NAHRO’s Call for Session Proposals for the 2017 Summer Conference is Now Open.

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NAHRO’s Call for Session Proposals for the 2017 Summer Conference is now open.

Share your experience as a housing and community development professional by submitting a session proposal for consideration as a presentation at the 2017 NAHRO Summer Conference in Indianapolis, IN. We are looking for sessions on current and emerging issues, best practices, and strategies to handle challenges facing the industry.

Session proposals should fall under one of the following identified topic tracks – Public Housing, Section 8/HCV, H/CD Finance, Community Development, Commissioners, Organizational Management and International.

Deadline to submit: March 15 and proposals must be submitted thru NAHRO’s on-line submission tool.

Submissions should be complete with a clear and concise session title, description, three learning objectives and identified panelists.

New Executive Order Mandates Two Regulations Be Identified For Repeal For Every New Regulation Promulgated

On January 30, days after publishing its regulatory freeze memorandum, the new administration published an executive order titled “REDUCING REGULATION AND CONTROLLING REGULATORY COSTS.” The order mandates that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination.”

For FY 2017, the order directs agencies and executive departments to identify two existing regulations to be repealed for every new regulation to be issued. Additionally, a regulatory cap is established, which directs agencies to establish a limit such that the total incremental cost of all new regulations and repealed regulations finalized in FY 2017 does not exceed zero, unless required by law or consistent with the advice of the Director of Office of Management and Budget. Any new incremental costs associated with new regulations must be offset by the elimination of  existing costs associated with two prior regulations. The Director will provide guidance to the agencies to implement this order.

For FY 2018 and future fiscal years, agency heads will identify two offsetting regulations for each regulation that increases incremental costs and provide the agency’s best approximation of costs or savings with each new regulation or repealed regulation. Each regulation approved by the Director will be included in the Unified Regulatory Agenda and will not be issued by an agency, if it is not included, unless required by law. During the presidential budget process, the Director will identify the total amount of incremental costs that will be allowed for each agency. No regulations exceeding the agency’s total incremental costs for the fiscal year will be permitted, unless required by law or approved by the Director. The Director will provide the heads of the agencies with guidance to implement this order.

It is unclear how this order will affect the regulatory process at HUD. NAHRO awaits further published guidance.

The full executive order can be found here.

Additional analysis on how the order impacts the federal bureaucracy as a whole can be found here and here.

 

CBPP Updates Blog Post on The Need for HCV Funding

On January 25, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (the Center) updated a blog post titled “Substantial Funding Boost Needed to Renew Housing Vouchers in 2017.” In its blog post, the Center discusses the need for additional funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program Housing Assistance Payments (HAP). NAHRO agrees with the Center that Congress must pass a budget that fully funds the Housing Choice Voucher program for FY 2017, instead of extending the current continuing resolution, set to expire in April, for a full year.

Two key points from the blog post are the following:

  1. A full-year continuing resolution could cause over 100,000 families to lose their vouchers.
  2. Funding of $18.86 billion should cover the cost of renewing all vouchers in 2017. According to the Center, this would “still be less than renewal funding in 2010, after adjusting for rent and utilities inflation.”

The full blog post can be found here.

Tomorrow: NAHRO e-Briefing – This Just In From Washington

pd-logo-2016Tomorrow NAHRO will present This Just in from Washington. It’s a new era in Washington; a new Congress and a new Administration will have major impacts on housing and community development programs. Join NAHRO’s Congressional Relations team for an interactive session that will help you navigate the new Congress and its relationship with the new Administration.  John Bohm and Tess Hembree will give you an update on FY2017 appropriations, preview FY2018, outline potential legislative action on HCD programs, and discuss ways in which you can be the most effective advocate in this rapidly changing political climate.

Registration information for this e-Briefing is available through the NAHRO Professional Development calendar.

