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A Letter From Your President, Cupid Alexander
Greetings Housers,

The end of the Month of August and the beginning of the Month of September has brought us both happiness and sadness. In many parts of the pacific northwest, we are witnessing some of the worst forest fires, smoke, lives lost and property damage as a result of these fires; in our history. We are still in the middle of a raspatory pandemic, reduced economic opportunities, and social and racial reckonings happening at the same time. I know that this is a lot- and we can only get through all of this together.

At the same time, I’ve been able to witness some of the best work I’ve seen in quite a long time. We had our first ever Pacific Northwest Region Conference via a virtual platform; and I have to say- it was a success. It was great seeing so many wonderful faces, from all over Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, and to sit in on informational sessions that helped me build my skill set and grow. This may be the new normal for the time being, but it felt great to connect with you all.

As we continue down the path of preparing for the work we must do including housing our community members, advocating for the needed dollars to improve, maintain and create new housing, and to make sure our internal wheels are rolling- I want to be sure you all know your work is appreciated and that you are a valued member of our Pacific Northwest housing team. Stay well!

With respect,
Cupid Alexander
Wellness Checks, Face Coverings & Free On-Site COVID-19 Testing Helps Keep Settle Housing Authority Residents Safe
Since late March SHA staff have placed 16,684 calls to residents and voucher participants to check on their well-being and connect them with services if needed. The vast majority of tenants appreciate the calls and are doing well. SHA has distributed 14,624 face coverings to residents, and staff are checking back with those who may need more. As the pandemic began to disrupt people’s normal routines and the ability to meet their needs, SHA, with the help of community partners, delivered more than 75,000 meals to vulnerable and elderly residents and families with school-age children. SHA and community partners also provided free on-site COVID-19 testing at five locations, with a sixth one coming up. Of more than 850 tests, only five came back positive. SHA is pleased the numbers are low and that the SHA community is doing its part to help stop the spread of the virus.

Individual Awards
NAHRO offers a variety of awards and recognition to persons who have made
outstanding contributions to the housing and
community development field.

September 30, 2020

NAHRO’s most prestigious award honors an exceptionally qualified person who has made outstanding contributions to the quality of life through service in the field of housing or community development. 

The International Research and Global Exchange Award, formerly known as the John D. Lange International Award, acknowledges a person who has made contributions to the international community.  

The Commissioner of the Year Award, formerly known as the Elizabeth B. Wells Memorial Award, celebrates the accomplishments and service of an outstanding commissioner.  

Emerging Leader Award highlights an individual who has been involved in NAHRO at the national level for six years or less and has distinguished him/herself as an Emerging Leader.

The award recognizes both a vendor partner and a housing agency or community development agency whose partnership best exemplifies a joint effort that creates positive change.
Yesler Community Virtual Tour Premiered at the 2020 PNRC NAHRO Virtual Conference
Yesler: A Vision Taking Shape
Take a video guided tour with a Yesler resident and see the progress taking placer at Yesler
Help Available for Idaho Renters
Help Available For Idaho Renters
Help us make sure these valuable resources are directed to renters in need
We are reaching out to be sure you are aware of this valuable program aimed at helping renters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis. The Housing Preservation Program (HPP) is available only to Idaho renters and provides assistance not only for rent, but utilities as well.
If you know anyone who needs assistance, please share this information with them.
To learn more about the Housing Preservation Program and its eligibility requirements, click here or go to
A call-line (1-855-452-0801) is available to applicants in need of assistance with submitting an application. You may be able to assist applicants by making a phone available for call line access, providing internet access, scanning documents and/or submitting documents to IHFA via fax.
The following resources are available for you when messaging your clients. If there is anything else we can provide to assist with this effort, please let us know by emailing
Thank you.


