10/25/2011
IN THIS ISSUE:

CLPHA Sets the Record Straight on MTW

In light of the House Financial Services Committee's consideration of legislation titled the Moving to Work Improvement, Expansion, and Permanency Act of 2011 Discussion Draft, which would expand the program to more housing authorities, CLPHA released a response to a recent paper on MTW by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). The response focused on CBPP's false assumptions and the fact that the actual on-the-ground evidence  points to MTW as a successful laboratory for using innovative and efficient approaches to meet local needs. The full paper is available here.

CLPHA also sent a letter of support for MTW expansion to Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing, and Community Opportunity Chair Judy Biggert, available here. Read More >

CLPHA Weighs in on Appropriations and Deficit Reduction

As negotiations continue on funding for FY2012 and on deficit reduction, CLPHA has weighed in on the work of both the Transportation-HUD Appropriations Conference and the Deficit Reduction Commission.

CLPHA's letter to T-HUD Conferees is available here.

CLPHA's letter to the Deficit Reduction Commission is available here. Read More >

HUD supports the Rental Assistance Demonstration

On October 11, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan wrote to the U.S. House of Representatives housing subcommittee chair, Judy Biggert (R-IL) urging her support for the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) proposal found in the Senate version of the FY12 HUD appropriations bill.  Secretary Donovan followed up a few days later with similar letters to the subcommittee ranking member, Luis Gutierrez D-IL) and former subcommittee chair, Maxine Waters (D-CA).  Donovan’s letters also referred to HUD’s work with stakeholders—a reference to the coalition which CLPHA spearheads—in refining the RAD proposal.  A copy of the letters can be found here.

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Industry Continues to Support Level Playing Field for Performance-Based Contract Administration

Due to the many issues and concerns surrounding the most recent PBCA awards, CLPHA, NAHRO, and PHADA recently sent a letter to Secretary Donovan recommending a fair and open competition process, and commending the Department for not having a special preference or set aside for certain bidders by agency or organization type in its March 23, 2011 invitation for PBCA applications.The letter asserts that the performance of PHAs and state HFAs under the PBCA program as well as the quality of both types of PBCA applicant agencies, underscores that HUD can attract and select outstanding bids without a priority by agency type.  As such, the industry urged HUD to continue a competitive process without any explicit priority or de facto priority through the application scoring process for any particular agency or organization type.

The letter is available here.

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House Panel Considers SESA and MTW Draft Legislation

On October 13, the House Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity held a hearing entitled, “The Section 8 Savings Act of 2011: Proposals to Promote Economic Independence for Assisted Families.”  The hearing focused on discussion drafts of both the Section Eight Savings Act of 2011 (SESA), and the “Moving to Work Improvement, Expansion, and Permanency Act of 2011” authored by Representative Gary Miller (R-CA).

The subcommittee heard testimony from five witnesses: Greg Russ, Executive Director of the Cambridge Housing Authority; Kris Warren, COO of the Chicago Housing Authority; Hope Bolden, President and CEO of the Integral Group LLC (on behalf of her work with the Atlanta Housing Authority on the Human Services Management Program); Larry Woods, CEO of the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem, NC; and Will Fischer, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

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New Section 8 Reform and MTW Draft Legislation Look Familiar, but their Few Changes are Significant

In advance of their October 13 hearing, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity circulated a discussion draft of the Moving-to-Work Improvement, Expansion, and Permanency Act of 2011 and a revised discussion draft of the Section Eight Savings Act (SESA). The MTW bill makes the program permanent, with its other most significant change being unlimited participation by PHAs. The October 5 SESA revision contains very few, but very significant, changes to the bill. Tory Gonsolley, President and CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Houston, Texas, testified on the earlier draft of the bill on behalf of CLPHA at the hearing on June 23 of this year.

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New PHAS Proposed Physical Condition Scoring Notice

HUD posted a new PHAS Proposed Physical Condition Interim Scoring Notice in the Federal Register on Thursday, October 13, highlighting two major changes to the interim rule.  First, there is an addition of a point loss cap in the scoring process, which “take[s] into account the disproportionate effect on scoring that a single deficiency can have when there are relatively few buildings or units that are inspected in a project.” Second, the notice proposes some definition changes in the Dictionary of Deficiency Definitions.

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White House Convenes Meeting on Budget, Accomplishments

On October 12, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan hosted a White House Convening to discuss the “state of play” for HUD’s FY12 budget, its Statement of Administration Policy, and the accomplishments to date of the Administration and HUD in the housing arena.  Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, and other White House officials briefed the 160 participants from 28 states on Administration-wide priorities, especially the American Jobs Act/Project Rebuild.  HUD Assistant Secretary Sandra Henriquez led a breakout session on public and Indian housing and heard  about the urgent need for more regulatory streamlining in the public housing and voucher programs and the  impact of proposed budget cuts. CLPHA staff and a number of CLPHA members participated in the convening.  

The White House convening was a continuation of HUD’s efforts to engage stakeholders more strategically and more often on key issues.  HUD plans to continue their outreach efforts to stakeholders. 

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Reminder: Applications for Exclusions from the Subsidy Allocation Adjustment due October 31

Non-MTW PHAs may request to exclude a portion of their excess operating reserves from their subsidy allocation adjustment.  All requests for exclusions must be submitted electronically by October 31 to 2012allocationadjutsments@hud.gov, with the subject line “Exclusion Request 2012 Allocation Adjustment [PHA Code].”

Please see CLPHA’s September 30 article on HUD’s PIH-55 notice and the details of the proposed operating reserves offset, including the criteria required to submit exclusionary requests.

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