CLPHA Members Share VASH Experience with Appropriators

When HUD released its FY2011 budget request in February, CLPHA members were not the only ones to notice the lack of additional funds for the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program.  Appropriations staff also took note. They also wanted to understand what was behind the slow lease-up process HUD cited as its reason for not requesting additional funds, along with any other program implementation problems.  To help the appropriators better understand how the program is working, CLPHA surveyed its members, 80% of whom administer VASH vouchers. 

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HUD Defends Proposed FY2011 Budget Before Senate Panel

Members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee turned up the heat on Secretary Shaun Donovan as he defended the Administration’s fiscal year 2011 budget proposal for HUD.

While Donovan’s written testimony was similar to his previous testimony before other House and Senate committee panels, most of the questions from Senators—and time during the hearing—focused on issues surrounding the national foreclosure crisis.  Senators demanded to know details on the efforts of the department to help stem the crisis, including the pace of loan modifications, the risks to FHA, the status of the GSEs (Fannie and Freddie), the progress of neighborhood stabilization, and other mitigating measures.

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HUD, HHS Partner to Support Independent Living

On April 7, HUD released the NOFA for the allocation of FY2009 and remaining FY2008 funds for vouchers for non-elderly disabled households.  A total of approximately $40 million will be awarded to PHAs to assist about 5,300 non-elderly disabled households live independently.

The announcement was made by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, part of the two departments commitment to work as partners to provide persons with disabilities the opportunity to live in the least restrictive setting possible.  Once the vouchers are awarded, HHS will use its network of state Medicaid agencies and other local service providers  to link eligible persons to the PHAs that will administer the vouchers.

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HUD Reaffirms PBCA Position

In recent letters and meetings, HUD officials have reaffirmed the department’s opposition to providing state housing finance agencies --or any other entity -- priority during HUD’s Performance Based Contract Administration (PBCA) rebidding and selection process.

In a meeting with National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) representatives, Carol Galante, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing, said the relative performance of state HFAs and local PHAs under the current program did not support granting any priorities. She expressed confidence that HUD will attract and select the most cost-effective bids without it. 

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Hope VI Development Spillover Effects

An article based on the HOPE VI economic cost-benefit analysis sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and CLPHA appears in the latest issue of Cityscape.  Authors Sean Zielenbach and Richard Voith find the developments they studied had “mostly positive, statistically significant effects on economic conditions in their surrounding neighborhoods.”

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