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For Immediate Release
December 11, 2020
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) December 11, 2020 – The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) called on the incoming Biden-Harris administration to address poverty, homelessness, and racial injustice by investing in public and affordable housing. These recommendations are among 52 proposals that CLPHA provided in a transition document to the incoming Biden-Harris administration.
“The Biden-Harris ticket’s decisive victory is a moral mandate to address the chronic problems of poverty, racial inequity, and housing insecurity,” said Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities. “CLPHA’s 52 recommendations are a roadmap to achieve these goals.”
Expanding the Housing Choice Voucher program is one of CLPHA’s top-line recommendations and a key plank in the Biden-Harris plan. Currently only one in four low-income households that are eligible receive housing assistance due to limited funding. We know that housing stability is central to economic mobility for low-income Americans, even more so during the pandemic and economic downturn.
Recapitalizing the public housing portfolio is also a top priority for CLPHA. "A capital backlog of $70 billion is putting the health and wellness of low-income seniors and children at risk," Zaterman said. “We call on the Biden administration to develop and implement a 10-year roadmap to ensure the long-term sustainability of this public asset.”
CLPHA also calls for expanding the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and increasing operational flexibilities to better meet local housing needs. “These recommendations would result in significant investment in eradicating poverty and dismantling systemic racism,” said Zaterman.
CLPHA founded the Housing Is initiative to develop cross-sector resources of education and health five years ago. The Housing Is Initiative is calling for expanded coordination between federal agencies including the departments of Health and Human Services, Education, and Housing and Urban Development, and increased funding for research and data sharing.
Over the past four years, the Trump administration has proposed or enacted egregious rules that disenfranchised marginalized people, such as immigrants and transgender Americans. CLPHA urges swift reversals of these dangerous rules.
“The Biden-Harris administration has a real opportunity to improve the lives of low-income Americans. CLPHA looks forward to working with the administration to make it happen," Zaterman concluded.
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
For Immediate Release
December 10, 2020
(Washington, D.C.) December 10, 2020 – The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) is proud to support the nomination of Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) to be the 17th Secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Department. CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman released the following statement:
"Congresswoman Fudge is a longtime champion of affordable housing, urban revitalization, and infrastructure investment. She has demonstrated her leadership as a mayor, as a Member of Congress, and as the head of the Congressional Black Caucus. She understands that racial and economic inequities are deeply rooted, particularly in our housing systems, and that working across sectors is imperative. Her many years of work on economic justice issues such as food insecurity and education access can bring much-needed leadership to aligning systems and services to better meet the needs of low-income Americans. We look forward to working with Congresswoman Fudge in her role as HUD Secretary to address the growing need for COVID emergency rental assistance and safe, affordable housing."
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
For Immediate Release
November 9, 2020
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 more than a quarter of the Housing Choice Voucher program; and operate a wide array of other housing programs. Learn more at clpha.org and on Twitter @CLPHA and follow @housing_is for news on CLPHA’s work to better intersect the housing field and other areas of critical importance such as health and education.
The Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Martin Luther King Branch opened this month in Columbus’s Near East Side neighborhood. The new library is a result of Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT), a partnership between Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, Ohio State University, and other local stakeholders created in 2010 to transform and revitalize 800 acres of Near East Side.
The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) broke ground on Oso Apartments, a 48-unit apartment complex in Chicago’s Albany Park. Financed with help from $10 million in CHA RAD funds, 100 percent of Oso Apartments’ units will be affordable rental housing for individuals and families.
The Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County and partners cut the ribbon on The Lindley, a 200-unit high-rise in Chevy Chase, MD. The opening of The Lindley constitutes a net increase of 22 units of affordable housing in the neighborhood. You can watch a time-lapse video of The Lindley’s construction here.
