Northwest HUD Lines
The whys of the whats HUD does
"HUD's proposed (2017) budget was built on the values that we uphold as Americans. That our entire nation benefits when our children grow up in a community that's full of promise, not problems. When hard-working family is able to responsibly buy their first-home, put down roots, and build wealth. When homeless veterans are able to get the housing they need to succeed in the very nation they risked so much to protect. When every person gets a fair shot and a fair shake to achieve their dreams." - - HUD Secretary Castro, February 9, 2016
President Obama proposes fiscal year 2017 Federal budget
Just about the time the dust settled in mid-December and Congress adopted the Federal government's fiscal year 2016 budget, the process began all over again with the President, on February 9th, releasing his proposed budget for fiscal year 2017 which will begin on October 1st, 2017. About five percent of the $4.2 trillion in spending by the President - $48.9 billion in gross discretionary funding and $11.3 billion in new mandatory spending over ten years - would support the work that HUD and its thousands of partners do to serve the housing, community and economic development needs of American communities and millions of our most vulnerable citizens. New & enhanced initiatives for HUD in the 2017 proposal include $200 million for its Choice Neighborhoods program to revitalize communities with distressed HUD-assisted housing, a small but "strategic" investment in narrowing the digital divide by increasing access for students and their families in HUD-assisted housing, Jobs Plus & Upward Mobility initiatives to promote self-sufficiency & employment opportunities for HUD-assisted families, a Local Housing Policy grant program to sport local efforts to launch regulatory initiatives that create "a more elastic and diverse housing supply, and in turn, increase economic growth, access to jobs and improve housing affordability," a new Native Youth initiative and mandatory spending "to reach and maintain the goal of ending homelessness among families with children." Big ideas all and, better still, smart and sound investments too.
Taking a closer look at HUD's proposed fiscal year 2017 budget
So, President Obama has proposed that the Congress appropriate some $60.2 billion to HUD for the fiscal year beginning October 1st, 2016 and ending September 30, 2017. That's a lot of money, you might say. And what, you may ask, will the American taxpayer get for $60.2 billion? Well, in addition to the new initiatives outlined above, here a few numerical nuggets from our 2017 Congressional Justification. In 2017, HUD will help some 70,000 families in public & assisted housing progress along the path to economic self-sufficiency. Operate and maintain 1.1 million units of public housing. Help almost 7,800 families avoid eviction with emergency rental assistance. Build or rehabilitate more than 5,000 units of affordable Tribal housing and maintain another 40,000 older Support than 350,000 beds for homeless individuals & families and build 25,000 more. Help more than 5,000 Native American families buy a home and generate another $1 billion in homeownership capital for Indian Country. Maintain more than 27,000 supportive housing units for very-low income people with disabilities and 400,000 units for very low-income elderly. Provide expert - and free - housing counseling to 1.4 million renters, homeowners and homebuyers. Help 14,000 homebuyers assemble a down payment. Provide housing assistance and supportive services to almost 50,000 households living with AIDS/HIV. Help low-income families construct more than 500 self-help homeownership units. Provide rapid re-housing resources to more than 8,000 families at risk of homelessness. Close the financing gap to insure development of more than 13,200 new affordable rental units. Provide tenant-based Housing Choice Vouchers to 2.2 million families and Section 8 project-based rental assistance to 1.2 million families. Bring 6,500 homeownership units up to code. Insure more than $200 billion in single-family mortgages, with some 80 percent going to first-time buyers. You're right - $60 billion is a lot of dollars, but day-in & day-out those dollars are spent a lot of ways to help a lot of people in every state, county, city & town in America. For a detailed discussion of all HUD's numbers, please visit our 2017 Congressional Justification.
