HUD Releases Reentry Toolkit

On June 30, HUD, in collaboration with the Federal Interagency Reentry Council, released the “It Starts with Housing: Public Housing Agencies are Making Second Chances Real,” toolkit. The toolkit highlights  innovative models that PHAs can use to improve housing opportunities for individuals that have been involved with the criminal justice system. The goal of the toolkit is to help PHAs improve housing opportunities, promote family reunification, and reduce recidivism. The toolkit discusses how to build a successful reentry program, determine who should be served,  outreach to potential participants,  service provision, and  collaborations to achieve the policy changes necessary to serve this population.

HUD has been actively promoting increased housing opportunities for individuals with criminal backgrounds. This includes recent HUD guidance prohibiting the use of arrest records  as the basis for denying admission, terminating assistance, or evicting tenants, and recent HUD OGC guidance on the use of criminal records to determine housing eligibility. Past NAHRO coverage on the arrest records guidance can be found here and past NAHRO coverage on the OGC guidance can be found here (members only). NAHRO’s letter to HUD regarding the use of arrest records can be found here (members only).

HUD Awards $5 Million in Extraordinary Administrative Fees for HUD-VASH Program

Today, HUD published a list of forty-two PHAs that received a combined total of $5 million in extraordinary administrative fees for their HUD-VASH programs. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Lourdes Castro-Ramirez for Public and Indian Housing stated that “[t]hese housing authorities are going above and beyond in the movement to end veteran homelessness.”

The funds were awarded to agencies that are taking aggressive efforts in housing veterans. Activities that these agencies are performing and will continue to perform with these funds include marketing campaigns to recruit landlords; hiring temporary staff to provide housing search assistance; expediting document processing; inspecting units; issuing vouchers; and executing leases.

Read HUD’s full press release here.