Harvard Webinar on Implementing Smoke-Free Public Housing

NAHRO has been asked to share the following webinar invitation:

Building Success: Adopting and implementing an effective smoke-free housing policy

Webinar offered on:

Wednesday, February 14, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (EST) Register Here


Tuesday, February 20, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (EST) Register Here

Please join the team from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Boston University School of Public Health for a webinar that will provide useful, practical guidance and support for the implementation of smoke-free policies, whether you are just starting the process or engaged in ongoing implementation. The webinar will summarize key findings from the experiences of more than 150 public housing authorities that have adopted and implemented smoke-free policies. We will offer this webinar on February 14 and again on February 20, 2018. Space is limited – register today!

To register for the online event on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
1. Go to https://huit-uc.webex.com/huit-uc/onstage/g.php?MTID=e624490f2602de87357e4b5dd3bceeb8e
2. Click “Register”.
3. On the registration form, enter your information and then click “Submit”.

Once the host approves your registration, you will receive a confirmation email message with instructions on how to join the event.

To register for the online event on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 1:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
1. Go to https://huit-uc.webex.com/huit-uc/onstage/g.php?MTID=e9b46ec4054ca4b09dfc9b4a7ce584cbe
2. Click “Register”.
3. On the registration form, enter your information and then click “Submit”.

Once the host approves your registration, you will receive a confirmation email message with instructions on how to join the event.
For assistance
You can contact Robyn Keske at:


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This WebEx service includes a feature that allows audio and any documents and other materials exchanged or viewed during the session to be recorded. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to the recording, discuss your concerns with the meeting host prior to the start of the recording or do not join the session. Please note that any such recordings may be subject to discovery in the event of litigation.

HUD to Release CDBG-DR Notice for 2017 Disasters

HUD has posted a pre-publication copy of the “Allocations, Common Application, Waivers, and Alternative Requirements for 2017 Disaster Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Grantees” notice. The notice is to be published in the Federal Register and will be applicable five days after being published.

As HUD’s summary states, “This notice allocates $7.39 billion in Community Development Block Grant disaster recovery (CDBG-DR) funds appropriated by the Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief Requirements, 2017, for the purpose of assisting in long-term recovery from 2017 disasters. This notice describes applicable waivers and alternative requirements, relevant statutory provisions for grants provided under this notice, the grant award process, criteria for action plan approval, and eligible disaster recovery activities. Given the extent of damage to housing in the eligible disaster areas and the very limited data at present regarding unmet infrastructure and economic revitalization needs, this notice requires each grantee to primarily consider and address its unmet housing recovery needs.”

Breakdown of the $7.39 billion:

  • State of Texas – $5,024,215,000
  • State of Florida – $615,922,000
  • Commonwealth of Puerto Rico – $1,507,179,000
  • United States Virgin Islands – $242,684,000

Congress continues to discuss additional supplemental distaster funding for the 2017 disaster. NAHRO is following these discussions and will share additional information as it becomes known.

HUD Publishes New AFFH FAQ

On Friday, HUD sent an email announcing a new list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that responds to the new notice delaying the submission date for the local government Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH). HUD “strongly encourages program participants to visit [the FAQ].” The new notice can be found on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) HUD Exchange webpage.

The FAQ can be found here.

HUD Extends AFH Deadline for Local Governments

Tomorrow, HUD will publish a notice in the Federal Register titled “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Extension of Deadline for Submission of Assessment of Fair Housing for Consolidated Plan Participants.” The notice states that for local government consolidated plan participants, the deadline for submitting their Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) will be extended to the next AFH submission date after October 31, 2020. Although the notice will be effective immediately after publication in the Federal Register, HUD is inviting public comment for 60 days on the extension. [1/5/18 Edit – Comments are due by March 6, 2018.]

The notice extends the deadline for submission of an AFH to all local government consolidated plan program participants to the AFH submission deadline after October 31, 2020. Local governments that qualified for a previous extension under a October 24, 2016 notice are also covered under this extension. All local government program participants must still comply with the statutory obligation of affirmatively furthering fair housing.

Until a consolidated plan program participant is required to submit an AFH, it will continue to provide the AFFH Consolidated plan certification in accordance with requirements that existed prior to August 17, 2015. These requirements obligated a program participant to certify that it would affirmatively further fair housing by conducting an Analysis of Impediments (AI) to fair housing choice within the jurisdiction and take action to overcome the effects of the identified impediments.

For program participants starting a new 3 to 5 year consolidated plan cycle, the AI should continue to be updated until those consolidated plan program participants submit an AFH after October 31, 2020. Program participants that have already submitted an AFH which has been accepted by HUD must continue to execute the goals of that AFH (they are not required to perform an additional AI). Program participants that received a non-accept decision should not submit their revised AFHs. HUD will discontinue the review of AFHs currently under review and will not render an accept, deemed accepted, or non-accept determination.

Continue reading

2012 Offset Litigation Update

This update is for the plaintiffs of the 2017 judgment on the 2012 public housing offset litigation (the first round of litigation.)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a request to the Judgment Fund for the payment of damages on December 21, 2017, for all but 23 of the plaintiffs. The reason a payment request was not sent for the other 23 is that the plaintiff’s attorneys did not have the banking information when they originally sent the information for the other plaintiffs to DOJ. The attorneys now have the banking information for 18 of the 23 and will send it to DOJ in the near future. If you are one of the five remaining plaintiffs that have not submitted your banking information, submit your banking information as soon as possible to the plaintiff’s attorneys.

Assuming there aren’t any problems with the information that DOJ sent to the Judgment Fund, the awardee plaintiffs should receive the damages to which you are entitled in a few weeks. Please note that the Judgment Fund will not notify you when it wires your payments to you. Therefore, you will have to monitor the bank account into which you requested that the funds be wired to determine when you receive your payment.

