News & Event
Please visit the Commission website at www.gcd.ri.gov for more information
By Stephen J. O’Rourke & Thomas Zampa
Public housing remains a valuable program that has assisted millions of low-income Americans in meeting their basic housing needs.
Created by the Housing Act of 1937, public housing has been the primary housing program of the federal government. At the height of the program, there were 1.4 million units of public housing. Now, for a variety of reasons, there are approximately 1.1 million units serving families, the elderly and disabled.
Public housing has gone through several iterations since its creation. Soon after the program was created, the Second World War started, and newly constructed public housing became home to war industry workers. The Chad Brown development in Providence – the first public housing build in Rhode Island – housed hundreds of workers producing war materials at the American Screw Company. At the other end of Providence, Roger Williams Housing sheltered workers from the Kaiser Shipyard that built freighters that delivered troops and ferried material to the war zones in Europe and the Pacific.
Public housing during that era was short-term housing. Many returning war veterans started their families in public housing. Once they obtained a job and were settled financially, they moved on. Public housing gave them an opportunity to get settled and move on.
In the mid-1960s, the housing program changed dramatically. No longer was public housing occupied by extended families with at least one employed adult. Public housing became home to the very low-income, mostly single parent households – almost all female – receiving some type of public assistance. It was during this period that public housing changed from a well-liked and well-respected program to one that was disfavored for what it now represented: the warehousing of the poor with a myriad of behavioral problems.
The sixties also saw the constructions of housing for low-income elderly. The first public housing in West Warwick – West Warwick Manor – was constructed during this period. It is home to 126 elderly and disabled individuals and families. Clyde Tower followed some years later with an additional 124 units of affordable housing.
Many of the problems at the family public housing developments were the result of well-meaning, but misguided public policy decisions. The creation of programs that discouraged work and family formation enabled young women to raise children without spousal support and at the taxpayer’s expense. Rules that forbade the enforcement of rules of behavior also was a contributing factor to the low image of the program.
Congress and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the federal agency responsible for public housing, have over the years created supportive services to assist persons in public housing achieve self-sufficiency. Its purpose was to go beyond entitlement.
HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program provided numerous incentives for public housing residents to help themselves by achieving a life of independence by assisting in job skill training and employment opportunities.
There are many myths about public housing. Much has been written about the welfare queen with four or five kids on public assistance. This is the exception, not the rule. The average size of a public housing household has shrunk substantially and now averages the household sixe of other non-subsidized households. Their tenure in public housing has decreased as well. Very few families live their entire lifetimes in public housing. Approximately 50 percent of public housing is home to elderly and disabled individuals and families.
No greater source than the Bible states that the poor will always be with us. With housing markets increasingly more expensive and out of reach for lower-income families and the elderly, public housing remains a cost-effective means to house our low-income population and should continue to receive our support.
O’Rourke is executive director of the West Warwick Housing Authority, and Zampa is its chairman.
Courtesy of The Kent County Daily Times
What’s New for the FY 2019 CoC Program Competition
The list below highlights some important information regarding new concepts CoCs should consider while planning for the FY 2019 CoC Program Competition. This list is not exhaustive and additional details are in the NOFA.
HUD has posted, or will post, additional guidance regarding the FY 2019 CoC Program Competition that includes, but is not limited to:
Available in the coming weeks:
- CoC Application
- CoC Priority Listing
- Project Applications
See the e-snaps: CoC Program Applications and Grants Management System and the FY 2019 CoC Program Competition: Funding Availability pages on the HUD Exchange for a complete listing of information and guidance.
If you have questions pertaining to e-snaps technical issues or the FY 2019 CoC Program Competition, submit your questions to the e-snaps Ask A Question (AAQ) portal. To submit a question to the e-snaps AAQ portal, select “e-snaps” from the “My question is related to” dropdown list on Step 2 of the question submission process.
If you have questions related to the CoC Program interim rule or a policy related question, submit your questions to the CoC Program AAQ portal. To submit a question to the CoC AAQ portal, select “CoC: Continuum of Care Program” from the “My question is related to” dropdown list on Step 2 of the question submission process.
