Newsletter, September 17th
Oregon ON Banquet and Peer Network Day
Capacity Matters – Part 3
Housing Works Self-Sufficiency Program Helps Mom Build Plan for New Life
Portland Metro News
Member News from Around the State
Funding and Award Opportunities
Training and Conferences
Oregon ON Banquet and Peer Network Day
Registration Deadline Tomorrow for Banquet and Peer Network Day–top
Register by tomorrow for the Oregon Opportunity Network (Oregon ON) 2009 Banquet, to be held on Wednesday, October 7 at the Oregon Convention Center. The event features special guest keynote speaker Oregon State Representative David Edwards.
Register by October 2 for the Oregon ON Peer Network Meeting, being held October 7 & 8. This event is a bi-annual meeting of Oregon ON Voting Members and their staff to share information, develop best practices and improve their skills in the work they do. For more information and to register, click here.
Capacity Matters – Part 3
Housing Works Self-Sufficiency Program Helps Mom Build Plan for New Life–top
Jennifer moved to Central Oregon for a fresh start for herself and her daughter, Kennedy. When Jennifer began her participation with the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS) with Housing Works in 2007, she knew she wanted to own her own home. She desired a good, safe, and healthy neighborhood where she could raise her daughter. Jennifer developed her plan with the FSS Coordinator and quickly began working on raising her credit score and creating a spending plan.
Jennifer continued to work hard at her full-time job and soon began an escrow savings account because of the increases in her income. She completed “Financial Fitness” classes and a “Realizing the American Dream” homeownership class.
Because of Jennifer’s hard work and determination, she was ready to take advantage of a homeownership opportunity that was made available through the HomeQuest Ground Lease Program. Housing Works contracted with the Bend Area Habitat for Humanity to build a home. Upon completion, Housing Works sold the home only to Jennifer and leased the land to her for a small amount, thus removing the cost of the land from the sales price. Jennifer secured her financing with Umpqua Bank and used her escrow savings to pay a portion of her closing costs. Her Housing Choice Voucher will pay a portion of the monthly mortgage payment. This innovative partnership, the HomeQuest Ground Lease Program, and the Housing Choice Voucher has made homeownership possible for Jennifer and Kennedy.
Jennifer knew she would one day provide a safe, secure home for her daughter. She always told Kennedy, “First the home and then the dog”. Now living in their brand new home, Kennedy is searching for her dream, a dog to call her own and grow-up with in her new home!
Housing Opportunity Forums Begin Next Week – Dates Finalized–top
The Housing Opportunity Bill (House Bill 2436) Forums will start next week – please note some details have changed or been added since our last newsletter:
- Roseburg, 1 – 4 p.m., Monday, September 21 -
Douglas County Commissioners’ Chambers
1036 SE Douglas
- Bend, 1 – 4 p.m., Wednesday, September 23 –
Deschutes County Government Building
Barnes Sawyer Room
1300 N.W. Wall
(Corner of Lafayette and the Parkway)
- Pendleton, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Thursday, September 24 –
Pendleton Parks and Recreation Center
Foundation Room, Gymnasium Building
500 SW Dorion
(West of City Hall)
- Portland, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, September 29 -
The Portland Building
2nd Floor Auditorium
1120 SW 5th Avenue
- Salem, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m., Friday, October 9 -
North Mall Office Building
725 Summer St. NE
Please send written comments on implementing House Bill 2436 to:
Lisa Joyce, Manager of Policy and Communication
Re: Housing Opportunity Bill Implementation Forum
Oregon Housing and Community Services
725 Summer St. NE, Suite B
Salem, OR 97301
Via email or 503-986-0951.
Find more information at www.ohcs.oregon.gov.
Recovery Act Awards Address Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Financing Gaps–top
Governor Ted Kulongoski announced awards totaling close to $19 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds that will aid the completion of seven low-income housing projects. The Oregon Department of Housing and Community Services (OHCS) administers the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program for the state and will lead the implementation of these funding sources.
Recently approved by the State Housing Council, these awards will result in the development, acquisition and rehabilitation of 272 multifamily housing units throughout Oregon.
“These funds are targeted to restart projects that have been stalled because of this economic downturn creating jobs and affordable housing across Oregon,” Governor Kulongoski said. “This Recovery Act funding both stimulates the economy and helps those in need.”
Projects approved Friday, August 28, for Recovery Act funding are:
- Crest Butte Apartments of Bend, Oregon, $3,825,731 for acquisition and rehabilitation of 52 affordable housing units.
- Seacrest Apartments of Bandon, Oregon, $1,655,486 for acquisition and rehabilitation of 20 affordable housing units.
- Linnhaven/Stonebrook Apartments of Sweet Home, Oregon, $3,074,905 for acquisition and rehabilitation of 51 affordable housing units.
- Parkside Village of Roseburg, Oregon, $4,760,164 for acquisition and rehabilitation of 36 affordable family housing units.
- Walnut Park of Portland, Oregon, $798,236 for acquisition and rehabilitation of 38 affordable housing units.
- Upshur House of Portland, Oregon, $3,022,152 for acquisition and rehabilitation of 30 affordable housing units.
- Roosevelt Crossing of Eugene, Oregon, $2,587,976 for new development of 45 homeless affordable housing units.
The funding for these awards are derived from the Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) and the Tax Credit Exchange Program, both of which are components of the Recovery Act, signed by President Obama in February of 2009.
The Act allocates monetary assistance in lieu of tax credits to fill equity and capital investment gaps that have threatened the financing of formerly approved low-income housing developments across the nation. The U.S. Treasury has implemented the Exchange Program while the Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees TCAP.
The TCAP awards include part of the competitive portion of $27.3 million in federal funds allocated to the state by HUD, announced June 30, 2009, for low-income housing projects in Oregon that have been troubled by capital investment gaps.
Oregon Housing and Community Services estimates the Exchange Program proceeds could be as high as $49.9 million if the equity investment market does not improve soon. OHCS will also make reservations of TCAP and Exchange funding in late September 2009 for up to 19 remaining projects that have already applied through a competitive process.
Both the TCAP and Exchange Program are temporary. Their implementation will end in 2012 and 2011, respectively. By design, these two programs help stabilize the low-income housing tax credit market which has been hard hit by diminishing or complete lack of capital for investment in affordable housing projects.
Public Comments Requested for Proposed 2010 HUD Funding Action Plan–top
The Oregon Business Development Department (OBDD), Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) and the Oregon Department of Human Services are seeking public comment on the proposed 2010 Action Plan relating to funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), Housing Opportunities for Persons with HIV/AIDs (HOPWA) and the Emergency Shelter Grant Program (ESG). The three agencies are jointly submitting the 2010 Action Plan, which includes the proposed 2010 CDBG Method of Distribution to HUD for a variety of housing and community development activities. Descriptions of the activities are contained within the plans.
The agencies are seeking public comment on these plans through October 9, 2009. A public hearing will be held at 12:00 pm on October 7, 2009 at OBDD, 775 Summer Street NE, Salem, Oregon in conference room 201. The draft plans can be viewed at: http://www.oregon.gov/OBDD/IF/index.shtml or http://www.ohcs.oregon.gov/OHCS/HD/HRS/CONSPLAN/AnnualActionPlan/AnnualActionPlan2010.doc
Written comments on the proposed 2010 Action Plan will be received until 5:00 pm on October 9, 2009. Comments regarding the CDBG Method of Distribution can be forwarded to Mary Baker, OBDD, PO Box 866, Klamath Falls, Oregon 97601 or by e-mail. Comments regarding the Action Plan can be forwarded to Loren Schultz, OHCS, 725 Summer Street NE – Suite B, Salem, Oregon 97301 or by e-mail.
Oregon Minimum Wage Will Not Rise in 2010–top
Oregon’s lowest-paid workers won’t be getting a raise next year. With the recession keeping inflation in check, Oregon law has not triggered a cost-of-living increase in the state’s minimum wage, which will stay put at $8.40 an hour in 2010.
The law tying the minimum wage to inflation increases is working as intended, ensuring that the minimum wage reflects current economic conditions.
Read the news release Oregon’s Minimum Wage Won’t Rise in 2010: Cost-of-living wage peg is “working as intended,” says OCPP. Click here for a PDF copy.
