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Northwest Notes
Office of Public Housing
Region X - Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington

The Director's Corner

There are a number of upcoming opportunities for which your PHA may qualify that are in the HUD FY 2010 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA); Policy Requirements and General Section to FY2010 NOFAs for Discretionary Programs. The General Section lists the programs expected to be included in HUD's FY 2010 NOFAs. As of early October 2010, the following programs are anticipated:

  • Public and Indian Housing Family Self-Sufficiency (PHFSS)
  • ROSS Service Coordinators
  • Housing Choice Voucher Family Self-Sufficiency (HCV/FSS)
  • Capital Fund Education and Training Community Facilities (CFCF) Program

All of this information is provided to assist prospective applicants in planning successful applications and is available on the HUD Web site and on the Grants.gov Web site.

Be prepared for these and other opportunities for which your PHA may qualify.

On behalf of Office of Public Housing team members in the Seattle, Portland & Anchorage offices, we hope this newsletter is helpful to you. Let me know if there are items you would like to see in future newsletters.

Harlan Stewart
Director, Office of Public Housing
Region X, Northwest/Alaska Office

Senior Housing Opens in McMinnville, OR

In recent years, McMinnville city officials, the McMinnville Downtown Association, and the Housing Authority of Yamhill County (HAYC) have stressed the importance of developing affordable senior housing in McMinnville. None existed in downtown McMinnville, even though the historic old-town area on Third Street is a favorite place for seniors to socialize and shop. If designed correctly, placing senior housing in the historic downtown area, especially in a currently unattractive and inefficient location, would meet two critical needs and encourage further development.

HAYC began researching and discussing a mixed-use project in the historic downtown area with city officials and the Downtown Association. It was clear that such a development would need to complement the characteristics and atmosphere created by existing buildings and street amenities in the downtown core, especially on Third Street. Such features included commercial/retail space at street level, red brick façade, awnings, entrance doors inset from the sidewalk in front of the building, old-town street lights, and other features that moved away from the contemporary look and closer to the early 1900's architecture that characterized most of the structures along Third Street. It was also decided early on that the project would maximize environmentally friendly and sustainable features wherever possible and set the standard for future development in the area.

The open courtyard and attractive community room separating the taller wings on each side provide both indoor and outdoor amenities for residents. The courtyard includes numerous planting areas. Some are pre-planted with environmentally friendly characteristics, such as minimal watering, and some areas are dedicated for use by the residents who wish to be active in gardening and landscaping. The courtyard is open toward the downtown area, providing attractive views and a connection with downtown. The community room has comfortable seating in the main area with a library oon one side and a small kitchen on the other. Two computer stations offer free Internet access for the residents.

The funding of this project required several sources of financing, including Low Income Housing Tax Credits through Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS), PNC Capital as the tax credit syndicator/limited partner, West Coast Bank as construction and permanent lender, and other funding available through OHCS including HOME funds, weatherization funds and the OHCS Trust Fund. The application for OHCS funding was successful and represented, by far, the largest project funded through OHCS in the 2006 funding cycle.

SUSTAINABILITY/USE OF MATERIALS


Exterior of the Village Quarter in downtown McMinnville, OR

The key "Green" features of the Village Quarter are: An advanced storm water management system which captures rainwater and uses it to feed plantings and flush toilets; a "green" roof on the Community Room; covered parking which reduces heat island effects and footprint; energy efficient HVAC and light fixtures; re-used and re-cycled building materials; building materials with low levels of volatile organic compounds; balconies and overhangs that maximize sunlight and shade. These features set the example for future developments in this region. The Oregon Secretary of State lauded Village Quarter for its innovative "green" design and expects this project to drive design efforts throughout Oregon.

