Office of Public Housing
Region X - Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
The Director's Corner
The Notice of HUD's FY2013 General Section to FY2013 NOFAs for Discretionary Programs provides prospective applicants for HUD's competitive funding with the opportunity to become familiar with the General Section to HUD's FY2013 Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) for Discretionary Funding (program NOFA), in advance of publication of any individual FY2013 program NOFAs. The General Section and the individual FY2013 program NOFA Sections comprise the entirety of the FY2013 NOFA instructions. All of the information is provided to assist prospective applicants in planning successful applications and is available on the HUD Web site and on the Grants.gov Web site. Be prepared for these and other opportunities for which your PHA may qualify.
Applicants are urged to sign up for the funding opportunity notification subscription service at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/email_subscription.jsp to receive notice of publication of program NOFAs as well as any changes to this General Section or to individual FY2013 program NOFAs.
On behalf of Public Housing team members in the Seattle, Portland & Anchorage offices, we hope this newsletter is helpful to you. Let us know if there are items you would like to see in future newsletters.
Joy McCray, Program Center Coordinator
Harlan Stewart, Director
Working with Community Partners in North Bend and Coos Curry Housing Authority's
Recently, two Oregon housing authorities have held successful events for the benefit of people in their jurisdiction. This article will briefly describe two of these events. For both events, the housing authorities partnered with several local agencies, non-profits, and other organizations in their planning and execution. These recent events demonstrate the power and success that comes from working with community partners.
3rd Annual Coos Bay Stand Down
The Coos-Curry HA participated with the VA and other community partners in the 3rd annual Veterans Stand Down. The Stand Down makes several resources available to veterans including mental health services, housing, taxi and meal vouchers, health check-ups and military surplus supplies such as clothing, blankets, and sleeping bags among other things. They are able to shower and receive a free lunch. The main focus of the Stand Down is to help veterans transition back to civilian life and successfully reenter society.
The Launch of Airport Heights Successful Children
The NBCHA launched its Successful Children program on August 30th with a community BBQ at the Airport Heights public housing project. This is a five year pilot program of community partners to work with the families and children between the ages of new born to 5 years old to work on self-esteem and to prepare the children to enter kindergarten. Studies have shown that the best age to work with children that make the most impact is the new born to 5 age group. The program will be held at the community center at the Airport Heights Apartment Complex. There are approximately 20 children who can participate in the program.
Weekly workshops began September 13 and will run through November 15. Free lunch and child care will be provided. For the first year, the program will include the following classes: Nurturing Parents, Cooking Basics 101, Children's Health Screening, Parent Dental and Vision Screening, Beat the Blues, Stress Reduction, Spa Day, and Make Parenting a Pleasure
The community partners are Coos County Mental Health, Coos County Public Health, North Bend School District, South West Oregon Community College, Oregon Department of Human Services, Coos County Commission of Families and Children as well as the North Bend City Housing Authority.
The program is a community approach to combine the Governor's Early Childhood Development and Community Coordinated Health programs. We believe this approach will help the children with their physical, mental and emotional development. The programs will be paid for out of existing funding streams such as Oregon Health Plan. The children will have a base line evaluation and an evaluation annually to gauge success.
Recovery Act in Action
The Bellingham Whatcom County Housing Authority in Washington was awarded more than 9.9 million in ARRA Stimulus money, which they used to implement several dramatic energy efficient renovations at three of their high rise public housing properties.
Along with this extraordinary greening of their public housing, BWCHA has also created a very informative blog that tracks their progress and on-going efforts to create green and sustainable communities. This blog can be read online (https://projectbellingham.wordpress.com/). Their most recent entry is an interesting video which describes background of the project, the highlights of the renovations, and some of the energy improvement statistics. The video is also posted on Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/47533432).
