In addition to meetings with local officials, a tour of King County Housing Authority's Greenbridge neighborhood and a ride on the new light-rail system, during his August visit to Seattle HUD Secretary Donovan visited Rainier Vista to break ground for and, effectively, re-start work on the Seattle Housing Authority's new, 83-unit Tamarack Place, a mixed-use, low-income housing complex. The project has been "stalled" for a number of years, "hammered", says the Authority, by "unfavorable development conditions" including rising construction costs, site issues and a bond and housing tax credit market that "dried up" as a result of the economic downturn. The Recovery Act, however, provided $13.5 million for the project, the "missing link," said Executive Director Tom Tierney, that will mean "up to 350 jobs for local residents" and more "sustainable and affordable housing." "We are starting," Senator Murray said, "another chapter in the success story that is Rainier Vista."
NORTH TO ALASKA
Following his visit to Seattle, the Secretary travelled to Alaska. You'd think his visit would be news enough on North Bliss Street in the Mountain View section of Anchorage. But the Cook Inlet Housing Authority had something more dramatic in mind - the systematic, almost surgical demolition - as the Secretary, Senator Begich and Mayor Sullivan watched - of a blighted apartment complex to make way for 10 duplex town homes built, in part, with HUD funds. It's all part of the Authority's efforts to address Anchorage's shortage of rental units. "If there's no place for them to move," Authority president Carol Gore told The Anchorage Daily News, "you're never going to fix the homeless problem."
HUD awards $51.2 million in Recovery Act funds to 24 tribes, native villages and tribal organizations in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, said Secretary Donovan, to "improve housing and create jobs in Native American communities across the country"...U.S. Department of Justice Justice Department today filed a lawsuit against the developer of the Riverwalk Condominiums in Post Falls, Idaho, for violating the Fair Housing Act by constructing apartments inaccessible to individuals with disabilities...REACH and 200 "inspired" volunteers celebrate its 20th annual Paint & Repair-a-thon by completing 116 projects at a "record" 21 homes in Lents Park neighborhood of Portland...Longview Housing Authority launches 14th annual back-to-school supply drive for children living in its Woodland Apartments complex...Juneau Empire says Justice Department awards $478,869 to Interior Alaska Center for Nonviolent Living to teach independent living skills to victims of domestic and sexual violence...Committed to "high-quality outreach and readjustment counseling," Veterans Affairs Secretary Shinseki announces plans to open new Vet Centers in Walla Walla and Deschutes County...Idaho Mountain Express says that, thanks to the Recovery Act, Ketchum Community Development will start building of 32-unit Northwood Place in October...Noting that "health centers are seeing more patients now than ever before," Health & Human Services Secretary Sebelius awards more than $4 million to expand health and support services at 20 clinics n Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington... Lael Duncan of Okanogan County Community Action elected as President of Washington State Coalition for the Homeless...Albina Community Bank in Portland one of 55 institutions serving "economically distressed communities" to win $22 million in Bank Enterprise Awards under Community Development Financial Institutions program.
Recovery Act funds have hit the streets. Grantees are moving forward with projects. Can your faith- or community-based organization in the Northwest have a role to play as they do? Find out at a toll-free Recovery Act Update teleconference call on Wednesday, September 9th at 9 a.m. Alaska Time, 10 a.m. Pacific Time and 11 a.m. Mountain Time. To participate, please send a note to Leland Jones.
TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Is your faith- or community-based organization looking for help on developing its board? On understanding what all this talk about "logic models" means? On how to evaluate the effectiveness of what you do? Then you'll want to be in Pocatello, Idaho, on September 11th for a free HUD workshop that will cover all these topics - and more - for faith- and community-based organizations that want to take their organization to the next level. For information, contact HUD Boise's Brian Dale at 208/334-1088, extension 3005, or e-mail or register on-line for the event.
Thanks to former HUD Portland director Tom Cusack for noting, in his Oregon Housing Blog that August 22nd marked the 35th anniversary of President Ford's signing of the bill creating the Community Development Block Grant and the Section 8 voucher and project-based rental assistance programs.
