THE LATEST NEWS                                                                April 2015


What is advocacy?  Many of you were able to join me at the most recent NAHRO Conference in Washington DC.  We had the opportunity to network with peers from around the country and discuss issues that we all face.  In addition, we learned about how changes in the political landscape will affect affordable housing, listened to updates for HUD programs and met with legislative members and staff to discuss our legislative priorities.


It is easy to think that advocacy is something that is distant and performed by someone else.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  During my discussions with NAHRO, HUD and legislative staff, I was reminded that they want to hear from you.  Whether it is responding to a request by NAHRO staff on the effects of new legislation, commenting on proposed rules and regulations or updating your local legislative staff on the good work your organization is doing in your community.


PNRC is taking the lead on advocating for the lifting of the twenty percent cap on project basing of vouchers.  Not only was this issue well received at NAHRO; but, it was well received by, both liberal and conservative, members of Congress.  As members of Congress take a break to celebrate Easter, I urge you to let them know what this change would mean to your organization and the community it serves.


Thank you for reading and I look forward to your feedback,


Lowel Krueger, President

2015 PNRC Annual Conference
Save $50
Register for the Annual Conference by Friday, April 3rd.

If you plan on attending the 2015 PNRC Annual Conference, make sure to register by this Friday to Save $50 per registration.

Conference registration is only $250 for PNRC members and includes welcome reception on Sunday night, all general sessions, workshops, breakfast. lunch and snack breaks both days and Exhibitor's Reception on Monday night.

Also, take advantage of the Buy 5 Get 1 Free by attending the conference with others from your agency. Please register everyone at the same time on the same registration form to take advantage of this special.

General Sessions
Monday Morning -
Motivational Humorist Sharon Lacey
NAHRO President Preston Prince
PNRC President Lowel Krueger
Monday Lunch - 
Washington DC Update with NAHRO CEO Saul Ramirez
Tuesday Morning -
South African Housing - presented by delegates from South Africa
Tuesday Lunch - 
Annual Meeting
50/50 Raffle Drawing
Awards Presentations

