OREGON ON THE BEAT April 17th, 2012

Oregon ON News

We Are Hiring
Spring Industry Support Conference Agenda Now Available
Metro Councilor Forum on Housing “Eye-opening”
Thank you Tom Cusack, Pat Cason and Great Renewing Members!

 

Awards

NAYA Youth named 2012 Rose Festival Princess!

 

Member Events

Hard-hat Tour of Grays Landing – April 26
Happy 5th Birthday Springfield Farmers’ Market – May 4
Piece by Piece Regional Foreclosure Response Initiative – April 25
Hacienda Now Offers Home Buying ABCs in Spanish – June 16

 

Member News

NAYA’s Got Talent
SKCDC Receives OHCS Grant
What’s New at Salem-Keizer CDC?
Enterprise Gets $2.8M to Test Multi-Family Energy Savings
New Facebook Page for NAYA
JOIN Gran Fondo Ride Registration, Best Price by May 1
Proud Ground Says “Hello Beaverton”
ROSE Awarded $125K from Meyer Memorial Trust
Central OR Disabled to Benefit from New Housing Assistance
NEDCO Gears Up for Foreclosure Mediation Demand
NEDCO to Launch New Financial Foundations Program
Dreamer School, Innovative Changes Partner
Commissioner Fish Tells a Housing Story
Compact Soccer Field Brings Safe Exercise to Cully
PCRI Dances with the Stars for a Spectacular Gala
CDLC Expands with an Office in Bend, OR
Catholic Charities El Programa Hispano Welcomes New Manager
CASA Grant Will Help Individuals Build Assets
Wells Fargo Hires New Regional Community Dev Manager
CPAH Welcomes New Fiscal Manager
Habitat Plans Trek to Ethiopia and You’re Invited
Central OR Vets to Get More Access to Affordable Housing
Asset Management & Portfolio Preservation-istas Graduate

 

Member Media Coverage

Central City Has Head Start on New Law
Proud Ground’s 150th Homeowner is Much-Covered
Affordable Housing Coming to Orenco Station in $13.5M Project
REACH Case Study by EnergyScoreCards
Hacienda: Six Stories in the News
Service Groups Press County for Money
Plenty Proud

 

Action Alerts

Only You Can Help Protect the Children of Clackamas Co.

 

Portland Metro News

Finding a Focus on Affordable Housing in Hillsboro
Much-Delayed Metro Housing Supply Report Released

 

Statewide News

State Seeks Comment on Con Plan, Action Plans – May 5
Homeowners Get Relief as Governor Signs Reform Bill

 

Federal News

HUD Proposes Changes for Voucher Portability – May 29
House Approves Veterans Housing Bill

 

Training, Conferences and Events

Oregon Brownfields Conference – June 13-14
Housing Seniors in Rural America, Vermont – June 5-6
Conference For Those Building The New Energy Economy – April 25-28
Understanding Mortgage Service Settlement – April 18
Conf on Affordable Housing in High Cost Areas, HI – Sept 11-12
CLF Regional Livability Summit – Oct 22

 

Reports and Resources

Growing Ranks of Older Adults Face Housing Crunch
Most States to Use National Mortgage Settlement $ for Housing

 

One Fun Thing

IKEA-helmed Housing Development Under Way in London

Oregon ON News


We Are Hiring top

posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Ready to make a significant difference in the State of Oregon? Oregon Opportunity Network has launched an  Industry Sustainability Initiative to support the long-term sustainability of housing projects, our member organizations, and the affordable housing and community development industry in Oregon. Oregon ON is seeking an exceptional and highly motivated individual to lead this significant and exciting effort.

Click here to learn more about the Policy and Sustainability Program Manager position.

Spring Industry Support Conference Agenda Now Available top

posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The Spring 2012 Industry Support Conference will be held in Eugene May 16 at the Lane Community College Center for Meeting & Learning.

