HUD Study Finds Small Area FMRs Have Mixed Results

Last week, HUD published a report titled “Small Area Fair Market Rent Demonstration Evaluation: Interim Report,” which provides preliminary findings from HUD’s Small Area Fair Market Rent (FMR) Demonstration. The Small Area FMR Demonstration is a Demonstration of seven PHAs that have implemented Small Area FMRs in a variety of housing markets to test their effectiveness. The potential adverse impacts to Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program participants that this report identifies is one of the reasons that HUD suspended implementation of mandatory Small Area FMRs.

While NAHRO is still in the process of reading through and analyzing the report, the key takeaways from it on the imposition of Small Area FMRs are the following: different housing markets are impacted differently; there are more families moving into areas of opportunity; there is a loss of affordable units; and there is an aggregate higher cost burden for families.

The evaluation looks at the effects of Small Area FMRs on 1) potential access to opportunity; 2) actual access to opportunity; and 3) costs and rents. Additionally, the study looks at costs to PHAs. Click below for a brief summary of the evaluation findings.

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HUD Extends Section 3 “Past Due” Reporting Deadline to December 31, 2017

HUD has revised the July 7, 2017 SPEARS Update that set a reporting deadline of July 31, 2017 for “past due” (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, & some 2017 report years) reports.

On August 14, 2017, HUD issued a SPEARS Update that extended the reporting deadline for “past due” reports to December 31, 2017. The SPEARS Update is available at https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=PHAReportDue8-14-17.pdf.

HUD’s Section 3 office is also aware of issues in submitting adjusted reports (6, 9, or 15 month reports) due to the reporting year switching to the PHA fiscal year. It is anticipated that HUD will update the SPEARS system to correct this issue in the very near future.

More information on Section 3 reporting is available at https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp/section3/section3/spears.

HUD Announces $38 Million for Fair Housing Grants

In a press release on Wednesday, HUD announced that it was making $38 million available in fair housing grants to fight housing discrimination. The grants are a part of the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP), which provides funding to non-profits and other fair housing organizations to help people who have encountered housing discrimination. The due date for these notices of funding availability is September 18, 2017. The grants announced are listed below.

  • Education and Outreach Initiative grants (EOI) – grants for organizations that educate the public about their rights under federal law and other organizations that enforce certain local fair housing laws. $7,450,000 available by searching FR-6100-N-21-A on Grants.gov.
  • Fair Housing Organizations Initiative (FHOI) – grants to build “the capacity and effectiveness of non-profit fair housing organizations.” $500,000 available by searching FR-6100-N-21B on Grants.gov.
  • Private Enforcement Initiative grants –  grants for organizations that “conduct intake, testing, investigation and litigation of fair housing complaints.” $30.35 million available by searching FR-6100-N-21C on Grants.gov.

The entire press release can be read here.

Reasonable Accommodation e-Briefing on August 10 at 1:30pm ET

On August 10 at 1:30pm, NAHRO Professional Development will present an e-Briefing on Reasonable Accommodation. NAHRO Faculty Member Dennis Morgan will answer many of questions – What is a “reasonable accommodation?” What are your responsibilities as a housing provider? What if a request would creat an undue financial burden, or fundamentally alter the nature of a program?

Reminder: Whether you're watching alone or with an audience of 100, only one registration per connected device is required, making NAHRO Professional Development's e-Briefings an outstanding value!

Register Online at www.nahro.org/training-calendar.

Senate Committee Votes Favorably on Three HUD Nominees

This morning the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs voted favorably and sent to the full Senate the HUD nominations of Mr. J. Paul Compton, Jr., to be General Counsel; Ms. Anna M. Farias, to be Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity; Mr. Neal J. Rackleff, to be Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development.

The committee conducted individual voice votes for each nominee. Mr. Compton’s nomination went to a roll call vote (15 favorable, 7 opposed.) Sens. Brown and Menendez spoke after the vote. Sen. Brown voted “opposed” on all three HUD nominees because of concerns with the nominees’ application and enforcement of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. Sen. Menendez only voted “opposed” on General Counsel nominee, Mr. Compton, because of AFFH concerns where Mr. Compton’s written question answers backtracked on the support for AFFH Mr. Compton expressed during the hearing.

