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February 2, 2021
(Washington, D.C.) February 2, 2021 – Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, released the following statement upon President Biden's signing of an executive order regarding the public charge rule:
“The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities applauds the Biden administration’s action today to begin unwinding the Trump administration’s patently unlawful Public Charge Rule that included housing assistance receipt against immigrants and their families when applying for an adjustment of residency status. Federal housing assistance exists to keep families together and to lift them up, not to be weaponized to tear them apart. The cruelty of the rule was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as it caused families to opt out of many critical safety net programs, including federal housing assistance.
"CLPHA looks forward to working with the Biden administration to ensure the equitable and compassionate treatment of immigrants and their families when seeking federal housing assistance.”
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
For Immediate Release
January 28, 2021
(Washington, D.C.) January 28, 2021 – Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, released the following statement upon the conclusion of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs’ nomination hearing for The Honorable Marcia L. Fudge, of Ohio, to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development:
“The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities applauds HUD Secretary-designate Marcia Fudge’s forceful call for expanding emergency rental assistance at her Senate nomination hearing today for individuals who are facing housing instability due to lost income or are experiencing unemployment because of COVID-19, many of whom are people of color. She understands that the $25 billion allocated to emergency rental assistance in the most recent stimulus was not enough and only a down payment.
“Right now, in back rent alone, 10 million low-income renters have accrued an average of $5,600 in rental arrears, which totals $56.3 billion. The current stimulus package will help approximately 3.5 million renters pay back rent by February. The remaining 7 million renters who are unable to pay back rent will face eviction, compounding the strain on our nation’s economy and compromising our nation’s moral responsibility to address racial inequities among our most vulnerable individuals.
CLPHA calls for Congress to immediately pass President Biden’s American Rescue Plan which contains $50 billion in emergency rental assistance, and for the Senate to swiftly confirm Secretary-designate Fudge so that she can begin her imperative work.”
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
For Immediate Release
January 15, 2021
(Washington, D.C.) January 15, 2021 – Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, released the following statement on President-elect Biden’s American Rescue Plan:
“The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities applauds President-elect Biden’s American Rescue Plan for including $35 billion in emergency rental and utility assistance and a significant extension of the eviction moratorium.
“The Biden-Harris proposal underscores the magnitude of the rental crisis facing the nation, and, when combined with the $25 billion in rental assistance from the December stimulus, finally begins to address the threat of housing instability that millions of low-income Americans are facing. To date, 11.4 million renters have accrued an average of $6,000 in back rent, totaling $70 billion in unpaid rent. President-elect Biden said last night that every day matters when keeping a roof over one’s head. The most effective model to deliver rental assistance immediately is the Housing Choice Voucher program. Its efficiency is proven, the infrastructure is in place, and it can rapidly expand to deliver the significant amount of relief proposed in the American Rescue Plan.
“CLPHA is committed to working with Congress and the Biden-Harris administration to ensure its swift passage so that Americans facing the threat of eviction don’t have to wait another day longer.”
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
The District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) and partners cut the ribbon on the Residences at Hayes Street, a 150-unit affordable housing community constructed with help from a $2 million DCHA loan. DCHA will also provide nearly $241,000 annually in rent subsidies to residents.
The Charlotte Housing Authority has opened The Oaks at Cherry, an 81-unit affordable housing community with resident amenities such a playground, cyber café, and fitness center in Charlotte’s historic Cherry neighborhood. You can watch a video about The Oaks at Cherry community here.
Of the complex’s 68 units, 34 are funded by Section 8 project-based vouchers, and 15 of those apartments are set aside for individuals with disabilities. The construction of Key’s Pointe Residences is part of HABC’s massive revitalization plan for Baltimore’s O’Donnell Heights neighborhood.
At the CLPHA Fall Meeting earlier this month, Bruce Katz, former Centennial Scholar at the Brookings Institution and founding Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program,discussed how housing authorities, cities, and other stakeholders can seize the opportunity of the new Opportunity Zone tax incentives. Below is additional information and resources for CLPHA members on Opportunity Zones, including a CLPHA analysis of public housing developments in Opportunity Zones for members and a policy prospectus from Katz on how to best leverage these new tax incentives.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 established the new tax incentive, which will
“Allow any taxpayer to defer paying tax on capital gains from the sale of property if those gains are timely invested in Qualified Opportunity Funds, which in turn must invest 90% of its assets in businesses located or property used in a low-income community. If investors invest for ten years, they also pay no capital gains tax on the appreciation on that investment.”