OHCS Expands Strategic Plan Vision to Include Supportive Services–top
Oregon Housing and Community Services has expanded its strategic plan’s vision to express clearly that services are a key element along with housing. The new vision: “All Oregonians have housing and services that meet their needs.”
To look at the plan past and present, click here: http://www.ohcs.oregon.gov/OHCS/DO_StrategicPlanning.shtml.
Central Oregon Homeless Rate Among Worst Nationally–top
By Kelsey Watts, KTVZ.COM
As Central Oregon’s homeless rate rises to the sixth-highest in the country, one local woman who has been homeless herself is speaking out about how easy is it to end up on the street.
“Homelessness can happen to absolutely anybody,” Cheerie Williams said Friday. “I don’t care what you think your position in life is right now.”
The new report shows about one in every 90 people in Central Oregon are homeless, making our rate worse than some major cities like Boston and Washington, D.C.
The numbers are based on the annual one-day homeless count, conducted last winter. But local experts agree, the actual numbers are probably even higher, because it’s nearly impossible to count everyone in one day.
Click here to read the full story.
TCAP Spending Requirement Eased–top
An interim final rule from the Treasury Department requires state housing credit agencies to use Tax Credit Assistance Program funds to make subawards before January 1, 2011 rather than disburse the funds by that date. Comments are due September 30, 2009. See Federal Register, 8/31/09 http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/a090831c.html, or http://www.regulations.gov. Contact Ellen Neubauer, Treasury, 202-622-0560, or via email.
HUD Seeks Comments on Ending Hold-Harmless Section 8 Policy–top
A Federal Register Notice published on Monday, September 14, 2009, is seeking comments on a proposal to end HUD’s policy of maintaining Section 8 income limits at the previously published level in cases where they would otherwise decrease. HUD adopted this “hold harmless” policy to ensure that Multifamily Tax Subsidy Projects (MTSPs) would not be subject to income-limit decreases. MTSPs are affordable rental housing projects subsidized with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (Internal Revenue Code section 42) and/or financed by Tax-Exempt Private Activity Bonds issued by states (Internal Revenue Code section 142).
The rents of MTSPs were tied to Section 8 income limits and a decrease would jeopardize the financial feasibility of existing housing projects. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 changed the tax code to protect existing MTSPs from decreases in income limits and rents by creating project-level hold-harmless calculation of income limits for existing MTSPs, thus obviating the need for HUD to continue the hold-harmless policy for the benefit of MTSPs.
Maintaining artificially high-income limits has had an adverse impact on other federal programs. Higher income limits increase the number of eligible participants, making it harder to target limited HUD resources to those most in need. More than 99 percent of HUD-assisted households have incomes below the extremely low-income level (30 percent of area median family income), so modest decreases in the Section 8 income limits from these changes would have minimal impact on families residing in assisted housing.
However, there are many other programs that use HUD’s Section 8 income limits to determine program eligibility and these programs may benefit from the proposed change. A listing of these programs is in the notice (www.huduser.org/datasets/il/incomelimits_hh_fr.pdf), with more detail available at www.huduser.org/datasets/il/il09/IncomeLimitsBriefingMaterial_FY09.pdf.
A 30-day comment period has been provided, ending October 14, 2009. Any change in HUD’s policy in this regard would become effective only upon publication of a future notice by HUD.
Senator Dodd Will Remain as Chair of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs–top
Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) announced on September 9 that he will remain as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. With the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) became open. Senator Dodd was the next in line for that position, but Senate rules dictate he choose between the chairmanships. Senator Dodd had been leading the HELP committee as it considered health care reform during Senator Kennedy’s illness.
In his statement announcing his decision to remain as chair of the Banking Committee instead of moving to HELP, Senator Dodd said the Banking Committee has taken significant steps to stem the financial and foreclosure crises but there remains much to do, including passing legislation to reform the financial system. Senator Dodd will also continue to take a lead role in health care reform.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), who was chair of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, has taken over as chair of the HELP Committee. As a result, Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) has moved up to chair the Agriculture Committee.
Congress Returns with Robust Housing Agenda–top
Congress returned from its August recess on Sept. 8. The House Committee on Financial Services, chaired by Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), will be taking up several housing bills, while much of the Committee’s attention will also be on financial regulatory reform.
Low income housing legislation before the authorizing committees this fall will include the following – click on a title below to skip down to it:
- Section 8 Voucher Reform Act
- Public Housing
- Climate Change and Housing
- Transportation and Housing
- Section 811
- Section 202
- Preservation of Federally Assisted Housing
Section 8 Voucher Reform Act. The Section 8 Voucher Reform Act (SEVRA), H.R. 3045, introduced by Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA), was voted out of the House Committee on Financial Services on July 23 by a vote of 41 to 24 (see Memo, 7/24). The full House is expected to take up the bill in September.
The bill would:
- strengthen and stabilize the system by which HUD calculates and distributes voucher renewal funds,
- provide incentives to housing agencies to lease up more of their authorized vouchers,
- simplify the rent-setting process,
- emphasize housing mobility and choice,
- encourage increased earned income by assisted housing residents, and
- authorize 150,000 new vouchers in FY10.
The House bill enjoys wide support, including that of NLIHC. There are three major issues that NLIHC will work to improve in the bill as it goes forward. The first is to increase the authorization of new vouchers. While increased authorizations do not necessarily translate into increased appropriations, they send a strong message to appropriators that new vouchers are needed to address long-standing housing affordability problems of low income families and the growth in homelessness as a result of the recession. NLIHC is advocating that the number of funded vouchers go from the current 2 million to 4 million over the next 10 years.
The second issue of concern to NLIHC is the future of the Moving to Work (MTW) demonstration program. The current bill, which renames the program to the Housing Improvement Program (HIP), would allow the HUD Secretary to expand the current program to include more housing agencies. NLIHC continues to oppose any expansion of MTW, which allows housing agencies to experiment with policies that could be harmful to extremely low income voucher holders and public housing residents, and has never been evaluated. However, the MTW provisions in H.R. 3045 are an improvement over those that were in the SEVRA legislation considered in the previous Congress.
The third issue NLIHC is following is the “acceptable identification requirement” amendment, offered by Representative Tom Price (R-GA), that was added during the Committee’s consideration of H.R. 3045. This amendment would prohibit voucher assistance to any household in which every adult member could not provide the following: Social Security card and state/federal photo identification; state identification, but only if the state is in compliance with the REAL ID Act, which no state is; United States passport; or United States Customs and Immigration Services document verifying eligible immigrant status under one of seven allowable categories (there are seven classes of non-citizens eligible for federal housing assistance). These more stringent identification requirements could result in many eligible citizens or legal immigrants being terminated from, or denied access to, the voucher program. (Federal law already prohibits non-citizens who are not present in the United States legally from receiving assistance from the Section 8 voucher program.)
The House is expected to pass H.R. 3045 easily, although any number of damaging amendments could be debated on the floor. NLIHC will issue one or more Calls to Action when H.R. 3045 moves to the House floor in September to alert advocates about votes on amendments and final passage.
No one in the Senate has introduced a companion Section 8 voucher reform act. However, the Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, chaired by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), is expected to hold a hearing on Section 8 voucher reform this fall. Introduction of a Senate bill could occur before or after the hearing. It remains unknown whether the full Banking Committee will take up Section 8 voucher reform this year.
Link to NLIHC’s testimony on SEVRA before the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity at http://www.nlihc.org/doc/NLIHC-SEVRA-June-2009.pdf
Public Housing. Two public housing issues that are certain to be considered this fall are the President’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative and Section 3 reform. In addition, House Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee Chair Waters is working on a general public housing reform bill.
In his FY10 HUD budget request, President Obama asked Congress for $250 million for a new Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI). CNI is a major priority of HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. The details of the program have yet to be made public, but it is a neighborhood revitalization program that is to take the place of and expand on HOPE VI, the public housing revitalization program that began in the mid 1990s. (The Administration’s budget proposal zeroed out HOPE VI.) CNI is expected to promote more holistic neighborhood change, rather than just public housing site redevelopment, with a broader range of grantees that could include public housing agencies, HUD-assisted housing owners, nonprofits and others. What would be required of grantees remains to be seen.