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
HUD's Santa Ana Homeownership Center conducts "A-B-C's of FHA" workshops on September 15th in Bellevue, September 16th in Olympia, September 17th in Beaverton and September 18th in Eugene...Aid for Friends shelter in Pocatello celebrates 25th anniversary...The World says Coos Bay City Council has okayed use of $135,000 in CDBG funds "to clean up properties that are "such a mess that they're a public safety concern"...USDA Rural Development awards Metlakatla Indian Corporation Housing Authority in Alaska $50,000 to improve the homes of 10 elderly residents...Bellingham Herald reports City Council okay of "infill toolkit" allowing development of nine new-to-city housing types - "from small cottages to town homes" - in "already urban areas"...Hacienda Community Development celebrates grand opening of 32-unit Miraflores complex for working families in North Portland...Puyallup Tribal Housing Authority unveils plans to use Recovery funds to refurbish existing apartment complex and add 20 units in northeast Tacoma... Governor Kulongoski announces award of $4 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds to Umpqua Community Development, Habitat for Humanity of Oregon, Community Services Consortium, Community Connection of Northeast Oregon and Yamhill County and Central Oregon housing to buy and rehab foreclosed properties in rural areas...News Tribune reports ACORN hosts its first Faces of Foreclosure Neighborhood Walk in south Tacoma. . St. Vincent de Paul building in Eugene torn down to make way for 35-unit affordable apartment building...Coos Bay seeks to have new fire station - with solar panels to cut electricity and 12,000 gallon underground tank to collect rain water - LEED-certified as "first green public building" in state...Kitsap Sun says County okays Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds to buy foreclosed duplex in Bremerton and single-family home in Port Orchard for transitional family housing...USDA Rural Utilities Service and National Telecommunications & Information Administration say they've received almost 2,200 applications for nearly $28 billion in Recovery Act funds for broadband projects...Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels announces award of $5.4 million in local and Recovery Act funds to 10 organizations to "prevent more than 1,600 low0income families from becoming homeless over the next two years" and to help another 100 families "move from shelters and the streets into affordable housing".
"BRINGNG THE PAST INTO TODAY"
Nestled in a small village in the Brooks Range, the 1,000 square foot house being built by the Tagiugmiullu Nunamiulli Housing Authority with help from the Alaska Housing Finance and the Numamiut Corporation at Anaktuvuk Pass is not one you'll run into on a typical tour of Sunday open houses. I's one you should "visit" anyway. Designed by the Cold Climate Housing Research Center at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, it's the first "green" house north of the Arctic Circle. During the 1980's, The Fairbanks News-Miner explains, housing built in Alaska used designs used in the Lower 48. But not in Alaska. "Within a generation," says Center president Jack Hebert, we created an inventory of overcrowded houses on stilts that are poorly-insulated, poorly-ventilated and incorrectly oriented to the sun and wind. The house uses "new" technologies - soy-foam insulation, a photovoltaic array and a wind turbine, but the most important innovation may be the oldest - soil. The roof is covered with sod and all but the entrance is buried,, the way houses were built by the area's first settlers. "We're embracing the history and bringing it into today," says Hebert. The result? The house will use "just 100" gallons of heating oil a year compared to the 1,500 gallons used by typical houses in the area.
GREEN FOR GREEN
Habitat for Humanity chapters in Anchorage, Boise Valley, Canyon County, Magic Valley, Bend, Benton County, Sisters, Spokane, the Tri-Cities and Cowlitz, Mason and Snohomish counties are among 123 Habitat affiliates nationwide selected to participate in The Home Depot Foundation's expanded Partners in Sustainable Building program. Affiliates will receive $3,000 for each house built to Energy Star standards and up to $5,000 for homes built to even greener standards. The partnership will build an estimated 5,000 homes over the next five years. "We have a great opportunity," said Habitat's Jonathan Reckford, "to bring the economic benefits of sustainable building to our homeowners."
With FHA helping record numbers of homebuyers and homeowners seeking safe and sound refinancing, now's the time to find out how FHA can work for you and your customers. HUD Seattle,, FHA's Santa Ana Homeownership Center and the Washington Mortgage Lenders are holding a 3-day FHA Lenders Update from September 15th to 17th in Sea-Tac. It'll give you everything you need to know about FHA underwriting, processing, appraising and everything in between. Space is limited, so find out today how to register online.
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and Oregon Housing & Community Services have set the Fall 2009 schedule of Homeownership Forums, with events planned September 30th in Hillsboro, October 5th in Hood River, October 6th in Bend, October 22nd in Salem, October 23rd in Springfield, November 17th in Roseburg and November 18th in Coos Bay. For more, visit website.