Thank you to our Ruby Sponsor: Bergsund DeLaney Architecture

Thank you to our Amethyst Sponsors:
- AHRP – Affordable Housing Risk Pool
- Coin Meter
- Fair Housing Council of Oregon
Please be sure to visit all our sponsors’ display tables during the Conference!

The conference (Full Conference Agenda) will include workshops, trainings and best practices sessions in:

  • Fiscal Management (Agenda)
  • Homeownership Development (Agenda)
  • Homeownership Education and Counseling (Agenda)
  • Multi-Family Development (Agenda)
  • Property & Asset Management (Agenda)
  • Resident Services (Agenda)
  • Executive Directors (Agenda)

The Oregon Housing Authorities will meet for their quarterly meeting in Eugene on May 17 & 18. For more information, contact Cristel Allen.

You can register on-line or by filling out the form on this web page, or by mail (registration form here). Agendas are always subject to change, so check back again for more details. To learn more about the Industry Support Program and Conferences, please contact Terrie Hendrickson via email or at (503) 223-4041 ext. 102.

Metro Councilor Forum on Housing “Eye-opening” top

posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Affordable housing, an issue long neglected by Metro, is finally getting some play this spring as three Metro Council seats come up for election.

On April 10, Oregon ON joined with 211info, Street Roots, and JOIN to hold a Metro Council Candidates’ Public Forum on Housing.

We were joined by both candidates for District 6, Bob Stacey, Jonathan Levine; the sole candidate for District 3, now-Mayor of Tigard Craig Dirksen; and four candidates for District 5, Terry Parker, Sam Chase, Helen Ying, and Michael Durrow.

Described by one Oregon ON member as “more eye opening than I expected,” at the forum several things became clear.

Foremost, although a few were educated on the issues, it is apparent that affordable housing is not something that most Metro candidates have thought about. One of the purposes behind all our candidates forums was to get affordable housing in front of our future Metro Councilors (and City Commissioners and Mayor) and educate them on the issues. Despite this, it was clear that some candidates still did not have much concept of a regional approach to ensuring adequate affordable housing.

As a nonprofit, we cannot exhort some candidates over others, but we highly recommend reading the written responses to questions that all candidates received in advance: Metro Candidate Q&A. (To read written responses to our two other candidates’ forums, click here).  Candidates’ answers at the Forum were even more revealing – watch the next edition of Street Roots for that coverage.

Secondly, it would seem that many Metro candidates think services and housing are something Metro has no influence or purview over, although some candidates had concrete ideas about how to encourage provision of housing and services through zoning and other regulatory structures that Metro can influence.

Oregon ON’s position on Metro’s involvement with affordable housing, is that the supply of affordable housing is as crucial to regional livability as say, a healthy watershed, and just as it takes a region-wide effort to protect our watershed and ensure adequate supply, it will take a region-wide effort to protect our affordable housing stock and ensure adequate supply. While cities and counties must indeed shoulder the bulk of this work, region-wide leadership and vision could, and should, greatly support and enhance the efforts of local municipalities.

We offer a sincere thank you to all the candidates and audience members for taking the time to join us at the candidates’ forums, to our co-sponsors and moderators for all their help, and to Portland Housing Bureau for helping to fund our public forum series.

Our final 2012 public forum, a round table on equity and equity in City contracting, is coming up on June 12; stay tuned for more details!

Click here to read an Oregonian story on the Metro Councilor’s race.

Thank you Tom Cusack, Pat Cason and Great Renewing Members! top

posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Thank you to our newest individual members Pat Cason and Tom Cusack!

Tom is the creator and author of the Oregon Housing Blog, the state’s most thorough source of affordable housing analysis and news. His blog states: “On Independence Day in 2007 I retired after 34 years of federal service at HUD, the last 10 as the Field Office Director in Portland Oregon.” In 2010, Tom was granted the Transparency Award by the Oregon ON Board of Directors, in recognition of his work. Click here to read the Board’s brief award speech by Robin Boyce.

