HUD e-Briefs from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington
Mary McBride, Region X Regional Administrator (206) 220-5356 Leland Jones, Editor
! ! ! HAPPY NEWS YEAR ! ! !
Saying the funds "will literally keep the doors of our shelters open and will help those on the front lines of ending homelessness do what they do best," HUD Secretary Donovan has announced the award of just over $64.8 million - up almost $2 million from last year - to renew funding for some 380 programs serving the homeless in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The Continuum of Care funds announced by the Secretary provide permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons as well as services including job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care. "Their focus, like ours," noted HUD Northwest Regional Administrator McBride, "will continue to be on the hundreds of thousands of homeless Americans still in need of a roof over their heads." HUD expects to announce competitive funding awards for new homeless programs early in 2012. For a list of Alaska grantees see Alaska release, for Idaho grantees see Idaho release, for Oregon grantees see Oregon release and for Washington grantees see Washington release.
FHA Commissioner Carol Galante has authorized an extension of the waiver currently in effect of an FHA prohibition against providing FHA insurance for a mortgage on a home owned by the seller for less than 90 days to prevent "flipping." With the decline in the housing market and an increase in foreclosed and abandoned homes in many neighborhoods, in February, 2010 FHA temporarily waived the "anti-flipping" prohibition to allow homes to resell as quickly as possible, helping to stabilize real estate prices by accelerating "the resale of foreclosed properties in neighborhoods struggling to overcome the possible effects of abandonment and blight," explained Galante. "FHA remains a critical source of mortgage financing and stability and we must make every effort that to promote recovery in every responsible way we can." FHA has insured nearly 42,000 mortgages worth more than $7 billion on properties resold within 90 days of acquisition. The waiver was first put in effect until January 31st, 2011, then extended to the end of 2011 and, now, will be in effect until the end of 2012 "unless otherwise extended or withdrawn by FHA." For more, visit www.gpo.gov.
On December 16th, The Federal Register published a proposed rule that is designed to "address many of the operational challenges facing participating jurisdictions, particularly challenges related to recent housing market conditions and the alignment of federal housing programs" while also establishing new requirements to "enhance accountability. . .strengthen performance standards and require more timely housing production." If you work for a non-profit or local government that uses HOME funds, in other words, this proposed rule is all about you and what you do. You may, obviously, want to give it a look. And once you have, you may want to share your views on what you like - and, of course, don't like about what we've proposed. Due date for comments is February 14th.
HUD is now accepting applications for a total of $20 million under the Section 202 Demonstration Pre-Development Grant Program. Eligible applicants are those nonprofit organizations and nonprofit consumer cooperatives that received fund reservations awards as a result of the fiscal year 2010 Section 202 Notice of Funding Availability. These funds may be used for architectural and engineering work, site control, and other planning related expenses that are eligible under Section 202. Applications due January 18th. For more, visit www.grants.gov.
