Northwest HUD Lines
Bill Block takes on new role & Donna Batch named as his successor
HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Bill Block has announced that, because of a health concern, he will be stepping down from that position on October 31st, but will remain with HUD as an advisor on homelessness to "assist HUD's national efforts to end homelessness, continuing and expanding on his work in the field to end chronic and veteran homelessness." Donna Batch, a 16-year veteran of HUD who has served as HUD's Northwest Deputy Regional Administrator for five years will assume responsible as acting Regional Administrator for Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington State on November 1st. "I'm fortunate," said Block who has served as Regional Administrator for nearly two years, "in that I get to return to my roots, ending homelessness, while still working with a HUD team that I care dearly about."
South to Frisco
Friday, November 13th is a very important day for Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington State lenders seeking to participate in FHA's - Federal Housing Administration - multi-family mortgage insurance program. As a part of HUD's Multifamily Tomorrow transformation initiative, from that date forward any and all applications submitted for FHA multifamily mortgage insurance that would have previously been sent to Seattle or Portland will be sent to the San Francisco Office. No "ifs, ands, or buts" about it. The address for our office in San Francisco is --San Francisco Multifamily Hub, Attn: West- MF Application Intake U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, One Sansome Street, 12th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94104. Questions or concerns? Please call 415/489.6661. (And thanks for your cooperation).
THE WISDOM OF OUR YOUNGERS
Kids say the darndest things but, sometimes, also the wisest
"Home is a place of shelter and care," she wrote. "Home is a place where you're always welcomed. Home is a place of life-long treasure. Home is a life-long treasure. Home is where the heart lives its measure" - An essay by Hanna Fuhriman, 11, a resident with her mother & two brothers of the Boise/Ada Housing Authority, who submitted it to the annual What Home Means to Me contest sponsored by Housing America, a subsidiary of the National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials. At its national conference in Los Angeles on October 16th, Housing America named (www.housingamericacampaign.org/what-home-means-to-me.html) Hanna as one of0 winners nationwide. The award, said housing authority board chair Chairman Brad Foltman, "is a wonderful accomplishment for a young artist, and also serves as a reminder of the importance of affordable, decent, and safe housing for all."
Hanna's grand prize poster which grace the cover of a NAHRO calendar that is distributed to every member of Congress and throughout the United States.
THE WISDOM OF OUR PREDECESSORS
Does homeownership still matter?
"President Johnson once said that owning a home is more than just a cherished dream: it represents achievement, something to be proud of - a place where a person can live with joy and pride, pleasure and dignity. In the five decades since then-through ups and downs, bubbles and busts-this still holds true. Some were surprised that I put responsible homeownership as a top priority on my agenda, but as I've said time and again: the appropriate response to the recent housing crisis isn't to do away with homeownership - it's to do it right. First, this means giving folks of all backgrounds the opportunity to enhance their own financial security, to invest in smart, sustainable growth that works for everyone, from the factory worker, to the school teacher, to the small business owner. That's what President Obama did when he stepped into the Oval Office in 2009. Nearly seven years later, the verdict is in: this approach is working. A record 67 straight months of private sector growth. More than 13 million new jobs. An unemployment rate cut in half. And a housing market full of momentum. Sales of existing homes are near pre-bubble levels. Home prices are at the highest levels since 2007. And families have built $5.2 trillion in housing wealth since 2009." - HUD Secretary Julián Castro, October 16, 2015, at the annual conference of the Mortgage Bankers Association, San Diego.
A Happy 50th to RurALCAP!. . .City of Portland allocates $20 million & Multnomah County allocates $10 million to A Home for Everyone to create 250 units for homeless, support shelter operations, create housing placement program & prevent evictions says Portland Business Journal (www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/real-estate-daily/2015/10/portland-multnomah-homeless-plan-30m-for-more.html). . .Colville Indian Housing Authority celebrates opening of Eagle Nest in Omak, Washington, 20 units of affordable housing "you can grow up in, grow old in" says Tribal Tribune (www.tribaltribune.com/news/article_56fd9a6a-7450-11e5-a93a-83abec939505.html). . .More than 600 people from 13 states attend, reports Boise State Public Radio, Idaho Housing & Finance Association's two-day Housing & Economic Development conference (http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/housing-conference-looks-idahos-market) in Boise. . .Washington State Housing Finance Commission approves $90,000 administrative match to City of Bellingham, Washington's $150,000 housing levy to provide low-interest loans of up to $40,000 to homebuyers to cover down payment & closing costs. . .Brian Cladoosby, chairman of the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, re-elected president of the National Congress of American Indians. . .For first time Alaska Community Foundation (http://alaskacf.org/blog/acf-announces-grant-awards) awards $164,000 in competitive grants to 13 organizations to 10 communities to meet "fundamental needs" such as soup kitchens, shelters for victims of domestic violence & community centers. . .Housing Hope (www.housinghope.org/) celebrates grand opening of Family Village, 47 units of affordable family housing - including 10 formerly homeless families - in Monroe, Washington. . .KLCC Radio (http://klcc.org/post/lane-county-progress-ending-veteran-homelessness) pays a visit to the front lines - a 4-bedroom, single-family home - of Eugene, Oregon's campaign to end veteran homelessness. . .Trees for All (www.jointreeforall.org) community partnership in Washington County achieves goal of planting one million trees in a single year. . .16-member (http://www.mmt.org/node/19349) Meyer Memorial Trust Cost Effectiveness Work Group issues report (www.mmt.org/cost-efficiencies-work-group-report) identifying "key factors" affecting development costs of affordable housing in Oregon and "opportunities" to "deliver" such housing "at a lower costs". . .Washington Department of Ecology (www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2015/138.html) says now has more than 200 fluorescent bulb recycling collection stations and, in the first six months of 2015, Light Recycle Washington collected more than 422,000 bulbs with mercury in them. . .U.S. Senate passes (www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/military/article41869878.html) bill by Senator Patty Murray of Washington to prohibit Veterans Affairs from denying housing vouchers to veterans with less-than-honorable discharges. . .Fire District 24 in Darrington, Washington celebrates, says Everett Herald (www.heraldnet.com/article/20151027/NEWS01/151029175), taking delivery of a brand new pumper truck - the first new equipment it's had since 1986 - thanks to a $350,00 grant of CDBG funds from Snohomish County. . .League of Oregon Cities (www.orcities.org/AboutUs/NewsReleases/tabid/838/language/en-US/Default.aspx) confers its 2015 awards on cities of Ontario & Hillsboro, Columbia City administrator Leahnette Rivers,& former Nehalem Mayor Shirley Kalkhoven. . .Seattle-based firm seeking to buy burned-out Gastineau Apartments tells Empire (http://juneauempire.com/local/2015-10-30/company-buy-restore-gastineau-apartments) they'll "restore not destroy" it & create 44 units of affordable housing in downtown Juneau, Alaska. . .Thanks to Seattle Times (www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/with-help-of-readers-mother-of-3-gets-a-home/) readers a mother of three abut to lose her Housing Choice Voucher because she can't find a place does find one as well as lots of "new friends" to help her finance the moving costs & setting up her new home. . .Denali Commission (https://www.denali.gov/images/documents/News_Items/FY_2015_Grants_Announcement_.pdf) awards $18 million in grants to upgrade energy distribution systems & health clinics in 13 Alaskan villages. . .Saying his innovative work over the past four years as director of the state's Department of Commerce gave "new meaning to ‘connecting the dots,'" Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter says (http://gov.idaho.gov/mediacenter/press/pr2015/2%20Feb/pr_62.html) Jeffery Sayer to step down at year's end to "pursue private business opportunities."
The Washington State Housing Finance Commission knows what friends are for - to thank for all of their good year. And for the 22nd year in a row at its Affordable Housing Conference in Spokane, the Commission has done exactly that, honoring seven Friends of Housing who, says Commission chair Karen Miller, "who have not only improved the lives of thousands of Washington residents, but also inspired all of us with their examples." This year's Friends are Bill Rumpf, executive director of Mercy Housing Northwest & leader of statewide Affordable and Public Housing Health Care Partnership work group; Washington "super lawyer" Faith Li Pettis, partner at Pacifica Law Group, Faith Li Pettis is also chair of the state Affordable Housing Advisory Board where she spearheaded the 2015 Housing Needs Assessment and, also in 2015, co-led the Seattle Mayor's Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda; Cindy Algeo who, from the ground up, has built "the Spokane Low Income Housing Consortium into a strong organization that supports policy and funding to address homelessness and create affordable housing"; banker Dinah Thompson who has used her broad knowledge of community development lending to help lead the Housing Development Consortium and Impact Capital and, currently as a member of the board of Mt. Baker Housing; and the Rural Community Action Corporation's Billie Heath whose nuts-and-bolts TA has helped more than 2,800 Washington families build their own homes and create more than $28.2 million in home equity. In addition, Enterprise Community Partners' M.A. Leonard, a former member of the Commission, and Doris Koo of the Seattle Housing Authority were honored with Margaret M. Sevy Lifetime Achievement Awards in celebration of "their exceptional contributions, vision, and commitment to promoting affordable housing in Washington State over a sustained period of time."
OPENING A NEW DOOR
HUD & Tribes launch initiative to house Native American veterans who are homeless
There's still plenty of work to do between now and year's end, it's clear that across the country communities are turning a corner in their efforts to end veteran homelessness. Much of that has to with the incredible efforts of outreach workers and counselors and housing specialists and medical and public safety personnel who've gone above and beyond in helping those on the street off the street. But bricks-and-mortar resources - like the almost 4,600 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing rental vouchers HUD has awarded to Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington authorities - have proven critical to meeting the challenge. "The evidence is clear," says HUD Secretary Julián Castro, "that by offering permanent housing solutions, combined with needed services and case management, we can end homelessness." Which is why, the Secretary explained, HUD is opening "a new door opportunity," a new group of partners and a new sect of resources in the campaign. Specifically, the Secretary said, 30 tribal organizations - including 8 in the Northwest & Alaska - have been invited to apply for 600 Tribal VASH vouchers to provide permanent, affordable housing to homeless or at-risk Native American veterans "who have worn our nation's uniform but who need our help." Funding awards are expected to be made around the end of the calendar year.
