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HUD Great Plains Region VII News
Serving Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri

Bi-Monthly Newsletter
June 2013

View the published version of the Newsletter with photos

IN THIS ISSUE:

A Message from the Regional Administrator - HUD News - News and Events from Around the Region - Kansas - Iowa - Missouri - Nebraska - What's New - Quick Resources - Stay Connected

MESSAGE FROM THE DEPUTY REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR

On Thursday, as we celebrate the Fourth of July, we remember that America was founded on the principle that all of us are created equal and that we share the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We celebrate and commemorate the principles of democracy and freedom upon which the United States was founded and for which millions of people still fight and die today.

At HUD and in Region VII, we honored our veterans during Memorial Day celebrations across the country, and HUD staff eagerly contributed shoes and clothing at local Veterans Stand Downs held recently. In addition, HUD, VA, and local housing agencies continue to work together to confront and end veteran homelessness once and for all.A core part of HUD's mission is to also enforce and administer the Fair Housing Act through our investigations and legal resolution of the cases we file, In June, HUD released the nation's first-ever national study examining housing discrimination against same-sex couples in the private rental market. The study, An Estimate of Housing Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples, measures the treatment same-sex couples receive from rental agents when inquiring about apartments advertised online, as compared to how otherwise similar heterosexual couples are treated. While the study is a first step toward future research on same-sex housing discrimination, HUD will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute these kinds of violations.

Each year, June is nationally recognized as Homeownership Month and as such, HUD's theme for this year Rebuilding the Middle-Class focused on helping first-time buyers gain access to the credit they need to buy a home, build equity and reach the middle-class. The housing market is rebounding, but, our work is far from finished. We have a long way to go to ensure that every distressed homeowner gets help and every qualified buyer is treated fairly. Too many responsible families who want to buy are still being locked out of mortgages and the middle class. Working with partners, like you, on the ground, we can shape a housing market that is stronger and safer than ever before. Thank you for your help in continuing to restore the dream of homeownership, creating a stronger middle-class and a stronger America.

Sincerely,

Terri Porter

HUD NEWS

HUD'S OFFICE OF FIELD POLICY AND MANAGEMENT WINS W. EDWARDS DEMING AWARD

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Field Policy and Management (FPM) was presented with the Graduate School USA's annual W. Edwards Deming Award for a staff training and orientation program to reinforce the use of next generation cloud computing. The W. Edwards Deming Award recognizes impressive workforce development and training initiatives that measurably improve an organization's performance and impacts its mission.

FPM was selected for implementing its training and orientation program to reinforce the use of cloud computing for tracking and reporting project performance in order to improve its ongoing reporting to Congress and other key constituents.

The award's namesake is Dr. W. Edwards Deming, who taught at Graduate School USA for 20 years and is considered the father of Total Quality Management. His work incorporated the idea that employees and managers at all levels of private industry and government have a responsibility to cooperate to improve products and services.

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION EXTENDS APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR THE MAKING HOME AFFORDABLE PROGRAM

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced an extension of the Obama Administration's Making Home Affordable Program through December 31, 2015. The new deadline was determined in coordination with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to align with extended deadlines for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and the Streamlined Modification Initiative for homeowners with loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Making Home Affordable Program has been a critical part of the Obama Administration's comprehensive efforts to provide relief to families at risk of foreclosure and help the housing market recover from a historic housing crisis. The program deadline was previously December 31, 2013.

Homeowners seeking assistance with their mortgage payments should remember that there is never a fee to apply to the Making Home Affordable Program. Homeowners can work with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency free-of-charge to understand their options and apply for help. Homeowners should visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov for more information about free resources for assistance or call (888) 995-HOPE (4673).

