NSPIRE, BABA, HUD Appropriations on Agenda
PHADA President David A. Northern, Sr.
PHADA conducted its annual Legislative Forum in Washington, DC, September 11–13. Once again, the meeting was well-timed and attended with our committees and participants focusing on several important topics.
I wanted to provide an overview, but you can read more about our recent meeting elsewhere in this edition.
PHADA’s various committees addressed some major policy issues including the pending NSPIRE physical inspections rule, which is supposed to take effect in fewer than six months. The Board of Trustees adopted a resolution, suggesting that HUD delay implementation because the Department simply has not yet provided sufficient information to initiate the program. PHADA believes the rule should be deferred until HUD provides HAs all criteria including the new scoring methodology and other details that are still unknown. In addition, we think there should be a one-year advisory scoring period to help make sure the new system is accurate.
Similarly, our Small PHA and Housing Committees continue to raise serious concerns about the Build America, Buy America (BABA) rule, which requires HAs to procure American made products for use in their everyday activities. We agree with the law’s objective but there are practical realities that must be addressed including the need for waivers when products are too expensive or unavailable. You can read our new NSPIRE letter to HUD and more about BABA in this issue of the Advocate.
We came out of our Washington meeting offering new recommendations to HUD as it considers changes to criminal record background checks and tenant screening. We are advocating that HUD not ban the use of this valuable tool and that the Department allow for flexible local policies. At the same time, we recommend that HUD and HAs make sure all applicants are treated fairly and afforded due process in the application process. For more specifics, our letter to Secretary Marcia Fudge can be found here.
HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman taking questions from attendees during PHADA’s 2022 Legislative Forum in Washington, DC.
We heard important messages from Department officials including Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman and PIH Deputy Assistant Secretary Dominique Blom and her staff. We appreciate that HUD took the time to participate especially since there are so many important policy matters pending at right now. During our meeting with the Deputy Secretary, we registered our positions on HUD’s problematic changes to the Annual Contributions Contract (ACC), new Fair Market Rents, the NSPIRE and BABA rules, and other issues.
Key congressional staff and two influential lawmakers, Reps. David Price (D-NC) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), also addressed PHADA. Not surprisingly, they confirmed that a continuing resolution will be adopted soon and that it will be effective into December. You can read more about other congressional highlights in the separate article here.
Some other presentations included a session on the status of Fair Housing regulations under development, HUD’s ongoing racial equity initiative, new RAD rents that will be available soon, and the innovative “Faircloth to RAD” program.
In sum, the Legislative Forum was quite productive. I want to thank the hundreds of members who took the time to come to Washington. I am looking forward to seeing even more of you, commissioners, and first-time attendees at our Commissioners’ Conference in Orlando this January (see pages 10–11 for the schedule and registration information).
Thank you, Andy Tyman
Andy Tyman, former CEO, Geneva Housing Authority.
Andy Tyman (Geneva, NY) has been a PHADA Trustee for more than three decades. After a successful career, he just retired and is departing PHADA’s Board of Trustees.
Andy has been a valuable contributor to the association all through his tenure. Among other duties, he served as our Vice President for Professional Development and the organization’s Treasurer. PHADA is in such good financial condition in no small part because of his great work over the years. In addition to his leadership role with PHADA, Andy was active in New York state, where he helped build its association to the point where it has been remarkably effective in securing state funds for housing programs.
Andy Tyman will be missed in his community, by his colleagues in New York, and by many housing professionals all over the country. I want to wish Andy the best and to express PHADA’s sincere appreciation for his years of service.