September 2019

Message from President Marsha Parham-Green
Dear Colleagues:

As my term comes to an end, please know that I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve as your Regional President for the past two years. One of my most significant goals was to keep MARC NAHRO members abreast of chapter, regional, and national news via the region’s e-newsletter. I am pleased to report that we produced 19 e-newsletters over the past two years, showcasing not only regional and national news but also best practices and news from our member agencies. Additionally, MARC NAHRO members were actively engaged at the national level and responded to calls for action by: 

  • participating in the “What Home Means to Me” Poster Contest;

  • participating in the National Merit Scholarship program;

  • writing letters during August Advocacy;

  • presenting 13 certificates to agencies that received NAHRO Awards of Merit; and

  • representing the region on all standing and advisory committees, including five MARC NAHRO leaders who were either elected Vice President or appointed to chair committees.

At the conclusion of the National Conference and Exhibition, I will be handing over the reigns of the presidency to John Mahon, Executive Director of the Bayonne (NJ) Housing Authority.  The region is poised for continued growth and success -- he has already convened the region’s 2020 conference planning team, which is comprised of the incoming officers. They will help develop program content and assist with the solicitation of vendors and sponsors for the conference, which will be co-sponsored with New Jersey NAHRO on May 3-6 in Atlantic City. We will need the support of every MARC NAHRO Associate to make the conference a success!! Be sure to check out the monthly e-newsletters and targeted e-marketing for updates about the conference.

Members who will be in attendance at the National Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio, I hope to see you at these two regional events:

Networking and Meet and Greet will be held on Thursday, October 10 -- 7:00am to 7:45am Meeting Room 213A. Continental breakfast for conference delegates will be available near Hall 4 West Registration street level. Grab breakfast and join us! In addition to meeting your peers, you can visit with current and incoming leadership and tell us what the region can do to better serve you in the next biennium.

Current and incoming executive boards will meet on Friday, October 11, from 3:45pm to 5:45pm. All members are welcome to attend, and perimeter seating will be available. Check the region’s website for meeting agendas.

Know that I will remain steadfast in my support of MARC NAHRO. Again, thank you for the opportunity to serve you, and I am excited to see what is ahead.  

Lastly, a few words about what’s inside this newsletter.
 
National News:
  • RAD Revised Notice 4
  • Vote on amendments to national NAHRO constitution
  • Professional development offerings
  • Final report on August advocacy

Regional News: 
  • A thank you note from Marjorie Murphy, who recently celebrated a major milestone – 90 years young. In recognition of this special day, the region sent her a lovely bouquet of flowers.

  • Regional news from Lebanon County and Philadelphia Housing Authorities.

  • A report on the MAHRO/MARC NAHRO delegation to South Africa and led by the region’s own Liz Glenn. The group traveled to four cities, where they met with social housing and other government officials and visited informal, formal and squatter housing settlements. 

Thank you for taking the time to read your newsletter and thank you to our colleagues who have submitted news items. 

Hope to see you in San Antonio!

Warm regards,
Marsha J. Parham-Green
President 
National News

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
RAD Revised Notice 4 Released
HUD has released the new Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) notice: “Rental Assistance Demonstration – Final Implementation, Revision 4” (Notice H-2019-09; PIH-2019-23 (HA)) . The RAD program allows for units to be converted from certain Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding streams, such as public housing, to either a Section 8 project-based voucher (PBV) funding stream or a Section 8 project-based rental assistance (PBRA) funding stream. There are several major changes in this notice, including changes to the First Component of RAD (which allows public housing units to be converted to PBV or PBRA) and implementation of the 2018 Appropriations Act provision allowing Section 202 project rental assistance contracts (PRAC) to be converted to PBV or PBRA.

The changes to the First Component of RAD include the following:

  • A policy that RAD rents will be updated every two years (RAD awards after each update will use the updated rents);

  • A newly added “Concept Call” step to the RAD process, to allow PHAs to receive confirmation that project plans are sufficiently advanced to submit a Financing Plan;

  • More stringent notice requirements for residents in developments to be converted (the new notice details resident participation requirements at each step of the RAD process);

  • A policy that all households residing in regular PBV units will have the same resident rights extended to them as households that reside in RAD-PBVs in converted developments;

  • A mechanism for PHAs to enter into partnerships with each other to convert developments;

  • A policy allowing for rent increases in certain scenarios for PBRA conversions, such as developments located in Opportunity Zones;

  • Elimination of the requirement to submit the Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) tool in certain scenarios; and

  • Other changes (including changed requirements for portfolio awards, a change in how PHAs report debts owed, and broadening the use of “tiered environmental reviews”).

Direct questions to Tushar Gurjal at tgurjal@nahro.org
Vote on Amendments to the NAHRO Constitution: 
September 16- October 4
By now you should have received an email from noreply@directvote.net , the third-party vendor with whom NAHRO has partnered, Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS), to administer the vote on amendments to the NAHRO Constitution. To ensure that your election-specific broadcast email arrives safely in your inbox from the NAHRO Election Coordinator, simply add noreply@directvote.net , as an approved sender. The email will contain your unique election credentials. If you do not receive it by September 20, contact Latonya Rajah at lrajah@nahro.org .

The Constitutional amendments relate to role and composition of the Steering Committee and to the critical role of the Budget & Administration Committee. 

