On April 4, HUD will release two notices in the Federal Register related to Section 3. The first is a new proposed rule titled “Enhancing and Streamlining the Implementation of ‘Section 3’ Requirements for Creating Economic Opportunities for Low- and Very Low-Income Persons and Eligible Businesses,” which would update the regulations implementing Section 3. The second is titled “Section 3 Benchmarks for Creating Economic Opportunities for Low- and Very Low-Income Persons and Eligible Businesses,” that sets outcome benchmarks for meeting and following Section 3 requirements. HUD also hosted a call the morning of April 3 on the proposed rule. NAHRO was the only participant to ask questions about the proposed rule on the call, specifically about changes to the definition of a Section 3 business, and the impact of the proposed rule on small agencies.
According to HUD, “[t]he purpose of Section 3 is to ensure that employment, training, contracting, and other economic opportunities generated by certain HUD financial assistance are directed to low- and very low-income persons, particularly those who receive government assistance for housing, and for businesses to provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons.” The proposed rule applies to HUD’s Public Housing program and other programs that provide HUD housing and community development assistance.
Earlier today, HUD published a press release announcing a campaign “to help protect people from harassment by landlords, property managers, and maintenance workers in HUD-assisted housing.” The campaign–named “Call HUD: Because Sexual Harassment in Housing is Illegal”–will educate people on what activities constitute sexual harassment and who to contact if people experience it. The campaign will also offer sexual harassment training to PHAs and other housing providers.
HUD will introduce the “Call HUD” campaign at HUD headquarters on Thursday, April 4th from 2 pm to 4 pm at the Brooke-Mondale Auditorium.
Persons who believe they have experienced discrimination may file a complaint by contacting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at (800) 669-9777 or (800) 927-9275.
The complete press release may be found here.
Last week, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing sent an email detailing the communication and technical assistance efforts HUD was making to ensure that PHAs understood the range of options that were available to reposition their public housing assets. The following are bullet points quoted directly from the email:
- PIH staff have been making presentations at local and national industry meetings to help PHAs become more aware of their repositioning options.
- PHAs wanting to learn more about their repositioning may ask their local Field Office staff to walk them through the benefits of the various options—always with a focus on how best to address the local needs.
- PIH has set up Repositioning Assistance Panels. Field office staff can reserve time with program experts identified by the Office of Recapitalization, Special Applications Center (SAC), Urban Revitalization Division, and Office of Housing Voucher Programs. These experts can discuss the various repositioning options with a PHA, enabling an informed decision about what strategy would best meet local needs. You can set up a time with a Panel through your local Field Office.
- We have also trained Repositioning Expeditors in most Field Offices. These Expeditors are available to help PHAs with their RAD, voluntary conversion, and demo/dispo applications.
- Understanding that these repositioning options are complex, particularly for small PHAs, the Department is working to provide the following starting late spring:
- Develop training materials, sample documents and other tools that help PHAs consider repositioning strategies and understand available options;
- Provide local training sessions to present available repositioning tools and considerations to address local affordable housing needs;
- Develop an online training platform and training materials to help PHAs and their boards understand repositioning options and HUD requirements; and
- Provide direct technical assistance to small PHAs (operating 250 or less assisted units) in how to start and sustain affordable housing strategies.
NAHRO reminds our members that repositioning is a voluntary process. The Department is providing a range of options, none of which are mandatory. Interested agencies should take actions–or not–based on the needs of their local communities and the households the agencies serve.