Closing the Digital Divide Guide for Financial Institutions

Our friends at the National Housing Conference have informed us that the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has published a guide titled “Closing the Digital Divide A Framework for Meeting CRA Obligation.” The guide explains how financial institutions can meet Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) obligations by helping to close a community’s digital divide.

The full guide can be read here.

HUD Holds MTW Expansion Teleconferences

HUD held its first two MTW Research Advisory Committee meetings on Tuesday, June 26 and Thursday, June 28. As stipulated by the FY 2016 Omnibus, the MTW Research Advisory Committee is tasked to advise HUD on how to move forward with the MTW expansion, especially with respect to specific policies to test in the expansion. The committee discussed potential policy proposals for each of the three statutory MTW objectives: cost effectiveness, self-sufficiency, and housing choice. On Tuesday, the committee discussed potential housing choice policies to implement through the expansion, and on Thursday, the committee discussed cost effectiveness and self-sufficiency. Thirty minutes per call were allotted to public comment. NAHRO staff commented on both calls, and transcripts of those comments can be found here and here (members only).

The committee will reconvene in person in Washington, DC sometime in mid-to-late August or early September. NAHRO staff plan to attend the in-person meeting.

Additional background information on the MTW Expansion can be found here (members only). NAHRO’s MTW policy proposals and research evaluation recommendations can be found here (members only).

HUD Updates Notice on Prioritizing the Chronically Homeless in Permanent Supportive Housing

On July 25, 2016, HUD published Notice CPD-16-11 entitled, “Notice Prioritizing Persons Experiencing Chronic Homelessness and Other Vulnerable Homeless Persons in Permanent Supportive Housing.” This notice supersedes the previous Notice CPD-14-012, and provides guidance to Continuums of Care (CoC) and recipients of CoC Program funding for permanent supportive housing (PSH) regarding the order in which eligible households should be served in all CoC Program-funded PSH. This Notice reflects the new definition of chronically homeless as amended by the HUD Final Rule on Defining “Chronically Homeless” and updates the orders of priority that were established under the prior Notice.

CoCs that previously adopted the orders of priority established in Notice CPD-14-012 and who received points for having done so in the FY 2015 CoC Program Competition are encouraged to update their written standards to reflect the updates to the orders of priority as established in this updated Notice. CoCs that have not previously adopted the orders of priority established in Notice CPD- 14-012 are also encouraged to incorporate the orders of priority included in this Notice into their written standards.

Access Notice CPD-16-11 here.

Learn more about HUD’s Final Rule on Defining “Chronically Homeless” here (NAHRO login required).

Better Know a HUD Official

HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) has published a message from Richard Green, Senior Advisor on Housing Finance in Edge, their online magazine. He makes five points, but there are two that are particularly interesting (and are related to the Federal Government) and are reproduced below:

The federal government relies too much on obsolete technology.

. . . Within HUD, for example, the FHA program relies on systems that are driven by coding in COBOL, a mainframe (!) language developed in 1959 (!!). Because almost no one uses COBOL anymore, our university computer science departments don’t train students in its use. As COBOL programmers retire, it will become impossible to find people to maintain the system.

On a more personal level, I was stunned to learn that my HUD PC had a 32-bit operating system in a world where 64-bit system have been around for PCs for 13 years. As a practical matter, 32 bit systems are limited in the amount of data they can analyze, whereas 64 bit systems are nearly unlimited. Many doing HUD work rely on large data sets (for example the Public Use Microsamples of the Census and the American Community Survey). The current standard for operating systems makes it relatively easy to use these datasets; the old standard requires compromises.

Few people know who the third most powerful person is in the Federal Government.

My guess is that the name Shaun Donovan is not well known outside the Beltway. But pretty much nothing gets done without the approval of the director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Assuming the most powerful person in the Federal Government  is the President, and third most powerful person is OMB Director, then who’s the second most powerful person? The Speaker of the House? The Senate Majority Leader? The Vice-President?

Read the full message here.


MTW Expansion Committee Conference Call and Summary of Policies

As mentioned in a prior blog post, the Moving to Work (MTW) Expansion Committee Conference Call is occurring now [Edit: The call ended at 4 pm]. HUD has also posted a summary of the policy proposals it has received to be potentially studied in MTW cohorts. Here are the numbers to call in:

  • United States –  (800) 230-1766;
  • Outside the United States – (612) 288-0329; and
  • Persons with hearing impairments – (800) 977-8339 and providing the FRS operator with the conference call toll-free number: (800) 230-1766.

