HUD e-Briefs from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington
Mary McBride, Region X Regional Administrator (206) 220-5356 Leland Jones, Editor
WELCOME. . .
. . .To Maurice Jones of Norfolk , Virginia, the former publisher of The Virginian Pilot and president of Landmark Media, the largest print and digital organization in Hampton Roads. Nominated by President to succeed Ron Sims as HUD's Deputy Secretary – the second most senior position at HUD – he was confirmed by the Senate in late March and took office in April. Secretary Donovan said Jones has "one of the public and private sector track records" for building consensus he's ever seen. "President Obama and Secretary Donovan have blessed me with the opportunity to join HUD during this critical period when we continue to support a fragile recovery from an historic housing crisis," said Jones. "I'm ready to help continue transforming an organization charged with moving beyond the yesterday's experiences to tackle today's challenges and those we'll face tomorrow."
"Jobs are the way out of this recession," Governor Chris Gregoire said as she signed "a supplemental capital budget" sent to her by the Legislature "that invests more than $1 billion in family wage construction jobs across the state." And it's good news for HUD's housing and community development partners across Washington state, with more than $65 million for almost 40 new housing projects, $5 million for historic preservation and $60 million for the state's drinking water revolving loan program, $25 million more for weatherization, more than $`130 million for safe drinking water and storm water management and $14.8 million for Main Street Improvement Grants. "I'm proud to sign a package," the Governor said, "that makes our state stronger, and invests in Washington's future." For the project list, see website
HUD's reached a settlement under the Fair Housing Act with Magna Bank of Nashville and the Home Loan Center of Irvine resolving allegations that the two lenders denied mortgage loans to women because they were pregnant and temporarily on maternity leave. The Act prohibits housing discrimination in lending, sales, and rental transactions based on a person's sex or family status. "Women shouldn't have to choose between buying or refinancing a home and exercising their right to have a family," said Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity John Trasvina. For more, see website .
Coquille Valley Hospital celebrates grand opening of 51,000, 18-bed facility funded by AFL-CIO Housing Investment Fund and one of two FHA-insured hospital construction projects expected to be completed in Oregon this year. . .Community Frameworks begins housing needs assessment – funded by City of Airway Heights, Catholic Charities and Greater Spokane, Inc. –on how best to reduce the number of residents – currently about 300 households – living in a 10-square-block area adjacent to Fairchild Air Force Base and in an "accident-prone" zone for tankers landing at or taking-off from the airfield. ..Just weeks after expanding services to Gresham – it's already helped four families buy homes there – Proud Ground announces that, thanks to funding from Beaverton City Council, it will start serving that community. . .FHA announces that DEVAL LLC of Irving Texas is the new loan servicing contractor for Secretary-held assets. . . ."I wanted to be sure the apartments were ready when the residents moved in," 18-year-old Nathaniel Brew, a Boy Scout, tells The Gazette in explaining why he took charge of securing "at least five pieces of furniture for all 14bedrooms" at Partners Place, Corvallis' first supported housing for the chronically-homeless. . .104-year-old Margaret Combs cuts ribbon on just-completed, 10-unit Pioneer Heights Apartments for the elderly in Ketchikan, reports KRBD Radio, built on 11 acres of land with a "$2 million view" that was donated by Igloo 7 of the Pioneers of Alaska Women. . .Governor Gregoire names Faith Pettis, a founding partner of the Pacific Law Group in Seattle, to 2-year term as chair of state's Affordable Housing Advisory Board. . .Boards of Habitat for Humanity East King County and Seattle/South King County meet and commit to "move forward to combine the affiliates through merger.
HUD's inviting public housing authorities, tribes and tribally-designated housing authorities that currently administer a Family Self Sufficiency Program for their residents to apply, by May 30th, for $15 million in new FSS funds. . The program provides them with resources to "enable participating families to increase earned income and financial literacy, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and make progress toward economic independence and self-sufficiency." HUD expects some 240 programs across the country to be funded. For more, visit website
! ! ! NEWS FLASH ! ! !
