Northwest HUD Lines
HUD e-Briefs from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington
Mary McBride, Region X Regional Director (206) 220-5356
Leland Jones, Editor
REACHING MORE OF THE AT-RISK
With mortgage interest rates at historic lows and seeking "no more red tape" and "no more runaround from the banks," in his State of the Union Address President Obama said he will seek Congressional approval of a program that will provide more borrowers current on their non-Fannie or non-Freddie mortgages an opportunity to refinance. The plan, he said, could save the average responsible borrower up to $3,000 annually in interest costs. "To limit the risk to taxpayers," reported The New York Times, "the administration will propose that any costs should be covered with part of the proceeds from a fee on the banking industry. That, too, is waiting for Congressional approval." The Obama Administration said full details of its proposal will be made available in "coming weeks." Citing a recent National Association of Homebuilders survey recent NAHB survey, in which 60 percent of respondents said "resolving the foreclosure problem is essential to getting the economy back on track," NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen told The Hill that "President Obama's refinancing plan offers an opportunity for continued exploration of ways to aid struggling homeowners and tackle the foreclosure crisis." "We've made progress," noted HUD Secretary Donovan, "but to keep making progress we have to do more."
FULLY FAIR HOUSING
"Proud that HUD has been a leader in" the fight, HUD Secretary Donovan has announced publication of a final rule "to ensure that HUD's core housing programs are open to all eligible persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity." The rule, which will take effect 30 days after publication, requires owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing, or housing whose financing is insured by HUD, to make housing available without regard to the sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant for, or occupant of, the dwelling, whether renter- or owner; Prohibits lenders from using sexual orientation or gender identity as a basis to determine a borrower's eligibility for FHA-insured mortgage financing; Clarifies that all otherwise eligible families, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, will have the opportunity to participate in HUD programs; and prohibits owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing or housing insured by HUD from asking about an applicant or occupant's sexual orientation and gender identity for the purpose of determining eligibility or otherwise making housing available. The rule - insures "that HUD's housing programs are open, not to some, not to most, but to all," the Secretary said.
HUD in Spokane has a new mailing address, effective immediately. It's HUD Spokane, P.O. Box 1483, 920 W. Riverside Ave, Ste 588, Spokane, WA, 99210.
Oregon Association of REALTORS' HOME Foundation awards $96,000 in grants to Portland Housing Center, African American Alliance for Homeownership, Clackamas Community Land Trust, NEDCO, Rose CDC, Umpqua CDC, Portland Community Reinvestment, Klamath & Lake County Community Action, NAYA, Access, Corvallis Neighborhood Housing Services, Community Visions, ReFit Portland and Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Albany, Coos Bay, Tillamook, Springfield/Eugene, Benton, Klamath & Lake County, the Mid Willamette Valley, Columbia County, Portland/East Metro and McMinnville. . .Seattle Housing Authority to consolidate offices at 190 Queen Avenue N in Seattle by end of March. . .Thanks to $65,000 CDBG grant from City of Beaverton, Proud Ground expands service area to include Washington County. . .Journal of Commerce says Pioneer Human Services acquires Carlyle Care Center in downtown Spokane. . .Lighthouse Rescue Mission unveils plans, reports Idaho Press Tribune, to "build a new, bigger and better facility" that will include lighthouse that is "one of Nampa's most recognized landmarks". . .Wrangell Borough Assembly gives go-ahead for design work on HUD-funded community gym renovation. . .REACH CDC in Portland turns 30. . .There are two new CDBG entitlement communities in Washington state - the cities of Federal Way and Marysville. . .After six month absence, residents begin return to Catholic Charities' extensively-renovated, 55-unit McCoy Village in north Portland. . .With significant numbers of homes without electricity or working furnaces, South Puget Sound Habitat for Humanity tells The Olympian it's launching a housing repair initiative in the unincorporated Rochester area for "as long as the community needs us there". . .Lake City Development Corporation pledges additional financial support, says Coeur d'Alene Press, for 45-unit workforce housing development in Midtown section of Coeur d'Alene. . .King County, City of Seattle, Seattle Housing Authority, United Way of King County and Building Change announce award of $13.1 million to provide rental support and supportive services to some 500 families.
