|HUD e-Briefs from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington
Jeff McMorris, Region X Regional Administrator
|Leland Jones, Editor, (206) 220-5356 or Leland.email@example.com|
e-OPEN FOR BUSINESS (STILL)
HUD offices in Anchorage, Boise, Portland & Seattle are open for business. But as of May 1st due to limited on-site staffing during the coronavirus outbreak, and consistent with local public health social distancing guidelines, the best way to get in touch with us is via e-mail at AK_Webmanager@hud.gov in Alaska, ID_Webmanager@hud.gov in Idaho, OR_Webmanager@hud.gov in Oregon or WA_Webmanager@hud.gov in Washington, or call us at 206-220-5101. And, of course, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook or at four state Web sites. You'll find their addresses in the masthead above. We look forward to hearing from you.
On November 13th the Federal Housing Administration – FHA - released its Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Report to Congress. For the sixth straight year, the Capital Reserve Ratio of the Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund remains above the 2 percent minimum set by Congress at 6.10 percent, an increase of 1.26 percentage points from 2019. This level of capital will help FHA withstand the immediate financial impacts on the Fund due to the COVID19 pandemic without requiring additional assistance from taxpayers. "In a year like no other in recent memory, the Trump Administration's extraordinary response to COVID-19 paved the way for FHA to play a leading role in helping struggling families and the nation's housing market in FY 2020," said HUD Secretary Carson. "At the same time, FHA successfully served more of the nation's first-time homebuyers and maintained its leadership role as the nation's largest facilitator of affordable mortgage financing for minority borrowers." The report was prepared by the independent firm Pinnacle Actuarial Resources, Inc.
Facing a huge backlog of unmet capital needs seven years ago HUD launched the Rental Assistance Demonstration or RAD initiative. Housing authorities participating in RAD may convert, their inventories of public housing units the maintenance and modernization of which was entirely dependent on HUD capital funds into project-based units. Why? Because the change meant those units no longer were dependent on HUD capital funds for maintenance but could also seek capital from other sources outside HUD. Has it worked? You bet! Well, in the seven years since RAD was launched HUD's RAD initiative has generated $10 billion in outside capital to maintain & strengthen, rehab & reconstruct some 165,000 assisted & income-restricted affordable housing units. Without RAD it would have taken 34 years to generate that much capital to preserve our affordable housing stock.
Oregon Legislature's Emergency Board okays allocation of $35 million to Oregon Community Foundation to establish grant program for local governments, Tribes, housing authorities & non-profits to purchase & retrofit shelters for the homeless says Statesman Journal. . .HUD awards 15 Idaho, Oregon & Washington housing authorities $10.2 million more in CARES Act fund to support Mainstream rental voucher holders during pandemic. . .Southeastern Idaho Community Action breaks ground for Alpine Crossing, 80 units of self-help housing in Chubbuck, Idaho that, says KPVI-TV, will give the homeowners a "stake in their community" & give the community a bigger tax base. . .Compass Housing Alliance celebrates 100 years of serving the most vulnerable residents of Seattle, Washington. . .Clackamas County Commissioners, says Catholic Sentinel, okay award of $18.3 million in Metro Affordable Housing Levy funds to Catholic Charities of Oregon to construct 142 unit-Good Shepherd Village affordable housing community in Happy Valley. . .Mercy Housing Northwest, says Affordable Housing Finance, wins 2020 Best Affordable Housing Community Gold Nugget Award for its Gardner House & Allen Family Center in Seattle. . .Bethel, Alaska Winter House Shelter, Covenant House Alaska in Anchorage & the New Glory Hall facility in Juneau awarded total of $600,000 in grants from Alaska Mental Health Trust for renovations says Delta Discovery. . .Washington Department of Commerce awarded almost $6.5 million in HUD Section 811 project-based rent assistance for very low-income people w/ disabilities offering them, said Secretary Carson, "meaningful choices about housing, health care & long-term services & support so they can participate fully in community life". . .Soon-to-be-opened, 36-bed Tanner House for veterans operated by Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency will be Salem, Oregon's first low-barrier shelter & will provide shelter to both homeless women & men who've served our country says Salem Reporter. . .Thanks to leadership of Idaho Community Foundation, United Way of Idaho & Idaho Nonprofits, the COVID-19 Response & Recovery Fund has now distributed more than $13 million, mostly from private donations, to 115 non-profits & community organizations across the state says KTVB-TV. . .Spokane, Washington Housing Authority's plan to sell selling 58 single-family homes & 8 duplexes scattered across the Spokane County that are "incredibly expensive to operate & maintain" could generate up to $13 million to support affordable housing says Spokesman Review. . .USDA's ReConnect program awards $11.3 to connect almost 1,400 Alaskans, 24 businesses, three schools, a fire station & post offices to high-speed broadband in Kaktovik, Teller, Brevig Mission & Mat-Su Borough. . .FEMA approves Jackson, Lincoln, Linn & Marion counties in Oregon for Temporary Housing Solutions program in aftermath of wildfires says Register Guard.
