Northwest HUD Lines
Another winter's upon us and, yet again, HUD has occasion to say thanks to the thousands of volunteers who braved the cold weather and gave up a good night's sleep to help Continuums of Care across Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington conduct a one-night, point-in-time count of the sheltered and unsheltered homeless who live in the communities they serve. And all they get is a good feeling and, maybe, a good, warm breakfast once they're done. But you can't underestimate the importance of the help they provide. The key, explained Secretary Donovan who joined the count in Washington, D.C., is "people power. You can't solve a problem without understanding it. President Obama has set an ambitious goal to end homelessness as we know it and this effort is critical toward reaching this goal." To all who helped, thanks.
Intent on bolstering the capital reserves of the Federal Housing Administration Insurance Fund and encouraging "the return of private capital to the housing market," FHA Commissioner Galante has announced a series of "essential and "appropriate measures" to insure that FHA "remains a vital source of affordable and sustainable mortgage financing for future generations of American homebuyers." The steps include consolidation of certain HECM pricing options, increasing the mortgage insurance premium for most new FHA-insured mortgages by 10 basis points and for "jumbo" mortgages by 5 basis points, requiremost FHA borrowers to continue paying annual premiums for the life of their loan, require manual underwriting on mortgages with decision credit scores below 620 and debt-to-income ratios over 43 percent, raise the down payment required on mortgages with original principal balances above $625,500 and step up its efforts to restrictions on borrowers seeking an FHA mortgage who have a previous foreclosure. For more information and links to FHA Mortgagee Letters governing them, visit here.
Saying that "borrowers in trouble" shouldn't have "worry about mortgage servicers cutting corners or losing applications for relief," the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued new rules to protect them from "costly surprises and runarounds" by their mortgage servicers that "in too many cases" have "led to unnecessary foreclosures." They restrict dual-tracking in which servicers "move forward with foreclosure while simultaneously working" with them to avoid foreclosure, requires notification of foreclosure alternatives, requires servicers to provide "direct , easy, ongoing access" to employees assigned to help borrowers, prohibits a foreclosure sale until "all other alternatives are considered", requires clear monthly statements, early warnings of interest rate and alternatives to avoid "force-placed" insurance, and expects servicers to promptly credit payments and provide pay-off balance information. For more, visit www.consumerfinance.gov/pressreleases/consumer-financial-protection-bureau-rules-establish-strong-protections-for-homeowners-facing-foreclosure/The Bureau also has issued rules prevent loan originators from steering consumers into risky mortgages including prohibitions against "steering" incentives and originators being paid both by a borrower and a creditor. For more, visit www.consumerfinance.gov/pressreleases/consumer-financial-protection-bureau-rules-to-prevent-loan-originators-from-steering-consumers-into-risky-mortgages.
HUD's Santa Ana Homeownership Center launches Buyers Select closing agents pilot in Oregon - and will launch Buyers Select in Idaho & Washington by March - allowing buyers of HUD Homes to choose their own escrow agent. . Bienestar celebrates grand opening of 24 LEED Gold townhomes for farmworker families in Forest Grover, proof, executive director Karen Shawcross tells The Oregonian, that "it does take a village to build a village". . .Washington State Housing Finance Commission and ARCH - A Regional Coalition for Housing - form partnership to offer eligible homebuyers in east King County a second mortgage of up to $30,000 for down payment & closing costs at 4 percent simple interest. . Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle awards a total of $6.7 million in Affordable Housing Program funds to support partnerships between 11 financial institutions and 17 non-profits to help or produce some 520 affordable housing units in 18 projects in Idaho Falls, Eugene, Harrisburg, McMinnville, Portland, Airway Heights, Colfax, King County, the Lower Elwha Reservation, Pierce County, Seattle, Spokane, Walla Walla &Yakima. . .Cook Inlet Housing to build 50 units of housing for the elderly in Eagle River says Chugiak Eagle River Star. . .Innovative Housing Inc. gains site control of old Erickson Saloon & Fitz Building in Old Town with plans to "create studio and one-bedroom units where brothel rooms once" were. . .Seattle Housing Authority signs "groundbreaking" agreement to promote training, job opportunities for low-income residents of Yesler Terrace revitalization area. . .Idaho Governor Otter awards Rural CDBG funds to install a rail switch ad spur, to Oneida County to build a secondary road at its industrial park and to Dubois to repair damage done by a flood and ice floes in Beaver Creek. . .Habitat for Humanity of Whatcom County tells Bellingham Herald it expects to complete its first ever "passive" house this spring which is costing $12,500 more than a traditional house its size but is expected just $98 a year to heat. . .Blaine County Commission, reports Idaho Mountain Express, considering modifications to its community housing overlay ordinance that would "simplify the processes by allowing developers to fulfill community housing requirements through land donation, cash donations to housing entities or building community housing outside the proposed development". . .Proud Ground's Svaboda Court wins LEED Platinum designation.
