Northwest HUD Lines
December 2014

HUD e-Briefs from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington
Bill Block, Region X Regional Director (206) 220-5356
Leland Jones, Editor


An independent actuarial analysis of the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) Mutual Mortgage Fund has "improved, going from a negative value to a growth of $21 billion within two years" as a result of "aggressive policy actions" taken in response to the nation's housing crisis that included to underwriting standards, loss mitigation policies, recovery strategies and premium levels. "The fundamentals of the Fund are strong," said HUD Secretary Julián Castro."This is positive news for the economy and the millions of American families that count on FHA." The report also notes that the Fund now has $40 billion in cash reserves - reserves, it says, that have been increasing by $10 billion a year - a 30 percent decline in seriously-delinquent mortgages and a 68 percent decline in foreclosure starts over the last two years. For more, visit here.

! ! ! NEWS FLASH ! ! !

On November 14th, the Federal Housing Administration(FHA) issued Mortgagee Letter 2014-23 extending until December 31st, 2016 a program first announced in August, 2010 to "maintain homeownership by providing borrowers, who owe more on their mortgage than the value of their home, opportunities to refinance into an affordable FHA loan." It enabled "borrowers to qualify for an FHA refinance loan provided that the lender or investor wrote off the unpaid principal balance of the original first lien mortgage by at least 10 percent." To read the full letter, please see Mortgagee Letter 14-23.


On November 20th, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed new rules that "require servicers to provide certain borrowers with foreclosure protections more than once over the life of the loan, to put in place additional servicing transfer protections, and to take steps to protect borrowers from a wrongful foreclosure sale" and to "help ensure that surviving family members and others who inherit or receive property have the same protections under the CFPB's mortgage servicing rules as the original borrower." The Bureau is accepting public comments on its proposals up to 90 days after its publication on November 20th. Bureau director Richard Cordray said that the "greater protections" provided by the proposed rule would help insure that "no one is wrongly foreclosed upon," For more, visit


Governor Kitzhaber says Oregon State Council has okayed Oregon Housing & Community Services plan to award some $9.7 in grants and tax credits to produce or preserve "nearly 600" affordable housing units in Portland, Hillsboro, St. Helens, Canby, Scappoose, Salem, Prineville, Eugene, Dallas, Junction City, Hillsboro, Happy Valley, LaGrande & Medford. . .,King County Housing Authority says it will provide 33 HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers to provide permanent housing to homeless veterans in complex to be built my Multi Service Center in Federal Way. . .Home Forward becomes first large organization in Portland metro to establish $15 per-hour minimum wage for its employees. . .Formed last April to provide homes to 100 homeless vets with disabilities by Veterans Day, 2014, team from City of Portland, Multnomah County, VA & Home Forward exceed goal, providing homes to 139 vets. . .Anonymously-donated Lift Tower Lodge, a former motel built in Ketchum in 1952 will be transformed into affordable housing by Blaine County Housing Authority says Twin Falls Times. . .Jerri Allard, director of the City of Spokane's Community, Housing & Human Services Department, says Spokesman Review, announces her retirement. . .Renton Housing Authority schedules December 2nd grand opening of Kirkland Avenue Town Homes - part of the Renton Housing Authority's revitalization of Sunset Terrace area. . ."After several violent episodes apparently involving homeless people," Idaho Statesman reports, "Boise Mayor Dave Bieter is organizing a "summit" with the goal of enlisting groups that could help city government address the range of problems surrounding homelessness". . .Lane County selects "relatively-secure" and "grassy area" in Eugene, reports Register Guard, site of third as legal overnight camp — or "rest stop" - for the homeless from the end of November to approximately the end of April". . .KOMO-TV says Seattle City Council "wants to fund Internet in homeless camps". . .Idaho Housing & Finance Association's Gerald Hunter honors 20 northern Idaho real estate agents for helping "500 new homebuyers purchase homes, representing a $60 million investment" in the last year. . .Jackson County Housing Authority tells Mail Tribune it will start work on $2.5 million, 50-unit affordable housing complex in downtown Medford next March. . .City of Spokane conducting national search to replace planning & development director Scott Chesney who, after three years with City, resigned in October. . .The Chehalis Tribe and Yakama elder Johnson Meninick honored for their work by Washington State Office for Historic Preservation while Skokomish Tribe honored Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council for its efforts to clean-up and maintain the Hood Canal area.


The Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle has released its implementation plans for its 2015 Affordable Housing Program and Home$tart Program, including some changes from its 2014 program. The 2015 implementation will start on April 1st and run through December 31st, 2015. Current policies in effect for both programs will remain in effect through March 30th, 2015. Funding for the 2015 plan will depend on the Bank's 2014 earnings. For the 2015 AHP implementation plan, visit


During remarks delivered at the National League of Cities annual conference in Austin, HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced that HUD has set a February 9, 2015, deadline for communities to apply for grants of up to $30 million under the Choice Neighborhood Implementation Program to support locally-driven solutions for transforming neighborhoods struggling to address poor quality housing, inadequate schools, poor health, high crime, and lack of capital. Eligible applicants include public housing authorities, local governments, for-profit entities, nonprofit entities and tribal entities, but a local government must be the lead or co-applicant. Each application must focus on at least one severely distressed public and/or HUD-assisted-housing project in a distressed neighborhood. There is a 5 percent local match requirement. Earlier Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants, the Secretary noted, have served as a catalyst, stimulating approximately $7.50 in public and private investment for every $1 in Choice Neighborhoods funding. "We look forward to working with community leaders to breathe new life into struggling neighborhoods," he said, transforming them into place where residents "flourish and dreams can thrive."


The Meyer Memorial Trust has set a January 6th deadline to apply for Affordable Housing Initiative grants and technical assistance of up to $75,000 to assist organizations in the "development and implementation of property-specific portfolio preservation plans." The grants will have a duration of at least two and possibly three years. The Trust expects to award $2.2 million in this cycle with a second cycle scheduled for 2016. For more, visit


Know some graduate students with designs on the world? Well, there's there chance to strut their stuff. For the second straight year HUD is asking multi-disciplinary teams of three to five graduate students to compete in providing the most innovative design and planning response to a challenging affordable housing issue. There's a $20,000 prize for the winning team and a $10,000 prize for the runner up. Teams must register by December 18th and "solutions" by February 9th. For more, visit or sign-up for updates at


It's estimated that almost one-quarter - 22 percent - of families in Alaska, especially in the more than 250 small rural villages, don't have running water or flush toilets. Drinking water, reports Alaska Public Radio, instead comes "from central watering points or drink water from untreated sources such as creeks, rivers, melted snow or rain water collected in garbage cans." Many residents also use 5-gallon buckets to collect, transport and dispose of human waste "in nearby sewage lagoons or tundra ponds." Children living in homes that don't have running water were found "to be 10 times more likely to have viral pneumonia, severe bacterial infections or skin infections. Adults without running water were more likely to have pneumonia and influenza and skin infections like boils." Said Tom Hennessey of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. The conventional solution has been community-wide pipes and truck haul systems many of which are now aging. Replacing or building new systems - and maintaining them - is every costly says Bill Griffith of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. "During this period of declining funds," he adds, "we realize that we simply aren't going to have enough capital money and communities aren't going to have enough operating money to continue that approach." So, what now? The State, reports Alaska Public Radio, has issued "a worldwide challenge to engineers, innovators, social behaviorists and people with rural water and sewer experience" to try a new approach. What the Alaska Rural Water & Sewer Challenge is "looking to do," Griffith explains, "is to provide running water and sewer in homes on a house-to-house basis as opposed to a community basis. We believe that are technologies that are available today that can be combined in a way that could provide running water and sewer to rural residents at greatly reduced capital and operating costs." Up to the challenge? Visit


