Northwest HUD Lines
November 2013

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

Thanks to all of you who took a moment to say "welcome back" to Federal employees furloughed during the recent hiatus. To a person, we're happy to be back and energized the fact that so many folks missed us. Just one more reason why it's a pleasure to serve.

! ! ! NEWS FLASH ! ! !
HUD Fair Market Rents for fiscal year 2014 now posted here (

On October 28th, Assistant Secretary & Federal Housing Commissioner Carol Galante issued FHA Mortgagee Letter 13-39 on Methods of Communication with Borrowers offering "guidance" on HUD's policies in order to "promote prompt and effective contact with FHA borrowers" in default "and will help to ensure that these borrowers are able to communicate with their servicers regarding their delinquencies and any available loss mitigation assistance." If you're in the business, it's guidance you need to read on HUD's website.

HUD's office in Spokane in the Thomas Foley Federal Office Building is now closed. As HUD announced it's one of 16 smaller HUD offices across the country to be closed to insure, as HUD Deputy Secretary Maurice Jones explained, that HUD has "the right people in the right places and we're determining where we can be even more efficient, to get the most value out of our limited resources." Eastern Washington and Spokane Metropolitan area residents seeking HUD services should feel free to call our Regional Office in downtown Seattle at (877) 741-3281 or via e-mail at

What can local governments do to make the preservation and production of affordable housing easier and more efficient. The Oregon Opportunity Network has some ideas in its brand new Affordable Housing Toolkit online. And if the tools work in Oregon they might well work in your community.

City of Bellingham awards $3.8 million to eight projects to produce or preserve 246 affordable housing, The Herald reports, the first allocation from a housing tax levy approved by voters last November. . .Mercy Housing Northwest-Idaho in Boise, Hacienda CDC of Portland, Homeownership Center of Tacoma and Homestead Community Land Trust of Seattle among 67 nonprofits nationwide awarded $6 million through Wells Fargo's Leading the Way Home program to, says Wall Street Journal, "revitalized and stabilize neighborhoods". . .The work of the cities of Bandon, Central Point and Florence, Philomath city manager Randy Kugler and Gresham city manager Erik Kvarsten, 6th grade teachers from three Newberg schools and Senator Betsy Johnson of Scappoose honored by Oregon Association of Cities. . .Legacy Crossing Urban Renewal Plan in Moscow, Whitewater Park Boulevard project in Boise, Lloyd Square in Nampa, Idaho Power's Boise River Linkage Partnership, the 10 Barrel Brew Pub in Boise and historical preservation advocate Ken Howell of Boise win 2013 Idaho Smart Growth awards. . .Chuck Robbins named executive director of Clackamas County Housing Authority reports Oregonian. . .Brother Francis Shelter tells Anchorage Daily News it's reinstating "30-day in, 30-day out rule" to "people to move on to permanent housing". . .KOMO-TV says work's begun on first "stack build" apartment building in Seattle using modular units manufactured in Klamath Falls. . .Wilsonville celebrates grand opening of Villebois Community, 73 units of housing for seriously-mentally ill, on a site that, 23 years ago, was home to Dammasch State Hospital. . .CATCH - or Charitable Assistance for Communities Homeless - opens its first office in Nampa says Idaho Business Review. . .Kitsap County Commissioner Josh Brown named to succeed Rob Drewel as executive director of Puget Sound Regional Council. . .City of Portland & Multnomah County provide funds, says Oregonian, to keep doors of Village Market in New Columbia neighborhood open after other supermarkets have come and gone. . .With help from State, Metropolitan Development Council & Longview Housing Authority, Supportive Services of Longview, says Daily News, now "traveling to veterans in rural areas in Cowlitz, Lewis, Pacific and Wahkiakum counties". . .King County issues Comprehensive Plan to Prevent and End Youth and Young Adult Homelessness in King County by 2020 (

It's the kind of event that might have caused folks less committed to walk away. One an early October evening, reports KEPR-TV, a Tri-Cities Habitat for Humanity house in Kennewick "just weeks from being completed" was badly damaged by a fire. Hundreds of hours of volunteer labor, thousands of dollars of building materials were lost. The Kennewick Police Department ruled it an arson. "A neighbor," KEPR says, "saw three teenage girls come out of the home and run right before it began to smoke." Undeterred, within days Habitat was back at work at the site, rebuilding the home, trying, explains volunteer Scott Pattison, to "do everything we can over the next couple days to make sure these families do get in and can celebrate their first Christmas in their new home."

