SAHF Welcomes New HUD Deputy Secretary Pamela Patenaude

Washington, D.C. Thursday September 14, 2017. Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) applauds the confirmation of Pamela Patenaude as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Ms. Patenaude’s knowledge of housing policy and her leadership experience create an opportunity for innovative approaches and partnerships to address our nation’s affordable housing crisis. We know that she will bring her experience to bear quickly in helping lead HUD’s response to the devastation from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

As a collaborative of 13 exemplary nonprofit affordable rental housing providers, SAHF and its members are committed to using public, private and philanthropic partnerships to pursue innovation and best practices in providing quality affordable rental homes as a platform for residents to live in dignity. Both Secretary Carson and Ms. Patenaude have recognized how difficult it can be for individuals and families to pursue opportunities and live with dignity without a stable and healthy place to call home. We believe that HUD’s new leaders have an opportunity to leverage their collective knowledge and skills to improve communities and increase opportunities. As a renowned doctor, Secretary Carson has a unique perspective on the connection between housing, a person’s health and their opportunities in life. Combined with Ms. Patenaude’s experience advancing housing policy and managing public, private, and philanthropic organizations, progress towards creating safe and affordable housing for all is possible.

With their combination of insight and experience, we urge HUD’s new leadership team to champion the programs, so many of which are public-private partnerships, which house millions of the most vulnerable households while also exploring additional opportunities.  For instance, HUD’s rental assistance programs are a successful and critical foundation for many of our privately provided affordable rental homes across the country. It is essential to fund these programs at appropriate levels to retain the homes and maintain the private sector partnerships. The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program has already injected more than $4 billion in needed funding to restore aging public housing properties using public and private resources including the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. Continued support of RAD partnerships as well as the extension of RAD to Section 202 PRACs is essential to preserving scarce affordable rental homes for vulnerable people.  We look forward to the implementation of other partnership opportunities, such as the Energy Efficiency Pay for Success (EEPFS) demonstration program, which passed Congress in 2015 with strong bipartisan support. The EEPFS program would use private capital to pay for energy and water efficiency improvements in HUD-assisted multifamily properties and HUD would contribute to these improvements only when savings are realized. This demonstration is one of many possible applications of pay for success structures. Permanent expansion of the Family Self Sufficiency Program to all federal privately assisted rental housing is another example of potential partnership that would bring private resources to support HUD-assisted households.

Partnerships with nonprofits, for profits and philanthropy will continue to facilitate a strong response to our nation’s housing affordability crisis in communities across the nation.  SAHF values HUD as an essential partner and looks forward to collaborating with HUD under the leadership of Secretary Carson and Ms. Patenaude to ensure that all people have access to quality housing that provides a platform for them to prosper and live in dignity.