HUD’s posted final annual adjustment factors for properties under Section 8 housing assistance payment contracts for fiscal year 2012 at their website
Need a heads-up on which Census tracts have been deemed eligible for Low Income Housing Tax Credits in 2013? You’ll find them online
"LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION"
Recognizing that "keeping our families healthy is not just about the quality of the homes themselves – but where they are located," HUD Secretary Donovan okays environmental justice strategy for 2012 to 2015 committing HUD to working with local, state and other Federal agencies to ensuring "every neighborhood is vibrant, safe, and provides a healthy future for our children." Read more online
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority selects Ricardo Worl, a 14-year veteran of the organization and currently its vice president for tribal services & loans, as its new president and chief executive officer, reports Capital City Weekly, succeeding Dr. Blake Kazama who is retiring April 30th. . .Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation celebrates grand opening of 13-unit, $2.9 million Cascade Meadows Senior Apartments, "the first and only senior housing development in Cascade Locks". . .Inland Empire Residential Resources breaks ground on foreclosed lot acquired using NSP funds for 37-unit affordable apartment building in Spokane's International District. . .EPA says Seattle and Portland metro areas rank 16th and 23rd among 25 metros with most Energy Star buildings in U.S. . .City Council, reports Bellingham Herald, votes to turn over "better-than-expected returns from the city's housing loan program" to support Northwest Youth Services' new shelter for homeless young people. . .Register Guard says Springfield City Council "offered initial support" for proposal to expand 2009 program that permits homeless families that apply to stay overnight in the parking lots of "about a dozen city churches". . . As work begins on $1 million project to build community center for 50-unit Burndale Homes in Auburn, King County Housing Authority director Stephen Norman tells The Reporter "this project goes to the core of our mission –helping children succeed in school and their parents become economically self-sufficient". .Community Frameworks says it's closed on 16-unit Hoffman Apartments in Spokane that it intends to renovate. . . ". . .Jubilee Foundation/CASA, an affiliate of Broetie Orchards, says Tri-City Herald, breaks ground in east Pasco for 14-building, $11.5 million 95-unit apartment complex for families of agricultural workers. . ."The Jamestown S'Klallams," writes The Port Townsend Leader, "are among the nation's best examples of how a small but determined people, guided by self-reliance and patience, can become a powerful engine for two seemingly conflicting forces: reconnecting to the past and advancing boldly into the future". .Puyallup Tribe of Indians celebrates completion of first 10 units of affordable and LEED platinum housing units and breaks ground for next 10 units in a development newly-named "Place of Hidden Water."
When Catholic Charities Housing Services of Yakima first began developing affordable rental and homeownership units in Mabton, its plans included room for a park where kids could play, families could picnic and the community could gather. And it only imposed one condition – that the members of the community had to envision it, plan it, help fund it and, of course help build it. And now they have, already donating, reports The Yakima Herald, more than 1,500 hours of voluntary labor. And now, thanks to them, a park is growing in Mabton. Read the full story online
Hate to dangle a preposition, but it’s worth reporting that Proud Ground, the Portland non-profit, has lots to be proud of. So does Kelli Jarrell, a grandmother Kelli Jarrell, a grandmother, who’s just bought her first home and thus becomes the 150th person Proud Ground has helped to buy a home in the 13 years since its found. "I worked so hard to buy this home because I wanted security for my children. I wanted them to always have a place to live." Jarrell explained, happy finalize to have gotten what she both wished and worked for. Darn! Another dangling preposition, but a small price to pay for a good story. Find it at online
Something unexpected happened to the Spokane Tribe of Indians on the way to its future. When HUD competitively awarded it a $1.5 million Sustainable Communities Challenge grant in 2010, the path ahead seemed pretty clear. "We came in with grand ideas," The grant was designed to help the Tribe create a Master Plan to identify areas for development of new affordable, energy-efficient housing in areas that will not require expansion of infrastructure and prevent "sprawl" development in open and green space areas of the reservation. Chamisa Radford, the Tribe's planning and economic development director told EarthFIX, "about comprehensive planning, leveraging funds, providing transportation." Made sense. Until, that is, work on the comprehensive plan identified a bigger challenge. "Our basic infrastructure needs a lot of attention," Radford added. How much? Well the sewage system's aeration ponds, says EarthFIX, sometimes flood into the creek, or the rubber lining breaks" and "other times poorly placed septic tanks seep to the surface. consider the fact .". Meanwhile, reports consultant Scott Bradford, the water system has "pumps that are broken, storage containers that are leaking, pipes that are broken –- so that the water that is supposed to come here is now seeping somewhere else; wells that dry up." And when it gets warm, it gets dry, so dry, in fact, that no water flows from the taps at the Tribe's administration building and employees have to be sent home. Lots of bad news, in other words. The good news, though, is that the Tribe's work on the HUD grant has helped lead to a recent EPA Smart Growth grant that will provide the Tribe with the technical expertise to figure out how to fix both systems. "We get to start anew," Scott Radford said. "This community hasn't gone so far down the wrong path that you're kind of stuck in it."
