Northwest HUD Lines
FHA "solid" and getting solider
Great news. In November as an independent actuary reported that the capital ratio of the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) single-family Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund stood at 2.07 percent. What's the big deal about that? Simple. It's the first since 2008 and the early days of the Great Recession that the FHA Fund's reserves have been at above the 2(two) percent standard established by the Congress. The actuary also reported that this is the third year the Fund has shown growth. Indeed, the economic value of the Fund grew by $19 billion in fiscal year 2015 thanks to systematic efforts to reduce risks, cut losses and improve recoveries, enabling FHA to expand access to credit for homebuyers even as the rest of the housing sector continues to recover. "FHA is on solid financial footing and positioned to continue playing its vital role in assisting future generations of homeowners," said HUD Secretary Julián Castro, allowing FHA to do what "FHA was born to do - allowing hardworking Americans to become homeowners and spurring growth in the housing market as well as the broader economy."
FHA streamlines condo rules
Just as November brought good news about FHA and its "solid" financial position, it also brought good news to some of FHA's borrowers with word that FHA had issued Mortgagee Letter 2015-27 to ease FHA's condominium approval processes. Effective immediately - November 13, 2015 - and in effect for one year while HUD implements "a more comprehensive condominium rule change." the Letter provides notice of revised calculation of FHA required owner-occupancy percentage; provides expansion of eligible condominium project insurance coverage; and provides revised requirements for obtaining condominium project recertification." The news was very well-received. REALTORS "and consumers got a welcome piece of news today with HUD's commitment to fix FHA's condo policies and broaden opportunities for families to find a home," said National Association of REALTORS President Chris Polychron (www.realtor.org/news-releases/2015/11/breaking-hud-announces-change-to-fha-condo-policies-at-realtors-conference), said, noting that the Association has "long advocated" such streamlining. ""This is a win and a tremendous step in the right direction."
Should public housing be smoke free?
Since 2009 some 600 of the nation's public and tribally-designated housing authorities with almost 230,000 housing units have answered HUD's call to implement smoke-free policies. But that leaves more than 2,000 authorities with almost one million units that haven't taken this important step in building healthier communities. It's time, HUD believes, that they did. Under a new rule proposed by HUD on November 12th, all of the nation's housing authorities will be expected to "implement a policy prohibiting lit tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars or pipes) in all living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and administrative office buildings." "This proposed rule will help improve the health of more than 760,000 children and help public housing agencies save $153 million every year in healthcare, repairs and preventable fires. The deadline for public comment is January 19th. We hope you'll feel free to comment (www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=HUD-2015-0101-0001).
HUD proposes rule to prevent discrimination based on gender identity in CPD programs
On November 20th, HUD proposed a rule that would require "recipients and sub-recipients of assistance from HUD's Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD), as well as owners, operators, and managers of shelters, buildings, and other facilities and providers of services covered by CPD's programs, to provide transgender persons and other persons who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth with access to programs, benefits, services, and accommodations in accordance with their gender identity." This so-called "gender identify rule" would cover HUD's Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership, Housing Opportunity for Persons with AIDS, Emergency Solutions Grants and Continuum of Care programs. HUD is seeking public comment (www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=HUD_FRDOC_0001-4281) on the proposal by January 9th. If you have views, please don't hesitate to share them.
Making nuts-and-bolts sense of new affirmatively furthering fair housing rule
Still having trouble wrapping your brain around HUD's new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule? Trust us. You're not alone. Which is why you're well-advised to take a look at a recently-posted HUD Webcast on the rule. It made it all a lot more approachable for some of us.
What's happening in rural America?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has just released its Rural America at a Glance (www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/11/0331.xml&contentidonly=true) report for 2015. The report, says Secretary Tom Vilsack, reflects "a rural America on the road to recovery" but also "demonstrates the continued need for targeted investments in rural people and places."
NEWS TO USE
Is an arrest sufficient cause to evict tenant from HUD-assisted housing?
On November 2nd, HUD issued a notice providing guidance on the role that arrests records can play in housing decisions made by public housing authorities and owners of Federally-assisted housing. The short and the sweet of it? "Arrest records may not be the basis for denying admission, terminating assistance or evicting tenants."
