Webinar for Vera’s Opening Doors to Public Housing Initiative

The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) is offering a webinar that promises to inform potential applicants about the goals of the Opening Doors to Public Housing Initiative. The Opening Doors to Public Housing Initiative seeks to provide technical assistance to PHAs that wish to plan and implement reentry programs or change their admissions policies for people with conviction histories. Additionally, the webinar will provide an overview of the application requirements, allow time for questions from interested applicants, and present applicants from past Opening Doors sites who will share their experiences implementing reentry programs and changing their housing policies.

Housing authorities and their justice system partners are strongly encouraged to participate in the webinar, though it is open to all.

Opening Doors to Public Housing (Friday, January 17, 2020 at 1 pm ET)

  • Presenters include the following:
    • Andre Bethea, Policy Advisor, Corrections, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice;
    • Laura Gregory, Resident Services Manager, Oklahoma City Housing Authority; and
    • Julio Sanchez, Senior Probation & Parole Officer, Delaware Correctional Reentry Commission (DCRC) In-reach Coordinator, Georgetown Probation & Parole.

The webinar registration can be found here.

Vera Offering Technical Assistance to PHAs that Seek to Implement Reentry Programs

The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) is soliciting applications from PHAs that would like to plan and implement reentry programs or change their policies toward people with conviction histories. Applications are due February 28, 2020.

The goals of the initiative are the following (quoted from Vera):

  1. increase housing access for people with conviction histories and increase public safety in communities that people return to on release from jails and prisons;
  2. improve the safety of public housing and surrounding communities through the use of reentry housing strategies; and
  3. promote collaboration among public housing authorities, law enforcement agencies, and other criminal justice stakeholders to effectively reduce crime and improve reentry outcomes for people leaving prisons and jails.

Vera encourages PHAs of all sizes–including those with Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs–to apply. Applicants must submit a letter of intent, an application narrative, and letters of support. While PHAs will first be informed, Vera will make a public announcement in April.

Additional information can be found here.

Money Available for Carbon Monoxide Detectors

The Department of Housing and Urban Development sent an email to Executive Directors reminding them that $5 million is available for PHAs for the purchase, installation, replacement, and repair of carbon monoxide detectors. Applications for this funding are due by 5 pm ET on Friday, October 25, 2019.

Additional information can be found here.

Complimentary Webinar!! 2020 Census & PHAs – October 1, 2pm EDT

On Tuesday, October 1, at 2pm eastern time, NAHRO will be hosting a complimentary webinar in preparation for the 2020 Census. Below is information on the session and the registration link. This session is for agencies of all sizes from the smallest to the largest and will discuss the 2020 Census and the interaction between Census and PHAs including first-hand PHA experiences.

2020 Census Key Partnership – Public Housing Authorities

The 2020 Census is right around the corner. The U.S. Census Bureau and Public Housing Authorities are working together to make sure every person will be counted. During this webinar you will hear from Carol Gore of the Cook Inlet (Alaska) Housing Authority and John Mahon of the Bayonne (New Jersey) Housing Authority. Carol and John will share their experiences working with the U.S. Census Bureau in addition to employment opportunities for PHA residents. Join us and bring all your 2020 Census questions!

Please register for 2020 Census Key Partnership – Public Housing Authorities on Oct 1, 2019 2:00 PM EDT at:

 https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7438435157680047371?source=blog

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

HUD Webinars for new RAD Notice (Rev. 4)

The HUD Office of Recapitalization sent a RADBlast! email reminding those on the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) email list that HUD will be hosting live public webinars on sections of the new RAD notice. The webinars will be recorded and posted on the RAD Resource Desk.

The schedule can be found below:

  • Public Housing Conversions, September 19, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here;
  • Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contract (PRAC), September 26, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here;
  • Moderate Rehabilitation (Mod. Rehab.), October 3, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here;
  • Resident Rights in Public Housing Conversions, October 10, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here;
  • Resident Rights in Section 202 PRAC and Mod. Rehab. Conversions, October 17, 2019, 2 pm ET; Register here.

The new RAD notice (Rev. 4) can be found here.

New HOTMA Provisions to be Implemented

Tomorrow, HUD will publish in the Federal Register a proposed rule titled “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016: Implementation of Sections 102, 103, and 104” (pre-publication copy). This proposed rule is the first regulatory step toward implementing certain provisions of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA). The Department is seeking comment on certain aspects of the implementation. Comments on the proposed implementation of these provisions will be due 60 days after official publication.

A brief, non-exhaustive list of the topics covered by the proposed rule can be found below. The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials will provide additional details as staff continue to examine the proposed rule.

Continue reading

New RAD Notice, Revision 4 Released

Earlier today, HUD released the new Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) notice: “Rental Assistance Demonstration – Final Implementation, Revision 4” (Notice H-2019-09; PIH-2019-23 (HA)). The RAD program allows for units to be converted from certain Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding streams, such as public housing, to either a Section 8 project-based voucher (PBV) funding stream or a Section 8 project-based rental assistance (PBRA) funding stream. There are several major changes in this notice, including changes to the First Component of RAD (which allows public housing units to be converted to PBV or PBRA) and implementation of the 2018 Appropriations Act provision allowing Section 202 project rental assistance contracts (PRAC) to be converted to PBV or PBRA.

