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President’s Forum: A Brief Report on PHADA’s Annual Convention

PHADA President Mark Gillett.

PHADA conducted its Annual Convention & Exhibition in New Orleans earlier this month. The meeting was a great success from both an organizational and programmatic standpoint. Kudos to the PHADA staff and our Professional Development Committee for all their efforts. We also wish to express our deep appreciation to the Housing Authority of New Orleans for their assistance, especially HANO’s CEO, Evette Hester. 

As always, we began our meeting with a briefing on the key issues of the day by our policy staff. Members always appreciate the information shared in that session and this one was particularly informative, covering key issues ranging from the new inspection system to the status of HUD appropriations and congressional tax credit legislation. 

The briefing was followed by our committee sessions that delved into some of PHADA’s top priorities right now. We came away from New Orleans ratifying the association’s official comments on the important criminal background tenant screening rule (see page 1). In addition, it was clear from our internal discussions that the Department is not going to be able to meet its present timeline to implement either the Housing Information Portal (HIP) or the January 1 HOTMA compliance date. We will therefore continue to push vigorously for HUD to announce a deferral as soon as possible. 

I encourage members to attend future conference briefings and any of our organizational committee meetings, most of which are open to all members. This is how members become more involved in helping PHADA shape national policy issues. Indeed, we were pleased at the meeting to welcome two new Trustees, Louise Seeba (St. Paul, MN) and Kathy Walter (Beaver County, PA). 

The convention program featured some of the timeliest issues including NSPIRE, the Build America Buy America requirements, the tenant screening rule, and cybersecurity issues, among others. One of those most informative sessions was the presentation by the information technology software executives, who voiced their concerns about the latest on HIP implementation. 

All the session PowerPoint and presentation materials are available on our website in the Presentation Archive

We had more than forty exhibitors in attendance. We appreciate their support and participation. Their contact information is available on the Whova app. 

Another highlight was the annual Steven Bollinger Scholarship Luncheon. We presented this year’s scholarship to Taylor Pierce-James of Grand Rapids, MI. Pierce-James gave a moving acceptance speech, paying tribute to her mother for all the sacrifices she made over the years. 

I want to thank all of you who attended our convention. I hope to see many of you again in just a few months when we convene in Washington for our Legislative Forum in September.

To view photos from the Annual Convention, please visit our Facebook page

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