Thank You, John Bohm


After 13 years at NAHRO, including 13 months spent as Acting CEO during the search for a permanent leader, John Bohm is leaving the association to move out of Washington, D.C. We at NAHRO thank him for his service, mentorship, and friendship, and wish him the best.

During his tenure, Bohm led the Congressional Relations Department, successfully educating and informing members of Congress and their staff about the importance of HUD appropriations, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and other vital affordable housing and community development-related issues. He also helped build a responsible platform for NAHRO advocacy, co-authored the NAHRO Advocacy Training Guide, and conducted advocacy training sessions across the country.

“I’m very proud of everything that’s been accomplished here,” Bohm says, “but I’d like to emphasize that none of it would have happened without the ideas and hard work of many past and present NAHRO staff. I’ve been privileged to work with smart, creative, diligent people who are dedicated to our members and the good work they do, and while I will miss them all, I am happy that the association remains in their more than capable hands.”

Bohm also helped create the Housing America advocacy campaign, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. He instituted the campaign’s signature “What Home Means to Me” calendar contest and helped grow the campaign, which now includes both Housing America Month and the popular Voices of Housing conference panel. He also redesigned NAHRO’s annual Legislative Conference (now known as the Washington Conference), launched the popular yearly “Perspectives on the Federal Budget” panel, and created both the Mary K. Nenno Advocacy Award and the NAHRO Legislator of the Year Award.

As staff liaison for the Legislative Network, Bohm increased the focus and breadth of the group’s responsibilities. He also staffed NAHRO’s Small Agency Task Force and helped increase Congressional awareness of issues affecting small housing authorities.

Bohm trained and mentored many members of NAHRO staff. He also wrote a semi-regular “Notes from the Front” column for the NAHRO Monitor for many years.

HUD Releases Guidance on Full Flexibility for Eligible Small PHAs

On November 14, HUD Issued Notice PIH 2016-18 titled Guidance on Full Flexibility for Eligible Small PHAs. The notice provides guidance on the full flexibility of capital funds and operating funds for public housing agencies (PHAs) which own or operate less than 250 public housing units small PHAs and are not designated as a troubled PHA (eligible small PHAs).

Eligible small PHAs are allowed to use up to 100% of a Capital Fund Program (CFP) grant for Operating Fund Program (OFP) activities if the PHA does not have debt service payments, significant capital needs or emergency needs. Regulations require eligible small PHAs to plan and budget for significant CFP needs prior to using capital funds for operating fund expenditures. Eligible small PHAs seeking to exercise full flexibility must have an approved CFP 5-Year Action Plan that indicates the amount of each grant they intend to use for operating fund expenditures. In addition, eligible small PHAs seeking to exercise full flexibility must submit a capital fund budget for each year. Eligible small PHAs must complete a thorough assessment of their capital needs prior to completing the 5-Year Action Plan and accurately reflect those needs in the capital fund submission.

Eligible small PHAs may exercise full flexibility to use operating funds for eligible CFP activities included in an approved CFP 5-Year Action Plan and budget submitted to HUD. HUD anticipates shifting from paper submission of CFP 5-Year Action Plans and budgets to an automated submission through the upcoming Energy Performance and Information Center (EPIC). In order to account for capital expenditures funded with operating funds and operating reserves (including excess cash), PHAs must enter the project’s annual financial report into the Financial Assessment Subsystem (FASS).

Eligible small PHAs that elect to fully use their operating funds for capital fund expenditures must continue to follow statutory and regulatory requirements, including those related to the conduct of public hearings, Resident Advisory Board consultation, consideration of comments, board approval, and environmental reviews.

Friday Night Wrap-Up: 2016 Congressional Election Results

As the dust settles in DC, the only thing that is clear about President-Elect Trump is that no one has a firm grasp on how he will run his executive branch or what his plans for the Department of Housing and Urban Development might be. I know there is a lot of information coming out of DC about what the new Administration will do or how to respond, but we believe at this point that it is simply too soon to judge.

Trump spent Wednesday meeting with his top advisers in New York City to begin the process of establishing his transition team and drafting short lists for cabinet positions. Yesterday, the President-Elect and his Vice President traveled to Washington to meet with President Obama in the White House and Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill. In keeping with Trump’s heavy emphasis on social media during the campaign, the transition team has set up a Twitter account- @TransitionTeam2017.

We are hearing a lot of rumors about who has been selected to serve on the transition team and who might be on the short-list for the HUD Secretary. We have our ear to the ground and are involved in these conversations, but at this time it’s a little premature to name anyone as the sources are likely rumors. That said, the names we are hearing are familiar to us and are similar to lists from prior Republican administrations, including individuals who have worked at HUD previously.