NLIHC understands that HUD is working to get a detailed CNI framework to Congress as quickly as possible. What HUD has said is that the program will build on the successes of public housing transformation under HOPE VI but with a broader approach to concentrated poverty. Many questions remain: What does HUD mean by success of HOPE VI? How would HUD define one-for-one replacement of public housing units? What rights would residents have to return to their redeveloped homes? Would affordability, income targeting and resident participation requirements be maintained? How will relocation work during redevelopment?
These are all questions the House and Senate have grappled with for several years when contemplating reauthorization of HOPE VI. The House passed a HOPE VI reauthorization bill in the last Congress that addressed many of these longstanding concerns raised by NLIHC and other tenant advocates. The Senate bill in the last Congress was more in tune with developers than residents. A single hearing was held on the Senate bill, and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs never considered the bill.
Because no CNI legislation has been introduced, the only real possible vehicle for its enactment this year is on the FY10 T-HUD appropriations bill. However, the T-HUD appropriations bill passed by the House does not include CNI, precisely because no authorizing legislation was under consideration. Instead, House appropriators opted to increase HOPE VI appropriations from the $120 million in FY09 to $250 million, the amount HUD wants for CNI (see Memo, 7/24). But, the Senate Committee on Appropriations’ FY10 HUD bill does contain the request $250 million for CNI (see Memo, 7/31 and 8/7).
Reform of Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 is also expected to be taken up this fall in forthcoming legislation from Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY). Section 3 requires that at least 30% of new hires and 10% of contracts from certain HUD-funded projects be directed to low and very low income individuals, with priority given to public housing residents. Section 3 is rarely enforced; the Velazquez bill would increase its impact.
The Velazquez bill would create a stand-alone Section 3 office at HUD, mandate that recipients of HUD funding designate or hire staff to coordinate Section 3 compliance, clarify which funding recipients and employment activities are covered, and direct HUD to implement sanctions for non-compliance. The draft legislation would also expand residents covered by Section 3 to include all recipients of HUD housing assistance. No Senate counterpart to the bill has surfaced.
Secretary Donovan has made strengthening and enforcement of Section 3 a major priority for his administration. HUD has already held a Section 3 training and webcast to educate stakeholders on Section 3′s requirements.
Subcommittee Chair Waters is also expected to introduce broad public housing legislation this fall, which could include language regarding the demolition and disposition of public housing, as well as repeal of the current requirement that most adult public housing residents complete eight hours of community service each month. Chairman Frank and Ms. Waters sent a letter in June to Secretary Donovan asking him to impose a one-year moratorium on the demolition and disposition of public housing (see Memo, 6/19), foreshadowing some of the concerns that will be reflected in the new bill.
Link to NLIHC’s Public Housing Principles at http://www.nlihc.org/doc/public-housing-principles.pdf
Link to Frank and Waters letter to Donovan http://www.nlihc.org/doc/Frank-Waters-Letter-to-Donovan-6-15-09-Moratorium.pdf
Preservation of Federally Assisted Housing. Chairman Frank is expected to introduce and move legislation to preserve the affordable assisted housing stock before the end of this first session of the 111th Congress. He circulated a draft bill, titled “Housing Preservation and Tenant Protection Act of 2009,” in June. The purpose of the bill is ensure, to the maximum extent possible, that housing receiving federal or state subsidies would remain affordable to persons and families with lower incomes when the assisted housing is refinanced or recapitalized, or when the underlying loan in the property matures.
The draft bill’s proposed preservation tools include:
- ensuring the availability of rental assistance for affected units and tenants (subject to appropriations),
- providing flexibility to use project-based vouchers instead of enhanced vouchers in some cases to ensure the long-term affordability of projects,
- providing a right-of-first-purchase to a purchaser who is willing to agree to extend use restrictions,
- giving tenants access to certain project-level information to allow them to better participate in such purchases,
- providing tenants the right as third-party beneficiaries to enforce certain contracts between HUD and the owners of properties, and
- protecting state and local preservation laws from preemption by federal law.
The bill also includes provisions from H.R. 3965, the Mark-to-Market Extension Act of 2007, passed by the Financial Services Committee in the 110th Congress. The Mark-to-Market program, currently authorized through FY11, allows HUD to restructure federally insured mortgages on properties with project-based Section 8 contracts, assuring these projects will operate in a cost-effective and competitive manner. The Mark-to-Market provisions in the draft bill also include strengthening the ability of tenants to participate in the restructuring process, lifting the cap on exception rents (rents at levels above those provided in the statue) from 5% to 9%, and extending the Mark-to-Market program to Section 8 moderate rehabilitation projects.
The draft bill would also allow for the establishment of a national preservation database, which would provide regularly updated, consistent data about federally assisted projects to ensure that the federal government can effectively manage its portfolio, that the Congress can oversee the use of federal resources, and that communities and advocates can monitor and preserve important housing resources. The preservation database provisions are based on NLIHC’s preservation database work of the last several years.
The bill also includes a rural preservation title, which would provide a program for preserving Section 515 projects similar to what is used for HUD-assisted housing. These provisions are based on H.R. 2876, introduced on June 15 (see Memo, 6/19) .The Section 202 reform bill (described below) will be part of the legislation as well.
On June 25 (see Memo, 6/26), HUD Secretary Donovan testified at a hearing on preservation before the full Financial Services Committee and indicated he supported the principles underlying the draft bill. The Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity held a second hearing on preservation on July 15 (see Memo, 7/17). Witnesses included for-profit and not-for-profit owners, tenants, community organizations, and Rural Housing Service staff.
The draft bill generally represents a consensus between owners (both for-profit and not-for-profit), tenants, and other advocates as to the changes needed to preserve the assisted stock. NLIHC supports it, while working to improve it. The major points of contention include a right of first purchase, adding tenants as third-party beneficiaries, and giving tenants rights to certain project-level information. The National Association of Homebuilders, the National Leased Housing Association, the National Multi Housing Council, and others sent a letter to Chairman Frank and Secretary Donovan on August 3 expressing concerns over these and other provisions.
Chairman Frank is expected to introduce the draft legislation before the end of September, with mark-up by the full committee before the end of the session. It is unclear, but unlikely, that the Senate will take up preservation legislation this session.
A copy of the discussion draft can be found at
A copy of the Secretary’s testimony can be found at http://www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/financialsvcs_dem/Flhr_061809.shtml
The testimony for the July hearing can be found at http://www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/financialsvcs_dem/hhr_071509.shtml
A copy of the letter from the industry groups can be found at http://www.nlihc.org/doc/industry_preservation_letter.pdf
Section 202. The Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Act of 2009, S. 118, was introduced by Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) and was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs in January. The Committee has not yet taken up the bill. Similar legislation in the 110th Congress passed the House in December 2007 and was introduced in the Senate in March 2008 but never acted on.
S. 118 would reform the Section 202 program by promoting new construction of housing for seniors, preserving existing developments, and improving the condition of existing housing. The bill would expand opportunities for seniors to age in place by developing a subsidy contract that provides rental assistance for units with elderly households paying market rate rents. Nonprofit building owners would be eligible for this assistance, which would follow project-based rental assistance guidelines.
The bill would make it easier to convert Section 202 housing into assisted living facilities, and provide health care and social services to a population in need of those services in order to allow people to age in place. The bill would also require new capital advance recipients to employ a service coordinator as part of the management staff.
The language in S. 118 is expected to be included in the housing preservation bill that Chairman Frank is likely to introduce soon. In addition, the Senate Banking Committee may take up S. 118 this fall. If the Senate passes S. 118 as a stand-alone bill, the House may take it up individually instead of integrating the Section 202 reforms in the draft preservation bill.
Link to the text of bill S. 118 at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:s118is.txt.pdf.
For additional background on the Section 202 program, visit the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) resources at: http://www.aahsa.org/tag-single.aspx?id=204.
Section 811. The Frank Melville Supported Housing Investment Act of 2009, H.R. 1675, was introduced by Representative Christopher Murphy (D-CT) in March. The bill passed the House with overwhelming support in July.
