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

August 7, 2008

Hot off the press... HUD's Arizona office puts out a great annual report, and the new one came out just this week. It highlights the work of communities and HUD partners as well as HUD efforts there. Has pictures and everything. You can download it or view it at www.hud.gov/annualreport2008.pdf.

We're telling you for the last time... or maybe just one more time. You have until August 15 to register (it's free!) for The Western Regional Housing Summit being held August 25-26 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel at Universal City, California. The top issue: National Call to Action to develop strategies for affordable communities, including regulatory barriers and innovative ways to increase production of low and moderate income housing. To register, go to: www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=WcsrkC5Wczrnrab8OBaciA_3d_3d

About That National Call to Action... it's the focus of our America's Affordable Communities Initiative, and if you go to our web page devoted to it, you'll find a portal to post - or check out other postings - on strategies to increase affordable housing production. It's a remarkable opportunity to see what builders and developers are saying, what communities are trying, and what some find is getting in the way of producing affordable housing. Much of it involves stories of specific communities, so if you're looking to learn from someone else's success (or mistakes), or for a good story to illustrate affordable housing issues, check it out here

Somebody Call the Cops... Low income residents and neighborhoods too often are doubly victimized by those who commit crimes. There ought to be a response to it, just as there is when residents are victimized by poor housing conditions or other harmful conditions. And there is a response - found in a HUD guide on "Partnering with the Police to Prevent Crime Using Geographic Information Systems." It came out in October, 2003, but with the increased availability of internet and other mapping programs, it seems a good time to let folks know that we have a guidebook on how community stakeholders and police departments might go about forging crime prevention planning partnerships based on crime prevention. www.huduser.org/publications/commdevl/PartnerWPoliceGIS.html

Now to the news that's happened�and ahead

Secretary's Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation to be Presented

Pima County, Arizona received official notice that the Sonoran Dessert Alliance Curley School Adaptation project in Ajo has been selected to receive the HUD Secretary's Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. The award recognized the roles of the International Sonoran Desert Alliance, Pima County, the Architecture Company, and Tucson Building and Remodeling as co-awardees. The presentation ceremony will take place as part of the annual National Trust for Historic Preservation Awards program on October 23, 2008 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Tucson Non-Profit is Only Arizona Recipient of VA Funds for Homeless Veterans

The Tucson Citizen reported on July 31 that the Tucson-based nonprofit Comin' Home Inc. will get an estimated $240,000 from the Veterans Administration in fiscal year 2009 to provide homeless veterans with temporary housing. The money will help up to 20 veterans for up to a year. Comin'Home is among 55 organizations nationwide to get a per-diem award for up to $33 per day to help homeless veterans find temporary housing, and is the only Arizona recipient among the 55. Comin' Home is also a recipient of Continuum of Care funding from Pima County.

Reno/Sparks Summit Airs Homeless Center Budget Worries (Nevada)

On July 29, 2008, Tony Ramirez, Reno Field Office Director and Thomas Vetica, Operations Specialist, represented the Reno Field Office at the Reno/Sparks Homeless Summit. The mayors of the cities of Reno and Sparks and the Chairman of the Washoe County Commission convened a community wide summit to address the severe operating budget short-fall of the soon to be completed emergency shelter facilities at the Reno Community Assistance Center. Over 150 leaders from the business, non-profit, and faith-based community participated in the Summit. The city of Reno assumed the leadership role in formulating a plan to open the Community Homeless Assistance Center with a limited budget within 90-days. Reno HUD staff will continue to participate in the planning process, as part of the financial resources sub-committee.

Actions Developed as Next Steps to Homeownership Preservation Meeting (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Approximately 40 individuals representing elected officials, city/county governments, financial institutions, nonprofit homeownership counseling organizations, and federal government agencies attended the July 25 meeting coordinated by Housing Hawaii, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and HUD. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the current level and geographic concentrations of foreclosures, assess the effectiveness of current assistance being provided to distressed borrowers, and brainstorm ways to prevent future foreclosures.

Hawaii's current economic downturn, the high percentage of subprime loans originated by out-of-state lenders on properties in Hawaii during the last few years, and the recent increase in delinquencies, suggested that certain steps should be taken to assist current borrowers and help mitigate potential increases in foreclosures. The group agreed to focus on awareness campaigns to ensure that communities are aware of available resources to help prevent foreclosures and on the need to bolster existing mortgage counseling agencies so that they can handle any potential increase in foreclosures.

Homeless Increasing on Beaches In Spite of the Opening of New Shelters (Honolulu, Hawaii)

As the City and County of Honolulu cleans-up and schedules overnight closures of nearby beaches, more homeless people are moving to the distant rural beaches. A recent count by a service provider revealed 20 couples, 22 families and 83 individuals living in the city park. The first of three additional shelters will open in days. It will house 400 people, with 16 emergency units, 32 transitional units, and 24 affordable rental units and will be operated by the Hawaii Coalition of Christian Churches.

City of Palmdale Welcomes LAFO's Two-Day Grant Writing Training Workshop (California)

On July 28-29, the City of Palmdale, California, hosted HUD's Center for Faith-based and Community Initiatives Grant Writing Training. The two-day GWT and Capacity Building workshop was attended by over fifty faith and community�based representatives from the Antelope Valley region -- the major cities being Palmdale and Lancaster, both HUD entitlement cities. The Los Angeles Field Office's approach in providing the appropriate comprehensive capacity-building and grant information to this year's workshop attendees was based upon discussions with each interested CBO by LAFO's Faith-based Liaison prior to the beginning of the training date.

Even though the region's population has increased substantially in the last 15-20 years �- with a natural increase in community-based-organizations to address the increasing problems associated with urban growth, there hasn't been a corresponding increase in technical assistance providers or intermediaries to assist the region's CBOs in addressing their organizational capacity.

Grant Writing Workshop, Truckee Community College (Nevada)

On July 31, 2008, Advance Grant Writing Workshop held at Truckee Meadows Community College. Reno FPM Specialist, Tom Vetica coordinated the Advanced Grant Writing Workshop targeted towards Faith-based and Community Based organizations. The Office of Faith-Based Initiatives provided the trainer, Ms. Elaine Spencer, FPM Operations Specialist from the Jacksonville, FL office to conduct the two day training. Over 80 participants from throughout northern Nevada and the Lake Tahoe region attended the training.

Honolulu Field Office Co-Hosts FBCI Grant Workshop with Congressman Abercrombie

The Honolulu Field Office co-hosted a 2-day Grant Workshop, The Essentials of Government Grants, with Congressman Neil Abercrombie (HI-1-D), the State of Hawaii Office of Community Services (Department of Labor and Industrial Relations) and the Kapiolani Community College on July 31-August 1. Over 50 people attended representing emerging small community nonprofits and faith groups. CPD Director Mark Chandler along with CPD staff provided presentations on program and financial monitoring as well as HUD's procurement policy. FPM staff developed the workshop agenda and introduced attendees to the HUD web site on grants, the new web page - Portals 2 Success - and grants.gov

Stockton Grant Writing Workshop with Senator Barbara Boxer (California)

On July 30, 2008, CPD staff participated in a grants workshop hosted by Senator Barbara Boxer in Stockton, California. The workshop included brief presentations by ten Federal agencies and an open forum where attendees asked questions and gathered information from the various agencies. CPD presented information regarding the new housing legislation under Title III of H.R. 322i, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. CPD staff highlighted the key points of Title III or "Emergency Assistance for the Redevelopment of Abandoned and Foreclosed Homes" as well as giving a brief overview of the traditional CPD grant programs available for housing and community development activities. Over 100 residents and representatives from nonprofit organizations and local governments throughout Sacramento, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin Counties attended the workshop.

Santa Ana HOC Hosts Housing Workshop, Alhambra, CA

On August 2nd, State Senator Gilbert Cedillo (22nd Senate District), Assembly Member Mike Eng (49thAssembly District), and Mayor Luis Ayala, City of Alhambra, in conjunction with the Montebello Housing Development Corporation, an affiliate of the National Council of La Raza, the HUD Los Angeles Office and the Santa Ana HOC hosted a housing foreclosure, predatory lending and Fair Housing Workshop in Alhambra, CA. Approximately sixty representatives from Federal, State, local organizations and the public were in attendance. Media representatives include Univision, Telemundo, La Opinion, the World Journal Daily, and Chinese Biz News, as well as local cable stations.

What's Ahead:

August 9: Home Clinic for Homeowners with Mortgage Problems (Chula Vista, CA)

On Saturday August 9, 2008, FPM staff will participate in a free home clinic conducted by the Housing Opportunities Collaborative. Over 300 residents are expected to attend with over 50 volunteer counselors available in one of the largest clinics in the area in recent months.

August 15: Quarterly Arizona Housing Directors Meeting August 15 (Flagstaff)

Public housing staff Barbara Gallegos and Salem Prouty will attend the Arizona Housing Authorities Directors' meeting in Flagstaff on August 15 to provide a Public Housing update and PIC training. Attendees include Arizona Directors or designated staff and identified guest.

August 14: Fresno HUD Disaster Preparedness Workshop Expands to Reach Federal Agencies

HUD is sponsoring a disaster preparedness workshop (20-25 representatives) from local, state and federal partners and grantees as well as emergency representatives in the Fresno area on August 14 from 1PM to 3PM. The focus of the workshop is the exchange of information relative to the respective roles and responsibilities of the participants during declared emergencies or major disasters; also, particular emphasis on developing a joint housing resource capability under the Emergency Support Function � 6 in support of the National Response Framework.

August 16: Inland Empire Homeownership Clinic with Rep. Jerry Lewis (San Bernardino, California)

HUD's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, Susan Peppler is scheduled to attend and participate at the event. President of the Government National Mortgage Association or Ginnie Mae, Joseph Murin has also expressed an interest in attending the event. More than 200 homeowners are expected.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Congressman Jerry Lewis, the August 16 Clinic will include public, private and non-profit counselors available for one-on-one counseling. In addition, the Clinic includes hourly classes on Foreclosure Prevention, Home Rehabilitation and Repair, Options for Refinancing, and other options for refinancing property. Homeowners are encouraged to bring their paperwork if they are in need of counseling. Participating agencies include the Internal Revenue Service, Neighborhood Housing Services of the Inland Empire, Citibank, Countrywide Wells Fargo and other mortgage lenders.

August 18-20: California, Nevada Tribes Discuss Cooperation (Lake Tahoe, Nevada)

On August 18-20, South West Office of Native American Programs (SWONAP) Director Carolyn O'Neil and Marcia Fredman will attend the Nevada-Cal Annual Meeting at Lake Tahoe. SWONAP will provide training on new self-monitoring cooperative concept. They will also participate in a roundtable on ways to strengthen partnerships with the tribes and grantees.

September 18: Phoenix HUD Office Plans Awards for Most Valuable Partners (Arizona)

Phoenix HUD Office's Most Valuable Partners will be presented with awards at the Phoenix HUD office on September 18. Their accomplishments in 2007-2008 make for some "good news" stories.

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

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