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March 11, 2021
(Washington, D.C.) March 11, 2021 – Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, released the following statement upon President Biden’s signing of the American Rescue Plan Act into law:
“The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities applauds President Biden for signing into law the groundbreaking American Rescue Plan Act. When combined with the $25 billion in emergency rental assistance in the previous relief bill, the total $45 billion in emergency rental assistance and $5 billion to prevent homelessness is scaled to the enormous scope of the rental crisis with more than 11 million renters behind on rent. The law is also historic in nature as it represents the largest federal investment since the creation of the Great Society programs more than 55 years ago, which launched what is now known as the Housing Choice Voucher program. Estimates show that the American Rescue Plan Act’s war on poverty will reduce the projected poverty rate this year by half. This historic investment in alleviating poverty and expanding housing opportunities constitutes one of the most significant steps towards ending racial inequity since the legislation passed during the Civil Rights Era.
"The American Rescue Plan acknowledges that housing stability for all Americans is essential to the economic well-being, racial equity, and public health of the nation. While this legislation directs critical federal investment to pandemic relief, new transformational federal investments will be needed to address the affordable housing crisis that was only exacerbated by the pandemic, including a 10-year roadmap to recapitalize the public housing portfolio and a permanent and significant expansion of the Housing Choice Voucher program.
"CLPHA looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration to make stable housing a reality for all Americans."
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
For Immediate Release
March 10, 2021
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 .
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
The Housing Is Initiative, led by the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, helps build a future where sectors work together to improve life outcomes. Housing stability is a critical first step to improve life outcomes for low-income children, families, and seniors; CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative is based on the premise that sectors can better meet needs when they work together. Housing Is establishes, broadens, and deepens efforts to align affordable housing, education, and health systems to produce positive, long-term results. Learn more at housingis.org and on Twitter @housing_is.
For Immediate Release
March 4, 2021
(Washington, D.C.) March 4, 2021 – Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, released the following statement urging the swift passage of the American Rescue Plan Act in the U.S. Senate:
“The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities calls for the Senate to pass the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which includes desperately needed $30 billion in emergency rental assistance, $5 billion in single-use vouchers, and a significant extension of the eviction moratorium.
“This legislation is critical to addressing the rental crisis facing the nation. The situation has only grown more dire since the Biden Administration announced the American Rescue Plan in mid-January. Renters have continued to accrue past-due rent at an alarmingly high rate. While the eviction moratorium has provided important protections for renters financially impacted by the pandemic, the moratorium has meant that millions of renters have accumulated significant arrears. Economists estimate that unpaid rent at the end of January 2021 totals $52 billion, which amounts to $5,600 for the average renter.
“The $5 billion in emergency housing vouchers will help transition persons-at-risk and homeless persons to stable housing. Emergency rental assistance is not only vital to renters, but its impact on the economy and public health is far-reaching. The Senate must act swiftly to provide emergency rental assistance and prevent a wave of evictions and housing instability that will tragically disrupt the lives of millions of Americans.”
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP)will redevelop the vacant Larimer School, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, into 35 affordable housing units. This project is part of HACP’s larger Larimer/East Liberty Choice Neighborhoods redevelopment plan.
The Otto Bremer Trust awarded a $100,000 grant and a $500,000 low-interest loan to the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA). MPHA will use the loan to support housing authority operations for its 6,000 public housing units and will use the grant to fund construction of the 16-unit Minnehaha Townhomes, slated to open in 2019.
The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles alongside partner Meta Housing Corporation, opened El Segundo Apartments and 127th Street Apartments in Harbor Gateway, two new communities offering a combined 160 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless families and individuals.
The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), partner Red Eye, Inc., and celebrity guests celebrated the opening of the Watts Empowerment Center Sports Complex at HACLA’s Imperial Courts community with basketball games, soccer matches, a slam dunk contest, and other activities.
Fort Worth Housing Solutions (FWHS)President Mary-Margaret Lemons penned an op-ed in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about FWHS’s efforts to increase the city’s affordable housing options, such as their utilization of the RAD program.
From the New York City Housing Authority's press release:
New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt today announced that Bronx River Addition will become the second development to hold an official vote to give residents a say in the future of their homes. The voting process — first launched at Nostrand Houses in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn — will provide residents with an opportunity to decide on whether the development should enter the Public Housing Preservation Trust or join the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program, both of which leverage alternative funding streams available through the federal government. Residents can also choose for their development to maintain the traditional public housing financing model and remain Section 9 housing.