As one of 18 states deemed by Treasury Department as "hardest hit" by foreclosures during the Great Recession, Oregon is awarded $34.6 million in 5th hardest-hit funding round for, said Secretary Lew, programs that we know have helped Americans avoid foreclosure, and stabilized housing markets, including blight elimination programs". . .Hoping to become "IKEA of housing," reports Idaho Statesman, entrepreneur unveils plans for Idaho's "first shipping-container subdivision" in Garden City. . .Mercy Housing & Sound Transit break ground for Mercy Othello Plaza, reports Daily Journal of Commerce, 108 new units of affordable unit right next door to Seattle light-rail station. . .Portland digs deep into data to report, says Hillsboro Tribune, that rents in Portland area have risen almost twice as fast as incomes since 2009. . .HUD allocates $157.7 million in Indian Housing Block Grant funds to almost 300 Tribes and Alaskan native villages. . .National Mortgage News says Salem, Oregon was nation's "hottest" home sales market in 2015 with Boise, Idaho ranked 2nd and Portland-Vancouver at 8th. . .Mayor David Bieter & Idaho Housing & Finance Association unveil plans, says Idaho Business Review, to provide $5.5 million in tax credits for first Housing First facility for the chronically-homeless in Boise. . .Having formed a housing authority in 2008, but disbanded it in 2010 because of the collapse of the housing market, Teton County, Idaho & cities of Driggs, Victor & Teton taking initial steps to reconfigure it says Teton Valley News. . .Calling homelessness "a humanitarian crisis," King County, Washington Executive Dow Constantine authorizes additional $17.3 million to expand shelter capacity and to produce 237 additional affordable housing units for the homeless in south & east King County. . .HUD okays request from housing authorities serving seven Portland metropolitan area counties to increase Fair Market Rents to enable assisted renters to compete more effectively in extremely tight rental markets. . .Washington Governor Jay Inslee names Enterprise Community's M.A. Leonard as chair of state's Affordable Housing Advisory Board. . .HHS' Innovation Accelerator Program selects Oregon as one of 8 states to receive 6 months of "targeted program support" for efforts to build partnerships between Medicaid and housing agencies. . .In aftermath of severe winter storms, President Obama issues disaster declarations making state agencies and local governments in three Idaho counties, for 10 Washington counties for 12 Oregon counties and for the Pribilof Islands Regional Education Attendance Area in Alaska.
Hear, hear to Mayor Gordon Petrie of Emmett, Idaho, a city about 30 miles northwest of Boise. Boise State Public Radio's Frankie Barnhill recently reported that the Web site RoadSnacks had posted an item ranking Emmett "the most miserable" of "the 10 most miserable cities in Idaho." With recent postings like "the poorest cities in Oklahoma" or "the drunkest towns in Colorado," Barnhill added, RoadSnacks' "creators seem to have cracked the code for state-specific clickbait." Mayor Petrie, no surprise, stands up for his town. "We're far from miserable," he told Barnhill. "We take care of each other, we love each other, we work with each other", adding that RoadSnacks' focus on Census data like homeownership rates and commute times "stacks the deck" against rural communities. Good point, Mr. Mayor. After all, if Emmett's so miserable, why has its population grown 19 percent from 2010 & 41 percent from 2000?
BAD NEWS FOR GOOD PROGRAM
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation suspends a successful energy-saving program
Hard times, unfortunately, often mean bad news for good programs. Like the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation's Home Energy Rebate program which has provided some $252 million in cash rebates to year-round residents of owner-occupied homes that have made energy-efficiency improvements. Since its creation by the Legislature in 2008, the Corporation reports, more than 40,000 households have obtained initial ratings under the program. Even better, "24,560 families completed improvements and received rebates averaging $6,463" and "an additional 3,248 families built new construction and received rebates up to $10,000 for building to the highest efficiency level recognized -- currently, six stars." Independent studies, adds Corporation president & CEO Brian Butcher, find that the improvements have saved the equivalent of more than 18.1 million gallons of number 2 fuel oil, "buoying local economies and helping to bridge the natural gas shortfall" which resulted in brown-outs in 2008 & 2010. Impressive results, indeed. But now the State of Alaska is facing fiscal challenges and, as a result, the Corporation has announced that it will take no more applications for the program's waitlist as of the close of business on March 25th. Tried and tested and shown to have been a program that works, one can hope the challenges soon pass and the program soon re-starts.
IT TAKES A NEIGHBORHOOD
The secret to Seattle's success? The neighborhoods we call home.
There are lots of reasons why Seattle is America's fastest-growing city. The Great Outdoors, for starters. Tremendous diversity. Innovative companies like Microsoft and Starbucks, Boeing and Amazon. Incredible music, art, theater and food. And, last but not least, great neighborhoods, like Green Lake and Capitol Hill, Ballard and Belltown. And don't forget Yesler Terrace where the Seattle Housing Authority is hard at work - with help from HUD and lots of other partners - transforming it into the City's next neighborhood of choice. And if you don't believe us, just visit the Authority's latest development - Raven Terrace.
