Affordable Housing News

Affordable housing news 3/17/17

Posted by NMA on Mar 17, 2017 4:13:56 PM

CBPP: 3 out of 4 at-risk renters don't get housing assistance

The HUDdle: New study shows why all public housing should be smoke-free

NCSHA: FY 2018 budget blueprint proposes deep cuts to HUD, elimination of HOME

Next City: Investment in affordable housing has ripple effect

NHC: Digging deep into who struggles to afford housing in your region

NLIHC: Register for March 20 webinar on opposing HUD funding cuts

Urban Wire: Improving the lives of kids in public housing

Topics: budget cuts, CDBG, HOME, indoor air quality, LIHTC, Program News and Notices

PIH issues guidance on smoke-free rule

Posted by NMA on Feb 16, 2017 12:11:24 PM

Late yesterday HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) issued Notice PIH 2017-03, “HUD Guidance on Instituting and Enforcing Smoke-Free Public Housing Policies.” The notice follows December’s publication of the smoke-free final rule.

Subjects discussed in the guidance notice include implementation, PHA flexibility, and PHA policy options concerning use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and designated smoking areas (DSAs). The notice also includes instructions for revisions to public housing leases and PHA plans.

The notice also encourages PHAs to adopt graduated enforcement mechanisms for violations of smoke-free policies. PHAs may not evict for a single incident of smoking.

On the subject of reasonable accommodations, the notice includes suggestions for smoke-free policies for residents with disabilities. Such measures could include offering the resident a transfer to a unit near an exit, to a unit on the ground floor, or to a unit in another development where DSAs are provided. However, a PHA may not permit continued smoking in restricted areas.

The notice concludes by encouraging PHAs to engage residents early in the development of smoke-free policies. Best practices have indicated that resident engagement in policy development, implementation, and enforcement are less likely to result in evictions.

Got questions about the smoke-free rule? Don’t miss Nan’s legislative update at the The Housing Conference this August in Boston, where she’ll discuss acts of Congress, regulation changes, and what’s ahead for 2017. Register now for the best rates!

Topics: final rule, indoor air quality, Program News and Notices

Affordable housing news 12/2/16

Posted by NMA on Dec 2, 2016 3:41:45 PM

Affordable Housing Finance: Historic furniture factory transformed into affordable housing

CBPP: More than 100,000 families could be frozen out of housing vouchers for 2017

FiveThirtyEight: Stop treating HUD like a second-tier department

The HUDdle: Creating healthier communities with smoke-free public housing

NHC: How to counter community opposition to affordable housing

NLIHC: House Republicans opt for stopgap spending bill through March

Rooflines: Stop subsidizing bad landlords

San Jose Mercury News: Facebook commits $20 million for affordable housing

Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce: Affordable housing is getting bigger and better

Trulia: Low-income housing has no impact on nearby home values

Topics: appropriations, indoor air quality, Program News and Notices

HUD previews final rule on smoke-free public housing

Posted by NMA on Nov 30, 2016 2:15:25 PM

Today on the Public and Indian Housing (PIH) home page, HUD posted an advance copy of its final rule on smoke-free public housing. The rule is pending publication in the Federal Register.

The final rule requires all PHAs to ban the use of prohibited tobacco products in living units, indoor common areas, and administrative offices. PHAs will have 18 months from the effective date of the final rule to implement smoke-free policies applicable to all indoor areas and to outdoor areas within 25 feet of buildings. PHAs may establish designated smoking areas or may ban smoking completely.

In the final version of the rule, HUD has clarified that the rule prohibits use of waterpipes (“hookahs”). Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) such as e-cigarettes are not prohibited under the rule, but PHAs may adopt policies banning them. PHAs that have already implemented voluntary smoke-free policies will need to update them only if their existing policies are not consistent with the minimum requirements of the final rule.

In a press release posted this morning, HUD Secretary Julián Castro commented on the final rule. Of the 1.2 million public housing units nationwide, 228,000 are currently smoke free. Once fully implemented, the smoke-free rule announced today would expand the impact to more than 940,000 public housing units, including more than 500,000 units inhabited by elderly residents and 760,000 children living in public housing.

In what appears to be a related development, HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) yesterday announced that it has scheduled a national stakeholder call with Secretary Castro. The call, which was announced in an email to the Healthy Homes mailing list, concerns “a major new step to protect the health and safety of our nation’s public housing residents.” It is scheduled for tomorrow, December 1, at 4 p.m. eastern time. Click here to RSVP for the call (use confirmation number 407550).

Topics: final rule, indoor air quality, Program News and Notices

HUD announces new action plan to create smoke-free housing

Posted by BEMuser on Oct 22, 2014 12:52:24 PM

Green Bay public housing units went smoke-free earlier this month (Photo: Green Bay Press Gazette) Green Bay public housing units went smoke-free earlier this month. (Photo: Green Bay Press Gazette)

HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) has published a new 100-page action guide on establishing smoke-free public housing and multifamily properties. The authors provide the following summary:

HUD has encouraged the adoption of smoke-free policies for the past several years. In 2009 and 2012, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing issued Notices PIH 2009-21 and PIH 2012-25, stating that HUD “strongly encourages PHAs to implement non-smoking policies in some or all of their public housing units.”

In September 2010, HUD’s Office of Housing issued a notice for owners/agents of federally subsidized private housing (later reissued as H 2012-22) encouraging the adoption of smoke-free policies in some or all of their properties. In 2012, HUD sent a smoke-free housing toolkit with background information and sample planning documents for implementation to directors of approximately 2,200 PHAs.

A major reason that HUD is committed to encouraging PHAs and property owners/agents of subsidized or market rate multifamily housing to implement smoke-free policies is that the movement of secondhand smoke between units cannot be controlled in multifamily buildings. Research has shown that ventilation and other air filtration technologies cannot eliminate the health risks caused by secondhand smoke exposure. HUD also supports smoke-free policies because they reduce property maintenance costs and the risk of fires.

One quarter of U.S. residents—approximately 79 million people—live in multifamily properties. This includes one-family houses attached to one or more other houses and buildings with two to 50 or more apartments. Even though the majority of people do not allow smoking in their homes, 36 percent regularly are exposed to secondhand smoke.

In the past 15 years, more than 500 PHAs throughout the nation have adopted and implemented smoke-free policies. The rate of adoption of smoke-free policies accelerated quickly following the publication of an official notice by HUD that strongly encouraged PHAs to adopt smoke-free policies. Also, a growing number of nationwide property management firms are going smoke-free across all properties.

The action guide is divided into five sections that cover reasons to adopt a smoke-free policy, real-life examples of smoke-free policies, recommended steps, and frequently asked questions. You'll find the guide on this page at the HUD website along with smoke-free toolkits for PHAs and residents.

Topics: indoor air quality, maintenance, Program News and Notices

Friday news roundup 9/26/14

Posted by BEMuser on Sep 26, 2014 10:56:04 AM

Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies: Indoor air quality has been a major component of modern healthy home research dating back to the 1970s

Housing Finance: Is your PHA prepared for a disaster?

The HUDdle: Promise Zones create opportunity

Huffington Post: Jewel crowd-sourced a song and now it's going to support public housing

MetroTrends: Is housing assistance a safety net or a springboard?

NHC: New HUD secretary puts broadband connectivity among his policy priorities

NLIHC: Renters continue to face high rates of housing cost burden and low vacancy rates

Off the Charts: The top priority of the nation’s rental assistance programs should be to help the neediest families afford housing

Rooflines: Americans now rank addressing poverty as a high priority on the national agenda

Topics: disaster programs, flat rent, indoor air quality, Program News and Notices

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