HUD Announces FY 2017 FSS Awards

On Friday, December 15, HUD announced $75 million in awards for the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program for the public housing, housing choice voucher, and project-based rental assistance programs. Concurrently, HUD also marked the 25th anniversary of the FSS program.

“For 25 years, HUD and our local partners have been connecting residents to job training, childcare and other resources that expand their opportunities and lead them towards higher paying jobs and self-sufficiency” said Secretary Carson. From 2007 to 2016, the average household income of a FSS program participant increased from approximately $10,000 to $27,000 at the time of completion.

A list of the FY 2017 FSS grant awards can be found here.

HUD’s press release can be found here.

A document titled “25 Years of Family Self-Sufficiency Program: Families Working, Families Prospering” can be found here.

HUD Publishes Webcast on HOTMA PHA Owned Units and PBV Provisions

Last week, a HUD official emailed me a link to HUD’s Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) webinar trainings on PHA Owned Units and Project-based Voucher provisions. These webcasts go over notice PIH 2017-21 (HA) titled “Implementation Guidance: Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) – Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and Project-based Voucher (PBV) Provisions.” If you have a little spare time this holiday weekend, it may be useful to watch them.

The trainings can be found here.

How Will MTW “Accommodate Regionalization”?

On the Brookings website, there’s a joint post by Greg Russ, the Executive Director and CEO of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, and Robin Snyderman, a Nonresident Senior Fellow of Brookings’s Metropolitan Policy Program, which discusses the new Moving To Work (MTW) Expansion. The post focuses on the MTW expansion enabling legislation which allows HUD to “accommodate regionalization” in its MTW expansion plans.

What this legislative language specifically means is unclear, but the opportunity exists to use the MTW Expansion and its single-fund flexibilities to create a “a variety of public housing initiatives to operate in a regional market across agency boundaries.” Regional MTW approaches may be particularly relevant in Baltimore, Chicago, and the Twin Cities, where MTW agencies are located in high-poverty areas surrounded by other PHAs in lower-poverty jurisdictions.

In fostering a regional MTW approach, agencies will still need to properly balance the greater cost of mobility initiatives with the tradeoff of potentially serving fewer families. The post notes that one of the benefits of a regional MTW approach may be “the cost-savings associated with reduced administrative burdens of cross-jurisdictional activity.”

The post explores other concepts of what MTW regionalization may look like.

The entire post can be read here.

Why the 4% LIHTC Matters: Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County

Freetown Village

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) is one of the most effective tools for creating new and critically needed affordable housing, and accounts for the vast majority of all affordable rental housing created in the United States. This is one in a series of articles that show how public housing authorities (PHAs) and community development agencies have successfully used federal tax credits and tax-exempt bonds to build and/or preserve public housing and affordable housing, and to increase the sustainability of their communities.

Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County: Freetown Village

Freetown Village is an existing community built in 1977 on 9.6 acres in Pasadena, Maryland. It is currently owned and operated as public housing by the Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County (HCAAC).  The property includes 154 family apartments, ranging in size from one-bedroom to four-bedroom apartments. The current unit mix is 24 one-bedroom units, 48 two-bedroom units, 60 three-bedroom units, and 22 four-bedroom units, contained in 15 two-story townhome-style residential buildings, and two three-story garden-style buildings.

Freetown Village needs modernization and upgrades. The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Program provides an opportunity to access private capital in order to address the property’s physical needs and secure a more stable funding source for rental assistance long-term. HCAAC will use funding from four key resources of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD): Tax-Exempt Bonds, 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, a soft loan from Rental Housing Works loan, and a construction and permanent loan using DHCD’s Risk Share loan product totaling more than $41.5 million. This project is contingent on the use of tax-exempt bonds and issuance of 4% Low income Housing Tax Credits, which have an anticipated commitment date of early 2018.

Existing units will be upgraded with:

  • New kitchen cabinets and counters
  • New kitchen appliances (refrigerators, ranges, range goods)
  • New bathroom vanities
  • New flooring
  • New entry doors
  • R-49 attic insulation
  • Install LED lighting replacement
  • Replace bathtubs with roll-in showers for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) units; other ADA upgrades.

In addition system and common area upgrades will include:

  • New hot water heaters
  • HVAC upgrades
  • Upgraded landscaping features
  • Seal/stripe parking spaces
  • Added insulation
  • LED lighting replacement
  • ADA sidewalk improvements
  • New playground
  • All new flooring in common rooms.

The proposal would also add 36 new homes to Freetown Village, including 24 2BR units (approximately 720 square feet) and 12 3BR units ( approximately 980 square feet). Anne Arundel County’s Workforce Housing requirements mandate 20 of the units would be reserved for households at or below 60 percent of Area Median Income. The other 16 units could be occupied by households up to 120 percent of Area Median Income.

For more information about this project or to share your organization’s 4 percent LIHTC success story, please contact nahro@nahro.org.

Why New Market Tax Credits Matter: Three Success Stories

New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) help localities build stronger neighborhoods by investing in housing, schools, and other vital projects that are targeted at helping low-income communities. Between 2003 and 2015, $42 billion in direct NMTC authority has generated almost $80 billion in capital for local businesses and revitalization projects. NMTC investment has resulted in the creation or retention of over 750,000 jobs, and the financing of over 178 million square feet (sq. ft.) of commercial real estate and almost 14,000 affordable housing units. NMTCs are a proven and effective tool for generating private-sector investments in communities in need. This is one in a series of articles that show how public housing authorities (PHAs) and community development agencies have successfully used federal tax credits and tax-exempt bonds to build and/or preserve public housing and affordable housing and to increase the sustainability of communities.  Continue reading