THE "N" N N.I.M.B.Y.
Could that "N" also stand for neighborhood?
When one United States Senator attends a grand opening, you know you're in the big time. And when two attend? Well, you probably feel just a little bit dizzy. Which is exactly how folks at the Vancouver Housing Authority must have felt when U.S. Senator Patty Murray and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell both made time in their busy schedules to attend the grand opening of the Authority's brand-new, $8 million Lincoln Place, providing 30 units of Housing First housing for the chronically-homeless. It's an impressive place, even more so because it's not in somewhere on the edges of town, but smack dab in downtown. "The people who will be served by this project," the City notes, "live in the downtown area and think of it as their neighborhood." It's likely they'd be "unwilling to move to an unfamiliar neighborhood" for services or for housing." The more you think about those words, the more it seems just plain common sense and sometimes just plain common sense leads to the best practices of all.
Did the Recovery Act make a difference?
Seven years ago this February in the depths of one of our nation's worst economic crises the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act became, by the narrowest of margins, the law of the land. At the time, many welcomed it. Many others condemned it. So, seven years later, you be the judge - was it money well-spent or money wasted? You might want to start by taking a quick look at the Recovery Action in action and what it actually did in communities across Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington. And, one way or another, you might be surprised
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
Portland Housing Bureau contributes $1 million to fund to be administered by Network for Oregon Affordable Housing that will enable developers & Bureau "to move quickly to acquire land for affordable housing development when opportunities become available". . .Director of Idaho Falls, Idaho redevelopment agency says recent study demonstrates that downtown is "a market that will support quite a few more housing units," reports LocalNews 8. . .Two proposed residential/commercial projects, says Columbian, may signal that downtown Camas, Oregon is about to experience building boom. . .HUD awards $35.7 million to 54 housing authorities in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington to maintain & upgrade public housing. . .City of Juneau, says The Empire, names Scott Ciambor as its first-ever director of housing. . .The Arbiter at Boise State University asks whether Boise's move to Housing First will save or cost taxpayers money. . .City of Spokane & Macy's begin talks on what will happen to its former department store downtown, reports KXLY-TV,with more housing on the list. . .Oregon Governor Kate Brown names Chris Harder as new director of Business Oregon. . .Columbia Basin Herald reports that City of Othello, Washington plans crackdown on "unsafe shelters that cropped up during housing shortage". . .City of Everett, Washington & YWCA of Seattle, King County & Snohomish County, says Herald, recruiting private landlords to rent units to chronically-homeless. . .Boise Weekly asks whatever happened to Idaho's Housing Trust Fund. . .City of Portland, Oregon & Multnomah County considering creation of joint city-county office of homeless services reports Oregonian. . .Vancouver, Washington Housing Authority, says The Columbian, beginning to explore possibility of building affordable housing on authority-owned land in midtown between business district & single-family neighborhood. . .Cities of Salem & Keizer, Oregon & Marion & Polk counties, reports Statesman Journal, hold first meeting of newly-formed Mid-Willamette Homeless Initiative Task Force. . .Sharon Lee talks with Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce about the what's, why's & wherefores of the Low Income Housing Institute. . .Directly or indirectly employing 11 percent of Umatilla County's workforce, Chamber of Commerce in Pendleton hears that says Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla may be "biggest economic boon" in the region. . .Meyer Memorial Trust awards 42 grants totaling almost $3.6 million, including awards to Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services, Northwest Housing Alternatives, Northwest Oregon Housing Authority, Community Action Team, Housing Works, Housing Authority of Jackson County, Cornerstone Community Housing, Northwest Coast Housing, Catholic Community Services Foundation, Marion County Housing Authority, Community Partners for Affordable Housing, Innovative Housing, Oregon Opportunity Network, REACH CDC, Rose CDC, Sabin CDC, Transitions Project, Polk County CDC, & Horizon Project. . .After working in a social services agency, newly-named Tillamook Habitat for Humanity executive director Cami Aufdermauer tells Tillamook County Pioneer "it's like being let out of a box".
! ! ! NEWS FLASH ! ! !
