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Northwest HUDLines
January 2018
HUD e-Briefs from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington
Jeff McMorris, Region X Regional Administrator
Leland Jones, Editor, 206/220-5356 or Leland.jones@hud.gov
www.hud.gov/alaska www.hud.gov/idaho
www.hud.gov/oregon www.hud.gov/washington
http://twitter.com/hudnorthwest

MAY YOU & YOURS ENJOY
A HAPPY, HEALTHY & PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR

ENVISION VISION
Stepping up
"We need to think differently about how we can empower Americans to climb the ladder of success," HUD Secretary Carson recently told an audience in Detroit, Michigan, noting that "while funding for HUD has increased over the last twenty years, the number of households served has remained the same."  And how does he propose to meet that challenge? Through a nationwide network of what he calls EnVision Centers located on or near public housing complexes that, in collaboration with other Federal & local governments & partner organizations HUD-assisted agencies will be helped to "take the first few steps towards self-sufficiency" by connecting them to the four key pillars of self- sufficiency-- character and leadership, educational advancement, economic empowerment, and health and wellness. "Every household we are able to help graduate from HUD-assistance," the Secretary added, "allows HUD to help one more family in need." Detroit will be the first of 10 pilot EnVision Centers that HUD will open.  As Centers expand across the country, Michigan Governor Snyder observed, participants "earn a great future for themselves and their families while addressing a growing talent gap in the job market."

SPEAKING OF WHICH. . .
Ramping-up the EnVision Center pilot
The EnVision Center network proposed by Secretary Carson in Detroit is, at present, a demonstration project.  Under the law, HUD cannot move forward with implementation of a demonstration project not expressly authorized by statute until a 60-day comment period is provided.  In early December HUD opened such a comment period, publishing a Notice about the EnVision demonstration pilot in The Federal Register describing the pilot and seeking public comments by February 12th. While comments on the entirety of the pilot are welcome, please note that HUD is especially interested in those that respond eight specific questions asked in the Notice. The Notice also explained how communities would be selected as one of the 10 to participate in the pilot and requesting that interested communities submit a letter of interest in participating, also by February 12th.  Please also note that the Notice includes a description of the process by which communities will be selected to be one of the 10 pilot participants.

! ! ! JUST IN ! ! !
President Trump has approved a declaration of major disaster for the North Slope Borough in Alaska to assist recovery from severe storms in September.  The declaration authorizes Federal funding "to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged" by the storms.   
  ,

BRIEF BRIEFS
Seattle, Washington Mayor Jenny Durkan announces award of more than $100 million to develop or upgrade 1,450 units that will remain affordable for at least 50 years. . .Idaho Governor C.L. Butch Otter names Bobbi-Jo Meuleman as Director of the Idaho Department of Commerce, effective January 1st. . .HUD awards $4.9 million in renewal funds to Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Idaho Housing & Finance Association, Oregon Health Authority & Washington Department of Commerce to assist their efforts to provide tenant-based rental assistance, short-term mortgage, rental & utility assistance & supportive services to eligible households with a member with HIV/AIDS.  . The first project launched by King County, Washington Executive Dow Constantine under Best Starts for Kids tax levy approved by County voters in 2016 prevents more than 3,000 men, women & children from becoming homeless. . .Idaho Housing & Finance Association & Home Partnership Foundation contribute $200,000 in matching funds to "incentivize" 2017 Avenues for Hope Housing Challenge which supports shelter & housing services of 48 non-profit organizations across state says Idaho Press Tribune. . .RurALCAP celebrates grand opening of Muldoon Gardens, says Multifamily Housing News, 24 units of affordable housing for the homeless in Anchorage, Alaska. . .Access Inc. of Medford, Oregon, reports KBRV-TV, celebrates the grand opening of Victory Place, 17 units of affordable housing for formerly  homeless veterans. . .Rasmuson Foundation of Anchorage, Alaska awards more than $6.6 million in grants to 14 organizations including support for a Hope Community Resources housing project in Sterling, a new primary health care center in Bethel, renovation of a playground in Sitka & parkland acquisition in Mat-Su. . .Tacoma, Washington City Council okays 1-year extension of ban on camping except in designated public places & allocates additional $1.9 million to transitional housing, says News Tribune, so that "no one has to sleep on the streets". .Deschutes County, Commission okays transfer of 2.7 acres to Housing Works for development of 42 units of affordable housing in La Pine, Oregon says Bend Bulletin. . .Vancouver, Washington Housing Authority establishes line-of-credit, says Columbian, to purchase .9 acre site for development of "seven or eight townhouses" that will offer low-income families an opportunity to become first-time homeowners. . .With funding from Washington Department of Commerce, says Gazette, Korean Womens Association opens its first supportive housing for the developmentally-disabled in Sequim, Washington. . .In its first project to use of tax levy funds from measure overwhelmingly okayed by voters in the fall, 2016 elections, Portland, Oregon Mayor Wheeler says City to develop site of former Safari Club as part of its plan to build 1,300 units of affordable housing at. . .Housing Hope, City of Marysville, Snohomish County, Impact Capital and the Tulalip Tribe celebrate grand opening of Twin Lakes Landing, 50 units of affordable housing for homeless & other low-income families in Marysville, Washington that, says North County Outlook, is the largest development, to date, undertaken by Housing Hope. . . In February 2018 special election, Olympia, Washington will be asked to decide whether to increase sales tax levy to create affordable housing fund.

