HARD HIT HELP
On August 11th, Treasury Department has provided another $2 billion - including $49.3 million to Oregon - in Recovery Act "hardest hit" funds to 17 states and the District of Columbia to help "homeowners struggling with unemployment." At the same time, hard-hit by the housing downturn. At the same time, HUD announced it shortly will launch a $1 billion Emergency Homeowners Loan Program "to provide assistance - for up to 24 months - to homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure and have experienced a substantial reduction in income due to involuntary unemployment, underemployment, or a medical condition." Details are expected later this month, but it is expected to offer a declining balance, deferred payment "bridge loan" (zero percent interest, non-recourse, subordinate loan) for up to $50,000 to assist eligible borrowers with payments on their mortgage principal, interest, mortgage insurance, taxes and hazard insurance for up to 24 months..
HUD Secretary Donovan has announced an "unprecedented agreement" with the nation's lenders to give communities participating in HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) a brief exclusive opportunity to purchase bank-owned properties in certain neighborhoods so these homes can either be rehabilitated, rented, resold or demolished. In partnership with the National Community Stabilization Trust and in collaboration with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the new National First Look Program will give state and local governments and nonprofits receiving NSP funds a 24 to 48 hour say they want "first crack" at acquiring foreclosed properties in designated NFP areas. In addition to homes from HUD and the Trust, Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Deutsche Bank, GMAC, Nationstar Mortgage, Ocwen Financial Corporation, Saxon Mortgage Services, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo have agreed to participate in the program. .Together, the institutions represent some 75 percent of the nation's REO market. For more, visit online.
Starting September 7, 2010, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will offer certain 'underwater' non-FHA borrowers who are current on their existing mortgage and whose lenders agree to write off at least ten percent of the unpaid principal balance of the first mortgage, the opportunity to qualify for a new FHA-insured mortgage. The FHA Short Refinance option is targeted to help people who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth - or 'underwater'. To be eligible for a new loan, the homeowner must owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth and be current on their existing mortgage. The homeowner must qualify for the new loan under standard FHA underwriting requirements and have a credit score equal to or greater than 500. The property must be a primary residence. And the borrower's existing first lien holder must agree to write off at least 10 percent of their unpaid principal balance, bringing that borrower's combined loan-to-value ratio to no greater than 115 percent. T the existing loan to be refinanced must not be an FHA-insured loan, and the refinanced FHA-insured first mortgage must have a loan-to-value ratio of no more than 97.75 percent. "We're throwing a life line out to those families who are current on their mortgage and are experiencing financial hardships because property values in their community have declined," said FHA Commissioner Stevens. More at website.
Get a detailed look at the what's, when's, where's and how's of doing business with FHA mortgage insurance products at a free Inside FHA workshop in Spokane, September 22nd. Register online.
Saying it will provide "the building blocks needed to improve our Native American communities," HUD Secretary Donovan invites tribes and Alaska native villages to compete for $65 million in Indian Community Block Grant funds. . . Juneau Assembly allocates $400,000 to launch affordable housing fund. . . U.S. Green Building Council says house built by students in Boise School District's Dennis Technical Education Center is construction trades program is first student-built home in nation to be designated LEED Gold. . .Spokesman Review says Community Frameworks to hold open house to celebrate renovation of Rockwell Apartments, its first project in Spokane Valley. . .Thanks to a broadband grant from the Department of Commerce, Seattle Housing Authority and the One Economy Corporation announce that residents of Denny Terrace, Yesler Terrace, Rainier Vista, High Point and New Holly will receive free WiFi service for two years. . .Described in Mail Tribune as "safe place to live" while families "look for work and get their lives together for two years," Salvation Army cuts ribbon on 12-unit expansion of Hope House in Medford. . .Bellingham Herald says Kiwanis Club has completed installation of playground at Lighthouse Mission's new Agape Home for women and children. . .Tagiugmiullu Nunamiullu Housing Authority tells Arctic Sounder it plans to build 36 homes in six rural villages using Arctic-friendly prototype recently completed by Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Anatuvuk in the Brooks Range. . .Common Ground of Seattle names Scott Schaffer, formerly of the Public Interest Management Group, as its new executive director. . .Albany Democrat Herald says Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services has finished $2 million renovation of its recently-purchased 25-unit Stone Brook and 26-unit Linnhaven apartments in Sweet Home.
On August 25th, HUD opened the 2010 competition for $189 million in competitive grants to transform public and assisted housing and to revitalize communities through its 20-year old HOPE VI Public Housing Revitalization and its new Choice Neighborhoods grants programs. While HOPE VI Program has been successful at transforming distressed public housing neighborhoods with into revitalized mixed-income communities - 254 HOPE VI Revitalization grants worth $6.1 billion have been awarded to 132 housing authorities since 1993 - Choice Neighborhoods aims to use a more comprehensive approach to community development with housing transformation as its center .In its pilot year, Choice Neighborhoods will award $65 million to public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and for profit developers that apply jointly with a public entity to extend neighborhood transformation efforts beyond public and/or assisted housing, to link housing revitalization with education reform and early childhood education. Choice Neighborhoods applications are due October 26th and may be no more than $250,000. The HOPE VI Public Housing Revitalization program will competitively award $124 million to housing authorities to transform severely distressed public housing developments into mixed-income communities through activities such as demolition; acquisition of sites for off-site construction; capital costs of major rehabilitation, new construction and other physical improvements; and community and supportive service programs for residents, including those relocated as a result of revitalization efforts. HOPE VI applications are due November 22nd with a limit of $22 million each.
GREEN FOR GREEN
Providence House in Yakima, Whispering Pines in Estacada, Powell Boulevard Apartments in Portland and Englewood East in Salem are the first four complexes in the Northwest to be awarded grants under the Recovery Act's Green Retrofit for Multifamily Housing Program. Thanks to the $2.8 million in grants, said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator McBride, "energy costs will be reduced, residents will be more comfortable, the buildings' useful lives will be extended and the out-of-work will be put back to work." Residents of the complexes may have been the happiest. A woman who lives at Englewood East, reported The Statesman Journal, was very pleased that her apartment would be renovated for the first time since it was built in 1980. Another was just as pleased his utility bills would be lower. More Green Retrofit grants in the Northwest are expected to be announced by the end of September.
Affordable Housing Finance Magazine has just announced the finalists for its 6th annual Readers' Choice Awards. They "stand out as models for other developers across the nation" especially because they "had to be creative, overcoming obstacles related to the nation's economic crisis and the low income housing tax credit market upheaval." In the Northwest, the 32 finalists include Umpqua Community Development Corporation's North Bend Hotel, the Cook Inlet Housing Authority's Town Homes at Tomaganuik in Hooper Bay, the Korean Women's Association's Senior City in Federal Way, Central City Concerns' Madrona Studios in Portland and the Iris Glen Town Homes in Klamath Falls. Winners will be announced - and honored - at the Affordable Housing Developers Summit in Chicago. Congrats to all!
The Malheur County Housing Authority in Oregon and the Seattle, Vancouver, King County and Thurston County housing authorities have won a total of 233 HUD Housing Choice Vouchers families with children who" live in foster care or are at risk of being placed with other families simply because their parents cannot afford a home" stay or get back together. While "the foster care system is an important safety net for children when there's no alternative," said HUD Secretary Donovan, "but not having the means to obtain affordable housing is hardly a good reason for families to be divided." HUD's Family Unification Program helps public housing authorities to work closely with local child welfare agencies to identify" such children. Like all HUD rental these vouchers, allow families to rent housing from private landlords and generally pay 30 percent of the family's monthly adjusted gross income towards rent and utilities. The National Center for Housing & Child Welfare estimates that the cost of foster care for one family's children is $56,892 a year, more than four times the cost of providing that same family with a voucher.
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
Anchorage Daily News says city's planning commission okays - with "a list of strict conditions" - RurAlCAP's Karluk Manor project, the city's "first big Housing First project serving homeless alcoholics whether they are ready to stop drinking or not". . .Oregon Housing & Community Services says it will provide $700,000 for site acquisition and rental assistance to Corvallis Homeless Shelter Coalition to provide 8 units of housing for chronically homeless who have mental illness, physical disabilities or drug or alcohol addiction. . .King County Housing Authority launches $3.8 million Recovery Act project to upgrade 59 units in 17 public housing complexes to comply with Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards. . .Human Solutions breaks ground in Gresham for Rockwood Building that will include multi-service center as well as 47 units of affordable housing. . .Housing Authority of Portland completes purchase of 46-unit, 6-building Jeanne Anne Apartments in Gresham with plans for extensive renovation and incorporation into its public housing program to insure one-to-one replacement of scattered-site public housing units it has sold. . .Register-Guard says Eugene's Business Development has closed its first loan using Recovery Act funds to enable Sheldon Turnbull Printing to acquire another firm as part of its efforts to go "green". . .To show appreciation for longstanding financial support from the City and HUD, Mayor McGinn and HUD Regional Administrator McBride are presented with rubber ducks in a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of Seattle's Urban Rest Stop. . .Greenotopia ranks Washington the "greenest" and Oregon the third "greenest" of the 50 states. . .Habit for Humanity Portland starts work on 12-home Rivergate Commons development which has been selected for the City's Energy Efficient Home Pilot Project with 3 of the homes to be built to 15 percent above and 3 built at 30 percent above city's "green code". . .Yakima Herald says Toppenish City Council allocates $200,000 in "old housing rehabilitation funds" to low-interest loans and matching grants for downtown revitalization. . .Clackamas County Land Trust says 27 units at its Juneberry Lane development in Oregon City are now available for purchase. . .Tundra Drums says Kwihagak Housing Authority and Cold Climate Housing Research will start building "extremely energy efficient, inexpensive home" to test whether "new building technologies" can "withstand Alaska's extreme environment". . .Quality Growth Alliance selects Seattle Housing Authority's Yesler Terrace as one of four projects making a "contributions to the Seattle-area's sustainable economic, environmental and quality-of-life objectives."
When the Cook Inlet Housing Authority celebrated the grand opening of Eklutna Estates apartments for the elderly in the Muldoon neighborhood of east Anchorage it was already overbooked. The $24 million, 59-unit project was built with funds from the Alaska Housing Finance, HUD and the Recovery Act. But "in the last three weeks we have accepted 153 applications for 59 units," said Carol Gore, executive director of the Authority at the opening. "We don't advertise because it's really tough to say no, and we have to say no a lot more than I'd like. It demonstrates to us the willingness of our seniors to fill out applications, lease apartments sight unseen," she added. "They have confidence in Cook Inlet Housing. But more important, it demonstrates the critical need for" elderly housing." The greener-than-green complex, added HUD Assistant Secretary Henriquez who also attended is "a perfect example of cutting-edge, market-responsive affordable housing for seniors." More at website.
Ask homeowners whether they'd rather paint their own house or eat only Brussels sprouts for the next year, don't be surprised if most go the sprout route. So, imagine painting more than 520 houses. That's what the non-profit Paint Magic has done over the last 25 years in Magic Valley. In a typical year, Paint Magic's 400 volunteers paint 21 homes, but in this anniversary year it's aiming for 25. It's not sure it'll make it. By summer's end, Paint Magic had met its goal and, better still, South Central community Action Partnership weatherized 18 of the 25 homes. "I would like to say that we've painted all of the houses that need it in the Magic Valley, but I don't think that is the case," Paint Magic president Ken Robinette told the Twin Falls Times News in June, adding that he was "baffled" by a fall-off in applications. "Every year is so different," said Ray Parrish, a longtime Paint Magic participant. But "every year people are so grateful. It is amazing to see how blessed we are and how we can bring those blessings into the lives of other people."
The site in the University District of Seattle was supposed to be developed, reports Judy Lightfoot of Crosscuts, as a "boutique hotel." Plans had been drawn, permits secured, the land had been cleared. The only "to do" left was for the developer to get financing. Instead, he got a DENIED. Sensing an opportunity, the Low Income Housing Institute "swooped in" and made an offer the developer couldn't refuse. A "bargain" $2.5 million for everything - site, permits and plans which, coincidentally, perfectly suited the kind of housing LIHI likes to build for its tenants. Thanks to a bridge loan from the City and United Way as well as funding from them, the City's Housing Tax Levy, Washington State Housing Finance Commission, Washington Housing Trust Fund, HUD and the Enterprise Foundation, within less than a year, LIHI was able to break ground at a ceremony in July for the 63-unit University House. How was LIHI able to act so quickly? "The Funders Group of Seattle's Committee to End Homelessness, said Bill Houck, its director. "For the first time, we're all talking to each other. In the old days, with every funding source in its separate silo, this rapid response would have been impossible," he explained. In this instance, though, "LIHI could make its one application, which seven different funders from 17 different funding sources could evaluate together."