WORTH A READ
A number of moratoriums protecting homeowners & renters from eviction or foreclosure during the COVID-19 pandemic are set to expire come the new year. An alternative to foreclosure or eviction is being tested, says The Spokesman Review, by Two firms in Spokane County Washington that have received federal funding to urge mediation to try to find a solution mutually beneficial to both sides instead of going to court to resolve disputes between landlords or lenders who aren't getting paid & the tenants & borrowers who, thanks to COVID-19, don't have the funds to pay them. It's worth a read.
Registration's now open for HUD's four-part virtual Grant Writing - The Basics on Obtaining Financial Support for Your Cause to Aid Your Clients Workshop from January 25th to 28th, 2021. Our grant writing workshops are in pretty high demand. "Sooner rather than later" is good advice if you think you might want to attend.
On the first anniversary of the launch of HUD's Foster Youth to Independence to help young people "aging out" of foster care avoid homelessness, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation & Clackamas County, Oregon Housing Authority awarded more FYI vouchers & Bellingham Housing Authority & Yakima Housing authorities awarded FYI vouchers for first time. "Today, I am pleased to announce the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative has changed the lives of more than 1,000 young adults" in 34 states & served by 107 housing authorities " by helping them secure a place to call home," said HUD Secretary Carson. "These young people are powerful change-agents, making contributions that will propel our Nation forward. This additional funding demonstrates our commitment to opening the door for former foster youth at risk of homelessness so they can unlock their full potential." Secretary Carson & his staff developed the FYI program at the request of & in collaboration with young adults who had been in & aged-out of foster care.
BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
The Olympian says the Washington State Eviction Rent Assistance Program for those hard-hit by COVID-19 has expanded its eligibility standard from households at our below 50 percent of area median income to households at or below 80 percent of area median income. . .Register Guard says John Sherman Living Trust donates a home in Newport, Oregon & Lincoln County donates two vacant parcels in Lincoln City to support Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians' efforts to expand its affordable housing. . .Some of the units at the soon-to-be-completed, 24-unit East End Cottages just outside of the city limits of Homer, Alaska already are available to rent says The News. . .Omak Chroniclesays Omak Mayor Cindy Gagne & Okanogan County Housing Authority break ground for 46-unit Meadow Point affordable housing, the authority's first project financed by Low Income Housing Tax Credits. . .Multnomah County says it hopes to have completed the conversion of a five-story building in downtown Portland, Oregon that once housed the Essence nightclub into a first-of-its-kind, trauma informed behavioral health facility for the chronically homeless by 2022 says Portland Tribute. . .Mayor Nadine Woodward of Spokane, Washington, says Spokesman Review, names Cupid Alexander, most recently director of strategic initiatives for the Mayor of Portland, to direct Spokane's new department of neighborhoods, housing & human services. . .Tillamook Headlight Heraldsays USDA has guaranteed $7.2 million issued by Network for Oregon Affordable Housing to purchase & preserve 121 affordable housing units in Heppner, McMinnville, Newberg & Tillamook. . .Thanks to HUD Emergency Solution Grant funds authorized by the CARES Act funding from the City of Tacoma, Washington, says News Tribune, the Low Income Housing Institute sites 40 "tiny homes" on land owned by the First Christian Church to provide shelter & protection against COVID-19 for the homeless. . .Thanks to a "big financial boost" from Pearl Jam, KIRO-TV, says a welcome home pole carved by Andrea Wilbur Sigo will tower over Pioneer Square in Seattle in frobt of a new housing complex being built by the Chief Seattle Club, that when it opens in October will be " the city's first affordable housing solely for American Indian/Alaska Native people who are homeless". . .Teton County Joint Housing Authority & the non-profit Northwest Real Estate Capital awarded $1 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits to help develop 34-unit affordable housing complex on city-owned parcel in downtown Driggs, Idaho says Teton Valley News. . .EPA awards $14.7. million to Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation & Fairbanks North Star Borough to support its wood stove change-out program to reduce harmful fine particle air pollution from wood smoke.