Tracks and Workshops

Commissioners and Executives
  • Board Meeting Procedures and Best Practices - this session will strengthen the relationship between the board members and the Executive Director as they partner in creating effective and successful board meetings.
  • Human Resources Management Dos and Don'ts - So now they're hired! Learn about HR dos and don'ts' from evaluation, to FMLA, to separation and everything in between. This is a great opportunity to get your questions answered by the pros.
  • Using Technology to Strengthen your Message - Join us in the modern age! Learn how to Twitter, Facebook and videos can carry your message to an even larger audience.Learn the basic from creating accounts to building the audience. Or, learn how PNRC can carry that message for you through our media presence.
  • PHA's Role in Ending Veteran Homelessness - Best Practices, barriers, bucks and brains: real talk about the real issues. Participate in a courageous conversation about barriers to VASH (Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing) and SSVF (Supportive Services for Veterans Families).
  • Using GIS (Geographic Information System( to Address Fair Housing - learn how to use GIS as your work to address the new affirmatively furthering fair housing rule. 
  • Risk Management - risk management is the responsibility of everyone at your housing authority. Learn how safety inspections, staff training, pre-established emergency response protocols, documentation and more help to ensure a better environment for all as well as reduce risk for costly legal claims.
Family Self Sufficiency
  • FSS in the Move to Work Environment - bringing the program to scale for the whole housing authority without losing the escrow incentive.
  • Innovative approaches to self-sufficiency in Move to Work.
  • FSS Roundtable - a facilitated discussion with your FSS peers. 
  • Working with People with Disabilities. How to balance the focus on program outcomes with the reality that many FSS participants with disabilities may not be able to obtain or maintain employment. Developing and Maintaining your PCC. Logic Model, Escrows, Innovative Ideas
  • FSS 101 - Program fundamentals from seasoned FSS professionals.
  • FSS Case Management Best Practices - Discussion of FSS best practices from successful program administrators.
  • Strengthening FSS Program Performance. Exiting participants, giving extensions, and accommodations - setting clear criteria up front for the end game and where to draw the line. Creative Program Services, Incentives, Recognition, FSS Employment Strategies, Homeownerships
  • HUD Talks FSS. Regional HUD representatives will address Logic Models, Escrows and answer your questions. 
  • Best Practices in an Integrated Pest Control Program - Rodents, insects, and bed bugs including prevention, inspection and treatment.When is it a good idea to handle internally and when is it better to outsource?
  • Customer Service on the Front Lines - Customer service from the maintenance perspective. How to deal with difficult residents,de-escalation.
  • Getting to know the new MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet). Update on MSDS labeling requirements
  • Be Proactive with your REAC Inspections - How can all members of PHA management and maintenance teams work together to properly prepare for REAC inspections?
  • Inventory Control and Management. Pros and cons of different inventory control methods with an eye towards just in time inventory management.
  • Building and Improving your Preventive Maintenance Program
Move to Work
  • MTW Roundtable - education program and affordable housing
  • Families, Housing and Health - creating programs that address health related problems for families in affordable housing
  • Special Populations - targeting and implementing programs for special populations
  • Successfully Implementing Rent Reform Throughout the Organization - lessons learned for non-MTW agencies
  • What Data Really Tells the Story?- using data to measure program success
  • Successfully Implementing Cost Saving Measures - lessons learned for non-MTW agencies
Occupancy and Asset Management
  • Voucher Program Case Management - organizing the workload to meet deadlines with accuracy and efficiency.
  • PHAS (Public Housing Assessment System) Overview - Background, Legal and Regulatory Authority, Indicators - key factors and tips, Why it matters
  • SEMAP (Section 8 Management Assessment Program) Overview - Background, Legal and Regulatory Authority, Indicators - key factors and tips, Why it matters
  • Financial Overview for Non-Financial Staff - why it is important for housing staff members to understand the financial implications of their work.
  • VASH (Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing) Program - Background, Legal Authority, The VA-PHA Partnership, Caseload Management
  • Landlord Relations - in times of tight rental markets and inadequate payment starts, positive, proactive outreach and communications with landlords is more important than ever.
Post Conference Seminars

Ethics and the Housing and Community Development Commissioner
(May 20th) - $250/$275

Ethics plays a significant role in the life of a commissioner. Increases the commissioner's understanding of professional conduct guidelines, and the ability to recognize and appropriately address ethics-related issues and problems that may occur. Learn about industry laws and regulations impacting ethical conduct and build your capacity as a board member. This course, intended for the new commissioner and a refresher for the veteran, uses practical applications and skills assessment exercises to reinforce ethical concepts. (.65 CEUs)

Casterline Financial Management Update
(May 20th and 21st) - $430/$475

Advanced PHA Budgeting, Accounting, and Financial Reporting Workshop
Tentative Topics for Discussion
Public Housing Accounting and Financial Reporting Update
Latest on REAC / FDS / PHAS and PIH Notices
New OMB Omni Circular - final HUD regs as applicable and implementation
Implementation guidance on new Pension reporting requirements - including entries to record, suggestions regarding allocation of the liability, etc.
Other new GASB issuances as applicable
Update on any changes concerning PHA compensation limits as applicable
HUD is considering refederalizing COCC and revising the mgmt fee model due to OIG pressures, we will provide any updates and also recommendations on what you should be doing now (note: we have learned that HUD is studying this, and will provide the latest info available at class time)
2015 Housing Choice Voucher Program financial update
RAD - reevaluating whether to apply under new allocation, pros and cons of PBRA versus PBV, specific accounting guidance including general ledger structures and entries, financial reporting considerations and how to report RAD on the FDS

Excellence in Customer Service
(May 20th) - $325/$360

Who should attend? NAHRO recommends that every member of the agency's staff take this course. Excellent customer service should happen at every level of the organization.

Customer service is the deciding factor in whether or not an agency meets its bottom line every month. Effective communication not only improves relationships and results externally with agency clients, but internally with agency staff. NAHRO's Excellence in Customer Service focuses on the new wave of customer service and explores the ways in which perfecting the details of communication can make your agency's customer service truly "excellent." The day-long, onsite version of NAHRO's customer service seminar features exercises, self-assessments, and other interactive components that are not possible within the context of the online delivery.

