HUD Region VIII Quarterly Newsletter
In This Issue
• National Report • Blueprint for Access • Energy Partnerships • Green Preservation Plus • HOPWA Funding Announced • Continuum of Care Renewal Grants • Housing Discrimination Documentary • Mayors Challenge • News You Can Use • Office of Native American Programs • Around the Region • Colorado • Montana • North Dakota • South Dakota • Utah • Wyoming • Community Connects with RA Garcia • Grantee Spotlight • New Online Resource
Office of Economic Resilience: New Name, Renewed Focus
After nearly five years, HUD's Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities has been rebranded to the Office of Economic Resilience (OER.) Along with the new name, the OER also welcomes Harriet Tregoning as its new director. Harriet, a professional planner, most recently City Planning Director of Washington, DC and also a founder of the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Smart Growth brings a wealth of experience and new focus on how HUD's vast community investments can be strategically directed to assist communities on how to better withstand the stress of natural and economic disasters.
The foundation of the Federal Partnership on Sustainable Communities was to provide a new federal framework to promote regional collaboration and decision making that ultimately spurs a stronger economy, attracts new residents and generates jobs. These economic outcomes are benchmarks created by the Sustainable Communities Initiative's (SCI) regional planning and challenge grants program.
Much of the SCI planning grants work throughout the Rocky Mountain West and the nation has either been completed or soon will be completed by 2015. These SCI grantees successes have resulted in expanding regional policies which include promoting more personal mobility choices, better land use decisions and healthier environments for nearly 40 percent of the country's population. All this contributes to building resilient local economies.
The Federal Partnership's goal over the last few years was to focus on integrating sustainability principles and policies throughout key federal funding programs. Communities and regions that have invested time, resources and leadership into broadening housing choices linked to transit, creating more walkable neighborhoods and have harnessing more efficient energy sources to fuel future development, have increased their capacity for economic resilience. Therefore, these communities are less vulnerable to unexpected economic stress and are even more adaptive when future disasters may occur.
In addition, the goal of resiliency in HUD today is to strengthen and diversify local economies in ways that foster opportunities for both regional and worldwide competition. Moreover, these communities and their grantees are now at a critical junction in need of additional support to transition their sustainable planning programs into project implementation. The Federal Partnership continues to engage grantees and graduates while helping them identify new and existing resources to further their regional planning recommendations. Other federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development are also assisting.
Now that helping to create more resilient communities is the desired outcome, the nation's urban and rural areas currently involved with the SCI program will continue to reap benefits. In particular, HUD continues to align its resource priorities for state and local funding toward reducing households' energy and transportation costs and improving resiliency planning in HUD assisted buildings and public infrastructure projects. Additionally HUD will emphasize "place-based" review while awarding future competitive funds.
HUD's initiated and ground breaking SCI program in 2010 has led to a new dynamic regional planning approach which strengthens communities, towns and cities. I congratulate all the SCI grantees for their work outcomes and new policy contributions. Be assured that as the Office of Economic Resilience evolves into its next stage of activity, economic resiliency remains a top priority of the agency.
Rick M. Garcia
Regional Administrator (RA) and
WASHINGTON - The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has issued its "Blueprint for Access"outlining the additional steps the agency is taking to expand access to credit for underserved borrowers. These steps include encouraging a broader use of housing counseling. HUD has also published a notice in the Federal Register (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/05/15/2014-11152/federal-housing-administration-fha-homeowners-armed-with-knowledge-hawk-for-new-homebuyers) for the Homeowners Armed with Knowledge (HAWK) pilot program to further incorporate housing counseling into the home buying process for borrowers using FHA insured financing.
Under the new pilot, homebuyers will qualify for savings on their FHA-insured loans by completing HUD-approved housing counseling provided through independent nonprofit organizations that give people the tools they need to understand the rights and responsibilities of homeownership. This counseling is aimed at improving buyers' budgeting skills and housing decisions. In addition the Blueprint for Access includes enhancing FHA's quality assurance efforts. HUD has announced more information on FHA's Quality Assurance Initiative, intended to provide greater clarity and transparency to FHA approved lenders to encourage lending to qualified borrowers across the credit spectrum.
Under the four-year HAWK for New Homebuyers pilot program notice (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/05/15/2014-11152/federal-housing-administration-fha-homeowners-armed-with-knowledge-hawk-for-new-homebuyers), homebuyers who commit to housing counseling will qualify for tangible savings on their FHA-insured loans. The average buyer would save approximately $325 a year - or almost $9,800 over the life of their loan. FHA proposes that homeowners who complete housing counseling before signing a contract to purchase a home and who complete additional pre-closing housing counseling will receive a 50 basis point reduction in the upfront FHA mortgage insurance premium (MIP) and a 10 basis point reduction in the annual FHA MIP. Choosing to participate in post-closing counseling and a track record of timely mortgage payments will bring even greater benefits. After two years with no serious delinquencies, participants receive an additional 15 basis point reduction in annual MIP. The HAWK program is a strong step toward integrating housing counseling into the home buying process and ensuring broad access to housing counseling services.
