HUD e-Briefs from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington
Mary McBride, Region X Regional Administrator (206) 220-5356 Leland Jones, Editor
! ! ! NEWS FLASH ! ! !
Fair Market Rents for fiscal year 2013 now in effect and on-line.
More than 2,000 distressed Oregon homeowners are expected to benefit from Oregon Housing & Community Services' decision to expand its Loan Preservation Assistance program statewide. The program provides eligible homeowners with one-time payments – made to their servicers - of up to $20,000 to "pay off past-due payments and become current on their mortgage." To be eligible, homeowners must demonstrate an ability to pay their mortgage and meet several other criteria described on-line. The new program is funded by the U.S. Treasury's "hardest hit" fund and is part of OHCS' Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative that, says OHCS, provided more than $70 million in assistance to more than 6,000 Oregon homeowners.
If you – or someone you know - lost a homes to foreclosure between January 1st, 2008 and December 31st, 2011 and had a mortgage serviced by Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase or Wells Fargo, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t forget that almost 72,000 borrowers in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington are eligible to file claims under the $25 billion National Mortgage Servicing Settlement as partial compensation for the mortgage servicers’ improper conduct. But the claims can be filed no later than January 18th, 2013. So, if you think you’re due, file today by visiting https://nationalmortgagesettlementclaim.com. And if you’re not sure if you’re eligible to file, call the National Mortgage Servicing Settlement administrator at (866) 430-8358. Claims will be paid after the January 18th, 2013 filing deadline.
UNLICENSED & UNWELCOME
Sending a "clear message" that the firms "are not welcome in this state," the Washington Department of Financial Institutions has filed charges of unfair or deceptive practices, obtaining property by fraud or misrepresentation, and unlicensed activity against 40 more businesses it says are "businesses preying on Washington homeowners facing foreclosure." Since 2009 it's taken similar action against more than 150 firms. In many cases, the Department said, the companies failed to perform or presented loan modification offers to lenders that did not significantly improve the homeowners' mortgage. "Based on our experience, doing business with an unlicensed company or attorney will not save your home from foreclosure," said Deb Bortner, director of its consumer services division. "Instead, you will lose whatever you pay them for help, and very likely, your home, too." For more, visit website.
Thanks to a modular design, Native American Youth & Family's $1.2 million, 9-unit Kah San Chako Haws "East House" in the Chinook language – in the Lents neighborhood of Portland is completed in just three days. . .Puyallup Tribal Housing Authority's recently-completed LongHouses complex in Tacoma certified as LEED Platinum while Central City Concern's new Old Town Recovery Center in Portland, a converted Burger King, wins LEED Gold. . .Governor Butch Otter awards $900,000 in Idaho CDBG funds to Kimberly for downtown revitalization, Burley for wastewater treatment, Bannock County for erosion control and Latah County to repair flood-damaged roadways. . .Capitol Hill Housing celebrates grand opening of its 44th building, the 40-unit Jefferson, built on a lot in Seattle that had stood vacant for 40 years. . .National Council of State Housing Agencies confers Awards for Program Excellence to Washington State Housing Finance for communications, Idaho Housing & Finance for innovation in human resources and Alaska Housing Finance for innovation in operations, combating homelessness and special needs housing. . .HUD, says Senior Housing News, "processed nearly $5.5 billion of senior housing loans in 2012 through its Section 232 LEAN program, with volume skyrocketing more than 66% above last year's $3.3 billion record". . .Saving residents of a 10-block "accident potential zone" adjacent to Fairchild Air Force Base who are "living in the blight and substandard homes deserve better," Airway Heights Mayor Patrick Rushing unveils $31 million plan to build 180 units of affordable housing "outside of the area". . .Lincoln Community Land Trust celebrates completion of the second home it's fully-renovated in Neotsu. . .Cities of Lakewood, Covington, DuPont, Edmonds, Walla Walla and Coupeville win 2012 Association of Washington Cities Municipal Excellence Awards. . .With funds from Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions program, Neighborhood Housing Services in Boise launches program, says Idaho Statesman, to acquire and rehab foreclosed or abandoned homes, rehabbing them so that they'll be maintenance-free for up to 10 years and then providing a line-of-credit to low and moderate income families to purchase them for under $200,000.
