NAHT LEADERS ADOPT SWEEPING 2020 PLATFORM

On January 20, 2020, elected leaders of the national US tenants’ union released a sweeping “Save Our Homes Platform” for the 2020 Elections, and denounced HUD’s proposed new rule to dismantle Fair Housing protections.

On the eve of Dr. Martin Luther King Day, the Trump Administration has proposed a new rule to gut Fair Housing Protections and threaten tenants nationwide,” said Geraldine Collins, President of the NAHT Board who lives in senior housing on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. “HUD should be working to undo decades of federally-sponsored segregation in housing and neighborhoods, not make institutional racism worse. We demand that HUD withdraw this dangerous proposal.”

NAHT also released its Save Our Homes Platform for the 2020 Elections on MLK Day. In contrast to the Trump Administration’s policy to dismantle Fair Housing protections, NAHT calls for full implementation of the AFFH rule and support for a $200 billion Anti-Displacement Fund to remedy past discrimination. NAHT’s Platform also calls for:

· Universal Section 8 Vouchers for all low income renters who need them
· Full funding for Public and Section 8 Housing and $100 billion to rebuild Public Housing over 10 years
· $2.5 trillion to build 10 million affordable mixed income apartments over the next decade

Founded in 1991, NAHT is the national tenants union representing 1.2 million Section 8 families in privately-owned, HUD assisted multifamily housing. NAHT’s mission is to empower residents to save and improve their homes as affordable housing.

 

NAHT can connect interested media outlets with resident leaders and organizations across the US for local comments. Contact: Michael Kane, [email protected] 617-522-4523 or 617-233-1885.

NAHT's 2020 Platform  Press Release

HUD Responds to NAHT Tenants!

HUD has published a Memo implementing HUD’s commitments at the NAHT conference HUD plenary on June 10, in response to issues raised by NAHT tenant leaders!

The Memo instructs Owners to:

  • Ensure 24 Notice to tenants prior to ANY physical inspections
  • Make copies of final REAC Reports and key correspondence available to tenants for 60 days
  • Make copies of Notices of Default or Violation, Corrective Action Plans and 100% Surveys, if any, available to tenants
  • Make copies of Owners' "Self Certification" of compliance for emergency Health and Safety citations
  • Post a Notice to all residents with contact information to HUD for tenants to file complaints about discrepancies in owners’ claims
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25th Annual NAHT Conference

The 25th Annual NAHT Conference to Save Our Homes was a complete success! 

The first day of the conference started off yesterday with registration, snacks and reuniting with old friends.

  

Sunday morning began with our Group Awards Ceremony. Organized tenant groups from around the country were recognized for their struggles to save affordable housing, improve conditions, fight for their right to organize and more!

 

“Everybody in here pays taxes to live in housing that is safe, sanitary and affordable housing, and we’re not gonna stop fighting til we get it!” -Latresa, tenant leader in Atlanta, GA fighting for improved living conditions in her home!

“Management tried to individuate us. I ain’t bowing down to nobody. I’m a resident and I deserve the best.” -Linda from Chicago

“We wanna make sure no one loses their home in the RAD process.”

 

After the awards ceremony, we were joined by two keynote speakers, Diane Yentel of the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Molly Parker, investigative reporter from the Southern Illinoisan who reports on subsidized housing condition issues.

  

The NAHT Conference boasts 20 tenant-led workshops on a variety of topics. Tenant leaders from around the country led discussions on Section 8 contracts, how to start and sustain a tenant group, REAC reform, how to win repairs, security with justice, fair housing, resident ownership, gentrification and displacement and many more. We got the opportunity to talk to each other, learn from each other and left feeling empowered to take what we learned back to our buildings.

  

 

Every year, NAHT meets with top HUD officials to press our agenda on tenant involvement in the REAC inspection process, management oversight process and funding for tenant organizing. Thank you to all HUD officials who attended! See our proposals here!

  

 

The final day of the conference is our legislative advocacy day! In the morning, tenants presented our legislative agenda, which a can be found here, which includes tenant empowerment and REAC reform provisions, to legislative aides from Congressional offices from both the House and the Senate.

 

Then we got visits from several special guest allies!