Pat Cason is a native Oregonian who works in the mental health field in Enterprise, Oregon and other towns. Her poems have appeared in publications nationally and abroad. She says she “aspires to write poems irresistible to people who think they hate poetry.” Here is a beautiful poem she published on Oregonlive on June 19, 2010:

Dusk, Just Outside Scappoose
Travelers without umbrellas, pockets or house-keys
elk graze beside the highway rush-hour traffic
so unperturbed, they must be Buddhist elk
– unattached to their usual places and paths
replaced by housing tracts. Unlike them I am attached to vanishing things, to this
passing moment’s fugitive colors
of fading parchment sky and gilt-tipped hilltops,
this shadow-painted meadow, where elk sink to their knees in rest. I am attached
to the elk, the trees, this linger of light
in spite of my chest’s fickle piston
with its systolic insistence, on
finite, finite, finite.
We are delighted to have you all with us for another great year!
An extra-big thanks to Enterprise Community Partners, who boosted their membership this year!

Awards


NAYA Youth named 2012 Rose Festival Princess! top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

We would like to congratulate and recognize NAYA Family Center youth, Alexis Phillips (Navajo), for being named Franklin High School’s 2012 Rose Festival princess!

Alexis is an outstanding young leader in our community. She first came to NAYA as a participant in our ninth grade counts summer programming. Alexis spends hours volunteering at NAYA Culture Nights, participates in our youth IDA program, and is preparing for college through services and programs provided by our College and Career Center.

Alexis, a junior at Franklin High School, is an Honor Roll student, the president of the Black Student Union, a member of the Step Team, a Mock Trail team member, a National Society member and a Life Time Achievement Honoree. Alexis is a driven and determined young woman. She plans to attend college to pursue a career in law.

We are so proud of Alexis and all that she has accomplished!

To read the Oregonian article on Alexis Phillips, click here.

Member Events


Hard-hat Tour of Grays Landing – April 26 top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

REACH Community Development, Inc. and City Commissioner Nick Fish on March 26, 2012 announced that the first affordable housing development located in the South
Waterfront District will be named Gray’s Landing. The building, previously known as
Block 49, has been named after philanthropist and developer John Gray to honor his
longstanding support of affordable housing and his contributions to the built
environment in Oregon. Construction on Gray’s Landing is expected to be completed
in late 2012.

For a limited time only, while the building is under construction, REACH is offering tours to the public.  Be the first in Portland to see this landmark development taking shape!

REGISTER NOW for our first hard hat tour on:

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

 3:45 – 5:00 pm

@ Gray’s Landing

0650 SW Lowell Blvd, Portland

Other dates are available on REACH’s website.  In the meantime, REACH’s construction cam is available online for real-time construction updates at http://oxblue.com/open/REACH/Block49.

Mr. Gray is best known for his Oregon and Washington resort developments including
the Salishan Lodge, the Skamania Lodge and the Sunriver Resort. He is also a major
philanthropist in Oregon, giving to a number of worthy causes, including cancer
research, educational programs and affordable housing. In Portland, Gray pioneered
the transformation of the Willamette Riverfront with the development of Johns
Landing, Portland’s first riverside residential and commercial development.
Additionally, he is a decorated veteran. He served with the Army’s 82nd Airborne
Division during WWII, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and receiving a Bronze
Star for his service.

“I am humbled that REACH and the city commissioner have chosen to name this
important housing development after me,” said John Gray. “As a veteran, it is an
honor to have my name attached to a project that will offer fellow veterans and
others in need affordable housing in such a beautiful part of the city.”

“Mr. Gray has been a long-time supporter of REACH and our efforts to make quality,
affordable housing communities,” said REACH Executive Director Dee Walsh. “We are
honored that he has allowed us to recognize his contributions to Oregon by naming
this building after him.”