HUD streamlining rules for housing authorities & HUD-assisted housing
In an effort to reduce the administrative burden on state and local governments, public housing authorities and private owners of HUD-assisted multifamily properties, HUD has posted on its website for advanced review a forthcoming new rule to ease its regulatory requirements under a number of the Department's programs. The new rule is intended to streamline a host of requirements and to provide greater flexibility for agencies responsible for administering HUD's rental assistance programs. Read HUD's new rule. The new streamlined rule applies to local housing agencies administering Public Housing and the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) programs as well as private landlords under contract through HUD's Multifamily Housing Programs. In addition, the rule relaxes regulations on state and local units of government administering tenant-based rental assistance programs through HUD's HOME Investment Partnerships & Housing Opportunities for Person with AIDS programs. HUD's new rule will impact tenant rental payments, rent determination processes, verification of Social Security Numbers for children of applicants, frequency of utility reimbursement payments, verification of assets and community service completion, grievance procedures, unit inspections, and utility payment schedules.
! FLASHY TWO !
HUD extends deadline to submit nominations for HUD Secretary's Healthy Homes Award until March 15, 2016.
Smart investment = smarter consumers
HUD has set an April 4th deadline for eligible HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and state housing finance agencies to apply for me 300 in fiscal year 2016 & 2017 Comprehensives Housing Counseling grants. This year's competition expects to award approximately $40 million. Housing counseling organizations not approved by HUD but that meet the eligibility criteria established in this notice of funding availability are encourage to affiliate with eligible applicants for this funding. HUD annually supports the work of some 3,000 HUD-approved counseling agencies nationwide that annually provide their expertise and assistance at no cost to some 1.4 million renters, homeowner & homebuyer househ9olds nationwide.
Reintegrating homeless & incarcerated vets into the workforce
The U.S. Department of Labor has set a March 23rd deadline for workforce development boards, state & local governments, Tribes & Alaska Native controlled organizations to apply for grants of up to $300,000 each under its $13 million Urban and Non-Urban Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program & Incarcerated Veterans Transition Program. The program is designed to "to conduct programs to provide job training, counseling, placement, and related services to expedite the reintegration of homeless and incarcerated veterans. . .into the labor force" The Department expects to award 32 grants. Visit FOA-VETS-16-01 at grants.gov
USDA seeking applications for off-farm farm labor housing
USDA's Rural Housing Service has set April 12th as the deadline for eligible organizations to submit pre-applications for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing loans & Section 515 Farm Labor Housing grants to construct new or acquire & substantially rehabilitate off-farm housing for domestic farm laborers in both rural and urban areas. Loans & grants may not exceed 90 percent of the cost of the project and loans may be for a term of up to 33 years and are repayable at a fixed, (1) percent interest rate. Eligible applicants include farmers, farmers associations and family farm corporations; farmworker associations & nonprofit organizations; most state and local governmental entities, and federally-recognized Tribes. Selected pre-applications will be asked to submit full applications.
Money that moves you
The U.S. Department of Transportation has set an April 29th deadline to apply for a total of $500 million in TIGER - Transportation investment Generating Economic Recovery - discretionary grants. Awarded competitively and ranging from $5 million ($1 million in rural areas) to $100 million, TIGER grants capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation for communities, both urban and rural. Unlike prior rounds, in this round applicants are not required to file a pre-application. State, local and Tribal governments, transit organizations, metropolitan planning organizations and port authorities may apply.
