! ! ! NEWS FLASH ! ! !
Federal Register publishes details of how to become a listing broker for FHA's HUD Homes sales program. Under new marketing and management contracts, HUD will "pay a commission of up to six percent to be split evenly between "Listing'' and "Selling'' brokers." More at website.
POWERSAVER POWERED UP
Hoping to "grow the home retrofit industry and help middle class families save money and energy," Vice President Joe Biden and HUD Secretary Donovan have announced a new pilot mortgage product - the FHA PowerSaver mortgage - that offers homeowners up to $25,000 to make energy-efficient improvements of their choice, including the installation of insulation, duct sealing, doors and windows, HVAC systems, water heaters, solar panels, and geothermal systems. PowerSaver loans will be backed by the FHA - but with significant "skin in the game" from private lenders. FHA mortgage insurance will cover up to 90 percent of the loan amount in the event of default. Lenders will retain the remaining risk on each loan, incentivizing responsible underwriting and lending standards. FHA will provide streamlined insurance claims payment procedures on PowerSaver loans. In addition, lenders may be eligible for incentive grant payments from FHA to enhance benefits to borrowers, such as lowering interest rates. Lenders will be selected to participate in the PowerSaver pilot based on their capacity and commitment to provide affordable home energy improvement financing. They will be required to serve communities that have already taken affirmative steps to expand home energy improvements. For more details on the PowerSaver pilot, visit online.
"HARDEST HIT" HELP
Oregon Housing & Community Services has launched a Web site where, beginning December 10th, it plans to start accepting applications for its Mortgage Payments Assistance Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Treasury's "hardest hit" fund. Some 5,000 unemployed or "financially distressed" Oregon homeowners are expected to receive the assistance that will cover their mortgage payments for a year up to $20,000. With a network of partner organizations in every county, OHCS director Victor Merced said "we can insure that eligible homeowners in Oregon have an opportunity to get help while they look for work." Register for e-mail updates on the program at the new Web site.
On a first come, first served basis, HUD is now accepting applications for $5 million in 2010 grant funds for emergency capital repairs on eligible multifamily assisted properties for the elderly owned by nonprofits. For more, visit website.
Alaska voters, says KTUU-TV, okay $600 million in Alaska Housing Finance bonds to "fund low-interest housing for veterans". . .Oregon Housing & Community Services' Victor Merced is "delighted" to announce re-start of its Residential Loan Program as a result of the issuance of tax-exempt revenue bonds, which yielded some $55 million for the program. . .Seattle Office of Housing provides $600,000 in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds and $1.45 million Affordable Housing Levy funds to Homestead Community Land Trust to purchase and complete 15-home subdivision in Rainier Beach. . .Telling The Idaho Press Tribune "residents are thrilled with the renovations" that averaged $30,000 per unit and included a new community garden and transformation of an old barn into a community clubhouse, Boise Housing Corporation and Key CDC celebrate the "grand re-opening" of Galway Apartments in Nampa. . .Spokane Housing Authority tells Journal of Business it's committing $900,000 to upgrade Heritage Heights and Westfall Village apartment complexes in Hillyard neighborhood. . .Umatilla County Commissioners adopt resolution calling for development of 10-year plan to end homelessness. . .The Lummi Housing Authority blesses the first two of 12 affordable six-plexes in its Kwina Village development. . .Saying "alternative energy and sustainable start-up companies represent the future," Boise State University President Bob Kustra celebrates "cut a green ribbon" at grand opening of The Greenhouse "green" business incubator in downtown Boise. . . Coeur d'Alene Press reports that Lake City Development Corporation and Idaho Housing & Finance Association are "in discussion" about creating a housing stabilization fund to help families who might be priced out of a "rebuilt downtown" and higher housing costs it might bring. . .Terry McDonald, director of St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County, one of three to win University of Oregon Distinguished Service Award. . .Yakima Housing Authority hires "first-ever police officer," says KIMA-TV, to keep "gangbangers from finding a safe haven" in Authority complexes.
HUD's Office of Policy Development & Research has just launched a Web site where you can get the latest numbers of housing conditions in every region and virtually every county in the United States. To take a look, visit online.
Northwest HUD's Tweet is on a roll, with more than 100 folks now getting almost daily Tweets on what's happening at HUD and among our partners. Why aren't you? Sign up at http://twitter.com/HUDRegion10.