UPS & DOWNS
Homelessness by the numbers
On December 6th, HUD released its annual Homelessness Assessment Report to Congress for 2017 estimating the extent of homelessness in communities across the United States based on the  numbers reported by some 400 Continuums of Care during their January, 2017 "point-in-time" or "snapshot" census of the homeless in the areas they serve.  As in years past, both ups and downs, good news and bad news are reported that in January 2017 homelessness was down 4.9 percent from January 2016 and Idaho reported a 9.3 percent decline in homelessness over the same period.  On the other hand, Washington State reported a 1.4 percent rise & Oregon 5.4 percent rise.  Nationally, Continuums of Care counted 553,742 persons experienced homelessness in January 2017, an increase of .7 percent over the year before, driven by increases in both chronic & veteran homelessness & notwithstanding a 5.4 percent decline from 2016 to 2017 among families with children.  But if there's one factor that drove the .7 percent national increase after so many years of year-to-year declines, it's probably the rapidly-escalating housing prices in soma major housing markets. "In many high-cost areas of our country, especially along the West Coast," HUD Secretary Carson commented in releasing the Report, "the severe shortage of affordable housing is manifesting itself on our streets. With rents rising faster than incomes, we need to bring everybody to the table to produce more affordable housing and ease the pressure that is forcing too many of our neighbors into our shelters and onto our streets. This is not a federal problem-it's everybody's problem." What happened closer to home, you may ask, in the 18 Continuums of Care that serve Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington.   To review the full data set upon which the Report is based,  Visit. 2017 point-in-time count highlights from Continuums in our Region follow:

In Alaska
• The number of homeless people in the Anchorage Continuum of Care has fallen 2.1 percent from 2016 and 8.4 percent from 2010 to 2017. The number of sheltered homeless rose 12.5 percent from 2016 but has fallen 12.6 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of homeless individuals fell 6.3 percent from 2016 but has risen 9.5 percent from 2010 while the number of individuals in homeless families has risen 40 percent from 2016 but fallen 43 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of chronically-homeless individuals rose 132 percent from 2016 and 102 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of homeless veterans fell 22.5 percent and the number homeless youth rose 22.3 percent from 2016 to 2017.

• The number of homeless people in the Alaska Balance-of-State Continuum of Care fell 14.1 percent from 2016 but has risen 13.4 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of sheltered homeless has fallen 8.7 percent from 2016 but has risen 3.6 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of homeless individuals has fallen 18.7 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has risen 14.7 percent from 2010 while the number of individuals in homeless families has risen 18.9 percent from 2016 but fallen 30.8 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of chronically-homeless individuals rose 95.8 percent from 2016 but has fallen 5.5 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of homeless veterans fell 30.4 percent and the number homeless youth fell 40.5 percent from 2016 to 2017.

In Idaho
• The number of homeless people in the Boise/Ada County Continuum of Care has fallen 3.9 percent from 2016 and 4.5 percent from 2010 to 2017. The number of sheltered homeless has fallen 2.7 percent from 2016 and 3.3 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of homeless individuals fell 1.3 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has risen 7.9 percent from 2010 while the number of individuals in homeless families has fallen 27.1 percent from 2016 and 24.1 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of chronically-homeless individuals rose 133.1 percent from 2016 and almost ten-fold since 2010. The number of homeless veterans fell 21 percent from 2016 to 2017 and the number of homeless youth remained unchanged.

• The number of homeless people in the Idaho Balance-of-State Continuum of Care has fallen l 12.8 percent from 2016 and 18.3 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of sheltered homeless has fallen 11.9 percent from 2016 and 17.3 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of homeless individuals rose 5.6 percent from 2016 but has fallen 5.4 percent from 2017 while the number of individuals in homeless families has fallen 30.8 percent from 2016 and 22.7 percent from 2010 to 2017. The number of chronically-homeless individuals fell 44.7 percent from 2016 but has risen 47.3 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of homeless veterans fell 5.5 percent and the number homeless youth fell 10.percent from 2016 to 2017.

In Oregon
• The number of homeless people in the Eugene/Springfield Continuum of Care rose 5.4 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 40.7 percent since 2010. The number of sheltered homeless increased 1.7 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 40.7 percent since 2010.  The number of homeless individuals rose 2.7 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 33.6 percent since 2010 while the number of individuals in homeless families rose 20.1 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 53.8 percent since 2010.  The number of chronically-homeless rose 11.5 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has risen less than 1 percent since 2010.  From 2016 to 2017 the number of homeless veterans rose 1.2 percent while the number of homeless/unaccompanied youth under 25 has fallen 1.7 percent.

• The number of homeless people in the Portland/Gresham/Multnomah County Continuum of Care rose 6.7 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 1.4 percent since 2010.  The number of sheltered homeless rose 23.8 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 5.1 percent since 2010. The number of homeless individuals rose 9.7 percent and by 19.6 percent since 2010 while the number of individuals in homeless families fell 6.8 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 1.3 percent since 2010.   The number of chronically-homeless rose 22.5 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 63 percent from 2010.   The number of homeless veterans rose 6 percent and the number of homeless/unaccompanied youth under 25 by 7 percent from 2016 to 2017.

• The number of homeless people in the Medford/Ashland Continuum of Care rose 20.1 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 31.3 percent since 2010. The number of sheltered homeless rose 28.1 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 5.4 percent since 2010.  The number of homeless individuals rose 17.4 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has risen by 4 percent since 2010 while the number of people in homeless families rose by 35 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 75.9 percent since 2010.  The number of chronically-homeless fell 7.6 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has fallen 12.6 percent since 2010.  The number of homeless veterans fell 25 percent and of homeless/unaccompanied youth under 225 by 10.1 percent from 2016 to 2017.

• The number of homeless people in the Central Oregon Continuum of Care rose 29.2 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has risen 36.7 percent since 2010.  The number of sheltered homeless fell 1.1 percent between 2016 and 2017 and has fallen 1 percent since 2010.  The number of homeless individuals rose 28 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has risen 62 percent since 2010 while the number of individuals in homeless families rose 31.5 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has risen7.6 percent since 2010.  The number of chronically-homeless rose 12.8 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has risen 228 percent since 2010.  The number of homeless veterans rose 33.9 percent and of homeless/unaccompanied youth under 25 by 40.4 percent between 2016 and 2017.

• The number of homeless people in the Oregon Balance-of-State Continuum of Care - i.e., the state's smaller towns and rural areas – rose 1.5 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 52.1 percent since 2010.  The number of sheltered homeless in 2017 was just over 1 percent more than in 2016 or in 2010.  The number of homeless individuals rose 13.8 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has risen 9 percent since 2010 while the number of individuals in homeless families fell 17 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has fallen 68.6 percent since 2010.  The number of chronically homeless fell 31.5 percent from 2016 to 2017 but is up 3.5 percent from 2010.  The number of homeless veterans fell 27.8 percent from 2016 to 2017 while the number of homeless/unaccompanied youth under 25 rose 40.9 percent from 2016 to 2017.

• The number of homeless people in the Hillsboro/Beaverton/Washington County Continuum of Care fell by 4.7 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has fallen 42.7 percent since 2010.  The number of sheltered homeless fell 9.3 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has fallen 29.4 percent since 2010.  The number of homeless individuals fell 9.1 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has 32.3 percent since 2010.  The number of people in homeless families rose 4.3 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 57.7 percent since 2010.  The number of chronically-homeless rose 5.6 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has risen 3.4 percent since 2010.  The number of homeless veterans fell 7.9 percent while the number of homeless/unaccompanied youth under 25 rose 21.6 percent from 2016 to 2017.

• The number of homeless people in the Clackamas County Continuum of Care rose 7.3 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 65 percent from 2010.  The number of sheltered homeless fell 2.6 percent from 2016 to 2017 but is up 11 percent from 2010.  The number of homeless individuals rose 29.2 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 61 percent from 2010 while the number of people in homeless families fell 32.1 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has fallen 85.8 percent since 2010.  The number of chronically-homeless fell 27 percent from 2016 to 2017 but is up 65.6 percent from 2010.  The number of homeless veterans fell 18.2 percent while the number of homeless/unaccompanied youth under 25 fell 13 percent from 2016 to 2017.

In Washington
• The total number of homeless people in the Seattle/King County Continuum rose 8.6 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 29 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of sheltered homeless fell 1.1 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 1 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of unsheltered homeless rose 17.4 percent from 2016 to 2017 and by 95.9 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of individuals in homeless families fell 5 percent from 2016 to 2017 and by 17 percent from 2010 to 2017.The number of chronically-homeless rose 241 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 207 percent over 2010.  From 2016 to 2017 the number of homeless veterans in the Seattle/King County Continuum fell 30.1 percent while the number of homeless/unaccompanied youth under 25 rose 107 percent.

