Gotham Gazette Gotham Gazette is an online publication covering New York policy and politics as well as news on public safety, transportation, education, finance and more. http://www.gothamgazette.com/component/tags/tag/hud 2017-10-23T18:52:33+00:00 Webmaster webmaster@gothamgazette.com Under Trump, A Potential Silver Lining for NYCHA 2017-08-24T02:36:23+00:00 2017-08-24T02:36:23+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=7152:under-trump-a-potential-silver-lining-for-nycha Ben Max <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/nycha_aerial.jpg" alt="nycha aerial" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p>NYCHA and the city (photo: @ZodetN)</p> <hr /> <p>Since the January inauguration of Donald Trump as president, department heads and administrators throughout New York City government have been bracing for negative reverberations, with many expecting slashed federal spending and harmful policy rollbacks.</p> <p>At least one city agency sees a potential silver lining. Shola Olatoye, the chair and CEO of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) – the authority tasked with running public housing serving about 400,000 city residents – has sent a letter to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with a list of regulations that the agency finds unnecessarily cumbersome or counterproductive.</p> <p>The letter, dated June 14 of this year, was sent in response to a request for public comment by sent out by HUD as part of its efforts to comply with <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/30/presidential-executive-order-reducing-regulation-and-controlling" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Executive Order 13777</a>, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” – Trump’s seventh, signed on January 30 – which is probably best known for requiring that for every new regulation issued by a federal agency, two others must be identified for repeal. The order also requires that, in most cases, agencies cannot issue regulations estimated to increase costs without offsetting that cost with other regulatory savings.</p> <p>Olatoye mentioned that NYCHA was seeking federal regulatory rollbacks when asked about any potential positives for the authority under the Trump administration during <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7119-what-s-the-data-point-17-billion" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">an episode of the “What’s the [Data] Point?” podcast</a> from Gotham Gazette and Citizens Budget Commission. “I strongly believe the federal government has an obligation—legal obligation—to continue to fund it, support it, and invest in it. Full stop,” Olatoye said of public housing.</p> <p>“Can we use the, shall we say, bias of this administration towards the private sector, towards deregulation to help us? Absolutely, and we should. We have a three-page list of regulations that would allow us to move faster in the development process,” <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7119-what-s-the-data-point-17-billion" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">she added</a>.</p> <p>The letter, addressed to HUD’s Office of General Counsel, states that NYCHA “believes that many of HUD’s regulations are essential for the federal government to provide safe, quality housing for low-income households,” but adds that “NYCHA believes that through regulatory modifications HUD can increase the effectiveness of [public housing authorities’] core functions.”</p> <p>The rationale is largely that red tape emanating from D.C. needlessly imposes onerous controls that raise costs and slows down NYCHA’s daily operations. For several specific regulations that NYCHA identifies, it states that required processes are either unnecessary or “less effective than local determinations.”</p> <p>The recommendations to HUD encompass three broad categories: to “align with private housing industry practices to increase efficiency and further public-private partnerships”; to “utilize state and local data and knowledge to ensure HUD is responsive to market changes and to increase accuracy of HUD expenditures”; and to “reduce duplicative requirements, simplify approval processes, and increase flexibility to increase [public housing authority] efficiency, shift decision-making to the local level, and reduce HUD’s monitoring.”</p> <p>Each of these is further broken down into particular areas, with lists and brief descriptions of specific active or forthcoming regulations that the agency wants reconsidered.</p> <p>For example, a subsection under the state and local data subheading asks HUD to modify 24 CFR § 888.113 (e) – a reference to <a href="https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?gp=&amp;SID=c2bff2d8a2f7080401e2b15427f96162&amp;mc=true&amp;tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title24/24tab_02.tpl" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Title 24</a> of the Code of Federal Regulations, which delineates HUD regulations. That section deals with allowable data sources to determine what constitutes a fair market rent in an area; NYCHA would like HUD to allow the evaluation to take into account data compiled locally by public housing authorities (PHA) to more accurately gauge market conditions. Current standards call for the usage of the American Community Survey and local survey data collected through mail and phone surveys.</p> <p>Many of the changes proposed by NYCHA would address grievances largely particular to a housing authority of its size and operational complexity (it is the largest PHA in North America, operating over 176,000 apartments in addition to managing the city’s Section 8 rental assistance voucher program). Like the market rent request, several would seek to transfer functions and processes to local control and move certain costs more in line with local standards.