Honolulu Field Office Newsletter
Fall 2004

Na Hana Ku Aloha
´┐ŻAchieving Through the Spirit of Aloha´┐Ż

Volume 6 Issue 5

University of Hawaii Awarded Nearly $5 Million in HUD Funding

On a recent visit to Hawaii in mid-September, HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Michael Liu announced $4,794,929 in grants from HUD's Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Institutions Assisting Communities (AN/NHIAC) Program to six University of Hawaii campuses. The purpose of the AN/NHIAC Grant Program is to broaden the efforts of institutions of higher education to make a difference in their communities.

[Photo 1: Assistant Secretary Michael Liu presents giant ceremonial check to 8 representatives]
HUD Assistant Secretary Michael Liu presents an $800,000 AN/NHIAC grant to representatives from the University of Hawaii at Hilo

The successful campuses and their projects include:

  • The University of Hawaii at Hilo - $800,000 grant to design, establish and run small businesses.

  • Hawaii Community College - $794,976 grant to renovate the Keaau Youth Business Center to include a commercial kitchen, multimedia digital arts lab, a recording studio, and equipment for the youth business training activities and to create career and job-training programs for at-risk youth.

  • Honolulu Community College (HCC) - $800,000 grant to assist in the creation of the Kokea Training Center to expand HCC's physical training capacity and provide pre-construction, job readiness, and life skills training.

  • Kapiolani Community College - $800,000 grant to construct a 3,108 square-foot training facility that will be used to provide healthcare job training and clinical services for traditional Hawaiian healing and integrated practices.

  • Leeward Community College - $800,000 grant, in partnership with Leilehua High School and other Wahiawa business and community leaders, to expand an existing agriculture and culinary arts education and training program, build a commercial and health-certified kitchen and food processing area, create a formal dining room, and expand a commercial kitchen infrastructure to better accommodate a culinary arts program.

  • Kauai Community College - $799,953 grant, in partnership with the Anahola Hawaiian Homes Association, the Anahola Farmer's Association and other public and private partners, to develop a community agriculture training and agribusiness incubation center in the Anahola Hawaiian Homestead.

For more information about the AN/NHIAC grant program, visit the Office of University Partnerships on the web (http://www.oup.org/).

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Receives Third Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant

On September 17, HUD Assistant Secretary Michael Liu presented a $9,443,950 Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG) to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL). This is the third annual block grant awarded to DHHL since the program began in 2002. Previous funding amounts were $10 million in 2002 and $9.6 million in 2003.

Primary uses of NHHBG funds are for:

  • Development, which includes site development and infrastructure for undeveloped areas, new housing construction, housing rehabilitation, and loan or down payment assistance programs to promote affordability for qualified applicants.

  • Housing services, provides training to local housing providers to access grant funds for eligible housing activities. It also provides financial literacy training and homebuyer counseling to affordable housing applicants.

  • Crime Prevention and Safety, initiates drug awareness, crime prevention, and community safety programs to one or more home land communities.

  • Model Activities - activities that are designed to support and provide housing related services to affordable housing residents, such as community centers.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, as the sole grantee, is undertaking several affordable housing activities in different home land communities ranging from site development, new housing construction, housing rehabilitation, and housing support services.

In a separate announcement, HUD Assistant Secretary Michael Liu presented Waimanalo Hawaiian Homestead Association President Paul Richards a $61,200 check from previously awarded NHHBG funds that will assist in the construction of a community center to be operated by the association.

American Samoa Trip Highlights the Tafuna Family Health Center

[Photo 2: Field Office Director Gordan Furutani getting his blood pressure checked at desk]
Field Office Director Gordan Furutani gets his blood pressure checked at the Tafuna Family Health Center

HUD Honolulu Field Office Director Gordan Furutani and Community Planning and Development Program Director Mark Chandler visited American Samoa the week of August 9-13. One of the highlights of their visit was the Tafuna Family Health Center (TFHC) Project, which provides the primary health care services to the people of Tualauta County, Tutuila Island, American Samoa. HUD's Community Development Block Grant funding was critical in providing the basic source of financial support for this construction.

In addition to its primary mission of providing community health services, TFHC has the capacity to serve as an alternative Emergency Operations Center for disaster response, including acts of bio-terrorism, infectious disease outbreaks, and other public health threats.

