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President’s Forum: A Report on the Commissioners Conference

Productive Organizational Meetings and Informative Sessions in Orlando

PHADA President David A. Northern, Sr.

PHADA held its annual Commissioners Conference a few weeks ago in the Orlando, Florida area. We were delighted to host more than 700 attendees in our first gathering of 2023, providing an opportune time to focus on some major issues while also learning from some informative presentations.

PHADASunday’s Legislative/Regulatory Briefing during the 2023 Commissioners’ Conference.

Most of the association’s committee meetings occur on the conference’s first day, which in this case was Sunday, January 8. Typically, before our committees get underway, members participate in a briefing conducted by our policy staff. Every time we do this, we receive more positive feedback that this is one of the most valuable aspects of our conferences. Given all that is occurring in Washington right now, the recent briefing was particularly helpful.

PHADA staff covered the outlook for the 118th Congress, the provisions of the recently enacted FY 23 HUD appropriations bill, the latest on the Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) negotiations with HUD, NSPIRE, BABA and a host of other important issues. A key take away was that PHADA plans to be more aggressive in trying to convince the Department of the need to slow down on the torrent of new regulations now pouring out of HUD headquarters. We will report more on this effort in coming weeks.

As always, the conference featured some workshops and presentations on timely topics including new techniques HAs can try to recruit younger workers, and to better protect their agencies from cyber and natural disaster related risks. Some other memorable sessions included a Department of Justice initiative to fight sexual harassment in assisted housing and informative presentations on the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) by former HUD staffer Greg Byrne. I must commend my Texas colleague, Mary Margaret Lemons, for an excellent session she and her team conducted on Fort Worth’s sustainable communities initiative. Members can view some of the PowerPoint presentations from these and other sessions on the Whova conference app or online.

Graduates from the Rutgers University – PHADA Executive Director Education Program (EDEP) – were honored in a special luncheon. There were more than two dozen graduates this year. As an EDEP alumni myself, I can confidently assert they are now in a better position to lead their agencies into the future.

We were very pleased to be joined by more than 100 executive directors, staff and commissioners attending their first PHADA meeting. Our membership committee, Board of Trustees and staff took the opportunity to meet and greet them in a nice gathering Monday morning, January 9.

We also conducted important organizational business in Orlando. A Nominating Committee selected twenty trustee candidates as well officer candidates to lead PHADA for the next few years. Click here for further information on that matter.

I must recognize PHADA Trustee Vivian Bryant and her talented team at the Orlando HA for their assistance during the conference. PHADA has held a few meetings in the Orlando area and we can always count on Vivian and her staff for great support. We really appreciate their help.

For those of you who were unable to attend, I would remind you that you can access some of the materials and information on the PHADA website. Also, please consider coming to PHADA’s spring Annual Convention & Exhibition, which will be held in Denver in late May. Registration, hotel and other information about that meeting can be found in this edition and on the PHADA website. 

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