The long-awaited Opportunity Atlas, published today by the Census Bureau in collaboration with researchers at Harvard and Brown, got top billing on today’s homepage of the New York Times’ data-driven digital property The Upshot. “Detailed New National Maps Show How Neighborhoods Shape Children for Life,” includes the new interactive mapping tool, some of the project’s main findings, and examples of the mobility work that public housing authorities are currently doing, and plan to do, with the data. In addition to quoting Raj Chetty, one of the project’s researchers, authors Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui feature quotes and examples from CLPHA members Greg Russ, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, Andrew Lofton, Executive Director of the Seattle Housing Authority and Andria Lazaga also of SHA who each discussed how PHAs are using the data as part of their Creating Moves to Opportunity (CMTO) work.
Additional news coverage of the Opportunity Atlas includes an NPR segment during today’s Morning Edition broadcast that features interviews with Chetty and local officials in Charlotte, NC, who intend to use the data to shape future policy decisions.
On August 9, HUD sent the 2017 Worst Case Housing Needs Report to Congress, providing national data and analysis of critical problems facing low-income renting families throughout the nation. The report, which is HUD's 16th in a longstanding series, chronicles an increase in severe housing problems, with the number of households considered to have worst case housing needs jumping from 7.72 million in 2013 to 8.3 million in 2015. HUD also reports that, since 2007, the U.S. has seen a 41 percent increase in severe housing problems, and a 66 percent increase since 2001. The Worst Case Housing Needs Report defines households with worst case needs as very low-income renters who do not receive government housing assistance and who paid more than one-half of their income for rent, lived in severely inadequate conditions, or both.
Using data from the 2015 American Housing Survey, HUD found that the economic benefits of an improving national economy are not reaching the lowest-income renter households and that overall severe housing problems are on the rise. The report acknowledges a large shift from homeownership to renting as playing a major role in the increase of worst case housing needs, noting that, "modest gains in household incomes were met with rising rents, shrinking the supply of affordable rental housing stock in an increasingly competitive market."
You can view the 2017 Worst Case Housing Needs Report by clicking here.
From the New York City Housing Authority's press release:
Today, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced the completion of more than $24.1 million in safety and security upgrades, including new CCTV cameras, layered access control installations, entrance renovations, and/or lighting improvements at 23 campuses over the past year to improve the quality of life for over 46,000 NYCHA residents.
Developments that received large-scale security improvements include Bailey Avenue-West 193rd Street, Marble Hill, Melrose, Mill Brook, Monroe, and Sedgwick in the Bronx; Farragut, Hughes, Kingsborough, and Pink in Brooklyn; Dyckman, Elliott, Fulton, Grant, King Towers, LaGuardia, LaGuardia Addition, and Rangel in Manhattan; Pomonok in Queens, and Berry in Staten Island.
Additionally, the Authority has also completed construction at three developments as part of the Entryways pilot program, which comprehensively renovates building entrances and enhances overall security.
These improvements were guided by resident involvement and completed thanks to funding from several current and former City Council members, federal, State, and City funding. Safety and security improvements made at a majority of these NYCHA developments over the last year further Mayor Eric Adams’ Blueprint for Community Safety plan by investing in the rehabilitation of safety and security systems infrastructure at developments within Gun Violence Prevention Task Force priority precincts.
“We appreciate the investment from our partners at the federal, State, and local level who contributed to improving safety and security systems across NYCHA campuses,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “Feeling safe at home is core to well-being, and these improvements demonstrate this administration’s commitment to enhancing living conditions and bolstering that feeling of safety for NYCHA residents.”
“The Authority has made significant improvements to the security infrastructure of NYCHA developments,” said NYCHA CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “These investments in cameras, doors, lighting, and other areas were made possible through support across all levels of government and we would like to thank the legislators and agencies who marshalled the resources needed to help keep our residents safe. We will continue to prioritize those quality-of-life upgrades that strengthen NYCHA buildings.”
From the New Haven Independent:
The city has officially purchased a Foxon Boulevard hotel for $6.9 million, and is now busy converting it into a non-congregate homeless shelter that the Elicker administration said it hopes to open before Christmas.
And the housing authority has closed on its $21 million acquisition of more than eight acres of Union Station-facing vacant land that used to house the Church Street South apartment complex, and is about to embark on a year-long planning process to determine how best to transform that empty expanse.
