• 1 The Capitol Gateway HOPE VI mixed-use, mixed-income community, Washington, D.C.
  • 3 Seattle's High Point Public housing is built around parks for children and a community garden.
  • 3 Two of Cuyahoga Housing Authority's seven green roofs, LakeView Terrace, Cleveland
  • 3 Tremont Pointe, a HOPE VI development and the first multi-family green project in Ohio.
  • 3 Walsh Construction, the Pomegranate Center and the Salishan Community of Tacoma, Washington came together to create a courtyard and park. Photo by Eugene Shibayama.
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The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities supports the nation's largest and most innovative housing authorities by advocating for the resources they need to solve local housing challenges and create communities of opportunity.  More about CLPHA >

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Register Now for CLPHA's 2015 Fall Members' Meeting in Washington, DC!

Register for CLPHA's fall members' meeting scheduled for Thursday Oct. 22, 2015 and Friday, Oct. 23 at the Loews Madison Hotel, 1177 15th St NW in the nation's capital. 

CLPHA's 2015 Summer Meeting in San Diego

CLPHA extends its heartfelt thanks to the San Diego Housing Commission, as well as all of our members and guests, who helped make our June 17-19, 2015 Summer Meeting in San Diego a great success.

Here's a summary of the speeches and panels at the members' meeting.

Members Making News

CLPHA issued a statement following the Obama Administration's July 15, 2015 announcement of a pilot program to provide high-speed Internet connections to dozens of federally subsidized housing communities, including those operated by CLPHA members:  

The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) welcomes President Obama’s recent announcement of the ConnectHome initiative whose goal is to help boost the educational achievement of children who live in federally subsidized housing by increasing their at-home access to high-speed Internet services.

“It is critical that children living in public housing have access to the tools that will give them the best chance to improve their lives. Digital access is central to today’s educational achievement,” said Sunia Zaterman, CLPHA’s Executive Director.

Among the 27 cities chosen to be part of the ConnectHome pilot project are many served by CLPHA members: Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Durham, NC; Fresno, CA; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Newark, NJ; San Antonio, TX; Seattle, WA, and Washington, DC.

CLPHA members are leaders in efforts to narrow the educational gaps between their school-age residents and other children. They are partners with school districts, foundations and others and are increasingly focused on better aligning their housing assistance to families that include school-age children with services provided by schools and other community institutions and organizations.

This “systems alignment” work aims to make the most effective use of those combined efforts to improve educational outcomes. Narrowing the “digital divide” by making it easier for children in subsidized housing to use high-speed Internet in their homes to complete schoolwork will help ensure the success of this alignment movement.

Furthermore, broadband access in these low-income communities will benefit not just children but entire families. It promises to provide more opportunities for adults to complete their education, find jobs and move further along the path toward self-sufficiency.

HUD IG's Flawed Over-Income Report Was Just More Of The Same

The HUD Inspector General’s report on over-income families was just the latest example of the IG delving into areas beyond its scope.

After the IG’s report this summer that more than 25,000 families in the nation’s public housing were over-income the inevitable negative news media coverage ensued.

HUD’s initial response was thoughtful and accurate. The agency noted, correctly, that there are justifiable reasons for, and no prohibitions against, housing "over-income" families. HUD cited the importance of reducing concentrated poverty while not creating disincentives to self-sufficiency. The agency also warned that losing revenues from such tenants would require housing authorities to seek an additional $116.5 million in federal subsidies.  
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CLPHA Launches the RAD Collaborative

CLPHA, supported by the National Equity Fund ( NEF) and the HAI Group - recently announced the launch of a RAD Collaborative for housing authorities and their partners now using or considering the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) to preserve and revitalize the nation's public housing stock to benefit residents and surrounding communities.

As CLPHA said in its announcement email, the Collaborative will be open to all those committed to making RAD an innovative and successful new tool in this critical effort.

CLPHA announced that Patrick Costigan, Kathleen Foster and Steve
Holmquist will serve as strategic advisers to the Collaborative and coordinate its
activities and functions. Pat and Kathleen recently formed the CF Housing Group, LLC,
and previously helped launch RAD while working at HUD. Steve, CLPHA's general
counsel, is with Reno & Cavanaugh, PLL.

As part of the launch, Pat, Kathleen and Steve will join Sunia Zaterman as presenters during a webinar scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 from 1pm and 2:30pm EDT. There's still time to register for the webinar.

