• 1 The Capitol Gateway HOPE VI mixed-use, mixed-income community, Washington, D.C.
  • 3 Seattle's High Point Public housing is built around parks for children and a community garden.
  • 3 Two of Cuyahoga Housing Authority's seven green roofs, LakeView Terrace, Cleveland
  • 3 Tremont Pointe, a HOPE VI development and the first multi-family green project in Ohio.
  • 3 Walsh Construction, the Pomegranate Center and the Salishan Community of Tacoma, Washington came together to create a courtyard and park. Photo by Eugene Shibayama.
Public Housing Latest News

CLPHA 2018 Meeting Dates

View CLPHA's 2018 meeting dates here.


Public Housing Is Infrastructure

When you think of reinvesting in public infrastructure, do you think of housing? You probably should! Public housing plays a critical role in our nation's infrastructure, providing families with a stable home and helping them gain access to other services, including education and health. When we invest in public housing, we help low-income families achieve self-sufficiency and improve life outcomes, but we also generate economic growth, bolster productivity, and positively impact support services while significantly decreasing costs. Click here to read more.

Click here to view the Public Housing Is Infrastructure fact sheet. Pictured above is Oakland Housing Authority's Lakeside Senior Apartments.

CLPHA Appeals to Congress to Preserve Private Activity Bonds

Senate Retains Housing Credit and Housing Bonds in Tax Reform Proposal

With the release of the House Republicans tax reform proposal HR 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, on November 2, CLPHA and other affordable housing providers were jolted by the House proposal to eliminate the tax exemption for private activity bonds (PABs), including multifamily housing bonds (housing bonds), which are responsible for approximately half of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (housing credit) production annually. Consequently, CLPHA and other stakeholders mounted an aggressive effort to preserve and retain the tax exemption for PABs, Historic Tax Credits and New Markets Tax Credits in both the House and Senate.

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Senate Banking Panel Considers Hunter Kurtz as HUD Assistant Secretary for PIH

On October 26, Robert Hunter Kurtz, surrounded by family and friends, appeared as a witness before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee to defend his nomination as Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing (PIH) at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The other hearing witnesses were Brian D. Montgomery nominated for HUD Assistant Secretary for Housing-Federal Housing Commissioner; and Suzanne Israel Tufts nominated for HUD Assistant Secretary for Administration. Full Text >

Abt/PAHRC Report Confirms MTW Agencies Outperform Non-MTW Agencies Across Key Measures

A new evaluation report from Abt Associates and PAHRC finds that Moving to Work (MTW) agencies are serving more families; improving residents’ quality of life and economic mobility; and preserving more public housing than comparable non-MTW housing agencies.

The report, Testing Performance Measures for the MTW Program, is the second phase of a two-part Abt study, commission by PAHRC/HAI Group. In December 2014, Abt /PARHC released the Innovations in Moving to Work Demonstration, which documents through cases studies a wide range of innovative practices being completed at MTW agencies.

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HUD Secretary Carson Testifies Before House Panel

On October 12, HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson testified in his first appearance before the House Financial Services Committee since being confirmed as HUD Secretary. As the sole witness before the committee, Carson’s testimony was the latest in a series of hearings on “The Future of Housing in America” with this hearing’s focus on “Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.”   Full Text >

Update on Relief Efforts for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

As the recovery efforts for Hurricane Harvey and Irma begin, CLPHA is committed to advocating for the necessary federal resources and funding to repair and build the homes and communities impacted. We stand ready to work across all sectors to provide both short-term and long-term assistance to those in need, particularly for our impacted members in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In the past two weeks CLPHA has been in contact with senior HUD staff and participated in a Hurricane Housing Recovery working group with national housing organizations and other state and local providers. Our goal is to share information and resources, and coordinate advocacy efforts around housing and disaster relief for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. We will continue these efforts and share new information and resources with members as they become available.

