HUD Highlights E-Newsletter

July 2009

Region X - Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington
Martha Dilts, Region X Deputy Director (206) 220-5356

Leland Jones, Editor

Hoping to "jump start affordable housing construction," HUD Secretary Donovan has announced the award of $8.3 million to Idaho, $27.3 million to Oregon and $43 million to Washington under the Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) established by the Recovery Act. One by-product of the nation's financial crisis has been reduced investments in Low Income Housing Tax Credits that provide incentive for investors to provide private capital to developers of multi-family rental housing for lower-income families. HUD's awarding the TCAP funds by formula to state housing finance agencies - Idaho Housing & Finance Association, Oregon Housing & Community Services and the Washington Housing Finance Commission - to enable them re-start stalled, but qualified housing. To maximize job creation, priority will be given to projects that can begin immediately and be completed by February 16, 2012. The TCAP award to Alaska is expected to be announced shortly.

* * * NEWS FLASH * * *
HUD Secretary Donovan announces that the refinance option under the Making Homes Affordable program will be expanded to borrowers who are current but are up to 125 percent "under water" with their Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac- guaranteed mortgages. Previously, the option was open to those 105 percent "under water."

As of May 31st, FHA was on its way to issuing a record number of mortgage endorsements in 2009. Want to find out why so many lenders, REALTORS and buyers are turning to FHA to buy a home or refinance a mortgage? Attend a free, one-day FHA Update with presentations by FHA's Santa Ana Homeownership Center on Wednesday, July 15th at The Nines Hotel in Portland.

HUD Secretary Donovan announces creation of $312 million Disaster Recovery Enhancement Fund to encourage states to "design forward-thinking" recovery plans cutting risk of death or damage in future disasters. . .Coeur d'Alene unveils "two-pronged" 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness. . .Earth Advantage Institute of Portland report says Energy Star or LEED certified homes sold for 9.7 percent more in Seattle and "3 to 5 percent" more in Portland than "non-green" houses. . .Street Roots establishes new Web site ( to provide "most updated list of services and information for people living in crisis" in the greater Portland area. . .HUD awards 48 additional vouchers to Alaska Housing Finance Authority and 100 to King County Housing Authority for the non-elderly disabled. . .Catholic Charities Housing Services celebrates grand opening of Rose of Mary Terrace apartments for the elderly in Yakima. . .Idaho Statesman says "more than 2,000 volunteers" turned out, "starting at sunrise," to fix up 91 homes as part of Neighborhood Housing Service's 27th annual "paint the town" event in Boise. . .Bend Habitat for Humanity celebrates 20 years and more than 70 homes worth of achievement. . .Labor Secretary Solis announces award of $7.6 million in YouthBuild grants to Anchorage, Bellingham, Bend, Corvallis, Everett, Medford, Olympia, Portland, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma and Yakima to assist "out-of-school youth in obtaining their diplomas or GEDs while providing occupational training in the construction industry."

The June 22nd Federal Register noted that the 2009 Appropriations Act provided funding for 4,000 new Housing Choice Vouchers for non-elderly disabled families. Some 1,000 of these vouchers, it adds, will go to non-elderly families transitioning out of nursing homes and other institutions into the community. To help "better design the distribution" of these vouchers, HUD would like to hear your comments about "threshold factors used to distribute" the vouchers, "whether HUD should establish a more performance-based method" for distribution and how "State institutional transition programs" can "work effectively" with housing authorities receiving these vouchers. Comments due to HUD's Office of Housing Choice Voucher Management & Operations by July 13th. For more, contact Phyllis Smelkinson (

Want to know the what, where and how much particulars of HUD Recovery Act spending in your back yard? Visit

The Washington Housing Trust Fund has awarded more than $62 million for construction of 35 multi-family complexes in 17 counties across the state. The projects will add or preserve some 1,100 housing units, with more than a third going to the elderly and 85 percent to households at 50 percent less of the area median income. "We're going to do everything in our power to make sure we build something the community's proud of," Franklin County Board member Manterola told The Tri-City Herald. The Bureau won $3.5 million to build a 96-bed facility for farm workers who, said The Herald, have "camped on state land" where they've "had conflicts with anglers and problems with waste disposal."

