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March Newsletter

Community News - Vol. 2 Issue 3
Van Buren Housing Authority

Van Buren Housing Authority
1701 Chestnut

VBHA Office Hours
7:30 am-4:30 pm
Lobby is closed on Fridays

After Hours maintenance: 479-806-8075

Important March Dates:

  • 1st - Rent Due
  • 8th - Daylight Savings Time
  • 10th - Late Rent $5 Fee
  • 13th - Final Rent $10 Fee
  • 17th - St. Patrick's Day
  • 20th - First Day of Spring
  • 24th - Board Meeting
  • 23rd - RAB Meeting

Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has been of ongoing interest to Congress since its enactment in 1994 (P.L. 103-322). The original act was intended to change attitudes toward domestic violence, foster awareness of domestic violence, improve services and provisions for victims, and revise the manner in which the criminal justice system responds to domestic violence and sex crimes. The legislation created new programs within the Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Health and Human Services (HHS) that aimed to reduce domestic violence and improve response to and recovery from domestic violence incidents. VAWA primarily addresses certain types of violent crime through grant programs to state, tribal, and local governments; nonprofit organizations; and universities. VAWA programs target the crimes of intimate partner violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

In February 2013, Congress passed legislation (Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013; P.L. 113-4) that reauthorized most of the programs under VAWA, among other things. The VAWA reauthorization also amended and authorized appropriations for the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, enhanced measures to combat trafficking in persons, and amended some VAWA grant purpose areas to include sex trafficking. Moreover, VAWA 2013 gave Indian tribes authority to enforce domestic violence laws and related crimes against non-Indian individuals, and established a nondiscrimination provision for VAWA grant programs. To read the rest of this article go to:

Five Year Plan Meeting Scheduled with RAB

All parties interested in the planning and discussion of our Five Year Plan, or interested in being part of the Resident Advisory Board should attend the meeting scheduled for March 23, 2020 at 10:00 am at the VBHA office at 1701 Chestnut.

This is a public meeting and all residents are encouraged to attend as we will be discussing the modernization plan for the next five years. Please let us know if you require an accommodation to be able to attend this meeting.

Let's hear YOUR Voice

Please be advised that VBHA makes changes from your lease from time to time in order to remain in compliance with new Final Rues handed down by HUD. We do understand that this can be frustrating for you. However, we would appreciate you input on these matters. Per HUD guidelines, every PHA must give their residents a 30 day comment period before we change any part of your lease agreement. Please take the time to let us know what you are thinking!

In addition, if you are interested in joining the RAB (Resident Advisory Board) please contact Dayna at 479-474-6901 or by email.

We are always looking for residents who are willing and interested in creating policy and are able to openly communicate with residents and staff!

If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.

- Audra Foveo

Meet Your State Rep:

Representative Gary Deffenbaugh of Van Buren is serving his fifth term in the Arkansas House of Representatives. He represents District 79, which includes part of Crawford County. For the 92nd General Assembly, Rep. Deffenbaugh serves as vice-chair for the Joint Committee on Public Retirement and Social Security Programs. He also serves on the Arkansas Legislative Council, the House Education Committee, and the House City, County & Local Affairs Committee. Rep. Deffenbaugh earned a bachelor's degree in education from Ouachita Baptist University. He is a retired teacher and coach, and in his spare time, he enjoys playing golf and traveling. He and his wife, Carolyn, are Southern Baptist. They have two grown children.

Gary Deffenbaugh, State Rep
1424 North 9th Street
Van Buren, AR 72956

To learn more about your State Rep, please visit:

On the Road with Ben Carson

The Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson kicked off the "Driving Affordable Housing Across America Bus Tour" in Louisville, Kentucky, where he toured St. Cecilia Senior Housing Apartments, a public private partnership that provides affordable housing to a portion of Louisville's low-income, senior citizens. In addition to the tour, Secretary Carson participated in a roundtable with community members aimed at reducing regulatory barriers to affordable housing and innovative ways to create more affordable housing, particularly for Louisville's most vulnerable populations.

"It was a pleasure to kick off our 'Driving Affordable Housing Across America Bus Tour' at St. Cecilia Senior Housing Apartments in Louisville today," said Secretary Carson. "This affordable housing development is a model that should be replicated in other communities across our nation.

"Families, businesses, nonprofits, and community leaders all have concerns about the rising cost of housing," continued Secretary Carson. "This bus tour is an opportunity to bring everyone to the table so we can work together to eliminate outdated regulations and increase our nation's supply of affordable housing."

The "Driving Affordable Housing Across America Bus Tour" is a part of the work Secretary Carson is undertaking as the Chair of the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing established in June 2019. The Council's eight Federal member agencies are engaging with governments at all levels-State, local, and Tribal-and other private-sector and non-profit stakeholders on ways to increase our country's housing supply so more Americans have access to affordable housing.

Secretary Carson's "Driving Affordable Housing Across America Bus Tour" will run through June 2020. Click here for more information on Council's work and tour locations, and to read the full article or follow along via social media using #DrivingAffordableHousing.

Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 was created to protect taxpayers and their families against fraud and permanently extend many expiring tax laws. The law affects the timing of certain refunds for tax returns filed each year before Feb. 15. Additionally, the PATH Act retroactively extended the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), included a new wrongful-incarceration exclusion, and required some taxpayers to renew their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Find out more at:

Social Security Press Release:

Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, and Gail S. Ennis, the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, announce the launch of a dedicated online form at to receive reports from the public of Social Security-related scams. These scams-in which fraudulent callers mislead victims into making cash or gift card payments to avoid arrest for purported Social Security number problems-skyrocketed over the past year to become the #1 type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission and the Social Security Administration.

To combat these scams, Social Security and the OIG will use the new online form to capture data that will be analyzed for trends and commonalities. The OIG will use the data to identify investigative leads, which could help identify criminal entities or individuals participating in or facilitating the scams. Ultimately, these efforts are expected to disrupt the scammers, help reduce this type of fraud, and reduce the number of victims.

Social Security will not:

  • Contact you to demand an immediate payment.
  • Ask you for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Require a specific means of debt repayment, like a prepaid debit card, a retail gift card, or cash.
  • Demand that you pay a Social Security debt without the ability to appeal the amount you owe.
  • Promise a Social Security benefit approval, or increase, in exchange for information or money.

To read the full release, please go to

If winter has the courage to turn into spring, who says I can't bloom just the same?

Cherry blossoms background image with 'If winter has the courage to turn into spring who says I can't bloom just the same?