When you first hear of a homebuilder giving-away a home, almost inevitably you'll hear yourself saying "wow, what a stunt." But once you learn the builder has, done it not just once, but 41 times, well, just as inevitably you're likely to say to yourself "boy, am I a chump!." A homebuilder, for example, like Hayden Homes of Redmond, Oregon. Since Robert Watson and his son Hayden moved there in 1989, they've been in the business of building homes. And, yes, making money. But they also believe that to "build a strong home, you must also build a strong community." They do it through their First Story Fund that, working with local governments and non-profits in Oregon, Washington and, now, Idaho, has built homes and given them to families with a zero-interest, 30-year mortgage with no down payment. The Siddiqui family of Meridian - Adile, Belisha and their son Zandler – are the latest family selected for First Story. They'd lived a very good life in Las Vegas But, as happened to so many there, things went very south very fast. They moved to Idaho for a fresh start. But they struggled. "You keep getting slapped around" and "it's hard to put a smile on your face," Adil told Katherine Jones of The Idaho Statesman. "Eventually you don't want to get up." Last August, the Siddiqui family got the keys to their new home. "I felt like a phoenix, in a way," he said. "You get another shot and not just a little chance. This was huge." Read the full account of how their good life turned bad and then, thanks to First Story, their bad life turned good again online.
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Tacoma-Pierce County Habitat for Humanity celebrates completion of fourth of 13 houses that are transforming formerly foreclosed land acquired through NSP into Tacoma's newest neighborhood – Ainsworth Vista. . .Rose Community Development Corporation of Portland celebr4ates 20th anniversary. . .King County Housing Authority passes "milestone," reports White Center Now, with the sale of the first homes in Greenbridge. . .Multnomah County "makes community court history," reports KOIN-TV, by one-day-a-week opening a courtroom at Bud Clark Commons – a resource center for the homeless in Old Town Portland – to adjudicate cases "featuring homeless men and women arrested for street crimes". . .Through first half of fiscal year 2012, FHA's already endorsed 23,886 mortgages in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington, putting it on pace for 8th best year in FHA's almost 80 year history. . .Wells Fargo names Cobi Jackson of Portland as community development officer for Oregon and southwest Washington. . .Restaurant reviews aren't our forte, but next time you visit North Bend, Oregon and need a cup of coffee and something to eat, try the non-profit Crossroads Café where for $1.50 – yep, just $1.50 – you'll get, reports The Cos Bay World, good food and, even better, lots of respect. . .Portland YoutBbuilders' Jill Walters named "director of the year" by YouthBuild USA. . ."It's been a big load off of my shoulders," formerly-homeless Army veteran Darren Spencer tells The News Tribune about the HUD Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Voucher he's received from Tacoma Housing Authority,, "and it just feels good to be able to say I have a place to stay and my kid has a place to lay his head". . .Emily O'Connor named executive director of Lydia House, a transitional shelter for homeless women and their children in Bellingham. . .Attorney Helen Eastwood takes charge of opening Community Development Law Center's newest office in Bend. . .Telling Tri-Cities Herald it's "a phenomenal design," City of Richland celebrates completion of its first ever "custom designed" house and the 17th home built under its Infill Housing program. .Spokane's Habitat for Humanity expects to build up to 14 new homes this year says AP, but, recognizing a changing economy, is also "heavy into rehab," making up to 80 homes energy efficient and renovating another 10 this year. . .HUD issues new guidelines on addressing infestations in HUD-insured & assisted multifamily properties at Notice 12-05. Visit HUD's website
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT. . .
