Home / State Information / Shared / Working / Region 10 / Newsletters / March 2015 Newsletter
Northwest HUDLines
March 2015
HUD e-Briefs from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington
Bill Block, Region X Regional Administrator (206) 220-5356
Leland Jones, Editor
www.hud.gov/alaska www.hud.gov/idaho
www.hud.gov/oregon www.hud.gov/washington
http://twitter.com/hudnorthwest

BUDGETARY BLUEPRINT
HUD's proposed fiscal year 2016 budget
Early on the morning of February 2nd President Obama released the details of his proposed fiscal year 2016 Federal budget which begins on October 1st, including HUD's $49.3 billion spending plan. It is, said HUD Secretary Julián Castro, "a blueprint for greater opportunity for all Americans," a blueprint that builds on the wide range of HUD programs which, over the years, have proven themselves essential to preserving and expanding the nation's housing stock, helping thousands of cities and counties meet their most press community and economic development needs and insuring that millions of our most vulnerable fellow citizens are not left behind. Building on programs, for example, like Programs like HUD Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers which already have made a major contribution to reducing veteran homelessness by a third and are key to ending it by the end of this calendar year. Programs like the Rental Assistance Demonstration initiative which has opened the door to hundreds of millions of dollars in private capital to improve our nation's public housing stock. Programs like Choice Neighborhoods program which is reconnecting and revitalizing isolated and distressed neighborhoods in cities across the country. And many, many more. all of which will permit HUD, the Secretary noted, to advance its "mission to promote homeownership, support community development - including making neighborhoods more resilient from natural disasters - and expand access to affordable housing for all."

MEETING THE CHALLENGE
On February 27th, more than 150 Federal, State and Local officials gathered via a three-hour video conference from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offices in Anchorage, Boise, Portland, Seattle as well as office in Pocatello and Washington, D.C. gathered via video conference to meet a challenge - ending veteran homelessness by the end of calendar 2015, The regional forum was convened by HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Bill Block as part of a nationwide campaign - the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness - that was launched by First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House event in August 2014. Since 2010, HUD and its partners have achieved a 33 percent reduction nationwide in the number of veterans who are homeless. event Mayors participating in the Friday Mayors' Challenge video conference included Mayor Paul Loomis of Blackfoot, Mayor Patty Lents of Bremerton, video, Mayor Kitty Piercy of Eugene, Mayor Brian Blad of Pocatello and Mayor Paul Restucci of Sunnyside. Representatives of the mayors and county executives of the City of Anchorage, Bellingham, City of Boise, City of Portland, City of Seattle, City of Tacoma, King County, Multnomah County, Pierce County, and Snohomish County and Whatcom County also participated. Participating local governments made presentations about the tools they have found most effective in reaching-out to and serving homeless veterans. A number of them indicated that they are close to attaining "functional zero" in the number of homeless vet their community. "We have made significant progress in reducing veteran homelessness and we know what works," said HUD Regional Administrator Block, "Already we are seeing cities from Binghamton, New York to New Orleans, Louisiana that have ended veterans homelessness. And we know this is a goal we can and will achieve."

BOOMER BUMMERS
What's not to like about reverse mortgages
Today there are more than 625,000 "reverse mortgages" in effect. No surprise, you say, since it's such a simple concept. You've getting along in years, own your home outright and are looking for a little bit more cash to make your golden years shine even brighter. So, you borrow against the equity you've built up in what's probably your single-biggest asset - your home. Simple, right? Not so says the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after a review of some 1,200 complaints about reverse mortgages it's received since December 2011. The complaints, says Bureau director Richard Cordray, "tell us that the complex terms of reverse mortgages continue to be misunderstood," Why the upset? "Distress about the inability to add new borrowers to an existing loan," says the Bureau. "Frustration with runarounds when trying to pay off the debt as well as struggles with foreclosure due to issues with property taxes and homeowners' insurance." More and more boomers growing more and grayer means, says the Bureau's report (www.consumerfinance.gov/reports/snapshot-of-reverse-mortgage-complaints-december-2011-2014/), more and more reverse mortgages and, apparently, more and more confusions.

