! ! ! NEWS FLASH ! ! !
Final 2011 Fair Market Rents now on-line Effective October 1st, 2010.
UP & WORKING
FHA's new "short refi" option went to work on September 7th to help non-FHA borrowers who are current, but "underwater" to refinance into an FHA-insured mortgage. Under the program, the lender must agree to write down at least 10 percent of the principal balance and the resulting FHA mortgage must be no more than 97.5 percent loan-to-value and, if there is a second, the combined mortgage can be no more than 115 percent l-t-v. To encourage lender participation, the Treasury Department will offer incentives to second lien holders who agree to "to full or partial extinguishment of the liens" and who have submitted servicer participation agreement to Fannie Mae by October 4th. For more, read FHA mortgagee letter 2010-23
Over the last 20 years, FHA has endorsed more than 37,000 Home Equity Conversion Mortgages - "reverse mortgages" -in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. There's good reason to think HECM's will remain one of FHA's fastest-growing products. Noting that "some senior citizens find that our fees" for FHA's HECM "are too high for them," FHA Commissioner David Stevens has announced a new option - HECM Saver - that "significantly lowers costs by almost eliminating the upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) required in a standard HECM." Under the new HECM Saver - available for all HECM applications assigned a case number on or after October 4th - borrowers will receive 10 to 18 percent less than under a standard HECM which allows FHA to lower the upfront premium to just .01 percent - compared to 2 percent for a standard HECM - without exposing FHA's Insurance Fund to additional risk. The MIP for both HECM Saver and HECM Standard will be charged monthly at an annual rate of 1.25 percent of the outstanding loan balance. For more, read FHA mortgagee letter 2010-34
HARD HIT HELP
The U.S. Department of Treasury has awarded another $82.7 million in "hardest hit" funds to the State of Oregon that will permit to expand its foreclosure prevention program "to reach more struggling homeowners." Homeowners needing help should contact 1-800-723-3638.
Terry Reynolds of Windermere Whidbey Island named REALTOR of the Year by Washington Association of REALTORS. . .KIDK-TV says 8 more families move into new Idaho Falls homes they built in Eastern Idaho Community Action's self-help housing program. . . Noting that "exposure to smoke, whether direct or indirect or secondhand, causes adverse health outcomes, HUD issues September 15th notice to "encourage owners or management agents" of HUD assisted multifamily complexes to "implement smoke-free housing policies in some or all" of their properties. . .Oregon Housing & Community Services says Recovery Act's Tax Credit Exchange Program has helped preserve 272 units of affordable housing in Bandon, Bend, North Bend, Roseburg, Seaside, Sweet Home & Troutdale. . .Alaska Housing Finance okays $625,000 no-interest loan to Anchorage Neighborhood Housing Services to allow it to continue program that's helped more than 770 families assemble down payments. . .With help from city's CDBG program, Tacoma Rescue Mission celebrates opening of $10.2 million Adams Street Family Center to provide 36 units of emergency and transitional housing for "women, children and families". . .,Port of Port Townsend wins Economic Development Administration grant to study feasibility of "ecologically-friendly industrial park". . .Portland Housing Bureau awards almost $1.4 million to the Portland Housing Center, Proud Ground, Habitat for Humanity, the Asian Pacific Island Community Investment Association & the Minority Homeownership Assistance Collaboration - a joint effort of NAYA, African American Alliance for Homeownership and Portland Community Reinvestment Initiative - to help more than 500 households with down payments, closing costs, counseling and other supportive services. . .Thanks to Eastern Idaho Community Action, the Community and Parkview Hospitals, "many" private donors and CDBG funds, says KIDK-TV, Haven Shelter for women opens doors of bigger, better- equipped facility. . .Catholic Sentinel says non-profit Macdonald Center plans to build 7-story, 42-unit complex "for low-wage workers" on site of 105-year-old West Hotel in Old Town, Portland starting next year.
The Continuum of Care Homeless Assistance Program is, simply put, the "big daddy" of HUD's almost 40 annual grant competitions. On September 20th, HUD announced that it's begun accepting applications from Continuums for a total of $1.68 billion in grants. This year's competition has some new wrinkles. Applicants are encouraged to create new permanent housing for disable veterans and expected to demonstrate they're working collaboratively with local education agencies to identify and assist homeless families with children and, in particular, to make sure placement in emergency or transitional housing is as close as possible to the children's "school of origin" to avoid disrupting their education. "Added selection priority" will also be given to projects serving rural communities. ""HUD and its partners at the national and local level are doing a better job sheltering those who might otherwise be living on our streets," said Secretary Donovan. "But clearly there is more to do." Last year, HUD awarded $62.4 million to 17 Continuums in the Northwest. Applications due November 18th. More available online
On September 2nd, HUD announced that its begun accepting applications from state and local governments and tribes for $110 million in grants to "to help eliminate dangerous lead-based paint from lower income homes and to protect young children from lead poisoning." The 2010 Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program & Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program grants are awarded competitively to identify and abate lead hazards in privately-owned rental and owner-occupied units. For the first time this year, applicants will be allowed to apply for a supplemental grant of up to $100,000 to "assist in the promotion and development of programs to concurrently address multiple housing-related health hazards with lead hazard control," Applications due via www.grants.gov by October 15th. More available online
Healthy homes make for happy homes and families. That's why HUD has just announced that it's accepting applications for $19.6 million in grants that, said HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims, will "develop new ways of addressing housing-related hazards," Of the funds, $10 million will be awarded under the new, "production-oriented" Healthy Homes Production Program that will enable "public and private grantees to address multiple housing-related hazards at the same time." $2.6 million will be awarded under the also new Asthma Intervention Program to "develop, implement, and evaluate multifaceted programs for the control of asthma among residents of federally assisted multifamily housing." $1 million will be awarded under the Lead Technical Studies Program "which further previous research grants that have provided health and housing professionals with knowledge on how to reduce the number of lead poisoned children." And $6 million will be awarded under the Healthy Homes Technical Studies program to "improve low-cost methods for identifying and reducing housing-related hazards." All told, some 33 grants are expected, ranging $250,000 to $1 million. More details
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
Idaho Housing & Finance Association wins $904,968 in HUD funds for 200 vouchers to provide affordable, permanent housing for non-elderly persons with disabilities. . . Housing Wire says "mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration accounted for 37% of all originations in 2009, up from 26% in 2008 and 7% in 2007". . .Saying "we are seeing a strong demand for smaller, less expensive energy efficient homes located in good neighborhoods," King County Housing Authority and non-profit HomeSight begun construction of first seven of "up to 450" homes to be offered for sale at White Center planned community. . . .. .News Miner says Cold Climate Housing Research wins $2 million Department of Commerce grant for 50 percent expansion of its testing and research facility at University of Alaska Fairbanks. . .U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announce $250,000 grant to Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to provide transitional housing to victims of domestic violence. . .Bonner County Daily Bee says Bonner Community Housing Agency has "teamed up" with Community Frameworks to use USDA's self-help housing program to "produce not just one or two houses, but maybe 11 in this first year". . . Washington Department of Commerce wins $2.5 million Department of Energy grant to retrofit and weatherize 4,250 homes in Kitsap County. . .Northwest Housing Alternatives wins one of four MetLife Foundation Awards of Excellence in Affordable Housing - plus a $50,000 grant - for Village at Headwaters senior housing in Portland. . . Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announces award of $20.4 million in loans and grants to EcliptixNet to install broadband capacity for 68,000 people and 3,600 businesses in Ferry, Stevens & Spokane counties in Washington, $1.3 million to Midvale Telephone Exchange to provide "last mile" broadband service to 500 households and 30 business in Stanley, Idaho and $2.4 million to Trans-Cascade Telephone to extend broadband to 340 people and 46 businesses in Jefferson, Wasco and Wheeler counties in Oregon. . .Lummi Housing Authority tells Bellingham Herald first of 72-unit affordable housing it's building, in part, with Recovery Act funds should be occupied by October. . .Bristol Bay Times says Bristol Bay Development's 5-unit,$2.4 million Tpgiak independent living center is "ready for occupancy". . .Portland business leaders and City Hall, reports KGW-TV, are "chipping in" on $30,000 program to give homeless access to storage lockers.
Hoping to get "people back on their feet" in "challenging times," Oregon Housing & Community Services Director Victor Merced has announced the commitment of $34.1 million to 23 projects that will preserve or produce 913 units of affordable housing. The loans, grants and tax credits were awarded to "housing authorities, nonprofits and for-profits" in Bend, Boardman, Forest Grove, Happy Valley, Hood River, LaGrande, Medford, Portland, Redmond, Sublimity, Slayton & Vale, 12 of the projects are new construction and the rest acquisition and/or rehab of older complexes. "Need is ever-growing, and the demand is unmet," Jason Elzy of Housing Authority of Jackson County told KDBY-TV after hearing it had won $2.8 million for two projects. "
By this time next year, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation will probably have produced its 300th home for teachers, health professionals and public safety officers in rural Alaska villages. That's because it's awarded $6 million to build 23 units for such professionals in six villages - King Cove, St. Mary's, Marshal, Akiak, Igiugik &Sleetmute. The need's obvious. St. Mary's for example, has 15 teachers, but only 10 units available - and they're substandard. The program said the Corporation's Dan Fauske, was launched after local school districts and governments "identified the lack of available housing as a major impediment to recruiting and training" professionals like teachers and police officers. Governor Sean Parnell agrees. "For Alaskans to be safe, requires a meaningful law enforcement presence in rural Alaska. Providing housing is a key to attracting" professionals "who make a difference in our communities." Since 2004, the program has produced 283 units in 55 rural villages.
Noting that" blighted or foreclosed house in an otherwise vibrant neighborhood can all too quickly change the quality of life for those who call it home," HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride has announced the award of $5 million each in Neighborhood Stabilization Program III funds to Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington "to halt the downward trend in its tracks and to keep their neighborhoods strong." The NSP III funds allow states and their partners to acquire foreclosed or blight homes for rehab and re-sale or demolition. Using earlier NSP I & II awards from HUD, the four states have restored or added more than 950 affordable units. "It's a great way to make more homes available," Tamara Rowcroft of the Juneau Housing Trust told The Juneau Empire. "Affordable housing can be a real problem here."
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Banner Bank closes first of expected 1,000 Whatcom County Community Energy Challenge energy-efficiency upgrade loans to homeowners and small businesses, becoming one of the first to use Recovery Act funds to spark sustainable lending. . .Central City Concern starts demolishing fast-food restaurant that's been vacant and "a magnet for trouble" for 8 years in Old Town Portland as site for new, 4,000 square-foot recovery center that may serve up to 40,000 people a year. . .U.S. Senator Mark Begich says USDA has loaned Southcentral Foundation $40 million in Recovery Act funds to build Valley Native Primary Care Clinic in Mat-Su Borough. . .Landis Rossi, formerly with Idaho Department of Health & Welfare, named executive director of Catholic Charities of Idaho. . .KTVZ-TV says "nearly 2600" people attend 4th annual Central Oregon Project Connect event Redmond for "one-stop servicing" by 150 agencies. . .HUD awards 35 more rental vouchers for homeless veterans to Yakima, Seattle, King County and Portland housing authorities. . .Disappointed that they didn't win Kroc Foundation grant to realize their vision, citizens of South Tacoma took matters into their own hands, helped pass a Metro Parks bond issue, won $2.2 in Washington CTED grants and, on September 23rd, finally broke ground on 30,000 square-foot community center. . .Register Guard says City Council okays $850,000 in HOME funds for St. Vincent DePaul housing development in west Eugene. . .Tongass Federal Credit Union in Ketchikan, and Thurston Union of Low Income People in Olympia awarded Community Development Capital Initiative funds by Treasury Department to "strengthen local financial institutions" and "deliver credit to small businesses and families".
CONGRATS. . .
. . .to the Chukchi and Bristol Bay campuses of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. They've just won a total of $1.6 million in HUD Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Institutions Assisting Communities grants. Citing "extraordinarily high" home heating costs, Chukchi will launch a "cold climate" construction trades program to build houses better suited to Alaska's climate. The Bristol Bay campus intends to use its grant to work "closely with the high school" to help kids acquire the skills to get on a career track and, also, to hire faculty for a nursing program it hopes to start. "These grants are a perfect blend of creativity and flexibility" said Regional Administrator McBride, and of " how Alaska's communities and universities are adapting HUD's programs to implement locally-developed responses to locally-identified needs."
CONGRATS TOO. . .
. . .to the Northwest Indian College on the Lummi Reservation near Bellingham. In August it achieved its long held goal of being fully-accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities, becoming the first, fully-accredited tribal college in the Northwest. And, in September it won a HUD Tribal College grant , one of only eight nationwide, would enable it to build a new library and information center, replacing a "cramped" structure built almost 80 years ago.
Want a peek at what your dream "shack" might look like? Then visit AIA Seattle's Future Shack Website for more than 30 views of what tomorrow might hold. "It's about how it works," says AIA Seattle, "not just how it looks."