Bringing "the total amount of funds awarded since 1955 to more than $250 million." the Rasmuson Foundation awards some $8.7 million in 19 grants and investments, including funds to the Baranof Island Housing Authority to construct affordable housing in Sitka, to Covenant House in Anchorage to renovate a transitional housing facility, to REACH to renovate an assisted living home in Juneau, to Hope Community Resources to build an accessible community center in Kenai, to the Chickaloon Native Village to build a health & wellness center and to the City of Wasilla to replace a library. . .Mercy Housing Northwest wins $9.7 million grant from Washington Department of Commerce to convert historic Building 9 at old Sand Point Naval Station in Seattle into 128 units of affordable workforce housing. . .Zillow, Inc., and King County Committee to End Homelessness launch campaign to encourage landlords to provide housing to 1,000 homeless families who have rental assistance but can't find place to call home. . .Portland Housing Bureau awards total of $750,000 to NAYA, Catholic Charities Housing Transitions Program and JOIN to support programs providing permanent housing to individuals experiencing homelessness or housing instability. . .Boise City Council considering incentives that could, says Boise Weekly, "redefine Boise's downtown" by encouraging more dense affordable multi-family housing downtown. . .EPA awards $31l.8 million in absolutely critical" funds to more than 200 tribes & native villages in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington to "build their capacity and develop programs to protect public health and the environment on their lands," says EPA's David Allnutt. . .City of Beaverton, June Key Delta Community Center in Portland, REI and Portland General Electric win 2014 EPA Green Power awards with Medford, Oregon joining Oak Ridge , Tennessee as the 2014 Green Power Communities of the Year. . .Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority's Financial Cost$ program one of four programs chosen for participation in First Nations Oweesta's Building Native Curriculum Study to assess the most effective way to promote financial literacy and capacity.


Every community everywhere needs someone like Betty Tamm. For almost 19 years, says The News Review, she's served as executive director of NeighborWorks Umpqua which serves Roseburg, Douglas County and much of southwest Oregon. She's said she'll step down next March. For those of us in affordable housing, it will be a huge loss. Betty doesn't have an Eiffel Tower or an Empire State Building to show for those 19 years. But her legacy puts the "wow" in wonderful. Everywhere you look in southwest Oregon, in fact, you'll see it. Need a way to preserve and upgrade the manufactured housing that meets so large a part of the need for affordable housing need in Curry County.? During her tenure Betty and her team brought together a broad coalition called ReHome Oregon to provide the means to do it. Want to find a way to insure that homeless vets seeking care at the VA Medical Center in Roseburg don't have to sleep in the woods as they're receiving services? Betty Tamm and her team came up with the financing for Eagle Landing, permanent housing for vets and their families on the VA campus, one of the first-of-its kind in the country. Want to figure out what to do with an old, mostly empty hotel in downtown North Bend? Betty and her team found a way to transform it into affordable housing. Want to help kids of limited means go to college? Betty and her team formed the DreamSavers individual development program which not only has helped grown-ups buy homes or start businesses but sent at least one kid to every single college in Oregon. Want to expand the stock of decent, affordable housing? Betty and her team have and lots and lots of volunteers have built 500 units - and counting. Betty , a colleague told Kate Stringer of The News Review, "gets the best out of people." Again and again and again. Which means, thankfully, that her legacy will be with us for generations to come. For more, see


Elmer Rasmuson, one of the co-founders of the Rasmuson Foundation, accomplished many things in his life, writes the Foundation's Jeff Baird in a recent blog. President of the Bank of Alaska. Mayor of Anchorage. Chair of the Permanent Fund.But there was one achievement that eluded Elmer his entire life," Baird notes. "He dreamed of being an Eagle Scout." It never happened. Why? Because "growing up in Yakutat and Skagway" Elmer "had no place to learn." That obstacle won't stand in the way of kids - or grown-ups - in Bethel thanks to the recent opening of the $23 million Yukon-Kuskokwim Regional Aquatic Health &Safety Center. Elmer, most folks say, would have loved it, which is why the Rasmuson Foundation contributed almost $750,000 to furnish the Center. AS he would have wished, Baird observes, "a beautiful place to learn to swim; to exercise; to recreate and come together as a community." For more, visit