Gray’s Landing will include 209 affordable apartments, with 167 of the apartments
targeted to working people with modest incomes. The remaining 42 apartments will
be set aside for very low-income veterans. Commissioner Fish noted, “It is especially
fitting that this building, which includes homes dedicated to veterans, will honor John
Gray, who earned a Bronze Star for his service in World War II.”

Gray’s Landing is a collaborative development between REACH, City Commissioner
Nick Fish, and the Portland Housing Bureau, which made a significant investment of
public funds in the project. Gray’s Landing brings the City one step closer to realizing the promise of affordable housing in Portland’s newest neighborhood.

Additional project partners include Oregon Housing and Community Services, U.S. Bank, Enterprise Community Investment, Home Forward, and the U S Department of
Veterans Affairs. The development team includes REACH, the Housing Development Center, Williams & Dame Development, Walsh Construction Co., and Ankrom Moisan
Associated Architects.

Happy 5th Birthday Springfield Farmers’ Market – May 4 top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

Join Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) as we kick off the 2012 Market Season with a Birthday Party on May 4th from 3-7pm!

Bring your craziest party hat and join in the fun, wear a cool hat = get market $! Games, prizes, and cupcakes. Fun for the whole family, so come on down! Wondering what else is happening this Market season? We’ll be updating this calendar as events are planned, and we have a lot of great ideas this year!

Interested in being a Vendor at Oregon’s Best Small Market (as voted by our attendees in 2011)? Click here for details on being a Vendor.

Call for volunteers: Springfield Farmers Market wouldn’t be the Market it is without motivated and passionate volunteers. Looking to get involved this season? More details here.

May 4th 3-7pm Fresh and Lively Every Friday
at the Library Plaza, 5th and A Street

Piece by Piece Regional Foreclosure Response Initiative – April 25 top

posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2012

New Enterprise Community Partners Live Online Event:

Piece by Piece: An Experiment in Collective Impact and Foreclosure Response
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (Eastern)

Register

The foreclosure crisis created an unprecedented opportunity for affordable housing stakeholders across a variety of sectors to come together in creating coordinated responses. In metro Atlanta, over 145 public and private sector organizations have joined the Piece by Piece Regional Foreclosure Response Initiative (Piece By Piece) to elevate and maintain awareness of foreclosure as a critical issue, and develop community-based solutions. This webinar will provide an overview of Piece By Piece’s history and structure, identify some lessons in creating a collective impact movement, and share success stories to date from the Piece by Piece Initiative and its partners.

And don’t miss these other upcoming events:

Introducing the New Enterprise Green Communities Certification Process
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM (Eastern)
Learn More  |  Register

Enterprise’s Faith-Based Development Initiative: A Model for Affordable Housing Production
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM (Eastern)
Learn More  | Register

MetLife Foundation Awards for Excellence in Affordable Housing
Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 2:00 PM and Friday, May 18, 2012 at 2:00 PM (Eastern)
Learn More
Register for the April 26 session
Register for the May 18 session

Hacienda Now Offers Home Buying ABCs in Spanish – June 16 top

posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2012

In April, Hacienda CDC reinstated their free, HUD-certified Spanish-language course for first-time homebuyers. Ten Spanish-speaking participants are one gigantic step closer to owning a home. The next course will be offered on Saturday, June 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hacienda CDC also offers a two-part course in English, held on the first two Mondays of each month. Encourage clients to sign up online or by calling Carlos Garcia at (503) 961-6405.

 

Member News


NAYA’s Got Talent top

posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

NAYA Family Center’s Talent Night was a huge success in bringing the community together in support of our 25 spectacular acts! Over 175 youth and families attended to cheer on a showcase of very talented performers. The evening’s talent ranged from our little ones to elders and included singing, dancing, drumming, roller-blading, hula-hooping and guitar playing. There were also cultural performances including a father-son grass dance, women’s fancy dance and a group of Capoeira performers. One act really demonstrated the depth of artistic talent at NAYA by composing original music on the computer and playing the song live in front of the crowd.