Idaho Association of REALTORS (www.cdapress.com/news/local_news/article_8a12aa75-f4e4-5b63-990c-221508e697d4.html?hootPostID=b23c62dabb9a7f5d5c67960e55b3418f) names Diane Lundy of Fortus REALTORS in Coeur d'Alene as its 2015 REALTOR of the Year. . .Washington State Housing Finance Commission (www.wshfc.org/admin/releases/2015.11.20CommissionFundings.pdf) okays $182 million in financing for Mercy Housing's 108-unit Othello Place in Seattle, AWS Communities' 295-unit Reserve at Lynwood for the elderly, DevCo's 295-unit Promenade apartments in Auburn & DBG Properties' 95-unit 13 West Apartments in downtown Vancouver. . .2015 Idaho Smart Growth (www.idahosmartgrowth.org) awards go to renovation of historic Belwood Building in downtown Sandpoint, the new 48-unit Bandon River Apartments for the elderly in Idaho Falls, the live-work Surel's Place in Garden City, the Communities in Motion 2040 regional plan developed by Ada & Canyon counties, the new bike/pedestrian bridge over the Boise River, Boise's 27th Street re-configuration and & former Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney "for her longtime smart growth leadership and advocacy". . .During a conference at the new 56-unit Sitka Place, reports Alaska Dispatch (www.adn.com/article/20151117/anchorage-mayor-aims-house-300-homeless-people-3-years), Mayor Ethan Berkowitz unveils plans to build housing for 300 more homeless over next three years to provide "safety and security, and importantly dignity, for all of Anchorage. . .Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (www.atg.wa.gov/news/news-releases/ag-fights-discrimination-everett-apartment-complex) secures Assurance of Discontinuance agreement with owner of Everett, Washington apartment complex where manager allegedly "tows cars belonging to African American tenants but not white tenants". .Seattle-based company that's acquired burned-out Gastineau Apartments in downtown Juneau, Alaska, reports The Empire (http://juneauempire.com/local/2015-10-30/company-buy-restore-gastineau-apartments?hootPostID=954b33684450596da7bb98b7db70141f), wants says it won't tear-down but restore and maintain its 44 units as affordable housing. . .HUD awards 20 new HUD Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers to Snohomish County, 11 to the King County Housing Authority & 10 to the Seattle Housing Authority which means that HUD is providing a total of 1,130 VASH vouchers statewide in Washington. . .Citing "the growing crisis of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness," Seattle Mayor Ed Murray & King County Executive Dow Constantine (http://murray.seattle.gov/murray-constantine-city-council-declare-emergency-announce-new-investments-to-respond-to-homelessness/?hootPostID=70202b5c6d8abd78729503a2ebdeba70#sthash.0xDUKZnG.adeEWdTI.dpbs) declare "civil emergency" and propose "investments" to respond to "growing demand" for services. . .City of Eugene to purchase 3 acres of land for 50-unit affordable housing complex, says Register Guard (http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/33684991-75/eugene-ready-to-buy-land-for-affordable-housing-complex.html.csp?hootPostID=77352e5f8c1aff9b3251ee6140e70c00), under CDBG-supported Land Acquisition for Affordable Program that, to date, has already helped develop 880 units of housing. . .Thanks to acquisition of an additional parcel, Tacoma Housing Authority tells Tacoma Weekly (www.tacomaweekly.com/news/article/tha-sets-sights-on-mixed-use-development-on-mlk?hootPostID=75b8479e50d6cf7220552c3716174960) it may increase size of Hilltop Lofts workforce housing now in pre-development phase. . .Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (www.fhlbdm.com/press-room/193-million-in-housing-grants-to-benefit-families/) competitively awards $3.9 million in Affordable Housing Program funds to partnerships between Northrim Bank & Cook Inlet Housing in Anchorage, Alaska, Pacific Continental Bank & Caritas Housing Initiative in Glendale & Rogue River, Oregon, American West Bank & Transitional Program for Women in Spokane, Banner Bank & Christian Aid Center and American West Bank and the Walla Walla, Washington Housing Authority a total of $2.9 million to help develop 300 units. . .Seventy 70 provider organizations in Olympia & Thurston County come together, says Olympian (www.theolympian.com/news/local/article41610645.html?hootPostID=aa49d671ffb6cba78e0e3848c76c08d3), to form Homeless Hub to coordinate services to area homeless.
Oregon Housing & Community Services expands assistance for "underwater" homeowners to 16 more counties.
Oregon Housing & Community Services Margaret Van Vliet has announced that, effective December 2nd, its "innovative, one-of-a-kind" Loan Refinancing Assistance Pilot Project (www.oregon.gov/ohcs/DO/newsreleases/2015/11-23-2015-News-Release-OHSI-LRAPP-Expands.pdf) to 17 more Oregon counties -- Baker, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, and Wheeler counties> Under the program, the homes of owners with substantial negative equity are purchased from them through a short sale and then re-sold to them at the home's current value, enabling them to avoid foreclosure. The program has been available since 2011 in Crook, Deschutes, Jackson, Jefferson, and Josephine counties which have experienced high rates of foreclosure and the highest rates of negative equity in the state. Oregon Housing & Community Services plans to add still more counties (www.oregon.gov/ohcs/pdfs/ohsi/11192015-LRAPP-Schedule.pdf) in January and February.
