Welcome to CLPHA's Press Room
CLPHA experts welcome interview requests from print, radio, television, and online reporters and are happy to provide their insights on issues of public housing and related legislation and policy.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Director of Communications
During the COVID-19 quarantine, David can be reached at (202) 550-1381 or email@example.com.
*Please let us know if you are working on deadline.
To view all of CLPHA's press releases, click here.
To view all of CLPHA's press statements, click here.
You can subscribe here to our biweekly newsletter, events invite list, and topic specific newsletters. You can also follow us on Twitter at @CLPHA. Or, send us an email with your interests and we would be happy to add you to our press lists.
Thanks again for your interest in CLPHA!
For Immediate Release: July 2, 2019
CLPHA, Housing Experts Discuss Potential Dangers of HUD’s Proposed Housing Assistance Family Rule
A recording of the call is available HERE.
Washington, DC - Earlier today, immigration and housing experts gathered to address concerns regarding a recently proposed rule by the Trump administration that cruelly targets immigrant families to prevent them from receiving federal housing assistance. Experts discussed how the rule, which would affect about 25,000 households, would cruelly impact families of mixed-status.
The rule, the experts noted, would force families apart as they struggled to keep their current housing threatening many with homelessness, including the 55,000 children who are either U.S. citizens or otherwise eligible for housing benefits and who would be separated from their families
Below are quotes from today’s speakers.
Doug Guthrie, President and CEO, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, said, “If this proposed rule change were to go through it would be devastating for Los Angeles families with mixed immigration status. It would impact as many as 11,600 individuals in assisted housing the majority of whom are young children who are American citizens and it would cost the housing authority millions of dollars. This would likely result in thousands of people becoming homeless at a time when homelessness is already a crisis in Los Angeles.”
Sunia Zaterman, Executive Director, Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, noted, “HUD’s proposal would force mixed status families to decide between a roof for some, or homelessness for all. This is antithetical to the mission of public housing, which is to provide safe, affordable housing to very low-income families. Instead, this proposal would exacerbate crisis levels of homelessness, divert scarce resources from already underfunded public housing authorities, and instill fear and distrust while doing nothing to make our communities safer or better off.”
Diane Yentel, President and CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition, added, “The cruelty of Secretary Carson’s proposal is breathtaking, and the harm it would inflict on children, families and communities is severe,” said National Low Income Housing Coalition President and CEO Diane Yentel. “Tens of thousands of deeply poor kids, mostly US citizens, could be evicted and made homeless by this proposal, and – by HUD’s own admission – there would be zero benefit to families on waiting lists. This proposal is another in a long line of attempts by the administration to instill fear in immigrants throughout the country. We will not stand for it.”
Arianna Cook-Thajudeen, Bank of America Legal Fellow, National Housing Law Project, said, “The National Housing Law Project opposes this proposed rule because it would have a detrimental impact on the housing stability of millions of families. The federal housing programs in particular serve as a lifeline for many families who are one step away from homelessness. What the Administration is doing is through this proposal is ruthless and reckless. We urge everyone to submit comments to HUD to oppose this rule by July 9th.”
Tory Gunsolley, President and CEO, Houston Housing Authority, remarked, “The current system works. Undocumented occupants are not receiving federal subsidies. The proposed regulations, on the other hand, would cause a needless increase in homelessness and cost the federal government more money. The proposed regulation would force HHA to be an extension of immigration enforcement, a role that does align with our mission to provide safe, affordable housing. It simply doesn't make sense to implement.”
The Immigration Hub is a national organization dedicated to advancing fair and just immigration policies through strategic leadership, innovative communications strategies, legislative advocacy and collaborative partnerships.
The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities is a national non-profit organization that works to preserve and improve public and affordable housing through advocacy, research, policy analysis, and public education. CLPHA’s 70 members represent virtually every major metropolitan area in the country. Together they manage 40 percent of the nation’s public housing program; administer more than a quarter of the Housing Choice Voucher program; and operate a wide array of other housing programs. Learn more at clpha.org and on Twitter @CLPHA and follow @housing_is for news on CLPHA’s work to better intersect the housing field and other areas of critical importance such as health and education.