In June, 2013, a dilapidated housing complexes for the families of farm workers burned to the ground just a few miles from downtown Walla Walla burned down. The fire was set deliberately, the final step in preparing the site where the Walla Housing Authority could "sweep away the ghosts of the past" and build the decent, affordable housing these families had long sought and certainly deserve. As The Union-Bulletin recently reported, the Authority and its partners have no wasted no time in building Valle Lindo, a "a place that speaks of safety, creativity and community." For more, visit


"Neighborhood Housing Services' Rake Up Boise, an annual event to help senior and disabled residents winterize and rake their yards, has a new aspect this year. For a $100 donation, you can nominate someone to get a pile of leaves dumped in their front yard. Pranked individuals can prevent leaves from being dumped in their yard by donating $50 to Rake Up Boise. An additional $50 keeps the prank moving to someone else's yard." - The Idaho Business Review, October 29, 2014.


With so many fallen leaves on so many lawns in so many places maybe these are not the best of times to speak fondly of trees or to explain why squirrels and, unfortunately, a local raccoon or two so love them or to remind you that the poet Joyce Kilmer never, ever saw a poem so lovely as, yep, a tree. "They are such a pain," you might reply, especially after a couple of chilly hours pitting your rake against their soggy clutter. But maybe what the City of Spokane is doing with trees will cause you to pause, to give trees a second look, to give Ms. Kilmer a second thought, to afford our formerly leafy friends a second chance to reignite your passion for their splendor. At least it's worth a try. For more, visit here.


There is a 14-acre, undeveloped parcel of land on Bainbridge Island that the City Council is considering for possible development. What better way to decide than to hold meeting in November to solicit public input. Housing Kitsap, the Bainbridge Housing Resources Board, a well-known architect or two and "more than 100 residents" of the Island attended. "The City Council has not indicated," The Kitsap Sun later reported, "when it might discuss the Suzuki property again." That's probably no surprise given the range - the very, very wide range - of views expressed at the meeting. "As a member of the Urban Land Institute, we talk all the time about affordable housing, and it's difficult to think of a more stupid place to put affordable housing than Bainbridge Island," a real estate developer said. "If you put more low-income housing on the island, you're essentially setting us up to fail," The Sun said. "We should have a community that isn't totally homogenized," a former Mayor commented." "That needs to have a variety of people living in it. That means we need to have a variety of housing possibilities available so they can actually live here." So, it looks like the debate's certainly been joined. Whether the twain shall ever meet remains, it seems, is a lot less certain. For more, see


Grants Pass, Oregon's newest Community Development Block Grant entitlement community, begins, reports KLDR radio, begins development of its consolidated plan. . .NEDCO - the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation - celebrates 35th anniversary of serving Eugene-Springfield metro. . .Idaho Community Foundation awards some $212,000 to 111 southwest Idaho organizations including Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity, and OATH - the Organization Assisting the Homeless Student - and the American Red Cross of Idaho to provide assistance to victims of home & wildfires. . .Mayor Murray, says KPLU, names Jermaine Smiley, a labor organizer, and Zachary Pullin, of the SEIU Healthcare NW Training Partnership to Seattle Housing Authority board. . .The Meyer Memorial Trust has awarded "nearly $300,000" to support housing advocacy efforts by the Center for Intercultural Organizing, the Community Alliance of Tenants, NAMI of Oregon, Elders in Action, Habitat for Humanity of Oregon, Immigration & Refugee Education Organization, NAYA and the Oregon Opportunity Network, all in Portland, Housing Works in Redmond, the Metropolitan Affordable Housing Corporation in Eugene, the Mid-Columbia Housing Authority in The Dalles and the Oregon Center for Public Policy in Silverton. . , Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Walla Walla & Richland, says Tri-City Herald, to merge. . .David Bobbitt of Community 1st Bank in Post Falls re-elected as a director of board of Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. . .LIHI begins lease-up of 50-unit, HUD-assisted Cheryl Chow elderly housing complex in Ballard. . .With help from USDA, reports Northern Light, Whatcom-Skagit housing buys 44 lots in Dayton Rich plans to build" self-help "single-family homes on all but one of the lots". . .Alaska Governor-elect Bill Walker says transition team will include Frank Hebert, CEO of the Cold Climate Housing Research Center on consumer energy issues, Thanks to partnership between King County, King County Housing Authority & Homesight fifteen homebuyers of limited means - $64,000 or less for a family of four - will be able to acquire energy-efficient homes for $300,000 in the Authority's Greenbridge community. . .Valerie Davidson of the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium on health issues & Jim Dodson of Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation on economic development issues. . says Bellevue & Coeur d'Alene among 10 best places to retire.