"HOME, SWEET (and HEALTHY) HOME"
Made you plans to head to Boise yet? Well, that's where you want to be from September 15th to September 17th if interested in the a-b-c's of making houses as healthy as they can be for those who call them "home." Among the featured speakers at this year's Idaho Healthy Homes Conference are Ruth Ann Norton of Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning, Wesley Priem of the Michigan Department of Community Health, Eileen Gagney of the American Lung Association and Barbara Ross, EPA's Regional Lead Coordinator. Register on-line.
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
HUD Secretary Donovan joins Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, Energy Secretary Chu and Education Secretary Duncan for "Rural Listening Tour" town hall in Bethel...Tacoma Housing Authority celebrates completion of first phase of its Salishan revitalization project - 270 new and affordable rental housing units, a new medical and dental clinic and new parks - and starts work on second phase that will include 182 single-family units and a 55-unit complex for the elderly... Menan, Idaho wins $almost $3 million Hood River almost $23 million in USDA grants and loans to rebuild and expand water systems...Following donation of business library by Greater Spokane Incorporated, SNAP Financial Access opens new business resource center in downtown Spokane...Telling Mail Tribune "we were one of the lucky people," Louis Walls and his family are one of first to move into eight new transitional homes in Medford...September 28th is deadline to comment on HUD's proposal - published in the July 28th Federal Register - to develop "pilot" automated process to provide "alternative credit rating" for borrowers who "have insufficient credit histories"...Seattle Post Intelligencer says Urban Impact will build 63-unit, "family- and kid-focused" complex in Rainier Beach...Seattle-King County Workforce Development Council wins one of 10 Department of Labor grants "to connect older Americans to career opportunities"...Roseburg is 12th community to join Oregon Housing & Community Services' Vertical Housing Program that, says News-Review, provides property tax breaks for "residential space above first-floor commercial spaces"...Bremerton wins $1.75 million HUD Brownfields Economic Development Initiative grant to redevelop abandoned waterfront property as park and link it with a 3,200 boardwalk to city center...From compressed natural gas fleet to wastewater reuse, from a series showcasing Oregon poets to a summer "outpost" for young people, cities of Albany, Aumsville, Brookings, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Lebanon, Medford, Milwaukie, Molalla, Newberg, St. Helens, Sandy, Tigard, Woodburn and Yachats compete for League of Oregon Cities Excellence & Good Governance Awards October 1st to 3rd in Portland...Calling it "my dream apartment," Roxanne Smith moves into The Madison in Spokane renovated, says The Spokesman-Review, with funds from 2002 state legislation that taps recording fees to support affordable housing...Labor Department announces availability of funds for Stand Downs for homeless veterans at with applications due 60 days before the event.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I learned from my grandma and my mom, and they still sell tamales in Mexico. What makes the best of my tamales is that I put my heart, my knowledge, my expertise and it also has the flavor of my country of origin." -Lourdes Hernandez in the July 30th Oregonian, talking about Hacienda Community Development's Micro Mercantes program, which has opened a "restaurant-grade" kitchen and given micro-loans to "mother-daughter teams" to make and sell tamales at farmers' markets in Portland.
! ! ! BREAKING NEWS ! ! !
August 28th Federal Register publishes final rule removing "regulation that prohibits the use of project labor agreements in HUD-assisted construction contracts," effective September 28th.
NEWS TO MUSE
HUD issues report online that "borrowers with HOME or ADDI down payment assistance had lower average foreclosure rates than a similar set of borrowers that did not have down payment assistance".
Has your organization got news - a ground-breaking, a ribbon-cutting, a new program launched, a milestone accomplished, a grant won, a partnership formed - you'd like to share with HUD Highlights' 23,000 readers in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon or Washington? Send it today to Leland Jones.
Victor Merced is inviting Oregonians to attend forums in Roseburg, Bend, Pendleton, Portland and Salem "to help shape how Oregon Housing & Community Service implements" the Housing Opportunity Bill, passed by the Legislature to provide additional funds to the agency. See "Coming Up" below.
September 4th deadline to apply for Department of Labor Energy Training Partnership grants...September 14th deadline to apply for EPA Indoor Air Pollutant Reduction grants...September 8th deadline to apply for Washington state Urban Vitality Grants to help local governments cut "per capita vehicle miles driven" in their communities...September 18th deadline to apply for HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program grants...September 18th deadline to apply for HUD Resident Opportunity & Self Sufficiency (ROSS) grants...September 24th deadline to apply for USDA Rural Community Development Initiative grants...September 29th deadline to apply for Department of Labor Pathways Out of Poverty renewable energy training grants...November 17th deadline to apply for HUD HOPE VI Public Housing Revitalization grants.