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
King County Housing Authority launches $1.7 million Recovery Act energy efficiency upgrade project at Briarwood, a 70-unit public housing project in Shoreline. . .Downtown Emergency Service Center celebrates grand opening of 83-unit Canaday House providing supportive housing for homeless in Seattle. . . Siemens Industry, Inc., says Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks as one of four "smartest" buildings in America. . .USDA Rural Development in Oregon okays supplemental $747,781 that's "final piece" in Housing Works and CASA partnership to build 24-unit Canyon East multi-family complex on 1.8 acres in Madras. . . .Ribbon cut on Edison Terrace South, a 15-unit, HUD Section 811 project for low-income people with disabilities in Kennewick. . .Human Solutions celebrates grand re-opening of 96-unit Arbor Glen Apartments in Portland following $2.8 million rehab financed by Oregon Housing ^ Community Services. . ..Transitional Resources breaks ground for Avalon Place in west Seattle to provide 14-units of housing to homeless men and women with mental illness. . .Lincoln County, Oregon publishes Workforce Housing Toolkit to "increase capacity and affordability" of workforce housing. . .Seattle Food Bank one of six organizations nationwide to win Major League Baseball Players Trust grants "to strengthen communities". . .Gazette says Corvallis Homeless Shelter Coalition breaks ground for 8-unit Partners Place complex for chronically homeless on site of apartment building "heavily damaged by fire" last summer. . .Kitsap Community Resources announces plans for $5 million Jackson Village with multi-service center and 8 cottages of transitional housing in south Kitsap County. . .U.S. Treasury's CDFI program awards $5.6 million in grants to help small business and spur local economies to the Portland Housing Center, NOAH, Oregon Microenterprise Network and Albina Opportunities in Portland, Express Credit Union Home Sight, Community Capital in Seattle, Idaho-Nevada CDFI in Pocatello, Neighborhood Housing Services in Boise, Newrizon Federal Credit Union in Hoquiam, the Office of Rural & Farmworker Housing in Yakima, Shorebank Enterprise Cascadia in Itasca and Spokane Neighborhood Action Program. . .Kiplinger.com picks Pocatello and Kennewick as among10 best places to raise family..
HUD WANTS TO KNOW
The August 4th Federal Register included HUD's proposed Fair Market Rents for HUD's Housing Choice Voucher, Moderate Rehabilitation, Project-Based Assistance, the small areas FMR demonstration and other rent subsidy programs for fiscal year 2011 which begins on October 1st, 2010. Here's your chance the proposed rents reflect what's happening in your market. Comments are due by September 3rd. More informations are online.
NOTES TO NOTE
Portland Housing Bureau sets September 2nd deadline to respond to RFP for the "purchase, renovation and resale" of 20 single-family homes in Leeds and Interstate Corridor urban renewal areas. . .September 13th is launch date for new FHA Website on everything you need to know about buying HUD Homes. . .September 13th is the deadline to comment on HUD's proposed amendments to the Federal Manufactured Home Construction & Safety Standards. . .Housing Assistance Council sets September 15th to submit nominations at website for national rural housing awards to be conferred at a December national conference. . .Treasury's CDFI program hosting "how-to-certify" conference calls September 16th, October 14th & November 18th for potential applicants. . .City of Seattle sets September 15th deadline for nonprofit or private developers to apply for up to $26 million in local capital funds"to support the acquisition, rehabilitation, or new construction of rental housing" for low-income people. . .HUD's Office of Policy Development & Research sets September 17th deadline for scholars to submit abstracts on proposed research that applies "the special features" of its American Housing Survey datasets to "issues of current interest". . .Denali Commission sets September 17th deadline for comments on interim Sustainable Rural Communities report. . .FHA anticipates that new marketing and management contractors for HUD-owned single-family properties in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington will "go live" on September 27th, depending resolution of outstanding protests. . .HUD sets October 4th deadline to apply for $20 million in Section 202 Demonstration Pre-Development Grants. . .Oregon Housing & Community Services sets October 1st as deadline to apply for Training for Practitioners funds and October 15th to apply for Metro Housing Center funds under state's Housing Opportunity Bill. . .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 November 22nd as deadline to apply for $124 million in HOPE VI Revitalization grants.