07/03/2013
IN THIS ISSUE:

Appropriations Committees Approve FY14 HUD Funding Bills

On June 27, both the House and Senate full Appropriations Committees during their respective mark ups passed their versions of a THUD funding bill for FY14. The House's  THUD allocation of $44.1 billion was almost $10 billion less than the Senate allocation of $54.045 billion, making differences in the committee recommended funding levels for various affordable housing programs readily apparent. In most of the programs of interest to CLPHA members, the House provided funding levels at best equal to the FY13 enacted levels before sequestration. In contrast, the Senate, which freed itself from the restrictions of the sequester’s mandatory discretionary cuts, allowed for higher funding levels across most of its programs, and CLPHA strongly supports these higher recommended funding levels. Given the great disparity between the funding bills, the outlook for floor action and/or a conference committee to work out the differences between the two funding bills is uncertain.

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House Panel Hears from PHAs on Moving to Work Program

On June 26, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance held a hearing entitled “Evaluating How HUD’s Moving-to-Work Program Benefits Public and Assisted Housing Residents,” where three of the five witnesses were CLPHA members. Subcommittee Vice-Chair Leutkemeyer (R-MO) opened the hearing by referencing the May 6 Wall Street Journal article profiling MTW agencies' work in response to overwhelmingly long waiting lists. He stated that families on the waiting lists should not be penalized because the federal government refuses to grant flexibility, and he expressed the need and desire to expand the MTW program. Ranking Member Capuano (D-MA) identified the expansion of MTW as a great opportunity for compromise, noting the members of the Committee are “in the same chapter,” if not on the same page.

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Impacts of Sequestration Real and Painful for Those in Need of Housing Assistance

In their June 30 article in the Washington Post, “They said The Sequester Would Be Scary. Mostly, They Were Wrong,” David A. Fahrenthold and Lisa Rein indicate that, in most cases, federal agencies have been able to cope and that sequestration has "not triggered widespread breakdowns in crucial services." To suggest the warnings were largely political hype is to ignore the devastating impacts of the sequester on our country's most vulnerable families, many of whom depend on—or hope for—housing assistance.

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Expanded Flexibility for RAD

The RAD team has delivered once again with the publication of PIH 2012-32 (HA), REV-1. The revision to the final implementation notice introduces new flexibilities into the RAD conversion process, which will allow for the recapitalization of a greater number of assisted properties. The adjustments are a result of the RAD team seeking out feedback from housing authorities and other affordable housing practitioners (as well as CLPHA), and the RAD team should be commended for their collaborative approach. The RAD team will also be holding a July 11 event, which can be attended in person or virtually, to field questions about the new flexibilities.

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Developments on Work to Address Homelessness and Create Supportive Housing

In early June, there were a number of developments related to the work in which CLPHA and its members are engaged to address homelessness and create supportive housing. This includes the strengthening of CLPHA and CSH's partnership through the signing of an MOU, as well as two new pieces of guidance from HUD.

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A Focus on Systems Change and Program Reform at CLPHA's Summer Meeting

CLPHA's Summer Executive Directors Meeting on June 13-14 brought together the membership in Washington, DC for two days of discussions and presentations that focused on systems change and reforming programs to provide housing assistance more effectively and efficiently, particularly in the face of growing budgetary challenges. Among the speakers were Representatives Ellison and Capuano, members of the BPC Housing Commission, Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution, and HUD PIH staff.

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White House and HUD Update Housing Groups on Health Care Reform Efforts

At the end of June, White House and HUD officials met with several housing policy organizations, including CLPHA, to discuss efforts underway to assist Americans in learning about and obtaining health insurance coverage, including a recently-established call center and a website. The Administration is asking stakeholders who work directly with uninsured populations to help generate awareness of expanded health insurance access granted through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Generating this awareness is important because 42 percent of adult Americans do not know that the ACA remains the law of the land and approximately half of Americans are unsure how the ACA will affect them, with low-income Americans expressing the greatest confusion about the law's effects.

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HUD Publishes CY14 Operating Subsidy Eligibility Calculations

On June 25, HUD issued PIH Notice 2013-16, Public Housing Operating Subsidy Eligibility Calculations for Calendar Year 2014. HUD’s process for calculating operating subsidy for CY14 is largely the same as the process for CY13, except that housing authorities will have approximately one week less to complete and submit forms HUD-52723 and HUD-52722 than in the CY13 process (see HUD’s explanation for the shorter time period).

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CLPHA Member News

In the face of additional challenges presented by sequestration, CLPHA members continue to revitalize their neighborhoods and improve life outcomes for residents. They are leveraging limited funds and developing innovative approaches, as evidenced by a few highlights from the past month: the Cambridge Housing Authority launched an innovative partnership to address domestic violence, Tacoma Housing Authority announced a new pilot program to increase college graduation rates and get homeless students off the streets, and the San Diego Housing Commission received approval to revive a rehabilitated 34-unit apartment complex as affordable housing with supportive services for very low-income seniors and people at risk of homelessness. Find out more on these activities and the latest news from members in Charlotte, Cook County, Cuyahoga County, DC, El Paso, Fresno, Millville, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, and Richmond.

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CLPHA Welcomes New Member: Fairfax County

CLPHA extends a welcome to new member Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the agency's Director, Paula Sampson. We look forward to working with the leadership and staff of FCRHA, which was named an MTW agency in December 2012. A full list of member housing authorities can be viewed in the Member Directory on CLPHA's website.

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