Honolulu Field Office Newsletter
Na Hana Ku Aloha
�Achieving Through the Spirit of Aloha�
Volume 4 Issue 4
Assistant Secretary Michael Liu announced $1,769,497 in HUD grants to two colleges and a campus of the University of Hawaii on September 13 at the First Annual Native Hawaiian Conference. The new grantees for the Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Institutions Assisting Communities (AN/NHIAC) Program include:
This is the third year that funds have been awarded for HUD's innovative AN/NHIAC Program. The grants program provides funding resources to colleges and universities in Hawaii with at least a 10% undergraduate enrollment of Native Hawaiian students. The AN/NHIAC is an opportunity for higher educational institutions to enhance their role and increase their effectiveness in addressing the community development needs of the areas they serve. For more information, view the Office of University Partnerships website (http://www.oup.org) or contact Ramona Mullahey at 522-8185 x249.
HUD Assistant Secretary Michael Liu was a keynote speaker on September 13 at the First Annual Native Hawaiian Conference held at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel. The conference, which was sponsored by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, included presentations from a variety of public and private organizations active in native Hawaiian issues.
Mr. Liu's remarks were well received by a crowd of several hundred. In keeping with the conference theme of "Strength Through Unity," Mr. Liu described the goals and objectives of HUD in promoting homeownership, especially among minority and underserved populations. Drawing upon his background as a Hawaii resident and 10-year state legislator, he indicated that the homeownership rate in Hawaii was among the lowest in the nation. To counter this trend, Mr. Liu highlighted several initiatives recently undertaken by HUD Secretary Mel Martinez.
Among these initiatives was the creation of the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant and Section 184A loan guarantee programs. These programs provide annual allocations to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) to develop affordable housing for low-income native Hawaiians residing on Hawaiian Home Lands. Mr. Liu announced that HUD had just approved the initial housing plan submitted by DHHL and released $9.6 million in grant funds and $1 million in loan guarantee authority, expected to leverage up to $40 million in private financing.
Mr. Liu also announced the creation of a new staff position in the Hawaii State Office of HUD to administer the grant and loan guarantee programs. Although the position will be local, it will report directly to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Programs in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Liu's visit was one of several he has made to his native Hawaii this year. He has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the housing needs of the state and a particular interest in the problems faced by native Hawaiian communities. The Native Hawaiian Block Grant and Section 184A loan guarantee programs promise to bring substantial new resources to address these needs.
HUD, along with 16 housing partners, participated in Maui's first Community Homebuyer Fair. It was held on Saturday, August 24, 2002, at the Maui War Memorial Gymnasium. The Maui fair completed the series of successful Community Homebuyer fairs held this year. In June four other fairs were held in different communities across Oahu.
The Community Homebuyer Fair is designed to guide and assist people and families interested in becoming homeowners. Participants learned about qualifying for a mortgage, how homebuyer education and housing counseling can help them become a homeowner and what steps are necessary in the home buying process. Housing industry representatives were available to answer the numerous questions posed by approximately 70 families who attended.
Homestreet Bank, U.S. Financial Mortgage, Hawaii Community Lending, Irwin Mortgage, and American Savings Bank were kept busy assisting people with mortgage pre-qualifications. Our other HUD partners, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, USDA Rural Development, Carol Ball Associates, Maui Appraisal Company, Bishop Insurance, Hawaiian Community Assets, Alu Like, Self Help Housing Corporation, Hale Mahaolu, Maui Electric Company and Maui Habitat for Humanity provided information on their specific programs and services. While Mom and Dad visited the different agencies, the children expressed their ideas about their ideal home and environment via our coloring station.
A special "Mahalo Nui" is extended to Blossom Feiteira of Hawaiian Community Assets for handling all of the logistical coordination that made the Maui Community Homebuyer Fair possible!
HUD collaborated with the Building Industry Association in August to present an informational briefing on Fair Housing Accessibility to BIA members. The presentation was sponsored by the Hawaii State Disability and Communication Access Board and featured speakers from the U.S Department of Justice - Civil Rights Division, Housing & Civil Enforcement Section: Je Yon Jung, senior trial attorney was the lead presenter with Mark J. Mazz, AIA, architect providing resource support.
Both speakers strongly emphasized the cost to builders and developers due to noncompliance, and provided actual case situations where penalties were required due to noncompliance.
