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The PIH Alert: a daily summary with the latest news on affordable housing

Posted by NMA on Jul 18, 2019 7:24:00 AM

PIH Alert Screenshot

We know time is valuable, and we will save you tons! NMA’s PIH Alert, one of our most helpful services for the affordable housing industry, allows public housing agencies (PHAs) and housing professionals to stay current with HUD’s new regulations, notices, and guidance—without having to worry about finding it yourself.

In this constantly changing industry, it is crucial that PHAs are always up to date and adhere to rules and standards, but this is not an easy task. There are so many HUD websites that are hard to navigate and very difficult to understand. That is why we do the job for you! Every day, we search through several housing industry websites and resources to provide you with all the information you need, saving you many hours of research.

When you subscribe to NMA's PIH Alert, you will receive a daily email with a brief summary of each new regulation, notice, guidance, tool, webcast statement, act of Congress, and everything else that involves the public housing and HCV programs as they are released. This summary also provides you the links to the relevant information for each item. Additionally, every Friday, you will receive “FAQ Friday,” a PIH Alert section that includes one frequently asked question (FAQ) regarding PIH program administration submitted by our subscribers.

Another great and very popular feature of our PIH Alert is a monthly email that summarizes the most important articles of the past four weeks, so we make sure you don’t miss anything. You will also have access to the PIH Alert archives when you need to refer to a past article.

Our customers, staff, trainers, and consultants go over the PIH Alert every day to get the latest housing industry updates as well. If you work in the affordable housing industry, you can’t miss out on the PIH Alert. Use your time wisely; we will do the hard work for you.

 

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Topics: fair housing, LIHTC, Industry News, multifamily, housing choice voucher

Community development and housing news: June 13, 2019

Posted by NMA on Jun 13, 2019 11:12:57 AM

Community development and housing news for June 13, 2019

President Trump signs package to deliver disaster relief funds, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019 bill is proposed, Cities of Service Awards $150,000 to six cities for New Experience Matters Program, and other stories we're following this week.

Breaking newsBuildings with Puerto Rico flag hanging

President Donald Trump signed a package on June 6 that would deliver $19.1 billion in disaster relief.

The bill includes $600 million in nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico, $3 billion for farmers to help cover crop losses, $1.6 billion to help repair damaged highways, $720 million for the U.S. Forest Service to help cover wildfire suppression efforts, and $120 million to help the National Park Service repair damaged public lands. Read more

A bipartisan group of Senate and House legislators have proposed a sweeping bill to help solve the affordable housing issue.

Called the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019, this bill seeks to close the gap in affordable rental units across the nation by expanding and strengthening the Affordable Housing Tax Credit. If passed, the bill expects to create 1.9 million additional affordable units over the next decade. Read more

Cities of Service announced that six U.S. cities will participate in its new Cities of Service Experience Matters program.

With support from AARP, Cities of Service will work with the cities to develop volunteering initiatives that address public problems related to the drivers of poverty. The winning cities will receive $25,000, technical assistance, and two full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members based in city hall who will build capacity and raise awareness for the initiatives. Read more

 

What we're readingConstruction hats on wall

A new cooperative initiative is working with homeowners in the Bay Area to design and construct accessory dwelling, or in-law, units in their backyard.

The cooperative, called Roots and Returns, is aimed at developing and maintaining affordable housing for Bay Area residents who were pushed out of town due to high housing costs. The coop will give priority to people in the service industry, whether they work in food service, as school teachers, firefighters, EMTs, or other types of service work. Read more

 

Articles to bookmarkBirds eye view of housing

Renters who have disabilities are often unable to meet the kinds of admission criteria that landlords establish for their properties.

Renters with disabilities may fail to meet the minimum income policies or may have past financial pressures that led to bankruptcies, a blemished credit history, or evictions for example. Read more

 

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Topics: fair housing, LIHTC, persons with disabilities, disaster recovery

Community development and housing news: May 23, 2019

Posted by NMA on May 23, 2019 4:13:05 PM

Community development and housing news for May 23, 2019

FY20 funding starts moving forward, how cities are encouraging owners to accept vouchers, and other stories we're following this week.