Public Housing Authorities, Community Colleges, College Access Partners Collaborate to Eliminate Barriers to Postsecondary Success
New Report and Recommendations from the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities Highlight Innovative Cross-Sector Collaborations to Improve Postsecondary Achievement for Public Housing Residents and Housing-Insecure Students
Featuring Partnerships in Chicago, Columbus, Los Angeles, Louisville, Tacoma
WASHINGTON (May 16, 2019) – A new report released today from the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA), with support from The Kresge Foundation, showcases the work of five pioneering public housing authorities (PHAs) that are successfully collaborating with postsecondary institutions and local nonprofit organizations to increase college access, retention, and graduation rates for current public housing residents and college students who are experiencing homelessness. “Eliminating Barriers to Postsecondary Success: Cross-Sector Collaborations to Improve Postsecondary Achievement for Students Served by Public Housing Authorities,” identifies key elements of effective cross-sector collaborations and offers a series of recommendations to policy makers, PHAs, and philanthropic foundations seeking to scale, replicate, and invest in partnerships between housing and education organizations.
“The trailblazing public housing authorities featured in our new report, along with their postsecondary partners, are redefining the traditional role of public housing in their communities to reach beyond four walls and a roof,” said CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman. “With combined expertise from the housing and education sectors, two profoundly siloed systems, the partners are breaking new ground to implement targeted interventions that would not be possible without cross-sector collaboration. By documenting the successes, challenges, and future plans of the five partnerships, “Eliminating Barriers to Postsecondary Success” is an instruction guide to practitioners, policy makers, and philanthropy seeking new cross-sector solutions to serve low-income families.”
The report elevates 11 findings from a November 2018 convening in Washington, D.C., where partners from the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), City Colleges of Chicago, and One Million Degrees, and the Tacoma Housing Authority (THA) and Tacoma Community College discussed their work to provide financial support and housing opportunities for residents and housing insecure college students; the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) and partner Southern California College Access Network (SoCal CAN) detailed their program to facilitate the college application and enrollment process among young residents, and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) and partner Columbus State Community College, and the Louisville Metropolitan Housing Authority (LMHA) with partner Family Scholar House explained their dual generation approaches to ensuring young parents can graduate with a degree.
“Housing insecurity and homelessness can create tragic off-campus barriers to student persistence and success,” said Bethany Miller, program officer with the Kresge Foundation’s Education Program. “But solutions-driven partnerships, including those highlighted in CLPHA’s recent analysis, between postsecondary institutions, government agencies and departments, nonprofit social service providers and public housing authorities can tear down those barriers, ease the anxiety of housing insecurity and help more students persist and succeed in college. We support this work because increased educational attainment among students with limited means is the key to breaking intergenerational cycles of poverty and increasing socioeconomic mobility.”
To announce the release of “Eliminating Barriers to Postsecondary Success: Cross-Sector Collaborations to Improve Postsecondary Achievement for Students Served by Public Housing Authorities,” CLPHA will host a press conference TODAY, May 16, 2019 at 2:30 PM ET during CLPHA's annual Housing Is Summit in Washington, D.C., a two-day meeting devoted to developing and sustaining cross-sector partnerships. The brief press conference will be followed immediately by an on-the-record panel discussion featuring executives engaging in postsecondary partnerships. See below for more details about the press conference and panel, which will both be webcast live at http://bit.ly/2URfFlK.
“Eliminating Barriers to Postsecondary Success” also includes an overview of the federal policies that support and limit postsecondary achievement for students served by PHAs, and profiles of the five partnerships.
Chicago Housing Authority, City Colleges of Chicago, One Million Degrees
“The Chicago Housing Authority is proud to support thousands of residents through CHA scholarships and the Partners in Education program with City Colleges of Chicago,” said Cassie Brooks, assistant director of education for CHA. “In pairing grant aid with individual counseling and holistic student supports from One Million Degrees, we continue toward the goals of increased academic achievement and, ultimately, self-sufficiency. We thank the Kresge Foundation and CLPHA for collaborating with public housing agencies, highlighting resident successes and bringing resident post-secondary programs to the forefront.”
Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, Southern California College Access Network
“The increasing complex college-going process requires students and families today to be well versed in the academic requirements, financial options, and application procedures,” said Alison De Lucca, executive director of the Southern California College Access Network. “The Southern California College Access Network is deeply grateful for the partnership we’ve forged with the Housing Authority for the City of Los Angeles to provide one-on-one college advising at the housing sites. For our students, the pathway starts with a conversation, followed by consistent guidance from a skilled college access counselor. As students are admitted to college with solid financial aid packages and the support they need to succeed, a strong message is being sent to all residents that college and career aspirations are within reach. This cross-sector collaboration demonstrates the readiness and need for continued college access support in place-based settings.”
Louisville Metro Housing Authority, Family Scholar House
"The long-standing partnership Louisville Metro Housing Authority has with Family Scholar House has helped hundreds of parents provide a better life and future for their children,” said LMHA Executive Director Lisa Osanka. “More importantly, this partnership is helping to break the generational cycle of poverty and ensuring that more Louisvillians are able to participate in the economic opportunities that exists throughout our community."
“The partnership between Family Scholar House and Louisville Metro Housing Authority has helped make real the dreams of families who have been in need of the stability that is rooted in safe, affordable housing. For our single parents, pursuing dreams of college graduation and new careers begins with a place for them and their children to call home,” said Cathe Dykstra, president and chief executive officer of Family Scholar House. Stronger and more stable families mean stronger and more stable communities.”
Tacoma Housing Authority, Tacoma Community College
“THA’s partnerships with Tacoma Community College and the University of Washington-Tacoma to house homeless or near homeless students is an excellent investment,” said Michael Mirra, executive director of the Tacoma Housing Authority. These students are determined, but without housing their prospects are poor. The degree they seek is a key to their adult prosperity. And since most of them are parents, this is also an investment in the lives and prospects of their children. That makes these partnerships a very good use of scarce housing dollars.”
What: Press Conference and Panel Discussion Announcing CLPHA’s New Report
“Eliminating Barriers to Postsecondary Success: Cross-Sector Collaborations to Improve Postsecondary Achievement for Students Served by Public Housing Authorities”
When: TODAY, May 16, 2019, 2:30 PM ET
Who: CLPHA, The Kresge Foundation, Postsecondary Partners
Press Conference Speakers
Sunia Zaterman, Executive Director, Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
Bethany Miller, Education Program Officer, The Kresge Foundation
Michael Mirra, Executive Director, Tacoma Housing Authority
Alison De Lucca, Executive Director, Southern California College Access Network
Jennifer Thomas Arthurs, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles
Cassie Brooks, Assistant Director of Education, Chicago Housing Authority
Erica Walker, Director of Student Development Projects, City Colleges of Chicago
Where: CLPHA's Housing Is Summit
1616 Rhode Island Ave, NW
2nd Floor, Room B
Washington, DC 20009
Webcast Link: http://bit.ly/2URfFlK
RSVP: Jenny Werwa, firstname.lastname@example.org
CLPHA: Jenny Werwa, email@example.com, 202-638-1300x120 / 301-641-5557
Kresge: Kelly Leon, firstname.lastname@example.org, 248-643-9630
CHA: Molly Sullivan, MSullivan@thecha.org, 312-786-3344
Family Scholar House: Cathe Dykstra, email@example.com
LMHA: Christi Lanier-Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 502-609-9141
SoCal CAN: Alison De Lucca, email@example.com, 818-742-5583
THA: Brandon Wirth, firstname.lastname@example.org, 253-448-2790
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities is a national non-profit organization that works to preserve and improve public and affordable housing through advocacy, research, policy analysis and public education. CLPHA’s 70 members represent virtually every major metropolitan area in the country. Together they manage 40 percent of the nation’s public housing program; administer more than a quarter of the Housing Choice Voucher program; and operate a wide array of other housing programs. Learn more at clpha.org and on Twitter @CLPHA and follow @housing_is for news on CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative to better insect the housing field and other areas of critical importance such as health and education.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Renowned Physician Dr. Camara Jones to Present Keynote Remarks
WASHINGTON (May 9, 2019) – Collaborators from the housing, health, and education sectors will convene in Washington, D.C., May 16 and 17 for the fifth national Housing Is Summit hosted by the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA). The event, featuring plenary sessions devoted to ending intergenerational poverty and keynote remarks from Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and renowned physician Dr. Camara Jones, will bring together 300 policymakers, practitioners, advocates, and researchers who are committed to developing cross-sector partnerships that improve life outcomes for residents of public and affordable housing.