THE GOVERNOR CALLS
Alaska Governor Bill Walker to host statewide meeting on affordable housing
When the governor of a state calls a meeting it's a good idea to pay attention. Like the meeting - a Statewide Housing Summit - that Alaska Governor Bill Walker plans to convene on January 6th in Anchorage. "The goal of this summit is," Governor Walker told a joint conference of the Alaska Coalition to End Homelessness and the Governor's Council on Homelessness, "to identify what the state can do to help local communities address their housing needs." The state, he added, faces fiscal challenges, but "addressing homelessness and affordable housing are not insurmountable," Governor Walker said. "We should not give up hope or the commitment to help our most vulnerable Alaskans. Shelter is a basic necessity and Alaskans have a proud history of being there when help is needed." Logistical details, the Governor's offices said, will be forthcoming.
OBFUSCATION TO INSPIRATION?
A bad story might turn out good
Some times a well-intentioned idea runs up against a well-intentioned rule or regulation and, well, a long and loud battle between the forces of "getting to yes" vs. those of "getting to no" ensues. And no one wins. Sometimes after the initial flurry, however, the two sides decide to take a breath, turn the volume a decibel or two and just start listening and talking and trying to find a mutually-satisfactory solution. That's what seemed to happen, writes Jonathan Martin of The Seattle Times (www.seattletimes.com/opinion/a-grass-roots-solution-for-homeless-kids-mowed-down-by-the-state/), when the director of Ryan's Hope on Whidbey Island came up with the idea of establishing a network of "host homes" for homeless young people in their teens. It had worked the first time she tried the idea. So, "why not do it again," she thought. "Not so fast, said the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services." A host home needs to have a license." No surprise, hostilities broke out. But then something seemed to happen and the parties came up with a compromise that's now being tested. A story that could have gone bad seems to be heading in the other direction. Martin's piece is worth a read.
TOOLS TO USE
Looking for some new tools, new ideas on how to end veteran homelessness? Well, HUD's just published a brand new group of resources that you might find of help. Visit (https://www.hudexchange.info/news/new-resources-available-toolkits-for-strategies-to-end-veteran-homelessness/)
NEWS TO NOTE
CFPB - the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - has finalized a rule designed to simply reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act in order "to shed more light" on consumers' access to mortgage credit. Enacted in 1975, the Act requires some 7,000 lenders to report information about the home loans for which they receive applications or that they originate or purchase, serving as a gauge of whether financial institutions are serving the housing needs of their communities or engaging in discriminatory lending activity. Visit (www.consumerfinance.gov/newsroom/cfpb-finalizes-rule-to-improve-information-about-access-to-credit-in-the-mortgage-market/)
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
Washington Department of Financial Institutions (www.dfi.wa.gov/news/press/washington-dfi-enters-settlement-agreement-cashcall-and-western-sky-financial-over) reaches settlement with CashCall & Sky Financial for unlicensed predatory lending activity over the Internet. . .Metlakatla, Alaska Housing Authority, Idaho Community Action Partnership, Confederated Tribes of Umatilla in Oregon & Hope Source in Washington each win $50,000 USDA Rural Development Housing Preservation grants. . .Latest issue of Washington State Housing Finance Commission My View newsletter by Kim takes a look at "public-private partnerships are driving innovations to make youth and family homelessness rare, brief and one-time". . .Helping Hands in Tillamook, Oregon moves forward with plans to purchase former Navy headquarters building & open as emergency shelter says Tillamook County Pioneer (www.tillamookcountypioneer.net/helping-hands-moves-forward-on-emergency-homeless-relief-center-as-conditional-use-hearing-approaches/). . .Longview, Washington Housing Authority, says The Daily News, completes $2.6 million renovation of Stratford Arms, 20 units of affordable housing for veterans. . .Multnomah County, Oregon okays loan & grant to Human Solutions to buy & transform (www.oregonlive.com/multnomahcounty/2015/10/multnomah_county_oks_purchase.html) former nightclub into facility for the homeless. . .Portland Housing Bureau (https://www.portlandoregon.gov/phb/article/548551) picks Innovative Housing Inc. to develop 30 units of "deeply affordable" housing for families on City-owned parcel in The Pearl. . .Fairbanks & Homer in Alaska, Caldwell & Emmett in Idaho, Clatskanie, Eugene & Junction City in Oregon and Puyallup, Stanwood, Clayton, Seattle & King County win USDA grants to "Increase grower and consumer participation in the Enterprise Farmers' Market and increase local growers' Farm-to-Table sales". . .Washington State Housing Finance Commission okays $11.9 in financing for REACH CDC to develop 49 units of affordable housing for elderly in Vancouver, Washington $22.5 million in financing to Adriana Senior Apartments, LLLP for 119 units of elderly housing in Des Moines, Washington. . .NEDCO celebrates grand re-opening of Polk Apartments in Eugene, Oregon, 12 one-bedroom apartments renovated with HOME & CDBG funds to provide housing to young people in foster care (www.eugene-or.