Northwest HUD Lines
February 2014

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

With the greatest respect for our friends and colleagues in Denver and Bronco nation, we are very optimistic that we shall go to bed Sunday evening, February 2nd happier than you. May the game be well-played and the Trophy ours.

FHA has awarded new asset management contracts for managing the sale of HUD Homes - i.e., foreclosed FHA-insured properties that have come back into FHA's inventory after the FHA Insurance Fund has made lenders whole. The transition from existing to these new contractors has begun and should be completed on or about March 1st. The HUD Homes asset manager for Alaska, Oregon and Washington is BLB. The new HUD Homes asset manager for Idaho is Matt Martin Real Estate Management website ( If you are a potential vendor - i.e., an appraiser or a real estate agent wishing to become a listing agent - please contact these firms directly.

Effective immediately, FHA will begin accepting electronic signatures on "documents requiring signatures included in the case binder for mortgage insurance, servicing and loss mitigation documentation, FHA insurance claim documentation, and on HUD's Real Estate Owned (REO) Sales Contract and related addenda unless otherwise prohibited by law." The signatures, however, must be in conformance with standards outlined in Mortgagee Letter 14-03.

Trust us. It's almost always standing-room-only at the Spokane Fair Housing Conference. This year's conference - Thursday, April 10th at CenterPlace at Mirabeau Point Park in Spokane Valley - will be no different. So please register now and no later than March 28th by contacting the Northwest Fair Housing Alliance at (509) 325-2665. This year's theme is Affirmation 2014 and the keynoter is Bill Block, HUD's new Northwest Regional Administrator.

On January 16 President Obama issued a disaster declaration authorizing assistance to supplement State, local and tribal recovery efforts in the aftermath of flooding in October. See website ( On January 23rd, the President issued a second declaration providing Federal assistance to help with such recovery efforts as a result of storms, winds and flooding from November 5th to 14th. See website (

Signed up yet for HUD Tweets from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington? It's the best way to stay in touch, day by day, with news you can use, 7-days-a-week. You'll find us here (

Hoping to promote enrollment stability and, thus, educational performance, Tacoma Housing Authority begins proving housing assistance to up to 30 Tacoma Community College students who are or are at risk of being homeless as long as they stay in school. . Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's Bryan Butcher says AHFC-brokered partnership with Cook Inlet Housing, Trapline LLC and V2 LLC with financial support from Rasmuson Foundation will result in 88 affordable, energy-efficient and, Butcher told The Alaska Business Monthly, "much-needed" units in Mountain View and Russian Jack areas of Anchorage. . .David Widmark, a four-time member of the Gresham City Council and retired U.S. Forest Service employee, becomes first East Multnomah County resident to be elected chair of the board of Home Forward, the housing authority of Portland. . .For the first time in its 68-year history, St. Vincent de Paul of Northern Idaho welcomes a president of the national organization - Sheila Gilbert - to Coeur d'Alene. . .Consumer Financial Protection Bureau files charges against New Jersey-based PHH Corporation and its affiliates for running mortgage insurance kickback scheme since "as early as 1995". . ."For the first time," reports The Bellingham Herald, Whatcom County to build house with solar panels. . .Juneau Empire says Haven House, a transitional housing facility for previously-incarcerated women, will open in Mendenhall Valley by mid-March. . .Cedar Sinai Park celebrates completion of the rehabilitation of three downtown Portland apartment buildings for the elderly and adults with disabilities as well as the opening of the new Harry &Jeanette Weinberg Health &Social Services Center to help residents "age in place" in the comfort of their own homes. . .RurALCAP wins funds from Alaska Department of Health & Social Services to continue foster grandparent program and elder mentor program that "engages over 150 Elders" to help kids with special needs.

