NAHRO, PHADA, and CLPHA Leaders Meet to Discuss Future of Public Housing

 

NAHRO-PHADA-CLPHA logos

On June 20, a working group of industry leaders and staff from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), and the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA) met in Washington, D.C., primarily to discuss the challenges facing the public housing program, and also to enhance voucher programs, to identify promising legislative and regulatory initiatives that will preserve and improve the public housing portfolio in the long-term, and to foster industry collaboration and coordination.

It was agreed that the public housing stock is needed to meet the affordable rental needs of families and seniors throughout the country, and in high cost markets it may be the only source of affordable housing for some families. The groups also agreed that chronic underfunding from the federal government has made it challenging for housing authorities to keep up with necessary and, in some cases, long over-due capital improvements. A working consensus formed around the belief that, despite best efforts, the level of federal appropriations necessary to responsibly preserve public housing into the future would be difficult to attain and sustain.

The group identified three areas for future legislative action to preserve and improve the public housing portfolio: (1) develop and advocate for a more stable and effective multifamily model to assist more housing authorities in the conversion of their public housing portfolios, at an agency's discretion; (2) integrate MTW-like flexibilities for maximum local control; (3) allow fungibility across HUD funds. 

This meeting defined an important moment for the industry to collectively recognize the threat to the public housing portfolio and to commit to work in collaboration to develop viable legislative strategies to preserve these critical assets.

NAHRO, PHADA, and CLPHA agreed to work cooperatively on an aligned strategy that incorporated these three areas with the goal of establishing a proposal in the near future that would empower agencies, and their stakeholders, to make local decisions that would improve the housing asset for communities they serve, and preserve it for families that will need this housing long into the future. 

We look forward to continue working together to ensure that one of America’s most important capital investments, housing, stays at the forefront of our national dialogue.  

Signatures: Todman, Kaiser, Zaterman

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A PDF version of this statement is available here.

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