HUD, the saying goes, is only as good as its partners. Fortunately, those partners keep on delivering. Partners like the King County Housing Authority which, on a sunny, but chilly October afternoon, celebrated the completion of Seola Gardens in White Center, a poor, unincorporated area of the County. With tax credits, $6 million from the County, $1.5 million from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission's Housing Trust Fund and almost $22 million in Recovery Act and HOPE VI funds from HUD, more than 1,450 craftsmen and women across more than 40 trades have now completed 177 affordable rental units and more than 100 homeownership units replacing the deteriorating, dilapidated Park Lane Homes public housing complex. Authority executive director Stephen Norman told The West Seattle Herald, "with a beautiful, well designed and well-built urban community." Just a week after the Federal government shutdown that was supported by some who think government's too big, does things it doesn't need to do, Congressman Jim McDermott noted that Seola Gardens is a "persuasive demonstration that as a society we can honor the common good and take care of one another." But maybe resident Evelyn Long - a blind woman who'd lived with her husband of 17 years and three children in a "cramped," bug-infested and high-rent apartment in Auburn before moving to White Center - explained best why Seola Gardens matters. "We had struggles" and "we had issues," she told the audience. But "It just seems like once we got here all of that instantly wiped away. Once the call came "that approved her application," my prayers were answered. I can't thank you enough." That's "exactly what why," noted Acting Regional Administrator Donna Batch, "This is why," noted Acting Regional Administrator Donna Batch "HUD is involved and a funding partner at Seola Gardens."

Right before the Great Boom crashed and became the Great Recession, March Lebowitz tells KBSX Boise State Public Radio in Boise, the Ada County Association had some 5,00 REALTORS. But then it did and Lebowitz recalls "fewer than a dozen" attendees at the Association's How to be a REALTOR classes in 2008. Five years later, though, things are looking up. The classes are close to standing-room-only and the Association's membership is again approaching "about 4,000," a 213 percent increase. Something, maybe, is blowing in the wind, like word that "about two times as many homes this July as they did in July 2008..." Good news, sure, but not as good when you realize that there were fewer homes sold in July 2013 than in July 2006 when Boise's market was, forgive me June and Johnny, hotter than a pepper's sprout. In other words, KBSX - Boise State Public Radio - takes a provocative look at whether the boom is back. Take a listen at

When RurALCAP opened Karluk Manor - a former hotel converted into "Housing First" transitional housing for chronically-homeless inebriates in Anchorage - generated a lot of excitement. A good deal of it was not positive. "Why," its opponents asked, "would you allow inebriates living there to continue drinking as often and as much as they want? That policy doesn't solve anything." There is, obviously, a certain common sense to the criticism. But a study by the Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies at the University of Alaska Anchorage released at the annual conference of the Alaska Coalition on Housing & Homelessness suggests common sense might have it wrong. It found, reports Kyle Hopkins of The Anchorage Daily News, that among residents interviewed "the number of people drinking every day dropped" from 71 to 36 percent. Head trauma, cuts and other injuries declined. Emergency room visits are down, trips to the dentist up. The early findings reflect results reported by University of Washington researchers and published a couple of years ago in JAMA-the Journal of the American Medical Association of the chronically-homeless inebriatesresidents of the Downtown Emergency Center in Seattle. Definitive? Not yet. Indicative? Maybe. See website.