Following the establishment of the tax incentives, U.S. governors designated more than 8,700 “Opportunity Zones” in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico; many overlap with locations where CLPHA members have public housing communities. Opportunity Zone incentives are unique because they rely on individual investment decisions instead of government distributions, can be utilized for all manner of projects (residential, commercial, industrial, or infrastructure), are not contingent upon pre-specified outcomes or metrics for success, and there is no cap to the amount of benefits investors can receive.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has released a notice of proposed rulemaking and notice of a public hearing on Investing in Qualified Opportunity Zones. There are two provisions related to housing in the proposed rule: a working capital safe harbor for the acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of property for up to 31 months and also a provision stating that the basis attributable to land will not be taken into account when determining whether the building has been substantially improved. According to the rule, excluding the basis of land will help facilitate the repurposing of vacant buildings in Qualified Opportunity Zones.
CLPHA will be reviewing the proposed rule to understand how PHAs can take advantage of Opportunity Zones to further local housing goals. Comments on the notice are due December 28 and the public hearing will be held on January 10, 2019.
Resources for Members
CLPHA Analysis of Members in Opportunity Zones: Using the list of designated Qualified Opportunity Zones and HUD data on public housing buildings, CLPHA performed a comparison analysis to determine which public housing buildings are located in designated Opportunity Zones. We found that 57 CLPHA members had at least one public housing building in a qualified Opportunity Zone. In the attached spreadsheet, you can find a full list of properties, including census tract and geographic data, located in Opportunity Zones, as well as a quick-glance table that lists the housing authority and property development name. Click here to download CLPHA’s Analysis from our Dropbox.
Policy Brief – From Transactions to Transformation: How Cities Can Maximize Opportunities –Bruce Katz and Evan Weiss: This brief details a vision for the potential economic and social outcomes of the Opportunity Zone tax incentives and offers ten steps for cities to leverage local resources in order to take advantage of them. Download the brief from Drexel’s website.
Opportunity Fund Directory: The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) has released this new online resource that provides descriptions and contact information for publicly-announced Opportunity Funds. View the Directory on NCSHA’s website.
Opportunity Zone Explorer: Enterprise Community Partners has created this mapping tool to help those interested in opportunity zones determine which tracts in their regions have been designated and how they related to other federal programs. Use the Opportunity Zone Explorer on the Enterprise website.
The Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) and Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) were recognized for their work in addressing homelessness among community college students and other barriers to higher education in a recent article for Inside Higher Ed. THA’s College Housing Assistance Program began in 2014 in response to rising rents in Tacoma and Pierce Counties. High rates of homelessness among Tacoma Community College students created opportunities for partnership between the College and THA, which now serves 150 students — many of whom have children of their own — who are homeless and near homeless. With the help of a housing voucher and additional financial aid, students are able to continue pursuing their degrees.
CHA is taking a slightly different approach to a similar problem. In working with City Colleges of Chicago through a program known as Partners in Education, the housing authority covers tuition and other fees for residents. Over 600 CHA residents are currently enrolled in Chicago’s community colleges, and while many receive federal and state financial aid, additional assistance from the housing authority ensures continued enrollment. As Moving to Work (MTW) agencies, both THA and CHA are able to engage in postsecondary partnerships as a result of program flexibility.
THA and CHA will further discuss these partnerships with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, and Louisville Metro Housing Authority at a postsecondary convening co-sponsored by CLPHA, Housing Is, and Kresge next month. CLPHA looks forward to discussing how initiatives like these can be replicated and brought to scale across the country.
From SCCHA's press release:
The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee announced that Santa Clara County Housing Authority would receive a highly competitive Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) award for $25 million for an 89-unit senior housing development in San Jose called Alvarado Park. The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee approved 27 projects that will produce 1,388 housing units throughout the state.
