CHA hosts annual plan hearing

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16 2011— Last night CHA officials presented the agency's plans for the coming fiscal year to an audience most of whom were voucher and public housing tenants. The public hearing is required under federal regulations. This year’s hearing took place in the context of the most severe budget cuts in the 75 year history of the program. Members if the public now have until January 9 to submit written comments on the plan to the CHA.

The draft plan is for Fiscal Year 2013, which begins on April 1 2012. The introduction says:

“The economic climate of the past couple of years is without doubt transforming the future of the programs we administer. In the midst of budget cuts Public Housing Agencies across the country are being asked to do more with greatly reduced resources. The 2012 Federal budget is calling for $660 million less in the Public Housing Operating Fund, instead of full funding, requiring the use of reserves to balance operating budgets. The Housing Choice Voucher Administrative Fee is being reduced by $50 million for the calendar year 2012, representing approximately 81% of the usual earned fees. In addition, the continued, and deep, underfunding of the Capital Fund is even more difficult to watch given that the minimum national need is now accurately estimated at $25 billion. 

“CHA will focus on two areas in FY 2013: Pushing the redesign of subsidy to support family economic advancement and preservation of hard unit housing opportunities in Cambridge. Both focus areas are, in part, driven by the budget climate described above. But there is also an interest in pushing beyond our current approach to self-sufficiency. The lack of funding is real and grinding in its effect on programs. But these conditions (reasonable or not) also force us to ask fundamental questions about the “shape” and direction of our long term mission and policies and how best to preserve the physical assets entrusted to our care.”

Copies of the draft Annual Plan: Moving To Work Fiscal Year 2013 are available at the CHA and ACT offices or may be downloaded from the CHA website