Social Media post: Need help paying your rent? This program could help you. The Housing Preservation Program can provide short-term rent and utility support for Idahoans affected by the pandemic. For more information on eligibility and how to apply, visit

Email template for your contacts:

Subject Line: Need help paying your rent or utilities? This program could help you.
Email Body:
Dear Renter,
Have you, a friend or family member been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and can't afford to pay your rent or utilities? Idaho Housing and Finance Association has a program that could help you pay your rent and may prevent eviction.
To learn more about the Housing Preservation Program or to see if you are eligible, click here or go to and click on the "Help for renters: Housing Preservation Program" tab to submit an application.
Further assistance is available by calling 1-855-452-0801. More information is available at
Thank You to Our Swag Bag Sponsor!
Household Pulse Survey Shows Continuing Struggle Among Lowest-Income Renters

By: Dan Threet, NLIHC research analyst
The Census Bureau released the first wave of results from Phase 2 of their Household Pulse Survey on September 9, and the responses reveal that many renters continue to struggle to afford their housing. The survey, conducted August 19 through August 31, indicates that 15% of renters are behind on paying their rent. Most of those who have fallen behind are low-income renters. A fifth of renters with household incomes below $35,000 are not caught up on rent. Among renters who have experienced loss of employment income, nearly 22% have already fallen behind. If renters experiencing loss of income have been paying the rent using dwindling savings or credit cards, that share may continue to rise.
Renters of color are more likely to be struggling to catch up on rent payments. A greater share of Latino, Black, and Asian renters are behind on their rent (Figure 1). While 11% of white renters are behind, 19% of Asian renters, 20% of Latino renters, and 23% of Black renters are behind. Before the pandemic, people of color were already more likely than white people to be severely housing cost-burdened, paying more than half of their incomes on housing costs, and they were more likely to be extremely low-income renters. Since the economic downturn in the spring, the disparity in employment by race or ethnicity has increased, as Black and Latino workers have been especially hard hit. The Pulse Survey shows that the economic crisis has been particularly harmful to renters of color.
Among renters who reported they were not caught up on rent, 47% said it was very or somewhat likely they would be forced to leave their home in the next two months. A patchwork of local, state, and federal eviction moratoriums prevented this share from being even higher. Most of the renters who expected to be evicted had household incomes below $35,000 (Figure 2). For renters already behind on rent, many will not be able to pay their debts by October. The recent CDC eviction moratorium, in effect until the end of 2020, protects most, but not all, renters from eviction. It does not cover renters struggling to pay their rent before the pandemic who have not experienced a loss of income. Even covered renters, however, will continue to accumulate back rent and late fees, absent sufficient rental assistance. Without this assistance, the nation will likely face a massive eviction crisis at the end of the moratorium.
A substantial share of renters remain uncertain about how they will pay next month’s rent. Twenty-eight percent of renters expressed no confidence or only slight confidence that they could pay on time or indicated they had deferred payment. Unsurprisingly, confidence levels were lower among those with lower household incomes: among renters with household incomes below $35,000, 38% fell into this group. This confidence also varies considerably by race and ethnicity. Whereas 20% of white renters at all income levels expressed no or slight confidence or indicated deferred payment, 31% of Asian renters, 37% of Latino renters, and 38% of Black renters did so.

Thirty-two percent of all respondents—including renters and homeowners—found it very or somewhat difficult to pay for their usual household expenses in the prior seven days. These usual expenses include food, rent and mortgage payments, car payments, medical expenses, and student loans, among other things. Over half (54%) of people with household incomes below $35,000 found it very or somewhat difficult to pay for these expenses. Twenty-six percent of white respondents, 30% of Asians, 44% of Latinos, and 46% of Blacks reported it was very or somewhat difficult (Figure 3). If “the rent eats first,” low-income renters who are currently paying their rent may be able to do so only because they are cutting back and struggling to pay for food, medical care, transportation, and other necessities.

There is considerable evidence that the lowest-income renters and many renters of color will continue to struggle in the coming months. Congress needs to pass emergency rental assistance to help these renters pay their bills and prevent an eviction crisis when the CDC moratorium ends at the end of this year. At least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed for at-risk households. This aid will help both households and housing providers meet their financial obligations. The “Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act” and the housing provisions of the HEROES Act would provide such aid. While the CDC eviction moratorium is a welcome development, it needs to be improved to ensure that all renters are protected from evictions for nonpayment of rent while coronavirus continues to pose a threat to public health. The eviction and foreclosure moratorium and other resources in the HEROES Act must be passed immediately to improve on the current policy.
She was homeless and living in a store’s parking lot. Then the store hired her.
By: Cathy Free, September 16, 2020 at 5:00 a.m. CDT

