08/09/2013
IN THIS ISSUE:

FY14 HUD Funding Bills Stalled in the House and Senate

Despite robust and aggressive advocacy efforts by CLPHA members and other groups, Congress was unable to move their Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) spending bills forward before the August recess. On July 31, the House GOP leadership abruptly pulled the THUD bill from floor consideration. The next day, the Senate voted down a cloture motion to stop debate on their THUD bill and move forward on a vote, essentially killing any possibility of the spending bill moving forward in the Senate prior to the August recess. 

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Get the Facts: Affordable Care Act Implementation and Your Community

In a July 24 video message explaining the importance of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for households and communities served by HUD programs, Secretary Donovan committed HUD to raising awareness of the new opportunities for healthcare access created by the ACA. HUD plans to provide more information on ACA implementation to its partners in the coming months. CLPHA plans to engage with the ACA where we believe that housing authorities can have influence in improving the health outcomes of residents, and we have created Ten Ways That Housing Authorities (HAs) Can Promote New Health Insurance Opportunities as a first step in helping our members navigate health care reform.

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President’s Housing Speech Includes Call for Investment in Affordable Rental Housing

During his August 6 housing speech, President Obama laid out proposals for supporting responsible homeownership. In addition to help for underwater homeowners and first-time buyers, he acknowledged the need to invest in affordable rental housing and to continue the fight against homelessness. A housing fact sheet was issued to provide more details on the administration's housing agenda, and CLPHA particularly supports the President’s call for adequate funding for affordable housing, preservation of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, and the use of RAD to leverage private investment for preservation of affordable housing.

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$30 Million in Tax Credits to Help Jersey City Housing Authority Revitalize Neighborhoods

On August 1, the Jersey City Housing Authority (JCHA) was awarded $30 million in tax credit funding for three development projects, including housing that will allow seniors to age in place and a state-of-the-art early childhood education center. “This is a major award for Jersey City and will provide much-needed affordable housing for seniors and the community at large,” Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said in a statement. “These projects are part of how the Housing Authority is transforming public housing and playing an integral role in the revitalization of Jersey City’s neighborhoods.”

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CLPHA Members Closing the Digital Divide, Reducing Chronic Homelessness, and More

In early August, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles announced a pilot program to close the digital divide by providing free internet to public housing residents. The San Diego Housing Commission and its partners reached a milestone by housing 2.5 percent of downtown San Diego's chronic and vulnerable homeless population for four consecutive months. Before heading back to school, low-income school children received free immunizations and health screenings at a health fair hosted by the Housing Authority of El Paso. Find out more about these activities and the latest news from CLPHA members in Baltimore, Chicago, El Paso, Los Angeles, New Haven, New York, Portland, San Diego, and Tacoma.

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FY13 Capital Funds Awarded

On August 8, HUD announced the FY13 Capital Fund awards. The awards total $1.7 billion, an amount approximately $2-3 billion dollars less than what is needed on an annual basis to maintain the nation’s public housing stock as a decent and safe housing option for low-income households, including seniors, persons with disabilities, the formerly homeless, and vulnerable families. HUD’s press release also promotes the Rental Assistance Demonstration as a complementary strategy for the preservation of the public housing stock.

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Proposed Rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

On July 19, HUD published a proposed rule on affirmatively furthering fair housing, as well as background materials and a prototype geospatial tool. The Fair Housing Act directs HUD’s program participants to take steps proactively to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities for all. The new rule proposes to refine the current analyses of impediments to fair housing choice with a new fair housing assessment and planning process, and HUD will make available nationally uniform local and regional data to inform the assessment activities. CLPHA will be hosting a member conference call for reaction to the proposed rule in the near future.

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Two Revised Notices on Serving Persons with Disabilities

On August 1, HUD released revisions to Notices dealing with serving persons with disabilities in the HCV program, through Non-Elderly Disabled (NED) vouchers and with exception payment standards as reasonable accommodations. Notice PIH 2013-18, “Revision for Requests for Exception Payment Standards for Persons with Disabilities as a Reasonable Accommodation,” revises PIH 2011-19 to require that housing authorities maintain the approved exception payment standard until or unless a higher exception payment standard is requested and approved. Notice PIH 2013-19, “Revised Policies and Procedures for Special Purpose Housing Choice Vouches for Non-Elderly Disabled Families and Other Special Populations,” updates Notice PIH 2011-32.

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