NAHRO, CAP Offer Free Webinar on PHA-CAA Partnerships

Does your Public Housing Authority (PHA) want to provide necessary non-housing services to your residents, such as access to case management, transportation services, food security, or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)? Is your Community Action Agency (CAA) looking for better ways to partner with your local PHA to help your clients find safe, secure, affordable housing? If so, please join the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) and the Community Action Partnership (CAP) for a free webinar to learn about how PHAs and CAAs work hand-in-hand to help address poverty in communities across the nation.

On June 20, from 1:30-3:00 p.m. EDT, NAHRO Senior Director of Congressional Relations John Bohm, CAP CEO Denise Harlow, and NAHRO and CAP staff will discuss the results of a recent survey conducted by NAHRO and CAP, provide examples of established working relationships between PHAs and CAAs, and examine the results achieved by these partnerships.

Nationally, PHAs help over 4.8 million families and individuals by providing safe, decent, affordable housing for families in need. Community Action Agencies provide critical programs to more than 15 million people with low incomes every year. Collaboration increases the capacity of both PHAs and CAAs, and making the CAA programs and services available to public housing residents puts communities are in a far better position to combat poverty. Join us for this free webinar to learn how to build and strengthen these collaborations.

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HOME Impact Story in Lawrence, Kansas

During National Community Development Week, April 17-22, NAHRO celebrates the hard work of communities across the country by sharing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) impact stories, highlighting the importance of these federal affordable housing and community development programs at the local level.

Project name Cedarwood Senior Cottages


Location and District Lawrence, Kansas (KS-02)
Project Year Construction completed 2015-2016. Leased up by March 2017
Project Description Built by Tenants to Homeowners, Inc. (a nonprofit CHDO) and community partners, Cedarwood is an innovative affordable senior housing complex with 14 individual cottages, including 10 with garages, and a community room in the heart of the property. There are 9 two-bedroom units and 5 one-bedroom units that are fully accessible, Energy-Star 3 certified, and use health and safety smart technology (a smart sensor system can track movement in the home and the community room includes a touch screen kiosk that provide residents with helpful information and resources). All these features are meant to allow seniors to age in place.

Cedarwood meets a local housing need for middle-income seniors who want to remain independent but earn too much to live in a subsidized home and not enough to afford a senior living facility. According to local news coverage of Cedarwood, “[t]he need for affordable senior housing is only likely to increase, with the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age. An estimated 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day through 2029. Meanwhile, a local retiree attraction task force in 2012 identified affordable senior housing as a need in the community.” Cedarwood can serve as a model for future senior housing projects in the community.

Use of HOME HOME funds were used for construction.
Target Population Elderly (62+), 9 HOME units with 4 targeted at below 50% and 5 targeted below 60%. The remaining 5 units target 60-80% median family income.
HOME Funds $167,000 from City of Lawrence HOME funds and $525,000 from State Kansas HOME funds.
Other Funds $260,000 lot donation (1.3 acres) from Douglas County, Kansas; $100,000 from City of Lawrence fee waivers and in-kind infrastructure; $600,000 CHDO equity from Tenants to Homeowners, Inc.; $420,000 in Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program funds; $500,000 construction and permanent loan financing from Truity Credit Union.
Jobs Created $2.3 million project using all local vendors, 3 temporary jobs created for 24 months (Davis Bacon did not apply).
Project Impact Cedarwood currently serves 13 households with 16 seniors and the project has added value to the local Qualified Census Tract. Furthermore, the project puts senior housing in a central location with available public transportation, services, and shopping. Cedarwood also demonstrates how smart technology can be used to help seniors age in place and save the community in unnecessary early assisted care expenses.

The project also improved the use of a vacant infill lot that sits next to a nonprofit incubator building; providing independent living and a senior community within a residential neighborhood that links to senior services that are offered by nonprofits. This allows for intergenerational activities and senior social interaction as well as shared services.

Quote from a beneficiary: “It is been really nice. My dog Daisy is really happy here and we are able to take walks in the neighborhood and stay active.” -Holly Holbert, resident since July 1, 2016.