An identical bill was also introduced in the Senate in July as S. 1481, by Senator Menendez, and is co-sponsored by Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE), also a member of the Housing, Transportation, and Community Development Subcommittee. Similar legislation was passed by the House in the 110th Congress, but was not taken up by the Senate.
The bill would improve the Section 811 housing for persons with disabilities program by authorizing new capital and project- based rental assistance funds. The bill would also authorize a demonstration program on community integration for people with disabilities.
The Senate Banking Committee may take up the Section 811 bill this fall.
Link to the text of the bill at: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:s1481is.txt.pdf
Finally, on authorizations, the Housing Transportation, and Community Development Subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee may consider S. 1160, a homeless veterans’ bill, introduced by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (see Memo, 6/5).
Appropriations. The other major low income housing action this fall will be completion of the FY10 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD) appropriations bill, H.R. 3288. The House passed its version on July 23, and the Senate Committee on Appropriations reported out its T-HUD bill on July 30 (see Memo, 7/24 and 7/31). The Senate bill has not been released, but the Committee’s report to the bill, S.Rept. 111-69, is available.
Both the House and Senate bills would increase the funding levels for many housing programs above the President’s FY10 request and above the programs’ FY09 funding levels. For the first time in many years, the housing and community development community can look forward to a positive and non-contentious final appropriations process. This outcome is at least in part an affirmation by the appropriators of the confidence they have in HUD Secretary Donovan.
The House bill provides slightly more funding than the Senate bill or President’s request for tenant and project-based rental assistance, public housing operating funds, community development funds, HOME, Section 202, Section 811, Native American block grants and HOPWA. The Senate bill provides more funding than the House bill for homeless assistance grants and the Native Hawaiian block grants.
The Housing Voucher Program, called Tenant Based Rental Assistance, would be funded at $18.2 billion by the House and $18.1 billion by the Senate, compared to $17.8 billion requested by the President. Both the House and Senate bills include $75 million in new funding for HUD-Veterans Affairs Supported Housing (VASH) vouchers. The Senate also adds $20 million in new Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers. Neither VASH or FUP vouchers were in the President’s request, reflecting an intention to move away from specialized vouchers. However, these programs enjoy Congressional support and will likely continue to be set aside in the overall voucher budget.
Appropriators and advocates will be paying close attention to the voucher funding levels given the current funding shortfall being experienced by many housing agencies. The FY09 program, funded at $16.8 billion, is not enough to cover all costs, and HUD is seeking flexibility to access advance funding in order to fully fund vouchers through the end of FY09.
In addition, advocates will continue to seek to have $1.6 billion for 200,000 new vouchers included in the final FY10 appropriations including a number of project-based vouchers to be used in conjunction with National Housing Trust Fund capital grants.
While the House has completed all of its FY10 appropriations bills, the Senate has passed just four of its 12 bills. The Senate is expected to complete three to four of these before the end of the session, and T-HUD could be among them. If the Senate does not complete work on the bill by October 1, 2009, the beginning of the 2010 fiscal year, Congress will have to pass a continuing resolution to ensure that ongoing funding is available for T-HUD programs.
When the bill moves to the Senate floor, NLIHC will issue a Call to Action with details on possible amendments to the bill.
Link to http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app10.html to access H.R3288 and the House and Senate reports to their appropriations bills.
Link to NLIHC’s budget chart at: http://www.nlihc.org/doc/FY10-chart-8-24.pdf
Transportation and Housing. Two transportation bills that are making their way through Congress seek to tie transportation and environmental planning more closely to housing and community development planning at HUD. The first is S. 1619, the Livable Communities Act of 2009, introduced by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-CT) on August 6 (see Memo, 8/7). The second is the transportation reauthorization bill. The current transportation reauthorization, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act, a Legacy for Users (Safetea-lu; pronounced safety-lou), expires on September 30.
The Livable Communities Act corresponds to the major initiative of the Obama Administration to improve coordination of transportation, housing, and community development projects and funding. A concrete step in this direction has been to create an Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities at HUD, headed by HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims. The primary purpose of the Livable Communities Act of 2009 is to formally create the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities within HUD and authorize its funding and programs.
The Senate bill complements action in the Appropriations process. Both the Senate and House FY10 HUD spending bills include $150 million for HUD’s Sustainable Communities Initiative.
The bill would authorize $100 million a year for four years for comprehensive planning grants, for which consortia of local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, rural planning organizations, or regional councils would be eligible. The bill would also give the recipients of the planning grants the opportunity to apply for $3.75 billion of authorized funds over three years to implement the plans.
S. 1619 would also establish an Interagency Council on Sustainable Communities, formally convening HUD, the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies on these matters. While planning activities related to the lowest income households and the affordability of their housing are explicitly eligible in the bill, there is currently no requirement or incentive for the planning and implementation foreseen by the bill to serve those households. Advocates will seek to change this as the bill moves forward. The outlook for the bill is unclear.
The Obama Administration has asked Congress for an 18-month extension of the current transportation authorization to allow the White House to develop its own reauthorization plans, including the better coordination of transportation, housing, and community development. The Senate is considering a six-month extension. And while a transportation reauthorization bill has yet to be marked up by the transportation committees in either the House or the Senate, Representative James L. Oberstar (D-MN), Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has drafted a six-year bill. He has stated repeatedly that he would like to pass reauthorization this year.
Climate Change and Housing. The Climate Bill, formally known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES), passed the House of Representatives on June 26 (see Memo, 6/26). The bill contained a number of provisions that would assist low income consumers and retrofit low income housing. A companion bill is now being drafted by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
The climate bill is wide-ranging, and while housing and low income programs and provisions make up just a small part of the overall bill, the provisions are potentially significant for low income families and communities. In particular, low income advocates, including NLIHC, were able to have a provision added to make 10% of funds that states would receive under the bill’s Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) program available to public and assisted housing on a preferential basis. This allocation would be roughly 0.05% of total allowances granted in the bill, and could yield as much as $65 million annually. (Allowances are essentially the proceeds from the sale of permits to pollute.) In the Senate, advocates are seeking to increase this allocation to approximately 1% of all allowances, or $750 million annually (see Memo, 7/31).
In addition to the set aside for public and assisted housing, NLIHC and other advocates support a variety of other provisions to protect low income consumers and provide disadvantaged communities with access to green jobs. On August 6, the Climate Equity Alliance, of which NLIHC is a member, sent all Senators a letter broadly outlining what advocates are seeking in the Senate bill, including the assisted housing provisions. The Climate Equity Alliance is a collection of groups from the research, advocacy, faith-based, labor, human services, and civil rights communities seeking to ensure that that the strong policies needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions also protect low and moderate-income households.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chair of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, which has primary jurisdiction over the bill, and Senator John Kerry (D-MA) announced on August 31 that they expect to release a draft of the Senate’s climate bill in late September. Along with the general pressure to complete this legislation in advance of the 2010 mid-term elections, supporters feel pressed to have achieved significant progress prior to the United Nations climate talks, which are set to take place in December 2009.
Though the Senate is understood to be using the House bill as its guide, it is not certain that the provisions to set aside resources for public and assisted housing, which were added in the final hours before passage, are being considered. Advocates are meeting with Senate staff to ask that the House provision be included, along with further relief for low income households.
Link to the CEA letter to Senators at http://www.nlihc.org/doc/CEA-Senate-letter.pdf
HUD Again Delays Troublesome Rule Denying Access to Non-Citizens–top
In an August 28 Federal Register notice, HUD once again announced that it is delaying implementation of a problematic rule that would deny access to housing assistance to eligible low income families, particularly ‘mixed-status’ households that include ineligible non-citizens as well as citizens or eligible immigrants.
The rule, once implemented, would prohibit a household from receiving any housing assistance if even one household member could not produce and verify the required identification documents. Currently, the amount of a household’s assistance can be pro-rated to support the household’s members that are able to provide the required documentation.
Under the rule, every member of every household in HUD public and assisted housing would be required to submit and verify their Social Security numbers. Today, only household members over the age of six must submit their Social Security numbers.
