Tag Archives: Homelessness

Fighting homelessness and generational poverty with affordable housing

The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem (NC) is honoring Housing America Month this October, but more importantly, the clients and residents it serves every day. The Oaks at Tenth_Winston Salem

This year, HAWS partnered with the Bethesda Center for the Homeless by committing to set aside 42 public housing units for those persons in the community experiencing chronic homelessness. Since 2012, HAWS Collaborative Program has helped 49 homeless individuals.

Affordable housing is at a premium in Winston-Salem much like the rest of the country. That’s why HAWS recently broke ground on a new 30-unit public housing property called Camden Station. The property is set to be completed in the summer of 2015. HAWS also recently completed its Stoney Glen Apartments project, a newly renovated public housing community. The Apartments began leasing this month. Both properties come with energy efficiency washers and dryers and require residents to work. Earlier this year, HAWS also completed The Oaks at Tenth, HAWS’s first ever working requirement activity community.

HAWS also focuses on helping its residents further their education. Eight first generation college students will continue their education at local colleges and universities thanks to HAWS and funding from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. Stoney Glen Renovation_Winston Salem

For more information about how agencies like the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem are positively impacting their communities, visit the Housing America Campaign website.

The Philadelphia Housing Authority: More Than A Home

The Philadelphia Housing Authority, a Moving to Work agency, is more than just an affordable housing provider. PHA is also the largest social service agency in the City. Over the past year, the authority has made an impact in the lives of families, seniors, at-risk individuals, veterans and persons living with disabilities. Here are some outstanding examples proving PHA is more than just a home. CommunityPartnersResidentFair-Philadelphia Housing Authority

Helping residents to reach self-sufficiency is the driving motivation behind much of PHA’s work. Through the authority’s Education Department, 679 residents have received adult basic education testing in English, Math, and Reading helping them to become eligible for one of PHAs highly demanded job training programs. The Community Partners Program provides training in customer service, culinary arts and human services in addition to entrepreneurial training, certified nursing and commercial driving training. PHA’s Pre-Apprenticeship Program offers long-term employment at the housing authority itself for residents interested in working as a maintenance mechanic, painter or other trade specialist, or laborer. In July 2014, 171 PHA residents were also PHA employees making up 12 percent of the total agency workforce. PHA hopes to see that number grow to 25 percent, and with a waiting list of more than 50 residents, it certainly seems like the agency will reach its mark.

BookbagGiveaway_LeeMazin-Philadelphia Housing AuthorityPHA does not take education lightly. That’s why, in 2013 and again in 2014, PhillySeeds Inc., a subsidiary of PHA, partnered with Staples, Citizens Bank, Santander Bank, Weichert Realty and local colleges and universities to get residents ready to head back to school. Through the partnership, PHA and local businesses distributed 7,000 book bags filled with school supplies in preparation for the new year. But before the school year even got started, the authority was busy offering healthy, safe activities, like participating in the Housing America Campaign’s annual “What Home Means to Me” poster contest, as well as breakfast and lunch to youth residents through their Summer Food Service Program, a PHA staple for more than 30 years. Thanks to the Summer Food Service Program, more than 61,000 meals were served in 2014 and an additional 43,000 meals were served in 2013 while simultaneously providing part-time employment for clients and residents.

One of the largest barriers to residents’ purchase of affordable homes in Philadelphia is obtaining the funds to cover closing costs. PhillySeeds, Inc., not only helps raise money for academic scholarship and entrepreneurial ventures, but it also fundraises grant money for low-income persons or families in the market to purchase an affordable home.

In 2014, PHA expanded rental housing opportunity for seniors, currently homeless and at-risk persons through partnerships with developers and local housing providers. PHA contributed 65 Project-Based Vouchers to various new developments in the metro region in an effort to increase access to affordable housing and eventually, self-sufficiency.

NAHRO thanks you, PHA, for your commitment and dedication to not only providing a home for those most vulnerable, but a way forward.

Senate T-HUD FY 2015 Spending Bill In-Depth: Community Development Programs

On June 6, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD) appropriations bill (S. 2438).  The bill includes $45.8 billion for HUD programs, $3.2 billion more than was provided for FY 2014. Today’s Direct News item is intended to provide NAHRO members with a comprehensive summary of the Senate bill’s treatment of Community Planning and Development programs, including Community Development Block Grants, the HOME Investment Partnerships program, and homeless assistance grants.

NAHRO’s earlier analysis of the Senate bill’s treatment of Section 8 programs and Public Housing programs is available online.  Click here for a chart comparing the funding levels in S. 2438 to FY 2014 enacted levels, the President’s FY 2015 budget proposal, the House-passed FY 2015 T-HUD bill, and NAHRO’s FY 2015 funding recommendations, respectively.