Contact Rebecca Buford, Executive Director, TTH, Inc. 785-760-2058

National Community Development Week 2017 — April 17-22: Celebrating the Important Work of CDBG and HOME

NAHRO, along with fellow members of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Coalition, will be celebrating National Community Development Week, April 17-22, 2017. Over the course of this week, communities across the country will celebrate the work of the CDBG Program and the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program.

The CDBG program provides grants to over 1,200 state and local governments and funds activities such as housing rehabilitation, business assistance, senior services, and infrastructure – to name a few. These activities are primarily targeted to low-income persons and households. Every $1.00 of CDBG leverages another $3.65 in other funding; bringing additional resources to communities that support jobs, businesses and, most importantly, the people who live in these communities.

HOME provides grants to over 600 State and local governments to create safe, decent and affordable housing, both rental and homeowner. HOME is a vital federal housing program that allows communities to leverage $4.20 of public and private dollars for every HOME dollar invested.

CDBG and HOME have been proposed for elimination in the President’s FY 2018 HUD budget and National Community Development Week provides the opportunity for Congressional Members and the community to see first-hand the results of these programs by touring projects, meeting with state and local staff and interacting directly with beneficiaries served by the programs.

NAHRO is urging members a to participate in National Community Development Week by supporting local project tours, issuing proclamations, engaging and educating Congressional Members on the programs, and reaching out to the media to promote the impact of CDBG and HOME. Here’s what you can can do:



  • Contact and engage with your members of Congress to schedule meetings and plan a site visit of a local projects to show how these programs have helped your community. Remember –  Congress is in recess through April 23 and lawmakers will be back in their districts
  • Send letters to your legislators using NAHRO’s pre-drafted Advocacy Action Center letter telling Congress to take action today to finalize FY 2017 spending and pass a full-year Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bill.
  • Join over 2,000 local, state and national organizations and sign on to the CDBG support letter seeking $3.3 billion for CDBG in FY 2018. This letter will be sent to Appropriations Committee leaders in May.

Spread the Word

  • Share your impact story by writing and submitting a Letter to the Editor or op-ed to your local newspaper. Make sure to mention your members of Congress so it gets picked up in their daily clips.
  • Join @NAHROnational on Twitter and elevate awareness of the need for – and the impact of – CDBG and HOME through tweets. Make sure to use the following hashtags: #CDBG #CDBGImpact #Fight4CDBG #HOME #HOMEImpact, and to tag your House and Senate representatives.
  • Follow and share the NAHRO Blog where we will post success stories of CDBG and HOME submitted by NAHRO members throughout week.

Connect with NAHRO

  • If your impact story was published in your local newspaper or you meet with your member of Congress, let us know! Please email Jenny Hsu at with a description of your advocacy efforts so that we can highlight your efforts with Congress once they are back in session.

CDBG Coalition Members: NAHRO, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, National Community Development Association, Council of State Community Development Agencies, National Association for County Community and Economic Development, National Association of Development Organizations, American Planning Association, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Habitat for Humanity International, Feeding America, YWCA USA, Enterprise Community Partners, Rebuilding Together, National Recreation and Park Association, National Association of Regional Councils, National Urban League, International Economic Development Council, Heartland Alliance, The Trust for Public Land, and National Development Council

Adrianne Todman Named New NAHRO CEO

The Board of Governors of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Adrianne Todman as the incoming Chief Executive Officer. She will assume this position on June 1.

Ms. Todman was selected after a nationwide search.

“Ms. Todman’s rich experience in crafting and executing housing and community development policy at both the federal and local levels of government, coupled with her respected leadership and organizational expertise, makes her an exceptional choice, ” stated Steve Merritt, President of NAHRO. “The Board and I are excited to usher in an era of new leadership at NAHRO.”

“I am humbled to have been selected to lead this venerable organization,” said Ms. Todman. “NAHRO represents the most diverse membership of community development, local and state housing agencies, and professionals who house America’s families. Our important work over the course of the next several years will impact the lives of millions of households who need affordable housing in vibrant, sustainable communities. I look forward to this opportunity, and am prepared to ensure that NAHRO’s mission is forward-looking and results-driven.”