The changes to the First Component of RAD include the following:

  • A policy that RAD rents will be updated every two years (RAD awards after each update will use the updated rents);
  • A newly added “Concept Call” step to the RAD process, to allow PHAs to receive confirmation that project plans are sufficiently advanced to submit a Financing Plan;
  • More stringent notice requirements for residents in developments to be converted (the new notice details resident participation requirements at each step of the RAD process);
  • A policy that all households residing in regular PBV units will have the same resident rights extended to them as households that reside in RAD-PBVs in converted developments;
  • A mechanism for PHAs to enter into partnerships with each other to convert developments;
  • A policy allowing for rent increases in certain scenarios for PBRA conversions, such as developments located in Opportunity Zones;
  • Elimination of the requirement to submit the Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) tool in certain scenarios; and
  • Other changes (including changed requirements for portfolio awards, a change in how PHAs report debts owed, and broadening the use of “tiered environmental reviews”).

At this time, NAHRO staff are still reviewing the new notice. Additional analysis will be provided in future NAHRO publications.

The RAD Notice, Revision 4 can be found here.

[2:17 pm edit – The new notice can also be found on HUD’s RAD website here.]

Celebrate Year 1 of the PH Smoke-Free Rule – Complimentary Webinar – July 18 @ 12:30pm ET

Join Clean Air For All, a joint effort between NAR-SAAH, NAHRO, and Live Smoke Free on Thursday, July 18 at 12:30pm eastern time, for a live discussion and Q&A on the “Instituting Smoke-Free Public Housing” final HUD rule. Participants will hear a brief update on the rule and will be able to submit questions to NAR-SAAH, NAHRO, and Live Smoke Free staff. Have your questions about the rule, cessation resources, and enforcement answered. These calls are intended for those working and living in affordable housing. Everyone is welcome to attend all of the calls and hear the various perspectives.

Registration for the webinar can be done at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6659582895810385675?source=NAHRO.

This month’s Connect Call is all about the anniversary of HUD’s smoke-free rule. We will discuss what is going well in smoke-free public housing and challenges PHAs face maintaining smoke-free policies. Participants will hear about ways to celebrate their PHA’s smoke-free policy, success stories, and how to find resources to improve compliance and enforcement.

At the end of the Connect Call, Clean Air for All will raffle off a Smoke-Free Public Housing Party in a Box to one lucky participant. The box contains everything a PHA needs to throw a smoke-free celebration for approximately 30 residents.

Smoke-Free Public Housing Party in a Box includes:
• Streamers, balloons, and 6 table covers
• 6 table tent decorations
• 30 magnetic clip giveaways
• Educational literature for residents
• Smoke-free housing bingo card game
• Gift certificate for 1 sheet cake from local bakery

Registration for the webinar can be done at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6659582895810385675?source=NAHRO

NAHRO Submits Comment Letters on Mixed-Immigration-Status rule and FMR Methodology

Mixed Immigration Status Proposed Rule

On July 5, NAHRO submitted comments on HUD’s proposed immigration rule. The proposed rule, if implemented, would terminate federal housing assistance for families with mixed-immigration-statuses.

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials believes that the current verification of eligible status system should be left in place. The changes in the proposed rule would unnecessarily hurt families and children, including U.S. citizens, and add additional administrative burden, all without the commensurate benefits suggested in the proposal. The current subsidy proration policy decouples the size of the family from the federal benefit received. This policy has been in place for over two decades and providers of assisted housing, particularly those most impacted by this proposal that serve many mixed-status families, have not vocalized any hardships or desire to change the policy.

In its comment letter to HUD, NAHRO offers the following recommendations:

  1. Make no changes to the current eligible status verification regulations;
  2. If unwilling to follow the first recommendation, then restrict application of the new rule to new applicants of covered programs; and
  3. If unwilling to follow either of the first two recommendations, then take the steps and adopt the recommended language in NAHRO’s comment letter before implementing the proposed rule.

The Department will still be accepting comments until end of the day, July 9th. We encourage all of our members to submit comments in opposition to this rule. We also urge members to use their own language in writing comments, so that they are not automatically screened out before being read. Comments may be submitted here.

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Official’s full comment letter can be found here.

FMR Methodology Changes

On July 5, NAHRO submitted comments on HUD’s proposed changes in how it calculates FMRs. The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Official’s comment letter can be found here.

Presenters Updated! Tomorrow!! Complimentary PH Unit Preservation Webinar – July 2, 1pm ET

LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER. NAHRO is hosting a complimentary Public Housing Unit Preservation Webinar tomorrow, Tuesday, July 2, at 1pm eastern time. Join Andy Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Nampa (ID) Housing Authority; Edward Mayer, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the County of Butte (CA); and Georgi Banna, NAHRO’s Director of Policy and Program Development who will share and overview of the preservation options and will their experiences and decision making process in preserving their Public Housing units.

This session is for agencies of all sizes from the smallest to the largest and will discuss HUD’s outreach, the options and first-hand PHA experiences. Below is information on the session and the registration link.

Public Housing Preservation Options – The PHA Perspective

Has HUD reached out to your agency to discuss the future of your public housing? Join us for this complimentary session to review your options, and the NAHRO Policy team is here to provide more information and help sort through a lot of the chatter. Are you interested in joining the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), using the Section 18 Demolition/Disposition program, removing your Declaration of Trust, participating in a streamlined voluntary conversion process, or continuing in public housing? We’ll provide overviews of the options available to PHAs of all sizes and discuss HUD’s plans for the future. We will also be joined by Andy Rodriguez of the Nampa (ID) Housing Authority and Edward Mayer of the Housing Authority of the County of Butte (CA), who will share their experiences and decision making process in preserving their Public Housing.

Please register for Public Housing Preservation Options – The PHA Perspective on Jul 2, 2019 1:00 PM EDT at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4425060811873671691?source=blog2

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.