On October 1st, opportunity will sound a very loud knock on the doors of almost 1.7 million people in the Northwest – an estimated 139,422 people in Alaska, 222,533 in Idaho, 519,986 in Oregon and 835,271in Washington state. That’s the first day that Americans who currently don’t have health insurance can enroll in their state’s Health Care Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. Learn more about the why’s and how’s of the health care marketplace in your state. And if you have questions, call 1-800-318-2596 where, 24/7, you can get answers in 140 different languages.
Effective August 26th, HUD’s Oregon office has moved to Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Office Building, 1220 SW 3rd Avenue, Suite 400, Portland, Oregon, 97204-2825. The telephone numbers remain the same beginning with the main number, 971-222-2600.
BURSTING BUBBLE & BUST
On August 5th, President Obama travelled to Desert Visa High School in Phoenix to offer America’s middle class “a better bargain.” The nation’s “housing market is healing,” he reported. “Home prices are rising at the fastest pace in 7 years. Sales are up nearly 50 percent. Construction is up nearly 75 percent. New foreclosures are down by nearly two-thirds. Millions of families have been able to come up for air, because they’re no longer underwater.” For all that, he added, “we’re not where we need to be yet.” And where should we be? Most certainly, he said, not “the same bubble-and-bust housing system that caused the financial crisis.” Instead, he proposed a better, more durable and fair bargain – one that would help more responsible homeowners refinance. Cut red tape., Increase home values. Help the hardest hit communities rebuild. Ensure those who rent have decent and affordable options. And create a “rock-solid foundation” for financing homeownership with a bigger role for the private sector, where taxpayers aren’t on the hook for the irresponsible behavior or bad decisions of financial institutions . Want more details, more specifics? Visit www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/08/05/fact-sheet-better-bargain-middle-class-housing
TO THE RESCUE
As of August 28th, Oregon Housing & Community Services has launched a new, statewide Home Rescue Program through which homeowners struggling to make their payments can qualify for up to a year of monthly mortgage assistance –up to a $20,000 maximum benefit – as well as up to $10,000 to bring their mortgage current, if they are behind. Participants must meet income qualifications; demonstrate a 10 percent loss in current income, and additional criteria. “Demand for assistance is high,” says OHCS, “and application space is limited, so homeowners worried about making their mortgage payments shouldn’t hesitate to apply.” New application slots will open every two weeks on Wednesday at noon “until program funds are exhausted.” To view criteria, determine eligibility and find out more about the Home Rescue Program, visit www.OregonHomeownerHelp.org.
! ! ! NEWS FLASH ! ! !
HUD proposes Fair Market Rents for fiscal year 2014.
HUD has just published a revised Handbook on Occupancy Requirements of Subsidized Multifamily Housing Programs (4350.3).
King County Housing Authority celebrates completion of $11 million in renovations of Green River Homes, a 59-unit public housing complex built in 1057 in Auburn, extending its useful life by “another 0 to 50” years”. . ..HUD awards $900,000 imminent threat grant to help Galena residents recover and rebuild after Yukon River flooding badly damaged or destroyed more than 100 homes. . .U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Farmworker Housing Development Corporation celebrate grand opening of Nuevo Amanecer IV in Woodburn. . . . Kitsap County & Washington State Housing Finance Commission launch Green Community Initiative – King County also just launched one a few months ago - through which projects recommended by County “that conserve energy or water, generate alternative energy or cut greenhouse gas emissions” may be have access to low-interest bond financing. . .Telling Coeur d’Alene Press “it’s such an honor to have this building named after my late husband,” Pat O’Brien and her son cut the ribbon on St. Vincent de Pau‘s new 14-unit, HUD-funded John O’Brien House for people with mental illness or other disabilities. . .“Community Partners for Affordable Housing celebrate 20th year of serving southwest Portland, Tigard, Tualatin and Beaverton. . .Bremerton Housing Authority says it expects to move offices to 600 Park Avenue in downtown Bremerton come October. . .The Jefferson, 40 units of affordable housing developed by Capitol Hill Housing in Seattle, and Lousac Place, a top-to-bottom redevelopment of public housing in Anchorage by Cook Inlet Housing and the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, selected as finalists for Affordable Housing Finance’s 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards. . .Jackson County Housing Authority gets “green light” from City of Medford to build 50 units of affordable housing on downtown parcel.
