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Housing and community news: Mar 16-22, 2019

Posted by NMA on Mar 23, 2019 9:20:00 AM

What we're reading now: the latest housing reports and analysis

HUD: HUD approves plan to support southern Georgia counties in their recovery from 2017 disasters

In a press release, HUD announced it had approved the State of Georgia's disaster action plan and will award the state $38 million in federal recovery funds through HUD's Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery Program.

This fund will be used to support the state's recovery from January 2017's deadly tornadoes as well as damages from Hurricane Irma, which include seriously damaged housing, businesses, and infrastructure.

In other news:

KQED: Forget YIMBY vs. NIMBY. Could PHIMBYs solve the housing crisis?

  • The acronyms YIMBY (Yes in My Backyard) and NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) rose from the housing crisis and the battle over new developments. But now there is a new acronym: PHIMBY (Public Housing in My Backyard) whose supporters believe municipally-run affordable housing is the best way to solve the housing crisis.

Multi-Housing News Online: Affirmed Housing Breaks Ground on LA Supportive Housing

  • Work on Aria, a 57-unit community dedicated to formerly homeless individuals, has now begun. This five-story structure, located in Los Angeles' Westlake South submarket, will include studios and one-bedroom apartments with more than 1,000 square feet of common space.

Multi-Housing News Online: Boston affordable housing project to add 135 units

  • The third phase of a redevelopment project in Boston has broken ground. The project will take The Anne M. Lynch Homes at Old Colony, one of the oldest federal public housing properties in America, and convert it into a 135 affordable unit housing.

NACo: Smarter Counties workshop uses ‘Design Thinking’

  • In a two-part Smarter Counties workshop at the 2019 NACo Legislative Conference, participants learned how to use design thinking to solve problems from a person first approach.

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Topics: Industry News

Housing and community news: Mar 2-8, 2019

Posted by NMA on Mar 8, 2019 9:11:33 AM

What we're reading now: the latest housing reports and analysis

HUD: HUD announces disaster assistance for Alabama tornado victims

On Wednesday, Mar 6, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide mortgage relief and other support to homeowners and low-income renters of Lee County, Alabama in the wake of the deadly tornado that hit the county earlier this week. This mortgage relief follows a presidential major disaster declaration, which allows HUD to offer relief to families living in impacted counties.

This assistance includes:

  • The ability to grant a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of FHA-insured homes

  • To make mortgage insurance available under HUD’s Section 203(h) program

  • To make insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation under HUD’s Section 203(k) program

  • Allows information to be made available on federal and state housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties

In other news:

Mercury News: Here’s how presidential candidates want to help solve the housing crisis

  • Several 2020 presidential candidates have already proposed bills to address the affordability crisis in states, such as California, who experience dramatically rising rent and home prices.

National Association of Counties: HUD secretary: Opportunity Zones can lift distressed areas out of poverty

  • On Tuesday, Mar 5 at NACo's 2019 Legislative Conference, HUD Secretary Ben Carson told county officials two ways they could help create more affordable housing is through utilizing Opportunity Zones and streamlining regulations. Carson also urged county officials to align transportation, land use plans, and infrastructure projects, as well as looking at any "archaic" rules, regulations, and zoning restrictions.

Strong Town: 8 things your town can do to add more housing (without spending a dime)

  • Strong Towns researched ways communities can expand their housing beyond simply increasing funding or using housing vouchers. Strong Towns shares different ways any city, big or small, in America can add more housing to their towns.

CityLabHow to design a better city for deaf people

  • How a room is designed will impact individuals who use that space and their ability to communicate. CityLab talks with DeafSpace Design about "universal" design choices and the impact it has on communities such as the Deaf community.

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Topics: Industry News

2018 NMA Housing Awards winners

Posted by NMA on Mar 7, 2019 9:49:43 AM


The winners of the 2018 NMA Housing Awards were announced at The Housing Conference last week in New Orleans. We're excited to recognize the amazing work that these housing agencies have done for their communities!

First launched in 2007, the NMA Housing Awards were created to recognize individual agency performance and honor excellence in the affordable housing industry. The awards are open to housing authorities and associations throughout the United States, who may enter in two categories: the Development Award, and the Resident Service Award. Recipients of the Development Award include new construction, green initiatives, property improvements, and out-of-the-box financing, while the Resident Service Award honors leaders in community outreach and efforts to improve the future of families. Read on to learn more about this year's winners.

