HUD Great Plains Region VII News
Serving Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri

Bi-Monthly Newsletter
August 2013

View the published version of the Newsletter with photos


A Message from the Regional Administrator | HUD News | News and Events from around the Region | Kansas | Iowa | Missouri | Nebraska | What's New | Quick Resources | Stay Connected

A Message from the Regional Administrator

On July 25, 2013, HUD Secretary Donovan released his message regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its importance to the people HUD serves. HUD is partnering with Health and Human Services and other federal agencies in rolling out information regarding the ACA. Because of this messaging, HHS expects that enrollment will increase from the anticipated 7 million to 8.5 million.

Helping the more than 48 million Americans who are currently uninsured has been a priority for the Administration and many of those uninsured individuals are low-income Americans that rely on HUD services. HUD's mission is to promote housing and the well-being of its residents. Lack of health insurance is related to housing problems that HUD must deal with when an individual is confronted with financial hardship.

HUD program beneficiaries who would benefit from the ACA include those in the Housing Choice Voucher program, Public Housing Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), and our Homelessness Programs.

Meeting the health needs of these individuals will contribute to the overall success of the programs and help them start a fresh a chapter in their lives. They can enroll at, or to get more information, a hotline is available in more than 140 languages at (800) 318-2596. We appreciate your efforts to get this message to as many people as possible. Thank you!

Sincerely, Terri Porter


President Obama's Plan for A Better Foundation for Middle Class Homeownership

Learn about the plan to continue helping responsible homeowners

HUD Publishes New Proposed Rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

On July 19, 2013 the Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a proposed rule regarding the requirement of HUD grantees to affirmatively further fair housing. Through this rule, HUD proposes to provide HUD program participants with more effective means to affirmatively further the purposes and policies of the Fair Housing Act -, which is Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. Read the Proposed Rule at!documentDetail;D=HUD_FRDOC_0001-3408

Housing Scorecard

Each month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury produce a monthly scorecard on the health of the nation's housing market. The scorecard incorporates key housing market indicators and highlights the impact of the Administration's unprecedented housing recovery efforts, including assistance to homeowners through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Monthly Scorecards -

News and Events from around the Region

HUD in Kansas

Community Planning and Development 2013 "Formula Grantee" Meeting

August 1, 2013 - Over 50 participants representing entitlement grantees from across Kansas and western Missouri gathered in Kansas City, KS for the 2013 "Formula Grantee" Meeting, hosted by the Kansas City Regional Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD). Region VII Deputy Regional Administrator, Terri Porter provided opening remarks.

Dana Buckner, CPD Director, provided CPD updates, which included discussion of the HOME Program Final Rule. Participants also heard presentations from IG, FBI staff and FHEO updates from Region VII Fair Housing staff. Grantee staff from Topeka, KS, Wichita, KS, and Independence, MO collaborated on the Peer Exchange Panel breakout session. Read more on the HOME Final Rule at

The meeting concluded with a Questions & Answers with CPD Staff.

Community Briefing for Elected Officials in Kansas

Kansas City, KS - On August 14, 2013, the Kansas City Regional Field Office hosted a community briefing for Kansas congressional staffs and elected officials of cities and counties who receive HUD funds. The briefing provided an overview of HUD programs and policies, an update on information about Secretarial initiatives, and to promote collaboration between HUD and elected officials/staffs to better serve their communities and constituents.

Region VII Deputy Regional Administrator (DRA), Theresa Porter, welcomed attendees who heard presentations from the offices of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Multifamily Housing, Public and Indian Housing, Community Planning and Development, Labor Relations, and Inspector General. The briefing concluded with a question and answer session.