HUD ANNOUNCES FIRST-EVER SAME-SEX HOUSING DISCRIMINATION STUDY

Research seen as important first step in identifying possible patterns of discrimination in rental housing.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently released the nation's first-ever national study examining housing discrimination against same-sex couples in the private rental market. The study, An Estimate of Housing Discrimination Against Same-Sex Couples, measures the treatment same-sex couples receive from rental agents when inquiring about apartments advertised online, as compared to how otherwise similar heterosexual couples are treated.

NEWS AND EVENTS FROM AROUND THE REGION

HUD in Kansas

FHA HOT Topics & Updates/FHA Appraisal Training

On June 18-19, 2013, staff from the Denver Homeownership Center (HOC) conducted classroom training in the Kansas City HUD Regional Field office on FHA HOT Topics & Updates (June 18) and The FHA Appraisal (June 19).

FHA HOT Topics & Updates training provided clarification to current Underwriting Hot Topics, Insuring/Eligibility Issues, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in today's FHA lending environment. Topics covered FHA Updates, including most recent Mortgagee Letters, Maximum Mortgage Calculations, Refinance Transactions, FHA Real Estate Owned, Credit, Income and Asset Scenarios, as well as utilizing FHA Systems.

The one-day FHA Appraisal Training discussed FHA appraisal requirements including FHA Appraisal Protocol and updates to the FHA appraisal policy. Attendees also learned how to determine property eligibility. The course provided a refresher to seasoned FHA appraisers and valuable information to appraisers new to the FHA roster.

Both events were well attended.

Juniper Gardens Ribbon Cutting & Open House

On June 20, 2013, the Kansas City, KS Housing Authority (KCKHA) celebrated the completed construction of two single-family homes in the Juniper Gardens community. In October 2012, KCKHA hosted a groundbreaking ceremony prior to the construction of the three-bedroom, two-bath units which include a one car garage and basement.

The homes were built to Energy Star Standards, which increases energy efficiency and demonstrates the Kansas City, KS Housing Authority's commitment to improving the energy efficiency of Public Housing.

In his remarks, HUD Region VII Senior Advisor, Clifton Jones thanked KCKHA for its continued efforts to help families and individuals with low and moderate incomes achieve greater stability and to promote economic opportunity in a suitable living environment free from discrimination.

Community Planning and Development 2013 “Competitive Grantee” Meeting

June 27, 2013- Almost 100 homeless service providers from across Kansas and western Missouri participated in the 2013 “Competitive Grantee” Meeting, hosted by the Kansas City Regional Office of Community Planning and Development in Kansas City, KS. Clifton Jones welcomed participants on behalf of Acting Regional Administrator, Terri Porter.

Dana Buckner, CPD Director, provided CPD updates, and CPD staff collaborated on the Grant Management presentation, Spending Strategies & Peer Exchange Panel breakout session, and New Grantee Start-up Workshop.

The meeting concluded with HEARTH ACT updates and Questions & Answers for CPD Staff.

Upcoming Events in Kansas

July 17-19, 2013 - Kansas Conference on Poverty, Ramada Hotel & Convention Center,Topeka KS. Go to: http://www.cvent.com/events/the-2013-kansas-conference-on-poverty/event-summary-4486c173dd8b4afba69df5a697396c11.aspx

August 27-29, 2013 -Kansas Housing Conference - University of Kansas, Kansas Union, Lawrence, KS - Registration Opens Soon at http://www.kshousingconference.org/

HUD in Iowa

Des Moines FOD visits Ashland Ridge Elementary

On May 13, 2012, Field Office Director Steve Eggleston visited Ashland Ridge Elementary School in Ankeny, Iowa to provide information on the Federal Government to 100 second grade students. The students have been learning about local, state and federal government and how each type plays a different role in society.

Steve's presentation to the students helped them better understand the differences between local, state, and federal laws and how the Department can assist people with housing. The students enjoyed the question and answer portion and tried to name different laws that apply to everyone.

Des Moines Field Office Staff Community Outreach

On May 23, 2013, twelve employees of the Des Moines Field Office successfully completed the planning, preparation and serving an evening meal to over 250 men and women at Central Iowa Shelter and Services.

