In recent years, the Puget Sound region has witnessed a massive loss of housing that was traditionally affordable to households earning less than 80 percent of the area median income. A recent report by McKinsey and Company estimates that rent increases and redevelopment have contributed to the loss of 112,000 affordable homes over the last ten years in King County.
The preservation of the existing supply of naturally occurring affordable housing is a critical piece of our region’s efforts to tackle our housing affordability crisis – and a focus of KCHA’s workforce housing efforts.
To highlight these efforts, I wanted to share this video that King County Housing Authority produced describing the preservation and revitalization of Highland Village, an aging housing complex in Bellevue, Wash. In 2016, Highland Village was slated to be demolished and replaced by expensive townhomes, displacing many of the low-income people who lived there. Following advocacy from tenants and with support from the greater community, KCHA was able to purchase the property and preserve its long-term affordability while keeping its community intact. Today, the property has been rehabbed and expanded.
It is quite a remarkable story – and one where the acquisition, rehab, and new construction would not have been possible without the support of state and local funders, advocacy from the tenants themselves, and the federal tax credit program. Though much more needs to be done to preserve and expand the affordable housing supply, this story had a happy ending!

- Rhonda Rosenberg
King County Housing Authority
Planning for Emerging Cyber Threats in the
Housing Industry
Despite your organization’s best efforts to boost cybersecurity, not all incidents can be prevented. To prepare for and respond to these breakthrough attacks, your organization should develop a cyber incident response plan outlining steps to minimize losses, fix weaknesses, and restore services.
At a high level, this might not sound dissimilar to a business continuity plan. Your cyber incident response plan and business continuity process should be in sync. Responding to a cyberattack is a “complex undertaking” that requires “substantial planning and resources,” according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Computer Security Incident Handling Guide.
The NIST guide lays out a four-phase approach for handling cybersecurity incidents:
•       Preparation
•       Detection and analysis
•       Containment, eradication, and recovery
•       Post-incident activity
Richard Moore, CEO of cybersecurity firm CyberSix, explains how housing professionals should approach each phase in developing their cyber incident response plan.
“Having a plan is one of the first steps in addressing cybersecurity, and it costs only time and effort,” Moore said. Read More.....
October is Housing America Month!
Housing America Month is a yearly celebration of affordable housing and those who provide it in their communities. In 2007, NAHRO created the Housing America campaign and designated October as Housing America Month: a time for the organization and its members to collectively raise awareness of the need for, and the importance of, safe, decent and affordable housing in quality communities. Each year, during Housing America Month, NAHRO members, including public housing agencies and community development organizations, host events (in-person or virtual) to showcase the important work they do year-round.

Looking for ideas to participate?
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, NAHRO encourages members to host safe, socially-distant events for Housing America Month 2021. Ideas include:
  • Virtual tours or groundbreaking ceremonies
  • Community murals
  • Gardening or beautification projects
  • Video interviews with staff or residents
  • Little free library installations
  • What Home Means to Me poster showcases

Browse more ideas on our #HousersAtWork page.
How Community Control of Housing & Land Can Help Solve the Housing Crisis
In hot housing markets across the West, people are purchasing homes with cash. It’s another sign of growing inequality in an economy where housing is an especially lucrative commodity. Private equity firms and multinational companies are buying up affordable single-family homes, mobile home parks and entire apartment buildings as investments, while a rising number of people struggle to meet skyrocketing rents. For many, the idea of owning a home — that American symbol of success and stability — is increasingly out of reach.
But Westerners are challenging that power dynamic through community-ownership models, including community land trusts and real estate cooperatives. These organizations remove land from the speculative market through purchases and donations. They are focused on meeting their communities’ needs like keeping housing affordable and preserving important commercial spaces. 
One such organization is the Sustainable Economies Law Center, based in Oakland, California. The nonprofit has been around for more than a decade, providing legal tools to worker and housing cooperatives in the region, among other initiatives. 
High Country News recently spoke with Chris Tittle, the center’s director of land and housing justice, and Dorian Payán, co-director of the Radical Real Estate Law School, about their work, and about the possible housing and land futures that can exist under these alternative models. Read More.....
In ‘Historic’ Move, Free Attorneys Provided for Tenants Facing Eviction in Some Washington Counties
A dozen Washington counties are a step closer to the possible return of wide-scale evictions after more than a year of pandemic limits.
In King, Snohomish, Pierce and Spokane counties, among others, attorneys will be prepared starting Monday to offer guaranteed free legal representation to low-income tenants facing eviction, one of the renter protections Washington’s legislature mandated earlier this year in hopes of holding off a flood of evictions once state and local moratoriums are lifted.
Washington became the first state to guarantee legal representation for low-income tenants facing evictions, known as “right to counsel.” Some cities, including Seattle, have approved similar programs.
Maryland and Connecticut followed Washington in approving similar laws this year.
Courts will appoint the attorneys for poor tenants, similar to guaranteed representation in criminal cases. 
“The only thing that is unknown is the level of demand,” Washington Office of Civil Legal Aid Director Jim Bamberger said. 