TAX TIME
Why the Earned Income Tax Credit Matters
Tax time's right around the corner, not just for the happy taxpayers who expect a refund or the not-so-happy who'll be writing a check to Uncle Sam but also for those Americans eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit. Every year, it seems, coalitions form to make sure the EITC-eligible apply. Why the big fuss? Big bucks. In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service's EITC Central reports, 967,000 Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington taxpayers received the Credit. The regional pay-out? More than $1.9 billion. That's just over $2,000 per filer. Not enough, of course, to make anyone rich, but it's certainly enough to leave a budget a bit less stretched and, at least for a while, a family a little stressed. It's good for those families, obviously, but it's also good for us. Because almost all of that $1.9 billion made it pretty quick into the economy where, as money tends to do, it had a multiplier effect, creating still more problem. There is one glitch though. About a quarter of the folks who were eligible and could have applied and would have received payments, didn't. That's what all the fuss is about. So, if you have a friend or a neighbor or a family member who you think might be eligible and might not know how or where or whether to apply, give ‘em a gentle nudge. It'll be good for them and, as a result, good for the rest of us.

FACT-SINATING
How much more can the Earned Income Tax Credit Matter
One more tidbit about the Earned Income Tax Credit. For the 2010 tax years, EITC Central reports, 83.2 percent of eligible Idaho households filed for the EITC. Only one state - Mississippi - topped that. Great job, Idaho! Not bad for Alaska, either, where 76.2 percent of eligible households filed. But Washington,- with a 73.1 percent participation rate - 47th out of 50 states while Oregon - at 71 percent, - tied for dead last with California. Was that the sound of Governor McCall rolling over we just hear?

CLARIFICATION
The operational consequences of HUD's Equal Access Rule
In January, 2012, HUD issued regulations "intended to ensure that HUD's core housing programs: are open to all eligible persons, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity." It was an important step in insuring the rights of LGBT Americans to enjoy the same housing opportunities as all Americans. To insure efficient and full implementation of that policy, on February 6 HUD has now has issued a clarification of its policy on Program Eligibility for HUD Assisted and Insured Housing Programs for All People Regardless of Sexual orientation, Gender Identity or Marital Status as Required by HUD's Equal Access Rule. HUD also has issued a clarification on the Appropriate Placement for Transgender Persons in Single-Sex Emergency Shelters and Other Facilities (https://www.hudexchange.info/resource/4428/notice-cpd-15-02-appropriate-placement-for-transgender-persons-in-single-sex-emergency-shelters-and-other-facilities?hootPostID=69492d7c452c235e40ebd554bf40d709). It's an "injustice," explained HUD Secretary Castro, "that any transgender person is mistreated when seeking help."

BRIEF BRIEFS
Noting the $80 million in construction projects and 1,300 housing units it has produced over the last 20 years in the Eugene-Springfield metro area, St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County executive director Terry McDonnell tells KVAL-TV (www.kval.com/news/local/Its-not-just-a-charity-operation-Its-not-just-thrift-stores-291591081.html) the organization is "not just a charity operation. . .not just thrift stores" but "about helping build the economic base in our community". . .In unanimous vote, says Seattle Times, City Council "adjusts" program providing 12-year property tax exemption on new multifamily housing that includes affordable units by raising affordability set-aside from20 to 25 percent and cutting maximum rent from $1,004to"$618 per month. . .Home Forward (www.homeforward.org/get-informed/current-news/home-forward-will-increase-rent-assistance-limits-march-1?hootPostID=db3c1c729e6a61bf217ea6b665484d6e), the housing authority in Portland, says it will raise Housing Choice Voucher housing payment standards effective March 1st to "keep pace with the robust Portland area rental market" and to give people with a voucher " greater ability to rent in all areas of the community. . .Bremerton Housing Authority to open waiting list for Housing Choice Vouchers from March 3rd to 23rd while the Seattle Housing Authority will open the list for its Housing Choice Voucher lottery from March 23rd to April 10th. . .Alaska First Lady Donna Walker sets March 2nd deadline to submit nominations for Alaska Volunteers of the Year Award. . .The Vitus Group - "the Seattle firm that specializes in revitalizing aging apartments to preserve low-cost housing," says Puget Sound Business Journal (www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/health-care-inc/2015/02/michelle-obama-gets-boost-from-seattle-real-estate.html) - signs-on to Partnership for a Healthier America campaign chaired by First Lady Michelle Obama and promises" upgraded "exercise areas, bicycle storage & gardens" - and, even, cooking classes - "in at least 80 percent of its developments". . .Bienestar selects Ann Blaker to succeed Karen Shawcross who is retiring after seven years of service as executive director. . .Portland Housing Center reports a 28 percent increase in home purchases - including a record 650 first-time homebuyers - in 2014. . .20 years after Seattle launches "urban village" approach to neighborhood development KPLU says study reports "mixed results" (http://kplu.org/post/seattle-s-urban-villages-strategy-yields-mixed-results-sustainable-growth?hootPostID=ae7d25e0f296b585fdedd7500de83f05) in how well it worked. . .Mercy Housing Northwest hosts "work's started!" ceremony at New Tacoma II, forty more units of affordable housing for the elderly in Tacoma.