</p> <p>In all there are just over 20 different regulatory stipulations and notices that NYCHA is requesting be modified. A review of the public <a href="https://www.regulations.gov/docketBrowser?rpp=25&amp;so=DESC&amp;sb=commentDueDate&amp;po=0&amp;dct=PS&amp;D=HUD-2017-0029" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">database</a> of comments submitted to HUD in relation to assessing regulations shows that the federal agency has received documentation from multiple public housing authorities, including the Philadelphia Housing Authority, San Diego Housing Commission, and the Illinois Housing Development Authority, among multiple others. NYCHA’s submission appears to be one of the longest, at 12 pages.</p> <p>Brian Sullivan, a spokesperson for HUD, said the agency could not comment on whether any particular regulations have yet been identified as priorities for reexamination but that it was currently in the process of going through public comments and determining how to proceed.</p> <p>A recent New York magazine <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/ben-carson-hud-secretary.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">article</a> reported that the department under recently appointed HUD Secretary Ben Carson has shown itself willing to tear down much of its administrative apparatus. The department’s Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey, also has a new administrator, Lynne Patton – a longtime confidant of the Trump family and event planner with the Trump organization – though it is not clear what role she would play in the regulatory review.</p> <p>See the full letter below:</p> <p> </p> <p>

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by Felipe De La Hoz, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
<p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2017/nycha_aerial.jpg" alt="nycha aerial" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p>NYCHA and the city (photo: @ZodetN)</p> <hr /> <p>Since the January inauguration of Donald Trump as president, department heads and administrators throughout New York City government have been bracing for negative reverberations, with many expecting slashed federal spending and harmful policy rollbacks.</p> <p>At least one city agency sees a potential silver lining. Shola Olatoye, the chair and CEO of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) – the authority tasked with running public housing serving about 400,000 city residents – has sent a letter to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with a list of regulations that the agency finds unnecessarily cumbersome or counterproductive.</p> <p>The letter, dated June 14 of this year, was sent in response to a request for public comment by sent out by HUD as part of its efforts to comply with <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/30/presidential-executive-order-reducing-regulation-and-controlling" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Executive Order 13777</a>, “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” – Trump’s seventh, signed on January 30 – which is probably best known for requiring that for every new regulation issued by a federal agency, two others must be identified for repeal. The order also requires that, in most cases, agencies cannot issue regulations estimated to increase costs without offsetting that cost with other regulatory savings.</p> <p>Olatoye mentioned that NYCHA was seeking federal regulatory rollbacks when asked about any potential positives for the authority under the Trump administration during <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7119-what-s-the-data-point-17-billion" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">an episode of the “What’s the [Data] Point?” podcast</a> from Gotham Gazette and Citizens Budget Commission. “I strongly believe the federal government has an obligation—legal obligation—to continue to fund it, support it, and invest in it. Full stop,” Olatoye said of public housing.</p> <p>“Can we use the, shall we say, bias of this administration towards the private sector, towards deregulation to help us? Absolutely, and we should. We have a three-page list of regulations that would allow us to move faster in the development process,” <a href="http://www.gothamgazette.com/city/7119-what-s-the-data-point-17-billion" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">she added</a>.</p> <p>The letter, addressed to HUD’s Office of General Counsel, states that NYCHA “believes that many of HUD’s regulations are essential for the federal government to provide safe, quality housing for low-income households,” but adds that “NYCHA believes that through regulatory modifications HUD can increase the effectiveness of [public housing authorities’] core functions.”</p> <p>The rationale is largely that red tape emanating from D.C. needlessly imposes onerous controls that raise costs and slows down NYCHA’s daily operations. For several specific regulations that NYCHA identifies, it states that required processes are either unnecessary or “less effective than local determinations.”</p> <p>The recommendations to HUD encompass three broad categories: to “align with private housing industry practices to increase efficiency and further public-private partnerships”; to “utilize state and local data and knowledge to ensure HUD is responsive to market changes and to increase accuracy of HUD expenditures”; and to “reduce duplicative requirements, simplify approval processes, and increase flexibility to increase [public housing authority] efficiency, shift decision-making to the local level, and reduce HUD’s monitoring.”