BY THE RULES
Saying "Lenders should know by now that FHA" - the Federal Housing Administration - "will not tolerate fraudulent or predatory lending practices," on July 27th FHA Commissioner David Stevens has announced that HUD's Mortgage Review Board had taken "dozens of administrative actions against FHA-approved lenders who failed to meet its requirements." So far this year, the Board has imposed "nearly 1,500 administrative sanctions against lenders," including reprimands, probations, suspensions, withdrawals of approval, and civil money penalties. A list of sanctioned lenders can be found in The Federal Register online. "If we determine that our partners are not playing by the rules," Stevens added, "we will take action - it's that simple."
On July 27th, HUD published a notice of funding availability for $79 million in 2010 Housing Counseling Grants. Some 550 grants are expected to be competitively awarded to HUD-approved housing counseling agencies that, says HUD Secretary Donovan, are "are crucial in helping thousands of families avoid foreclosure and remain in their homes." Electronic applications are due online by 11:59:59 p.m. E.T. on August 27th. For more, visit website and enter 14.169 in the CFDA field.
HUD WANTS TO KNOW
Federal Housing Administration Commissioner David Stevens wants to know what you think about the "latest in a series of changes" aimed at "protecting FHA's capital reserves" so that it can "continue providing affordable, responsible mortgage products. The changes were first outlined in the July 15th Federal Register online, the changes would include requiring borrowers to have a minimum 580 FICO score to qualify for FHA's 3.5 percent down payment program while those with scores between 500 and 580 would need to make a 10 percent down payment; borrowers with less than a 500 FICO score would no longer be eligible for FHA-insured mortgages; reduce allowable seller concessions from 6 to 3 percent; and tighten standards on manually underwritten loans. Comments are due August 14th.
On line registration for the 2010 Housing Washington Affordable Housing Conference is October 19th and 20th in Tacoma now open online with early bird discounts available through August 20th. . .HUD launches temporary initiative to give local governments and non-profits participating in Recovery Act's Neighborhood Stabilization Programs, says HUD Secretary Donovan, a "first bite at the apple" in acquiring houses from HUD's inventory of foreclosed homes. . .Idaho Housing & Finance Association, Boise Housing Corporation and Tomlinson & Associates host open house to celebrate refurbishment of 40-nit Riverview Apartments affordable housing complex in Boise. . .Telling The Daily Astorian that "I'm glad to have it finished before I go," retiring Northwest Oregon Housing Authority director Carol Snell celebrates her last week on the job by welcoming families back to newly-renovated Sandhill Apartments in Seaside. . .Washington Growers League tells Capital Press that when it opened the second half of its new $6.7 million migrant farm worker camp near Wenatchee in July it was "already booked full". . .Human Solutions begins constructing $17 million facility in Gresham's Rockwood neighborhood to , says Oregonian, provide 47 units of affordable housing and to house eight agencies to provide "one stop service to residents who would otherwise have to hopscotch from one agency to another in a traffic-choked neighborhood". . .HUD, Veterans Affairs and U.S. Senator Murray announce $3 million in grants to Tacoma and Pierce County Continuum of Care to "prevent homelessness among veterans, particularly those returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq" in Joint Base Lewis-McChord area. . .Miracles Club of Portland making move from renting to owning by breaking ground in northeast Portland on $17 million project to replace "dingy and musty, too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter" facility with 5-story building that will also include drug- and alcohol-free apartments for recovering addicts who've been sober at least 18 months. . .Bonner County Daily Bee reports that, thanks to the Idaho State Dental Association, veterans attending the 2010 Stand Down in Sandpoint received free screening for oral cancer and major infections, a "first-ever" event sponsors say could be a pilot program."
HUD's competitively awarded an additional $3.1 million to 21 new local projects that offer "critically needed housing and support services" to the homeless in Albany, Anchorage, Bellingham, Boise, Coos Bay, Corvallis, Eugene, Everett, Oregon City, Port Angeles, Portland, Roseburg, Salem, Seattle, Spokane, Vancouver, Wenatchee and Yakima. The new funds are over and above the $60.3 million in renewal funds HUD awarded last December to some 380 existing homeless projects in 19 communities across the region. "The energy and innovations of our partners are crucial to our progress in ending homelessness," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. "Today's funding insures that we continue to support programs that are working, but also look for new ways to achieve that end."
ON THE WAY
Another $27.1 million is on the way from HUD to nonprofit developers of affordable, supportive housing for the elderly and people with disabilities in the Northwest. Under HUD's Section 202 and Section 811 programs, non-profits in Anchorage, Nampa, Omak, Renton, Spokane, Cascade Locks & Vancouver have won competitive grants that provide funds not only to build 179 new units, but also to keep rents affordable for the low-income residents. . "Thanks to these funds and to the hard work of our partners, we'll be able to provide much-need affordable housing resources for the elderly and people with disabilities across the region," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride.
HOW FARES FAIR HOUSING?
