FY12 HUD Funding Bill Nearing Completion

Last week, on Nov 3, the House and Senate held their first joint conference on an appropriations bill since 2009.  The Appropriations Conference Committee on H.R. 2112, the fiscal year 2012 funding bill for Agriculture, Commerce/Justice/Science (CJS), and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD), met to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of their respective funding bills. 

In announcing the joint conference, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) said, “[t]his Conference Committee is the next step in completing our Appropriations work for the year, and represents the will of the Congress to return to regular order and an open, transparent, and inclusive funding process. It is my hope and intention that this initial package will be negotiated in short order – in the spirit of comity and cooperation – so that Congress can send the final legislation to the White House as soon as possible.” Read More >

House Subcommittee Hearing on Rental Assistance Demonstration Proposal Draws Widespread Support

Declaring herself “supportive of this creative proposal because it would allow for mixed-financing and leveraging of private capital with existing federal funds,” Chairman Judy Biggert (R-IL) of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity opened the Nov. 3 hearing on the Obama Administration’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program proposal (RAD).  “Given very scarce federal resources it is important that we maximize the impact of every federal dollar” Biggert said in her opening remarks. CLPHA Board Member and Executive Director of the Denver Housing Authority (DHA), Ismael Guerrero, testified along with three additional witnesses in the third in a series of hearings looking at reform of the Section 8 program.

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Cisneros, Katz, Headline CLPHA's 30th Anniversary Policy Symposium

CLPHA’s 30th anniversary policy symposium “Housing Delivery Systems for the 21st Century” and reception on November 2 drew a large audience from both CLPHA members and a wide variety of affordable housing stakeholders.  Henry Cisneros, Chairman of CityView and former HUD Secretary, was honored with CLPHA’s first “Leading Change” award and delivered the keynote address.  The symposium also featured Bruce Katz, Vice President and Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, speaking on “The Metropolitan Moment: How Cities Power our Economic Revival.”

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Sec. Donovan Keynotes CLPHA Executive Directors Meeting

Secretary Shaun Donovan gave a keynote address to the CLPHA membership on November 3.  Secretary Donovan brought birthday greetings to CLPHA for 30 years of success and congratulated CLPHA members on their achievements in recent years.  He noted that housing authorities effectively utilized $4 billion in ARRA funds retrofitting 145,000 publicly-assisted units. He also pointed out that since 2008, the number of homeless veterans housed increased from ,200 to 24,000.  He talked about the importance of the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) and expressed appreciation to CLPHA for its leadership in building support for the program.  He committed to work together with CLPHA on the enactment of RAD, authorizing and funding of the Choice Neighborhood Initiative, and expanding MTW. 

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CLPHA Members Highlight Education Programs

Following up on the survey on housing authority engagement in educational initiatives that CLPHA conducted this past summer, four members presented at the CLPHA meeting on their local approaches to meeting residents’ educational needs. This panel was a kick-off for a group that CLPHA will soon convene to discuss their experiences with these types of efforts and identify best practices for housing authorities that seek to play a role in improving their residents’ educational outcomes. Any member who would like to join this group, respond to or expand upon response to the survey, or otherwise share about their own initiatives should contact CLPHA Research & Policy Analyst Leah Staub.

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Update on HCV Administrative Fee Study

On November 3, Dr. Marina L. Myhre,  presented CLPHA members with an update on the Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Fee Study, as HUD’s technical and contract lead on the project. The presentation followed a meeting of the study’s Expert and Industry Technical Review Group on the results of the reconnaissance phase of the project and the research design for the full study. As a member of that panel, CLPHA must send Abt and HUD comments on the research design by November 18. Any CLPHA member who has feedback that should be included should contact Leah Staub as soon as possible.

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Rep. Biggert Addresses CLPHA members

Representative Judy Biggert, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity, addressed the CLPHA meeting on  November 4. She said her priorities included RAD, MTW expansion, and the Section Eight Savings Act (SESA).  She declared  that “bipartisanship is alive and well” to applause from the CLPHA membership  and pointed to the November 3 hearing on the RAD proposal in the Senate appropriations bill as an example of both sides of the aisle coming together around a broadly-supported initiative. She emphasized the need  to leverage private sector capital to address public housing capital backlog needs since “the federal government can ill afford expanding programs.”  Biggert hopes to see the RAD proposal in both the SESA and appropriations bills.  

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Members Hear From Authorizers, OMB

Congressional staff from authorizing committees addressed CLPHA members Nov. 4. The panel included: Beth Cooper, professional staff of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee; Charla Ouertatani, Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA); Michael Passante, Legislative Counsel for Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ); and Kimble Ratliff, professional staff of the House Financial Services Committee. Michelle Enger from OMB also spoke to members.

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CLPHA Members' Q&A With HUD Staff

CLPHA members were joined by a panel of HUD staff Nov. 4: Dominique Blom, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Public Housing Investments; Patrick Costigan, Senior Advisor to the Secretary; Deb Gross, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Programs and Legislative Initiatives; Milan Ozdinec, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Public and Indian Affairs; Shauna Sorrells, Director, Public Housing Programs; and David Vargas, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Real Estate Assessment Center.  HUD staff addressed a number of issues, including: delegation of authority to the field to expedite Section 30 applications related to Energy Performance Contracts; progress on NextGen VMS that will provide management tools and other functions; departmental goals related to occupancy; and implementation of the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative.

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Public Housing Conversion Study Preliminary Findings

David Smith from Recap Real Estate Advisors presented on the preliminary findings of the industry public housing conversion study, funded by HAI Group.  CLPHA staff is awaiting a draft report from Recap on the first phase of the study and will continue to work with Recap and industry groups once the reports are completed.  Any questions can be directed to CLPHA Research & Policy Analyst Theresa Finney Dumais.

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HAI Study on Effects of Capital Cuts Continues to Seek Participants

The Housing Authority Insurance Group’s Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC) Team, in cooperation with Econsult, CLPHA, NAHRO and PHADA, is moving into the second phase of a study estimating the dollar value of public housing funding cuts. At this point, it is essential that researchers pair data on yearly agency Capital Fund expenditures with information from survey ranking items executive directors would cut as funds are reduced.

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CLPHA Member News

Highlights from member authorities Boston, Denver, D.C.,  King County, Miami-Dade, New York and Newark.

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