In the year after residents moved into the Bud Clark Commons in Portland the residents' average Medicaid costs declined by a whopping 45 percent. In the year before moving in, Medicaid residents averaged spending $1,626 per month on health-care costs. In the year after moving in, those costs fell to $899 per month and continued into the second year. In just the first year, total Medicaid cost savings exceeded $500,000, the study by the Center for Outcomes Research and Education at Providence Health & Services. . ."People are accessing less-expensive, earlier and more appropriate health care," explains Rachel Duke, supportive housing director for Home Forward, the housing authority of Portland, which developed The Bud - From "A Home that Saves Lives and Money," Affordable Housing Finance magazine, November-December, 2014.


"What did we learn from two years at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Sustainable Village?," The Fairbanks News Miner recently asked. "The average Sustainable Village home used 380 gallons per year for both spacing and water heating, compared to 920 gallons for the average Fairbanks home and 660 gallons for the average new house in Fairbanks built to the state's energy efficiency standards, according to the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's Alaska," The Cold Climate housing Research Center which helped design the Village responded. "The energy performance demonstrates the importance of a good building envelope — a key feature of the Sustainable Village homes." But CCHRC adds, the differences raise "questions for researchers and student residents to answer in the coming years. For instance, what can be attributed to the different heating systems and their control strategies? Which are attributed to the different designs and layouts of the homes? And which are attributed to user behavior — the number of showers, appliance use and set point of the thermostat? Researchers and students will look at these questions during the next phases of the Sustainable Village." Good questions all and a credit to CCHRC for the intellectual integrity to ask them. Find out more about what CCHRC has learned in the Village's first two years and what's still to be answered at


"This technical assistance grant will really complement our efforts to stop churning people through the criminal justice system, and instead give us tools and strategies to help us stabilize our clients' lives to help them stay out of the justice system and succeed. One of the first things we'll do to incorporate the holistic defense strategy in our office is to hire a social worker. We're also looking at organizing our referrals for clients to some of the services that are utilized the most. Clearly the referrals for drug treatment and alcohol treatment are high on the list, but I think you would be surprised to learn how many of our clients just need some financial counseling or employment assistance or housing assistance to help get their lives back on track." -- Daryl Rodrigues, Director of the Thurston County Office of Assigned Counsel, October 29, 2014, on being one of just four teams nationwide to win a 2014-2015 grant from the Bronx-based Center for Holistic Defense.


Some lenders put speed bumps, even road blocks in the way of potential borrowers who receive Social Security Disability income, making it difficult, even impossible to obtain a mortgage. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau believes the obstacles may be discriminatory. Which is why the Bureau has just issued a bulletin advising lenders on what they can and cannot do. It's worth a read at


Why does Bend - or any community - need affordable housing? Wouldn't it be a lot better if the community was comprised of just millionaires and billionaires? Absolutely not, says Janet Stevens of The Bend Bulletin. See why at