WHAT THE HACK?
Developing HUD-smart phones
In January HUD Secretary Julián Castro joined Stan Humphries, chief economist for the real estate firm Zillow, in Washington, D.C for a streamed, nationwide "fireside chat" about questions on "some of the more prevalent themes on the minds of today's homeowners, buyers and renters." A theme, no surprise, that emerges again and again in conversations like these is "how to I find housing that is affordable and right for me?" Nuts-and-bolts answers to those kinds of questions were the focus of a February "hackathon" hosted by Zillow, the University of Washington and HUD in downtown Seattle. What the heck, you may ask, is a hackathon? A first-time golfer struggling to finish 18 by sundown. A cabbie pulling two straight 12-hour shifts. A homeowner chopping up a 60-foot oak for firewood. Nope, nope and nope again! Read more on what a hackathon is - and can do for housing.

"BETTER" BUILT
Building homes "fit" for Alaska
A columnist once wrote that Jack Hebert, executive director of the Cold Climate Housing Research Center at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, is "obsessed." Not with antique automobiles or collecting vintage coins or, even, mastering the game of cribbage. His obsession is housing and, especially, Alaskan housing. "More than half of all the homes in the state are 30 years old or older and in need of a retrofit," he noted recently in The Alaska Dispatch (www.adn.com/article/20150107/alaska-needs-more-housing-designed-built-and-maintained-north), and "here's no question that housing in Alaska faces a great challenge - high construction and energy costs, health and durability issues and severe overcrowding." Alaskans, he added, "can't afford not to build better." Easy, of course, to say. But what's he mean by "better"? For that, you may want to speak with folks at Yukon Kuskokwim Economic Development Council, a newly-formed subsidiary of the Association of Village Council Presidents. It's just been awarded a $70,000 grant by the State of Alaska, reports KYUK-FM (www.alaskapublic.org/2015/02/19/ykedc-gets-grant-to-improve-economy-housing/), to create jobs in "one of the state's most economically distressed regions." How? By manufacturing trusses and, as a result says project director Brent Latham, "dozens of jobs, in my thinking, especially with the truss-manufacturing plant combined with the additional jobs that would be needed to harvest timber and make lumber out of timber." So what's so "better" about that. The design of the truss, Hebert notes, that helps reduce the annual fuel oil consumption of a house built with them by up to 80 percent. "If the plan goes forward," KYUK says, "local workers would use the region's wood resources to build frames for highly energy efficient housing." Jobs created, houses better-suited to the Arctic built, energy consumption cut, dollars saved. Looks like a whole lot of "betters" in that.

GOT VIEWS?
How to make home buying homes easier in rural America
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking public comment on a recently-published proposed rule (www.consumerfinance.gov/newsroom/cfpb-issues-proposal-to-facilitate-access-to-credit-in-rural-and-underserved-areas/) intended to "facilitate responsible lending by small creditors, particularly in rural and underserved areas." Among other things, the proposal would increase the origination limit in "small creditor" from 500 to 2,000 first-lien originations, would begin to include the assets of affiliates in determining whether an institution meets the "small creditor" asset limit of $2 billion or less and would expand the definition of "rural." The proposal rule, said Bureau director Richard Cordray, will "help consumers in rural or underserved areas access the mortgage credit they need, while still maintaining these important new consumer protections." Comments are due March 30th.

