Friday news roundup 3/27/15

The HUDdle: Battling housing discrimination: Victories start with a few brave women

NCSHA: House and Senate budget committees approve FY 2016 budget plans

Next City: Developers and cities are navigating the affordable housing sea in a leaky boat

NHC: New data on housing affordability points the way for housing policy

Off the Charts: Fixing sequestration is key to restoring housing vouchers

Friday news roundup 3/20/15

FlowersYesterday HUD issued a press release about the new Section 3 proposed rule, which has not yet been published in the Federal Register but was previewed earlier this week in an advance copy.

The press release (and an accompanying set of FAQs) highlights the nationwide Section 3 business registry. Established in July 2014, the Section 3 registry is a searchable online database that local housing authorities, government agencies, and contractors can use to find firms that are self-certified as employing at least 30 percent public housing residents or low-income workers. In other news:

Housing Finance: Rents rising faster than incomes

The HUDdle: Going green

NHC: Housing affordability improves slightly, but challenges remain for working renters and people of color

Today is the first day of spring, and after the winter we’ve had, it’s safe to say most of us are looking forward to it. Enjoy your weekend!

Congratulations to Omayra Vanderpool, winner of the PIH Alert contest!

Congratulations to the winner of our PIH Alert contest! Omayra Vanderpool at the Plant City Housing Authority in Florida will receive a free one-year extension of her current PIH Alert subscription.

Enjoy your PIH Alert subscription!

If you didn’t win, you can still try out the PIH Alert for thirty days, free, no commitment required. Email for more information.

NMA’s PHAS Master Book has shipped!

The latest version of the NMA Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) Master Book has shipped, and subscribers to our annual revision service can expect to receive it this week or next. If you have any questions about your subscription, please contact Laurie Durrett in our accounting department and she’ll be happy to assist you.

For the 2015 revision, NMA’s PHAS Master Book has been brought current with all recent regulatory requirements and guidance, including:

  • Revisions to PHAS Indicator #4: Capital Fund Program, revised and expanded as per the Federal Register notice dated December 16, 2013, in the Federal Register notice dated July 2, 2014, and further clarified in a memo later that month
  • Additions to important HUD references

Looking for further guidance? Don’t miss NMA trainer Terry Provance’s blog series on the four PHAS indicators and how you can improve your agency’s performance.

NMA revision services provide a yearly update to your NMA Master Books and model policies with explanations and guidance regarding the most current HUD rules and regulations. To stay updated on the latest program information, try a free 30-day trial subscription to the PIH Alert. Email to get started.

Advance copy of Section 3 proposed rule now available

HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) has posted an advance copy of the Section 3 proposed rule. The 99-page document has not yet been published in the Federal Register. A 60-day public comment period will open upon its publication.

The purpose of Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 is to ensure that when HUD assists housing and community development projects, preference for some of the new jobs, training, and contracting opportunities that are created go to low-income people and to the businesses that hire them, “to the greatest extent feasible.” Since 1994, the Section 3 program has been governed by an interim regulation. For the first time in 20 years, HUD is proposing a new rule that would expand opportunities for public housing residents and low-income workers and increase contracting opportunities for local businesses. According to PD&R’s web page dedicated to the proposed rule:

The proposed rule clarifies definitions and provisions that are left to interpretation and eases barriers to reaching compliance for recipients of HUD funding. It ensures that public housing authorities and other grantees are implementing consistent procedures for determining which residents and businesses should be counted towards Section 3 compliance. The proposed rule also addresses a number of concerns expressed by stakeholders to HUD and codifies “best practices” implemented by high-performing grantees.

PD&R has also posted the following resources related to the proposed rule:

Looking for further guidance? We can bring our Procurement and Section 3 seminar to your PHA. Email for more information about our affordable onsite training options. And if you missed it the first time, check out our recent blog series on what you need to know about Section 3.

Join the NMA team! Sign up now for a Skype audition

NMA trainers Becky Gligo, Samantha Sowards, and Sammie Szabo at last year's NMA Housing Conference

NMA trainers Becky Gligo, Samantha Sowards, and Sammie Szabo at last year’s NMA Housing Conference

Have you ever thought that you’d make a great NMA trainer? Now’s your chance to show us what you’ve got! Next month we’ll be holding open auditions via Skype for new contract trainers.

2015 NMA Open Auditions

Thursday, April 30 and Friday, May 1

  • Must have a Skype account to participate
  • Download and complete this questionnaire
  • Email with your resume and the completed questionnaire
  • If you are selected as a potential candidate, we’ll contact you to set up an audition time

Email us to get started!

New Housing Help Session this Friday!

Coming up this Friday: the first in our two-part series of fair housing webinars. April is Fair Housing Month, and we’re getting started early by focusing on two areas where housing professionals often have questions.

Host Terry Provance, NMA’s fair housing expert, will walk you through what’s new and what you need to know in a two-hour audio/online conference that includes a question-and-answer session. To view the full schedule of upcoming sessions, click here. The links below will take you to the registration page.

Fri. 3/20 Fair Housing Series: Session #1 Understanding Reasonable Accommodation

  • What’s most important in the reasonable accommodation process
  • The two definitions of disabled in HUD programs
  • How to apply the reasonable accommodation process at all program levels, including application, occupancy, and termination
  • PIH Alert subscribers save $30 on registration
Terry Provance
Fri. 4/24 Fair Housing Series: Session #2 The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 2013

  • Learn what’s new for your agency in VAWA 2013
  • Understand VAWA’s basic requirements, including notification, confidentiality, and how VAWA applies to both applicants and participants
  • PIH Alert subscribers save $30 on registration
Terry Provance

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