HUD has set a March 18th deadline for HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and state housing finance agencies to apply for $19.5 million in Comprehensive Housing Counseling Program grants to "deliver a wide variety of housing counseling services to homebuyers, homeowners, renters, and the homeless." Find out more!
In anticipation of fiscal year 2013 Congressional appropriations, HUD has opened the competition for funding under the Indian Community Development Block Grant program. The application deadline is March 19th. The program is designed to help tribal and Alaskan native communities develop decent housing and economic opportunities principally for persons of low- and moderate income. The competition is open to tribes, or organizations on behalf of tribes. More information is available here.
Also in anticipation of fiscal year 2013 Congressional appropriations, HUD has opened the competition for the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program. The application deadline is April 24th and applicants must be a non-profit organization or group of organizations that "has the capacity and experience to provide or facilitate self-help homeownership housing opportunities on a national or regional basis." For more, visit here.
HUD's set February 19thh as the deadline to apply for an estimated 110 Resident Opportunity & Self Sufficiency Service Coordinator grants. Eligible applicants include housing and tribal housing authorities and resident associations and councils. Funds enable the organizations to coordinate and provide supportive service to residents that help them "attain and maintain economic and housing self-sufficiency. Awards are subject to 2013 Congressional appropriations. For more, visit here.
The U.S. Department of Labor has set March 19th as the deadline to apply for up to 75 YouthBuild grants that will provide at-risk young people with educational and occupational skills acquired in the process of helping communities with "meaningful" projects such as preserving or expanding affordable housing. The competition has been opened in anticipation of Congressional appropriations. For more, visit here.
And, last but not least, please don't forget that USDA's Section 504 Home Repair Program can help very low-income homeowners in eligible rural areas or towns of fewer than 25,000 remove health and safety hazards from their homes, improve or modernize them, and make them accessible for people with disabilities. Grants of up to $7,500 are available for homeowners age 62 and older who cannot afford to repay a loan at a one-percent interest rate while others can borrow up to $20,000 at one percent. For more, visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/MO-fact504.html
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
First it was Sandpoint, then Boise and now Ketchum becomes the third Idaho city to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identification in housing and employment. Just a year after Karluk Manor, a transitional housing facility for homeless inebriates in Anchorage, and telling The Anchorage Daily News they're "pretty happy where we are" RurALCAP is giving thought to moving to another location that would enable it to almost the number of people can help. . .Meyer Memorial Trust awards $500,000 to REACH CDC to help build 57-unit The Orchard at Orenco in Hillsboro. . .With more than just a little help from their friends - Washington State Housing Finance Commission, Northwest Cooperative Development Center and ROC USA - the residents of the 25-lot manufactured home community in Duvall become its owners. . .Robert Wood Johnson Foundation cites Central City Concerns' Old Town Clinic as exemplary practice Washington State Housing Finance Commission okays $12.1 million in bond and tax credit funding for new 116-unit Alder Ridge Apartments for low-income elderly in Milton. . .USDA awards $3 million in loans & grants to Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation for new farm worker housing in The Dalles and Salem-Keizer CDC same amount for farm worker