HUD has extended deadline from December 7th to January 6th to submit comments on its proposed rule to implement provisions of Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act in HUD's Housing Choice & Project-Based Voucher program. If you have views to share, don't be shy!
HUD has set a January 22nd deadline for public comments on a proposed rule to permit private flood insurance on homes with FHA-insured mortgages. "Our proposal would expand the options for obtaining flood insurance, rather than continuing to lock in borrowers to one federal option without any ability to comparison shop," said Assistant Secretary for Housing & Federal Housing Commissioner Dana Wade. "We are also proposing important safeguards that will help protect borrowers, so their homes will have flood insurance coverage at a level at or above the level available through the National Flood Insurance Program."
With more than double the number of Oregonians unemployed a year ago, Oregon Housing & Community Services has allocated $20 million in U.S. Department of the Treasury "hardest hit" funds to launch mortgage relief program that "provides a one-time payment directly to mortgage servicers to" help homeowners hit financially by COVID-19 to "bring delinquent first- lien mortgage accounts current." To be eligible a household must have a mortgage that became past due on mortgage payments after January 1, 2020, have experienced a financial hardship such as job loss, reduced income, high medical costs, disability, death in the family, or divorce & have mortgage payment that is no more than 45 percent of household monthly income.
The Business OregonWebsite is now accepting on-line on a first-come, first-srved basis applications from areas of the state that are not designated as CDBG entitlement communities for a total of more than $5.2 million in HUD Community Development Block Grant funds from the CARES Act to be split between a Small Business & Micro-enterprise Assistance fund & an Emergency COVID-19 Impact Assistance for non-profits serving low-income people.
Washington Department of Commerce sets January 29th deadline for local & state agencies, Tribes, school districts & public institutions of higher education to apply for Energy Efficiency Grantsof up to $500,000 each to retrofit existing facilities to achieve energy & operational cost savings.
BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Alaska Housing Finance Corporation awards $5 million in HUD Emergency Solutions Grants allocated by the CARES Act to the Brother Francis Center in Kodiak, Women in Safe Housing in Ketchikan, Gastineau Human Services in Juneau, the Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living in Fairbanks & My House in Mat-Su Borough. . .Meyer Memorial Trustawards 155 grants totaling $21.2 million to organizations "working to make Oregon a flourishing and equitable home for all". . .Thanks to HUD Emergency Solution Grant funds authorized by the CARES Act funding from the City of Tacoma, Washington, says News Tribune, the Low Income Housing Institute sites 40 "tiny homes" on land owned by the First Christian Church to provide shelter & protection against COVID-19 for the homeless. . .City of Seattle completes second opportunity for small businesses & non-profits hard-hit by COVID-19 to apply for $10,000 Small Business Stabilization Fund grants backed by HUD Community Development Block Grant funds with a special focus on establishments with no more than 5 employees in areas with a high risk of displacement. . .With rising number of Idahoans facing food insecurity from 1 in 9 before pandemic to 1 in 6 now, the Idaho Foodbank breaks ground for new, considerably larger storage & distribution center in Meridian says KTVB-TV. . .The Oregonian says Network for Oregon Affordable Housing, Craft3 & Community Housing Fund - all 3 are Community Development Financial Institutions - to share $5 million JP Morgan Chase grant to stem tide of housing displacement in east & south Portland by "seeding" production of 250 units of affordable housing. . .Puyallup, Washington's United Methodist Church asks City of Puyallup to okay its use of the Church parking lot as "a safe place for (homeless)_families to shelter says News Tribune. . .Juneau Empire says a partnership of New Glory Hall, Gastineau Human Services, Family Busines & Alaska Housing - all based in Juneau, Alaska - awarded $868,230 in HUD Emergency Solutions Grant funds from the CARES Act by Alaska Housing Finance Corporation to help prevent those affected by the pandemic from experiencing homelessness". . .REACH Community Development & Bienestar teaming-up, says FlashAlert, to develop Plaza Los Amigos in Cornelius, Oregon providing more than 130 additional units of housing & more than doubling fast-growing city's affordable stock. . .Washington Department of Commerce award $9.4 million in CARES Act funds to support 421 non-profits statewide serving young people of all ages disproportionately affected by COVID-19 such as BIPOC, LGBTQ, migrants/immigrants, youth w/ disabilities & youth in poverty.
