Housing Management Institute, 8/14-18, 2017

St. John's University – Manhattan Campus, New York, NY

HMI is a five-day training event that lets you choose from eight of NCHM's most popular courses. Get the industry's best training, all under one roof and served fresh over five days!  Learn more/register.

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Tragic fire a grim reminder of our duty

Paul Votto

The fire that engulfed a 24-story public housing community in London on June 14, 2017, killing 80 people at last count, should be a reminder to all in the housing management business of the importance of making life safety a top priority. Early news reports concerning the fire at Grenfell Tower point to shoddy – perhaps even criminal – execution in the construction, renovation, and maintenance of the building.

Based on the initial reporting, Roger Lewis, a renowned architect and planner, Professor Emeritus of the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, and a Fellow in the Academy of Housing and Cities, believes four factors may have contributed to the fire: 1) the combustibility of the exterior cladding on the building that allowed the fire to quickly spread vertically; 2) the lack of a functioning fire sprinkler system; 3) the lack of a functioning fire detection and alarm system; and 4) the lack of a second, fire-rated stairway to provide an alternative means of exiting from the building.

Time will tell who shoulders the most blame for this tragedy, but if Professor Lewis’s analysis is correct, it sure looks like there will be plenty of blame to go around..

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HUD notice clarifies VAWA implementation

Lisa Vercauteren

By Lisa Vercauteren, National Director of Housing Programs

Over the last six months, we have written several times about HUD's Final Rule implementing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013 that was effective December 16, 2016. The final rule impacts all HUD housing programs that fall under both the Office of Housing and the Office of Public and Indian Housing.

Traditionally, once a Final Rule is published in the Federal Register, each HUD office publishes a notice that clearly lays out the requirements for implementing the Final Rule. These notices are then used as regulatory guidance until the information is integrated into our handbooks/guidebooks, which may not occur for several years. Late last week, the Office of Housing published a 44-page notice (Notice H 2017-05) that provides Additional Guidance for Multifamily Owners and Management Agents.

It is important to note that this notice is only applicable to communities that fall under the Multifamily Housing programs. These are the programs that follow the regulations in HUD Handbook 4350.3 REV-1 and use the form HUD-50059 to conduct certifications. If you use the Public Housing Occupancy Guidebook – or the Housing Choice Voucher Guidebook – and use the form HUD-50058, this notice is not applicable to you.

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