housing in Silverton. . .Hacienda CDC, Human Solutions, Kiemle & Hagood, Puyallup Housing Authority, Salem Housing Authority and Samaritan Housing Authority win first-ever HUD Green Academy Technical Assistance Awards. . ."Win-win" for Home Forward of Portland as it sells 124-unit St. Johns Woods - maintaining its long term affordability - to the Vitus Group of Seattle generating some $8 million in resources it plans to invest in "new affordable housing and renovations to its remaining properties". . .Idaho Department of Commerce becomes "new home" of Idaho Rural Partnership Housing Authority of Yamhill County issues report to community on its 2012 accomplishments including 11 new housing rehab loans, 59 graduates from Ready to Rent program and helping 228 homeowners receive assistance under Oregon Homeowner Stabilization Initiative. . .Vicki Portwood retires after "more than 15 years" as executive officer of the Anchorage Home Builders Association. . .FHA helps finance the 118-unit Stream Uptown in the South lake Union area, one of Seattle's very first carbon-neutral residential properties. . .Madras openscombined city hall-police station built with help of $2.2 million loan through USDA's Community Facilities program. . .Thanks to more than 950 donors, IHFA Home Partnership Foundations' Avenue to Hope Challenge raises "more than $100,000" to help 22 organizations "provide essential housing services in Idaho".
In 2011 a HUD-commissioned study found that America's 3,200 public housing authorities face a $26 billion backlog of capital needs. It's a big number but, given the nation's fiscal woes, authority directors aren't expecting a $26 billion check in the mail anytime soon. Fortunately, there may be another way to help. In 2012, HUD proposed and Congress approved the Rental Assistance Demonstration - RAD - pilot that will allow the conversion of 60,000 public housing units to the Section 8 project-based rental assistance conversion. That conversion allows authorities to seek access to loans or private investments to meet the needs of those units, access authorities couldn't seek for public housing units. HUD's selected the first 68 authorities that will participate in the pilot - including Salem, Vancouver and Yakima in the Northwest. U.S. Senator Patty Murray said "it's a shot in the arm for affordable housing." See why at here.
Who says no one reads their e-mail anymore? Certainly not Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy. "When you are stretching for every dollar and you have a low-paying job, to move into an apartment is a lot, especially if you have something eating up your resources," she told The Register-Guard. After a year of "grappling" with the issue, trying to find a big solution to "the intractable problem of homelessness," the Mayor came up with a simple idea. Send an e-mail to some of her political contributors, asking for donations to provide modest financial help families unable to find an apartment or at risk of losing one they already had one. "I thought maybe I could aim for $40,000"" but wasn't sure she'd "stand a chance of being able to do it." She devoted an entire weekend to preparing her "blast." Out it went and, to her surprise, she had the $40,000 within a week. Today it's up to $62,615" and the fund already has helped 60 families get into a long-term housing situation. "That's pretty grand," says the Mayor. Indeed it is as is the full story at www.registerguard.com/web/news/cityregion/29235498-41/smith-apartment-eugene-holidays-months.html.csp.
HUD's Section 108 loan guarantee program has proven to be a pretty successful tool for communities that want to use their CDBG funding to leverage even more capital. The loans generated have been used to revitalize downtowns, to establish small business loan funds, to build industrial parks and, even, to jump-start the recently-opened LeMay Museum of the American Car just across from The Dome in Tacoma. And now Mt. Vernon's come up with another use - keeping its downtown dry when, as it often does, the Skagit River floods. Read more at here.