“Housing is essential, but not sufficient to help low-income families thrive and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty,” said CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman. “CLPHA, through our Housing Is Initiative, fosters connections between housing providers and health care systems, schools, and community organizations to develop targeted interventions that support families served by public housing authorities. The Housing Is Summit celebrates these partnerships, encourages peer-learning, and highlights the complementary roles local innovation and national advocacy play in developing cross-sector solutions to our greatest collective challenges.”
The Summit opens on May 16 with keynote remarks from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), a long-time activist and champion of ending childhood poverty. Rep. Lee recently worked to secure funding for the congressionally-commissioned landmark study, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty, which was published in February by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
During a plenary session following Rep. Lee’s remarks, Christine James Brown, chief executive officer of the Child Welfare League of America and a member of the board of the National Academies will present A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty and the authors’ two packages of policy proposals that would reduce child poverty by 50 percent over the next decade.
Joining James Brown for the plenary, the lead author of the groundbreaking article, A Universal Child Allowance: A Plan to Reduce Poverty and Income Instability Among Children in the United States, Dr. Luke Shafer, associate professor for social work and public policy and director of poverty solutions at the University of Michigan, will discuss the significant impact that a universal child allowance of $250 per month could have on the overall health and well-being of children of all incomes, but especially those living in extreme, $2 per day, poverty.
A second plenary session on Thursday will feature David Williams, policy director of Opportunity Insights, the research group led by Dr. Raj Chetty, who will explore how housing mobility research can guide policy and practice.
The first day of the Summit will also include a press conference at 2:30 PM ET announcing the release of CLPHA’s upcoming report, Eliminating Barriers to Postsecondary Success, which profiles the work of five public housing authorities who are collaborating with college access partners and community colleges to increase postsecondary educational achievement for low-income residents and college students experiencing homelessness. Bethany Miller, education program officer with The Kresge Foundation, will moderate a discussion following the press conference with panelists from public housing authorities and postsecondary partners who are participating in this work.
Additional breakout sessions include presentations from national partners and public housing project leads involved in an innovative multi-state, multi-sector collaboration between public housing authorities and UnitedHealthcare (UHC) Medicaid managed care plans. They will discuss their project, Improving Health by Aligning Housing and Health Systems, which is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and uses data and analytics to develop place-based health interventions.
Day two of the conference opens with a keynote presentation from Dr. Camara Jones, a senior fellow at Morehouse School of Medicine and recent past president of the American Public Health Association, who will address the systemic, structural racism and other inequities that underlay health disparities and how the social safety net can be strengthened with this understanding.
Attendees will next participate in their choice of peer-to-peer working roundtable discussions on topics such as data sharing with anchor institutions, educating homeless youth, and using technology to address resident health needs.
Afternoon breakout sessions will feature Dr. Craig Pollack, associate professor of health policy and management at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in a panel discussion with researchers who are evaluating the impact of cross-sector interventions to improve health outcomes; a discussion among representatives from public housing authorities and the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services who are working to support long-term housing stability for people who are particularly vulnerable to homelessness; and a case study of the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh’s early childhood education collaboration with Duquesne University and ABK Learning and Development Center to improve life outcomes for residents.
The conference will conclude with a closing plenary session devoted to the role of philanthropy in forging innovative cross-sector collaboration to create long-term change. Representatives from The Gates Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and Melville Charitable Trust will discuss current projects and impact-investing strategies aimed at expanding opportunity and improving long-term life outcomes for lower-income individuals and communities.
The complete Housing Is Summit agenda is available on CLPHA.org.
Registration for the Housing Is Summit is currently closed. Members of the media who would like to attend the Summit should contact Jenny Werwa at email@example.com.
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities is a national non-profit organization that works to preserve and improve public and affordable housing through advocacy, research, policy analysis, and public education. CLPHA’s 70 members represent virtually every major metropolitan area in the country. Together they manage 40 percent of the nation’s public housing program; administer more than a quarter of the Housing Choice Voucher program; and operate a wide array of other housing programs. Learn more at clpha.org and on Twitter @CLPHA and follow @housing_is for news on CLPHA’s work to better insect the housing field and other areas of critical importance such as health and education.