Is Benny Beaver gobbling up Corvallis? "Yep," say more than a handful of residents. No matter where you look, it seems, existing housing is being rehabbed and new apartment buildings are rising from the ground, meeting the seemingly insatiable demand for student housing as Oregon State University grows and grows and grows. It's a very real threat, say some, to existing neighborhoods. One day they're all single-family, a week later they've got 50-unit complexes on both ends of the block. It threatens others, too. Like all those folks who aren't affiliated with the University, who've settled in Corvallis for other reasons, other ways to achieve their dreams. It's particularly true for folks on fixed incomes who've seen student housing boom, affordable housing shrink. Which is why it's always nice when Jim Moorefield and his colleagues at Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services get a victory. Like the "jewel" of a victory they've won in preserving The Julian, a century-old former hotel in downtown Corvallis that, for years, has been affordable and, thanks to Jim and his team, will remain so for decades to come. Read more here.

We're trying to show "how CDBG funds make an impact," Pierce County Community Connections' Corey Lew told The Suburban News. But you won't see it in the housing stock or in the parks and community centers or in the facades of stores on Main Street. You'll see it in smiles, like those of the additional 4,000 additional kids who, thanks to a $350,000 CDBG grant from Community Connections, can now be served by an expanded Lindquist Children's Dental Center to the non-profit Lindquist Dental Center for Children in Parkland, a few miles south of Tacoma. "We're thankful," said Mary Jennings of the nonprofit clinic which already serves, regardless of parents' ability to pay, some 24,000 kids a year. So too are the kids and their parents. Probably, too, the citizens of Pierce County since it's a small, but smart investment in the County's future. A recent statewide study in Oregon, after all, reported that dental problems are the major cause of absenteeism in schools. Good dental health, in other words, means more time in school, a better education and a brighter future for these kids and the county economy that, not too many years from now, will become part of it. Read more here.

The first snowflake of the season is a wake-up call. Time to get ready for winter and the wet and the wind and the cold and lots more snow. Thanks to the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority, some 1,500 residents of southeast Alaska got a head start. Using funds from the Department of Energy, the Authority sent each of them - clients of the Authority's 2013 energy assistance programs - free readiness kits with LED and CFL light bulbs, faucet aerators, energy efficient shower heads, furnace filters, educational materials, LED night lights and a digital thermometer. They were well received. Helping families cut energy consumption, save money and stay warm this winter. For more, visit website.

In 2005 ReUse Works of Bellingham launched Appliance Works, a job training program salvage, repair and re-sell appliances. In partnership with 15 local social service organizations, since that time the business has provided jobs to 300 low-income workers, diverted over 30,000 appliances from the landfill and generated $1.6 million in revenues. It's now a self-sustaining enterprise and, in fact, will serve as a model for a new venture that will do the same for a business that will train workers to "sort, grade, cut, sew, weave, and sell post-consumer fabrics to artists, crafters, commercial rag users" and other markets as the business grows. In December, ReUse Works was one of four winners of a Creative Leadership Award from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

So what does a community do when a local auto salvage yard fails to pays its taxes and is abandoned by its owners, lock, stock and 8,000 tires worth? And, oh yeah, a brownfields site. Folks in Kelso can tell you 'cause they're just about ready to turn what could have been a nightmare into the beginnings of a brand-new community. See how here.

National Trust for Historic Preservation, says Spokesman Review, calls successful community efforts to prevent demolition Jensen-Byrd warehouse in Spokane was one of 10 best "saves" of 2012. . .Thanks to "almost 1,000 donations from individuals" and 10 corporate sponsors, Idaho's Home Partnership Foundation raises "more than $230,000" in Avenue of Hope campaign to support 31 organizations providing "essential housing services" to Idaho families. . .LIHI starts the new year fast, breaking ground for 50-unit Cheryl Chow Court housing for the elderly in Ballard. . .Good news - actually, great news - for Community Housing Fund as Washington County Commission okays $250,000 to support its revolving loan fund and pledges an additional $250,000 a year for the next three years. . ."The last person a new council wants to hear from is a former mayor," retired Richland Mayor John Fox tells The Tri-Cities Herald in explaining why he no longer goes to City Council meetings. . .Spokane Housing Authority opens waiting list for Housing Choice Voucher program from January 27th to February 10th. . .Ruby Mason retires after 33 years as executive director of Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation and the Mid-Columbia Housing Authority. . .Bremerton Housing Authority's 72-unit Bay Vista Commons assisted living facility gets clean bill of health - a "zero deficiency" designation - following inspection by Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. . .Private owner of Weidner Apartments in midtown Anchorage, says The Daily News, unveils plans to rehabilitate existing 54-unit housing complex for low-income residents and add another 250 units. . .Saving it means "security in my life" and "respect from the community," Alicia Hernandez moves into her new home in Port Angeles, the 24th, reports The Peninsula Daily News, completed by Habitat for Humanity of Clallam County. . .City of Longview's 1.3 mile, CDBG-funded Highlands Trail wins Award of Excellence from Washington Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration.