Calendar year 2011 was FHA's 77th year of doing business as the nation's premier homeownership agency. And, all in all, it was a pretty good year. Late in the year, for example, FHA endorsed its 1.5 millionth mortgage in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. All told, FHA endorsed 46,484 purchase mortgages in the four states in 2011, the 9th highest total in FHA's 77-year history of making homeownership affordable. The total dollar value of $9,196,598,470 was the third-highest in FHA's history in the Northwest while the average value of an FHA mortgage in 2011 was $197,882, up from $163,132 five years earlier and $128,084 in 2001. . .FHA also passed a number of milestones locally in 2011. It endorsed its 10,000th mortgage in the Bellingham area, its 14,000th mortgage in Pocatello, its 19,000th mortgage in Olympia, its 20,000th in Salem, its 30,000th mortgage in the Tri-Cities, its 33,000th mortgage in Eugene-Springfield and its 95,000th mortgage in Spokane while, also in 2011, the total dollar value of FHA mortgages passed $600 million in Twin Falls, $1.5 billion in Yakima, $8 billion in Boise and $25 billion in Portland-Vancouver.
Most forms of Federally-subsidized housing can leverage funding from private investors and other sources to maintain and make repairs on the property. But not all. The Housing Act of 1937 explicitly prohibits public housing from leveraging their assets in ways that nearly every other form of affordable housing can in order to adequately fund long-term capital needs. The result? "Repairs to these homes tend to be put off longer, which makes the cost of maintaining them more expensive," HUD Assistant Secretary for Public & Indian Housing Henriquez explained to the Congress last fall. "This leaves owners with deteriorating buildings, and little choice but to either demolish these homes or sell them." No wonder, she continued, a 2010 Congressionally-funded study " reported the aggregate national capital backlog exceeds $25.6 billion-or, $23,365 per unit-in the public housing portfolio alone." Fortunately, the Congress heard - and shared - her concerns, passing a 2012 appropriations bill authorizing HUD to establish a Rental Assistance Demonstration. Under the program, housing authorities choosing to participate will be able to convert up to, 60,000 units currently in Public Housing to convert to long-term project-based rental assistance contracts, thereby opening the door to leveraging opportunities currently enjoyed by other assisted housing. In addition, projects under the Rent Supplement, Rental Assistance and Mod Rehab programs, and approaching contract expiration will be able to convert tenant protection vouchers received at termination to project-based vouchers, thereby opening the same doors to them. Thanks to RAD, these critical parts of the nation's affordable housing stock will be both preserved and improved. Later this year, HUD will publish the details of the RAD program in The Federal Register. But if you'd like an advance look at the how's, what's and why's of RAD, visit RAD's new Web site. It is, simply put, a recipe for keeping a good - and essential - chunk of our nation's affordable housing inventory in good repair.