Another portion of the rule would allow HUD to redefine “annual income” so that public housing agencies and owners would have the option to determine a household’s income for rent and program eligibility purposes based on either current or anticipated income, or on income during the previous twelve months. Current law bases income determinations on current or anticipated income.
The rule’s implementation date, which had already been delayed from March 30 to September 30, is now slated for January 31, 2010.
The notice, FR-4998-F-05, points out that Assistant Secretary for Housing David Stevens and Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Sandra Henriquez, who share responsibility for the programs affected by the rule, were only recently confirmed. “HUD seeks to ensure that these two officials have sufficient time to review the subject matter of this rule, and to consider the public comments received in response to HUD’s February 11, 2009, Federal Register notice.”
The February notice sought comments on whether to delay the original March 30 effective date of the rule. HUD received more than 50 comments on the February notice, two of which were signed onto by NLIHC. One letter warned of the potential loss of assistance to mixed-status households. The second letter voiced concern over a household’s income level, for both rent and program eligibility purposes, being pegged to their income in the previous 12 months rather than prospectively.
“Given the number of public comments submitted in response to the February 11 notice, and the concerns and questions raised in those comments, the additional time provided by today’s final rule will allow the Department to carefully weigh available policy options to help ensure the successful implementation of the enhanced income and rent verification procedures,” the August 28 notice says.
The enhanced income and rent verification procedures, HUD says, will help to identify and cure inaccuracies in public and assisted housing rental determinations. (See Memo, 2/13; 4/3). The procedures would begin by the rule’s implementation of HUD’s Enterprise Income Verification (EIV) system by public housing agencies and by owners and management agents of federally-assisted housing.
Link to the August 28 rule at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-20879.pdf
African American Voucher Holders Face Discrimination In New Orleans–top
In a recent test, 82% of rental homes in New Orleans were not available to holders of Housing Choice Vouchers, severely limiting the actual housing choices of program participants. Based on the results of the test and multiple interviews, the study concludes that discrimination against African-Americans and dysfunction in the administration of the New Orleans voucher program are the primary reasons that voucher households are denied access to eligible rental homes.
The testing was done of 100 units selected randomly from local listings. The units had to meet two conditions: the published asking rent needed to be below the voucher program’s threshold of $1,250, and the advertisement could not have a stated preference for or against voucher holders. In each case, the landlord was contacted first by a white tester who did not claim to have a voucher, second by a white tester who did claim to have a voucher, and third by a black tester who also claimed to have a voucher. The testers recorded the results of their inquiries, which were than coded and tabulated.
In 18 cases the landlord accepted the voucher participants without conditions. In seven cases the voucher holders were asked to pay higher fees or meet additional requirements that likely placed the unit out of reach. In the remaining 75% of the cases at least one of the voucher holders was refused. In the majority of cases, both the white and black voucher holders were refused, but in 9% of the cases the white voucher holder was told the unit was available and the black tester was told it was not.
Statements made during the tests and in additional interviews conducted with landlords and others involved in the process revealed racial bias and stereotypes were often behind the refusal to accept vouchers (99% of voucher holders in New Orleans are black). Also important, however, were the bad experiences landlords had had with the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO). Many landlords stated that they did not to participate in the program after experiencing delays in signing contracts and leases and late or lacking payments in previous transactions.
The report concludes with a number of recommendations to rectify the situation in New Orleans. Many of these recommendations, such as exploring a regional approach to voucher administration or a public education campaign to address discrimination against voucher holders, are applicable in other jurisdictions and at the federal level.
The report, “Housing Choice in Crisis: An Audit on Discrimination Against Voucher Holders in the Greater New Orleans Rental Housing Market,” was prepared and released by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center and is available at http://www.gnofairhousing.org/pdfs/HousingChoiceInCrisis2009.pdf
Portland Metro News
City of Portland Well Positioned to Receive Federal Stimulus Funds –top
In a new audit report, Portland City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade has found the City of Portland is in good shape to receive federal stimulus funds through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The report says the City has made significant progress towards meeting the numerous requirements set forth in the legislation and in subsequent rules and executive orders.
The first of a series, the report looks primarily at internal controls to mitigate fraud, waste and abuse. Subsequent reports will examine how the money is being spent and whether the internal controls are working as intended.
The report states that the audits are being undertaken because the federal government has made it clear that there will be an unprecedented level of accountability and transparency on Recovery Act funds, and “because programs of this magnitude are inherently risky . . . The risk of fraud in any program can grow when large sums of money are spent quickly and when requirements are created or changed.”
Some of the requirements City Council has committed to meeting in order to qualify for the funds, include having a separate accounting system for grant funds, reporting project status details within ten days of the end of each calendar quarter, and establishing contract provisions to buy American goods, pay fair wages, and protect whistleblowers.
As of August 2009, the City of Portland has received or been awarded $21 million, and expects to receive a total of $58 million in federal Recovery Act funds. Projects range from repairing roads and assisting the homeless, to hiring police officers.
ACE Purchases Low Income Apartment Building in Washougal, WA–top
Affordable Community Environments (ACE) closed the acquisition of the Bethea Park Estates located at 4300 Addy Street in Washougal, WA.
The Bethea Park Estates were developed in 1981 under the United State Department of Agriculture Rural Development Program intended to bring affordable rental housing to rural communities.
ACE was able to purchase the property using federal HOME Program resources administrated by Clark County Department of Community Services and the State of Washington Department of Commerce. ACE also received funding assistance from Impact Capital, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) providing real estate financing to non-profit community-based organizations. ACE is also partnering with Clark County’s Housing Preservation Program to complete the upgrade.
“Bethea Park fits in perfectly with ACE’s mission,” says Leah Greenwood, ACE Executive Director. “We want to ensure this property continues to be available for low-income individuals and families in Washougal. We want to increase the sustainability of the property through a green and energy efficient renovation. And, we want to build a strong community among the residents by providing access to services and resources.”
Later this year, ACE will undertake a major renovation that will replace many of the aging materials and systems within the property to increase the energy efficiency of the building and improve the living conditions for the residents. The renovation will include a range of upgrades including adding all new high-performance windows, new efficient appliances and heat systems, installing low flow plumbing fixtures, improved ADA accessibility in designated units, and new kitchens. Additional improvements will be made to the exterior of the building and property to promote natural cooling through shading, as well as upgrades to the appearance of the property.
In addition to the physical building upgrades, ACE will add a playground, raised vegetable gardens and a community room where ACE will be able to offer programs and services to residents.
ACE has hired TEAM Construction as the General Contractor to begin renovation of Bethea Park this winter. In the Spring, ACE will unveil a new name signifying a new beginning for this apartment community.
Member News from Around the State
Housing Works Receives Funding for Matched Savings Program–top
A new allocation of $50,000 will give up to eight additional Central Oregon lower income families an opportunity to achieve their savings goals. Housing Works announced today that it has been awarded additional funding for its matched savings program, Valley Individual Development Account (VIDA), through CASA of Oregon.
The Individual Development Account program, called IDAs, is an innovative matched savings program to help hard working Oregonians build assets and financial management skills. Participants who have saved between $25 and $84 each month have their savings matched at ratio of 3 to 1. At the end of three years, this could mean that as much as $12,000 might be available to the participant for the purchase of an asset. The IDA money can be used for homeownership, microenterprises, further post-secondary education, home repair and renovation, or adaptive equipment technology with specialized training. During the savings period, program participants also attend financial education and other classes related to their savings goals to help secure financial self-sufficiency.
“We’re very pleased to be able to open our VIDA program to more people,” said Kelly Fisher, Homerownership Manager for Housing Works. “This program really helps low-income families start saving for their futures and we will be using this additional allocation primarily for families saving for homeownership.”
To be eligible for the program, a household income must be 80% or less of a county’s area median income. This income limit depends on the number of persons in the household and the county of residence.
Since Housing Works began its VIDA program in 2007, it has had thirty-eight participants. Of those, fifteen have graduated with an average of $4,200 in matched savings. Thirteen of those graduates have become homeowners and one is pursuing higher education.
The Oregon IDA program began in 1999 and is funded through an IDA tax credit initiative. Individuals and businesses can contribute to the initiative through the Neighborhood Partnership Fund, anOregon non-profit, which is empowered by Oregon Housing and Community Services to manage the tax credits. Seventy-five percent of the contribution to the program returns to the contributor as a tax credit on their Oregon income tax returns.