Making Main Street more livable
HUD has set an April 12th deadline for local governments of communities with less than 50,000 or fewer residents that are served by a public housing authority that administers no more than 1,000 public housing units (Housing Choice Vouchers are not included in this count) within the jurisdiction of that government to apply for a Main Street HOPE VI Revitalization Grant of $500,000. HUD expects to award just one such grant this year. The grant will assist the successful applicant in "the renovation of an historic or traditional central business district or Main Street area by replacing unused, obsolete, commercial space in buildings with affordable housing units. Though fiscal year 2017 funds have not been appropriated for this program as of the publication of this NOFA. HUD intends to award a similar grant in fiscal year 2017 to the highest ranking applicant for the FY 2016 NOFA that did not receive a Main Street grant from the current notice of funding availability. Visit
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Denali Commission proposing to commit over $7.1 million to address relocation or protect-in-place needs of "environmentally-threatened" communities like Newtok, Shaktoolik, Shishmaref, Kivalina and others in Alaska facing severe ocean coastline or riverfront erosion. . .After looking "at our cold weather shelter populations", Daily Gazette says Corvallis Housing First is "re-tooling its plan for a full-service homeless shelter" to provide "more case management in permanent supportive housing. . .Yakima Neighborhood Health Services, Rod's House, the South Central Workforce Council& Educational Service District announce partnership, says Yakima Herald, to open home to serve up to five young women at a time aging out of foster care. . Snohomish Affordable Housing Group tells The Everett Herald it hopes to persuade City of Snohomish, Washington, to allow it to build 103 apartments for low-income elderly on former municipal swimming pool site. . .First of two "safe parking lots" opens in Seattle, reports Post-Intelligencer, created by City for the estimated 900 homeless sleeping in cars & RVs. . .With surge in homeless, says KOMO-TV, Kitsap County, Washington considering emergency ordinance to "permit churches and non-profits to serve as temporary shelters. . .Cocoon House announces plan, says Everett Herald, to "nearly double" number of beds for homeless teens. . .Agdaagux Tribe of King Cove, Angoon Community Association, Beaver Village, Craig Tribal Association, Circle Tribal Community, Hughes Village, Knik Tribe, Manokotak Village, Native Village of Belkofski, Native Village of Chenega, Native Village of Minto, Native Village of Tanana, New Koliganek Village Council, Nondalton Village, Organized Village of Grayling, Organized Village of Kake in Alaska, the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Housing Authority and the Ft. Hall Housing Authority in Idaho , the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde & Warm Springs Tribal Housing Authority in Oregon & the Kalispel Tribe, the Lummi Nation Housing Authority & the Muckleshoot Housing Authority win a total of $10.5 million in competitively-awarded HUD Indian Community Development Block Grants. . .Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says LIHI will redevelop old firehouse site in Lake City neighborhood as "around 70 units" of workforce housing with four pre-school classrooms on building's 1st floor. . .Chris Cummings named assistant director for infrastructure at Oregon Business. . .Expected to open "soon," reports The Columbian, the 120 affordable housing units at the new 15 West Apartments in Vancouver, Washington already has waiting list of 306 applicants. . .With 103-unit Kebero Court & 89-unit Raven Terrace completed and 111-unit Hoa Mai Gardens under construction, reports Daily Journal of Commerce, Seattle Housing Authority prepares to request bids for pre-construction services for fourth and latest of the affordable housing complexes intended to replace all 651 units of public housing demolished as part of Yesler Terrace transformation initiative.
GOT A FAVORITE?
Cast your vote for a HUD Secretary's Award
No, not for the 2016 Presidential Election, but for the 2016 HUD Secretary's Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships. HUD & its partner the National Council on Foundations have set March 7th as the deadline to submit nominations. They're looking for "cross-sector partnerships between the philanthropic and public sectors" that have established a process and implemented a strategy to increase the quality of life for low- and moderate-income residents across all American geographies — urban, suburban and rural" in housing and neighborhood improvements, education, health and recreation, transportation, community participation, arts and culture, safety, sustainability, innovative regional approaches, and/or economic development. Past winners have included the Raikes Foundation in Seattle, the Rasmuson Foundation in Seattle & the Oregon Community Foundation. And now, you can have a say in who this year's winner will be. So get to it!!!!
Should public housing cap household income?
Under statutes, households need be income-eligible to live in public housing only at the time they are admitted. If their incomes rise while they live in public housing, it will affect the amount of rent they pay, but is not a basis for eviction. At the request of Members of Congress, lasts year HUD's Inspector General conducted an audit to determine how many of the 1.1 million households in public housing are over-income. Nationwide he reported some 25,000 households were over-income. No surprise, that finding has prompted discussion about whether there ought to be prohibitions against or restrictions on the income households can earn once they are in the door. In response, HUD has published a Notice indicating that it is "considering rulemaking to ensure that individuals and families residing in HUD public housing in fact continue to need housing assistance from HUD after admission. The Notice seeks comment from public housing authorities and other interested parties and members of the public "on the questions presented in this notice, including how HUD can structure policies to reduce the number of individuals and families in public housing whose incomes significantly exceed the income limit and have significantly exceeded the income limit for a sustained period of time after initial admission." Comments are due March 4th.
