NAHRO Comments on DHS Public Charge Proposed Rule

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials opposes the proposed rule due to its negative impact on immigrant families and the additional negative consequence of inefficient use of limited social service funds. NAHRO requested that the proposed rule be withdrawn as written and the current public charge guidance remain in effect.

On December 10, NAHRO submitted comments on the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed rule titled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.”

The proposed rule makes significant changes and additions to the current public charge guidance. The proposed new definition of “public charge” is “that a person should be considered a public charge based on the receipt of financial support from the general public through government funding (i.e., public benefits).”In order to use this definition of “public charge,” “public benefit” must be defined and the proposed rule provides a definition that vastly and inappropriately expands the programs that are to be considered. The proposed rule defines public benefit as a list of cash aid and noncash medical care, housing, and food benefit programs. The list of benefits includes the current cash assistance and institutionalization benefit and further expands the benefits to include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps), the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV), Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), Medicaid, and Public Housing.

NAHRO made two primary arguments in opposition to the proposed rule – very few noncitizens use housing benefits and the proposed rule causes unnecessary confusion while an inefficient use of resources.

DHS acknowledges in the proposed regulation that noncitizen participation in the Public Housing, Housing Choice Voucher, and Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance programs is “relatively low.” Congress, via statute, and HUD, via regulation, have already protected federal dollars from being used on non-eligible noncitizens and there is no fiscally responsible reason for DHS to further step into this arena.

The proposed rule, despite having few benefits for its expected cost, has caused considerable confusion and angst among current and potential residents of HUD’s housing programs. Current residents have left housing programs because of a fear of being separated from their family because of the proposed rule. Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) around the country are attempting to combat the confusion of this public charge proposed rule. Many PHAs are reaching out to their current residents and local communities to explain the proposed rule and how it applies to the HUD housing programs. The resources needed to explain the public charge proposed rule and any future final rule would be much better spent on providing housing and resident services to U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens.

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials opposes the proposed rule due to its negative impact on immigrant families and the additional negative consequence of inefficient use of limited social service funds. NAHRO requested that the proposed rule be withdrawn as written and the current public charge guidance remain in effect.

NARHO’s full comments can be viewed here.

FY 2018 FSS Funding NOFA Released

On October 31, 2018, HUD released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). Congress appropriated $75 million for the FY 2018 FSS program. This NOFA is specifically provides renewal funding for FSS programs that were funding under FY 2015, FY 2016, and/or FY 2017 FSS grants. The application deadline is November 30, 2018.

The FSS provisions (Section 306) of  The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (S. 2155 that became Public Law No: 115-174) are not in effect for this NOFA as HUD must issue the implementing regulations within 365 of the bill passage (May 24, 2018) and the implementing regulations have not, at the time of this blog post, been issued.

The FY 2018 NOFA application can be found on Grants.gov and additional information on this NOFA can be found on the HUD website.

New ACC Update – New ACC Rescinded

NAHRO is happy to announce it has received information from HUD that HUD will be rescinding the Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) (Form HUD-53012, OMB Approval No. 2577-0075) that took effect in May of this year. Agencies that have executed this new ACC will revert back to their prior ACC. Agencies will receive a communication from HUD in the coming days that will document the rescission of the new ACC.

It is anticipated that HUD may revisit a new ACC in the future and allow for additional input from the affordable housing stakeholders.

NAHRO thanks all of the agencies that have shared their thoughts and concerns about the new ACC with us. Additionally agencies, the industry groups (NAHRO, PHADA, and CLPHA) along with industry attorneys worked in unison to advocate for the importance and fairness of the agency/HUD relationship. NAHRO will continue to follow the ACC issue and will provide updates as additional information becomes available.

Fair Housing Webinar – Tuesday, 9/11/2018

Housing Rules e-Briefing Series

 Fair Housing Discussion –

An AFFH Update & Commenting to HUD

September 11, 2018

1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET


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There have been a lot of new developments surrounding Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) in recent weeks. Join the NAHRO Policy Team as they discuss the lawsuit against HUD concerning the AFFH Tools and HUD’s decision to reopen the AFFH rule. HUD is also seeking input from the public and stakeholders on what the new, updated AFFH rules should contain and address. NAHRO encourages all members to share their first-hand knowledge and experience in affirmatively furthering fair housing. The NAHRO Policy Team will also provide an overview of how to prepare an effective and persuasive comment letter to HUD.

