Friday news roundup 1/30/15

On Monday the Obama administration will be releasing its detailed proposed budget for next year. In a one-hour webcast scheduled for Monday afternoon, HUD Secretary Julián Castro will provide a briefing on the HUD portion of the budget. The webcast will begin at 4 p.m. eastern time (1 p.m. Pacific time). If you wish to watch the webcast live, you will find the link you need on this page shortly before it starts. In other news:

Housing Finance: Community Development Trust commits $100 million to assist RAD projects

Next City: Restoring payments to the National Housing Trust Fund, and Sec. Castro on The Daily Show

NLIHC: Appropriation levels for HUD programs in FY16 could be the worst in several years

Rooflines: Supreme Court argument reaffirms the case for disparate impact

HUD updates RAD application process

Today in the Federal Register, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) described its application review process for the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). The cap on RAD conversions was increased from 60,000 units to 185,000 units under the fiscal year 2015 appropriations act.

As described in today’s notice, HUD will now process existing applications from the RAD waiting list. HUD will issue a commitment to enter into a housing assistance payments contract (CHAP) for any eligible application that falls below the 185,000-unit cap.

According to the notice, if additional or updated information is needed to complete an application, the application will be held until the information is provided. HUD will review applications “in the manner it deems most expedient”:

HUD may consider deal-specific factors including program financing requirements in determining the order with which it processes applications. Applications that require a CHAP by a certain deadline in order to secure project financing may be reviewed prior to other applications in order to maximize resources and support the successful conversion of all transactions.

To stay updated on the latest program information, subscribe to the PIH Alert and receive a daily email with news and analysis for PHAs and housing professionals.

HUD posts updated RAD rents for 2014

Last week on its RAD Tools webpage, HUD posted a spreadsheet showing updated 2014 rent levels for the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD). The new spreadsheet updates preliminary figures posted in June 2014. AS HUD announced in June:

Upon an increase in the RAD cap, the department will use the fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding levels to set RAD rents for all pending, active applications above RAD’s current 60,000 unit threshold that are currently in hand or received in 2014.

The RAD cap was increased from 60,000 to 185,000 units under 2015 appropriations. As noted in the revised spreadsheet:

The table below includes HUD’s calculations of RAD contract rents for each public housing property based on 2014 appropriation levels, which will form the basis of the conversion rents for properties awarded CHAPs (commitment to enter into a housing assistance payments contract) as a result of the increase in the RAD unit cap.

To stay updated, follow the #RAD tag to keep up with all related blog posts, or subscribe to the PIH Alert and receive a daily email with breaking news and analysis for PHAs and housing professionals.

Congress to act soon on omnibus appropriations bill for 2015

Yesterday Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, introduced an omnibus bill (H.R. 83) to wrap up all of the unfinished appropriations business for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2015. You can read the text of the HUD portion of the bill here (see PDF pages 38 to 55) and the HUD portion of the explanatory statement here. In brief, the bill provides the following amounts for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):

  • Public housing operating fund: $4.4 billion, $40 million over the 2014 amount
  • Public housing capital fund: $1.9 billion, no change from the 2014 amount
  • Section 8 tenant-based vouchers: $19.3 billion, $127 million over the 2014 amount (This total includes funding for voucher renewals, tenant protection vouchers, administrative fees, and new vouchers for homeless veterans, nonelderly disabled families, and the family unification program.)

If approved by both chambers of Congress, the bill will raise the cap on the number of public housing conversions allowed under the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) from 60,000 to 185,000, relax the flat rent requirements that were mandated under the 2014 appropriations act, and increase the cap on fungibility between public housing capital and operating funds. The bill also includes the following language regarding physical needs assessments:

The agreement prohibits HUD from requiring or enforcing the physical needs assessment (PNA) in fiscal year 2015. HUD is not, however, prohibited from continuing to work on a PNA tool that will help PHAs assess the physical quality of their public housing stock in a way that is not overly burdensome. HUD is expected to continue to evaluate the PNA tool and update its 2014 report to the Committees on Appropriations, as specified in the Senate report accompanying this act, no later than March 2, 2015.

Currently, much of the federal government is being funded under a continuing resolution (CR). That resolution will expire tomorrow, so the House likely will pass a new CR to give the Senate time to approve the omnibus bill.

To receive updates and analysis on the latest PIH news, subscribe to NMA’s PIH Alert and receive a daily email with breaking news and other important information for PHAs and housing professionals. Save 10% on your subscription when you order before January 1 during the NMA year-end sale!

Friday news roundup 11/21/14

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: Housing cost burdens continue to strain renters

MetroTrends: 3 trends that signal hard times for renters

Next City: Tying housing vouchers to public schools

NLIHC: AFFH assessment tool comments due Tuesday

NLIHC: Hold put on PIH assistant secretary

NLIHC: HUD submits fair housing report to Congress

Rooflines: A RADical change for public housing?

Our offices will be closed next Thursday and Friday to celebrate Thanksgiving, so we won’t be publishing the weekly news roundup. Check back on Friday, December 5 for the next installment. In the meantime, enjoy your holiday!

Midweek news roundup 11/11/14

In honor of Veterans Day, we’re publishing a midweek roundup. News of note this week:

Dallas News (via HUD): Every veteran deserves a home

Housing Finance: Julián Castro’s priorities for 2015

Next City: Tens of thousands of veterans have no place to call home

NLIHC: Washington advocates propose using Medicaid to help end chronic homelessness

Off the Charts: Progress against veterans’ homelessness shows value of rental assistance

Off the Charts: Rental assistance helps more than 340,000 veterans and their families afford housing

Off the Charts: Why expanding RAD makes sense

Veterans Affairs (via HUD): Veterans Day 2014

Friday news roundup 11/7/14

Housing Finance: IRS announces 2015 LIHTC, bond caps

The HUDdle: Survivors of domestic violence need fair housing, not eviction

NCSHA: HUD reports further decline in homelessness

NCSHA: Judge rejects HUD’s disparate impact rule

New York Times: Free broadband for public housing in New York sought as condition in Comcast deal

Next City: NYCHA is revisiting its policy of barring many formerly incarcerated people from public housing

Next City: Using Wall Street tactics to preserve affordable housing

NLIHC: 40 years ago: Public housing changes in Housing and Community Development Act of 1974

Off the Charts: Neighborhoods do matter to kids’ success

Off the Charts: Tens of thousands apply for scarce housing vouchers

PD&R Edge: Why did Pruitt-Igoe fail?

Rooflines: HUD’s perspective on the Rental Assistance Demonstration

Shelterforce: Lifting the fog on Section 3

Washington Post (via Planetizen): These five charts show the progress made in fighting homelessness

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