E-Briefs from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
Region III (DE, DC, MD, PA, VA and WV)
(215) 656-0500 Jane C.W. Vincent, Regional Administrator www.hud.gov/pennsylvania
Having celebrated our nation's birthday on Monday, I'm reminded of our founding fathers' ideals of freedom and independence where all of us are created equal. Over the past several weeks, a double amputee in Virginia has truly illustrated the meaning of freedom and independence.
Ms. Margaret McNeil felt like a prisoner in her own apartment because it didn't allow her access to the outside or use her stove or bathroom without help. She was forced to watch from her front door as life passed her by.
After filing a discrimination complaint with HUD and our intervention, Ms. McNeil has moved into an accessible apartment and is attending her church, going with her friends to bingo games, and enjoying the ease of using her stove, kitchen sink and bathroom without help. In addition to the freedom and independence she has regained, she has also received monetary compensation for living two years in an apartment that severely restricted her mobility and her quality of life. So I celebrate with the Richmond, VA Fair Housing and Equal Employment staff and our partners that justice was served for Ms. McNeil.
I also had the pleasure of helping launch the "extreme makeover" of the old state office building in downtown Pittsburgh, PA to a new market-rate apartment building. HUD is holding the mortgage on the River Vue development that will create jobs, strengthen the economy, and provide housing. The project is also the largest ever approved by the Pittsburgh field office. The Pittsburgh Tribune Review captured the story. What a view!
As the summer rushes by, we continue to work to improve urban, the suburban and rural communities around the region. We strongly urge anyone who is struggling to avoid foreclosure to consider HUD's Emergency Homeowner Loan Program to help get back on track. More information on the program is included below. You will also learn about people who bought a home, the connections we made to help people and communities alike and the impact of greening HUD subsidized housing.
Enjoy your summer!
We welcome to the Philadelphia HUD Regional Office, Laura Fleischer, secretary to the Regional Administrator. She can be reached at (215) 656-0600. Also on board is our Presidential Management Intern Brandon Porinchak and our summer intern Elizabeth Bravacos. We're delighted to have them working with us.
!! APPLY NOW FOR HELP HOLDING ONTO HOME!!
The Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program (EHLP):
EHLP is a new program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that provides mortgage payment assistance to eligible homeowners experiencing a drop in income of at least 15 percent, directly resulting from involuntary unemployment or underemployment due to the economy and/or a medical condition. The mortgage assistance covers past-due mortgage payments, as well as a portion of the homeowner's mortgage payment for up to 24 months (up to $50,000). EHLP is offered in every state in Region III. Residents in Virginia and West Virginia can get information at Emergency Homeowners Loan Program, where a list of EHLP agencies can be found.
The deadline for homeowners to submit a Pre-Applicant Screening Worksheet is July 22. Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania residents can apply through their respective housing finance agencies: the Delaware State Housing Authority, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. In the District of Columbia, homeowners can seek help at through the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency.
HUD HELPING PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES
HUD Programs Make Homeownership Possible
Four different HUD programs helped to make one Delaware family's dream of owning a home come true. Read about the ‘big check' Johneshia Kornegay received and see pictures of the celebration here.
Father's Day Festivities Focus on Reading
Two housing authorities in Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, took part in President Obama's Fathering and Mentoring Initiative in the days preceding Father's Day. The initiative focuses on bringing fathers and their children together while also providing employment opportunities and training sessions for fathers. Nearly 200 housing authorities hosted Father's Day-related events nationwide on June 17 and 18. Read more about the events in Philadelphia by clicking here, or events in Pittsburgh here.
Home Purchase and Rehab Wrapped Up in One
Through the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA), one couple managed to buy their first home. Using the 203K Acquisition/Rehabilitation Program, formed through a partnership between DSHA and HUD, the couple bought a home and their first child is due to join them any day! Read more about their story here.
Goin' Green With HUD's Green Refinance Plus Program
Regional Administrator Jane Vincent announced a new program on June 9 in Baltimore, MD called Green Refinance Plus, formed through a partnership between HUD's Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Fannie Mae. The program allows owners of existing affordable rental housing properties to refinance into new mortgages that include funding for energy- and water-saving upgrades. Read more about the unveiling here.