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Thanks to $2.1 million in loans from Washington Housing Trust Fund and King County, says The Reporter, Renton Housing Authority is moving forward with 18-unit Kirkland Town Homes, the next phase in its $110 million Sunset Terrace revitalization. . .Wells Fargo, reports Real Estate Daily, "invested $107 million in affordable housing projects in Oregon in the past three years, supporting more than 1,230 units". . .Shalom Ecumenical Center celebrates 10th anniversary of its Tri-Cities Terrace apartments in Richland. . .Bienestar completes purchase of downtown Hillsboro parcel to build 74-unit Benessere Village for seniors. . .Alaska Housing Finance Corporation says homeowners who've previously received energy rebate but have since bought or built a new home are now eligible for a second rebate of up to $10,000. . .Portland Housing Center says that "for the first time in our history" in its 2012 fiscal year "over 1,000 households registered for home buying services". . .21 students from Seattle's Garfield High Key Club present welcome baskets of housewares and edible "goodies" to homeless and low-income seniors moving into LIHI's 60-unit Ernestine Adams Place set to formally open in February. . .The Presidentsigns legislation giving tribes the same status of states to request federal disaster aid. . .After helping nine villages last year, Department of Energy & Denali Commission launch 2nd round of Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team program to assist villages "increase local generation capacity, enhance energy-efficiency measures and create local entrepreneurial and job opportunities". . .Marine vet & his family move into their new Medford home that, says Mail Tribune, is first Habitat for Heroes house in Oregon. . .Selena Kilmoyer named 2012 Hero of the Houseless by the Thurston County Housing Task Force. . .More than 900 folks show up for Project Homeless Connect in Anchorage, more than 200 in Longview and more than 700 in Hillsboro. . .Portland YouthBuilders one of four to win inaugural Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Creative Leadership for benefitting "more than 2,000 youth" who, in turn, have built "more than 60 units of affordable housing and refurbishing more than 1,000 computers for low-income families at the same time that they are earning their high school degrees".
It was 200-year-old cottonwood trees versus affordable housing just a few weeks ago in Ashland. Want to know which side won - and why? See www.opb.org/news/article/ashland-residents-save-once-doomed-tree/
WORTH A READ
Are you homeless when you're living in a car? "I wouldn't have it any other way," a man sitting behind the wheel told The Wenatchee World. "I feel bad for people who pay rent; they're throwing away $600 a month." And he's not alone. Read more at www.wenatcheeworld.com/news/2013/jan/12/on-the-street-former-homeless-man-helps-the/
Big changes could be on the way for how the State of Oregon supports homeownership and affordable housing. And Oregon Housing & Community Services' Margaret Van Vliet wants to make sure you're kept in the loop and can provide your input in the process. For starters, read her January 22nd Director's Letter and the attachment at http://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/pages/do_directors_messages.aspx It will be time well-spent.
FHA endorsed 58,902 Section 203b single family acquisition mortgages with a total dollar value of just over $12 billion in Alaska, Oregon, Idaho and Washington in calendar year 2012. It's the sixth-best year FHA's had in the Northwest in the more than 75 years it's been helping American families own a piece of the American Dream. As of December 31st, more than 308,000 Northwest homebuyers held FHA-insured mortgages.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"This Monday, the Juneau Homeless Coalition will be hosting Project Homeless Connect . .For many of those who work and live with the challenges of low-income here in Juneau, it is one of the most important events of the year. In the short term, making services available is important for those without homes in Juneau. We live in an expensive town, in part because of the high wages many of us benefit from. For those who live with little income, the high cost of living puts many services and amenities out of reach from haircuts to healthcare. At Project Homeless Connect anyone can get help in a variety of arenas for free—last year volunteers provided 135 health screenings, 18 pairs of glasses, eviction prevention funds for 3 families, and many other forms of assistance. The intention is to provide at least as many, if not more, this year. Project Homeless Connect is also vital for medium and long-term policy planning. When participants enter Centennial Hall on Monday, they will be asked to answer a brief questionnaire on their personal histories and current situations. The information gathered during this intake is compiled into a snapshot of what homelessness looks like in Juneau on any given day. It is an imperfect picture, of course, but it is one of the best we have. That picture is used to assess what needs are being met, and what remain to be improved upon in Juneau's continuum of care. In speaking with clients en masse on a single day, local service providers can find out where they are succeeding and how they could work more effectively to heal and help. On the bigger picture, organizations such as AHFC and the Veteran's Administration use the information to develop new housing stock and allocate housing funding in an accurate manner. . .On a more fundamental, if slightly more complex level, the importance of Project Homeless Connect reaches back to its name. Project Homeless Connect is about coming together as community members. Each day from the Polaris House to the Alaska Housing Development Corporation to Front Street Clinic, people work to improve lives across varying income levels. One day a year we come together to carry out this effort under the same roof. All of us in Juneau take compassionate actions, from tutoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters to doing volunteer trailwork on Mount Jumbo, that bind us as a community, weaving a tapestry that is stronger than our 30,000 individuals." -- Jesse Post, My Turn: Why Project Homeless Connect Matters, The Juneau Empire, January 24th, 2013.