BRINGING KANSAS HOME - 2013 Kansas Housing Conference

The Kansas City Regional HUD Office was well represented at the Kansas Housing Conference in Lawrence, Kansas, August 27-29, 2013. The three-day event, held at the University of Kansas Memorial Union, offered participants opportunities to network with colleagues and community development experts from across the region. Conference sessions covered a large variety of topics including, Lead-safe work practices, Lead-based Paint (LBP) Regulations, Fair Housing, Energy efficient housing, Designing intergenerational communities, Ethics Policies and Code of Conduct, Green Street Design, and many other housing and community development topics. HUD employees were conference presenters and were on hand to provide information on HUD Programs.

Deputy Regional Administrator, Terri Porter provided remarks and HUD updates at the plenary luncheon on Wednesday, August 28th. The conference concluded with the 2013 Ad Astra Awards luncheon. Winners included:

Special Achievement in Rural Housing Development - Urban: Kenyon Heights, Emporia
Special Achievement in Rural Housing Development - Rural: Heritage Estates, Neodesha
Excellence in Partnership: Buttonwood Tree Apartments
Outstanding Advocate: Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation - Wichita
Affordable Housing "Trailblazer": John Johnston, Topeka Housing Authority
Innovation in Housing and Community Development: City Vision, Inc. - Live Work Housing Program

Congratulations to all award winners!

Upcoming Events in Kansas

October 1-2, 2013 - Kansas Energy Conference, Manhattan, KS - More Information -

October 12-14, 2013 - League of Kansas Municipalities 2013 Annual Conference - Overland Park, KS - More info at

October 23, 2013 - Hispanic Business Forum, Wichita, KS -
Visit for more information.

HUD in Iowa

Iowa Peer to Peer Homeless Symposium

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Des Moines Field Office hosted a two-day Iowa Peer to Peer Homeless Symposium, July17-18, 2013. The symposium was held at Meredith Hall at Drake University Campus and was attended by over 135 participants from across three states representing 22 counties and 31 communities.

The symposium agenda was assembled to establish and facilitate relationships among local agencies and provide opportunities to share policy initiatives and programs relating to homelessness. The overall goal of the symposium was to achieve targeted reductions in homelessness requiring a collaborative effort focused on solutions.

Through collaboration of Federal, State, and Local governments, service providers and technical assistance funding the symposium encompassed fifteen different topics related to homeless issues. These issues included helping homeless persons access mainstream benefits and services, performance measures, the role of schools in homelessness, and administering grant funds. Technical assistance money was provided through HUD's Office of Community Planning and Development to assist with the planning and coordination of the symposium. During the symposium the attendees expressed a desire to continue with the collaborative and effective team building approach on homelessness.

Des Moines City Councilman Chris Coleman and HUD Field Office Director Steve Eggleston both thanked participants for attending the symposium and welcomed them to the City of Des Moines. In addition Congressman Tom Latham provided a welcoming video thanking the participants for their work to end homelessness. Participants also heard from Lora Routt of the HUD Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs, and Richard Cho of the U.S. Interagency Council of Homelessness. These presentations were made possible through video conferencing technology and explained the important role each department has in working to reduce homelessness and the need to collaborate.

For further information on HUD's Homeless Assistance please visit:

Upcoming Events in Iowa

September 20-21, 2013 - Section 106 Training - Cedar Rapids, IA - Event details -

HUD in Eastern Missouri

Justice Department Settles Allegations of Disability Discrimination Against the City of St. Peters, MO

In a press release issued on August 1, 2013, the Department of Justice (DOJ announced that it had recently settled a group home case involving the City St. Peters, whereby the City will pay $80,000 to four complainants and make changes to its zoning laws. The settlement resulted from a complaint that was originally filed with HUD and investigated by the St. Louis Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Division (FHEO). During the course of the HUD investigation, FHEO also determined that over 50 other Missouri municipalities have similar or more restrictive group home ordinances. The complaint was subsequently referred to DOJ for further investigation and possible enforcement.

