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PHA Month NYC � Training HUD�s Public Housing Partners

The New York Office of Public Housing conducted an extensive series of training classes every Wednesday during the month of March and the first two weeks of April 2008 for all area public housing and Housing Choice Voucher agencies. These trainings were designed for PHA executive directors, administrators, and housing staff.

This series of classes was a great opportunity for some of the Department's business partners to receive valuable training from program experts from the New York HUD Office, the REAC and HUD Headquarters.

The following is a brief summary of the classes held.

March 5, 2008
On this date Paula Blunt, General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, kicked off PHA Month by recognizing the collaborative efforts between the Field, HUD Headquarters and the NY Regional Director's Office.

Training covered the following topics:

  • Capital Fund Financing Program - HUD financing programs - Capital Fund Financing Program (CFFP), Operating Fund Program, (OFFP) and Public Housing Mortgage Programs (PHMP) programs can be used to raise funds for capital projects or for low income housing uses.
  • Procurement - Potential expenses associated with procurements can be reduced with the adoption of the new procurement policy by public housing authorities (PHAs).
  • Disaster Recovery - Emergency and disaster preparedness - The Red Cross and HUD can help PHAs plan for contingencies.
  • Web Management - HUD's local web manager provided information on HUD web resources, guidance on navigation, and recommendations/help on how PHAs can create their own web sites.
  • Faith Based - Faith based and community initiatives - help is available for PHAs that want to know how to write a grant to bring in cash from other sources.
  • Public Affairs - Public Affairs - getting positive stories about PHAs and their residents in the local papers can help improve relationships with the community.

March 12, 2008
On this date Mirza Negron Morales, Director of the NY Office of Public Housing, provided opening remarks indicating that this week's training would again provide a wealth of knowledge to the attendees.

Training covered the following topics:

  • Federal Housing Programs - CPD block grants - formula based programs and CPD competitive programs
  • Relocation & Acquisition - Moving PHA residents may trigger the Uniform Relocation Act (URA).
  • Environmental Reviews - The National Environmental Policy Act, how to determine the levels of review and what is an environmental assessment
  • Lead-Based Paint (LBP) - Why LBP is a concern, HUD's Lead Safe Housing Rule, Lead Disclosure Rule & LBP in housing
  • Litigation - Reporting requirements, limitations on litigation and contracting for legal services
  • Enforcement - What happens when a PHA does not follow regulations & violates the ACC or when a troubled PHA fails to live up to a memorandum of agreement?

March 19, 2008
On this date, Ms. Deborah Hernandez, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Field Operations, welcomed participants. She stated that PHA Month is an innovative approach to providing cross program training to PHAs and HUD staff and is considering using it as a model for training PHAs nationwide. Ms. Hernandez indicated that this training came at a perfect time as there were many changes occurring in PIH, particularly with the implementation of Asset Management. She recognized PHAs for their good work despite the many challenges and difficulties being faced by them because of these changes.

Training covered the following topics:

  • Enforcement Actions - Limited Denials of Participation, suspensions, debarment and default of the Annual Contributions Contract are bad for everyone and are not undertaken lightly or frivolously. However, the Department must protect the federal assets provided to housing authorities to assist families who are in need.
  • Regional Inspector General for Audit and Office of Inspector General for Investigations - This office not only conducts audits and/or investigations but they also provide invaluable training and technical assistance to keep housing authorities out of trouble.
  • Energy Star Bulk Purchasing/Energy Performance Contracting - Energy conservation does not have to be confusing. Use less, save money, and have some left over to help with operating expenses.

March 26, 2008
Sean Moss, Regional Director, NY/NJ gave opening remarks stating that he welcomed these training opportunities to hear what everyone's concerns and issues were. He acknowledged that our programs work because of our partnerships with our PHAs and the collaborations within HUD. He was pleased to see the large turn out for this week's training.

Training covered the following topics:

  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) - The current mortgage crisis has not affected FHA loans making these the safest for PHA homeownership programs. These loans include loss mitigation features that are not found in other types of mortgages helping new owners stay in their homes at higher rates than other loans.
  • Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) - This discussion of the HCV program included a discussion of potential changes to the program including SEMAP changes, rent flexibility and base-lining.
  • HCV Homeownership - A third of our agencies have these programs to encourage homeownership.
  • Family Self-Sufficiency - This program helps PHAs help their residents by providing funding for a staff person to coordinate services and funding for tenant education, child care, transportation, job training and counseling.
  • SEMAP - How to improve a PHA's SEMAP score and prepare for a SEMAP confirmatory review.
  • PIC - New feature coming in May should improve the user friendliness of HUD's most comprehensive system.

April 2, 2008
In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act, the Office of Public Housing opened its 5th week of PHA Month training with program experts from the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity who gave presentations on the following topics:

  • Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) - Fair Housing Act - Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended in 1988.
  • Civil Rights Laws - Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (ABA); the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504).

Experts from the following Offices also provided training on this day:

  • Recovery Center - Assists Troubled Agencies on the road to better performance through a systematic ssssyet flexible approach to problems.
  • Special Applications Center - demolition, disposition, conversion, homeownership and deminimus (small) applications.

April 9, 2008
On April, 9th, 2008, Ms. Elizabeth Hanson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, PIH Real Estate Assessment Center gave opening remarks on the final day of PHA Month and introduced Gregory Byrne who gave a presentation on Public Housing Asset Management. She stated that it important for HUD to hear directly from PHAs what impact Asset Management has had on their Communities and to discuss how Asset Management is affecting how we all do our work.

Key themes of Asset Management:

�PHAs shall manage their properties according to an asset management model, consistent with the management norms in the broader multi-family management industry. PHAs shall also implement project based management, project based budgeting, and project based accounting. These are the essential components of asset management.�

��property management services (must be) tailored to the unique needs of each property, given the resources available to that property.�

�The arrangement of property management services must be done in the best interests of the property, considering such factors as cost and responsiveness.�

Content Archived: March 07, 2011

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