HUD's State of Fair Housing report for fiscal year 2009 released in July finds that discrimination based on a person's disability status continues to account for the largest-single category of complaints. Of the 10,242 complaints filed with HUD and its fair housing partners during fiscal year 2009, 44 percent alleged disability discrimination, while 31 percent alleged discrimination based on race, and 20 percent based on family status. "Despite much progress and hard work, Americans continue to face housing discrimination because they're in a wheelchair, are a different color, or background, or have children," said John Trasviña, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity. The full report is on-line
Big news on main street in Wrangell. It's one of just six small communities nationwide to win a 2010 HUD HOPE VI Main Street Revitalization grant designed to expand the production of affordable housing to the rural community's historic central business district or "Main Street" area. As part of its downtown plan, Wrangell will use its $869,000 grant to will rehabilitate and remodel eight units in the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority's historic SNO Building. Built in 1932 in downtown Wrangell and originally owned by the Stikine Native Organization, the City says the building is "badly in need of rehabilitation" The funds, said HUD Regional Administrator McBride, will help "move downtown Wrangell's revitalization forward."
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
Community Connections breaks ground for $2.4 million, 8-unit Opportunity House for persons with disabilities in Ketchikan. . .Idaho Department of Commerce awards $100,000 Idaho CDBG grant for, says Idaho Mountain Express, Hailey Senior Center "facelift" of Neighborhood. .. .ShelterCare and Brethren Community Services break ground for $2.4 million, 16-unit Afiya Apartments in downtown Springfield for low-income people with psychiatric disabilities. . .Northwest Area Foundation announces grants totaling $500,000 to University of Idaho and Washington State University for its Horizons leadership development program in 74 rural communities with 5,000 or fewer people. . .Department of Labor awards total of $4 million in YouthBuild grants to Cook Inlet Tribal Housing in Anchorage, Lummi Housing Authority in Bellingham, Heart of Oregon Corps in Bend, Community Services Consortium in Corvallis, Snohomish County Workforce Development in Everett, the Job Council in Medford, Community Youth Services in Olympia, Portland Youth Builders, YouthCare in Seattle, Education Service District 10 in Spokane and Opportunities Industrialization Center in Yakima, Reflecting its "vision of a of a "thriving and diverse community," King County Housing Authority celebrates grand re-opening of 262-unit Birch Creek Apartments after $55 million, 4-star Built Green revitalization. . .Sequim Gazette says Clallam County "recognition as one of five high-performing counties in preventing and ending homelessness" at National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference in Washington, D.C. . . .Oregon Housing & Community Services and Department of Energy announce expansion of state's Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program to include Energy Star water heaters, refrigerators, dishwashers and clothes washers.
CONGRATS. . .
. . .To the City & Borough of Wrangell for being one of just six communities across the country selected for a HUD HOPE VI Main Street Revitalization Grant. They will use the $869,000 competitive grant to rehabilitate eight units in the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority's historic SNO Building, a part of a $7 million downtown revitalization plan. "Raising these days to build affordable housing or revitalize a downtown is for cities of all sizes," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. But these funds will help "move downtown Wrangell's plan forward." The HOPE VI Main Street program was established to help smaller communities without a housing authority or one that manages 100 r fewer units to include affordable housing as part of their Main Street goals.
CONGRATS TOO. . .
. . .To Anchorage Neighborhood Housing, Mercy Housing of Idaho, Columbia Cascade Housing of The Dalles, Columbia Nonprofit Housing in Vancouver, Spokane Mental Health Association, Providence Health Care of Seattle and Okanogan Community Action for winning total of $27.7 million in HUD Section 202 and 811 grants for 179 units of additional affordable housing for low-income elderly and persons with disabilities. "This is great," executive director Jim Baker of Disability Resources in Vancouver told The Columbian, noting that "it's been years since money has been given to Clark County for disability housing."
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Kitsap County Consolidate Housing Authority saves ink, shortens name to Housing Kitsap. . .Portland Housing launches Homebuying 101 on-line course for first-timers. . . Treasury Department's CDFI program awards $622,611 to Cook Inlet Housing Authority in Alaska and $133,986 to Northwest Native Development Fund in Washington to promote home lending. . .Ground is broken in Portland for Bridge Meadows which will offer supportive intergenerational housing for families who adopt foster children. . .Site Selection Magazine ranks second and Oregon the third most sustainable of the 50 states and Portland-Vancouver as second most sustainable metro area. . .Clackamas Community Land Trust tells Oregon Business it is seeking Earth Advantage certifications for its 68-home Verde Village development in Ashland and 12-home Juneberry Lane development in Oregon City, both of which are expected to be completed this fall. . .Boise Rescue Mission tells Idaho Statesman it has designated 19 rooms in its River of Life Shelter for "those who have served in our armed forces, were discharged honorably and are homeless". . .Brian McBeth of Lane County Homebuilders Association tells KEZI-TV that its 25th annual Tour o Homes has "adapted how we build for our current economy and build a smaller house and still pack it full of features". . . Telling Idaho Statesman "making soup is one of the best training opportunities out there," Life's Kitchen director Kurt Alderman says chefs-in-training from Life's Kitchen will join pro chefs from Red Feather Lounge and Westside Drive-In to "make a pot of soup a day" for the up to 150 homeless men, women and children at Boise's Interfaith Sanctuary shelter.
