among other things, Olayinka Credle will show how the racial wealth gap relates to the housing crisis and cover practical steps that may benefit low-income housing residents.

There are also good workshops for commissioners including sessions on RAD and other conversion tools. In addition, we plan to cover insurance and financial issues commissioners need to know.

 

Scholarship Luncheon

Our last in-person Annual Convention was back in May 2019, so we really looking forward to this year’s scholarship lunch. This special gathering celebrating talented students is always one of the most memorable events at any of our conferences.

PHADA is pleased to award scholarships to three special students who are undoubtedly on their way to successful college careers. You can read more about this year’s scholarships winners here.

These and more session information and the entire meeting agenda are accessible on our website. I also want to encourage attendees to download the convention app if you have not done so already.

The app contains volumes of information about other attendees, sponsors and exhibitors, speakers, handouts and other useful materials. I look forward to seeing many of you soon!

 

HUD Assistant Secretary Nominee Moves On to Another Position

Arthur Jemison, former Nominee for Assistant Secretary for PIH-HUD.

President Biden will need to nominate another individual to be Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing. James Arthur Jemison, who presently holds a position in the office of community development at headquarters, was nominated for the Assistant Secretary but the Senate did not confirm him after two attempts. Jemison has now taken a key urban planning position in Boston, a city where he had previously worked in his career. At this stage, it is unclear when a new nomination will be forthcoming.