The Central Iowa Shelter and Services is a homeless shelter consisting of 150 emergency beds, 38 Section 8 efficiency apartments, and 19 apartments for veterans. In addition to the sleeping quarters, the facility includes a computer lab, food pantry, clothing closet, large dayroom, commercial kitchen, healthcare clinic, and an open backyard area.

Every day meals served to individuals at the shelter are prepared and served by volunteers.

This cross-program collaboration included the following individuals and respective program offices: Steve Eggleston, Field Policy and Management (FPM); Aliza Reisberg,FPM; Julie Sleeper, FPM; James Ryan, Multifamily (MF); Michael Sexton, MF; Lynette Shrum, MF; Tangela Weiss, MF; Pamela Dodge, MF; Cecilia Diaz-Johnson, MF; Sang-ki Han, Office of General Ccounsel; Margol Wilhelmson, FMC; and Kathy Ritzler, Public and Indian Housing

Upcoming Events in Iowa

July 17-18, 2013 - Iowa Peer to Peer Homeless Symposium - Drake University, Des Moines - The Symposium is free of charge. Register online or contact Stacy Fox at (617) 266-5657 ext. 137 to register by July 10, 2013.

HUD in Eastern Missouri

Surfs UP!! The St. Louis BEACH Project Achieves Early Success

In February of 2013, the City of St. Louis launched a bold initiative called the BEACH Project to coordinate multiple governmental, charitable and for-profit partners to end chronic homelessness in St. Louis. Beginning of the End: Abolishing Chronic Homelessness (BEACH) is already showing dramatic results. Antoinette D. Hayes Triplett, Division Manager for the City of St. Louis' Homeless Services Division, said “Our case managers and other partners (aka Lifeguards) are doing amazing work towards ending chronic homelessness. 101 of the 138 (or 73%) of the chronically homeless persons counted by the St. Louis Continuum of Care during the January 2013 homeless census are engaged with case management and other services, and 32 of those served have been provided very nice one bedroom apartments.”

The BEACH Project involves twenty partners that have joined the city to provide mental health services and a stable place to live for the chronically homeless in St. Louis. This innovative partnership is funded by $1.25 million in HUD Community Planning and Development grants, and brings together federal, state, and local government agencies with faith-based organizations, businesses, housing providers, and non-profits. The BEACH Project is part of Mayor Francis Slay's 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness, and could make St. Louis the first city to end chronic homelessness.

Partners/Lifeguards are giving the City high praise for addressing urban homelessness as both a human services issue and a community development opportunity. By comprehensively addressing the human and housing needs of the homeless, the City was able to close a homeless encampment located at 2nd and Plum Streets, referred to as “Camp Plum”. The closing took place in stages beginning June 12th, 2013 involving the relocation of 24 homeless people who lived in the riverfront encampment. Former residents of the encampments will continue to be offered housing assistance and case management services to assist their transition into their new quarters. “Contrary to what other cities have done in shutting down encampments by arresting residents and destroying their property, we chose to address the underlying problem - lack of housing - by assisting individuals to access permanent supportive housing,” added Bill Siedhoff, Director of Human Services. “For many of the residents it had been a long time since they had a place they could call home.”

Upcoming Events in Eastern Missouri

July 9, 2013 - The Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC)- will be conducting an application workshop for applicants who wish to submit an application for Low Income Housing Tax Credits, HOME funds and/or Historic Tax Credits for 2014. Read the notice at:http://www.mhdc.com/notices/2014_04_09_AW_i.pdf

October 23, 2013 - St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank Financial Education Day-To Register click on http://www.stlouisfed.org/newsroom/events/?id=469

HUD in Western Missouri

KCMO Heart of America Veterans Stand Down

May 31, 2013 - Bob McCormack and Enrique (Rick) Shaw, Management Analysts from the Kansas City Regional Office of Field Policy and Management (FPM), joined staff from several local private, government and faith based organizations for the Heart of America Veterans Stand Down in Kansas City, MO (KCMO). HUD staff provided information on the HUD-VASH Program, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers Program administered through local housing authorities, local housing counseling agencies, and United Way resources to help combat homelessness.