Breaking newscongress-300px

Yesterday the House THUD subcommittee released the text of their bill prior to today's markup.

Overall, the bill would raise HUD program funding by $3.8 billion (or 7 percent) over the nominal (not inflation-adjusted) 2019 level and increase funding for the HCV program by $1.9 billion. Read more

The bill also proposes a $25 million grant program for installing carbon monoxide detectors and remediating other health hazards in public housing.

Under the newly proposed program, local public housing authorities will be able to apply for federal grants to install carbon monoxide detectors, combat mold and remove asbestos, among other environmental health hazards Read more

The Atlantic Council and Rockefeller Foundation announced the launch of a new initiative to enhance the resilience of 1 billion people worldwide by 2030.

It is the successor of 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), the Rockefeller Foundation’s former resilience effort. The news came on the day that the city of Washington, DC unveiled its first resiliency strategy, built in partnership with 100RC with an emphasis on fostering inclusive growth, fighting climate change and transforming technology. Read more

 

What we're readingapartments

Portland is trying to help its low-income residents with a renewed push toward a type of housing that fell out of favor decades ago.

Single-room-occupancy hotels, or SROs, were once ubiquitous in the central city, an affordable haven for people who otherwise would land on the street. Read more

There is no federal law requiring landlords to accept vouchers, but almost a dozen states and more than 50 cities and counties have enacted legislation to prevent "source of income" discrimination.

Proponents of income anti-discrimination legislation such as a proposed measure in St. Louis say these laws can increase the likelihood that voucher-holders will find housing in stable, safe neighborhoods instead of in neighborhoods with concentrated poverty. Read more

However, fair-housing advocates in Baltimore are worried that an amendment attached to a similar bill introduced last year could set a dangerous precedent.

Under the amendment, buildings would be exempt from the ban if at least 20 percent of their units are already rented to tenants using vouchers. Read more

And in Los Angeles, a new project aims to finance backyard homes for Section 8 tenants.

After California enacted amendments making it easier to build accessory dwelling units, applications skyrocketed. Now a new partnership in Los Angeles is looking to maximize the impact of the more permissive rules for ADUs by offering financing, design and construction services for homeowners who agree to rent their new units to voucher holders. Read more

 

Articles to bookmarkconversation

Core strategies for having conversations on homelessness.

When having a conversation about homelessness, there are several techniques that can help steer the conversation in a productive way. Read more

 

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Topics: fair housing, indoor air quality, climate and disaster resilience

Community development and housing news

Posted by NMA on Apr 18, 2019 8:21:00 AM

Community development and housing news for April 18, 2019

Breaking news

HUD announces disaster aid for storm victims in Nebraska and Iowa

Late Friday HUD posted two press releases announcing that it will speed federal disaster assistance to the states of Iowa and Nebraska and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes due to severe winter storms and flooding. Presidential disaster declarations allow HUD to offer foreclosure relief and other assistance to certain families living in impacted counties.

According to the press release, the disaster assistance will:

Click here for more information about disaster resources.

Kamala Harris revives tax credit push to help people pay for housing costs

"Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris is reviving her proposal to provide new tax credits to help families with high housing costs. The California senator on Tuesday will reintroduce the Rent Relief Act, which would establish refundable tax credits in cases when rent and utilities exceed 30 percent of a household’s income. She first introduced the legislation last July, with a handful of Senate Democrats as co-sponsors, including New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand, who is also running for president..." Read more

More money for Berkeley area, Sandy-impacted homeowners

"Berkeley area homeowners could benefit from the Murphy administration's plan to remove the cap on access to Sandy-related funds, allowing homeowners who have long been in limbo to complete construction on their primary homes. Additionally, those still impacted by Sandy will be able to get additional months of rental assistance, according to press release from the Murphy administration..." Read more