Read FHA Commissioner Carol Galante's perspective in her latest blog post: "A Blueprint for Access to Credit for American Families."
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced that 27 affordable housing providers and service providers across the nation have committed to installing more than 150 megawatts of on-site renewable energy, more than doubling the amount of renewable energy on HUD-assisted multifamily buildings.
The 27 new renewable energy partnerships will create good jobs while cutting carbon pollution and come in response to the President's call to action as part of the White House Solar Summit last month and the Better Buildings Initiative (http://energy.gov/better-buildings) the President launched in 2011. Additionally, the new executive actions announced by President Obama will bolster investment in energy upgrades in homes and federal buildings, strengthen appliance standards and building codes, and build a skilled solar workforce.
Across the country, HUD partners, to include affordable housing developers, public housing authorities, financial institutions, and service providers, are choosing to install and use solar energy on affordable and market-rate multifamily properties because it reduces their long-term energy costs and creates jobs that are helping boost local economies.
Responding to the President's call to action on solar deployment, the Denver Housing Authority (DHA - www.denverhousing.org/Pages/default.aspx) has made commitments that will install more than 150 megawatts of on-site renewable energy, create jobs and reduce carbon pollution. DHA recently installed 2.5 MW of solar and continues its commitment of adding solar to every new phase of redevelopment as evidenced by its installation of another 100kw on Mariposa Phase VI starting construction in the fall of 2014. The housing authority is also developing a comprehensive district wide energy design program for PV and geothermal energy under a micro-utility structure for Denver's 100 acre Sun Valley neighborhood.
For more information on President Obama's solar energy announcement and the administration's Climate Action Plan please visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/share/climate-action-plan
WASHINGTON, DC - Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) (www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html), with support from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has announced the expansion of Green Preservation Plus. Formerly known as Green Refinance Plus, Green Preservation Plus (www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/corporate-news/2014/6117.html) supports the preservation of quality affordable multifamily housing in the United States by providing additional funds to improve the energy and water efficiency of properties.
Green Preservation Plus offers financing to owners to acquire multifamily affordable housing properties or to refinance existing Fannie Mae mortgage loans. The expansion of this loan option provides additional loan proceeds through lower debt service and higher loan-to-value ratios. Owners may use these additional loan proceeds to rehabilitate or improve the energy and water efficiency of the property. Energy and water retrofit improvements can significantly reduce energy and water consumption costs. Under Green Preservation Plus, owners may now access the property's equity in an amount up to the cost of the energy- and water-saving improvements being financed.
Green Preservation Plus is an enhancement of the Fannie Mae and HUD/Federal Housing Administration Risk-Sharing Agreement program. Since the inception of the Fannie Mae Multifamily Green Initiative (https://www.fanniemae.com/multifamily/green-initiative), Fannie Mae has issued $150 million in Green MBS which include Green Preservation Plus loans.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced $29 million in grants to assist more than 1,200 extremely low-income persons and families living with HIV/AIDS annually. This funding will provide these households with a stable living environment, which is essential to accessing healthcare and HIV related services. In addition to housing assistance, these local programs will provide access to the needed supportive services such as life skills, job readiness services and employment training.
The funding is offered through HUD's Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA) (https://www.onecpd.info/hopwa/) and will renew HUD's support of 26 local programs in 18 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The HOPWA program is both a formula entitlement program and a competitive grant program. Ninety percent of HOPWA funds are distributed by formula to cities and states based on the number of AIDS cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HUD's formula grants are managed by 137 local and state jurisdictions, which coordinate AIDS housing efforts with other HUD and community resources. Overall, these resources assist over 60,000 households annually to provide stable housing and reduced risks of homelessness for those living with HIV and other challenges. Ten percent of HOPWA funds are set aside to fund competitively awarded grants.
In Region VIII, the following HOPWA grants were awarded:
WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan recently announced nearly $1.6 billion in grants to renew support for 7,100 local homeless housing and service programs across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Provided through HUD's Continuum of Care Program (https://www.onecpd.info/coc), the funding will ensure these local projects remain operating in the coming year, providing critically needed housing and support services to those persons and families experiencing homelessness.
These grants support a variety of programs including street outreach, client assessment, and direct housing assistance to individuals and families with children who are experiencing homelessness. View a complete list of all the state and local homeless projects awarded funding.
