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

September 9, 2008

Grants announced for rural development, university partnerships

HUD passed out grants last week to qualifying organizations serving rural and tribal regions in Arizona and California, and grants for Hispanic-serving and Hawaiian-serving and tribal-serving universities and colleges under the University Partnership program.

In Arizona, HUD awarded six grants totaling $1,795, 425.  The grants went to Comite de Bien Estar (San Luis), the Hopi Tribe (Kykotamovi), International Sonoran Desert Alliance (Ajo), Moenkopi Developer’s Corporation (Tuba City), Nogales Community Development Center (Nogales), and White Mountain Apache Housing Authority (Whiteriver).

In California, HUD awarded six grants totaling $1,905,378.  The grants went to Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria (Loleta), Bishop Paiute Tribe (Bishop), Karuk Tribe (Happy Camp), Timbisha Shoshone Tribe (Bishop), Big Pine Paiute Tribe (Big Pine), Relational Culture Institute (Fresno), and Tule River Tribal Council (Porterville).

Hawaii grants went to the University of Hawaii-Kauai Community College ($794,728), the University of Hawaii at Manoa ($799,907) and the University of Hawaii-Hawaii Community College ($605,400).  To qualify as a Native Hawaiian Institution, at least 10 percent of the school's undergraduate enrollment must be Native Hawaiians.

Two grants went to California higher education institutions serving Hispanic populations to pay for student housing, construction of new facilities, and economic development. Southwestern College (Chula Vista) and Imperial Valley College (Imperial) each received $600,000.

In Arizona, the Tohono O’odham Community College in Sells received $750,000.

Congratulations to all!  

Show Me The Money…for low-income wage earners.

Hey, is everyone up-to-date on the program that lets low-income wage earners get an earned income tax credit check in their paychecks right now?  It’s called the Advance Earned Income Tax Credit program; a family with two children earning less than $38,646 ($41,646 if filing jointly as married couple) is eligible for as much as $4,824.  The increased income doesn’t count toward income for figuring public or assisted housing programs, and, gee, it sure seems like this is a program that might benefit a whole lot of folks receiving HUD assistance.  Best of all, there's no need to wait until next year to claim the benefit.  The program allows employers to begin adding the next year’s earned income tax credit into paychecks right now – hello, are you listening? Could sure help with school supplies and doctor visits.  Check it out at www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96515,00.html

And more good news…from Hawaii and San Diego

We try not to keep it a secret, but sometimes it seems we do it without meaning to.  It’s the stories of folks who are becoming self-sufficient, and communities that are creative in meeting local needs.  Just so you know, we post them on our state pages, and this week you’ll find a great story out of Hawaii about a Native Hawaiian family that bought their home using the Hawaiian Housing Loan Guarantee Program.

And here’s good news about 40 young folks who completed and graduated from the Youthbuild Program, the last class under HUD (it moves over to the Labor Department).  The Black Contractors Association has had grants since 2000 and run excellent programs, providing youth with education, skills, and the motivation to pursue careers in the building trades.  Frank Riley, Field Office Director, presented a poster with pictures from past ceremonies and congratulations from the Los Angeles Office of Community Planning and Development and the San Diego Field Office.  Nice job!

Outstanding in his Field…That would be our own Rollie Smith, the Fresno Field Office Director, who just was named by Secretary Preston as the recipient of the Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Field Operations.  Rollie is the go-to guy on a host of issues in the San Joaquin Valley, including the Presidential initiative on economic development and housing.  We agree – he’s outstanding.

Somebody explain this quick…HUD’s Inspector General audited the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles’ Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program’s financial transactions.  The Authority could not show that it used program funds in accordance with its consolidated annual contributions contracts, executed grant agreements, or HUD rules and regulations.  Without the required HUD approval, the Authority’s accounting records showed that it improperly advanced and expended more than $27 million in restricted funds to cover its operating losses for its other programs.  The report is at: www.hud.gov/offices/oig/reports/ca.cfm

Meetings and Stuff Around the Region…

Homeownership Center Director Joe Bates testified at a field hearing of the House Financial Services Committee in Stockton, California on September 6.  Chairman Barney Frank conducted the hearing and Representative Dennis Cardoza, Representative Jerry McNerney, and Representative Jackie Speier also participated.  The purpose of the hearing was to examine the effects of the foreclosure crisis on neighborhoods in California's Central Valley.

Joe Bates testified about the measures FHA and HUD are taking to address this crisis.  Cynthia Abbott, Sacramento Field Office Director, attended.  Also testifying were state Senator Michael Machado; Ellie Wooten, Mayor of Merced; Heather Peters, Deputy Secretary for Business Regulation and Housing, Business; Steven Gutierrez, Supervisor, San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors; Patty Amador, President, Ambeck Mortgage Association; Pam Canada, CEO NeighborWorks, Sacramento Region; and Carol Ornelas, CEO Visionary Home Builders of CA.

Tucson HUD Initiates Regional Partnership for Disaster Preparedness

On September 3, the Field Office Director convened a meeting in the Tucson Office with officials from the Pima County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and the Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross.  It was agreed that the Field Office Director will organize the first meeting of the regional partnership in the fall, to also include the City of Tucson Fire and Police Departments, the Pima County Department of Public Health, Southern Arizona VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters), and the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Services (administrator of FEMA programs in the State). 