LaShenda Williams woke up in a grocery store parking lot last year after another restless night in her car. On the window of the supermarket, she spotted a new flier.
The East Nashville Kroger store where she had been living in her car for almost a year was advertising a job fair. Williams, 46, who has a learning disability and has difficulty reading or writing — and also had been addicted to drugs — saw meaning in the flier. It was as if there was a sign within the sign, she said.
Williams went inside the store, as she did every day, to say hello to the employees. But this time, she gathered her courage and asked the hiring manager: “Maybe I could work here one day. You got room for me?’”
The manager, Jacqueline Vandal, said she’d help Williams fill out the application.
Vandal sat with her patiently and helped her answer all of the questions on her application, then submit them on Williams’s laptop computer. When a prompt came up, informing Williams that she’d successfully applied, Vandal immediately gave her the good news: “You’re hired.”
“I couldn’t believe it — I hugged her and cried,” said Williams, who has been homeless off and on in Nashville for several years. “It was overwhelming. Somebody gave me a chance.”
Vandal, 56, said Williams’s persistence in filling out the application tipped the scales in her favor.
“LaShenda had the right attitude, and I knew I needed to give her a shot,” Vandal said.
“I didn’t know at the time that she was living in her car,” she added. “I just knew she was struggling.”
Williams’s turn of hard work and good fortune might have ended there. But then in May, after working for five months as a self-checkout associate, Williams saved enough money to get a small place of her own.
Co-workers and customers rallied to collect household items for her one-bedroom apartment, said Williams, and after her story was featured on Kroger’s website and in Nashville’s Tennessean last month, offers of help poured in.
When Verlenteez Williams (no relation to LaShenda Williams) learned that LaShenda was having trouble furnishing her new place, he posted on the East Nashville private Facebook group page, asking for help. He received more than 200 responses, he said, with people offering everything from living room furniture to kitchen appliances.
“I met [LaShenda] in passing while shopping at the Kroger, and she always said ‘hello’ and had a smile,” he said. “I knew I had some things [to donate], and I figured since she’d been a delight to me, there were surely other people who felt the same as I did.”
Verlenteez Williams, who runs a food prep and catering company in Nashville, said he wasn’t surprised that people were eager to step up.
“We were all feeling empty from the uncertainty of the times,” he said. “All we really have are each other.”
Until she put on her uniform and reported for work at Kroger, LaShenda Williams said, she felt for years that she had no one.
“I couldn’t imagine that I’d work one day at the same store where I was sleeping outside,” she said.
Originally from Alabama, she moved to Nashville when she was 19 and became addicted to crack cocaine, she said.
“I walk with a limp because I have cerebral palsy, and I had a tough time getting hired anywhere, so I just did odd jobs like housecleaning,” Williams said. “When I finally got treatment for my addiction, I couldn’t afford a place of my own. I’d live from place to place or stay in abandoned houses.”
It was late 2018 when Williams decided to park her 2015 Kia Forte in the Kroger parking lot.
“It was open 24 hours and the lot was always lit up at night,” she said. “I figured I’d be safe there. I’d hunker down in my seat to sleep and nobody could see me. For more than a year, hardly anybody bothered me — I’d grab my little blue blanket and curl up.”
With money from occasional cooking and cleaning jobs, Williams was usually able to afford food from the grocery store, but sometimes she felt hunger, she said.
“I felt blessed on the days when I could walk into that store and get something to eat and drink and hear a kind ‘hello’ from somebody working there,” she recalled. “I’ve always felt safe there.”
On the day she applied for a job, Williams said, she was nervous because of her learning disability, which makes it difficult for her to read and write.
“I was filling everything out the best I could, and Ms. Vandal could see that I was having a hard time,” she said. “She came over to help me and said, ‘Don’t you worry — we’re going to help you to get back on your feet.’ ”
Vandal said Williams was a great hire.
“The customers all really like her,” she said. “LaShenda is always positive and uplifting.”
Now that she’s working from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. five days a week, Williams said she sometimes pauses when she climbs into her car at the end of the day to drive home.
“I have a home to drive to!” she said. “I’m so happy to still be here — I’m grateful to be alive. No matter what I’ve been through, I’m still standing.”
CARES Act: Funding for MOD Rehab & Mainstream Vouchers 
Supplemental HAP Funding for the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation program

PIH Notice 2020-20, implements funding provisions for the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation (Mod Rehab) Program under the CARES Act. This notice describes HUD’s allocation methodology to public housing agencies (PHAs) for the supplemental Mod Rehab housing assistance payments (HAP) funds.

