NAHRO Releases 2017 Legislative and Regulatory Agenda

2017 Leg Agenda CoverAs the 2017 Washington Conference begins this week, we are proud to present NAHRO’s 2017 Legislative and Regulatory Agenda.

This year’s agenda builds on our previous Transition 2017, Legislative and Regulatory Year in Review – 2016 documents. It also serves as an extension of our outreach to the new Congress, which introduces NAHRO and its positions. The 2017 Legislative and Regulatory Agenda provides specific priorities and positions that will guide the NAHRO legislative and regulatory roadmap for the coming year.

This agenda is not intended to catalogue all the efforts and policies that NAHRO will actively pursue in 2017. There are many issues — including ones that may rise in priority as federal policymakers act over the course of the year — that will feature prominently in NAHRO’s efforts on behalf of its members and the communities they serve.

Our most vulnerable citizens find a safe harbor and a place to call home in the work of public housing authorities and community development agencies. NAHRO members will continue to meet the challenge of building stronger communities and ensuring that all Americans have a stable, affordable place to call home in which they can live, grow and thrive.

Please read, review, and share NAHRO’s 2017 Legislative and Regulatory Agenda, and feel free to use it to develop and coordinate your agency, local, county, state and regional legislative and regulatory advocacy plans for 2017.

New and updated legislative and regulatory information is available on the Congressional Relations and Policy & Program Development webpages on the NAHRO website and on the NAHRO Blog.

President Releases Budget Blueprint

Today, President Trump released his Budget Blueprint, which provides the first portion of his FY 2018 budget request to Congress. The blueprint released this morning contains devastating cuts to vital HUD rental assistance and community development programs. The President’s budget would provide only $40.7 billion for HUD, which is $6.2 billion or a 13.2 percent decrease from the FY 2017 annualized Continuing Resolution (CR) level. The President justifies these cuts by seeing a greater role for states, local governments and the private sector in addressing community and economic development needs.

Of particular note, the Budget Blueprint only focuses on top level funding and offers very few details on specific program funding levels. Additional information on other program specific funding will we understand be available once the President releases his full budget request in May.

The Budget Blueprint:

  • Provides over $35 billion for HUD’s rental assistance programs.
  • Eliminates funding ($3 billion) for the Community Development Block Grant program.
  • Eliminates funding ($1.1 billion) for HOME Investment Partnerships, Choice Neighborhoods, and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program.
  • Provides $130 million to promote healthy and lead-safe homes.
  • Eliminates funding ($35 million) for Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing.
  • Eliminates funding for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks America) and the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH.)

NAHRO is deeply concerned about and will speak against the proposed zeroing out of the HOME, CDBG, and Choice Neighborhoods programs. All have played an important role in ensuring decent, safe, and affordable housing in safe, vibrant communities. We will also speak out against the defunding of the Interagency Council on Homelessness and NeighborWorks America. Alternatively, we are encouraged that $130 million is included in the Blueprint to promote healthy and lead-safe homes. This is a responsible first step. We support Secretary Carson’s interest and his focus on the health and safety of residents assisted under HUD programs and we will in particular continue to speak about the importance of addressing the backlog of deferred maintenance created by reductions to both the Public Housing Capital and Operating accounts over many years.

While the President’s budget proposal marks an important step that sets the tone for the budget and appropriations process, it is primarily a political document that does not carry the force of law. Congress controls the nation’s purse strings and can choose to adopt or ignore the proposal.

For FY 2018, Congress will release funding allocations for all 12 appropriations bills, known as a 302(b) table. NAHRO urges members to educate and inform decision makers on the critically important need nationwide for HCD funding and the need to approve the highest possible 302(b) allocation for the FY 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) spending bill. You can make your feelings known by sending a letter of support by signing onto a national letter to appropriators today.

But before Congress can take up FY 2018 appropriation, it must first complete FY 2017 funding. The current CR is set to expire on April 28, 2017 and Congress must either extend the CR or preferably complete a FY 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill by that date.

HUD Issues Notice on Temporary Census Income

On March 7, HUD issued a Notice PIH 2017-5, “Income exclusion under temporary Census employment and Census access.” The notice emphasizes the importance of accurate census data to the HUD programs and discusses how PHAs and other certain HUD grantees must handle a family’s temporary census income along with providing census workers access to buildings.