Ms. Todman is currently the Executive Director of the District of Columbia Housing Authority, the region’s largest affordable housing provider, where she manages more than $400 million in affordable housing programs. During her tenure at DCHA, Ms. Todman has created a national model to house and assist homeless veterans, opened the first public affordable assisted living facility, increased the number of affordable units available for low-income families, and utilized innovation to increase the stock of affordable housing. Under her leadership, DCHA has deployed $80 million in New Market Tax Credits in emerging neighborhoods.

Prior to joining DCHA, Ms. Todman held several key positions in both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. She served as a Legislative Director in the House of Representatives where she worked on national housing, education, and transportation legislation. She also worked at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as the first manager of the national HOPE VI competition, then as a policy assistant at both the Office of Public and Indian Housing and the Office of the Secretary.

Ms. Todman has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the D.C. Building Industry Association’s Public Official of the Year, and NAHRO’s 2016 M. Justin Herman Memorial award, the association’s highest honor, and one which acknowledges exceptional contributions to the housing and community development industry. She is frequently sought out to comment on national and local housing policies on various outlets and organizations, such as NPR, New York Times, Washington Post, Armstrong Williams Radio Show, the Urban Institute, and local city and county housing industry groups. Ms. Todman resides in the District of Columbia and is a proud alumna of Smith College.

NAHRO is a professional membership organization comprising more than 20,000 housing and community development agencies and officials who collectively administer a variety of affordable housing and community development programs at the state and local level. NAHRO members own or administer 674,000 units of public housing (a vast majority of the nation’s inventory), 1,724,000 units of tenant-based Section 8 housing, and 285,500 units of other assisted housing. In all, NAHRO’s members provide housing for more than 7.9 million low-income people and bring more than $1.5 billion Community Development Block Grant and HOME funding to their communities.  

Senators Reintroduce the Bipartisan Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act

Yesterday, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2017 (S. 548), a comprehensive bill that would strengthen and expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit). This legislation is very similar to the version of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 3237) introduced by the same Senators last year, but with minor modifications.

Earlier this week, Senator Cantwell released a new report that chronicles the nationwide shortage of affordable housing. In her press release, Senator Cantwell said, “[w]e are facing pressures from all sides: demand for rental housing has increased by 21 percent, but we are building units at the lowest rate since the 1970s. If we do not act to increase the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit-our best way to build new affordable homes-by 2025 over 15 million Americans could be spending half of their income on rent. This is unacceptable.”

S. 548 seeks to take steps towards addressing the affordable housing deficit by increasing the overall Housing Credit authority by 50 percent. The legislation also includes other provisions that would streamline and modernize the Housing Credit, increase financial feasibility for projects, and encourage development in underserved areas. The legislation would also support the development of rental units that use the Housing Credit in conjunction with multifamily Housing Bonds, which currently provide important financing to about 40 percent of all Housing Credit apartments.

S. 548 has bipartisan support on the Hill and there are currently eleven other original co-sponsors to the bill: Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Todd Young (R-IN), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Brian Schatz (D-HI). Also recently, over 2,000 organizations across the country, including NAHRO, signed on to the ACTION Campaign’s letter to Congress in support of S. 548.

More information on the bill by the ACTION Campaign can found here:

HUD Publishes Coordinated Entry Requirements for Homeless Assistance Programs

Yesterday, HUD published long-awaited guidance (Notice CPD-17-01) establishing the additional requirements for the development and implementation of a “centralized or coordinated assessment system” (i.e., “coordinated entry” or “coordinated entry process”) for recipients and subrecipients of the Continuum of Care (CoC) and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) programs.

The coordinated entry processes are intended to help communities prioritize people who are most in need of homeless assistance and help grantees and stakeholders strategically allocate their resources by providing information about local service needs and gaps. Each CoC must establish or update its coordinated entry process in accordance with the 2012 CoC interim final rule and this notice by January 23, 2018.

Once the coordinated entry process is established, updated and/or operationalized by CoC program recipients and subrecipients, HUD will expect the coordinated entry process to be used for all ESG programs and projects within the CoC’s geographic area. However, HUD does not require victim service providers under ESG to use the CoC’s coordinated entry process.

Additional analysis of this HUD guidance will be provided to members in a forthcoming edition of the NAHRO Monitor.

Early Lessons Learned in Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

This is a guest blog by Mark Shelburne, Novogradac & Company LLP.