JOIN OUR INNO-NATION!
HUD’s Innovation of the Day initiative is still looking a few good ideas in advance of HUD’s first-ever Innovation Summit early next year. Actually, it’s looking for lots of good ideas and innovations in housing, community and economic development that have solved problems in one place and can be shared to solve them in lots of others. And, yes, we know you’ve got them. Now, we’d like you to share them with the rest of us by visiting our Innovation of the Day website. Got questions? Contact Patricia Conlen!
USDA's National Institute of Food & Agriculture is now accepting applications for a total of $5 million in Community Food Projects competitive grant funds that will provide "one-time infusions of Federal dollars" of up $125,000 to support development of community food programs that are self-sustaining" or up to $25,000 to assess and prepare a long-term response to food security issues in communities. Only private, non-profit organizations with experience in community food work such as providing food in low-income communities or creating markets in communities for agricultural producers or in food-related job-training or business development programs serving such communities may apply. Applications are due November 28th. For more, visit website.
EPA has set a November 26th deadline to respond to a request for proposals to for "organizing a series of multidisciplinary "national smart growth conferences over a period of five years" that will "attract a large and varied audience." The winning grant will receive $140,000 in the first year and a total of up to $800,0000 over the five years. For more, visit website.
Interior Department sets December 14th deadline to submit letters of interest in joining the Groundwork USA Pilot Funding and Technical Assistance Program. Funded by the EPA and administered by the National Parks Service, Groundwork USA is to "build capacity to improve the local environment and quality of life in communities impacted by brownfields, derelict land, distressed natural resources and other environmental issues" through the creation of "strong partnership" comprised of local governments, schools, businesses, neighborhood groups and others. To be eligible, a community must be receiving – and made effective use of – funds from EPA's brownfields program. For more, visit website.
Want to know more about the what's, why's and whether's of going green? From October 29th to November 16th, HUD's accepting applications from our partners to receive free technical assistance from HUD's Green Housing Technical Assistance Corps. Eligible applicants include housing authorities, CHDOs, local governments, other HUD-assisted housing providers, owners and property managers who want to implement green building and management techniques. Topic areas include diagnostic assessment, green design, energy performance contracting, financing and renewable energy. Submit your request online. Questions? Contact email@example.com.
On October 10th, FHA issued Mortgagee Letter 12-20 to provide underwriting guidelines for Multifamily Accelerated Processing lenders applying for FHA multifamily mortgage insurance on transactions involving properties converting from public to project-based housing under HUD's Rental Assistance Demonstration, or RAD, project. The Mortgagee Letter took effect immediately upon issuance. It includes underwriting criteria, eligibility requirements, application exhibits and the process for HUD application review when an FHA insured mortgage is proposed for a project converting assistance under RAD. Congress HUD to allow housing authorities to convert up to 60,000 public housing units to project-based units which is expected, will permit them to more easily leverage private investment capital to help preserve the stock. Authorities had until October 24th to apply to convert units under RAD. For more, see Mortgagee Letter 12-20 online.
