HUD e-Briefs from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington
Mary McBride, Region X Regional Administrator (206) 220-5356 Leland Jones, Editor
APRIL IS FAIR HOUSING MONTH
"Live Free - Creating Equal Opportunity in Every Community"
To help current FHA borrowers take advantage of today's lower interest rates, beginning June 1st FHA will lower its Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium to just .01 percent and reduce its annual premium to .55 percent for FHA borrowers who are current on their existing FHA-insured mortgages which were endorsed on or before May 31st, 2009. "This is one way that FHA can make a real difference to help homeowners who are doing the right thing, paying their bills on time and want to take advantage of today's low interest rates," said FHA Commissioner Galante. "By significantly reducing costs for these borrowers, we can make certain they cut their monthly mortgage burden which will benefit the housing market and the broader economy in the process." The reductions apply to all FHA single-family mortgage products except HECM and Section 247, 248 and 223(e) mortgages. For more, visit HUD's website
WHO'S YOUR CANDIDATE?
Have you worked with a community foundation that's helped create a transformative public-philanthropic partnership that's increased housing access for low and moderate income people and increased economic employment, health, safety, education, sustainability, inclusivity and cultural opportunities? Yeah? Well, don't you think it's time they got a little credit? We do, which is why, in collaboration with the Council on Foundations, we're inviting nominations for the inaugural HUD Secretary's Award for Community Foundations. Nominations are due May 11th. For more, visit the website
HOT OFF THE PRESSES
HUD's research arm publishes Comprehensive Market Analysis for Spokane. Find it on-line
Good news for insomniacs and/or contractors and agencies who work with HUD funds. HUD has just published a comprehensive summary of Federal fair labor standards in HUD projects. You can find it on-line
Saying it'll "make a world of difference for a lot of homeowners," Oregon state legislators hail passage of bill that, reports Oregonian, "will require lenders to meet with borrowers in mediation if the borrower requests it, and it will end the "dual track" practice of foreclosing while negotiating a loan modification". . .Andrew Lofton, deputy executive director of the Seattle Housing Authority since 2004, is the unanimous pick of its board to succeed Tom Tierney as executive director when he retires in August. . . Outside the roof's been replaced and the leaky chimney removed while inside tenants enjoy new floors, better insulation and upgraded plumbing and heaters as St. Vincent de Paul completers renovation of 90-year-old Omer Apartments in downtown Cottage Grove. . .Columbia Basin Veterans Coalition gets $2 million grant from Southeastern Washington Central Labor Council, says KNDU-TV, to build transitional housing for veterans. . Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, says Idaho State Journal, reports that mortgage-related complaints to his office "more than 120 percent in 2011" - to 116 from 261 the year before - but, noted Idaho State Journal, "remained at number one" on the Attorney General's Top 10 list, tied with motor vehicle complaints. . .Union Gospel Mission, reports King5TV, seeks Kent City Council okay to open shelter in city-owned building near downtown. . .Portland Housing Bureau breaks ground for The Yard, 80-units of affordable housing on 7 acres behind Union Station. . .Puyallup Tribal Housing Authority dedicates 10 new affordable houses in Tacoma, part of the Recovery Act funded Long House Project which also include refurbishing a gymnasium and constructing community center and maintenance building. . .Grandview celebrates grand opening of brand-new senior and community center. Network for Affordable Housing in Portland one of 12 organizations nationwide to win $22 million in HUD grants to identify "new and innovative ways to cut energy bills and to finance energy efficiency upgrades in existing multi-family residential" . . . Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle says, beginning May 15th, it will accept applications for $5.3 million under its Affordable Housing Program and $4 million for down payment assistance under its Home$tart program.
YouthBuild - it used to be one of HUD's most popular competitive grant programs and now it's one of the Department of Labor's. No wonder. Over the years it's enabled hundreds of local organizations to provide young people who have dropped out - or might - acquire marketable skills in the construction trades while expanding a community's inventory of affordable housing. Simple Idea = Great Program. And now the Labor Department has set May 8th as the deadline to apply for $75 million in YouthBuild funds. For more, visit their website
HUD's set May 15th to apply for $25 million to cover the "physical costs of converting some or all of the units of an eligible multifamily development into an" assisted living facility "including unit configuration and related common and service space, and any necessary remodeling, consistent with HUD or the state's statute/regulations." For more, visit their website.