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
University of Washington assistant professor Susan Collins says a study published in The American Journal of Public Health of 95 formerly homeless chronic inebriates living at Downtown Emergency Service Center's 1811 Eastlake Housing First complex in Seattle found "the alcohol trajectories are on a downward, pretty even slope, across the board" with, says The Post Intelligencer, residents cutting "everyday drinking by about 40 percent during their first two years in the building". . .Oregon Housing & Community Services opens 2012 Consolidated Funding Cycle application process for some $24 million at website (http://www.ohcs.orgeon.gov/OHCS/HRS_CFC_Overview.shtml). . .North Idaho Housing Coalition tells Coeur d'Alene Press it's just purchased its 50th foreclosed home since 2009 for rehab and re-sale. . .Thanks to funding from Oregon Housing & Community Services, Farmworker Housing Development Corporation begins rehab of 25-unit Summerset Village in Sublimity. . .Green Seals and Siemens publish The Green Building Operations & Maintenance Manual: A Guide to Public Housing Authorities (http://www.greeningpublichousing.com/). . .Wells Fargo donates total of $200,000 to Proud Ground, Clackamas Community Land Trust and NAYA Family Center to help 37 low-income families buy homes. . .News Miner says 355 people seek services from haircuts to photo i.d.'s, clothes to housing and employment counseling, blood pressure checks to flu shots at 3rd annual Project Homeless Connect hosted by Fairbanks Homeless & Housing Coalition. . .U.S. Senator Merkley and Congressman DeFazio announce award of $3.5 million grant to Oregon Transportation and Education Research Consortium - a partnership of Portland State University, University of Oregon and Oregon Institute of Technology - to promote "sustainable transportation options" while Meyer Memorial Trust awards $250,000 to support Oregon Sustainability Center proposed for site next to PSU campus. . .One indicator of the demand for workforce housing in downtown Boise, reports Idaho Statesman, may be the fact that the owner of 22-unit White Savage Apartments after a renovation and "ten days later, all but one apartment was let". . .Eastern Washington University in Cheney launches tribal planning certificate program. . .Kitsap Sun says "around 650" attend Project Homeless Connect in Bremerton. . .HUD okays construction of 6-story, 155-unit, $26 million Prescott Apartments in north Portland. . .Oregon Community Trust awards grant to support Northwest Housing Alternatives HomeBase rapid re-housing and eviction prevention program in central Oregon. . .USDA announces plans to close 43 field offices but none appear to be in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon or Washington.
HUD is now accepting applications for a total of $110 million in grants to transform public and assisted housing and to revitalize communities under its Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant program. The program builds on HUD's HOPE VI Revitalization program which for 20 years provided capital to help housing authorities spark the transformation of distressed public housing complexes into vibrant, mixed-income neighborhoods. The Choice Neighborhoods program is open to public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofit organizations, tribal entities, and for profit developers that apply jointly with a public entity to extend neighborhood transformation efforts beyond public and/or assisted housing. "These grants," said HUD Secretary Donovan, "will help provide communities the building blocks they need to take a holistic approach toward transforming these neighborhoods where anyone would be proud to call home." Applications are due April 10th. For more, visit website (http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do;jsessionid=KS17PMrRLP1B14vxvRjht8tg5hBvJRhdGQpnflnkTWk5H8v1GJnB!-408580364?oppId=137313&mode=VIEW).
In collaboration with Federal agencies like HUD, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has developed a new National Disaster Recovery Framework that, it explains, will "enable disaster recovery managers to operate in a unified and collaborative manner as they work together with all community interests to restore quality of life, rebuild infrastructure, and revitalize economic and environmental vitality in the aftermath of disasters." And now FEMA would like to hear from you about how the Framework will work in your community. That's why it's hosting a Thursday, March 1st stakeholder's forum at the Joe R. Hooper U.S. Army Reserve Center in Bothell, Washington. As an active member of your community, you can provide critical insights on the Framework's "impact on future recovery operations, and how your organization, community, or agency can best interface and be supported" by it in helping speed your community's recovery from disaster. So, we hope you will take the time to join us and contribute your views on March 1st in Bothell. If you're interested, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