Learning Outcomes:
Recognize elements of communication that you must improve for yourself
Understand how effective customer service affects the fiscal health of an agency
Training Agenda
Definition of customer service
Who is our customer?
What prevents us from always giving excellent customer service?
What do our customers expect?
Phone etiquette
Letters and other correspondence
Communication styles
Active listening
Diffusing anger
Delivering bad news
Dealing with change
The "balancing act"

Other Activities (additional fees may apply)
  • Golf Tournament - May 17th
  • Scholarship Fundraising Move - Brick by Brick, a civil rights story - May 18th
  • Exhibitors - visit with industry related exhibitors both days
  • 50/50 Scholarship Fundraising Raffle

Thank you to HARRP for being a 
2015 Conference Platinum Sponsor

Regional & National News

The Faces of Nampa Housing Authority


First part of a video series about the Nampa Housing Authority.  Another video will be unveiled at the PNRC Conference in May.  


Faces of Nampa - Part 1
Faces of Nampa - Part 1





Call for Persons Interested in Serving as NAHRO's Assessment Boards Chair


The Assessment Boards Chair, who reports to NAHRO's Board of Ethics and Credentialing Trustees (BECT), assures that the various NAHRO and co-sponsored Certification Examination Assessment Boards are staffed appropriately and that their work of creating and maintaining NAHRO's Certification Exams progresses in a timely manner and in accordance to accreditation standards.  He/she is responsible for monitoring Assessment Boards activities, interfacing with the NAHRO Certification staff and psychometrician, as needed, and providing reports to the BECT at their meetings (NAHRO's Washington, summer, and national conferences).  Full qualifications and position description are at www.nahro.org/certification.  Interested persons should send a letter of interest, resume, and qualifications via email to the BECT staff liaison, Blake Pavlik, by email at bpavlik@nahro.org.  The candidate shall submit three references with their letter of interest and resume. Responses must be received by April 22, 2015.




Call for Nominations! First Annual Secretary's Awards for Healthy Homes


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with the National Environmental Health Association, is pleased to announce the first annual Secretary's Awards for Healthy Homes. These awards will recognize excellence in healthy housing innovation and achievement in three categories: Public Housing/Multifamily Supported Housing, Public Policy, and Cross Program Coordination among Health, Environment and Housing.


Nominations for activities or policies that show measurable benefits in the health of residents and are available to low and/or moderate income families will be accepted via email until 11:59:59 p.m. PT on April 30, 2015. To submit a nomination, please complete the application form, available here, and email it and all other required materials as attachments to HUDAward@neha.org.

The award recipients will be honored at the NEHA Annual Educational Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, FL.

Don't miss the opportunity to share your achievement in healthy housing innovation!



Deliberate Civic Engagement - Are You Doing Enough? by Josh Crites

Josh Crites is a German Chancellor Fellow researching social housing in Germany and Europe.  

You can follow his blog on affordable housing at https://jcrites007.wordpress.com/


My fellowship year has allowed me to participate in dozens of interesting meetings and programs.  Recently a door opened that allowed me to observe an ongoing transatlantic dialog between Germany and the USA.  Through connections at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Bundesinstitut fur Bau-Stadt und Raumforschung, I received an invitation to the Dialog for Change event in Ludwigsburg, Germany.  This is an ongoing two year project between Germany and the U.S.A. looking at ways to create and sustain meaningful public participation before, during and after a project.  Most of the participants were city planners or involved with city government in some manner.  The German Marshall Fund is behind the important study and supported it with funds, staff and logistics.


I choose to write about the experience because I believe the strategies developed are something important for social housing and public housing authorities to learn from.  Public engagement in our work is extremely important.  We hold a very special place role in our communities.  Housing those who have the least means we play a crucial role in millions of families lives around the world.  They turn to us to provide their most basic human needs.  Without safe, decent and affordable housing, it is almost impossible to succeed long term.  It is hard to find a job, focus on health or raise a family without stable housing.

