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HUD Highlights E-Newsletter
March 2010
HUD e-Briefs from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington
Mary McBride, Region X Regional Director (206) 220-5356
Leland Jones, Editor

ON THE JOB
It was standing room at HUD Seattle on Tuesday morning, March 2nd, as Mary McBride officially assumed her new duties as HUD's Regional Director for Region X serving Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The oath of office was administered by Deputy Secretary Ron Sims who said Mary is "knows how to build and sustain working partnerships that get things done." Mary, who comes to HUD from U.S. Senator Patty Murray's staff and who previously served as Washington State Director for USDA Rural Development said "Given the importance of HUD to the daily lives and long-term futures of communities big and small, it is an honor to serve as HUD's Regional Director for the Northwest, especially in an Administration so committed to sustainability, accountability and creativity in putting Federal resources to work," As Regional Director, she'll be HUD's liaison to mayors, city managers, elected state and local officials, congressional delegations, stakeholders and customers and be responsible for overseeing the delivery of HUD programs and services to communities, as well as evaluating their efficiency and effectiveness.

FARE WELL
HUD Deputy Regional Director Martha Dilts, based at HUD Seattle, and HUD Boise Field Office Director William Jolley both have announced that they will retire from the Department on March 31st. Martha, who's been with HUD for more than 11 years, plans to travel and, then explore "new ways to stay involved" in the community. Bill who's headed HUD Boise for two years plans to return to Georgia to rejoin his family.

BRIEF BRIEFS
RuralCAP, Alaska Legal Services and Consumer Credit Counseling tap Recovery Act funds to launch housinghelpnowalaska.org campaign "to help Alaskans who are struggling to manage mortgages, rent, loans, credit card debt, and at risk of losing their home". . .Housing Authority of Portland cuts ribbon on the redeveloped 48-unit, 5-story James C. Hawthorne building to house its Bridgeview which serves individuals who are or are at risk of becoming homeless. . .Calling it "just the right thing to do," Pam Tietz, executive director of Clallam County housing authority, tells Peninsula Daily News her authority "plans to consolidate" with "less robust" Jefferson County to provide more housing and programs to residents who may presently be underserved. . . Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announces $749,000 Recovery Act grant to improve broadband infrastructure in Sandy. . .After a decade of "hard work at work worth doing," Krag Johnsen bids farewell as chief operating officer of the Denali Commission, noting that "over $1 billion in Denali Commission funding for infrastructure, training and economic development has been put to work while I have been here". . .Oregon Housing & Community Services' Victor Merced reports that, "so far" it's used Recovery Act funds to weatherize more than 300 homes with an estimated energy savings of 7,240 million British Thermal Units. . Meanwhile, Energy Department reports through February 16th, Idaho ranks 5th and Washington State ranks 9th in percentage of planned units weatherized. .. . .Kitsap County housing authority names Tony Caldwell, formerly with Monterey County, California authority, as its new executive director. . .Wilsonville Spokesman says city's Villebois development has been cited as a "community of the year" by National Association of Homebuilders. . .SeaMar Community Health Center finalizes plans to celebrate completion of 25-unit Cesar Chavez Village town home development in South Park neighborhood of Seattle on March 31st, the anniversary of Mr. Chavez's birth. . .Preservation Idaho taking nominations for 33rd annual Orchids & Onions Awards until March 15th. . .Hoping to save some 29,000 kilowatt hours of energy a year, St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County starts its first solar retrofit, starting to inst 16 solar panels on roof of Mary Skinner Apartments in Eugene.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"If you asked Stanley Tom, the Tribal Administrator of Newtok, Alaska, where the ground beneath residents' feet is literally melting because of the effects of climate change, he would tell you sustainability is about survival itself -- not only about preserving jobs and homes, but the lives of residents. And that's why they're taking historic steps to physically move the boundaries of their town to safer ground. Whether it's revitalizing a town center, connecting affordable housing to transportation and jobs, linking cities and suburbs to one another, or taking extraordinary measures to make the places we live more resilient to climate change, every one of these communities has a different interpretation of what sustainability means to them -- driven not by what Washington says, but by local needs, local markets and local demands. And fundamentally, each of these communities is thinking about the same thing: The future -- how they can meet the needs of today without compromising the futures of their children and grandchildren. That is sustainability." - Secretary Donovan announcing new Office of Sustainability at New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Seattle, February 4th.