Describing it as a "modest investment that can make a world of difference for families looking to find their path to self-sufficiency," HUD Secretary Donovan has announced the competitive award of $764,664 to 10 Northwest housing authorities to promote job readiness and gainful employment among their public housing residents. The 10 authorities - Alaska Housing Finance Corporation as well as authorities in Nampa, Portland, Lane County, Salem, Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Yakima and King County - will use the 3-year Resident Opportunities Self Sufficiency grants to hire or retain service coordinators to work directly with residents to assess their needs and connect them with education, job training and placement programs. In December, HUD announced the award of almost $2.9 million to 34 Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington housing authorities provide similar self-sufficiency services to residents participating in their HUD Housing Choice Voucher programs. For more, visit website.

The opening of a new Red Apple supermarket or a new public library or a new credit union or a new school may not mean much to a thriving, suburban neighborhood. But it's meant a lot to Mountain View, an area near downtown Anchorage. It's meant, in fact, the difference between up and down, between continuing a long, downward slide or, after decades, reversing directions and heading up. Which, thanks to millions of dollars and investments and a lot of hard work by the Mountain View Neighborhood Association, the Cook Inlet Housing Authority, the Anchorage Community Land Trust, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and, yes, HUD, is why Mountain View has been selected as the winner of the 2014 American Planning Association/HUD Secretary's Opportunity & Empowerment Award. The "revitalization efforts have instilled a sense of pride for low-income residents of Mountain View Village," said Ann C. Bagley, FAICP, 2014 APA Awards Jury chair. "Their work proves that specialized, high quality design doesn't have to be expensive." Read more here.

Anchorage isn't the only Northwest community to win honors from the American Planning Association this year. The City of Tigard also won an APA Excellence Award for its Urban Forestry Code Revision which, says the APA, "a novel approach that requires new development and redevelopment projects to provide a percentage of canopy coverage on its lots." The City hopes it will result in a 40 percent tree canopy by 2047. The Ridges to River Open Space Network Vision Plan for Washington's Mid-Columbia Basin also won an Excellence Award. The plan, says the APA, is "the only region-wide document that promotes open space and trail connectivity as a regional economic driver" and enables "two counties and four cities to speak the same language, share the same maps, and use the same technology to approach planning for the region." Congratulations to both.

Veterans Affairs has set March 14th as the deadline for eligible nonprofit organizations to apply for a total of $600 million in funding under the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. The program is designed to program is designed "to assist very low-income Veteran families who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless" using a housing first model which centers on providing homeless Veterans with permanent housing quickly and then providing VA health care, benefits and services as needed. In 2013 some $10.6 million was awarded to 18 non-profits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington in 2013. The VA will hold a grant application workshop in Portland on February 4th. For more including the NOFA as well as Webinar and in-person technical assistance services, visit website (

USDA has set March 7th as the deadline to apply for a total of $3 million in funding under its Alaska Native-Serving and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions Education Competitive Grants. The program supports projects" that enhance educational equity for underrepresented" Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian "students; strengthen institutional educational capacities; prepare students for careers related to the food, agricultural, and natural resource systems of the United States; and maximize the development and use of resources to improve food and agricultural sciences teaching programs." Eligible applicants are restricted to Individual public or private, nonprofit Alaska Native-serving and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions of higher education that meet the definitions of Alaska Native-Serving Institution or Native Hawaiian-Serving Institution." For more, visit website (