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
Regional Administrator McBride names Robin Prichard as HUD Field Office Director for Portland & Boise effective January 1st. . .USDA Rural Development awards $8 million high energy cost grant to Denali for energy generation and distribution projects, including construction of renewable energy and efficiency projects remote native villages in Alaska that are particularly dependent on high-cost fuel oil. . .Squaxin Island Tribe celebrates grand opening of 12-unit, $1.6 million Klabsch Lane Apartments. . .Saying "no state has proved immune" to bed bug infestations, Congressman Young of Alaska co-sponsors the "Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite Act" authorizing Commerce Secretary to provide grants to states to "examine everything from trains to schools," hotels to homes for bedbugs. . .HUD awards Seattle's Downtown Emergency Center a $650,000, three-year renewal of Housing Opportunity for Persons with AIDS grant. . .Emerge3nBank of America awards $200,000 each to Proud Ground and Hands on Portland through its 2010 Neighborhood Excellence Initiative. . .After one-year hiatus, Oregon Housing & Community Services says it expects to have 2011Oregon Housing Conference in Salem October 24th and 25th. . .Idaho Housing & Finance's Gerald Hunter elected president of National Council of State Housing Agencies. . .Wells Fargo provides total of $150,000 to Clackamas County Land Trust, Proud Ground and Native American Youth & Family Center to buy, rehab and re-sell 19 foreclosed homes in Portland and Milwaukie. . .The purchase of a single-family home on a lot in Ferndale zoned multifamily," says Northern Light, "is the first step in a plan by Interfaith Coalition of Whatcom County" - comprised of 47 congregations - to develop a duplex that will provide short-term housing for homeless families. .The nonprofit Bienestar wins $2.4 million from USDA Rural Development to build 24-un farm worker housing complex in Forest Grove. . .City & Borough of Juneau win three of the four community awards at the 60th annual conference of Alaska Municipal League. . .Spokane Housing Authority begins renovation of almost 100-year-old Hillyard High into 51 units of affordable housing. . . Work begins on Whitewater Creek, a collaboration of the Idaho Housing Finance Association, Lake City Community Development and City of Coeur d'Alene to provide 38 affordable units for low-income elderly and 10 market rate units. . .Clackamas Heights redevelopment project in Oregon City wins one of 10 Affordable Green Neighborhood grants awarded by Bank of America and U.S. Green Building Council.
CONGRATS. . .
. . .To the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County. With the opening of the Donald L. Lamb Building - named for a long-time volunteer and board member - it's now completed 1,000 units of affordable housing. The four-story building has commercial space on the ground floor, but also 35 affordable, one-bedroom units with Energy Star appliances. At least four of the units will house homeless veterans. "I applaud St. Vincent de Paul," Senator Jeff Merkley who attended the opening told KEZI-TV, for assisting "our most vulnerable veterans" and getting "them the services they need. In this week, when we are celebrating Veterans Day, we should call attention to the need for more programs of this nature to assist our thousands of homeless vets."
Folks who live in Portland already know it is a very livable city. Now, the rest of the world knows too. That's because Metro Portland has just won a United Nations-sanctioned International Livable Communities - LivCom - Award for its work in planning for the future. "The UN," Carlotta Colette of Metro Portland told Oregon Public Broadcasting, "is very excited to see more regional governments because they fell it's really the most efficient way to address climate change. They really wanted to honor us," she added, because Metro Portland "drafts strategic plans with local governments at the table." To date, Chicago's the only other U.S. city to have a LivCom award.
Northwest communities have done it again. The American Planning Association has named Bank Street in Wallace, Idaho, as one of its top ten "great streets in America," The citizens of Wallace, said Mayor David Vester, get all the credit. "We have re-built the city after forest fires, litigated with the Federal government to keep Interstate 90 from demolishing buildings and worked tirelessly to maintain a thriving commercial center." The Association agrees, saying Bank Street is a "testament to the important role residents can play in shaping their communities." They're happy, too, in Olympia where the APA has named the Percival Landing Boardwalk as one of the top ten Great Public Places in America citing the "long-standing commitment of city leaders and residents in making Olympia's waterfront available for the public's use and benefit." The Landing, said Mayor Doug Mah, "is a special public place in a city I am proud to call home."
