! ! ! NEWS FLASH ! ! !
HUD posts Fair Market Rents for Federal fiscal year 2012 on-line at website
AND THE WINNERS ARE. . .
Congrats to the of the 2011 Friends of Housing Awards conferred at the annual Washington Affordable Housing Conference held this year in Spokane -- Ray Rieckers who just retired after 33 years with the Spokane Neighborhood Action Program; Elena Bassett, executive director of the Colville Indian Housing Authority; John Campbell, retired architect and founder of the Orcas Island non-profit, Homes for Islanders; Marc Cote of the Home Foreclosure Legal Aid Project; Mark Flynn, former director of multifamily housing development at HUD in Seattle and now a private consultant; Betsy Lieberman, the founding executive director of Building Changes; Ray Mooney, the Community Reinvestment Act officer at Spokane-based Sterling Savings; and Arlene Patton, the retired field office director at both HUD Spokane and HUD Boise. The Commission's Friend of Housing Awards recognize contributions in providing affordable housing to low- and moderate-income residents "Even though, in this economy, livelihoods are threatened and funding for housing and social services are reduced," commented Kim Herman, the Commission's executive director, "there is a strong resolve to succeed in our work and our honorees are remarkable in what they have each accomplished." Ladies and gentlemen, take a bow. You've earned it.
No surprise, there are lots of friends of housing in Oregon, too. At the annual awards gala of the Oregon Opportunity Network in Portland, Habitat for Humanity Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East the Meyer Memorial Trust, Home Forward's GOALS Program, NEDCO's partnership with Womenspace, Bienestar's Resident Services Program, Human Solutions' Rockwood Building and HDC's AMPP Program were honored for their contributions to housing and Oregon's non-profit sector. Real, live human beings also were honored with this year's Star Players Jane Brown of the Housing Authority of Clackamas County, Ana Gomez of the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, Merry Hart of Access, Terrill Jarvis of Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East, Lisa Judd of Northwest Housing Alternatives, Kaisa Krafft of St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County, Rachel Livernois of Central City Concern, Norma Marin of Hacienda CDC Emma Martinez of Innovative Housing, Daryn Murphy of the Housing Development Center, Cyndi Natalello, Emily Reiman of NEDCO, Vivian Satterfield,of Rose CDC, the Sweet 16 Relocation Team at Home Forward, Jorge Tello of Bienestar, Clayre Thompson of REACH CDC, Judy Werner and Tom Murphy of CPAH and Sarah Zahn of Home Forward. Ladies and gentlemen, you should take a bow too. Congrats!
READY OR NOFA
The general section for HUD's Notice of Funding Availability for fiscal year 2012 - October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012 - has been posted at website If you're planning on applying for HUD funds in 2012, now's the time to start getting ready.
You're all set October 24th and 25th to head to Salem, right? If not, you should because that's when and where Oregon Housing & Community Services is holding its Oregon Housing Conference. If you're "in" housing, It's well worth the trip, well worth your time, For more, visit website
White House says President Obama has nominated Maurice Jones, currently President of Pilot Media serving Virginia's Hampton Roads area and, formerly, director of Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions program and Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services as HUD's new Deputy Secretary. . .Washington State Homeownership Resource Center in Shoreline receives $560,000 grant from Washington Housing Finance Commission generated from 2010 settlement with Wells Fargo for bad loans made by Wachovia that will, says KOMO-TV, be used to help Center "provide free housing counseling to distressed homeowners". . . .. Justice Department files suit against the developers, builders and designers of 2275-unit Gateway Village Apartments in Salem alleging violations of Fair Housing Act for designing and building complex with barriers making it inaccessible to persons with disabilities. . .Low Income Housing Institute celebrates grand opening of Gossett Place - in honor of chair of the King County Council - which provides 63 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans, young people and couples in Seattle's University District. . .Wenatchee World says City Council in process of donating city-owned property to Hospitality House shelter so that it may go forward with plans to develop more transitional housing. . .Coquille Valley Hospital celebrates completion "right on track," says KCBY-TV, of exterior structure of new, $26 million FHA-insured hospital building. . . Peninsula Clarion says North Kenai house being built by Central Peninsula Habitat for Humanity - its 17th home in 18 years - is on schedule for completion April 1st. . .First-ever Housing First Partners Conference seeking by October 15th, proposals for papers to be presented in March in New Orleans at website. . .HUD charges owner and manager of a Lakewood, Washington trailer park with discriminating on the basis of disability . . .Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services opens NeighborWorks Homeownership Center in Corvallis. . .SafePlace in Olympia one of six organizations nationwide to win $450,000 Justice Department Office of Violence Against Women grant to identify best practices in "reaching more sexual assault survivors and providing comprehensive sexual assault services". . ."I wouldn't call it saving my life, but they saved my house which is part of my life," retired school teacher Linda Owens tells Idaho Press Tribune about the roof repaired by the City of Nampa, one of 20 homes it's rehabbed this year, "they have really saved my bacon, I tell you."
Northwest HUD Lines, of course, likes to keep it local and focuses on the work of HUD and its partners in the Northwest. This one time, though, we'd like to mention an item in a recent edition of the Bismarck, North Dakota Tribune. The Bismarck City Commission recently voted to give $100,000 of its 2011 HOME funds to help Minot with its shortage of affordable housing during its flood recovery," reported The Tribune. Notwithstanding the housing needs of Bismarck, Mayor John Warford said it, was a "fantastic" idea. He's right.
The Seattle Housing Authority's done it again, completing on-time and within budget and celebrating the grand opening of yet another HUD HOPE VI Revitalization Project - the $32 million, 86-unit Lake City Court. The 1.8 acre site used to be home to a 16-building public housing complex known as Park Lane Apartments that was beset by the persistent flooding of Thornton Creek. It was demolished by the City of Seattle in 2001. It's not the first, nor is it the biggest of the authority's, with Lake City, six HOPE VI projects. But it's probably the most cutting-edge. Its roof has one of the largest residential solar arrays in the state that, even in not-so-sunny Seattle, is expected to meet 10 percent of the building's energy needs. It's got a solar hot water system that will serve at least half of its buildings. Apartments are heated with high-efficiency gas-fired hydronic heat. In fact, Lake City Court is some 30 percent more energy efficient than the typical, newly-constructed apartment complex. And now only the salmon have to navigate the somewhat turbulent waters of Thornton Creek.
Almost certainly it was one of the first bedtime stories you heard too. These three little pigs build a house of straw. A big, bad and, frankly, pretty bent-out-of-shape wolf shows up, is denied admittance and promptly huffs, then puffs and blows that house down. Times change, though, building technologies and, these days, that big, bad wolf would be no match for straw. Just ask the members of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe in Plummer, Idaho. The Tribe has just celebrated the grand opening of The Gathering Place, an three-building,18-unit affordable housing complex funded by built with funds from HUD and the Recovery Act. It was constructed, by the way, using 6,000 bales of straw. But that's not good news for the big, bad wolf. Pick up a handful of straw and it can almost light as a feather. Try to pick up a bale of the stuff and there's a chance you'll throw out your back. That's because that bale has mass and, stacked on top of each other and covered with stucco, no amount of huffin' and puffin' is going to bring that house down. Even better, straw is five times more resistant to heat transfer than brick veneer. With an up to R-50 rating, those who live in these houses of straw will stay warm on the coldest winter's day and cool on the hottest day of the summer. Outside it might be 95, inside it'll feel like 68 to 72. "In all of our research straw bales are unsurpassed in terms of energy efficiency," Garvin Tenold, owner of Pura Vida Homes in Spokane, that helped build The Gathering Place told Down to Earth News. The number 1 benefit of a straw bale wall system is how this thermal mass maintains a constant interior temperature." The tribal housing authority plans, says The Spokane Journal of Business, to develop more "straw-some" housing at The Gathering Place. If these first 18 live up to their advance billing,it's sure to find there's plenty of demand.
FROM WONDERLAND TO WONDERFUL
The mostly elderly residents of Wonderland Estates, a 109-space mobile home park east of Renton, were pretty sure they were going to have to find a new place to live in 2007. The owner had begun closing it down, planning to re-develop it as single-family or condominium housing. Thanks to a partnership with King County, the King County Housing Authority stepped in and purchased the property. Unfortunately, the site was in the best of shape and the authority has spent the past four years looking for ways to rebuild its infrastructure. It's taken longer than expected, but it's now found the way and has announced that a combination of Federal tax credits and state, county and authority resources will allow it to leverage up to $4 million in private equity to finance new water, sewer, electric, al, phone and cable systems, to tear out existing and install new streets and street lights, to replace the strorm water drainage system and to refurbish the community center, inside and out., It's also launching a partnership with the Boeing Employees Credit Union to provide low-interest loan to qualified low-income seniors to buy mobile homes. Work will begin in 2012, says authority board chair Nancy Holland-Young, insuring that "Wonderland continues to be a valuable housing resource for low-income seniors for the next 50 years."
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
HUD Secretary Donovan reports that Recovery Act's Homeless Prevention & Rapid Re-Housing Program has prevented or ended the homelessness of 2,741 people in Alaska, 6,125 people in Idaho, 12,292 people in Oregon and 16,542 people in Washington. . . Home Forward - the new name of the Housing Authority of Portland - wins $50,000 grant to provide job training, employment, and contract opportunities for low-income residents in connection with HUD-funded projects . . .Traci Manning, chief operating officer of Central City Concern, named as new head of Portland Housing Bureau. . .Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority wins $50,000 USDA Rural Development grant to "update" 30-year old Kake Elderly Building starting with a brand new roof. . .Bellingham/Whatcom Housing Authority provides public tours of the new, 6,200 square-foot green roof on the Lincoln Square public housing complex whose 90 solar panels, reports Bellingham Herald, will generate 21,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year meeting 3 percent of Lincoln Square's electricity needs. . .Just a couple of days after Seattle Housing Authority gets word it's a $10.7 million HUD Choice Neighborhoods grant for revitalization of Yesler Terrace, Seattle Times reports that about 150 mostly-young volunteers spent a Saturday "pruning, planting" and "painting" the building that houses Yesler Terrace's Head Start Center. . .Better late than never, congrats to Portland Commissioner Dan Saltzman and The Miracle Club on grand opening of 5-story, 40-unit apartment complex for recovering addicts, funded in part by the Recovery Act. . ."Janice Strong of Strong Appraisals in Wasilla named REALTOR of the year by Alaska Association of REALTORS. . .Around 3,000 people" - a record - "crammed" into the Deschutes County Fair Exposition Center in Redmond, says KTVZ-TV, for 5th annual Project Connect. . .Washington Farmworker Housing Trust issues report study finding, reports KPLU, "increasing numbers of families in Walla Walla County are living in overcrowded conditions". . .Clark County's CDBG program wins an Award of Excellence from the Association for County Community and Economic Development for its partnership with Consolidated Diking Improvement District in insuring the safety of levees along the Columbia River. . .HUD's competitively awards almost $3.8 million in Indian Community Development Block Grant funds to the Native Village of Kwinhagak and the Knik, Coos-Lower Umpqua-Siuslaw, Coquille, Klamath, Lummi Puyallup, Spokane and Swinomish Tribes for housing and economic development projects.
HUD's awarded the Portland Housing Bureau a $1,365,900grant rant for its Springboard to Stability, Self-Sufficiency and Health (S4H) initiative that will serve some 60 households annually who are living with HIV/AIDS and who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness. Portland's S4H program was one of seven cross-program initiatives nationwide to be funded by HUD as a Special Project of National Significance under HUD's Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program. Projects in Boston, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Albany/Rochester and Maine also were selected for the almost $8.9 million in funding. A total of 46 initiatives were considered for the designation and funding. The award winners, said HUD Secretary Donovan, "will be innovating to more effectively and efficiently assist vulnerable households with HIV and serve as models for others to improve health outcomes and reduce risks of homelessness."
What's the most pressing issue for residents of public and assisted housing? Like everybody else in the current economic downturn, it's probably "jobs, jobs and more jobs." Preparing and connecting those residents to jobs is the major focus of HUD's Family Self Sufficiency programs. Those efforts got a boost in September as HUD competitively awarded a total of $7,950,974 to 40 public and tribal housing authorities and five privately-owned rental complexes in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington under three programs that will allow them to hire or retain service coordinators to, says HUD Secretary Donovan, "open doors" for public housing residents and recipients of Housing Choice Vouchers to education and employment opportunities. "Like everyone else," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator McBride, "these residents dream of being self sufficient and these programs have proven themselves more than capable of helping make that dream come true."
The efforts to revitalize Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood got a big boost in September when the Tacoma Housing Authority was one of just five authorities across the country to win a HUD Capital Fund Education & Training Community Facilities grant. The authority plans to use the $1,881,652 award to build an 8,500 square-feet, two-story early childhood education, adult education and job training center near its Hillsdale Terrace public housing complex. Partners in the project will include Bates Technical College, Tacoma Goodwill and Tacoma Public Schools. "This new center will help Tacoma Housing Authority and its community partners extend our efforts to invest in new construction in the Hilltop neighborhood," said authority executive director Michael Mirra. "Through the center, THA will advance its emphasis on education for residents of all ages,"
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter names Idaho Falls businessman Jeff Sayer as new director of Idaho Department of Commerce. . .FHA issues new standards, effective September 23rd, for "obtaining, maintaining and utilizing" approved FHA lender status at website. . .Fawn Sharp, chair of the Quinault Nation, elected president of Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians. . . President Obama nominates Spokane Mayor Mary Verner to the board of the national Institute of Building Sciences. . .Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Services hosts "open house" for two, newly-constructed homes on empty lots at the corner of Carter and Arthur that were built only after "10 truck loads" of boulders were removed says Idaho State Journal. . .Makah Tribal Council, Squaxin Island Tribe, Alaska Manufacturing Extension Project, City of Tanana and University of Alaska Anchorage awarded total of $561,000 in USDA Rural Development funds to support small business and job creation opportunities". . .Anita Yap, most recently the community development director in Damascus, named deputy executive director of Home Forward, Portland's housing authority. . .WorkSource Columbia Basin in Kennewick nominated, says Tri-City Herald, for 2011 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award for its work with veterans. . .Joni Schneider of Heartland Realty in Fairbanks elected president of Alaska Association of REALTORS . .Rick Crager reports that, as of early September, Oregon Housing & Community Service's has distributed "more than $14 million" in Mortgage Assistance Payments to help to help homeowners who've lost their job or become unemployed during the current recession. . .Confederated Tribes of Siletz complete Recovery Act-funded expansion of Neachesna Village in Neotsu, bringing the total number of affordable and "green" - Energy Star appliances, no-tank water heaters - to 28 units. . Housing Assistance Council at website says population increases reported in 2010 Census may cause 500 communities nationwide - including 34 in Northwest - to lose eligibility for USDA Rural Development programs. . .Community Action Team begins accepting applications for seven "self help" houses to be built in Warrenton, says The Astorian, starting this fall. . .Bremerton Housing Authority awards $10,000 grants each to Oasis, YWCA, Max Hale Center, Communitas and Bremerton Central Lions Foundation to, says Kitsap Sun, "support local housing-related projects". . .Advocates Against Family Violence celebrate grand opening of $3.4 million, 48-unit Hope Plaza in Caldwell for victims of domestic violence.
"Our sub-grantee" housing counseling "agencies," reported Washington Sate Housing Finance Commission executive director Kim Herman in June, "assisted 2,210 households in the last 12 months. Out of this number, 2,159" - or 98 percent - "avoided foreclosure."