Across Washington state, nearly 141,000 households — roughly 10% of renters — report being behind on their rent, according to a survey from the U.S. Census Bureau. Renters who are Black or Latino reported higher rates of being behind on rent than white renters, making them more vulnerable to potential eviction.
For the last year and a half, many renters have been able to stay in their homes despite pandemic-related job loss, layoffs and economic turmoil because of the state’s eviction moratorium and, more recently, a “bridge” policy that allows some evictions but limits many others. That policy expires at the end of October. Seattle and several other cities have moratoriums that will last until early next year.
Supporters say guaranteed legal representation will help level the playing field between tenants and landlords, who are often represented in court, as evictions ramp up.
“It’s historic,” said Mark Morzol, managing attorney at the Tacoma-Pierce County Housing Justice Project, which provides legal help for tenants facing eviction. “Tenants who appear unrepresented have little or no chance of winning at a hearing. They are navigating a legal process they don’t understand with laws they are unaware of and defenses they are unaware of.” Read More.....
PNRC NAHRO Members Save
$$ and the Region Earns $$
How does it work?
When registering, please use code: PNRC2020 (All CAPS)
and your $10 discount will automatically be applied, it’s that simple!
Please note: this code must be used when registering!
It cannot be retroactively applied.

What is Virtual Classroom?
Multi-day training delivered in a modular and a web-based format. Participants register individually and access the sessions with a direct email. Sessions are typically 3 hours (1:30-4:30pm ET) and spread out. This allows participants to balance learning with other work responsibilities. Attendance is recorded and upon successful completion, CEUs are applied towards certification requirements. Distance learnings are meant to be interactive. Participants will engage with the faculty member by discussions, polls and utilizing a chat feature.

Available Virtual Classrooms:

November 1-5: Family Self-Sufficiency

For more information, contact NAHRO Professional Development at
202 580 7211 or
PNRC NAHRO Regional Service Officer 202.580.7203
Shelli Scrogum  |
Send your pictures and articles to by November 13th to be featured in next month's newsletter!!
Housing in Alaska Can’t Survive Climate Change. This Group is Trying a New Model
Francis Waskey’s house used to stand four feet above ground on wooden stilts. Now, the mud underneath it has swallowed them whole. As the posts sank over the years into the thawing, carbon-rich frozen soil known as permafrost, Waskey tried propping up the 28-by-36-foot wooden structure with two empty propane tanks, to no avail. The ground shifted so much that the vinyl floor split apart. Nails popped out of the floorboards. The windows shattered, leaving Waskey — a Yupik native who grew up in the home with his family and remained after his parents passed — with icy drafts through subzero winters. As a construction team used crowbars to pull plywood from the walls, the workers unearthed the source of a musty stench: black mold swirling through spongy yellow insulation like marble cake, so bad that Waskey says taking the stairs now leaves him winded. He has lived here his entire life. “The last couple days I could hear the house shifting and cracking,” says Waskey, 55. “It sounds like someone’s trying to get into my house.” After five decades, the house, which was never built to thrive in the extreme climate of southwest Alaska, will be torn down. Waskey’s home, like so many across the state, was thrown up during the economic boom of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, one of the world’s largest oil pipelines that transformed Alaska into a petroleum state during the 1970s and fueled a home-building frenzy. But these homes were imported from the temperate Lower 48, designs so incompatible with Alaska’s northern environment that they’ve fueled a statewide housing crisis. To make matters worse, Waskey’s house was built on permafrost, the layer of frozen organic material covering 80 percent of Alaska that is thawing rapidly and accelerating the demise of anything built on top of it, including the pipeline itself. In the next few months, Waskey’s home in Mountain Village, a Yupik village of 855, will be replaced by a new prototype designed by the Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC) — a part of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and a nonprofit based at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks that is pioneering sustainable and resilient circumpolar architecture in an increasingly unpredictable climate. It’s the latest of 22 prototypes that the CCHRC has built to withstand Alaska’s diverse and antagonistic climate — high winds, extreme snowfall, temperature swings from minus-50 to 80 degrees — and fulfill the needs of its occupants, who often reside in native rural communities. As climate change destabilizes Alaska, the CCHRC is designing for an uncertain future. “If we cannot predict what the climate is going to do, then all of our architecture should be adapted,” says Aaron Cooke, the architect who leads the Sustainable Northern Communities Program at the CCHRC/NREL. “Your building has to be able to change.” Read More.....
Norman to Retire from King County Housing Authority
Stephen Norman, the longtime executive director of the King County Housing Authority (KCHA) in Washington, will retire Dec. 31, announced the agency.
Norman took over leadership of the housing authority in 1997. Housing more than 23,000 households on a daily basis, KCHA is the Pacific Northwest’s largest affordable housing provider. This number has more than doubled during Norman’s tenure.
“It has been a joy and a privilege to work with the team here at KCHA,” Norman said in a statement. “They truly care. This is an organization filled with enormously capable and dedicated individuals. What they are accomplishing every day in supporting our community is truly extraordinary.”
Norman has had a 45-year career in community development and affordable housing, starting as a community organizer in the South Brooklyn area of New York. He served as the assistant commissioner for Homeless Housing Development in New York City and helped establish the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) as its first vice president. Currently, among other national roles, he serves as chair of the board of CSH and as president of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities.
“Stephen has done a phenomenal job as executive director of KCHA. His leadership and experiences will be deeply missed,” said KCHA board chair Doug Barnes. “In a region where housing has become increasingly unaffordable, his impact can be seen in the tens of thousands of families who are stably housed, the children who have a real chance to rise above the probabilities of intergenerational poverty as a result of KCHA’s innovative programs, and the elderly and disabled households who are living with dignity. We are grateful for Stephen’s tireless efforts and the healthy, viable, diverse communities he and the team at KCHA have created and sustained. The board extends its best wishes to Stephen for a well-deserved retirement and the very best in future endeavors.” Read More.....