In federal fiscal year 2020, "FHA insurance on purchase transaction forward mortgages served 817,847 homebuyers, 83.1 percent of whom were first-time homebuyers. FHA also continues to have an extensive presence in supporting minority homeownership. Almost 33 percent of FHA's forward mortgage purchase transaction insurance endorsements were for minority borrowers." - HUD Secretary Carson in the Annual Report To Congress Regarding the Financial Status of the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund, November 13, 2020.
A survey of 900 respondents commissioned by Downtown Seattle Association & Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, says KIRO 7 finds "top frustration mentioned by respondents was overwhelmingly homelessness at 45 percent, followed by affordability & police brutality/defunding the police at 19 percent each."
"Right now, we have to address the reality that we have hundreds, if not thousands, of tents choking virtually every public space in this city & that does not comport with the public's expectations of what a humane response should be." -- Portland, Oregon Mayor Ted Wheeler, The Oregonian, November 24, 2020
NOTABLE & QUOTABLE
"Every day of my 16-year tenure at SHA, I have been given the gift of working to help make the lives of others better, and the good fortune to be able to work with people who share the same values, and who share a commitment, passion and dedication to working to improve the lives of people with low incomes. . .As I have often emphasized, our work is more than just providing housing, it is really about improving people's lives." - Announcement by Andrew Lofton, executive director of the Seattle Housing Authority, on his plans to retire in May, 2021 as reported in The Seattle Medium.
The housing market in Boise is tight & getting tighter says The Idaho Statesman. In June 2020, just 3 months after COVID-19 hit Idaho there were 976 homes listed for sale in Boise/Ada County -a record low. Not for long. It fell to 757 in July, 587 in August, 503 in September & 406 in October.
FHA updates its Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1. . .Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies publishes The State of the Nation's Housing 2020. . .Federal Register publishes HUD final rule increasing the rates HUD pays to 33 Sate Administrative Agencies fully or conditionally approved to carry out their manufactured housing oversight programs. .Patrick Quinton of Oregon-based Dweller & Galiano Tiramani of Nevada-based Boxabl discuss Affordable Housing Potential of Manufactured Alternative Dwelling Unit with HUD's The Edge. . .Boise State Public Radio broadcasts hour-long City Club of Boise panel discussion on long-term effects of redlining.