Under Section 3 of a 1968 law, HUD expects "recipients of certain HUD financial assistance, to the greatest extent possible, provide job training, employment, and contract opportunities for low- or very-low income residents in connection with projects and activities in their neighborhoods." To comply, Home Forward, the housing authority in Portland, has set what it calls an "aspirational" economic equity goal, for example, that 20 percent of its contracting will go to "target businesses" - i.e., firms as defined by HUD's requirement or firms defined by the State of Oregon as certified by the state of Oregon as minority-owned, women-owned or emerging small businesses. Based on a report it submitted to its Board in October, Home Forward appears to have more than met its aspirations. Some 43 percent of Home Forward's $36.2 million in contracts. More than 80 percent of new hires at Home Forward were Section 3 residents. And more than 40 percent of the hires and a third of the contracts at Home Forward's HUD-funded Stephens Creek revitalization project met the standard. That's not just "aspiring." That's getting it done!

A gold star to Oregon Housing & Community Services for delivering, in just two years, more than $105 million in Oregon Homeownership Stabilization funds to more than 8,500 at-risk, in-trouble homeowners across the state. . .Homeownership Stabilization Initiative funds to u$dng A truly grand day in Grandview as city and Catholic Charities Housing Services celebrate both a groundbreaking and a ribbon-cutting, both blessed by Bishop of Yakima. . .Community Partners for Affordable Housing celebrate its 20th anniversary of serving Tigard, Tualatin, Beaverton and southwest Portland. . .Community Frameworks looking for a family with a big heart and backyard to host its first Elder Cottage project in Spokane. . .Kitsap Community Resources tells Port Orchard Independent it expects first of its clients to move into new, 10-unit Jackson Village "in early November". . Citing "sticker shock" Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan says City won't pursue acquisition of 66 acres of Federal surplus property near airport to expand services to homeless at an estimated $80 million "and beyond what we considered affordable". . .Housing Works "shows off" three houses seized by the City of Redmond and recently-leased to Housing Works and renovated by Oregon YouthBuild for Housing Works' Tutor Homes program that helps low income renters who want to become homeowners. . .Federal shutdown forces Idaho Department of Commerce to postpone October 24th conference on Federal government purchasing until February 24th in Coeur d'Alene, reports Idaho Business Review. . .Thanks to a HUD grant, Tlingit Haida Housing Authority & Catholic Community Services tell KTOO-FM they expect to Renton REALTOR Tina McDonough wins National Association of REALTORS Good Neighbor Award for her fundraising efforts on behalf of breast cancer research. . .Daily Journal of Commerce says that because Metropolitan Acquisition & Development is one of the first private developers to receive a property tax exemption under a program recently-revamped and enhanced by the Portland Housing Bureau, its 20 percent of the 75 units in its $14 million Wilmore project breaking ground this November in an "up-and-coming Portland neighborhood" will be set-aside for households earning 60 percent or less of median. . .Community Solar Solutions & Kitsap County Habitat for Humanity launch partnership, reports Kitsap Business Journal, to install help homeowners install solar technology on houses in Bremerton and Port Orchard Habitat developments. . .RurALCAP receives $10,000 from Wells Fargo to support homebuyer education. . .First-ever Newman's Own Foundation grant to LISC will enable it to support NeighborWorks Umpqua's commercial kitchen renovation, which will double the number of farmers who can rent kitchen space to store fresh produce and make it more available to local families. Oregon Opportunity Network publishes Affordable Housing Toolkit online to promote the adoption by Oregon jurisdictions of regulations that promote affordable housing development.

Don't ever say the folks at the Washington State Housing Finance Commission got smart aren't smart. They realized decades ago that affordable housing can always use friends, in good times and certainly in bad. Which is why, for 20 years its annual Housing Washington Affordable Housing Conference has conferred Friend of Housing Awards on those "have made exceptional contributions to creating or supporting affordable housing." And friends - as in thick-and-thin friends - of affordable they are. Like this year's honorees. Governor Mike Lowry, won the Margaret M. Sevy Affordable Housing Lifetime Achievement Award for his support for affordable housing as a member of the King County Council, in Congress and as Governor and, most recently, for founding Washington Agricultural Family Assistance which, to date, has helped 73 farm worker families become homeowners. Friend of Housing Awards went to Chris Pegg, executive director of the Longview Housing Authority, Helen Stevenson of Spokane Housing Ventures, the Opportunity Council that serves Whatcom, Island and San Juan counties, Sue Cary who retired from Capitol Hill Housing last year and Leah Greenwood of ACE - Affordable Community Environment - in Vancouver. And, last but not least, Commission staff presented Commission for her extraordinary efforts on behalf of affordable housing. For more, visit website (