NAHRO Releases Regulatory and Legislative Year in Review – 2016

In 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was very busy setting forth new rules and regulations and providing updated notices and guidances on many of the HUD administered affordable housing programs. The year has also been marked by many legislative victories and a few challenges.

img_0015NAHRO has drafted and compiled this Regulatory and Legislative Year in Review – 2016 to provide a primer of the topics on the forefront of the affordable housing industry. It can also provide you, your public housing agencies (PHAs) and local redevelopment agencies (LRAs) and your stakeholders with current information on many of the programs used and administered by HUD and the affordable housing community.

The full Regulatory and Legislative Year in Review – 2016, along with the individual topic one-pagers, is available on the NAHRO website. For the most up-to-date versions and information visit the NAHRO website and the NAHRO blog.

NAHRO Policy and Congressional teams are also conducting two e-Briefings through NAHRO Professional Development. The first is This Just in from Washington on January 31, 2017, where NAHRO’s Congressional team will give you an update on FY2017 appropriations, preview FY2018, outline potential legislative action on HCD programs, and discuss ways in which you can be the most effective advocate in this rapidly changing political climate. The second is part of the Housing Rules! Series, Moving Forward: A Review of 2016 Regulation and Legislation on February 7, 2017, where NAHRO’s Policy team will discuss many areas that HUD and Congress addressed during 2016 and NAHRO reviewed in detail in NAHRO’s Regulatory and Legislative Year in Review – 2016, which will provide a solid regulatory and legislative foundation as we work with the new Administration and new Congress to keep our affordable housing agenda moving forward. Registration information for both of these e-Briefings is available through the NAHRO Professional Development calendar.

HUD Publishes Coordinated Entry Requirements for Homeless Assistance Programs

Yesterday, HUD published long-awaited guidance (Notice CPD-17-01) establishing the additional requirements for the development and implementation of a “centralized or coordinated assessment system” (i.e., “coordinated entry” or “coordinated entry process”) for recipients and subrecipients of the Continuum of Care (CoC) and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) programs.

The coordinated entry processes are intended to help communities prioritize people who are most in need of homeless assistance and help grantees and stakeholders strategically allocate their resources by providing information about local service needs and gaps. Each CoC must establish or update its coordinated entry process in accordance with the 2012 CoC interim final rule and this notice by January 23, 2018.

Once the coordinated entry process is established, updated and/or operationalized by CoC program recipients and subrecipients, HUD will expect the coordinated entry process to be used for all ESG programs and projects within the CoC’s geographic area. However, HUD does not require victim service providers under ESG to use the CoC’s coordinated entry process.

Additional analysis of this HUD guidance will be provided to members in a forthcoming edition of the NAHRO Monitor.

Regulatory Freeze Memo Issued

On January 20, the Trump Administration issued a “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” memo that applies to all Federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This memo is similar to memos issued by previous administrations as they come into office, and NAHRO had expected this regulatory freeze.

Generally, the regulatory freeze requires agencies to withdraw any regulations that have not yet been published in the Federal Register and to extend the effective date by 60 days of any regulations that have not become effective as of January 20, 2017. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) can issue exceptions to the regulatory freeze in emergency situations and to address urgent health, safety, financial, or national security issues.

The regulatory review not only applies to regulations but also any “guidance document.” A “guidance document” is any substantive action or an agency statement that states a policy on a statutory, regulatory, or technical issue that is normally published in the Federal Register.

NAHRO will continue to monitor the effects of the regulatory freeze and has reached out to HUD staff on how this regulatory freeze will affect specific regulations. As more information becomes, available NAHRO will share it with our members through The NAHRO Blog and the Monitor.

For any specific questions or concerns, please contact Georgi Banna, NAHRO’s Director of Policy and Program Development, at gbanna@nahro.org. As always for the most up-to-date information of the affordable housing and community development regulations and legislation, follow The NAHRO Blog and check the NAHRO website.