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HUD Clarifies Community Service, Self-Sufficiency Rules

Responding to criticism from the HUD Office of the Inspector General issued in early 2015, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing released a new notice, PIH-2015-12, “Administering the Community Service and Self-Sufficiency Requirement (CSSR)” which clarifies exemptions under the community service requirements. 

The OIG’s report found that up to 106,000 units were occupied by noncompliant tenants, either through a failure to complete the requirements by tenants or by PHAs mislabeling tenants as exempt who were actually eligible. The report focused on tenants who are disabled, receiving SNAP benefits, or engaged in work activities as those who the OIG believed incorrectly received exemptions.

The OIG’s report concluded that residents receiving SNAP benefits are required to do community service. But HUD’s notice clarifies that SNAP beneficiaries, or residents who are members of a family where at least one member is receiving SNAP benefits, are in fact covered under the welfare exemption and not subject to community service requirements.

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New Deloitte Study Confirms Big ED Pay Gap

A recent Deloitte review that compared salaries of housing authority executive directors to their counterparts at both “top real estate executives” and non-profit organizations confirmed previous studies placing housing authority chief executives on the short end of those comparisons. 

CLPHA sponsored the report with the PHADA and NAHRO. The study lent further credence to its sponsors’ assertion that the federally imposed $155,000 cap on ED pay threatens the ability of housing authorities to recruit and retain top talent.

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HUD Issues Guidance For Reporting Executive Pay

On September 11, 2015 HUD issued a notice PIH-2015-14, “Guidance on Reporting Public Housing Agency Executive Compensation Information.” The notice gives guidance to PHAs on how to use the recently revised HUD-52725 form to report executive compensation. Several changes were made to the HUD-52725 form including:

•    Reporting the executive employee’s total compensation by using W-2 forms.
•    Submitting a salary breakdown that shows executive employee compensation from Section 8 and Section 9 funds, as well as other funds. 
•    A section that accounts for PHAs with officials serving as contractors in high-earning executive roles

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How Will the New Flat-Rent Changes Affect You?

On September 8, HUD published an interim rule “Changes to Flat Rent Requirements – FY 2015 Appropriations Act. This interim rule amends the changes made to HUD’s flat-rent policy in the FY2014 HUD Appropriations Act, clarifies the new policies under the FY2015 HUD Appropriations Act, and offers guidance to PHAs in implementing them.

Although the rule will go into effect on October 8, 2015, HUD is accepting comments through November 9, 2015.

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Rep. Velazquez Introduces Job Opportunity Bill for Public Housing Residents

On September 10, shortly after the Labor Day holiday, Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) introduced HR 3467, the “Together We Care Act of 2015.”  The proposal establishes a 3-year federal pilot training program that would allow public housing residents to be given the opportunity to receive home health services training from state certified organizations.

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Fairfax County Seeks Waiting-List Guidance From Other CLPHA Members

The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA)  is considering re-opening its waiting list for affordable housing programs.  In light of this, it seeks to learn the best practices from agencies that have recently opened their list(s) or are planning to do so within the next year.

FCRHA's staff members have developed an online survey that contains questions regarding the process your agency utilized in opening its waiting list(s) or is planning to utilize in the near future.  This survey has been prepared using the Survey Monkey application for ease in responding.  Please click here to access and complete the survey.

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Current Issues
Building Opportunity:
Improving Life Outcomes Through Housing

At the heart of every housing authority’s mission is improving the lives of the families and individuals they serve. For many housing authorities, this means coordinating with the education, workforce development, health care, transportation, and social services systems on the local level to provide supports and opportunities to residents.

Yet, innovative practice on the local level has not led to the broad-scale change that is needed to lift more than 43 million Americans out of poverty. Thus, CLPHA and its members have committed to work with interested practitioners, researchers, and policymakers to reshape the way that the housing system works with other systems at the federal level.

This effort, called “Building Opportunity” for short, will create that systems change by:

  • Developing knowledge about local level challenges to partnering with other systems
  •  Sharing successful practices and solutions to challenges with practitioners across sectors and
  •  Promoting the implementation of policies that align systems to federal policymakers.
Local practitioners across sectors already know from experience that when systems work together, outcomes for families and individuals living in poverty are improved. Learn more about how housing authorities are working with other systems and how to be part of Building Opportunity.

ReThink: Why Housing Matters

CLPHA is proud to be a part of HAI Group's ReThink initiative, a national public awareness campaign encouraging people to reconsider their perceptions about public housing and realize the benefits it offers individuals and the greater community.

Visit www.ReThinkHousing.org to learn more, and join the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

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