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
King County Housing Authority celebrates grand openings of new community centers at Valli Kee public housing in in Kent and Woodridge Park in Burien. . Idaho Association of REALTORS names Tiffanie Mae-Ganske of Pocatello as its 2012 REALTOR of the Year. . .Orcas Power & Light wins $38.4 million in USDA funds to build and make smart grid improvements to 109 miles of electricity distribution lines. . .Oregon Association of REALTORS' Taste of Portland raises $40,000 to support affordable housing grants awarded by its HOME Foundation. . .With the end of Ride Free Area in downtown Seattle, Solid Ground, Metro Transit and City of Seattle partner to provide free circulator bus service on 4.5 mile fixed route in downtown. . .East Central Community Organization holds open house for 8-unit Rose Apartments that was "completely rehabbed inside and out," says SLIHC Report, with funds from Neighborhood Stabilization Program, HOME and Spokane Teachers Credit Union. . .Coeur d'Alene Tribe celebrates grand opening of $17.3 million Benewah Medical & Wellness Center in Plummer, funded in part by Affordable Care Act. . .Bob Peeler of SNAP in Spokane, John Williamson of the Lower Elwha Housing Authority, Cindy Erickson of the City of Seattle's Office of Housing, Harry Burlingame of Tacoma/Pierce Habitat for Humanity Rick Friedhoff of Compass Housing, Blill Block of the King county Committee to End Homelessness, Bud Alkire of the Everett Housing Authority and Tom Tierney, formerly of Seattle Housing Authority, honored at 2012 Housing Washington conference for "positively impacting affordable housing across Washington state". . . Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority, Seattle Police & Impact Capital win MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Award . . .After some 150 Portland families buy a home, Proud Ground helps its very first Beaverton family become a homeowner. . .Thanks to Idaho Housing & Finance Association grant, ARCH Community Housing Trust buys vacant, foreclosed Hailey duplex and Bellevue house says Sun Valley Online, to be renovated and re-sold by Habitat for Humanity of Blaine County. . .Proud Ground and Clackamas Community Land Trust "join forces" as Proud Ground to serve Multnomah, Washington & Clackamas counties. . .Thanks to New Market Tax Credits, construction finally begins on $26 million, 54,000 square-foot community health clinic in Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma that's expected, says New Tribune, to serve 17,000 patients annually. . .HUD Spokane Field Office Director Bill Fattic retires.
When a job's well done, most folks sit back and take a bit of a break before jumping into something new. Not at the Cook Inlet Housing Authority in Anchorage. In mid-October, for example, The Anchorage Daily News reported, the Authority, with funding from the State Legislature, took the first steps on its plans to to revitalize the city's Spenard neighborhood. "Nothing unusual about that," you might say. "That's what housing authorities are supposed to do." Agreed, but it's worth noting that just two weeks earlier the Authority had just celebrated the completion in collaboration with the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation of one of the largest affordable housing complexes in Alaska. It's called Lousac Place, a 120-unit, $36 million mixed-income workforce housing complex. It's located between downtown and midtown and just across the street from a park, on a site once occupied by Lousac Manor, a 62-unit, 40-year-old public housing complex that looked like "cramped, military-like barracks." Carol Gore, Cook Inlet's executive director, says its successor, Lousac Place, is a a place where families can grow and The Daily News, it "look more like a small town." Carol Maybe of greater importance, adds The Daily News, Lousac Place is "one answer to Anchorage's affordable housing needs." It sure is. Even before its doors opened or its ribbon with cut, Lousac Place had received four more times applications than it had units. And probably is why Cook Inlet didn't take a break but went straight to work on its plans for the Spenard neighborhood. After all, there are lots more Anchorage families that need an affordable place to grow.
OUT OF THE WOODS
"If you build it, they will come," especially, it turns out, if the "they" already are there. Which is why the Department of Veterans Affairs has set aside a parcel of land on the grounds of its medical center in Roseburg to provide permanent housing for homeless veterans. There'll be plenty of demand. After all, "nearly half" of the state's estimated 1,500 homeless veterans live in southern Oregon, many because they want to be close to the VA hospital. "A lot of veterans come here for outpatient services," Umpqua NeighborWorks executive director Betty Tamm told Reed Jackson of The Daily Journal of Commerce. "They hang out somewhere – under the bridges or in the forest – so they can get to their service." That's about to change. In collaboration with Umpqua Community Action Network – UCAN – Umpqua NeighborWorks has begun construction of the $12 million, 11-building, 54-unit Eagle Landing to provide vets with "stable housing and provide services to help them reintegrate into society." Funding is being provided by, among others, the VA, Oregon Housing and Community Services and the Meyer Memorial Trust.The Housing Authority of Douglas County will provide HUD rent subsidies for all 54 units. Tamm's still surprised Umpqua NeighborWorks won the rights to the project. "I sort of thought a monster developer from out of state would swoop in and develop this," she said. "We're very grateful to have it." So too, we'd be pretty sure, are the vets who'll have the chance to call Eagle Landing home.