SD Housing Commission


 2018 NMA Development Award (Large Agency)

Housing First

San Diego Housing Commission

Housing First San Diego exceeded its three-year goal of creating 3,000 housing opportunities for homeless residents in 18 months. Its landlord engagement and assistance program has created 1,855 housing opportunities for local homeless residents—the most of any Housing First program. Its Housing Our Heroes initiative has provided rental housing assistance to 1,000 of the county's homeless military veterans.

San Diego Housing Commission launched the current phase of Housing First in 2017 and has since directed $80 million in federal, city, and SDHC resources toward programs to create permanent housing opportunities for individuals and families experiencing homelessness or risk of homelessness. These opportunities provide a path to permanent housing for individuals and families in San Diego who would otherwise be in shelters or on the streets.


HA of the City of Napa


 2018 NMA Development Award (Small Agency)

Valley View Senior Homes

Housing Authority of the City of Napa

Valley View is a 70-unit new-construction housing project for seniors 55 and older, restricted to extremely low and very low-income households. It includes both traditional apartments and cottages designed to blend in with the adjacent residential neighborhood, as well as a bocce ball court, clubhouse, and community garden. Services to residents include free internet and weekly social events.

The Housing Authority of the City of Napa used federal CDBG funding in addition to tax-exempt bond financing and grants to develop Valley View, which is significant for being the first senior housing project in the City of American Canyon and the first veterans' affordable housing project in Napa County. Its project-based vouchers are the first VASH vouchers awarded to HACN. It's also the first project in Napa County to provide project-based permanent supportive housing units through the community's recently redesigned homeless system.




2018 NMA Resident Service Award (Large Agency)


Philadelphia Housing Authority

PhillySEEDS is a non-profit affiliate of the Philadelphia Housing Authority founded five years ago by PHA's president and CEO, Kelvin Jeremiah, in order to facilitate raising funds and developing programs for residents in ways that PHA might not be able to do. Through a wide range of philanthropic funding sources, PhillySEEDS provides scholarships, develops community-based partnerships, and exercises financial flexibility to invest in and uplift PHA families through education, homeownership, and entrepreneurial endeavors.

A total of almost $1.3 million has been awarded to 343 residents since this award-winning program began in 2013. Money for the scholarships comes from PHA's operating budget, donations from corporate and individual program supporters, and funds received from vendors as part of their Section 3 commitments.




2018 NMA Resident Service Award (Large Agency)

Step-Up Apprenticeship Program

Worcester Housing Authority

In 2014, Worcester Housing Authority asked, "What can we do to end the persistent cycle of unemployment we see in our tenant families?" The main causes were lack of employable job skills, large gaps in work history, and a long list of social challenges. At that time, the unemployment rate at two of WHA's largest family developments was 80 percent. WHA realized that intensive case management would be a necessity to help its families maintain long-term employment.

These discussions led to the creation of the Step-Up Apprenticeship Program, a recognized two-year Massachusetts state training program that provides a technical training curriculum and on-the-job training for WHA residents. The goal of the program is to provide residents with access to education, job skills, and employment opportunities. For many of the participants, Step-Up is their first job. Four apprenticeship disciplines are offered: apartment prep, landscaping, custodial work, and administrative assignments. Since the program was launched, 35 apprentices have successfully graduated and achieved full-time employment in both the public and private sectors.




2018 NMA Resident Service Award (Small Agency)

Bringing Generations Together

Central Falls Housing Authority

Last year, the Central Falls Housing Authority teamed up with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Rhode Island to launch the Bringing Generations Together program. The intergenerational program pairs teens with seniors for projects like snow removal, farmer's market outings, healthy cooking, crafts, storytelling, and culturally rich and diverse activities. It brings residents out of their rooms and tackles isolation head-on, developing valuable relationships between seniors and youth.

The program has recently received a two-year grant of $120,000 to expand the intergenerational programming to four new communities in Rhode Island. Each community follows its own path to becoming age-friendly and helping ensure that resources reach underrepresented communities at greatest risk for disparities.




2018 NMA Resident Service Award, Honorable Mention

Forest Preserve Experience

Housing Authority of Cook County

The Forest Preserve Experience is a five-week summer program that introduces high school-aged residents from HACC's HCV and public housing programs to physical work outdoors on conservation and restoration projects. Each week, time is devoted to learning about the local environment, and the teenagers enjoy the opportunity to participate in hiking, canoeing, and other recreational activities.

HACC uses the fees it collects by acting as its own developer in public housing rehab transactions to help fund the Forest Preserve Experience, and HACC employees create and distribute all marketing materials to garner interest from residents. The program also includes supplementary activities, such as a "Smart Money" class at a local community college. Many of the teenagers in the program earn their first paycheck through FPE, and the class gives them a financial framework as well as a taste of what it feels like to be in a college setting.