In the late fall of every year HUD issues a report to the Congress reporting the point-in-counts of sheltered and unsheltered Americans conducted late on a, typically, very chilly January night the hundreds of HUD-funded Continuums of Care all across the country. HUD issued its data-drenched report on the January, 2015 report on November 19th. As a whole, it reported " a continuing decline" in homelessness "across the country." So, how about where you live? As mentioned, the counts are conducted by Continuums of Care, of which there are 18 in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington State. Below you'll find the trends indicated by this year's data in those communities:
From 2010 - the first year of President Obama's Opening Doors (http://usich.gov/opening_doors/) initiative - to 2015 the number of unsheltered homeless fell in the Idaho Balance-of-State, Boise/Ada County, the Oregon Balance-of-State, Clackamas County, Eugene-Springfield, Medford-Ashland, Beaverton-Hillsboro-Washington County, the Washington Balance-of-State, Spokane City & County, Everett & Snohomish County, Yakima City & County and Vancouver & Clark County while the number increased in the Alaska Balance-of-State, Anchorage, Portland & Multnomah County, Central Oregon, Seattle & King County and Tacoma & Pierce County.
From 2010 to 2015, the number of homeless individuals fell in the Idaho Balance-of-State, Boise & Ada County, the Oregon Balance-of-State, Clackamas County, Eugene-Springfield, Beaverton-Hillsboro-Washington County the Washington Balance-of-State, Spokane City & County, Everett & Snohomish County, Yakima City &County and Vancouver & Clark County while the number increased in the Alaska Balance-of-State, Anchorage, Medford-Ashland, Portland & Multnomah County, Central Oregon, Seattle & King County and Tacoma & Pierce County.
Homeless Family Households
From 2010 to 2015, the number of homeless family households fell in the Alaska Balance-of-State, Anchorage, the Idaho Balance-of-State, Boise & Ada County, the Oregon Balance-of-State, Clackamas County, Eugene-Springfield, Beaverton-Hillsboro-Washington County, Medford-Ashland, Portland & Multnomah County, the Washington Balance-of-State, Seattle & King County, Spokane City & County, Tacoma & Pierce County, Everett & Snohomish County and Vancouver & Clark County while the number increased in Yakima City & County.
From 2010 to 2015, the number of homeless veterans fell in the Alaska Balance-of-State, Anchorage, Boise & Ada County, Clackamas County, Portland & Multnomah County, Eugene-Springfield, Central Oregon, the Washington Balance-of-State, Tacoma & Pierce County, Everett & Snohomish County, Yakima City & County and Vancouver & Clark County while the number increased in the Idaho Balance-of-State, the Oregon Balance-of-State, Medford-Ashland, Beaverton-Hillsboro-Washington County, Seattle & King County and Spokane City & County.
From 2010 to 2015, the number of chronically-homeless fell in the Alaska Balance-of-State, Beaverton-Hillsboro-Washington County, Seattle & King County, Spokane City & County, Everett & Snohomish County and Vancouver & Clark County while the number increased in Anchorage, the Idaho Balance-of-State, Boise & Ada County, the Oregon Balance-of-State, Clackamas County, Portland & Multnomah County, Eugene-Springfield, Medford-Ashland, Central Oregon, the Washington Balance-of-State, Tacoma &Pierce County and Yakima City & County.
(If you would like to see state-specific press releases on HUD's 2015 count for Alaska, Idaho, Oregon or Washington State, please contact Leland.firstname.lastname@example.org)
SPEAKING OF WHICH. . .
So, the 2015 point-in-time count is now, officially, in the books. Just in time to get ready for the upcoming 2016 point-in-time count that, once again, will be held very late on a typically cold January night a few weeks from now. HUD Exchange (https://www.hudexchange.info/news/preparing-for-the-2016-point-in-time-count/) is offering a few tips to make sure you and your continuum are ready to count!