Orange County Homeless Provider Forum (California)

On September 4, 2008, Ray Brewer, Santa Ana Field Office Director, attended and participated in the Orange County Homeless Providers forum.  The forum focused on “Caring for the Caregivers”.  Approximately 65 representatives of local nonprofit, community and faith-based organizations were in attendance.

Energy Efficiency Mortgage Presentation (Santa Ana, California)

On Wednesday, September 10, 2008, Ray Brewer, Santa Ana Field Office Director, in collaboration with the Santa Ana Homeownership Center provided an updated presentation on energy efficiency mortgages to more than 100 housing partners at First American Title in Santa Ana, California.

Homeless Move from Under Freeway Overpass to Converted Buses (Honolulu, Hawaii)

The nonprofit organization Hawaii Helping the Hungry Have Hope in partnership with Living the Word Ministries church moved sixteen homeless people from campsites under the freeway overpass to buses retrofitted as dormitories.  The two mobile shelters are the first to be in operation with another two in the process of conversion through the help of volunteers and donations of materials and furnishings.  Eighteen 40-foot buses were originally donated for this unique project.  This effort comes at a time when a “no camping” in City parks bill awaits Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman’s signature.

Homeownership Preservation and Foreclosure Prevention Workshop (San Bernardino, California)

On Saturday, September 6, 2008, Ray Brewer, Santa Ana Field Office Director, and Santa Ana Homeownership Center staff in collaboration with FannieMae will be participated in a homeownership preservation and foreclosure prevention workshop at the National Orange Show (NOS) Center in San Bernardino, California.  Congressman Jerry Lewis (43rd District), 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 were expected to attend.

Anti-Foreclosure Event Draws 400 (Surprise, Arizona)

On September 3, 2008, Susan Marcell, Phoenix Single Family Program Support, joined with a panel of experts for an open community conversation on home finance in Surprise, Arizona.  The 3-day Anti-Foreclosure event at Radiant Church was kicked off by the Surprise Mayor and Councilpersons.  The panel discussion included representatives from HUD, ACORN, GreenPath Debt Solutions, and Credit West.  Approximately 400 people attended the event that lasted 3 hours on Wednesday evening and was also recorded to be broadcast later on Surprise’s cable channel and streaming internet.  Dozens of questions were submitted previously for the panel to discuss on preventing foreclosure, the foreclosure process, and the results of foreclosure.  Attendees were invited to present general questions at the event if they were not dealt with previously during the discussions.  After the formal program, the panel answered questions individually in the lobby.  Attendees signed up for personal sessions with HUD-approved housing counselors over the next 3 days. 

FHA Update Draws 125 Real Estate Professionals, Loan Officers (Scottsdale, Arizona)

On September 4, 2008, Susan Marcell, Phoenix Single Family, presented an FHA update program to approximately 125 real estate professionals and loan officers at State Mortgage in Scottsdale, AZ.  The program included discussing current FHA programs that can assist real estate professionals in moving REO inventory such as the 203(k) and streamline 203(k) programs, maximum loan limits and how to find if a condo is a HUD-approved project.  Changes that will be coming were also discussed including the termination of the use of seller-funded ‘gift’ programs; increases in Up Front & Monthly Insurance Premiums and cash investments, and the moratorium of the risk-based Up Front Premiums.  The new HOPE program and FHASecure were also discussed and how these can be used to the homeowners’ benefit.

Reno Field Office Director Takes it to the Public…public television, that is, on a weekly PBS program “Who We Are” in Carson City, Nevada. The focus of the show was to discuss the current foreclosure crisis, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, and first-time homebuyer opportunities in Northern Nevada.  Other guests on the program were Charles Horsey, Director of the Nevada Housing Division and Martha Samples, a first-time homebuyer who received a 30-year fixed FHA insured loan with down payment assistance through the Nevada Housing Division.

What's Next:

September 18: San Joaquin Valley Housing Trust to Meet (Hanford, CA)

The San Joaquin Valley Housing Trust, a local initiative to develop and preserve affordable housing in the San Joaquin Valley region of California, will meet September 18 to discuss affordable housing development.  The meeting will be facilitated by the Fresno HUD Office and hosted by the Kings County Council of Governments in Hanford, California. 

September 18: California Economic Development Strategy Roundtable (Fresno, CA)

The Fresno HUD Office, in partnership with the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization, is hosting the California Economic Development Strategy Roundtable in Fresno on September 18, 2008. 

September 20: Senator Ron Calderon (30th Senate District –CA) National Council of La Raza Housing Foreclosure and Fair Housing Workshop (Montebello, CA)

On September 20th, State Senator Ron Calderon (30th Senate District – CA) in conjunction with the Montebello Housing Development Corporation (MHDC), affiliate of the National Council of La Raza, the HUD Los Angeles Field Office and the Santa Ana HOC will host a housing foreclosure and Fair Housing Workshop in the city of Montebello, CA.  Approximately sixty representatives are expected to attend from the State, the County, housing industry, municipalities, non-profits, and local general relief organizations.  The media is expected to cover the event.

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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