Electronic Fund Transfers for HAP Distributions
Regulation located at 31 CFR § 208.3 mandates the use of electronic funds transfer (EFT) for all agency payments from the Federal Government. Similarly, PHAs may also mandate the use of EFT to transfer Federal Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) to the landlord. If a PHA chooses to pursue a Direct Deposit requirement, they must ensure that State law does not prevent such a requirement. EFT requirements must also be part of a current, board-approved HCV Administrative Plan.
While HUD does not require PHAs to pay HAP electronically to owners, PHAs are encouraged to do so especially if processing EFTs provide a significant cost-savings to the PHA. The number of checks issued and the cost of implementation may determine whether Direct Deposit to landlords is feasible. The Housing Choice Voucher Program Guidebook, Chapter 11, page 11-7, explains the pros and cons of using an electronic payment system. Payment systems should be flexible in order to accommodate changes in the program, as well as status changes with tenants and owners. The guidebook can be found online.
2012 FSS Conferences
In Portland - On September 18, the Portland HUD Office of Public Housing hosted its Annual FSS Conference at the West Valley Housing Authority in West Salem, Oregon. The meeting was attended by approximately 40 persons from a variety of PHAs throughout Oregon.
This year's agenda focused on eLogic Models and grant reporting, FSS partnerships in the community, serving special needs clients, financing and homeownership classes offered by FSS Coordinators, and a success story from an FSS graduate of Salem Housing Authority.
Hosting the Annual FSS Conference at a PHA was a success, and we are looking to repeat at a different PHA next year. If interested in hosting the Portland HUD Annual FSS Conference in September 2013 at your PHA, please contact Chad Trepinski at 971-222-2669.
In Seattle - The FSS Conference this year was held via teleconference. Approximately 12-15 PHA's were on the call, along with Kathryn Greenspan who provided various program updates. Topics that were discussed included 2012 HCV/FSS awards, the upcoming 2013 NOFA, Inspector General Audits of the FSS program, and different self-sufficiency related acts that will be released. The Reed Bill in particular adds Multifamily tenant eligibility to the FSS program. In addition, there will be an FSS program demonstration, which includes a randomized trial of new FSS participants, as well as control groups.
Financial Reporting Training Manuals
During the summer of 2012, PIH-REAC offered training on financial reporting and accounting requirements on the FASS-PH system, with an emphasis on the Housing Choice Voucher and Public Housing programs. The training was targeted to PHA accounting staff, fee accountants, and auditors that manage/service the Public Housing Authorities. Training was provided in various cities across the United States using a stand-up lecture approach with learning exercise and case studies to help reinforce the various concepts.
The training manuals from the August 2012 training held in Newark, NJ can be accessed via the links below. Note: The training manuals are formatted to print double-sided.
Day 1: PHA Financial Reporting Training - Housing Choice Voucher
Day 2: PHA Financial Reporting Training - Public Housing
PHA accountants, fee accountants, auditors and other financial staff are encouraged to use these training manuals, when preparing and reporting their annual financial information to HUD. However, in using the training manuals, users should note that the training manuals were developed based on the HUD guidance that was in effect as of July 2012. Therefore, users are cautioned that certain sections of the training may be subsequently superseded by newer guidance or changes to the FASS-PH system. More detailed information on limitations regarding the use of the training manuals and the source documents used to develop the training manuals can be found online.
PHA Board Commissioner Trainings available on YouTube
HUD has posted two videos on YouTube intended for PHA Board Commissioners. These videos would be helpful for any board member so that they fully understand their roles from a financial viability perspective, as well as understanding the audit process. Below are the links to these two videos:
This presentation will provide an overview of commissioner's responsibilities with respect to a PHA's financial operations and recordkeeping requirements relevant to a PHA. The youtube clip is just over 5 minutes. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNs7FFB3yds&feature=youtu.be)
This training session will provide an overview of the annual audit process; and provide commissioner's with an understanding of the requirements found in OMB Circular A-87. The youtube clip is just less 14 minutes. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nMc8zw_HSk&feature=youtu.be)
Recently Published Guidance
Federal Register Notices
E-Memos (electronic memoranda)
|Content Archived: November 17, 2014|