NOTES TO NOTE
Treasury's CDFI program hosting "how-to-certify" conference calls, October 14th & November 18th for potential applicants. . ..HUD sets October 4th deadline to apply for $20 million in Section 202 Demonstration Pre-Development Grants. . .HUD asks those organizations intending to apply for planning or implementation Choice Neighborhoods grants to notify HUD by October 7th of their intent to apply. . . Alaska Department of Commerce Division of Banking & Securities sets October 8th deadline to submit comments on proposed mortgage regulations. . .HUD sets October 15th as deadline for tribes and state and local governments to apply for $110 million in Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program & Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grants. . .Oregon Housing & Community Services sets October 15th deadline to apply for grants of up to $48,000 to create Housing Centers serving the Portland metropolitan area. . .HUD sets October 26th deadline to apply for Choice Neighborhood grants. . .HUD sets October 27th deadline to apply for $65 million in Indian Community Development Block Grant funds. . .HUD sets October 29th deadline to apply for $5.1 million in Housing Counseling Training funds. . .HUD sets November 8th deadlines to apply for $10 million in Healthy Homes Production, $6 million in Healthy Homes Technical Studies and $1 million in Lead Technical Studies grants. . .HUD sets November 16th deadline to apply for $2.6 million in Asthma Interventions in Public & Multifamily Assisted Housing grants. . .HUD sets November 22nd deadline to apply for $124 million in HOPE VI Revitalization grants. . .USDA Rural Development sets December 22nd deadline to apply for almost $6.3 million in Rural Community Development initiative funds to build "capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, and community and economic development in rural areas". . .Oregon Housing & Community Services sets February 11th, 2011 deadline to apply for $3.4 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program II, Housing Opportunity Bill and other state funds to address foreclosure problems in Clackamas, Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Jackson, Marion and Washington counties.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"The most recent Kids Count survey indicates that there are more children in Idaho in poverty, and that means more families in poverty. Let me tell you about a man I met about a year and a half ago. He was a leader in the financial market, and he was interested in some volunteer opportunities. He told me: "I've never seen anyone living in poverty in Idaho." He and I started a series of conversations about poverty. And a couple of weeks later, he said to me, "Rosio, I must have walked by them all the time and never seen them. I see them now." I was so impacted by his observation that the homeless had been invisible to him. He was finally recognizing those who may be living on the edge of poverty." - Rosio Gonzalez, executive director of Catholic Charities of Idaho in a September 8th Boise Weekly interview about her plans to move, in early October, to Texas to join Will Rainford, her husband and former chair of Boise State University's social work program who has accepted a teaching position in San Antonio. .
Philanthropy Northwest annual conference, September 29th to October 1st, Blaine.
Seattle/King County Asset Building Collaborative and Statewide Poverty Action Network host free Mortgage Help Day for at-risk homeowners, October 2nd, Seattle. For more, call 206/694-6794.
Annual conference of Washington Association of Counties, October 4th to 8th, Che Elum.
HUD Spokane hosts Fair Housing Workshop for landlords, tenants & managers, October 5th, Kennewick.
Northwest Business Environmental Council & Washington Department of Ecology host Brownfields Redevelopment - Reclaiming our Communities conference, October 6th & 7th, Tacoma.
Housing Land Advocates hosts conference on The Road Home: The Intersection of Transportation & Affordable Housing, October 7th, Salem.
77th annual Washington Association of REALTORS Education Conference & Trade Show, October 11th & 12th, SeaTac.
16th annual Alaska Tribal Conference on Environmental Management, October 11th to 15th, Anchorage.
Rail-Volution; Building Livable Communities with Transit conference, October 18th to 21st, Portland.
17th annual Housing Washington conference, October 19th & 20th, Tacoma.
19th annual Rural LISC Seminar, October 19th to 22nd, Eugene & Canyonville.
Alaska Federation of Natives annual conference, October 21st to 23rd, Fairbanks.
Oregon Homeownership Forum, October 25th, Coos Bay.
Oregon Homeownership Forum, October 26th, Roseburg.
King County Office of Civil Rights hosts basic Fair Housing workshop in the morning and advanced Fair Housing workshop on the afternoon of October 27th, Seattle.
Northwest ONAP hosts NAHASDA Procurement Training workshop, November 2nd to 4th, Spokane.
LEED for Idaho Homes training, November 5th, Boise.
Sustainable Communities Start With Healthy & Green Homes conference, November 9th & 10th, Seattle.
Alaska Municipal League annual conference, November 15th to 19th, Juneau.