Those two private-to-public property deals were recently recorded on the city’s land records database, marking major milestones for two government agency initiatives to put more roofs — both temporary and long-term — over more New Haveners’ heads.
Asked about the difference between the purchase price and tax appraisal for the ex-Church Street South site, housing authority Executive Director Karen DuBois-Walton said, “In determining our price, we considered the appraisal, the location, the potential for redevelopment and the importance of the asset as a transit oriented location prime for redevelopment and adjacent to our existing parcel at Robert T. Wolfe. Additionally, we were in negotiations with Northland and competing with at least one other interested purchaser.”
Now that the housing authority has officially acquired the former Church Street South site, DuBois-Walton said that the next step is to develop a “Union Square Transformation Plan.”
That will likely be a year-long project itself, DuBois-Walton said, funded by a $500,000 federal Choice Neighborhoods planning grant the authority secured prior to closing the cash deal with Northland.
The first public meeting to inform such a plan is slated to take place on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at High School in the Community at 175 Water St.
The idea is to identify not only what kind of housing can be established on the property, but what sort of community and residential amenities — anywhere from education, workforce development, job training, healthcare services, and/or entrepreneurial support — can be bundled into a broader affordable neighborhood development that would transform eight acres into what DuBois-Walton said will ultimately be known as “Union Square.”
Creating that particular blueprint is also a prerequisite for applying for a larger Choice Neighborhood Implementation (CNI) grant, which could award anywhere from $30 to $50 million to the development, according to DuBois-Walton.
That program is an extension of the federal government’s HOPE VI funding. While the latter provides grants to help rehab distressed buildings, CNI focuses, as the name suggests, on revitalizing entire neighborhoods.
DuBois-Walton said that she’s particularly optimistic about acquiring funding for the project through CNI because of the housing authority’s previous successes securing HOPE VI grants. Both Monterey Place, the 339-unit public-housing complex in Dixwell, and Quinnipiac Terrace, the stretch of two- and three-story homes full of affordable apartments along the river, were funded by HOPE VI, DuBois-Walton recalled.
“We have experience working with these big HUD grants,” she said. “There’s no guarantee that the planning grant leads to that,” she noted, but the planning process itself should catalyze “lots of conversations with partners so that we can go after the kind of funding we need.”
Read the New Haven Independent's article "It’s Official: City Buys Ex-Hotel For $6.9M; Housing Authority Buys Ex-Church Street South For $21M," featuring Elm City Communities.
From the Housing Authority of Washington County, OR's press release:
On Nov. 9, 2023, from 10-11:30 a.m., local representatives such as Congresswoman Andrea Salinas’s spokesperson, Metro Councilor Gerritt Rosenthal, Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington and Tigard Council President Yi-Kang Hu, will celebrate the grand opening of Alongside Senior Apartments. Situated on City of Tigard land next to Tigard Senior Center and Fanno Creek natural area, Alongside is a state-of-the-art housing community that will provide 57 affordable homes to seniors. It dedicates 40% of its units to serving extremely low-income residents, income at 30% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) with federal project based rental assistance. The remaining 60% will serve very low-income residents, earning less than 60% of AMI, with an additional rent buydown by using a state tax credit.
The project, developed by Northwest Housing Alternatives (NHA) and designed by SERA Architects, was constructed by Walsh Construction with a sustainable Earth Advantage Multifamily Certification. Built with a focus on walkability and public transportation, it is located within walking distance of TriMet, Tigard Public Library and Universal Plaza. The development includes amenities such as fully equipped kitchens, walk-in closets, air conditioning, and community features like outdoor spaces, meeting rooms and laundry facilities. Financial contributors include Washington County through their allocation of the voter-approved Metro Affordable Housing Bond, City of Tigard, Metro’s Transit-Oriented Development program, Oregon Housing and Community Services, Enterprise Community Partners, and Umpqua Bank.