In the spirit of competition, four judges awarded a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize. Congratulations to everyone who participated in our Talent Night!

SKCDC Receives OHCS Grant top

posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Salem-Keizer Community Development Corporation (SKCDC) was awarded a $50,000 capacity building grant from Oregon Housing and Community Services last July. Part of the grant is funding staff and board members to attend an 18-month training program – Asset Management and Portfolio Preservation (AMPP) – conducted by the Housing Development Center (HDC).

Staff and board members attended a two day “Nuts and Bolts of Asset Management” last October and a financial indicators workshop in December (pictured above). In between the workshops, HDC provides one-on-one technical assistance for implementing the various metrics that will help our staff and the Board to manage and preserve our growing affordable housing portfolio. “This training and the financial indicators we’re developing to better track the portfolio will assist SKCDC in preserving our existing portfolio into the future,” said Mark Cusick, Board Treasurer and AMPP training attendee.

In addition to the AMPP training, the OHCS grant funded capital needs assessments for the remainder of the 101 unit HOME funded portfolio. “Knowing what the issues are and being able to develop a comprehensive plan for improvements is key to preserving this affordable housing for our community,” said executive director Chuck Fisher. The
training concludes and deliverables are
due in Spring 2013.

Above: The training concludes and deliverables are due in Spring 2013.

What’s New at Salem-Keizer CDC? top

posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

by Executive Director Chuck Fisher, Salem-Keizer Community Development Corporation Newsletter, Spring 2012

Much of my time since our last newsletter has been spent  working on our latest
development, a 40-unit tax-credit project at 2030 Wallace Road NW in west Salem. We applied in last year’s funding cycle but missed the cutoff by one point. This year we have sharpened our pencils and submitted for the 2012 CFC funding cycle. I’ve been
privileged to assemble an incredible team of professionals – Jennings Pitts Development, Arbuckle Costic Architects, Multi-tech Engineering, Essex Construction and Mark Shipman of Saalfeld Griggs. SKCDC closed on the two acre parcel in mid-March and we all look forward to bringing this project to fruition. Riverview Terrace’s ground breaking is scheduled for Spring 2013, pending funding approval.

We completed our rehab of the Royal Pines project, our latest acquisition, last
November. This Spring we will use a $25,000 Collins Foundation grant to fund
attic insulation and new windows throughout the complex. These improvements and others underway continue to improve this property and quality of life for our tenants.

This year’s Pentacle Fundraiser “A Streetcar Named Desire” is scheduled for a Sunday matinee on May 6. We’re thinking the new time on a Sunday afternoon might work better for many folks to attend, especially if they’re coming from out of town. Our goal is to raise $20,000 to match a $20,000 Oregon Community Foundation grant and
celebrate SKCDC’s 20 years of service to the community.

The OCF matching grant is slated to further expand sustain our “Economic
Opportunities” division. The economic hard times experienced by all of us have
been especially difficult for the low and moderate income families we serve. We
are seeing an increase in demand for all three of the services provided including:
Individual Development Accounts providing a 3:1 match to be used for higher education, to start a business or to purchase a home; Free State and Federal
Income Tax Filing; and, Financial Literacy Classes.

On a personal note, I had the honor of being inducted into the Keizer Rotary in
December and have very much enjoyed learning more about and becoming an
active Rotarian. Rotary’s motto of “service above self” particularly resonates. My wife Pat and I look forward for opportunities to participate in both community and world service projects.

There are lots of ways to become involved in our SKCDC community. We have opportunities to help teach Financial Literacy classes with a “Train the Trainer”
event scheduled on April 26 from 10 – 3pm. Last year’s painting project was
delayed, and is scheduled for late summer. More details as they become available.
Most importantly get out and get involved if not with SKCDC then with another
non-profit providing services to our great community!

