PROTECT FLEXIBILITIES FOR HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES TO MEET LOCAL NEEDS
NAHRO members understand the complex and unique circumstances facing their localities. This means that PHAs and other housing and community development agencies are best suited to create policies and run programs that help their communities. PHAs provide residents with the security and resources they need to achieve self-sufficiency and economic mobility. HUD and Congress should provide regulatory and statutory flexibilities to PHAs, like those provided during the pandemic, sot hat PHAs and other agencies are able to serve their local communities quickly and effectively. HUD must also ensure that the Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) remains a mutually agreed-upon contract between the federal government and PHAs. Further, many PHAs are facing unforeseen circumstances directly related to the pandemic that may impact their Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) and Section 8 Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) scoring. To address this, HUD should suspend PHAS and SEMAP scoring for FY2022, while restarting inspections to ensure units are safe. With the increase in climate disasters faced by communities year over year, localities must also be able to plan accordingly to ensure their residents and developments can respond to climate change.
- Expand and enhance programs and funding that increase self-sufficiency and stability for low-income families including the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program and programs that help homeless households find and maintain safe housing.
- Help housing agencies return to normal post-pandemic by providing relief for Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) and Section 8 Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) scores when agencies face unforeseen consequences outside of their control.
- Allow local housing providers to nimbly respond to evolving local circumstances facing their unique communities through expanded statutory and regulatory flexibilities.
- Create a workable Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing policy that does not penalize entities on impediments outside of their control, considers funding deficits faced by PHAs, and strikes a balance between place-based solutions and mobility.
- Provide adequate funding for climate resilient planning, design, and recovery before and after natural disasters strike.
- Ensure the Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) remains a contract between HUD and PHAs with no unilateral changes made without HUD and PHA approval.