(Washington, D.C.) September 14, 2021 -- Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) Executive Director Sunia Zaterman released the following statement supporting President Biden’s nomination of Arthur Jemison to be Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):
“The Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA) congratulates Arthur Jemison on his nomination to be Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. Jemison brings deep experience to the assistant secretary position in community development and public housing, including experience with the Boston Housing Authority, a CLPHA member.
We look forward to working with Mr. Jemison to ensure that the vision of President Biden and Secretary Fudge for improving public housing through recapitalizing the public housing portfolio, expanding the Housing Choice Voucher program, addressing systemic racism, and empowering cross-sector partnerships to improve the outcomes for low-income families becomes a reality. CLPHA will strongly support Mr. Jemison throughout the confirmation process.”
Media Contact: David Greer, CLPHA; firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 550-1381
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
CLPHA Working with Biden Administration to Speed ERA Fund Distribution
(Washington, D.C.) August 27, 2021 -- Statement from CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman on the Supreme Court's blocking of the CDC's eviction moratorium:
“As mission driven organizations public housing authorities believe that keeping residents housed is the most effective policy for the families, communities, and public health safety. Housing authorities continue to take a multitude of steps to keep their residents housed, including connecting residents with legal and relief resources, streamlining the income recertification process, operating rent relief programs, creating partnerships with community service organizations, and so much more.
“The most effective lifeline available to tenants and landlords are the significant funds in the Emergency Rental Assistance Program that Congress passed in two tranches late last year and in the first quarter of 2021. CLPHA is working closely with the Biden administration by providing recommendations that will expedite emergency rental assistance as swiftly as possible.”
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
(Washington, D.C.) August 4, 2021: Statement from CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman on the extension of the CDC’s eviction moratorium:
“The Center for Disease Control’s order to extend the eviction moratorium in areas where COVID infections are rapidly rising is a welcome development that will keep millions housed while also decreasing the spread of the infectious Delta variant. CLPHA applauds the efforts of Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) for sounding the alarms as the current moratorium extension wound down and Congresswoman Cori Bush (D-MO), whose personal experience with being evicted grounded her sleep-in protest on the Capitol steps in an authentic voice that resonated with Congressional leaders, the White House, and everyday Americans.
“Throughout the pandemic, mission-driven housing authorities have been committed to preventing as many evictions as possible and only considering them as a last resort. CLPHA has advocated for emergency rental assistance during the pandemic as the most effective way to keep low-income families in their homes by providing assistance to tenants and property owners. The $46 billion that Congress allocated for emergency rental assistance as part of two COVID relief packages was one of the first relief programs to adequately meet the need caused by the pandemic. While the distribution of the relief funds has been uneven, CLPHA will take every opportunity during the 60-day extension to work with Congress and the administration to expedite the distribution of emergency rental assistance of behalf of tenants and landlords so that there no need for another moratorium.”
About the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities
About CLPHA’s Housing Is Initiative
On May 21, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson, testified before the House Financial Services Committee at a hearing entitled “Housing in America: Oversight of the U.S. Department of Housing and Development” where he received pointed questions from the committee Democrats on recent HUD proposals such as rent reform, the non-citizen rule, and HUD’s FY20 budget request which would slash funding for public housing.
In her opening remarks, Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) expressed her disappointment in the Secretary’s leadership at HUD, referring to his rent reform proposal as an “outrageous plan” that would “triple rent for the lowest income households and put 1.7 million Americans at risk of eviction and homelessness at a time when we are in the midst of a national homelessness and housing affordability crisis.”
Waters also admonished the Secretary for the Department’s budget proposal that would cut its budget by 18 percent and eliminate new funding for the capital fund and housing trust fund, halt the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule implementation, and delay disaster recovery funding for Puerto Rico. Referring to the proposed non-citizen rule as “cruel” and one that, “puts mixed immigration status families at risk of being evicted, separated, and left homeless,” Waters concluded that these actions are inconsistent with the Department’s mission.
Continuing the focus on recent HUD proposals, several Democrats expressed their outrage to Carson over the rent reform and non-citizen proposals. Reps. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), were among those who challenged the Department’s assertion that removing mixed-status families from HUD-assisted housing would reduce waiting lists and help address the lack of affordable housing.
Carson defended the proposed rule by stating that the current interpretation of the statute unfairly allows undocumented immigrants to live in federally assisted housing at the expense of U.S. citizens. “It’s not that we’re cruel or mean-hearted, it’s that we’re logical,” he said. “This is common sense. You take care of your own first.”