Smoked turkey and wild rice soup on a not-so-balmy October day in Coeur d'Alene. It's even better, it seems, when the soup's served in one of 200 bowls "of all colors, sizes and shapes" handmade, reported Bill Buley of The Coeur d'Alene Press, by ceramicists from Art on the Edge, North Idaho College, the Clay Arts Guild of North Idaho and Clay Connection in Spokane. It was all part of the 2nd annual Bowls on the Edge to raise funds for transitional housing programs run by St. Vincent de Paul of Northern Idaho. The soups were contributed by Bardenay, 315 Martinis and Tapas and Moon Time. Last year's event raised around $850. This year? Well, almost certainly more. "People, when they look at the bowls, when they pick them up, it gives them a connection," explained Art on the Edge director Jeni Riplinger. "This is just right on a day like this," agreed Ellen Moore. "Plus, we're helping some others who need a little help."
Just like it takes a special person to live in Arctic, so too it takes a special kind of home. Which is what makes the Cold Climate Housing Research Center's new Your Northern Home interactive Web site is so useful. It doesn't worry about the right foundation or heat system or insulation or roofing or power source or ventilation for a one-size-fits-all home in Anywhereville, U.S.A. It's only concern is what works – and, of equal importance, what doesn't - in homes in the Arctic. You'll find it online.
HUD's Policy Development & Research arm has just released a map-based look-up "app" with which to determine the Fair Market Rent and income limits for any HUD-assisted property in the country with Android or Apple iOS smart phones. It's free online.
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Spokane Housing Ventures celebrates its 20th anniversary in November. . .The South Central Idaho Community Action Partnership is one of two sites nationwide to celebrate weatherization of one-millionth home since April 2009 including 760,000 homes weatherized with Recovery Act funds, over 100,000 more homes than originally expected. . .Staff from office of Idaho Attorney General Wasden begins making free-one hour presentations in communities across state on "foreclosure prevention, Idaho's foreclosure process, and how the national mortgage settlement will affect Idaho homeowners". . ..Seattle Housing Authority announces agreement to sell half-acre parcel in Yesler Terrace area for private development of housing, the first of its kind in under area's transformation initiative. . .Catholic Charities Housing Services of the Yakima Diocese begins construction of 41-units of farmworker housing in Grandview and a 51-unit complex in Quincy, its first development in that "growing community". . .RurALCAP one of six community action agencies nationwide to win national Community Action Partnership Entrepreneurship & Innovation Award. . ."Nearly 50 employers," says Coeur d'Alene Press, including Avista, Idaho Forest Group, Costco, Home Depot, U.S. Bank and Lowe's attend Stand-Down and Job Fair with one commenting "I'm seeing strong work ethic.". . .HHS awards Hacienda CDC almost $800,000 to fund rehabilitation of a Portland building that, beginning in 2014, will serve as home to its Mercado. . .City of Spokane, Downtown Spokane Partnership, the Public Facilities District, Visit Spokane and Spokane Arts Fund launch new partnership to provide, says Mayor David Condon, "a broader base of support for the arts for the future of our community". . .The new Martha's House family shelter already has received financial support from, among others, Oregon Community Foundation, Banner Bank , Innovative Housing, Inc. breaks ground for 50-unit Eliot MLK Building in Portland. . .City of Hermiston, Good Shepherd Foundation and Umatilla County, but now elderly residents of Desert Sage Apartments have joined in, making and donating 24 quilts says Hermiston Herald for families who soon will move in. . .,Privately-owned, HUD-subsidized apartment complexes in Chewelah, Colville, Lakewood, Lewiston, North Bend, Reedsport, Seattle, Spokane Valley, Sumner and Walla win $2.2 million in HUD Multifamily Service Coordinator grants..
