HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan has announced that, by August 15th, FHA insured borrowers will be able to seek a Making Homes Affordable loan modification and "significantly reduce their monthly mortgage payments." In guidelines released on July 30th under authority of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, lenders and servicers are expected to use partial claims to defer the payment of some amount of outstanding mortgage principal through an interest-fee, subordinate mortgage that does not come due until the first mortgage is paid off. FHA also will pay an incentive to loan servicers for every FHA loan modified under the program. Bringing this "important tool to the table," says the Secretary will enable FHA borrowers "to modify their mortgages in the same manner as so many others who are taking advantage" of the program. For more, read FHA Mortgagee Letter 09-ML-23.
HUD Seattle,, FHA's Santa Ana Homeownership Center and the Washington Mortgage Lenders are holding a 3-day FHA Lenders Update from September 15th to 17th in Sea-Tac. It'll give you everything you need to know - and more - about FHA underwriting, processing, appraising and making FHA work for your firm and your customers. Register on-line
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HUD USER has announced that the proposed Fiscal Year 2010 Fair Market Rents to be published in The Federal Register on August 4th already are on-line.
Low Income Housing Institute and Enterprise Community Partners celebrates grand opening of the 49-unit, HUD-assisted Bart Harvey, a residence for low-income disabled or homeless 62 and older in Seattle. . .USDA awards $5.3 million to Priest River, Idaho and $9.5 million to upgrade water and wastewater infrastructure. . .Community Frameworks breaks ground for 30 town homes in Spokane. . .American Institute of Architects selects Green Lake Residence in Seattle as one of 20, 2009 Small Project Award winners that succeed "no matter the limits of size and scope". . .Maggie LaMont named chair of the Oregon State Housing Council, succeeding a retiring Larry Medinger. . .King County Housing Authority wins 100 and Tacoma Housing Authority wins 50 family unification vouchers to reunite foster children with their families . . . Journal of Business reports Spokane United Methodist Homes to build 38-unit senior housing complex in Spokane Valley. . .Portland Bureau of Housing & Community Development wins a 2009 IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Award. . .Idaho and Oregon associations of REALTORS among 25 groups to win Foreclosure Prevention & Response grants from the National Association of REALTORS. . .His Eminence Archbishop Alex Brunette offers blessings at the grand opening of the 56-unit Frederic Ozaman House and at the ground breaking for the 51-unit Monica's Village Place, both in Seattle and both projects of the Archdiocesan Housing Authority. . .Saying she knows "how much of a challenge it is" to administer Housing Choice Voucher programs, "especially during a recession," HUD Assistant Secretary for Public Housing Sandra Henriquez says HUD shortly will award remaining $11 million of $100 million set-aside as well as another $30 million to public housing agencies prevent the termination of families from program.
"HOME, SWEET (and HEALTHY) HOME"
Boise is the place to be September 15th to 17th if you're committed to making houses as healthy as they can be for those who call them "home." Among the featured speakers at this year's Idaho Healthy Homes Conference are Ruth Ann Norton of Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, Wesley Priem of the Michigan Department of Community Health, Eileen Gagney of the American Lung Association and Barbara Ross, EPA's Regional Lead Coordinator. For more online.
Befitting our climate, it "rained" revitalization last fall with the Bremerton, King County and Seattle housing authorities winning three of the six HOPE VI Public Housing Revitalization grants competitively awarded by HUD in 2008. Can it happen again? We'll see. On July 14th, HUD Secretary Donovan announced the opening of the 2009 competition for $113 million in HOPE VI funds. Saying it's time "to take the lessons learned" from the 248 HOPE VI grants HUD's already awarded, he also said extra points would be awarded to applications that promote green development and energy efficiency and to applications that implement a "comprehensive, high-quality, results-oriented earl education program" Applications are due November 17th.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has named Jim Norlund, owner of Norland Carpentry in Anchorage and the former Director of Public Assistance for the State of Alaska, as director of USDA Rural Development in Alaska, Wallace Hendrick, former general manager of Esco Supply, as director of USDA Rural Development in Idaho and Mario Villanueva, director of Catholic Charities Housing Services in Yakima, as USDA Rural Development in Washington.