Direct questions to Sylvia Bowen at: sbowen@nahro.org
Professional Development Offerings
in the Region
November 12-13, 2019
Lakewood Housing Authority, Lakewood, NJ


November 13-15, 2019
Plesantville Housing Authority, Pleasantville, NJ


November 14-15, 2019
Lakewood Housing Authority, Lakewood, NJ

  • Family Self Sufficiency (FSS)  For additional information, please contact Scott Parsons at sparsons@lakewoodha.org
Record-Breaking August Advocacy Campaign!
Over the past five weeks, dedicated NAHRO advocates sent more than 8,500 letters to Capitol Hill on critical housing and community development issues. This far exceeded our goal of sending 4,000 letters.
The letters focused on four topics. First, NAHRO members advocated for housing to be included in infrastructure discussions and supported a proposed $70 billion investment in the Public Housing Capital Fund to address the growing backlog of capital needs in public housing.
The second letter urged Congress to make Housing Choice Vouchers available for all estimated 8.3 million Americans experiencing worst case housing needs who currently do not receive any housing subsidies. HUD defines worst case housing needs as someone who pays more than 50 percent of their income for housing and/or lives in severely inadequate housing.
In the third letter, NAHRO members asked their legislators to join the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2019 (S. 1703/H.R. 3077) as cosponsors. The important legislation would permanently authorize the 4 percent credit and increase its availability.
Finally, the last letter focused on FY 2020 Transportation-HUD spending, urging members of Congress to fund housing and community development programs at robust levels and to quickly finalize spending to avoid multiple short-term spending bills and the possibility of a shutdown. 
Thank you to everyone who helped make our August advocacy campaign our most successful ever!  
Regional News
Thank you Letter from Marjorie Murphy

Lebanon County Housing Authority
Left to right:
PA Representative Frank Ryan; HUD Region 3 Director Joe DeFelice; Board Chair Amy Leonard; Lebanon City Mayor Sherry Capello; U.S. Representative Dan Meuser; Commissioner Bill Ames; future resident Kimmie Scheetz cutting the ribbon; Executive Director Bryan Hoffman; future resident Theresa Alicia-Rivera; and Chief Logistics Officer David Fitzkee.
The Lebanon County Housing Authority hosted a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 to celebrate two newly-renovated, fully-accessible affordable townhomes. These units were specifically created to accommodate families with disabilities in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Congressman Dan Meuser was in attendance as the guest speaker for the event and he spoke about the importance of projects such as this that cater to families in low income areas who are living with disabilities. He congratulated the Housing Authority on their dedication and commitment to serving families in the area.

Also in attendance, was Joseph DeFelice, the HUD Regional Administrator in Pennsylvania. The Capital Fund Grant, which was issued from HUD, was used in the construction and completion of this monumental project and he discussed the challenges faced with funding and being able to provide affordable homes to families that live with disabilities. 

Special awards of acknowledgement were provided to the Executive Director of the Housing Authority, Bryan Hoffman. The Authority was recognized by Pennsylvania State Representative Frank Ryan and Mayor of Lebanon City, Sherry Capello for this project.

At the close of the ceremony, ceremonial keys were presented to the new tenants of the townhomes and guests were able to tour the 4 bedroom units and enjoy a celebratory luncheon with the staff of the Housing Authority.
HUD Regional Administrator Joe DeFelice congratulating the Housing Authority on their commendable project.
Lebanon Housing Authority Executive Director Bryan Hoffman (Left) and U.S. Representative Dan Meuser (Right).
Philadelphia Housing Authority
“Fix IT” Program Brings Generations Together
Residents at three PHA senior developments have become better acquainted with digital technology, thanks to a pilot program run by the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) of Philadelphia. The “Fix IT” program, shorthand for “Fix Information Technology,” shows seniors how to go online for services and access programs such as Facebook. Jaylene Rivera (left) guides Patricia Hubert during the third and final session of the program at the Blackwell Community Center in West Philadelphia.
Residents at three PHA senior developments have become more familiar with digital technology, thanks to a pilot program run by the Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC) of Philadelphia. The “Fix IT” program, shorthand for “Fix Information Technology,” shows seniors how to go online for services and access programs such as Facebook. UAC Assistant Project Manager Marcus Kellam (left), who formerly worked at PHA, was able to connect UAC, PHA, and the Boy Scouts to make the program a reality. This final session took place at the Blackwell Community Center in West Philadelphia.
MAHRA/MARC/NAHRO Delegation to South Africa
Isithumba Villa in KwaXimba
During the last two weeks in July, Director Maria Day-Marshall and Assistant Director Tanya Bansal traveled to South Africa with five members of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) representing public housing authorities in Maryland, California, Texas, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The purpose of the trip was to explore public housing research and practice partnerships between South African institutions and the US, to explore opportunities to exchange information on social and affordable housing best practices, and to engage on academic exchanges in the area of real estate development.

The delegation was hosted in South Africa by Lawrence Ramashamole , Chief Executive Officer, Housing Authority of East London, and led by Elizabeth Glenn, South Africa Professional Exchange Manager for the Maryland Association of Housing and Redevelopment Agencies. The group journeyed to four cities including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban at which they met with social housing and other government officials, and visited informal, formal and squatter housing settlements. The trip also included meetings with representatives from Nelson Mandela University, University of KwaZulu-Natal and Durban University of Technology, all of whom were enthusiastic about the prospect of establishing partnerships with the University of Maryland and interested in professional and student exchange programs, as well as participating in a Pan-African Housing and Sustainable Development Symposium. 
Johannesburg
KwaZulu-Nata University
Cape Town
Nelson Mandela University
Durham
MARC NAHRO State Chapters
Do you have news to share from your agency?
E mail MARC Regional Service Officer by 2nd Wednesday monthly
at Sylvia Bowen or call 202-580-7201