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2020 Spring Conference Session Descriptions

Wednesday, May 20


Got Units? Work With Your CoC to Fill Them!

This session will provide you some assistance with vacancy reduction ideas focusing on working with your area Continuum of Care (CoC) program.  Come learn about what the CoCs role is in working with your community homeless programs, under the basics of coordinated entry, and how they conduct outreach to area housing providers, which includes your Public Housing program!



There is a lot happening with HUD programs in order to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. This session will focus on the latest policy proposals and guidance issued by HUD presented by NAHRO's national expert, Georgi Banna.  From waivers, to managing your CARES Act funding, to practical implementation issues faced by small agencies, NAHRO Policy and Program Development staff will offer a comprehensive review of regulatory and programmatic developments in the housing and community development arena. Bring your questions and join the conversation.


Advocacy for Busy Housing Professionals --Your Voice Matters Especially Now Amid COVID

COVID19 has changed the landscape dramatically including how we connect with lawmakers.  Engaging lawmakers at the state and federal level is critical as safe and stable housing emerges as a central part of the response to the COVID19 pandemic.  This session will provide an overview of how things have changed in WDC and St Paul.  In addition, this session will show how easy it is for you to advocate for your programs and community with policy makers.   There are tools and resources that can up your advocacy game and make it easy to incorporate into your busy schedule.  


Stress Management and COVID-19 – Navigating the Unknown while Working from Home

So much screen time, so many video conferences, so many emails, lots of distractions...these are just a few of the ways our work life has changed amid the COVID pandemic.  All of these changes and how they have upended our work creates stress for you at work and at home.  This session will help provide strategies and approaches to help you manage your stress of the new normal as you work from home or the office.  Don't miss this timely topic with Annette Larson of Whole Person Counseling.  


Smart Strategies When Using Social Media 

Social media has become a popular and important way to engage with those we do business with everyday. It can also be time consuming and overwhelming. Mark Hinds from Context Communications will present on strategies to help navigate social media. This session will address who to reach, who matters, and what strategies are the most beneficial.  It will also include information about how to apply strategies for personal use of social media by young professionals. 

Thursday, May 21


Housing Choice Voucher Two-Year Forecasting Tool 101

HUD has developed a spreadsheet tool for use by PHAs and HUD staff to assist in projecting HCV leasing, spending, and funding over a 2-year period.  Do you know what the following HUD acronyms mean- PUC, UML, UMA, HAP, VMS NRP, HHR, BA, FMC? Alphabet soup, it is not.  If you have an HCV program and a NEW USER of the 2-year forecasting tool, this session is for you! You will begin using the tool to understand and facilitate decision making by your HCV staff to optimize your HCV utilization and house your maximum amount of families.  You will learn how to financially stabilize your program, control costs, and understand why you have funding waves.  This session will get your feet wet!  Like any excel document, repeat use and practice is needed.


Housing Choice Voucher Two-Year Forecasting Tool 201

This course will take a deeper dive using the HCV 2 Year tool. This session will take the EXPERIENCED USER from the 101 session and start you down the road to HCV Analysis. WARNING--This course is for the more advance user, and not the beginner. Financial Forecasting, Trend Analysis, Admin Fee analysis, are just a few terms you will hear. If this sounds Greek, be sure you read the warning label!


FYI & FUP Vouchers: Improving Outcomes for Families and Youth

This session highlights two programs. First learn about a new voucher program, Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) to help reduce the risk of homelessness and target certain populations within your community that are harder to house.  The session will cover the new HUD Notice 2019-20, which outlines how HUD will provide Tenant Protection Vouchers (TPV’s)  for PHAs investing in local, cross-system collaborative efforts to prevent and end youth homelessness with a current or prior history of Child Welfare Involvement. The collaborative effort partners are PHAs, Public Child Welfare agencies (PCWAs) and Continuums of Care (COCs).

The second topic is the Family Unification Program (FUP) which is a Special Purpose Voucher (SPV) program under which serves two different populations, families whom lack adequate housing with an imminent placement of a family’s child in out of home care, or the delay in discharge of a child to the family from our of home care.  This session will outline the basics of the FUP voucher program, outline the connection and strength of working with the assigned Public Child Welfare Agency (PCWA) working with the family, and best practices and promising strategies for making this a successful program for your families. Hear what works, what is challenging, and how to be successful in supporting youth aging out of the child welfare system and reducing the risk of youth homelessness.


Stress Management and Workplace Challenges - Leaving Work at Work! 

Many of us struggle to balance work and home life in this social media, 24/7 online reality we live in.  These struggles have only increased as we learn to work with new formats and environments amid the Coronavirus health emergency.  Annette Larson of Whole Person Counseling will discuss how to balance work and home life in our new normal.  This session will help you leave work AT work, wherever that place of work may be. 


Voucher Utilization Think Tank

There is an art to maximizing leasing and voucher utilization in the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The 2-year tool is an effective way to optimize your program.  BUT...what if you are in a very tight market, then what? What if you are struggling to have landlords participate in your program, then what? This session may open your eyes to new opportunities and challenge busters for your HCV program. Come listen to discover and entertain some new or revised program utilization hints, and how to engage with your landlords and educate your HCV participants to be successful with leasing up!

Friday, May 22


Managing your Human Resources in the Work From Home Environment  

Staff are the most important resource we have and the ability to support and manage staff in our new work environment can be challenge.  This session will discuss HR issues that impact HRA staff and how supervisors can incorporate strategies to effectively manage remotely. In addition, this session will share ways you can support staff and promote connection using new platforms.  There are fun and creative ways to encourage your staff.  


Ask The Attorney with Mary Dobbins 

There is a lot going on in the Minnesota Courts that impact housing authorities. Presented by Mary Dobbins, this session will provide an overview of recent court decisions that impact your programs plus how your agency can approach legal issues. The session will also provide an opportunity for you to ask your legal questions. So bring your questions and this interactive session will not disappoint. 

Elite Sponsors

555 Wabasha St. N

Suite 245

St. Paul, MN 55102

Phone: 651-925-4070

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