TFHC serves a target population of approximately 22,000 in the Western District of Tutuila. The health center has received such overwhelming acceptance by the service population that the health center is already nearing capacity in some services. Plans are underway to seek additional funding for facility enhancements needed to provide additional capacity in primary care, well-child, and perinatal
clinics.

FHA Update 2004 Held in Honolulu, September 23-24

The Santa Ana Homeownership Center and Honolulu Field Office staff presented a successful, 2-day workshop, FHA Update 2004, to industry professionals: underwriters, loan processors, insurers, loan officers, appraisers, and fee inspectors. The session was held at the Neal Blaisdell Center with100 attendees participating each day. Richard Rainey, HUD's Region IX Director, and Gordan Furutani, Honolulu Field Office Director, provided the opening and welcome remarks.

Topics included: underwriting issues, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands program, the new Marketing and Management Contract for Real Estate Owned (REO) properties, and appraisal issues. The workshop presenters were: Danny Mendez, Director, Processing and Underwriting Division; Travis Pham, Chief, Mortgage Credit Branch 1; Sandra Smith, Senior Single Family Housing Specialist; Karen Birdsong, Public Trust Officer, Single Family; Thomas Rose, Director, Real Estate Owned Division; and Gayle Ota, Housing Program Specialist.

FHA Mortgage Limits Increased for Honolulu and Kauai

Effective September 10, 2004, the maximum single-family mortgage limits for Honolulu County increased as follows: One-Family $413,250, Two-Family $465,450, Three-Family $565,500 and Four-Family $652,500. Previous limits were $372,875, $419,975, $510,250 and $588,750, respectively. The new limits represent an 11 percent increase from previous limits, which were raised only eight months ago.

Effective September 20, 2004, the maximum single-family mortgage limits increased for Kauai County. The new limits are as follows: One-Family $403,750, Two-Family $454,750, Three-Family $552,500 and Four-Family $637,500. Previous limits were $342,000, $385,200, $468,000 and $540,000, respectively. The new limits represent an 18 percent increase from previous limits, which were raised only seven months ago.

These increases indicate a steady rise in prices and values of single-family properties in both Counties. The higher limits will enable more residents to obtain adequate financing and increase homeownership on Oahu and Kauai.

Federal Grant Writing 101 Workshops

In a second series of 2-day workshops on "Federal Grant writing 101" in Hawaii, Cheryl Appline, Trainer and Program Manager for HUD's Center for Faith-based and Community Initiatives (CFBCI), continued to captivate and motivate an audience of 335 participants as she had done in the workshops held previously in February 2004. Her animated style, knowledge, personal and professional experiences in successful grants writing and in implementing community development projects made the workshops a dynamic training ground that held the attention of the audience. The workshops targeted underserved faith-based and grassroots organizations, providing basic grant writing skills to develop a successful federal grant, especially, for HUD.

Five workshops were presented across the State. These workshops reached underserved faith-based and emerging grassroots groups, as well as nonprofit organizations, businesses, government agencies, school faculty, and community volunteers. The workshops were scheduled as follows:

County of Hawaii - Hilo July 26-27, 2004
County of Hawaii - Kona July 29-30, 2004
County of Kauai August 2-3, 2004
County of Maui August 9-10, 2004
City & County of Honolulu August 12-13, 2004

Guest speakers included the CDBG Coordinator for each County who discussed the Consolidated Planning Process and the application process for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. As an added outreach effort, a table was made available at the Honolulu workshop for representatives of the Hawaii Faith-based and Community Initiatives Work Group, which is comprised of representatives from all levels of government, to present their grant programs - providing additional resources as potential funders for supporting community improvement projects.

A Grant Writing Success Story

Pastor Tom Iannucci reports that Breath of Life Christian Ministry just received a $45,000 grant from a local foundation to complete the renovation of its facility. A participant in HUD's first series of free grant writing trainings held in Hawaii in February 2004, Pastor Tom attributes his success, in part, to the comprehensive information and CAN DO! Attitude advocated by Cheryl Appline, trainer and a program manager of CFBCI.

Centrally located in the heart of Lihue Town in a shopping center on the Island of Kauai, Breath of Life Christian Ministry is developing the 8,000 square foot warehouse space to accommodate offices, sanctuary, library, martial arts school, and coffee house. The goal is to create a safe, drug-free place for Kauai residents to have fun and fellowship. Among the services that the eight-year-old ministry offers are family and drug/alcohol counseling, self-defense academy and a true beauty clinic aimed at building the self esteem of young people ages 12-17. Pastor Tom partners with the State Department of Education, the County, and local community organizations to help youth make the right choices and develop positive thinking. Contact Pastor Tom Ianucci at 808-246-6102 or at nuchdog@verizon.net or http://www.breathoflife.org/.

