Mobility Works : PRRAC is pleased to announce the launch of a new technical assistance project, “Mobility Works,” a foundation-supported consortium of housing mobility practitioners, researchers, and policy experts that will assist housing agencies and non-profits seeking to develop comprehensive regional housing mobility programs. The Mobility Works team includes PRRAC , the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities , and staff from three leading housing mobility practitioners – the Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership , Housing Choice Partners (Chicago), and the Inclusive Communities Project (Dallas). We will provide free technical assistance in selected jurisdictions, to help set the foundation for successful housing mobility programs, and we are also available to contract for technical assistance to PHAs and state or local government agencies. Services may include development of regional opportunity maps, analysis of PHA policies and practices in the context of HUD requirements, model briefing and counseling materials and staff training, and standards and procedures for landlord outreach, community tours, and one-on-one counseling assistance to clients. If appropriate, we may also assist PHAs or non-profits in applying for HUD funds or other state and local funding to support development of new mobility programs. The name “Mobility Works” comes from Betsy Julian’s 2015 article calling for a federally funded housing mobility technical assistance initiative modeled on the Congressional chartered NeighborWorks community development program. We are grateful to the Kresge Foundation for a generous 2-year grant that helped us launch this project.
Small Area FMRs : This week, we submitted a letter from a coalition of civil rights groups in support of HUD’s important new fair housing rule that would change Section 8 rent structures in metropolitan areas with severe clustering of vouchers in poor neighborhoods. The current, regionally averaged “Fair Market Rent” (FMR) system has been a key driver of segregation in the Housing Choice Voucher program, and we have urged HUD to implement the new “Small Area FMR” rule as soon as possible. We also called for adjustments to the Small Area FMR proposal to target the most segregated regions, and protections from payment decreases for existing tenants in hot housing markets. Many other national and regional housing groups submitted letters in support of the rule; two of the letters focusing on the need for stronger housing mobility provisions came from the Inclusive Communities Project and from the Westchester housing mobility program.
Additional resources and upcoming events:
PRRAC is looking to sponsor an Equal Justice Works or Skadden fellow to support our Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing work in the field – more information here.
Johns Hopkins is hosting a conference on October 5-6 on “The Coleman Report at 50: Its Legacy and Enduring Value” – registration and more information here.