Alaska Housing Finance celebrates its 40th anniversary. . .Michael Wilson of Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines name president and chief executive officer of Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. . .King County Housing Authority cuts ribbon on community center that "caps a series of efforts" to revitalize its Pacific Court housing complex in Tukwila and improve the "lives of vulnerable people, a struggling neighborhood and the local economy". . .Central City Concern celebrates grand opening of 10-story, 44,000 square foot Old Town Recovery Center - built with New Market Tax Credits and ARRA funds from the Health Resources Services Administration - that should enable it to serve 600 mentally-ill clients a year. . .Seattle Housing Authority board of commissioners votes unanimously, says SHA News, to "prohibit smoking in all dwelling units owned by the agency" effective February 1st. . .Facing December 2011 "sunset," Eugene City Council okays 9-month extension of city's rental housing code in order to address desires and concerns of Council and public. . .Inspired by the book Crazy Love, Ground Force Manufacturing donates 4,000 square-foot warehouse for use as warming center in Post Falls because, explained owner Ron Nilson, "nobody should have to sleep outside with the resources we have". . .Lake Grove Presbyterian Church and Northwest Housing Alternatives celebrate grand opening of 45-unit, $11 million Oakridge Park Apartments, the second subsidized apartment complex for the elderly in Lake Oswego. . .Stemilt Growers donates $50,000 to Hospitality Heights to, says The Packer, "help build housing for needy families in the tree fruit grower's hometown of Wenatchee. . .Saying the program is helping "to get homeless veterans off the street and into homes they can call their own," HUD Secretary Donovan awards another 25 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers to Alaska Housing Finance Corporation which, since 2008, has won a total of 145 VASH vouchers to provide homeless veterans with affordable, permanent housing. . . Impact Capital of Seattle names Judith Olsen, currently vice president with Wells Fargo in Oregon, as new executive director. . .With support from Ecumenical Ministry of Oregon, City Council unanimously approves pilot program to "allow overnight sleeping, within certain guidelines, on the site of religious institutions and limited other sites in Portland". . .$25,000 grant from Yakima Community Foundation is, says Yakima Herald, "shot in the arm" that allows Catholic Charities to begin building a community park near one of its housing complexes in Mabton.
Saying the funds will "create construction jobs while providing safe and affordable housing," King County Executive Dow Constantine has announced the award of some $10.6 million in local and federal funds to "create and preserve" more than 600 units of affordable housing. Awards for new rental projects were made to the King County Housing Authority, Catholic Housing Services, ARCH of King County, the Multi-Service Center, NAVOS, the Downtown Emergency Service Center, Providence Health & Services and Friends of Youth and for new homeownership opportunities to Parkview Services and Homestead Community Land Trust. Additional funds were awarded to current projects of Manufactured Housing Community Preservationists and the Low Income Housing Institute. The funds will rehab 200 units and add more than 400 new units. There also will be at least 11 new homeownership opportunities.
The Coquille Housing Authority's roof rehabilitation project, the rehabilitation of the St. Joseph's Shelter in Mt. Angel, St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County's development of 19 units of permanent and transitional housing for veterans in Eugene, the Yakima YWCA's Almost Home housing for homeless families, the Kennewick Housing Authority's renovation of a fire-damaged duplex to house homeless families, the Women's Resource Center of North Central Washington's development of 16 apartments for the mentally-ill homeless in Wenatchee and the Longview Housing Authority's development of 20 apartments for veterans have been awarded a total of $3.3 million in Affordable Housing Program funds by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. Bank partners involved in the project include Sterling Savings Bank, Umpqua Bank, Yakima Federal Savings & Loan, Banner Bank and Twin City Bank. Four other projects - Community Development Inc.'s Silver Creek development in Post Falls, Accessible Living Inc.'s Sherwood Forest Senior Community, Spokane Housing Ventures Broadwing Apartments in Liberty Lake and Washington State Housing Finance Commission's HomeChoic Downpayment Assistance Program were also selected as "alternate projects" that, explained the Bank, "may be funded if sufficient AHP subsidy becomes available." The Bank received 28 applications for AHP funding this year.
The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation has selected five affordable rental projects - the Lumen Family project in Anchorage, Raven Landing III in Fairbanks, Sawmill Creek in Sitka, Kimberly Court in Seward and Hillcrest Manor II in Seldotna - for grants, Federal low-income tax credits and zero-interest loans under its Greater Opportunities for Affordable Living program. The funds will support 174 units of affordable housing and generate some $45.2 million in development activity. Since 1997, AHFC has built or rehabilitated more than 5,500 rental units for families and seniors.