HUD has set an April 11th deadline to submit comments on a proposed rule that would "revise the exemption for recreational vehicles that are not self-propelled from HUD's Manufactured Housing Procedural and Enforcement Regulations." The proposal reflects a recommendation made Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (which would define a recreational vehicle as one built on a vehicular structure, not certified as a manufactured home, designed only for recreational use and not as a primary residence or for permanent occupancy, and built and certified in accordance with either the National Fire Protection Association 1192-15 or American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A119.5-09 consensus standards for recreational vehicles). Comments may be submitted in writing or via the Federal Rulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. For background, VISIT
WORTH A READ
Do encampments help or hinder the homeless?
"Encampments are a real distraction from investing in solutions. You can see it takes a lot of energy to get them running and they don't solve the problem. You still have people who are visibly homeless, living outdoors. . .I don't happen to think these encampments are the best solution." -Barbara Poppe, currently a consultant to the City of Seattle & former executive director of U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, in "Stop opening tent cities, homelessness expert tells Seattle leaders" by Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, February 26, 2015
WORTH A LISTEN
The lucky third
The folks sleeping overnight on a chilly Sunday evening in February in lawn chairs or tents or cars on a street El Centro de la Raza's Plaza Maestas now under construction in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle weren't doing so because they were homeless, but because they don't want to be. It was, Liz Jones of KUOW radio reported, "a once-in-a-lifetime" chance to get an affordable place to live in a city where there is far from enough of it. In just three hours, more than 450 families applied. Fewer than a third will see this particular dream come true. A sad tale, yes. A frustrating one, too. But worth a listen.
QUOTE TO NOTE
On time & affordable housing
"The painful truth of building affordable housing is that the pace of development is glacial compared to how Seattle has grown. Between the decision to develop Roberto Maestas Plaza and its opening, nine years will have passed. That was enough time to secure funding from the City of Seattle, Washington State and the federal government, run a capital campaign, partner with a bank in search of tax credits, approve designs, hire a contractor and, finally, build the building. The start of this ran parallel to the largest recession since the Great Depression, which was immediately followed by huge population growth and skyrocketing rents. Application day for the Plaza Maestas was, in some ways, even more years in the making. El Centro purchased the property from Seattle Public Schools in the 1990s, sitting on it for years as staff discussed its future. According to Ortega, it was the announcement of the Beacon Hill light rail stop that finally spurred the action toward building affordable housing. Suddenly, the property was valuable. "We knew we had the opportunity to do something," she says. The Seattle that existed at the beginning of this project is much different than the one that exists at the end." - Matthew Dronan, "Hundreds vie for a chance at affordable housing," Crosscut, February 23rd, 2016
Are bad landlords always the bad guy?
"Even some of my colleagues in the local social services system considered Mr. Tom a slumlord because of the condition of his building, but to me and others, he and his wife were often landlords of last resort. He rented to people no one else would rent to, people who might have criminal records, be delusional or paranoid, have a spotty rental history or even have histories of trashing apartments. Without Mr. Tom they would have been on the street. I never knew Mr. Tom's background, but I suspected that at some level he understood that when mentally ill people take baseball bats or broom handles to the walls or the windows, it's reasonable because they truly believe they are deflecting demons or are responding to frightening voices. When they let their homeless friend's crash on their couch, against the rules, it's because they understood what it's like to not have a place to sleep legally. . .No one, including me, would argue that it's OK for landlords to offer apartments that are unsafe, lack smoke detectors or are infested with cockroaches. But Mr. Tom and other landlords with low standards who will rent to those with bad records are not the villains here. . .Psychiatrically disabled people deserve safe, affordable, decent housing and supportive services to go with it — and lacking that, the Mr. Toms of the world fill an important niche." - Gary Cornelius, a letter-to-the-editor in the February 23, 2016 Eugene Register Guard concerning a February17th news article about a landlord - others, says the letter,called him a "slumlord" - named Mr. Tom.
AND THEN THERE WAS THIS. . .
