HUD e-Briefs from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington
Mary McBride, Region X Regional Administrator (206) 220-5356 Leland Jones, Editor
! ! ! NEWS FLASH ! ! !
HUD publishes income limits for HUD-assisted properties effective December 11th online.
! ! ! NEW FHA-LASH ! ! !
On December 6th, FHA announced FHA mortgage insurance limits – i.e., the market-specific limits on the maximum amount of mortgages it will insure – for calendar year 2013. The good news? FHA limits are holding steady. The not-so-good news? Since the housing recovery has yet to pick up a full head of steam, limits in virtually every market large or small remain unchanged from calendar 2012. For more, see Mortgagee Letter 12-26 website.
PLEASE DON'T FORGET
It’s crunch time for an estimated 72,000 homeowners in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington who lost their homes to foreclosure between January 1st, 2008 and December 31st, 2011 and whose mortgages were serviced by Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo to seek financial partial compensation for their loss. Any and all claims must be filed no later than January 18th, 2013. So, if you think you’re due, file today by visiting website. And if you’re not sure if you’re eligible, call the National Mortgage Servicing Settlement administrator at (866) 430-8358. Again, the deadline is 18th, 2013.
Seattle Housing Authority wins its second Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant of $10.3 million to support its revitalization of Yesler Terrace neighborhood. . .Alaska Housing Finance awards $35 million in Greater Opportunities for Affordable Living funds to produce or preserve 199 affordable housing units in 7 projects in Anchorage, Eagle River, Homer, Kodiak, Soldotna and Wasilla . . .Bipartisan vote in U.S. Senate confirms Carol Galante as Assistant Secretary for Housing & FHA Administrator. . .Effective November 21st Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle says Home$tart and Home$tart Plus funds are " available to all qualifying homebuyers, including first-time homebuyers and those who have previously owned a home". . .Forever the optimists, Oregon Opportunity Network appears confident Spring will arrive early this year and sets March 13th as the date of its Spring Conference in Salem. . .Nonprofit BRIDGE Housing of San Francisco unveils plan to build up to 135 units of affordable housing in Portland's Pearl District. . .Once homeless residents begin moving into Catholic Charities' 51-unit, $6.8 million Father Bach Haven in Spokane. . . After 10 years without a space of its own," says Times News, Twin Falls' Safe Harbor food pantry has purchased a building downtown thanks to a bequest. . .ARC of Anchorage, Cook Inlet Housing and Volunteers of America receive tier 2 grants totaling $1 million from Rasmuson Foundation for housing development. . .Bremerton Housing Authority awards more than $50,000 in grants to Kitsap Housing Coalition, Community Frameworks, Kitsap Legal Services & West Sound Treatment Center to support their housing-related services. . .Northwest Housing Alternatives breaks ground for 45-unit Alma Gardens complex for the elderly in Hillsboro. . .Frontier Behavioral Health opens 15-unit Sylvan Place for persons with chronic mental illness, the organization's fourth project funded by HUD's Section 811 supportive housing for persons with disabilities program. . .Multnomah County opens "safety net" dental clinic in downtown Portland that's expected to serve 1,500 a year. . .Thanks to Department of Labor grant, says Yakima Herald, Northwest Community Action Program is launching YouthBuild program to help at-risk kids in Wapato, Toppenish, Grandview and Granger earn G.E.D. and construction skills. . .
The Department of the Treasury has opened the competition for $152 million in CDFI – Community Development Financial Institutions – funding in 2013 to create community development impacts through "community development impact through "deployment of credit, capital, and financial services ." Only certified CDFI organizations may apply and the deadline is February 28th. For more, visit website. February 28th also is the deadline for organizations that are or can be certified as Native CDFI organizations. To apply for $12 million in NACA – Native American CDFI Assistance, see website.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service has set a February 28th deadline to apply for some $19.9 million in grants and loans to help owners of rural multi-family and farm labor housing make repairs to rental properties financed by USDA. This financing is provided through a demonstration program that will help owners address the property's immediate physical needs and ensure the property has the capital reserves necessary to address future needs. Under the demonstration program, some owners also may be able to defer their loan payments to provide funds to address property repairs needs. For more, visit website.
