CLPHA Spring Meeting Lively and Productive

CLPHA's spring meeting, held March 25-26 in Washington D.C. was one of its largest and most enthusiastic to date. The overarching theme was public housing authorities’ tremendous success in obligating $3 billion in Recovery Act funds in just one year.

Throughout the meeting, senior HUD and congressional staff  thanked PHAs for their hard work, noting how the accomplishment reinforces the industry's role as an economic engine. Drawing on this achievement, CLPHA members took the opportunity to restate their request for more capital funds in HUD's FY2011 budget request.

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The Evolving Vision for Public Housing Conversion

CLPHA has long been engaged in discussions on how to preserve public housing through reformed  funding and regulatory systems. It was the primary focus of the Summit on the Future of Public Housing convened by CLPHA in 2008; central to the resulting policy framework were  preserving public housing, and putting it on a sound financial footing. These are similar to the long-term, overarching goals of HUD's Transforming Rental Assistance (TRA) discussion draft, which CLPHA is reviewing.

At CLPHA's March meeting, David Lipsetz, Policy Advisor to the HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, and Greg Byrne, Director of Implementation for the TRA, provided an outline of the department's proposal.

Framing the initiative as the best way to preserve public and assisted housing, Lipsetz made clear the conversations with stakeholders are continuing. Read More >

Moving Forward as Partners: Sandra Henriquez

HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Sandra Henriquez captured the theme of this session in her opening remarks by praising housing authorities for their herculean effort to obligate 99.99 percent of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding by the statutory deadline. 

She noted that $2.98 billion was obligated by 3,113 housing authorities by March 17, including all CLPHA members. Only a paltry $3.2 million was returned by 21 housing authorities, Henriquez said these obligations will result in over “9,000 jobs being created or retained…and over 145,000 public housing units being rehabilitated.”  Read More >

HUD’s Leadership on Sustainability Efforts: Listening to What Works

HUD will be setting policies and programs on sustainable communities, but they are most interested in hearing from stakeholders about what works, said Jim Lopez, Senior Advisor to HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims.

“It is incumbent upon HUD to listen to folks on the ground as we develop and implement government policy,” he said. “We are watching public housing authorities because they are acting.” “We want to ask questions, and hear your input on areas where you see opportunities.”

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Breaking Down Silos to Better Serve Seniors

Tony Perez, Executive Director, Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee, introduced the panel on how interagency initiatives can help provide care to seniors in public housing.

Cora McCorvey, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Housing Authority (MHA), profiled her authority’s senior population.  With 11 elderly-designated high rise buildings comprising 1,859 senior apartments, MHA serves over 3,900 near elderly and elderly residents with 65% of these residents being people of color.  They provide a wide range of programs, including homemaker/chore services; counseling and case management; and social, educational, recreational, and transportation services. MHA is also building the state’s only senior facility to focus on seniors with memory issues. (Presentation here.) Read More >

The Latest From HUD

HUD General Deputy Assistant Secretary Deborah Hernandez moderated a panel of HUD program staff who discussed a wide range of timely topics.

Donald J. Lavoy, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Field Operations, added to the chorus of thanks to CLPHA members for their expedient obligation of Recovery Act Funds. Sue Wilson, Director, Urban Revitalization, HOPE VI Division provided an update on grants and NOFAs:

  • 2009 HOPE VI awards will be made “very soon”, followed by the 2010 HOPE VI NOFA
  • A Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) NOFA will be issued later in the year
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HUD's New Regulatory Environment

Back to back sessions by HUD General Counsel Helen Kanovsky and HUD Inspector General Kenneth Donohue reinforced HUD’s efforts to shift the department’s role away from a ‘gotcha’ mentality. Both also congratulated PHAs for meeting the abbreviated deadline for obligating their Recovery Act Funds.

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Congressional Staff Roundtables

Two congressional staff panels closed out the meeting, beginning with authorization committee staff: Beth Cooper, Professional Staff, Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee; Charla Ouertatani, Staff Director, Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee, House Financial Services Committee; and Scott Olson, Professional Staff, House Financial Services Committee.  Cooper indicated the Senate committee will turn to SEVRA this session and will take a hard look at the Administration’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) and Transforming Rental Assistance (TRA) proposals. 

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Jon Gresley Honored

Retiring CLPHA board member Jon Gresley, Oakland Housing Authority Executive Director, was honored at the March meeting for his exceptional service to the industry, his community, and CLPHA.

CLPHA President Michael Kelly, General Manager of the New York City Housing Authority, presented a plaque reading:

CLPHA honors Jon Gresley for his exceptional service to CLPHA and its Board of Directors, distinguished by his wisdom, his loyalty and his generosity.  Hailed as an innovative and forward-thinking leader in Oakland and across the country, he is committed to using his creativity and vision to improve the lives of people he serves. Read More >

New CLPHA Officers and Board Members

CLPHA announces board officers and new board members.

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