NAHRO Leaders Support Small Public Housing Agency Opportunity Act of 2015


Washington, D.C. (November 18, 2015) – Leaders of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) support legislation introduced by Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) on November 17, entitled the “Small Public Housing Agency Opportunity Act of 2015.”

"I congratulate and thank Senator Tester and Senator Fischer for introducing the Small Public Housing Authority Opportunity Act of 2015. This timely and thoughtful legislation will provide much-needed administrative and regulatory relief to small housing authorities nationwide, and will allow them to efficiently and cost effectively provide affordable housing in smaller rural and suburban communities," said Steve Merritt President of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials and Executive Director of the Norwood Housing Authority.

The Act’s purpose is to assure the long-term viability and effectiveness of small public housing agencies. The bill also seeks to encourage flexibility and enables smaller housing authorizes managing less than 550 units of federally-assisted housing, to explore innovative approaches to determining tenant rents. It also seeks to reframe and adjust the level and degree of federal oversight over smaller housing authorities, which is currently disproportionate to the risk presented by these agencies.

“Small housing authorities appreciate the introduction of the Small Public Housing Agency Opportunity Act of 2015 by Senators Tester and Fischer,” said Sharon Carlson, Executive Director, Belding Housing Commission (Mich.) and Chair, NAHRO Small Agencies Task Force. “This bill establishes long sought-after relief provisions and needed flexibility for small agencies, while continuing to insure requirements for compliance and oversight of federally-regulated programs.  With enactment, the bill will enable small agencies to devote limited human and financial resources to residents and the properties they are entrusted to protect and maintain”.

The Small Public Housing Agency Opportunity Act of 2015 can be viewed here


NAHRO, established in 1933, is a membership organization of 20,000 housing and community development agencies and professionals throughout the United States whose mission is to create affordable housing and safe, viable communities that enhance the quality of life for all Americans, especially those of low- and moderate-income. NAHRO's membership administers more than 3 million housing units for 7.6 million people.



Carmen Smith