</p> <p>Each of these is further broken down into particular areas, with lists and brief descriptions of specific active or forthcoming regulations that the agency wants reconsidered.</p> <p>For example, a subsection under the state and local data subheading asks HUD to modify 24 CFR § 888.113 (e) – a reference to <a href="https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?gp=&amp;SID=c2bff2d8a2f7080401e2b15427f96162&amp;mc=true&amp;tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title24/24tab_02.tpl" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Title 24</a> of the Code of Federal Regulations, which delineates HUD regulations. That section deals with allowable data sources to determine what constitutes a fair market rent in an area; NYCHA would like HUD to allow the evaluation to take into account data compiled locally by public housing authorities (PHA) to more accurately gauge market conditions. Current standards call for the usage of the American Community Survey and local survey data collected through mail and phone surveys.</p> <p>Many of the changes proposed by NYCHA would address grievances largely particular to a housing authority of its size and operational complexity (it is the largest PHA in North America, operating over 176,000 apartments in addition to managing the city’s Section 8 rental assistance voucher program). Like the market rent request, several would seek to transfer functions and processes to local control and move certain costs more in line with local standards.</p> <p>In all there are just over 20 different regulatory stipulations and notices that NYCHA is requesting be modified. A review of the public <a href="https://www.regulations.gov/docketBrowser?rpp=25&amp;so=DESC&amp;sb=commentDueDate&amp;po=0&amp;dct=PS&amp;D=HUD-2017-0029" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">database</a> of comments submitted to HUD in relation to assessing regulations shows that the federal agency has received documentation from multiple public housing authorities, including the Philadelphia Housing Authority, San Diego Housing Commission, and the Illinois Housing Development Authority, among multiple others. NYCHA’s submission appears to be one of the longest, at 12 pages.</p> <p>Brian Sullivan, a spokesperson for HUD, said the agency could not comment on whether any particular regulations have yet been identified as priorities for reexamination but that it was currently in the process of going through public comments and determining how to proceed.</p> <p>A recent New York magazine <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/ben-carson-hud-secretary.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">article</a> reported that the department under recently appointed HUD Secretary Ben Carson has shown itself willing to tear down much of its administrative apparatus. The department’s Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey, also has a new administrator, Lynne Patton – a longtime confidant of the Trump family and event planner with the Trump organization – though it is not clear what role she would play in the regulatory review.</p> <p>See the full letter below:</p> <p> </p> <p>

***
by Felipe De La Hoz, Gotham Gazette
     

Read more by this writer.

</p>
A Case for None-Time-Limited Supportive Housing for Young Adults 2016-01-14T18:57:17+00:00 2016-01-14T18:57:17+00:00 http://www.gothamgazette.com/?id=6089:a-case-for-none-time-limited-supportive-housing-for-young-adults Super User <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/22634562833_e8949ed78e_z.jpg" alt="bdb thrive nyc booklet" height="400" width="600" /></p> <p>Mayor de Blasio with the city's mental health plan (photo:&nbsp;Mike Appleton)</p> <hr /> <p>Recently there has been a great deal of interest in young adult supportive housing without time limits or age caps. We may be witnessing the beginning stages of a paradigm shift in which there is acknowledgement of developmental variations among youth. Both Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and United States Interagency Council on Housing (USICH) consider this as a potentially more effective approach to ending youth homelessness.</p> <p>Traditionally, housing for youth has been transitional. Even when 'permanent supportive housing' is used, most programs involve length of stay limits (usually 18-24 months), and age caps meant to define true adulthood and capability to live independently without support services.</p> <p>Transitional programs generally have fairly regimented guidelines with the expectation that "graduation" from the program will enable each youth to move into their own apartment and achieve self-sufficiency. However, many of these youths move in with family or friends "temporarily" or are admitted to another time-limited housing program based on their need of continued services. A large number of these youths/young adults are dealing with past trauma and may have special needs such as mental health and substance abuse issues making it difficult, if not impossible, to live independently.</p> <p>At West End we believe non-time-limited affordable housing with support services onsite is another effective solution in the spectrum of services for homeless and formerly homeless youth. Our "True Colors" supportive housing programs for formerly homeless LGBT youth are new and innovative examples of this model.</p> <p>Each residence consists of 30 studio apartments, community space, computer lab/resource library, and laundry facilities. West End staffs each with a program director, clinical case manager, and life skills training manager, along with 24-hour security and a live-in building superintendent.</p> <p>While tenants must be 18-24 years old upon move-in, they may stay as long as they need or choose providing they comply with their rental lease agreement and basic house rules. Our service delivery involves trauma informed care and harm reduction techniques.