Enterprise Gets $2.8M to Test Multi-Family Energy Savings top

posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

“HUD Awards $23 Million to Test New Energy-Saving Approaches in Older Multi-family Housing Developments: 12 organizations selected to help drive innovative energy-saving approaches” from HUD press release, March 8, 2012

All across the country, owners of aging apartment complexes are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption and save money. In order to test new and innovative ways to cut energy bills and to finance energy efficiency upgrades in existing multi-family residential properties, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded nearly $23 million to a dozen organizations on the cutting edge of bringing energy-saving solutions to the housing market.

These affordable housing providers, technology firms, academic institutions and philanthropic organizations were selected to receive grant funding to test new approaches to implement and to pay for these energy-saving upgrades that may become the model for financing these ‘retrofits’ on a wider scale in the future (see grant summaries below). The federal grants are directly leveraging an additional $60 million in philanthropic, local and private capital.

“These grants are being awarded to a diverse collection of organizations that will help us find new ways to cut energy, save money and generate jobs!” said Acting Federal Housing Commissioner Carol Galante. “This is more than just ‘going green,’ it’s about bringing real dollars and cents solutions to a sector of the market that is currently wasting money heating and cooling buildings, some of which were built more than a generation ago.”

Theodore Toon, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for HUD’s Office of Affordable Housing Preservation, added, “These energy-saving innovations will be driven by the private sector who will help lead the way in bringing down the costs in our older multi-family housing stock. HUD’s new Energy Innovation Fund will become the model for others to follow in the national effort to bring a new generation of energy efficiency to older residential properties.”

The goal of HUD’s pilot program is to develop ideas and mechanisms that could potentially be replicated nationally, as well as help create industry standards in the home energy efficiency retrofit market. In addition, the pilot program will create public/private partnerships as a result of capital investments from private industries and create green jobs in construction, property management, and technical analysis (e.g. energy audits and building commissioning), including opportunities for low income residents.

Below is a description of Enterprises’ grant; click here to read about all the grants.

Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. New York, NY
$2,795,071 (Applied Research Demonstration)

Enterprise Community Partners will develop an initiative called the National Multifamily Energy Services Collaborative (NMESC), a collaborative service delivery model that can be replicated and taken to scale across the affordable housing field, which will enable community development corporations to participate in the energy-efficiency marketplace so that energy efficiency practices become an integral part of developing, preserving and managing affordable housing. The NMESC will offer affordable housing owners a comprehensive and standardized package of services to improve energy efficiency along a continuum of need, from improvements to operations and property maintenance practices, to complete retrofits of multifamily properties that will reduce energy consumption of at least 20 percent on average.

EIF funds will be combined with multiple matching and leveraged funding sources for a total program of $ 12,166,997. In partnership with LINC Housing, Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, and CNT Energy, Enterprise anticipates including dozens of properties and several thousand units of affordable housing in the NMESC program. Initial properties will be located in New York City, the Chicago area, and Southern California. Starting with this widely located portfolio, the NMESC will create a national framework to significantly improve energy efficiency in existing buildings that can be taken to scale and replicated in local markets around the country. This approach will offer standardized processes, tools and resources that can be easily customized by community development corporations and supplemented with regional and local resources. Enterprise will also oversee a national data collection and best practice effort that will share what is working and not working in the field of multifamily residential energy efficiency, from installation, to operations and property maintenance, to resident engagement.

New Facebook Page for NAYA top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

The NAYA Family Center is pleased to announce the launch of our new Facebook page! The NAYA Facebook page is an important way for us to connect with our community and the world. We are excited for this opportunity to share our most up-to-date information with our youth, elders, families, volunteers and donors.

Click here and like NAYA’s Facebook page today!

JOIN Gran Fondo Ride Registration, Best Price by May 1 top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

JOIN is once again participating in the Hood River Echelon Gran Fondo, a European style cycling event with something for every fitness level, fabulous food, a great festival featuring local entertainment and spirits.