While HUD's fiscal year 2012 appropriations bill did not include any funds for new Section 202 or 811 capital advances for new construction activities, HUD's multifamily housing staff advises that "there will be funds available to renew all PRAC contracts". . .Idaho Housing & Finance Association announces plans to distribute $2.5 million in Continuum of Care grants to 17 homeless providers across state and says its HOME Partnership Foundation will match up to 75 percent of the up-front match organizations need to present to qualify for the HUD funds. . .National Community Development Association, reports Oregonian, cites Human Solutions for its "exemplary use of Community Development Block Grant funds which address the needs of families, homes and neighborhoods" in developing the Rockwood Building multi-service facility in Gresham. . .Housing Resources Board sets February 11th grand opening for first three homes completed at Ferncliff Village on Bainbridge Island. . .Dave Stanko, former police office who as Rotary Club President led the rebuilding of the Port Townsend homeless shelter and leveraged a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support operations, is named, reports Peninsula Daily News, Citizen of the Year by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. . .Marcel Goulet named executive director of the Kalama Housing Authority. . .HomesFirst moves to new offices at 4310 6th Avenue, SE, Suite B in Lacey. . .Bank of America confers 2011 Neighborhood Builder Award and $200,000 grant on Bienestar for "transforming neighborhoods, providing affordable housing and extensive resident service programs for the 462 families it serves". . .Spokesman Review says "between 250 and 275" attend first-ever Homeless Connect event hosted by Spokane Homeless Coalition. . .Wenatchee and Stanwood/Camano Island area among six communities nationwide selected for American Institute of Architects' 2012 Sustainable Design Assessment Team program. . .Following "major renovation," Community Frameworks celebrates grand opening of Aspen Grove Apartments in Spokane. . .Just six months after opening and with help from a lot of partners, Portland Housing Bureau's Bud Clark Commons day center has served 4,300 homeless people with 2,000 referred to social services and 39 finding permanent housing, its 130 apartments are occupied, and 130 veterans have stayed at its Doreen's Place, including 38 who found permanent homes. . .North Kitsap Herald endorses teen center in Poulsbo because it "could break cycle of homelessness" among young people. . .Home Foundation of Idaho Housing & Finance Association distributes $46,853 raised last fall in on-line Hope Housing Challenge campaign to 22 nonprofit housing and social service providers across the state.
"Tribal governments (in Washington state) paid $1.3 billion in wages and benefits in 2010 to 27,376 employees, 66% of them non-tribal members. Tribes also purchased $2.4 billion in goods and services from local businesses near their enterprises and from the broader state economy. In addition to those impacts, one-time capital investments by tribal governments in 2010 totaled more than $259 million. Tribal governments are generating more than $255 million in state and local taxes." - - Testimony by Jonathan Taylor of the Taylor Policy Group of Cambridge, Massachusetts before the Washington House Committee on State Government & Tribal Affairs, January 18, 2012.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"I serve on Oregon's Land Conservation and Development Commission, overseeing the state's land use system. Part of our mission is to assure there is adequate land to accommodate the population growth Oregon will experience over coming decades. Another part is to prevent too much land from being developed. Homeowners in Lake Oswego may think that LCDC's protection of lands outside urban growth boundaries does not affect them. They should appreciate that, by preventing overheated development in Stafford and elsewhere at the edge of the metro area, LCDC's work has reduced Oregon's foreclosure rate and softened the impact of falling property values here." - Lake Oswego resident and former Oregon state representative Greg Mcpherson in the January 19th Lake Oswego Review.
WORTH A READ
"For a lot of the older guys, they've been homeless for so long they don't think they deserve better. We try to change that thought process. We want to convince them that they deserve dignity." - - Don Harpole, case manager at The Fairbanks Rescue Mission, The Fairbanks News-Miner, January 29, 2012.