HUD Spokane hosts Fair Housing Act workshop, September 2nd, Spokane. Visit website .
Deadline to apply for 13th annual ,HUD Secretary's Opportunity & Empowerment Awards, September 9th. Visit website.
HUD Seattle hosts Recovery Act Update teleconference for faith- and community-based organizations, September 9th. To participate, please contact Leland Jones.
HUD Idaho hosts "Taking Faith & Community-Based Organizations to the Next Level" workshop in Pocatello, September 11th. For more, contact Brian Dale.
HUD Spokane hosts Fair Housing Training September 15th from 10 a.m. to Noon for tenants, owners and managers of HUD, USDA and other multi-family properties and from for social service agencies, Okanagan. Register on-line
HUD Seattle, FHA Santa Ana Homeownership Center & Washington Mortgage Lenders Association host three-day FHA Lender Update, September 15th to 17th, SeaTac. Visit website.
Idaho Healthy Homes Conference, September 15th to 17th, Boise. Visit online
Annual Conference of Alaska Association of REALTORS, September 15th to 19th, Fairbanks. Visit website.
Seattle/King County Association of REALTORS hosts "A-B-C's of FHA" workshop by HUD Santa Ana Homeownership Center, September 15th, Bellevue. Contact Russell Hokanson at (425) 974-1011.
Thurston County Association of REALTORS host "A-B-C's of FHA" workshop conducted by HUD Santa Ana Homeownership Center, September 16th, Olympia. Contact Becky Jarvela at (360) 491-3910.
Idaho Association of REALTORS Business Conference & Expo, September 16th to 20th, Coeur d'Alene. Visit website.
American Institute of Architects Alaska annual meeting hosts AIA Northwest & Pacific Region annual conference September 17th to 19th, Anchorage. Visit website.
Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals hosts "A-B-C's of FHA" workshop by HUD Santa Ana Homeownership Center, September 17th, Beaverton. Visit website.
HUD Spokane hosts Fair Housing Training, September 18th, Kennewick. Register on-line
Eugene Association of REALTORS hosts "A-B-C's of FHA" workshop by HUD Santa Ana Homeownership Center, September 18th, Eugene. Contact Patty Manning at (541) 484-3043.
Idaho Association of Counties holds annual conference, September 20th & 24th, Coeur d'Alene. Visit website.
Oregon Housing & Community Services' Housing Opportunity Bill Implementation Forum, September 21st, Roseburg. Visit website.
Washington REALTORS Association hosts Fall Business Conference, September 23rd to 25th in Wenatchee. Visit website.
Oregon Housing & Community Services Housing Opportunity Bill Implementation Forum, September 23rd, Bend. Visit website.
HUD Anchorage hosts training on Civil Rights Requirements for HUD Grantees, September 24th, Anchorage. Visit website.
Oregon Housing & Community Services Housing Opportunity Bill Implementation Forum, September 24th, Pendleton. Visit website.
Oregon chapters of American Planning Association host 2009 Housing Land Advocates Conference, September 25th, Gresham. Visit website.
16th annual Housing Washington affordable housing conference, September 29th & 30th, Spokane. Visit website.
Oregon Housing & Community Services Housing Opportunity Bill Implementation Forum, September 29th, Portland. Visit
Federal Reserve Bank and Oregon Housing & Community Services Homeownership Forum, September 30th, Hillsboro. Visit website.
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 5th, Hood River. Visit website.
Federal Reserve Bank and Oregon Housing & Community Services Homeownership Forum, October 6th, Bend. Visit website.
Northwest Environmental Business Council hosts Brownfields Redevelopment Conference, October 14th & 15th, Tacoma. Visit website.
Oregon Housing & Community Services Housing Opportunity Bill Implementation Forum, October 9th, Salem. Visit website.
Association of Washington Cities' Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council conference, October 14th to 16th, Wenatchee. Visit website.
Idaho Housing & Finance Association hosts 2009 Idaho Housing Conference, October 19th & 20th, Boise. 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 22nd, Salem. Visit website.
Federal Reserve Bank and Oregon Housing & Community Services Homeownership Forum, October 23rd, Springfield. Visit website.
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