Community Development Fund and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program

Community Development Block Grants

S. 2438 provides $3.09 billion for the Community Development Fund, with $3.02 billion made available for the CDBG Program. This funding level for CDBG is $220 million above the President’s request, and $10 million below the FY 2014 enacted level. The bill provides $40 million less for CDBG compared to the House-passed T-HUD bill, which cleared the House on June 10.  Within the Senate bill is language that, according appropriators, aims to “ensure the program remains flexible, but also accountable and transparent.” The bill retains an existing provision that prohibits any community from “selling” its CDBG award to another community and adopts a new requirement that stipulates that “any funding provided to a for-profit entity for an economic development project funded under this bill undergo appropriate underwriting.” The Senate bill continues language, first proposed by NAHRO, requiring HUD to notify grantees of their formula allocations within 60 days of enactment of the Act.  The House-passed bill also retains this provision.

Indian Community Block Grant Program

The Senate bill sets aside $70 million for the Indian Community Development Block Grant program, $10 million above the House level. The Senate also designates $10 million of that funding for mold remediation and prevention in Native American housing, to be awarded through a single national competition.

Section 108 Community Development Loan Guarantee

The Senate bill once again adopts the administration’s request to shift Section 108 to a fee-based program under which HUD would be authorized to collect fees from Section 108 borrowers in amounts that would result in a credit subsidy cost of zero.  The bill would also raise the loan guarantee limit to $500 million, an increase strongly supported by NAHRO.  The House-passed bill also adopts the administration’s proposal.

The FY 2014 omnibus appropriations act provided $3 million in direct appropriated funding for Section 108 credit subsidy costs, but also authorized HUD to collect fees from borrowers, with the collection fees and funding available to subsidize a total loan principle of no more than $150 million.

HOME Investment Partnerships Program

The Senate bill provides $950 million for the HOME program, $50 million below the FY 2014 enacted level and equal to the President’s request. The Senate amount is also $350 million above the House bill, which slashes the HOME account to $700 million, a figure that would represent by far the lowest funding level in the program’s history. This historically low level of HOME funding in the House bill would be further exacerbated by a $10 million set-aside to fund the Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership (SHOP) Program, as proposed by the Administration. The Senate bill rejects the proposed SHOP set-aside and provides $10 million for SHOP through a separate line item.

The Senate bill accepts certain provisions requested in the President’s budget related to the HOME program. One provision allows statewide nonprofits to be designated as Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs), so that less populous States will have more organizations to serve the entire State. The bill also includes a provision that creates an exception to the 30-day eviction notice “in instances where a tenant poses a threat,” an exception that is found in other housing assistance programs and a revision to the HOME program long supported by NAHRO and other industry groups.

Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP)

For the Shop Program the Senate provides funding at $50 million, equal to the FY 2014 enacted level. Under this account, $10 million is appropriated towards SHOP, while $35 million is provided for the Section 4 Capacity Building program, and $5 million is provided to carry out capacity building activities within rural communities.

Homeless Assistance Grants

The FY 2015 Senate bill includes $2.145 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, $40 million above both the FY 2014 enacted level and the level provided under FY 2015 House-passed bill, but short of the President’s budget request of $2.406 billion.

Within this account, the Senate bill makes at least $1.848 billion available for the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program, including the renewal of existing projects, $48 million above the amount provide for under the FY 2015 House-passed bill. The Senate bill also makes at least $250 million available for the emergency solutions grants program (ESG), equal to the FY 2014 enacted level and $50 million above the House-passed bill. The Senate bill does not provide funding for new permanent supportive housing, but does stipulate that if funds remain available in this account after fulfilling renewal demands and funding ESG, “HUD may use it for new projects, provided that such projects are targeted to areas with greatest need, as measured by homeless data.” To support the Annual Homeless Assessment Report, the Senate bill provides $7 million for data analysis and technical assistance.  The Senate-passed bill does not include designated funding for the Rural Housing Stability Assistance program, a new program authorized by the HEARTH Act of 2009 but never implemented by HUD due to lack of funding.  The House-passed bill designates $10 million for the rural program.

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)

The Senate bill provides $330 million for the HOPWA program, $2 million below the both the House bill and the President’s budget, but equal to the FY 2014 enacted level. Senate appropriators acknowledge that the HOPWA statute requires an “update to the funding formula to target limited resources to communities most impacted by HIV” and encourages HUD to engage in legislative reauthorization proposal activities.

Related Resources: