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2:00 PM                        COMMITTEE MEETINGS


Professional Development/Member Services Committee            Shinnecook 1

Commissioners Committee                                                          Nipmuc 1

Housing Committee/Legislative Network                                     Shinnecook 2 

CR&D                                                                                           Nipmuc 2 


3:30 – 5:00 PM             REGISTRATION                                          Lobby Level – Pre Function




8:00 - 9:00 AM                      BREAKFAST BUFFET                      Salon A


8:00 AM                                 REGISTRATION                                Lobby Level – Pre Function


8:00 AM                                 EXHIBIT HALL OPEN                      Salon A


Visit with the vendors and learn about the quality products and services they offer your agency.


9:00 AM - 10:30 AM            OPENING PLENARY SESSION        Salon A


Welcoming Remarks:  NERC President Diane Cohen, Deputy Director Chelsea (MA) H.A.


Special Guest:  Dan LaRosa, Humorous Hypnotist


10:30 AM                                COFFEE BREAK                            Salon A


Spend a few minutes between sessions talking with exhibitors over coffee.


10:45 AM – 12:15 PM             CONCURRENT SESSIONS

Finances for Board Members                                                                      Abenaki

One of the most important functions of a commissioner is to review and monitor budgets and other financial documents to ensure expenditures are in compliance with federal laws and other requirements. In order to be successful, commissioners, staff and directors must have a basic understanding of their budgets. This session will help you to interpret and monitor the PHA’s budget and financial statements.

Moderator: Steve Merritt, Executive Director, Norwood (MA) H.A.

Presenter: Teresa Ewald, CPA, Fenton, Ewald & Associates, PC


Dealing with Difficult Residents/Marijuana in Public Housing                Nehantic/Pequot/Paugussett

Whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned professional some of the most common problems facing property managers can begin with difficult tenants. Increasingly property managers and resident service coordinators are required to handle difficult situations on the property and asking themselves: what options are available, is there enough evidence to initiate eviction proceedings, how can we protect the property and the other residents? Thankfully there are legal tools for property managers and site staff to use; this seminar, is designed to assist managers in handling these tough situations in the best way possible. We will review how to identify problems such as hoarding, disruptive tenants, housekeeping issues, unwanted visitors, etc. and the steps that can be taken to control or eliminate them.

From coast to coast, states are passing laws around marijuana use. From Washington and Colorado legalizing recreational pot use to a stable of medical marijuana states, the drug is changing the face of the legal landscape. Clearly, there is a trend spreading across the country in which more and more states are either outright legalizing or decriminalizing certain amounts of marijuana. So, if you have tenants using marijuana in your Development, what law controls, state or federal? 

Moderator: Dan Ouellette, Executive Director, North Attleboro (MA) H.A.   

Presenter: Frank Flynn, Esq., Flynn Law Group; David Carlson, Esq. Flynn Law Group


What You Need to Know – MTW Operations Notice                                   Schaghticoke

In 2015, Congress passed a 100-agency expansion of HUD’s Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration program; now, updated details of how the expansion will work are starting to become known. This e-Briefing will review the newly released updated Operations Notice for the Moving to Work Demonstration Program and discuss how it affects PHAs interested in becoming MTW agencies. All PHAs interested in MTW will benefit from this e-Briefing. The NAHRO Policy Team will provide important information for those that are preparing to start the application process and will also focus on smaller PHAs interested in becoming MTW agencies.

Moderator: Diane Cohen, Deputy Director, Chelsea (MA) H.A.

Presenter: Georgi Banna, Director of Policy & Program Development, NAHRO


12:15 – 1:30 PM                       LUNCH                                          Salon A


Washington Report – Regulatory & Legislative Update

Special Guest: Georgi Banna, Director of Policy & Program Development


1:45 – 3:15 PM                         CONCURRENT SESSIONS

    Assistance Animals in Public Housing Schaghticoke

      The terms service animal, assistance animal, emotional support animal, comfort animal, companion animal and therapy animal are often used but, in many cases, misunderstood.  What is required for approval?  What do service and emotional support animal identification cards mean?  If a pet policy does not apply are there any restrictions? 

        From monkey to snake to miniature horse. Come to this session for discussion of animals in public housing. 

          Moderator: Cathy Hoog, Executive Director, North Andover (MA) H.A.

            Presenter: Manette Donovan, Esq., Law Offices of Manette Donovan, Esq.


