You're invited to join Habitat for Humanity of Seattle/South King County, HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims, up to 60 mayors from across the country and the Seattle Housing Authority at 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 3rd, for a celebration of World Habitat Day at the dedication of a four-plex in Rainier Vista built by 4 families and Habitat volunteers. Details at website
HITTING THE STREETS
A few months back many were worried Recovery Act funds would drip, drip, drip onto the street slower than molasses on a cold winter's day. Zip, zip, zip is more like it. On September 22nd, for example, HUD Secretary Donovan announced the allocation of $20.2 million in HUD Community Development Block Grant funds provided under the Act to 38 units of state and local government. It's big news for those communities, but just as big for taxpayers since, as the Secretary noted, it meant that HUD had allocated more than $10 of the $13.6 billion - or more than 75 percent - in Recovery Act funds in its charge. Consider it a case study in "anti-molassification.".
SUPPORT FOR SUPPORTIVE
Saying "senior citizens and persons living with a disability should never have to worry about being able to find a place to live," HUD Secretary Donovan has announced the availability of $511 million in interest-free capital advances to nonprofit organizations involved in developing supportive, affordable housing. In addition to the advances, successful grantees will also receive Project Rental Assistance to "cover the difference between the residents' contributions to rent and the HUD approved cost of operating the project." Applications for the $420.9 million in Section 202 supportive housing funds are due November 13th for the $90 million Section 811 supportive housing for persons with disabilities funds are due November 16th. HUD will host 202/811 workshops for interested applicants on October 13th at HUD Portland and October 14th at HUD Seattle and "live meetings" on October 15th and 16th. For details, see Coming Up below or register online.
More than 600 attend the 2009 Housing Washington conference in Spokane, including keynoter and HUD Deputy Secretary Sims who returns to his hometown for the first time since his U.S. Senate confirmation earlier this year. . .Clackamas Community Land Trust breaks ground for Juneberry Lane, a 6-duplex subdivision that should qualify for LEED platinum rating. . .Idaho Housing and Finance Authority allocates almost $5.3 million in TCAP and $25.4 million in TCEP funds to 13 projects to "jump start" 476 units of affordable housing in St. Maries, Boise, Post Falls, Buhl, Montpelier, Caldwell, Idaho Falls, McCall, Fruitland, Marsing, Chubhuck, Grand View and Ketchum. . .Salem Housing Authority demolishes Orchard Park apartments because of persistent mold issues. . .Kitsap Sun says Bremerton reaches accord with Home Street Bank to cut mortgage closing costs an average of $1,700 for city employees buying or refinancing a home. . .St. Vincent de Paul in Coeur d'Alene and Spokane United Methodist Homes win HUD pre-development grants "to help them," said HUD Secretary Donovan, "cope with the complexities of developing vitally important elderly housing". . .Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announces $500,000 loan to South Central Oregon Economic Development in Klamath Falls "to spur economic development". . .Thanks to support from City of Anacortes, Boeing, Anacortes North Kiwanis, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Medina Foundation, Washington Housing Trust Fund and Anacortes Housing Authority, some 250 guests celebrate grand opening of 8,000 square-foot, 9-unit Anacortes Family Shelter. . . Interlm Community Development Association celebrates grant opening of $125 million, 51-unit Samaki Commons in southeast Seattle where buildings may be painted yellow, red or orange but all are "green" and designed to accommodate large families. . .Social Services of Snohomish County celebrates opening of 39-unit, $12.5 million Hawkins House for the elderly in Lake Stevens. . .Attorney General Holder awards $499,978 to Klamath Falls Crisis Center to help victims of domestic or sexual violence obtain transitional housing.
NEWS TO NOTE
The National Housing Act requires that elderly homeowners seeking an FHA Home Equity Conversion Mortgage - a "reverse mortgage" - must receive counseling "provided by counselors who meet qualification standards." A final rule published in the September 2nd, Federal Register establishes a roster of counselors who have met these standards and from which counselors should be chosen. For more, visit
WORTH NOTING TOO
Is your organization thinking of applying for 2009 HUD Continuum of Care grants? If so, in addition to being "all square" visit website with, you need to make sure you're all square and registered with e-snaps visit website.
If you're a lender, broker appraiser or REALTOR who wants to do business with FHA - and who doesn't? - it's time to check your mail. Over the past few weeks, FHA has issued a host of new Mortgagee Letters on revised streamline refinances, HECM, appraiser independence, the portability and period validity of appraisals and strengthening counterparty risk. Time, we'd say, to check your mail at website.