Speaking of multi-family housing, HUD's also seeking applications - due May 14th - for Service Coordinators in Multi-Family housing. The grants allow multifamily "owners to assist elderly individuals and nonelderly people with disabilities living in HUD-assisted housing and in the surrounding area to obtain needed supportive services from the community, to enable them to continue living as independently as possible in their homes." For more, visit their website
And, in another part of the nation's HUD-assisted multifamily inventory, HUD's seeking applications - due May 1st - for $60 million in Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency grants which enable housing authorities to staff strategies that "increase earned income and financial literacy, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and make progress toward economic independence and self-sufficiency." For more, visit their website
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
Vancouver Housing Authority celebrates grand opening of 76-unit, $15 million Vista Court elderly housing complex in downtown. . .Proud Ground proudly announces that it's just helped its 150th family buy a home, a 1500-square foot house in the Mill Park neighborhood of Portland reclaimed and rehabbed under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. . .King County Housing Authority begins $10 million project to "transform the worn-out, box-like structures" at 59-unit Green River Homes in Auburn - one its oldest properties - "into a modern, attractive rental housing community". . .Benton County expected to distribute $1.2 million generated from county document tax to eight projects including, says TruCity Herald, "supportive housing for adults with disabilities, the first-ever Tri-City teen homeless shelter and the first phase of a Prosser low-income housing complex". . .Oregon Housing & Community Services okays use of tax credits to add 26 units to Little Deschutes Lodge, a complex for the elderly in LaPine. . .After two decades with "the most rewarding job in town," The Daily News says Rick Kirk is retiring as director of Community House in Longview, a place, he says, that's "always been a hand-up, not a hand-out". . ..Benewah Community Hospital celebrates grand opening of $28.5 million, 50,000 square-foot expansion in St. Maries. .USDA awards $3 million to Community Connections to build new service center in Ketchikan. . .Proud Ground unveils plans to build two apartment buildings for formerly homeless at former Sand Point Naval Air Station. . .Habitat for Humanity of Portland/East Metro breaks ground for Habitat's largest development in Oregon - 45 houses in southeast Portland acquired with Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds. . .After helping more than 500 people over last 20 years, , city tells Yakima Herald a 34 percent cut in HOME funding will mean no down payment assistance available this year. . .Housing Finance Association in Boise, Open Door Housing Counseling left in Hillsboro, Access, Inc. in Medford, the Native American Youth and Family Center in Portland, the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation in Springfield and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission and Solid Ground, both in Seattle win total of $480,580 in HUD Housing Counseling grants . .National NeighborWorks names Betty Tamm, executive director of Umpqua NeighborWorks in Roseburg its "practitioner of the year". . .100-strong, reports King5-TV, Seattle University's Youth Volunteer program "adopts" and the University commits $1 million to make sure kids at Bailey Gazert elementary school in Central District "don't get left behind". . .Interior Department celebrates fact that its Net Zero house at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, the first on National Park Service lands - is, says Daily Journal of Commerce, "actually exceeding its net zero energy goals". . .Telling The News Tribune that "Housing First programs have an 84 percent success rate at getting long-term homeless people into housing and off their addictions," Catholic Community Services announces plans to build up to $15 million complex for the homeless in Tacoma.