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
Still investing wisely as it celebrates its 60th year, Rasmuson Foundation awards some $3.5 million in grants to Alaska organizations preserving & promoting affordable housing. . .Under Idaho law, some 80 Ada & Canyon county homeowners could lose homes, says Boise State Public Radio (http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/treasure-valley-homeowners-who-dont-pay-irrigation-taxes-risk-losing-their-houses), for failing to pay delinquent irrigation district bills. . .With funding from Washington Department of Commerce, City of Vancouver and Clark County - including $1.5 million in HOME Investment Partnership funds - REACH Community Development Corporation breaks ground for Isabella Court (www.columbian.com/news/2015/nov/20/reach-vancouver-projects-eye-affordable-housing-fourth-plain-corridor/?hootPostID=e7e00fe5730f8ab0514c72f65262c2bd), 49 units of housing for the elderly in Vancouver's Fourth Plain neighborhood. . .Teton Valley, Idaho Commissioners & Council of Government, says Teton Valley News (www.tetonvalleynews.net/news/council-of-governments-pledges-quick-response-to-workforce-housing/article_2b787350-8f09-11e5-9ef2-a7660207e361.html?hootPostID=de8df215981b314a48b6fafa514931f9), begin to wrestle with local government's role in promoting development of affordable, workforce housing. . .City of SeaTac (http://seatacblog.com/2015/11/18/ribbon-cut-for-new-valley-ridge-community-teen-center-addition/?hootPostID=43c9579c71600687e6d54a99459212e1) cuts ribbon on 1,000 square-feet, CDBG-funded addition to Valley Ridge Community Center that will serve as youth center. . .Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church & City of Juneau complete land swap that could, says The Empire (http://juneauempire.com/local/2015-11-03/land-trade-helps-city-tackle-housing?hootPostID=39b4a5efd50b7800bde7420862e4a0c4), provide site for 300 units of single- and multi-family housing. . .Residents of Gold Beach, reports Curry County Pilot (www.currypilot.com/News/Local-News/Homeless-in-Gold-Beach?hootPostID=102afabd9713b1046c311ebef32f7652), debate whether number of homeless is rising or falingl on along southwest Oregon's coast. . .Vancouver sees "huge spike," says Columbian (www.columbian.com/news/2015/nov/09/vancouver-sees-a-huge-spike-in-multifamily-residential-units/?hootPostID=6a8a2cea74c2584cc5660801ce4eb951), in multifamily building,with.3.417 units under review or construction all across city. . .Boise & Portland join Seattle among 53 cities selected for VA's Veterans Economic Communities Initiative (www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2732) to increase education & employment opportunities for veterans. . .State Representative Cindy Ryu, says Everett Herald (www.heraldnet.com/article/20151127/BLOG5207/151129226/Ryu-to-lead-committee-on-community-development-housing-tribal-affairs), to chair Washington House Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee. . .Alaska Housing Finance names Brannon Richart, owner of Intella Homes of North Pole the recipient of inaugural "Builder of the Year" award. The award recognizes the builder for constructing the most energy-efficient 6 Star home in 2015. . .Olympia's Quixote Village wins Rudy Bruner Foundation Award for Urban Excellence, says HUD User (www.huduser.gov/portal/casestudies/study_08312015_1.html?hootPostID=828769eb867c11321e22084d9523bbf8), as "model for building trust and community". . .Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launches new tool (www.consumerfinance.gov/retirement/) to help eligible beneficiaries decide whether it makes dollars and sense to claim Social Security at 62 or wait. . .Oregon State Housing Council okays funding for 10 new units of affordable housing for veterans experiencing "housing instability" in Klamath Falls and 16 new units in Medford. . .2 churches already have stepped forward to shelter Pacific County, Washington homeless this winter but more are needed says Peninsula Poverty Response (www.dailyastorian.com/Local_News/20151127/shelter-from-the-storms-long-beach-peninsula-team-seeks-churches-to-host-the-homeless). . .Meyer Memorial Trust (www.mmt.org/news/november-2015-awards-announced-0?hootPostID=b541012c942e5a9848afbe5a1dc841f5) awards more than $1 million to 13 Oregon organizations including Access, Inc., REACH CDC, Community Action Partnership of Oregon & Klamath-Lake Community Action. . .With funding from HHS, says Yakima Herald (www.yakimaherald.com/lifestyle/health/new-clinics-almost-operational-in-highland-granger/article_4b227d44-9248-11e5-afb0-53b1f16e28c3.html), Community Health of Central Washington opens new primary care clinic to serve residents of Tieton & Cowiche area and Yakima Neighborhood Health Services will open its new Granger clinic in "early December". . .Eugene, Oregon City Council unanimously okays, says Register Guard (http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/33769235-75/eugene-council-unanimously-oks-dusk-to-dawn-pilot-program-for-homeless-people.html.csp), "dusk to dawn" pilot that allows homeless to "sleep overnight" in designated campgrounds. . .Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington, starts work on Bakerview Family Housing, says Bellingham Herald (www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article41201514.html?hootPostID=e2a7075e849113f77c1d969b7062939c), 50 units of housing for farmworkers &families in Whatcom County. . .Valley Times (http://portlandtribune.com/bvt/15-news/277556-153651-rachael-duke-named-new-director-of-cpah) reports Rachael Duke named executive director of Community Partners for Affordable Housing in Tigard, Oregon. . .Bethel, Alaska Community Services Foundation completes transformation, reports Delta Discovery (www.deltadiscovery.com/story/2015/11/25/inside-bethel-news/new-willow-place-apartments-open/3785.html), of former Norma Jean Carter Building into Willow Place Apartments, 6 units of affordable housing for public safety officers under Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's Teacher, Health Professional & Public Safety Grant program.