HUD WANTS TO KNOW
In February speeches in Portland and Seattle in early February, Secretary Donovan announced creation of a new HUD Office of Sustainable Housing & Communities to "to tie the quality and location of housing to broader opportunities such as access to good jobs, quality schools, and safe streets." Under the direction of Shelley Poticha, one of the Office's first tasks will be distribution of some $100 million appropriated by Congress for regional integrated planning grants. Now, the Secretary would like to hear your feedback, by March 12th, on the how's, what's and why's of the new Office and the grant program. To view the proposals, view online where you'll find all the details. But please remember that we'd like to hear from you by March 12th.

GOT VIEWS?
Want to share your views on or experiences with sustainability directly with Deputy Secretary Sims and Shelley Poticha? Then join them - remotely - from 10 to 11 a.m. Pacific on March 9th or on March 11th for a nationwide sustainable housing and communities Webcast from HUD Headquarters. It's part of a nationwide "listening tour" HUD's conducting to "learn how" the new Sustainable Communities Planning Grant "can best be used to spur local innovations" that will "help communities grown more sustainably." You'll be able to submit questions or comments by e-mail. For more, view online

BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
March 15th is deadline to apply for $4.8 billion in USDA Rural Utilities and National Telecommunications & Information Administration broadband grants. . .Idaho Department of Commerce hosting Rural Forums March 24th in Jerome, March 31st in Fruitland, April 6th in Rexburg, April 7th in Pocatello and April 10th in Bayview to share the latest in community and economic development news and tools with local government and community leaders. . .Tri-City Herald says Gospel Union Mission has purchased 2 four-plexes in Kennewick to transitional housing for the homeless. . .Idaho Mountain Express reports that Hailey City Council has voted to sign a 99-year lease with ARCH to build 24-unit senior housing complex. . .Lee Moore elected chair of Housing Authority of Portland board. . .Spokesman Review says Millwood City Council has voted to endorse Spokane County's regional 10-year plan end homelessness. . .Portland's efforts to promote "water independence" in its buildings wins Beyond GREEN citation from national Sustainable Buildings Industry Council. . . Applications being accepted until April 15th for free house painting in 26th annual Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful drive. . .Citing the economic downturn, with regret Oregon Housing & Community Services has decided to delay the statewide housing conference it had planned for this year until 2011. . . Ketchum Community Development tells AP it's raised more than half the funds it needs to build a town square in downtown Ketchum. . .KDRV-TV says Salvation Army breaks ground for 12-unit Hope House in Medford for homeless families. . .Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announces grants to Umpqua Community Development in Roseburg to support its foreclosure prevention programs, Hacienda Community Development in Portland to expand its Micro Mercantes micro-enterprise program and White Center Community Development in Seattle to start a green jobs initiative. . .Multnomah County, says Oregonian, launches 30 Families in 30 Days program speed process of helping homeless families find permanent housing. . .Vancouver Columbian says "construction crews will soon begin work" on Affordable Community Environment will break ground shortly on $10 million, 48-unit McAllister Village affordable housing development in Fruit Valley neighborhood. . ."I know I've helped thousands of people," Bob More tells Coos Bay World on the day before retiring after 24 years "helping families keep roofs over their head" for Oregon Coast Community Action. . .Walla Walla Union Bulletin says Blue Mountain Action Council and other nonprofits recently completed training by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on how to help clients manage their personal finances. . .Affordable Housing Finance magazine seeking nominations for Readers Choice Awards for projects completed in 2009 or 2010. . .Washington Department of Commerce awards EPA Recovery Act funds to South East Effective Development for lean-up of former Chubby & Tubby site in Rainier Valley to allow development of 68 units of affordable housing.

SMART INVESTMENT
Give credit where credit is due. Even in the middle of a downturn, the Washington Housing Trust Fund remains fully committed to its mission of promoting homeownership. It's just announced the award of $2.5 million to Columbia Nonprofit Housing, the Columbia Valley Housing Association, Habitat for Humanity of Island County. Habitat South Puget Sound, Habitat Tri County, the Homestead Community Land Trust, the Kulshan Community Land Trust, Home for Islanders, Parkview Services Rural Resources Community Action and the Thurston County Housing Authority to provide some 90 affordable homeownership opportunities. About half the funds are going to down payment assistance, a third to self-help projects and the balance to community land trusts. The Fund focused its resources on projects that are in a position to have the new owners will be in their homes by the end of 2010.