Portland, most would probably agree, likes to do things in its own way. Like how it uses HUD's Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program under which counties and cities which enjoy CDBG entitlement status may dedicate a portion of their annual CDBG grants to re-pay loans secured from private lenders to meet certain community and economic development objectives and to increase employment opportunities. Effectively, it allows the CDBG grantee to transform $1 of CDBG into $5 of capital. A lot of communities have made good use of the Section 108 program, developing industrial parks, bringing "anchors" to downtown revitalization projects, establishing economic development revolving loan funds. As mentioned, though, Portland does something innovatively different. It may not be only entitlement community to do so, but Portland is one of the view to use the capital Section 108 generates to preserve and produce affordable housing. Recently, for example, the Section 108 program served as an important tool in completing, ahead of schedule, the 11X13 initiative to keep 11 - it turned out to be 12 - HUD-subsidized housing projects in downtown that might other have "gone to market" instead in the city's affordable housing stock, preventing the eviction of hundreds of elderly and disabled low-income tenants and securing millions of dollars in Federal rent supports for decades to come. And now, Portland's at it again with the Portland Housing Bureau announcing the availability of $7.4 million through the Section 108 program for its Affordable Rental Housing Development Program, to, says Commissioner Dan Saltzman "build more affordable housing in Portland to ensure that those families who work in Portland can afford to live in Portland." Applications are due February 10th. For more, visit website (

There's one sure thing you can say about organizations that partner with HUD. They're innovators, always looking for betters ways to do what they do. Over the past few months, our Innovation of the Day campaign has collected well over 200 innovations our partners have launched, innovations that our other partners and those they serve can benefit from. But we know we've only scratched the surface. So, it's a new year and time for a new effort to get you and your colleagues to share the great ideas you've not only had, but put into practice. The sooner you share with us, the sooner we can share them with others. Don't be shy. Share, share, share you innovations here.

Mayor Balducci, Congressman Smith and LIHI break ground for Bellevue Apartments, 57 units of "workforce" housing in Bellevue. . .Yakima Police Department tells KIMA-TV its Crime Free Rental Housing campaign in 50 apartment complexes has been "very successful" in reducing crime. . .Terry McDonald, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County since 1984, honored as Eugene's 2014 "First Citizen". . .Mountain West Bank writes check for $48,000 check to support remodeling of St. Vincent de Paul's dining hall in Coeur d'Alene. . .Kittitas-Yakima Valley Community Land Trust and Ellensburg City Council members break ground, reports Daily Record, for the very first home it hopes to build. . .Oregon Association of EALTORS Home Foundation awards $123,000 to 22 affordable housing projects across state . . Emmet, Idaho one of 18 cities selected by Smart Growth America to receive technical assistance. . .Vancouver Housing Authority, says The Columbian, has voted to build Lincoln Place, a 30-unit complex for the chronically-homeless. . .Community Housing Fund in Washington County awards $400,000 loan to REACH CDC to build 57-unit workforce housing complex at Oremco Station, $30,000 loan to Washington County Housing Authority to rehabilitate Hillsboro duplex, $121,000 loan to Bienestar for preliminary work on housing for elderly in downtown Hillsboro and another $100,000 loan to Bienestar to build a new library with two upper floors of housing for the elderly in Cornelius. . .Harold Houston of Juneau elected president of RurALCAP's board of directors. . .Wells Fargo presents $150,000 check to Mercy Housing Northwest-Idaho in support of its neighborhood stabilization program in Canyon County. . .REACH CDC wins $50,000 Kaiser Permanente Fund grant to train its residents for janitorial, landscaping or other entry level positions REACH currently contracts out. . .Eugene official upholds planning commission's okay of Bascom Village development, says Register Guard, to be built by St. Vincent de Paul and HACSA of Lane County on parcels in northeast Eugene.