HUD adds more choices to activities eligible under next round of Choice Neighborhoods Planning grants
HUD has set a February 9th deadline for local governments, Tribes, public housing agencies & non-profit organizations to apply for grants of up to $2 million under the third funding round of HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant program (www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?agencies%3DHUD%7CDepartment%20of%20Housing%20and%20Urban%20Development). The place-based program helps communities develop "a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy" that serve as "the guiding document for the revitalization of the public and/or assisted housing units while simultaneously directing the transformation of the surrounding neighborhood and positive outcomes for families." Under earlier rounds, planning grant winders could only use funding to develop the plan. The experience of the 63 previous winners of Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants has shown that "tangible, early actions help sustain community energy, attract new resources, and build momentum to turn that plan into reality." As a result, eligible grant activities under the third round have been expanded to permit grantees to reclaim vacant property into community gardens, pocket parks, farmers markets, or land banking; to support beautification, place making, & community arts projects; undertake homeowner & business façade improvement programs; support neighborhood broadband; support fresh food initiatives; and for gap financing for economic development projects. The grants, says HUD Secretary Julián Castro, "will let local leaders create homegrown plans to strengthen their neighborhoods and to take those first vital steps to turn their plans into reality."
HUD makes $1.7 million available to help young people who've paid their debt get a second chance
In a collaboration with the Department of Justice, HUD has set a January 4th deadline for public housing authorities "established a partnership with a legal aid organization, university legal center, public defender or other legal service organization" to apply for 18 grants of up to $100,000 each under the Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program (www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?agencies%3DHUD%7CDepartment%20of%20Housing%20and%20Urban%20Development). The program is designed to help eligible public housing residents under the age of 24 who have who've paid their debt to society rehabilitate and reintegrate back into their communities" to "expunge or seal their records in accordance with their applicable state laws." The assistance is not open to makers of meth on public housing property, sex offenders or those convicted of domestic violence. "Young people who have been held accountable for nonviolent offenses and paid their debt to society deserve the opportunity to become active and productive members of their communities," said HUD Secretary Julián Castro.
Justice Department offers $11 million to improve justice system services to victims of domestic & sexual violence
The Justice Department has set a January 20th deadline to apply (and a January 4th deadline to register to apply) for state, local and tribal governments non-profits and providers of legal or victims services to apply for up 60 25 grants of up to $600,000 each under the Justice for Families Program (www.justice.gov/ovw/file/795026/download). The program is designed "improve the response of all aspects of the civil and criminal justice system to families with a history of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, or in cases involving allegations of child sexual abuse." Eligible activities include court-based and court-related programs; supervised visitation and safe exchange by and between parents; training and technical assistance for people who work with families in the court system; civil legal services; provision of resources in juvenile court matters; and development or promotion of legislation, model codes, policies, and best practices. The Department's Office of Violence Against Women (www.justice.gov/ovw) will hold a pre-application conference call that has tentatively been set for January 6, 2014. As mentioned above, those intending to apply are "strongly encouraged" by the Office to file a letter of registration at OVW at OVW.JFF@usdoj.gov by January 4th.
USDA offers $10 million to help rural communities cut through-the-roof energy costs
USDA's Rural Utilities Service (www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?agencies%3DUSDA%7CDepartment%20of%20Agriculture) has set a December 14th deadline to apply for $10 million in funding to aid rural communities with high energy costs. The grants - of not less than $50,000 and no more than $3 million each - must be "used to acquire, construct, or improve energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities serving communities where average annual residential expenditure for home energy exceeding 275 percent of the national average." Both on-grid and off-grid renewable energy projects are eligible. Projects may not be for the benefit of a single household or business. There is a wide range of eligible applicants including individuals who may apply on behalf of an unincorporated organization but may not be a recipient of the grant funds.