Housing Works serves over 1,600 households throughout Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook counties. With a mission to ‘foster dignity through housing’, the organization addresses a continuum of housing needs of lower income households and vulnerable citizens, such as seniors and the disabled. Housing Works offers award-winning affordable rental communities, special needs/supportive housing, homeownership opportunities, a family self-sufficiency program, savings programs, and a rental assistance program which serves almost 1,100 households.
The Community And Shelter Assistance Corporation, or CASA of Oregon, is a statewide nonprofit that develops housing, programs and facilities that improve the quality of life and self-sufficiency of farmworkers and other low-income populations. CASA generally works in collaboration with community organizations and housing sponsors such as Housing Works. The organization is the administrator of the Valley Individual Development Account program. VIDA is the largest IDA program in Oregon, constituting a collaboration of forty-two Community Development Corporations, Housing Authorities and non-profit organizations that serve low income families throughout the state.
For information on the VIDA program, call Kelly Fisher at Housing Works at 323-7410.
CPAH Helps Ready 150 Kids for School, Publishes Cookbook–top
Community Partners for Affordable Housing, Inc. (CPAH) is pleased to announce that nearly 150 Tigard youth in grades K-12 have received a backpack filled with school supplies to start the 2009-10 school year – thanks to the generosity of the Tigard United Methodist Church, Tigard Breakfast Rotary Club, Income Property Management and Lewis & Clark College students (who spent an afternoon assembling all the backpacks).
On Thursday, Sept. 3, after a volunteer-manned barbecue of hamburgers and hot dogs with all the trimmings, a slide show of the kids enjoying their Summer Youth activities, and much anticipation – 150 children of all ages picked up their backpacks at the Greenburg Oaks apartments community center. The backpacks contained the required grade-appropriate supplies, and each student also received a hygiene kit with bath soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and hand towel. These backpacks and supplies help CPAH’s kids start off the school year prepared and ready to succeed.
Greenburg Oaks community garden a great success, and a new cookbook created by resident kids
Six years ago, with the help of some very special volunteers, CPAH’s garden at Greenburg Oaks was built. Since then, the children participating in the After School and OAKS Summer Programs have spent spring, summer and fall with dirt under their nails and shovels in their hands. Through the programs provided by CPAH, they have had the unique opportunity to learn all there is to know about caring for a garden. This year, they learned how to prepare some of the tasty vegetables and fruit they worked so hard to grow. A book of recipes was compiled – some from the OAKS kids themselves, some from Greenburg families, and some from our favorite cookbooks – and the book is titled “Delicious Delights from OAKS Kids – A Book Inspired by Our Garden.”
Children from Greenburg Oaks worked hard in the garden (rain or shine!), OAKS Summer Youth Program kids made the illustrations for the book, OAKS teens spent hours typing the recipes and text, and Deacon Mimi Eick of St. James Episcopal Church is the founder and “heart and soul” of the garden. We are so grateful for all their help!
Rogue Valley CDC Wins Fee Waiver for Verde Village Affordable Housing Units–top
City boosts affordable, green housing – Planning, engineering fees waived for project
By Vickie Aldous, Ashland Daily Tidings
A City Council majority has shown its support for green, affordable housing by waiving $38,295 in planning and engineering fees for a 15-unit housing project near the Dog Park.
A vote to waive the fees came on Tuesday night even after Ashland Community Development Department Director Bill Molnar warned that a waiver could further strain the revenue-strapped department.
A construction slowdown in Ashland that came with the national economic recession means the Community Development Department is collecting fewer fees.
Molnar said the housing project already is automatically receiving a waiver of $97,000 in system development charges under city rules meant to encourage affordable housing.
It was up to the council’s discretion to decide whether to grant the further $38,295 waiver of planning and engineering fees.
Click here to read the full story.
A new law, pursued by Portland-based Central City Concern (CCC), will legalize the reuse of greywater in Oregon. Property owners will be able to legally harvest wastewater from bathing and laundry, then treat the water and reuse it for irrigation and other outdoor applications.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will create a greywater-use permit process in the coming year, to reflect the new standards. Passage of House Bill 2080 is the culmination of a two-year effort by Central City Concern and other stakeholders to improve water conservation in multifamily buildings.
Central City Concern manages more than 1,400 affordable housing units. The nonprofit teamed with the Cascadia Region Green Building Council, Portland Development Commission and other groups to produce a detailed report called Achieving Water Independence in Buildings which can be downloaded at http://ilbi.org/resources/research/water/oregon
Funding and Award Opportunities
Neighborhood Small Grants Program – deadline Nov 2, training Sept 23–top
Central Northeast Neighbors (CNN) http://www.cnncoalition.org/ and the City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement are pleased to announce the fourth year of the city’s Neighborhood Small Grants Program, with $178,831 in grant funds available to neighborhood and community groups across the city. CNN will be awarding $16,836 in grant funds for projects that build community, attract new and diverse members and sustain those already involved. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis and may range from $500-$5000. Deadline to submit a proposal is Monday, November 2nd by 2 PM.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend one of CNN’s Grant Information Sessions to learn more about the application process and discuss ideas for grant projects. The first session is on Wednesday, Sept 23 6:30-8:00 PM, at CNN, 4415 NE 87th by Sandy Blvd. Please RSVP to via email or at 503-823-2780.
To learn about other Grant Information Sessions and about grant guidelines, click here: http://www.cnncoalition.org/activities.asp
Ecotrust Event Spaces Community Grant – deadlines January and June 2010 –top
Ecotrust Event Spaces http://www.ecotrust.org/ is grateful to be as busy as ever as they enter into their eighth year of business at the Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center. They are thankful to all of the non-profit groups who have partnered with them over the years and whose loyalty has helped build a vibrant event center.
They understand that not every organization is in a position to afford meeting space. In an effort to make Ecotrust event venues accessible to non-profits of all sizes and financial means, they have created a Community Grant Program.
The strongest proposals will be for events which are:
- Mission driven and invest in the community in a positive way.
- Are held at the Natural Capital Center and are a good logistical fit for the Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center or the Outdoor Terrace.
- Planned by or directly benefit a local non-profit organization.
Additional preference will be given to:
- Events that are open to the public and are free or of nominal charge.
- Events that are unabashedly hopeful in nature.
- Events that have a solid marketing or community outreach plan.
One full-day rental and five half-day rentals will be awarded twice per year. Awards will cover costs of the venue which includes the standard amenities and services, but will not cover additional expenses that may be incurred as a result of holding your event at the Natural Capital Center. This may include, but is not limited to, catering fees and outside equipment rental fees. *Unfortunately, we are not able to extend the Community Grant Program award to Saturday events ending after 5pm.
Proposals will be accepted for events occurring between March 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010. Proposals will be reviewed in January and June 2010.
Here is the timeline for the awards:
- Application material due: 5:00 PM, January 21, 2010
- Proposals reviewed: February 4, 2010
- Award recipients and all applicants notified: February 8, 2010
Information about the Application Process and Guidelines will be posted later this fall at http://www.ecotrust.org/events/community_grant2010.html
Grand Opening of Proud Ground Pardee Commons Housing – Sept 18th –top
These ten homes combine affordability and efficient green building. With certifications pending as Earth Advantage Platinum and Oregon High Performance Homes, Pardee Commons will offer not only sales prices families can afford, but energy bills too!
The celebration includes home tours and free ice cream.
Speakers include City of Portland Commissioner Nick Fish, PDC Commissioner John Mohlis, Proud Ground Homebuyer Tracie and Albina Bank President Bob McKean.
For more information, please contact or visit the Pardee Commons website at www.pardeecommons.com.
The event is at Pardee Commons, at SE 122nd Avenue & Pardee Street. Click here to view map.
Rogue Valley CDC Winery Fundraiser and Auction – Sept 18–top
The Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation – which helps provide affordable housing in Ashland and other local communities – will hold a fundraiser on Friday, Sept. 18.
The event begins at 6 p.m. at EdenVale Winery, located at 2310 Voorhies Rd. in Medford. It includes hors d’oeuvres by Quality Catering and live music by Pachanga.