Court Rules in Favor of Plaintiffs in Operating Reserves Litigation

PHADA and NAHRO are pleased to announce that on January 18th the U.S. Court of Federal Claims found in favor of nearly 350 public housing authorities that brought a lawsuit against the federal government challenging HUD’s reduction of their FY 2012 operating fund subsidies based on the amount of Plaintiffs’ so-called “excess” operating reserves. The President’s FY 2012 budget proposal included an Operating Fund request of just $3,961,850 which was $1 billion short of the amount needed to pay the aggregate estimated operating subsidy eligibility amount. HUD devised an “allocation adjustment” based on the level of savings agencies had accumulated in their operating fund reserves. As proposed, this allocation adjustment would have offset the aggregate amount of operating fund subsidies to which PHAs were entitled in 2012 by the amount of the PHAs’ “excess” operating reserves up to $1 billion. At the Department’s behest, Congress approved the plan, changing the aggregate amount of reserves that could be used as an offset to $750 million.

With PHADA and NAHRO as the lead Plaintiffs, a lawsuit was filed on January 3, 2013. Collaborating with PHADA and NAHRO, Coan & Lyons, a Washington, DC law firm, prepared the case based on the claim that HUD’s offset breached the Annual Contributions Contract (ACC of the PHA Plaintiffs in 2012 when “rather than reducing their subsidy payments by a uniform percentage (pro-rata basis), it first offset each PHA’s payment by a figure that varied from one PHA to another – the amount of its excess operating reserves.”

Judge Elaine D. Kaplan stated in her decision that HUD “breached its [contractual] obligations under the ACCs when it applied the [excess] operating [reserves] offset in response to the 2012 Appropriations Act, rather than the pro rata reduction prescribed by” HUD’s regulations. As noted by Judge Kaplan, the plaintiffs requested compensatory damages of almost $136 million.

With PHADA and NAHRO as the lead Plaintiffs, a lawsuit was filed on January 3, 2013. Collaborating with PHADA and NAHRO, Coan & Lyons, a Washington, DC law firm, prepared the case based on the claim that HUD’s offset breached the Annual Contributions Contract (ACC of the PHA Plaintiffs in 2012 when “rather than reducing their subsidy payments by a uniform percentage (pro-rata basis), it first offset each PHA’s payment by a figure that varied from one PHA to another – the amount of its excess operating reserves.”

Judge Elaine D. Kaplan stated in her decision that HUD “breached its [contractual] obligations under the ACCs when it applied the [excess] operating [reserves] offset in response to the 2012 Appropriations Act, rather than the pro rata reduction prescribed by” HUD’s regulations. As noted by Judge Kaplan, the plaintiffs requested compensatory damages of almost $136 million.

The Court has ordered the attorneys to file a status report by February 17, suggesting how the Court should proceed. Carl Coan, III, Plaintiffs’ lead attorney, believes that the next logical step will be to calculate the exact damages to which the Plaintiffs are entitled and submit them to the Court for approval. Assuming the parties can agree on the amount of damages, the Court will enter a final judgment and order awarding Plaintiffs their damages.

Tim Kaiser, PHADA Executive Director said, “We appreciate the Court’s decision. We tried to dissuade HUD from implementing this unfair and damaging plan as soon as we heard about it. HUD decided to go ahead and it left us with no alternative but to organize a legal action to enforce the existing contract between HUD and its many PHA partners.”

John Bohm, Acting Chief Executive Officer of NAHRO stated “NAHRO applauds the Court’s ruling on this matter. This responsible decision addresses the critical concerns raised by housing authorities across the country, and we hope that it will serve as a benchmark for future decision-making on these matters.”

The Court’s ruling may be accessed here.

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For any specific questions or concerns, please contact Georgi Banna, NAHRO’s Director of Policy and Program Development, at gbanna@nahro.org. As always for the most up-to-date information of the affordable housing and community development regulations and legislation, follow The NAHRO Blog and check the NAHRO website.

PIH Notice on VAWA Self-Petitioner Verification Procedures

Today, HUD’s Office of Pubic and Indian Housing (PIH) published a notice (PIH 2017-02 (HA)) titled, “Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petitioner Verification Procedures.” This notice explains the procedures that public housing agencies (PHAs) must follow when an applicant or resident/tenant requests admission or continued residency as a result of being a VAWA self-petitioner, defined as those who claim to be victims of “battery or extreme cruelty” (i.e., domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking). This notice applies to HUD’s public housing, housing choice voucher assistance (including project-based vouchers), and Section 8 Mod Rehab programs.