But what role does public participation play in our work?  We are constantly making changes in the way we work.   Whether it is building new housing, remodeling old housing, creating job programs or changing rent regulations, we constantly have an effect on the lives of those who live in our housing.   We are also major players in the communities we work in.  That means dozens of stakeholders rely on us or need to partner with us to provide some type of service or public good.  Our public participation process must be strong, inclusive and honest.


Honest?  What does that mean?  When we look at our public process and the way we engage both residents and community partners, can we say it comes from a place of true civic engagement?  We all have mandates to complete a public process several times a year.  Maybe it is a new building or an annual plan that is being turned into HUD.  When it is time to do this, do you just fire up the old public ad in the newspaper hold the meeting and go through the process?


The two year focus during the Dialog for Change allowed colleagues from across the Atlantic to focus on this theme and look at opportunities to be more deliberate in the public engagement process.  I am an outsider to the group but that also afforded me the chance to look at their work from a different lense.  What I saw is an intentional group of professionals who used this opportunity to not only come up with recommendations for professionals in Germany and the US, but used the tools themselves.  The report will be forth coming and I will be sure to send out a link once it does.  However; below are some of the initial recommendations from a report on the German Marshall Fund's website.


D4C Network Core Civic Engagement Principles:

  1. Set clear and realistic goals for the process to define the purpose of the engagement and how the input will be used in the final project or plan.
  2. Get to know your stakeholders to understand their perspectives, needs, and opportunities to engage them in ways that leverage their power and influence.
  3. Tailor communication to the project or situation
  4. Be flexible and adapt the engagement process to respond to changing circumstances on the ground and stakeholder needs
  5. Use data strategically and transparently

Other concepts that participants felt were crucial, but must be adapted for each unique circumstance:

  • Shared learning: opening up opportunities to learn from stakeholders about new methods to engage them more effectively; creating a learning culture in the project team to try new things.
  • Evaluation: defining and measuring success for the engagement effort and communicating transparently about progress towards those goals.
  • Recognizing capacity: being frank about the ability to carry out successful engagement (both in terms of city and stakeholder efforts) and seeking out partnerships to help overcome constraints.
  • Institutionalizing processes: balancing standard or required approaches with the need to be innovative and responsive to local needs. [1]

More information will come out of this joint learning program, but the ideas are important for us in public and social housing.  A strong commitment to civic engagement is something that should always be at the forefront of our minds.  Learning from each other and colleagues in other industries and countries can help ensure we are utilizing the best methods from around the world.  Day to day business can make it very hard to take the time to think about this important process in a meaningful way.  Whether through strategic planning or agency  retreat, this is a subject worth spending time on.


Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (Anchorage, AK)

Kennewick Housing Authority (Kennewick, WA)

Housing Kitsap (Bremerton, WA)

West Valley Housing Authority (Dallas, OR)

Spokane Housing Authority (Spokane, WA)

Santa Clara Housing Authority (Santa Clara, CA)


Regional News - Click on the title to see the full story .



Boise - Laws targeting the homeless under scrutiny


Boise - Tiny houses movement to combat homelessness




Bend - Editorial: Get park district answers on affordable housing 


Portland - Meyer awards $2.1M to 13 Oregon affordable housing projects


Corvallis - Police: Homelessness not a crime in Corvallis


Portland - More affordable housing on City Council agenda


Portland - Nick Fish pushes affordable-housing commitment as OHSU deal questioned: Portland City Hall Roundup  


Bend area lawmakers push affordable housing bills 




Seattle U law students target anti-homeless laws 


House passes Rep. Larry Springer's bill to increase affordable housing in King County 


Expanded Survey finds number of homeless youth in King County holding stable 


Seattle - Affordable housing: Pressure mounts on Mayor Murray


Seattle - As rents generally rise, advocates unveil affordable housing plan


Port Townsend - Ending homelessness: Old issue, new plan, new players 

Bellevue - Growing number of seniors find themselves homeless


 Seattle mayor announces affordable housing stretch goal