If you are aware or suspect that the Collaborative Applicant for your CoC is not currently receiving these listserv messages, please forward the following link so the Collaborative Applicant can register to receive listserv messages as this is the only form HUD uses to communicate CoC Program information to the public: https://www.hudexchange.info/mailinglist/.
Courtesy of HUD Exchange
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Ben Carson, Secretary
Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20410
HUD No. 19-013
HUD Public Affairs
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
14-day advance notice designed to encourage year-round maintenance
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced it is dramatically reducing the advance notice it provides to public housing authorities (PHAs) and private owners of HUD-subsidized apartment developments before their housing is inspected to ensure it is decent, safe and healthy. HUD’s new standard provides PHAs and private owners of HUD-assisted housing 14 calendar days’ notice before an inspection, a dramatic reduction from the current notice which can frequently extend up to four months. Read HUD’s notice [hud.gov].
In addition, HUD is launching a series of listening sessions around the nation to gather input from the public and HUD stakeholders about a planned pilot program to test innovative new approaches to inspecting HUD-assisted properties. Initial listening sessions are planned in Philadelphia, Fort Worth, Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle.
Currently, HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) provides advance notice before a scheduled inspection which frequently extends up to 120 days. This amount of lead time allows certain public housing authorities and property owners to undertake cosmetic, ‘just-in-time’ repairs to their properties rather than adopting year-round maintenance practices.
“It’s become painfully clear to us that too many public housing authorities and private landlords whom we contract with were using the weeks before their inspection to make quick fixes, essentially gaming the system,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “The action we take today is part of a broader review of our inspections so we can be true to the promise of providing housing that’s decent, safe and healthy to the millions of families we serve.”
Today’s notice is part of a wholesale reexamination of REAC’s inspection process that Secretary Carson launched shortly after taking office. HUD will be consulting with PHAs and property owners over the next several months to discuss other improvements to REAC’s process.
REAC is responsible for inspecting properties owned and operated by approximately 3,700 local public housing authorities nationwide. In addition, REAC-contracted inspectors evaluate approximately 23,000 privately owned apartment buildings. Combined, approximately 96 percent of these properties pass their inspections.
Still, it has been HUD’s observation that many public housing authorities and private owners of HUD-subsidized housing have grown accustomed to REAC’s 20-year-old inspection regime and, in some cases, invest more resources in passing minimal inspection requirements rather than satisfying their obligation to provide quality housing.
Beginning 30 days after publication of this notice, HUD employees and contract inspectors acting on behalf of HUD shall provide property owners and their agents 14 calendar days of notice prior to their inspection. If an owner/agent declines, cancels or refuses entry for an inspection, a presumptive score of “0” (zero) will be recorded. If the second attempt results in a successful inspection within seven calendar days, the resulting score will be recorded.
Read more about how HUD works to ensure taxpayer-supported housing is decent, safe and sanitary [hud.gov].
The Governor’s proposed FY2019 budget (“the budget”) totals $9.2 billion, an increase of $5.2 million over the enacted FY2018 budget. This includes $3.8 billion in general revenue (increased by $25.0 million from enacted FY2018) and $3.1 billion in federal funds (a decrease of $52.3 million from enacted FY2018) with the balance from restricted receipts and other sources. The following provides some budget highlights.
The proposed Medicaid budget for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) totals $2.3 billion, including $906 million in general revenue and $1.4 billion in federal funds to provide health care and long term services to around 280,000 Rhode Islanders. The federal government’s recent extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) saves the state $29 million to provide coverage for certain children and pregnant women. The cost to cover the 70,000 adults who became eligible under Medicaid “expansion” is $472 million of which the state pays $31 million (around 6.7 percent of the cost compared to the regular state share of around 49 percent).
The budget includes approximately $150 million in cuts to the Medicaid program, including $68 million in general revenue. This includes cuts to providers: managed care organizations ($70M total, $24M in general revenue); hospitals ($30M total, $11M general revenue); and nursing facilities ($5M total, $3M general revenue). The budget assumes around $11 million in savings ($5.3M in general revenue) from eliminating retroactive coverage for seniors and people with disabilities. Under current law, medical bills incurred in the three months before application can be paid by Medicaid for these populations.