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
Treasury Department, Idaho Housing & Finance, Idaho Department of Commerce and Idaho Bankers Association launch $13.2 million "collaborative" collateral support program that will secure up to $130 million in lending activity to Idaho small businesses while Washington state Department of Commerce launches similar $19.7 million Small Business Credit Initiative that could spark $300 million in lending activity. . .Board of Central Albany Renewal Area okays almost $1.5 million for Innovative Housing's redevelopment of Woodlawn Square trailer park including development of 54 units of affordable, workforce housing. . Grant Integrated Services, Grant County and Chamber of Commerce cut ribbon on $1.5, 16-bed "boarding house" in Moses Lake that, says Columbia Basin Herald, will serve people with mental illness and developmental disabilities. . . Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative - currently paying mortgages on behalf of more than 4,000 struggling Oregon borrowers - reopens on pilot basis in Klamath and Lake counties, with program phase in of rest of counties beginning in "late January". . .City Council selects T.C. Broadnax, currently assistant city manager in San Antonio, as Tacoma's new city manager. . .Alaska Governor Sean Parnell reportedly planning to ask the Legislature for $1.3 million to provide housing for up to 150 families victimized by domestic violence. . .Cities of Prosser, Bothell, Renton, Puyallup, Lakewood, Gig Harbor and Waitsburg win 2011 Municipal Excellence Awards from the Association of Washington Cities. . .Oregon Community Foundation names Max Williams, most recently director of the Oregon Department of Corrections, as its new chief executive. . .Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County turns over the keys on the built over the last 20 years and the first of 15 expected to rise from the ground at Port Angeles' new Maloney Court subdivision. .Register Guard says City Council has voted to convey 5.8 acres of city land to St. Vincent de Paul and HACSA for development of $17.5 million, 101-unit apartment complex in northeast Eugene. . .Seattle Office of Civil Rights settles with five landlords accused of discriminating against black and disabled renters based on October testing survey who, though admitting no wrongdoing, says Post Intelligencer, "agreed to attend fair-housing training, provide their rental policies to the city for review, and post notices about housing laws". . .Catholic Charities Spokane tells Spokane Journal of Business it will start building 4-story, 51-unit housing complex next to its House of Charity downtown.
HUD does a lot of things through a lot of different programs in a lot of different communities. And, no surprise, it's sometimes hard for folks outside HUD to figure out how HUD works and whether it will work for them. So, imagine how harder it is to translate HUD if a person's native language I Basque or Guak or Telugu or May-May. Well, thanks to the appropriations bill passed by Congress and signed by the President in December, HUD's about to become a whole lot more decipherable to those whose first language is not English. 7-days-a-week, 24-hours-a-day, HUD employees who receive calls and inquiries from a person who speaks any of 175 languages can now enlist the services of a translator who can help explain the how's and why's of HUD to them in words they'll understand. For now, it's a pilot project scheduled to run through September. But in a nation as linguistically diverse as ours it looks as though the ideas has wings strong enough to fly - and to serve - for a very long time.
To the West Coast Bank of Lake Oswego for winning the 2011 Community Spirit Award from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. Presented annually, the Award recognizes an FHLB member bank that "exemplifies the spirit of community partnership in creating affordable housing and economic development opportunities in their communities." The West Coast Bank was cited for "more than $24 million dollars in grants and reduced-rate loans to create 380 units of affordable housing, to stimulate job growth, and to improve the communities it serves across Oregon and Southern Washington."
The National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference is looking for a few good lenders. It's holding its annual convention in Seattle from March 25th to 28th of 2012 and has put a call for nominations of financial institutions covered by the Community Reinvestment Act that have gone above and beyond in supporting and strengthening small business. As an organization active in your community, you probably know one - or two or three or more. So, why not take a few minutes to nominate one. For more, visit www.frbsf.org/community/seattle2012. Nominations are due January 13th.