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
HUD Assistant Secretary Marquez issues November 19th memo on how CDBG & NSP funds can support housing counseling services at website. Portland Housing Bureau and Clackamas County Bank celebrates grand opening of 8-unit, green and "family friendly" Woolsey Corner in New Columbia neighborhood with mad-to-order pumpkin spice donuts. . .Housing Kitsap wins $2.2 million USDA Rural Development self-help housing grant, says Kitsap Sun, to help at least 72 more county families build their own homes. . .Owners and agents of rental properties assisted under HUD's Section 8, 202, 811 and rent supplement programs advised that, "in the very near future," they will be required to register with Central Contract Registry at www.ccr.gov to receive payment. . .The Clean Energy Works initiative of Enterprise Cascadia of Ilwaco wins $2.5 million loan and $200,000 grant under Wachovia Wells Fargo NEXT Award for Opportunity Finance. . .Portland Housing Bureau awards almost $1.4 million to support homeless services, including funds for winter shelters, to eliminate "bottlenecks" in shelter services to homeless women, to improve street outreach, to expand permanent housing resources for young people living on the streets and to move 40 people from subsidized, transitional housing into permanent, market-rate units. . .Tony Drost , owner of First Rate Property Management in Boise elected president of the National Association of Residential Property Managers. . .Farm worker Housing Development Corporation in Woodburn wins 2010 meritorious service award from Latino caucus of American Public Health Association. . . USDA Rural Development awards almost $2.6 million in loans and grants to Clearwater Economic Development and Panhandle Area Council in Idaho, the Klamath Lake Regional Housing Center and Lane MicroBusiness in Oregon and Seattle Economic Development Association and ShoreBank Enterprise to make microloans to "to boost small business development, create jobs, and strengthen rural communities". . .Port Townsend City Council, says Peninsula Daily News, unanimously approves merger of Clallam and Jefferson county housing authorities. . .Portland Community Reinvestment Initiative completes first four units specifically designed for homeownership. . .
You're probably familiar with the G-8 organization of major economic powers. Well, now meet the C-7. It's a collaborative "new energy partnership" formed by the cities of Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Redmond, Renton and Sammamish to develop and seek support for ideas and initiatives of mutual benefit to the residents of all the communities. And it's just "scored" its first "victory," reaching an agreement with Puget Sound Energy to provide residents with free, bi-monthly Home Energy Reports to help them to identify ways to "reduce home energy use." The report compare a home's energy use to similar-sized properties in their area. It's an "easy way," said Alex Pietsch of the City of Redmond, "for homeowners to measure their energy efficiency." The year-long project is being funded by energy block grant funds the cities received from the U.S. Department of Energy under the Recovery Act.
WORTH A READ
Tis the season, of course, when most of us reflect a bit on why we do the work we do. Like the work done by the all-volunteer Homeless Youth Work Group of Yakima County. It opened Rod's House - the only drop-in center for homeless young people in Yakima - about a year ago. Since then, it's helped 360 kids. Adriana Janovich's account in The Yakima Herald-Republic explains how. Or the work done by the Department of Veterans Affairs in Green, Oregon for Harley Atkinson, a World War II veteran who's wheelchair-bound. He likes to cook and do the laundry for his family, a difficult chore given the narrow hallways in his manufactured home. A VA grant changed all that, says Heather Morse's in The News Review at website. Or the work done by the Idaho Housing & Finance Association and Carey Jennings of Chubbuck. Ten years ago, she and her six kids were homeless. With help from a homeownership voucher, she and her family moved into a house she owns. Her story's and because of the work HUD's partners do, there are hundreds more stories where these came from. Or the work being done by the Tagiugmiullu Nunamiullu Housing Authority and Cold Climate Housing Reserch Center in Anatuvuk Pass that has demonstrated that an Arctic-friendly house can cut both construction and energy costs in half compared to a house imported from and designed for "the Lower 48." You'll find their story at website. To all of them, thanks!