The call is until 4 pm today. The next call will be at the following time:

  • July 28, 2016 – Cost-Effectiveness and Incentives to Increase Self-Sufficiency for Families with Children (1 pm to 4 pm).

Read the summary of policy proposals here.

UPCS-V Update and Timeline

Earlier today, HUD REAC had a conference call with PHAs that volunteered to be a part of the UPCS-V Demonstration. In the conference call, HUD shared additional information on the Demonstration including a timeline moving forward. The Demonstration has 173 agencies from 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (31% of vouchers are represented in the Demonstration). HUD took NAHRO’s suggestion in its comment letter and has accepted small and very small agencies, but is still looking for additional agencies to apply.

If your agency is still interested in applying, please provide the following information to

  • Name of PHA;
  • PHA Address;
  • Name of Point of Contact (POC);
  • Phone Number of POC; and
  • Email Address of POC.

Here is the tentative timeline for the demonstration moving forward.


  • Prepare for PHAs starting August 1st;
  • Release the software;
  • Update the decision trees; and
  • Protocol Document release [should be in the next week or two].


  • OED to shadow HQS inspections [for first wave of 13 or 14 chosen PHAs; PHAs that are chosen for this wave should already be informed];
  • Start training PHAs on UPCS-V August 29th to September 31st;
  • PIH Listening Sessions for PHAs only, scheduled at various locations around the country; and
  • Public outreach presentation on UPCS-V.

September – December

  • Train PHAs [HUD will train PHA inspectors who will start performing inspections at this time];
  • Completion of online training tool;
  • PIH Listening Sessions; and
  • Other presentations on UPCS-V.

January – Summer 2017

  • Continue training PHAs.

Additional questions about the demonstration can be mailed to

As noted in the timeline, a revised version of the UPCS-V protocol will be published in the next week or two at the REAC OED website. The slides from today’s call will also be made available on the OED website.

NAHRO is following the Demonstration very closely and will continue to bring you the latest updates.


HUD Seeks Comments on CoC Formula, Proposes Formula Alternatives

On July 25, the “Continuum of Care Program: Solicitation of Comment on Continuum of Care Formula” notice will be published by HUD in the Federal Register. The purpose of the notice to solicit comments on the current Continuum of Care (CoC) formula and a number of updated CoC Preliminary Pro Rata Need (PPRN formula) options. Comments will be due 60 days after the notice is issued – September 23, 2106, based on the anticipated Federal Register date of July 25.

The current PPRN formula was published by HUD as the interim rule on July 31, 2012, and is a combination of Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program grant funds and Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) funds awarding formulas. This notice proposes four alternative formulas that use various factors and factor weights.

HUD has made available two tools to explore potential updates to the PPRN formula. The first tool is the CoC PPRN Proposed Formula Impacts by CoC resource where users can learn more about the CoC-level PPRN funding impact of implementing each of the four proposed formulas in the Notice, as compared to the FY 15 PPRN amounts by CoC. The second tool, CoC PPRN Alternate Formula Testing Tool, tests the impact of potential factors for an alternate CoC PPRN formula.

Additional information will be available on NAHRO’s Community Development Resource Center and on HUD’s notice website.

Housing as a Basic Patient Need

The importance of housing is starting to permeate other professions, including medicine, as this post in the The New York Times Health and Wellness blog illustrates. Here’s a great quote:

Research also shows that providing housing for low-income and homeless people can substantially reduce medical costs. A housing initiative in Oregon, for example, decreased Medicaid spending by 55 percent for the newly housed; a study of a similar program in Los Angeles found that every $1 spent on housing led to $6 saved on medical costs.

Read the entire post here.

HUD Revises Schedule for PHA Operating Subsidy Revisions

On July 20, HUD released an updated PIH Notice 2016-10 REV.1 “Public Housing Operating Subsidy Eligibility Calculations for Calendar Year 2016” that contains the 2016 Revision Schedule for the HUD-52723 (Opfund Subsidy) and HUD 52722 (UEL). The revised notice contains the revised schedule for the submission of PHA revisions. The time period for PHA submission of revisions has been extended for PHAs.

2016 Revisions Schedule:

Items: Finish lines:
PHA revisions due to FOs. 8/15/2016, COB Mon., Aug 15th
FOs due to FMD 8/29/2016, COB Mon., Aug. 29th
FMD publishes Final Eligibility Report 9/28/2016, COB Wed., Sept. 28th
Final Obligations before Nov. 1st 11/1/2016, COB Mon. Oct. 31

The revised PIH notice is available on the NAHRO Public Housing Resource Center (Login Required) and the HUD website.