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3885). . .Everett , Washington City Council passes - 4 to 2 - ordinance making, says The Herald (www.heraldnet.com/article/20151028/NEWS01/151028970), "aggressive panhandling" a misdemeanor punishable with fines or jail. . .Northwest Housing Alternatives in Milwaukie, Oregon, Northwest Housing Authority in Warrenton, Access, Inc. & Hearts with a Mission in Medford, Mid-Willamette Community Action in Salem, JOIN & Northwest Pilot Project in Portland, .Community Action Program of East Central Oregon in Pendleton & Multifamily NW in Tigard win more than $760,000 in October grants as part of Meyer Memorial Trust's (www.mmt.org/news/october-2015-awards-announced) Affordable Housing Initiative. . .Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines says its 2016 Strong Communities Implementation Plan (www.fhlbdm.com/strong-communities-fund/) to be published in December will apply to all members of FHLB Des Moines at that time, including those served by the Bank in Seattle before merging with the Bank in Des Moines earlier this year. . .Community Frameworks & Spokane Low Income Housing Consortium open the door to their new offices in Spokane's Empire State Building at 907 West Riverside Avenue. . .Idaho State Journal reports on progress of Old Town Pocatello Inc. in preparing 20-year plan to revitalize downtown that's due this February. . .Esther Lucero named executive director Seattle Indian Health Board. . .Health & Human Services awards Washington State 5-year, $7.5 million grant (www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/doc-receives-75-million-grant-help-incarcerated-parents-maintain-bonds-children) to State of Washington to provide "range of services to incarcerated parents-both fathers & mothers-to both prepare them for release and then help build and sustain their success afterwards". . .New Avenues for Youth opens the first shelter for LGBT (www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/09/portland_homeless_lgbtq.html) young people in Portland, Oregon. . .Seattle Times (www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/the-low-key-lawyer-behind-seattles-grand-bargain-on-affordable-housing/)' Bob Young introduces Jack McCullough, "the low-key lawyer behind" Mayor Ed Murray's "Grand Bargain" to expand supply of affordable housing.
Metrics that might matter - to you
HUD has set a November 9th deadline for public comment on a proposed information collection notice requesting "clearance of data collection and reporting requirements to enable" HUD Office of Strategic Planning and Management to "better assess the effectiveness of competitively-funded grants" including the Indian Community Development block Grant, Family Self-Sufficiency, Housing Counseling, HOPWA, Jobs PLUS, the Juvenile Reentry Program, Self-Help Homeownership, most Office of Healthy Homes & Lead Hazard Control grants and Resident Opportunity & Self Sufficiency. Got views you'd like to share? Visit (https://www.hudexchange.info/onecpd/assets/File/Core-Performance-for-Competitively-Funded-Grants-Federal-Register.pdf)
HUD to test whether "pay-for-success" reduces homelessness & recidivism
HUD and the Department of Justice have set a February 12th deadline to apply for almost $8.7 million in Pay for Success Supportive Housing Demonstration funds. The program is intended to test the effectiveness of the pay-for-success model in improving outcomes for people experiencing homelessness with frequent contact with the criminal justice, homeless services, and health care systems through the provision of permanent housing linked with supportive services. Permanent supportive housing, HUD believes, "is a proven solution to chronic homelessness, not only helping to increase housing stability and improvements in health, but also lowering public costs by stopping the revolving door between crisis services." The National Alliance to End Homelessness, in fact, estimates that one in five people leaving prison become homeless upon reentry into the community. The proportion can be as high as 50 percent in urban areas. With maximum grants of $1.3 million each, six intermediary organizations will be selected to assist communities to establish or expand pay for success projects in which funding is delivered or paid based on the degree to which specific milestones, agreed upon in advance at payment rates also determined in advance. For more visit FR-5900-N-26 under HUD at www.grants.gov or visit.
EPA helps communities turn brown to green
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set December 18th deadlines to apply for $34.1 million for some 150 Brownfields Assessment Grants of up to $600,ooo each (see EPA-OSWER-OBLR-15-04), for $8.5 million for 12 Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund Grants of up to $1 million each (see EPA-OSWER-OBLR-15-05) and for $11.9 million for 60 Brownfields Clean-Up grants of up to $200,000 each (see EPA-OSWER-OBLR-15-06). Combined, More information is available by visiting Environmental Protection Agency under Browse Agencies at www.grants.gov. EPA also has set (http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-10/documents/fy16_128a_guidance_final_10.17.15_0.pdf) a January 31st deadline for states and Tribes to request non-competitive Environmental Response funding of no more than $1 million per state or Tribes for the" assessment, clean-up and redevelopment of brownfields sites or other sites with actual or perceived contamination."
Portland seeking applications for $61.6 million in Affordable Rental Housing development funds
The Portland Housing Bureau, Multnomah County, Portland Development Commission & Home Forward, the city's housing authority, have announced the opening of a competition for a total of $61.6 million in local & Federal funding under an Affordable Rental Housing Notice of Funding Availability (www.portlandoregon.gov/phb/69006). "Our city's housing crisis demands thoughtful, immediate action," said City Commission Dan Saltzman, noting that he was pleased "we've been able to mobilize our collective resources to have the greatest impact possible." There are a number of components tor the NOFA including $7.5 million for affordable housing development to support the priorities of the A Home for Everyone homelessness initiative; $10 million, plus at least 40 Project-Based Section 8 vouchers, to develop one City-owned property and one County-owned property in North/Northeast Portland, in accordance with the priorities of the N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy to mitigate displacement in the area; and $5 million for development in the Lents area, plus a PDC-owned site. Due dates for applications are specified in the NOFA. In addition, there will be a mandatory developer information session on November 12th, a mandatory contractor networking session on December 3rd and an optional site tour of the North Williams Center site on November 3rd. The Bureau's Karl Dinkelspiel is the NOFA coordinator. The NOFA, says the Bureau, "is expected to generate another $150 - $200 million in economic activity and produce at least 600 new affordable housing units."
Treasury allocating $5 billion in revitalization rsourcces
The U.S. Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions program has released a Notice of Allocation Availability making some $5 billion in New Markets Tax Credits available, depending on Congressional authorization. The Tax Credits "spur investment of private sector capital into distressed communities by providing a tax credit to corporate or individual taxpayers who make qualified equity investments" in designated CDFIs which, in turn, "invest the capital raised into projects and businesses in low-income communities." Since its inception the Treasury program has made 912 awards of almost $44 billion in allocations. Entities must be certified by November 6th with applications for allocations due December 16th. Visit (www.cdfifund.gov/programs-training/Programs/new-markets-tax-credit/Pages/default.aspx)
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Cold Climate Housing Research Center engineer Bruno Grunau and his wife Judith, an architect, bring their work home with them, says Alaska Dispatch (www.adn.com/article/20151018/fairbanks-engineer-focused-energy-efficiency-brings-his-work-home), building a home in the hills above Fairbanks fit to withstand "unforgiving" Alaska winters. . .Acting on suggestion from landlords, Vancouver Housing Authority begins offering one-time, $100 payment to landlords as incentive to rent to new Section 8 voucher holders when city's rental vacancy rate is below 5 percent, says Vancouver-Southwest Washington Business Journal (www.vbjusa.com/news/news-briefs/vha-targets-landlords-with-new-incentive-program/). . . City of Spokane (www.krem.com/story/news/local/spokane-county/2015/10/16/free-tree-pickup-spokane-begins-saturday/74062302), Washington giving away 1,000 trees as part of its Forest Spokane initiative to reduce storm water run-off and energy use. . .All One says Federal Way City Council has okayed $100,000 to establish day shelter. . .American Planning Association (https://www.planning.org/greatplaces/streets/2015/thirdstreet.htm) names Third Street in McMinnville, Oregon as one of five 2015 Great Streets in America. . .Fire District 2 in Darrington, Washington celebrates delivery (www.heraldnet.com/article/20151027/NEWS01/151029175) of brand-new, almost 32-foot long fire truck purchased by Snohomish County CDBG funds. . .Huts for the Homeless provides seven huts, reports The Columbian (www.columbian.com/news/2015/oct/06/huts-give-homeless-new-hope-in-vancouver/), so homeless in downtown Vancouver are "drier & safer". . .For 4th year in a row, Ashland, Oregon City Council to partner with Unitarian Fellowship to use Pioneer Hall &Temple Emek Shelomto provide those "without a roof over their heads," says Daily Tidings (www.dailytidings.com/article/20151025/NEWS/151029904). . .Harborstone Credit in Tacoma, Washington places first and Kitsap Bank in Port Orchard places second in urban division of Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines' 2015 Strong Communities competition (www.fhlbdm.com/homepage-news-feed/federal-home-loan-bank-of-des-moines-announces-strong-communities-award-winners/). . .NeighborWorks Boise in Idaho & Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services in Corvallis, Oregon among 20 organizations nationwide designated (www.neighborworks.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2015-Archive/October/NeighborWorks-America-selects-new-Green-Organization-designees) as NeighborWorks Green Organizations for their "sustainable business and housing practices". . .King County Housing Authority (www.kcha.org/news/releases/release.aspx?ReleaseID=95) acquires two apartment complexes to provide 286 affordable housing units that will be even more so for residents since they're adjacent to Tukwila's light-rail station. . .In response to requests from Washington Governor Jay Inslee, President Obama issues major disaster declarations for 2015 wildfires and mudslides (www.fema.gov/news-release/2015/10/20/president-declares-disaster-washington) in Chelan, Ferry, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Whatcom, and Yakima counties and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and for August, 2015 windstorms (https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2015/10/15/president-declares-major-disaster-washington) in Island, Jefferson and Snohomish counties. . .HUD's Policy Development & Research division pays a visit to Quixote Village (www.huduser.gov/portal/casestudies/study_08312015_1.html) in Olympia, Washington calling it "national model for the benefits that a small-home village can provide to those experiencing homelessness". . .Livability.com (www.livability.com/best-places/top-100-best-places-to-live/2015) says Bellevue, Ashland, Olympia, Kirkland, Boise, Corvallis, Bend, Richland, Renton, Bellingham, Bothell, Pullman, Eugene & Issaquah among 100 Best Places to Live in 2016. . .Community Frameworks "ramps up" its affordable housing activity, telling Spokesman Review (www.spokanejournal.com/local-news/affordable-housing-advocate-community-frameworks-ramps-up-its-development-activity/) it hopes to break ground for 33-unit West 315 housing development this month. . .U.S. Department of Transportation awards $2.9 million in TIGER (https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/TIGER%202015%20Project%20Fact%20Sheets_0.pdf) funds to build 5 new roads, construct sidewalks & make village of Point Hope, Alaska more ADA-accessible, $15 million to double length of Tacoma, Washington's LINK streetcar line, $2 million to Port of Newport, Oregon to build intermodal deep water marine terminal, & $10 million to help replace "gaining" Mukilteo, Washington ferry terminal. . .Sidewalk project in Olympia, Washington places 500th homeless client in housing, says Olympian (www.theolympian.com/news/local/article38221164.html), since its launch in 2012. . ."Catholic Charities from all three dioceses in Washington," says National Catholic Reporter (http://ncronline.org/news/faith-parish/catholic-charities-give-long-term-aid-migrant-farmworkers-displaced-washington), "are banding together to provide emergency relief and continuing support, both financial and spiritual, for the fires' most vulnerable victims, migrant farm workers," with up to 25,000 farmworkers estimated to have been affected by this summer's fires in central Washington.
"The Medical Examiner investigated 1,838 cases of death in Multnomah County between Jan. 2, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2014. Of those, 56 people were identified as homeless adults. This figure is almost certainly an undercount as the study does not capture homeless persons who died in hospitals or health care centers. A more comprehensive community count is needed to fully understand the extent of circumstances that lead to deaths among people who lack housing. What is certain is the disturbing link between homelessness and preventable early deaths. Since Multnomah County began reviewing cases in 2011, 32 people died in 2013 while homeless, 56 people in 2012 and the 47 people in 2011. The youngest to die on the streets in 2014 was 23 years old. The oldest was 73 years old." - - Domicile Unknown: The 4th annual review of deaths among people experiencing homelessness, a report by in Multnomah County Health Department in collaboration with the Oregon State Medical Examiner and the Multnomah County Medical Examiners and published jointly by Deborah Kafoury, Chair of Multnomah County, & Israel Bayer, executive director of Street Roots, October 28, 2015
WORTH A LOOK
Some words are used frequently but almost as frequently are misunderstood. Like "sustainability," a word that's been thrown around a lot over the last 10 years or so but, for many, is still hard to define in words. Well, if words don't do it for you, how about pictures, specifically a video essay produced for The Seattle Times by Erika Schultz & Lauren Frohne about members of the Yakama Nation fishing for salmon on the Klickitat River just as generations before them have. It's a beautiful piece of work and may be as good a definition of "sustainability" as anything you'll ever find. It's worth a look (www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/fishing-tradition-never-lets-yakamas-down/). "It's a feeling like no other," explains James Kona of the Yakama Nation. "It's part of our heritage. It's part of our religion,"
WORTH A LISTEN
The smarter, the safer says CFPB
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new Know Before You Owe rule (www.consumerfinance.gov/know-before-you-owe/) recently took effect. Its purpose is "to help consumers understand their loan options, shop for the mortgage that's best for them, and avoid costly surprises at the closing table" as they get ready to agree to a mortgage. Will it work? CFBG executive director thinks it will. Hear why (www.npr.org/2015/10/02/445346782/new-federal-rules-aim-to-protect-homeowners-by-changing-mortgage-application).
AHFC-developed software takes hard work out of managing energy use - and disruptions
"One of the things we get passionate about here at Alaska Housing is energy efficiency. We get so hung up on renewable energy or trying to bring future gas supplies to Alaska but at the end of the day, if you're using less of whatever energy source you're going to use, then that means you have to produce less. You have to put up less solar panels, you have to put up a smaller wind turbine, you have to send less gas down the pipeline. It's this mentality of efficiency first, and that gets us excited." - Jimmy Ord, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, in Remote Software Tracks Rural Energy Efficiency, The Bristol Bay Times (www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1541remote_software_tracks_rural_energy), October 10, 2015, discussing a software application developed & now open-sourced with other organizations that allows for remote tracking of energy usage & disruptions.
WORTH A READ
Being a good neighbor
Life, of course, is a terminal affair and the passing of each of us newsworthy only to the associates and neighbors, friends and family we leave behind. But every so often the death of someone completely unknown to us tell us a great deal about the communities in which we live, the challenges they face and why, though each of us soon enough will turn to dust, they matter. Like the recent death in Coeur d'Alene due to smoke inhalation of a homeless veteran named Robert Parkinson. See "A Loner's Legacy" by The Pacific Northwest Inlander (www.inlander.com/spokane/a-loners-legacy/Content?oid=2591929)'s Mitch Ryls.
QUOTABLE & NOTABLE
How St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County overcame neighborhood opposition to 53-unit affordable housing development for families
"Nearly everyone agrees that affordable housing is a good idea — even essential, given the chronic mismatch between local wages and rents. But not everyone is happy to learn that an affordable housing project will be built nearby. While any type of development raises concerns about traffic, noise and effects on schools, an affordable housing complex brings with it an added set of worries, often unstated but intense: Worries that the project will become a ghetto that will degrade the neighborhood's quality of life and drag property values downward. Concerns of this type arose when a coalition of public and private agencies announced their plans for Bascom Village in north Eugene. But by the time the first phase of the project celebrated its grand opening on Tuesday, neighbors' fears had subsided. Bascom Village is an example of how an affordable housing development can be compatible with its surroundings, benefiting the residents, neighbors and the community at large. . .St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County was the lead agency on the $10.5 million Phase 1, with assistance from the Housing and Community Services Agency of Lane County, Cornerstone Community Housing, Habitat for Humanity, ShelterCare, Sponsors and other organizations. Phase II will add 48 units, and construction will be led by HACSA. Fitting such a development into an established neighborhood depends on respect for a few key principles. One is dispersal: Affordable housing projects must not be concentrated in one part of a city, but scattered throughout the community. In Eugene, affordable housing developments can be found from Woodleaf Village deep in south Eugene to Bascom Village far to the north. St. Vincent de Paul has adhered to this principle in developing 1,250 units of affordable housing throughout Lane County. A second principle is quality: Affordable housing units must not be cheaply designed and constructed — otherwise, they will be unwanted by neighbors and their residents will be stigmatized. Well-built units cost more, but save money in the long run because they last longer and require fewer repairs. High-quality housing also instills a sense of pride among residents, which results in their appearance being well-maintained. Well-built, attractive and well-located affordable housing units are highly desirable — and that helps ensure that their residents will be good neighbors. . .When the waiting list for Bascom Village opened last July 5, people began lining up to register the night before. The first of them was Hannah Foster, 19 years old and pregnant. At Tuesday's grand opening, the chairman of the local neighborhood association gave Foster and her baby girl a gift basket as a housewarming present. The residents of Bascom Village are on their way toward becoming neighbors." - Affordable Housing Can Fit, The Register-Guard (http://registerguard.com/rg/opinion/33630827-78/affordable-housing-can-fit.html.csp), October 22, 2015, Eugene, Oregon
QUOTE TO NOTE
A look at Portland, Oregon's most "pressing issue"
"It can feel like a mantra among private developers: Requirements by municipal governments to include affordable units in market-rate housing developments make those developments unprofitable, even unfeasible. It may be one of the most frequently repeated claims about housing in general. Can it possibly be right? . .The Inclusionary Calculator (www.affordableownership.org/inclusionary-housing/inclusionary-housing-calculator-tool/welcome/) is an effort to settle this question—and to prove that one major assumption about affordable housing is a myth. Developed by the Cornerstone Partnership, the tool allows users to simulate the balance sheets for market-rate developments for any number of scenarios. It accounts for factors such as costs of production, financing, affordability set-asides, and parking requirements. No matter what kind of market scenario you run, developers can still produce market-rate housing developments that include affordable housing, according to George W. "Mac" McCarthy, president of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. "The point is to challenge the often unchallengeable development logic that says, ‘We can't afford to build affordable units in San Francisco. We can't afford to build affordable units in Manhattan," McCarthy says. "The point is they can."" - - Kriston Capps, Affordable Housing Is a Moral Choice (and the Numbers Prove It), Affordable Housing Finance, October 15, 2015
In case you've not heard, the Alaska Coalition on Housing & Homelessness seeks a new executive director. Visit (www.alaskahousing-homeless.org/home)
NOTES TO NOTE
City of Tacoma (www.cityoftacoma.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=169&pageId=91925) sets November 3rd deadline to apply to serve on its Landmarks Preservation Commission. . .HUD sets November 9th deadline for public comment on Notice of proposed information collection for certain competitively-awarded or discretionary grants. . .EPA sets November 20th deadline to apply for grants of up to $60,000 under its Urban Waters Small Grants (http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/uwsg_fy15-16_rfp_final.pdf) program to support innovative solutions to urban runoff pollution. . .USDA sets November 23rd deadline to respond to request-for-proposals under its $800,000 2016 National Urban & Community Forestry Challenge Cost Share Grant Program (www.fs.fed.us/ucf/nucfac.shtml). . .USDA sets November 23rd deadline to apply for cost-sharing grants of up to $300,000 under National Urban and Community Forestry Challenge (www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?agencies%3DUSDA%7CDepartment%20of%20Agriculture) Program. . .Alaska Conservation Foundation sets December 15th for letters of intent to apply for Alaska Native Fund (http://alaskaconservation.org/grant-opportunities/alaska-native-fund/) grants to "advance Alaska Native priorities for protecting our land and sustaining our ways of life". . .Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions (https://www.cdfifund.gov/programs-training/Programs/new-markets-tax-credit/Pages/default.aspx) program sets December 16th deadline for designated entities to apply for $5 billion in New Markets Tax Credit Allocations. . .EPA (www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?agencies%3DEPA%7CEnvironmental%20Protection%20Agency) sets December 18th deadline to apply for Brownfields Assessment, Brownfields Loan & Brownfields Clean-Up grants. . .Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation (https://www.umpquabank.com/umpqua-life/community-giving/) sets December 31st deadline to apply for grants to support youth development or economic opportunities in communities in Idaho, Oregon & Washington. . .Oregon Housing & Community Services sets December 31st deadline to apply for $9 million under its Manufactured Dwelling Parks Preservation Program (www.oregon.gov/ohcs/HD/MFH/2015-MDP-NOFA/NOFA-4188-MDPP.pdf). . .Citizens Institute for Rural Design (www.rural-design.org/) sets January 12th deadline for rural communities to apply for funds to host rural design workshops in 2016-2017. . .HUD & Department of Justice set February 12th deadline to apply for nearly $8.7 million under Pay for Success Supportive Housing Demonstration program.