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
Telling The Idaho Statesman it's a "textbook case for urban renewal," City of Nampa and Community Development Inc. moving ahead with plans to transform Sisters of Mercy hospital into 50-units of affordable housing for the elderly. . . Alan Mehrwein of REMAX Equity Group in Lake Oswego named 2012 Oregon REALTOR of the Year. . . Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason and Thurston County celebrates grand opening of Salmon Run Apartments providing 40 units of affordable housing for families in Yelm. . .Human Solutions completes $3.25 million renovation of its Pines Apartments in Portland. . .Bonner Community Housing Agency, says The Bee, is using community land trust model to make homeownership affordable in northern Idaho. . .Thanks to help from Portland Housing Bureau, State of Oregon and Wells Fargo, says Portland Business Journal, Cedar Sinai acquires 54-unit Lexington Apartments and 162-unit Park Tower as part of City's 11X13 campaign to preserve some $101 million annually in Federal rent subsidies. . . Neighborhood Housing Service of Boise's new acquisition & rehab unit completes its first renovation on a foreclosed "empty eyesore" and its new owners moved in just before Christmas. ..Community Frameworks plans SHOPTalk conference on self-help housing March 13th & 14th in Seattle. . .By the end of its first season, the new 1800-square foot next to the Cowlitz County jail yielded, thanks to the work of 15 to 20 inmates, more than 600 pounds of fresh vegetables for distribution to needy families by the Lower Columbia Community Action Programs Help Warehouse. . .Eugene City Council okays use of city-owned site for Opportunity Village, KVAL-TV reports, "a micro-housing pilot project" for the homeless. . .Following a fire that destroyed 41 units of affordable housing in Juneau, Alaska Housing Finance, says Empire, makes $7.5 million in grants and tax credits available to "spur construction of new rental units" in Juneau. After opening Ground for Opportunity in downtown Kelso last August, Lower Columbia Community Action Program takes over Courthouse Café in, no surprise, the Cowlitz County Administration Building to provide, says Daily News, "job-training opportunities for " its clients. . .
Tuesday, December 4th, was a big day in Boise. Meeting at the State Capitol, the City Council's agenda included an ordinance prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing or public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It passed. Unanimously, making Boise the second city in Idaho to put such a law on the books. Pocatello and Idaho Falls, say press reports, may be next. And in each case it will have happened not from the top down, but the ground up because, as Mayor Bieter of Boise explained, it is "something that matters in our community." For more, visit website.
We have the good fortune to work and play and raise our families in a pretty green part of the world. And it's not just about all the trees. More and more, green's becoming a fundamental part of how we do business, something we at HUD see almost every day with news from another partner breaking ground on a green sustainable development in part with our assistance. And when a green project in the Northwest is publicly-recognized. It reflects well on all of us. A project, for example, like the Puyallup Tribal Housing Authority's recently-completed, LEED Platinum NE Long House development up the hill from Commencement Bay in Tacoma. It's been selected as project of the year by the U.S. Green Building Council which called it an ""elegant" melding "of the principles of sustainability with cultural relevance, while providing a contemporary aesthetic." Congratulations to all who were involved. For more visit website.
Thanks to Seattle voters who have repeatedly voted for a housing tax levy, another $19.5 million has been awarded by the City to 10 projects that will help produce 302 units of new and preserve 272 units of existing affordable housing. Organizations winning the funds include the Compass Housing Alliance, Plymouth Housing Group, Community House Mental Health, InterIm Community Development, Seattle Housing Authority, Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington and Low Income Housing Institute. The City's investment is expected to leverage "more than $100 million in" in additional public and private capital funding for the project. "We are a growing city," said Mayor Mike McGinn. "And projects like these help support a diverse and vibrant community. I thank Seattle voters for making these investments in affordable housing possible." Under the terms of the awards, the units will remain affordable for 50 years.
There's simply no truth to the rumor that the "gray" in the name Gray's landing refers to the color of the hair of so many who've spent, thanks a crummy housing market, so many years trying to get the project – the very first affordable housing project in Portland's Waterfront District – off the ground. Fortunately, they persisted and their persistence paid off on December 14th with REACH CDC and the Portland Housing Bureau celebrating the grand opening of 209 new "state of the art" units of affordable housing, including 42 that will be reserved for low-income veterans. That's appropriate since, in fact, the complex is named after the late philanthropist and veteran, John Gray. The $50 million complex has a parking garage, but it's transit oriented. "We were very clear when we did outreach that not all apartments had parking," REACH's Marilyn Maloney told The Oregonian, adding that every resident gets a free, annual transit pass. All the units are "spoken for" with, said Maloney, a "broad spectrum" of residents - retirees, disabled people, small and single-parent families and, of course, veterans.
