11/30/2012
IN THIS ISSUE:

Industry Unites on Keeping MTW and Section 8 Reform Intact

In a joint letter to Congress, CLPHA, NAHRO and PHADA wrote to the chairmen of the House and Senate appropriations and authorizing committees to express their strong support for keeping intact the “Affordable Housing and Self-Sufficiency Improvement Act” (AHSSIA) Section 8 reform legislative proposal. Citing the interdependence of Section 8 and MTW, the letter warns of the risk of separating out the two programs in the AHSSIA bill.

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HUD Deputy Secretary Speaks to CLPHA About HUD’s “Core Values”

On November 15, HUD Deputy Secretary Maurice Jones spoke before CLPHA members about ways in which HUD can become a better partner to housing authorities. During his first seven months at the Department, he has focused on operational improvements needed to achieve this goal. A key challenge that he has undertaken is leading HUD staff to identify core values and work according to them. Articulating them will be easy; embedding them will be hard.

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Planning for a Sustainable DC Region

The first panel of the CLPHA Fall Executive Directors Meeting focused on visions for and efforts to support a sustainable DC region. Moderated by Paul DesJardin, Director of Community Planning and Services at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the panel included Harriet Tregoning, Director of the DC Office of Planning; Howard Ways III, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County; and Stacy Spann, Executive Director of the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, MD.

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Not Gone, Not Forgotten: Struggling over History in a Gentrifying DC

The second panel on Thursday, November 15 addressed the tensions that have arisen from growth and gentrification in Washington, DC—tensions between black and white, rich and poor, native and newcomer. While the discussions examined factors specific to DC, many of the issues and considerations are relevant to those experienced in other urban centers contending with the pressures and opportunities that gentrification generates. Chris Myers Asch, historian and author, both moderated and participated on the panel, which included Rev. Jim Dickerson, Founder and Board Chair of Manna, Inc.; Steve Green, Director of the Office of Capital Programs at the District of Columbia Housing Authority; and Veronica O. Davis, Principal and Co-owner of Nspiregreen LLC.

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Increasing Public Housing Residents’ Employment and Earnings with Jobs-Plus

CLPHA’s fall membership meeting included a panel on recently established Jobs-Plus programs in San Antonio and the Bronx, which are supported by a grant from the Social Innovation Fund. Panelists included Jim Riccio, Director of the Low-Wage Workers and Communities Policy Area at MDRC; Melanie Villalobos, Policy, Planning and Public Affairs Officer at the San Antonio Housing Authority (SAHA); and Sideya Sherman, Director of the Office of Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). While similar in concept to the original Jobs-Plus model, the programs in San Antonio and the Bronx are tailored to fit local needs and the constraints of the Public Housing program.

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Conversation on Housing Authorities and Supportive Housing

Following the first day of CLPHA Fall Executive Director Meeting panels, representatives of more than fifteen CLPHA member housing authorities gathered with Jordan Press and Kimberly Black of the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) to discuss housing authority involvement in local efforts to end homelessness. Press presented CSH’s PHA Toolkit, and discussion participants shared reports about what is working well in their jurisdictions, what challenges they face, and what solutions they have found to obstacles encountered in their efforts.

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Rep. Waters Keynotes CLPHA Meeting

On November 16, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) opened the final day of the CLPHA Executive Directors Meeting by discussing her priorities for affordable housing during the upcoming Congress. In the current appropriations environment and with the fiscal cliff fast approaching, she recognizes what a critical time this is for public housing and the future of the country. Rep. Waters stressed the importance to lawmakers of hearing from public housing authorities in their districts so that they can understand the consequences of their legislative decisions on the people who operate and live in affordable housing.

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Perspectives from the Hill and HUD

On Friday morning, November 16, CLPHA members heard perspectives from the Hill and from HUD. They were joined first by Congressional authorizing staff: Clinton Jones, General Counsel to the House Financial Services Committee, and Amanda Fischer, Policy Advisor to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). Following Public and Indian Housing Assistant Secretary Sandra Henriquez’s introductory remarks, HUD staff offered their perspectives and updates on issues under their purview.

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HUD and MDRC Discuss Rent Reform Demonstration

After the conclusion of CLPHA’s Fall Executive Directors Meeting, HUD and MDRC led a discussion with MTW agencies on an upcoming Rent Reform Demonstration study. The research team asked MTW agencies to share their experiences with alternative rent structures and to provide feedback on the design of the study. HUD also requested that MTW agencies yet to implement major rent reforms consider participation in the demonstration study. HUD will provide technical assistance for both implementation and evaluation to participating agencies.

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CLPHA Produces Publication on Housing Authorities' Educational Initiatives

CLPHA has produced its third annual publication highlighting the transformative work of our members. Bringing Education Home: Housing Authorities and Learning Initiatives features some of the ways in which CLPHA members are using housing as a springboard for educational success. 

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CLPHA Member News

From operating an emergency winter shelter to creating a housing program for victims of violence to engaging with private partners in projects that expand affordable housing opportunities, CLPHA members are making news--and improving lives--in their communities. Read about the latest activities in Alaska, Boston, Buffalo, DC, El Paso, Fresno, Houston, King County, Milwaukee, New York, Newark, Portland,  Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, and Toledo.

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CHCDF Congressional Briefings on Sequestration

On October 18, the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) held congressional briefings calling attention to the harmful effects that sequestration will have on the supply of affordable housing and on local community development efforts. The briefings presented data showing program-level and state-level impacts and also provided the perspectives of practitioners and low-income communities. CHCDF highlighted that under sequestration, communities would lose $3.5 billion in HUD and USDA housing and community development funding in FY 2013 alone. The Public Housing program would face an automatic funding cut of $479 million, and approximately 179,000 Housing Choice Vouchers would be lost.

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HUD Notice Extends Deadline for Use of Operating Reserves for Capital Improvements

On October 25, HUD released PIH Notice 2012-43, which extends the deadline for use of operating reserves for capital improvements through March 31, 2013. The original deadline for the obligation of “excess” operating reserves for capital improvements was September 30, 2012. All other guidance provided by PIH Notice 2012-2 in regard to the use of operating reserves for capital improvements remains applicable. In PIH Notice 2012-43, HUD states that it will extend the obligation deadline further if Congress extends the temporary authority granted in the FY 2012 Appropriations Act. 

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