12/14/2012
IN THIS ISSUE:

Advocacy Efforts to Avert Sequestration

CLPHA has focused recent advocacy efforts on averting sequestration--the automatic, across-the-board funding cuts to defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending. Originally intended to force the development of a more sensible deficit reduction plan, sequestration looks increasingly likely to take effect in the coming year. The OMB projects across-the-board 8.2 percent funding cuts for HUD under sequestration, and CLPHA has made congressional leaders aware that this could cause thousands of low-income households to lose their housing. In a November 30 letter, CLPHA urged congressional leaders to develop an alternative deficit reduction plan that will not harm our nation’s most vulnerable families.

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Senate Banking Committee Hearing on Rental Assistance Reform

On Tuesday, December 11, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a second hearing on “Streamlining and Strengthening HUD’s Rental Assistance Programs.” Sandra Henriquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, testified as the sole witness. Keith Kinard, Executive Director of the Newark Housing Authority, testified on behalf of CLPHA during Part I of the hearing, on August 1.

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Legislation to Target Mortgage Interest Deduction Savings to Affordable Housing

Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) is considering introducing legislation that would replace the current mortgage interest deduction with a twenty percent flat-rate tax credit.  Based upon the $27 billion in revenue savings per year expected to be generated by the changes, the legislation would 1) expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit; 2) provide sixty percent of the funds to the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund (about $15 billion); 3) provide thirty percent of the funds to Section 8 rental assistance (about $7.7 billion); and 4) provide ten percent of the funds to the Public Housing Capital Fund (about $2.5 billion).

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HUD Conference Provides Policy Updates Aimed at “Moving EPCs Forward”

On November 28 HUD held a conference, “Public Housing Energy Convening: Moving EPCs Forward,” in order to provide energy performance contracting updates and to garner feedback from energy service companies and PHAs. HUD staff presented an overview of the the Department's priorities for energy performance contracts (EPCs), including an increase in their use to address the growing capital backlog, and to bring back into the available public housing stock the 60,000 units currently uninhabitable due to capital needs. In order to encourage the use of EPCs, HUD is attempting to streamline the approval process and rationalize its current treatment of EPCs in PHAS scoring.

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Choice Neighborhoods Grantee Conference

On November 28 and 29, HUD held the “Choice Neighborhoods Grantee Conference” in Washington, DC. Discussion topics included the financing and development of affordable housing, providing supportive services, neighborhood planning and revitalization, and stakeholder involvement in revitalization projects. Choice neighborhood grantees also shared successful strategies for revitalizing distressed public housing and surrounding communities. Addressing conference attendees, Secretary Shaun Donovan (HUD) and Secretary Arne Duncan (Department of Education) expressed continued support of local efforts to revitalize communities.

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CLPHA Member News

From winning Choice Neighborhood Initiative grants to opening a children's library to promoting health by distributing free bikes to kids, CLPHA members are making news--and improving lives--in their communities. Read about the latest activities in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, King County, Long Branch, New Haven, New York, San Antonio, San Bernardino, Seattle, and St. Paul.

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