! ! ! NEWS TO NOTE ! ! !
Final adjustment factors published
The February 9th edition of The Federal Register (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/02/09/2015-02622/section-8-housing-assistance-payments-program-annual-adjustment-factors-fiscal-year-2015) has published the final fiscal year 2015 annual adjustment factors for units covered under HUD's Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment program. They took effect on February 9th.

GETTING IT WRITE
FHA offers "user friendly" way to advise delinquent borrowers to get help
FHA-approved lenders are obligated to provide delinquent borrowers with a notice describing the availability of housing counseling offered by HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and by the lender. To make sure everybody's on the same page and the notice does what it's supposed to do, on February 4th FHA issued Mortgagee Letter 2015-04 with a model template that's "user-friendly" and will make sure FHA "borrowers understand how housing counselors can assist them." It's available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese & Chinese.

NOFA-TUNITY
Renewal funding for VA Supportive Services to Veteran Families
The Department of Veterans Affairs has set March 17th as the deadline for existing grant programs providing services under its Supportive Services to Veterans Families program to submit requests for renewal funding for activities beginning October 1st. Some $300 million is available and some 320 renewal awards anticipated. The award maximum is $2 million. Visit www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?agencies%3DVA%7CDepartment%20of%20Veterans%20Affairs.

BRIEF BRIEFS TOO
HUD awards $941,276 in public housing capital funds to 10 Idaho housing authorities (http://ow.ly/d/2YYE), $2 million to Alaska Housing & Finance (http://ow.ly/d/2YZh), $8.2 million to 15 Oregon authorities (http://ow.ly/d/2YYN), $24.2 million to 29 Washington State authorities (http://ow.ly/d/2YYR). . .Portland's A Home for Everyone Coalition (https://www.portlandoregon.gov/phb/article/518602) okays plan to "end veterans homelessness in our community" by the end of the year. . .With only two projects completed since its establishment in 2004, Bellingham City Council, Herald reports, is considering revisions to "sweeten the deal for developers who agree to build affordable housing. . .Residents of the village of Kake is smack-dab in the middle of an Alaska rain forest but say (www.capitalcityweekly.com/stories/123114/new_1233767842.shtml?hootPostID=28d9b99e880db80104218224fce15dab) solar is working just fine for them. .NeibhborWorks Anchorage & Alaska Growth Capital, a CDFI, take "Keep the Change" financial literacy classes on-the-road (http://www.nwanchorage.org/node/407?hootPostID=1d8e9118f9553536211a0a7772ed6045) to the North Slope. . .KTVA-TV pays visit to Knik House in Wasilla, the first transitional housing for homeless adults in the Mat-Su Valley. . .http://www.ktva.com/transitional-housing-for-homeless-adults-comes-to-the-valley. . .Habitat for Humanity of the Rogue Valley, says Daily Tidings (www.dailytidings.com/article/20150217/News/150219832) of Ashland, has, until now, bought land and built homes from the ground up" but now is "critical home repair" for low-income owners who could never afford it" in order to "relieves blight, raises neighborhood morale and enables them to stay in their homes". . .Noting "we are receiving more requests for [donating] structures than we have places to put them," ARCH Community Housing Trust director Michelle Griffith is asking Blaine County to donate four parcels - about 2.5 acres of county land - as sites to place them, says Idaho Mountain Express. . .Washington State Housing Finance Commission okay financing for LIHI's development of 48-unit University Commons in Seattle, DoveCo's development of 276-unit Scriber Creek Apartments in Snohomish County & Avs Communities development of 289-unit Reserve at SeaTac. . .Habitat for Humanity of Magic Valley about to complete, reports Twin Falls Times News, its first home in Burley. . .Marysville one of 22 communities out of 121 applicants to win EPA Building Blocks Sustainability grant. . .Governor Otter awards $500,000 in Idaho CDBG funds to replace deteriorated 800 feet of wastewater line at Burley industrial park. . .Who better, thought Seattle Housing Authority, to name seven buildings in Yesler Terrace revitalization area than Yesler Terrace residents - and now they have (http://seattlehousing.net/2015/02/seattle-housing-authority-names-new-yesler-terrace-buildings/?hootPostID=31d7d6d95aadeae0c23797b1aed58051).