Following 100 days of public engagement, a 30-day voting period is expected to run from March 13 to April 11, 2024 — during which time residents may vote online or by mail, or in person during the last 10 days of the voting period. A qualified, independent, third-party administrator will conduct and oversee the election.
“As someone who grew up on the edge of homelessness, I know how important it is to have access to affordable and reliable housing,” said Mayor Adams. “From the start of this administration, we have worked to help NYCHA residents have a seat at the table and a say in the future of their homes. We are thrilled that Bronx River Addition will follow in Nostrand Houses’ footsteps to cast ballots in this historic voting process, and I urge all residents to make their voices heard.”
“Our administration is thrilled to offer Bronx River Addition residents the opportunity to vote on a comprehensive plan to renovate and modernize their homes,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “This is an important decision that will impact families living in NYCHA for generations, and their voices must always be heard. Over the next 100 days, we look forward to hearing directly from residents about which path is right for them.”
“Following the vote at Nostrand, residents of Bronx River Addition will now have their own opportunity to weigh in on the future of their campus through this important and groundbreaking process,” said NYCHA CEO Bova-Hiatt. “Every day, we see the impacts that decades of federal disinvestment have had on public housing developments across the portfolio. We are pleased that, through this voting process, residents will be able to decide how to address the vast and growing needs of their buildings.”
Home to 146 residents from 133 households, Bronx River Addition has an estimated 20-year capital need of $66 million and has dealt with several severe infrastructure issues in recent years that have caused tenants to be relocated in one of its two buildings. NYCHA estimates needing nearly $80 billion for repairs across its portfolio.
The New York City Public Housing Preservation Trust is a public entity established by Mayor Adams and NYCHA in May 2023 and authorized by a law signed by New York Governor Kathy Hochul last year following extensive advocacy from the Adams administration and NYCHA. A fully public entity, the Trust is expected to unlock billions of dollars in federal funding for comprehensive renovations at NYCHA developments to improve living conditions for residents. Under the Trust, a development is kept 100 percent public and converted to the more stable, federally funded Project-Based Section 8 program, while ensuring residents always maintain their rights, including permanently affordable rent.
The PACT program similarly transitions developments from traditional Section 9 assistance to Project-Based Section 8 and unlocks funding for designated third-party PACT partners to complete comprehensive repairs.
From the Urban Land Institute:
The Jordan Downs affordable housing project is the centerpiece of several community-serving revitalization projects emerging in Watts.
Community revitalization is an undeniably long and complex process. With so many challenges, redevelopment projects in underinvested communities often fail to gain momentum—but the Jordan Downs Redevelopment plan in Watts, an enclave of Los Angeles, California, is a model for how to get it right. The decades-long project is starting to take shape, and it could serve as a model for how other cities could pursue large-scale redevelopments.
The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) led the initiative to redevelop Jordan Downs, a 21-acre (8.5 ha) site, into more than 1,700 units of affordable housing, 115,000 square feet (10,683.9 sq m) of retail and 45,000 square feet (4,180 sq m) of ground-floor commercial space. At the Urban Land Institute’s Building Healthy Places Forum during the Fall 2023 Meeting, community leaders and project stakeholders discussed the success at Jordan Downs and other projects transforming the community.
Read ULI's article "Inside the Redevelopment Transforming Watts in Los Angeles," featuring the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles.
Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom announced more than $154 million in funding for new interim and supportive housing across the state through the third round of Project Homekey. Of that total, Los Angeles County is poised to see roughly $37.2 million, going toward the a trio of projects in Exposition Park, Hollywood, and Lancaster.
“Homekey has been critical to creating much-needed housing for people experiencing homelessness and these latest grants will benefit those who are particularly vulnerable,” Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative executive drector Cheri Todoroff in a news release. “By combining Homekey with other state and local funding sources, we’ll be able to provide our young, older, and medically fragile residents a safe place to stay as well as supportive services.”
Likewise, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles and Topanga Canyon Housing Partners, LP will receive just over $5.4 million for the construction of a new modular apartment building with 24 units of supportive housing at 7631 Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Canoga Park. That project follows the conversion of an adjoining motel into 52 units of interim housing through an earlier round of Project Homekey.
