05/08/2014
IN THIS ISSUE:

House Panel Moves FY15 THUD Appropriations Forward

On May 7, the House THUD Appropriations Subcommittee passed the FY15 funding bill released the previous day. The total bill provides $52.029 billion in discretionary spending, which is $7.8 billion below the Administration request and essentially a decrease of $1.8 billion below FY14 due to a reduction in offsets caused by a decline in FHA receipts. The bill provides $40.3 billion for HUD, with approximately $26.3 billion for PIH programsan increase of $6.2 million above last year’s level and $1.2 billion below the President’s request. While the subcommittee asserts this funding will provide for “continued assistance to all families and individuals currently served by this program,” full committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) expressed disappointment in the funding cuts made to various programs and noted that the “Public Housing Capital Fund is funded below the sequester level.” The bill passed without amendments and is expected to be considered by the full Appropriations Committee the week of May 19.

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CLPHA 2014 Legislative Priorities

CLPHA has published our legislative priorities for 2014, which center on: 1) securing needed reforms of rental assistance programs; 2) securing public housing program flexibility; 3) securing an increase in the RAD unit cap along with appropriated funds; 4) securing sufficient funds to maintain existing public and affordable housing programs, and, 5) securing legislative initiatives that promote the alignment of programs and policies benefiting low-income persons.

Addressing these priorities will better enable housing authorities to develop transformational partnerships with important and interested stakeholders to benefit children, seniors, persons with disabilities, veterans, homeless persons, and familial caregivers.

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Appeals Court Issues Decision in CMS PBCA Litigation

For several years, CLPHA and others have expressed concern to HUD that the PBCA NOFA is not an open and fair opportunity for all qualified applicants, particularly housing authorities. As a result, a lawsuit was filed to declare as unlawful HUD’s solicitation and award of contract administration services related to Section 8 of the Housing Act. On March 25, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision reversing the judgment previously entered in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and agreeing with GAO’s finding that the PBCA contract procurement procedure should be compliant with the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act.

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CHCDF Urges Appropriators to Mitigate Impact of Differing FHA Receipt Estimates

CLPHA joined with 24 fellow members of the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) to send a letter on May 1 to appropriators on mitigating the potential impact of the difference in CBO and HUD’s estimates of FHA receipts. The letter urges appropriators to fully address the need for HUD funding by distributing the impact of this anticipated difference throughout the appropriations subcommittees rather than place the burden of this difference on the THUD Subcommittee alone, which would result in a devastating impact on the housing affordability crisis for the lowest income families in America.

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Rent Reporting for Credit Building

A person’s credit history is no longer just used by creditors to determine if a potential borrower will likely repay a loan or credit card or the interest rate and fees charged. Landlords, utility companies, prospective employers, insurers, and mortgage lenders price their products in part based on credit histories. A mortgage applicant’s credit history could be the difference between an affordable mortgage and no mortgage at all.

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Highlighting Partnerships between Housing Authorities and Afterschool Providers

By partnering with local afterschool providers that contribute trained staff and curriculum, housing authorities across the country are bringing high-quality afterschool education home to the children and youth they serve. In early April, CLPHA and the Afterschool Alliance hosted a webinar during which nearly 100 participants from both sectors heard from the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica on promising practices for initiating and sustaining such partnerships. The Afterschool Alliance recently posted “Housing authorities + quality afterschool: funding a 21st century partnership,” featuring the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which will be the focus of an upcoming joint webinar.

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CLPHA Member News

Home Forward is partnering with a health services provider and the state’s largest Medicaid provider in a national demonstration designed to delay a person’s entry into expensive, long-term assisted health care. Chicago State University and the Chicago Housing Authority organized a summit to encourage public housing youth, most of whom would be first generation college students, to begin their journey to higher education.

CLPHA members are leveraging scarce resources through strategic partnerships and implementing innovative programs in order to strengthen neighborhoods and improve lives. Find out about these efforts and the latest news from CLPHA members in Baltimore, Cambridge, Charlotte, Chester, Chicago, El Paso, Houston, Kansas City, Long Branch, Portland, and Vancouver.

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