JUNE IS NATIONAL HOMEOWNERSHIP MONTH
"Protecting the American Dream"
! ! ! NEWS FLASH ! ! !
HUD posts fiscal year 2010 Income Limits at website.
HUD WANTS TO KNOW
HUD's Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity John D. Trasviña will be visiting the Spokane area on Saturday, June 26th, as part of a nationwide HUD listening tour to help HUD gauge the nature and extent of housing discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community. He wants to hear about the kinds of housing discrimination that's been faced by members of the community to help guide HUD in developing an effective response. Have experiences to share? Then join us from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Moran Prairie Branch of the Spokane County Public Library at 6004 South Regal Street. Space is very limited, so please register at website.
American Baptist Homes of the West breaks ground for $11.7 million, 55-unit Salishan Gardens complex for the elderly Tacoma Housing Authority's HOPE VI revitalization area. . .Washington Department of Commerce awards $14 million in CDBG funds to 14 towns, cities and towns for housing, water and sewer, library and fire station projects. . . Joe Swenson named CEO of Neighborhood Housing Service of Boise, succeeding Connie Hogland who, she says, is "re-retiring". . .St. Vincent de Paul breaks ground on 37-unit Kathy Reed House for the elderly in Coeur d'Alene, bringing the total number of housing units it operates in its three-county service area to 255 reports Spokesman Review. . ."Resurrected this year after a gap after a gap of several years," says Juneau Star, Juneau-Douglas High School's engineering architecture & engineering class expects to complete a 1.500 square-foot, energy-efficient home that could sell for more than $300,000 with any profits "reinvested" in homebuilding projects already planned with the Juneau Housing Trust already planned for the next school year. . .Clackamas County celebrates grand opening of Town Center Station affordable house located near light-rail and across from regional mall. . .USDA Rural Development awards more than $1.1 million to tribes and other organizations in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to, says Secretary Vilsack, "strengthen Tribes and support sustainable business opportunities". . . Catholic Charities Housing Services of Yakima and Office of Rural & Farm Worker housing celebrate grand opening of 51 units of affordable farm worker housing in Royal City. . .Idaho Housing & Finance's Housing Company wins Charles Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award from Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition for its Whitman mixed-finance project in Pocatello. . .Sisters of the Holy Family sponsor a $100,000 loan through the Religious Communities Investment Fund to Proud Ground of Portland to replace a higher-interest conventional loan it had on Svaboda Court townhome development project in Lents area. . .Community Youth Services celebrates its 40th anniversary of serving at-risk young people and families in Thurston, Mason, Lewis & Grays Harbor counties. . . Alaska Federation of Natives tells Tundra Drum that theme of annual conference in October in Fairbanks to be "village survival" to focus on "bold steps to preserve and grow our communities and traditions". . .Open for less than a year, St. Vincent de Paul's new, one-stop H.E.L.P. Center in Coeur d'Alene already has served 11,000 people, executive director Jeff Conroy tells Spokesman Review. . ..
HUD has posted a pre-application notice for the upcoming Choice Neighborhoods Notice of Funding Availability that will award a total of $55 million for neighborhood transformation projects. The notice is intended to "help entities interested in applying for funding under Choice Neighborhoods better prepare for the Notice of Funding Availability, the official federal government application to obtain funding." Eligible applicants include public housing authorities, local governments, non-profit organizations and, for the first time, for-profit developers that submit joint applications with a public entity."We believe," said Assistant Secretary for Public & Indian Housing Sandra Henriquez, it's "absolutely necessary to inform our partners as early as possible" to be "ready when the competition begins."
Application deadline for a total of $40 million that will fund up to 5,300 Housing Choice Vouchers nationwide to expand affordable housing options of non-elderly persons with disabilities and allow them to live independently is July 7th. Up to 1,000 of the vouchers will be for those currently living in institutions or those at risk of institutionalization. For more, visit website.