Boring, Oregon and Dull, Scotland have established, Oregonian reports, "unofficial official" partnership and, in subsequent NPR interview, say they might ask Bland, Virginia to join. . .Cause for celebration, too, in Springfield, Oregon that, it's reported, served as model for the hometown of The Simpsons. . .And, finally, happy 50th to Seattle's Space Needle.
Is fair housing out of fashion? Don’t think so. During April, more than 1,000 people attended events hosted by HUD and its partners across the Northwest to celebrate Fair Housing. To all, thank you for joining us.
WORTH A READ
Chicken Little's back in town, warning anyone and everyone who'll listen that the sky's about to fall on FHA – the Federal Housing Administration – which, right now, is insuring almost 300,000 mortgages in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. "FHA needs a bail-out!," he squawks. "It's bankrupt!," he clucks. Strong stuff, huh? But he's got it wrong again. Just ask Carol Galante, acting HUD Assistant Secretary for Housing and FHA Administrator. Though she welcomes "a robust and healthy discussion of ways to further strengthen FHA." But only if it's based on "accurate information." So, what's the most accurate, up-to-date information about FHA? See Galante's blog The Facts About FHA online. Trust us, it'll work wonders on that clucking in your ears.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"If the 21st century is the century of cities, as some observers characterize it, urban America begins the millennium in a strong position. Large cities in the United States—and in particular the nation's broad swath of dynamic middleweights—dominate the economy as in no other region of the world.1 They also loom large in the urban world. Almost one in seven of the City 600, the group of cities that is expected to contribute 60 percent of global GDP growth to 2025, is in the United States. Large US cities are expected to generate more than 10 percent of global GDP growth in the next 15 years, a larger contribution than all of the large cities of other developed countries combined. So although the burgeoning cities of Asia have seized the public imagination, US cities will remain an important part of the US and global growth story over coming decades." – From Urban America: U.S. Cities in the Global Economy, The McKinsey Global Institute, April 2012
NOTES TO NOTE
HUD sets May 1st deadline to apply for $5 million in Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants. . .Oregon Housing & Community Services sets May 4th deadline for public comments on its 20122 Action Plan, 2011-2015 and Citizen Participation Plan. . .Washington Department of Commerce sets May 5th deadline for comments on its 2012 Action Plan on how it intends to use HOME, CDBG. Emergency Shelter Grants and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS funds from HUD. . .Department of Labor sets May 8th deadline to apply for $75 million in YouthBuild grants. . .USDA sets May 9th deadline to apply for $8.6 million in Rural Community Development Initiative grants. . .HUD sets May 11th deadline to submit nominations for HUD Secretary's Award for Community Foundations. .. .HUD sets May 14th deadline to apply for $15 million in Service Coordinators in Multifamily Housing program.. .Portland Housing Bureau sets May 15th deadline for public comments on its 2012 Action Plan on how it proposes to use HUD funds. . .Urban Land Institute sets May 18th deadline to nominate projects for the Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models of Excellence Awards for 2012. . .USDA sets May 21st deadline to apply for up to 150 grants of between $5,000 and $100,000 under its Farmers Market Promotion Program. . .HHS' Administration for Children & Families sets May 25th deadline to apply for Assets for Independence demonstration program. . .HUD sets May 29th deadline to submit comments on proposed rule to streamline mixed-financing requirements of its Section 202 and Section 811 programs and on proposed rule to streamline Housing Choice Voucher "portability". . .Veterans Affairs sets May 30th deadline to apply for $20 million in VA Grant and Per Diem Program. . .HUD sets June 11th deadline to apply for an expected 42 contracts to administer project-based housing. . .Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle sets August 1st to apply for $5.3 million in Affordable Housing Program funds and $4 million in down payment assistance under its Home$tart program (with applications available "on or about" May 15")). . .