• The total number of homeless people in the Washington Balance-of-State Continuum of Care – i.e., the state's smaller towns and rural areas– fell 11.8 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 34.9 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of sheltered homeless rose 10.9 percent from 2016 to 2017, but fell 36.7 percent from 2010 to 2017.while unsheltered homeless rose 9.2 percent from 2016 to 2017 but have fallen 11.8 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of people in homeless families fell 14.9 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 52.7 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of chronically-homeless rose 24.4 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 161.8 percent from 2010 to 2017. The number of homeless veterans fell 9.9 percent from 2016 to 2017 while the number of homeless/unaccompanied youth under 25 rose less than a third of a percent from 2016 to 2017.

• The total number of homeless people in the Spokane City and County Continuum of Care rose 11.1 percent from 2016 to 2017 but fell 12.2 percent from 2010 to 2017. The number of sheltered homeless rose 17.7 percent from 2016 to 2017 but fell 11 percent from 2010 to 2017 while unsheltered homeless fell 19.8 percent   The number of people in homeless families fell 1.6 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 48.7 percent from 2010 to 2017. The number of chronically-homeless rose 71.9 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 48.1 percent from 2010 to 2017.  The number of homeless veterans rose 14.6 percent from 2016 to 2017 and the number of homeless/unaccompanied youth under 25 rose 22 percent from 2016 to 2017.

• The total number of homeless people in the Tacoma/Lakewood/Pierce County Continuum of Care fell 25 percent from 2016 to 2017 and was 26 percent less in 2017 than in 2010.  The number of sheltered homeless fell 36.6 percent from 2016 to 2017and has fallen by 50.1 percent since 2010.  The number of unsheltered homeless rose 2 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has risen 196.5 percent since 2010.  The number of homeless individuals fell 17.2 percent from 2016 to 2017, but has risen 26.1 percent 2010.   The number of individuals in homeless families fell 36.9 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has fallen 60.2 percent from 2010.   The number of chronically-homeless fell 13.1 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has risen 108 percent since 2010.  The number of homeless veterans fell 28.4 percent between 2016 while the number of homeless/unaccompanied youth under 25 rose 46.3 percent since 2016.

• The number of homeless people in the Everett/Snohomish County Continuum of Care rose 11 percent from 2016 to 2017 while falling 47.2 percent since 2010.  The number of sheltered homeless rose 12.7 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 60.7 percent since 2010.  The number of homeless individuals rose 11.1 percent from 2016 to 2017but has fallen 2.5 percent since 2010 while the number of individuals in families rose 8.9 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 76.8 percent since 2010.  The number of chronically-homeless rose 52.4 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 62.6 percent since 2010.  The number of homeless veterans fell 28.4 percent from 2016 to 2017 while the number of homeless/unaccompanied youth under 25 fell 3.3 percent.

• The number of homeless people in the Yakima City/County Continuum of Care rose 38.8 percent from 2016 to 2017 and has risen 12.8 percent since 2010. The number of sheltered homeless individuals rose 44.3 percent from 2010 to 2017 and has risen 18.3 percent since 2010.  The number of homeless individuals rose 36 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 12.5 percent since 2010 while the number of individuals in homeless families rose 41.8 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 12.1 percent since 2010.  The number of chronically-homeless fell 18.1 percent between 2016 and 2017 but has risen 34.1 percent since 2010.  The number of homeless veterans rose 113.3 percent and the number of homeless/unaccompanied youth under 25 rose 122 percent from 2016 to 2017.

• The number of homeless people in the Vancouver/Clark County Continuum of Care rose 8.9 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 32.2 percent since 2010. The number of sheltered homeless 3.7 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 46.4 percent since 2010. The number of homeless individuals rose 11 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 29.2 percent since 2010 while the number of individuals in homeless families rose 7 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 34.6 percent since 2010. The number of chronically-homeless rose 36.5 percent from 2016 to 2017 but has fallen 47.6 percent since 2010.  The number of homeless veterans fell 25 percent while the number of homeless/unaccompanied youth under 25 fell 12.5 percent from 2016 to 2017.

BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
Thirty-seven housing authorities in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington awarded total of almost $4.9 million in Family Self Sufficiency grants to foster economic independence of their residents by helping them connect, says HUD Secretary Carson, to "opportunities & lead them to higher-paying jobs" so they no longer need public or rental assistance. . .Sojourners Alliance executive director tells community leaders in Moscow, Idaho that it may take up to 8 months to complete repairs to transitional housing facility badly-damaged by December fire reports Daily News. . .In the first use of tax levy funds generated by a measure approved by voters last fall, Portland, Oregon Mayor Ted Wheeler says City will develop site of former nightclub in Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood as part of its plan for 1,300 new affordable housing units. . .Habitat for Humanity of Rogue Valley in Oregon says it will become "hub" for "extending the life of gadgets" & "gizmos," reports Mail Tribune, by hiring "full-time "waste manager"" & "institute repair programs & even coordinate public workshops aimed at getting people to fix and reuse damaged items so they don't end up in landfills". . .Snohomish County, Washington okays $1.6 million commitment, says The Tribune, to City of Everett's proposed 65-unit low-barrier housing for the homeless  putting project to be built by Catholic Housing Services "on track to open by fall 2019". . .Fairbanks, Alaska Housing ^ Homeless Coalition, North Star Community Foundation & Fairbanks Native Association, says KTVF-TV, host symposium focused on implementing permanent supportive housing, rapid re-housing & employment initiatives for the homeless. . .Kaiser Permanente Northwest donates $591,000 to ShelterCare of Eugene, Oregon, reports Register Guard, to provide temporary housing to up to 40 homeless individuals with "severe mental illness or serious medical conditions". . .Behavioral health crisis center opens doors in Boise – the fourth in Idaho – to divert those in crisis from costly emergency health & criminal justice systems, reports Idaho Statesman, as similar center in Twin Falls tells Times-News it's served "nearly 1,000 people" in its first year. . .Multnomah County, Oregon Commissioners vote unanimously to approve sale of never-used Wapato detention center & dedicate the proceeds - $10.8 million – to affordable housing says The Outlook . . .Assembly of God Church in Terrace Heights, Washington & Transform Yakima Together form partnership, says KIMA-TV, to build 4 "tiny homes: for the homeless on church property. . .Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Tribal Council in Oregon approves expansion of its early childhood & youth education center with, in part, HUD Indian Community Development Block Grants funds. . .Washington State Department of Commerce's Office of Homeless Youth to support & expand housing & supportive services to at-risk & homeless young people in 22 counties over next 18 months. . .Veterans Village – 30 tiny homes for chronically-homeless veterans being built on 1.5 acres owned by Clackamas County Clackamas – is half-done, says Oregonian, thanks to efforts of volunteers & Portland State University architecture with the next 15 "pods" to be built by the vets themselves. . .Juneau Alaska's Housing First complex for highly-vulnerable homeless passes "major milestone" as co-located medical clinic run by Juneau Alliance for Mental Health admits its first patient says KTOO. . .Compass Health plans to build 82-unit  complex on its campus in Everett, Washington to house mentally-ill homeless says Herald. . .Island County, Washington Commissioners vote unanimously to purchase 7-acre parcel, says South Whidbey Record, to develop "regional crisis stabilization center and affordable housing complex."

"ROBUSTO-NOMICS"
FHA sets higher mortgage limits for 2018
Through the first 11 months of calendar 2017, the Federal Housing Administration – FHA – endorsed 52,685 mortgages in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington & currently has a portfolio of just 298,000 active mortgages in force in the four states.  Reflecting "robust increases in median housing prices," on December 7th the  FHA issued Mortgagee Letter 2017-16 regarding a schedule of new loan limits for FHA-insured mortgages on single-family (1 to 4 units) homes that will be effective for FHA case numbers assigned on or after January 1st, 2018. Under the National Housing Act as amended, FHA sets the limits at 115 percent of the median home sales price within floor and ceiling limits for all markets in the nation.  In 2018, the floor limit for a one-unit single-family mortgage will be $294,515, up from $275,665 in 2017while the one-unit, single-family ceiling will be $679,650, up from i$636,150 n 2017 (Note- Alaska, Hawaii & the Virgin Islands are "special exception" areas with ceiling limits higher than on mainland markets).   In 2018, 82.1 percent of the nation's counties will be at the floor limit, 2.3 percent at the ceiling limit & 15.5 percent will be at limits in between.  For information about the new loan limits in your community, please visit our press release or  visit our FHA loan limit tool.

FHA-DDENDA
On December 7th, FHA also issued Mortgagee Letter 2017-17 setting a new limit for its "reverse" or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage in 2018.  Effective January 1st, the limit will be $679,650.  That limit covers all markets, including those in "special exception" areas like Alaska and Hawaii.   It also issued Mortgagee Letter 2017-18 announcing that "properties encumbered with PACE – Property Assessed Clean Energy – obligations will no longer be eligible for FHA-insured forward mortgages.  "FHA can no longer tolerate," said HUD Secretary Carson, " putting taxpayers at risk by allowing obligations like these to be placed ahead of the mortgage itself in the event of a default"

ON THEIR WAY
From dependence to independence
Thirty-seven housing authorities in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington awarded total of almost $4.9 million in Family Self Sufficiency grants allow public housing agencies) to work with social service agencies, community colleges, businesses, and other local partners to help public housing residents and individuals participating in HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Program  advance their education or gain marketable skills that will help them get a job or advance in their current workplace. All told, this year – the program's 25th year - HUD awarded some $75 million to 685 housing authorities.  "For 25 years," said HUD Secretary Carson, "HUD and our local partners have been connecting residents to job training, childcare and other resources that expand their opportunities and lead them towards higher paying jobs."