HUD HOME Program Helps Save Fire Ravaged Building
HOME funding saved this building in Washington, DC after fire destroyed almost the entire structure except for two very small businesses on the ground floor. Today this building houses affordable condominiums after Manna, Inc., a non-profit organization with the mission of developing affordable housing for low income homebuyers, was able to rehab the top floors for living units and keep the ground floor for the small businesses that were able to stay open after the fire. Manna decided to sell the retail space at prices the existing businesses could afford, rather than set higher prices to bring in new retailers who could afford higher prices or rents.
Financing with HOME funding was provided by the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development ($598,886) and Bank of America ($769,000). Enterprise Community Partners provided a grant to support the addition of more green building materials and equipment. The total project value was $2.58 million. Projects like this one underscore the value of the HOME program as a significant player in providing affordable housing, contributing to job creation, sustainable communities, and stimulating the local economy.
DON'T BE SORRY - BE READY...
Hurricane Season 2011: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region III office is making preparations for an above-normal hurricane season, which officially began on June 1 and runs through November 30. Residents, particularly those in coastal areas, are urged to pay close attention to weather forecasts during hurricane season. While federal, state and local emergency officials are fully engaged in preparation for storms and flooding, FEMA strongly recommends individuals take ownership of their safety by preparing now during National Hurricane Awareness Week. Being prepared is everyone's responsibility.
"When hurricanes affect our area, they present regional challenges -- evacuations, displaced populations, sustained winds, flooding, and power outages can affect all our states and jurisdictions," said MaryAnn Tierney, Regional Administrator for FEMA Region III. "Citizens and all levels of governments must prepare for this upcoming hurricane season."
See the FEMA News Release for more readiness information or visit www.ready.gov/hurricanes and www.floodsmart.gov. Business owners and managers can learn how to prepare their businesses by visiting website.
Finally, remember that HUD has a number of programs and resources to assist individuals and communities to recover from presidentially declared disasters. You may find out more about HUD's programs at HUD's Disaster Resources.
HUD'S NEWEST NEWS...
HUD announced the publication of a final rule setting the minimum standards that states must meet to comply with the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act) in licensing mortgage loan originators. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on June 30 and explains the criteria that will be used to determine whether a state has put in place a system for licensing and registering mortgage loan originators as required by the SAFE Act. The final rule further clarifies that employees of government agencies and bona fide nonprofit organizations who act as loan originators only as part of their duties do not engage in the business of a loan originator and do not require licensure by states.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan sent a letter to executive directors of public housing authorities (PHAs) clarifying HUD's position regarding people with criminal record's eligibility for public housing. In the letter, which was co-signed by Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Sandra B. Henriquez, Secretary Donovan encourages PHA executive directors "to allow ex-offenders to rejoin their families in the Public Housing or Housing Choice Voucher programs, when appropriate." To view this important letter, click here.
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK...
HUD REQUESTS COMMENTS ON FUTURE REGULATORY REVIEWS. HUD has drafted a plan for periodically analyzing its significant regulations (see HAC News, 3/2/11), and a list of rules to be examined, including those for Section 202, HOME, FHA, and public housing. Comment by August 1 on the plan and list (not the rules themselves). See Federal Register, 6/2/11 or http://www.regulations.gov. Contact Camille E. Acevedo, HUD, (202) 708-1793.
CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER...
HUD awarded $26.7 million in "sweat equity" grants to produce at least 1,500 affordable homes for low-income individuals and families. Funded through HUD's Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), the funding, along with the labor contributed by these households, will significantly lower the cost of homeownership. In Region III, the Housing Assistance Council of Washington, DC is the recipient of $3,131,489, one of four grants awarded.
SUSTAINABILITY PARTNERS AT WORK...
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson have announced a historic collaborative effort to build upon current federal investments for regions that support sustainable and livable communities. For the first time ever, HUD and EPA will join forces to competitively award $5.65 million to strengthen the capacity of existing sustainable communities grantees to create more housing choices, make transportation more efficient and reliable, and support vibrant and healthy neighborhoods for American families. The program builds upon the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, an innovative interagency collaboration between the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), HUD and EPA, which was launched by President Obama in June 2009. The collaboration helps communities provide more sustainable housing and transportation choices for families and lays the foundation for a 21st century economy. Recipients of the awards will form a national leadership network of existing and future HUD and EPA grantees to advance sustainable regional planning and development. Read more about it here.
EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities has partnered with the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to provide LEED-ND training to HUD staff and partners who are working in support of communities through the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities. LEED is a program that evaluates and certifies green buildings across the country. LEED-ND applies the green certification concept to neighborhood design (ND) by looking at location and access, internal patterns and design, and use of green technology and building techniques. To register for the July 26 webcast go to US Green Building Council.
As one of several federal partners to help launch the Urban Waters Federal Partnership in Baltimore, HUD's Deputy Secretary Ron Sims said that HUD's involvement in the initiative was not just for housing, but for the residents of public housing and for community children to participate in protecting and enjoying the environment. Representatives from the US Department of Agriculture, the US Environmental Protection Agency and several other federal agencies joined Deputy Mayor Christopher Thomaskutty and Jackie Carrera, President and CEO of Parks and People Foundation, in helping to launch the project. Baltimore is one of only seven cities chosen for this program. For more information, visit online
HUD FUNDING NEWS ...
All the latest in HUD funding news may be found at HUD.Gov Funds Available or Grants.Gov. The following HUD NOFAs are open for application. All applicants are reminded to register or update information at Grants.Gov before submitting applications:
OTHER FEDERAL FUNDING RESOURCES...
New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) available: Community Development Entities (CDEs), and those who applied for CDE certification by June 22, can apply for NMTC allocations by July 27. See Federal Register, 6/6/11 or CDFI Fund. Contact CDFI Fund Staff, (202) 622-6355.
The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a NOFA for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative under the Community and Economic Development program (CED). Deadline: July 11. There is more information and a link to the application at DHHS - Funding for Healthy Food Financing.
The Department Of Health And Human Services, Administration for Children and Families announces funding for Community Development Corporations (CDC) for well-planned, financially viable, and innovative projects to enhance job creation and business development for low-income individuals. Deadline: July 11. See the funding announcement here.
The Rural Utilities Service of the Department of Agriculture has announced its Fiscal Year 2011 Revolving Fund Program to assist rural communities with water or wastewater systems. Deadline: July 25. To read the full announcement, see Rural Utilities Service Revolving Fund Program, and click here for application guides and materials.
NON-GOVERNMENTAL FUNDING RESOURCES...
The Home Depot Foundation announced an open application cycle for its Community Impact Grants Program. Proposals for grants will be accepted through October 31. Applications must be submitted using the foundation's online application system, located here.
NEWS YOU CAN USE ...
- The Center for Housing Policy summarizes research on the impacts housing counseling has in reducing mortgage delinquency and foreclosure. A new Fact Sheet lists the Benefits of Housing Counseling. It has also released two reports, "The Impacts of Affordable Housing on Health" and "Impacts of Affordable Housing on Education." To get both reports, click here.
- HousingPolicy.org has a toolkit on its website with information about the housing needs of older adults who want to live in a residential environment. The toolkit explores the challenges facing older adults and strategies that enable more households to remain in their homes and communities as they age. A webinar is included that introduces the 3-part toolkit. To learn more, go to the housing toolkit for older adults.
- The Housing Assistance Council published a special edition of Rural Voices that highlights rural housing programs (USDA RD Sections 502 & 523) that work. Articles focus on expanding homeownership, promoting affordability, creating jobs and stabilizing families and communities. To download a copy, click here.
- The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University has announced the publication of a new report, "America's Rental Housing: Meeting Challenges, Building on Opportunities." To read more, go to JCHS Harvard - America's Rental Housing.
- HUD has released the estimated median family incomes (MFIs) and income limits for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011. See HUDUser Datasets - MFI - FY2011. HUD has also developed a set of income limits specifically for projects that rely upon Internal Revenue Code Section 42 Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Section 142, projects financed with tax-exempt housing bonds and that were in service in 2007 and 2008, referred to by HUD as Multifamily Tax Subsidy Projects (MTSPs). See the MTSP limits at Multifamily Tax Subsidy Projects.