$95 Members / $195 Nonmembers

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e-Briefings are different from our online courses in that not every person watching must be registered.

We require only one registration per device.

Registration closes at 11:59pm eastern time Monday, September 10, 2018.

Today!! – Complimentary Smoke-Free Public Housing Webinar

ANSR2Today, July 19 at 12:30pm Eastern Time join the Clean Air for All team for a complimentary, live discussion and Q&A on the “Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing” final rule. Participants will hear a brief update on the rule and be able to submit questions to Live Smoke Free, NAHRO, and NAR-SAAH staff. Have any and all your remaining questions on final implementation of the rule answered before the July 30 compliance date. Join us to help your agency transition to and maintain successful smoke-free public housing environments. Register for this complimentary session at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/884748810457188355.

To learn more about the Clean Air for All: The Smoke-Free Public Housing Project or to seek support for a PHA, contact gbanna@nahro.org or goto www.smokefreepublichousingproject.org.

FY 2018 Housing Trust Fund Allocations Announced

On June 5, HUD will allocate more than $266 million in FY 2018 formula funds to eligible grantees of the National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) program. The HTF is a non-appropriated federal resource that complements existing Federal, State and local efforts to preserve and expand the nation’s supply of affordable homes for very low-income (VLI) and extremely low-income (ELI) households, as well as families experiencing homelessness. Authorized in 2008, lawmakers sought to establish a permanent source of affordable housing funding through annual contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSEs). Eight years later, the HTF was finally capitalized through its inaugural FY 2016 allocations. HTF grantees include the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. Insular Areas. Grantees may distribute funds through subgrantees (a unit of general local government or State agency) or directly fund projects proposed by eligible recipients (including PHAs), or a combination of both.

 FY 2018 Housing Trust Fund Allocations

State / Territory

FY18 Allocation % Change (FY17 to FY18)

California

$36,616,277

58%

New York

$22,171,681

50%

Texas

$12,279,085

39%

Florida

$10,442,914

36%

Illinois

$9,812,230

37%

Pennsylvania

$7,759,948

32%

New Jersey

$7,726,903

38%

Ohio

$6,971,712

27%

Michigan

$6,004,558

24%

Massachusetts

$5,720,333

24%

North Carolina

$5,874,191

32%

Georgia

$5,705,499

29%

Washington

$5,197,313

26%

Virginia

$4,672,562

22%

Wisconsin

$4,117,505

18%

Indiana

$3,937,462

17%

Missouri

$3,970,270

18%

Arizona

$3,997,777

21%

Tennessee

$3,688,511

17%

Colorado

$3,563,587

13%

Oregon

$3,654,189

16%

Minnesota

$3,445,781

10%

Maryland

$3,578,771

17%

Connecticut

$3,269,474

9%

Louisiana

$3,068,829

2%

South Carolina

$3,007,655

0%

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, District Of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming

$3,000,000 (Required State Minimum)

Puerto Rico

$1,253,357

42%

American Samoa

$11,995

54%

Guam

$97,028

54%

Northern Marianas

$53,415

54%

Virgin Islands

$104,591

54%

Total $266,775,403

22%

HUD Awards Public Housing Capital Funds

Today HUD awarded the FY 2018 Public Housing Capital Fund grants to housing authorities in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The grants total more than $2.6 billion.

A list of the individual housing authority grants is available here.

An excerpt from the HUD press release states, “The grants announced today are provided through HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which offers annual funding to approximately 3,100 public housing authorities to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. These housing authorities use the funding to complete large-scale improvements such as replacing roofs or making energy-efficient upgrades to replace old plumbing and electrical systems.”

FY19 House T-HUD Appropriations Bill Released; HUD Programs Receive Level Funding/Slight Increases

On May 15, the House Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Subcommittee released its draft FY 2019 appropriations bill. Overall, the bill received an additional $1.5 billion increase to its allocation compared to FY 2018, an achievement considering several spending bills have been level funded and T-HUD was expected to have a similar fate.  A summary is below; NAHRO will release a more detailed analysis soon.