“We know that in order to solve the homelessness and housing crisis in Los Angeles, we must have more housing, both interim and permanent, in every neighborhood, said L.A. Mayor Karen Bass in a news release. “We have been working closely with the Los Angeles Housing Department and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles in order to bring these projects online and secure this critical funding. Thank you to Governor Newsom and the State Legislature for recognizing these critical projects. I look forward to our continued collaboration as we urgently confront the homelessness crisis as well as a new partnership with Urban Awnings and the Carpenters Union as we showcase new modular innovation and construction.”
Read Urbanize's article "$75M awarded for Los Angeles-area Project Homekey developments."
From HACLA's press release:
Last week, on Wednesday, November 15th, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) and in partnership with the Los Angeles Mayor's Office, hosted a presentation on incentives available to property owners who are willing to rent to individuals and families who have experienced homelessness. Held at HACLA’s Headquarters at 2600 Wilshire Boulevard, the event was well attended with 75 prospective property owners and guests who had an opportunity to hear about the successes of the Homeless Incentive Program (HIP). With HUD’s recent approval of higher Voucher Payment Standards (VPS), HACLA’s maximum rents have reached a historic high and at market rate, a one-bedroom voucher payment can go up to $2,400/month. Additional benefits and financial incentives to property owners who participate in the Program include holding fees, where landlords can receive up to one month's rent per vacant unit held, and based on the number of bedrooms and current Fair Market Rents (FMR), move-in assistance, and damage mitigation.
Following the presentation, a total of 18 inspections were scheduled on the spot (three of which were specifically for EHV units). HACLA also received many interest cards, where owners indicated a total of 219 available rental units ready to be listed by HACLA. The event proved to be a great success and HACLA plans to have more in the near future.
“We’re so grateful for the property owners who already participate in this program, but we know we have a way to go,” said HACLA President and CEO Doug Guthrie. “We hope that events like this will aid us in getting the word out about the program and its incentives to property owners who haven’t been aware or who have, perhaps, been a bit skeptical in the past. This is a great way for us to partner together with them and give more individuals and families a place to call home.”
"It is critical that we strengthen our partnerships to provide the necessary resources and support to house our most vulnerable populations within the County. Property owners who are willing to partner with us are key to accomplishing that goal," said LACDA Executive Director, Emilio Salas. "Programs like HIP allow the LACDA, HACLA, and property owners to work together to house our unhoused neighbors and empower our communities."
“Each of us has a role to play in confronting the homelessness and housing affordability crisis,” said Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass. “I thank property owners who are already helping us provide affordable housing options and those who answered our call to provide permanent housing to Angelenos who hold housing vouchers. I encourage more property owners to join us in being part of the solution. I also applaud HACLA and LACDA for joining forces and working together to make process improvements and offering resources to increase the number of property owners offering units in the private rental market.”
From the Seattle Housing Authority's press release:
The Seattle Housing Authority has been awarded $1,075,200 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to expand neighborhood choices for more families with young children being served by SHA. SHA has designed a suite of services that increase the ability of these families with vouchers to rent in neighborhoods which have proven to result in improved academic achievement, health, income and other life outcomes for the children in low-income families as they grow into adults.
“Every parent knows the value of providing a safe and secure place for their child to call home. Stability at home helps promote their future success – in school and onwards,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge in making the award.
SHA Executive Director Rod Brandon says the funds will be used to expand beyond a pilot study SHA engaged in to determine the effectiveness of enhanced services on the ability of families to use their Housing Choice Voucher in a wider variety of areas throughout the city. “SHA and its partners launched the Creating Moves to Opportunity project five years ago and it has shown remarkable results in opening up neighborhood choices to families raising children,” Brandon said. “We are seeing that with the right information and support, parents are able to exercise real housing choice and make the best decisions for the success of their family. The exciting thing is that we know from prior research that results in a better chance of families ending intergenerational poverty.”
The Creating Moves to Opportunity pilot was a partnership between the Seattle Housing Authority, King County Housing Authority and a group of leading national social science researchers. The pilot demonstrated that the specific set of enhanced services, referred to as mobility-related services, are effective in removing the barriers that have prevented families with children from using their voucher to rent in neighborhoods with higher opportunity factors.
SHA is one of only seven housing authorities in the country to receive funds from HUD under this Housing Mobility-Related Services award.
“This award affirms the success of our Creating Moves to Opportunity mobility program, and we are thrilled to receive this HUD funding knowing it will enable us to make a life-changing difference for many more families working to create a bright future for their children,” said Alice Kimbowa, SHA Director of Rental Assistance Programs.