Foreclosure can be about more than just losing a home
"This happened on Sunday (February 14), reports The Wenatchee World: "A major police operation Sunday to get a 66-year-old Wenatchee man to vacate his home that had been foreclosed upon and sold ended in the man's death by apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police responded to the Marilyn Street home at 1 p.m. after the home's new owners reported they were at the home and heard two gunshots inside while they were outside trying to make contact with the man." In 2013, I wrote about a foreclosure suicide in South Seattle. 65-year-old Phyllis Walsh lived alone. She was deeply beloved by her neighbors. She would bring books from the library to the daughter of the family across the street. Her niece said that after her husband died, Walsh had repeatedly sought relief from the banks, who'd "passed her from specialist to specialist." On July 30, 2013, Walsh fired a single gunshot into her head. She left a dryly-written note on the front lawn warning that the "foreclosure vultures" were coming. At the time, the real estate agent who bought the home said he couldn't get her out of his head. "We are the foreclosure vultures, in a sense," he told me. Last year, a Center for Disease Control study found that "suicides spurred by severe housing stress—evictions and foreclosures—doubled between 2005 and 2010." - Ansel Herz, Another foreclosure suicide in Washington State , The Stranger, February 19th, 2016
Documents & data drops of interest
HUD posts fiscal year 2016 Community Development Block Grant allocations on-line. . .White House publishes summary of commitments made by, among others, Governor Kate Brown of Oregon & Washington Governor Jay Inslee at February 2nd White House Summit on Earthquake Resiliency. . .Economic Innovation Group takes an interactive look at how communities - i.e., Zip Code areas - have fared since the Great Recession. . .HUD economists publish Comprehensive Housing Market analysis for Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area & for Anchorage-MatSu area. . .FHA issues Mortgagee Letter 2016-05 offering clarification of procedures in states with probate procedures that may impede ability of non-borrowing spouse to exercise Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Optional Election in timely fashion. . .Enterprise Resource Center releases Health in Housing study of 1,600 Oregon Medicaid recipients which finds positive correlation between safe, affordable housing & better health.
NOTES TO NOTE
HUD sets March 4th deadline to comment on its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the oversight of over-income tenants in public housing. . .Alaska Housing Finance Corporation sets March 4th deadline to submit comments on proposed revisions to its GOAL - Greater Opportunities for Affordable Housing - program. . .HUD sets March 7th deadline to submit nominations for HUD Secretary's Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships. . .Alaska Housing Finance Corporation sets March 7th deadline to contact AHFC about a match for applicants seeking USDA Housing Preservation funds. . .City of Tacoma sets March 7th deadline to apply to serve as one of 9 members of its Community Development Advisory Board. . .Alaska First Lady Donna Walker sets March 8th deadline to submit nominations for 2016 Alaska Volunteer of the Year Awards. . .USDA Rural Development sets March 14th deadline to apply for its Distance Learning &Telemedicine Grants of up to $500,000 to provide increased access to education, training, and healthcare resources in rural areas. . .HUD extends deadline to submit nominations for HUD Secretary's Healthy Homes Award until March 15, 2015. . .USDA Rural Development extends deadline to March 15th for Housing Preservation Program grants to "repairs for low- and very-low-income rural residents". . .U.S. Department of Labor sets March 23rd deadline to apply for 32 $200,000 Urban and Non-Urban Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program &Incarcerated Veterans Transition Program grants at FOA-VETS-16-01. . .Treasury sets March 30th deadline for Community Development Financial Institutions to apply for $90 million in Capital Markets Funds. . .HUD sets April 4th deadline for HUD-approved counseling agencies & State housing finance agencies to apply for $40 million in Comprehensive Housing Counseling grants. . .HUD sets April 11th deadline to submit comments on proposed rule to revise the exemption for recreational vehicles that are not self-propelled from some HUD regulations. . .USDA Rural Housing Service sets April 12th deadline to submit pre-applications for Section 514 Farm Worker Housing loans & Section 515 Farm Worker Housing Grants to build new or to acquire & substantially rehabilitate off-farm housing. . .HUD sets April 12th deadline for eligible units of government to apply for HOPE VI Main Street Revitalization grant of $500,000. . .Treasury Department sets April 18th deadline for Community Development Financial Institutions to apply for $153 million in CDFI & $15.5 million in Native American CDFI Assistance funds. . .HUD sets April 18th deadline for eligible owners of HUD-assisted multi-family properties to apply for up to 80 grants totaling $15 million to help test a "promising" supportive services model to help low-income seniors to age in their own homes and delay or avoid nursing home care. . .U.S. Department of Homeland Security sets April 25th deadline to apply for more than $1 billion "to prevent terrorism & other catstrophic events". . .Department of Transportation sets April 29th to apply for a total of $500 million in TIGER discretionary grants.