Reco[oemt

 

City

 

Amount

 

Recipient

 

City

 

Amount

 

ALASKA

 

City

 

Amount

 

Marion County Housing Authority

 

Salem

 

$48,111

 

Alaska Housing Finance Corporation

 

Anchorage

 

$270,217

 

Mid-Columbia Housing Authority

 

The Dalles

 

$54,253

 

IDAHO

 

      OR STATE TOTAL

 

$2,246,046

 

Ada County Housing Authority

 

Boise

 

$111,708

 

WASHINGTON

 

   
Boise City Housing Authority

 

Boise

 

$111,710

 

Housing Authority of Island County

 

Coupeville

 

$51,269

 

Southwestern Idaho Cooperative Housing Authority

 

Middleton

 

$90,408

 

Housing Authority of the City of Pasco and Franklin County

 

Pasco

 

$20,484

 

Idaho Housing and Finance Association

 

Boise

 

$254,980

 

Housing Opportunities of SW WA  (Longview Housing Authority)

 

Longview

 

$85,068

 

OREGON

 

ID STATE TOTAL

 

$568,806

 

Housing Authority of Chelan County and the City of Wenatchee

 

Wenatchee

 

$42,284

 

Northeast Oregon Housing Authority

 

La Grande

 

$91,705

 

Peninsula Housing Authority

 

Port Angeles

 

$94,170

 

Central Oregon Regional Housing Authority

 

Redmond

 

$135,245

 

Pierce County Housing Authority

 

Tacoma

 

$138,000

 

Housing Authority of Jackson County

 

Medford

 

$129,610

 

Housing Authority of the City of Vancouver

 

Vancouver

 

$195,085

 

Housing & Community Services Agency of Lane County

 

Eugene

 

$208,139

 

King County Housing Authority

 

Tukwila

 

$333,607

 

Housing Authority & Urban Renewal Agency of Polk County

 

Dallas

 

$67,253

 

Housing Authority of Skagit County

 

Burlington

 

$51,897

 

Linn-Benton Housing Authority

 

Albany

 

$138,200

 

Seattle Housing Authority

 

Seattle

 

$416,277

 

Housing Authority of Washington County

 

Hillsboro

 

$123,528

 

The Housing Authority of the City Bremerton

 

Bremerton

 

$67,006

 

Housing Authority of the City of Salem

 

Salem

 

$269,843

 

Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority

 

Silverdale

 

$25,756

 

Housing Authority of Clackamas County

 

Oregon City

 

$99,286

 

Housing Authority of Thurston County

 

Olympia

 

$133,892

 

Northwest Oregon Housing Authority

 

Warrenton

 

$45,761

 

Housing Authority of the City of Tacoma

 

Tacoma

 

$197,662

 

Home Forward

 

Portland

 

$515,024

 

Housing Authority of the City of Yakima

 

Yakima

 

$115,967

 

Housing Authority of Yamhill County

 

McMinnville

 

$265,835

 

  WA STATE TOTAL

 

$1,968,424

 

GOT VIEWS?
Streamlining rental regs
Speaking of Family Self Sufficiency, HUD has recently-published a request for comments in The Federal Register seeking input on its plan to develop new performance measurement systems for both Family Self-Sufficiency programs that receive HUD funding & those that don't. The deadline for comments is January 26th.  If you've got views to share, now's the time!

GOT NAMES?
Honor thy neighbor
The Washington Department of Commerce has set February 8th as the deadline to submit nominations for the 2018 Governor's Volunteer Service Awards honoring people who "devote incredible energy to making your community and our state a better place to live."  Given the kind of work you do, we'd suspect you won't have to look too far to find someone you know & work with who'd be perfect for an Award.  So, don't be shy. Submit a nomination.  And do it today!

BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
HUD economist's analysis of housing & economy in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington for 3rd quarter of 2017 concludes that continued "strong economic growth led to generally tight sales housing market" building on "trend that began 2 years prior". . .Kootenai County, Idaho Commission to consider zoning code change that, for the first time, would allow conditional use permits to develop transitional housing – i.e., "tiny house villages" – in commercial areas says Coeur d'Alene Press. . .Tacoma, Washington Arts Commission announces Arts Project awards to 19 organizations notable for engaging a "wider variety of underserved neighborhoods". . .Construction's now underway on 6-story Blackburn Building, Central City Concern's new campus on the east side of Portland, Oregon that will provide 61 respite & palliative care units that will "be one of the few resources in North America that helps to support homeless individuals at the end of their lives" says CEO Rachel Solotaroff. . .Walla Walla County, Washington Commission considering whether to put increase in sales or property tax before voters, says Union Bulletin, that could raise between $1 million and nearly $3 million a year to support affordable housing. . .Teton Valley, Idaho News says Eastern Idaho Community Action Program has "expressed interest in helping to address Valley's lack of affordable housing". . .Cities of Bend & Prineville, Oregon launch on-line Fair Housing Community Survey asking residents "how housing choice, prices and transportation have affected where residents live in Central Oregon" says Bend Bulletin. . . Jonathan Mallahan, "long-time" director of City of Spokane, Washington's neighborhood & business services division, steps down to become Catholic Charities' vice president for housing, says Spokesman Review. .  .EPA awards $2 million to Coeur d'Alene, Colville, Lummi, Nez Perce, Quinault, Siletz, Spokane, Umatilla, Upper Skagit, & Makah Tribes to for water quality protection & restoration. . .On first reading the Sitka, Alaska Assembly becomes 3rd city in state to adopt ordinance prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing & public accommodations race and religion, age and disability, gender and sexual identity" reports KCAW. . .Housing Authority of Clackamas County, Oregon wins Metro grant to develop, in collaboration with area residents,  the City of Milwaukie, Providence Medical Center & the County's public health department, a master plan for the revitalization of the Hillside Park public housing community. . .Sound Transit okays "no cost" transfer worth $8.6 million of half-acre, surplus parcel on First Hill in Seattle, Washington says Capitol Hill Times, to Bellwether Housing & Plymouth Housing Group for joint development by 2021 of more than 300 units of affordable housing. . .Hope Community Resources tells The Clarion it anticipates a January opening for 6-home "intentional neighborhood" for persons with developmental disabilities in Sterling, Alaska.

FAC-TASTIC
Credit where it's due
We at HUD take our hat off to our colleagues at USDA's Rural Development which, by all accounts, had a very productive year.  It invested, for example $1.3 billion to build or improve 736 water and sewer infrastructure systems. Helped 121,351 very-low-, low- and moderate-income rural residents buy homes & built or rehabilitated 6,228 units of affordable rental housing. Supported 338 projects for essential community services with $914 million in investments. Financed more than 17,700 miles of new and improved electric transmission and distribution lines.  The men & women of USDA, said Secretary Perdue, have "a great deal to be proud of."  Indeed, they do.

FAC- or NOT-SO-FACTASTIC?
Idaho booms
Some will celebrate, some will not as U.S. Census reports that Idaho is now the fastest-growing of the 50 states. Our "gem" has now been discovered. It's up to you as to whether you think it's a good idea or bad to spread the word.  And, by the way, Washington & Oregon aren't far behind.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"Heaven has welcomed home a dedicated & faithful servant"
"Father Frank Bach generously gave his life in service to the most vulnerable individuals in our community.  Ordained a Catholic priest of the Spokane Diocese in 1956, he served the People of God for more than five decades – notably expending his love and energy as Executive Director of Catholic Charities from 1968 to 1974. His untiring efforts to provide housing for the poor led to Catholic Charities' portfolio of over 1100 units of housing today. . .The driving force in Father Bach's work and powerful personality were shaped by his faith and his unyielding commitment to the marginalized.  He was a man of unwavering Christlike service, personal integrity and charming wit – a man of the Gospel who valued hard work, honesty and compassion for others. His wisdom and advocacy will be greatly missed.  Father Bach leaves us with these challenging and insightful words: There are no thruway people.  Every individual is precious.   How we respond to them is sometimes difficult because sometimes they are difficult. But God loves everybody. God is very non-judgmental."  Rest in Peace, Fr. Bach. . . "In memory of Frank Father Bach," Catholic Charities of Spokane, December 19, 2017

QUOTEWORTHY
QXOXOXOX
"Compared to the metro area, folks in rural areas are more impacted because wages and housing costs are even more out of balance. There is a lack of public transportation options, and in many communities, there simply is no housing that's affordable and close to a job. "We have communities across our state where the people who work in those communities can no longer afford to live there, or can't find a place to live there and it is absolutely impacting many different sectors of the economy," – Alison McIntosh of Neighborhood Partners & the Oregon Housing Alliance, in "Housing Rural Oregon: A Crisis Beyond Portland's Boundaries," Street Roots, December 11, 2017

WORD TO THE WISE
"Sweat the small stuff"
Winter's upon us and, no surprise, these days we're spending more of our time in the Great Indoors.  Which means, we'd hope, that you've made sure all your indoor gizmos & gadgets, appliances & electronics- are in good working order. In the event, however, that you haven't, here's a story courtesy of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation about why it should be at the top of your "to-do" list. Just ask Peter Reynold & his family.

WORTH A READ
Treehouse turnaround
Seven years ago, the non-profit Treehouse that serves foster kids in Seattle & King County, Washington learned that the high school of its students was 36 percent.  For every child graduated, almost two did not. Today, nine out of ten of its students graduate.  Some turnaround.  All Things Considered explains how it happened it.