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) believes in the power of rent withholding to enforce housing standards and so do we! Our bill would strengthen rent withholding for HUD tenants by withholding HUD’s portion of the rent when tenants go on rent strike in substandard buildings!

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) longtime supporter of NAHT, spoke on the importance of full funding for public housing, project based Section 8 and other HUD programs. It should be the mission of our nation to take care of the most vulnerable!

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) met with NAHT yet again and encouraged us to keep fighting, keep voting and keep speaking up for ourselves. Thank you for your long time support of tenant organizing, safe and healthy housing and tenant empowerment!

“We have to make sure we’re preserving the affordable housing that exists and we have to raise the living conditions. We have to empower tenants and residents to move us in the right direction.” Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is on board! Thank you for meeting with us!

 

All in all, another great NAHT Conference is on the books. Thanks to all the attendees, volunteers and presenters for making our 25th Annual Conference a success!

HUD Tenant Leaders Demand Congress Declare Trump’s 2020 Budget “Dead on Arrival”

For release: March 13, 2019

 Contact: Geraldine Collins 516-425-6723 [email protected]  or Michael Kane 617-233-1885 [email protected]

           Elected leaders of the national US tenants union today demanded immediate and total rejection by Congress of President Donald Trump’s 2020 budget request, released on March 11.

           “Its actually worse than last year. Trump’s budget will push people from their homes; starve seniors, children and families; and deny health care to millions of people,” said Geraldine Collins, President of the National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT), who lives in a senior housing development in Manhattan.   “People will die if these proposals see the light of day.   Congress should declare Trump’s 2019 budget ‘dead on arrival’ instead.”

            Added Collins, “The recent shutdown crisis led by Trump caused millions to panic that they would be evicted because HUD and USDA funds would run out for their homes. Landlords are now warier about taking Section 8 tenants, and housing authorities are under severe pressure to sell off public housing. You have to ask: was the shutdown a deliberate attempt to destroy HUD rental housing? Another ‘shutdown showdown’ is looming again in September over Trump’s Wall.” Collins noted that the 16% cut proposed this year is consistent with the Heritage Foundation’s draconian plan to terminate HUD rental housing over 10 years, embraced by Trump’s Chief of Staff and former Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

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With A Short-Term Deal To End The Government Shutdown We Are Not Out Of The Woods Yet

The stop-gap agreement with congressional leaders will last three weeks, until Feb. 15, and would allow talks to continue over border security and a wall on the southern border. The agreement includes no new money for the wall, and is a massive concession on Trump's behalf after refusing a similar funding package a month ago.

With the temporary re-opening of HUD and other agencies, an immediate catastrophe was averted as airports began to close across the country. Congress has now authorized about two more months of funding for HUD, USDA and other critical agencies.   

However, we are by no means out of the woods regarding the crisis for HUD tenants and owners! HUD will again run out of funds on February 15, unless Congress votes the funds for the remainder of FY 2019.  The uncertainty and chaos that have resulted may result in owners walking away from HUD contracts, and/or turning down Voucher tenants.
NAHT IS MAKING AN IMPACT!   In the past two weeks, NAHT tenants have been featured in an AP wire service story, the BBC, NBC and VICE News, the Huffington Post, and local news stories in Beloit, WI; Spokane, WA;  several articles in Arkansas; and a national radio station in NYC.
Most significantly, the Housing Justice League in Atlanta, NAHT”s Georgia affiliate, emailed 100,000 supporters who shut down the switchboard in Sen. Isakson (R-GA), a factor in Isakson breaking ranks and voting for the Democratic bill to reopen the government last Thursday.
NAHT”s UT affiliate, Crossroads Urban Center, likewise met with Sen. Romney’s office (R-UT); Romney joined Isakson as one of six Republicans to break ranks with Trump and McConnell.  This break in Republican intransigence was what pushed Trump to reverse course last Friday.  NAHT’s mobilization played a small but significant role in this victory! 
Check out the NAHT baord press release here
Check out NAHT's government shutdown resource page for more news stories
For information on tenants' rights in Project Based Section 8, Section 8 Vouchers, and Public Housing buildings from the National Housing Law Project  click here for a 1-page flyer; a 14 page background memo; or a 4 page "highlights" memo addressing