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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration Program is a Proven Means of Securing the Future of the Nation’s Public Housing Stock
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Federal Housing Commissioner Brian Montgomery joined the Housing Authority of the City of Austin, its development partners Atlantic | Pacific Communities and Madhouse Development Services, and the Austin community to celebrate the groundbreaking of HACA’s most recent redevelopment of one of its public housing properties, Goodrich Place, which also represents the 100,000th public housing unit being converted through HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program.
In recognition of this important milestone, Sunia Zaterman, Executive Director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities and Patrick Costigan, Strategic Advisor to the RAD Collaborative, issued the following statement:
Today we are celebrating an important milestone addressing the critical need for affordable housing by enabling housing authorities to convert public housing to more stable long-term Section 8 based contracts that will serve PHAs and residents for years to come.
Through the Rental Assistance Demonstration program, agencies across the country can leverage private financing to complete capital improvements needed to preserve and improve the public housing stock, without giving up control of the asset. RAD engenders creative local partnerships, stimulates ongoing economic activity, and leads to improved housing quality for low-income seniors and families.
As we celebrate the 100,000th RAD unit, it’s clear that we have proof of concept. To give PHAs greater certainty, HUD’s program should be permanent with unlimited opportunity for conversions to agencies meeting the requirements.
Congratulations to HUD at this significant juncture, and to HACA and the residents of Goodrich Place who will soon have access to improved units in one of Austin’s highest opportunity neighborhoods.
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities is a national non-profit organization that works to preserve and improve public and affordable housing through advocacy, research, policy analysis and public education. CLPHA’s 70 members represent virtually every major metropolitan area in the country. Together they manage 40 percent of the nation’s public housing program; administer 26 percent of the Housing Choice Voucher program; and operate a wide array of other housing programs. Learn more at clpha.org and on Twitter @CLPHA.
About the RAD Collaborative
The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA)—with the support of the National Equity Fund (NEF), HAI Group, Reno & Cavanaugh, and CF Housing Group—organized the RAD Collaborative for interested Public Housing Authorities, their partners and residents using the Rental Assistance Demonstration to preserve and revitalize public housing properties. Our focus also includes extending RAD to multifamily housing at risk of being lost from the affordable inventory--including Rent Supp, RAP, Mod Rehab and Section 202 PRAC properties. Learn more at radcollaborative.org and on Twitter @SucceedwithRAD.
Statement From Council of Large Public Housing
Authorities Executive Director Sunia Zaterman
Washington, DC – “The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), representing more than 70 of the country’s largest and most innovative housing authorities, is calling on Congress to reject the Trump Administration’s FY18 budget, which proposes to slash $6.2 billion in funding to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including $2 billion in cuts to public housing. If realized, the draconian cuts included in this budget would not only have severe and cumulative effects on public and affordable housing programs across the country, but it would also shred the safety net of other public assistance programs on which many low-income Americans rely.
“The Trump Administration’s full FY18 budget proposal, released today, Tuesday, May 23, would devastate HUD programs that are currently helping over 1.2 million households that reside in public housing, including families, seniors, persons with disabilities, and close to 800,000 children. The budget targets America’s most vulnerable citizens with drastic cuts to Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), while also slashing disability benefits and student loan and education programs, thereby crippling essential support systems affecting many of the residents we serve in low-income housing.
“The Administration’s dramatic HUD reductions come at a time when the federal government should actually be investing in public housing as part of the nation’s infrastructure, as such investment generates economic growth, creates jobs, bolsters productivity, and generates tax revenue for localities.
“The budget proposes $628 million for the Public Housing Capital Fund compared to $1.942 billion in FY17; $3.9 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund compared to $4.4 billion in FY17; $17.584 billion for Section 8 voucher renewals compared to $18.355 billion in FY17; and $1.55 billion for administrative fees compared to $1.65 billion in FY17.