"We are thrilled to move this housing community forward, Alvarado Park will provide seniors with quality affordable housing that allows them to age in place. These highly competitive resources awarded at the state level are critical in leveraging local partnerships including funding from Measure A. Together, we are working to address the affordable housing shortage in Santa Clara County," said Preston Prince, Executive Director at Santa Clara County Housing Authority.
From the Seattle Housing Authority's press release:
The Seattle Housing Authority has completed construction and leasing of Salish Landing, a new 82-unit housing community for people with low incomes. Salish Landing is located at 6955 Delridge Way SW in West Seattle, the site of SHA’s former Lam Bow Apartments, which were destroyed by fire in 2016. The new building adds 31 more units of affordable housing than were previously on the site.
The new community’s name, Salish Landing, honors the diversity of tribes and Indigenous people of the greater Puget Sound region and their connection to the sea, lakes and rivers that support life.
In the wake of the 2016 fire, SHA provided relocation housing options for residents. Former residents who were displaced by the fire and redevelopment have been invited to return as residents of the new Salish Landing if they wish.
The five-story apartment building features 1, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments that surround a large courtyard and playground. The lobby features a small library and gathering space. A separate community room provides space for larger groups, classes and activities.
The sustainable design includes large windows that allow for natural daylighting, spacious kitchens and full-size energy-efficient appliances, photovoltaic panels that provide renewable energy through a partnership with Seattle City Light, a large underground detention vault that captures storm water to protect nearby Longfellow Creek, enhanced ventilation systems with heat recovery to improve indoor air quality, unit finishes that reduce allergens for those with respiratory conditions, 10 units that are fully ADA-friendly and accessible, laundry rooms on each floor and in-unit laundry in 3-bedroom units, 80 parking spaces, secure bike storage, and resident storage units. The location is in close proximity to public transit, including Metro’s H Line Rapid Ride.
The North Delridge Neighborhood Council, Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, Delridge Neighborhood District Council and other community members provided input on the design and construction of Salish Landing.
Construction was made possible by Wells Fargo Bank, Seattle Office of Housing, Washington State Housing Finance Commission and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The general contractor was Walsh Construction and SMR was the architect. 309 jobs were created in the building of Salish Landing, including 19 Section 3 hires, resulting in a total of 123,000 labor hours across all trades.
From the San Antonio Report:
When Wi-Fi routers are installed and activated at Mission Park and Riverside Apartments, 24,276 residents who live in public housing projects will have free access to the internet, according to officials.
Opportunity Home San Antonio has developed about 100 affordable housing properties across the city. Of the properties it manages, most will have free Wi-Fi.
“The capability that all communities will soon have is going to change the lives of those we serve,” Jo Ana Alvardo, the agency’s director of innovative technology, stated in a news release. “Our residents will no longer have stress about how they can get connected digitally; they can access the internet on their device from any area in their apartment community.”
Read the San Antonio Report's article "Opportunity Home narrows digital divide in public housing."
From HACP's press release:
The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh’s (HACP) and the City of Pittsburgh are proud to announce that it has been approved to receive a $50 million Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Grant, provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The announcement sets the stage for the complete redevelopment and revitalization of the Bedford Dwellings housing community.
The approval of the CNI funding marks a significant step toward the transformation of Bedford Dwellings - the oldest occupied public housing community in Pennsylvania. Bedford Dwellings, situated in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, holds the distinction of being the oldest public housing site in the City of Pittsburgh, comprising 411 units. The community was one of seven New Deal Era public housing communities built in Pittsburgh between 1939 and 1944.
“We are extremely happy for the residents of Bedford Dwellings. They have been patient and engaged throughout the planning process and we’re at this point due to their persistent efforts. Additionally, there are a host of partner organizations that have dedicated significant resources toward preparing for this moment,” said Caster Binion, HACP Executive Director. “The time is now for Bedford Dwellings and the Greater Hill District community. This effort is going to produce generational change, serving as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization.”
HUD’s Choice Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) plays a vital role in community transformation by revitalizing distressed public and assisted housing while also igniting essential improvements. Their primary objective is to facilitate the creation of favorable conditions that attract public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods by concentrating on the core focal points of: Housing, Neighborhood and People.
