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President’s Forum: Your Return on Investment in PHADA

PHADA President David A. Northern, Sr.

This edition of the Advocate includes two new publications that I wanted to bring to your attention. The first is an updated “Return on Investment” (ROI) piece that highlights PHADA’s most recent work on behalf of members. The second publication outlines some of the major concerns our members have about two important pending regulations. All the accomplishments and excellent feedback reflected in these publications are the byproduct of successful collaboration between our membership and staff.

The ROI speaks for itself so I will not go into a lot of detail. Most notably, the publication mentions how effective we have been in helping to secure more funding for our programs and the residents we serve. PHADA is also proud to have led the successful industry litigation on HUD’s illegal operating reserves offset from almost a decade ago. As noted, the latest monetary damages were just recently paid out to more than five hundred HAs that participated in the second of two PHADA-initiated lawsuits.

I am especially proud that our association has taken the lead in advocating to the Biden Administration that it reinstate a Moving to Work (MTW) program that would encourage residents to seek employment, while also asking Congress to replace a longstanding ineffective statutory work requirement. In sum, the ROI illustrates that, on issues ranging from public housing, Section 8, RAD, the LIHTC program, non-profit housing and more, PHADA effectively represents HAs throughout the United States.

 

Good Collaboration Between Members, Staff

The second publication includes some of our major concerns on HUD’s NSPIRE physical inspections proposed rule and new “Build America, Buy America” (BABA) regulations. PHADA submitted detailed comments on these two regulations and this handy one pager lays out the key issues.

Our excellent comments were drafted by our staff in close consultation with our Housing and Small PHA committees as well as some other members. The complete BABA correspondence can be accessed at on our website here, and NSPIRE here.

Regarding NSPIRE, you will note we have several major concerns including our strongly held view that all agencies should receive a round of advisory scores before HUD institutes the new system. We think this is only fair because, even though the rules become effective early next year, HUD has not yet divulged the details behind the scoring methodology.

Also, in the interest of fairness, we note that HAs should not be penalized for things outside of their control. Similarly, we firmly believe that the government must provide funding for new and additional health and safety requirements (i.e., more smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors) if they are required to pass inspections.

BABA is not as well known to HAs and other recipients of federal funding, but it will have a major impact on our operations. The new requirements were included in the massive infrastructure package that became law in late 2021. They are set to take effect later this year.

PHADA supports the objective behind the law and the regulations, which is to boost the sale of American steel and other products, benefiting our nation’s economy. The Department needs to consider, however, that some materials simply are not available to HAs, or could be much more costly for us to use. As we noted in our comments, this could be very problematic at the present time with high inflation and supply chain delays all over the world. Thus, we suggested HUD include a waiver process for HAs that are unable to comply through no fault of their own.

 

Please Help PHADA Help HAs

Again, if you are interested in our full analysis and want to review PHADA’s comments, they can be found on our website.

I want to thank our committee members and staff for their quality work on these matters. I also want to encourage more of you to get involved in and help make a difference in our industry by becoming more involved in PHADA. You can access information about our various committees here, or contact Membership Director Norma Bellew (nbellew@phada.org) if you are interested in joining one of our committees.