Where can kids with disabilities - like Spina Bifida - play as hard and have just as much fun as kids who don't? Visit Pocatello, Idaho
A couple of years ago the Tacoma Housing Authority entered into a partnership with the McCarver Elementary School in the city’s Hilltop neighborhood. In a typical year the school was experiencing a 100 percent – or more – turnover rate. Kids who started in the fall weren’t there when winter or spring arrived, in large measure because their financially-strapped parents had had to find someplace else to live. Bouncing from place to place, school to school, their academic performance suffered. Using its Moving to Work status, the Tacoma authority agreed to make a deal with parents. “If you commit to keeping your kids in school at McCarver, it told parents, “we’ll commit to providing you rental assistance.” Altogether, 47 families said “yes.” The results are impressive, says The News Tribune. “School suspensions declined, parent participation increased, and students out-performed the Tacoma Public Schools average on tests. “The most important thing,” says Michael Power of the Authority, is “that kids are stable in school, not bouncing around,” Beginning as early as January, what worked at McCarver Elementary will be tried at Tacoma Community College. It’s the same basic. Not knowing where you’re going to lay your head night after night, week after week makes it hard for a college student to stay in school and focus on their studies. So, the Authority has agreed to fund a program to help up to 30 TCC students with their rent — as long as they stay in school full time.“This is our first step working with students after high school,” Power said. “We want our clients to succeed in school and beyond. That was goal at McCarver; it’s the goal at Tacoma Community College.” For more, visit www.thenewstribune.com/2013/08/03/2711782/removing-barriers-to-education.htm
Little changes can make a big difference in a downtown. Just ask Lilly Longshore who had a “wonderful” vacation in Anacortes earlier this year. With a modest investment the City made a big and lasting impression
Estella Ozuna Zamora is the president of the Idaho Human Rights Commission and, also, a commissioner with the Caldwell Housing Authority. The Authority owns a 243-unit housing complex that used to be the site of the Farmway Village, a camp for migrant laborers. Zamora and her mom and dad and 12 brothers and sisters used the stay there when they travelled north from Texas to Idaho to work the harvest. With help from her friend LeAnn Simmons, she recalled what life was like at Farmway for NPR’s Story Corps.
In Curry County on Oregon’s southwest coast there were, at last count, 3,876 manufactured homes. About 30 percent of them pose serious health, safety and livability issues , “structural issues, indoor moisture, mold, faulty wiring, poor insulation and other issues possibly causing chronic health problems, injuries, fire hazards, and high health care and energy costs” says Douglas County Commissioner David Itzen. Many of those who call them home live on fixed or very low income and lack resources to maintain, much less upgrade the manufactured homes. Until now. Led by NeighborWorks Umpqua and the Curry County Commission a coalition of more than a dozen non-profits and local, state and Federal agencies – including Oregon Housing & Community Services, USDA and HUD - have launched ReHome Oregon to provide “financial assistance and small grants” to eligible homeowners either to repair or replace their home. “ We think this project may serve as a model for adjacent counties and possibly other areas of the state,” said the Commissioner.” And, we’d be for sure, well beyond.
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
After serving for a number of years as chief executive for both Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Dan Fauske resigns as head of AHFC and is succeeded by Bryan Butcher who returns to AHFC after serving as Alaska’s Commissioner of Revenue for last 2 ½ years. . HUD awards $37.1 million in capital funds to Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington state to maintain and upgrade public housing. . .U.S. Senator Patty Murray and Congressman Derek Kilmer join Bremerton Housing Authority and American Baptist Homes of the West to break ground for 81-unit, HUD-funded Bay Vista Senior Apartments, the last phase of the Authority’s transformation of Westpark into the new, mixed-income community of Bay Vista. . .Grants from the Idaho Women’s Charitable Foundation will provide “upcycled” playgrounds at 2 Mercy Northwest Housing complexes in Nampa. . ..Vancouver Housing Authority celebrates grand opening of Cherry Park, a 13-unit, HUD funded housing complex for people with disabilities. . .Rose Community Development celebrates grand re-opening of fully-renovated, 31-unit Greenview Terrace apartments for small families and single adults in east Portland. . .Alaska Housing Finance Corporation wins another 15 HUD VASH vouchers to provide permanent, affordable housing to homeless vets and now has more than 200 VASH vouchers in state. . .HUD has designated Oregon Housing & Community Services in Oregon, Contract Management Services, a subsidiary of the Bremerton Housing Authority, in Washington state and Idaho Housing & Finance Association in Alaska and Idaho as performance-based contract administrators. . .Northwest Housing Alternatives sets October 17th grand opening for 45-unit Alma Gardens in Hillsboro. . .Community Frameworks of Spokane & Bremerton wins $1,579,500 HUD Self-Help Homeownership – “sweat equity” – Program funds to help working families in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington roll-up their sleeves and own a home.
Collaborative applicants for the HUD 2013 Continuum of Care program competition need to register in e-snaps by September 23rd.
HUD has set an October 16th deadline to apply for $8.1 million in Service Coordinators in Multi-Family Housing funds. The funds enable owners of eligible properties to employment and support of coordinators in HUD insured and assisted housing properties that were designed for the elderly or nonelderly persons with disabilities and continue to operate as such. Service coordinators help residents obtain supportive services from the community that are needed to enable independent living and aging in place
Noting that USDA Farm Labor Housing Program funds are “the only national source of construction funds to buy, build or improve housing for farmworkers,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced a September 13th deadline for “farmers, farmers associations, family farm corporations, Indian tribes, nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and farmworkers associations” to apply for “nearly $40 million” in loans and grants” to develop or improve multi-family housing facilities for farmworkers and their families.”
USDA also has set a November 12th deadline to apply for almost $5.8 million in Rural Community Development Initiative funds to “intermediary organizations that will provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development.” Awards are capped at $300,000 and there is a matching fund requirement. Eligible applicants include county, city and town governments, public and tribal housing authorities, for- and not-for-profit organizations and Tribes.
USDA has set a September 13th deadline to apply for a total of $12.2 million under the Rural Microenterprise Assistance Program which help “ development and ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises, which are defined as rural businesses with 10 or fewer employees.” The program makes loans of up to $500,000 to Microenterprise Development Organizations which, in turn, make microloans for business start-up or development to eligible microentrepreneurs who are” unable to obtain conventional credit elsewhere.” Since USDA launched the program, it’s provided 97 loans totaling more than $37 million and 124 grants totaling more than $9.5 million to 110 MDOs which have made 760 microloans to 712 microenterprises.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture currently is seeking public comment on a proposal to increase awareness of homeownership opportunities its programs provide to low-income families. It says a 2010 pilot project suggests that the use of loan application packagers by qualified non-profits and public agencies tended to shorten and improve the likelihood of success in securing USDA homeownership assistance. If you’ve got views, USDA would love to hear them by October 22nd. For more, visit
The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and Alaska Department of Health and Social Services are conducting a survey on the number of units of supported housing in the state. If your organization offers transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, crisis respite, or other forms of supportive housing, please complete survey by September 9th. For more, please see the Web site of the Alaska Coalition on Homelessness & Housing.