TO THE DOGS
You've probably seen HUD Community Development Block Grant funds at work where you live building houses, laying water and sewer lines, sprucing up parks and playgrounds. But CDBG's not all bricks and mortar. In Nampa, for example, you can also see CDBG at work - sort of - at Annie's Pet Salon. Not too long ago, Annie Bound - its proprietor - was down on her luck and out of her house because of domestic violence. But, thanks to the Canyon County CATCH program - supported by CDBG funds -, she's realized a "lifelong dream" to own and operate her own small business. "It's just the bet program in the world and they never let go," she recently told The Idaho Press. "Even after you graduate, you can count on CATCH for anything." Some testimonial, some program. Read more online
Last December, HUD announced the award of some almost $64.8 million in Continuum of Care renewal funds to more than 380 projects serving the homeless in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The funding was important because, simply put, they helped make sure those projects could keep their doors open and keep helping people overcome the factors that had made them homeless or put them at risk of becoming homeless. Now HUD has taken it "to the next level," awarding an additional $3.7 million to 28 brand new projects in Anchorage, Astoria, Bend, Boise, Eugene, Everett, Hillsboro, Hood River, Longview, Ontario, Oregon City, Pendleton, Port Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Spokane, Wenatchee, Yakima and Vancouver. The funds, said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator McBride, will help "launch new and innovative ways to improve and expand the critical services" these projects will provide. For more, visit HUD's website
BEHIND THE NUMBERS
$64.8 in renewal and $3.7 million in new Continuum of Care funding is a lot of money. And how, you might wonder are all those dollars going to be spent? You might begin to find an answer by visiting with the Covenant of Hope in Portland. It's a group of congregations that have recently come together to see what they can do to address and, ultimately, end homelessness in their community. And, for them, it starts with giving folks a second chance. Folks like Joseph Moreno. He and his family arrived in Portland last November, wrote Steve Beaven in The Oregonian, "with five backpacks, one duffel bag, one suitcase and no prospects." Thanks to the hard work of The Covenant and funding from congregations and HUD, now he may have found some. Read how online
Another 610 HUD Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers for homeless veterans have been awarded to 16 housing authorities across the Northwest. Fifty vouchers each will go to Alaska and Idaho, 185 to Oregon and 325 to Washington. While most of the awardees previously have won VASH vouchers, this year's awards for the first time provide vouchers to vets in rural Alaska, Coeur d'Alene and Clackamas, Clallam and Skagit counties. The 610 new vouchers are over and above the 2,283 already awarded in the four states. "It's a national disgrace that one out of every six men and women in our shelters once wore a uniform to serve our country," said HUD Secretary Donovan. "But we know that by providing housing assistance and case management services, we can significantly reduce the number of veterans living on our streets." For more, visit HUD's website
At least 320 older Washington state houses with lead and other health hazards will be abated thanks to two lead hazard reduction grants of about $2.4 million each to the City of Spokane and the Washington Department of Commerce. It's the third time both have won these competitive grants, awarded this year to some 42 organizations across the country. Under earlier grants, the State already has abated 432 and the City has abated 443. "Healthy homes make for healthy families," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator McBride, "and these funds will allow" the City and the State "o continue efforts to "cure" older homes in their housing inventories of lead and related hazards." For more, visit HUD's website
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Alaska Housing Finance launches review of its current system that uses preferences for its Housing Choice and public housing waiting lists. . .Meyer Memorial Trust closes out its fiscal year by giving 17 grants totaling $1.5 million ton non-profits including Oregon Opportunity Network, Bienestar, Rose CDC, Hacienda CDC and the Rural Development Initiative. . . HUD renews Alaska Housing Finance Corp grant to provide permanent supportive housing for people with AIDS in Anchorage and rural areas across south central, southwestern, and western Alaska.. . .Building on a 2010 HUD Sustainable Communities Challenge grant, Spokane Tribe one of five organizations nationwide selected by EPA to receive technical assistance under its Smart Growth Implementation Assistance Program. . .Washington County awards $750,000 grant to REACH CDC to build 57-unit workforce housing complex in Orenco Station that will be first apartment complex built to passive house standards in U.S. . .Fitch celebrates grand opening of new wastewater treatment plant built, in part, with $500,000 in CDBG funds from Idaho Department of Commerce. . .As a result of a Presidential declaration of disaster because of severe winter storms, HUD is making available disaster-recovery assistance - including a 90-day foreclosure moratorium on FHA-insured mortgages, mortgage insurance to allow victims to rebuild or purchase new homes, allowing local governments to reallocate HUD funds to recovery - in Benton, Columbia, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Hood River, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Polk, and Tillamook counties. . . Bellevue Boys & Girls Club and King County Housing Authority celebrate "grand reopening" of "substantially-renovated" Eastside Terrace Clubhouse in Bellevue. . .Some 600 "homeless people and those at risk of becoming homeless," reports Statesman Journal, seek help from social service providers at Salem Homeless Connect. . .Kelso wins Department of Ecology grant to develop plan to redevelop wrecking yard. . .Crew begins demolishing vacant house next to Boise Rescue Mission to make room for Grandma Z's Memorial Garden that will, says KIVI-TV, support "Mission's shelters with fresh produce". . .Bainbridge Island City Council extends, reports Kitsap Sun, pilot that allows developers to earn bonus density points for meeting green building and housing affordability standards until 2014. . .Portland Rescue Mission unveils plans for "complete renovation" and expansion of its Next Step treatment and shelter facility in northeast Portland.