The DOJ lawsuit alleged that the city violated the federal Fair Housing Act, as amended (FHA), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it denied a zoning request to operate a group home for four women with intellectual disabilities. The complaint also alleges that the city refused to make reasonable accommodations to the city's rules, policies, practices or services that were necessary to afford the residents an opportunity to use and enjoy their home.

The DOJ settlement, filed on Thursday, July 31, 2013, must be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. In addition to providing $80,000 for the residents, the settlement requires that the city:

  1. Replace the city ordinance that imposes a 2,500-foot spacing requirement on group homes for persons with disabilities with an ordinance that is approved by the United States.
  2. Adopt a written policy by which persons may request reasonable accommodations or modifications on the basis of disability from the city's zoning and land use requirements.
  3. Prepare detailed written findings whenever the city denies any type of request for zoning or land use relating to a dwelling occupied by, or designated or intended for occupancy by, persons with disabilities.

Region VII FHEO is very pleased with DOJ's settlement of this complaint which is significant because it not only corrects the FHA and ADA violations, but also send a strong message to some 55 other Missouri municipalities which have similar or more restrictive group home spacing requirements.

Upcoming Events in Eastern Missouri

October 23, 2013 - St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank Financial Education Day - To Register click on

HUD in Western Missouri

Mid-America Regional Council

Building Vibrant Corridors: What We Have Learned Workshop

Kansas City, MO - On August 13, 2013, Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) - Kansas City Region presented a Building Vibrant Corridors workshop where corridor planning teams each presented an overview of their plans, emphasizing lessons learned in the planning process, including next steps.

Six corridor plans were presented during the workshop, and participants had an opportunity visit the exhibition of corridor plans. Presentations and exhibits included the corridor plans for Shawnee Mission Parkway/Metcalf Avenue, 40 Highway, Rock Island, Troost Avenue, North Oak, State Avenue, and Mission and Overland Pak.

After the presentations, participants had an opportunity to ask questions and to join in the discussions of what the future of sustainable development can look like in communities surrounding the Kansas City metro area.

Upcoming Events in Western Missouri

September 14, 2013 - Building a Regional Equity Network for Kansas City The summit is an opportunity for you to provide input in the development of a regional equity network and an equity agenda for Greater Kansas City. More Information/Registration at

HUD in Nebraska

Omaha-Council Bluffs Sustainability Planning: Heartland 2050

On July 17, 2013, Omaha HUD Field Office Director Earl Redrick participated in a kick-off press conference for the Heartland 2050 Visioning Plan, at the National Park Service Building in Omaha. The Heartland 2050 Plan is a long-term vision for the future of the greater Omaha, NE-Council Bluffs, IA metro area, based on the core values of area residents. This vision will provide a roadmap to guide community leaders in identifying strategies that will help them make decisions for the future.

The two-year project kicks-off with an opportunity for citizens of Nebraska and Iowa to take a survey of their likes and dislikes about their community. The information will be used to create scenarios which detail what a neighborhood would look like if, for example, it had more bike racks, streetscapes, or transit stops. Individuals will participate in an interactive, community event to choose their favorite scenarios in October, 2013. The eight-county area includes Cass, Douglas Sarpy, Saunders and Washington counties in Nebraska; and Harrison, Mills and Pottawattamie counties in Iowa.

Omaha HUD Multifamily Program Center and Office of Counsel Team Up

Royalwood on the Green Apartments

On Friday, July 30, 2013, the Omaha Multifamily Program Center and the Legal Division completed a Final Closing for a $7,517,300 refinance loan with Royalwood on the Green Apartments located in Omaha, NE. The 276 unit project was refinanced under the Department's 223(f) program. The community, located in the heart of West Omaha, features a fitness center, basketball courts, swimming pool, oversized closets, and an accessible design.

Senior HUD FHEO Official visits Omaha Field Office

On July 31, 2013, Region VII Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) Director, Betty Bottiger, Equal Opportunity Specialists Kellie Paris Asaka, Connie Radcliff, Kitty Amaya, and Shila Hernandez, and Omaha Field Office Director Earl Redrick welcomed FHEO General Deputy Assistant Secretary Bryan Greene on his first visit to Nebraska.