WORTH A READ
Shamira Moore's wanted to find a way out of an abusive relationship. Thanks to the Yakima YWCA's transitional housing program, she's finally found it. "It's just a safe place," the mother of five told Karma Dickinson of KNDO-TV, "the safest place I can be right now." Without it, she noted, he'd "have weaseled his way back into my life." Strong stuff and worth a read at website
QUOTE TO NOTE
"There's an assumption that housing counselors are only looking at cases from the homeowner's perspective. Financial advocates are very aware that the bank needs to make its money and that we cannot save every house that comes through our doors. We do make it about the numbers. And we can give people an advocate who understands their circumstances, but we also give them a perspective that if the loan doesn't make sense to us it's not going to make sense to the bank." - A comment by Yvonne Fengler, a housing counselor with Consumer Credit Counseling of the Tri-Cities in the June 2011 edition of My View by Kim Herman, executive director of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission which includes a series of thoughtful, even provocative interviews with 12 of the "players" who helped make Washington state's Foreclosure Fairness Act which become law, effect July 23rd. Read it at website
NOTES TO NOTE
HUD sets October 20th deadline to apply for Energy Innovation funds as part of multifamily pilot program. . .HUD sets October 28th deadline to apply for Continuum of Care funds to support homeless programs. . .Idaho Housing & Finance Association sets October 31st deadline for public comment on its statewide Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing. . . Home Depot Foundation sets October 31st deadline to apply for Community Impact Grants of up to $5,000 to support "using the power of volunteers to improve the physical health of their community," especially those that identify projects for veterans, seniors, and/or the disabled ". . .Sustainable Building Industry Council sets November 15th deadline to submit entries in 2011 national Beyond Green High-Performance Building Awards competition. . .Alaska Department of Commerce sets December 2nd deadline for incorporated cities or boroughs outside of Anchorage to apply for CDBG grants of up to $850,000. . .Housing Assistance Council sets December 12th as deadline to apply for Rural Senior Housing Funds to "support activities that will build, preserve or advocate" for housing for the elderly in rural areas. . ,Department of Energy sets December 14th deadline to apply for CONNECT grants to "support energy technology conferences, workshops, and other events". . .Corporation for National & Community Service sets December 21st to file letter of intent and January 18th to app.ly for up to $50,000 in American Tribal Planning grants to build capacity to recruit and manage volunteers, completing community assessments and developing new systems in technology, performance management and training.
New, lower FHA loan limits took effect in more than 600 "high cost" counties across the country effective Monday, October 1st as required by the Housing & Economic Recovery Act of 2008. For the new limits in your area, please see website
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT. . .
. . .the September 19th HUD Webcast on the how-to's and what-for's of applying for HUD Multifamily Energy Innovation Funds - applications due October 20th - the Webcast is available on-line at website. B.Y.O.P. rule in effect
HUD Anchorage offers workshop on completing Indian Housing Plan and Annual Performance Review documents, October 2nd to 4th, Anchorage. Visit website
HUD offers a Webinar on the In's and Out's of Selling HUD Homes, October 6th. Visit online
Innovative Changes offers Financial Household Resiliency Workshop on Budgeting & Saving, October 8th, Portland. Visit online
HUD Seattle offers workshop on Procurement for NAHASDA-Funded Purchasing, Contracting and Other Activities, October 12th to 14th, Seattle. Visit online
NeighborWorks & Chase host "crash course" on Credit Counseling for Maximum Results, October 11th to 13th, Seattle. Visit online
Oregon Housing & Community Services hosts Charrette to help local Oregon communities develop their 10-year plans to end and prevent homelessness, October 11th & 12th, Redmond. Visit online
Oregon Affordable Housing Management Association hosts Rural Development Section 515 Boot Camp, October 13th & 14th Salem. Visit online
Innovative Changes offers Financial Household Resiliency Workshop on Hands-On Baking, October 15th, Portland. Visit online
Inman News hosts Agent Reboot on making use of cutting-edge technology in real estate agents, October 18th, Boise. Visit online
Idaho Energy & Green Building Conference, October 19th to 21st, Boise. Visit online
Annual Conference of Alaska Federation of Natives, October 20th to 22nd, Anchorage. Visit online
Washington State Senior Citizens Fall Conference, October 21st, Tacoma. Visit online
Oregon Housing & Community Services hosts 2011 Oregon Housing Conference, October 24th & 25th, Salem. Visit online
Annual conference of National Community Land Trust, October 24th to 27th, Seattle. Visit online
2011 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, October 25th to 27th, Vancouver, B.C. Visit online
Annual conference of National Congress of American Indians, October 30th to November 4th, Portland. Visit online
HUD Seattle offers workshop on NAHASDA Essentials, November 1st to 3rd, Seattle. Visit online
Annual conference of Alaska Municipal League, November 7th to 11th, Fairbanks. Visit online
HUD Anchorage offers workshop on NAHASDA Essentials, November 8th to 10th, Anchorage. Visit online
Oregon Asset Building Conference, November 9th & 10th, Silverton. online
HUD Northwest hosts free, Fair Housing Basics Webinar, November 17th. Visit online
* * * *