HUD at "Government Going Green" Event

On August 26th the Government Going Green fair occurred at the plaza of the Jackson Federal Building in Seattle, WA. The GSA Northwest Regional Administrator George Northcroft kicked off the event by giving a speech about how the Government Going Green (GGG) will encourage the private sector to take similar actions and educate the public on different agencies. It will also provide transparency on ARRA projects. This demonstration was not only an opportunity for the public to get ideas of how they can take part in making a difference in the environment, but also an opportunity to bring organizations together. The event was hosted by the Seattle Federal Executive Board, which had a total of twelve agencies showcasing their part in going green. The twelve agencies were NOAA, HUD, GSA, EPA, FAA, King County, City of Seattle, Port of Seattle, SSA, FGC, Army, and Army Corps of Engineers. All of the federal agency attendees had the chance to view one another's way of helping the environment go green.


HUD summer interns, Selemun Welderfael, Areli Chiru-Rodriguez and Mackenzie Martin at HUD booth.

The federal agencies created booths to showcase at the event detailing how the different departments are going green in their projects. HUD showcased information about Public and Indian Housing Sustainability and the Seattle field office's HOPE VI Grants. One of the featured projects was Seattle's High Point community, a renowned project that has received numerous awards from around the world for green building and design.


HUD provided funds to improve building materials that make homes more energy efficient. For example, new windows make homes air tight so that the utility costs of bills are more affordable. HUD and the Department of Energy have a partnership to better improve the quality of homes and buildings. The partnership helps create livable, walk-able and environmentally sustainable communities. With the partnership comes collaboration with other agencies to help create a more "green" environment.


Ryan Mielcarek, Facilities Management Specialist for Public Housing HUD hugging Bert the Salmon, King County Environment Mascot.

The GGG fair continued with a little light rain but could not curb the enthusiasm of the presenters on 2nd Ave. There was also live music by a band that attracted more and more people throughout the day. Bert the Salmon, the King County Environmental Mascot, entertained the crowd while reminding participants to always be reminded of the importance healthy waterways for salmon.



Recovery Act in Action: La Creole Manor

Situated in Dallas, OR, this prominent sixty-unit, four story apartment complex was constructed and purchased in 1970 and primarily serves seniors and the disabled. There are 35 studio units and 24 one-bedroom units featuring private patios or balconies. Rehab of the interior hallways was completed about 8 years ago. With a combination of regular Capital Funds and ARRA Funds, the project received an exterior paint job, new split system heat pumps and replacement of all the water distribution lines through the building. The updates have created an attractive and very desirable place to live for elderly and disabled residents in the West Valley Housing Authority's jurisdiction.

IMS-PIC Corner

What is IMS? PIC is evolving into the PIH Inventory Management System or IMS. During this transition, PIC will be referred to as IMS-PIC.

Last quarter's Newsletter discussed Notice PIH 2010-6 and changes to unit status in PIC. The Job Aid is essential for understanding the steps required for making changes to the status of vacant Public Housing units. If submitting a change that requires HUD approval, the changes must also be submitted to HUD. This is not in the list on page 5, but is explained on page 6. The user can request changes for any number of units or developments, with steps 1 through 10. Once they are submitted, all of the building and unit data is locked until HUD approves the proposed status changes. This is the same lock that happens when you submit building and unit data to HUD. Remember that some of these changes may require other documentation. Those submitting changes are recommended to notify the PHRS and PIC Coach in order to approve the requests promptly.

Notice PIH 2010-25, Timely Reporting Requirements of HUD 50058 was issued July 7, 2010. It establishes new requirements for timely submission of HUD 50058s. Reports must now be submitted within 60 days of the effective date of the action. This notice also discusses the requirement to use action code 10 whenever a voucher is issued. Initially, a warning shows for any new admissions not preceded by an action 10.

For questions about the new release, or any other PIC questions, please contact the HUD field office PIC Coach.

Seattle Office - Suzanne Manville at (206) 220-6231
Portland Office - Alice Ford at (971) 222-2662 or Betsy Marsh at (971) 222-2664

HUD makes $110 Million Available for Lead Hazard Cleanup

In a NOFA issued August 11, 2010, HUD announced that it is making approximately $110 million in grants available to help eliminate dangerous lead-based paint from low income homes and to protect young children from lead poisoning. The grants to States and local governments are being offered through HUD's Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control and Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Programs.