Velazquez also reproved Carson for acknowledging the affordable housing crisis while at the same time eliminating the capital fund, referring to HUD’s budget proposal as “shameful and immoral.”
In contrast to the frustrated tone of their colleagues, Republican committee members generally expressed support for Carson’s proposals and asked about issues such as impediments to affordable housing construction, opportunity zones, recent changes to FHA loan program rules, and disaster recovery.
When discussing options for increasing affordable housing production, Secretary Carson touted LIHTC, RAD, and the potential for combining those programs with opportunity zone tax incentives to engage in unprecedented opportunities to build affordable housing and create economic opportunities. Calling RAD one of the most spectacular HUD programs, he said that lifting the RAD cap would be tremendously helpful.
Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Rep. Al Green (D-TX) both raised concerns with the cumbersome CDBG-DR disbursement process and asked the Secretary what could be done to provide, or codify, a framework that would speed delivery of aid to areas impacted by natural disasters. In his response, the Secretary expressed concerns with the duplicative requirements across HUD and FEMA and said that there are ways to streamline the process that can, and should, be codified to ensure grant dollars can be disbursed more expediently.
Several committee members focused their questions on Housing Choice Vouchers and landlords’ unwillingness to consider applicants who use them. Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) asked the Secretary whether a federal law prohibiting source of income discrimination is needed to increase lease-up rates and ensure that families can put their voucher to use. Carson responded that the Department is looking at impediments to people accepting vouchers, and if after going through that evaluation process the problem continues, then a federal source of income discrimination law may be needed.
When asked about his legacy at HUD, Secretary Carson said that he hoped the Department would be known for putting people on a positive trajectory. And, if given a magic wand to implement any policy possible, Carson said he would “make this country stop hating each other. We’d get a whole lot done.”
In Affordable Housing Finance's (AHF) article discussing Rep. Maxine Waters' (D-CA) draft legislation of her Housing is Infrastructure bill, CLPHA's Sunia Zaterman told reporter Donna Kimura that Waters' bill, which would allocate $70 billion for the public housing capital fund, is attempting to get the public housing industry "on an even keel."
Zaterman told Kimura, “We do have challenges moving forward in the appropriations process on the annual funding levels for public housing operating and capital funds, but what Ms. Waters is saying in this bill is that we can no longer stand by idly and watch this public investment start to crumble when we need it the most.”
Zaterman added that Congress must also consider expanding additional tools that PHAs can employ in their public housing development and renovation efforts, such as the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTCs).
AHF also quoted Zaterman's April 30 press statement on Waters' draft legislation and the House Committee on Financial Services April 30 hearing “Housing in America: Assessing the Infrastructure Needs of America’s Housing Stock":
“Public housing is as a much a part of the national infrastructure as Route 66, the Lincoln Tunnel, and the Hoover Dam,” said Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities. “Public housing helps communities and families thrive by providing more than 1 million low- and very low-income families, children, elderly, and persons with disabilities with a stable place to live, connecting low-income workers to economic opportunities, and spurring regional job creation and economic growth.”
“But, years of chronic underfunding have led to the deterioration of the public housing stock, and, since 1990, at least 300,000 units have been lost because of the lack of adequate resources to maintain them. The federal disinvestment in public housing has contributed to an untenable shortage of stable housing for low-income households,” Zaterman added.
In Affordable Housing Finance's article "Turning Point for Public Housing," CLPHA' Executive Director Sunia Zaterman says of the massive capital needs backlog facing public housing authorities that “[t]he handwriting has been on the wall. The funding levels were not sustainable."
Zaterman adds, "We have lost about 10,000 units a year from underfunding," but that "[t]he number of public housing units lost may have slowed to about 8,000 a year, thanks to RAD, in the last couple of years.”
With RAD, says Zaterman, “[w]e have achieved proof of concept,... We could have the portfolio totally recapitalized in 10 years.”
Vancouver, WA newspaper The Columbian quoted CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman about the disastrous effect President Trump's budget proposal would have on pubic and affordable housing in their article "Trump’s budget would cut social safety nets:"
"The administration wants us to think beyond investing in bricks and mortar, and instead think about investing in people. This budget does neither of those things. The disinvestment in housing and supportive services is a disinvestment in our nation’s most vulnerable populations, including the 2.2 million low- and very low-income families, children, elderly and persons with disabilities who are served by public housing. Congress has previously rejected draconian budgets that shred our safety net, and we call on them to do so again."