The March 28th Federal Register included a request for comments on a proposed rule that "would streamline the requirements for mixed-finance developments" under HUD's Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly and Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities grant programs "by removing restrictions on the portions of developments not funded through capital advances" that are competitively awarded under both programs, " thereby lifting barriers on participation in the development of the projects, and eliminating burdensome funding requirement." You're right, that's a mouthful. But if you've ever have been or wanted to be involved in a 202 or 811 you know the current requirements sometimes makes it hard, even impossible, for the numbers to work. So, here's your chance to speak up and be heard about whether current mixed finance requirements should be streamlined or stay the same. Don't be shy. Comments are due by May 29th. For more, visit their website
The same edition of The Federal Register also included a proposed rule streamlining key elements of "portability" in the Housing Choice Voucher program. "Portability" allows a household receiving a voucher from a public housing authority to use it to rent a property "anywhere in the country." Among other things, HUD's proposed rule would make definitional changes that determine how long the household has to find an eligible unit and also would require authorities using less than 95 percent of their voucher budget authority or with less than 95 percent of their vouchers leased to accept the household wishing to ?port" its voucher to their community. Got views? Again, don't be shy. Comments are due May 29th. For more, visit their website
WORTH A READ
How do you seize control of your future? You might want to ask the residents - and now the owners - of the Vida Lea Mobile Lodge near Eugene. They almost had to lose theirs to get it back. See Street Roots for more
If it "takes a village," make sure it has a park. At least that's what folks in Mabton, Washington think. A couple of years ago, Catholic Housing Services completed a single-family development. But something was missing, a place where kids could play, families could picnic and the community could gather. A park, in other words. And now, thanks to more than 60 volunteers and more than 1,500 volunteer labor hours, they're getting one. Read how
Bienestar just celebrated its 30th birthday. Sure there was a cake and candles. But, maybe best of all, there also was a groundbreaking for a farmworker housing development in Forest Grove that, just a few years ago, Bienestar wasn't sure it could afford to build. Now that's what you call a happy birthday! Read more
NOTES TO NOTE
Idaho Department of Commerce opens application window for Northwest Community Development Institute in July in Boise. . .USDA announces availability of $79 million in loans, $10 million in grant to its rural utility program borrowers to work with local organizations to create projects that retain or create jobs and upgrade public infrastructure with applications due the last business day of each month through September 2012 . . .HUD sets April 9th deadline to submit comments on its Rental Assistance Demonstration Project. . .HUD sets April 10th deadline to apply for $110 million in Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants. . .EPA sets April 6th deadline to apply for 11th Annual Smart Growth Achievement Awards. . .EPA sets April 12th deadline to apply for $2.8 million in workforce grants to train un- and under-employed workers for jobs in the environmental field. . . HUD sets April 24th deadline to apply for $60 million in Housing Choice Voucher Family Self Sufficiency Grants. . .Department of Labor sets April 30th deadline to apply for $15 million in Urban and Non-Urban Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program grants. . .Idaho Smart Growth sets April 30th deadline to submit nominations for its 2012 Grow Smart Awards. . .HUD sets May 1st deadline to apply for $5 million in Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants. . .Department of Labor sets May 8th deadline to apply for $75 million in YouthBuild grants. . .USDA sets May 9th deadline to apply for $8.6 million in Rural Community Development Initiative grants. . .HUD sets May 11th deadline to submit nominations for HUD Secretary's Award for Community Foundations. . .HUD sets May 14th deadline to apply for $15 million in Service Coordinators in Multifamily Housing program. . .HHS' Administration for Children & Families sets May 25th deadline to apply for Assets for Independence demonstration program. . .HUD sets May 29th deadline to submit comments on proposed rule to streamline mixed-financing requirements of its Section 202 and Section 811 programs and on proposed rule to streamline Housing Choice Voucher "portability". . .Veterans Affairs sets May 30th deadline to apply for $20 million in VA Grant and Per Diem Program. . .HUD sets June 11th deadline to apply for an expected 42 contracts to administer project-based housing. . . Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle sets August 1st to apply for $5.3 million in Affordable Housing Program funds and $4 million in down payment assistance under its Home$tart program (with applications available "on or about" May 15").