Congrats, too, to the winners of member-nominated awards at the Oregon Opportunity Network's Fall Industry Support Conference in Portland. Every time you read an Oregon newspaper, it seems, someone, somewhere is doing something intelligent, interesting and innovative to preserve and to expand and improve affordable housing in Oregon. 2013 has been no exception. With the facilities improvement team at Central City Concern, Metropolitan Affordable Housing's Willakenzie Crossing resident services plan, Proud Ground's Svaboda Court, Hacienda CDC's living Cully project, Mainstream Housing's YIMBY showcase, NAYA and UGMW Nonprofit Development Corporation's the winners from among the 25 nominations submitted by Oregon ON members.

Buying or selling a house is a bit like having all four of your wisdom teeth pulled on the same day. About five, maybe ten minutes into the process it's already something you're trying your grimacing and groaning best to forget. Which is why there's nothing quite as good as a really good REALTOR helping you translate all the terms, navigate all the paperwork and negotiate all the finer details, to help you, simply put, make the best deal. Which is why it means something - a lot of something - when a REALTOR's peers pick her or him as their REALTOR of the Year. Like Joni Schneider, the owner and broker of Heartland Realty in Fairbanks, who has been selected as Alaska's 2013 REALTOR of the Year. Or Debbie Myles-Myers, a Realtor with Windermere in Coeur d'Alene who's the 2013 Idaho REALTOR of the Year. Or Joann Hansen, the owner of Joann Hansen Realty in Coos Bay, who's the Oregon REALTOR of the Year. Congratulations to all. You can be sure they've earned it.

HUD has extended the deadline to apply for some $8.1 in funding for service coordinators in assisted multi-family housing until November 18th, 2013. For more, visit website (

The Department of the Treasury is now accepting applications for up to $191 million in fiscal year 2014 funds to certified Community Development Financial Institution - CDFI - that are providing affordable financing and related services to low-income communities and populations that lack access to credit, capital, and financial services. It expects, subject to final appropriations action, to award $144 million for CDFI Program awards, $35 million for Healthy Food Financing Initiative Financial Assistance awards and $12 million for NACA Program awards. Treasury is introducing a new application this year that, says CDFI Fund Director Donna Gambrell , "is a result of fantastic feedback from the CDFI industry and is one more example of how the CDFI Fund continually strives to improve our service to our stakeholders." A schedule of Webinars on the competitions is found online ( The deadline for all three competitions is December 23rd. For more, visit website (

Treasury's CDFI program also is accepting nominations until November 20th for Native CDFI leaders to participate in its The Leadership Journey II: Continuing Native CDFI Growth & Excellence capacity-building training that will take place in March, 2014. "Participants in the first training series"- Leadership Journey 1 - "discovered new ways of looking at their institutions and how they can position themselves for growth," explained CDFI's Donna Gamrell. "I am pleased that we are able to expand this valuable opportunity for Native CDFIs." CDFI will cover the training, travel and hotel costs of successful applicants. For more, visit website (

HUD has proposed a rule that will require housing counseling agencies and individual housing counselors to be certified as meeting requirements specified under the requirements set forth in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act. Comments are due November 12th. For more, visit website (

CDFI's Bank Enterprise Award Program is intended to encourages insured depository institutions to increase their investments in CDFI's through grants, stock purchases, loans, deposits, and other forms of financial and technical assistance, as well as increased activities in the form of loans, investments, services, and technical assistance provided in distressed communities. CDFI wants to strengthen the program. If you have ideas or thoughts on how to do that, CDFI would like to hear them by December 20th. For more, visit website (

A record 278 housing and community development professionals from 119 organizations - another record - attend Oregon Opportunity Network's Fall Industry Support Conference in Portland. . AARP says Pocatello is one of 5 best cities in which to retire on less than $35,000 a year and even better if you like skiing, hiking and biking. . .Innovative Housing Inc. celebrates grand opening of all-brick, LEED-certified Magnolia Apartments, providing 50 more units of housing for the elderly in Portland. . .County Executive Dow Constantine, reports Seattle Times, hires Adrienne Quinn, formerly director of Seattle's Office of Housing, to head King County's Office of Housing & Community Development. . .Brian Cladoosby of the Swinomish Tribe elected president of the National Congress of American Indians. . .Northwest Housing Alternatives celebrates grand opening of Alma Gardens, 45 more units of affordable housing for the very-low-income elderly in Hillsboro. . .Pete Munroe of Clark County's Housing and Community Development Program wins Roy D. Hoover Award from National Association for County Community and Economic Development. . .Housing Resources Board of Bainbridge Island says all 24 of the new homes developed in Ferncliff have now been sold. . .Umpqua Habitat for Humanity, says KPIC-TV, celebrating completion of its 9th & 10th houses in Roseburg. . .Renton City Council, Chamber of Commerce & Rotary Club, says Reporter, name Jim Sullivan, president of the Senior Housing Advisory Group, their citizen-of-the-year. . .Grays Harbor Community Foundation, says KBKW, selected to join Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Building Community Philanthropy Initiative. . .Home Forward, the housing authority of Portland, reports that "more than 3,000" people applied during a single week for the 122 new affordable housing units at Stephens Creek Crossing in southwest Portland, a project funded in part by HUD's HOPE VI public revitalization program that is expected to welcome its first residents in January. . .KIMA-TV says "Yakima County and city officials are working together to house the homeless in an old juvenile detention building". . .USDA awards $2.9 million to Matanuska Telephone Association to expand broadband service in Sutton, Alaska. . .CASA of Oregon does it again, this time helping residents of 71-space Century Drive Park, a manufactured housing community in Bend, purchase the park, the 6th resident park purchase it has helped complete.

As the nation's housing and economic recoveries continue, FHA-insured mortgages remain an important tool for families who want to own an affordable piece of the American Dream. During fiscal year 2013 - October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013 - FHA insured 62,165 acquisition (203b) mortgages in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington with a total dollar value of $12.5 billion. That's the fourth-highest volume in the almost 80-year history of FHA, topped only endorsements in fiscal year 1987, 2010 and, in first place, 2009. Nationally, FHA endorsed more than 1.3 million 203b mortgages, the third best year in FHA's history.

Are tax breaks a good way to spark the development of affordable housing. Some say no. But The News Tribune says a state law that permits and 8- to 12-year property tax exemption for building multi-family buildings in areas targeted for development has worked well for Tacoma. "It's always nice - and a bit surprising - when a tax break works as advertised."

"I didn't expect that many people in our community to be hurting, . .This definitely puts me back into the community." -- Tina Gillard, owner of Tina's Sensational Solon on Main Street in Pocatello, who provided free haircuts to some of the more than 160 people waiting in line for the doors to open at the 19th annual - yes, the 19th -- Pocatello Stand Down. Idaho State Journal, October 20, 2013.

"I hereby direct I hereby direct all departments and agencies in the executive branch of the Federal Government, insofar as their functions relate to the provision, rehabilitation, or operation of housing and related facilities, to take all action necessary and appropriate to prevent discrimination because of race, color, creed, or national origin (a) in the sale, leasing, rental, or other disposition of residential property and related facilities. . .or in the use or occupancy thereof, if such property and related facilities are (i) owned or operated by the Federal Government, or provided in whole or in part with the aid of loans, advances, grants, or contributions hereafter agreed to be made by the Federal Government, or provided in whole or in part by loans hereafter insured, guaranteed, or otherwise secured by the credit of the Federal Government, or provided by the development or the redevelopment of real property purchased, leased, or otherwise obtained from a State or local public agency receiving Federal financial assistance for slum clearance or urban renewal." - President John F. Kennedy in Executive Order 11063: Equal Opportunity in Housing, signed November 20, 1963. For full text, visit website (