This is the second year that HUD and DOJ have partnered to provide such outreach. As the federal government steps up its enforcement of the Fair Housing Act, understanding the Fair Housing Accessibility requirements is critical to builders and developers of multifamily housing projects covered by the Fair Housing Act amendment of 1988.
HUD is the federal agency responsible for enforcing the Fair Housing Act. The burden of compliance rests with the person or persons who design and construct these covered multifamily dwellings. The guidelines in the Fair Housing Act Design Manual, published by HUD, provides a "safe harbor" for compliance with the accessibility guidelines of the Act.
U.S. Representative Neil Abercrombie in cooperation with HUD,
U.S. DOJ and several State Agencies sponsored two intense Fair Housing
training workshops in August. The first workshop provided a general,
but comprehensive overview of the Federal and State laws, which
prohibit discrimination in residential real estate transactions.
Close to 50 people attended this workshop. In addition to receiving
presentations on the Fair Housing Act and the process of its enforcement,
workshop participants were treated to special presentations on Pets
in Housing, Elderly Housing/Aging in Place, the Landlord Tenant
Code, and Consumer Protection as it relates to the residential housing.
The second workshop was equally as intense as the first. This ½-day session focused on the Fair Housing Amendments Act Design and Construction requirements. Attorney Je Yon Jung and architect Mark Mazz, AIA with the Department of Justice provided exceptional training. Attendees, basically architects, were provided a concise, yet thorough, overview of the Fair Housing Act accessibility requirements for persons with disabilities that are specific to the construction of new multifamily dwellings. The instructors clarified the Act's 1988 amendments which set forth the following seven design and construction requirements: (1) an accessible entrance on an accessible route; (2) accessible and usable public and common-use areas; (3) usable doors; (4) an accessible route into and through dwelling units; (5) accessible light switches, electrical outlets, and environmental controls; (6) reinforced walls for grab bars in bathrooms; and (7) usable kitchens and bathrooms.
For additional information on the Fair Housing Act and the Accessibility Guidelines please visit HUD's website.
The Community Planning and Development (CPD) Division recently hosted training seminars for grantees and non-profit agencies on the requirements of Section 3 and Section 504.
Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 provides that wherever HUD assistance is given for housing and community development, to the greatest extent feasible, economic opportunities will be given to residents and businesses in that area. During the two-day seminar, participants learned about the Section 3 requirements, including the barriers to these opportunities and how to overcome the barriers. Participants also learned how to document and report Section 3 activity as well as deal with Section 3 complaints.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. This one-day seminar was repeated on two consecutive days to allow for the maximum number of participants. Attendees discovered that when governmental and non-profit entities received government funding, the program accessibility requirements applied to ALL programs undertaken by the recipient of federal funds, not just the programs that received the funds. Participants also learned about the requirements for establishing and maintaining a transition plan that identifies Section 504 non-compliance and the agencies plans and priorities to achieve compliance. Self-evaluation and reporting requirements were also discussed.
Both training sessions were well received. Participants came prepared with questions that created a lively and engaging seminar. Mr. Rocky Wade, a consultant with Tonya, Inc. conducted both seminars.
In August the Bush Administration announced that the Native Resources Developer, Inc., in Pago Pago, American Samoa, will receive $145,000 in Rural Housing and Economic Development (RHED) Funds. The funds will help Native Resources to hire two full-time staff and purchase a computer system to improve financial accountability and monitoring of its housing program. The grant will result in the construction of 30 new units of single-family affordable housing as part of a larger housing development effort aimed at constructing homes for low-income residents. The purpose of the RHED program is to build state and local capacity for rural housing and economic development and to support innovative housing and economic development activities in rural areas. The program is HUD's first endeavor targeted to address rural issues. A total of $25,000,000 was awarded to rural communities in 33 states and territories to help create innovative housing and economic development solutions including rehabilitation, new construction, job creation, business retention and strategic planning.
We appreciate any comments or input you have about our quarterly newsletter, Na Hana Ku Aloha. You may send your comments and input on information you would like covered in this newsletter by sending an e-mail to Ramona Mullahey (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have a new address, please e-mail that information to Ramona or call her at (808) 522-8175, ext. 249.
Town Hall Meeting. October 11, 2002 at the State Capitol Auditorium. Town Hall Meeting with the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Contact: Representative Barbara Marumoto at 586-6310.
Building Industry Association Parade of Homes. October 12 & 13 and October 19 & 20, 2002
General Election Day. November 5, 2002