Co-payments: The most significant impact for Medicaid recipients is the proposal to require co-payments for services including the following: $8.00 for non-emergency use of the emergency room; $4.00 for brand name prescription drugs and $2.50 for generics; $3.00 per inpatient hospital stay; $3.00 for non-preventive doctor visits. The co-payments are capped at 5 percent of household income and apply to all adults over the age of 19 except for adults who are enrolled in Medicaid based on disability. This includes adults, parents, seniors, and pregnant women.
Almost all of the Rhode Islanders who will be required to pay toward their medications, doctor’s visits and other co-pays have income that is no higher than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and the majority have income that is below the poverty level. Over three-quarters (78 percent) of the adults without children (the expansion population) who receive Medicaid have income below the federal poverty level. Almost three-quarters (74 percent) of parents have income below poverty, including several thousand parents who receive RI Works cash assistance whose income is almost 70 percent below the poverty level.
Generally, seniors who have Medicaid coverage have income near the poverty level and seniors who receive federal SSI cash benefits and Medicaid have income that is 20 percent below poverty. The new co-payments are estimated to “save” the state $3.2 million in general revenue and would generate savings for the federal government of $11.9 million.
Health care and long term care services for seniors and people with disabilities: The budget proposes to redesign health services delivery for around 11,000 seniors and people with disabilities who have both Medicare and Medicaid coverage and are enrolled in Neighborhood Health Plan’s (NHP) Unity Plan. NHP receives a capitated payment from the state to coordinate and pay for these members’ health care services as well as long term services in the community and nursing facilities. The redesign would end the managed care enrollment and capitated payments. NHP would be paid to coordinate member services and care management and the state would pay providers through the fee-for-service system. EOHHS would also implement a Community First Choice Option to increase federal reimbursement for certain long term care services. These changes are anticipated to save $15 million, including $10 million in general revenue. The budget does not appropriate the $6 million (half general revenue and half federal funds) available through the “Perry-Sullivan” funds (funds freed up by reducing nursing home placements) to expand home and community based services. Instead, most of the funds are proposed to be used to pay for the previously enacted wage increase for home care providers.
Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT): The state contracts with a vendor to provide Medicaid members with transportation services to doctors, pharmacies and other medical services. Consumers have had many problems with the current vendor. The budget proposes to restructure and rebid the contract for NEMT and save $9.2 million, including $3.9 million in general revenue.
HealthSource RI (HSRI)
The budget includes $8.1 million in funds for the state’s health insurance exchange through which almost 30,000 Rhode Islanders purchase health insurance and access tax credits to help them pay the monthly premium. HSRI is also the eligibility portal for children, families and adults who are applying for Medicaid. Funding includes $2.4 million in general revenue and $5.7 million in restricted receipts from a 3.5 percent health insurance premium assessment.
Senior Centers and Meals-On-Wheels
The budget doubles state resources for Senior Centers from $400,000 to $800,000 and maintains funding ($530,000) for Meals-on-Wheels. Adequate nutrition for seniors and opportunities to engage in community
activities are important “social determinants” that can impact seniors’ health and well-being.
Child Care and Early Learning
The budget includes $1.5 million in general revenue to increase rates paid to providers who serve infants and
toddlers enrolled in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) if the program meets quality standards. The
budget adds $1.1 million in additional general revenue to expand pre-K programs and level funds ($1.2M) the Head Start Program.
The budget also includes $200,000 for a pilot program to allow parents who are enrolled in post-secondary education to access CCAP subsidies. Under current law, parents are eligible for CCAP only if they are working or enrolled in a short-term training program at least 20 hours/week.
Education and Workforce for Adults
Funding for the adult education system, administered by the Rhode Island Department of Education, remains the same as current year. The system, which provides adults with foundational workforce skills, including English language instruction, literacy and numeracy is funded by federal sources (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families block grant ($1M) and the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act ($2.3M) ), general revenue of $2.3 million and $3.5 million from the Job Development Fund.
The budget maintains $300,000 in general revenue for the “Pay for Success” transitional employment program for formerly incarcerated individuals and appropriates $400,000 for a new initiative to help people in recovery from opioid addiction access supportive employment services.