“Everyone should be alarmed by the magnitude of these proposed cuts -- the Public Housing Capital Fund alone sustains a cut of over 67 percent. The irony of this particular cut is that it not only undermines basic health and safety improvements, it also makes it virtually impossible to leverage private investment, which HUD claims is a major policy priority.
“Another example is the proposed $771 million reduction to the Housing Choice Voucher program, which provides housing vouchers to needy families. These budget reductions, coupled with rising rents and inflation, will result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of vouchers and threaten currently-housed families with homelessness.
“CLPHA and the nation’s largest public housing authorities are asking members of Congress to reject the cuts proposed by the Trump Administration, as they will significantly harm our most vulnerable citizens and undermine our already significant public investment in this affordable housing stock.”
The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), representing more than 70 of the country’s largest and most innovative housing authorities, calls on the Administration and Congress to reject the draconian proposal to slash more than $6 billion in funding to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including $2 billion in cuts to public housing.
There are over 1.2 million households currently residing in public housing. Seniors and persons with disabilities constitute over half of all residents, and there are over 600,000 children residing in public housing. Public housing cuts will fall directly on the shoulders of residents currently residing in public housing and reduce opportunities for millions of families languishing on waiting lists across the country.
The public housing capital fund provides modernization and rehabilitation funding for the 1.2 million unit public housing portfolio. The reported cut to the capital fund of $1.3 billion represents close to a 70% reduction from last year’s funding level. These proposed cuts will dramatically accelerate the current estimated loss of 10,000 to 12,000 public housing units already lost annually due to chronic underfunding.
The public housing operating fund covers day-to-day operational and maintenance expenses not covered by resident rents. The reported cut to the operating fund of $600 million is a 13% percent reduction from last year, and approximately 72% of what is needed. This funding level will have a devastating impact on the ability to operate and maintain this housing and severely endanger the health, wellbeing, and safety of our most vulnerable children, families, and seniors reliant on housing assistance.
These cuts directly contradict the findings of the congressionally-mandated 2010 HUD study on the backlog of public housing capital repair needs estimated at $26 billion and annual accruing capital needs estimated at $3.4 billion. HUD’s budget does not come close to meeting the annual need and contributes to the growing backlog need.
The tenant based rental assistance program which provides housing vouchers to needy families will also experience a $300 million reduction according to the reports on the budget. This cut coupled with rising rents and inflation will result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of vouchers and threaten currently housed families with homelessness.
We call on the Administration and Congress to reject these draconian cuts that will harm our most vulnerable citizens and undermine our already significant public investment in this affordable housing stock.
On August 1, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing, “America’s Affordable Housing Crisis: Challenges and Solutions.” The hearing focused primarily on the challenge of increasing the supply of affordable housing and strategies to address the significant housing cost burdens faced by many Americans. Senator Hatch opened the hearing, stating that the affordable housing crisis, “is a problem that should be ready for a bipartisan solution.” To view our write-up of the hearing, click here.
To help tackle the affordable housing issues discussed in the hearing, Senators Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) have introduced legislation, S. 548, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act. The bill would increase Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) credit authority by 50 percent, as well as enact roughly two dozen changes to strengthen the program by streamlining program rules, improving flexibility, and enabling the program to serve a wider array of local needs.
During the hearing, Committee Members expressed their support for the Cantwell-Hatch bill and there was broad bipartisan consensus that the LIHTC program is a vital tool for increasing the production of affordable housing and providing low-income households, safe, quality, affordable homes. However, there were also concerns raised regarding oversight and compliance of the program. Daniel Garcia-Diaz, director of financial markets and community investment at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), presented testimony that IRS oversight of LIHTC is minimal and that there are no robust controls in place to ensure reasonableness of costs or compliance with program requirements. According to Mr. Garcia-Diaz, the GAO recommends that HUD, as an agency with a housing mission, play a greater role in the oversight of the program.
In our Statement for the Record, CLPHA applauded the leadership the Senate Finance Committee has shown in support of LIHTC to date and encouraged the Committee to support S. 548. The bill is especially beneficial to the public housing program, which has experienced decades of underfunding and federal disinvestment. We noted that LIHTC has proven to be an extremely important preservation tool for public housing, and PHAs have a long history of leveraging private equity through LIHTCs to fill the funding gap created by decreased federal appropriations. Without the LIHTC program, preservation of their public housing stock would not be possible.
