HUDLines Region IX News
Serving (California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and Pacific)
View the published version of the Newsletter with photos
Note from the Regional Administrator Ophelia B. Bascal
For most people who follow what is happening with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the activities of Congress in recent days, you are aware that Julián Castro, Former Mayor of San Antonio, was confirmed as the next Secretary of HUD and was sworn in by President Obama on Monday, July 28.
Secretary Castro made significant progress in his five years as mayor of San Antonio in putting the city and its citizens on a new trajectory. The Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and the Rockefeller Foundation named San Antonio's Pre-K 4 SA (a San Antonio-developed program focused on high quality prekindergarten services for four-year-old children) one of the "Top 10 State and Metropolitan Innovations to Watch in 2013."
San Antonio, under Mayor Castro's leadership, was named in 2013 one of seven "enterprising cities" in America by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its success in building a culture of business. Also, San Antonio was ranked the best-performing local economy by the Milken Institute in 2011. It was one of the first five cities designated by the Obama Administration as a Promise Zone.
Designees know and have demonstrated that it takes a collaborative effort to ensure that hard work leads to a decent living for every American, in every community. Additionally, San Antonio received a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods grant for a one-to-one replacement of 423 public housing units. So, clearly Secretary Castro has demonstrated that he is an accomplished leader who will bring his broad experience and commitment to his new position at HUD.
- Obama Nominates San Antonio Mayor as Next HUD Secretary: The Skanner (www.theskanner.com/opinion/commentary/21361-obama-nominates-san-antonio-mayor-as-next-hud-secretary)
- Senate Confirms Obama's Pick for Housing Secretary: New York Times (www.nytimes.com/2014/07/10/us/politics/castro-is-approved-to-lead-housing-department.html?ref=politics&_r=0)
- Senate approves Stanford alumnus as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Stanford Daily (www.stanforddaily.com/2014/07/13/senate-approves-stanford-alumnus-as-secretary-of-housing-and-urban-development/)
- Senate confirms Julian Castro to head HUD: The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/07/09/senate-confirms-julian-castro-to-head-hud/)
- Julián Castro on his legacy and goals at HUD: KENS5 San Antonio (www.kens5.com/story/news/local/2014/07/21/castro-legacy-interview/12975999/)
- Mayor Julián Castro is the right candidate for next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Center for Responsible Lending (www.responsiblelending.org/media-center/press-releases/archives/Juli%C3%A1n-Castro-Right-Candidate-for-Next-HUD-Secretary.html)
- Julián Castro: The Now Generation of Latino Leadership: News Taco (www.newstaco.com/2014/06/05/julian-castro-the-now-generation-of-latino-leadership/)
- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Who Is Julián Castro?: AllGov (www.allgov.com/news/appointments-and-resignations/secretary-of-housing-and-urban-development-who-is-julian-castro-140609?news=853354)
- Obama and New Housing Chief Julián Castro Hold Pep Rally at "Department of Opportunity": Dallas News (http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2014/07/obama-and-new-housing-chief-julian-castro-hold-pep-rally-at-dept-of-opportunity.html/)
FHA Celebrates 80th Anniversary
2014 marks the 80th anniversary of the Federal Housing Administration, also known as the FHA. The story began in 1934 and the U.S. was deep in the throes of the Great Depression. President Franklin Roosevelt took bold steps and, through his creation of the FHA, helped crystallize what we now know as the "The American Dream." FHA helped change America from a nation of renters to a nation of both renters and homeowners.
Since its beginning FHA has insured more than 34 million home mortgages, granting affordable financing to those underserved by the conventional housing market. Today, FHA has weathered the housing crisis and continues to help families become homeowners with programs like a new pilot program called Homeowners Armed with Knowledge (HAWK) to give underserved borrowers another way to access credit. HAWK offers mortgage insurance premium reductions to first-time homebuyers who commit to housing counseling.
On July 18, two local Region IX staff from the Santa Ana Homeownership Center, Shelby Rigg and Danny Mendez, attended the White House Celebration of FHA 80th Anniversary. Former HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and FHA Commissioner Carole Galante were the keynote speakers at the event. Secretary Donovan, in one of his last official acts, appeared at the morning ceremony to take a look back at the last 80 years of FHA and celebrate how it has helped millions of Americans to achieve the dream of homeownership.