</p> <p>We chose this supportive housing model because we believe the development of independent living skills is an organic process unique to each individual and that arbitrary age and programmatic time frames do not define actual needs or abilities, especially for those who are severely traumatized by homelessness, family rejection, and loss of support.</p> <p>The success of our residents speaks to the quality and appropriateness of the model. Of the original tenants at the True Colors Residence, which opened four years ago, well over half have moved on to fully independent affordable housing while others still in need of our services remain supportive housing tenants. Equally impressive is the noted decrease in substance abuse, down from 60% to 30%, as well as the reduction of unemployment from 40% to 20%.</p> <p>The provision of supportive housing without time limits is an effective way to end homelessness for young adults - for more information <a href="http://usich.gov/media_center/videos_and_webinars/non-time-limited-housing-for-youth" target="_blank">the USICH webinar</a> on the subject is a great resource. We are pleased by both the Mayor's and the Governor's commitment to increase the supply of supportive housing units and look forward to working with the City and State to provide housing and services for LGBT young adults in need.</p> <p>***<br />Colleen Jackson is Chief Executive Officer of <a href="http://westendres.org/" target="_blank">West End Residences HDFC, Inc.</a> On Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/WestEndResNYC" target="_blank">@WestEndResNYC</a>.</p> <p><img src="http://www.gothamgazette.com/images/graphics/2014/03/22634562833_e8949ed78e_z.jpg" alt="bdb thrive nyc booklet" height="400" width="600" /></p> <p>Mayor de Blasio with the city's mental health plan (photo:&nbsp;Mike Appleton)</p> <hr /> <p>Recently there has been a great deal of interest in young adult supportive housing without time limits or age caps. We may be witnessing the beginning stages of a paradigm shift in which there is acknowledgement of developmental variations among youth. Both Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and United States Interagency Council on Housing (USICH) consider this as a potentially more effective approach to ending youth homelessness.</p> <p>Traditionally, housing for youth has been transitional. Even when 'permanent supportive housing' is used, most programs involve length of stay limits (usually 18-24 months), and age caps meant to define true adulthood and capability to live independently without support services.</p> <p>Transitional programs generally have fairly regimented guidelines with the expectation that "graduation" from the program will enable each youth to move into their own apartment and achieve self-sufficiency. However, many of these youths move in with family or friends "temporarily" or are admitted to another time-limited housing program based on their need of continued services. A large number of these youths/young adults are dealing with past trauma and may have special needs such as mental health and substance abuse issues making it difficult, if not impossible, to live independently.</p> <p>At West End we believe non-time-limited affordable housing with support services onsite is another effective solution in the spectrum of services for homeless and formerly homeless youth. Our "True Colors" supportive housing programs for formerly homeless LGBT youth are new and innovative examples of this model.</p> <p>Each residence consists of 30 studio apartments, community space, computer lab/resource library, and laundry facilities. West End staffs each with a program director, clinical case manager, and life skills training manager, along with 24-hour security and a live-in building superintendent.</p> <p>While tenants must be 18-24 years old upon move-in, they may stay as long as they need or choose providing they comply with their rental lease agreement and basic house rules. Our service delivery involves trauma informed care and harm reduction techniques.</p> <p>We chose this supportive housing model because we believe the development of independent living skills is an organic process unique to each individual and that arbitrary age and programmatic time frames do not define actual needs or abilities, especially for those who are severely traumatized by homelessness, family rejection, and loss of support.</p> <p>The success of our residents speaks to the quality and appropriateness of the model. Of the original tenants at the True Colors Residence, which opened four years ago, well over half have moved on to fully independent affordable housing while others still in need of our services remain supportive housing tenants. Equally impressive is the noted decrease in substance abuse, down from 60% to 30%, as well as the reduction of unemployment from 40% to 20%.</p> <p>The provision of supportive housing without time limits is an effective way to end homelessness for young adults - for more information <a href="http://usich.gov/media_center/videos_and_webinars/non-time-limited-housing-for-youth" target="_blank">the USICH webinar</a> on the subject is a great resource. We are pleased by both the Mayor's and the Governor's commitment to increase the supply of supportive housing units and look forward to working with the City and State to provide housing and services for LGBT young adults in need.</p> <p>***<br />Colleen Jackson is Chief Executive Officer of <a href="http://westendres.org/" target="_blank">West End Residences HDFC, Inc.</a> On Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/WestEndResNYC" target="_blank">@WestEndResNYC</a>.</p>