03/23/2012
IN THIS ISSUE:

HUD Secretary Defends FY13 Budget Before House Appropriators

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) on March 21, in defense of the Administration’s FY13 budget request for HUD, completing his appearance before appropriations panels for the fiscal year. 

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CLPHA Members Welcomed by HUD Secretary and Assistant Secretary for Public & Indian Housing

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan opened CLPHA’s Spring Meeting with thanks to the CLPHA membership for their “remarkable, entrepreneurial, innovative work.” He cited numerous examples of the results of that work, from the 99.7 percent expenditure of ARRA capital funds, to the increased number of families served, to the 18 percent reduction in veteran homelessness, to the inspiration for proposals to increase flexibility in the administration’s budget that came from lessons learned at Moving-to-Work (MTW) agencies. He talked about two efforts that, he said, could not have gone forward without CLPHA’s help: the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), on which HUD wants feedback, and the work to establish a bipartisan agreement on MTW expansion, in the context of pursuing Section 8 program reform.

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Hot Topics in Revitalizing Public Housing; Recap Final Report

On March 15, David Smith, Chairman at Recap Real Estate Advisors (Recap), both moderated and presented on the panel discussion, “Hot Topics in Revitalizing Public Housing.”  Other panelists included: Greg Byrne, Senior Project Manager at HUD; David Leopold, Senior Vice President, Tax Credit Equity Executive at Bank of America; Jodie Harris, Policy Specialist, Office of the Director within the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund at the Department of Treasury; and Kevin Warmer, Vice President for Investments at Emerald Cities Collaborative.

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HUD-VASH Implementation Discussion

As expressed by panel moderator Steve Rudman, executive director of Home Forward, there likely is not another program operated by housing authorities that receives more bipartisan and public support than the HUD-VASH program. Still, as he noted, it is very challenging to move homeless, very low income veterans into the housing market. In Portland, noted Rudman, one important tool has been the creation of a security deposit assistance fund, which has resulted in lease-ups that are 25 percent faster for those who have access. To discuss issues being faced on the ground and considered at HUD and the VA, CLPHA members Rudman and Ismael Guerrero, Executive Director of the Denver Housing Authority (DHA) were joined on a panel by Laure Rawson, Director of the Housing Voucher Management and Operations Division at HUD; and Vincent Kane, Director of the VA’s National Center on Homelessness among Veterans.

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HUD Panel Shares Program Updates

CLPHA members “had HUD for breakfast” on the morning of March 16, as they were joined by a panel of HUD staff: Deb Gross, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Programs and Legislative Initiatives; Milan Ozdinec, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Public and Indian Affairs; Ivan Pour, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Public Housing Investments, Shauna Sorrells, Director, Public Housing Programs; and David Vargas, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Real Estate Assessment Center.  HUD staff acknowledged the hard work of housing authorities as reflected in increased utilization and occupancy levels in both the HCV and public housing programs; continued success of the VASH program; and complete expenditure of ARRA capital funds. 

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Members Hear from Authorizers, Appropriators, CBO

Congressional staff from authorizing committees addressed CLPHA members on March 16.  The panel included: Kimble Ratliff, majority professional staff of the House Financial Services Committee; Beth Cooper, majority professional staff of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee; and Chad Davis, minority professional staff of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.

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Revised Policies and Procedures for Administration of HUD-VASH

As mentioned in the panel at the CLPHA meeting, HUD has published a notice revising and replacing former operating requirements for the HUD-VASH program. The appropriations acts funding the program authorize the HUD Secretary to waive, or specify alternative requirements for, any provision of statute or regulation as deemed necessary for the effective delivery and administration of the HUD-VASH program. This notice outlines the waivers and special requirements determined necessary.

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“Industry Day” on the Next Generation Management System

On March 14, representatives of CLPHA, NAHRO, PHADA, and NLHA joined staff from HUD and their contractor, Deloitte, for an update on the status of the Next Generation Management System (NGMS). (The system formerly known as NextGen VMS has lost its V, as HUD’s vision expands to its use for public housing management as well.) Participants were welcomed by Public & Indian Housing’s General Deputy Assistant Secretary Deborah Hernandez, and Assistant Secretary Sandra Henriquez, who talked about the need for NGMS in the current age of data, the ways that it will help with program integration, and its support at the highest levels of HUD and on the Hill. Participants then received an update on the progress of the Delivering Together initiative, which touched upon the need for an online recertification tool, before turning to the main subject of the day.


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Member News

News from Atlanta, El Paso, Milwaukee and San Antonio

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