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
King County Housing Authority reports it's now providing Housing Choice Vouchers to more than 10,000 families comprised of 23,000 people, more than double families served a decade ago, serving. . . RurAL CAP and EPA award one-year environmental demonstration grants to Native Village of Eyak, Chilkoot Indian Village, Pedro Bay Village Council, Native Village of Elim and the Nunakauyak Traditional Council to support new recycling and solid waste collection projects. . .Portland Housing Bureau awards $5.2 million in local and Federal funds to Housing Solutions, NAYA, Central City Concern, JOIN. Sabin CDC and Portland Community Reinvestment to increase "city's stock of affordable housing". . .OIN and Portland Community Reinvestment . . .Peninsula Daily News says Clallam County Shelter Providers Network and Clallam County Housing Authority celebrate grand opening of 14-unit Burke's Place, a HUD Section 811 residence for the mentally ill, in Forks. . .Oregon Community Foundation's Northwest Area Fund awards almost $800,000 to Umpqua Community Development Corporation of Roseburg, NAYA, Community & Shelter Assistance Corporation, Oregon Microenterprise Network, ShoreBank Cascadia of Portland, the Portland Development Commission, the Portland Community Reinvestment Initiative and eDev of Eugene for their efforts to "reduce poverty through asset- and wealth building". . .United Community Action Network celebrates grand opening of Esperanza Circle affordable housing complex in Roseburg and fact that, says News Review,, up to 60 percent of energy it uses will be generated by solar panels on roof. . .Ben Kanohokua of RurAL CAP's Homeward Bound program wins statewide Ernie Turner award for his contributions in, generally, the field of behavioral health and, in particular, addition services. . .Yakima Herald says YWCA has begun $2.7 million transformation of former convalescent home into 16 units of transitional housing for domestic violence victims. . .Albany Democrat says Department of Veterans Affairs in Eugene launches outreach campaign to recruit 35 mid-Willamette Valley homeless veterans for its rental voucher program. . .Blue Mountain Action Council in Walla Walla, Community Youth Services in Thurston County, Crisis Support Network in Pacific County, Housing Hope in Snohomish County, Valley Cities Counseling in King County, West End Outreach in Forks and the YWCA of Seattle & King County win Washington Families Foundation grants totaling "more than $3 million" for "housing paired with support services".
They won't be singing "where have all the flowers gone" anytime soon in Anchorage. Last year, says The Daily News, the Anchorage Assembly cut the City's horticulture budget by $159,000 to about $2 million, eliminating one seasonal gardener's job and shifting eight other seasonal positions from horticulture to parks maintenance. At a maintenance cost of $11 per year per flower, the cut could have meant almost 15,000 fewer plantings in downtown. Calling it a "vital program," Mayor Dan Sullivan urged gardeners, the Anchorage Downtown Partnership and city staffers to come up with a "creative approach" and now they have - the City of Flowers Endowment Fund. The brainchild of Cathy Janigo of the Parks Department, it's hoped that private donations and the first-ever Festival of Flowers in June will reach $1 million, the earnings from which could generate $50,000 a year for flowers. "It's just comforting," said one arborist "to see that we all love our flowers."
STEPPING UP, STOCKING UP
HUD's issued a report to Congress which found that, during the boom years from 2001 to 2007, some 5.9 million American families with very low-incomes not receiving government housing assistance "paid more than half their monthly incomes for rent, lived in severely substandard conditions, or both." Worst case housing, said HUD Assistant Secretary for Policy Development & Research Bostic, "is a crisis that touches families of every type, of every racial and ethnic background, and from every part of the country." Clearly, it's not just about expanding the stock of affordable rental housing, but preserving it. Case in point? Upshur House in northwest Portland. It was near the end of its 30-year rental assistance contract with HUD and its owner considering a sale, potentially displacing 30 families and losing 30 units of affordable housing. Fortunately, with the help of partners, Northwest Housing Alternatives of Milwaukie stepped to the challenge. All told, Northwest Housing Alternatives would spend some $7.5 million to buy and renovate Upshur House. The Network for Oregon Affordable Housing did the financing. Portland's City Council okayed a $460,000 HUD Section 108 loan. Enterprise Community Partners secured $3.4 million in low-income housing tax credits. Oregon Housing & Community Services provided $2.2 million from HUD in Tax Credit Assistance Program funds under the Recovery Act. And, finally, Northwest Housing Alternatives signed an agreement with HUD to maintain Upshur House's participation in the rental assistance program for another 20 years. Renovations start this month. It's "going to continue to be affordable housing for as long as there's any useful life in it," Jonathan Trutt, the non-profit's housing director, told The Daily Journal of Commerce.
Like Portland, the Seattle area faces a serious shortage of affordable housing. No surprise, then, that when the Section 8 rental subsidy contract with the owners of the 60-unit Westminster Manor Apartments in Shoreline was set to expire, its owners put it up for sale with the expectation it would convert to market-rate housing. Partnering with the City of Shoreline, the King County Housing Authority has stepped in and stepped up and bought the complex for $2.75 million, maintain the Section 8 subsidy and preserving affordability. We're "pleased to be able to ensure that this community's seniors, many of whom have lived at Westminster Manor for years, will be protected from unaffordable rents and possible homelessness," said King County Housing Authority Executive Director Stephen Norman. It's the 31st property the Authority has bought as part of its long-term efforts to preserve affordability.