The Oregon Department of Housing & Community Services has awarded nearly $26 million in grants, loans and tax credits for the construction or rehabilitation of 435 units of affordable housing for, said Deputy Director Rick Crager, "families whose living situations are jeopardized by the troubled economy." The projects in Ashland, Astoria, Cave Junction, Dallas, Eugene, Hood River, North Bend, Ontario, Portland, Rogue River, Roseburg, Springfield and Tigard, he added, provide "economic punch to inject important construction jobs into the Oregon economy."

City of Everett to host foreclosure intervention workshop at Cascade High School on Thursday, July 23rd, City of Seattle and Urban League to host "tackling mortgage problems" workshop at Cleveland High School on Friday, July 24th while City of Tacoma to hold "foreclosure intervention workshop" on Saturday, July 25th at Tacoma campus of Evergreen College. . .FHA issues Mortgagee Letter 2009-19 establishing a new approval process condominium projects to insure mortgages on individual units effective for all case numbers on or after October 1st, 2009. . .Master Builder Association of King & Snohomish Counties celebrates - on YouTube - the 100th anniversary of the founding, in Seattle in 1909, of nation's first homebuilder association. . .Treasury Department relaxes IRS restrictions that would prevent tribes from apply for and using $2 billion in tax-exempt bonds under the Recovery Act "for the same types of projects as states and local governments". . .Washington Housing Finance tells Seattle Times that HUD housing counselors "helped 2,681 homeowners in the past 12 months, and all but 37 avoid foreclosure". . .Bellingham Herald reports on opening of City Gate in downtown Bellingham as permanent housing for "about two dozen" former inmates of the county jail with "mental health and drug problems" who otherwise, says jail chief Wendy Jones, "revolve in and out, between the county jail, one of the hospitals or treatment centers and, primarily, the streets". . .Portland State University's Margaret Van Vilet named director of City's Housing Bureau. . .U.S. News & World Report picks Bremerton-Silverdale, Corvallis and Anchorage as three of nation's top 10 housing markets over next 10 years. . .Fairfield, Idaho, Battleground, Washington and Netarts and Myrtle Creek, both in Oregon, win $29.2 million from USDA Rural Development improve water and waste disposal systems. . .On July 26th, Washington Community, Trade & Economic Development becomes the Washington Department of Commerce. . .HUD and American Planning Association set September 9th as deadline to apply for 13th annual Secretary's Opportunity & Empowerment Awards.

In accordance with the Housing & Economic Recovery Act of 2008, on June 10th FHA issued Mortgagee Letter 2009-18 eliminating the $8,000 cap on the amount of eligible energy-efficiency costs that can be added, through an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM), to the base maximum FHA-insured mortgage. The new limit is now the lesser of 5 percent of the value of the property or 115 percent of the median area price of a single family dwelling or 150 percent of the conforming Freddie Mac limit.

Saying "now, more than ever, it is crucial that American families make informed decisions," HUD Secretary Donovan that HUD is now accepting applications for more than $58 million - up $11 million from last year - in housing counseling grants "to help families find and preserve housing." Awarded competitively to HUD-approved counseling agencies, $47 million will go for comprehensive counseling, $8 million for reverse mortgage counseling, $2 million for loan document review counseling and $1 million for fair lending and mortgage fraud counseling. Applications are expected from 400 organizations and are due July 17th.

HUD has set August 11th as the deadline for public and Indian housing authorities to apply for $12 million in Public Housing Family Self Sufficiency grants. The grants are awarded competitively to help public housing residents "to increase earned income and financial literacy, reduce or eliminate the need for welfare assistance, and make progress toward achieving economic independence and housing self-sufficiency." Last year, 37 housing authorities in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington won more than $3.6 million under the program.