A December, 2013 conversation between HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Bill Block and Jerry Brown, HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs online (

What do annual point-in-times of the homeless in communities across America tell us about the homeless? And what do they miss? Adam Cotterell has some ideas here (

"98.9 percent of the state's residents live in areas where broadband is available at 3 Mbps download, 83 percent of the state's population live in households with Internet access and 73.8 percent of the state's population regularly use their home broadband connection."- - From press release concerning 4th annual Washington state broadband report, Washington Department of Commerce, January 16, 2014. For more, visit website (

The books are closed on calendar 2013. What kind of year did FHA have in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington? The 7th best year in its history with, for example, 52,705 acquisition - i.e., 203b - mortgages with a total dollar value $10.6 billion. Over the last five years - aka, The Great Recession - the private mortgage stumbled and staggered, but not FHA, endorsing in the same period 328,448 acquisition mortgages or 23 percent of its endorsements - worth $67.2 billion - or 40 percent of the dollar value - of all the mortgages FHA has insured in the region since its creation almost 80 years ago.

"It has been more than six years since the start of the Great Recession. While the economy is no longer shrinking, the pace of our recovery is still far too slow. We must get things moving again. But how? If we tune out the political rhetoric and just look at history, the answer is clear: We need the housing market to come alive. When the housing market is growing, homeowners refinance, developers break ground on new projects, construction employment jumps and the economy regains its footing. Economists on the left, right and in the center will tell you the housing sector has been the engine driving us out of every major recession in the last century. The Great Recession, however, was preceded by a housing bubble and accompanied by a housing crash. For this reason, housing could not play its traditional role in our economic recovery. The damage done to the housing market in the 2000s is a large reason the recovery has been so sluggish." - Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10), The Tacoma News Tribune, January 14, 2014, explaining why he was hosting a Tacoma summit of "industry leaders and policy makers" to consider "consider what changes need to be made to restore the housing market to health" and "what must be done to guard against a future housing bubble and crash." HUD Secretary Donovan delivered the keynote address at the January 22nd summit.

"This is as innovative, as comprehensive, as collaborative an effort as I have seen," said Donovan, "Not just anywhere in the country, but anywhere in the world." - -HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, The Seattle Times, January 21st, concerning his tour with U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Congressman Adam Smith and the Seattle Housing Authority's Andrew Lofton of the Yesler Terrace that has received $30 million under HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative.

"When I would get to the house early to meet the contractor, sometimes I'd open the door and a heavy old smell would waft out, a mix of perfume and medicine. It was like smelling a ghost. Mom came with a stick of sage and we walked through the rooms, trailing a curl of smoke. Clearing the air, she said. . ."When I went by the house on my lunch break last week, I ran into a painter taping off the windows. I pointed out the cracks in the door. Bad stuff probably happened there, I said. He shrugged. Bad stuff happens, he said. How do you change the vibe of a place? I asked him. Paint will help, he said. The vibe doesn't really matter once you start to make you own story there, he told me. "You just have to get in there and start living it up."" -Julia O'Malley on an old house she and her husband have bought and are restoring in downtown Anchorage in "Solving an Old House's Secrets", The Anchorage Daily News, January 11, 2014, online (

What would you learn if you "mapped" the incidence of childhood asthma in the community where you live, if you could see the areas where it's prevalent and those where it's not? Pretty soon, we think, you'd not only understand the where's of asthma, but also begin to appreciate the why's. Which is the reason the Coalition for a Livable Future decided to "map" Portland. The results? Not particularly stunning, but certainly pretty persuasive. "The maps show," reports Steve Law of The Portland Tribune, "high asthma rates in low-income areas and neighborhoods with many people of color. They also reveal higher rates alongside freeways and highways." Well, that's that, some might say, "The highways are already built, the houses and apartments already occupied. Only solution is to move them." Maybe not. A closer look at the maps reveals something else. They reveal, says Law, "higher rates" of asthma "alongside freeways and highways, which tend to have relatively few trees." So are trees the answer to asthma? The evidence from Portland and elsewhere suggests maybe so. "If you put people next to freeways, there's going to be public health consequences," says economist Geoff Donovan, who has studied trees for the U.S. Forest Service in Portland. "We can't put new parks in" everywhere", Donovan says, "but we can put trees." Turns out, in other words, that Johnny Appleseed may have teen onto something. Definitive? Not yet. Provocative? For sure. And worth a read online (