When the Sedro Woolley housing authority was awarded $189,590 in HUD Recovery Act funds in the Spring of 2009, they knew exactly what to do with it. And they didn't waste any time doing it. In October they broke ground on the renovation of Hillsview, a 60-unit complex for the elderly and people with disabilities. The work was finished by April. Improvements included installation of energy-efficient lighting for and upgrades to interior hallways, lobby areas, and the elevator, and uneven floors were replaced with new plywood and carpeting to assist mobility-impaired residents. All fire and apartment entry doors were replaced. The residents are very pleased. "I love absolutely everything that they have done," said resident Joan Mason. "I'm just so grateful that we had this done for us. I feel like it's a gift to us. It's a pleasure to live here." The larger community also is happy. The renovation "helped to spur our local community and economy," said Sedro Woolley Housing Authority Commission Chair Kacy Johnson with some 14 workers from a variety of trades being put to work. "This project was a boon to our business," noted Michael Strom, owner of Old World Construction which served as general contractor. "Not only did I not have to lay off any workers between October 2009 and January 2010, I ended up hiring six new crew members from the Skagit County area for the duration of the project." For more, visit YouTube.
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation okays $1.8 million loan to Anchorage Neighborhood Housing subsidiary to purchase 33-unit Campbell View Apartments in southwest Anchorage. . .Spokane County and cities of Spokane, and Spokane Valley have pooled $750,000 in Recovery Act funds to launch pilot with Avista to offer professional home energy audits to help eligible citizens, says Spokane Mayor Verner, "take control of their energy usage". . .Community Partners for Affordable Housing breaks ground for $10.8 million, 48-unit Knoll at Tigard project, the first housing development, reports Tigard Times, since the City created its downtown urban renewal district. . .With Recovery Act funds, St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County, reports KEZI-TV, has completed installation of solar hot water systems for 150 apartments with more on the way. . .Olympian says South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity breaks ground for final two homes in 15-lot Fairview Cottages development. . .Boise Mayor Bieter announces $334,586 for 29 Neighborhood Reinvestment Grants to, among other things, install a new community garden, build a picnic shelter, repair of sidewalks, build new accessible curb ramps, add historic streetlights and install obelisk commemorating Oregon Trail. . .Auburn Reporter says City Council okays $2.5 million for new almost 10,000 square foot activity center and gym at Les Gove Park. . .NEDCO - Neighborhood Economic Development Partnership - celebrates its 30th birthday by cutting the ribbon on its new headquarters in downtown Springfield. . .NAYA makes "first foray in new construction" thanks to $992,000 Portland Housing Bureau grant for 9 units of modular housing in Lents neighborhood. . .Four girls from Homer Middle School win EPA Region 10 President's Environmental Youth Award by persuading their school cafeteria to stop using Styrofoam cups and their local waste district to start recycling tin cans. . . Yakima Herald says county and 14 cities take "another step toward battling the region's gang problem" by forming countywide gang commission. . . . .Portland Housing Bureau & Portland Development Commission issues request-for-qualifications from non-profits to develop five-story South Waterfront complex with 209 units, including 42 for homeless veterans.
CONGRATS. . .
. .To the Vancouver Housing Authority and the Puyallup Tribal Housing Authority on winning a total of $456,434 in HUD Resident Opportunities Self Sufficiency service coordinator grants and to the owners of the Franklin Grove Apartments in Boise, King Bell Apartments in Milwaukie, Chancery Place in Seattle, Tumwater Apartments in Tumwater and Columbia House in Vancouver for winning total of $755,386 in HUD multi-family service coordinator grants.
CONGRATS TOO. . .
. . .To winners of the Washington Department of Commerce's 2010 "Excellence in Downtown Revitalization Awards," including the Pt. Downtown Main Street Association for its "Meet Me in Pt. Townsend" campaign, Hoquiam's 7th Street Theater Association for its restoration of an historic downtown theater, Our Community at Work in Port Angeles for its downtown painting initiative, Peter LaHaye for renovation of the Woodman Lodge in Snoqualimie, Vancouver Downtown Association's Turtle Place project, Ellensburg's Downtown Association for its model code for historic buildings and the Washington Department of Transportation for helping mitigate the effect of the Hood Canal Bridge closure on downtown Port Townsend, "I congratulate them," said Commerce's Rogers Weed, for their "hard work" in "creating vibrant communities and growing Washington's economy."