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SAFMR Demonstration Presents Mixed Findings

HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research has published an Interim Report of the Small Area Fair Market Rent (SAFMR) Demonstration. The demonstration aims to assess how payment standards based on smaller geographic areas affect factors like PHA administrative costs, rents and tenant contributions, and voucher-holder’s access to higher-opportunity areas. Results from Phase 1 of the demonstration present mixed findings from the five PHA test sites, which include the Chattanooga Housing Authority (TN), the Housing Authority of Cook County (IL), the Housing Authority of the City of Laredo (TX), the Housing Authority of the City of Long Beach (CA), and the Town of Mamaroneck Housing Authority (NY).

SAFMRs May Increase Access to Opportunity ZIP Codes
While SAFMRs increased the pool of units potentially available to HCV holders in high-rent ZIP codes and reduced the pool of units in low-rent ZIP codes, this unit shift is highly varied across test sites. For example, the net loss of units with rents below the applicable FMR exceeded 10 percent in Long Beach, while Mamaroneck experienced no change.

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HUD Sends 2017 Worst Case Housing Needs Report to Congress

 On August 9, HUD sent the 2017 Worst Case Housing Needs Report to Congress, providing national data and analysis of critical problems facing low-income renting families throughout the nation. The report, which is HUD's 16th in a longstanding series, chronicles an increase in severe housing problems, with the number of households considered to have worst case housing needs jumping from 7.72 million in 2013 to 8.3 million in 2015. HUD also reports that, since 2007, the U.S. has seen a 41 percent increase in severe housing problems, and a 66 percent increase since 2001. The Worst Case Housing Needs Report defines households with worst case needs as very low-income renters who do not receive government housing assistance and who paid more than one-half of their income for rent, lived in severely inadequate conditions, or both.

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CLPHA Membership Spotlight

 CHA's Ruth Bennett Farm Earns Revenue, Educates Residents About Growing Food

For over a decade, Chester, Pennsylvania was a complete food desert – the city, which sits just outside of Philadelphia and is home to approximately 37,000 people, did not even have one supermarket. Ten years ago, Chester Housing Authority (CHA) Executive Director Steven A. Fischer realized that CHA was sitting on a few acres of land that wasn’t exactly prime for building additional housing, so he drummed up interest in a community garden.   

At first, it seemed mostly an experiment. CHA used the garden as an educational tool to teach residents how to grow food with the help of two Swarthmore College students. Each year, the garden grew, and the few acres of land evolved into a small, working organic farm dubbed the Ruth L. Bennett Homes Community Farm, after the 261-unit public housing development next to which it stands, producing significantly more food, and without the use of pesticides.

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House and Senate Appropriations Committees Reject Trump Funding and Rent Reform Proposals

Senate Committee Votes to Lift the RAD Cap

The House and Senate Appropriations Committees marked up and passed their respective FY18 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) funding bills. Both bills repudiated many of the Trump Administration’s budget proposals by offering markedly higher funding to critical housing programs including the Housing Choice Voucher program, the Community Development Block Grant, and the HOME Investment Partnership program, with the Senate bill making the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness permanent. Following the Senate Committee markup, the Committee released its report detailing their funding requests within the context of Senate policy objectives.

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Senators Collins and Heinrich Bring Reintroduce Bill to Address Generational Poverty

Two-Generation Economic Act reflects the cross-sector collaboration that CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative promotes.

Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) recently reintroduced bipartisan legislation in the Senate, calling for the development of support programs that improve family economic security by breaking the cycle of multigenerational poverty through a comprehensive strategy that addresses the needs of parents and children. The Two-Generation Economic Act of 2017, or S. 435, seeks to align and link existing service systems and funding streams that currently support parents and children separately. Heinrich and Collins believe that aligning the support systems to help parents and children together will increase the whole family’s chances for success in life. The bill also establishes the Interagency Council on Multigenerational Poverty to provide guidance on two-generation programs; establish a system of coordination among agencies and organizations; identify best practices; and identify gaps, research needs, and program deficiencies.