CLPHA also acknowledged that competition for more valuable 9% LIHTCs is fierce in many states and that there have been concerns within the affordable housing community about increased demand from the public housing portfolio. Increasing the allocation authority by 50 percent would support the preservation and construction of up to 400,000 additional affordable apartments over a ten-year period, including the renovation of vital public housing units that are currently at-risk. Additionally, the legislation allows for an increased basis boost for projects serving extremely low-income households. This would be particularly beneficial to housing authorities, as 75 percent of public housing residents are extremely-low income.
CLPHA has been strongly supportive of the legislation. In addition to the Statement of Record above, CLPHA has also engaged in this work as a member of the A.C.T.I.O.N. Campaign Steering Committee (A Call to Invest in Our Neighborhoods). The A.C.T.I.O.N. Campaign has taken a lead role in promoting the expansion of LIHTC, including support of S.548. Last month the Campaign submitted a letter to Senator Hatch in response to his request for comments on tax reform, urging Congress to expand and strengthen the housing credit. Along with other Steering Committee members, CLPHA endorsed and signed the letter.
As Congress takes on tax reform in the upcoming months, we will continue to support this important legislation that would provide needed resources to public housing. CLPHA members should support the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act by contacting their senators during recess to urge them to support the bill.
Two-Generation Economic Act reflects the cross-sector collaboration that CLPHA’s Housing IsInitiative promotes.
Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) recently reintroduced bipartisan legislation in the Senate, calling for the development of support programs that improve family economic security by breaking the cycle of multigenerational poverty through a comprehensive strategy that addresses the needs of parents and children. The Two-Generation Economic Act of 2017, or S. 435, seeks to align and link existing service systems and funding streams that currently support parents and children separately. Heinrich and Collins believe that aligning the support systems to help parents and children together will increase the whole family’s chances for success in life. The bill also establishes the Interagency Council on Multigenerational Poverty to provide guidance on two-generation programs; establish a system of coordination among agencies and organizations; identify best practices; and identify gaps, research needs, and program deficiencies.
The Two-Generation Economic Act of 2017 is a significant step in the fight against poverty. It would be the first piece of legislation to incorporate a two-generation approach aimed at increasing economic security, educational success, social capital, and health and well-being for parents and children together. In seeking to better align service systems and funding streams, the bill would give states, local governments, and tribes more flexibility to develop programs that meet their specific needs. The approach outlined in S. 435 would greatly improve the effectiveness of service delivery, and it highlights the same principles and goals around which CLPHA’s Housing Is initiative was founded, to better intersect housing and other sectors in order to improve life outcomes. CLPHA has long promoted two-generation initiatives as a best practice and has been a leader in fostering partnerships to encourage innovative solutions to address generational poverty.
The Interagency Council on Multigenerational Poverty will create a national focus on multigenerational poverty by facilitating coordinated efforts across multiple agencies and departments. This interagency collaboration will align and link fragmented systems and funding streams, resulting in holistic approaches that simultaneously address the needs of children and their parents or guardians.
A collaboration that has been in the works for several years, the Two-Generation Economic Empowerment Act includes a balance of input and interests from local service providers, families, administrators, and other stakeholders. Heinrich and Collins hope that this innovative approach will help collectively ensure that people will have an opportunity to use already existing federal resources or attract private investment to implement the two-generation approach in their community, regardless of one’s zip code.
When Senator Collins first introduced the bill, she told the story of a five-year-old girl named Arianna who was homeless, living in a tent with her family outside of Portland, ME. A state social worker worked with the Maine Homeless Veterans Alliance to provide support services to the girl and her family, who are now living in an apartment near where Arianna is attending school. This is a small-scale example of the holistic approach that Collins and Heinrich wish to achieve with their legislation.
