NAHRO Policy Team Blog

  • Emily Pasi July 21, 2011 10:44am EDT

    Attention NAHRO members! Today is the last day to take advantage of pre-conference registration for the NAHRO Summer Conference in Louisville, KY.  Only on-site registrations will be accepted after July 21, so make sure to register now!

    On July 20, HUD charged rental property owners, James and Julia Norton, of Brown County, Wisconsin with violating the Fair Housing Act for allegedly establishing different lease terms for a single mother. The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to refuse to rent or discriminate in any way against families with children. 

    In other news, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Victor A. Gonzalez as the first public housing resident to be named a member of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Board. Gonzalez, a resident of NYCHA for 50 years, has been a life-long advocate for quality public housing.

    Finally, the Norfolk Housing Foundation recently awarded 34 college students scholarships to assist in furthering their education. The scholarships, made possible through donations made to the Norfolk Housing Foundation, were awarded based on completion of an application and interview. 

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  • Emily Pasi July 18, 2011 03:07pm EDT

    The latest edition of theNAHRO Monitor was recently released on Friday, July 15. Be sure to read NAHRO President Akinola Popoola’s message on “Transparency and the Executive Compensation Information Proposal” as well as other up-to-the-minute news from Washington. 

    Don’t forget that Summer Conference is quickly approaching! With less than two weeks to Louisville, it is important to register for the conference now.  If you’ve never been to a NAHRO conference, check out six reasons why you should start this year!

    In other news, HUD’s deadline for the Emergency Homeowner’s Loan Program pre-application is coming. All pre-applicant screening worksheets are due this Friday, July 22. The program’s goal is to assist homeowners who are at risk for foreclosure in 27 states across the country and Puerto Rico.

    The Obama Administration recently pledged to end veteran homelessness by 2015. Through the initiative Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, several federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and HUD, will work together to provide assistance to those veterans in need. 

     


     
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  • Emily Pasi July 12, 2011 10:12am EDT

    Attention NAHRO members! The Subcommittee markup of the T-HUD bill initially scheduled for July 14 has been postponed. As a result, NAHRO’s national call-in day (originally scheduled for today) will also be postponed.  In the meantime, please continue to reach out to your members of Congress and tell them about the importance of affordable housing and community development programs in your community.

    Don’t forget: This summer, anyone who registers for a NAHRO seminar will be eligible to win an iPod Shuffle! A winner will be randomly selected for each seminar held in July and August. Click here to register.

    In other news, the Obama Administration launched a new initiative yesterday called Strong Cities, Strong Communities to spark economic growth in local communities. Launched in six cities across the country, the Administration hopes to work with local governments and communities to improve the way the federal government does business, provides assistance and supports and becomes partners in growth.

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  • Emily Pasi July 07, 2011 04:37pm EDT

    Attention NAHRO members! With less than a week until the House THUD Appropriation Subcommittee’s mark up of the FY 2012 THUD appropriations bill and Congress’ August recess right around the corner, it is time to focus on your legislative advocacy and media outreach efforts. To help prepare you in your endeavors, NAHRO has created an Advocacy and PR Toolkit. This toolkit covers everything you need to know from how to contact your legislator(s) to quick tips on writing a boiler plate or customized letter to the editor of your local media outlet(s). In addition, NAHRO has developed a Best Practices page designed to provide examples of great advocacy and outreach campaigns implemented by your colleagues. Examples can range from op. ed. pieces to transcripts of interviews to letters to members of Congress. If you would like to be share the results of your advocacy and outreach efforts to display on the Best Practices page, contact Emily Pasi with information and materials at epasi@nahro.org.

    In other news, the Obama Administration announced adjustments to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) regulations that will require mortgage servicers to extend the minimum forbearance period from three months to 12 months for unemployed homeowners.  Forbearance will also become an option for those homeowners who are delinquent.

    Finally, on July 6, HUD announced a settlement agreement worth $62 million with the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, National Fair Housing Alliance, and 1,300 Louisiana homeowners to remedy alleged claims of discrimination against African Americans. The additional funds will aid homeowners in repairs still required from Hurricane Katrina and Rita.    

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  • Emily Pasi July 05, 2011 05:31pm EDT

    On June 30, HUD announced a revised version of the Notice of Disclosure form that describesthe rights of active duty military personnel and their dependents who are protected under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). The new form explains 1) the legal protections afforded Servicemembers under SCRA; 1) who may be entitled to legal protections; 3) how a Servicemember or dependant can request relief; and 4) how a Servicemember or dependant can request information about SCRA.

    In other news, HUD has updated their website with additional information on the proposed FY 2012 operating reserve offset. HUD’s newest tool allows PHAs to calculate their current reserve balances. In addition, HUD has posted a document with information regarding technical updates to the FY 2011 HUD-52722 and HUD-52723 Excel forms.

    Attention NAHRO members! Don’t forget to sign up for NAHRO’s 2011 Summer Conference in Louisville, Kentucky July 28-30. With less than a month before the conference, time is running out. Register today!