The FY 2018 omnibus bill marked the first significant increase to HUD funding in nearly a decade; NAHRO and its members should be proud that the House bill preserves many of those funding increases in a highly competitive appropriations season.

Most programs within HUD received level funding or a slight increase, with the unfortunate exception of the HOME Investment Partnerships program. HOME was cut by 12 percent compared to FY 2018.

  • Public Housing Capital Fund: $2.75 billion, level funding – including a new $30 million set-aside for competitive grants for the demolition of the most distressed public housing units
  • Public Housing Operating Fund: $4.55 billion, level funding
  • Choice Neighborhoods:$150 million, level funding
  • Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Renewals:$20.107 billion, a 2.6 percent increase
  • Mobility Demonstration: $50 million for a new mobility demonstration program
  • Ongoing Administrative Fees: $1.73 billion, level funding
  • Family Self-Sufficiency: $75 million, level funding
  • Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance: $11.747 billion, a 2 percent increase
  • Community Development Block Grant:$3.3 billion, level funding
  • HOME Investment Partnerships:$1.2 billion, a 12 percent decrease
  • Housing Opportunity for Persons with AIDS:$393 million, a 5 percent increase
  • Homeless Assistance Grants:$2.546 billion, a 1 percent increase

As the FY 2019 appropriations process moves forward, NAHRO will focus advocacy efforts on the HOME program to ensure that the cuts proposed by the House are not enacted. NAHRO will also advocate for increased funding and flexibility for HCV Administrative Fee funds as level funding does not take into account the addition of new vouchers and the increased need for resident opportunity resources.

The bill will be brought before the House T-HUD Subcommittee on May 16 for consideration. No amendments are expected. It’s likely that the full House Appropriations Committee will vote on the bill next week. The timeline for a floor vote is unclear, though Congress typically tries to move as many bills through the process as possible before the August recess.

The Senate T-HUD bill is expected to be considered before the Senate T-HUD Subcommittee during the week of June 4.

NAHRO Begins New Partnership on Smoke-Free Public Housing; May 17 Complementary Webinar

ANSR2On March 15, Live Smoke Free, the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO), and the National Alliance of Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing (NAR-SAAH) began a partnership to support successful smoke-free public housing policy and implementation. The Clean Air for All: The Smoke-Free Public Housing Project is made possible by funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It will provide training and technical assistance to public housing authorities (PHAs), resident services staff, and public housing residents impacted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) smoke-free public housing rule. The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium at the Public Health Law Center and national smoke-free housing expert Alison Freeman are also partners in the venture.

The Clean Air for All: The Smoke-Free Public Housing Project spans a two-year time period, from March 15, 2018 to March 14, 2020. Services available to PHAs include:

  • Training & educational opportunities (at the national and regional levels),
  • Consultations,
  • Implementation tools,
  • Tips for resident engagement,
  • Referrals to local support,
  • Compliance & enforcement strategies, and
  • Referrals to cessation resources.

On May 17 at 12:30pm Eastern Time join the Clean Air for All team for a complimentary, live discussion and Q&A on the “Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing” final rule. Participants will hear a brief update on the rule and be able to submit questions to Live Smoke Free, NAHRO, and NAR-SAAH staff. Have any and all your remaining questions on final implementation of the rule answered before the July 30 compliance date. Join us to help your agency transition to and maintain successful smoke-free public housing environments. Register for this complimentary session at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3798829557136111363.

To learn more about the Clean Air for All: The Smoke-Free Public Housing Project or to seek support for a PHA, contact gbanna@nahro.org.

Share Your HUD Strong Families Initiative Events!

HUD Strong Families

HUD’s Strong Families Initiative builds upon HUD’s longstanding Father’s Day efforts to involve fathers in the lives of their children. This year HUD is expanding its focus to include mothers, children and parents of all kinds!

Join HUD Strong Families by hosting a resource event in your community anytime during the months of May or June! Your HUD Strong Families event can feature fun and useful activities from moon bounces and barbeques to reading booths, STEM workshops, digital literacy trainings, health clinics, and more!

Check out HUD’s latest Brief:  HUD Strong Families: Parenthood Edition!

Visit the Strong Families website to learn more:  www.hud.gov/strongfamilies.

Or directly register:  go.usa.gov/xndru

Questions?  Email HUD at:  Strongfamilies@hud.gov