The big projects in the big cities that get the big bucks usually are the ones that generate the biggest headlines. But small projects deserve them too. Projects like Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's Teacher, Health Professional &d Public Safety Housing Grant Program. Launched in 2003, the competitive grant program is intended to "improve the quality of rural public service housing stock, particularly teacher housing, and potentially have a positive impact on the turnover of rural public service professionals" especially in Alaska's smaller and rural communities. To date, the Corporation has allocated some $64 million to 65 projects in 56 communities – with populations of 6,500 or less – to produce or preserve "over 375 units under the program. Thanks to the Governor and the Legislature, the Corporation has just almost $8.3 million for another 48 units in Stebbins, Napaskiak, Nanwalek, Kotlik, Selawik, Koyuk, Allakaket, Kaltag, Gambell and Napakiak. It reflects a "commitment," says the Corporation's Dan Fauske, preserving the lifestyle in rural Alaska and helping communities." For more about the program, see website.
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
St. Andre Bessette Parish opens Macdonald West, 42 more units of affordable housing for the working poor in the Old Town neighborhood of Portland. . .Two HUD-assisted projects in Vancouver – the 76-unit Vista Court Senior Apartments and the Clark County Food Bank – are among six winners of 2012 Community Pride Design Awards for" their innovative approach to architectural design, community enhancement, public facilities, and commercial development". . .Donors are up 25 percent and dollars are up more than 30 percent to Idaho Housing & Finance Association's online-only Avenues for Housing Hope Challenge to raise "much-needed" funding for Idaho non-profits. . .City of Corvallis tells Gazette more families are now eligible for its zero-interest home repair program. . .HUD updates Market-at-a-Glance report for Eugene-Springfield area at HUD User. . .Central City Concerns' Old Town Recovery Center wins National Health Design Award. . .Washington Community Economic Revitalization Board awards $10.9 million in grants to build "public infrastructure to support local community revitalization and economic development efforts.". . .Juneau Economic Development Council assessment, says Juneau Empire, concludes that city is "starved" for market-rate housing. . .Thanks to contributions from 52 families who are members of St. Barnabas Church, RePower and Bainbridge Island Housing Resources Board are making 104-year-old house energy efficient. . .Bainbridge. . . .Oregon Microenterprise Network honors Hacienda CDC's Portland Mercado project as Innovation of the Year. . .By the end of its first season, reports Daily News, the new 1800-square foot next to the Cowlitz County jail yielded, thanks to the work of 15 to 20 inmates, more than 600 pounds of fresh vegetables for distribution to needy families by the Lower Columbia Community Action Programs Help Warehouse. .Bremerton Housing Authority, reports Kitsap Sun, buys 32-unit Shadow Creek Apartments in East Bremerton to provide affordable housing outside of its revitalizing Bay Vista neighborhood. . . .
WORTH A READ
"It took me awhile, but I eventually realized that I got ahead of my congregation," Pastor Ken Garrett of Grace Bible Church in Portland recently told Anna Griffin of The Oregonian. Garrett left his job as a paramedic to become Grace's pastor nine years ago. Before long, reports Griffin, he "reached out to nonprofit groups that work with homeless men and women and added more come-all coffees and potlucks to the church schedule" and "peppered his sermons with references to the poor." He even arranged to rent the basement to two ministries that "cater to people who are homeless." Attendance at the Sunday worship service doubled. But Church membership- "the ranks of people whose donations help cover" the costs of operating a church – fell by more than a third. "Pushed more by his own unease than any overt pressure from church leaders," Pastor Garrett decided it was time to make some changes in its relationship with the homeless. Find out what it meant for the Church and for the homeless in Griffin's story on-line.
During the last full week of January, thousands of volunteers will brave the wind, the wet and the cold to conduct the annual point-in-time count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. It’s the single best way for HUD and its partners in our effort to end chronic homelessness to have a clear, accurate idea of how many people need our help. The organizations coordinating these counts – generally, HUD-funded Continuums of Care – are always looking for more volunteers. The Portland Continuum is looking both for counters and folks who can help with data entry once it’s collected. You can volunteer by contacting Mary.Welch@portlandoregon.gov. If you live outside Portland and want to donate your services, you can find contact information for the Continuum of Care in your community by visiting HUD’s Homeless Resource Exchange website. We hope you can help and join us and will be very grateful for your support.