NOT SO!
Who's to blame for The Great Recession?
Did poor people who bought homes they couldn't afford cause the Great Recession? That's what some folks argue. "Earlier research has suggested that distortions in the supply of mortgage credit during the run up to the 2008 financial crisis, in particular a decoupling of credit flow from income growth," write Duke University's Manuel Adelino, MIT's Antoinette Schoar & Dartmouth's Felipe Severino in a January paper (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_wonk&abstract_id=2546427&hootPostID=42c8bdfaa5ffa4f7fc0082d41a2341d1) for the Social Science Research Network, "may have been responsible for the rise in house prices and the subsequent collapse of the housing market." Too many buyers of too limited means, in other words, were getting too many mortgages they couldn't afford. Not so, say the authors. "When we break out the volume of mortgage origination from 2002 to 2006 by income declines across the US population, we see that the distribution of mortgage debt is concentrated in middle and high income borrowers, not the poor."

GOOD NEWS. . .AND BAD
HUD issues annual Worst Case Housing Needs report
On February 2nd HUD issued its annual Worst Case Housing Needs (www.huduser.gov/portal/publications/affhsg/wc_HsgNeeds15.html?hootPostID=31faa596def9fa13afb8601eb2417bf8) report to Congress. It focuses on the housing circumstances of Americans who earn less than 50 percent of area median income, do not receive government housing assistance and who pay more than one-half of their income for rent, live in severely inadequate conditions, or both. The good news in the 2015 report? "Worst case needs decreased to 7.7 million in 2013," the report notes, "from the record high of 8.5 million in 2011." The not-so-good, even bad news? While the number of "worst case" households fell 9 percent from 2013 to 2011, it's still up 9 percent from 2009 and 49 percent from 2003. "The unmet need for decent, safe, and affordable rental housing," the report notes, "continues to outpace the ability of federal, state, and local governments to supply housing assistance."

i.e.,
"Worst-case" by the numbers
For almost exactly two weeks - from 6 p.m. on January 28th to 4 p.m. on February 10th, King County Housing Authority communications director Rhonda Rosenberg reported recently, the Authority opened the window and accepted applications for Section 8 rental assistance. 22,615 households filed an application, representing, she noted in an e-mail, "more than 50,100 individuals (about the population of Burien), living in extreme poverty and unstable housing including nearly 22,000 children - 35 percent of whom are homeless. In addition, 12,116 applicants are seniors and people with disabilities and 906 applicants are veterans. A staggering 42 percent of the households who applied," she concluded, "were homeless."

SQUEEZED
An even worse case?
Almost everywhere you look affordable housing is in short supply, maybe even more so in communities popular with vacationers. Like Bend. Oregon Public Broadcasting (www.opb.org/news/blog/newsblog/bend-residents-share-their-experiences-with-vacation-rentals/) visited recently and spoke with residents about the effect of short-term rentals on long-term residents of Bend's neighborhoods. "My fear is that if the owner decides to turn it into a short term rental, trying to find another place to live will be almost impossible," said Marc Mathers. "It's a dream for landlords and perfect storm for renters. Affordable housing no longer exists here."