As most readers are aware, in 2015 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) substantially revised its approach to affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH). One of the key aspects is submitting an Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH), using a “Tool” document as a template.

The first group of 22 cities and counties sent their AFHs to HUD for review October. Under the 2015 rule, thousands of other local governments, states, and housing authorities will do the same over the next several years.

Novogradac & Company LLP partnered with Civitas, LLC to help the city of Wilmington, N.C., and Wilmington Housing Authority on their AFH submission. Late in November, HUD staff reached out regarding a few additions and clarifications, which Novogradac, Civitas, and local officials were able to complete in the two days before Thanksgiving. The notice of acceptance came Dec. 2, making Wilmington’s plan one of the first to be completed in the nation. (Reports suggest HUD did not accept all of the AFHs submitted in the initial round.)

The best news for jurisdictions with upcoming AFFH deadlines is you are not going first. There is an opportunity to learn from those who’ve begun the process. The following is a summary list of the most important lessons learned from Novogradac’s experience in Wilmington.

  1. Collaborate with other local HUD funding recipients. This item is first both because of being an early decision and one of the most important. There is no reason to go it alone–partnering may result in some challenges, but the net is a benefit for all involved.
  1. Have widespread, diverse opportunities for public input. Try to include any fair housing organizations operating within your area. Also be aware of limited English proficiency and disability-access considerations.
  1. Start early and speak often. Applying the prior two lessons will take time, as does drafting the text. In fact, the best time to get started is as soon as you’re finished reading this post. Frequent communication (not just meetings but emails and calls), particularly around goals, is essential.
  1. Consider a consultant, but be realistic. Contracting for assistance can be particularly helpful for data analysis and providing a more objective view, but local staff will do a lot of work regardless.
  1. You know at least some of the concerns. In many cases what should happen in the community is not a mystery. You do not need to rigidly follow the steps in the Tool, it is okay to think of some goals first.
  1. Read accepted AFHs. Wilmington’s and New Orleans’ are good places to start.
  1. Be careful about dot density. Try different settings in the HUD-provided maps. For example, using the 75-per-person setting does not always show patterns of segregation.
  1. Address all protected classes. Usually the focus is on race, but all seven classes are covered. Most will vary even within a state, with disability as the most uniform. Be aware of possible implications of an ADA/Olmstead settlement underway.
  1. Don’t assume the reader knows your community. The review might not be limited to your local or state HUD office. For example, staff from across the HUD Region (Columbia, Greensboro, Jacksonville, and Nashville) were involved in Wilmington’s submission.
  1. Have specific, actionable goals. The next steps should strike a balance between making real progress and being actually achievable. You will need to have a goal for any issue either identified or apparent to the HUD reviewer.
  1. Address all issues identified. Some of the assessed factors may appear to be beyond the jurisdiction’s control. For example, many school districts are distinct governing entities from HUD funding recipients. Yet even in this instance, the goal could be to build new affordable rental properties in areas with high-performing schools.
  1. Change your mindset. True AFFH compliance is less about completing the Tool (although doing so is necessary) and more about a change of thinking. For too long, our nation has seen federal housing programs as being meant only for construction and rehabilitation; reducing segregation and expanding opportunities are equally important. This purpose should be part of program administrators’ every decision.

Final Thoughts

There is certainly a possibility the process may be different under Secretary Carson, who has expressed concerns about certain aspects of fair housing. However nothing has been announced, nor is likely to change early in the next Administration, so for now HUD recipients should continue with current approach.

Please feel free to reach out with any comments or questions.


Housing Rules Series! Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: How did we get here?

January 10, 2017 from 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM ET

If feels like there is a notice on affirmatively furthering fair housing every few days. In this rapidly changing environment, NAHRO staff will look back at the AFFH rule. Then an overview of the current notices and guidance specifically focusing on the Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH) tools will be discussed. This e-briefing will provide a regulatory context for a constructive and informed discussion on AFFH moving forward. Guest speaker, Mark Shelburne, Senior Manager at Novogradac & Company LLP, will share the important lessons learned from Novogradac’s experience in Wilmington, N.C.