HUD will be providing an additional 650 rental housing vouchers for homeless veterans served by Department of Veterans Affairs medical clinics and hospitals in American Lake, Anchorage, Boise, Portland, Roseburg, Seattle, Spokane, Vancouver, Walla Walla and White City. The new vouchers are over and above the 450 vouchers for homeless veterans that HUD awarded to Northwest housing authorities under the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program. The vouchers, said HUD Secretary Donovan, will provide those who "have put their lives on the line" permanent housing and, in collaboration with local Continuums of Care, "critically needed supportive services."
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
HUD awards almost $5.5 million in Recovery Act funds under the Tax Credit Assistance Program to help "jump start" stalled affordable housing projects in Alaska. . .Urban League of Portland releases State of Black Oregon report that finds " black Oregonians remain at or near the bottom of every meaningful social and economic measure". . ..Yakima Habitat for Humanity celebrates 25 years and 126 homes worth of service to the community. . .Twin Falls selected as Idaho's 21st Heritage City for "protecting" historic properties. . .Former Long & Foster Companies President and CEO David Stevens sworn in as Federal Housing Administration Commissioner. . .HUD okays $23 million loan to build 25-unit hospital to replace one almost 50 years old in Grand Coulee. . .Looking Glass - a Eugene group that helps homeless young people but was itself made homeless by fire - has returned to its old home, now newly-rebuilt. . . Washington State Housing Finance Corporation proposes to allocate Recovery Act funds under Tax Credit Assistance Program to eight projects to provide 456 units of affordable housing in Centralia, Graham, Renton, Seattle, Spokane, Toppenish and Yakima that have been stalled or adversely affected by the economic downturn. . .Saying they'll "not only help our vulnerable neighbors" but also "create well-paying jobs," Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announces award of $8.1 million to rehabilitate nearly 200 units of housing for low-income seniors and to build 70 units of workforce housing. . .Work is well underway on 36-unit Adams Square Family Center that will "greatly expand" the Tacoma Rescue Mission's efforts to give needy women and families an opportunity to live happy, productive lives". . .Spokane Urban Ministries celebrates grand opening of 47-unit Walnut Corners. . .HUD competitively awards $18.3 million in Indian Housing Block Grant and Indian Community Development Block Grant funds under the Recovery Act to Chilkoot Indian Association, Cook Inlet Housing Authority, Akiachak Native Community, and Yakutat Tlingit Tribe in Alaska; Coeur d'Alene Tribal Housing Authority in Idaho; the Coos, Lower Umpqua & Siuslaw Tribe and Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde in Oregon; and the Kalispel Tribe, the Cowlitz Tribal Housing Authority and the Suquamish Tribe in Washington.
FROM FEAR TO FAVOR
How things change. "The vision of farm worker housing connotes certain stereotypes for some people, Hacienda Community Development Corporation executive director Pietro Ferrari recently told The Portland Oregonian. "That's what we were up against" three years ago when it unveiled plans to build a 24-unit complex for farm workers and their families in Molalla. "The best we hoped for was indifference." But now that the award-winning and "green" Plaza Los Robles is up and occupied, "the city's fear of farm worker housing," The Oregonian noted, have melted "into pride." In fact, it notes, when housing developers come to town looking for sites, city officials "routinely suggest" a drive by the complex as "a perfect example," said planning director Shane Potter, "of the sorts of projects we'd like to see more of here." It has become, added the City Manager John Atkins, "a real community asset," introducing a lot of Molalla residents to "families who are earning a living, buying groceries and hardware and supporting this town."
