TAC Hosting Peer-to-Peer Call on Mainstream Vouchers

On Wednesday February 6th from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET, the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) is facilitating a peer-to-peer call with PHAs awarded Mainstream Vouchers in September 2018. The call will provide PHAs an opportunity to share implementation challenges, how these are being addressed and to identify any technical assistance needs. NAHRO staff will participate. HUD has been invited and we hope they will be able to participate.

Registration for this call is necessary and can be at the link below

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8531936849390618625

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. There is no cost to register or participate in this call.

In Spring 2018, TAC conducted a series of outreach webinars to create interest in the Mainstream funding and to facilitate local partnerships. Over 1,200 PHAs and homeless and disability organizations participated in four outreach webainrs.  Polling of PHAs participating in the webinars indicated that only 25% believed working with their service partners would be challenging but more than 50% of PHAs indicated that identifying units, ensuring move-in resources and assistance was available and ensuring long term tenancy supports are available as needed would be very challenging.

In areas with strong rental markets and low vacancy rates, HCV participants find it difficult to lease up.  The Joint Center’s 2018 State of the Nation’s Housing, found that rental markets remain extremely tight at the lower end; for these units, vacancy rates remain lower than in any year since 2001.   Unfortunately, many participants including elders and people with disabilities need to find housing in these markets – where medical and other services as well as public transportation are available.  Success leasing up is particularly challenging for those who have poor tenancy or criminal records.   Through this and subsequent peer-to-peer calls, TAC hopes to provide technical assistance for PHAs and their service partners as they face these implementation challenges.

Complimentary Smoke-Free Webinars in 2019

Join Clean Air For All, a joint effort between NAR-SAAH, NAHRO, and Live Smoke Free on third Thursday of the month, 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.

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These calls are intended for those working and living in affordable housing. The January, March, May, July, September, and November calls will have a housing authority staff focus while the April, June, August, October and December calls will have a resident service provider, resident leader, and resident focus. Everyone is welcome to attend all of the calls and hear the various perspectives.

The January Connect Call will have a guest speaker from Leading Age, the trusted voice for aging in America, will join us to provide tips and strategies for working toward compliance with aging residents in smoke-free public housing.

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HCV Two-Year Tool Updates!

A HUD official emailed me to announce certain updates to the Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) two-year tool. The updates include the following:

  • The two-year tool is now publicly available and accessible by anyone;
  • A series of training videos has been created and is publicly available; and
  • The two-year tool now shows draft inflation factors for the next year to help program managers plan for the next year (depending on the housing market the PHA is located in, this may be a large number).

The two year tool and the training videos can be accessed here.

Have a little spare time this holiday season? Check out HUD’s two-year tool training videos! The table listing the links to the videos is reproduced below. Click below to access it.

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Vera Expands Opening Doors to Public Housing Initiative

Last week, the Vera Institute of Justice, announced the expansion of its Opening Doors to Public Housing Initiative. The initiative is a “national project that aims to substantially change public housing admissions policies and reduce barriers that prevent people from safely and successfully reentering their communities once released from prison or jail.” Two individual PHAs and two consortia entities were selected after a competitive selection process: Lafayette Housing Authority; Oklahoma City Housing Authority; the Housing Authority of the County of San Diego in collaboration with five other housing authorities; and a consortium of five agencies led by the Delaware State Housing Authority.

These housing authorities will receive up to 12 months of technical assistance to conduct the following activities:

  • “Safely increase access to housing for people with conviction histories or juvenile records to improve reentry outcomes and reduce recidivism rates.
  • Improve the safety of public housing and surrounding communities through the use of reentry housing strategies.
  • Promote collaboration between 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’s full press release can be found here.

Vera’s Opening Doors fact sheet can be found here.

 

Brookings Publishes Guide on Writing Effective Regulatory Comment Letters

The folks over at the Center on Regulations and Markets at Brookings have written a handy and short (seven pages!) guide to commenting on regulations. It discusses the federal rulemaking process; how to structure a comment letter; some things to consider about a regulation; assessing the legality of a regulation; and the mechanics of commenting on the rulemaking process.

If you’re interested in writing effective comments to HUD (or any other federal agency), this may be a good guide to take a look at.

The guide can be found here.

RAD Roundup – RAD Supplemental Guidance

There has been a lot of activity around the new RAD guidance documents over the past few days. This post is meant to compile a lot of that information in one place.

New RAD Guidance Documents:

Additional HUD Documentation of new RAD Guidance Documents:

Additional non-HUD Posts:

 

HUD Posts “Keys to A Successful RAD Conversion” Videos

On Thursday, May 17 and Friday, May 18, HUD held a training on the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program titled “Keys to A Successful RAD Conversion.” The two day long sessions were held in the Brooke-Mondale Auditorium at HUD’s Headquarters. The training was targeted at PHAs that had not yet contemplated, or had not yet started, a RAD transaction and was meant to provide information about the RAD process. The Department had previously promised to post videos of each of the sessions, which they recently did. The session videos can be found below.

Click below to see each session.

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President Signs Executive Order on Work Reforms

Earlier today, the President signed an executive order on work reforms titled “Executive Order Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility.” The executive order is divided into five sections: purpose; policy; review of regulations and guidance documents; definitions; and general provisions. This blog post provides a summary of the executive order.

Click below to read the full post.

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PHA Applications for Vera Reentry Technical Assistance due by May 2

The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) is soliciting applications from PHAs for 14 months of technical assistance to aid them in planning and implementing reentry programs or changes in their policies to safely increase access to housing for people with conviction histories. PHAs of all sizes are encouraged to apply. PHAs with voucher programs are also encouraged to apply. Multiple PHAs within the same geographic area may apply jointly.

The goals of this initiative are the following:

  1. Safely increase access to housing for people with conviction histories;
  2. Improve the safety of public housing and surrounding communities through the use of reentry housing strategies; and
  3. Promote collaboration between PHAs, law enforcement agencies, and other criminal justice stakeholders to effectively reduce crime and improve reentry outcomes for people leaving prisons and jails.

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PST on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Questions may be directed to Jessica Jensen at jessicajensen@vera.org.

Additional information about the initiative can be found on Vera’s website here. The full Request for Proposals for Technical Assistance can be read here.

Public Housing Reentry Technical Assistance

The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) is accepting applications from PHAs for 14 months of technical assistance for those PHAs that are planning and implementing reentry programs or changing their policies to safely increase access to housing for people with conviction histories.

Vera encourages a diverse set of PHAs to apply–including those of all sizes and those with Housing Choice Vouchers. Multiple PHAs that are geographically close to each other may also submit a single joint application.

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PST on Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

Questions should be directed to John Bae at jbae@vera.org. Additional information on the application can be found here.