HUD is now accepting applications, due July 20th, for $69 million in Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control and $48 million in Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grants. Applications are due July 20th. Find more online.

"We've invited you here this week to see for yourselves how housing authorities across the country are using HOPE VI as a platform for innovation, building green and energy efficient affordable housing. You'll learn about the New Columbia development in Portland, Oregon - how a complex originally designed to provide housing for defense workers during World War Two was transformed from a dilapidated, isolated public housing development into the vibrant mix of retail stores, apartments, townhomes, a public school, and senior housing it is today. You'll hear how a dedicated rapid service bus line connects residents to a nearby light rail line and to downtown Portland, increasing access to jobs, services and opportunity. You'll also hear how sustainable, green building has a clear connection to better health as well. Right now, we can predict morbidity rates and life expectancy by zip code. Zip code! But as we saw at Seattle's High Point development, an early commitment to building green can be a big part of rejecting that certainty for millions of children and lower costs in the long run. As High Point's Breathe Easy Homes pilot program showed, by adding green features specifically designed to reduce asthma triggers, the number of asthma-free days increased, and mold-which often causes dangerous respiratory infections-was completely eliminated. With unplanned doctor's visits declining as well, Seattle's housing authority was able to reduce one of the strains on our health care system which drive premiums up for everyone." - HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan on June 25th at the HOPE VI Green Building & Energy Efficient Development Conference in Washington, D.C.

Want to know how much 571 wood-frame houses weigh? Ask the Bremerton Housing Authority. Because that's how many World War II-era houses the Authority is demolishing as the first step in its HOPE VI revitalization of the West Park neighborhood. The answer? Almost 38,000 tons of old windows, floors and siding. Of which, it's worth noting, the Authority will recycle - and re-sell - all but 2,400 tons, cutting demolition costs by $138 a ton and saving the Authority $4.7 million. Read all the nitty-greeny details online.

Treasury Secretary Geithner announces award of $2 million each in Recovery Act Community Development Financial Institution funds to CASA of Oregon in Newberg and Albina Bancorporation in Portland to "increase lending in their target area". . .Journal of Business says Federal Home Loan Bank of San $1.5 million to Spokane Housing Ventures towards purchase and expansion of Clare House complex for the elderly. . .Meridian high school students finish construction of their first "green" Habitat for Humanity house. . .Archbishop Alex J. Brunett of Seattle offers a blessing at the opening of Archdiocesan Housing Authority's Frederic Ozanam House, a 56-unit facility for chonically-homeless, elderly men. . .Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle ( launches competition for $2.6 million in Affordable Housing Program funds "to acquire, construct, and/or rehabilitate affordable housing". . .USDA Rural Development awards $ 815,000 in disaster relief funds to Shoalwater Bay Tribe, Neah Bay Chamber of Commerce, Jefferson Land Trust and Port of Klickitat in Washington and Mercy Corps Northwest and CCD Development Corporation in Oregon. . .Washington State Bar Association launches telephone hotline - (877) 894-4663 - staffed by 270 volunteer lawyers to help homeowners at risk of foreclosure have access to legal advice. . .Idaho Press Tribune says City of Nampa wins "orchid" from Preservation Idaho/Idaho Historic Preservation Council for its HUD-funded downtown façade renovation program. . .Cook Inlet Housing begins demolishing abandoned car wash in Anchorage that will be replaced by affordable, 12-unit Mountain View Lofts. . .Northwest Indian College on Lummi reservation near Bellingham confers the first 4-year degree in its 23-year history. . .KPVI-TV says town of Roberts gives "green light" to Eastern Idaho Community Action's $2 million Lakeview Apartments that will house 23 farmworker families. . .More than 75 potential buyers attend City of Tacoma showcase of of available vacant properties in East Tacoma neighborhood. . .Alaska Housing Finance okays $2.2 million loan to Retirement Community of Fairbanks Inc. for 20-unit Raven Landing Apartments.