This involves providing assets and amenities that residents desire, including spaces for youth activities after school, versatile indoor and outdoor areas for gatherings and special events, as well as the integration of small play and seating areas throughout the site. The overall aim is to enhance the overall quality of life for the residents and make these neighborhoods more vibrant and attractive places to live.
The HACP sought a FY2022 Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant from HUD. This grant will serve as crucial assistance for the initiation of the redevelopment and enhancement process for Bedford Dwellings. The entire investment for the transformation of Bedford Dwellings will amount to more than $400 million over the next seven years, and it is anticipated to be fully completed by the year 2030. Additionally, the project is anticipated to generate more than 200 new employment opportunities, with the bulk of the jobs expected to be filled by residents of the surrounding neighborhoods.
The CNI Grant requires one-for-one replacement of housing in order to avoid any potential displacement of existing residents. HACP’s plan for Bedford Dwellings, however, calls for a substantial increase in affordable units. In all, the total redevelopment initiative will produce over 800 units of new housing in the next seven years, consisting of: 411 replacement units (Project Based Voucher, affordable housing), 210 additional affordable housing units, and 202 market rate units for a grand total of 823 housing units.
Critical to HACP’s redevelopment plan is our new relocation strategy, known as “build first and move once.” Under this plan, residents will have several options, including choosing a replacement unit in the Choice Neighborhood, receiving a tenant protection voucher, relocating to another low income housing community, and, where applicable, exploring homeownership opportunities. To ensure residents are well-informed, HACP will conduct meetings and consultations with them, as well as issue notices to clarify their rights throughout the process.
Other critical community improvements encompass various aspects to uplift the neighborhood. Street level activation involves initiatives to make public spaces more accessible, vibrant and engaging, encouraging pedestrian activity. Homeownership assistance, including acquisition and rehabilitation, supports residents in becoming homeowners, thereby promoting stability and investment in the community. These measures combine to create a positive and thriving environment, fostering a sustainable and inclusive community for its residents.
Residents of the impacted area will be provided with robust, onsite supportive services as part of the “People” pillar of the CNI Program. This component of the Bedford Dwellings/ Hill District CNI Program will be led by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services with support from Macedonia Face, the Community Enrichment Center and the Neighborhood Resilience Project. This will ensure that residents are provided with supportive services for the duration of the initiative.
The transformation of Bedford Dwellings under the CNI grant involves a significant number of partnerships, each contributing to the success of the project. These key partners include:
- Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (HACP) - Lead Grantee
- City of Pittsburgh - Co-Grantee
- Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA)
- Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS)
- Allies & Ross Management and Development Corporation (ARMDC)
- Midpoint Group of Companies
- Trek Development Group
- Hill District Community Development Corporation
- Hill District Consensus Group
Birmingham, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Wilmington, DE Housing Authorities Will Use Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Awards of up to $50 Million Each to Transform Low-Income Neighborhoods and Improve Residents’ Lives
CLPHA is pleased to announce that yesterday four CLPHA members received FY22 HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation awards! CLPHA congratulates our members on their grants:
Housing Authority of Birmingham District: $50 million for HABD’s Smithfield Court and Birmingham’s Smithfield, College Hill, and Graymont neighborhoods
Atlanta Housing: $40 million for AH’s Bowen Homes and Atlanta’s Bowen neighborhood
Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh: $50 million for HACP’s Bedford Dwellings and Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood
Wilmington, DE Housing Authority: $50 million for WHA’s Riverside community and Wilmington’s Northeast neighborhood
HUD awarded a total of eight CNI grants totaling $370 million. A summary of each award is available here. Communities that received funding have completed the planning process and will use these Choice Neighborhoods funds to implement their plan. These eight new awards have leveraged an additional $3 billion in public and private commitments.
Congratulations to HABD, AH, HACP, and WHA on these prestigious awards! They join a long list of CLPHA members who have leveraged, or are currently leveraging, CNI funds to redevelop their public housing communities, transform the neighborhoods around them, and improve life outcomes for the low-income residents they serve.