In addition, Kansas City Regional Field Office staff contributed several bags of shoes and clothing for veterans and their family members to distribute at the stand down.

Upcoming Events in Western Missouri

September 5-6, 2013 - 2013 - Missouri Governor's Conference on Economic Development, Sheraton

Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center Kansas City, MO - Conference Agenda and Registration: http://ded.mo.gov/governors-conference

HUD in Nebraska

6th Anniversary Empowerment Conference - Omaha

The 6th Anniversary Empowerment Network Conference was held on May 16, 2013, at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Omaha. Representing the Nebraska HUD Office were Omaha staff members Reggie Robinson and Kelli Asaka-Paris. The Empowerment Network is a nonprofit organization that generates and provides research, trends and statistical data and acts as advocate on issues important to African Americans and the North Omaha community. The Empowerment Network has partnered with the Omaha Field Office on a number of activities, providing the organization and program participants with information on housing and community development related issues. Keynote speaker at this year's event was Sondra Samuels, President and CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone in Minneapolis, MN. Approximately 200 city and community development officials and residents attended the day-long event.

Omaha HUD Multifamily Program Center and Office of Counsel Team Up

On Friday, May 17, 2013, the Omaha Multifamily Program Center and the Legal Division, completed a Final Closing for a $15,021,100 loan on Tamarin Ridge Apartments, a 180-unit market rate project located in Lincoln, NE. The project was insured under the Section 221(d)(4) mortgage insurance program for new construction on March 28, 2011. Construction began on April 5, 2011 and was found to be successfully completed on December 28, 2012.

The project is nearing 100% occupancy. For more information on this project, please see their website at http://www.tamarinridge.com

Re-Entry Alliance Program

On May 31, 2013, Field Office Director (FOD) Earl Redrick visited with members of the Re-Entry Alliance of Nebraska (RAN) at their monthly program meeting in Lincoln, NE. The meeting, held as public forum, was used to address the challenges of reintegrating ex-offenders by providing jobs, housing, health care, substance abuse counseling and community involvement. FOD Redrick discussed the Omaha Field Office's strong involvement in housing and homelessness issues throughout the state. The newly formed organization has formed collaborative partnerships with other organizations, individuals, and various service providers, dedicated to increasing public awareness and safety regarding ex-offenders and to support ex-offenders re-entering the community.

Omaha HUD Field Office - Western Nebraska Road Tour and Community Conversations

On May 29, 2013, FOD Earl Redrick was guest speaker at a ribbon-cutting event for City Impact Homes. The event, in Lincoln, celebrated the opening of 15 rent-to-own townhomes for working family households at below 60% Area Median Income (AMI).

City Impact Homes is a local, non-denominational, 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization that provides educational, recreational and housing opportunities for low-income families throughout the city.

The newly-constructed project consists of 3 to-5 bedroom units. Tenants will pay electricity, water and sewer and the owner will pay for garbage removal. City Impact Homes, LLC will be available to income qualified households. The development will also be designed and marketed to accommodate families currently working with the City Impact on educational and family stability goals.

Approximately 75 local leaders, housing providers, nonprofit organizations, and local neighborhood residents participated in the 2-hour celebration.

Upcoming Events in Nebraska

August 6-8, 2013 - Second Annual Nebraska-Western Iowa Symposium on Homelessness -The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-Omaha Field Office-and the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System are partnering to conduct the Second Annual Nebraska-Western Iowa Symposium on Homelessness at the Holiday Inn, 110 S. 2nd Avenue, Kearney. Read about the Symposium. For more information, please contact the HUD Omaha Field Office at (402) 492-3101, or NEWebmanager@hud.gov.

