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

August 20, 2008

Secretary Preston Tours Los Angeles Homeless Shelters with Congressperson and Announces HOPWA Grant at Senior Apartment Complex (Los Angeles, California)

On August 14th, Secretary Steven Preston toured two city homeless shelters with Congressperson Maxine Waters and visited a senior apartment complex for low-income seniors with disabilities and/or HIV/AIDS to announce that the City of Los Angeles will receive a $1.4 million Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) grant for persons living with HIV/AIDS. Notable representatives were at the well-attended morning HOPWA announcement to hear both the Secretary and Congressperson express their support for the HOPWA program. They included the City's Council President, Housing Department's General Manager, Housing Authority's President and CEO, the Los Angeles Field Office Director, CPD Program Director, and related staff. Following the grant announcement, Secretary Preston met with the Los Angeles Times' Editorial Board regarding housing issues. He also visited the field office - his first as the HUD Secretary - and spoke with staff about his role/views as the Department's new Secretary.

Secretary Steve Preston joined Congressman Gary Miller for a roundtable discussion with industry leaders and local elected officials addressing a variety of housing issues in their respective communities (Orange County, California)

On August 15, 2008, Secretary Steve Preston joined Congressman Gary Miller for a roundtable discussion with industry leaders and local elected officials to discuss a variety of housing issues in their respective communities. The forum featured brief presentations by the Congressman and the Secretary and provided the attendees with a significant amount of time for questions and answers.

Secretary Preston Visits to the Santa Ana Office/Santa Ana Homeownership Center

On August 15, 2008, Secretary Preston visited the Santa Ana Office/Santa Ana Homeownership Center, toured the office and met with staff. Secretary Preston also met with the senior management staff after touring the office and talking with staff. Additionally, an interview with the Orange County Register was conducted at the office.

Mr. Brewer, Santa Ana Field Office Director, and Joseph Bates, Santa Ana Homeownership Center Director attended the press interview with Secretary Preston.


On August 14, 2008, Rebecca Flanagan, Ken Einbinder and Audra Ouellette conducted a customer service focus group among Native American tribe and tribal housing entities that work with the Southwest Office of Native American Programs. The meeting was hosted by the Gila River Indian Community. Gila River Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Allison Ray attended the meeting, as well as representative from 12 tribal entities.


Ground-Breaking Ceremony - Vista Del Sol

On August 15, 2008, Secretary Preston, Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development Susan Peppler, Congressman Jerry Lewis, William Vasquez, Director, Office of Community Planning and Development, HUD Los Angeles Office, and Ray Brewer, Santa Ana Field Office Director, attended and participated at a ground breaking ceremony at the Vista Del Sol, a 71-unit senior housing complex in Redlands, California.

Assistant Secretary Peppler Attends Homeownership Preservation and Foreclosure Prevention Workshop (San Bernardino, California)

On August 16, 2008, Ray Brewer, Santa Ana Field Office Director and Santa Ana Homeownership Center staff participated in a homeownership preservation and foreclosure prevention workshop at the National Orange Show (NOS) Center in San Bernardino, California. Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development, Susan Peppler, Congressman Jerry Lewis and Mayor of San Bernardino, Patrick Morris provided welcome remarks. Mr. Brewer served as moderator. The goal of the workshop is to provide assistance to homeowners in preventing foreclosures. Approximately 200+ homeowners attended.

Assistant Secretary Peppler Makes Moreno Valley CDBG Grant Announcement (California)

On Monday, August 18, 2008, Ray Brewer, Santa Ana Field Office Director and William Vasquez, Community Planning and Development (CPD) Director, Los Angeles Office accompanied Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development, Susan Peppler, at a CPD grant announcement with Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack and local officials of the City of Moreno Valley at the Moreno Valley Conference and Recreation Center in Moreno Valley.

Assistant Secretary Peppler Kid Works Donahue Facility Press Conference (California)

On Tuesday, August 19, 2008, Ray Brewer, Santa Ana Field Office Director and William Vasquez, Community Planning and Development Director, Los Angeles Office participated in a tour of the Kid Works Donahue Center in Santa Ana, California. They attended a press conference by Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and Development Susan Peppler at the site.

CPD, FPM, HUD Staff Coordinate Second Annual Drive for Homeless Vets (San Francisco, California)

The event, held July 21-August 1, was sponsored by the Region IX Federal Regional Council, a group comprised of over 30 federal agencies throughout the region. HUD staff donated hundreds of used and new clothing and personal items. The donations will be given to homeless veterans who receive services through the Veteran's Administration Clinic located one block from the HUD office.

Community Resource Fair Hosted By Congresswoman Solis, HUD (East Los Angeles, California)

Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis in collaboration with Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, the Employment Development Department and the Montebello Housing Development Corporation, and HUD Los Angeles Field Office hosted a Community Resource Fair on August 16th in East Los Angeles, CA.

White House Faith-Based Office Hosts Sacramento Conference (California)

On August 18, 2008, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and California Volunteers hosted a conference in Sacramento, CA designed to highlight and strengthen the role of faith-based and community organizations in meeting the needs of their communities with a special focus on resources and partnership opportunities. The San Francisco CPD Program Manager, along with representatives from the County of Sacramento and the State of California, attended and was a presenter at a breakout session on "Partnering to Break the Cycle of Homelessness."