There may be some good and important news from comparisons between the January, 2012 and January, 2011 point-in-time counts of the homeless conducted on the past two cold, January nights by Continuums of Care. According to an annual report to Congress submitted in November, there was a three-tenths of a percent increase in the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless people in Washington state from 2011 to 2012, but an 8.3 percent decrease in Oregon, a 10.1 percent decrease in Alaska and a 10.5 percent decrease in Idaho. Nationally, there were 633,782 homeless people counted in January, 2012, essentially unchanged from 2011.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"No one should have to fear losing their job or their apartment because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
That's a matter of fundamental fairness. And it's also a fairly simple concept. Several of Boise's largest employers — Micron, Hewlett-Packard, Idaho Power, J.R. Simplot and St. Luke's Health System — have such anti-discrimination policies on the books. In 2006, Boise City Hall adopted a similar policy for municipal employees. The Boise City Council can take the next logical and sound step on Tuesday. A city anti-discrimination ordinance — addressing employment, housing and public accommodation at a place of business — comes up for a third reading and a final vote. It's a compassionate ordinance — but also a balanced and artfully simple ordinance. It deserves a yes vote. . .We agree with McLean. By promoting a safe, healthy community, an anti-discrimination ordinance is one component of a "21st century city." Its time has come." -- The Idaho Statesman, December 2, 2012, on a scheduled City Council vote to prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
"How do we live in our own homes," asks Jerry the Natural Builder, "without building up crushing debt or being stuck in jobs we hate for most of our lives?" Good question. His answer? "Pod housing," like the "tiny dome house" he's built outside of Cottage Grove for just $200 by scavenging "as many building materials as possible from the local waste stream" Read more and see the result on-line.
NOTES TO NOTE
Washington Department of Commerce sets January 7th deadline to submit Step 1 applications for the Washington Housing Trust Fund . . .Portland Housing Bureau sets January 7th deadline to apply for Affordable Rental Housing funding. . .EPA sets January 7th deadline to apply for Environmental Justice Small Grants Program funding. . . Multnomah County sets January 13th for non-profits to apply for six properties it’s making available through its Affordable Housing Development Program . . .HUD sets January 18th deadline to apply for an estimated $1.6 billion in Continuum of Care funds. . .HUD extends deadline to January 22nd, 2013 to submit ideas and best practices on how it can help implement smoke-free public and multi-family housing. . .HUD sets January 28th deadline to apply for $10 million to establish nationwide Strong Cities, Strong Communities Resource Network. . .VA sets February 4th deadline to apply for $300 million under Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program. . .HUD sets February 4th deadline to apply for Lead Pain Hazard Control grants and Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant. . . USDA sets February 14th deadline to apply for $1.6 million in Tribal Colleges Research Grants. . .Neighborhoods USA sets February 15th deadline to submit nominations for Neighborhood of the Year and Best Neighborhood Program for of the Year for 2013 to be announced at its national conference in May in Minneapolis. . .USDA sets February 18th deadline to apply for $9 million in Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants. . .USDA Rural Housing Services sets February 28th deadline to apply for $19.9 million to produce and preserve rural rental housing. . .Treasury Department sets February 28th deadline to apply for $130 million in Community Development Financial Institutions Program funds and $12 million in Native American CDFI Assistance Program funds. . .USDA sets March 1st deadline to apply for $3 million in Alaska Native & Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions Education Grants.
Alaska Association of REALTORS hosts Leadership Conference, January 7th & 8th, Anchorage.
HUD’s Alaska Office of Native American Program offers Environmental Review workshop, January 8th to 11th, Anchorage.
Northwest Indian Housing Association hosts quarterly meeting, January 10th, Marysville.
HUD Spokane hosts on-line Fair Housing Basics workshop, January 10th, on-line.
The Leadership Series presents Tribal Development Series Boot Camp, January 16th & 17th, Swinomish Casino ^ Lodge.
LeadingAge Washington & Washington State Housing Finance Commission host Effective Models of Affordable Housing for Seniors with Services Symposium, Sea-Tac, January 17th.
HUD Portland hosts Fair Housing Basics workshop, Portland, January 23rd.
HUD Spokane hosts Fair Housing Basics workshop in Spokane, January 24th.
Oregon AHMA hosts BASIC Occupancy for HUD Housing Managers, January 30th & 31st, Salem.
HUD Green Academy hosts Introduction to Green Building for Affordable Housing workshop, February 4th & 6th, Boise. Please note that participants must register for each of the 5 Green Academy workshops in Boise this week.
HUD Green Academy hosts Executive Decision Making workshop, February 5th, Boise. Please note that participants must register for each of the 5 Green Academy workshops in Boise this week.
HUD Green Academy hosts Best Practices for Green Building Operations & Maintenance workshop, February 6th, Boise. Please note that participants must register for each of the 5 Green Academy workshops in Boise this week.
HUD Green Academy hosts Financing Green Building workshop, February 7th, Boise. Please note that participants must register for each of the 5 Green Academy workshops in Boise this week.
HUD Green Academy hosts Energy Performance Contracting for Small PHAs workshop, February 8th, Boise. Please note that participants must register for each of the 5 Green Academy workshops in Boise this week.
Oregon AHMA presents Maintenance Medley workshop, February 8th, Grants Pass.
Oregon AHMA presents workshop on Contract Renewal for PRAC & Section 8 Projects, February 22nd, Salem.
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