Thank you to all the hardworking and dedicated agencies and housing professionals who took the time to submit entries. As always, there was an abundance of incredible entries to review. Visit the link below to sign up for notifications about next year's awards and conference!

Sign up to be notified when the 2019 NMA Housing Awards open 

Topics: NMA Housing Awards, The Housing Conference

Housing and community news: Feb 16-22, 2019

Posted by NMA on Feb 22, 2019 1:20:27 PM

What we're reading now: the latest housing reports and analysis

National Low Income Housing Coalition: Details of bipartisan HUD and USDA spending deal for FY19

Congress has enacted the omnibus spending package for HUD and other federal agencies. The 1,090-page bill had been approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives on February 14, and the President signed the bill on February 15.

The bill provides more than $12 billion above the President’s request for HUD programs. Building on the 10 percent increase in HUD funding for 2018, $1.5 billion in new resources is now available for 2019—including modest increases for the public housing Capital Fund and Operating Fund, Section 8 HAP renewals and ongoing administrative fees, the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program, and Healthy Homes, to name a few. The Choice Neighborhoods program has not been eliminated and has been funded at the same levels as last year. In addition, an amendment that would have barred people charged with certain crimes from receiving housing assistance has not been included over concerns regarding its implementation. 

The National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) has posted an article detailing provisions of the bill and an updated chart comparing fiscal year (FY) 2018 funding levels to proposed and final levels for FY 2019.


In other news:

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: HUD funding bill will launch Housing Voucher mobility demonstration

  • Congress recently passed the mobility demonstration to help PHAs plan and implement a housing mobility program to help low-income families gain access to low-poverty neighborhoods with higher-performing schools.

National Low Income Housing Coalition: THUD subcommittee holds hearing to review HUD’s performance during government shutdown

  • An oversight hearing was held on Feb. 12 by the House THUD Appropriations Subcommittee to review HUD's management of project-based rental assistance contracts that expired during the partial government shutdown. The subcommittee hopes to use lessons learned from the shutdown to improve communication with Congress and housing stakeholders.

The Sault News: State to offer a new option for low-income housing

  • Michigan is offering a new modular housing option to help low- and low-mid level income families buy homes. So far 55 cities and nonprofit organizations have expressed interest in the program.

Los Angeles Times: HUD Secretary Ben Carson announces job funds for Nickerson Gardens tenants

  • U.S. Secretary of HUD, Ben Carson, announced on Feb. 20 a $3.7-million grant for a new job center at Nickerson Gardens. The grant will be applied to the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles' Jobs Plus Initiative Program, which helps citizens with job placement and getting employment.

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Topics: Industry News

Housing and community news: Feb 09-15, 2019

Posted by NMA on Feb 15, 2019 11:14:42 AM

What we're reading now: the latest housing reports and analysis

DSNews: HUD offers helping hand to displaced earthquake victims

HUD announced on Monday, February 11, disaster assistance efforts would be accelerated for Alaska's 7.0 magnitude earthquake. This announcement follows the January 31 major disaster declaration issued for Anchorage and affected counties, which allowed a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of FHA home mortgages.

The relief is now open to providing federal disaster assistance to support low-income renters and homeowners displaced by the recent earthquake. HUD's Section 203(h) program will also provide relief by helping disaster victims with their mortgage insurance on homes that were destroyed or damaged beyond repair.

HUD is sharing this information with FEMA and will be reaching out to housing providers to find available units at public housing agencies and in multi-family properties.


In other news:

Multi-Housing News: Bridge Housing tops out $84M affordable project in OR

  • A 203-unit affordable housing development in Portland, OR is nearing completion. The building will provide housing to low-income families and homeless military veterans in the area.


Strong Towns: Nominate your city for our 4th Annual Strongest Town Contest!

  • Strong Towns are now taking applications for their Annual Strongest Town Contest. Community members can nominate their town and share what they think makes it unique and worth celebrating.


HUD Public Affairs: HUD awards $74 million to help families reach self-sufficiency

  • On Thursday, Feb. 14, HUD announced the recipients for service coordinators in the FSS program.


League of California Cities: Looking to update your general, specific, or community plan?

  • California cities can apply this coming spring for funding through the SB 2 Planning Grants Program to update a variety of plans.


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: HUD funding bill will launch housing voucher mobility demonstration

  • Congress passed the funding bill which includes $28 million to fund the voucher mobility demonstration. This fund will help housing mobility support services and operating regional mobility programs, along with providing new vouchers for families with children.


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Topics: Industry News

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