- OMB issues 2011 Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement, which applies to audits of states, local governments, and nonprofits for fiscal years beginning after June 30, 2010. Comments are due October 31. Visit OMB Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement or contact federal funding agencies for more information.
- The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, led by the Department of Health and Human Services Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, has developed a downloadable toolkit, "Partnerships for the Common Good," to guide community collaboration.
- HUD USER now provides convenient, one-stop access to the original data sets generated by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R).The Data Set Reference Guide appears in a "linked matrix" format that provides quick access to data from the American Housing Survey, HUD median family income limits, and microdata on housing discrimination, the HUD-insured multifamily housing stock, HUD's assisted housing population, and other housing-related topics. To help users identify the data that are most useful to them, two matrices are presented — one for PD&R data sets and a second that lists other data available from HUD.
- HUD's 2010 Homeless Assessment Report Shows progress and problems. HUD credits the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program with keeping the number of homeless persons unchanged from 2009 to 2010. Over 90% of HPRP clients exited the program to permanent housing. Between 2007 and 2010, however, the number of people using shelters in rural and suburban areas increased 57% and family homelessness increased 20%. See the 2010 Homeless Assessment Report.
- Check out HUD's new Supportive Services Resources Web Page at this link.
- FHA Mortgagee Letter 2011-20 provides instructions on how to process cases during the phasing out of the HOPE for Homeowners (H4H) program.
- FHA Mortgagee Letter 2011-21 supercedes any previous informal guidance relating to the replacement of HUD Survey Instructions and Report, Form HUD-92457, 2005 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for American Land Title Association/American Congress on Surveying and Mapping Land Title Survey instructions, with new Forms (copies attached) HUD- 92457A-M, HUD-92457M, HUD Survey Instructions and Report, 2011 Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey. For all Mortgagee letters, click here.
HUD as a matchmaker??? Yes, we want to be your matchmaker because we believe it takes private, federal and local partnerships to creatively develop solutions to the challenges communities face. We are happy to link for- profit and nonprofit organizations, faith based and community groups, and federal, state and local government agencies, so they can actively partner to build diverse, inclusive and sustainable neighborhoods. Corporations and philanthropic groups can be, and often are, big supporters, investors and advocates for common causes like housing the homeless. Here's the best part – HUD's Federal Partners are eager to help community partnerships blossom, too. See the item above about "Partnerships for the Common Good." Reach out to your local HUD office or to our Philadelphia Regional Office if you need a matchmaker's touch – we're ready, willing and able to help you build new relationships or link with partners who can help you achieve your housing and community development goals. Just look below to and see what HUD is involved with in Region III.
AROUND REGION III...
Training, Conferences and Special Events:
- Through Aug. 26, every Friday: (DC) White House Community Leaders Briefing Series. The White House will open its doors to community leaders from around the country to take part in this series, a unique opportunity for grassroots leaders to come to Washington to hear directly from White House officials on the issues that are affecting communities nationwide. Click here to learn more about this opportunity.
- July 8: (VA) Homeless Veterans Stand Down at the Huntington Veterans Affairs Medical Center
- Contact Lori (304) 751-7847 or Regina (304) 429-6755 x2896 or x4602
- July 9: (DE) Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware First-Time Homebuyer Seminar in Newark
- Contact: Towanna Pierce (302) 652-3991 ext. 100
- July 9: Delaware State Housing Authority First-Time Homebuyer Workshop in Hockessin
- Contact Shenise Ferrell (302) 239-2363
- July 11: (DE) NCALL Research Foreclosure Prevention Workshop in Georgetown
- Contact Lisa Spellman at (302) 678-9400
- July 11-15: (Philadelphia) NeighborWorks® America Training for Housing Counselors Regional Training
- July 12-13: (VA) Capacity Building - Organizational Development and Grantwriting Workshop in Fredericksburg
- Contact Anne Davis to register
- Upcoming workshops: July 28-29 in Portsmouth, Sept. 12-13 in Richmond. You only need to attend one workshop
- July 13: (DE)Consumer Credit Counseling of MD & DE Mortgage Default and Foreclosure Prevention Workshop in Claymont
- July 14: YWCA Delaware "Don't Lose Your Assets" Workshop in Newark.
