Update from Washington

On August 3, NAHRO issued a statement on the agreement to increase the nation’s debt ceiling. Issued on behalf of NAHRO, Saul N. Ramirez Jr. NAHRO CEO, made the Association’s position clear that while it is relieved the debt ceiling crisis was resolved, the agreement does nothing to alleviate the $26 billion backlog in public housing capital needs nor does it address any other longstanding housing and community development needs. For the full statement, click here.

On Thursday, July 28, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the availability of $95 million in competitive grants to support sustainable local initiatives through the FY 2011 Regional Planning and Community Challenge Planning Grant Programs from HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities. In its second year, the DOT, the EPA, and HUD continue to encourage communities to strive for collaborative redevelopment and revitalization progress.

In other news, Maine is the first state to ban smoking in all of its housing authorities state-wide. With 250 housing authorities across the country already on board, the momentum to ban smoking is growing.

Finally, San Antonio Housing Authority’s non-profit arm, Education Investment Foundation, will honor 23 low-income students with $1,500 scholarships at tonight’s “Rising Stars” Banquet. Students will be recognized for their outstanding academic achievements in the face of diversity.