BRIEF BRIEFS THREE
Lighthouse Mission Ministries unveils plans to open - maybe as early as Mothers' Day - a child care center to serve mothers and children at Agape Housing who, says Bellingham Herald, are "rebounding from abusive relationships, homelessness substance abuse and other problems". . .HUD awards $89.1 million in Indian Housing Block Grant funds to 230 Alaska Tribes & villages (http://ow.ly/d/304T), $38.8 million to 29 Washington Tribes (http://ow.ly/d/303Y), $15.2 million to 10 Oregon Tribes (http://ow.ly/d/305v) & $3.7 million to 4 Idaho Tribes (http://ow.ly/d/302G). . .Seattle City Council unanimously adopts resolution formally recognizing Eco District established by Capitol Hill Housing. . .Alaska Governor Bill Walker names Gerad Godfrey of Afognak Native Corporation as his advisor for rural business & intergovernmental affairs. . .Housing Resources Board extends rental assistance to income-eligible employees on of non-profits who rent on Bainbridge Island. . .Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (www.consumerfinance.gov/newsroom/cfpb-takes-action-against-mortgage-companies-for-misrepresenting-u-s-government-affiliation/?hootPostID=142da366f3a8d5325bab83637725889c) takes action against three lending firms - All Financial Services, Flagship Financial Group &American Preferred Lending -- for "misleading consumers with advertisements implying U.S. government approval of their products". . .Kitsap Sun says initial conversations have begun over ways to transform "long-suffering" Fourth Street commercial corridor into "residential oasis". . .Times News of Twin Falls says Habitat for Humanity's Linda Fleming was one of Magic Valley's most influential people in 2014. . .Community Psychiatric Center celebrates grand opening of 21-unit Valor Apartments, a HUD Section 811 complex for the homeless with disabilities and a preference for those with a record of military service. . .USDA awards almost $500,000 to the University of Idaho to assist $Tlingit-Haida Tribal Council in Alaska, Nampa Housing Authority in Idaho, Home Forward, Clackamas County & Lincoln County housing authorities in Oregon and non-profit Full Life Care and Bremerton and Tacoma housing authorities win HUD funds to continue their ROSS self-sufficiency programs for residents of public housing. . .Former housing counselor & mortgage banker Lisa DeBrock named to head Washington State Housing Finance Commission's $900 million homeownership portfolio. . .HUD awards $2.3 million to Oregon Housing & Community Services and $7.7 million to Alaska Housing Finance Corporation to provide rental assistance to total of 280 households with people who are disabled to prevent unnecessary institutionalization and homelessness.

NOTEWORTHY
"Black and Hispanic Americans are twice as likely as white Americans to be denied a mortgage, according to a new report. . .released Monday by online residential real estate marketplace Zillow, found that 27.6% of black home mortgage applicants and 21.9% of Hispanic applicants were rejected, while 10.4% of white applicants were rejected. Zillow looked at Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data and combined it with its own valuation data." - National Mortgage News, February 10, 2015

QUOTE WORTHY
"I can still remember seeing my first VW Beetle at a traffic signal sometime in the 1950s. In the midst of the muscle car era, where cars continuously became larger and longer with each model year and the horsepower race was in full gallop, this was something very different. . .Today we might be witnessing a similar change in housing and the need for McMansions and other palatial properties as potential homeowners question the necessity of large amounts of space for shelter. Some people have come to the realization that the care and maintenance of large structures -- the inevitable collection of furnishings, clothes and various paraphernalia -- complicates life. Instead of owning their home, their home owns them." - Ron Littlefield, former Mayor of Chattanooga, "What the VW Beetle Can Teach Us About Housing," (www.governing.com/cityaccelerator/blog/what-the-vw-beetle-can-teach-us-about-housing.html) Governing, January 20th, 2015.

WORTH A READ
What's life like on the streets? No, not for those who are homeless and have no place but a doorway or a highway underpass to call "home," but for the folks who, night after night, work the streets trying to help the homeless come in from the cold. Meet Lio Alaalatoa of Portland, introduced to us recently by Oregonian Anna Griffin in her still-running and certainly impressive series, Our Homeless Crisis (www.oregonlive.com/portland-homeless/). For the last 18 years he's served as an outreach worker for the non-profit JOIN and now spends most of his evenings, says Griffin, "patrolling the streets, stopping any time he sees a chance to make contact with someone the rest of society has forgotten." 18 years ago, he admits, he didn't know very much. "Back then, nobody really knew what outreach meant. I said, ‘What am I supposed to do?' They said, 'Make it up as you go along,'" he said. "It fit me well. Just go talk to people? I can do that." And he's been doing it ever since. "Sometimes I go home feeling pretty good about myself because maybe I got one or two folks to talk me" he told Griffin. "Then I come back out the next night, and there are 100, 200 new people I've never seen before, 100 or 200 more homeless people," he says. "You have to focus on the individuals, on that one person in front of you. If you look at the big picture, it's overwhelming. It's too big a problem to even try to solve." Meet Lio Alaalatoa. Obviously, he's someone it's worth your time to get to know.