In anticipation of the grand opening event, Vitoria Rae, an NHA Board Member and resident, shared that “As an older adult, having safe and affordable housing is critical to my overall well-being. Seniors face many challenges as they age, including finding affordable places to live on a fixed income. Alongside Senior Apartments not only takes away the burden of expensive housing for seniors, but also breaks down barriers to isolation that many seniors face through being located next to the Tigard Senior Center, which offers an entire array of community services for elders."
County Chair Harrington meanwhile stated that, “Everyone deserves a place to call home, especially seniors, who are particularly affected by the regional housing crisis. That is why I am proud to be part of such a diverse collective coming together, in honor of “The Oregon Way”, to build affordable homes like Alongside. With its many amenities and services, we are making housing more affordable, while also building a stronger community that will help our seniors live their golden years gracefully.”
From the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority's press release:
Today, a bipartisan group of elected officials joined representatives from CVS Health® (NYSE: CVS), Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), Beacon 360 Management, and community leaders to announce the opening of Harriet’s Hope – a 52-unit, multifamily supportive housing community – empowering survivors of human trafficking. Named in honor of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who helped many escape slavery, Harriet’s Hope is a first-of-its-kind development for Columbus and among the nation’s first service-enriched housing communities exclusive to human trafficking survivors. Residents will live in a community with access to robust onsite case management and social services that address the unique needs of human trafficking survivors, while also encouraging rehabilitation and self-sufficiency. With construction now complete, residents will begin moving in December.
Harriet’s Hope was made possible through expansive public-private partnerships on the state and local level. Building the $15.6 million property was made possible through CVS Health’s $10.6 million investment, facilitated through the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH). Additional funders include Affordable Housing Trust of Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio Housing Finance Agency, City of Columbus, Park National Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati, the Ohio Legislature, Ohio Capital Impact Corporation and Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing.
Joining forces for survivors
Vulnerable individuals of all ages and backgrounds are exploited and forced into labor and involuntary sex work, and Ohio is no exception. In recent years, Ohio has bolstered its response to combat human trafficking through infrastructure development and multisystem approaches, such as the state’s Human Trafficking Initiative led by Attorney General Yost. Now open, Harriet’s Hope will help the state carryout its mission to “end labor and sex trafficking statewide,” by providing survivors a safe space for their healing and recovery journey.
“I’m grateful for the synergy between the public and private entities we have working on this project,” Attorney General Dave Yost said. “Without such partnerships, this kind of vital assistance would not be available. Collectively, our duty is to establish the groundwork for resources like Harriet’s Hope to serve as the on-ramp to the highway to hope."
Supporting vulnerable Ohioans
Recognizing housing’s impact on community health outcomes, CVS Health invested $10.6 million to build Harriet’s Hope as the initiative’s sole equity funder. Harriet’s Hope is a further demonstration of the company’s commitment to address housing insecurities – and support Ohio human trafficking survivors.
“Whether forced into labor or sex work, human trafficking is detrimental to the health of an individual and larger community – making this both a health care and public health issue,” explains Latasha Brown, MPA, CVS Health’s anti-human trafficking administrator. “Between the supportive services we provide our Aetna-OhioRISE members who survived human trafficking to my work on Attorney General Yost’s Human Trafficking Commission, every day I see the myriad of physical and mental health challenges survivors endure. A survivor cannot improve their overall health and wellbeing without stable access to quality housing. For Harriet’s Hope residents, this haven will allow them to focus on their healing journey and position them for a bright next chapter.”
Health and healing
Complex challenges often arise when servicing the multifaceted needs of this vulnerable population. Columbus-based co-developer and nonprofit Beacon 360º Management initiated the program design and will be responsible for the management and coordination of supportive services provided at Harriet’s Hope.
“We’re grateful for the overwhelming support Harriet’s Hope has received by our local leaders, the business community, and CMHA alike,” shared Celia Kendall, CEO of Beacon 360° Management. “In alignment with Beacon 360° Management’s commitment to provide innovative ‘People First’ solutions to housing challenges, we collaborated with survivors to develop our supportive housing model and it was clear that housing and affordability were not enough to position survivors of such complex traumas for success. How fitting that Harriet’s Hope was constructed on the very site where human trafficking once took place will now be an instrumental solution to this issue."