HUD's Office of HIV/AIDS Housing & Health & Human Services have set a December 15th deadline to respond to a request for proposals (https://www.hudexchange.info/news/request-for-proposals-addressing-hiv-care-and-housing-coordination-through-data-integration-to-improve-health-outcomes-along-the-hiv-care-continuum/?hootPostID=ff317c37659e4042249e4ff48f66220c) on Addressing HIV Care and Housing Coordination through Data Integration to Improve Health Outcomes along the HIV Care Continuum. The initiative, managed by the Rand Corporation, is intended "to support a minimum of four performance sites to support the electronic integration of housing and HIV care data systems and the development of interventions to improve health and housing outcomes." Funding will be provided over two years with an anticipated May, 2016 start date.
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Cold Climate Housing Research designs house on skis, says Fairbanks News-Miner (www.newsminer.com/features/sundays/sketches_of_alaska/building-a-migratory-house-for-villages-on-the-move/article_87dd1a94-95ab-11e5-b1f2-4f265fb2b466.html), as movable prototype to help 350+ residents of river-ravaged Newtok, Alaska migrate village to new site 12 miles . .Jerralynn Ness retires after 43 years (www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2015/11/jerralynn_ness_who_helped_pave.html) of service with Community Action in Washington County, Oregon. . .Telling The Kitsap Sun (www.kitsapsun.com/news/meth-abatement-to-start-at-housing-kitsap-complex_24282630) it's "money that will not be available to provide support and housing for individuals and families that really need it," Housing Kitsap executive director Stuart Grogan says it's beginning clean-up - at estimated $50,000 per unit - of at least one and maybe more units infested by meth at its 77-unit Viewmont complex in Port Orchard, Washington, the first Housing Kitsap units ever affected by the "meth-ademic". . .Portland Tribune, says Mayor Charlie Hales sends memo to department heads pare next year's budget requests 5 percent to meet "pressing issues" including ""an affordable housing and homelessness crisis that requires additional resources to invest in the most effective approaches". . .Port Townsend, Washington School District okays, says Leader (www.ptleader.com/news/housing-authority-aims-to-save-ptsd-s-lincoln-building/article_5420b8c2-8e1d-11e5-9472-9f0fb63ce305.html), Peninsula Housing Authority request to determine feasibility of converting Lincoln School into affordable housing for elderly. . .Boise Weekly (www.boiseweekly.com/boise/applying-the-lessons-of-eugene-to-housing-boises-homeless/Content?oid=3654135) says "pop-u" micro-housing communities like Opportunity Village in Eugene might be answer to Boise's homeless crisis. . .At Olympia ceremony celebrating 25th anniversary of Washington State's Growth Management Act, Governor Jay Inslee (www.commerce.wa.gov/media/Pages/PressReleaseView.aspx?pressreleaseid=218) honors the Thurston Regional Planning Council, the cities of Ellensburg, Kennewick, Pasco, Redmond, Renton, Richland, Seattle, Tacoma, Walla Walla, and Benton, Franklin & King counties for "successful collaborations it takes to effectively plan for business expansion, revitalization of a downtown area and promote jobs, housing, community amenities and regional transit facilities". . .Everett, Washington Housing Authority's 20-unit Pivotal Point Apartments says Daily Journal of Commerce (www.djc.com/news/re/12083319.html?hootPostID=426a44bad9580e9fe100bfc451086184), wins Award of Excellence from National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials. . .USDA awards $26 million in Water & Waste Disposal infrastructure grants to the cities of Holy Cross, Teller & Wrangell in Alaska, the cities of Driggs & Mountain View & the Jughandle Corporation in Idaho, the Pacific City Water & Sanitary Authority in Oregon and the cities of Belfair & Friday Harbor in Washington. . .And, last but not least, a Happy 50th (http://bbjtoday.com/blog/opportunity-council-turns-50-current-and-future-director-talk-changes-to-the-organization/32651?hootPostID=d055d2e7d78c4c98b7c7dca99018c8ec) to the Opportunity Council of Whatcom County!
Good Work = Good Coverage
Among other HUD partners, the good work of Access, Inc. in Medford, NeighborWorks in Anchorage & NAYA Family Center of Portland in promoting & preserving homeownership is featured in the November, 2015 issue of The Bridge, the e-letter of HUD's Office of Housing Counseling. Congrats on jobs well done, consumers well-served!
