(Washington, D.C.) August 5, 2022 -- Council of Large Public Housing Authorities Executive Director Sunia Zaterman released the following statement on the Federal Communications Commission’s adoption of the Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program and the Your Home, Your Internet Pilot Program:
"The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) applauds the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) adoption of the Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program and the one-year Your Home, Your Internet Pilot Program at its Open Commission Meeting today. CLPHA has worked closely with the FCC to help shape these programs through direct dialogue with members of Congress, the FCC, and submitted comments throughout the regulatory process. CLPHA has also been a long-time proponent for digital equity through working with partners, disseminating information via webinars, spotlighting promising practices at conferences, and conducting outreach on opportunities. Today is a strong step forward for serving low-income families living in assisted housing with improved access to high-quality, affordable broadband and devices.
"These initiatives will improve the Biden administration’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a $14 billion long-term initiative that offers up to $30 a month for the costs of internet service for eligible households and builds on the Emergency Broadband Benefit in order to provide more permanent assistance. Public housing authorities have long understood that digital access is critical to improve life outcomes for low-income families living in assisted housing and we are excited for additional support to get more assisted households connected.
"Public housing authorities offer the most effective avenue to connect the highest number of low-income families to broadband access and accomplish the goals of the Affordable Connectivity Program. At CLPHA’s 8th Annual Housing Is Summit in May, Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Geoffrey Starks noted this point in his keynote speech, 'When I look at the data where we can reach more vulnerable households…, I consistently come back to housing. I see a clear synergy between housing and connectivity; if we are helping a family secure housing, we should be able to help them secure an internet connection as well.'
"In May 2022 Commissioner Starks also visited Nickerson Gardens, a property of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), a CLPHA member. With 1,000 units, Nickerson Gardens is the largest public housing community west of the Mississippi River. He reported that the ACP Pilot Program had connected 78 percent of the Nickerson Garden units to the internet.
"During today’s open meeting, Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel also named CLPHA member the Jersey City Housing Authority (JCHA) and its executive director Vivian Brady-Phillips as an exemplary PHA working on digital inclusion. CLPHA highlighted both HACLA and JCHA during this year’s Housing Is Summit.
"The Affordable Connectivity Outreach Grant Program will provide eligible governmental and non-governmental entities with funding to conduct outreach to eligible low-income households in order to increase awareness of and encourage participation in the Affordable Connectivity Program. The one-year Your Home, Your Internet Pilot Program aims to increase awareness of the Affordable Connectivity Program among recipients of federal housing assistance and facilitate enrollment in the ACP by providing targeted assistance with the ACP application.
"CLPHA will work with its members to ensure they are taking advantage of these programs to help residents access not only to affordable, high-quality broadband and devices, but also digital literacy to utilize these resources."