Vancouver Housing Authority (VHA) Executive Director Roy Johnson, who contributed comment for the story, explained how Trump's proposed budget would negatively impact the individuals and families served by VHA. Johnson told the paper that losing public housing funding would result in 114 planned units losing subsidy, including Caples Terrace, an under-construction project in Vancouver for homeless youth and youth aging out of foster care slated to open in July, and two other public housing projects the housing authority hopes to start at the end of 2019.
Scotsman Guide, a resource for mortgage originators, quoted CLPHA Executive Director Sunia Zaterman about how President Donald Trump's proposed FY 2020 budget will affect affordable housing in their article "2020 budget: How does it affect the mortgage industry?":
“The administration wants us to think beyond investing in bricks and mortar, and instead think about investing in people. This budget does neither of those things,” said Sunia Zaterman..."The disinvestment in housing and supportive services is a disinvestment in our nation’s most vulnerable populations, including the 2.2 million low- and very low-income families, children, elderly and persons with disabilities who are served by public housing."
From the University of Washington and Seattle Housing Authority's press release:
The University of Washington and the Seattle Housing Authority today announced that Bellwether Housing has been selected to develop a mixed-income high-rise of about 240 units in the University District, pending approval by the UW Board of Regents.
Once completed, the 16-story project will provide a child care space and much-needed housing for faculty and staff, as well as others who want to take advantage of the central location, in the 4200 block of Roosevelt Way Northeast, near the UW campus and multiple transit options.
“Our university is dedicated to helping the communities we serve become more diverse, equitable and livable, and that begins right here in our own U District neighborhood, where we urgently need affordable, quality housing,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “We are especially excited about the opportunities this will create for university faculty and staff and their families to live and have access to child care in close proximity to our Seattle campus.”
Bellwether plans to use a mix of public and private funding to create this mixed-income community. Both funding sources support each other to make the project feasible, allowing Bellwether to maximize the development capacity of the site without straining existing public financing sources.
“We are thrilled that the UW shares our vision for this site — to provide about 240 low- and moderate-income families with affordable, high-quality, transit-oriented homes in the heart of a vibrant neighborhood. Our mixed-income model allows us to leverage this opportunity to create as many new homes as possible in this city that needs as much affordable housing as we can build,” said Bellwether Housing CEO Susan Boyd.
Initial plans are to serve households earning between 60% to 100% of Area Median Income, or AMI. A majority of the units, 163, are earmarked for families at around 60% of AMI, with the remainder reserved for the so-called “missing middle” at between 80% and 100% of AMI.
Having a range of incomes in one building best serves UW employees and the community by increasing diversity and housing options, Cauce said. There are limited housing choices available to those whose income disqualifies them from special programs for low-income households, but still isn’t enough to be competitive in Seattle’s booming housing market. By creating the “missing middle” housing, more of the UW workforce will be able to live near their jobs, reducing the time, expense and environmental costs of long commutes.
In 2017, UW approached the Seattle Housing Authority about partnering on development of the property, given SHA’s extensive experience in developing affordable housing.
“We are excited to be working collaboratively with the University of Washington on this project,” said Rod Brandon, SHA’s executive director. “We have had great success in developing mixed-income communities and think this approach will best meet the needs of the neighborhood, and people who need to live there but are otherwise priced out. Bellwether is exactly the right partner to help bring this vision to life.”
From ABC 10 News San Diego:
The San Diego Housing Commission says it broke ground Thursday on 42 affordable apartments that veterans experiencing homelessness can take advantage of.
The press release says the development, located on 47th Street in the Chollas View neighborhood, is expected to be finished in the spring of 2024. The site is east of I-805 and within walking distance of Metropolitan Transit System bus routes and the 47th Street trolley station.
According to the press release, a new American Legion Hall will be built on the "Tranquility at Post 310" development property as well.
Council President pro Tem Monica Montgomery Steppe says the affordable rental apartments are a step in the right direction for helping the area's most vulnerable communities, especially those who served in the armed forces.
“These 42 affordable units will reflect genuine gratitude for our Veterans and reiterate a commitment to addressing the housing crisis in San Diego,” she says.