We know September seems far away, but if you register before May 1st, it’s just $75!  Prices will go up $10 each month after that, so register (and start training) soon!

Visit JOIN’s Team Page Here >>

Proud Ground Says “Hello Beaverton” top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

On the heels of expanding our service area to Gresham, Proud Ground is now in Beaverton. We’re up to four new Proud Ground homeowners in Gresham, with three more on the way. Now, on to Beaverton! The Beaverton City Council recently awarded us funds to serve our first new homebuyer there; we look forward to more opportunities to create permanently affordable homeownership opportunities in Washington County.

ROSE Awarded $125K from Meyer Memorial Trust top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

Meyer Memorial Trust (MMT), one of Oregon’s largest charitable foundations, has awarded $125,000 in grant funding to ROSE Community Development.

ROSE CDC, which works to build better outer southeast neighborhoods by developing good homes and economic opportunities, will use the funding to support neighborhood economic development. Promoting a healthy neighborhood economy has always been important to ROSE. One of ROSE’s first projects in the early 1990s was a revitalization plan for the 92nd and Foster commercial district, a precursor to creation of the 1998 Lents Town Center Urban Renewal Area.

The Trust made the announcement following its March meeting, at which trustees awarded 17 grants for more than $1.5 million.

The Meyer Memorial Trust grant builds ROSE’s capacity to implement catalytic economic development in outer southeast Portland neighborhoods. ROSE will create a neighborhood-level economic development plan that builds on neighborhood assets, sets measurable outcomes and implements programs. One component of the plan will be creation of a Community Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) through a partnership with Mercy Corps Northwest. The REIT will provide a way for neighborhood residents to build assets by investing in local commercial real estate.

ROSE’s track record complements MMT’s interest in economic development and innovations.  The agency has been active in efforts to strengthen the city’s grassroots economy such as the East Portland Action Plan, the Portland Development Commission’s Neighborhood Economic Development Action Plan and the High Road Alliance: Communities for Equitable Economic Development.

Central OR Disabled to Benefit from New Housing Assistance top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

Redmond, OR — Housing Works has moved 60 Central Oregon households off a waiting list and into housing, with the issuance of 60 new Non-Elderly Disabled (NED) Vouchers that provide rent assistance.  The NED Vouchers, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, are available to income-eligible, disabled applicants under age 62.

“Funding this year was uncertain, and we didn’t know if we were going to be able to issue any vouchers,” said Kenny LaPoint, Housing & Resident Services Director at Housing Works.  “We’re pleased we were able to assist 60 households who were on the waiting list.”  The waiting list, which still numbers over 360 disabled individuals and their families, opened in February for one week, allowing applicants to apply online via an automated system recently adopted by Housing Works to make the process more convenient.

The number of NED Voucher applications received by Housing Works rose from 308 in 2011 to 424 in 2012.  LaPoint believes this increase is an indicator of two factors: the recession and the accessibility of the online application process.  “We had a 38% increase in the number of people in this population requesting help with rent.  It’s a direct reflection of our slow economic recovery.  We also believe the higher numbers show we were able to reach more people this year through the online application process.”

To increase awareness about the NED Vouchers, Housing Works coordinated with various organizations including county mental health agencies and Abilitree.  In addition, LaPoint and a team of housing specialists were available at libraries in the tri-county area to assist people with completing the application online.  “This was another example of the power of working hand-in-hand with our community partners, from public libraries to social service agencies.  It’s gratifying to see what a difference this cooperation makes to those who may not know about the help available to them otherwise.”

NEDCO Gears Up for Foreclosure Mediation Demand top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

New Legislation Requires Mediation before Foreclosure

Starting this summer, Oregon homeowners will have the opportunity to enter into mediation with their lender before the lender can foreclose.  Similar mediation programs in other states have helped thousands of homeowners avoid foreclosure; in addition, the Oregon legislation includes a first-in-the-nation provision that allows homeowners who are not yet in default to participate in mediation. The law also requires that anyone opting into mediation must first meet with a HUD-approved housing counselor, so Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) and other counseling agencies across the state are busy gearing up for the increased demand for services.  The Attorney General has 91 days to create the rules for implementing the new law, so much more information will be coming out in the months ahead…stay tuned!