SMART WORK(S)
Congratulations to Community Frameworks of Spokane and Bremerton - again! It's one of just four organizations nationwide - the Housing Assistance Council, Tierra del Sol of New Mexico and Habitat for Humanity International are the other three - to win HUD Self Help Opportunity Program (SHOP) grants this year. With the $5.1 million its won and the "elbow grease" of its volunteers, Community Frameworks expects to build 290 homeownership units in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. This is at least the seventh time Community Frameworks has won a SHOP grant. Since 1996, Community Frameworks used "sweat equity" to build more than 2,100 homes in the Northwest.

SMART BET
You may or may not like gambling. But it's hard to argue with how its proceeds are used. Oregon Housing & Community Services, for example, has allocated some $11.3 million in lottery-backed bond proceeds to preserve 519 affordable units in 13 affordable apartment complexes in Ashland, Beaverton, Klamath Falls, Lincoln City, Madras, Medford Monmouth, Mt. Angel, Prineville, Redmond, Willamina and Wilsonville. It's estimated that, if not preserved, the units would cost an estimated $104 million to replace. The allocation also will insure that Oregon continues to receive the Federal rent subsidies associated with the complexes.

BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
USDA says it's holding public forum in Washington on May 14th to "solicit feedback from the public on whether the current method of delivering the self-help program is the most efficient and cost effective" means of doing so. . .Low Income Housing Institute celebrates grant opening of 15-unit, two-bedroom Nova Townhomes for first-time buyers. . .Senators Merkley and Wyden announce $749,000 Recovery Act grant to bring broadband to rual parts of Clackamas County . . .Tacoma Housing Authority says it hopes to secure LEED Platinum rating for Salishan 7, the final phase of the area's redevelopment sparked by a 2000 HUD HOPE VI grant. . .Idaho Housing & Finance Association's Home Partnership Foundation awards 13 emergency response grants totaling $69,600 to homeless providers across state. . . Daily Mirror says Womens Bay wins $475,000 HUD grant to expand fire station to include emergency shelter for residents in the event of disasters like the 2009 mudslide that cut-off town from City of Kodiak. . .Community Frameworks in Washington and University of Idaho win USDA Rural Development grants to promote rural economic development. . .Housing Works in Redmond plans to provide rental assistance to an additional 160 eligible Oregon households. . .March 5th is deadline to submit nominations of outstanding achievement in historic preservation to Washington Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation. . .Central City Concern sets March 10th date for grand opening of Madrona Studio Central, a former hotel that's been renovated to provide 176 units of affordable housing. . .Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority says it will use Recovery Act funds for independent living center for seniors in village of Saxman. . .ROOTS shelter for homeless young people in Seattle's University District, says Seattle Times, wins $7.7 million Raynier Foundation grant "aimed at filling gaps in existing services". . .Juneau Homeless Coalition holds first-ever Project Homeless Connect and already is telling Juneau Empire "this is going to be an annual event".

WORTH KNOWING
First, let's state the obvious - Alaska can get pretty darn cold. Now, the not-so-obvious - piles of insulation alone won't keep an Alaska home habitable in the middle of a deep, dark winter. Too much insulation, after all, can trap moisture and too much moisture means mold and even rotting wood. That's why the Cold Climate Housing Research Center of Fairbanks has put a mobile lab on the road. Inside, reports KTUU-TV, there are "nine different walls, some outfitted with exterior insulation, some with thick insulation, others with a thin sheet and one without any insulation." Each wall is monitored with sensors to test their reaction to changes in temperature and humidity. "We have a lot of concern about the way people are doing their retrofits," explained the Center's Collin Craven. "We know for sure that if you install insulation correctly, you'll reduce how much heat you lose." But what's not as well known in Alaska is how different types of insulation "protect the wall from getting too wet." By summer's end, the Center should have all the data it needs and, by next spring, the "answers to homeowners" about how "they get the energy efficiency, lower fuel bills that they want" without "reducing the lifespan of their house."