     

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  • Emily Pasi June 28, 2011 05:15pm EDT

    HUD wants to hear your input on how to improve the Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant NOFA at the Choice Neighborhoods Listening Session in DC from 2:30 – 4:30pm on Friday, July 15. The Listening Session will focus on how to identify needy communities; how to balance need with potential impact; how to balance accountability with flexibility; how to identify and reward communities with partnerships; and how to fund plans with the most impact.  Details of an additional session to be held in Seattle will be announced soon.

    In other news, NAHRO submitted formal comments on June 27 in response to HUD’s proposal to require all PHAs to report the salary and compensation packages of their top five paid employees. NAHRO’s letter addresses the April 26, 2011 notice regarding the proposed information collection issued by HUD, in conformance with Office of Management and Budget policy. In addition to its comments, NAHRO has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for information relating to the compensation packages of HUD’s highest paid officials. For more information, read this Direct News article.

    Attention NAHRO members! Don’t forget to take advantage of the Early Bird registration rate and discounted hotel rooms available to registered conference attendees through June 30. This year’s Summer Conference provides all attendees the excellent opportunity to network with colleagues, listen to esteemed speakers, and develop management and professional practices. You don’t want to miss out on the action! Register today!

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  • Emily Pasi June 27, 2011 09:38am EDT

    On June 23,Tony Bazzie, Executive Director of the Raleigh County (WV) Housing Authority, testified before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity on a recently released discussion draft, entitled the Section 8 Savings Act (SESA), to reform the Housing Choice Voucher program. NAHRO and six other organizations provided recommendations on the proposed legislation. Be sure to look for more details on the hearing in the upcoming edition of the Monitor.

    On Friday afternoon, HUD released a new study that found the nation’s 1.2 million public housing units need $25.6 billion for large scale repairs. The costs estimated by the Capital Needs Assessment address overdue repairs, accessibility improvements for disabled residents, lead abatement and water and energy conservation measures that would make homes more energy and cost efficient in the long run.

    In other HUD news, Secretary Shaun Donovan announced today $210 million in Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) allocations to 146 tribes in 25 states. IHBG funds assist low-income families living on Indian Reservations or other American Indian communities.

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  • Jonathan Zimmerman June 24, 2011 02:30pm EDT

    NAHRO's survey is largely quantitative. However, many PHAs around the country have prepared memos for their Executive Directors and Board of Commissioners to explain the financial impacts of ongoing administrative fee cuts on their operations in CY 2011, including potential or planned measures to reduce administrative costs and the qualitative impact that will likely have on their program operations. An example of such a memo is available at:

    http://www.nahro.org/sites/default/files/searchablePHAMemorandumExampleRegardingSection8VoucherAdmini.pdf

    If your agency has prepared a memo outlining specific impacts on your PHA and are authorized to share it with us on a confidential basis, we would appreciate it. Please feel free to share such materials with us at jzimmerman@nahro.org
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  • Emily Pasi June 22, 2011 05:34pm EDT

    Attention NAHRO members! NAHRO, along with others, will testify tomorrow before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity.  The hearing will focus on a recently released discussion draft of the ‘‘Section 8 Savings Act of 2011,” which makes reforms to the Housing Choice Voucher Program. Tony Bazzie, Executive Director of the Raleigh County Housing Authority in Beckley, West Virginia, will testify on behalf of NAHRO.  In addition to providing legislators with testimony, NAHRO is also collecting data through our new administrative fee survey: “NAHRO Surveys PHAs to Assess Actual Impacts of Administrative Fee Pro-rations on Voucher Programs in 2011 and Estimated Impacts for 2012.”  NAHRO will use this data to inform lawmakers and HUD about the impacts of reduced administrative fee funding resulting from the enacted FY 2011 spending bill and the potential impacts of continued under-funding of the account in 2012.  

    In case you didn’t see it in the latest edition of the Monitor, NAHRO wants to hear your success stories. Many of our members have been recognized for their innovative ideas, but we would love to hear more! If you are implementing a new and exciting initiative, or have a success story to share, please let us know. Email epasi@nahro.orgto share your ideas.

     In other news, HUD will be hosting a conference call on Thursday, June 23 to discuss the CY 2011 Operating Fund eligibility submissions process. The call begins at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time and all PHAs are invited to participate.

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  • Emily Pasi June 17, 2011 05:11pm EDT

    Have you heard? All across the U.S., housing authorities are gearing up for Father’s Day Weekend. According to HUD, 200 agencies across the nation answered HUD’s call to host Father’s Day 2011 events this Saturday. If you are planning one of these holiday events, share your story with us by e-mailing Emily Pasi, NAHRO’s summer intern at epasi@nahro.org.

    HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced on Wednesday, June 15, that HUD awarded $26.7 million in “sweat equity” grants which will create at least 1,500 affordable homes for low-income individuals and families. The sweat equity grants are funded by the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program. Since 1996, SHOP has created over 23,000 units of affordable housing.

    In other news, there are positive indicators coming from the housing market. According to the Wall Street Journal, permits for new construction rose 8.7 percent over the last four weeks, while housing starts rose 3.5 percent, marking a potential upward trend in the economy and the housing market.

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