U.S. House passes five-year reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act

"On April 4, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization of 2019 (H.R. 1585) on a 263 to 158 vote. The legislation would reauthorize VAWA for five-years and improve the program by expanding eligibility for assistance and increasing funding for grant programs utilized by state and local VAWA service providers..." Read more

House committee discusses permanently authorizing disaster recovery program

"On March 26, the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Reform heard testimony on draft legislation to permanently authorize the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. The Reforming Disaster Recovery Act of 2019 would permanently authorize CDBG-DR as a part of the yearly appropriations process and bring clarity to how the program should be administered. CDBG-DR is used by state and local governments to address unmet needs for housing, infrastructure and economic development recovery in the wake of a presidentially-declared disaster..." Read more

What we're reading

Reversing the residual effects of redlining

"While systemic barriers still exist, local governments can play a pivotal role in reversing the effects of historical redlining and creating opportunity for their residents. Here are four ways local leaders can begin to map residual inequity and start healing processes in their communities..." Read more

Fighting bias, block by block

"The residue of those discriminatory practices lingers today, fueling stereotypes that seed the stigma attached to black people and black places. Research has shown the power of those stereotypes to shape one of the most fundamental decisions of our lives: where we make our homes. African Americans are more likely than any other group to live in segregated neighborhoods. That residential isolation persists across the social and economic spectrums, in cities large and small. And it is reinforced by prejudicial associations that are shocking to document..." Read more

Not trusting FEMA’s flood maps, more storm-ravaged cities set tougher rules

"In flood-prone regions of the country, a growing number of cities have lost confidence in the ability of the federal government's flood maps to recognize the increasing risks that come with global warming. From Houston to Baltimore to Cedar Falls, Iowa, and now Mexico Beach, Florida, local officials are going beyond the federal standards and have started to require homes in a much wider area—beyond the usual 100-year floodplain—to be built to higher flood-protection standards..." Read more

The crushing cost of rent should be 2020’s big issue

"It’s hard to remember the last time affordable rents received consistent national attention, but the tide is finally turning. In recent months, prominent presidential contenders — Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Elizabeth Warren — have proposed ambitious solutions, and are speaking substantively about the issue on the campaign trail. They shouldn’t be alone in this: According to the numbers, all 2020 presidential hopefuls would be wise to make it a top-tier priority..." Read more

The neighborhoods where housing costs devour budgets

"More than 10 percent of U.S. households spend at least half their total income on housing costs—far more than the one-third that financial experts advise as a maximum limit. These severely housing-burdened households can be rich or poor, but around half of them are located in neighborhoods where at least one neighbor in three is facing a similar housing burden, according to a CityLab analysis of U.S. Census data obtained from the National Historical Geographic Information System..." Read more

The history of redlining

"The history of redlining is best demonstrated in a map prepared by the United States Home Owner Loan Corporation (HOLC), one of the Roosevelt administration’s most successful programs designed to refinance Americans into sustainable mortgages. Millions of white Americans took advantage of the program and most saved their homes from foreclosure as a result. Black Americans who needed the program lost their homes, along with those white homeowners who lived in integrated neighborhoods..." Read more

Why high rents are a health care problem

"Commissioned by Enterprise Community Partners Inc., a national affordable housing nonprofit, the survey found that more than half of renters surveyed delayed health care because they couldn’t afford it, and 100 percent of medical professionals surveyed said they had dealt with patients in the past who expressed concerns and anxiety about affordable housing. When these doctors and nurses advised patients to reduce stress, 92 of them percent said financial issues were their biggest stress trigger..." Read more

Rural America faces a housing cost crunch

"The problem of housing affordability, long a concern in popular big cities, has moved to rural America.Nearly one-fourth of the nation’s most rural counties have seen a sizeable increase this decade in the number of households spending at least half their income on housing, a category the federal government calls 'severely cost-burdened.' Those counties, none with towns of more than 10,000 residents, have experienced housing cost increases significant enough to force families to scrimp on other necessities..." Read more