- FHA 80th Anniversary: YouTube HUD Channel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpEALrJRerQ)
- FHA 80th Anniversary: National Association of Realtors® (www.realtor.org/news-releases/2014/07/realtors-president-joins-housing-experts-at-white-house-for-fha-s-80th-anniversary-celebration)
- FHA 80th Anniversary: National Association of Home Builders (www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?newsID=16938)
HUD, VA, AND USICH ANNOUNCE 33% DROP IN VETERAN HOMELESSNESS SINCE 2010
HUD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) today released a new national estimate of veteran homelessness in the United States. Data collected during the annual Point-in-Time Count conducted in January 2014 shows there were 49,933 homeless veterans in America, a decline of 33 percent (or 24,837 people) since 2010. This includes a nearly 40 percent drop in the number of veterans sleeping on the street.
Location Affordability Portal
On July 10, 2014, HUD and the U.S. Department of Transportation hosted an event in Los Angeles to raise awareness about the federal Location Affordability Portal which is the first robust, standardized source of data on housing and transportation costs to help families and policymakers make more informed decisions about where to live, work, and invest.
The event offered a sneak peek at Version 2, and featured local leaders and experts discussing how these tools can be used to meet the challenges faced in a densely populated urban environment like Los Angeles. The Location Affordability Portal has a variety of potential applications for users in housing and rental markets, the research community, and the public and non-profit sector.
- Location Affordability Portal: HUD Website (www.locationaffordability.info/About.aspx)
- DOT and HUD Unveil Location Affordability Portal: DOT Website (www.dot.gov/briefing-room/dot-and-hud-unveil-location-affordability-portal)
- Easy Access to Location Affordability Data: HackforChange (http://hackforchange.org/)
- Location Affordability Portal Helps Families, Urban Planners, and Policymakers: Center for American Progress (www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2013/11/21/79740/the-location-affordability-portal-helps-families-urban-planners-and-policymakers/)
Community Development Block Grant Program Turns 40
HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program has been a resounding success over the past four decades. President Gerald Ford signed legislation called Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 and with his pen stroke authorized annual funding for an important catalyst for economic growth--helping local officials leverage funds for community needs.
The primary objective of CDBG has been to develop viable urban and rural communities, by expanding economic opportunities and improving the quality of life, principally for persons of low and moderate income. Since its beginning, the CDBG program has provided more than $140 billion to 7,250 cities and other jurisdictions funds that were used to address critical and unmet community needs including those for housing rehabilitation, public facilities, infrastructure, economic development, public services, and more.
- CDBG 40th Anniversary: Building Better Communities
- The Community Development Block Grant at 40: National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (www.neighborhoodindicators.org/activities/meetings/community-development-block-grant-cdbg-program-40)
New Additions to the Region IX Team
Region IX is pleased to introduce three new members of its leadership team.
Miguel Correa, Director of the San Francisco Office of Public and Indian Housing
Miguel comes to HUD Region IX with more than fourteen year of Public Housing experience. Most recently, Miguel was an analyst in the HUD Miami Office. Previously, he was the Director of Grants Management at the HUD Office of Native American Programs in Phoenix, Arizona. In these roles Miguel was responsible for nearly all aspects of the Housing Choice Voucher, Public Housing, and Native American Programs. He also has direct experience assisting Public Housing Agencies in recovery and receivership operations.
Marcie Chavez, Director of the Los Angeles Office of Public and Indian Housing
Marcie's career in public housing operations spans more than 17 years with the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACoLA), with the last 2½ years serving on the senior management team of the Housing Choice Voucher program, managing a total of 24,000 vouchers. Prior to serving in that position, she was a member of the senior management team for HACoLA's Housing Management Division which oversees the low-income public housing program consisting of 2,962 units.
With the transition to Asset Management for public housing she led the revision of the agency's leasing goals to ensure that the public housing portfolio sustained an average occupancy rate of 98% in order to maximize rental revenue and to achieve a "High Performer" rating under HUD's Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS). Marcie was a founding member of the California Association of Housing Authorities (CAHA), where she also held the positions of statewide Vice-President and Southern California Chapter President.
Additionally, Marcie was appointed in 2013 to the Board of Governors of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) and was also a member of the Executive Committee of the Pacific Southwest Regional Council of NAHRO.
Brian Sagert, Director, Las Vegas Field Office
Brian is an experienced community development professional with over 15 years in the affordable housing and community development industry. He has worked in the past in the non-profit, public, and private sectors in various community development roles.
These include the West Coast Business and Community Development Officer for Amalgamated Bank; President and CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada, where Brian led an aggressive multifamily acquisition plan nearly doubling the number of units in the portfolio in two years. And as the Director of Modernization for the Las Vegas Housing Authority in which he coordinated the successful development of the first LIHTC project on disposed public housing land.
Brian joins HUD Region IX from his most recent role as a Community Reinvestment Act Compliance Auditor with Capital One Bank. Brian is a U.S. Navy veteran having served three tours in Desert Storm/Desert Shield.
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