2019 Conference Workshops

Access all workshop materials from the 2019 National Alliance of HUD Tenants Conference here!

How Radical Proposals to Cut or Shutdown the US Budget Could Displace Millions from Their Homes

How and why are HUD Multifamily, Public and Voucher tenants threatened with the loss of subsidies that make housing affordable for millions of low income families? This workshop will explain the basics of the HUD budget and the annual federal appropriations cycle and how deep cuts and rent increases threaten HUD tenants in 2020 and beyond.
Panelists will also discuss proposed legislation to address the housing crisis and explore alternatives to prevent cuts, tax the 1%, redirect Pentagon spending and invest in jobs.
The workshop will also explain how the recent shutdown affected tenants and owners of HUD housing, and how another shutdown could occur.

 

How Tenants Can Combat Discrimination and Harassment in HUD Housing

Discrimination against people of color, women, the disabled and other groups protected under the Fair Housing Act is widespread in HUD assisted housing. Management harassment of tenants who speak out, manipulation of wait lists and “selling apartments,” segregation within developments, sexual harassment, and management playing on racial divisions to disempower tenants are commonplace.
Panelists will explore how tenants can use new federal protections to fight for their rights and combat discrimination, harassment and segregation in HUD housing.
Panelists will also discuss HUD’s recently proposed Rule to evict undocumented legal immigrants from “mixed status” Public Housing.

 

Intro to HUD Multifamily Housing: Risks and Opportunities for Tenants

More than 1.3 million families live in housing where Project Based Section 8 contracts are expiring. Learn about expiring Section 8 contracts and mortgages; basics of “Mark Up to Market”; Enhanced vs. Project Based Vouchers; risks and opportunities for tenants. Prerequisite for workshops on Tenant Strategies to Preserve At Risk Housing and HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration in Public Housing.

 

How to Start and Sustain a Tenant Group

Tips on how to organize a tenant group in your building, for beginners. Review of NAHT’s “Organizer’s Cookbook.” Participants will learn how to set up and convene a meeting; recruit members; deal with management harassment. Participants will learn from peers from across the country, sharing wisdom and best practices on how to develop leaders; educate, involve and motivate tenants in your building; build and maintain democratic practices; manage transitions; work across and overcome racial and ethnic differences; and prevent and resolve conflicts.

 

You’ve Won Resident-Controlled Housing: What’s Next?

Some 25 tenant groups in HUD Multifamily Housing who bought their buildings in the 1990’s have found new problems and challenges including how to ensure that tenant boards truly control management; managing the tension between “ownership” and
advocacy for tenants; conflict and internal struggles for control, including racial/ethnic tensions; keeping up repairs, maintenance and security. This workshop will feature veteran leaders to share how they’ve managed these challenges after tenants bought their buildings.

 

How HUD Tenants Can Fight Urban Displacement and Gentrification

Reflecting worldwide trends, American cities are undergoing profound changes as global investors reconstruct central cities for the 1% and displace and isolate lower income groups, particularly people of color. HUD has adopted new policies allowing owners to transfer Section 8 contracts from one location to another, potentially segregating tenants by race and class. Public Housing agencies are selling off land and buildings to private developers. HUD tenants are fighting back!
This workshop will compare notes on how tenants can save our homes and communities from displacement and gentrification. Panelists will also discuss how HUD tenants can support and join the growing movement for rent control in private housing markets.

 

Are You “RAD-dled?” Introduction to HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) –Part I

In 2011, Congress passed HUD”s Rental Assistance Demonstration program (RAD), to invite private investors to renovate Public housing. NAHT and others expressed concern about whether RAD would result in the “privatization” and loss of affordable housing and the displacement of low income tenants.
So far, Congress has authorized the conversion of more than 40% of all Public Housing—455,000 apartments—to “mixed income” developments owned by private investors through RAD. Starved of needed funds by Congress and the Administration, Public Housing agencies are clamoring to join RAD, with vast consequences for tenants and US cities. This workshop will give an overview of the RAD program, how it came about, how it is supposed to work, and things residents should look out for. The workshop will also explain new rules protecting the Right to Organize for tenants in RAD buildings.
Recommended prerequisite to RAD workshop on Monday.

 

Winning Safe and Healthy Housing: Toxic Buildings, Bullies, and Bedbugs (Part I)

This workshop will further explore how tenants have secured safe and healthy housing from substandard conditions overlooked by HUD’s REAC inspections, including mold, toxic indoor air and second hand smoke. In addition, elderly and handicapped tenants often are victimized by “bullying” and abusive behavior, by managers and other residents. The workshop will explore what tenants can do to address bullying and negative social environments, including filing complaints with HUD.
The workshop will also explore punitive leases that force tenants to pay for bedbug treatment or face eviction, and HUD’s recent policy change in response to NAHT.

 

How Tenants Can Win Security with Justice in HUD Housing

Many HUD tenants have lost their housing due to the actions of household members and guests. This workshop will discuss different options to deal with security and justice issues, such as when to call the police, when to take action as a tenant group and how to work with private security companies.
This workshop will promote relationship-building within your community as well as with management and security. We will also discuss proactive steps to prevent conflict and improve community security through empowering residents as an alternative.