Living Building Challenge hosts Webinar on Engineering Net-Zero Buildings, November 3rd, on-line. Visit
HUD Northwest Office of Native American Programs & Seminole Tribe of Florida Native Learning Center host Strategic Planning workshop, November 3rd & 4th, Spokane. Visit
HUD Policy Development & Research hosts Webinar on Pre-Purchase Homeownership Counseling Demonstration and Impact Evaluation, November 3rd, on-line. Visit
HUD Alaska Office of Native American Programs & Association of Alaska Housing Authorities holds workshop on Drugs in Housing 101 Phase 1: Identification of Drugs & Impacts on Users, November 3rd to 6th, Anchorage. Visit
Portland Housing Bureau holds optional site tour of North Williams Center site as part of 2015 Affordable Rental Housing NOFA, November 4th,, Portland. Visit
Association of Idaho Cities hosts 2015 Energy & Green Building Conference, November 4th & 5th, Boise. Visit
Portland State University hosts 2015 Build Small, LIVE LARGE Conference, November 6th, Portland, Oregon. Visit
City of Seattle Office of Emergency Preparedness hosts Earthquake Home Retrofit workshop, November 7th, Seattle, Washington. Visit
Idaho Smart Growth presents 2015 Grow Smart Awards, November 12th, Boise, Idaho. Visit
Portland Housing Bureau hosts mandatory developer information session as part of 2015 Affordable Rental Housing NOFA, November 12th, Portland. Visit
HUD Alaska Office of Native American Programs & Association of Alaska Housing Authorities hosts Tribal Council Training workshop, November 12th and 13th, Anchorage. Visit
Community Frameworks & Spokane Low Income Housing Consortium hold open house at their new offices, November 12th, Spokane. email@example.com
Oregon AHMA hosts Tax Credit Compliance File Audit: Tips & Tricks workshop, November 13th, Salem, Oregon. Visit
Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association celebrates the 25th anniversary of Washington's Growth Management Act, November 13th, Tacoma, Washington. Visit
Idaho Housing & Finance Association holds public hearing on proposed changes to its Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, November 15th, Boise. Visit
HUD Alaska Office of Native American Programs & Association of Alaska Housing Authorities host Project Implementation Training workshop, November 16th to 18th, Anchorage, Alaska. Visit
Alaska Municipal League hosts 65th annual Local Government Conference, November 16th to 20th, Anchorage, Alaska. Visit
Oregon AHMA hosts Attitudes that Work at Work workshop, November 17th, Salem, Oregon. Visit
USDA Rural Development & RCAC host workshop on Section 502 Direct Loan Packaging, November 17th to 19th, Portland, Oregon. Visit
HUD's Northwest Office of Native American Programs & National American Indian Housing Council offer Environmental Review - Housing Rehab workshop, November 17th & 18th, Bow, Washington. Visit
King County Office of Civil Rights hosts First Steps -- Best Practices to Promote Fair Housing workshop, November 19th (morning), Seattle, Washington. Visit
King County Office of Civil Rights hosts Advanced Fair Housing workshop, November 19th (afternoon), Seattle, Washington. Visit
King County Office of Civil Rights hosts Reasonable Accommodations & Modifications for Residents with Disabilities workshop, November 30th, Seattle, Washington. Visit
HUD Northwest Office of Native American Programs & National American Indian Housing Council offer Environment Review for New Housing Construction workshop, December 2nd & 3rd, Portland, Oregon. Visit
Portland Housing Bureau hosts mandatory contractor networking session in connection with 2015 Affordable Rental Housing NOFA, December 4th, Portland. Visit
HUD Alaska Office of Native American Programs & Association of Alaskan Housing Authorities host Pathways Home - a "train the trainer" workshop on developing comprehensive homebuyer education program, December 7th to 11th, Anchorage, Alaska. Visit
Association of Alaskan Housing Authorities hosts Indian Housing Law Training, December 16th & 17th, Fairbanks, Alaska. Visit