Ready to strut your architectural stuff? The American Institute of Architects and HUD have begun accepting nominations for the 2010 Housing & Community Design Awards. Applications are due December 1st and can be submitted in any of four categories - Excellence in Affordable Housing Design, Creating Community Connections, Community Informed Design and Housing Accessibility. Only projects completed after January 1st, 2005 are eligible for consideration. Winners will be announced at the 2020 American Institute of Architects convention June 10th to 12th in Miami. For more, visit website.
The Oregonian's Anna Griffin on one kind of renter discrimination that remains perfectly legal visit website
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
HUD okays new HOME Consortium comprised of Yakima County and cities of Sunnyside, Grandview, Toppenish, Union Gap, Mabton and Wapato. . .Office of Rural & Farmworker Housing holds celebration in Yakima for 30 years of "developing affordable housing for farmworkers, their families and other rural Washington residents". . . Ilisagvik College in Alaska and Northwest Indian College in Washington each win $220,000 USDA Tribal College Grants. . .Calling it a "win-win," Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's Dan Fauske says mortgage rates for first-time homebuyers and veterans have fallen another.5 percent to the "lowest rates available" in the state. . .Northwest Housing Alternatives and City of Wilsonville breaks ground for $15 million, 84-unit Creekside Woods elderly complex. . .Northeast Housing Solutions sets November 1st for grand opening of its "historic" - and green - "gem," The Pearl on Adams in downtown Spokane. . .Oregon Housing & Community Services awards $690,000 grant to Housing Works enabling it to "move forward" with 6-unit Barbara's Place supportive housing for homeless adults with mental illness in Redmond, Oregon. . .Archbishop Brunett confers blessing on Archdiocesan Housing Authority's new 25-unit Santa Teresita del Nino Jesus in west Seattle. . .Telling Statesman Journal they're trying "to help kids out and keep them from winding up here," 120 inmates at Oregon State Penitentiary inmates raise $1,000 and donate it to HOME Youth & Resource Center's day-shelter for homeless teens in Salem. . .Department of Commerce urges Washingtonians who "believe they might be exposed to lead in their homes" to apply for Recovery Act funds that will "control lead based paint" in more than 160 houses statewide. . . .Elderly residents of HUD-assisted Providence House in Portland get "cyberized" with opening of Neighborhood Network computer center. . .King County Council okays conveyance of parcels totaling almost 24 acres to developers to create more green, affordable housing in Renton, Federal Way and South Seattle. . .Housing Works in Bend tells KTVZ-TV it will use Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds to acquire 16 houses that will be available through its Ground Lease program which "separates the ownership of the home from the ownership of the land" making homebuying "very affordable". . .Everett City Council okays plan to transform "surplus" Oswald Army Reserve Center into a 60-bed shelter for victims of domestic violence. . . Wanting to preserve two houses "that they don't build" like "this anymore," Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services gets help from City of Corvallis and Community Frameworks to re-locate them to a new community land trust and tells The Gazette the vacated parcels will be used for a new affordable multifamily complex. . .Stand Down, Inc., hosts "stand down" at Ft. Richardson to offer veterans, it told The Alaska Star, "one stop shopping" for services instead of having to trudge all around Anchorage.
THE "E" IN HUD
"E" as in "education." At the Federal level education is, first and foremost, the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Education. But HUD also has long realized the critical role that an institution of higher education plays in maintaining the strength and viability of the communities which surround them. That's why it maintains an Office of University Programs charged with building good relations between universities and colleges and the neighborhoods that live next door. And, it's also why, HUD has just awarded almost $1.5 million to the Kuskokwim and Bristol Bay campuses of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks under its Alaska Native Institutions Assisting Communities program. They'll use the funds to collaborate with native villages to promote economic development projects. It's also why HUD has just awarded $1.2 million to Heritage University in Toppenish and Columbia Basin College in Pasco under HUD's Hispanic Serving Institutions Assisting Communities program. "Beyond the tremendous influence these colleges and universities have in molding young minds," said Secretary Donovan, they also are "powerful forces for community and economic revitalization."
THE "R" IN HUD
It's a fact often overlooked, but HUD's mission, as Secretary Donovan recently note, "reaches every corner of our country," including rural communities that, he said, are as "desperate" for jobs and affordable housing as New York or Chicago or Los Angeles. Which is why, in September, he announced the award of some $2.2 million in HUD Rural Housing & Economic Development grants to eight organizations - the Chilkoot Indian Association, Ketchikan Indian Community and Organized Village of Kasaan in Alaska, the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians in Oregon and the Lummi Indian Nation, the Makah Tribe, Quinault Indian Nation and the Spokane Tribe in Washington. The funds will be spent on critical development opportunities, from creation of micro-loan programs to expansion of a food processing plant, from building more affordable housing units to starting a tribal construction company. After all, just like cities, in good times and especially in bad, he added, rural communities are "important to our nation's economic health."
