CLPHA's spring meeting, held March 25-26 in Washington D.C. was one of
its largest and most enthusiastic to date. The overarching theme was public housing authorities’ tremendous success
in obligating $3
billion in Recovery Act funds in just one year.
Throughout the meeting,
senior HUD and
congressional staff thanked PHAs for their hard work, noting how the
accomplishment reinforces the industry's role as an economic engine. Drawing on this achievement, CLPHA members took the
opportunity to restate their request for more capital funds in HUD's
FY2011 budget request.
CLPHA has long
been engaged in discussions on how to preserve public housing through
reformed funding and regulatory systems. It was the primary focus of
the Summit on the Future of
Public Housing convened
by CLPHA in
2008; central to the resulting policy framework were preserving public
housing, and putting it on a sound financial footing. These are similar
to the long-term, overarching goals of HUD's Transforming Rental Assistance (TRA) discussion draft, which CLPHA is reviewing.
At CLPHA's March meeting, David Lipsetz, Policy Advisor to the HUD Assistant Secretary
for Public and Indian Housing, and Greg Byrne, Director of Implementation
for the TRA, provided an outline of the department's proposal.
the initiative as the best way to preserve public and assisted housing, Lipsetz
made clear the conversations with stakeholders are continuing. Read More >
Moving Forward as Partners: Sandra Henriquez
HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Sandra
Henriquez captured the theme of this session in her opening remarks by praising housing authorities for their herculean effort to obligate 99.99
percent of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding
by the statutory deadline.
She noted that
$2.98 billion was obligated by 3,113 housing authorities by March 17, including all CLPHA members. Only
a paltry $3.2 million was returned by 21 housing authorities, Henriquez said these obligations
will result in over “9,000 jobs being created or retained…and over 145,000
public housing units being rehabilitated.” Read More >
HUD’s Leadership on Sustainability Efforts: Listening to What Works
HUD will be setting policies and programs on sustainable
communities, but they are most interested in hearing from stakeholders about
what works, said Jim Lopez, Senior Advisor to HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims.
“It is incumbent upon HUD to listen to folks on the ground
as we develop and implement government policy,” he said. “We are watching
public housing authorities because they are acting.”
“We want to ask questions, and hear your input on areas
where you see opportunities.”
Tony Perez, Executive Director, Housing Authority of the
City of Milwaukee,
introduced the panel on how interagency initiatives can help provide care to seniors in
Cora McCorvey, Executive Director of the Minneapolis Housing
Authority (MHA), profiled her authority’s senior population. With 11 elderly-designated high rise
buildings comprising 1,859 senior apartments, MHA serves over 3,900 near
elderly and elderly residents with 65% of these residents being people of
color. They provide a wide range of
programs, including homemaker/chore services; counseling and case management; and
social, educational, recreational, and transportation services. MHA is
also building the state’s only senior facility to focus on seniors with memory
issues. (Presentation here.) Read More >
The Latest From HUD
HUD General Deputy Assistant Secretary Deborah Hernandez
moderated a panel of HUD program staff who discussed a wide range of timely
Donald J. Lavoy, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Field
Operations, added to the chorus of thanks to CLPHA
members for their expedient obligation of Recovery Act Funds. Sue Wilson, Director,
Urban Revitalization, HOPE VI Division provided an update on grants and NOFAs:
HOPE VI awards will be made “very soon”, followed by the 2010 HOPE VI NOFA
Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) NOFA will be issued later in the year
Back to back sessions by HUD General Counsel Helen Kanovsky
and HUD Inspector General Kenneth Donohue reinforced HUD’s efforts to shift the
department’s role away from a ‘gotcha’ mentality. Both also congratulated PHAs
for meeting the abbreviated deadline for obligating their Recovery Act Funds.
Two congressional staff panels closed out the meeting,
beginning with authorization committee staff: Beth Cooper, Professional Staff,
Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee; Charla Ouertatani, Staff
Director, Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee, House Financial
Services Committee; and Scott Olson, Professional Staff, House Financial
Cooper indicated the Senate committee will turn to SEVRA
this session and will take a hard look at the Administration’s Choice
Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) and Transforming Rental Assistance (TRA) proposals.
Retiring CLPHA board member Jon Gresley, Oakland Housing Authority Executive Director, was
honored at the March meeting for his exceptional service to the industry, his
community, and CLPHA.
Michael Kelly, General Manager of the New York City Housing Authority,
presented a plaque reading:
CLPHA honors Jon Gresley for his exceptional service to CLPHA and its Board of Directors, distinguished by
his wisdom, his loyalty and his generosity.
Hailed as an innovative and forward-thinking leader in Oakland and
across the country, he is committed to using his creativity and vision to
improve the lives of people he serves. Read More >
New CLPHA Officers and Board Members
CLPHA announces board officers and new board members.