In addition, pursuant to the waiver authority provided under the CARES Act, through this notice, HUD is waiving and establishing alternative requirements for numerous statutory and regulatory requirements for the Section 8 Mod Rehab program to expedite or facilitate the use of these amounts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. Use of these waivers is at the discretion of the PHA; however, HUD strongly encourages PHAs to utilize any and all waivers and alternative requirements as necessary to keep the Section 8 Mod Rehab program operational, to the extent practicable, during the period the program is impacted by coronavirus.

Mainstream Vouchers – Non-Competitive Opportunity for Additional Vouchers Authorized by the CARES Act, Temporary Waivers and Alternative Requirements, and Modified 2020 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Renewal Calculation

PIH Notice 2020-22, provides information on several policies impacting Mainstream vouchers. The following provisions are being offered to help PHAs prevent, prepare for, and respond to Coronavirus pursuant to the CARES Act.
An opportunity for PHAs to receive new Mainstream vouchers (see Section 2 of the Notice); Waivers and alternative requirements specific to Mainstream vouchers (see Section 3 of the Notice).

In addition to the above CARES Act-related provisions, HUD is also providing a modified 2020 HAP renewal calculation for Mainstream vouchers (see Section 4 of the Notice).
Thank You to our Bronze Sponsor!
Umpqua Bank
Jorgensen Haley promoted to ORFH Director of Housing Development
The Office of Rural and Farmworker Housing (ORFH) has announced the promotion of Korbie Jorgensen Haley, RHDFP, to Director of Housing Development. 
Jorgensen Haley joined ORFH in 2016 as a Housing Development Specialist and Policy Analyst before being promoted to her current position as ORFH’s Director of Housing Policy in 2017. She has 12 years of experience in policy work and social services. 
As ORFH’s Director of Housing Development, Jorgensen Haley will be primarily responsible to provide guidance, support and supervision to ORFH’s team of housing development staff to ensure achievement of all aspects of the development process. This includes obtaining capital construction funding for low-income and farmworker housing in rural communities in Washington State.  ORFH is a private, statewide nonprofit corporation that develops and helps preserve housing for farmworkers and other rural residents of Washington State such as low-income seniors, homeless families with children and veterans.
Jorgensen Haley brings a strong background in policy analysis, implementation and oversight, and a passion for the legislative process to ORFH. Her affiliations include the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, National Low Income Housing Alliance and National Rural Housing Coalition. She currently represents ORFH on the Washington State Department of Commerce Policy Advisory Team. 
Jorgensen Haley achieved national certification in 2018 as a Rental Housing Development Finance Professional (RHDFP), a credential earned by individuals who successfully complete a rigorous, three-part training and testing series from the National Development Council to impart critical skills for the successful practice of rental housing development. She is currently working to obtain national certification in construction and rehabilitation from NeighborWorks America, including coursework in rehabilitation, residential construction, healthy housing, green building and project management--all focused on the needs of low- to moderate-income communities.   
Jorgensen Haley holds two Bachelor’s degrees, including a BS in Public Policy and a BA in Geography with a Land Use Planning Specialization from Central Washington University. 
ORFH celebrated 40 years of service in 2019 and has developed more than 2,100 affordable housing units. When fully occupied, those units can serve more than 10,000 low-income residents of rural Washington State. ORFH offers all the necessary services to obtain capital financing and assure the quality of housing construction and property management. Dedication to affordable housing and participation in policy and advocacy allow ORFH to remain a leading advocate for rural affordable housing and help assure that rural interests are clearly represented at the federal, state and local levels.
PNRC NAHRO Members Save $$ and the Region Earns $$
PNRC NAHRO has partnered with NAHRO Professional Development on their "Distance Learning" trainings that will directly benefit members and our Region!
Members will receive a discount of $10 on every NAHRO "Distance Learning" training and Southwest NAHRO will also receive a revenue share for each participant from our region through December 31 2020!
How does it work?
When registering, please use code: PNRC2020 (All CAPS)
and your discount will automatically be applied, it’s that simple!

