Follow Us! 

President’s Forum: Update on Our Recent Meeting with Secretary Todman

PHADA President Mark Gillett.

I mentioned in my last column that PHADA and other industry groups recently met with Acting HUD Secretary Adrianne Todman. The meeting related to a joint letter PHADA, NAHRO, CLPHA, and the MTW Collaborative sent to the Secretary. I thought it would be informative to provide a short update while also noting how closely the organizations are collaborating on some important priorities. 

Among other concerns we conveyed to the Secretary, the groups pointed out the NSPIRE-V implementation timeline may negatively affect landlord participation in the voucher program. We recommended that HUD defer NSPIRE-V and work with HAs, owners and others to first resolve inspection problems encountered in the public and multifamily housing programs. 

We also expressed our view that HOTMA and the rocky HIP implementation have significantly disrupted agency operations. As a result, we requested that the Department defer it as well to ensure a smoother transition when both HUD and housing agencies are better equipped and ready to move forward. 

We appreciate that HUD is investigating whether a NSPIRE-V delay might be possible. At this stage, no decision on this request has been forthcoming. Regarding HOTMA and HIP, the groups proposed that the compliance date be postponed to January 1, 2026. This would provide HUD, software vendors, and HAs with sufficient time to ensure that all systems are in place and working properly, rent changes are communicated to residents, and agencies can train staff on the new policies and procedures. 

Any agency that wants to implement HOTMA before the compliance date should be able to do so provided the appropriate forms and systems are in place. 

We are awaiting HUD’s response to this proposal, too. 


The Latest on BABA

The industry groups also agree that the Build America Buy America (BABA) law will impose significant burdens and complications for HAs. We fear that it will inflate construction and maintenance costs and delay needed physical improvements. As a result, the groups wrote to President Biden last year to request that his administration exclude residential properties from the definition of “infrastructure,” thereby making BABA inapplicable to our programs. A copy of the joint correspondence can be found on here.

We understand our request has been under thoughtful consideration and modifications exempting some public housing programs will be issued in a forthcoming notice. We will report the important complete details on this matter and the other issues mentioned above as soon as more information becomes available. 


Recognizing a Valuable Trio

I wanted to share some positive news and milestones involving three PHADA staff persons. 

Norma Bellew, Director of Membership.

Membership Director Norma Bellew will mark her 25th anniversary in just a few days. Norma joined PHADA as an administrative assistant in 1999 and rose to her current position a few years later, helping to ensure PHADA’s strong membership base and
financial position. 

During her tenure, she has often pitched in beyond the duties outlined in her job description, something I know our
leadership and staff appreciate. Many of you know Norma from our registration desk at conferences over the years, so you may want to offer your congratulations next time you see her. 

Samara Dinkins, Operations Manager.

Operations Manager Samara Dinkins just marked her one-year anniversary. A welcome addition to the team, Sam performs a variety of duties, including financial oversight and human resources administration. She has also been a valuable liaison to the Scholarship Committee. PHADA Director Tim Kaiser and other staff have remarked how Sam’s presence and dependability have enhanced the day-to-day operations of the association. Like the staff, PHADA’s Board appreciates Sam’s varied contributions. 

Norma Bellew, Director of Membership.

Later this summer, Crystal Wojciechowski will become PHADA’s Deputy Director. Crystal started as a policy analyst about a decade ago. She left her full-time position to establish her own company, but fortunately for us, has remained as a dedicated part-time consultant, serving as a resource on policy matters such as NSPIRE and BABA. A former employee of two HAs, she holds a master’s degree and is a graduate of the PHADA-
Rutgers EDEP program. Crystal will work closely with Tim Kaiser, helping to oversee PHADA’s affairs.

On behalf of the entire membership, I want to express our appreciation and kudos to all three individuals. We look forward to continued collaboration with them well into the future as we continue growing PHADA’s membership and influence.

Join PHADA Today. Link to online application.