On average 80 percent of American eligible for an Earned Income Tax Credit apply for and receive one. In Oregon, however, only 73 percent of eligible households do. That ranks Oregon last among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to an analysis of 2012 Internal Revenue Service data conducted by the Oregon Center for Public Policy (www.ocpp.org/2015/11/05/fs20151105-oregon-eitc-participation/). All told, some 106,000 Oregon families didn't apply for a Credit they could have received leaving, says the Center, "an estimated $124 million in Federal dollars on the table." Unfortunately, a couple of other states in our region didn't do much better. Alaska was the 46th lowest and Washington State the 434d, both well below the national average. Only Idaho distinguished with a claim rate of about 84 percent and ranking third among all jurisdictions. So what are the stakes? Hundreds of dollars of lost Federal revenue for the states, hundreds of thousands of families living below the poverty level who wouldn't if they would apply for a Credit they are due.
WORTH A LISTEN
A landlord talks about what the nation's housing crisis has meant for him
We've heard a lot over the years about the effects, first, of The Great Recession and, now, the affordable housing crisis on folks trying to pay for the roof over their families' heads. So, what's it been like for the landlords, especially the "small frys" who don't own and operate an empire but just one or a few properties? Like Kelley Creamer of Boise, Idaho. Just like renters have had a bad case of ups-and-downs, so says Boise State Public Radio (http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/one-landlord-s-take-boise-s-affordable-housing-shortage).
WORTH A READ
Why end veteran homelessness?
The push is on. Communities all across the country are working feverishly - but very effectively - to achieve an end to veteran homelessness where they live by the end of this calendar year. Thanks to the hard work of thousands of elected and appointed officials, homeless providers, housing authorities and private landlords, a number of communities have already achieved the goals and many others are well within reach. Wonder why it matters? A recent 13Fox (http://q13fox.com/2015/11/10/homeless-veteran-becomes-stable-dad-one-mans-journey-off-seattle-streets/?hootPostID=ad8df092ea8eace1ace4a6a61850f5d9) story about Robert Pope, an Army veteran offers a very good answer.
A message from Michelle Obama
"When I hear that even one of our veterans is homeless, I'm not just heartbroken. I'm outraged." - First Lady Michelle Obama (http://usich.gov/blog/first-lady-michelle-obama-releases-video-encouraging-landlords?hootPostID=77bc424fa66746abd0ae2e056325e0c2), November 5, 2015.
QUOTABLE & NOTABLE
Vancouver churches providing space for "huts for homeless"
"I didn't see any reason why we couldn't take a few of them on the side of Arnada Abbey. It's better than them wandering around downtown and being preyed upon. There must be something about our particular ethos. We follow a person who was homeless. How could we turn our back on the homeless?" - The Reverend David Knudtson of Amada Abbey in Vancouver, Washington, on its permitting homeless women to place their wood-and-fiberglass "huts for homeless" on church property to avoid arrest. The Columbian (www.columbian.com/news/2015/nov/24/vancouver-churches-offer-space-for-huts-for-homeless/), November 24, 2015.
QUOTE TO NOTE
Who's on first in Pt. Townsend -tourists or residents?
"The lack of affordable housing here has been lamented for at least a generation, probably two. Officialdom has a hard time getting a grip on it, given that the housing market is completely beyond anyone's control. But expensive housing has a deep and daily impact. Young people and young families, the life blood of a healthy, future-oriented community, can't afford to live here. So they move on. The Peninsula Housing Authority said it's interested in taking the Lincoln School building at the Port Townsend High School campus and turning it into affordable housing, and that's worth a look. Meanwhile, the Port Townsend City Council debates allowing homeowners to expand the number of short-term rentals that could be offered to vacationers. Current law lets you rent out a room for 29 days or less, but not your house or ADU. The proposal before the council would remove constraints. This seems like a step in the wrong direction. It would further reduce the stock of affordable rentals, at least in Port Townsend. It's true that we live in an Airbnb world, and there are plenty of people making good money from the vacation rental industry. But the question is: Is affordable housing for locals important or not? We urge the council to take its sweet time on this issue, and to place the needs of locals in search of affordable housing ahead of the needs of tourists." - November 18, 2015, "Moving the Needle on Affordable Housing" by Scott Nicholson, publisher of The Port Townsend Leader (www.ptleader.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-moving-the-needle-on-affordable-housing/article_9f673fb6-8d84-11e5-bdb1-4b78f8c9a1ca.html).