Continuum of Care grants are awarded competitively to local projects to meet the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in their community. The grants fund a wide variety of programs from street outreach and assessment to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families. HUD funds are a critical part of the Obama Administration's strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness (http://usich.gov/opening_doors/).
This year marks the 46th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act - a landmark piece of legislation that was passed to end segregation and discrimination in housing. Under the Fair Housing Act, it is illegal to discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of housing based on a person's race, color, nation origin, sex, religion, disability or familial status. The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) will expound on this year's theme, "Fair Housing is Your Right. Use it!" to educate the public about their right to live free from housing discrimination, to exercise their right to file housing complaints, and to seek remedies for unlawful discrimination.
FHEO is encouraging all partners and stakeholders to view a video documentary called a "Matter of Place" and to hold discussions about the documentary. The documentary discusses the past struggles for fair housing, and the contemporary incidents of housing bias based on race, sexual orientation, disability, and source of income. The film depicts three stories of people who faced housing discrimination in present-day New York City. They poignantly describe the injuries inflicted on them during the incidents, as well as their resolve to fight for justice.
The documentary can be viewed at: http://vimeo.com/77785957
The Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity is committed to affirmatively furthering fair housing and ensuring that everyone lives in a community free from discrimination.
For more information about fair housing, or how to file a fair housing complaint, please call the FHEO Denver Regional Office at (800) 877-7353 / TDD (303) 672-5248) or visit FHEO's website.
The Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness is a way to solidify partnerships and secure commitments to end Veteran homelessness from mayors across the country. Specifically, the call to action - made by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, and amplified by leaders across HUD, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), and the National League of Cities - is for mayors to make a commitment to ending Veteran homelessness in their cities by 2015.
Here in Region VIII, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker have signed on to the challenge and have voiced their commitment to ending Veteran homelessness in their communities!
For mayors and communities who are signing onto the challenge:
Let HUD, USICH, and the VA know that you're committed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Secretary's Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships (www.huduser.org/portal/about/Pub_Phil_2014_Intro.html)- Housing and Community Development in Action - This award emphasizes cross-sector partnerships between the philanthropic and public sectors. The goal is to recognize the partnership process and its impact as a community strategy to increase the quality of life for low- and moderate-income residents across all American geographies - urban, suburban, and rural. Examples of desired nominations may include projects affiliated with housing and neighborhood improvements, education, health and recreation, transportation, community participation, arts and culture, safety, sustainability, innovative regional approaches, and economic development. Applications (www.huduser.org/portal/about/Pub_Phil_2014_Intro.html) must be submitted by June 10.
Office of Lead Hazard Control & Healthy Homes (OLHCHH) Post Disaster Recovery and Resources
The Office of Lead Hazard Control and & Healthy Homes has provided helpful resources to address post disaster housing repair and restoration for impacted communities and individuals. The website details disaster-related issues such as mold, lead paint, asbestos, access to clean drinking water, and other indoor and outdoor hazards.
Guide to Using Combined Heat and Power for Enhancing Reliability and Resiliency in Buildings- During and after Hurricane Sandy, combined heat and power (CHP) enabled a number of critical infrastructure and other facilities to continue their operations when the electric grid went down. To assist State and local officials and others involved in the rebuilding process and to respond to the report from the President's Task Force on Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development developed the "Guide to Using Combined Heat and Power for Enhancing Reliability and Resiliency in Buildings." Its purpose is to provide practical information on CHP, including what factors must be considered when configuring a CHP system to operate independently of the electricity grid, and what steps are involved in a typical CHP project development process. Download a copy of the guide.
Section 3 Business Registry- The Section 3 Business Registry is a listing of firms that have self-certified that they meet one of the regulatory definitions of a Section 3 business and are included in a searchable online database that can be used by agencies that receive HUD funds, developers, contractors, and others to facilitate the award of certain HUD-funded contracts. The database can also be used by Section 3 residents to identify businesses that may have HUD-funded employment opportunities. Search the Section 3 Business database (https://portalapps.hud.gov/Sec3BusReg/BRegistry/BRegistryHome) for self-certified Section 3 businesses, register your business for inclusion, or more information on the Business Registry.
Rocky Mountain Market at a Glance (www.huduser.org/portal/MCCharts/RegionCharts.html?
Congratulations to Our Legions of Indian Housing
Recently, the annual United Native American Housing Association (UNAHA) meeting was held in Lakewood, Colorado, in conjunction to the 26th annual Native American Basketball Tournament. The mission of UNAHA is to unite for strength and unity to ensure that Indian Housing Authorities continue to provide safe, sanitary and decent housing. The annual awards ceremony and dinner was held on Sunday, March 30th, in conjunction with the Northern Plains Office of Native American Programs (NPONAP). Training was provided to the UNAHA membership on March 31 and April 1, and covered topics such as Veteran's Housing, and Tax Credit projects. NPONAP staff also provided training on the Indian Housing Plan/Annual Performance Report form.