Determining if an Individual Poses a Direct Threat

When dealing with persons with disabilities regarding their housing needs, the question occasionally arises concerning "what if", because of someone's condition, they may pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others? When grappling with such an issue, it is important to remember that the Fair Housing Act does not allow for excluding individuals with disabilities based upon fear, speculations, generalizations, stigmas, or stereotypes about a particular disability or about persons with disabilities overall. Often this issue comes up particularly when a person may have some form of mental illness. Unfortunately, due to the social stigmas and misinformation attached to mental illness there is a tendency to rush to conclusions that because a person has a mental disability he/she is dangerous or more dangerous that others.

Any determination made by a housing provider that an individual poses a direct threat must be based on an individualized assessment utilizing objective evidence that is recent and credible. Such an assessment must take into account the following three factors: (1) the nature, duration, and severity of the risks of injury or harm; (2) the probability that injury or harm will actually occur; and (3) whether providing a reasonable accommodation will eliminate the direct threat.

A housing provider, in making its assessment, must consider whether the individual has received intervening treatment or is on medication that eliminates the proposed threat. In such instances, prior to making a decision, the housing provider should request documentation from the individual that indicates how her/his situation or circumstances has changed so that she/he no longer poses a direct threat.

The housing provider is allowed to obtain satisfactory assurances that an individual will not be a direct threat to the health and safety of others during the individual's tenancy. The important thing to remember is that before making a final decision to exclude or deny services to someone with a disability, all factors must be carefully considered by using information that is recent, reliable, objective and credible.

Consider the following Example:

A housing provider requires all persons applying to rent an apartment to complete an application that includes information on the applicant's current place of residence. On her application to rent an apartment, a woman notes that she currently resides in Stand Tall House ("STH"). The manager of the apartment complex knows that STH is a group home for persons receiving treatment for mental illness (schizophrenia). Based solely on that information and his personal belief that persons with schizophrenia are likely to cause disturbances and damage property, the manager rejects the applicant.

This rejection is unlawful because it is based on a generalized stereotype related to a disability rather than an individualized assessment of any threat to other persons or the property of others based on recent, reliable, objective, and credible evidence about the applicant's current conduct.

The housing provider may not treat this applicant differently than other applicants based upon his subjective perceptions of the potential problems posed by her schizophrenia by requiring her to submit additional documents, imposing different lease terms, or requiring a higher security deposit.

However, the manager could have checked this applicant's references to the same extent and in the same manner as he would have checked any other applicant's references. If such a reference check revealed objective evidence showing that this applicant had posed a direct threat to persons or property in the recent past and the direct threat had not been eliminated, the manager could then have rejected the applicant based upon her posing a direct threat.

New Fair Market Rents Published For 2005

The annual Fair Market Rents (FMRs) for communities throughout the nation was announced in the Federal Register on Friday, October 1, 2004. The new FMRs reflect the latest 2000 Census data and recent local rental market surveys. The new FMRs will take effect immediately. For more information, visit the Fair Market Rents website (http://www.huduser.org/datasets/fmr.html).

Justice and HUD Support Weed and Seed with Grant

HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Michael Liu joined the U.S. Attorney for Hawaii in presenting a ceremonial check for $50,000 to the YMCA of Honolulu to reduce crime in Weed and Seed areas in the Ala Moana/Kapiolani, Chinatown, Kalihi and Palama districts. Assistant Secretary Liu made the announcement with Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Butrick at the Kalakaua Homes public housing development on September 16, 2004. Honolulu is one of 36 cities that will receive Operation Weed and Seed grants. An initiative developed by the U.S. Department of Justice, Weed and Seed aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods.

LAST ISSUE OF HUD NEWSLETTER

This is the last issue of Na Hana Ku Aloha. We hope that you found our newsletter a valuable resource for information about HUD, our many programs, and activities to promote stronger communities. If you have any questions or desire more information about HUD, please check our website or contact the Honolulu Field Office at (808) 522-8175.

 

 

 
Content Archived: December 19, 2011