                Directing the Director –               Nehantic/Pequot/Paugussett

                A Successful Guide to Relationships between Commissioners and Executive Directors

                  How is your relationship with your Executive Director and Board?  This session will focus on the relationship between Commissioners and Executive Directors, as well as explain the Board’s role as a leader, critic and supporter.  Participants will also learn how to build, lead and work with their teams.  Discussion to include best Board practices, monitoring vacancies, encouraging modernization, Section 8 utilization, and resident programs. 

                    Moderator: Joe D’Ascoli, Executive Director, Manchester (CT) H.A.

                      Presenters: Steve Merritt, Executive Director, Norwood (MA) H.A.; Rick Leco, Commissioner, North Attleboro (MA) H.A.


                          Small Agency Hot Topics – Demo/Dispo & MTW Abenaki

                            Small Public Housing Authorities have been a hot topic in Congress and at HUD recently. The small agency regulatory relief provisions of the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act” (S. 2155) are being implemented, the Moving to Work (MTW) program is expanding to include smaller PHAs, and HUD has added additional disposition and Tenant Protection Voucher (TPV) options for very small PHAs. Join NAHRO’s Director of Policy and Program Development, Georgi Banna, as he walks through these new and exciting options that small PHAs have.

                              Moderator: Anthony Vasiliou, Executive Director, Milford (CT) Housing & Redevelopment Partnership  

                                Presenter: Georgi Banna, Director of Policy & Program Development, NAHRO


                                3:30 – 5:00 PM                         CONCURRENT SESSIONS

                                Public Relations for Commissioners Abenaki

                                Housing agencies are dealing with shrinking budgets and staff while at the same time, they really need to be promoting their work and their fundraising efforts in order to remain viable. For many agencies, hiring a PR agency to have on retainer is not in the budget. This session directly addresses the public relations needs of organizations working on shoe-string budgets and with limited staff. By teaching your team how to focus in on PR opportunities that will produce impact and results, rather than chasing ideas and doing busy work, agencies will immediately feel the impact of the PR and marketing training.

                                Moderator: Richard Whiting, Executive Director, Auburn (ME) H.A.

                                Presenter: Georgi Banna, Director of Policy & Program Development, NAHRO

                                Source of Income Legislation –                                        Schaghticoke

                                Hear from Your Colleagues Around the Region

                                Ever curious about what goes on in other regions with source of income legislation? Hear from your colleagues and see if you can bring it back to your state! 

                                Panelists: Stephen Vadnais, Executive Director, Pawtucket (RI) H.A.; Cheryl Sessions, Deputy Director, Portland (ME) H.A.; Diane Cohen, Deputy Director, Chelsea (MA) H.A.; Christopher Cody, Esq., Cody & Gonillo Law 

                                PIC – Getting to 100% Submission Rate     Nehantic/Pequot/Paugussett

                                This session will include an overview on the essential PIC sub-modules and instructions on getting an accurate tenant list from PIC to compare to the tenant list from your software.   When no tenant is missing or late, you can get to 100%. 

                                Moderator: Connie Desbiens, Executive Director, Dartmouth (MA) H.A.

                                Presenter: Mike Denny, PIC Services Coordinator, MRI Software



                                5:15 - 6:30 PM                           RECEPTION WITH EXHIBITORS        Salon A


                                Become acquainted with these fine company representatives

                                while you enjoy a dinner buffet!


                                TUESDAY – FEBRUARY 5


                                8:00 - 9:00 AM                           BREAKFAST BUFFET                          Bar Americain


                                8:30 AM                                      REGISTRATION                                    Lobby Level – Pre Function


                                9:00 – 10:30 AM                         CONCURRENT SESSIONS

                                Repositioning Public Housing Salon A1

                                HUD has begun reaching out to PHAs operating public housing to start the discussion and provide information on the option to operating public housing in the future. The options are RAD, Demo/Dispo, Voluntary Conversion, Declaration of Trust removal, and continuing in public housing. This session with review the options and discuss HUD future plans for public housing.




                                10 Most Common PHA Board Member Problems Salon A2

                                Being a commissioner comes with a big responsibility. Attend this session to find out with the 10 most common PHA commissioner problems are, and how you can either prevent them or fix them. You will also hear your legal obligations to the agency that you are representing. This is one not to miss!

                                Moderator: Dick LaFerte, Commissioner, Bangor (ME) H.A.

                                Presenter: Jeffrey Driscoll, Esq., Executive Director, Medford (MA) H.A.            