- Idaho Legal Services & HUD Idaho host Fair Housing Conference, April 5th, Sandpoint.
- Idaho Legal Services & HUD Idaho host Fair Housing Conference, April 6th, Coeur d'Alene.
- HUD Seattle hosts Federal Labor Relations Workshop for housing authorities, April 9th, Seattle.
- Northwest Fair Housing, City & County of Spokane and others host Spokane Fair Housing Conference, April 11th, Spokane.
- Veterans Affairs Office of Tribal Governance hosts Western Regional Conference, April 10th & 11th, Spokane.
- Idaho Legal Services & HUD Idaho host Fair Housing Conference, April 12th, Moscow.
- Oregon AHMA hosts Preparing for the REAC Inspection workshop, April 12th, Salem.
- Idaho Legal Services & HUD Idaho host Fair Housing Conference, April 13th, Lewiston.
- HUD Seattle hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop for HOME & CDBG recipients, April 16th, Seattle.
- HUD Northwest Office of Native American Programs hosts Section 184 housing loan guarantee workshop, April 17th, Rochester, WA.
- HUD's Alaska Office of Native American Programs hosts Workshop on Site Control Issues, April 17th to 20th, Anchorage.
- HUD Seattle hosts Fair Labor Standards Workshop for Contractors, April 18th, Seattle.
- Oregon AHMA offers Basic Evictions for Affordable Housing Providers workshop, April 18th, Wilsonville.
- Fair Housing Council of Oregon & Metro Multifamily Housing Association host annual Fair Housing Bus Tour of Portland, April 18th, Portland.
- HUD Northwest Office of Native American Programs hosts Mortgaging Tribal Trust Land workshop, April 18th to 20th, Rochester, WA.
- Idaho Legal Services & HUD Idaho host Fair Housing Conference, April 19th, Twin Falls.
- Idaho Legal Services & HUD Idaho host Fair Housing Conference, April 20th, Nampa.
- HUD hosts Basics of Fair Housing workshop, April 23rd, Kennewick.
- Annual conference of Washington AHMA, April 23rd to 25th, Coeur d'Alene.
- Washington State University hosts Energy Out West Conference, April 23rd to 27th, Boise.
- HUD Boise hosts Lead Safe Housing Rule Workshop, April 24th, Boise.
- HUD Idaho hosts Lead Safe Housing Rule Workshop, April 24th & 25th, Boise.
- Northwest Environmental Business Council hosts Future Energy Conference, April 25th to 28th, Portland.
- Idaho Legal Services & HUD Boise host Fair Housing Conference, April 26th, Idaho Falls.
- Idaho Legal Services & HUD Idaho host Fair Housing Conference, April 27th, Pocatello.
- Annual conference of Pacific Northwest Regional Council of NAHRO, April 29th to May 1st, Portland.
- EPA hosts regional Summit of Tribal Leaders, April 30th to May 4th, Grand Ronde.
- Cascadia Green Building Council hosts 2012 Government Confluence, May 2nd, Portland.
- Annual conference of Oregon Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, May 2nd to 4th, Hood River.
- Annual conference of PHADA - the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association - May 6th to 9th, Seattle.
- Portland Sustainability Institute hosts EcoDistrict Institute, May 8th to 10th, Portland.
- Washington State Coalition for the Homeless hosts annual Conference on Ending Homelessness, May 15th to 18th, Yakima.
- Oregon Opportunity Network hosts Spring Industry Conference, May 16th, Eugene.
- Spring conference of Oregon Affordable Housing Management Association, May 16th to 18th, Eugene.
- HUD hosts free Basics of Fair Housing Webinar, May 17th, on-line.
- HUD Spokane hosts free Basics of Fair Housing workshop, May 31st, Spokane.
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