NOTES TO NOTE
Please don't forget that HUD has set August 23rd as the deadline to submit applications for the Sustainable Communities Regional Planning grant at . .Treasury's CDFI program schedules "Economic Development Strategies in Indian Country" workshops in Anchorage & Seattle in August. . ..HUD sets August 23rd deadline for public comment on proposed rule to "permit builders of manufactured homes (mobile homes) to complete construction at the home installation site, rather than in the factory". . . August 31st is deadline to submit comments to FDIC, Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency or Office of Thrift Supervision on " the agencies' regulations governing procedures for assessing a financial institution's performance under the Community Reinvestment Act". . .Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. will host a conference on the Future of Housing Finance on August 17th. . .Housing Assistance Council sets September 15th to submit nominations at www.ruralhome.org for national rural housing awards to be conferred at a December national conference. . .Treasury's CDFI program hosting "how-to-certify" conference calls August 19th, September 16th, October 14th & November 18th for potential applicants. . .City of Seattle sets September 15th deadline for nonprofit or private developers to apply for up to $26 million in local capital funds "to support the acquisition, rehabilitation, or new construction of rental housing" for low-income people. . .Oregon Housing & Community Services sets October 1st as deadline to apply for Training for Practitioners funds and October 15th to apply for Metro Housing Center funds under state's Housing Opportunity Bill. .
QUOTE TO NOTE
"Sometimes you might wonder if the American dream is still possible for our younger generations. We're talking about the dream of owning your own home, getting a college education, starting your own business. What if we told you it's not only possible, but there are programs designed to help people make that happen. And you can sign up right here in Roseburg. We're talking about the Dream$avers program and we can't imagine why everyone who qualifies for the program hasn't already enrolled. Dream$avers is aptly named. The idea is to save money to be able to follow your dreams. . . News-Review reporter Inka Bajandas gave us a glimpse Thursday of people who successfully saved $2,000 and earned the payoff. They are among 201 people who have graduated from the Dream$avers program that Umpqua CDC operates in 12 Oregon counties. Another 401 are enrolled now and there's room for more. The participants have used their money to start businesses, raise credit scores, get off public assistance and attend college. At the same time they've benefited individually, the program puts money into Douglas County's economy. Umpqua CDC Program Manager Rebekah Barger said the savings and matching funds flowing into the county since the program began in 2003 totals $552,000. . . A program like Dream$avers has the potential to teach good savings and spending habits that will be passed onto future generations, enriching lives through financial security and knowledge." - - The News Review, Roseburg, Oregon, June 20, 2010.
Planning Association of Washington hosts "Lasting Legacy of the Western Planner" Conference, August 10th to 13th, Vancouver. Visit online
U.S. Treasury's CDFI program and Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco host Economic Development Strategies in Indian County conference, August 17th, Seattle. Visit online
HUD's Alaska Office of Native American Programs hosts workshop on Establishing Native American Community Youth Organizations, August 17th & 18th, Anchorage. Visit online
Northwest Office of Native American Programs hosts Greener Homes Training, August 18th & 19th, Portland. Visit online
U.S. Treasury's CDFI program and Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco host Economic Development Strategies in Indian County conference, August 19th, Anchorage. Visit online
Pacific Northwest Mortgage Lenders Annual Conference, August 21st to 24th, Boise. Visit online
HUD's Northwest Office of Native American Programs hosts free training on the environmental review requirements of the Native American Housing & Self Determination Act, August 24th to 26th, Spokane. Register on-line
HUD's Northwest Office of Native American Programs hosts Environmental Review & NAHASDA training, August 24th to 26th, Spokane. Visit online
King County Office of Civil Rights offers both Advanced & Basis Fair Housing Training, August 25th, Seattle. Visit online
HUD Boise hosts Fair Housing Workshop, August 26th, Boise. Visit online
HUD Spokane hosts Fair Housing Workshop, September 1st, Spokane. Visit online
HUD Seattle hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop, September 13th, Seattle. Visit online
Annual Conference of Alaska Association of REALTORS, September 14th to 17th, Juneau. Visit online
Annual Conference of Washington Association of Community Banks, September 15th to 17th, Tulalip. Visit online
Annual Meeting of Idaho Association of Counties, September 19th to 24th, Garden City. Visit online
Annual Conference of Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, September 20th to 23rd, Spokane. Visit online
HUD Seattle hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop, September 27th, Seattle. Visit online
King County Office of Civil Rights hosts Fair Housing Jeopardy-An Advanced Fair Housing Training, September 29th, Seattle. Visit online