                                Reasonable Accommodations – A Guide to Successful Cases Salon A3

                                This session provides concrete guidance to successfully navigate the managerial and legal quagmires of RAs. Hot topics such as service and assistance animals, smoke-free buildings, live-in aides, and issues presented by attendees will be addressed.   Attorney Marcus offers best practices to succeed, and how to document your files so that you successfully approve and deny reasonable accommodation requests.

                                Moderator: Shari Riddick, Portfolio Manager, Enfield (CT) H.A.

                                Presenter: Louise Marcus, Esq. Marcus Law Office    

                                10:30 AM                                     COFFEE BREAK                                  Lobby Level – Pre Function


                                10:45 AM – 12:15 PM                  CONCURRENT SESSIONS

                                Social Media – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly                                 Salon A1

                                This workshop will discuss the use of social media in the context of public housing.  It will identify the advantages and disadvantages in using social media and focus on the PHA’s legal and ethical obligations, including the necessity for each PHA to establish an effective social media policy.

                                Moderator: Shari Riddick, Portfolio Manager, Enfield (CT) H.A.

                                Presenter: Jonathan Driscoll, Esq., Driscoll & Driscoll, PC

                                Commissioners Roundtable                                                                 Salon A2

                                There is so much to be learned and shared from your peers in dealing with the common problems and issues facing elected and appointed local housing authority commissioners currently. The opportunity to discuss and compare circumstances and share local resolutions has proven beneficial to several housing authority boards. Attendees can enter a free raffle for a door prize

                                Facilitator: Neil Flynn, Commissioner, Central Falls (RI) H.A.


                                How to Detect, Collect & Prevent Fraud Salon A3

                                Fraud can occur in so many different ways. It can be unauthorized occupants in your units. Maybe it’s a resident not reporting their income, or maybe an applicant or resident knowingly provides inaccurate information on forms or applications. This session will provide you with helpful techniques and program ideas on how to identify potential fraud and ways to collect it. The session will also cover the side benefits a property experiences with fraud reduction. 

                                Presenters: Alex Corrales, Executive Director, Worcester (MA) H.A.; Nancy Jones, Deputy Director of Audit & Compliance, Worcester (MA) H.A.            


                                12:15 - 1:30 PM                             LUNCH                                                Bar Americain


                                1:45 PM – 3:15 PM                        CONCURRENT SESSIONS

                                Informal Grievance Hearings – Salon A1

                                Hearing Packets, Notification and the Pitfalls

                                This interactive session will provide strategies for more efficient, successful, and less stressful hearings. The presentation will include mock hearings and allow participants to experience both sides of the table. This is one not to miss!


                                Presenter: Cindy White-Overton, Commissioner, East Greenwich (RI) H.A.            


                                HOTMA – Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act Salon A2

                                On July 29, 2016 President Obama signed the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA) into law with unanimous, bipartisan support from Congress. As HUD is in the process of implementing the provisions in HOTMA, many PHAs might be wondering how they will be impacted. Join Georgi Banna, National NAHRO’s Director of Policy and Program Development as he discusses provisions included in HOTMA, HUD’s implementation notices and timeline, and what NAHRO is doing to help HUD move forward.

                                Moderator: Michelle Aiken, Executive Director, Claremont (NH) H.A.

                                Presenter: Georgi Banna, Director of Policy & Program Development, NAHRO


                                Ask the Attorney Salon A3

                                What happens in court on the day of an eviction?, If a tenant dies in their unit, what happens next?, How do you advise screening potential tenants? These are just a few questions that will be answered in this interactive session! Bring your own questions too!


                                Presenter: Frank Flynn, Esq., Flynn Law Group; David Carlson, Esq. Flynn Law Group



                                3:00 PM                                         Executive Board Meeting                   Passamaquoddy Brothertown Room


                                5:30 - 7:30 PM                               RECEPTION                                        Tom's Urban         


                                Pick up your wristband at Tom’s Urban beginning at 4:45 PM. Those not registered for the conference can purchase a wristband for $110. See Jen or Rebecca at the registration desk throughout the conference.     


                                WEDNESDAY – FEBRUARY 6


                                9:00 – 10:30 AM                            BREAKFAST & WRAP UP ROUNDTABLE         Salon A3

                                This session will serve as an informal roundtable discussion on feedback on the conference, upcoming NERC events, membership needs and hot topics.


                                8:00 – 4:00 PM                               Project Based Voucher Training        

                                This one-day training requires separate registration and fee. Visit www.nercnahro.org for more information.


                                Click Here to Download a Printable Version of the Mid-Winter Agenda