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Alaska Native Tribal Health Care Consortium wins $743,044 in HUD Healthy Homes funds to improve indoor air quality to protect children against respiratory disease in four more southwestern Alaska Native villages. . Another sign of revitalization in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood as City Council okays sale for $100,000, says News Tribune, of two historic buildings to private developer to convert to retail and housing. . .Habitat for Humanity celebrates its 20th anniversary. . .Mason County Housing Coalition breaks ground for new shelter in Shelton. . .Access, Inc. celebrates grand opening of 6-home Hyde Park affordable housing development in Ashland. . .July issue of Chronicle of Philanthropy ranks Wells Fargo first among corporate givers to schools and non-profits. . .First-ever Project Homeless Connect in Gig Harbor draws 133 people seeking services, including 30 kids. . ..Oregon Housing & Community Services okays $300,000 grant to CASA of Oregon to help residents acquire 60-unit Century Drive Mobile Home Park in Bend. . . Spokane Neighborhood Action Program – SNAP – establishes no-smoking policy at “more than one dozen” residential properties it operates reports KREM-TV. . .Thanks to $7.2 million in tax-exempt bond sale proceeds and $3.5 million in Federal low-income tax credits provided by Washington State Housing Finance Commission, Southeast Effective Development(SEED) and Congressman Adam Smith break ground on 70 units of affordable housing for the elderly in Seattle’s Rainier Valley neighborhood. . .In his announcement of the availability of $40 million in Farm Labor Housing funds, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack calls attention to Beinestar’s 24-unit farmworker housing complex in Forest Grove that opened last December.
Last month Ryan Debonis of Eagle River received a rebate check for $7,500 from the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation for building his new home to the Corporation’s 5-Star Plus energy efficiency program (Alaskans can get a $10,000 rebate for building to the newer 6-Star Plus standards). He became the 2,000th recipient of a 5-Star Plus rebate since the Alaska Legislature first established the energy rebate program in 2088, the Corporation has spent more than $158 million for rebates and weatherization “savingan estimated 453,229 barrels of oil annually.”
How’s diversity faring at the Tacoma Housing Authority’s Salishan revitalization project? A team from Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Washington at Tacoma offer a view – and recommendations – HUD’s Cityscape
QUOTE TO NOTE
“If it takes another 100 years, we will still be here, working on these issues for equality and justice” – Lyle Quasim, member of the executive committee of the Tacoma chapter of the NAACP – “the first chapter” of the NAACP “west of the Rockies – on the occasion of its 100th anniversary, The News Tribune, August 14,2013.
"We’ve always looked to Portland and the surrounding area as a place where new ideas flourish and where the bar is being raised ever higher. It’s a place that challenges you to stretch and to look beyond the status quo. A lot of other jurisdictions faced with the challenge an aging affordable housing inventory which you faced may have been tempted to say “that’s a really big problem and, hopefully, someone will take care of it.” But in the truest sense of leadership, people in Portland stepped up with a vision, a bold vision, the 11 by 13 vision. Not to do it by themselves, but by looking at mobilizing partners, bringing all the right people to the table. Preservation of housing, particularly affordable housing, is critical, but it is also difficult. Being the only player at the table won’t work. Partnerships are an essential because when we talk about preservation it’s about more than bricks-and -more than a building. It’s really about the people who call those facilities home. It’s also about community, insuring that properties are preserved, not just for today, but for those who are yet to come. This initiative took a lot of not just people at the table thinking out the box but it also took the courage and leadership to take action outside that box, to move them forward, to mix and match, to push the envelope. I am really proud of the partners here including the role that HUD played. Oftentimes it’s easy to say, particularly in this day and age, that the Federal government can be part of the problem. In this community, in this state, in this region it brings me great pleasure to say that not only is HUD at the table but it’s part of the solution, bringing not only our traditional players, our traditional resources but also other types of funds, other types of flexibility to make this work At the end of the day I can say this is the right role for government supporting local priorities, leveling the playing field and being accessible and flexible when we need to be. Commissioners, I’ll look forward to the next initiative that raises the bar higher and being a partner with you and with all the folks standing up here representing HUD who are among the best of the best. We are eager to walk the next part of the journey with you here in Portland.” – HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride at a Portland City Hall celebration of the completion – ahead of schedule – of the 11X13 initiative to preserve at least 11 affordable housing properties in downtown Portland – it preserved 12 – by 2013, August 15, 2013r
WORTH A READ
“Seven years after Libby Boatwright first saw Lake Oswego seniors were in desperate need of affordable housing,” writes Victoria Edwards in The Oregonian, “she drove past the nearly completed Oakridge Park apartments to see a light on.” It’s a light, Edwards says, that wouldn’t have gone on without Boatwright who is leaving her post as associate pastor of Lake Grove Presbyterian Church in Lake Oswego to return to California and be certified as a chaplain. “See that light, she recalls, “was one of the greatest moments of her life.” See why.
