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December 2006 Region III NewsNews and information from HUD's Regional Office serving Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia
REGIONAL DIRECTOR'S MESSAGE
As we close 2006, our HUD team is grateful for all of our partners-be they in state or local government, non-profits or those in the private sector who work with us, including realtors, bankers and property managers-who have helped us to serve those who are truly needy, and those who are working towards homeownership.
This time of year, we are filled with hope, expectation and thankfulness. Speaking for our HUD staff in Region III, we are truly appreciative for the opportunity to serve our partners, our customers and the taxpayers, as we work to fulfill our mission.
Because I so deeply share HUD's commitment, it is with mixed emotions that I advise you that I am leaving HUD on January 2, 2007.
The good news is that I will remain in public service. Starting January 3, 2007, I will become Chief of Staff to Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6). Jim is my own member of Congress. He is someone who shares my commitment to public service. I am truly excited about the new challenges ahead.
I wish to thank all of those who work with HUD, and especially those who have helped me during my tenure. I look forward to finding ways to continue to work with you to help those in need and those looking to start anew.
Thank you for all you do.
HOUSING THE MOST NEEDY
During this holiday season, our staff has received calls about helping the homeless. With winter approaching, it can be a particularly difficult time for people who live on the streets. At HUD, we're working to support agencies throughout the region that provide a range of services for the homeless, including shelter, food, counseling, and jobs skills programs. Locally, HUD helps fund St. John's Hospice (http://www.volunteersolutions.org/volunteerway/org/219812.html) programs to help and shelter homeless men in Philadelphia. St.John's opens its doors to shelter 40 men for up to a year until they can get on their feet again. St. John's also provides shelter for 12 medically fragile men through their Good Shepherd Program. Every day St. John's serves up 56 meals for the homeless. Beth Bresnan, homeless services coordinator at St. (photo of Bresnan) John's, says it is a special place where love flows freely between the caregivers and the men they help. There are many others like St. John's across the region that we assist with funding. For more information about HUD assistance programs for the homeless, visit http://www.hud.gov/.
It is our hope during this season of giving that those who live on the streets will find comfort in the compassionate care of agencies like St. John's Hospice.
BUILDING HOMES AND BUILDING SKILLS
More than 520 young people across the Region have a second chance at graduating from high school and pursuing careers in homebuilding because of $6.7 million in HUD grants. The Youthbuild grants for the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia were announced this month and will offer job training and leadership skills to students between the ages of 16 to 24. The grants will fund training for futures in construction trades while constructing or rehabbing 45 homes for lower income families, many facing homelessness in their respective communities. Jackson said, "With a modest investment by HUD, we can help these young people graduate high school, start them on a new career path, and create more affordable homes for families who might otherwise be living on our streets." View a listing of grant recipients across the region.
You've probably already gotten an early start on your holiday season. So, don't forget to also get an early start on getting ready to compete in HUD's 2007 SuperNOFA funding competition. As in years past, virtually all applications for the more than 40 grant competitions will require electronic submission through the Federal government's grants.gov portal. And, as HUD's notice in the October 31st Federal Register suggested, it is in your organization's best interest to register now or to renew your registration now, especially since it can take two to four weeks to complete. By the way, in that same October 31st Federal Register notice, you'll find a guide to some of the problems organizations had with electronic submission in 2006 - and how to fix them in 2007. For more, visit http://www.hud.gov/grants/index.cfm And do it today!
EXPANDING THE SUPPLY
Saying the low-income elderly and persons with disabilities should not "have to worry about being able to find a safe place to live," HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson has announced the award of another $64 million in supportive housing grants to faith- and community based organizations in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The competitive awards under HUD's Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly and Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities programs will result in almost 500 units of new housing for households at 50 percent or less of area median incomes. Under both programs, HUD provides the non-profit with a capital advance to cover the cost of development that does not have to be repaid as long as the housing is available for 40 years and, additionally, project rental assistance which covers the difference between residents' rent contribution - no more than 30 percent of their incomes - and the cost of operating the property. Visit our website for a complete list of grant awards.
A DIME AT A TIME
There wouldn't seem to be much future for an old, out-of-date parking meter. Except in Baltimore where ten of them - each with a fresh coat of green paint - have been installed by the Downtown Partnership along Pratt Street from City Hall to the Inner Harbor to encourage pedestrians to "give your change to make a change for the homeless." When a coin is deposited, a pointer on the meter's dial moves from "despair" to "hope." And whether it's a nickel, a dime or a quarter, 100 percent of the proceeds will go directly to Baltimore Homeless Services, Inc. It's a first-of-the-kind, first step in the City of Baltimore's recent pledge to end chronic homelessness within 10 years. "The Make a Change meters are an effective way to give visibility to this important initiative, educated the public and provide a place for people to donate their spare change," said Baltimore Mayor-elect Sheila Dixon. With 2,943 homeless people - mostly African American men - in the City's last "homeless census," adds the Downtown Partnership's Mike Evitts, "every dime helps."
Normally when Jon Bon Jovi takes to a stage he brings the house down. But when he joined former Sister Mary Scullion of Project HOME, Jonathan Reckford of Habitat for Humanity International and former President Bill Clinton on stage one October afternoon in Philadelphia, it actually was to bring some houses up. "I've seen what a miraculous thing it is to hand over the keys to a new home," Bon Jovi told the assembled crowd, gathered to celebrate the beginning of the fifth phase of Project HOME's homeownership program. Funded by HUD's HOME Investment Partnership, a Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh affordable housing grant and, yes, a contribution from Bon Jovi, the project will transform 15 deteriorated but historically significant row houses into Energy Star homeownership units. Sweat equity, Bon Jovi hopes, will be an important part of the transformation. There's nothing like a house, he added, that people "have invested their own time, sweat and resources in."
ROUND THE REGION
Mercy Douglas Residence in Philadelphia wins $2 million HUD grant to convert 10 units into assisted living apartments for the frail elderly . . .Ministry of Caring, Inc., in Wilmington and Asociacion de Puertorriquenos en Marcha, Inc. in Philadelphia are among just 26 groups nationwide to win a HUD grant to provide permanent housing to people with AIDS or HIV. . .More than 100 bikers with Exeter Bible Riders rev their engines and raise more than $16,000 for Bridge of Hope, a transitional facility for homeless mothers and their children in Exton, Pennsylvania. . .Virginia Municipal League confers 2006 Achievement Award on City of Winchester for showing small localities how to create "administrative capacity to address housing and community needs comprehensively". . .The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Fresh Foods Financing Initiative, a public-private partnership that provides grants and loans to open supermarkets in underserved areas, wins an Environmental Protection Agency 2006 Smart Growth Achievement Award. . .Expressing the hope that "other lenders will take note," Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing announces that HUD has reached agreement with SouthStar Funding LLC, under which it will stop refusing to make loans on certain property types or below certain property values and pay $500,000 to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition which first charged the mortgage lender with "redlining," particularly in the Baltimore area. . .At energy action conference developed by Delaware Power and HUD Wilmington, State of Delaware launches $7 million Energy An$wers program to provide rebates, grants and other assistance to homeowners and businesses committed to energy efficiency. . .Erie, Pennsylvania housing authority breaks ground on 14 new housing units for persons with disabilities that, when completed, will allow the authority to exceed its 2004 commitment to insure at least five percent of its units are accessible to the disabled. . .Cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach celebrate the opening of Gosnold House, the first regional SRO for homeless individuals built with HUD funds. . .U.S. Senator Tom Carper is keynote speaker at grand opening of HUD-assisted Ingleside Assisted Living complex in Wilmington. . .Southern Appalachian Labor School in Kincaid, West Virginia and Stop Abusive Family Environments, Inc. in Welch, West Virginia win 2006 HUD Rural Housing and Economic Development grants. . ..National Association of REALTORS awards Smart Growth Action Grant to Pocono Mountains Association of REALTORS in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. . .HUD-assisted, 25-unit Alleghany Independence House in Pittsburgh celebrates 20th year of providing barrier-free living for persons with disabilities while the Ministry of Caring's Sacred Heart complex in Wilmington celebrates its 5th anniversary. . .More than 60 housing authorities in D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia win total of $4.8 million in HUD Family Self Sufficiency funds to, said HUD Deputy Secretary Roy Bernardi, "help low-income people get job training, employment and homeownership counseling."
SAVE THESE DATES
Virginia Association of Housing and Community Development Officials meet in Richmond from January 28th through January 30th. . .Federal Reserve System hosts conference on Financing Community Development: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future in Washington March 29th and March 30th. . .Nationwide satellite CDFI broadcast on how to apply for New Markets Tax Credits on December 19th at a HUD Field Office near you. . .Ending Homelessness in Delaware holds annual statewide meeting February 23rd at University of Delaware in Newark. . .National Community Reinvestment Coalition holds annual conference in Washington March 14th through 17th.
Content Archived: February 2, 2011