NOTES TO NOTE
As part of implementing 2009 Hearth Act that that consolidates HUD's three homeless assistance programs into one, April 20th Federal Register seeks public comments by June 21st on new definitions of homeless. . . HUD & Treasury Department seeking comments by July 21st on "future of the housing finance system, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the overall role of the Federal government in housing policy". . . USDA Rural Development sets June 28th deadline to apply for Rural Business Opportunity Grants for business and community development projects that "help rural communities create wealth, attract more residents and become economically self-sustaining". . .In May 18th Federal Register at website. HUD seeks comments by July 19th on proposed demonstration project on small area Fair Market Rents in fiscal year 2011certain metropolitan areas to determine whether it will give Housing Choice Voucher tenants "greater ability to move into opportunity areas where jobs, transportation and education opportunities" and "prevent undue subsidy in low-rent areas". . . USDA sets June 28th as application deadline for up to $10.1 million in Housing Preservation Program funds for grants to low-income homeowners and owners rental properties for low income to rehab their properties. ..Treasury's CDFI program schedules "Economic Development Strategies in Indian Country" works in Anchorage & Seattle in August. . .April 21st Federal Register notice says Continuums of Care expecting to apply for $1.68 billion in 2010 funds must register by June 4th. . .July 18th is deadline to apply for USDA Rural Development under Section 514 & 516 Rural Farm Worker Housing Grants.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"The difference for vets coming behind me is now there are Housing and Urban Development cash vouchers to enable them to attain housing in a much quicker and affordable way. One of the barriers in our small community is the lack of gainful employment that pays a living wage. The vouchers are a huge benefit to enable these veterans to independent living. Since 2005 I have gone from living on the streets, eating out of dumpsters to living independently, working full time and this past weekend I was able to give my daughter away at her wedding, which was one of the proudest moments of my life." -- Mike Brown of Walla Walla, a formerly-homeless veteran of the U.S. Army testifying before a joint hearing of two subcommittees of U.S. Senate's Appropriations Committee, quoted in The Tri-City Herald, May, 2010.
HUD Spokane hosts Fair Housing Workshop, June 2nd, Spokane. Visit online.
Federal Reserve Bank hosts Washington Foreclosure Prevention & REO Workshop, June 2nd, Seattle. Visit online.
Inland Empire Section of American Planning Association holds annual conference, June 2nd to 4th, Priest Lake. Visit online.
HUD's Office of Native American Programs hosts Asset Building: A Pathway to Economic Self-Determination, June 2nd & 3rd, Spokane. Visit online.
City of Tacoma hosts Foreclosure Intervention Workshop for at-risk homeowners, June 5th, Tacoma. Visit online.
Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians hosts Northwest Native Energy Conference, June 6th to 9th, Warm Springs Reservation. Visit online.
Federal Labor Standards for Contractors Workshop, June 7th, Pasco. Visit online.
RurAL CAP hosts 27th annual Rural Providers Conference, June 7th to 11th, Kodiak. Visit online and www.ruralcap.com.
HUS Seattle hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop for Housing Authorities & Grantees, June 8th, Pasco. Visit
. HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride delivers keynote address at Kulshan Community Land Trust business partner luncheon, June 9th, Bellingham. Visit
HUD Seattle hosts Federal Labor Standards for Contractors Workshop, June 9th, Yakima. Visit online.
Association of Oregon Counties summer conference, June 14th to 16th, Riverhouse Bend. Visit online.
63rd annual Idaho Association of Cities Conference, June 16th to 18th, Idaho Falls. Visit online.
Bank of America Affordable Housing Summit, June 16th, Portland. Visit online.
Renewable Energy Alaska Project hosts 2nd annual Business of Clean Energy in Alaska Conference, June 17th to 18th. Visit online.
Webinar on A-B-C's of FHA Loan Origination. June 17th. Visit online.
U.S. Department of Treasury "How to Certify Your Group as a CDFI" teleconference, June 17th. Visit online.
HUD's Northwest Office of Native American Programs host "How-to's of Becoming an Approved Section 184 Home Mortgage Lender," June 21st & 22nd, Seattle. Visit online.
Annual conference of Washington Association of Cities, June 22nd to 25th, Vancouver. Visit online.
National Community Development Association summer conference, June 23rd to 25th, Seattle. Visit online.
HUD Anchorage hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop for Contractors, June 24th, Anchorage. Visit online.
HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity hosts LGBT Listening Tour, June 26th, Spokane. Visit online.
HUD Portland hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop for Housing Authorities & Grantees, June 30th, Portland. Visit online.
HUD Portland hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop for Contractors, July 1st, Portland. Visit online.
Idaho Department of Commerce hosts the annual Northwest Community Development Institute workshops, July 12th to 16th, Boise. Visit online.
HUD Portland hosts Fair Housing Workshop for Landlords & Tenants, July 14th, Portland. Visit online.
HUD Spokane hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop for Housing Authorities & Tribal Housing Authorities, July 20th, Spokane. Visit online.
HUD Spokane hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop for CDBG & HOME grantees, July 21st, Spokane. Visit online.
HUD Spokane hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop for Contractors, July 22nd, Spokane. Visit online.
12th annual SolWest Renewable Energy Fair, John Day, July 23rd to 25th. Visit online.