Weeks prior to the election, we began the process of drafting NAHRO’s transition memo for the HUD transition team. In it we outline who we are as an organization, what you as our members do and the impact you have on your communities, and our goals and priorities for the incoming administration. We’re working to finalize the memo now and expect to have it ready to send to the transition team this week. We’ll also share it with NAHRO members once it’s finalized.

Despite choosing a to send a Washington outsider who has never held elected office to the White House,  Americans largely decided to stick with their incumbent members of Congress. This is important because while there is a lot of uncertainty over how President-Elect Trump will run his executive branch and how the dynamics of having a Republican in the Oval office will change Washington, we are very familiar with the incoming 115th Congress. Our allies are still in office, most of the committees of jurisdiction are likely to remain the same, and we have a sense of the Congressional leadership and its goals. President-Elect Trump undoubtedly has major changes in store for us, but we are very knowledgeable about the incoming 115th Congress and we are ready for it.

The relative stability of the Congress means there is also likely to be stability within the committees (with the exception of Financial Services). However, Republicans are only allowed to serve two terms as Chair and two terms as Ranking Member of a committee, so that will trigger shifting between committees that will impact committee composition. Also, the number of seats a party receives on a committee is determined by the size of their majority, and since Republicans did lose a small amount of their majority, that will also impact committees.

Senate Results

The wave that Democrats were optimistic would propel them into the majority in the Senate never materialized and so far they have only managed to pick up two seats (Louisiana’s Senate race will be decided by a run-off election on December 3). As of today, the Senate is split 51-48 with a Republican majority. There will only be six new Senators taking office in January: Kamala Harris (D-Cali.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and whoever is elected in Louisiana to replace the retiring Sen. David Vitter (R). It is possible that additional seats will open up in the Senate if sitting members join the Trump administration.

Appropriations Committee

Only two Senators on the Appropriations Committee will be departing Congress: Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and current Ranking Member Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) will remain chair in the 115th Congress, but the Ranking Member position is open. Since Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is likely to keep his top position on the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) appears to be first in line for the job. Assuming she does not run for a leadership role within the Democratic Party, it is likely she would take the job. If she doesn’t, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Cali.) is likely to take over. We believe the current Transportation, Housing and Urban Development leadership of Chairwoman Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D- R.I.) will keep their jobs, though that could change if there is shifting between committees or subcommittees.

Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs

Similarly, the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee has only two members leaving Congress: Sen. Kirk and Sen. Vitter. The current Chairman Richard Shelby (D-Ala.) is term-limited, so Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) is likely to take the top spot. We believe current Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) will remain in his position. I haven’t heard much about whether the leadership of the Housing , Transportation, and Community Development will change, but unless they shift to other subcommittees, Chairman Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Ranking Member Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) I would think are likely to stick around.

House Results

Democrats were always skeptical about their ability to take the majority, but most believed they could net between 10-20 seats. So far, they’ve only managed to pick up seven seats, though four are still too close to call.  At this point, there will be 53 new members of Congress joining us here in Washington in January, which is about 12 percent of the House.


In total, there will be six members of the Appropriations Committee leaving Congress, split evenly between the parties. The three Republicans are: David Jolly (R-Fla.), Scott Rigell (R-Va.), and Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.). The three departing Democrats are: Sam Farr (D-Cali.), Chaka Fattah (D-Pa., technically he left Congress over the summer), and Steve Israel (D-N.Y.). Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) made it clear months ago that he has no intention of asking for a term-limit wavier to keep his top spot on the committee, and conventional wisdom is that Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J) will take over. Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) is likely to stay on in her position.

Financial Services

Between retirements and election losses, there will be significant turnover on the Financial Services Committee, largely from the majority. Republicans will see eight members leave the committee: Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), Robert Hurt (R-Va.), Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), and Frank Guinta (R-N.H.). Democrats only have three members leaving Congress: Ruben Hinojosa (D-Texas), John Carney (D-Del.), and Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.). We believe Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-Cali.) will remain in their positions. Hensarling’s name has appeared on the short-list for Secretary Treasury. Though he very quickly expressed strong disinterest in the position, it is possible he will have a position within the Trump administration. We also believe the Housing and Insurance Chair Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and Ranking Member Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) are likely to keep their positions, which is promising given the progress they were able to make last year.