NOTES TO NOTE
VA sets September 9th deadline to apply for $3 million in Grants For Transportation Of Veterans In Highly Rural Areas. . .State of Alaska sets September 9th deadline to respond to survey on affordable housing inventory in Alaska. . .HUD sets September 10th deadline to apply for Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants of up to $30 million each. . .City of Seattle sets September 12th deadline to apply for $21 million in Rental Housing Funds. . .USDA sets September 13th to apply for “almost $40 million” in Farm Labor Housing program funds. . .USDA sets September 13th deadline to apply for some $12.2 million under Rural Microenterprise Assistance Program that supports “development and ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises, which are defined as rural businesses with 10 or fewer employees”. . .HUD sets September 17th deadline to submit comments on the proposed Affirmatively Further Fair Housing rule. . .Treasury sets September 18th deadline for certified Community Development Financial Institutions to apply for $8.5 billion in calendar years 2013 & 2014 New Market Tax Credit funding. . .Veterans Affairs extends deadline to apply for 5 grants totaling $2 million under Rural Veterans Coordination Pilot grants to September 19th. . .USDA sets October 22nd deadline to submit comments on its proposal to increase awareness of its homeownership programs by using loan application packagers. . .HUD sets September 23rd deadline for collaborative applicants to register in e-snaps for 2013 Continuum of Care program competition. . .HUD sets October 16th for owners of HUD-assisted multifamily housing to apply for $8.1 million in Service Coordinators in Multifamily Housing Program funds. . .USDA sets November 12th deadline to apply for almost $5.8 million in Rural Community Development Initiative Program funds.
Northwest Indian Housing Association holds quarterly meeting, September 11th & 12th, Suquamish. Visit http://nwiha.org/events.html
Oregon AHMA hosts RD-Specific Workshops, September 12th, LaGrande. Visit www.oregonaffordablehousingmanagement.com/2013-Classes/Sept12-2013-RD-Workshops-LaGrande-Fillable-Savable.pdf
Oregon AHMA holds workshop on Basic Fair Housing for Affordable Housing Staff, September 12th, Salem. Visit www.oregonaffordablehousingmanagement.com/2013-Classes/Sept12-2013BASIC-Fair-Housing-WinemaPlace-Fillable-Savable.pdf
Oregon Planning Institute hosts The Next Oregon conference, September 12th & 13th, Eugene. Visit www.oregonplanninginstitute.com/July%2016_OPI2013_advance_program.pdf?size=441406
Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians hold 60th annual convention, September 16th to 19th ,Worley. Visit www.atnitribes.org/
Oregon chapter of American Planning Association hosts Oregon Transportation Summit, September 16th, Portland. Visit www.oregonapa.org/databaseshowitem.aspx?id=79850
Washington AHMA hosts HUD Basic Occupancy Certification Course, September 17th to 19th, Federal Way. Visit http://ahma-wa.org/trainings/training/
Alaska Association of REALTORS hosts annual conference, September 17th to 21st, Anchorage. Visit http://alaskarealtors.com/
Northwest Community Land Trust Coalition holding Fall Salon, September 18th, Seattle. Visit http://www.nwcltc.org/
Washington Asset Building Coalition holds Ideas to Impact Conference, September 18th & 19th, Yakima. Visit www.wabc2013conference.org/
HUD Spokane hosts on-line Basics of Fair Housing Webinar, September 19th, on-line. Visit www.hud.gov/emarc/index.cfm?fuseaction=emar.registerEvent&eventId=1502&update=N