NPONAP employees were also honored by UNAHA. The organization recognized the significant and long standing contributions of three NPONAP employees by presenting them with "Legend of Indian Housing" award plaques. Please join us in congratulating Janice Wagner, Jean Paschke, and Amy Flowers!
Funding Opportunities for Indian Reservations and Tribal Governments
Due May 28 - FY2014 Violence Against Women Bakken Region Initiative: Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (www.ovw.usdoj.gov/docs/bakken-region-tribal-sausa-application-guidelines.pdf).
Through this special initiative, the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) will support two Tribal SAUSAs to address the increased rise of violence against women on Indian reservations in Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota, in collaboration with the U.S. Attorney's Offices (USAOs) in those states. Applications are invited from the following federally recognized tribes:
Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Montana
Due May 28 - FY2014 Violence Against Women Bakken Region Initiative: Enhanced Response to Victims (www.ovw.usdoj.gov/docs/fy2014-initative-for-the-bakken-region-enhanced-services-for-victims.pdf)
Over the past year, local Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) grantees have reported increasing incidence of violence against women in the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana associated with the sudden spike in population tied to the gas and oil exploration and drilling in the region. This grant will support projects that are designed to address the unique challenges faced by victims, responders, and serve providers within the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana, including challenges of geographic isolation, transportation barriers, economic structure, high cost of living, homelessness, and other social and cultural pressures.
Eligible entities for this program are:
First Nations Women's Alliance in North Dakota
Visit the Office of Native American Programs to learn more.
Colorado Receives HUD Approval on State Plan to Spend $62.8 Million on Flood Recovery
DENVER - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it approved Colorado's Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Action Plan. The Plan outlines how Colorado will distribute $62.8 million in grant dollars received from HUD for flood recovery programs.
During a visit in December, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the funding award and that it would go toward needs not addressed through other sources of public and private assistance such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Small Business Administration. With acceptance of this disaster action plan the long-term and sustainable disaster recovery can continue.
This grant will support recovery efforts in 18 presidentially declared flood-impacted counties, with a majority of the funds going to the most impacted counties: Boulder, Larimer and Weld. Programs will focus on housing, public infrastructure, long-term planning and economic development and, as stipulated by the grant, 50 percent of the funds will be distributed to low- and moderate-income households.
"We are very pleased with this approval of our action plan for the $62.8 million in CDBG-DR funding. We greatly appreciate the efforts of HUD in working with our team to get to this as quickly as possible," Hickenlooper said. "This grant will support long-term and sustainable disaster recovery efforts in the most impacted communities devastated by last year's floods. The plan was developed with feedback from those impacted communities and will give Coloradans another resource to rebuild better and stronger."
"From the moment the Presidential disaster declaration was made, HUD has been on the job, working with Congress to speed these much-needed funds to the State of Colorado," HUD Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator, Rick M. Garcia said. "This funding is vital to helping Coloradoans rebuild their communities and HUD has been proud to partner with the State of Colorado and FEMA in this process."
Applications for the funds are available online at http://dola.colorado.gov/cdbg-dr/. The State will work with all applicants to release the funds as soon as possible.
HUD Announces Settlement with Denver-Area Landlord to Resolve Discrimination Complaint
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced an agreement with the owners and managers of a Denver-area apartment complex to resolve allegations they discriminated against families when they refused to allow children to play outside. Under the terms of the Conciliation agreement, the owner and management company of The Orchards at Cherry Creek Apartments in Centennial agree to construct a $10,000 accessible playground on the property and require employees to attend fair housing training.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. This includes setting restrictive rules on families with children.
"A requirement of constant parental supervision of all minors, and even teenagers, is oppressive, unnecessary, and unfairly burdensome on families with children" said Bryan Greene, HUD's Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. "The Fair Housing Act protects the rights of families with children to enjoy the same housing amenities that others do."
HUD filed a Secretary-Initiated Complaint in November 2013, alleging that the apartment complex unfairly restricted the activities of children. A notice published in the complex's monthly newsletter set the following rule:
"All children must be supervised by an adult at all times while playing outside. No sports activities, skateboarding, roller-blading, or general extracurricular activities are to take place in our community. If we see anyone violating any of the above activities or see any unsupervised children they will be sent home immediately."
Under the terms of the agreement with The Orchards, property managers will design and build the play area, which will be accessible to persons with disabilities, within six months; all employees will undergo fair housing training within a year; and the company will amend its policies to comply with the Fair Housing Act regarding familial status and distribute the new rules to employees and residents.