SPEAKING OF WHICH
Oregon Housing & Community Services has announced that, between now and December 31st, it will accept applications for $2.3 million in remaining tax credits to "construct, acquire and/or rehabilitate" housing for low or very low income farm workers. For more, contact Loren Schulz 503/986-2008.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"If you haven't been to Mountain View lately you ought to pay it a visit and see what a great job Cook Inlet Housing Authority has been doing to build new homes and clean up an old neighborhood." - Mike Jens in July 29th Anchorage Daily News after "a few of us decided to jump on our bicycles and, in the spirit of the Tour de France," did "our own Tour de Anchorage."
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims spends a day in Portland, meeting with local officials and partners and touring Central City Concern's 24-unit Taggart Manor which is slated to receive CDBG funds under the Recovery Act to save energy and cut water consumption. . .Daily Bee reports Bonner Community Housing Agency and Planet Construction have launched partnership to build at least 10 affordable homeownership units in Seven Sisters area of Kootenai County using USDA's Section 502 program for financing. . .Downtown Emergency Services Center breaks ground in Seattle for the 83-unit Canaday House, its eighth Housing First complex for chronically homeless men and women. . .Seattle Housing Authority and City's Office of Housing announce plans to award 50 project-based rental vouchers to non-profits to "subsidize replace housing for units that were demolished during the redevelopment of the High Point community". . . 31 "Bike & Build" college students from Virginia "take a break" from their 3,900 cross-country ride to help Habitat for Humanity build a house in Idaho Falls. . .University of Oregon head men's basketball coach Ernie Kent and players attend dedication ceremony for new basketball court at Village Oaks complex in Eugene. . .More than 500 at-risk homeowners sit down with lenders and housing counselors at Foreclosure Prevention Workshops in Everett, Seattle and Tacoma. . . KMVT-TV reports that "dozens of students" from College of Southern Idaho's Abriendo Caminos program spend three days preparing housing in Twin Falls' El Milagro neighborhood for top-to-bottom paint jobs. . .Seattle Housing Authority to use Recovery Act funds to transform first floor of Jefferson Terrace into respite care center to allow Public Health-Seattle & King County to provide homeless "a safe place to heal after being treated and discharged from local hospitals". . .Keystone Apartments in Spokane opens Neighborhood Networks computer centers. . .American Planning Association sets September 9th deadline t apply for HUD Secretary's Opportunity & Empowerment Award.
The Medford Mail-Tribune reports that Tim Ellis, an appliance salesman, is the very first Oregonian to receive a grant through HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program to buy a foreclosed property. "I was happy I found a suitable house in the right neighborhood" for his wife Tan and 2-year-old son Michael. "We're pretty excited," he said, adding that the grant will reduce his monthly payments by about $200. The NSP program was created to help cities deal with upticks in abandoned and foreclosed properties. Medford is receiving $459,200 under the program, about a third of which will go to buyers earning 50 percent or less of the area's median income. The balance will go to those earning up to 120 percent of median. While Ellis is excited, he's also a little nervous. "I thought, "Holy cow! I'm buying a foreclosure," he said. "What do I do now?" But thanks to an A-B-C's of Homebuying class, he's got a good idea. "Fix it up!" Since the program requires him to live in the house for five years to gain full equity, looks like he'll have plenty of weekends to do exactly that.
First impressions matter. That's why the City of Nampa decided in 2006 to use part of its CDBG funding from HUD to restore the facades of buildings in its historic district. The program's brought "downtown back to life," says The Idaho Post Tribune, citing increased traffic in businesses that have had face-lifts. It's also won awards for Nampa from the Association of Idaho Cities and Preservation Idaho. "It's pretty amazing that people have put the time and money into these properties that otherwise would be neglected," says Dan Everhart of Preservation Idaho. Amazing? Yes. Smart, too, which is why the City has allocated even more CDBG funds to restore even more historic buildings.
To William Rainford, associate professor of social work at Boise State University, for being selected - from a pool of 260,000 candidates - as Catholic Charities USA 2009 Volunteer of the Year. The volunteer effort "closest to his heart"? The Interfaith Sanctuary in Boise, a shelter built "with help from many volunteers across many faiths," tells The Idaho Statesman. His "most urgent" local priority? "Legislation to promote mobile home tenants." Why does he volunteer? "It's a ministry for me."
