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HUD announces Hurricane Harvey resources

Posted by NMA on Sep 5, 2017 11:58:41 AM

govt-columns.jpgToday HUD introduced two websites offering information and resources for Hurricane Harvey disaster relief. An accompanying press release discusses the housing needs of hurricane survivors.

First, in an email this morning HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) announced that it has established a website devoted to Hurricane Harvey Latest News. The site includes links to resources to assist survivors in beginning the building clean-up process safely so that they can get back into their homes as soon as possible. The site also features guides on dealing with mold, asbestos, lead, and other home health hazards that can occur after a disaster. Click here to join the OLHCHH mailing list.

A hurricane recovery website has also been posted on HUD Exchange. The site contains information and resources for HUD grantees, partners, and residents. Resources include links to press releases, disaster recovery toolkits, information for HUD and non-HUD residents, and resources for the care of pets and other animals.

In a press release posted this morning, HUD addressed the need for affordable rental housing for hurricane survivors. In partnership with other federal departments and agencies, HUD is the lead coordinating agency for long-term disaster-related housing needs resulting from Hurricane Harvey. HUD, its federal partnering agencies, and the Texas state housing task force are focused on identifying strategies to strengthen the housing market, building inclusive and sustainable communities, and integrating disaster mitigation measures into community design and development to reduce future damages.

Topics: disaster programs, indoor air quality, CDBG-DR

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

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

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

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

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