 

Next Steps in the US and Global Movement for Housing as a Basic Human Right and the Right to the City

NAHT’s fight to Save Our Homes is mirrored by similar struggles worldwide, as people fight massive “forced evictions” promoted by governments and developers backed by global financial institutions, and tenants fight budget cuts and “deregulation” of housing, water, and public services across the board.
This workshop will discuss campaigns to link housing rights struggles in the US and around the globe, including the movement for the Right to the City.

 

Tenant Strategies to Preserve At-Risk HUD Multifamily Housing

More than 360,000 low rent HUD apartments have been lost since April 1996 due to owner decisions to prepay or opt-out of HUD programs. Another 100,000 have been lost through HUD foreclosure. In recent years, tenants have been challenged as long term contracts expire and HUD rent controls and subsidies end. NAHT has launched a national strategy to save our homes in response.
Learn how tenants have used HUD’s Mark Up to Market program, Enhanced or Project-Based Vouchers, and refinancing through Low Income Housing Tax Credits to preserve at-risk housing and tenant victories in negotiating with landlords to Save Our Homes.

 

How to Raise Funds for Your Tenant Group

Includes grassroots fundraising methods and ideas from NAHT affiliates in the field. The workshop will also discuss the future of the HUD funded VISTA project in HUD housing, and the prospects of HUD funding for tenant education and support. The workshop will also discuss strategies to provide $25 per apartment to resident groups whose owners participate in HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration for Public Housing.

 

Right to Organize in HUD and Public Housing: Coping with Management Harassment

NAHT has won strong regulations from HUD which affirm the right of tenants and organizers in HUD Multifamily Housing to form independent tenant associations free of management control. HUD has notified owners that they can be fined and sanctioned for violating tenants’ rights, but has yet to penalize any owner, despite widespread violations.
As Public Housing converts to private ownership under HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration, new regulations allow RAD tenants to organize independently of Housing Agencies and owners, but violations of tenants’ rights are widespread.
This workshop will explain the regulations and present success stories of coping with owners and Public Housing Agencies who undermine tenants’ attempts to organize. Participants will also discuss how to use HUD’s complaint process for Right to Organize violations and HUD’s new Fair Housing rule to combat harassment.

 

Public Speaking to Get YOUR Message Out!

Lifelong civil rights activist, singer and cultural worker--and NAHT Board Secretary!--Eleanor Walden will share methods to speak effectively in public. Participants will practice and provide group feedback in this interactive workshop.

 

How Tenants Winning Safe and Healthy Housing: Toxic Buildings, Bullies, and Bedbugs (Part II)

HUD’s aging housing stock presents many challenges to tenants’ health and safety. Toxic indoor air, water leaks and mold, drafty windows, poor ventilation, and lead paint are widespread. HUD’s REAC inspection system has failed to detect these threats. This workshop will explain how HUD’s REAC and Management and Occupancy Review processes are supposed to work, and recent efforts by tenants, advocates and the media to address problems overlooked by HUD inspectors. The workshop will highlight NAHT’s Global Ministries/Millennia Properties advocacy, and explain NAHT’s proposals to empower tenants as partners with HUD in enforcing health and safety codes in HUD housing.

 

HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration: Threat, or Benefit, to Tenants?—Part II

In 2011, Congress passed HUD”s Rental Assistance Demonstration program (RAD), to invite private investors to renovate Public housing. NAHT and others expressed concern about whether RAD would result in the “privatization” and loss of affordable housing and the displacement of low income tenants. This workshop will learn from the experience of tenant leaders who are in the forefront of trying to make RAD work for tenants. Follow up to Introduction to RAD workshop on Sunday.

 

Improving Your Building: How to Win and Fund Repairs and Upgrades in HUD Multifamily Housing

After 40 years, most HUD Multifamily developments need major repairs and upgrades. Addressing water leaks that cause toxic mold, replacing worn out carpets, cabinets and bathroom fixtures, and “weatherizing” buildings through “green rehab” programs are urgent needs in many developments. This workshop will highlight successful resident campaigns to survey repair needs and win physical improvements, and identify current financing programs that tenants can encourage owners to pursue from HUD, state and local agencies.

How to Remove an Abusive Site Manager or Management Company in HUD Multifamily

Across the country, tenant groups have struggled with how to get rid of incompetent, corrupt and/or downright nasty on-site managers. Some groups have succeeded in changing on-site management or even removing management companies, in buildings that are not owned by tenants. Find out how they did it! Recently, HUD has agreed to restore Management and Occupancy Reviews (MOR). Learn how to use HUD’s MOR process to enforce the rules in your development!

 

Coping with Recertification, Utility Allowances and HUD’s Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) Program: How They’re Supposed to Work, Issues Raised by Tenants

In recent years, HUD tenants have been subjected to new, often intrusive “recertification” and cross checking of government databases by the EIV system mandated by HUD. In addition, many tenants have received inadequate or improper utility allowances, resulting in higher rents. Come to this workshop to find out why Congress and HUD have instituted the EIV system and utility allowances, how they’re supposed to work, and what tenants’ rights are to access their files and appeal and correct the record.

 

How to Make Our Voices Heard at HUD

Despite many top positions vacant at HUD, NAHT tenants have maintained a productive dialogue in DC and with some local HUD offices. This workshop will explore how tenants have effectively raised issues with HUD in New York City in the past year. Participants will also practice how to raise tenants’ concerns effectively with top HUD