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April 2007 Region III NewsNews and information from HUD's Regional Office serving Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia
ACTING REGIONAL DIRECTOR�S NOTESpring has sprung around our region. With the advent of spring, HUD staff is extremely busy with activities surrounding two annual observances�Fair Housing Month in April and Homeownership Month in June. On April 2nd, HUD�s Assistant Secretary Kim Kendrick officially kicked off the 39th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act in Philadelphia. We ask our partners and customers to join us this month as we rededicate ourselves to actively enforcing the Fair Housing Act and the other federal laws that prohibit housing discrimination. At HUD, we are conducting timely and thorough investigations, and taking action against anyone who violates the law. Spread the word---Fair Housing: It�s not an option! It�s the law. Anyone who believes they have been discriminated against can report it by calling HUD�s toll-free hotline: (800) 669-9777 or by visiting HUD�s website.
This is the time of year when many people contemplate buying a home. HUD�s website offers a lot of information and resources to assist homebuyers at www.hud.gov/buying. Homeownership is important because it contributes to the establishment of strong, vibrant neighborhoods. We believe that our FHA products with low down payments, low closing costs, and easy credit qualifying will help open the door to homeownership. For more information, call (800)-CALLFHA or visit FHA�s website. HUD is committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, and enforcing the nation�s fair housing laws.
Up For GrabsThe last snows are melting, the first flowers are just beginning to bloom and, in another traditional sign of the season, HUD published its 2007 SuperNOFA � notice of funding availability. In a way, it�s HUD�s version of March Madness with some $2.4 billion �up for grabs� in close to 40 competitive grant programs, from counseling prospective homebuyers to expanding the supply of affordable, assisted living facilities, from helping the homeless get a fresh start to keeping lead out of the mouths of babies. Communities across the country are hard at work preparing applications for HUD grants that �create a real difference in their communities.� Find out more on competing to put HUD funds in your community.
So Why......are HUD SuperNOFA grants so important in your community? Well, consider homelessness. President Bush is committed to ending homelessness by decade�s end. In pursuit of that goal, HUD has competitively awarded a record $151 million to more than 250 local governments, housing authorities and faith- and community-based organizations in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia
and West Virginia that offer a continuum of services to address the continuum of needs the homeless have in their communities. With those funds, they are on the front lines providing a variety of services � from helping folks obtain a high school degree or find a job to providing transitional shelter to helping chronic substance abusers kick their habits. It�s all done in an effort to give those who are homeless a fresh start and a chance to get back on their feet.
The elderly residents who have just moved into the newly completed Fairmont Commons in Pittsburgh have seen a lot of change in their lives. Thanks to HUD, the Pittsburgh Housing Authority and the Low Income Housing Tax Credits program, they probably are about to see a lot more, a direct and beneficial effect of the new place they now call home. Read more about Fairmont Commons.
Barrier BustingHousing Virginia, Inc. � a statewide nonprofit committed to promoting public awareness of the need to expand the supply of affordable housing � is the latest organization to respond favorably to the National Call to Action (http://www.huduser.org/rbc/nca/index2.html) to support America�s Affordable Communities Initiative. The Initiative � launched by HUD Secretary Jackson in 2003 � encourages all levels of government to identify and, more importantly, to remove regulatory impediments to the creation or preservation of the nation�s affordable housing stock. An essential component of the Initiative is the Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse (http://www.huduser.org/rbc/nca/index2.html), a nationwide data base of information about strategies and tactics used by local governments to eliminate rules, regulations or roadblocks that have prevented them from meeting the housing needs of their communities.
Show Me The MoneyHUD�s 2006 Annual Funding Report accounts for $13.6 billion investment in communities throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. The report provides an overview of accomplishments under HUD's strategic goals and accounts for the dollars and cents that strengthen communities and make real the dream of homeownership for thousands of families. Financial statements for program spending across the region and each of the field office jurisdictions are included in the report.
�ROUND THE REGIONHUD welcomes Deborah Holston as Director of its Washington, D.C. Field Office and Pete Minter as Director of its Charleston, West Virginia Field Office... Mercer County Housing Authority in Pennsylvania and Wheeling Housing Authority in West Virginia are among the 32 authorities nationwide to win HUD Resident Opportunities & Self Sufficiency grants for the elderly and persons with disabilities...Virginia Beach Community Development Organization cuts the ribbon for BizNet Village, a 24-unit HUD-assisted intermediate care facility for adults with profound mental retardation. HUD partners with Governor Joe Manchin and Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh to select 10 "Blueprint Communities" in West Virginia to receive targeted assistance in developing sustainable community development...HUD Baltimore and the Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board take to the television airwaves to promote public awareness of rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act...The HUD-assisted supermarket in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania highlighted in the last issue of this newsletter celebrated a grand opening in February with 99 percent of its staff hailing from Wilkinsburg...Piedmont Housing Alliance, Freddie Mac and HUD Richmond kick-off �Don�t Borrow Trouble� anti-predatory lending campaign in Charlottesville...35 adults ages 50 to 82 become cyber-literate thanks to a course being offered by a HUD Neighborhood Network computer learning center in Point Park, Pennsylvania...Standing room only crowd of real estate agents hear about the �new FHA� from HUD Baltimore�s Jim Kelly at the annual conference of the Maryland Association of REALTORS.
SAVE THESE DATES!Virginia Association of Housing Counselors meet in Williamsburg April 21st to 25th...Annual meeting of Financial Educators of Southeastern Pennsylvania on May 4th in Philadelphia...Free HUD Grantwriting Workshop for faith- and community-organizations May 29th to May 31st at California University of Pennsylvania... FHA Lender Updates at GSA Conference Center in Philadelphia on April 25th and at Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Virginia on June 21st...West Virginia Association of Housing Agencies holds annual spring workshop in Charleston April 16th to 18th...Virginia Association of Housing and Community Development Officials meet in Virginia Beach May 13th to 15th.
Content Archived: February 3, 2011