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What's Up at HUD This Week in Region IX?

July 2, 2008

New data on FHA Endorsements shows sharp increase since March. The table lists Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA's) which take in more than the city, and is the standard used to define major metropolitan areas.

  FHA Endorsements FHA Endorsements % Change
Metro Area March-08 May-08  
Oakland , CA 68 189 177.94%
San Diego , CA 138 292 111.59%
Los Angeles , CA 422 697 65.17%
San Francisco , CA 8 16 100.00%
San Jose , CA 14 44 214.29%
Sacramento , CA 322 590 83.23%
Phoenix , AZ 1,705 2,693 57.95%
Las Vegas , NV 802 1,132 41.15%
Total 3,479 5,653 62.49%

ARIZONA

Phoenix Forecasts Suggest "Sun Corridor" Status (Arizona)

Rebecca Flanagan, Phoenix Field Office Director, and Sally Thomas, Multifamily Director, attended the June 26 Phoenix Community Alliance Meeting. Two newly released reports were discussed about the Phoenix/Tucson area becoming the "Sun Corridor" based on population and economic development running from Prescott in the north to Nogales in the south. The other report discussed the need for planning around the social service needs of the current and increased population within the Phoenix metropolitan area. Read the report "Arizona's Sun Corridor"

Arizona Housing Commission Discusses Budget (Phoenix, Arizona)

Rebecca Flanagan, Phoenix Field Office Director, at tended the June 27 Arizona Housing Commission Meeting. Items of interest discussed were the result of the Arizona Budget passage and its impact on the Arizona Department of Housing and its programs including the Housing Trust Funds. The Department will oper at e on $8.9 million budget which is a 50% decrease from the 2008 Budget.

Regional Summit for Southwest Tribes Identifies Goals, Strategies (Phoenix, Arizona)

A regional HUD Summit was held in April for the tribes in the Southwest; a final report was recently issued that identified the goals, strategies and action plans developed by the attendees. The report will now be shared with tribes before further release. The results will be incorporated with future management plans for the SWONAP office.

CALIFORNIA

HUD Staff Monitors Housing Developments, Tenant Needs in California Wildfires

On July 2, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and FEMA Director David Paulison inspected the fire situation in Big Sur, the California coastal community that is a heavily visited tourist area, now ordered to be evacuated as the fire has spread. Highway 1 is now closed to all vehicles except emergency personnel, and all federal land has been closed. The fire is only three percent contained.

Get the latest updates from the State of California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention

Several Northern California communities were ordered to evacuate by July 1 as hundreds of wildfires destroyed homes, businesses and perhaps 300,000 acres in what is believed to be the worst fire season in California history. Currently two HUD properties are on alert because of nearing fires, and senior residents in HUD-assisted housing in the San Joaquin Valley and north of Sacramento are being urged to keep windows closed and to stay indoors as smoke-filled air has created serious health hazards. California Governor Schwarzenegger has called up National Guard troops to aid in the firefighting, but some fires are being allowed to burn in unpopulated areas because there are not enough firefighters and equipment to deal with an estimated 1,400 wildfires.

HUD staff, including Disaster Coordinator Gary DeYulia and Field Office Directors in San Francisco, Sacramento and Fresno is closely monitoring the situation and will move into action in the event that HUD resources are required.

Wildfires Severely Impact San Joaquin Valley Air Quality

Smoke throughout the San Joaquin Valley has prompted local air-pollution officials to issue a health cautionary statement which remains effective until fires are extinguished. Monitoring stations throughout the Valley are picking up elevated levels of particulate matter in the air. Residents have been advised to use caution, and reduce prolonged exposure, strenuous activities or heavy exertion. The Valley Air District covers eight counties including San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and San Joaquin Valley air basin portions of Kern.

San Diego "Lives Transformed" Homeless Woman Introduces President at National Conference of Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (Washington, D.C.)