Lame Duck

The current, 114th Congress returns to Washington this week following the election for the lame duck session. On Wednesday, House Republicans will meet in private to hash out their leadership candidates, which should be interesting. It appears that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Ohio) will retain the speakership, but I’ve learned over and over again in this city to never completely rule out a surprise. House Democrats will meet on Thursday.

It’s still unclear what impact the election will have on finalizing spending for FY 2017, but we’ll keep you updated as we learn more. Regardless, our message of finalizing THUD spending that we’ve been pushing since they passed the CR in September remains unchanged.

John and I are also spending the lame duck connecting with members of Congress who will be influential in housing and community development in the 115th Congress (and, of course, wrapping up the lame duck session). Keep an eye out for emails from us as we may need your advocacy assistance.

HUD Releases RAD Civil Rights Requirements Notice

On November 10, HUD released PIH Notice 2016-17 (HA), titled Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) Notice Regarding Fair Housing and Civil Rights Requirements and Relocation Requirements Applicable to RAD First Component – Public Housing Conversions. The Notice impacts agencies participating in the First Component of RAD, and explains HUD’s front-end civil rights review process, strengthens tenant rights and protections in the areas of resident notification and increases relocation housing options. According to NAHRO conversations with HUD, the intent of the Notice is to bring transparency and clarity to the RAD conversion process while simultaneously strengthening tenants rights and protections.

The Notice makes certain changes to the RAD timeline which should increase usability of the program. HUD will now begin approving front-end Civil Rights reviews before financial reviews are submitted so that any potential Civil Rights concerns are addressed before funding is secured. The Notice also provides clarity as to the circumstances in which HUD will perform a deep-dive analysis of an agency’s front-end review or not. This information is included to clarify certain requirements set forth in PIH 2012-32 (HA) REV-2, issued June 15, 2015. More information on PIH 2012-32 (HA) REV-2 can be found here (members only).

Although the Notice is around 80 pages, much of it covers existing Civil Rights statutes for RAD participants who may not be familiar with Fair Housing requirements.

The Notice also stresses that “meeting HUD’s process and review requirements never constitutes compliance with such laws. The obligation to comply with applicable Fair Housing, other Civil Rights, and relocation laws remains with the PHA and project owner.”

HUD will host a webinar Q&A on the Notice on Thursday, November 17 from 2-4PM EST. Register here.

HUD Posts 2017 Operating Subsidy Projects

On November 10, HUD posted an  inventory of 2017 Operating Subsidy projects, which will be used to generate 2017 Operating Subsidy tools (forms 52723 and 52722). The inventory will be used to fund Public Housing projects at the beginning of the year, when HUD will fund PHAs based upon an estimate.

PHAs should review the 2017 Operating Subsidy inventory and contact their Field Offices if any projects need to be added or deleted by November 21, 2016. Projects not in the inventory will not receive funding.

HUD Publishes Notice on Executive Compensation

On Tuesday, November 8 HUD published Notice: PIH-2016-16 (HA)Guidance on Reporting Public Housing Agency Executive Compensation Information for Calendar Year 2015. The Notice instructs PHA’s on how to submit to HUD calendar year 2015 compensation data collection. PHAs will be required to complete the HUD-52725 form online and submit it between November 14, 2016 and December 9, 2016.

HUD Announces Additional MTW Expansion Call

HUD has announced an additional teleconference for the MTW Expansion Research Advisory Committee that will be held on Tuesday, December 13 from 1pm-4pm EST. The call will continue discussions from HUD’s last in-person meeting of the Research Advisory Committee and will discuss policy framework and research methodology for the third MTW Statutory Objective – increasing housing choice.

The public is invited to call-in to the meeting at 1-800-230-1074. Please be advised that the operator will ask callers to provide their names and their organizational affiliations (if any) prior to placing callers into the conference line. Members of the public that register in advance may  provide a comment at the end of the call.

NAHRO’s past coverage of the MTW Expansion Research Advisory Committee can be found here (members only).

NAHRO Attends HUD COCC Listening Session

On November 4, NAHRO staff attended a Central Office Cost Center (COCC) Listening Session at HUD Headquarters in Washington, DC. The listening session provided PHAs an opportunity to learn about HUD’s initial thoughts on how they plan to refederalize Section 8 and Section 9 dollars placed into COCCs and how HUD plans to determine fee reasonableness for fees paid by AMPs into the COCC. The session also allowed participants to provide feedback, discussion, and ask questions. HUD’s listening session does not constitute rulemaking, and HUD may continue changing their approach depending upon feedback received from the listening sessions.

