• 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.
Welcome to CLPHA

The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities supports the nation's largest and most innovative housing authorities by advocating for the resources they need to solve local housing challenges and create communities of opportunity.  More about CLPHA >

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CLPHA 2017 Meeting Dates

View CLPHA's 2017 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.


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

Emphasis on Meeting Local Needs

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.

In the new evaluation report, Abt/PAHRC focused on analyzing the performance of MTW agencies around six indicators: cost effectiveness, economic self-sufficiency, quantity and quality of affordable housing, promoting residential stability for targeted households, expanding geographic choices of assisted households, and other key metrics (income of people served, affordability of rent payments). As a member of the Abt/PAHRC MTW advisory group, CLPHA has offered feedback and suggestions throughout the process, which were incorporated into the evaluation and final report.

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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.

Below are some recent updates on relief efforts.

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CLPHA Membership Ready to Help Southeast Communities with Irma Recovery

For Immediately Release
Tuesday, September 12, 2917

Statement From CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman

Washington, D.C. – “While we still do not know the full extent of the damage and displacement caused by Hurricane Irma, we know that thousands of U.S. residents in the southeastern United States will need assistance to recover from this disaster. The challenges to public housing authorities in regions of the nation that have been affected by both hurricanes are unprecedented at this point, and will require intense collaboration between government agencies and housing advocates at the federal, state, and local levels.
 
“On September 8, Congress quickly and overwhelmingly passed a three-month-long continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded until December 8, part of a short-term bundle that included a $15.25 billion aid package for hurricane disaster assistance. The Trump Administration has approved major disaster declarations for Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands in order to make resources available for disaster assistance and recovery in those areas.

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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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Proposed $6.2 Billion Housing Cut Shreds Safety Net for Low-Income Families and Seniors

67 Percent Cut to Public Housing Health and Safety Improvements

Statement From Council of Large Public Housing Authorities Executive Director Sunia Zaterman

Washington, DC –
“The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), representing more than 70 of the country’s largest and most innovative housing authorities, is calling on Congress to reject the Trump Administration’s FY18 budget, which proposes to slash $6.2 billion in funding to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including $2 billion in cuts to public housing. If realized, the draconian cuts included in this budget would not only have severe and cumulative effects on public and affordable housing programs across the country, but it would also shred the safety net of other public assistance programs on which many low-income Americans rely. Full Text >

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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Secretary Ben Carson Visits Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority

The HUD secretary tours communities, observes innovative work, and praises public-private partnerships.

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson continued his national listening tour with a stop in central Ohio from April 26th-28th. He spent that Thursday meeting with the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) to discuss the innovative housing strategies CMHA is deploying in the Columbus community. CMHA demonstrated to the new administration how it is transforming into a strategic, catalytic, and strength based organization - showing how it is able to identify ways to use resources, form strategic partnerships, and target opportunities that expand affordable housing options for Columbus.

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FY17 Omnibus Funding Bill Heads to the President's Desk

On May 3, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 309 to 118 approved the $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill—HR 244, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017,” which funds the federal government for fiscal year 2017 (FY17).  The U.S. Senate followed up the House action on May 4 and passed the legislation by a vote of 79 to 18, and the President has indicated he will sign the bill once it reaches his desk.

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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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YouthBuild Program Teaches Skills and Fosters Pride

The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee’s (HACM’s) YouthBuild program provides young adults the skills to find employment in the busy local construction industry, while also giving them the opportunity to rehab homes that can be put into the affordable rental market for low-income families.

“This is a great new start to my life and career,” said YouthBuilder Harvey Young. “I like to draw, and construction ties my art together with building things. I want to start my own business someday because of this program.”

YouthBuild is a U.S. Department of Labor-funded non-residential, community-based alternative education program that provides job training and educational opportunities for at-risk youth ages 16-24. In Milwaukee, the program is sub-contracted to agencies, including HACM, through Employ Milwaukee.

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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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