Housing Roundtable Focus on FHA programs (San Diego, CA)

On Tuesday, August 19, 2008, FPM staff facilitated a Housing Roundtable sponsored by the Housing Opportunities Collaborative. The Roundtable featured case study presentations by HUD approved housing counseling agencies that have successfully completed recent mortgage loan modifications that prevented home foreclosure. It also featured two HUD approved lenders who will discuss the benefits of the existing FHA Secure program that will sunset in December 2008 and also discuss the new Hope for Homeowners FHA program that will become effective October 1, 2008. Over 50 members of local housing counseling agencies and community organizations will attend this event. Housing Opportunities Collaborative is a coalition of HUD approved housing counseling agencies and city jurisdictions promoting homeownership in the San Diego region.

Roundtable Discussions on Housing and Economic Recovery Act (Fresno, CA)

On Wednesday August 13, the Fresno HUD Director led a roundtable discussion with State and Federal legislative staffers regarding the opportunities in the act, of which local cities, housing authorities, faith and community based organizations, housing and credit counseling agencies, and the housing industry might take advantage. Roundtable discussions will be conducted in each of the eight counties of the Fresno jurisdiction in which all 64 jurisdictions and their partners will be invited to discuss the Act and their efforts to meet the housing needs of their residents and workforce.


Deputy Regional Director Participates in Regulatory Barriers Task Force (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Honolulu Field Office Director Gordan Furutani introduced Caroline Krewson, Region IX Deputy Director, to Hawaii's Affordable Housing Regulatory Barriers Task Force established by Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle. The 21-member Task Force is set to recommend to the Governor by September 2008 solutions with statewide impact that can help reduce the cost of affordable housing in one of the country's more high-priced areas.


Annual Homeless Veterans Luncheon (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Phyllis Hargrove, FPM spoke at the annual Homeless Veterans C.H.A.L.E.N.G.E luncheon on August 14. There were approximately 150 people in attendance, including representatives from Senator Porter, Ensign and Reid, Congresswoman Berkley and State Senator Dean Heller. There were also formerly homeless veterans at the event.

Bankers Meet to Discuss Identifying Foreclosed Properties (Las Vegas, NV)

The Las Vegas Field Office Director and the Bankers Collaborative addressed the issue of how to more effectively identify the current owner of foreclosed properties at its August 13 meeting. The municipalities have extreme difficulty in identifying the owner to insure the property is properly maintained. This is especially important in our region. The climate demands that the property be maintained with proper hydration; pools drained or treated regularly, gates locked, and so forth.

Nevada Statewide Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce Meeting (Las Vegas, NV)

Ken LoBene, Field Office Director attended this August 15 meeting. Several communities are facing severe negative impacts from the foreclosure crisis. Some homeowners associations are preparing to declare insolvency, creating a new predicament for municipalities' response to the existing residents.

Homeless Program Mainstream Resources Workshop Conducted (Reno, Nevada)

Tom Vetica, Operations Specialist, represented the Reno Field Office at the Accessing Mainstream Resources Workshop held on August 14. Representatives of the State Welfare Division and Medicaid met with agencies of the Reno Area Alliance for the Homeless to streamline access to Medicaid. This workshop is part of the Mainstream Resources initiative of the Continuum of Care. Piper Ehlen of HomeBase convened the groups and facilitated the meeting. HomeBase is CPD contractor in Region IX.

Reno Field Office Director Attends Special Session of Reno City Council

Tony Ramirez, Field Office Director, attended a special session of the Reno City Council to discuss key components of the Housing & Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The Reno City counsel was seeking input on the key provisions of the Act, especially regarding the use of the $3.8 billion dollars in CDBG funds that could be available to impacted communities to purchase and resell foreclosed and abandoned properties.

What's Ahead

August 20: Alameda, California

Grand Opening for Affordable Homeownership Offerings (Alameda, California)
On August 20, 2008 Alameda Buena Vista Commons, a $1 million HOME-funded project, will hold a Grand Opening Ceremony. The development features eight new affordable for-sale homes and is the result of a partnership among the Alameda Development Corporation, a nonprofit housing developer, Habitat for Humanity East Bay and the City of Alameda. The event will be held at 624-638 Buena Vista, Alameda, CA at 5:30 pm.

August 21: Honolulu, Hawaii

Preventing Fraud in Public Housing (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Public Housing agencies throughout the Honolulu Field Office jurisdiction will learn about fraud detection and documentation from Tony Meeks, Assistant Special Agent-In-Charge for the Office of Investigations in the Los Angeles Office on August 21 in Honolulu. Participants will include PHA staff from Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. The presentation should help elucidate an area that has challenged agencies' staff.

August 25-26: Universal City, California
Western Housing Summit, August 25-25 with Assistant Secretary Peppler, Bryant Applegate on Barriers to Affordable Housing

September 27: Tucson, Arizona

Foreclosure Conferences Planned in Tucson/Pima County (Tucson, AZ)
The Steering Committee of the Tucson/Pima County Foreclosure Prevention Task Force met on August 14 to plan for three major events in September and October. On September 27, Pima County Board Chairman Richard Elias is sponsoring an event at the Desert Vista Campus of Pima Community College. The event will feature workshops for the public on budgeting, understanding your loan, knowing your options, and life after foreclosure. On October 2, the HOPE NOW alliance is conducting a foreclosure conference in Tucson, with logistical support from Pima County. On October 11, Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-8) is sponsoring another foreclosure conference in Northwest Tucson. Field Office Director Phyllis Lim, a member of the Steering Committee, participated in the August 14 planning session and is working with the Steering Committee to determine HUD's role in these up-coming events.

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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