To the cities of Hoquiam, Walla Walla, Montlake Terrace, Everett, Puyallup, Issaquah, Pasco, Richland and Kennewick and King, Benton and Franklin counties as winners of the 2009 Smart Communities Awards for "outstanding achievements" in growth management that, said Governor Chris Gregoire, "make Washington a great state in which to live and do business."

To Corvallis, McMinnville, Salem, Bandon, Dayton, Hillsboro, Klamath Falls, Medford, Philomath and Portland's St. John's Town Center for selection as Oregon's newest Main Street communities.

July 10th deadline to apply for USDA Rural Development Section 533 Housing Preservation grants. . .July 13th deadline to apply for the Recovery Act's Indian Housing Block Grant competition. . .July 17th deadline to apply for Neighborhood Stabilization Program II grants to stabilize neighborhoods "damaged" by foreclosures and abandoned properties. . .July 17th deadline to apply for HUD Housing Counseling grants. . .July 20th deadline to apply for Recovery Act Lead Hazard Control grants. . .July 21st deadline to apply for Energy Efficient, Green Communities component of Recovery Act's Public Housing Capital Improvement Grant program. . .August 1st deadline to apply for Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle Affordable Housing Program funds. . .August 3rd deadline to apply for IRS grants to provide training "to volunteers" who offer "free tax counseling and assistance to elderly individuals in the preparation of their Federal tax returns". . .August 7th deadline to apply for Indian Community Development Block Grant program. . .August 11th deadline to apply for Public Housing Family Self-Sufficiency Program grants.

HUD & Northwest Regional Council of NAHRO host "Managing Homeownership Voucher Programs" in Portland, July 13th and 14th.

HUD Homeownership Center FHA Lender Update in Portland, July 15th.

National American Indian Housing Council hosts Methamphetamine Awareness & Abatement Workshop in Seattle, July 14th and 15th. Register online (

Arctic Economic Development Summit in Point Hope, July 15th to 17th., Contact

Summer conference of National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials in Portland, July 16th to 18th. Visit

HUD Anchorage offers "how-to-apply" training on 2009 Indian Community Development Block Grant funds in Anchorage, July 16th. Contact Julie Kander (

Native Empowerment Personal Finance Conference at Northwest Indian College in Bellingham, July 22nd & 23rd. Visit

City of Everett hosts all-day Foreclosure Intervention Workshop at Cascade High School in Everett, July 23rd.

City of Seattle, Urban League and Washington Housing Finance Commission host all-day Foreclosure Prevention Workshop ( at Cleveland High School in Seattle, July 24th.

City of Tacoma host all-day Foreclosure Intervention Workshop at Evergreen College in Tacoma, July 25th.

Native American Youth & Family Center hosts 4th annual Housing to Homeownership Fair ( in Portland, July 25th.

Bankers associations of Idaho and Oregon hold annual conference ( in Coeur d'Alene, July 26th to 28th.

HUD Anchorage hosts Federal Labor Standards training for CDBG grantees and public, tribal and tribally-designated housing authorities, July 14th in Anchorage.

HUD Seattle hosts Federal Labor Standards training for contractors, July 14th in Yakima.

HUD Boise hosts Federal Labor Standards training for contractors in Boise, July 28th.

HUD Boise hosts Federal Labor Standards training for public, tribal and tribally-designated housing authorities in Boise, July 29th.

HUD Boise hosts Federal Labor Standards training for CDBG and HOME grantees in Boise, July 30th.

HUD & Housing Assistance Council holds "Building Rural Communities with CHDOS" workshop in Boise, August 5th and 6th.

Annual conference of Pacific Northwest Lenders Association ( in Blaine, August 9th to 12th.

Alaska Municipal League holds annual conference ( in Palmer, August 12th to 14th.

HUD Seattle hosts Federal Labor Standards training for public, tribal and tribally-designated housing authorities, August 14th in Seattle.

Washington Affordable Housing Management Association ( holds annual conference in Bremerton, August 20th to 21st.

HUD Seattle hosts Federal Labor Standards training for CDBG and HOME grantees, August 24th, in Seattle.


Content Archived: September 19, 2014