Office of Public Housing
Region X - Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
The Director's Corner
FFY 2011 Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act 2011, "HUD Appropriations Act" enacted April 15, 2011, includes a number of PHA program funding opportunities. FY 2011 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) Policy Requirements and General Section to HUD's FY2011 NOFAs for Discretionary Programs, was issued March 28, 2011. HUD will publish a list of programs available in FY2011 on its website and on the Grants.gov website (http://www.grants.gov/search/).
This year, HUD plans to publish NOFAs as they are approved for publication. Be prepared for these and other opportunities for which your PHA may qualify. Applicants are urged to sign up for the funding opportunity notification subscription service (http://www.grants.gov/applicants/email_subscription.jsp) to receive any changes to the General Section or to HUD's FY2011 NOFAs.
On behalf of Office of Public Housing team members in the Seattle, Portland & Anchorage offices, we hope this newsletter is helpful to you. Let me know if there are items you would like to see in future newsletters.
Recovery Act in Action
Since the King County Housing Authority received about $28.4 million from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) in 2009, KCHA has been working diligently to address the backlog of deferred capital repairs, as well as implement new energy efficiency measures to its public housing buildings. With costs totaling near $55 million, the improvements to Birch Creek apartment complex reached each of the 262 units spread over 32 buildings. After the renovations finished in June 2010, the Birch Creek public housing community reopened with fresh, new, and not to mention energy efficient look.
The once dingy and sterile exteriors of the former Springwood Apartments reemerged with newly designed exteriors featuring patios, new siding, and pitched roofs. To foster more open space within the development, KCHA demolished two of the buildings and partially demolished two others. In their place, a large outdoor recreation center was created and both landscaping and yards were improved with new shrubs and trees. The community also shares two state-of-the-art centers: The Kent Family Center, which houses a clinic and Head Start classrooms, and the Springwood Youth Center, which contains a gym, classrooms, computer center and kitchen.
Not only did the exterior and community amenities get a massive upgrade, but also the individual units received serious renovations. Each of the one to five bedroom apartments got new wall finishes, fixtures, doors, cabinetry, countertops, trim and flooring. Washers, dryers, and half bathrooms were also added to the newly remodeled units. In addition, new ventilation and heating systems, improved insulation, and new fire alarm and sprinkler system were added to improve the comfort and safety of each unit.
The renovations were designed by Kovalenko Hale Architects and carried out by Synergy Construction who served as the general contractor. Throughout construction, 887 people from the local community were employed. The project itself has also received a 4-Star Built Green rating
Housing Choice Voucher Family Self Sufficiency (HCV FSS) Awards Announced
On March 24, 2011, HUD announced that 31 PHAs across Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington would be awarded a total of $3,598,297 to fund more than 60 HCV FSS coordinator positions. These coordinators will work closely with low-income HCV tenants to link them with educational and job training opportunities to increase economic self-sufficiency. For a list of grantees and more information, visit HUD's website.
REAC Learning Tools Now Available
In order to improve customer service and to facilitate greater communication with clients throughout the United States, the Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) has released a series of learning tools to help others understand the various aspects of REAC responsibilities and processes. These learning tools are generally under 30 minutes and cover specific topics. The REAC videos can be accessed at any time and are posted on HUD's new YouTube.com channel. The links to the videos can be found on the website.
Current topics include:
Technical Assistance Center (TAC)
HUD Publishes General Section of 2011 NOFA
On March 28, 2011, the HUD published the General Section of the Fiscal Year 2011 Notice of Funding Availability for its discretionary programs. The General Section can be found online. The General Section outlines the policy requirements applicable to all Fiscal Year 2011 NOFAS. Any prospective applicants for HUD's competitive funding opportunities should be familiar with the General Section of Fiscal Year 2011 NOFAs, as well as the Program Section of the individual NOFAs
Arts and culture education program provides enrichment for low-income children
The Housing Authority of Portland's Hillsdale Terrace, a 59-unit, family-oriented public housing apartment community, sits nestled in a shady basin surrounded by tidy, middle class neighborhoods. Isolated in many ways from their more well-to-do neighbors, children living in the Terrace sometimes miss out on the exposure to new ideas and enrichment activities available to their peers that are so critical to individual growth and development.
In mid-2010, HAP's resident services team at Hillsdale Terrace, in collaboration with its community partner the YWCA Learn Links, saw an opportunity to open up new horizons for the nearly 150 children living in the apartment community. As Portland's quest for green living took hold throughout the city, talk of "living sustainably" became a dominant focus at school, in stores, at work and around the neighborhood. With low-income families often shut out of the "green" conversation HAP's program sought to take the mystery out of sustainability and its often confusing and foreign vocabulary. A summer long program introduced kids to what "green" is, where we see it, and how it benefits us. As a group, they trooped all over town learning about green building, energy efficiency and conservation. By summer's end, they had the ability to talk like the experts when it comes to bioswales, rain harvesting and green roofs.
With the Terrace kids hooked on the discovery of new ideas, HAP took on a second challenge: taking the mystery out of art. With school funding for art teachers and programs all but eliminated at the elementary school level in Portland, art education has been more accessible at better-funded schools with active parent populations but not always within reach of kids living in poverty.
"Too often, art is only available to children whose parents have the means to pay for it," said Rosanne Marmor, Resident Services program manager. "We believe there is a direct connection between youth doing better in school and having access to art. Art helps children work together and build community as they share experiences related to creating and exploring color, form and function in their natural environment."
Knowing that artistic expression can unleash pride in one's accomplishments, HAP used a portion of its HUD ROSS grant funds to engage the services of Free Arts NW. The volunteer-driven nonprofit has crafted a program for kids living in Hillsdale Terrace to learn what art is, how it can help them learn and how they can release their creative energy.
Free Arts NW isthe Northwest affiliate of the national non-profit Free Arts, which has a 30-year track record of empowering youth through projects in the arts that facilitate personal growth and community integration. Free Arts NW is committed to providing arts, mentorship and community to youth in need. The group has taken field trips to the Portland Art Museum to learn more about art appreciation and taken that learning back to their "studio" at Hillsdale Terrace to begin creating their own artwork.
Founded by certified art therapists Kristina Bella and Sylvia Hartowicz, Free Arts NW is based on four core principles to provide an enriching experience for kids: belonging, accomplishment, interdependence and generosity. In the end, it is about helping kids learn to feel safe in their creative exploration, be proud of their work, and treasure the experience of giving back and sharing their gifts with the community.
"Creating art is a great way to engage children," says Bella. "It gives them a voice and confidence that empowers them to go to the next level. At Hillsdale Terrace, the children take pride in their creations and enjoy a sense of community by showcasing their work with others. It honors who they are and what they have to offer and that doesn't happen enough in children's lives." Through this non-traditional approach, HAP has a successful new model for exposing low-income children to the types of arts and cultural experiences that are happening in other parts of the community.
Registration is not required to view the webcast. Training materials will be posted on the website. Note that this training does not apply to Multifamily (MF) EIV users.
Trainings Posted to HUDs YouTube Channel
The webcasts for Initial and Updated PIH EIV training sessions are now posted on HUD's new YouTube Channel (http://www.youtube.com/HUDchannel#p/u). This includes the calendar year 2010 PIH EIV trainings. The following trainings are available:
- 2010 Initial EIV System Training (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk3leSKHIJ8):
- 2010 Updated PIH EIV System Training & Security Awareness Training (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5dkieCyamU):
- 2010 Refinement of Income & Rent Rule and Effective Implementation of the PIH EIV System Training (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7_IfctQ9Ac):
New Technical Assistance Email
Beginning April 11, 2011, the new email address for PIH EIV Technical Assistance will be EIV_Help@hud.gov. For questions and inquiries requiring help beyond the assistance provided by the local HUD Field Office, please use the above email
To receive the most updated PIH EIV tips, guidance, and training opportunities via email, subscribe to the PIH RHIIP mailing list by visiting the website.
Recently Published Guidance
|Content Archived: June 9, 2014|