"I grew up as a volunteer" and "I'm not going to stop now." - Phyllis Berg to The Times News on January 24th following her resignation, "after more than 10 years," as president of Safe Harbor, a Twin Falls organization serving the hungry and the homeless. "I'm not retiring. I'm regrouping."
NOTES TO NOTE
VA sets February 4th deadline to apply for $300 million underSupportive Services for Veteran Families Program. . .HUD sets February 4th deadline to apply for Lead Pain Hazard Control grants and Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration Grant. . .USDA sets February 14th deadline to apply for $1.6 million in Tribal Colleges Research Grants. . .Home Deport begins accepting applications for Community Impact Grants on February 13th and will do so until August 13th. . .Neighborhoods USA sets February 15th deadline to submit nominations for Neighborhood of the Year and Best Neighborhood Program for of the Year for 2013 to be announced at its national conference in May in Minneapolis. . .USDA sets February 18th deadline to apply for $9 million in Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grants. . .HUD sets February 26th application deadline for some 110 Resident Opportunity & Self Sufficiency Service Coordinator grants. . .USDA Rural Housing Services sets February 28th deadline to apply for $19.9 million to produce and preserve rural rental housing. . .Treasury Department sets February 28th deadline to apply for $130 million in Community Development Financial Institutions Program funds and $12 million in Native American CDFI Assistance Program funds. . .USDA sets March 1st deadline to apply for $3 million in Alaska Native & Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions Education Grants. . .HUD sets March 18th deadline to apply for Comprehensive Housing Counseling program grants. . .U.S. Department of Labor sets March 19th deadline to apply for up to 75 YouthBuild grants. . .HUD sets March 19th deadline to apply for Indian Community Development Block Grant funds. . .HUD sets March 19th deadline to apply for Healthy Homes Technical Studies Program funding. . .NeighborWorks sets March 25th "early bird" deadline and April 15th pre-event training for NeighborWorks Training Institute in Portland May 6th to 10th. . .HUD sets April 24th to apply for Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program grants.
Seattle Housing Authority opens application window for on-line Housing Choice Voucher waiting list lottery from February 4th to 22nd. Visit http://seattlehousing.org/waitlist/.
HUD Green Academy hosts Introduction to Green Building for Affordable Housing workshop, February 4th & 6th, Boise. Please note that participants must register for each of the 5 Green Academy workshops in Boise this week. Visit www.sustainable-performance.org/HUDGreenAcad.
HUD Green Academy hosts Executive Decision Making workshop, February 5th, Boise. Please note that participants must register for each of the 5 Green Academy workshops in Boise this week. Visit www.sustainable-performance.org/HUDGreenAcad.
Idaho Attorney General Wasden hosts free Foreclosure Prevention Workshop, February 5th, Nampa.
ACI Northwest Home Performance Conference, February 5th & 6th, Seattle. Visit www.affordablecomfort.org/events/aci-northwest-home-performance-conference-2013.
HUD Green Academy hosts Best Practices for Green Building Operations & Maintenance workshop, February 6th, Boise. Please note that participants must register for each of the 5 Green Academy workshops in Boise this week. Visit www.sustainable-performance.org/HUDGreenAcad.