The housing commission awarded a $2.8 million loan for the development of Tranquility at Post 310, but that money can only be used for affordable housing, not the American Legion Hall.
The press release says the housing commission also awarded 20 federal rental vouchers for future Post 310 residents who were previously homeless.
SDHC Interim President and CEO Jeff Davis says these apartments are one of several collaborations with developers to tackle San Diego's housing shortage.
Read ABC 10 News San Diego's article "San Diego Housing Commission breaks ground on affordable apartments for veterans."
From Rockland/Westchester Journal News:
Sixty new apartments planned for Mulberry Street will feature high efficiency heating and insulation to meet the greener, "Passive House" standard. They will be served by a generator to keep the power running even through brutal storms.
Each unit will also be earmarked for a senior in need of affordable housing.
The La Mora Senior Apartments are believed to be among the first by an area municipal housing authority to incorporate such green, luxury features once the building is completed, according to a project architect and city housing official.
“This is the beginning of a trend," Wilson Kimball, president and chief executive of the Municipal Housing Authority of the City of Yonkers, said of using the passive-house standard. He added, “We believe [the state] will start requiring it because it makes a lot of sense especially for seniors − they can shelter in place during extreme weather conditions, run their medical [devices] if required and maintain consistent indoor air quality and stable temperatures no matter what is happening around them.”
Read Rockland/Westchester Journal News' article "Yonkers at 'beginning of a trend' of green, affordable development; what to know," featuring the Municipal Housing Authority of the City of Yonkers.
From Fairfax County, VA's article:
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) and Fairfax County were recently featured in the August edition of The Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits, highlighting their collective and unprecedented work in developing public-private partnerships to more effectively deliver affordable housing. The article, “Private Capital from Tech Industry Titans Seeks to Close Affordability Gap,” showcases the public-private partnership with Amazon in a new development and highlights Fairfax County’s forward-thinking and creative approaches to delivering high-quality affordable housing. The FCRHA and Fairfax County’s efforts demonstrate that inviting corporate America to be a part of the solution is a critical component to long-term success.
Early in 2022, the FCRHA and the Board of Supervisors doubled the county’s affordable housing development goal to a total of 10,000 net new units by 2034. Such an undertaking, at the scale to which local leaders have committed, is a challenging task. For the last several years, the FCRHA has been rewriting the affordable housing playbook, adding new strategies to advance development and preservation efforts. The county has made landmark investments of public land, local dollars, federal and state funding, proffered housing funds, and much more to generate a pipeline of more than 3,000 units in various stages of development toward its goal. But county leaders will be the first to agree that delivering affordable housing at such a scale cannot be a solitary government activity. Partnerships, creative thinking, and leveraging resources are critical as the county seeks to deliver affordable housing and community assets throughout the jurisdiction.
Read Fairfax County's article "FCRHA Receives National Recognition for Creative Efforts to Close the Housing Gap."
From News 12 The Bronx:
The City of Yonkers broke ground Wednesday on an affordable housing project for seniors.
Future residents of the 60-unit building could see their monthly utility bills go from several hundred dollars down to just $30.
The city Housing Authority says one benefit that's going to come from this energy efficient and environmentally friendly project is based on what's known as passive house standards.
Passive house, a concept that originated in Germany, focuses on making a building so airtight and well insulated that it reduces energy consumption by up to 85%.
The Municipal Housing Authority of Yonkers joined Westchester County Executive George Latimer and some members of the county Legislature to hold the ceremonial groundbreaking for La Mora Senior Housing on Mulberry Street.
The build makes it so very little energy is needed to heat an apartment. Heat from the appliances can heat a room. The design also makes for better indoor air quality.
Energy efficient lighting and appliances will furnish the building.
Wilson Kimball, the CEO of the Municipal Housing Authority of Yonkers, says following passive house standards makes a building like this cost a third more to build than a regular building. She expects this one to save enough money on energy to make it worth it.
Kimball says the city is planning another passive house project and that they want to make this more of a movement than a novelty.
"It's great for the environment, for the neighbors and the people who live here, but we think it's better actually for the bigger environment. Once you work on addressing climate change, you help everybody,” she says.
Read News 12 The Bronx's article "Yonkers breaks ground on affordable housing project for seniors," featuring the Municipal Housing Authority of the City of Yonkers.