“Just as a child’s ZIP code should not determine his or her future success, neither should bureaucratic inflexibility make it so difficult for families to get the help they need to escape intergenerational poverty,” Senator Collins said.
You can learn more about the Two-Generation Economic Act of 2017 by reading this fact sheet that explains the principles of the bill or view a copy of the bill by clicking here.
From Wicked Local Cambridge:
The Cambridge Community Foundation is distributing almost a half million dollars in grants to nonprofits throughout Cambridge a month ahead of schedule as organizations deal with the increased need and financial impacts brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
CCF announced it is releasing the grants early -- including $367,000 to 59 organizations focused on hunger, homelessness and other housing challenges -- and is giving the organizations flexibility in how they spend the money.
CCF also contributed $40,000 to the Cambridge Nonprofit Coalition, which was created in 2015 to strengthen the city’s nonprofit sector, and another $50,000 to Cambridge Housing Authority’s WorkForce program offering school and career support to youth in public housing.
Read Wicked Local Cambridge's article "CCF to distribute $457K to Cambridge nonprofits," featuring the Cambridge Housing Authority.
From the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino's press release:
On October 23, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom announced that partners Mountain Homeless Coalition and the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino received $1.1 million in the sixth round of awards for Homekey. California’s innovative $600 million program to purchase and rehabilitate housing, including hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other properties and convert them into permanent long-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
This funding will fund the acquisition and rehabilitation of 8 short-term vacation cabins in Big Bear Lake, CA, two of which will be manufactured homes. These cabins will become permanent homes for families and individuals experiencing homelessness, with priority given to elderly individuals with disabilities who are at risk of health complications from COVID-19.
“We are honored to receive this much needed funding to provide affordable housing in a remote portion of San Bernardino County. We look forward to converting these rental cabins into future homes,” states Maria Razo, HACSB’s Executive Director.
Duquesne University is working with the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) and Live Well Allegheny to narrow the health care gap between white and Black people in the Steel City.
They are offering health care services to underserved communities during the covid-19 pandemic. The team is providing free chronic disease screenings for diabetes and cardiovascular risk as well as disease management programs at all housing authority locations, including 10 high rise buildings and five family communities.
“Because of the pandemic, some individuals are forgoing needed health care, which can lead to serious complications down the road,” said Dr. Jennifer Elliott, director of Duquesne’s Center for Integrative Health and associate professor of pharmacy practice.
Read TRIBLive's article "Duquesne University, Housing Authority team up to battle health care inequities," featuring the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh.
From the Chicago Tribune:
About 7,500 children in Chicago public housing will be gifted a free winter coat this week at the Credit Union 1 Arena on the city’s Near West Side as part of the Chicago Housing Authority’s partnership with Operation Warm, a national non-profit that distributes new coats to children in need.
Evergreen Real Estate Group today announced that two co-located library and senior housing developments the firm completed last year have won the 2020 Library Building Awards from the American Institute of Architects and American Library Association. Built in partnership with the city of Chicago, Chicago Housing Authority and Chicago Public Library, the projects were two of four winners recognized in the U.S. and Canada.
The annual awards recognize projects that demonstrate design achievement, including a sense of place, purpose, ecology, environmental sustainability and history. This year’s winners were selected by a six-person jury. Jurors selected Independence Branch Library and Apartments for its use of new hybrid building technology; location in a diverse, mixed-income neighborhood; educational opportunities provided for all age groups; and thoughtful mix of materials, including ground and polished precast concrete that contrasts with the development’s brightly colored balconies. Northtown Branch Library and Apartments was selected for its design that maximizes the potential for interaction between the affordable housing residents and library patrons by creating connections rather than separations in the spaces; the developer’s commitment to energy use reduction; and for the way the project serves as an agent of social change by pairing opportunities for lifelong learning with a sustainable solution to the city’s housing shortage.
Read MultifamilyBiz's article "Pair of Co-Located Library and Senior Housing Developments by Evergreen Real Estate Group and Chicago Housing Authority Earn Awards."