Advocacy & Policy

2021 Legislative & Regulatory Agenda

National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials

2021 NAHRO Legislative and Regulatory Agenda Cover
NARHO Priorities

Fully Fund Affordable Housing and Community Development Programs
COVID-19 has demonstrated that affordable housing is critical to the nation's health and safety. Congress should fully fund affordable housing and community development programs. No one should have to face housing instability, especially during a pandemic. Congress and the Administration must also prioritize the appropriations process to keep the federal government open.

Champion Resilient Families and Communities
COVID-19 has deepened already stark economic divisions in America, but HUD tools utilized by NAHRO members help bridge that gap. NAHRO supports  programs  that help its members foster stable communities, house the homeless, recover quickly from disasters, and operate mobility and place-based initiatives that help families succeed. NAH RO supports critical federal, state, and local resident supportive services that foster strong education and health outcomes.

Support Local, Equitable Community-Based Solutions
NAHRO members (housing authorities, community development agencies, project-based rental assistance owners, project-based contract administrators, and our business partners) understand best the complex and unique circumstances facing their communities - rural, urban, and suburban. During COVID-19, Congress has entrusted NAHRO members with dramatically expanded flexibilities to operate their programs based on local conditions and needs; these flexibilities should be made permanent. We must also prioritize equity in local solution-making to address injustices and current service gaps.

Preserve and Develop the Nation's Housing Stock
Housing is critical infrastructure. Even throughout the pandemic, NAHRO members work hard to use existing federal housing programs and policies to create and maintain housing opportunities for families, youth, seniors, and    persons    with    disabilities.    NAH RO    believes    that housing providers should all have access to programs and funding that preserve and improve subsidized housing, including making the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) available to all  PHAs  that  wish  to   participate. Any infrastructure discussions should include significant resources for housing infrastructure.
NAHRO Funding Priorities
COVID-19

Transitional Voucher Assistance
the loss of income due to COVID-19 has increased housing insecurity, but families can be served with short-term rental assistance until their income is restored.

COVID-19 Housing Assistance Payments
Ensure that tenants and landlords are made whole from unpaid rent caused by the housing impacts of COVID-19 through rental assistance programs administered by PHAS and other partners.
Resiliency

Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery
The Administration must request, and Congress must enact, streamlined and focused statutes, regulations, and guidance on the CDBG-DR program so funds can quickly reach local communities in need.

Alleviate Food Insecurity 
The nation's low-income communities must be provided with the resources and opportunities to become food secure.

Ensure Internet Access for Families
Internet access is essential for 21st century families - all families should have the ability to access the basic utility to achieve employment, education and healthy goals.

Access to Opportunity and Economic Mobility
All families and individuals must have unfettered opportunities for upward economic mobility, including the ability to maximize their health and education outcomes.
Community Solutions

New Permanent Voucher Assistance
New voucher assistance should be available for approximately
8  million  people who currently qualify for a voucher, but do not have one. It should include search assistance, tools for landlord engagement, short-term financial assistance, service assistance, especially for  homeless  people, and other services as needed.

Source of Income
A tenant must be allowed to rent any available rental unit regardless of the source of their rental payment.

Equity in Housing
Race, gender, economic status, ability, sexual orientation, or other identity differences should not affect open access to affordable homeownership and rental opportunities.

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing
To meet the promise and duty to affirmatively  further  fair housing, HUD  should create a workable  process that advances fair housing but does not penalize housing authorities for impediments outside of their control, considers funding deficits faced by PHAs, and strikes a balance between place-based solutions and mobility.

Expand Moving to Work Flexibilities
Funding and program f1exibilities that allow Moving to Work (MTW) agencies to better serve their local communities should
be expanded to all PHAs that would like to use them.

Permanent Program Flexibilities
HUD programs have numerous regulations that cause inefficient and unwise operations. PHAs and HUD have implemented the regulatory and statutory f1exibilities allowed during COVID-19 to quickly and effectively serve their local communities. These changes must be made permanent, especially for small agencies.

Provide Resources to PBCA
Project-Based Contract Administrators (PBCAs) are a crucial link between private owners of affordable housing and HUD, and public housing authorities are best equipped to administer these contracts. They ensure that residents have safe homes, so they must be given the authority and resources to effectively complete this work.

Improve Fair Market Rents
Fair Market Rents continue to lag behind local on-the-ground rental prices and should continue to be improved until they accurately represent rental prices in all housing markets across the country.
Preserve and Develop

Public Housing Capital Fund
To address the decades of  dangerous underfunding of the Public   Housing   Capital   Fund,  Congress   must  appropriate $70 billion to the Capital Fund to address the backlog of repairs.