If you have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and you believe your civil rights have been violated you can report it online at www.hud.gov/fairhousing, call (800) 669-9777, TTY (800) 927-9275 or by downloading HUD's free housing discrimination mobile application, which can be accessed through Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
Colorado Housing & Finance Authority (CHFA) Housing Forum Colorado (www.chfainfo.com/hfc/)
June 12, Alamosa, CO. This educational event will feature information on the latest news and products for Colorado lending and real estate professionals. The event will be held at Adams State College, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Contact Pam Francil at (970) 241-2341 or email@example.com for more information.
July 9, Frisco, CO. This event will be held at the Summit Count Community and Senior Center, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
2014 National Apartment Association (NAA) Education Conference & Exposition (http://educonf.naahq.org/) - June 18-21, Denver, CO. This meeting, of more than 7,000 multifamily housing professionals, will feature Michael J. Fox as the keynote speaker. Register by June 6.
Colorado Energy Expo (www.metrodenver.org/colorado-energy-expo) - June 27, Denver, CO. This event will be held at the Colorado Convention Center in the Mile High Ballroom from 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Learn about the industry's economic impact, environmental aspects, public policy framework, workforce capacity, present-day operations and systems, as well as the industry's innovation pipeline and future potential. This event is free and open to the public.
Preservation Through Energy Efficiency Road Show (http://housingonline.com/PreservationThroughEnergyEfficiencyInitiative.aspx) - July 14, Denver, CO. This is event is hosted by the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association and will be held at the PPA Event Center (2105 Decatur Street). Through the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Colorado Housing Finance Agency, the PTEE Road Show is a unique educational and networking event that highlights transactional opportunities for affordable housing owners and developers to increase cash flow and residual value across their portfolios through energy, water, and utility improvements. The program is designed to empower multifamily owners in the Rocky Mountain and High Plains Regions with the knowledge needed to direct development, asset management, and property management teams on actionable steps to add value to their portfolios by decreasing energy, water and utility usage. Participants will also learn about financing tools available in their local marketplace.
Rocky Mountain Energy Summit (www.rmesummit.org/index.php?/About) - Aug. 4-7, Denver, CO. Oil and gas industry innovation has revolutionized world energy dynamics, providing affordable, accessible, and reliable energy to meet sky rocketing world demands. And yet the journey to win broad public support is just beginning. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Housing Colorado NOW! 26th Annual Conference (www.housingcolorado.org/?page=nowannualconference) - Oct. 7-10, Vail, CO. This event, guided by the Conference Planning Committee, showcases 35+ educational sessions, and is one of the largest of its kind. This year's conference theme is Creating Healthy Communities.
HUD PD&R Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis for Boulder, Colorado (www.huduser.org/portal/publications/pdf/BoulderCO_comp_2013.pdf)
HUD PD&R Housing Market Profile for Fort Collins, Colorado (www.huduser.org/portal/periodicals/ushmc/reg/FortCollinsCO_HMP_1Jul13.pdf)
Early Learning and Job Training Center Opens in Helena, Montana
Recently the Helena Housing Authority (HHA) celebrated the opening of their Early Learning and Job Training Center, a new facility designed with state-of-the-art energy efficiency features. HHA received $576,479 through HUD's Public Housing Capital Fund Education and Training Community Facilities (CFCF) Program and was one of only ten housing authorities across the country selected for this funding. The main goal of the CFCF program is to integrate education and employment services to help public housing residents achieve economic self-sufficiency.
HHA partnered with a number of local agencies to leverage resources and work collaboratively to meet some of the greatest community needs in Montana's capital city. During the daytime, the local Head Start program will occupy the building and provide support and education to preschool children of families residing in public housing. In the evenings, the Career Training Institute will use the facility to help public housing residents and other community members learn job training and employment skills. While the facility was designed primarily for public housing residents, it will also be utilized by residents in the surrounding neighborhoods.
The building achieved the highest possible Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating, platinum status for new construction. Buildings attaining this level of efficiency are considered among the greenest in the world. The new center features solar panels to generate electricity, air source heat pumps and radiant in-floor heat, and almost 100% of construction waste was diverted from the local landfill.
Additionally, HHA is one of fifty housing leaders across the country to formally sign on to President Obama's Better Building Challenge. This is a coordinated effort to improve building efficiency and cut energy use by twenty percent in the next ten years. Through these efforts, HHA is setting an example to public housing residents and the community about the importance of resource conservation and living sustainably.
EPA Lead Paint Renovation, Repair and Paint Rule Training for "Certified Renovators" (http://housing.mt.gov/confandtraining.mcpx) - Monthly Training held the first Wednesday of every month at the Montana Weatherization Training Center in Bozeman, MT. Contact the Montana Housing Division at (406) 841-2840 for more information.