Report: Homelessness in the U.S. Continues to Decline

Earlier this week, HUD published Part 1 of the 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment (AHAR) Report, providing Congress with local estimates of sheltered and unsheltered persons experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2016. According to the report, on a single night in 2016, there were 549,928 persons experiencing homelessness – a 14 percent decrease from 2010 and a 3 percent decrease over the past year. This decline was especially prevalent among families with children, Veterans, and individuals with long-term disabling conditions. Despite the downward trend of homelessness nationally, 13 states and the District of Columbia still saw an increase in their share of homelessness between 2015 and 2016.

The AHAR is typically released in two parts: Part 1 provides Point-in-Time (PIT) estimates that offer a “snapshot” of homelessness as reported by Continuums of Care (CoCs) across the U.S.; Part 2 offers in-depth detail on the characteristics of the homeless. The PIT methodology is regarded as a reliable estimate of the general size of the homeless population; however, it is important to note that it does not count every single homeless person, nor does it measure the number of people who are at risk of homelessness.



NAHRO members have long been on the front lines of preventing and ending homelessness. Read this recent NAHRO white paper to learn about public housing authority (PHA) collaborations and new directions and opportunities for ending homelessness.Case studies include: effectively ending veteran homelessness in Houston, Texas; implementing medical respite to save lives and reduce costs in Fargo, North Dakota.; and using a model for working with the chronically homeless in encampment settings by the City of West Sacramento, Yolo County, California.

PHA AFH Tool updated by HUD

An updated Public Housing Authority (PHA) Analysis of Fair Housing (AFH) Tool that takes into account public comments HUD received has been posted for public inspection. HUD continues to state that they are committed to issuing an additional AFH Tool specifically for Qualified-PHAs (QPHA.) To that end, the PHA AFH Tool is intended to be used by non-QPHAs and QPHAs that are collaborating with non-QPHAs.

HUD has made a number of updates to the PHA AFH Tool. The NAHRO Policy Team will continue to review and provide additional analysis of this notice. Below is a brief list of the PHA AFH Tool updates:

  1. QPHA Insert – This insert is to be used by QPHAs that collaborate with non-QPHAs and covers the required analysis of the QPHA’s service area.
  2. Contributing Factors – HUD added and made small changes to the descriptions of contributing factors.
  3. Disparities in Access to Opportunities – The number of questions has been reduced and references to PHA waiting lists have been removed.
  4. Disability and Access – Two additional question have been added to the tool that relate to interaction of PHAs and individuals with disabilities.
  5. Instructions – Various sections of the instructions have been updated to provide clarity.
  6. Fair Housing Analysis of Rental Housing – This section only applies to PHAs that administer a Housing Choice Voucher program and not to PHAs that are Public Housing only.
  7. Enhancements for PHAs in the Data and Mapping Tool – Specific maps and date related to PHAs are planned along with enhancing the functionality of the maps.

This notice requests comment be submitted within 30 days of issuance. HUD is requesting comment on the notice generally and on 15 specific questions, listed at the end of the notice. NAHRO members should review this notice and provide their comments to HUD. NAHRO will also be providing comment on behalf of our members.

Public inspection of the updated PHA AFH Tool can be done at:

Interactive Tool Shows the Challenges in Affordable Housing Development

The Urban Institute and National Housing Conference have published an interactive and educative tool, “The Cost of Affordable Housing: Does It Pencil Out,” that demonstrates the huge gap between what it costs to build and maintain affordable housing and the affordable rent that low-income families can pay, making it difficult to finance affordable housing without additional subsidy. Aimed at policymakers and those new to the affordable housing world, users can play with the tool by changing specific variables on development costs and see how a development’s funding gap can be closed. The tool spotlights the importance of federal programs that support affordable housing, such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) – which is the largest source of capital supporting the affordable housing inventory in the United States.

The formidable gap in financing affordable housing development is why it is important for the public to call on Congress to pass Sen. Maria Cantwell’s (D-Wash.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch’s (R-Utah) Affordable Housing Improvement Act of 2016. This legislation would expand the overall LIHTC allocation authority by 50 percent and make permanent the 4 percent Housing Credit rate. For more information on this legislation, visit NAHRO’s Community Development Resource Center (log-in required) to access a one-pager on the bills.