August 1st deadline to apply for Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle Affordable Housing Program funds. . .August 3rd deadline to apply for IRS grants to provide training "to volunteers" who offer "free tax counseling and assistance to elderly individuals in the preparation of their Federal tax returns". . .August 7th deadline to apply for HUD Indian Community Development Block Grant program. . .August 7th deadline to apply for HUD Hispanic Serving Institution Assisting Communities grants. . .August 7th deadline to apply for HUD Doctoral Dissertation grants. . .August 11th deadline to apply for HUD Public Housing Family Self-Sufficiency Program grants. . .August 14th deadline to apply for USDA Rural Utilities Service and National Telecommunications & Information Administration grants and loans to deploy broadband infrastructure in rural and underserved areas. . .September 4th deadline to apply for Department of Labor Energy Training Partnership grants. . .September 14th deadline to apply for EPA Indoor Air Pollutant Reduction grants. . .September 18th deadline to apply for HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program grants. . .September 18th deadline to apply for HUD Resident Opportunity & Self Sufficiency (ROSS) grants. . .September 24th deadline to apply for USDA Rural Community Development Initiative grants. . .September 29th deadline to apply for Department of Labor Pathways Out of Poverty renewable energy training grants. . .November 17th deadline to apply for HUD HOPE VI Public Housing Revitalization grants.
Webinar on the A-B-C's of FHA's Energy Efficient Mortgage. Register on-line
HUD & Housing Assistance Council holds "Building Rural Communities with CHDOS" workshop in Boise, August 5th and 6th. Visit online
Annual conference of Pacific Northwest Lenders Association in Blaine, August 9th to 12th. Visit online
Alaska Municipal League holds annual conference in Palmer, August 12th to 14th. Visit online
HUD Seattle hosts Federal Labor Standards training for public, tribal and tribally-designated housing authorities, August 17th, Seattle. Register on-line
HUD Portland hosts Federal Labor Standards training for housing authorities, August 19th, Portland. Register on-line
Washington Affordable Housing Management Association holds annual conference, August 20th to 21st, Bremerton. Visit online
HUD Seattle hosts Federal Labor Standards training for CDBG and HOME grantees, August 24th, Seattle. Register on-line
HUD Spokane hosts Fair Housing Act workshop, September 2nd, Spokane. Visit online
HUD Seattle hosts Recovery Act Update teleconference for faith- and community-based organizations, September 9th. To participate, please contact Leland Jones.
HUD Idaho hosts "Taking Faith & Community-Based Organizations to the Next Level" workshop in Pocatello, September 11th. For more, contact Brian Dale.
HUD Seattle, FHA Santa Ana Homeownership Center and Washington Mortgage Lenders Association host three-day FHA Lender Update, September 15th to 17th, SeaTac. Visit online
Idaho Healthy Homes Conference, September 15th to 17th, Boise. Visit online
Annual Conference of Alaska Association of REALTORS, September 15th to 19th, Fairbanks. Visit online
Idaho Association of REALTORS Business Conference & Expo, September 16th to 20th, Coeur d'Alene. Visit online
16th annual Housing Washington affordable housing conference, September 29th & 30th, Spokane. Visit online
HUD & EPA host Northwest Children's Environmental Health Forum & Expo in Tukwila, October 1st & 2nd. Visit online
84th Annual League of Oregon Cities Conference, October 1st to 3rd, Portland. Visit online
Northwest Environmental Business Council hosts Brownfields Redevelopment Conference, October 14th & 15th, Tacoma. Visit online
Idaho Housing & Finance Association hosts 2009 Idaho Housing Conference, October 19th & 20th, Boise. Visit online
Association of Idaho Cities hosts Idaho Energy & Green Building Conference, October 21st to 23rd, Boise. Visit online
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