The budget codifies the “Real Jobs Rhode Island” program into law within the Governor’s Workforce Board, establishing it as the state’s primary workforce development program. Changes to the law governing the Job
Development Fund would provide long-term funding for Real Jobs Rhode Island.
The budget includes second year funding for the Rhode Island Promise Scholarship, adding $3.6 million in general revenue for total funding of $6.4 million. Tuition and fees are covered for young adults who attend the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) within six months of graduating from high school.
There are no new general revenue funds in the budget for affordable rental housing. Approximately $10 million for development and preservation of affordable housing will be awarded in FY2018 from the General Obligation Bond approved by voters in 2016. A similar amount may be available in FY2019. The budget also transfers $11 million from Rhode Island Housing to the General Fund – $6 million to close the FY2018 budget deficit, and $5 million to balance the FY2019 budget request.
The budget increases the cigarette tax by an additional $.25/pack, to $4.50/pack (after increasing from $3.75/pack to $4.25/pack in last year’s budget), and expands taxes on other tobacco products, changes anticipated to generate an additional $6.2 million in revenues.
While the budget doesn’t include any “broad based” tax increases, the expansion of the sales and use tax to cover two services – Software as a Service (SaaS) and security services – is expected to generate $14.5 million. This move is an important step towards better aligning Rhode Island’s sales tax system with our economy, which has substantially shifted from the purchase of goods to the use of services, and from bricks and mortar establishments to on-line purchases.
The budget anticipates that restructuring the Department of Revenue’s Division of Taxation (and adding 22 staff) will enable the state to increase revenues collected by $13.5 million, netting $10 million after staffing and technical support costs.
The budget anticipates substantial new lottery revenue ($27.6M), most of which ($23.5M) is contingent on a favorable decision by the US Supreme Court on the legalization of sports betting. A decision is expected by
The budget increases several fees including insurance claims adjusters’ fees, mutual fund retailers’ fees, and duplicate license fees, totaling $10.6 million, a gain that is partially offset by reducing several licensing fees by a total of $300,000.
Expansion of Rhode Island’s medical marijuana program is expected to generate an additional $5.1 million in revenue.
The budget allocates $18.7 million for FY2019 in additional state aid towards the phase-out of the motor vehicle tax with total of $44.7 million in foregone revenue as a result of the phase out.
Rhode Island continues to rely heavily on economic development tax incentives to encourage employers to make investments in Rhode Island. The budget includes $37.3 million for the Executive Office of Commerce “to support new and existing initiatives…to spur economic development.”
Economic Development Tax Incentives
Refundable Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit
The budget proposes expanding the manufacturing investment tax credit with a $300,000 refundable tax credit to encourage investment in equipment, training, and business capital.
Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credit
The budget adds $15 million ($3M more than FY2018) to the Rebuild Rhode Island Tax Credit Fund (providing gap financing for the development, construction, or rehabilitation of eligible commercial, industrial, residential, and mixed use properties). The budget also recommends expanding program eligibility and repealing the program’s December 31, 2018 sunset provision.
Historic Tax Credit Trust Fund
The budget includes $12.9 million (on top of revised request for $31.1M in FY2018) for debt servicing costs.
New Economic Development Initiatives
The Governor proposes creation of a new program, SupplyRI, allocating $475,000 to connect small suppliers with some of the state’s largest purchasers of supplies (i.e. universities, hospitals and other large employers) to shift spending from out-of-state to in-state suppliers.
Manufacturing Site Readiness Program
The manufacturing site readiness program would allocate $200,000 for the development of an inventory of “pad ready” industrial sites for potential use by large manufacturers or distribution centers.
Municipal Technical Assistance Grants
This initiative would allocate $200,000 to provide technical assistance to municipalities to expedite the processes involved in municipal zoning, planning, and permitting for local economic initiatives.
Courtesy of Economic Progress Institute
Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston is pleased to announce the opening of the 2019 Equity Builder Program (EBP) funding round on January 2, 2019.
Courtesy of Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston
The forum called “Envisioning the Housing Future for Aquidneck Island” will be held Friday, March 15, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Community College of Rhode Island Newport Campus’ auditorium.
To view the complete article, visit Newport Daily News
Courtesy of Newport Daily News
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