On March 12, HUD's Fargo Field Office participated in the Fargo-Moorhead (F-M) Homeless Coalition Project Community Connect/2nd Chance Career Fair, in Fargo, ND. The mission of the organization is to work in partnership to find permanent solutions to prevent, reduce, and end homelessness. Project Community Connect is a one day semi-annual event which acts as a catalyst for community awareness and involvement to combat homelessness. The event is designed to provide housing, essential services and hospitality in a convenient one-stop model for people experiencing homelessness.
The 2nd Chance Career Fair is an event that is done in conjunction with the Project Community Connect event. The event is conducted once a year and is designed to bring employers and the "hard to employ" together. The "hard to employ" consist of the homeless, near homeless and people with minor criminal backgrounds. Job coaches and professional clothing are provided at no charge. The event was very successful with over 300 attendees.
2014 Federal Housing Partners: Housing Practitioner's Training (www.fmrealtor.com/news/2014/04/22/2014-federal-housing-partners-housing-practitioners-training) - June 3, Fargo, ND. HUD will join USDA Rural Development in providing one-day "Housing Practitioners" training. Training topics will cover Single Family Programs, Multifamily Programs, Public Housing, FHEO, and Special Initiatives, to include, Homelessness, Domestic Violence, and Federal Home Loan Bank Programs. The training will be held at the Ramada Plaza Suites. Not cost to attend but registration is required.
HUD PD&R Housing Market Profile for Minot-Williston, North Dakota (www.huduser.org/portal/periodicals/ushmc/reg/MinotWillistonND_Profile_HMP_Jul13.pdf)
Neighborhood Stabilization Program Impacts Centerville
The Centerville Development Corporation (CDC) recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house in honor of the completion of their third Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) project.
When the CDC acquired the home it was in poor condition and it was suggested to demolish the 100 year old home. Rather than demolition, the CDC utilized $70,000 of NSP funds to acquire and rehabilitate the home.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development developed NSP to help stabilize communities that have suffered from foreclosures and abandonment. Through this program, HUD has been able to positively impact communities like Centerville, one rehabilitated home at a time.
Yet this was truly a community-driven project with several volunteers including: the CDC, the Centerville FFA Chapter, the City of Centerville and many community members. Steve Schoepf of S&P Construction and project manager said, "This is probably the most rewarding project I have worked on." Many of the beautiful antique features were able to be preserved such as the leaded glass windows, cast iron furnace grates and essential historic character.
The home was totally renovated with a new roof, windows, sheetrock, plumbing, wiring, light fixtures, baths, hardwood flooring, and carpet. The character of the home was preserved while adding new energy efficiency features such as the high efficiency furnace, central air, and energy star appliances.
HUD Sioux Falls Field Office Director, Roger Jacobs, said, "This will make a great home for a family in Centerville with the charm of an older home and the features of a new home." Income-qualified families interested in this home will be provided homebuyer education through a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. There are already three families interested in the home. More information about the home can be found on Centerville's website (www.centervillesd.com/living-here/housing/720-florida-project/).
Mountain Plains, North & South Dakota NAHRO 2014 Joint Conference (www.mpnahro.org/program-schedule.html)- June 16-18, Deadwood, SD. The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) is a professional membership organization comprised of approximately 22,700 housing and community development agencies and individuals throughout the nation who administer a variety of affordable housing and community development programs at the local level. This year's theme is Rethink, Retool, Reenergize. The conference will be held at the Lodge at Deadwood Gaming Resort. Contact email@example.com for more information on the planning process.
A Breath of Fresh Air: Smoke Free Multi Housing Workshop (www.siouxfalls.org/health/live-well-sioux-falls/smoke-free-housing-workshop.aspx) - June 26, Sioux Falls, SD. This free event is geared towards multiunit property owners/managers and tenants. Speakers, both national and local, will address legalities, benefits, strategies for success, and personal experiences. Discussions will focus on transitioning to a smoke free community. This workshop will be held at the Ramkota Hotel, 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
HUD PD&R Housing Market Profile for Sioux Falls, South Dakota (www.huduser.org/portal/periodicals/USHMC/reg/SiouxFallsSD_HMP_Feb14.pdf)
Lessons Learned; Regional Collaboration Attempts to Mimic SLC Success in Fight to End Homelessness
On February 25th, HUD's Utah Field Office Director Kelly Jorgensen, and Senior Management Analyst Pauline Zvonkovic, joined Utah's Homeless Management Information Officer, Lloyd Pendleton on a tour of Utah's homeless provider network. The purpose of the tour was to showcase a sampling of Utah's homeless services to representatives from Wyoming, Oklahoma and California who are currently engaged in their respective state's efforts to combat and ultimately end chronic homelessness in their communities.