HUD regulations require temporary, sporadic, nonrecurring income not to be included in the family income calculation. The notice states, “Under this exclusion, PHAs exclude temporary income payments from the U.S. Census Bureau, defined as employment lasting no longer than 180 days per year and not culminating in permanent employment.” This provision applies to all PHAs and HUD grantees that calculate family income under 24 CFR 5.609.

This notice also reminds building managers to provide census workers access to properties. Specific mention of providing census workers access to properties with federally assisted tenants is also made in the notice.

2017 Grade-Level Reading Week in Denver, CO

As part of NAHRO’s partnership with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (GLR), we encourage NAHRO members to learn about and engage with GLR on opportunities to improve the educational outcomes of the children living in your affordable housing programs. Below is information on the 2017 Grade-Level Reading Week being held in Denver, Colo. This is an excellent chance to interact with local communities and leaders on educational opportunities.

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is coming home to Denver in June 2017. In many respects, Denver, Colo., is the birthplace of the GLR Campaign. In June 2012, 14 communities were recognized with the coveted title of All-America City for their focus on grade-level reading. And 124 communities signed on as Charter Members of the GLR Community Network.

Since then, The GLR Network has grown to include over 300 communities in 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These local campaigns are supported by 2,300 local organizations and 250+ state and local funders, including 130 United Ways.

From June 13-14, local, state, and national funders that support early literacy will gather for the 2017 Funder Huddle. Attendees will have an opportunity to meet other funders in the grade-level reading community, share challenges and successes, learn from and with each other, and collectively drive toward bigger, stronger and better results.

From June 14-16, hundreds of civic and community leaders, public officials and educators from across the country will come together for the 2017 All-America City Awards, America’s oldest and most prestigious community recognition. Each year, the All-America City Awards are given to communities that exemplify outstanding civic accomplishments. This year, the National Civic League and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading will recognize communities that have made measurable progress for low-income children on the key drivers of early reading success. REGISTER today!

HUD Offers Grants to Clean Up Lead-Based Paint Hazards – HUD Press Release

HUD Press Release (February 8, 2017):

HUD OFFERS GRANTS TO CLEAN UP LEAD-BASED PAINT HAZARDS
Funding to protect children from lead poisoning

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced that it is making grants available to help eliminate dangerous lead-based paint hazards from lower income homes in order to protect young children. Additionally, this funding will provide an opportunity for local communities to establish and support programs to control other housing-related health and safety hazards.

Unsafe and unhealthy homes affect the health of millions of people of all income levels, geographic areas, and walks of life in the U.S. These homes affect the economy directly, through increased utilization of health care services, and indirectly, through lost wages and increased school days missed. The housing improvements communities will make will help prevent injuries and illnesses, reduce associated health care and social services costs, reduce absentee rates for children in school and adults at work, and reduce stress, all which help to improve the quality of life.

HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes promotes local efforts to eliminate dangerous lead paint hazards and other housing-related health hazards from lower income homes, stimulate private sector investment in lead hazard control, support cutting-edge research on methods for assessing and controlling housing-related health and safety hazards, and educate the public about the dangers of hazards in the home.

The grants to States, local governments and the private sector are being offered through HUD’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program, and Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Program. In these grant programs, HUD is providing additional funding (healthy homes supplemental funds) to identify and remediate, in homes where lead-based paint hazards are being controlled, other housing-related health hazards.

HUD expects to make approximately 32 awards under these programs. This estimate assumes funding at the same level as Fiscal Year 2016. The actual number of awards made under this funding notice will depend on the amount of Congress appropriates in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, the number of eligible applicants, and other factors.

HUD requires prospective grantees to submit their applications electronically at www.grants.gov. Any changes to HUD-published funding notices will be made available to the public through a Federal Register publication and published on this government-wide portal. Applicants are urged to sign up for Grants.gov’s notification service to receive periodic updates or changes to these grant offerings.

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Upcoming NAHRO e-Briefing on HUD Year in Review

 

On February 7, 2017, img_0015NAHRO will present, Moving Forward: A Review of 2016 Regulation and
Legislation
, part of NAHRO’s Housing Rules!! series.

The NAHRO 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 this e-Briefing and other professional development offerings is available through the NAHRO Professional Development calendar.

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.