WORTH A LOOK
Fair Housing Month is just around the corner in April. There will lots of speeches, lots of events, lots of opportunities to celebrate how far we've come, how far we have to go to achieve a dream that first began to come true almost 50 years ago. So what's that dream look like to people who wasn't around when the Congress passed and President Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act? To kids, for example? Thanks to Intermountain Fair Housing, from Idaho's Treasure Valley can tell you what it means to them. Take a look (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ug6xrLmHgTs).

NOTES TO NOTE
Alaska First Lady Donna Walker sets March 2nd deadline to submit nominations for Alaska Volunteer of the Year awards. . .Preservation Idaho sets March 6th deadline to submit nominations for 2015 Orchids & Onions (www.preservationidaho.org/orchids-onions) awards. . .HUD sets March 16th deadline for eligible jurisdictions to submit applications under $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition. . .CDFI extends deadline to submit new funding applications from Native American Community Development Financial Institutions and Small & Emerging CDFIs to March 5th. . .Department of Veterans Affairs sets March 17th deadline to apply for some $300 million - awards capped at $2 million - to renew existing projects under Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program (www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?agencies%3DVA%7CDepartment%20of%20Veterans%20Affairs). . .Corporation for National & Community Service sets March 20th deadline to apply for $40 million in new Social Innovation Fund (www.nationalservice.gov/programs/social-innovation-fund/social-innovation-fund-grants-2015) grants. . .Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sets March 20th deadline to submit comments on proposed rule (www.consumerfinance.gov/newsroom/cfpb-issues-proposal-to-facilitate-access-to-credit-in-rural-and-underserved-areas/?hootPostID=7cff6b1aed89a7497f68d5c11407035c) to increase access to mortgages in rural and underserved areas. . .Pacific Northwest Council of NAHRO sets March 31st for kids K to 12 to submit posters for "What Home Means to Me" contest. . .Oregon Housing & Community Services sets April 17th deadline to apply for funding under its 2015 HOME & its 2015 LIHTC (www.oregon.gov/ohcs/Pages/multifamily-housing-funding-opportunities.aspx) notices of funding availability. . .USDA Rural Utilities Service sets April 17th deadline for eligible non-profits to apply for $1 million in Revolving Funds (www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?agencies%3DUSDA%7CDepartment%20of%20Agriculture) to establish loan funds to "predevelopment costs of water or wastewater projects". . .Department of Veterans Affairs sets April 20th deadline for current Transition in Place grantees to apply to renew their 2012 Per Diem Only (www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?agencies%3DVA%7CDepartment%20of%20Veterans%20Affairs) grants. . .Department of Labor's Employment & Training Administration sets April 30th deadline to apply for total of $100 million under American Apprenticeship Initiative (www.grants.gov/search-grants.html?agencies%3DDOL%7CDepartment%20of%20Labor). . .Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle says competition for Affordable Housing Program (www.fhlbsea.com/CommunityInvestment/OurPrograms/AHP/Default.aspx) funds will begin "on or about" March 1st with applications due May 15.

COMING UP
HUD Washington hosts Building Home: A HOME Investment Partnership Primer, March 3rd to 5th, Seattle. Visit

HUD Office of Inspector General hosts Webinar on Detecting and Preventing Fraud in Small Organizations, March 3rd, on-line. Visit

HUD offers an NSP Basics "refresher" Webinar for grantees & sub-grantees, March 3rd, on-line. Visit

Alaska Association of Housing Authorities & HUD's Alaska Office of Native American Programs host Indian Housing Plan/Annual Performance Review workshop, March 3rd to 5th, Anchorage. Visit

City of Tacoma, Port of Tacoma & Metro Parks host Tacoma Green Infrastructure Challenge design competition awards ceremony, March 5th, Tacoma. Visit

City of Tacoma hosts 8th annual South Sound Sustainability Expo, March 7th, Tacoma. Visit