July 30, 2013 - EPA Brownfield Grant Proposal Writing Strategies Workshops in Omaha, NE - Workshop will be held from 9:00am - 4:00pm. For information, draft agenda and to register (no cost). Click on this link: http://www.engg.ksu.edu/CHSR/outreach/tab/workshops/20130730BF_Omaha_NE.html

WHAT'S NEW

Letter from Ann Oliva to Grant Recipients, CoC Leaders and Stakeholders - Read here.

2013 HOME Program Rent Limits Published - effective June 1, 2013. Important changes to HOME rent limits calculations - Read memorandum.

The Family Options Study Interim Report is Now Available - Read the study.

2013 HOME Rent Limits Published - The 2013 HOME rent limits by state can be found on the 2013 HOME Program Rent Limits Page.

Q4 2012 NSP Production Reports Now Available - NSP Resource Exchange.

Strong Cities: Strong CommunitiesReleases First Annual Report - Read the report.

HUD Issues Updated Guidance on Reporting in FederalReporting.Gov for the July 2013 Quarterly Reporting Period - HUD Recovery website.

Office of Management and Budget Approves NSP2 Waiver for Funds in Lines of Credit.

Rent Reasonableness and Fair Market Rents Under ESG - New Guidance.

Fiscal Year 2013 CDBG and HOME Program Formula Allocations

Homeless Assistance Programs, HOPWA - CA and Medicaid Reforms Are Coming! OneCPD Technical Assistance Is On The Way! - Read More.

From Our Federal Partners

USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Provide Development Support to Rural Cooperatives - Read Notice of Funding Availability.

Obama Administration Seeks Applicants for First Phase of 'Investing in Manufacturing Communities' Partnership - Read More.

Home-Business Ideas for Moms (and Dads) | Fraud and Cybercrime Protection | Health Care Simplified - http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USSBA-7a1a2e.

HHS announces actions to improve safety and quality of child care - Read Proposed Rule.

USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Provide Development Support to Rural Cooperatives - The deadline for paper applications is July 15, 2013. Electronic copies are due July 10, 2013. For information on how to apply, see page 30848 of the May 23, 2013 Federal Register, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-05-23/html/2013-12329.htm or contact the USDA Rural Development State Office.

HHS AND USDA Announce the Appointment of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee - visit: www.DietaryGuidelines.gov

USDA Promotes Efforts to Ensure Children Have Access to Healthy Food during the Summer Months - USDA's Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

USDA Seeks Applications to Finance Rural Broadband in Remote Areas - View the rules here.

HHS seeks applicants for HHSentrepreneurs Program - Applications are being accepted until Aug. 16, 2013. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.hhs.gov/open/initiatives/entrepreneurs/index.html.

EPA Strengthens Energy Star Requirements for Refrigerators and Freezers - http://go.usa.gov/bMvV.

Learn about actions you can take to help the environment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tXAJjt-4DE

USDA Invites Applications for Grants to Bring Improved Educational and Healthcare Services to Rural Communities - Completed applications must be received by August 12, 2013. For further details about eligibility rules and application procedures, see the notice published on page 38915 of the June 28, 2013 Federal Register: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-06-28/html/2013-15597.htm

QUICK RESOURCES

QUICK LINKS - Use our quick links directory to access HUD information from one location

CENSUS TRACTS: Find out which Census tracts are for Low Income Housing Tax Credits in 2013 by visiting http://www.huduser.org/portal/pdredge/pdr_edge_research_042412.html

FIND GRANT OPPORTUNITIES - Funds available.

Stay Connected

HUD Contacts in Kansas

HUD Contacts in Iowa

HUD Contacts in Missouri

HUD Contacts in Nebraska

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We welcome your comments and feedback and invite you to share your stories and/or news with Agatha (Aggie) Gutierrez at Agatha.R.Gutierrez@hud.gov

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