Strengthen Native American Communities
Reauthorization of the Native American Housing Assistance and    Self - Determination Act (NAHASDA) is imperative, along with additional housing resources that Native American communities need to thrive.

Fund the HOME Program
The HOME Investment  Partnerships program must receive additional funding and resources.  This program creates and maintains critical local infrastructure and provides vital rental assistance to the community.

New Housing Construction
Congress  should  fund  the   construction  of  300,000  new units  of  permanent  low-income  housing to replenish the units that have been removed from the public housing stock since 1999.  Congress  should also fully  fund   subsidies	to operate additional units.

Improve the Affordable Housing Tax Credit
Strengthening and streamIining the Low - Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)  is critical  to  meeting the  affordable housing needs of our country.  Congress  should  increase  the  LIHTC
allocation by 50 percent, promote bonds for public housing
preservation, and exclude those bonds from the overall cap.

Expand the Rental Assistance Demonstration
The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) preserves safe, affordable housing. RAD and all  available public housing preservation  tools must be made  available to all PHAs that opt to use them to maintain and safeguard their local hard affordable housing units.

Increase Resources for Rural Housing
The Administration and Congress should support increased funding, f1exibilities, and collaboration between affordable housing    programs for America's rural communities by increasing funding   to   the   USDA   Section   515   Rural Rental Housing program   and   the   Preservation   Revolving Loan  Fund  to  ensure  USDA  properties  remain affordable in the future.
About NAHRO
NAHRO, which was established in 1933, is a membership organization of 20,000 housing and community development providers and professional throughout the United States. NAHRO members create and manage affordable housing for low- and middle-income families, and support vibrant communities that enhance the quality of life for all. They administer more than 3 million homes for more than 8 million people. 

Why Public Housing Authorities Matter
Public housing authorities house the nation's most vulnerable populations, and have done so for more than 70 years. PHAs own and manage millions of homes for families, veterans, persons with disabilities and seniors.
Public housing authorities are crisis and recovery experts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, PHAs have kept families housed and safe. They support struggling families, adjust, rent payments, provide internet access and food relief, and partner with their local health departments to get their high-risk residents vaccinated. As our nation recovers, they'll continue to help by managing and administering federal rental assistance and providing counseling services to millions of families having trouble paying the rent and the bills.
Public housing authorities lead the fight against homelessness by providing permanent affordable housing and services. PHAs administer the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program with their landlord partners, and provide rental assistance to nearly 2.2 million low-income families, and work closely with Veterans Affairs to provide wrap-around services and permanent affordable housing to veterans.
Public housing authorities create and preserve affordable housing. To fight the current national shortage of 7.2 million affordable and available rental homes, PHAs and their partners use an array of tools, including the Rental Assistance Demonstration program, the Community Development Block Grant program, the HOME Investment Partnership program, the low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and Choice Neighborhoods to develop affordable housing in their communities. 

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NAHRO PRIORITIES

Fully Fund Affordable Housing and Community Development Programs

COVID-19 has demonstrated that affordable housing is critical to the nation’s health and safety. Congress should fully fund affordable housing and community development programs. No one should have to face housing instability, especially during a pandemic. Congress and the Administration must also prioritize the appropriations process to keep the federal government open.

Champion Resilient Families and Communities

COVID-19 has deepened already stark economic divisions in America, but HUD tools utilized by NAHRO members help bridge that gap. NAHRO supports programs that help its members foster stable communities, house the homeless, recover quickly from disasters, and operate mobility and place-based initiatives that help families succeed. NAHRO supports critical federal, state, and local resident supportive services that foster strong education and health outcomes.

Support Local, Equitable Community-Based Solutions

NAHRO members (housing authorities, community development agencies, project-based rental assistance owners, project-based contract administrators, and our business partners) understand best the complex and unique circumstances facing their communities – rural, urban, and suburban. During COVID-19, Congress has entrusted NAHRO members with dramatically expanded flexibilities to operate their programs based on local conditions and needs; these flexibilities should be made permanent. We must also prioritize equity in local solution-making to address injustices and current service gaps.

Preserve and Develop the Nation’s Housing Stock

Housing is critical infrastructure. Even throughout the pandemic, NAHRO members work hard to use existing federal housing programs and policies to create and maintain housing opportunities for families, youth, seniors, and persons with disabilities. NAHRO believes that housing providers should all have access to programs and funding that preserve and improve subsidized housing, including making the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) available to all PHAs that wish to participate. Any infrastructure discussions should include significant resources for housing infrastructure.