It's bragging time again, folks! HUD and the American Institute of Architects have set a November 30th deadline to submit nominations for the 2013 Housing & Community Design Awards recognizing "excellence in affordable housing, community-based design, participatory design and accessibility" Only new construction, renovation and restored developments or projects completed after January 1, 2008, will be considered for this award. Submissions to all award categories with the sole exception of the Community-Informed Design Award must include housing or a housing element. Also, submissions to all award categories must serve low- or mixed-income occupants and users (defined by either a minimum of 20 percent of occupants earning a maximum of 80 percent of the area median income, or by the funding sources utilized); the sole exception to this eligibility requirement is the Alan J. Rothman Award for housing accessibility, although affordability is a selection criteria. For more, visit website.
WORTH A READ
The Federal Housing Administration – FHA - has been in the business of promoting affordable homeownership for almost 80 years. But what, you may ask, has it done for us lately?.Well, concludes the Center for American Progress, how about preventing "a complete collapse in the housing market, likely saving us from a double-dip recession" in the aftermath of the nation's deepest, darkest economic downturn since the Great Depression. "Without the agency's support," the Center writes, "it would have been much more difficult for middle-class families to get a home loan since the crisis began. Home prices would have plummeted even further, households would have lost much more wealth than they already did during the crisis, and even more families would have lost their homes to foreclosure." And it did all this without taxpayer funding. For more, see website.
There's proof pretty close to home of the critical role that, the Center for American Progress, FHA has played while the private mortgage market has limped along. During fiscal year 2012, FHA endorsed 52,475 acquisition mortgages in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. It wasn't the best year in FHA's almost 80-year history in the Northwest – that was 2009. Nor was it the second-best year. That was 2010. But 2012 was FHA's sixth-best year in the past 80, generating mortgages with a total dollar value just under $10.6 billion, the fourth-highest total since FHA opened its doors for business. The short and sweet of it? FHA's been there when we needed it.
Talk about having a solid year. "Despite reductions in staff," USDA Oregon reports, it closed a near-record 2,688 home loan guarantees and 83 direct loans, provided financing for 11 multi-family complexes and provided rental assistance to just under 3,500 families, supported five community and water and waste projects.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"Because of the work we've done to pull together, today we stand at a far more encouraging moment. Because we provided help to homeowners facing foreclosure and the communities they live in, the number of people falling into foreclosure is the lowest it's been in five years. In fact, places with targeted neighborhood stabilization investments have seen vacancies fall and home prices rise. Because we jumpstarted developments stalled by the economic crisis, we not only provided critical affordable housing during the crisis -- we also saved the tax credit for future generations. And because we provided families with rent, basic case-management services and something as simple as a security deposit or utility payment, more than 1.3 million people were saved from homelessness. Cities report that about 90 percent of families who received rapid re-housing assistance through the Recovery Act remain housed today. And no less than the US Conference of Mayors say that HPRP is "fundamentally changing" the way communities respond to homelessness. None of this is to say the job is done. But taken in tandem with the best year of home sales since the crisis began--with the number of underwater homeowners dropping 11 percent since end of last year and home price improvements in the first half of this year lifting 1.3 million families above water--our housing market has momentum we haven't seen in over five years." HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan at Housing Washington in Tacoma, October 17, 2012. For the full keynote address, please visit website.