Reminder: Vera Institute of Justice Solicitation for Technical Assistance Application Due Friday (May 12)

The Vera Institute of Justice is still soliciting applications for technical assistance from PHAs, including those PHAs running Housing Choice Voucher Programs, who seek to implement reentry programs or to change their policies for the purpose of increasing access to housing for people with conviction histories. There are no financial commitments for PHAs.

Applications will be accepted until this Friday, May 12, 2017. To apply, interested PHAs should send (as a PDF) the following: (1) a letter of intent of commitment; (2) an application narrative; and (3) optional, but recommended, letters of support. All documentation should be sent to kfinley@vera.org.

Our previous blog post on this “Request for Proposals for Technical Assistance” can be found here.

The entire application can be found here.

Vera Institute of Justice Offering Technical Assistance for PHAs Implementing Reentry Programs

The Vera Institute of Justice is soliciting applications for technical assistance from PHAs, including those PHAs running Housing Choice Voucher Programs, who seek to implement reentry programs or to change their policies for the purpose of increasing access to housing for people with conviction histories.

PHAs of all sizes and in all geographies are invited to apply. Additionally, PHAs that are in the same geographic area may apply together in a single application, if they have common goals and coordination would facilitate achieving those goals.

The program is offering nine months of technical assistance. Technical assistance includes meeting with PHA staff; meeting with local stakeholders; data analysis identifying the number of potentially barred individuals; policy assistance changing or drafting a PHA’s policy towards individuals with records; access to local consultants; assistance implementing policy change; data analysis after implementation of policy changes; and potential opportunities to foster cross-site learning. PHAs are expected to identify a primary liaison and assist with developing a group of interested community stakeholders. There are no financial commitments for PHAs.

To apply, interested PHAs should send (as a PDF) the following: (1) a letter of intent or commitment; (2) an application narrative; and (3) optional, but recommended, letters of support. All documentation should be sent to kfinley@vera.org.

Applications will be accepted until May 12, 2017. Vera staff will conduct interviews with some applicants and selected sites will be announced in June.

The entire “Request for Proposals for Technical Assistance” can be found here.

Learn more about the Vera Institute of Justice here.

 

TPV Funding for FY 2016 Announced

Today, HUD published a list of funding awards for Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPVs) for FY 2016. These vouchers are funded non-competitively on an as-needed basis. They are funded on a first-come, first-serve basis for households that are displaced due to HUD program actions.

TPVS were awarded for the following actions:

  1. to assist families living in HUD-owned properties that are being sold;
  2. to assist families affected by the expiration or termination of their Project-based Section 8 and Moderate Rehabilitation contracts;
  3. to assist families in properties where the owner has prepaid the HUD mortgage;
  4. to assist families in projects where the Rental Supplement and Rental Assistance Payments contracts are expiring (RAD—Second Component);
  5. to provide relocation housing assistance in connection with the demolition of public housing;
  6. to provide replacement housing assistance for single room occupancy (SRO) units that fail housing quality standards (HQS);
  7. to assist families in public housing developments that are scheduled for demolition in connection with a HUD-approved HOPE VI revitalization or demolition grant; and (8) to assist families consistent with PIH Notice 2016-12, “Funding Availability for Tenant-Protection Vouchers for Certain At-Risk Households in Low-Vacancy Areas—Fiscal Year 2016” and PIH Notice 2015-07, “Funding Availability for Tenant-Protection Vouchers for Certain At-Risk Households in Low-Vacancy Areas—Fiscal Year 2015.”

In total, HUD awarded $86,970,667 for 9,606 housing choice vouchers. The notice lists the awardees alphabetically by state.

The full notice can be read here.

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.

Senate Confirms Dr. Ben Carson as HUD Secretary

Earlier today, the United States Senate confirmed Dr. Ben Carson as the 17th Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. He was confirmed on a vote of 58 to 41. NAHRO has invited Secretary Carson to speak at the 2017 NAHRO Washington Conference. NAHRO has also invited the Secretary to listen to the concerns of PHAs and RDAs as part of the countrywide listening tour he mentioned during his confirmation hearing. We look forward to working with him.

[3/3/17 Edit – HUD’s press release can be found here.]