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CLPHA Submits Statement for the Record on LIHTC and Public Housing

 On August 1, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing, “America’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions.” The hearing focused primarily on the challenge of increasing the supply of affordable housing and strategies to address the significant housing cost burdens faced by many Americans. Senator Hatch opened the hearing, stating that the affordable housing crisis, “is a problem that should be ready for a bipartisan solution.”  To view our write-up of the hearing, click here.

To help tackle the affordable housing issues discussed in the hearing, Senators Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) have introduced legislation, S. 548, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. The bill would increase Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) credit authority by 50 percent, as well as enact roughly two dozen changes to strengthen the program by streamlining program rules, improving flexibility, and enabling the program to serve a wider array of local needs.

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Public Housing Industry Groups Join Forces on Infrastructure Request and Finalizing FY17 Funding

The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), and the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA) recently joined forces to advocate for public housing as infrastructure in a letter to the majority and minority leadership in the U.S. House and Senate. The letter calls on Congress to invest in public housing infrastructure as Congress moves towards introducing infrastructure legislation since “investment in public housing infrastructure is a direct investment in America’s families.”

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CLPHA Launches Housing Is to Expand Community of Practice in Housing, Education, Health and More

Web tool targets idea-sharing and improves cross-sector collaboration to help low-income families

The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) would like you to join a new community: Housing Is! We are proud to reintroduce our systems alignment work under its new name, the Housing Is initiative, and launch a brand new online resource, HousingIs.org to help us better connect housing to other sectors. Thanks to generous funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Kresge Foundation, the Housing Is initiative and HousingIs.org will enhance and strengthen our community of practice by supporting cross-sector collaboration. Please check out our official press release to learn more about HousingIs.org and how this online clearinghouse will help us break down the silos between housing, health, education and more.  

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Race & Assisted Housing: Examining Racial Disparities in Public Housing

“Race and Assisted Housing,” a new study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Professor Sandra J. Newman, PhD, and Senior Research Associate Scott Holupka, PhD, examines racial disparities in public housing for a 10-year period. The study, published in Housing Policy Debate, revealed that, while black and white families were equally likely to reside in public housing - with an equivalent level of dependency on assisted housing between black and white families - black families were more likely to live in neighborhoods of lower quality.

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House Committee Holds Hearing on the Family Self Sufficiency Program

Committee held a hearing on the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS), a popular program among CLPHA members that promotes local strategies that leverage public and private resources, enabling low-income families to increase their earned income and decrease or eliminate the need for rental assistance and/or other government assistance.


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Current Issues
Building Opportunity:
Improving Life Outcomes Through Housing

At the heart of every housing authority’s mission is improving the lives of the families and individuals they serve. For many housing authorities, this means coordinating with the education, workforce development, health care, transportation, and social services systems on the local level to provide supports and opportunities to residents.

Yet, innovative practice on the local level has not led to the broad-scale change that is needed to lift more than 43 million Americans out of poverty. Thus, CLPHA and its members have committed to work with interested practitioners, researchers, and policymakers to reshape the way that the housing system works with other systems at the federal level.

This effort, called “Building Opportunity” for short, will create that systems change by:

  • Developing knowledge about local level challenges to partnering with other systems
  •  Sharing successful practices and solutions to challenges with practitioners across sectors and
  •  Promoting the implementation of policies that align systems to federal policymakers.
Local practitioners across sectors already know from experience that when systems work together, outcomes for families and individuals living in poverty are improved. Learn more about how housing authorities are working with other systems and how to be part of Building Opportunity.

ReThink: Why Housing Matters

CLPHA is proud to be a part of HAI Group's ReThink initiative, a national public awareness campaign encouraging people to reconsider their perceptions about public housing and realize the benefits it offers individuals and the greater community.

Visit www.ReThinkHousing.org to learn more, and join the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

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