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Tanana Chiefs Conference completes transformation of former hotel into 47-unit Housing First facility for chronically-homeless inebriates and 39-bed "medical hotel" for people who, says News-Miner, need "a safe, affordable place to stay" while seeking medical treatment in Fairbanks. . .Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Lewis County celebrate grand opening of $2.6 million, Recovery Act-funded membrane bio-reactor wastewater treatment facility that will serve both residents of the reservation and the Ed Carlson Memorial Airport in Toledo. . .Idaho Housing & Finance Association publishes 2012 schedule of more than 100 Finally Home Homebuyer Education classes to be held in Boise, Caldwell, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls, Nampa, Pocatello, Sandpoint and Twin Falls. . .Oregon Housing & Community Services awards total of $5.7 million in housing preservation funds appropriated by Legislature to Crooked River 3 project in central Oregon and 1200 Building in Portland that are expected, says OHCS' Margaret Van Vliet, to preserve 183 affordable units. . .Boise opens day-shelter for families with children. . .Mayor and City Council members from Lakewood take turns bulldozing "cottages" - at least one of them, reports Lakewood Patch, a "drug house" - in city's Tillicum neighborhood to make way for up to 30 homes to be built by Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity. . . Zender Environmental & Health Research Group in Anchorage, Beyond Toxics in Eugene, Center for Human Services in King County, Duwamish River Clean-Up Coalition in Seattle and Josiah Hill Clinic in Portland win EPA Environmental Justice grants. . .Noting that "for years, we have been focused on home ownership, but now we have to temper that with rentals." Blaine County Housing Authority director Michelle Griffiths publicly presents housing needs assessment which finds, says Idaho Mountain Express, "a current need for 480 additional affordable-housing units in Ketchum, Sun Valley and surrounding areas". . .Hacienda CDC partners with Fannie Mae in Mortgage Help Network to help "distressed homeowners" more quickly identify and move forward with mortgage work-outs. . .HopeLink of Redmond one of 14 organizations nationwide to win Alliance for Children & Families Strategy Counts grants.. .Rose CDC and the Portland Housing Bureau celebrate the re-opening of the recently acquired and renovated Bellrose Station apartments in the Lents neighborhood that will keep the units affordable for "at least 60 years". . . Dini Duclos retires after 16 years as chief executive officer of Multi-Service Center in Federal Way and is succeeded by Robin Croak. . .Boise City Council, says Idaho Statesman, okays sale of three homes bought for $1 each from HUD with sale proceeds to be used for other housing efforts.
"If you consider that housing-related expenditures make up almost 25 percent of our gross domestic product, we've got a huge stake in not only the housing market but the overall health of the Alaska economy." Dan Fauske, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation chief executive officer Dan Fauske.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"This here, this is Santa's gift, right here, man. We'll never have to pack up and move again. This is a blessing dropped right on my lap. You bust your knuckles on a place and it means more. From now on, my life is going to revolve around this right here. This is my core." - - Mark Jameson, a 55-year old veteran and single parent of two who, in March, told The Tacoma News Tribune he feared Congressional action might cause him to lose his VASH voucher and force him "back on the streets" but, thanks to Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity, is now at work building his own home.
WORTH A READ
"Very soon, some Portlanders will once again hear an old story about a couple on a cold night. Problem is, they've got nowhere to go. Wife is about to have a baby. Baby winds up arriving in, well, let's call it "an emergency shelter." That's how the Rev. Brian Heron describes it when he reminds his congregation at Eastminster Presbyterian that they're doing something new about something old. In 2010, Heron's church took the brave step of throwing its doors wide, wide open. By day, the Parkrose church at 12505 N.E. Halsey St. is one of many mainline churches in decline. About 35 people attend services regularly. Average age: 79 or 80. By night, however, Eastminster transforms into a winter warming shelter overflowing with people in need. From 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., the nonprofit Human Solutions puts up cots and welcomes upward of 80 or 90 people, including families and pregnant women with children. Churches are not, by far, the only institutions in this community that could do more, but Eastminster's story is one worth pondering. Several years ago, Eastminster gave up its inward-looking quest to stay alive. It stopped obsessing on what it doesn't have -- new members -- and instead focused on what it does have: three acres, a sanctuary, a fellowship hall and five classrooms. Like many churches, it has space. "We made a decision to get out of survival thinking and into legacy thinking," the Rev. Heron said Tuesday. "We can't last forever." But what his and other churches in decline can do, he said, is "follow the energy" of the community and figure out how best to leave a mark. To be sure, many other Portland churches and nonprofits have been working for years to help the hungry, homeless and desperate. This week, in fact, both the city and county governments will be acting on new initiatives. The city will consider a pilot project that allows some overnight camping in vehicles on church parking lots. The county is looking at an emergency allocation for the homeless of $787,833. Still, Eastminster's example raises an important question: What more and what else should we all be doing? By working together and thinking more creatively, governments, nonprofits, businesses and, yes, churches have the power, resources and space to alleviate a great deal of despair. Following Eastminster's inspiration, it's time to fling the doors -- and our minds -- wide, wide open. To new life. And old stories." - -. "Calling on Portlanders to Help the Homeless" by the Editors of The Oregonian, December 20, 2011.