The group toured the St. Vincent DePaul Weigand Homeless Day center, which is operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City and their local ministry, the Catholic Community Services of Utah. Center Director, Dennis Kelsch described the numerous services offered at the day center, such as a lunch and dinner meal system, laundry facilities and case management services. Agency representatives from Veterans Affairs, Volunteers of America (Utah) and other providers maintain offices at Weigand to connect directly with those seeking assistance. Justice Court is also held at Weigand to assist individuals to overcome impediments to services and housing.
The Road Home, which is Salt Lake City's main shelter, is located across from the Weigand Homeless Day Center and provides overnight shelter and case management to single men, women and families. The group also toured Palmer Court, which is a permanent supportive housing project owned and managed by The Road Home. The complex is home to 150 single adults and 50 families who were previously chronically homeless.
State officials hoped to gain insight and guidance as they examined Utah's success in the effort to end homelessness. The visitors learned how Salt Lake County has been effective in reducing homelessness by over 75% in the last eight years through service provider collaboration and an intensive effort to prioritize funding resources to serve the most vulnerable individuals in the county. Salt Lake County has also developed a strategy which concentrates a precise service delivery system in a relatively small geographic area. These approaches are invaluable tools to assist other states in the endeavor to reduce and eventually end homelessness in their own communities.
Grant Writing Training - July 10-11, Midvale, UT. This training will be held in the Ruth Vine Tyler Library, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.
HUD PD&R Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis for Salt Lake City, Utah (www.huduser.org/portal/publications/pdf/SaltLakeCityUT_comp_2013.pdf)
Governor Mead Signs Proclamation Declaring "The Homeless Count Day"
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is responsible for providing an annual report to Congress that details the extent and nature of homelessness in the United States. This "Point-In-Time Count" provides counts of the homeless population and describes their demographic characteristics and service use patterns.
In the beginning of the year, in an effort to recognize the complexity of homelessness and the value of the ability to accurately count the number of homeless individuals in the state, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead signed a proclamation designating January 22nd as Wyoming Point in Time day.
Read the Governor's Proclamation.
HUD Rocky Mountain Region Joins EPA in Celebrating Earth Day
On April 22nd in the Mile High City, HUD Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator, Rick Garcia joined Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator, Shaun McGrath and General Services Administration (GSA) Regional Administrator, Sue Damour for an Earth Day Wellness Walk. Social Security Administration Denver Regional Commissioner, Sean Brune also participated in the 1K walk through downtown Denver and was joined by more than 40 staff members from the four federal agencies.
The Wellness Walk was hosted by EPA but stood as an excellent demonstration of the collaborative nature of the federal partnerships which exist in Region VIII. Beyond promoting more sustainable practices to benefit the environment, the event also highlighted the importance of physical health and wellness. The Wellness Walk also corresponded with the ongoing work Region VIII federal partners are accomplishing through the National Prevention Strategy (NPS) (www.surgeongeneral.gov/initiatives/prevention/strategy/), which maintains improving Federal Employee Wellness as one of its key objectives.
The HUD Denver Regional Office has been actively engaged in the NPS, which was released in 2011, with the goal of improving the health of every American at every stage of life. The Federal Council which oversees implementation of the Strategy includes more than 16 federal agencies, partnered with state departments, local municipalities, and community organizations across Region VIII. To learn more about the National Prevention Strategy, visit www.surgeongeneral.gov
Opportunities & Challenges: RA Garcia Meets with Sioux Falls Diversity Council
On April 23, 2014, Region VIII Regional Administrator Rick Garcia met with the Sioux Falls Diversity Council to discuss opportunities and challenges within the diverse communities of Sioux Falls. RA Garcia highlighted the City of Sioux Falls' newly created Fair Housing Awareness Program (www.siouxfalls.org/fairhousing).
During the recent press conference announcing the program, RA Garcia said "ensuring that housing is available to all without discrimination has benefits for the city as a whole." He further stated that when people have housing choices and a stable housing environment, they are more prepared to meet challenges, and children do better in school. The program will take Fair Housing education "on the road" to those who need the resources most, in an attempt to reach as many individuals as possible.
He also discussed the Section 3 Program and the opportunities the program will bring to individuals and businesses in the diverse communities of Sioux Falls. The Section 3 Program requires that low income persons and businesses that employ those persons receive priority consideration for job training, employment, and contracting opportunities that are created from certain HUD funds.
Denver's Olin Apartments Celebrate Energy Upgrades with Green Ribbon Cutting
Under the shadow of Colorado's State Capitol Building, HUD's Rocky Mountain RA Garcia recently delivered remarks at the Olin Apartments Green Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. This historic building began as one of Denver's premier luxury hotels in 1925 and was once a popular gathering spot for legislators.