- Annual conference of Pacific Northwest Regional Council of NAHRO, April 29th to May 1st, Portland.
- EPA hosts regional Summit of Tribal Leaders, April 30th to May 4th, Grand Ronde.
- FHA hosts Webinar on A-B-C[s of 203k Rehab Loan product & processes, May 1st, on-line.
- Cascadia Green Building Council hosts 2012 Government Confluence, May 2nd, Portland.
- International Living Future Institute hosts 2012 Living Future Conference, Women Reshaping the World, May 2nd to 4th, Portland.
- Annual conference of Oregon Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, May 2nd to 4th, Hood River.
- Annual conference of PHADA - the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association - May 6th to 9th, Seattle.
- Native American Indian Housing Council hosts Pathways Home: A Native Homeownership Guide, May 7th to 11th, Spokane.
- Portland Sustainability Institute hosts EcoDistrict Institute, May 8th to 10th, Portland.
- Oregon chapter of American Planning Association holds annual conference – "Sage Advice from the Desert," - May 10th & 11th, Bend.
- 19th annual Miller-Nash Affordable Housing Conference, May 10th, Portland.
- FHA hosts on-line Webinar on recent changes in FHA policies and processes, May 10th.
- HUD Alaska hosts Succeeding from the Start: Designing Supportive Housing from the Ground Up workshop, May 15th & 16th, Anchorage.
- HUD’s Northwest Office of Native American Programs hosts Turning Up the Heat on Energy Conservation workshop, May 15th, Olympia.
- Washington State Coalition for the Homeless hosts Conference on Ending Homelessness, May 15th to 18th, Yakima.
- Oregon Opportunity Network hosts Spring Industry Conference, May 16th, Eugene.
- Spring conference of Oregon Affordable Housing Management Association, May 16th to 18th, Eugene.
- Northwest Community Land Trust holds annual spring gathering, May 16th to 18th, Corbett.
- HUD hosts free Basics of Fair Housing Webinar, May 17th, on-line.
- University of Washington’s Northwest Center for Public Health hosts Essentials for Healthy Homes Practitioner Training, May 17th & 18th, Anchorage.
- Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians hosts mid-year conference, May 21st to 21st, Lincoln City.
- NeighborWorks America hosts Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Training, May 21st to 25th, Seattle.
- HUD Seattle hosts Basic Environmental Review Workshop, May 22nd to 24th, Seattle.
- 2012 RevitalizeWA Preservation & Main Street conference, May 22nd to 244th, Chelan.
- FHA holds on-line Webinar on latest updates on FHA condominium eligibility, but not on condominium approval process.
- HUD hosts Tribal Leader Consultation on HUD’s Housing Assessment of Native Housing Needs, May 24th, Lincoln City.
- RurALCAP hosts Rural Providers Conference, May 28th to June 1st, Dillingham
- HUD Spokane hosts free Basics of Fair Housing workshop, May 31st, Spokane.
- FHA hosts Webinar Overview HUD Early Delinquency Activities and Loss Mitigation Program for servicing lenders and housing counselors.
- Annual conference of National American Indian Housing Council, June 5th to 7th, Anchorage.
- FHA hosts on-line Webinar on selling REO ("real-estate owned") houses, June 7th.
- 2012 World Indigenous Housing Conference, June 11th to 15th, Vancouver, B.C.
- FHA offers Webinar on HUD Loss Mitigation – Home Retention Options, June 13th for servicing lenders and housing counselors.
- Annual Conference of Association of Washington Cities, June 19th to 22nd, Vancouver.
- FHA offers Webinar on HUD Loss Mitigation Disposition Options – Pre-Foreclosure Sale & Deed in Lieu for servicing lenders and housing counselors.
- 65th Annual Association of Idaho Cities Conference, June 20th to June 22nd, Boise.
- FHA offers Webinar on SFDMS - Default Reporting for servicing lenders and housing counselors.
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