NOTES TO NOTE
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launches hotline for borrowers who, says columnist Ken Harney, have "got a beef" with their mortgage lender or servicer at www.consumerfinance.gov or, toll-free, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at (855) 411-2372, upset with HUD sets January 4th, 2012 deadline to apply for 2012 Indian Community Development Block Grant funds. . ..Oregon Housing & Community Services to open 2012 Consolidated Funding Cycle on-line on January 9th with applications due March 30th. . .Consolidated Planning Treasury sets January 12th deadline to apply for $123 million in Community Development Financial Institutions funding. . .HUD sets January 12th deadline for HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and state housing finance agencies to apply for $40 million in grants to help families find and preserve housing. . .HUD sets January 18th deadline to apply for $61 million under Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program and $45 million Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program. . . Treasury sets January 18th deadline to apply for Native American CDFI Assistance Program. . .HUD sets January 18th deadline to apply for $20 million in Section 202 Supportive Housing for Low-Income Housing Demonstration Pre-Development Grants. . .Corporation for National & Community Service sets January 18th deadline to app.ly for up to $50,000 in American Tribal Planning grants to build capacity to recruit and manage volunteers, completing community assessments and developing new systems in technology, performance management and training. . HHS' Administration for Children & Families sets January 25th as next deadline to apply for grants under Assets for Independence Demonstration Program. . .HUD sets January 31st deadline to apply for $2.5 million under Healthy Homes Technical Studies Program. . .Housing Washington 2012 sets January 31st deadline to recommend topics and speakers for 2012 conference in October in Tacoma. . .HUD sets February 14th deadline to submit comments on changes proposed to HOME Investment Partnership Program. . .Veterans Affairs sets February 15th deadline to apply for Supportive Services for Veteran Families grants. . .EPA sets February 29th deadline for non-profits and tribes to apply for Environmental Justice Small Grants Program.
- Washington Housing Finance Commission hosts Tax Credit Compliance Fundamentals Workshop, January 10th, Seattle.
- HHS' Administration for Children & Families hosts Assets for Independence Demonstration Program Webinar, January 10th, on-line.
- Washington Housing Finance Commission hosts Advanced Tax Credit Compliance Workshop, January 11th, Seattle.
- HUD Northwest hosts Fair Housing Basics Webinar, January 12th.
- Property Inspection Requirements for FHA Appraisers Webinar, January 17th.
- HUD Portland hosts Basics of Fair Housing Workshop, January 18th, Portland.
- HUD Alaska hosts Lead Renovation, Repair & Painting Workshop, January 24th, Anchorage.
- HUD Alaska and Alaska Association of Housing Authorities host Tribal Healthy Homes Regional Training, January 25th to 27th, Anchorage.
- HUD Spokane hosts Basics of Fair Housing Workshop, January 26th, Spokane.
- FHA Basic Credit/Liabilities Underwriting Webinar, January 26th, on-line.
- Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians hold winter conference, February 13th to 16th, Squaxin Island.
- FHA Loss Mitigation & Servicing System for FHA lenders and HUD-approved housing counselors, February 15th to 16th, Oklahoma City.
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