HUD Green Academy hosts Financing Green Building workshop, February 7th, Boise. Please note that participants must register for each of the 5 Green Academy workshops in Boise this week. Visit www.sustainable-performance.org/HUDGreenAcad.
Idaho Attorney General Wasden hosts free Foreclosure Prevention Workshop, February 7th, Meridian.
HUD Green Academy hosts Energy Performance Contracting for Small PHAs workshop, February 8th, Boise. Please note that participants must register for each of the 5 Green Academy workshops in Boise this week. Visit www.sustainable-performance.org/HUDGreenAcad.
Oregon AHMA presents Maintenance Medley workshop, February 8th, Grants Pass.
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation holds public hearing on Proposed Building Energy Efficiency Standard Regulations, February 11th, Anchorage. Visit www.ahfc.us/pros/notices/public-hearings/.
Idaho Attorney General Wasden hosts free Foreclosure Prevention Workshop, February 13th, Caldwell.
HUD Northwest hosts Webinar on The Nuts-and-Bolts of Fair Housing - Section 3 for our partners in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington, February 14th, on-line. Contact Kristina Miller at 509/368-3214 or Kristina.email@example.com.
American Wind Energy Association Regional Energy Summit-Northwest, February 19th, Portland. Visit www.awea.org/events/AWEA-Regional-Wind-Energy-Summit-Northwest-2013.cfm.
HUD's Northwest Office of Native American Programs hosts workshop on applying for Indian Community Development Block Grant funds, February 20th, Seattle.
Idaho Attorney General Wasden hosts free Foreclosure Prevention Workshop, February 20th, Boise.
Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference hosts Southwest Alaska Economic Summit & Membership Meeting, February 20th to 22nd, Anchorage. Visit www.frbsf.org/community/resources/2013/0220-Southwest-Alaska-25-Years-of-Regional-Connections/index.html.
National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness, February 21st & 22nd, Seattle.
Oregon AHMA presents workshop on Contract Renewal for PRAC & Section 8 Projects, February 22nd, Salem.
King County Office of Civil Rights holds workshops on Introduction to Fair Housing & Advanced Fair Housing- Hypothetical Scenarios, February 27th, Seattle. Visit www.kingcounty.gov/exec/CivilRights/FH/FHWorkshops.aspx.
HUD hosts Webinar on The Nuts-and-Bolts of Fair Housing - The LGBT Access Rule, February 28th, on-line for our partners in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington. Contact Kristina Miller, 509/368-3214 or Kristina.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oregon Opportunity Network hosts Spring Industry Conference, March 12th, Salem. Visit http://oregonon.org/member_services/save-the-date-spring-2013-industry-support-conference/.
HUD Portland hosts Fair Labor Standards workshop for public and tribal housing authorities, March 12th, Portland.
Community Frameworks hosts SHOPTalk, a workshop on the ins-and-outs of the Self Help Homeownership Program, March 13th & 14th, Seattle.
HUD Portland hosts Federal Labor Standards workshop for grantees, March 13th, Portland.
HUD Northwest hosts Webinar on The Nuts-and-Bolts of Fair Housing-Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plans, March 13th, on-line, for our partners in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington. Contact Kristina Miller at 509/368-3214 or Kristina.email@example.com.
Oregon AHMA hosts workshop on Repair & Rehab Techniques for Project Maintenance Staff, March 13th, Salem. Visit www.oregonaffordablehousingmanagement.com/2013-Classes/Mar13_2013_Winema_Place_Salem.pdf.
HUD Portland hosts Fair Labor Standards workshop for contractors, March 14th, Portland.
Oregon AHMA hosts workshop on Chapter 5 Focus Class for Affordable Housing Providers, March 21st, Salem. Visit www.oregonaffordablehousingmanagement.com/2013-Classes/Mar21_2013_Chapter_5_Focus_Winema.pdf.
HUDNorthwest hosts Webinar on The Nuts & Bolts of Fair Housing- Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Requirements, March 28th, on-line, for our partners in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington. Contact Kristina Miller at 509/368-3214 or Kristina.firstname.lastname@example.org.