Internal Revenue Service holds Webinar on Credit Counseling, Foreclosure Assistance & IRC 501© of potential interest to HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, March 10th, on-line. Visit

HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Bill Block & Santa Ana Homeownership Center Director Tom Rose hold morning FHA Market Update for Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington state mortgage lenders via HUD offices in Anchorage, Boise, Portland & Seattle. For more information, contact patricia.conlen@hud.gov

HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Bill Block & Santa Ana Homeownership Center Director Tom Rose hold afternoon FHA Market Update via teleconference for Alaska, Idaho, Oregon & Washington state REALTORS, March 11th, Teleconference. For more information, contact patricia.conlen@hud.gov

Oregon AHMA hosts Maintenance Workshops, March 12th, Grants Pass. Visit

Oregon AHMA hosts Basics of HOME Occupancy workshop, March 17th, Eugene. Visit

King County Office of Civil Rights hosts First Steps -- Best Practices to Promote Fair Housing workshop, March 18th, Seattle. Visit

King County Office of Civil Rights hosts Advanced Fair Housing workshop, March 18th, Seattle. Visit

Oregon AHMA hosts Basic Occupancy Survival Skills for the Rookie Rural Development Housing Manager, March 18th, Eugene. Visit

Alaska Association of Housing Authorities & Alaska's Office of Native American Programs host Admission & Occupancy workshop, March 23rd to 26th, Anchorage. Visit

HUD Seattle hosts free workshop on Federal labor Standards , March 24th, Seattle. Visit

HUD Seattle hosts free workshop on Federal Labor Standards for Contractors, March 25th, Seattle. Visit

HUD Alaska, IREM Alaska Chapter 97 & the University of Alaska Anchorage present a workshop on Reasonable Accommodations Under the Fair Housing Act, March 24th, Anchorage. Visit.

Cascadia Green Building Conference hosts Living Future unconference 2015, April 1st to 3rdm Seattle. Visit

Alaska Association of Housing Authorities hosting Developing Alaska Sustainable Housing training, April 7th to 9th, Anchorage. Visit

National Housing Conference hosts 2015 Solutions for Housing Communications Convening, April 7th, Seattle. Visit

HUD Seattle hosts Basics of Fair Housing Webinar, April 8th, on-line. Visit

HUD Boise & Intermountain Fair Housing host 2015 Idaho Fair Housing Conference including keynote remarks by Gustavo Velasquez, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing & Economic Opportunity, April 14, Boise. Visit

Oregon AHMA offers workshop on Basic Occupancy for HUD Housing Managers, April 14th & 15th, Salem. Visit

King County Office of Civil Rights offers workshop on Fair Housing 101 for Nonprofit Transitional &
Shelter Housing Providers, April 16th, Seattle. Visit

HUD Boise & Idaho Fair Housing Forum host Fair Housing Forum on Section 3 & Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, April 15th, Boise. Visit

American Planning Association holds its annual national conference, April 18th to 21st, Seattle. Visit

Tiny Houses Conference, April 18th & 19th, Portland. Visit

HUD hosts Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST training, April 21st, Portland. Visit

Alaska Association of Housing Authorities hosts Contract Administration & Procurement workshop, April 21st to 23rd, Anchorage. Visit

Oregon Opportunity Network hosts Spring Industry Support Conference, April 22nd, Salem. Visit

Northwest Fair Housing Alliance, City & County of Spokane, Spokane Housing Authority & Spokane Low-Income Housing Consortium host 2015 Inland Northwest Fair Housing Conference, April 23rd, Spokane. Visit

Oregon AHMA offers workshop on Annual REAC Refresher, April 23rd, Salem. Visit

Oregon Department of Parks & Recreation hosts 2015 Oregon Heritage Conference, 22nd to 24th, Coos Bay/North Bend. Visit

Association of Alaska Housing Authorities hosts Project Implementation workshop, April 23rd & 24th, Anchorage. Visit

Washington AHMA hosts 2015 Washington Affordable Housing Management Conference, April 28th & 29th, Tacoma. Visit.

HUD hosts Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST training, April 29th, Anchorage. Visit

Oregon AHMA offers workshop on EIV Best Practices for New Managers, April 30th, Salem. Visit

# # #