THE "G" IN HUD
Believe it or not, the nation's economic downturn presents an economic opportunity. If, that is, we "go green." HUD is wasting no time doing precisely that. Using Recovery Act funds, in September HUD competitively awarded $18.8 million to make 10 public housing complexes in Bellingham, Eugene, Everett, King County, Seattle and Vancouver more energy-efficient. The funds, said Secretary Donovan, "will not only reduce energy costs for public housing authorities and mitigate negative environmental impacts, but will also create much-needed 'green' jobs across the country."
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Governor Kulongoski announces awards of $47 million in HUD and Treasury Recovery Act funds to "restart" the "development, acquisition and rehabilitation of 997 units of multifamily housing in Astoria, Bandon, Bend, Boardman, Eugene, Gresham, Hermiston, Hood River, Klamath Falls, McMinnville, North Bend, Ontario, Portland, Roseburg, Seaside, Sherwood, Sweet Home, Tigard and Troutdale. . .Vancouver Housing Authority wins $275,256 HUD Family Unification to help reunite children in or at risk of being in foster care with their families. . ."Thousands of people gathered," reports KMVT-TV, "in the Twin Falls city park for the 3rd annual South Central Community Action Partnership". . .Corvallis City Council decides to "formally partner" with Benton County to "help curtail homelessness over next 10 years through additional resources and housing". . .Alaska Housing Finance okays $2.6 million loan for replacing 50-year-old Fairview Manor in Fairbanks with 96 units of senior housing and 130 affordable units for families. . Figuring "if we could get the junk out of the creek, we could get junk out of the community," for second year Puyallup Tribe and City of Tacoma join forces to clean up First Creek. . . .Portland YouthBuilders students complete construction of first Energy Star home, a 4-bedroom in Lents neighborhood, with help from Oregon Energy Trust, Portland Community Land Trust and Rose CDC. . .SNAP - Spokane Neighborhood Action Program - celebrates grand opening of 51-unit, second phase of Riverwalk Point complex in a community center built of straw bales. . .More than 450 gather in southwest Portland to celebrate 10th anniversary of Central City Concern's Recovery Mentor Program which has helped almost 1,000 people deal with the challenges of life after detoxification. . .Walla Walla Union Bulletin says Blue Mountain Action Council wins $25,000"infusion" from Department of Commerce for its asset building initiative. . .News-Miner reports Cold Climate Housing Research Center of Fairbanks has unveiled designs "for a super-efficient evacuation center to serve as a bridge" for residents of Newtok as they plan to move their village 9 miles and "far away from the eroding river that's rapidly eating away at their community".
QUOTE TO NOTE
"It has been a rich and rewarding 38 years with the Department in major part because I have had the privilege of learning from and working with extraordinary community and business partners and HUD staff past and present. I have been honored to have witnessed the dedication, skill and integrity which have been brought to the service of those families and individuals most in need, and to better assure vibrant and inclusive communities. It's also been fun. There is something about trying to solve a puzzle that has such great rewards ? and affordable housing is such a brain twister. I am perverse enough to think that knowing the programs and requirements well enough to use them effectively, to tease them apart or redefine them when necessary is an infinite challenge and something fun. Perhaps this is why one part of me would like to be part of the transformation that Deputy Secretary Sims talked of during his recent visit to Portland; however, most of me is anxious to begin the next, and long delayed, phase of my life." - HUD Portland Field Office Director Roberta Ando announcing her retirement effective September 30th.
To three Washington state housing authorities for winning 2009 Awards of Excellence from the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officers. The Bremerton Housing Authority won for innovation in affordable housing for its 66-unit Bay Vista Commons assisted living residence. The King County Housing Authority won for innovations in community revitalization for its 81-unit Nia Apartments in White Center which addresses difficult topographical features - a 20 percent grade - while incorporating the latest energy-saving features like a "greenpipes" rainwater recycling system. The Walla Walla Housing Authority won for its acquisition and substantial rehabilitation of the "deteriorated" 50-unit Marcus Whitman Homes. They'll be honored in Washington next week. But a round of applause is in order now.
Thanks to an anonymous donor, Catholic Charities USA is celebrating its centennial in 2010 by recognizing "innovative programs." Four organizations in the Northwest have been honored - Catholic Charities Housing Transitions in Oregon, Pathways to Economic Stability in Idaho, the Phoenix House Network in western Washington and Tepevac Haven in Spokane. "We celebrate the tireless work and incredible commitment of these first-ever winners," said Catholic Charities president Larry Snyder. "We are so grateful for what they mean day-in and day-out to the delivery of our services." Ditto.