JUST PUBLISHED
Oregon Housing & Community Services posts reminder about where's & when's of more than 80 "severe weather" & warming shelters across state operated by Oregon Community Action Partnership & its network of some 1,000 non-profit partners & supported by $40 million appropriated by 2017 Oregon Legislature.. . .HUD launches WISER – Web-Based Instructional System for Environmental Review. . .Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University study of U.S. rental market in 2017 finds that while "surge" in higher-cost rental housing is "slowing" the "affordability challenge" facing low-income & working-class households remains "persistent". . . HUD publishes Community First: Ensuring Housing Development Meets the Demands of the Market a& Existing Residents, a guide on market factors HUD grantees should analyze "characteristics & needs of their potential buyer markets & how to attract homebuyers". . . Oregon Community Foundation issues 2017 Tracking Oregon's Progress report focusing on the state's "opportunity gap". . .HUD issues Homeowner's Guide to Success, a guide says HUD Secretary Carson, that  "can make a tremendous difference in the lives of homeowners who may be faced with foreclosure". . .Technical Assistance Collaborative & Citizens with Disabilities Housing Task Force publish Priced Out: The Housing Crisis for People with Disabilities. . .HUD issues Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis for Bellingham & Tacoma-Lakewood, Washington. . .Multnomah County Department of Health releases Domicile Unknown, an analysis of deaths among people experiencing homelessness in Multnomah County, Oregon in 2016.

NOTES TO NOTE
HUD sets January 8th as the deadline to apply for the position of Administrator of the Office of Native American Programs in Alaska. . .HUD sets January 12th deadline for public comments on proposed expansion of streamlined regulations first applied in March, 2016 to Housing Choice Voucher & public housing to project-based rental, Section 202 & Section 811 housing. . .Oregon Housing & Community Services sets January 19th as deadline to respond to its request-for-information concerning establishment of a Housing for Mental Health Fund. . .Oregon Governor Kate Brown & Oregon Housing & Community Services set January 25th deadline to respond to respond to a request-for-applications for up to $4.5 million to develop workforce housing. . .s HUD sets January 26th deadline for public comment on its plan to establish new performance measurement systems for Family Self-Sufficiency programs that receive HUD funding & those who don't. . .Oregon sets January 31, 2018 deadline to apply for $25 million in seismic rehabilitation funds for schools & $10 million for seismic rehabilitation in emergency services projects.. .Washington Department of Commerce sets February 8th deadline to nominate candidates 2018 Governor's Volunteer Service Awards. . .HUD sets February 12th deadline to submit comments on & for communities to express interest in participating in the pilot described in its Advance Notification the EnVision Center Demonstration pilot. . .EPA sets February 16th deadline to apply for up to 10 grants of up to $120,000 each under its Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement program. . .Department of Veterans Affairs sets February 28th deadline to apply for per diem funding under its Homeless Providers Per Diem & Grant program. . .Seattle, Washington's Downtown Emergency Service Center says registration now open for 2018 Housing First Partners Conference, April 9th to 12th, in Denver, Colorado.

COMING UP
HUD hosts Q&A Webinar on 2018 Housing Inventory & Point-in-Time Processes, January 4th, on-line. Visit

Alaska Association of REALTORS hosts annual Leadership Conference, January 11thh, Anchorage, Alaska. Visit

Washington Stat Housing Finance Commission hosts Fundamentals of Tax Credit Compliance, January 18th, Seattle, Washington. Visit 

Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians hosts 2018 Winter Conference, January 22nd to 25th, Portland, Oregon. Visit

Association of Idaho Cities hosts 2018 Water Users Summit, January 22nd, Boise, Idaho. Visit

Northwest Indian Housing Association hosts quarterly meeting, January 22nd to 25th, Chehalis, Washington.  Visit

HUD Alaska Office of Native American Programs & Association of Alaska Housing Authorities host QuickBooks Intermediate Training Workshop, January 23rd, Anchorage, Alaska. Visit

HUD Alaska Office of Native American Programs & Association of Alaska Housing Authorities host QuickBooks Advanced Training Workshop, January 24th, Anchorage, Alaska. Visit

HUD Oregon hosts Basics of Fair Housing Workshop, January 31st, Portland, Oregon. Visit

HHS' Administration for Children & Families hosts Human Trafficking & the Opioid Crisis Webinar, January 31st, on-line. Visit  

International Living Future Institute hosts Bringing Regenerative Design to Your Practice, February 1st & 2nd, Bainbridge Island, Washington. Visit

HUD's Office of Native American Programs & Association of Alaska Housing Authorities host workshop on Meth Decontamination, February 6th & 7th, Anchorage, Alaska. Visit

Portland State University's Institute on Sustainability hosts 2018 Elevating Impact Summit, February 9th, Portland, Oregon. Visit

Oregon Affordable Housing Management Association hosts Conquering HUD Compliance workshop, February 14th to 16th, Salem, Oregon. Visit

Alaska Municipal League hosts Winter Conference, February 20th to 22nd, Juneau, Alaska. Visit

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