NOTES TO NOTE
Oregon Housing & Community Services sets December 8th deadline for public comment on its proposed 2016 Qualified Allocation Plan (www.oregon.gov/ohcs/DO/technical-advisories/2015/11-04-15-MFS-Technical-Advisory.pdf). . .USDA Rural Utilities Service sets December 14th deadline to apply for $10 million in Assistance to High Energy Cost Rural Communities (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/10/13/2015-25975/announcement-of-grant-application-deadlines-and-funding-levels-for-the-assistance-to-high-energy). . .HUD & HHS set December 15th deadline to respond to request-for-proposals (https://www.hudexchange.info/news/request-for-proposals-addressing-hiv-care-and-housing-coordination-through-data-integration-to-improve-health-outcomes-along-the-hiv-care-continuum/?hootPostID=ff317c37659e4042249e4ff48f66220c) on the use of data in HIV/AIDS care and housing services. . .Alaska Conservation Foundation sets December 15th for letters of intent to apply for Alaska Native Fund (http://alaskaconservation.org/grant-opportunities/alaska-native-fund/) grants to "advance Alaska Native priorities for protecting our land and sustaining our ways of life". . .Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (https://www.cdfifund.gov/programs-training/Programs/new-markets-tax-credit/Pages/default.aspx) program sets December 16th deadline for designated entities to apply for $5 billion in New Markets Tax Credit Allocations. . .EPA (www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?agencies%3DEPA%7CEnvironmental%20Protection%20Agency) sets December 18th deadline to apply for Brownfields Assessment, Brownfields Loan & Brownfields Clean-Up grants. . .Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation (www.umpquabank.com/umpqua-life/community-giving/) sets December 31st deadline to apply for grants to support youth development or economic opportunities in communities in Idaho, Oregon & Washington. . .Oregon Housing & Community Services sets December 31st deadline to apply for $9 million under its Manufactured Dwelling Parks Preservation Program (www.oregon.gov/ohcs/HD/MFH/2015-MDP-NOFA/NOFA-4188-MDPP.pdf). . .HUD sets January 4th deadline for eligible public housing authorities to apply for up to 18 grants of up to $100,000 each under Juvenile Reentry Assistance Program (www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?agencies%3DHUD%7CDepartment%20of%20Housing%20and%20Urban%20Development). . .Citizens Institute for Rural Design (www.rural-design.org/) sets January 12th deadline for rural communities to apply for funds to host rural design workshops in 2016-2017. . .Department of Justice sets January 20th deadline to apply for $11 million under Justice for Families (www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?agencies%3DUSDOJ%7CDepartment%20of%20Justice) program. . .HUD sets February 9th deadline to apply for $10 million Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants program. . .HUD & Department of Justice set February 12th deadline to apply for nearly $8.7 million under Pay for Success Supportive Housing Demonstration program.
Bureau of Indian Affairs hosts 25th annual Providers Conference, December 1st through 4th, Anchorage.
HUD hosts Preparing For Your 2016 Housing Inventory & Point-in-Time Count, December 2nd, on-line.
HUD Northwest Office of Native American Programs & National American Indian Housing Council offer Environment Review for New Housing Construction workshop, December 2nd & 3rd, Portland, Oregon.
Spokane Low Income Housing Consortium hosts annual meeting, December 2nd, Spokane, Washington.
City of Tacoma hosts open house for its new Lincoln District Revitalization Project office, December 2nd, Tacoma, Washington.
Idaho AHMA hosts Best Practices in Project Management workshop, December 3rd, Boise, Idaho.
Portland Housing Bureau hosts mandatory contractor networking session in connection with 2015 Affordable Rental Housing NOFA, December 4th, Portland, Oregon.
HUD Alaska Office of Native American Programs & Association of Alaskan Housing Authorities host Pathways Home - a "train the trainer" workshop on developing comprehensive homebuyer education program, December 7th to 11th, Anchorage, Alaska.
HUD hosts Webinar on Pay-for-Success Notice of Funding Availability, December 9th, on-line.
Community Conversation of Jackson County to host conversation of The Affordable Housing Crisis in Jackson County, December 10th, Medford, Oregon.
Association of Alaskan Housing Authorities hosts Indian Housing Law Training, December 16th & 17th, Fairbanks, Alaska.
One Less Mountain: Veterans Helping Veterans hosts Seattle Stand Down, December 17th & 18th, Seattle, Washington.
Oregon AHMA hosts Managing HUD Compliance workshop, January 26th to 27th, Salem, Oregon.
Association of Alaskan Housing Authorities hosts Environmental Reviews for HUD Assisted Projects workshop, January 26th to 28th, Anchorage, Alaska.
HUD Portland hosts in-person Basics of Fair Housing workshop, January 27th, Portland, Oregon.
Oregon AHMA hosts HUD's Revised World of Contract Renewals, Rent Adjustments & U.A. Analyses workshop, January 28th, Salem, Oregon.
Washington AHMA hosts Certified Professional of Occupancy Training, January 28th, Seattle, Washington.