Federal fiscal year 2009 which ended September 30th, 2009, marked FHA's 75th year in the mortgage market. Coincidentally, it also marked FHA's best year ever, endorsing a record 85,897 home purchase mortgages in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. In fiscal year 2010, FHA's performance was almost as good - 79,882 mortgages with a total dollar value of $16.7 billion - with the second highest number of endorsements in the Northwest in its now 76 history. By specific markets, FHA had its third-best year the Seattle-Bellevue, Spokane and Pocatello metropolitan areas, its second-best year in Portland-Vancouver, Tacoma, Olympia, Salem, Coos Bay-North Bend, Bremerton, Eugene-Springfield, and Medford-Ashland areas and its best year ever in Yakima, Tri-Cities and Bellingham. "It wasn't FHA's best year," noted Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. "But, especially in a still troubled housing market, it was still a very good year in which HUD continued to help thousands of first-time buyers achieve their dreams, but also helped thousands of homeowners move out of risky products into a safe, sound and secure FHA mortgage - exactly what FHA was intended to do when it was created so many years ago."
QUOTE TO NOTE
"It's clear that FHA is in a stronger position today than we were just one year ago," said FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens. "While we are not yet completely out of the woods, based on the evidence we're seeing, FHA is weathering the economic storm while helping to create a firm foundation for our nation's recovery." - FHA Commissioner David Stevens on November 16th concerning issuance of Annual Financial Report to the Congress which found that "since last year, the capital reserve ratio held steady, insurance claims declined significantly, and the economic value of FHA's single-family insurance program grew by more than $1 billion, from $3.6 billion in 2009 to $4.7 billion in 2010."
NOTES TO NOTE
FHA mortgagee letter 2010-39 issues revised HUD 1 closing statement for HECMs - "reverse mortgages" - with case numbers assigned on or after December 1st. . .Labor's Employment & Training Administration sets December 3rd deadline to apply for $130 million in YouthBuild grants. . .EPA sets December 3rd as application deadline for 2011 Energy Star Awards for Affordable Housing. . .HUD sets December 6th deadline to apply for $60 million in Family Self Sufficiency Housing Choice Voucher funds. . . HUD sets December 9th as new application deadline for Choice Neighborhoods grants. . .Oregon Housing & Community Services sets December 17th deadline to apply for total of $500,000 to be used for down payment assistance. . .USDA Rural Development sets December 22nd deadline to apply for almost $6.3 million in Rural Community Development initiative funds to build "capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, and community and economic development in rural areas". . .HUD seeking comments until December 28th on proposed rule published in October 29th Federal Register on implementation and administration of Housing Trust Fund. . .Portland Housing Bureau sets December 30th deadline to apply for $7.9 million for "creation or preservation of affordable rental housing within the City of Portland. . .USDA Rural Development sets December 31st deadline to apply for $129 million under Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program.. . .USDA Rural Developments sets January 10th deadline for non-profits to apply for funding to provide loans for preservation and revitalization of multifamily complexes assisted under its Section 514, 515 and 516 programs. . .HUD sets January 14th deadline to apply for $35 million in Capital Fund Education & Training Community Facilities funds. . .HUD sets January 19th deadline to apply for $15 million in ROSS/Family Self Sufficiency grants. . .Oregon Housing & Community Services sets February 11th, 2011 deadline to apply for $3.4 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program II, Housing Opportunity Bill and other state funds to address foreclosure problems in Clackamas, Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Jackson, Marion and Washington counties. . .HUD sets February 21st deadline to apply for $35 million in Resident Opportunity & Self Sufficiency (ROSS) Service Coordinators grants.
Washington State University hosts Latino bankability workshop to raise "awareness of available financial services, products and resources to support and assist Latino individuals, families and businesses," Moses Lake, December 7th. For more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Oregon Department of Education hosts Regional Homeless Education Summit, Hillsboro, December 11th. Visit online
Jump$tart Washington Financial Education Forum, January 4th, Yakima. Visit online
Jump$tart Washington Financial Education Forum, January 6th, Kelso. Visit online
Jump$tart Washington Financial Education Forum, January 11th, Tukwila. Visit online
Jump$tart Washington Financial Education Forum, January 12th, Everett. Visit online
Oregon Bankers Association, Oregon Jump$tart and Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco hosts 2011 Oregon Financial Education Summit, January 13th, Salem. Visit EPA hosts workshop on Sustainability Starts with Green & Healthy Homes, February 2nd & 3rd, Seattle. Visit online
Winter conference of Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, January 31st to February 3rd, North Bend. Visit online
EPA hosts workshop on Sustainability Starts with Green & Healthy Homes, February 2nd & 3rd, Seattle. Visit online
HUD Anchorage hosts a comprehensive introduction to how's, what's and why's of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Act of 1996, February 8th through 10th, Anchorage. Visit online