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"The Great Recession has tossed legions of hardworking people into the maelstrom of uncertainty and desperation. They have no experience with personal financial crises because they've always worked. . .Just about everyone fortunate enough to remain employed knows someone who is scrambling to keep their family afloat. They want to work. They can't find jobs. This influx of people in need of the cushioning support of a safety net is different from classic chronic welfare cases. What the recession has exposed is just how many people live from paycheck to paycheck. Without temporary assistance, they could lose shelter. Their kids would suffer. It doesn't take long for their lives to unravel. Unsurprisingly, SNAP, a private, nonprofit social service agency, has been inundated with requests for assistance, but the same forces that have caused mass layoffs have also triggered a decline in financial donations from corporations and individuals. Fortunately, federal stimulus dollars have been steered into agencies such as SNAP, previously known as Spokane Neighborhood Action Programs. As The Spokesman-Review reported on Saturday, SNAP was able to help about 50,000 people in 2009, a 30 percent increase over the previous year. Half of them were first-time clients. One program, Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing, has helped keep 248 people from becoming homeless by offering emergency rental assistance. Even with stimulus money, the number of households in need overwhelms the amount of available aid. Injecting temporary aid into chronic welfare cases is fruitless, so SNAP works to steer assistance to those people with the best chance of regaining their economic footing. Sometimes that includes people who are working but whose pay was slashed. . . Thousands of people in the region are living on the edge, even those with jobs. It's in our community's best interests to prevent them from falling into despair. Federal stimulus spending has come under a lot of criticism, much of it deserved. But routing temporary funds through agencies like SNAP is smart and compassionate." -- Spokane Spokesman Review, August 10, 2010
HUD in the Northwest Twitters. How about you? Join us at website
HUD Spokane hosts Fair Housing Workshop, September 1st, Spokane. Visit online
HUD Anchorage hosts All the Right Moves: Relocation & Tenant Assistance in HUD Programs, September 8th to 10th, Anchorage. Visit online
HUD Spokane hosts Your Credit is an Asset: Credit Counseling Tools for Tribal Organizations workshop, September 9th, Spokane. Visit online
HUD hosts how-to's of FHA Refinance Webinar, September 9th. Visit online
HUD Seattle hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop, September 13th, Seattle. Visit online
HUD hosts how-to's of FHA Connection I & II Webinars on, respectively, September 14th &!5th Visit online
Annual Conference of Alaska Association of REALTORS, September 14th to 17th, Juneau. Visit online
Annual Conference of Washington Association of Community Banks, September 15th to 17th, Tulalip. Visit online
HUD's Santa Ana Homeownership Center hosts "Intro to FHA" conference for real estate brokers, agents and loan officers, September 23rd, Spokane.
Annual Conference of Idaho Association of Counties, September 19th to 24th, Garden City. Visit online
Annual Conference of Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, September 20th to 23rd, Spokane. Visit online
Idaho Association of REALTORS annual business conference & expo, September 22nd to 25th, Boise. Visit online
NWONAP hosts ICDBG NOFA workshop, September 22nd, Seattle. Visit online
HUD Spokane hosts Inside FHA Workshop, September 22nd, Spokane. Visit online
City of Spokane & EPA host half-day workshop on Contaminated Lands & Community Revitalization, September 23rd, Spokane. Contact Adrienne Dorrah for information.
HUD Seattle hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop, September 27th, Seattle. Visit online
7th Annual Native Women's Leadership, September 27th, Tulalip Reservation. Visit online
King County Office of Civil Rights hosts Fair Housing Jeopardy-An Advanced Fair Housing Training, September 29th, Seattle. Visit online
HUD Portland hosts Lead Ed: Everything You Want to Know About HUD Lead Enforcement & Mitigation, September 28th, Portland. Visit, online
HUD Seattle hosts Lead Ed: Everything You Want to Know About HUD Lead Enforcement & Mitigation, September 29th, Seattle. Visit online
Philanthropy Northwest annual conference, September 29th to October 1st, Blaine. Visit online
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. Visit online
HUD Spokane hosts Fair Housing Workshop for landlords, tenants & managers, October 5th, Kennewick. Visit online
Northwest Business Environmental Council & Washington Department of Ecology host Brownfields Redevelopment - Reclaiming our Communities conference, October 6th & 7th, Tacoma. Visit online
Housing Land Advocates hosts conference on The Road Home: The Intersection of Transportation & Affordable Housing, October 7th, Salem. Visit online
17th annual Housing Washington conference, October 19th & 20th, Tacoma. Visit online
19th annual Rural LISC Seminar, October 19th to 22nd, Eugene & Canyonville. Visit online
Alaska Federation of Natives annual conference, October 21st to 23rd, Fairbanks. Visit online