NOTES TO NOTE
USDA sets November 5th deadline to apply for "for technical assistance grants to develop domestic and migrant farm labor housing.". .EPA sets November 14th deadline to apply for funds to offer technical assistance to communities on brownfields issues. . .HUD sets November 19th deadline to submit nominations to serve on a negotiated rulemaking committee to develop "regulatory changes to the funding formula for the Indian Housing Block Grant". . .EPA sets November 26th to respond to request-for-proposals seeking organization to put together series of national smart growth conferences over next 5 years. . .USDA sets November 28th deadline to apply for up to $5 million in Community Food Project Competitive Grants.. .HUD sets November 30th deadline to submit nominations for AIA & HUD Secretary's Housing & Community Design Awards. . .Interior Department sets December 14th deadline to submit letters of interest in participating in the EPA and National Park Service's Groundwork USA Pilot Funding Project.
Home Forward, Portland’s housing authority, opens Housing Choice Voucher waiting list until November 10th.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden sponsors Foreclosure Workshop, November 5th, Lewiston.
Idaho AHMA offers Fall Compliance Conference on Low Income Housing Tax Credits, November 5th, Coeur d’Alene.
Idaho AMA offers Fall Compliance Conference on HUD Section 8, November 6th, Coeur d’Alene.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden sponsors Foreclosure Workshop, November 6th, Lapwai.
Oregon AHMA hosts Maintenance Medley workshop, November 7th, Salem.
Urban Land Institute Northwest hosts Emerging Trends in 2013 in Seattle presentation, November 7th, Seattle.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden sponsors Foreclosure Workshop, November 7th, Orofino.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden sponsors Foreclosure Workshop, November 8th, Moscow.
Basics of Fair Housing Webinar, November 8th, on-line.
Idaho AHMA offers Fall Compliance Conference on HUD Section 8, November 8th, Idaho Falls.
Sustainable Connections hosts Sustainable Design & Development Conference, November 8th, Bellingham.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden sponsors Foreclosure Workshop, November 9th, Plummer.
Urban Land Institute Northwest hosts Emerging Trends in Portland in 2013 presentation, November 13th, Portland.
Annual meeting of Alaska Chapter of American Planning Association, November 11th to 13th, Anchorage.
Annual conference of Alaska Municipal League, November 11th to 16th, Anchorage.
Annual conference of Washington State Association of Counties, November 13th to 16th, Wenatchee.
Annual conference of Oregon Association of Counties, November 13th to 15th, Eugene.
Future Energy Conference, November 13th & 14th, Seattle.
Idaho AHMA offers Fall Compliance Conference on HUD Section 8, November 13th, Idaho Falls.
NAHASDA Essentials – an introduction to the Native American Housing & Self Determination Act, November 13th to15th, Anchorage.
Portland Housing Bureau hosts public hearing for residents of Gresham, Portland and Multnomah County to comment on how up to $19 million in Federal housing funds should be allocated, November 14th, Portland.
Idaho AHMA offers Fall Compliance Conference on Low Income Housing Tax Credits, November 14th, Idaho Falls.
Inland Northwest Partners hosts winter meeting on Fostering Entrepreneurial Communities, November 14th, Hayden.
Annual meeting of San Juan Community Home Trust, November 14th, Friday Harbor.
Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians hold Sovereignty Summit, November 19th & 20th, Centralia.
Spokane Tribe, EPA and Washington State Extension host workshop on Radon, Weatherization & Indoor Air Quality, November 27th to 29th, Wellpinit. For more, contact email.
Idaho AHMA offers Fall Compliance Conference on Low Income Housing Tax Credits, December 3rd, Boise.
Northwest Office of Native American Programs offers training on preparing Indian Housing Plans & Annual Performance Reports, December 4th to 6th, Seattle.
Idaho AHMA offers Fall Compliance Conference on Low Income Housing Tax Credits, December 4th, Boise.
Idaho AHMA offers Fall Compliance Conference on HUD Section 8, December 5th, Boise.
Idaho AHMA offers Fall Compliance Conference on HUD Section 8, December 6th, Boise.
Idaho AHMA offers Fall Compliance Conference on Rental Development, December 7th.
Alaska Commission on Aging hosts Alaska Senior Housing Summit, Anchorage, December 12th. Contact email.
* * * *