Portland Housing Bureau sets December 1st deadline to apply for round II of 2014 Multiple-Unit Limited Tax Exemption. . .HUD sets December 18th deadline for student teams to register for HUD Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design & Planning Competition. . .Seattle Mayor Murray announces December 12th deadline to submit nominations for nine positions on northwest, northeast, west southwest, southeast & downtown Design Review Boards. . .EPA sets December 15th deadline to apply for Environmental Justice Small Grant Program. . .EPA sets December 15th to apply for Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. . .Washington Department of Commerce Housing Trust Fund sets December 15th deadline to submit Stage 1 applications for 2014-2015 Trust Fund. . .HUD sets December 17th deadline for public housing authorities to apply for total of $24 million in Jobs Plus pilot program. . .HUD sets December 18th deadline for teams to register to compete in 2015 Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design & Planning competition. . .EPA sets December 19th deadline to apply for Brownfields Assessment Grants of up to $600,000 and Brownfields Clean-Up Grants of up t0 $200,000. . .USDA sets December 31st deadline to apply for "up to" $150 million in Section 538 loan guarantees for construction or rehabilitation of rural rental housing. . USDA has set December 31st deadline for eligible organizations to apply for a total of $3.4 milllon for up to 30 solid waste management grants to provide technical and evaluative assistance to reduce or eliminate pollution of water resources in rural areas, and improve planning and management of solid waste sites in rural areas. . .Memorial Trust sets January 6th deadline to respond to a $2.2 million request-for-proposals for Affordable Housing Initiative grants of up to $75,000 to develop portfolio preservation programs. . .EPA sets January 15th deadline to apply for Indian Environmental General Assistance Program funds. . .HUD sets February 9th deadline to apply for grants of up to $30 million under Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Program. . .HUD sets March 16th deadline for eligible jurisdictions to submit applications under the National Disaster Resilience Competition.


Bureau of Indian Affairs hosts 24th annual Tribal Rural Providers Conference, December 1st through 5th, Anchorage. Visit

HUD Seattle hosts Continuum of Care Start-Up Workshop, December 1st, Seattle.

Cold Climate Housing Research Center hosts roundtable on A Holistic Approach to Sustainable Northern Communities, December 2nd, Anchorage. Visit

HUD's Office of Housing Counseling hosts on-line stakeholder meeting for local agencies on improving Home Equity Conversion Mortgage protocols, December 2nd, online. Visit

HUD Seattle hosts CHDO Workshop-Understanding Final HOME Rule, December 2nd to 4th, Seattle. Visit

Spokane Low Income Housing Consortium holds annual meeting, December 3rd, Spokane. For more, contact Cindy Algeo at

King County Office of Civil Rights offers workshop on Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications for Residents with Disabilities, December 3rd, Seattle. Visit

HUD Office of Housing Counseling hosts Webinar on Loss Mitigation-Home Retention Options, December 3rd, online. Visit;jsessionid=abc8ibO4hTbIWeO2Sz3Nu.

National Resource Network hosts Webinar for city leaders on its Request for Applications, December 3rd, online. Visit

Housing Consortium of Everett & Snohomish County hosts breakfast forum on Creating Happy Communities through Urban Design, December 4th, Everett. Visit

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED - HUD Anchorage hosts Federal Labor Standards & Payroll Basics workshop, December 4th, Anchorage.

HUD Seattle hosts Continuum of Care Start-Up Workshop, December 8th, Seattle.

Oregon AHMA hosts workshop on Mental Health First Aid: A Strategy for Communities, December 9th, Salem. Visit

HUD's Office of Housing Counseling offers Webinar on Loss Mitigation-Home Disposition Options, December 10th, on-line. Visit

Cities of Portland & Gresham and Multnomah County host Annual Community Housing Needs Hearing, December 11th, Gresham. Visit

HUD Portland hosts Planning for Livability: A Case Study in Livability Lane, December 12th, Portland.

HUD Seattle hosts Fair Housing Basics WEBINAR, December 17th, online.

Puget Sound Regional Council hosts panel on Smart Building Innovations, December 17th, Seattle. Visit

King County Office of Civil Rights hosts Basics of Fair Housing workshop at 9 a.m. & Advanced Fair Housing at 1 p.m., January 14th, Seattle. Visit

Washington State Housing Finance Commission hosts workshop on Tax Credit Compliance Fundamentals, January 27th, Seattle. Visit

Oregon AHMA hosts workshop on Basic Occupancy for HUD Housing Managers, January 27th & 28th, Salem. Visit

Washington Housing Finance Commission hosts workshop on Advanced Tax Credit Compliance, January 28th, Seattle. Visit

Oregon AHMA hosts workshop on HUD Section 8 Contract Renewals & Rent Increases & Reserve for Replacements, January 30th, Salem. Visit


Content Archived: April 21, 2017