Denali Commission hosts public hearing on its proposed 2016 investments, March 1st, Anchorage. Visit
HUD Office of Housing Counseling hosts Webinar on applying for fiscal year 2016 & 2017 Comprehensive Housing Counseling grants, on-line, March 2nd. Visit
City of Tacoma hosts 9th annual South Sound Sustainability Expo, March 5th, Tacoma. Visit
HUD Seattle hosts Region X Part 50 Environmental Training, March 8th, Seattle, Washington. Visit
HUD hosts Webinar on the notice-of-funding-availability for Supportive Services Demonstration for Elderly Households in HUD-Assisted Multifamily Housing, March 10th, on-line. Visit
Oregon AHMA hosts USDA Rural Development Compliance File Review Workshop, March 15th, Grants Pass, Oregon. Visit
King County Office of Civil Rights hosts All About Service Animals workshop, March 15th, Seattle, Washington. Visit
Oregon AHMA hosts HUD-Low Income Tax Credit Compliance File Review Workshop, March 16th, Salem, Oregon. Visit
Meyer Memorial Trust holds its first-ever "virtual" open house to introduce you to all the good work it's doing to support your good work in Oregon, March 16th, on-line. Visit
Oregon AHMA hosts USDA Rural Development Compliance File Review Workshop, March 18th, La Grande, Oregon. Visit
HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control & Healthy Homes & StopPests in Housing host Webinar on **Bed Bug Control Starts With Good Contracts," March 22nd, on-line. Visit
Idaho AHMA hosts UPCS Inspection Training for UPCS Inspection Workshop for HUD-, USDA Rural Development & Low Income Housing Tax Credit properties, March 22nd, Boise, Idaho. Visit
Association of Alaska Housing Authorities hosts Board of Commissioners Training Workshop, March 23rd & 24th, Anchorage, Alaska. Visit
HUD Oregon hosts Oregon & Idaho Homeless Providers & Partners Forum for HUD Continuums of Care, March 28th, Portland. Visit
Association of Alaska Housing Authorities hosts Self-Monitoring Workshop, March 30th & 31st, Anchorage. Visit
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Idaho Department of Finance Department & Partners for Prosperity host Idaho Financial Education Summit, April 5th, Boise, Idaho. Visit
2016 Basics of Fair Housing Workshop & Celebration, April 5th, Boise, Idaho. Visit
2016 WEBCAST-Basics of Fair Housing Workshop & Celebration, April 5th, on-line. Visit
2016 Advanced Fair Housing Workshop, April 6th, Boise, Idaho. Visit
2016 WEBCAST - Advanced Fair Housing Workshop, April 6th, on-line. Visit
Northwest Fair Housing Alliance, City of Spokane & Spokane County host Inland Northwest Fair Housing Conference, April 14th, Spokane. Visit
Oregon AHMA hosts Compliance in HOME Properties workshop, April 15th, Salem. Visit
King County Office of Civil Rights hosts Fair Housing 101 for Nonprofit Transitional & Shelter Housing Providers, April 19th, Seattle. Visit
Intermountain Fair Housing hosts Fair Housing 2016 Workshop, April 18th, Lewiston-Moscow. Registration opens soon.
Oregon Opportunity Network hosts annual Spring Industry Conference, April 19th, Salem, Oregon. Visit
Oregon AHMA hosts annual REAC Prep Refresher & Appraisal workshop, April 19th, Salem. Oregon Visit
Intermountain Fair Housing Council hosts Fair Housing 2016 workshop, April 21st, Coeur dAlene. Registration opens soon.'
Intermountain Fair Housing Council hosts Fair Housigg 2016 workshop, April 26th, Pocatello. Registration opens soon.
Oregon AHMA hosts Maintenance Trades workshops, April 27th, Grants Pass. Visit
Association of Alaska Housing Authorities hosts Admission & Occupancy Training Workshop, April 26th to 28th, Anchorage. Visit