WORTH NOTING
March 22nd is deadline for comments on proposed new HUD multifamily closing documents published January 21st at website

DITTO
March 5th is the deadline to submit comments on HUD's proposed implementation of the Secure and Fair Enforcement Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act of 2008 at website

DIT-TWO
Find out more about how HUD's loss mitigation programs work to protect FHA-insured homeowners at-risk of foreclosure in a one-hour Webinar at 11 a.m. Pacific on March 18th Webinar. Register online

DIT-THREE
Bed bugs putting the bite on you and your residents? Learn what HUD multifamily properties are doing to combat infestations in a one of two Thursday, March 4th HUD Webcasts. The first runs from 10 to 11 a.m. Pacific - register online - and the second from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. Pacific - register online

FUNDING-MENTALS
March 12th is date of Oregon Housing & Community Services training via the Internet on its 2010 Consolidated Funding Cycle. . .March 19th is deadline for National Drug Control Policy's drug free communities grant. . .March 31st is deadline for capital grant element of Department of Veterans Affairs homeless provider & per diem grant program. . March 31st is deadline to submit letters of inquiry for Home Depot's Awards of Excellence for Affordable Housing Built Responsibly and for Sustainable Community Development. . .April 1st is deadline to submit letters-of-intent for Weyerhauser Family Foundation grants for children affected by domestic violence. . .December 31st, 2010 is deadline for USDA's Rural Housing Service Section 538 loan guarantees for Rural Rental Housing. . .

COMING UP

Visit HUD Spokane hosts Fair Housing Training, March 3rd, Spokane. More...

Federal Reserve Bank Loss Mitigation & Making Home Affordable Workshop, March 10th, Portland. More...

Annual conference of Idaho Association of Mortgage Brokers, March 10th & 11th, Boise. More...

Pacific Northwest Farmworkers Summit, March 11th & 12th, Portland. More...

Denver Homeownership Center hosts FHA Hot Topics Webinar, March 16th. Registration required at March. More...

U.S. Treasury's Community Development Finance Initiatives Fund hosts How to Certify Your Group as CDFI teleconference, March 18th. More...

HUD Seattle hosts HUD Environmental Training Workshops, March 22nd to 25th, Seattle. More...

HUD Seattle hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop, March 22nd, Seattle. More...

HUD Anchorage hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop for contractors, March 24th, Anchorage. More...

Denver Homeownership Center hosts Webinar on Underwriting the FHA Appraisal, March 24th. Registration required online.

Central Oregon Community Colleges hosts Homeownership Preservation Workshop, March 27th, Bend. More...

HUD Seattle hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop for city, county & state government agencies, March 29th, Seattle. More...

HUD Portland hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop for public, Indian and tribal housing authorities, March 30th, Portland. More...

National American Indian Housing Council presents Combating Prescription Drug Abuse in Tribal Housing, March 30th & 31st, Anchorage. More...

Denver Homeownership Center hosts FHA Lending & Insuring Refresher, March 30th. Registration required online.

HUD Portland hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop for city, county and state governments, March 31st, Portland. More...

HUD Portland hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop for contractors, April 1st, Portland. More...

Oregon departments of business development and environmental quality host Oregon Brownfields Conference, April 6th & 7th, Salem. More...

HUD Portland hosts Basic Fair Housing Workshop, April 7th, Portland. More...

Governor Otter hosts Small Business Summit, April 13th, Boise. More...

Washington Association of REALTORS holds Spring Business Conference, April 14th to 16th, Che Elum. More...

U.S. Treasury's Community Development Finance Initiatives Fund hosts How to Certify Your Group as CDFI teleconference, April 15th. More...

Idaho Affordable Housing Management Association holds annual conference, April 19th to 22nd, Garden City. More...

Washington Affordable Housing Management Association holds annual conference, April 20th to 21st, Wenatchee. More...

Fair Housing Council of Oregon conducts "Fasten Your Seat Belt-It's Been a Bumpy Ride" bus tour "exploring Portland's hidden history of housing discrimination," April 23rd, Portland. Contact Diane Hess, (503) 412-6000, ext. 108.

Pacific Northwest Regional Council of NAHRO holds annual conference, April 25th to 28th, Salem. More...

Alaska Rural Energy Conference, April 27th to 29th, Fairbanks. More...

2010 Northwest Regional Community Land Trust Conference, April 28th to 30th, Portland. More...

4th Biennial Alaska Rural Health Conference, April 28th to 30th, Anchorage. More...

HUD Seattle hosts Basic Fair Housing Workshop, April 28th, Seattle. More...

HUD Seattle hosts Advanced Fair Housing Workshop, April 28th, Seattle. More...

Annual conference of Washington State Coalition for the Homeless, May 12th to 14th Spokane. More...

Annual conference of Oregon Affordable Housing Management Association, May 12th to 14th, Eugene. More...

Grassroots & Groundwork Conference, May 12th and 13th, Portland. More...

U.S. Treasury's Community Development Finance Initiatives Fund hosts How to Certify Your Group as CDFI teleconference, May 20th. More...

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