Earlier this week, NAHRO responded to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s or the Department’s) request for comments on streamlining the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule by submitting a comment letter. The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials remains committed to following through on the promise of the Fair Housing Act and its duty to affirmatively further fair housing. At the same time, NAHRO believes that to create a workable rule that delivers results while appropriately balancing the goals of the Fair Housing Act with the limited resources found in communities throughout the United States, certain principles should be followed in refining the AFFH rule.
These general principles are as follows:
- Entities should not be forced to complete analyses on non-housing factors;
- Entities should not be forced to complete analyses outside their jurisdiction;
- Additional funding is required to properly conduct fair housing assessments;
- Housing agencies should be able to complete any required assessments without having to hire a consultant;
- The Department should accept and approve assessments for entities that have made a good faith effort to comply with the assessment process;
- The Department should provide clear, regularly updated guidance for completing assessments;
- The assessments should provide a greater emphasis on place-based solutions; and
- The Department should closely follow all requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act and any other process requirements required by law.
The comment letter–after providing background on how HUD substantially deviated from modest recommendations of prior technocratic reports by HUD and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2009 and 2010 respectively–responds to specific inquiries requested by HUD. The comment letter also recommends changes to the definition of “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” and “Qualified PHA.”
The full comment letter can be found here.
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.
Abt Associates along with the NYU Furman Center, in a press release published earlier today, announced that they would be launching LocalHousingSolutions.org. LocalHousingSolutions.org is a repository-tool of over 80 policies designed to “preserve and strengthen affordability and address a range of other housing objectives.” The tools at the site enable communities to develop strategies that “promote affordability, stability, quality, and choice.”
The launch of the website is only the start of the process of developing policy tools to promote affordability. The website development process is meant to be iterative with stakeholder experiences informing new content, including “case studies that highlight successes and provide insight into lessons learned.” Additionally, there will be additional resources for non-housing, but related policy topics including public health, transportation, and education.
Abt Associates’s press release can be found here.
LocalHousingSolutions.org can be found here.
On Friday, October 5th, HUD will release the Operations Notice for the Expansion of the Moving to Work (MTW) Demonstration program. The notice establishes the requirements for the implementation and continued operations of the MTW demonstration program pursuant to the 2016 MTW Expansion Statute. Comments are due 45 days from publication of the Operations Notice in the Federal Register.
The President signed a spending package this afternoon that includes a continuing resolution providing funding for the government until Friday, December 7. This averts a government shutdown for the departments and agencies funded by the seven appropriations bills that will not be finalized before the beginning of FY 2019 on October 1. The package also includes an extension of the Violence Against Women Act, which was set to expire on September 30.
Congress approved five spending bills for FY 2019, the highest number in over 20 years. Negotiations were in progress on a four-bill package that included the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) bill, but unfortunately progress stalled this week and the package was never formally introduced. Negotiations broke down over issues with the Interior-Environment and Legislative Branch spending bills; reports are that THUD was easily negotiated.
The expiration of the CR on December 7 ensures that Congress will have to address spending in the lame duck, the time period when Congress returns to Washington after the election before the 115th Congress adjourns for the final time in December.
HUD has released a notice in the Federal Register announcing an expedited review process for relief from HUD regulatory and/or administrative requirements for PHAs that are located in counties that have received Presidentially-declared Major Distaster Declarations (MDD). PHAs located in areas that received MDDs in CY 2018 may request waivers of HUD requirements and receive expedited review of such requests.
The Notice includes descriptions of the flexibilities that are currently available to MDD PHAs under statutes and/or regulation, certain HUD requirements that, if waived, may facilitate an MDD PHA’s ability to participate in relief and recovery efforts, and environmental review waivers.
NAHRO is keeping our members and all individuals impacted by Hurricane Florence in our thoughts, and are wishing for a safe and rapid recovery. To everyone impacted by the hurricane, please stay safe!
HUD will release two new Notices of Proposed Information Collection in the Federal Register tomorrow. The first notice is a 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection titled Public Housing Reform Act: Changes to the Admission and Occupancy Requirements. The second is a 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection titled Assessment of Additional Resource Needs for Smoke-Free Policy. HUD posted a 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection regarding an assessment of its smoke-free policy in January, 2018. NAHRO’s comments can be found here (members only).
HUD has announced it will be hosting a public meeting of the Moving to Work Research Advisory Committee on October 10 from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm Eastern Time. The Committee meeting will be held via conference call and is open to the public and accessible to individuals with disabilities.
The meeting will discuss the third cohort of the Moving to Work (MTW) expansion, which focuses on work requirements for public housing and Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) residents. HUD is looking for feedback from the advisory committee on research design, random assignments, and specific policies.
On September 5, HUD announced that it is awarding $4.8 million in Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants to six communities. The grants, funded through HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program, will help local leaders craft comprehensive, homegrown plans to revitalize and transform neighborhoods.
Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core goals: replacing distressed public and assisted housing, improving the outcomes of people living in assisted housing, and creating the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods.