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

August 13, 2008

HUD Secretary Preston in Southern California This Week...In his first call on California officials since taking office as HUD Secretary, on Thursday Secretary Steve Preston will make a major announcement of grant funding while in Los Angeles. For the latest news releases, check www.hud.gov

Assistant Secretary Susan Peppler in California This Week...She will join Secretary Preston at several Southern California events, make site visits in the Sacramento-San Francisco Bay Area, and deliver the keynote address at the Western Housing Summit in Los Angeles on August 25.

New Housing Bill Encourages Energy Efficiency...Here's a tip you may have missed about the new Housing Bill. A provision encourages greater use of energy efficient mortgages that allow for refinancing as well as purchases of a principal residence with incorporating the costs of energy efficiency improvements in the mortgages. Section 2123 is the key provision, and it will substantially increase the level of energy efficiency investments eligible under the program. The result should be to put within reach photovoltaic, solar hot water and other renewable systems and can be combined with solar rebate programs in California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii. HUD will issue a Mortgagee Letter within the next 60 days, so look for it!

We're just saying...check out www.hud.gov for the latest fact sheet on the Housing Bill's provisions for homeowners seeking to understand the bill's provisions as it applies to their situation. It's just a quick FAQ for now, but will fill up with more info in the coming days and weeks. At any rate, you'll know how HUD sees the bill's provisions. As to the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for hard-hit communities, HUD says now to expect release of the criteria, etc. around September 26.

Sacramento Foreclosure Prevention Efforts Set a Standard...as communities confer on meeting the challenge of large-scale foreclosures; Sacramento has launched its own strategic plan with regular updates. Take a look at www.shra.org/Content/Housing/Foreclosure/HCD/ForeclosureRpts.htm

Legislative Commission Subcommittee to Study Mortgage Lending & Housing Issues (Nevada)

Tony Ramirez, Reno Field Office Director, participated in the Legislative Subcommittee's working session held at the Nevada Legislature in Carson City and simulcast in Las Vegas on August 4. The subcommittee discussed issues regarding identifying key bill drafts to be introduced in the upcoming legislative session that would focus on nine key areas in the housing affecting the housing industry in the state, including: Consumer Counseling & Education, (2) Foreclosure consultants, (3) New Loan and Refinancing programs, and (4) Neighborhood Preservation, (5) Oversight of Mortgage Agents, Brokers and Escrow Agents. Mr. Ramirez was present to provide information on activities occurring within the agency as well as local partnerships that the Reno Field Office is participating in to address the current housing crises.

Moot the Suit: National Rifle Association expected to alter lawsuit on local Housing Authority gun ban...Following the US Supreme Court ruling on gun ownership, the National Rifle Association filed suit against San Francisco (the city) and its Housing Authority. The local city attorney challenged the suit, noting that the Housing Authority is not a city agency. Upshot: the NRA is expected to drop the City and County of San Francisco as a named party in the lawsuit, and there are reports of a settlement with the Housing Authority itself that may moot out the suit.

IndyMac Bank Failure Prompts Advisory to Multifamily Partners
The Multifamily Hub is distributing a memorandum to HUD clients advising owners and/or agents of HUD insured projects to review the project's financial investments, especially the restricted accounts provision that addresses the Reserve for Replacement and Residual Receipt accounts contained in HUD's regulations. If HUD clients find that they are out of compliance with the regulation provisions, they should contact (immediately) their assigned HUD project manager for further guidance.

FHEO Conciliation Agreement on Reasonable Accommodation in Berkeley, California

The complainant, who suffers from physical and mental disabilities, requested a reasonable accommodation to be moved to a ground floor unit because it had become too difficult for her to maneuver stairs. This request was supported by medical certification. A resolution was reached in the form of a combined Conciliation and Voluntary Compliance Agreement. The Respondent agreed to transfer the complainant to a ground floor unit as a reasonable accommodation to her disability, to tender the amount of $3,010, to attend a fair housing training course conducted by FHEO, and more importantly, to develop a written reasonable accommodation policy for the Department's review and approval. Upon the Department's approval, the policy will be immediately implemented.

Meetings held in Tucson, Los Angeles

On August 6, Tucson Field Office Director Phyllis Lim hosted the second meeting for key community partners to develop options for Vista Sierra Apartments, an aging Multifamily HUD-assisted complex prominently featured in the Arizona Daily Star after its air conditioning system failed in June. Discussion focused on sources of funding to appraise the property, pay off the mortgage, demolish the complex, and relocate all residents. Metropolitan Housing Corporation, the nonprofit owner of Vista Sierra, also raised the possibility of developing a new HUD-assisted project after demolition for moderate-income tenants with incomes at 80% of the median. The partners will convene again in September to report on progress in securing funding to proceed to the next steps.

On August 12, the 5th Quarterly "Proactive Exchange" between the Public Housing Authorities and the Los Angeles Office of Public Housing Hub was held at the Los Angeles Field Office. The agenda included presentations by the Phoenix Program Center staff guest speakers from the Maricopa County HA and the City of Phoenix Housing Department. Other guest speakers included the Section 8 Director for the City of Los Angeles Housing Authority and the Chief Community Care Director for the U.S. Veterans Affairs of the Greater Los Angeles.


August 16: San Bernardino, California with Secretary Preston

A Homeownership Preservation Workshop cosponsored by Representative Jerry Lewis and the City of San Bernardino, at the National Orange Show. Assistant Secretary Susan Peppler also will participate.

August 18-20: San Joaquin Valley

Fresno FPM staff and Marketing and Outreach staff in the Santa Ana Homeownership Center, have worked together to coordinate three Outreach and Industry trainings. The cities of Merced and Modesto, California have two of the highest foreclosure rates in the country and have requested these trainings. These events will include information on use of FHASecure to assist troubled homeowners, an update on recent housing legislation, and use of 203(k) loans to potentially rehabilitate distressed, vacant homes in areas of high foreclosure. The trainings will also include information on how to become a HUD approved lender, in order to increase FHA market share in the San Joaquin Valley.

August 22: Universal City Western Housing Summit

Assistant Secretary Susan Peppler will be the keynote speaker at this conference. Bryant Applegate also will lead discussions on America's Affordable Communities Initiatives.

August 23: Tracy, California

Rep. Jerry McNerney and the City of Tracy will host a Foreclosure Assistance Workshop at the Tracy City Hall.

August 25: Merced, California

Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC), a HUD approved intermediary Housing Counseling agency, will provide a one day training in Merced, California on August 25 on best practices in foreclosure prevention to interested agencies in Merced County. This area has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country. HUD has developed a close relationship with RCAC who, at HUD's request, have delivered similar trainings in the San Joaquin Valley, in an effort to support locally emerging foreclosure prevention projects.

September 27-Oct 1: Phoenix, Arizona

National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals National Conference in Phoenix, Arizona

The organization often participates in HUD training opportunities on FHA and homeownership, and draws a large number of participants. Most recently, the Phoenix Program staff provided FHA training to more than 50 members of the group on August 7 in South Central Phoenix.

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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