Please note: this code must be used when registering! It cannot be retroactively applied.

What is Distance learning?
Multi-day training delivered in a modular and a web-based format. Participants register individually and access the sessions with a direct email. Sessions are typically 3 hours (1:30-4:30pm ET) and spread out. This allows participants to balance learning with other work responsibilities.  Attendance is recorded and upon successful completion, CEUs are applied towards certification requirements. Distance learnings are meant to be interactive. Participants will engage with the faculty member by discussions, polls and utilizing a chat feature. 
Note: Electronic copy of training manual included in pricing below. Certification Exam must be purchased separately.
Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Distance Learning
September 22 - October 1, 2020

Through 6 modules delivered over a two-week period, learn how to improve the level of your HCV and PBV/Section 8 Housing Inspections and meet SEMAP requirements through these interactive modules. Develop or fine-tune related work skills, review procedures and forms affecting standards, and learn how to evaluate your current operations to identify strengths and challenges. The NAHRO Certified Specialist of Inspection - Housing Quality Standards (CSI-HQS) Certification Exam is offered online.

Procurement and Contract Management Distance Learning
October 19 - 23, 2020

NAHRO’s Procurement and Contract Management Seminar is completely revised and updated for HUD’s new handbook 7460.8 REV 2. Understanding the new handbook and how it interfaces with the asset management paradigm will help your agency in determining responsibility and accountability at the development site. You will learn how to procure quality goods and services for the right cost, the highest quality, for timely delivery, and in compliance with applicable laws and policies. The training covers estimating costs of goods and services and developing criteria for analysis of proposals.

Workshop for Executive Directors Distance Learning
October 28 - 29, 2020

Over two four-hour modules, learn how to maximize your limited resources including staffing and the fiscal operations of your agency. Discuss asset management and how it will affect your agency. Discover best practices and participate in a practicum examining the key aspects of housing operations: maintenance, modernization/ construction administration, occupancy, and inspections. Learning is interactive with exercises, discussion, and addressing participant’s specific questions.

Secure early bird pricing today! Ends 10/1

Uniform Physical Condition Standards (UPCS) Distance Learning
November 16 - 23, 2020

Over six 3-hour modules, participants will be provided with the knowledge and skills needed to properly inspect Public Housing Agency (PHA) Program units. This interactive and comprehensive training, which discusses specifications of the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) and the inspector’s roles and responsibilities, enhances participants’ knowledge of and abilities to meet new challenges and procedures related to using Uniform Physical Condition Standards. Fulfills one of the requirements for the CSI-UPCS certification.

Secure early bird pricing today! Ends 09/30


Commissioners Guide to Monitoring and Oversight Distance Learning

December 1 - 9, 2020

Description: For commissioners who have completed NAHRO’s Commissioners’ Fundamentals or for those looking for recertification opportunities, then you will want to register for NAHRO’s Commissioners’ Guide to Monitoring & Oversight. This seminar is intended to enhance an agency’s governing body’s members with a deeper understanding of their roles and responsibilities in assuring their agency’s viability and health. This program is appropriate for board chairs and other commissioners, and for executive leaders and staff members.
“As a member of an agency board, monitoring to assure the responsible administration of board-approved policies governing programs requires information from both business and social perspectives. This program will address the business elements relative to agency program operations. It provides a survey of typical housing and community development and redevelopment programs to meet community needs.
“The program offers a perspective on the importance of commissioners’ involvement in strategic planning, and the benefits of this activity in shaping the future of the agency in meeting the unique needs of their community.
“In addition, the financial viability of the agency overall is addressed and linked to operational and program requirements for continued viability
Recommended Pre-requisite: NAHRO’s Commissioners Fundamentals

Secure early bird pricing today! Ends 11/02
For more information, contact NAHRO Professional Development at
(877) 866-2476 or
PNRC NAHRO Regional Service Officer 202.580.7203
Shelli Scrogum  |
We want to fill this newsletter with articles and pictures about you, but we can't do that unless you send them in. Send your pictures and articles to by October 9th to be featured in next month's newsletter!!