NOTES TO NOTE
Business OregonWebsite is now accepting on-line applications from non- entitlement areas of the state on first-come, first-served basis for a total of more than $5.2 million in HUD Community Development Block Grant funds from the CARES Act to be split between a Small Business & Micro-enterprise Assistance fund & an Emergency COVID-19 Impact Assistance for non-profits serving low-income people. . .HUD sets December 1st deadline for public housing authorities to apply for up to 5 JobsPlus grants of no more than $3.7 million per grant. . .HUD sets December 7th comment on a proposed rule that would affect its Housing Quality Standard inspections as well as its Housing Choice Voucher & Project Based Voucher assisted housing programs. . .HUD sets December 10th deadline for Tribes & Tribally designated housing entities to apply for $91 million in Indian Housing Block Grant-Competitive grants of between $100,000 & $5 million to "develop, maintain, & operate affordable housing in safe & healthy environments". . .HUD sets December 16th deadline for public housing authorities & cities to apply for up to 5 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grants of $35 million each to replace distressed housing & invest in distressed communities. . .U.S. Department of Labor VETS program sets December 31st, 2020 deadline for state & local workforce development groups, veterans service organizations, public agencies, Tribal governments & non-profits to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to conduct veterans Stand Downevents. . .USDA sets January 8th deadline for non-profits, state, local & Tribal governments & others to apply for a total of $10 million in Farm to School grant programs to increase access of schools to local food producers. . .HUD sets January 19th deadline for small local governments to apply for total of $1 million in HOPE VI Main Street grants. . .HUD has set a January 22nd deadline for public comments on a proposed rule to permit private flood insurance on homes with FHA-insured mortgages. . .Washington Department of Commerce sets January 29th deadline for local & state agencies, Tribes, school districts & public institutions of higher education to apply for Energy Efficiency Grants of up to $500,000 each to retrofit existing facilities to achieve energy & operational cost savings. . .FEMA sets January 29th deadline for state, local & Tribal governments to apply for 35 Flood Mitigation Assistance grants totaling $160 million to "reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings & structures insured" by National Flood Insurance Program. . .FEMA also sets January 29th deadline for states, territories & Tribes to apply for an estimated 125 Building Resilient Infrastructure & Communities grants totaling $500 million to "reduce overall risk to the population and structures from future hazard events, while also reducing reliance on federal funding from future disasters."
Oregon Health Authority, Central City Concerns, Cascadia Behavioral Services & numerous authors host virtual COVID-19& Homelessness Oregon Housing Conference, December 1st & 2nd, on-line. Visit.
Association of Alaska Housing Authorities hosts Admission & Occupancy Workshop, Decembers 1st through 3rd, on-line. Visit
Oregon Chapter of American Planning Association hosts virtual Legal Issues Workshop, December 4th, on-line. Visit
Washington Chapter of American Planning Association hosts Economic Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Case Studies from Washington State Workshop, December 9th, on-line. Visit
HUD's Northwest Office of Native American Programs hosts virtual Regular Indian Housing Block Grant Annual Performance Report Workshop, December 9th, on-line. To register, e-mail Gregory.A.Roe@hud.gov
Oregon Affordable Housing Management Association hosts virtual Talking to Tenants in Trying Times Workshop, December 9th, on-line. Visit
HUD's Northwest Office of Native American Programs hosts virtual Preparing the Indian Housing Block Grant CARES Act Performance Report, December 10th, on-line. To register, e-mail Andrea.R.Sexton@hud.gov
Oregon Affordable Housing Management Association hosts virtual COVID-19-Protect Yourself, Protect Your Properties Workshop, December 10th, on-line. Visit
Oregon Chapter of American Planning Association hosts virtual Incorporating Sea Level Rise into a Capital Facilities Plan or Capital Infrastructure Plan Webinar, December 11th, on-line. Visit
Oregon Chapter of American Planning Association hosts virtual Equity by Design Workshop, December 15th, on-line. Visit
Oregon Affordable Housing Management Association hosts virtual Complying with the Violence Against Women Act 2020 Update, December 16th, on-line. Visit.
Oregon Chapter of American Planning Association hosts virtual From Empty to Active Webinar: Reimagining Vacant Commercial and Retail Space as Residential and Social Infrastructure Workshop, December 16th, on-line. Visit
Association of Alaska Housing Authorities hosts virtual Environmental Review Workshop, January 20th to 22nd, on-line. Visit
HUD hosts a virtual Grant Writing – The Basics on Obtaining Financial Support for Your Cause to Aid your Clients Workshop, January 25th through January 28th, on-line. Visit.
HUD Multifamily Compliance Workshop, January 26th to 28th, on-line. Visit.
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