After some years of neglect, The Olin was purchased and renovated by Senior Housing Options (SHO) in 1980 to provide 106 efficiency and one-bedroom apartments for older adults and disabled individuals. Still retaining much of its original charm, The Olin was established as a HUD housing community to provide housing for low to moderate income individuals.
Recently HUD facilitated the completion of several energy upgrades by providing $10,000 to the International Center for Appropriate & Sustainable Technology (ICAST) through HUD's Energy Innovation Fund (EIF) program. ICAST is a Colorado-based nonprofit which is bringing a new approach to energy efficiency and the only Region VIII grantee selected for HUD's EIF program. The cooperative agreement allows ICAST to offer the low-income multifamily housing community a unique combination of incentives, rebates, and financing options.
The energy upgrades completed at the Olin Apartments included: additional attic insulation, replacement of exterior, canopy, and exit lighting with LED lights, and insulating boiler lines. Through targeted educational outreach, the Behavior Change Management program provided education to residents on smart ways to manage their energy consumption. Residents have already seen a savings of more than ten percent since the completion of the energy efficiency upgrades.
During his remarks, RA Garcia said, "For the residents of the Olin Hotel Apartments who will be benefiting from these cost-saving measures, you are truly at the heart of the matter. You are proof that affordable housing residents can and should reap the benefits of energy efficiency."
The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG), in partnership with local non-profit Mile High Connects, proudly announces the launch of the new online Denver Regional Equity Atlas. The atlas is a tool to help raise awareness about the benefits and opportunities a robust public transportation network can create. The original atlas was created by Mile High Connects to provide a static visual representation of the opportunities and challenges facing the region and its vulnerable populations as a result of transit expansion. The Sustainable Communities Initiative grant included funding to enhance the atlas, providing an interactive web-based platform for the maps and data that assist in strategic planning, direction of resources and the establishment of baseline indicators.
The resource can be used to explore the region's population and demographic characteristics as well as:
Affordable and quality housing options,
The atlas can be used by practitioners and community members alike to explore the relationship between these different issue areas and to guide investment decisions, grant making and community outreach. Users can use create custom maps and view summarized statistics for your particular area of interest in the region. To learn more, visit www.denverregionalequityatlas.org.
Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant Helps Light the Way in Sun Valley
In early March, as the first rays of sunlight swept across Denver, HUD Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator, Rick M. Garcia met with key members of the Denver Housing Authority (DHA) to discuss their recent Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant. In November 2013, HUD awarded DHA $500,000 in the aptly named grant and the housing authority was one of nine chosen from 52 applicants around the nation.
Choice Neighborhoods is one of the signature programs of the White House's Promise Zones Initiative (www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/oua/initiatives/neighborhood-revitalizationhttp:/www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/oua/initiatives/neighborhood-revitalization) and focuses on communities of concentrated poverty. The program is designed to target resources to develop comprehensive, community-driven plans to transform public or other HUD-assisted housing and distressed neighborhoods.
DHA has selected the Sun Valley community as the focus of this recent funding.
HUD Rocky Mountain RA Rick Garcia, HUD's Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator said "The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative represents the next generation of public housing funding intended to revitalize entire neighborhoods like Denver's Sun Valley. This award puts the Denver Housing Authority on a path towards critically needed Choice implementation funding down the road, which supports locally driven revitalization solutions for neighborhoods in need."
According to Ismael Guerrero, DHA Executive Director, "HUD's Choice Neighborhood Initiative is a true national model for comprehensive transformation of city neighborhoods. Sun Valley will be a model neighborhood revitalization effort for the city of Denver."
The 30-acre, 333-unit Sun Valley homes property is comprised of row-type housing from the 1950s and is the most isolated and distressed public housing asset in DHA's 5,000 home portfolio. However, the community is strategically located along Denver's FasTracks West Corridor light rail line and is bordered by the underutilized Platte River. These elements allow for proximity to downtown and access to jobs, services, amenities, and recreational and educational opportunities.
During a DHA presentation detailing the proposed developments to the area, HUD Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator, Rick M. Garcia said, "It's less about economic competitiveness and more about building ‘place' where the people of Sun Valley can thrive." He went on to say, "We know that given the right resources, the community will grow to become a significant contributor to the health and success of the entire city."
With the help of the Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant, Denver's Community Planning and Development (CPD) Office, the Office of Economic Development (OED), Mercy Housing and Denver Public Schools (DPS), DHA plans to shine a light on this community and transform it into a vibrant, successful model of sustainability. The future of the once forgotten Sun Valley, is now suddenly, very bright.
|Content Archived: March 19, 2015|