Last but not least, congratulations to Islander Bank of Friday Harbor, Pioneer Human Services of Seattle, the Housing Authority of Chelan County & the City of Wenatchee, Walla Walla Housing Authority Executive Director Renee Rooker and Sheila King, Executive Director of Multifamily Affordable Properties in Tacoma, for being cited by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission at the 2009 Housing Washington Conference in Spokane as Friends of Housing for exceptional achievements in affordable housing.
November 5th deadline to apply for HUD Assisted Living Conversion grants. . .November 5th also deadline to apply for HUD Multifamily Service Coordinator grants. . .November 9th deadline to apply for 2009 HUD Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance grants. . .November 13th deadline to apply for HUD Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly grants. . .November 16th deadline to apply for HUD Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities grants. . .November 17th deadline to apply for HUD HOPE VI Public Housing Revitalization grants. . .November 17th deadline to apply for HUD Green & Healthy Homes Technical Studies grant. . .November 18th deadline to apply for Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions funds. . .November 19th deadline to apply for HUD Lead Hazard Control Capacity Building grants. . .November 24th deadline to apply for Healthy Homes Demonstration grants. . .December 15th deadline to apply for Home Depot Foundation's Building Healthy Communities grants.
HUD & EPA host Northwest Children's Environmental Health Forum & Expo in Tukwila, October 1st & 2nd. Visit website
84th Annual League of Oregon Cities Conference, October 1st to 3rd, Portland. Visit website
Federal Reserve Bank and Oregon Housing & Community Services Homeownership Forum, October 6th, Bend. Visit website
City of Tacoma and Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS host a Homebuyer Forum for the Real Estate Professional, October 7th, Tacoma. Visit website
Washington State Coalition for the Homeless 10-Year Plan Forum, October 12th, Yakima. Visit website
Oregon Housing & Community Services Housing Opportunity Bill Implementation Forum, October 9th, Salem. Visit website
Washington State Coalition for the Homeless 10-Year Plan Forum, October 12th, Sea-Tac. Visit website
HUD Seattle hosts How-To's of HUD's Section 202 & 811 Supportive Housing Grant Programs, October 13th, Seattle. Visit event 266 at website
Federal Reserve Bank and Oregon Housing & Community Services Homeownership Forum, October 13th, Salem. Visit website
HUD Portland hosts How-To's of HUD's Section 202 & 811 Supportive Housing Grant Programs, October 13th, Portland. Visit event 267 at website
Association of Washington Cities' Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council conference, October 14th to 16th, Wenatchee. Visit website
Northwest Environmental Business Council hosts Brownfields Redevelopment Conference, October 14th & 15th, Tacoma. Visit website
"Live Meeting" on How-To's of HUD's Section 202 & 811 Supportive Housing Grant Programs, October 15th, Visit event 268 at website
Federal Reserve Bank and Oregon Housing & Community Services Homeownership Forum, October 15th, Lincoln City. Visit website
"Live Meeting" on How-To be of HUD's Section 202 & 811 Supportive Housing Grant Programs, October 16th. Visit event 269 at website
Idaho Housing & Finance Association hosts 2009 Idaho Housing Conference, October 19th & 20th, Boise. Visit website
Federal Reserve Bank and Oregon Housing & Community Services Homeownership Forum, October 19th, Hood River. Visit website
Association of Idaho Cities hosts Idaho Energy & Green Building Conference, October 21st to 23rd, Boise. Visit website
Federal Reserve Bank and Oregon Housing & Community Services Homeownership Forum, October 26th, Springfield. Visit website
Federal Reserve Bank and Oregon Housing & Community Services Homeownership Forum, October27th, Dallas. Visit website
Institute of the North and Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco hosts conference on Showcasing Solutions: Strengthening Alaska's Entrepreneurship & Innovation, October 29th, Anchorage. Visit website
2009 Washington Asset Building Conference, November 5th and 6th. Visit website
Annual conference of Alaska Municipal League, November 16th to 20th, Anchorage. Visit website
Annual conference of Washington Association of Counties, November 17th to 20th, SeaTac. Visit website
Federal Reserve Bank and Oregon Housing & Community Services Homeownership Forum, November 17th, Roseburg. Visit website
Federal Reserve Bank and Oregon Housing & Community Services Homeownership Forum, November 18th, Coos Bay. Visit website
Washington Department of Financial Institutions, City of Seattle Housing Office and Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco host free, all-day Foreclosure Prevention Workshop for at-risk homeowners, December 5th, Seattle. To attend, call the Urban League at 800/368-1455.
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