Tickets are available in advance and at the door for $30.
Participants can also bid in an auction on a scenic lunch flight, a winery and artisan food tour, a Columbia River sailboat cruise, a tandem paragliding flight and other items.
For reservations, call 734-2355.
Putting New Foreclosure Prevention Laws to Work – Sept 25–top
“It’s degrading.” That’s how Dodie Howard described her experience of being put on hold for hours and making endless calls for months on end just trying to reach someone who could help her with her home loan. They fell behind on the payments when business dried up for their family trucking business. She knew she needed to talk to her lender but she couldn’t reach anyone.
That’s about to change thanks to a new law Oregon legislators passed last June.
Now, homeowners like Dodie will have the right to request a meeting with their lender and receive a timely decision about their loan modification request. There’s also new help for renters. Renters facing eviction because their home is in foreclosure also have important new protections.
Your help is needed to spread the word about these important new rights for homeowners and renters.
Join state officials, legislative leaders and community advocates for a meeting to get the facts about the new laws and get materials to help spread the word.
Community Meeting: Putting Oregon’s New Foreclosure Prevention Laws to Work
Date: Friday September 25th, 9:30am – 11:00am
Location: Coalition for a Livable Future, Think Tank Conference Room
Address: 107 SE Washington, Portland 97214
Sponsors: Oregon Department of Justice, OSPIRG and Our Oregon
RSVP: Angela Martin via email, email@example.com or phone, 503-239-8029.
Why should you come to this meeting? Organizations like yours will be instrumental in the success of these new laws. The new protections won’t help if families in trouble don’t have the best information. Last month more than 3,400 Oregon homeowners received a foreclosure notice and an untold number of Oregon renters received eviction notices through no fault of their own. Your group is often the first place Oregonians turn to for help – their churches, social service providers and community advocates. Our Oregon wants to give you all the information you need to give them the best advice and assistance about how to save their home.
Sisters Of The Road Turns 30 – Submit Stories by Sept 25–top
Sisters Of The Road turns 30 years old in November, and for this special birthday they want to find out in your words how Sisters has made a difference in your life.
They are seeking stories about the relationships you built in Sisters’ Cafe; how Sisters’ philosophies of nonviolence and gentle personalism change people’s lives; how their community organizing model shares power and how Sisters strives to work collaboratively to find real, lasting solutions to the problems of homelessness and poverty in our community.
By Friday, September 25th, please send your stories, quotes, photos, poems and other submissions via email, or mail to:
Sisters Of The Road , Attn: Erinne Goodell ,133 NW 6th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209
By your submission, you agree that your stories, quotes, photos, or other submissions can be printed in Sisters’ publications and materials, including our newsletter, enews, website, brochures and any future materials.
Oregon Civic Engagement Conference – Oct 1-3–top
You’re invited to take part in the Oregon Civic Engagement Conference on October 1-3, 2009, in Salem. This event will provide tools to build stronger, more vibrant and inclusive communities across the state.
OCPP executive director Chuck Sheketoff will lead the workshop “Don’t Know Much About Tax and Budget” on Friday, October 2. See the tentative conference schedule (PDF).
For more information of on the cost of attendance and to register, click here.
This event is being organized by Oregon Volunteers and sponsored by the Nonprofit Association of Oregon and AARP.
Horizon Homeowners Cooperative Grand Opening – October 10–top
Please join CASA of Oregon in celebrating the grand opening of Horizon Homeowners Cooperative (formerly known as Victor Manor), a resident- owned community!
When: Saturday, October 10th, 2009
Where: 900 SW Boothbend Rd,
McMinnville, OR 97128
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
For more information contact, Rosie Andalón at (503) 537-0319 x 304 or via email. firstname.lastname@example.org
CASA of Oregon is a Certified Technical Assistance Provider with the ROC USATM National Network
Save the Date – HomeWord Bound CPAH Benefit – April 9–top
Event: HomeWord Bound: An Event of Literary Proportions
Date: Friday April 9, 2010
Time: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Admission: $60/pp – two for $100
Tickets: Reservations required, call 503-293-4038 or www.cpahinc.org
Place: Tualatin Country Club
Address: 9145 SW Tualatin Road, Tualatin 97062
To benefit: Community Partners for Affordable Housing
SAVE THE DATE! Community Partners for Affordable Housing will host its 12th annual fundraiser “HomeWord Bound: An Event of Literary Proportions,” on April 9, 6-10 p.m., at the Tualatin Country Club.
We are still confirming authors for this year’s event, but past featured speakers have included New York Times Bestselling authors Garth Stein, David Oliver Relin, Chelsea Cain and Shawn Levy, along with Oregon’s Attorney General John Kroger, and hilarious Masters of Ceremonies such as Dan Murphy of The Broadway Rose Theatre Company and author Marc Acito. This year’s event will once again feature more than a dozen local authors, dinner, a silent auction, book signings and sales. For details about past HomeWord Bound events, please visit the CPAH Web site, www.cpahinc.org.
CPAH provides safe and sustainable affordable housing along with support and skill-building services for families in the Tigard-Tualatin area and SW Portland. HomeWord Bound tickets are $60, two for $100; reservations required. Sponsorship opportunities are available, and auction items are gratefully accepted. For more information, please contact Tracy Stepp via email. email@example.com.
Webinar for Lenders on Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act – Sept 22–top
NLIHC, the National Housing Law Project, and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty will host a second Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) webinar on Tuesday, September 22, at 2 pm ET. The one-hour webinar is open to the public but is designed to assist the lending and servicing community.
Presenters are expected to include representatives from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, NHLP, NLIHC, and NLCHP. The presenters will discuss the background, substance and implications of the PTFA and how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are implementing the law.
The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 (Title VII of Pub. L. No. 111-22), signed into law on May 20, requires that all persons or entities that take title to residential property at foreclosure honor leases of existing bona fide tenants, and forbids requiring such tenants to leave the properties unless the new owner has given at least 90 days’ notice to vacate.
To register for this webinar, go to https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/354522792
For more information, contact Mark Antonio of the National Housing Law Project at 510-251-9400 x3111 or email him.
Catholic Charities Calls for Legislation at Centennial Leadership Summit -Sept 24–top
In the opening session of its 2009 Annual Gathering, “Journey to Reduce Poverty in America,” Catholic Charities USA will urge public discussion of the organization’s goal of reducing poverty in America by 50 percent by the year 2020. Catholic Charities Caritas Housing is an Oregon ON member.
Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, will launch this first of nine gatherings with an invitation to people of all faiths, business backgrounds, philanthropic intents and political leanings to join the Catholic Charities movement of bringing greater dignity and respect to the American poor through legislation that moves beyond safety net support to empowerment.
Open to the public for a fee of $125, the Centennial Leadership Summit will be held in Portland on Thursday, September 24, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., in the Grand Ballroom of the Portland Hilton, located at 921 SW 6th Avenue. The summit includes lunch and a reception. To register or learn more, click here.
In 2010, Catholic Charities USA celebrates its centennial anniversary.
Award-winning Time Magazine photojournalist, Steve Liss, will be on hand at the opening reception of the Annual Gathering, where his work and that of several other notable photojournalists, will be exhibited in “In Our Own Backyard: U.S. Poverty in the 21st Century.” The reception will occur in the Portland Hilton’s Pavilion Ballroom, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.; access to the reception will be granted only to those who have registered for the opening session of the Annual Gathering, the Centennial Leadership Summit.
The exhibit itself, however, is free and open to the public. It will be mounted in the Plaza Foyer of the Portland Hilton, located at 921 SW 6th Avenue, from 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 24, 2009, until noon on Saturday, September 26.
Over the next year, this exhibit, which portrays poverty in modern-day America, will be mounted in collaboration with Catholic Charities USA in nine different cities, with each exhibition reflecting the face of poverty from the immediate region.
A poverty awareness project undertaken by American photojournalists, “In Our Own Backyard: U.S. Poverty in the 21st Century” is designed to inspire dialog on poverty – and ultimately help make poverty reduction a national priority – by pairing the visual power of documentary photography with the persuasive power of the human story. The thousands of images captured by the photojournalists, along with video and oral histories, are available for use by qualifying organizations working to advance social justice and economic rights.