The 100th anniversary of Port Alexander in southeast Alaska - population 81 - hasn't been as happy as its residents probably would it be. Not because there aren't lots of accomplishments to celebrate or memories to savor, but because, as the singer Iris Dement might lament, it seems the sun's setting pretty fast on the town. It was "a busy place" with lots of stores and restaurants where the fishing fleet re-supplied, one resident told Ed Ronco of KCAW-Radio. "How do I put this?," she asked. The town even had "girls of the evening." Not anymore. For a school to stay open in Alaska it must have at least 10. Last year, Ronco said, one mom and her high-school-age son delayed a move to opportunities Sitka so that threshold wouldn't be crossed. It's a beautifully told story about a place that may not be around for its 110th anniversary. Well worth, in other words, a read or listen online (

"The hard part," Paul Lambros of tells Nicole Brodeur of The Seattle Times, "is to convey to the public how broken these people are" as he reflected on his "charmed life" as head for the past 20 years of the Plymouth Housing Group. "It takes a while to work with these folks," he said. "No one has done anything for them like this before, and they need to trust, and it takes time." This too is well worth a read online (

Commerce 's NOAA sets November 1st deadline to apply for grants of from $50,000 to $150,000 under Community-Based Marine Debris Removal program. . .HUD sets November 12th deadline to submit comments on proposed rule concerning certification of housing counseling agencies and individual housing counselors. . .USDA sets November 12th deadline to apply for almost $5.8 million in Rural Community Development Initiative Program funds. . .HUD sets November 18th deadline for HUD-assisted multifamily complexes to apply for $15 million for Assisted Living Conversion of some or all of its units. . .Treasury sets November 20th deadline to apply for CDFI's Leadership Journey II: Continuing Native CDFI Growth & Excellence capacity-building series. . .American Planning Association sets November 21st submission date for nominations for 2013 Excellence in Small Town and Rural Planning –STaR - Awards. . .American Institute of Architects sets November 22nd deadline to apply for its 2014 Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) 2014 program. . .Treasury sets December 23rd deadline to apply for $144 million for CDFI Program awards, $35 million for Healthy Food Financing Initiative Financial Assistance awards and $12 million for NACA Program awards. . .Treasury sets December 30th deadline to submit public comments on CDFI's Bank Enterprise Award program. . .USDA Forest Service sets January 15th deadline to apply for $4 million in Community Forest & Open Space Program which assists tribes, local governments and non-profits in "fee simple acquisition of private forest land from a willing seller". . .City of Seattle Office of Housing sets June 2014 deadline to submit applications under Equitable Transit-Oriented Development Loan Program.

HUD's Alaska Office of Native American Programs & Alaska Association of Housing Authorities host NAHASDA Essentials workshop, November 5th to 7th, Anchorage.

National League of Cities convenes Congress of Cities & Exposition, November 13th to 16th, Seattle. Visit

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians & USDA co-host Tribal Planning & Project Development Workshop, November 14th & 15th, Shelton. Visit

Washington State University Extension hosts Rural Pathways to Prosperity conference, November 15th, with conference locations in Chehalis, Clarkston, Colville, Hartline, Odessa, Olympia, Omak, Pasco, Benton, Rosburg, Sedro-Woolley, Sequim, Stevenson & Wenatchee. Visit

Susan Emmons, executive director of the Northwest Pilot Project, delivers annual Oliver Lecture on "Who Says We Can't Build Enough Affordable Housing for Everyone?-Ending Homelessness in Portland in our Lifetime," November 17th, Portland. Visit

Alaska Municipal League holds annual conference, November 18th to 22nd, Anchorage. Visit

Association of Oregon Counties holds annual conference, October 18th to 20th, Eugene. Visit

Washington Association of Counties holds County Leaders Conference, November 19th to 21st, Vancouver. Visit

Treasury hosts Webinar for regulated CDFI on CDFI & NACA funding competition, November 25th, on-line. Visit and

Treasury hosts Webinar for non-registered CDFI on CDFI & NACA funding competition, November 25th, on-line. Visit and

Treasury hosts Webinar for NACA applicants in its CDFI & NACA funding competition, November 25th, on-line. Visit and

Treasury hosts Webinar for all applicants for CDFI & NACA funding competition, December 2nd on-line. Visit and

Washington Low Income Housing Alliance holds annual meeting, December 4th, Seattle. Visit


Content Archived: April 20, 2017