A New Conversation About Preserving Public Housing

A fundamental -- and welcome -- shift has taken place recently in the way we talk about public housing. Instead of discussing whether to preserve this valuable stock, the debate this legislative session has been over how to make that happen.  Instead of a handful of industry leaders and policy makers grappling with the issue, a growing chorus of interests has joined the effort to solve the problem.

For the first time, there is a near-universal consensus that public housing plays an invaluable role in the affordable housing pipeline, that it must be recapitalized, and that  federal appropriations will never be sufficient to take care of the $30 billion plus backlog.

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House Approves HUD FY2011 Budget – Industry Efforts Preserve VASH/HOPE VI/ROSS Funds


The House voted at 1:10 a.m. today on the THUD budget, approving the public housing program funding voted out of the House Appropriations Committee last week.  An amendment was circulated Thursday to defund VASH, HOPE VI, and ROSS and to slash other program funds. It was pulled because of an extensive stakeholder effort – led by CLPHA and other industry groups – to oppose it.

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FY2011 HUD Funding Bill Ready for Senate Floor Action

On July 21, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD)--followed the next day by the Full Appropriations Committee--marked up and reported out S. 3644, their version of the FY2011 HUD funding bill, with its accompanying Committee Report 111-230. 

In this tough budgetary environment, CLPHA is pleased that the Senate bill affirms its strong support for public housing through the funding provided.  A detailed reading of the bill language and committee report offer further insight into the committee’s thinking on these programs. 

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Public Housing Reform Legislation Advances in the House

On July 27, the House Financial Services Committee passed, by a vote of 42-27, and reported for floor action H.R. 5814, the “Public Housing Reinvestment and Tenant Protection Act of 2010”, an omnibus public housing preservation and reform bill comprised of four earlier legislative proposals.

The bill joined together a modified version of the Administration’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative proposal; the draft “Public Housing One-for-One Replacement and Tenant Protection Act of 2010” and the draft “Public Housing Preservation and Rehabilitation Act of 2010”, both of which were the subject of hearings earlier this spring at which CLPHA testified; and H.R. 4224, the “Together We Care Act of 2009”.

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Green Affordable Housing Coalition Talks Weatherization Funds, Data Collection

The Green Affordable Housing Coalition held its last meeting of the summer July 23. A large part of the discussion centered on the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and how it is  -- or is not -- working for multifamily properties.  Several coalition members are tackling the problem. Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) have just published “Use of Weatherization Program Funds to Benefit Residents of Multifamily Housing,” highlighting best practices from several states; the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association has a memo outlining specific steps DOE could take to remove barriers to multifamily use of WAP funds.

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