"These grants are critical for States, counties, and cities who are on the front lines of protecting our children from dangerous lead hazards," said Jon Gant, Director of the Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control. "While we have made remarkable progress toward eliminating lead poisoning in children nationwide, now is the time to focus on reaching the finish line. We look forward to communities applying for these grants so that they can help make older housing safer and healthier for children."

HUD is providing an opportunity for applicants through its Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program. Prospective grantees will be able to apply for supplementary funding to promote and develop a local Healthy Housing initiative, building on their lead hazard control program, to address multiple housing-related health hazards in accordance with best practices HUD has identified. In addition, the Department will announce the availability of funds for four Healthy Homes and lead grant programs in the near future.

To apply, prospective grantees must submit their applications electronically via www.grants.gov. Applicants are urged to sign up for the Grants.gov notification service to receive periodic updates or changes to this grant offering.

The deadline to apply is October 15, 2010

Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program and Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program NOFAs

Common VMS Reporting Errors
By David L Peters, Sr. QA Specialist

On September 13, 2010, I had the opportunity to present at the Fall NAHRO Conference in Newport. My topics included an overview of the Voucher Management System (VMS) and using/developing Business Intelligence Analytics to improve management of your operations. During the VMS session, I misspoke a bullet point and would like to clarify. I stated that the line item in VMS - Number of Vouchers on the last day of the month - represented "New Contracts only." I meant to apply that statement to the VMS line item - HAP All VO Expenses after the first of the month. I apologize for the error.

That said, I would like to clarify and expand on that portion of my presentation, namely VMS errors. The HCV Quality Assurance Division, Office of Housing Voucher Programs has had the opportunity to conduct hundreds of HCV Data Validation reviews over the past 2+ years; primarily focusing on VMS reporting. What follows is a general listing of the errors we most often see.

Probably our most common error has to do with reporting units leased and their associated HAP expense on the first of the month. The Department's requirement is that units and their associated HAP expense are to be reported in the month the payment was due not the month it was actually paid. This is a common accounting issue because housing authorities will typically close their general ledgers after the end of a month and not re-open them. VMS requirements are that housing authorities should correct prior month reporting to "fix" any units and their associated HAP costs that should have been reported as leased on the first of a specific month. For example, if a housing authority in December issued a HAP check that was really for October, it should be reported in October and the lease-up and the associated HAP cost should be corrected on the housing authority's October VMS report. If the housing authority does not have a good system to monitor this activity, VMS may never get corrected. It is important to recognize that housing authorities close their accounting systems (general ledgers) by a certain time each month in order to generate monthly financial statements. Once closed it is not "re-opened." However, because VMS previously reported data can be changed repeatedly, there will be differences between what the housing authority reports in its general ledger for HAP expense and what is shown on the VMS for the same month. Regardless of the difference between what is reported in the general ledger and the VMS, the housing authority should be able to provide a reconciliation of the difference. This is typically done by a use of a spreadsheet which shows for each month the number of units moved from one month to another and the associated HAP expense.

A second common error is the housing authority does not report its special use vouchers in the correct category. The most common error is that they end up in the "All Other Vouchers" field. With enhanced edits checks the system now has, these errors have diminished.

A third error has to do with the field "number of vouchers leased on the last day of the month" - some housing authorities report those under lease on the first of the subsequent reporting month under the assumption the number is the same. It rarely is.

A fourth error has to do with the field "HA owned units leased." The purpose of this reporting field is for the Department to determine the amount in administrative fees that are earned at the "C" fee factor. (It is important to note that the department still requires this field submission even during those times that "C" rate admin fees are not paid) Housing Authorities tend to get confused about how they know whether they "own" a unit. Typically the confusion comes with regard to various mixed financed projects in which vouchers have been committed to the project as a project based commitment.

A fifth error involves the field "all voucher HAP expense after the first of the month" - Housing authorities should only be reporting the pro-rated HAP checks issued for the reporting month and not full month HAP checks. This error can occur if the housing authority lacks internal control systems to separate out full month HAP payments from partial month HAP payments. When reporting this field - Think "New Contracts Only."

Look for my accrual tracking model next issue, it may simplify the adjustments and edits for VMS as well as cutting down on the staff time required to report accurately.