“Harriet’s Hope is just the latest example of CMHA being laser-focused on providing housing and meeting the specific needs of our neighbors in Columbus and throughout Franklin County,” said CMHA Board Commissioner, Stephen Daley. “Our goal is to ensure CMHA remains an innovative agent for change and continues to evolve to meet the region’s housing and service needs. We're proud to be part of this collaborative effort with Beacon 360° Management to address the complicated challenges faced by survivors and vulnerable populations. Harriet’s Hope is a testament to our commitment to holistic solutions that make a meaningful impact on the lives of our community members."
Services will be tailored to the unique needs of trafficking survivors, and supports each resident’s immediate and long-term goals – in addition to job-skills training and employment opportunities. This includes comprehensive, trauma-informed case management services provided by The Salvation Army, where professionals collaborate with residents to create crisis stabilization and safety plans.
Illicit drugs are often used on vulnerable individuals in the human trafficking recruitment process, to induce compliance, create dependency, punish and incapacitate an unwilling victim, or used to cope with the trauma of being trafficked. Additionally, nonprofit human services agency Alvis, Inc. will be administering recovery-specific services as needed, including recovery counseling and planning, alcohol and drug testing, and medication oversight.
Workforce development and employment opportunities will also be available through Columbus Works, a Columbus-based nonprofit focused on eliminating poverty through work force training, job placement, and long-term barrier removing wrap-around services. Peer support will be provided by Freedom a la Cart, a Central Ohio nonprofit catering company that empowers human trafficking survivors by providing job skills to foster self-sufficiency and stability. The organization’s staff will also provide Harriet’s Hope residents peer support.
From the Chicago Housing Authority's press release:
The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) announced the new Restore Home initiative at the Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, November 21, 2023. The initiative is part of the agency’s proposed 2024 budget and capital plan, which will be considered at a special board meeting in December.
Under Restore Home, CHA will invest up to $50 million in 2024 to renovate and rehabilitate vacant buildings in the small and medium-sized apartments portfolio (commonly known as the agency’s “scattered sites.”) Approximately three dozen small and medium-sized vacant apartment buildings around the city will be targeted for renovation, with more than 175 units brought back into leasable condition over the next twelve to eighteen months.
“Since the middle of last year, CHA has been assessing vacant properties in our small and medium-sized portfolio. We’ve identified funding and created an approach. The pieces are in place for this major undertaking to begin,” said CHA CEO Tracey Scott. “Over the next twelve to eighteen months, our staff and Section 3 contractors will be laser focused on restoring these apartments and getting families into homes. This is another way we are achieving our mission of preserving and creating housing opportunities that help families unlock their economic power."
As part of Restore Home, CHA plans to renovate approximately 40 single-family homes that are part of the scattered sites portfolio and make them available for affordable homeownership opportunities. (CHA will still maintain a portfolio of approximately 145 single-family homes.) Additional information on this effort will be announced in 2024.
This effort will complement the agency’s recently announced Down Payment Assistance program, which provides another pathway for CHA residents and other low-income Chicagoans to achieve their homeownership dreams.
“CHA has heard time and time again that our residents and community members want more options to create generational wealth for their families through affordable homeownership,” Scott said. “Additionally, when CHA residents purchase homes and no longer live in subsidized housing, that creates new rental housing options for families on our waitlist to be housed."
The agency is also utilizing its Section 3 vendor pool to aggressively renovate and rehabilitate vacant public housing apartments in otherwise occupied small and medium-sized buildings. New contracts with Section 3 vendors were approved by CHA’s Board in September. Year to date, more than $16 million has been spent to bring 277 vacant scattered site units back into service, with another 188 in progress.
CHA’s overall 2024 budget as well as the agency’s 5-year capital plan will be considered at a special Board meeting in December.