- July 15: (VA) "Advancing Workplace Savings Initiatives" seminar hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and the Four State Savings Partnership
- July 16: (DE) First State Community Action Agency Foreclosure Prevention Workshop on July 16th in New Castle
- Contact Dahniene Brady at (302) 498-0454
- July 18: (DE) NCALL Research Foreclosure Prevention Workshop in Dover
- Contact Lisa Spellman (302) 678-9400
- July 19: (VA) Deadline for applications for two new funding opportunities for Housing Counseling Agencies from the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA). Through the REACH Virginia Grant Programs, VHDA is providing two significant grant opportunities for eligible nonprofit housing counseling agencies: $700,000 for Housing Counseling and Education and $450,000 for Foreclosure Prevention.
- July 20-21: (WV) "Basic Property Management - HUD Multifamily, Public Housing and USDA Properties" Conference in Charleston. Hosted by Mid-Atlantic Affordable Housing Management Association (MAAHMA) and the Charleston HUD Field Office Multifamily. At the Conference, Michael Jansen, FHEO Director of the HUD Pittsburgh Field Office, will offer information on protections and complaint procedures under the Fair Housing Act along with a focus on reasonable accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
- July 20-21: (VA) 2011 Virginia Main Street Toolkit - Sustainable Main Street seminar in Staunton. Go beyond the "greening" of individual buildings and recycling, to a comprehensive strategy that can foster vibrancy in a community today while ensuring that resources are available for tomorrow's needs.
- July 21: (WV) Using Social Media for Community Development in Dunbar
- July 27: (VA) Deadline for applications for the Building Collaborative Communities program, a new effort to assist regions in creating and sustaining new economic opportunities across Virginia. The program will promote regional economic collaborations in economically-distressed areas to stimulate job creation, economic development and build community capacity and leadership. Building Collaborative Communities is a broad-based program that combines resources from a number of state entities, including the Lieutenant Governor's Office, Senior Economic Advisor to the Governor, Department of Business Assistance, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Department of Housing and Community Development, Virginia Community College System and other agencies. The Commonwealth is providing $200,000 to support the program in FY2012.
- July 28: (VA) "Riding the Housing Wave: Understanding Rental and Homeownership options in the Hampton Roads Region" presented by the Hampton Roads Housing Consortium in Chesapeake
- Aug. 1-5: (VA) Richmond Registry Week for the 1,000 homes for 1,000 Virginians statewide initiative led by the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness to house 1,000 of the most vulnerable Virginians experiencing homelessness. Virginia Supportive Housing Virginia Supportive Housing and Homeward are leading the 1,000 Homes effort in Richmond. 100-200 volunteers will be needed during Richmond Registry Week to administer surveys, enter data, help manage site logistics, assemble packets and more
- Register to be a volunteer and find out more by clicking here
- Aug. 1-6: (Pittsburgh) 31st National Veterans Wheelchair Games are coming to Pittsburgh
- Aug. 3: (MD) "Keeping Our Partnerships Alive: HUD and Faith Based and Community Organizations Response to HIV/AIDS Housing Needs" half-day conference
- Look for more information in an upcoming edition of Region III HUDline News or call the Baltimore Field Office at (410) 209-6587
- Aug. 9: (WV) CASA 12th Annual Conference at the Bridgeport Conference Center
- Contact: (304) 343-4306, (866) 498-2272 or see online.
- Aug. 9-11: (WV) Shaping Tomorrow Together - Faces of Leadership Conference in Charleston
- Scholarships may be available to qualified registrants. Contact Moya Doneghy at (304) 558-0111 or for more information
- Aug. 15-18: (WV) Kanawha Valley Community & Technical College Training - Residential Energy Efficiency Training
- Aug. 18: (VA) Pastors and faith-based leaders are invited to participate in a Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) Harvest Project (Outreach Initiative to Faith-Based Organizations) Neighborhood Revitalization Workshop at the Virginia Housing Center in Glen Allen
- Sept. 7: (Pittsburgh) 9th Annual Public Service Fair, hosted by Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III College. The fair will connect representatives of Pittsburgh's nonprofit and local government community with Master's Degree candidates seeking internships or volunteer opportunities for the fall and spring semesters.
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