GDAS Greene met with HUD's Omaha Field Office staff where he praised the Omaha FHEO staff for their outstanding work on the City of Dubuque and State of Nebraska compliance reviews. After the meeting, FHEO staff accompanied GDAS Greene on a tour of the recently renovated Bemis Art Gallery and the Love Jazz Center in the historic 24th and Lake Street area of North Omaha.

GDAS Green and FHEO Staff also met with representatives from all Nebraska Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP)-funded agencies at the offices of the Fair Housing Advisory Services, Inc. (FHAS). FHAS is a long-time grantee under the FHIP- PEI (Fair Housing Initiatives Program-Private Enforcement Initiative) Program. Teresa Hunter, Director of FHAS; Rhonda Uher, Assistant Director of the City of Omaha Human Rights and Relations Department; Gretchen Eure, Unit Director, Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission; and Kim Taylor-Riley, Director of the Lincoln Commission on Civil Rights briefed GDAS Greene on their activities and accomplishments. Also in attendance were Joe Garcia, FHAS-Fair Housing Center Director, Tim Butz, FHAS-Fair Housing Center Assistant Director, and Gary Fisher, General Counsel for FHAS, and other FHAS support staff.

2nd Annual Nebraska/Western Iowa Symposium on Homelessness

On August 6-8, 2013, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Omaha Field Office, in collaborative partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care Systems, held the 2nd Annual Nebraska/Western Iowa Symposium on Homelessness in Kearney, Nebraska. The theme for this year's symposium was "Homelessness in the Heartland," with an emphasis on homelessness in rural communities.

During the 2-day symposium, 115 persons participated, representing approximately 40 or so various agencies from across the state. Dr. Marci Mylan, Director of the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System, was the keynote speaker for the luncheon on August 6th. Victoria Harris, a current small business owner and formerly homeless, provided one of the events highest moments, as she shared her personal triumph over homelessness. In addition, numerous rural homeless service providers shared their thanks and appreciation to HUD and the VA for holding the event in a more rural area of the state. For local media coverage of the event,

Upcoming Events in Nebraska

September 24-25, 2013 - Affordable Housing Management Association (AHMA) Nebraska & Iowa Fall Conference - Ankeny, IA - Conference info -


HUD Releases New FAQs on Affordability Periods for NSP-assisted Housing Units -

SNAPS Weekly Focus - SNAPS will issue a new "weekly focus," a series of messages and related materials about policy priorities and key information to help CoCs and project applicants prepare for the FY2013 CoC Program Competition - Read more at

HUD Publishes 2013 HOME Final Rule - For more information -

PROPOSED Fair Market Rents (FMR) for 2014 - Find the FMR for your area -

HUD Releases Guidance on the Homeless and ESG Elements of the CAPER - Notice - CPD- 13-06 (

HUD Guidance on HMIS Governance Requirements - HMIS Requirements-

Read PD&R's e-newsletter, THE EDGE, to keep current on policy development and research breaking news -

From Our Federal Partners

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Employment Toolkit - resources for employers and veterans focused on transitioning from military service, finding employment and supporting veteran employees.

Small Business Administration and Small Business Majority are excited to announce the next set of Affordable Care Act 101 weekly webinar dates -

Are you prepared for a disaster? Start your disaster recovery plan today with free tools from SBA - Learn more -

Affordable Care Act/Health Insurance Marketplace -


QUICK LINKS - Use our quick links directory to access HUD information from one location Quick Links (

CENSUS TRACTS ( Find out which Census tracts are for Low Income Housing Tax Credits in 2013


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HUD Contacts in Nebraska (

We welcome your comments and feedback and invite you to share your stories and/or news with Agatha (Aggie) Gutierrez (


Content Archived: February 27, 2015