WORTH A LISTEN
Public housing has been around a long. But, from one generation to the next, the faces and backgrounds of those who live in public housing seem to change. Join KUOW radio correspondent Jessica Partnow on a visit, for example, the King County Housing Authority's Birch Creek public housing complex in the East Hills neighborhood of Seattle where more than half the residents are immigrants and refugees from famine and war all over the world. A new generation? Yes. But public housing is still serving the same needs and aspirations it has for so many generations past. For more, visit online. (http://kuow.org.phb/?id=25631)
NOTES TO NOTE
USDA publishes January 21st notice on availability of Section 542 rental assistance vouchers for eligible residents of USDA Section 515 multifamily where the Section 515 loan has been prepaid, either through prepayment or a foreclosure action, prior to the loan's maturity date and after September 30, 2005. . .HUD publishes January 21st guidance on eligibility of residents of "Occupy" sites for services funded under Continuum of Care and Homelessness Prevention & Rapid Re-housing Program. . .Treasury Department sets February 6th deadline to submit comments on how to "increase the effectiveness, while reducing cost and burden" on organizations participating in its Community Development Financial Institutions New Markets Tax Credit program. . .Community Transportation Association sets February 7th deadline to apply for long-term technical assistance for transit planning in rural and tribal communities. . .HUD sets February 10th deadline for comments on proposed rule that would update and modify HUD's regulations governing the protection of wetlands and floodplains. . .HUD sets February 14th deadline to submit comments on changes proposed to HOME Investment Partnership Program. . .Veterans Affairs sets February 15th deadline to apply for Supportive Services for Veteran Families grants. . .World Indigenous Housing Conference sets February 15th to submit abstracts on "opportunities, ideas and solutions in indigenous housing" to be presented at its June conference in Vancouver, B.C. Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection sets February 17th deadline for submission of comments on interim final rules on the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and on the S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act, neither of which impose any new substantive obligations on persons subject to the existing rule previously published. . .Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection sets February 21st deadline for submission of comments on an interim final rule establishing a new Regulation X (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) that does not impose any new substantive obligations on persons previously published by HUD. HUD sets February 22nd as new deadline to apply for $20 million under Section 202 Demonstration Pre-Development Grant program. . .EPA sets February 29th deadline for non-profits and tribes to apply for Environmental Justice Small Grants Program. . .USDA Institute of Food & Agriculture sets March 1st deadline to apply for Alaska Native-Serving & Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Institutional Education Grants. . .Social Security Administration sets March 12th deadline to submit comments on the needs of SSI recipients who are homeless. . .National Trust for Historic Preservation sets March 15th deadline for nominations for award for Federal Partnerships in Historic Preservation. . .Oregon Housing & Community Services sets March 31st deadline to apply for $24 million under Consolidated Funding Cycle. . .HUD sets April 10th deadline to apply for $110 million in Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grants.
- Oregon chapter of American Planning Association hosts Northwest Transportation Summit, February 7th, Corvallis.
- HUD's Alaska Office of Native American Programs hosts HUD Procurement Training Workshop, February 7th to 9th, Anchorage.
- Oregon AHMA hosts Basic Occupancy for HUD Housing Managers Workshop, February 8th & 9th, Salem. (http://www.oregonaffordablehousingmanagement.com/2012classes/February8-9 2012BasicOccupancyFlyer.pdf)
- Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians hold winter conference, February 13th to 16th, Squaxin Island. (http://www.atnitribes.org/)
- Oregon Opportunities Network hosts public forum with new Portland Housing Bureau Director Traci Manning, February 14th, Portland. (http://oregonon.org/)
- FHA Loss Mitigation & Servicing System for FHA lenders and HUD-approved housing counselors, February 15th to 16th, Oklahoma City.
- Rose CDC hosts East Portland Homeownership Forum, February 15th, Portland.
- Oregon AHMA hosts Extreme Turnovers: The Horrors Left Behind workshop, February 22nd, Wilsonville. (http://www.oregonaffordablehousingmanagement.com/2012classes/February22-2012ExtremeTurnoversClass.pdf)
- FHA Webinar on its Energy Efficient Mortgage Program, February 22nd, on-line. (http://www.visualwebcaster.com/FHA/84847/reg.html)
- HUD Alaska hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop, February 23rd, Anchorage.
- Oregon AHMA hosts Basic Evictions for the Affordable Housing Provider workshop, February 24th, Eugene. (http://www.oregonaffordablehousingmanagement.com/2012classes/February24-2012BasicEvictionsClass.pdf)
- FHA hosts Webinar on early delinquency and loss mitigation activities. February 29th, on-line.
- HUD Alaska hosts Federal Labor Standards Workshop, March 1st, Anchorage.
- HUD Idaho hosts free Fair Housing Basics workshop, March 23rd, Boise.
- Oregon AHMA hosts Extreme Turnovers: The Horrors Left Behind workshop, March 22nd, Grants Pass. (http://www.oregonaffordablehousingmanagement.com/2012classes/February22-2012ExtremeTurnoversClass.pdf)
- Idaho Association of Cities hosts 2012 Mountain West Institute, March 23rd to 25th, Boise.
- Treasury Department hosts National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference, March 25th to 28th, Seattle.