Optimizing HCV Utilization and Reducing Public Housing Vacancies

As part of HUD's 5-Year Strategic Plan goal to expand the supply of affordable rental homes where they are most needed, HUD will be focusing on two primary areas during fiscal year 2011: optimal utilization of Housing Choice Vouchers and the reduction of Public Housing vacancies.

Housing Choice Vouchers

HUD is looking at PHA performance nationwide, using data from VMS to identify PHAs who may be overleasing, overspending, or underleasing. New data is added monthly, and problems are identified. If a PHA appears to be overleasing or overspending, the PHA may be contacted by HUD staff to assist in avoiding any terminations. If a PHA seems to have unused vouchers, Field Office staff will discuss the situation.

HUD Field Office staff will be available to help PHAs project utilization trends over two years, to avoid funding shortfalls or overleasing. HUD FO's will also help PHAs project the effect of increased leasing on future funding and administrative fees. Training will be available for PHAs in using the two-year projection spreadsheet. Field Office Staff can help identify factors that affect increased leasing potential.

Because HUD uses VMS data to project trends, emphasis is placed on the importance of accurate reporting in VMS. Since future funding is determined using data from VMS and from PIC, it is important to be sure that the data is accurate.

Public Housing

PIC data reflects that approximately 15% of public housing units are vacant due a number of reasons, including special use purposes. HUD's goal is to serve 33,000 additional families nationwide through the end of FY2011 by potentially bringing more units back "online" and made available for occupancy. Field Offices will be pulling reports from PIC and working with PHAs to verify and validate the number of units reflected in PIC as vacancies, as well as the reasons they are vacant.

For questions regarding your HCV utilization or Public Housing vacancies, contact your local Field Office PHRS.

Be an Energy Star!

For timely tips on reducing seasonal energy costs and a directory of energy saving ideas, visit: www.energystar.gov/.

Recently Published Guidance

Federal Register Notices

Document Date Issued Title
FR-5415-C-11 20100924 Notice of Funding Availability for HUD's Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program and Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program; Technical Correction
FR-5415-N-11 20100909 Notice of Availability: Notice of Funding Availability for HUD's Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program and Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant Program
FR-5415-N-07 20100831 Notice of Availability: Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for HUD's Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 HOPE VI Revitalization Grants Program
FR-5415-N-25 20100831 Notice of Availability: Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for HUD's Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Choice Neighborhoods Initiative -- Round 1 NOFA
FR-5430-N-01 20100804 Proposed Fair Market Rents for the Housing Choice Voucher Program and Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program Fiscal Year 2011
FR-5374-N-12 20100802 Buy American Exceptions Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
FR-5428-N-01 20100723 Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS): Asset Management Transition Year 2 Extension
FR-5417-N-01 20100709 Administrative Guidelines; Subsidy Layering Reviews for Proposed Section 8 Project-Based Voucher Housing Assistance Payments Contracts

E-Memos (electronic memoranda)

Seattle HUB

Issued Purpose
10-01-2010 Changes in Staff & Assignments - Seattle Public Housing Hub
09-29-2010 Region X HUD Environmental Update - September 2010
09-22-2010 Grants.gov Security Build Changes to Occur October 11, 2010
09-21-2010 FFATA Sub-recipient Reporting/Grantee Webinar - September 23rd
09-20-2010 HUD-VASH Webcast - September 23rd
09-15-2010 Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Coordinator Meeting/Workshop
09-08-2010 Changes In Staff & Assignments - Seattle Public Housing Hub
09-07-2010 Lead-Based Paint Enforcement and Mitigation Trainings in Seattle and Portland
09-02-2010 Technical Difficulties with Choice Neighborhoods Webcast
08-16-2010 Bed Bugs EPA Consumer Alert!  CDC/EPA Joint Statement
07-22-2010 PIH EIV Pending Verification Message
07-21-2010    Required New Federal Labor Law Poster for ARRA Whistleblowers