Times Are Tough Interfaith Committee on Homelessness Forum – Sept. 26 –top
Become Equipped to Respond
Oregon is fourth in the nation in unemployment and first in homelessness. People are outside, desperate, with no hope and no where to turn for help. Agencies are overwhelmed with requests for help. Churches must step up in this time of exceptional need. Please join other churches and agencies to come together to respond as a community to this crisis.
The Interfaith Committee on Homelessness presents “Times are Tough — Become Equipped to Respond” on Housing, Healthcare, and Hunger, Saturday Sept. 26 from 8:30am – 12:30pm at Sonrise Church, 6701 NE Campus Way Hillsboro, OR. It is a forum bringing diverse faith communities, ministers, lay leaders and community members from all over the Washington County together to respond to the plight of our neighbors caught in the grips of the hard times. Pre-register Today at www.ahomeoftheirown.com.
Participants will break into regions of the county to discuss service gaps and develop strategies on how the congregations potentially can begin to collaborate with one another and with agencies to help provide desperately needed services.
Click here to register today.
Oregon Homeownership Forums – Beginning Sept 30–top
Everyone deserves access to homeownership, and focusing on first-time homebuyers is a great source of business for lenders and realtors. Sometimes a slight drop in the monthly house payment is all an individual needs to qualify to purchase their first home. Join other local attendees to:
- Learn about the Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding and how it can help stabilize housing in your community
- Hear an update on the current state of homeownership in your area
- Learn about available down payment assistance programs, including Oregon Housing and Community Services’ Purchase Assistance Loan (PAL) program, that can help you qualify first-time homebuyers
- Share your challenges and successes in helping homebuyers become homeowners
- Discover the resources offered by your local housing center and how you can collaborate with them to increase homeownership
- Receive an update on foreclosures in Oregon and how you can assist distressed borrowers
Sponsored by Oregon Housing and Community Services, Oregon Association of Realtors and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
There is no charge, but advanced registration one week prior to each workshop is required. Space is limited.
All workshops are scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Realtors, contact your Broker to determine continuing education eligibility.
Questions? Craig Nolte, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (206) 396-2192
Upcoming Dates and Locations
Click here to register: http://www.frbsf.org/community/resources/2009/0824/index.html
Average Incomes Decline, Poverty Rises – Drop Sharpest for Poorest–top
According to data released by the U.S. Census on September 10, real median household income in the United States fell by 3.6% between 2007 and 2008, the largest single-year decline in the last 40 years. This dramatic decline from, $52,163 to $50,303, completely erased the limited gains made in the previous decade. Hispanic households saw a 5.6% drop in median family income, the steepest decline among the racial and ethnic groups detailed in the report.
Much of the impact of this decline was felt at the bottom of the income distribution, among the poorest households. Between 2007 and 2008, the income of the poorest 10% of households declined by 3.7% while the richest 10% saw a decline of 2.1%. As a result, the nation’s official poverty rate in 2008 rose to 13.2% from 12.5% in 2007. This represents a 6.9% increase in the number of people in poverty. The number of people in deep poverty, defined as residing in households earning less than half of the poverty threshold, rose even more quickly, by 7.7%. This represents an increase of 1.2 million people in deep poverty to more than 17 million, nearly half of the 39.8 million people in poverty in 2008. The poverty rate for children under 18 years old rose to 19%, up from 18% in 2007.
The report also provides data on health insurance, finding that the percentage of people without health insurance in 2008 was not statistically different from 2007, though there was a statistical decline in private insurance and an uptick in government provided insurance. The percentage of people covered by private health insurance was 66.7%, down from 67.5% percent in 2007 while the percentage of people covered by government health insurance programs increased to 29% from 27.8 %.
The report, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008 can be found by clicking here. www.census.gov/prod/2009pubs/p60-236.pdf
A variety of resources including state-by-state estimates (Table POV46) can be found by clicking here.
Kids Count Data Released, Tracking Child Wellbeing State-by-State –top
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual publication, 2009 KIDS COUNT Data Book, provides a national and state-by-state picture of child well-being including overall state rankings.
Additionally, the online KIDS COUNT Data Center has been expanded to include community-level data in addition to city, state, and national data. Find more than 100 indicators of child well-being, including economic status, health, safety, and risk factors. Create your own maps, graphs, and charts for use in presentations or on your own website.
2009 Nonprofit Salary and Benefits Survey Released–top
The MBL Group, LLC is pleased to announce the publication of the 2009 Nonprofit Salary & Benefits Survey. Now in its 5th edition, this report provides data on 95 benchmark positions and 17 pay and benefit practice topics compiled from 140 nonprofit organizations throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. The Nonprofit Salary and Benefits Survey is a valuable tool for Human Resources professionals and Boards of Directors.
Like previous surveys, the 2009 Nonprofit Salary & Benefits Survey includes Pay and Benefits data on Base Pay, Bonus, Incentive Pay, Total Cash Compensation, and Salary Structure Information.
Benefit topics include:
Medical / Dental / Vision / Rx
Life / STD / AD&D / LTD
Retirement / Time-off
This year the Survey was conducted and compiled using an on-line platform. As such, the 2009 Survey distribution / purchase process is being conducted in a similar manner.
The 2009 Survey is available in two format options:
- Basic- Executive Summary, Pay and Benefit Topics data for “All Participants”
- Enhanced -All the features of the “Basic” report plus online capability to search pay and benefits data by operating budget, geographic location, area of emphasis and/or FTE. Enhanced subscribers can create custom reports that match specific search criteria.
For more information about the 2009 Nonprofit Salary & Benefits Survey, please visit the MBL website by clicking here: http://www.mblgroup.com/survey/np/index.html.
Housing Slips, Emergency Measures Gain in Ten-Year Plans to End Homelessness –top
The National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) has found that while housing was one of the most prevalent strategies in ten-year plans to end homelessness, in newer plans, permanent housing is slipping while emergency prevention measures gain:
Strategies to end Percent of plans Percent of plans homelessness using strategy pre-2005 using strategy post-2005
Permanent Housing 92% 87%
Emergency Prevention 79% 85%
Services 94% 68%
Outreach 79% 54%
Rapidly Rehousing 57% 69%
Number of plans 90 144
The report, as well as charts and graphs can be found by clicking here.
Shared Equity and Shared Appreciation Homeownership Programs Clarified–top
Sometimes, the same term is used to describe very different products or services. This appears to be the case with the term “shared equity homeownership,” as well as the related term “shared appreciation homeownership.”
To help bring greater clarity to this emerging field, the Center for Housing Policy has released the report What’s in a Name? Clarifying the Different Forms and Policy Objectives of “Shared Equity” and “Shared Appreciation” Homeownership Programs. This report seeks to clarify the overall characteristics of shared equity / shared appreciation homeownership models and identify the distinguishing characteristics of the multiple programs. The report also seeks to show how the different programs fulfill somewhat different housing policy objectives.
Click here to read the report.
Website Compiles State Laws that Impact Healthy Homes–top
Laws set the minimum standards needed to protect the health of residents in their homes. The laws can be made at the federal, state and local level. Traditionally, the federal government set standards in three circumstances: for specific hazards such as lead and asbestos; when federal funds are involved; and where products pose a serious hazard. There is no federal housing code, building code, or health code. States and localities are left to set standards and fill the gaps. Some states have acted. Others leave it to localities. Increasingly, they rely on model codes that they modify to fit their needs. As a result, we have a complicated mix of laws that apply to each community.
To sort it all out, the National Center for Healthy Housing and the National Conference of State Legislatures have prepared http://www.healthyhomestraining.org/codes/state.htm, providing links to state landlord-tenant laws, housing/maintenance codes, health/sanitation codes, and others. To make it easier, NCHH and NCSL divided the codes into categories. For three types of codes that broadly affected housing – landlord-tenant laws, housing / maintenance codes, and health / sanitation codes – they affirmatively determined that the state did or did not have a code. For other codes related to specific problems, they were as thorough as possible.
For more information go to http://www.healthyhomestraining.org/codes/state.htm, or contact Tom Neltner via email or at 410-992-0712.