Information for Volunteering PHA Properties for UPCS Inspector Field Training

During one of the panels at NAHRO’s 2017 Washington Conference, a panelist mentioned a program where PHAs could volunteer their properties to participate in a program to train UPCS Phase II inspector candidates. In return for volunteering properties, the PHA would receive a free “Pre-REAC” non-scored inspection.

NAHRO staff agreed to post information on how PHAs could volunteer for the program. To volunteer, PHAs are required to complete a spreadsheet and submit it to After gathering information on each property from owners, REAC will create a database of all properties to be used for the inspector candidate training process.

Finally, additional questions to REAC on any of the initiatives they are working on (e.g., UPCS-V, PIC-NG, PHAS, or SEMAP) can be emailed to

A more detailed description of the program can be found here.

The spreadsheet to be filled out with information on particular properties can be found here.

Revised FY 2017 FMRs Posted

On March 30, HUD published a notice titled “Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2017; Revised.” The notice revises the Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for Portland, ME and Vallejo-Fairfield, CA. Additionally, the notice also responds to comments that were submitted by NAHRO and other interested stakeholders on how FMRs are calculated and what constitutes a “material change” in FMR estimation. While summarizing all the stakeholder comments and HUD’s responses is outside the scope of this blog post, listed below is one comment NAHRO articulated in its comment letter and HUD’s response.

The original notice publishing FY 2017 FMRs noted that The Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) required that HUD seek comment on “any proposed ‘material changes’ in methodology.” HUD sought comment on what should be considered “material changes.”

In its comment letter, NAHRO wrote the following:

HUD should take an expansive view of what constitutes a “material change” in FMR estimation methods . . . NAHRO’s rationale behind this recommendation stems from NAHRO’s belief in open, transparent government that clearly explains its reasoning behind changes and allows feedback, which NAHRO believes is in the best interest of program participants and all other interested stakeholders. (Page 3 and 4.)

HUD responded by writing:

HUD appreciates this comment and HUD is taking an expansive view on what constitutes a “material change” and intends to provide an opportunity for public comment on all FMR methodological changes in forthcoming proposed notices of material changes in FMR calculations.

This is welcome news because it ensures that HUD will not change the methodology for calculating FMRs without allowing NAHRO and other interested stakeholders to offer input.

The rest of HUD’s responses to NAHRO’s comments and the comments of other stakeholder can be found in the notice (along with the revised FMRs) here.

Senators Reed and Collins Introduce Bill to Strengthen the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness

On March 28, Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced bipartisan legislation (S.743)  to strengthen the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (the Council). Created by Congress in 1987, the Council is the only federal level agency specifically tasked with coordinating the federal response to homelessness. Since its creation, the body has grown to include 19 Cabinet secretaries and agency heads.

Unfortunately, the Council was last authorized by Public Law 113-325 and sunsets at the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. The Council would have to close its doors on October 1, 2017 and the Reed-Collins bill would eliminate the sunset date so that this agency can continue to build on its success in helping to prevent and end homelessness across the nation.

“The Council works with government, public housing agencies, homeless service providers, and local partners to better align their resources, efforts, goals, and measures of success. The progress we are making is encouraging, but it is not irreversible and now is not the time to end this effective, evidenced-based program that has helped leverage federal investments and measurably reduced homelessness in America,” said Senator Reed. “In our current budgetary environment…[t]he Council is proof that the government can work and save money in the process”

“As the Chairman of the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee, I will continue working to ensure that homeless programs have the data and the resources to reduce and prevent homelessness,” said Senator Collins.

In 2010 the Council unveiled Opening Doors, a federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, through set goals, best practices, and policy priorities. Since then, HUD has reported a 14 percent decrease in overall homelessness in the nation, including a 47 percent decline in veterans’ homelessness.

NAHRO believes that the Council has been instrumental in bringing down homelessness rates and joins a strong and diverse coalition of non-profit and housing organizations in support of the Reed-Collins bill.