Doing the math on housing the homeless

"Housing prices are chronically unaffordable in many American cities. Most prominently, mega-cities like San Francisco and New York feature home prices that effectively price out poor and middle-income people from vast swathes of their environs; however, there are also plenty of mid-size cities that have less extreme affordability problems. Several strategies are frequently on the table to make housing more affordable to those of moderately low incomes. These include: (1) increasing allowed residential construction, (2) incentivizing housing by offering additional air/development rights, (3) subsidizing housing, (4) requiring the mandatory provision of affordable housing alongside market-rate development, and (5) increasing the amount of government-run housing..." Read more

How disasters wreak havoc on financial health and what we can do about it

"Natural disasters like Hurricane Florence lead to broad, and often substantial, negative impacts on financial health. In a new report, we find that these impacts vary by the magnitude of the disaster and affected populations and that negative impacts extend across most measures of financial health, including credit scores, debt in collections, bankruptcy, credit card debt, and mortgage delinquency and foreclosures. In many instances, these effects are substantial..." Read more

BangorHousing shows how small housing authorities can be more than property managers

"For more than a decade, the Urban Institute’s HOST Initiative (Housing Opportunities and Services Together) has partnered with housing authorities—mostly large, well-resourced agencies that serve thousands of households—to develop and test strategies for using housing as a platform for delivering wraparound services for their residents. Through this work, we’ve learned about the value of building on people’s strengths and using approaches that are trauma informed..." Read more

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Topics: fair housing, CDBG-DR, multifamily

4 tips for being a fair housing superstar (part 4)

Posted by Adam Ensalaco on Apr 9, 2019 11:12:00 AM

How to become a fair housing superstar

April is Fair Housing Month! In honor of this occasion, I’m sharing four tips I’ve learned over the years. From “senior buildings” and reasonable accommodation to service animals and housing terminology, I’m here to get you on the path to becoming the fair housing superstar I know you are. This is a four part series, so be sure to read parts one, two, and three.

Don’t Confuse Yourself

Within our offices, it’s very common for us to create our own jargon. I have heard the HUD 52517 form, which is officially entitled “Request for Tenancy Approval” called “The Rafta,” “The R.F.T.A.,” and “The Moving Papers” at various housing authorities (and once by three different staff members of the same housing authority). Similarly, I have often heard, “we have a participant requesting an assistance pet” or “we issued them a moving voucher.” And as I mentioned above, I hear the phrase, “this is a senior development” quite often. But these are not HUD terms in the HCV or public housing regulations. If we were to try to find the regulations governing “senior developments” or “senior buildings,” we wouldn’t find anything. These are not HUD terms, so I often find myself having to take the time to go back, unravel the confusion, and clarify issues before I can get to actually answering the question at hand.

This lack of clarity with our language can have very detrimental effects when we try to research areas where we require guidance on how to assist our clients. Make sure your staff is on the same page with HUD. On the occasions when you need to reach out to your field office for help, choosing your terms carefully can prevent confusion and miscommunication.

Everyone here at NMA understands that these fair housing rules can seem overwhelming and confusing. But the good news is that we're here to help! I hope this has been an enjoyable (or at least helpful) read, and I speak for all of us here when I say we look forward to coming to your PHA to help guide you through some gray areas in the months and years to come.

 

ICYMI, make sure to read the other posts in this series: In Public Housing, There’s No Such Thing as a “Senior Building,” Understand What Reasonable Accommodation Is (and Is Not), and Understand The "Critters" of Public Housing

 

Want to build up your fair housing knowledge?

Check out our fair housing resources

 


More about the author:

Headshot of Adam Ensalaco

Adam Ensalaco specializes in making rent calculation easier to understand and clearing up common misconceptions about the process. Adam has previous experience in the affordable housing industry working to house people with disabilities and training housing authorities on reasonable accommodations and has been a part of the NMA team for nearly a decade.

Topics: fair housing, Knowledge Base, HUD terms

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