HUD sets February 3rd deadline to apply for up to $1.7 billion in Continuum of Care funds though indicating funding may "not be adequate" to "fund all existing projects" due to Sequestration. . .Bellingham Housing Authority sets February 3rd as last day it will accept applications for its recently-opened Housing Choice Voucher waiting list. . .Portland Housing Bureau sets February 10th deadline to apply for total of $7.4 million in Affordable Rental Housing Development funds. . .Spokane Housing Authority sets February 10th as last day it will accept applications for on-line housing lottery. . .EPA sets February 14th deadline for non-profits & tribal organizations to apply for grants of up to $120,000 under Environmental Justice Collaborative Justice Problem-Solving Cooperative Program. . .Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs sets February 18th deadline to apply for funds to promote "processing, use or development of energy and minerals resources on tribal lands". . .Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sets February 28th deadline to submit applications for membership on its Consumer, Credit Union & Community Bank Advisory councils. . .USDA sets March 7th deadline to apply for grants of $1.5 million under its Alaska Native & Native Hawaiian-Serving Education Institutions program. . .HHS' Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration sets March 7th deadline for Federally-recognized tribes and tribal organizations to apply for grants of up to $400,000 under its Circle of Caring program to plan and develop infrastructure to improve the mental health and wellness of children, youth & families in American Indian/Alaska Native communities. . .Justice Department sets March 12th deadline for tribal governments to apply for total of $2.3 million under Tribal Sexual Assault Services program. . .Veterans Affairs sets March 14th deadline to apply for funds under its Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. . .NAHMA sets April 4th deadline to submit nominations for its 2014 Affordable Housing Vanguard Award. . .City of Seattle Office of Housing sets June 2014 deadline to submit applications under Equitable Transit-Oriented Development Loan Program.


HUD Northwest Office of Native American Programs hosts Construction Administration Training, February 4th & 5th, Tacoma. Visit

Veterans Affairs hosts application training workshop for current Supportive Services for Veteran Families funding availability, February 4th, Portland. Visit

Northwest Fair Housing Alliance hosts free Fair Housing & Assistance Animals workshop, February 5th, Pasco. Please RSVP with or call 509/209-2667.

 Northwest Fair Housing Alliance hosts free Fair Housing & Assistance Animals workshop, February 6th, Yakima. Please RSVP with or call 509/209-2667.

HUD hosts Webinar on "Filling the Glass"-Housing Counseling Marketing & Outreach, February 7th, on-line. Visit

Northwest Native Asset Building Coalition hosts "Sweet Deals" Financial Planning Day, February 8th, Seattle. Contact Amy Oakley at (206) 220-6213 or at

King County Office of Civil Rights offers Advanced Fair Housing Seminar, February 8th, Seattle. Visit

Oregon AHMA hosts Maintenance Medley workshop on Time Management, Cost Control & Budget, February 12th, Salem. Visit

FHA hosts Webinar on Ibis System Training for HECM Counselors, February 13th, on-line.

REACH CDC breaks ground for phase II - 60 units of housing for elderly - at Glisan Commons, February 13th, Portland. Visit

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians host winter conference, February 17th to 20th, Bellingham. Visit

HUD Northwest hosts on-line Basics of Fair Housing Workshop, February 19th, on-line.

Oregon AHMA hosts Tax Credit Mini-Conference, February 18th & 19th, Salem. Visit

Sustainable City Network announces Sustainability in Seattle Webinar with City of Seattle director of sustainability, February 25th, on-line. Visit

U.S. Department of Energy hosts Tribal Renewable Energy Webinar on Strategic Energy Planning, on-line, February 26th, on-line. Visit

Oregon AHMA hosts Maintenance Medley workshop on Time Management, Cost Control & Budget, March 12th, Grants Pass. Visit

King County Office of Civil Rights offers two workshops - Introduction to Fair Housing & Advanced Fair Housing - March 13th, Seattle. Visit

Oregon AHMA hosts workshop on Basic Landlord Tenant Law for Affordable Housing, March 18th, Salem. Visit

HUD Seattle hosts workshop on Basic Environmental Reviews, March 25th to 27th, Seattle.


Content Archived: April 21, 2017