HUD’s decision to refederalize COCC dollars stemmed from a 2014 OIG report that questioned the underpinning and validity of asset management in public housing. Among other things, the report recommended that HUD “refederalize” fee revenues from the Operating and Capital Funds that COCCs have earned since they began implementing asset management and eliminate the asset management fee. HUD is planning to implement a rule by December, 2017.

Important takeaways from the listening session included:

  • HUD plans to continue to allow COCCs to charge existing fees, including the asset management fee, with some modifications.
  • HUD’s actions will not impact Section 8 and 9 fees entered into the COCC before the implementation of a final rule.
  • HUD plans to allow non-section 8 or 9 funds placed into a COCC to remain de-federalized. Section 8 and 9 fee income would remain federalized, with identified and specific expanded uses. Section 8 and 9 fees earned by COCC fee income would become fungible between Section 8 and 9 approved expenses and allowed to be used for other “expanded uses.”
  • HUD may create two COCCs, one for Section 8 and 9 funding that would remain federalized, and one for non-Section 8 and 9 funding that would be de-federalized.

HUD is still trying to determine how to define “expanded use” for the Section 8 and 9 COCC. HUD does not want to limit PHAs’ ability to use COCC dollars as revenue for the development of other low-income projects. HUD is looking for feedback from PHAs to better understand what they use their COCC dollars for to help define “expanded use”. Please Email to inform HUD of how your PHA uses your COCC dollars. This will ensure that their definition of “expanded uses” is as flexible as possible.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramirez spoke to the session attendees noting that HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) may reopen conversations with OIG and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on the matter.

NAHRO Submits Comments on Lead-Based Paint Proposed Rule

On October 26, NAHRO submitted comments (members only) to HUD in response to its Lead-Free Paint Proposed Rule, published in the Federal Register on September 1. The proposed rule would amend HUD’s lead-based paint regulations on reducing blood lead levels in children under age 6 who reside in federally-owned or -assisted housing that was built pre-1978, and would formally adopt the revised definition of “elevated blood lead levels” (EBLLs) in children under the age of 6 in accordance to the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). For all HUD programs covered in the proposed rule, HUD also proposes a new protocol for responding to a case of a child under 6 that has an EBLL. NAHRO’s comment letter consisted of seven main sections. NAHRO’s comments included HUD’s proposed implementation timeline, the use of CDC’s moving trigger reference value, HUD’s proposed lead-abatement schedule, the need for adequate funding to successfully comply with the proposed rule, as well concerns about how the proposed rule will impact mixed-finance units, UPCS-V, Section 8 landlords, and legal implications.

Comments for the proposed rule are due October, 31.


HUD Releases Enhanced Voucher Proposed Rule

On October 26, HUD will publish a proposed rule titled “Tenant-based Assistance: Enhanced Voucher” in the Federal Register. The rule codifies HUD’s existing policy regarding enhanced vouchers, specifically regarding the eligibility criteria for enhanced vouchers, rental payment standards and subsidy standards applicable to enhanced vouchers, the right of enhanced voucher holders to remain in their units, procedures for addressing over-housed families, and the calculation of the enhanced voucher housing assistance payment. Comments are due December 27, 2016.

Currently, HUD’s enhanced voucher policy is based on statutory requirements, and summarized in guidance provided in PIH notices. These notices include: PIH 2001-41 on Enhanced and Regular Housing Choice Vouchers for Housing Conversion Actions; PIH 2010-18 on PHA Determinations of Rent Reasonableness in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program —Comparable Unassisted Units; PIH 2011-46 on Determination of Rent Reasonableness in the Housing Choice Voucher Program; and PIH 2016-02 on Enhanced Voucher Requirements for Over-housed Families. The proposed rule codifies HUD’s existing policy.

HUD is specifically asking for comments on three specific issues. HUD is asking for comments on how to define the vacancy rate for a “low-vacancy” area. HUD asks commenters to consider: whether the low-vacancy area should be based on a constant vacancy percentage applied universally, or whether it should vary with differing factors, such as area population growth, demand for rental, or any other relevant factors; and whether the low-vacancy area definition should be unique to this enhanced voucher program, or should be constant across all HUD programs that use the concept of a low-vacancy area. HUD also requests comments on whether it is appropriate to allow families to be rescreened and potentially denied admission to the program so long as the screening is consistent with the PHA policy for regular admission. Lastly, HUD seeks comments on whether language in the proposed rule relating to a tenants right to remain should  be removed, qualified or modified in some way, or made final. Language in the proposed rule solely states that an owner may not terminate tenancy except as provided in existing regulations.