Oregon Opportunity Network hosts Fall Industry Support Conference, September 23rd & 24th, Portland. Visit http://oregonon.org/get_involved/two-days-of-conference-goodness-sept-23-24/
HUD’s Northwest Office of Native American Programs hosts Methamphetamine Prevention and Remediation Training, September 25th and 26th, Suquamish. Contact email@example.com
Preservation Idaho hosts Idaho Heritage Conference, September 25th to 27th Boise. Visit www.preservationidaho.org/heritageconference
League of Oregon Cities holds 88th annual conference, September 26th to 28th, Portland. Visit www.orcities.org/Conference/tabid/987/language/en-US/Default.aspx
King County Office of Civil Rights offers workshops on Fair Housing Basics and Advanced Fair Housing, September 26th, Seattle. Visit www.kingcounty.gov/exec/CivilRights/FH/FHWorkshops.aspx
HUD’s Northwest Office of Native American Programs hosts Methamphetamine Prevention and Remediation Training, October 1st through 3rd, Umatilla. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington chapter of American Planning Association holds annual conference, October 2nd & 3rd, Bellevue. Visit www.washington-apa.org/site/pages/2013_conference
Oregon AHMA hosts Resident Services Roundtable, October 3rd, Portland. Visit www.oregonaffordablehousingmanagement.com/2013-Classes/Oct3-2013ResidentServicesRoundtable-PORTLAND-Fillable-Savable.pdf
20th annual Housing Washington Affordable Housing Conference convenes in Spokane, October 7th to 9th. Visit http://www.wshfc.org/conf/t
EPA Region X hosts 2013 Tribal Environmental Leaders Summit, October 7th to 11th, Spokane. Visit http://tels.kalispeltribe.com/
Alaska Coalition on Housing & Homelessness hosts annual conference, October 9th through 11th, Anchorage. Visit www.alaskahousing-homeless.org/conference
Idaho chapter of American Planning Association holds annual conference, October 9th to 11th, Idaho Falls. Visit http://idahoapa.org/2013-annual-conference/
Fair Housing Council hosts workshop on HUD’s new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, October 16th, Medford. Visit http://www.fhco.org/event_reg.htm
Fair Housing Council hosts workshop on HUD’s new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule, October 17th, Portland. Visit http://www.fhco.org/event_reg.htm
Housing Land Advocates host annual conference, On the Streets: Transportation & Affordable Housing, October 18th, Portland. Visit http://housinglandadvocates.org/annual-conference/
Annual Rail-Volution! conference,, October 20th to 23rd, Seattle. Visit http://www.railvolution.org/resources/future-conferences
Alaska Mobility Coalition hosts Alaska Transportation Summit, October 21st, Juneau. Visit http://alaskamobility.org/index.php?option=com_events&view=event&eventid=103
LinkIDAHO hosts 2013 Idaho Broadband Summit, October 22nd, Boise. Visit www.linkidaho.org/lid/Default.aspx
Oregon AHMA offers Comprehensive Reasonable Accommodations workshop, October 25th Salem. Visit www.oregonaffordablehousingmanagement.com/2013-Classes/Oct25-2013ComprehensiveRAFlyer-SCCFillableSavable.pdf
Oregon AHMA offers Managing RD Compliance workshop, October 29th & 30h, Salem. Visit www.oregonaffordablehousingmanagement.com/2013-Classes/Oct29-30-2013Managing-RDCompliance-Course-Flyer-Fillable-Savable.pdf
National Association of Housing Cooperatives holds annual convention, October 30th to November 2nd, Seattle. Visit www.coophousing.org/DisplayPage.aspx?id=1440&bMenu=150&bItem=1440
# # # #