On June 26, 2008, Edith Espinoza, a graduate of El Nido Program operated by Interfaith Shelter Network in San Diego, and the focus of a recent San Diego Lives Transformed story, introduced President Bush at the National Conference of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. President Bush remarked about Ms. Espinoza's beautiful transition from being a homeless mother of two to introducing the President of the United States. After greeting Ms. Espinoza, President Bush spoke about celebrating and promoting the "compassionate acts" of countless faith based and community organizations across the country.

Fresno, San Mateo Open Section 8 Waiting Lists

Housing Authority Accepting Section 8 Applications (Fresno, CA)

The Fresno Housing Authority began accepting pre-applications for the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) on July 1, and will continue through July 31. The waiting list was last opened in 2006. Hard-copy pre-applications are available for download on the Housing Authority's website along with access to apply online.
Only one pre-application will be accepted per family. Persons applying online do not need to submit a paper application.

Applicants with disabilities who need assistance applying can either download the pre-application and complete the Request for Reasonable Accommodation section on the back of the form and mail it to:

Fresno Housing Authorities
ATTN: Housing Choice Applications
P.O. Box 11985
Fresno, CA 93776
or call to request assistance.

The Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo (HACSM) will begin accepting pre-applications from Monday, July 7, 2008 to Saturday, July 12, 2008 to establish a waiting list for the HCV Program.

HACSM will randomly select 3600 pre-applications from the pool of all completed pre-applications submitted by the deadline. Those selected will be randomly ordered on the waiting list.

Preference will be given to families who live, work, or have been hired to work in San Mateo County. Having a preference will not affect the random draw. Once the waiting list and the placement order are established, HACSM will serve applicants in the order of preference. In cases where the applicants have the same preference, the placement order will be used as tie breakers.

Any previous applicants, previous Section 8 participants, or current Public Housing residents must submit a pre-application to be considered.

Applicants may apply on-line beginning 6:00 AM Monday, July 7, 2008 through 6:00 PM, Saturday, July 12, 2008. Each household must only submit one pre-application form by mail or online. Duplicate or multiple pre-applications will be rejected.

Applicants who wish to mail in their pre-application may download the form or pick up the form at the following offices:

HACSM
264 Harbor Blvd., #A
Belmont, CA
HACSM
47 Midway Dr.
Daly City, CA
Please visit www.smchousing.org for additional pick up locations

Note: The web links, application forms, and the PO Box address will not be available until July 7, 2008.

Mail-in pre-applications will be accepted only with postmark dates between July 7, 2008 and July 12, 2008 submitted to:

San Mateo Wait List
PO Box 730
Campbell , CA 95008

Please do not mail, fax, or deliver the pre-application form to any of the housing authority's offices.

If you need special accommodation or language needs, please call (650) 802-3318.

Visit to Yolo County Housing Authority (California)

On June 23, 2008 Deputy Regional Director Caroline Krewson and Public Housing Division Director Melina Whitehead conducted a goodwill visit to Yolo County Housing (YCH). The Executive Director Lisa Baker introduced the staff and shared highlights of the energy innovations made by the YCH during the past year. The Executive Director gave a tour of the administration building, where staff has deployed s computerized heating and air-conditioning system that saves more than $6,000 in energy costs. Melina Whitehead and Caroline Krewson were also shown properties owned by YCH, its non-profit subsidiary and its newest partnership tax credit units. The Executive Director demonstrated how YCH works with its oldest public housing as well as its newest innovations. In the YCH public housing, Caroline Krewson and Melina Whitehead were able to see how a partnership with the local water board provided erosion control and drought tolerant landscaping while restoring native plants and improving fish spawning habitat. In its newer units, Lisa Baker showed the effective use of passive solar design for units coupled with solar powered community spaces and the use of drought tolerant landscaping and storm water catchments systems.

HUD Provides Funding for 17 Housing Units for Community Center, Housing Grand Opening for Aging Foster Youth, Recovery Residents (San Francisco, California)

HUD provided $1,094,340 from a five-year award of Shelter Plus Care funding for this project, for seventeen units of housing. On June 26, 2008 Deputy Regional Director Caroline Krewson attended the grand opening and dedication service of the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center and Railton Place. This is the single largest project ever untaken by The Salvation Army in San Francisco since 1883. A 135,773 square foot facility consisting of a comprehensive community center, as well as transitional and permanent housing was constructed. 110 units of transitional and permanent housing will serve single adults in substance abuse recovery and young adults who have aged out of the foster care system. The community center will be a hub of healthy and productive activity energizing both the individuals and the community as a whole. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom gave remarks to express gratitude for the investment in the Tenderloin. Special video messages from Senator Dianne Feinstein and Speaker Nancy Pelosi were also part of the dedication service.

Forum Aims to Improve Quality of Foreclosure Prevention Workshops (San Francisco, California)

On June 27, 2008, more than 60 representatives from the housing counseling industry, mortgage service providers and local, state and federal government participated in the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's Improving Outcomes at Foreclosure Prevention Events Forum. Field Office Director, Cynthia Abbott, Supervisory Operations Officer, Nancy Flores, and Single Family Housing Program Officer, Donna Martin, represented the Department at the day long event designed to maximize the effectiveness of foreclosure education forums being held in California and throughout the nation. Participants heard from legal service organizations on basic consumer protections and legal rights for individuals facing foreclosures; strategies for maximizing attendance at foreclosure outreach events; and received a demonstration on "Best FIT" - a web-based tool to facilitate underwriting mortgage options for individuals going through a foreclosure.

National Council La Raza will host HOME Clinic for Distressed Homeowners in San Diego (California)

On July 13, 2008, the Housing Opportunities Collaborative (HOC) will conduct a HOME clinic at the San Diego Convention Center in collaboration with the National Council La Raza (NCLR). The HOME clinic will offer individual foreclosure prevention counseling to homeowners by volunteer attorneys and by HUD approved housing counseling agencies. Loss Mitigation Teams from various lenders will also attend the clinic to meet with homeowners. The San Diego HUD office will assist HOC in coordinating the participating HUD approved housing counseling agencies. HUD Single Family will also appear at this annual conference of NCLR, from July 12, 2008 to July 15, 2008. NCLR celebrates its 40 th anniversary as the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, having a network of 300 affiliated community based organizations throughout the country.

Southern California African American Realty Organization's Homeownership Fair (Los Angeles, California)

On Saturday, June 28th, FPM staff represented the Los Angeles Field Office at the Consolidated Board of Realty's 6 th Annual "Home Ownership Made Easy" Fair entitled "Preventing Foreclosure." Vendor participants included representatives from the California Housing Finance Agency (CALHFA); the County of Los Angeles Community Development Commission; the Los Angeles Housing Department; and numerous financial institutions including Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Countrywide, just to name a few. One of the interactive activities during the daylong event were morning and afternoon panel discussions consisting of a pre-selected vendor representatives - including HUD - to discuss Down Payment Assistance Programs; Reverse Mortgages; FHA Programs; Foreclosure Issues, and many other related homeownership and real estate concerns with a seated audience. The event was not only open to the trade organization's members but to the community-at-large.

National Rifle Association and San Francisco Sue Each Other over Gun Ban in Public Housing (California)

The National Rifle Association (NRA) filed suit against the City of San Francisco and the San Francisco Housing Authority to end a ban on guns in the city's public housing, while the City of San Francisco then sued the NRA charging that the NRA's lawsuit had significant legal errors constituting an abuse of the judicial system. The Housing Authority has banned guns in public housing units since 2006, according to its officials. The NRA suit came one day after a U.S. Supreme Court decision against a District of Columbia law banning guns.

Ex-San Francisco Housing Commissioner Stands Trial on Money Laundering (San Francisco, California)

Julie Lee, a former San Francisco Housing Authority Commissioner, go on trial in federal court over political corruption charges that led to the resignation of California's Secretary of State. Lee is charged with fraud and money laundering, allegedly through the diversion of state grant funds as well as diversion of the proceeds from home sales through Lee's occupation as a real estate agent.

Multifamily "Pacific Currents" Newsletter Released (San Francisco)

We issued a June 2008 issue of Pacific Currents. The focus is on REAC inspections. It is in our website and also mailed to approximately 4000 subscribers.

San Francisco Multifamily to Hold Quarterly Industry Meeting (California)

On July 17, the San Francisco office will hold its quarterly industry meeting. These are very popular, with the last meeting having over 150 participants. Due to high demand, we had to initiate an RSVP system for the current meeting.

Rep. Mike Honda Hosts Foreclosure Workshop (San Jose, California)

HUD will participate at a Foreclosure Workshop hosted by Rep. Mike Honda on July 2 in San Jose, California.

Second Annual "FHA" Day Celebration (Santa Ana, California)

On Friday, June 30, 2008, Ray Brewer, Santa Ana Field Office Director in collaboration with the Santa Ana Homeownership Center celebrated its Second Annual "FHA" Day. The event included an informational booth/table on homeownership, homeownership preservation, FHASecure and other related FHA products at the entrance of the Santa Ana Federal Office Building. Occupants/employees of the building and all visitors to the Federal, State, and County buildings in the area throughout the day were offered an opportunity to ask questions and gather FHA informational materials.

Homeownership Preservation & Foreclosure Prevention Workshop (Brea, California)

On Saturday, June 28, 2008, Ray Brewer Santa Ana Field Office Director in collaboration with the Santa Ana Homeownership Center conducted a homeownership preservation and foreclosure prevention workshop at the Brea Senior Center in Brea, California. Ron Garcia, Brea Councilman and Ray Brewer provided opening remarks to approximately 125 homeowners in attendance. The Orange County Homeownership Opportunities Collaborative participated on the morning panel session. Housing counseling agencies, lenders, and local housing partners participated to make this a successful event.

Half-Day FHA Presentation Draws 100 Industry Professionals (Santa Ana, California)

On June 25, 2008, Nancy West, Marketing & Outreach Specialist, Santa Ana Homeownership Center provided a 3-hour presentation on FHA programs, the 2008 Stimulus Act, and the FHA Modernization Act in Santa Ana, California. Approximately 100 mortgage brokers, loan officers and real estate professionals were in attendance.

12th Annual Homeownership Fair (Sacramento, California)

The Sacramento Regional Partners in Homeownership invited the public to attend the free 12th Annual Homeownership Fair on Saturday, June 14, 2008. Over 500 participants took advantage of the Homeownership Fair which featured a variety of industry exhibitors as well as homebuyer education classes. Cynthia L. Abbott, HUD Sacramento Field Office Director emceed the Opening Ceremony.

HAWAII

HUD-ONAP Sponsors Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant Training (Hawaii)

The Office of Native American Programs (ONAP) sponsored a series of Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG) Program training sessions throughout the State. The course is designed to introduce NHHBG program requirements and educate entities on how to become a grant subrecipient to participate in the NHHBG program. Approximately 50 participants attended the trainings, representing the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, nonprofit organizations, public entities, and various Hawaiian homestead associations.

Honolulu Conducts Multifamily Industry Meeting (Honolulu, Hawaii)

The Honolulu Multifamily Program Center and Contract Management Services (CMS) hosted an Asset Management Industry Meeting on June 24 attended by 65 industry participants representing a broad cross-section of Section 8 Owners and their Property Managers. The focus of this annual meeting was to provide a nuts-and-bolts education on timely issues such as the Opt-out process, the 20-Year HAP contract, management fees, and budgets that build the capacity of Multifamily partners to perform effectively. A meeting highlight that galvanized the participants was the presentation by the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) - the local utility - on the new energy efficiency programs HECO has available to help its customers reduce energy costs and realize savings. San Francisco HUB Director Tom Azumbrado and staff were also in attendance.

Faith- and Community-based Organizations Receive Basic Introduction to CPD Programs (Honolulu, Hawaii)

CPD Director Mark Chandler conducted a briefing on June 27 to share the diversity of CPD programs available to help faith-based and community organizations succeed in their community development efforts. Along with learning the ABCs of CPD Programs, the twenty organizational representatives were also apprised of HUD's menu of homeownership tools as part of June as National Homeownership Month, 2008.

NEVADA

Clark County Housing Agency Chief Announces Resignation (Nevada)

The Clark County Housing Authority's executive director has resigned, the agency board's chairman confirmed on Monday. Nancy Wesoff, who has served as the housing authority's executive director since early 2006, is leaving for a job with the Los Angeles Housing Authority, said Tim O'Callaghan, chairman of the local housing authority's board of commissioners. A nationwide search for a new executive director will shortly be under way, O'Callaghan said. Howard Wasserman, director of operations at the housing authority, will serve as interim executive director until a replacement is named.

Nevada Statewide Foreclosure Prevention Task Force Completes Strategy (Reno, Nevada)

On June 26, 2008, Tony Ramirez, Field Office Director and Thomas Vetica, Operations Specialist, participated in the working session of the Nevada Statewide Foreclosure Prevention Task Force. The goal of this meeting was to finalize structure and working goals and strategies in order to deliver assistance to borrowers that are facing mortgage crisis. Lenders, realtors, staff of governmental and non-profit agencies, HUD approved housing counseling agencies compose the task force and its work groups. The group has created a statewide website (http://foreclosurehelp.nv.gov/).

Intertribal Council of Nevada to be Pilot on Cross-Cutting Nevada Tribal Issues

The Intertribal Council of Nevada has been identified as part of a pilot program to identify and compile a list of cross cutting issues affecting Nevada tribes. The second step will be to identify ways in which assistance can be provided. Carolyn O'Neil, SWONAP Administrator, has been asked to be part of the planning committee being developed by the Tribal Affairs Committee of the Federal Regional Council. A meeting is tentatively scheduled for the tribes in September.

Douglas Bell, Clark County Manager Honored

Douglas Bell, Manager of the Community Resources Management Division within the Clark County Finance Department, was honored at the Board of County Commissioner's meeting at his retirement after 33 years with the County.

Since joining Clark County in 1978, his division has been responsible for bringing to Southern Nevada $327 million in federal, state, and foundation funds for the completion of numerous capital and public service projects of benefit to the low and moderate income in our community. The Community Resources Management Division administers the funds received from HUD via the Urban County Community Development Block Grant Program, the HOME Consortium, and the Emergency Shelter Grant Program. His office administers the County's annual outside agency grants process.

Since 1978, the Community Resources Management Division has played a key role in financing the development of over 115 public facility buildings and 15,676 units of affordable housing in this community serving the low and moderate income. Currently, his office is coordinating several pilot project efforts by the County to use the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act of 1998 for the generation of affordable housing.

IN THE NEWS...

Hawaii Emergency Proclamation On Homeless Extended (AP)
By Audrey Mcavoy

AP, July 1, 2008
HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle said she would extend an emergency proclamation allowing for the expedited construction of homeless shelters and transitional housing projects on Oahu's Leeward Coast.
It's the fourth time since 2006 the governor has extended the proclamation, which some Democrats have criticized for allowing the state to circumvent procurement laws.
The emergency proclamation exempts state agencies working on the homeless problem on the Leeward Coast from some state and county laws.
These laws include land use regulations, zoning ordinances, environmental and water pollution statutes and government purchasing procedures.
Lingle, a Republican, said on Sunday an extension was needed so the state may finish building three new facilities on the Waianae Coast.
"As the homeless population along the Leeward Coast continues to grow, it is urgent that we complete these shelters and transitional housing facilities in an expedited manner," Lingle said in a press release.
But she also reduced the number of laws waived under the proclamation. And she narrowed the proclamation's application to the three projects already under construction.
Lingle first signed the emergency proclamation on July 5, 2006, when she called Leeward Oahu's homeless problem a "major disaster and catastrophe."

Honolulu Tightening Camping Laws (KHNL)
By Zahid Arab

KHNL-TV Honolulu, June 30, 2008
MAILI POINT -- (KHNL) The Honolulu City Council is moving towards tightening up beach camping laws, creating another blow for homeless people on Oahu.
Officials say this will reduce the number of homeless people living in beach parks.
Under current camping laws, authorities are finding enforcement difficult.
The definitions of who and how long they can stay right now leaves many shades of gray.
Surf. Sun. Snacks. For the Randall family this is their spot.
"The bathrooms are close, it's close to our house we live right up the road," said Makiilei Randall.
But here at Maili Beach Park , it's hard to camp without dealing with dangers of unregistered campground guests.
"A lot of teenagers drinking at night, people doing drugs on the beach, sometimes they find packets and bring it to us and we say hurry throw it away wash your hands," said Randall.
"We weren't able to evict people without a permit," said Honolulu City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi.
Councilmember Ann Kobayashi says defining what camping is and how long people can stay is a start. She says requiring permit will relieve a wave of worries.
"People should take the time to get a permit then they can get a designated spot and after this bill becomes law they'll be very secure," said Kobayashi.
City parks may soon be off limits from 10pm until 5am. People will still be allowed to access the beach but if they stop to hang out or set up a tent, they won't be cited for illegal camping, but illegal trespassing.

Demise Of Vegas Public Housing 'projects' Sought (LVS)
By Timothy Pratt

Las Vegas Sun, July 1, 2008
It was item small "e" on the agenda, and it sailed through with nary a nay from the board nor a peep from the public.
Still, on June 19 the Las Vegas Housing Authority's board took the first step in what will be the biggest change to the Las Vegas Valley's public housing since post-World War II.
The board approved seeking permission from the federal government to demolish 251 apartments of subsidized housing. During the next five or so years, the agency plans to reduce four times that amount to rubble, markedly changing the lives of thousands of poor people.
It's the end of public housing as we know it, at least for the Las Vegas Housing Authority, the largest of the region's three housing agencies. The other two, North Las Vegas and Clark County, have no similar plans.
Now that he has board approval to apply to the federal Housing and Urban Development Department for permission to demolish three sites known collectively as Ernie Cragin Terrace, Carl Rowe, executive director of the Las Vegas agency, has launched a complex plan aimed at replacing them with mixed-income, low-density housing. Under the plan, some tenants of the former will become tenants of the latter. Many others will use the federal Section 8 voucher program to locate new housing anywhere a landlord will accept the vouchers.
Larry Bush, a regional spokesman for HUD, said one of the keys to replacing public housing in any community is involving � and helping � tenants affected by the change.
Examples include creating contracts with tenants that give them the option to return to their neighborhoods once new housing is built or helping pay for transportation to look for apartments owned by landlords who accept Section 8 vouchers.
Rowe said his agency has already begun meeting with tenants' groups in projects that will be affected, and he has plans to visit Ernie Cragin, where no such group exists.
"We're going to be constantly reaching out," he said. "We want this to be open as possible ... and stay ahead of the rumor mill."
Bush also said "there will always be a need for public housing," especially for the elderly and people with disabilities. In keeping with that philosophy, the Las Vegas agency has no plans to send the wrecking ball to its 1,000 public housing apartments for seniors.

SF Calls NRA Lawsuit 'Slipshod', 'Waste Of Time' (KNTV)

KNTV-TV San Francisco (CA), June 30, 2008
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera Monday accused the National Rifle Association of filing a "factually slipshod" lawsuit challenging a Housing Authority ban on guns in public housing.
Herrera said he plans to ask a judge to order financial sanctions for alleged "glaring legal errors" in the lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco on Friday.
But Chuck Michel, a lawyer for the NRA, said the allegations are "a sideshow" and "much ado about nothing."
Michel said, "If there's something wrong with the lawsuit, we'll fix it. This lawsuit isn't going to go away."
The lawsuit was filed by the NRA, another gun rights group and an unidentified public housing resident one day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the constitutional Second Amendment right to bear arms extends to individuals.
The suit seeks to overturn an authority rule banning gun possession in public housing units.

Housing Agency Chief Announces Resignation (LVSRJ)

Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 1, 2008
The Clark County Housing Authority's executive director has resigned, the agency board's chairman confirmed on Monday.
Nancy Wesoff, who has served as the housing authority's executive director since early 2006, is leaving for a job with the Los Angeles Housing Authority, said Tim O'Callaghan, chairman of the local housing authority's board of commissioners.
A nationwide search for a new executive director will shortly be under way, O'Callaghan said.
The Clark County Housing Authority has an annual budget of $36 million. The agency overseas 890 public housing units and is in charge of issuing nearly 4,000 Section 8 vouchers, which allow people to rent housing provided landlords are willing to accept them.
Howard Wasserman, director of operations at the housing authority, will serve as interim executive director until a replacement is named.

Your Questions Answered:

Our HUD offices receive many questions from customers and partners every day, and we will post some of the questions and our responses on issues that we believe will be of interest to a broader audience.

This week's questions:

"Our office was approached by a company with a name that sounded like it might be part of HUD's foreclosure assistance program, but we aren't certain that it really is part of HUD's program. How can we know if a company is a HUD partner?"

A few weeks ago, HUD mailed hundreds of thousands of letters to homeowners who might want to discuss their mortgages and avail themselves of HUD's programs. Some companies appear to have decided to contact homeowners at the same time, using names and even internet sites that sound and look like they might actually be part of HUD's program. We do our best to counter actual cases of fraud, but there is nothing to prevent a company from adopting a name that sounds like, or even has a title closely resembling, one of our HUD programs.

The actual contacts for HUD's programs are available through:

HUD approved housing counseling agency - (800) 569-4287
HOPE NOW - (888) 995-4673
HUD FHA Resource Center - (800) CALLFHA (1-800-225-5342)
On the internet, go to www.hopenow.com

"Is the FHA Resource Center experiencing difficulties?"

The FHA Resource Center is experiencing difficulties and the 1 (800) CALLFHA number is currently out of service. Until such time as the call center can be put back in service, FHA is asking its business partners to utilize an alternate number. Please contact FHA at (877) 234-2717. For the short term you may experience long hold times on this new number. FHA is doing everything in its power to adequately staff this number and hopes to improve response time in the near future.

--->

Please know that you can continue to find answer to FHA question on our on-line knowledge base located at faq.fha.gov. You may also continue to use our direct email address at answers@hud.gov. We appreciate your patience as we work these issues and look forward to improving this service in the coming months.

"How can I learn of any HUD-owned homes are for sale?"

In California , HUD contracts with Pemco Ltd. for the sale of HUD-owned homes. They are in Sacramento at (877) 927-7313

For Arizona, contact Michaelson, Conner and Boul in Phoenix at (866) 941-8737

For Hawaii, contact Pemco Ltd. in Honolulu at (808) 949-0414

For Nevada, contact Michaelson, Conner and Boul in Phoenix at (866) 941- 8737

You may find it helpful to look at homes owned by other government agencies that are also available for sale. HUD provides a link to those agencies and their real estate listings on our webpage.

Some of the agencies with homes for sale include the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Agriculture Rural Development, the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Customs and the U.S. Marshalls Service.

For further information regarding any of these articles, please contact the Region IX Supervisory Public Affairs Officer, Larry Bush.

Content Archived: February 11, 2011

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