Portland FO

Issued Purpose
09-29-2010    Region X HUD Environmental Update - September 2010
09-24-2010 NEW LINK to NOFA above supplement to Sept 23 emo/NOFA
09-23-2010 NOFA Health Center New Access Points Funded Under the FY10 Affordable Care Act
09-21-2010 Security Build, Grants.gov
09-20-2010 HUD / Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program (VASH)
09-20-2010 Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) - Town Hall Meeting
09-15-2010 FSS Coordinator Counterpart Meeting
09-02-2010 Lead Ed: HUD's Lead Safety and Mitigation
09-02-2010 Technical Difficulties with Choice Neighborhoods Webcast
08-16-2010 Bedbugs: EPA and CDC Joint Statement
08-03-2010 Third Quarter Newsletter Issued
07-22-2010 PIH EIV Pending Verification

PIH Notices

Notice Issued Title
10-40 09/28/2010   Set-Aside Funding Availability for Project-Basing HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Vouchers
10-38 09/22/2010 Income exclusion under temporary employment by U.S. Census Bureau
10-37 09/07/2010 Operating Fund Program: Guidance on Demonstration of Successful Conversion to Asset Management to Discontinue the Reduction of Operating Subsidy, Year 5 Applications
10-30 08/02/2010 Transactions between Public Housing Agencies and their Related Affiliates and Instrumentalities
10-29 07/30/2010 Request for Applications under the Moving to Work Demonstration Program
-- Attachment - MTW Optional Eligibility Worksheet
10-28 07/30/2010 Extension of Notice PIH 2009-23 (HA) - Requirement for Designation of Public Housing Projects
10-27 07/27/2010 Reinstatement of PIH Notice 2009-05, Accessibility Requirements for Native American Programs: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; Architectural Barriers Act of 1968; and Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988
10-26 07/26/2010 Non-Discrimination and Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities
10-25 07/07/2010 Timely Reporting Requirements of the Family Report (form HUD-50058 and form HUD- 50058 MTW) into the Public and Indian Housing Information Center

Important Dates

Please Note: All dates subject to change. Refer to program websites for complete list of forms due!!!

FYE 3-31 PHAs
12-31-2010   Audited FASS for FYE 3-31-2010 submission due to REAC, audit due to FO
01-16-2011 PHA Plan Submission (CFP Performance and Evaluation Reports must be included in Plan)
FYE 6-30 PHAs
08-31-2010 Unaudited FASS for FYE 6-30-2010 due to REAC
08-31-2010 MASS Certification due to REAC
FYE 9-30 PHAs
11-29-2010 SEMAP submission due
11-30-2010 Unaudited FASS for FYE 09/30/2010 due to REAC
11-30-2010 MASS Certification due to REAC
FYE 12-31 PHAs
09-30-2010 IPA Audit due to Field Office
10-08-2010 Audited FASS for FYE 12-31-2009 due to REAC
10-18-2010 PHA Plan Submission (CFP Performance and Evaluation Reports must be included in Plan)
All PHAs
Monthly CFP obligated-expended data is submitted through eLOCCS.  CFP work completion activities where pre-audit is required, are reminded to submit Final P&E Reports with AMCC to Field Office.
Monthly Send complete copy of renewal Mod Rehab program HAP contracts with owners to FMC representative.  Please include Attachment A.  Contracts needed to request renewal funds and to release payments.
Monthly VMS data collection (HUD 52681B submitted electronically).  Ensure data is submitted timely and accurately.  Failure to report timely could result in loss of Administrative Fees. Check VMS website for exact submission dates http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/centers/fmc/index.cfm
Reminder Please continue to submit Year-End Settlement Statements (HUD-52681) for Section 8 Mod Rehab, SROs, and Mainstream (DV) vouchers ONLY.  Submit to FMC (45 calendar days after FYE).  Ninety days prior to FYB, submit complete budget (HUD-52673, 52672, 52663) for Mod Rehab, SRO, HOPE VI, Mainstream (DV code-5 year increments), to FMC representative.
ARRA
03-17-2011 PHAs must expend at least 60% of the Formula Grant
09-2011 PHAs must expend at least 60% of Competitive Grants


Open Government Initiative


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Learn more about HUD's Open Government Initiative

HUD Implementation of the Recovery Act
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Learn more about HUD's Implementation of the Recovery Act

Making Home Affordable


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Innovation of the Day


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Innovation of the Day