Click here for details

NEDCO to Launch New Financial Foundations Program top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

In June, Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) will be launching a new program – Financial Foundations.

It’s an intermediate level 4-class series that covers Savings, Budgeting, Credit, and Preparing for the Unexpected in-depth. We are excited to offer this  natural next step for many of our clients to help them make progress toward their financial goals and dreams.

Click here for more information.

Dreamer School, Innovative Changes Partner top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

Innovative Change$‘ partner Alder Elementary School provided us with a very inspirational site visit.  As the first “Dreamer School” for the I Have a Dream Foundation, the entire school is focused on establishing the expectation that their students will go to college.

The classrooms and hallways are full of college banners, inspirational quotes, and team mascots.  Career planning is woven throughout the curriculum. Anyone who has ever met their Principal, Paz Ramos, will understand why Alder was chosen; he is unstoppable!

Alder is a strategic partner in our individual development account (IDA) program, as the expectation is that some of the parents of Alder Elementary School will use our matched savings program to enroll in post secondary education, advancing their earning potential and setting an example for their children.

Commissioner Fish Tells a Housing Story top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

[Ed. Note - part of me really wants to rearrange this headline as "Housing Commissioner Tells a Fish Story," but that's just because I'm a cunning linguist, not because my favorite Commish is prone to exaggeration .:)]

by Portland Commissioner Nick Fish, Fri 4/13/2012

This week, Street Roots invited me to publish ”The State of Housing: A Portland Story.”

They gave me a platform to tell our story: the progress we have made together, the challenges we face, and the opportunities that lie ahead.

I hope you will buy a copy from your local Street Roots vendor (find a vendor). I look forward to your feedback.

It is an honor to serve as your Housing Commissioner, and to work with Director Traci Manning and the talented team at the Portland Housing Bureau.

Thank you for your work to make Portland a better place.

Compact Soccer Field Brings Safe Exercise to Cully top

posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2012

A compact soccer field will make exercise safe and accessible in Cully,
a challenge for some low-income communities

Hacienda Community Development Corporation (CDC) recently announced plans to build a futsal court for their affordable housing community, supported by a sponsorship from the Portland Timbers and Adidas. Hacienda CDC is depending on community engagement and individual contributors to cover the remaining balance necessary to complete the project, expected to break ground in May 2012.

In a play on the organization’s motto, “una comunidad viva,” Hacienda is launching a campaign called una comunidad activa.”  The campaign will raise awareness of the need and demand for safe and accessible exercise in low-income communities, particularly in the Cully neighborhood.

“I’ve seen children running throughout the parking lots to play soccer,” says Victor Merced, the executive director of Hacienda CDC. “I am thankful we have such an active community, but it scares me that it is at the expense of their safety. This is a necessary and well-deserved project.”

Hacienda CDC works alongside residents to ensure livability at each of its affordable housing developments. Alex Perez, a resident of Villa de Sueños, serves on Hacienda’s board, and Maria Gastélum, also a resident at Villa de Sueños, is on staff. Both have taken active roles in making this project happen, and Hacienda will continue to reach out to residents to incorporate them in the process.

Facts and features of the project:

  • The Portland Timbers have contributed $20,000 and Adidas has contributed $5,000 of the $150,000 needed to complete the project.
  • Scott | Edwards Architecture will oversee construction by LMC Construction.
  • The covered court will feature an ecoroof to prevent stormwater runoff thanks to a partnership with Verde, a local nonprofit committed to building environmental wealth.
  • Cully neighborhood, where the court will be located, is the City of Portland’s most park-starved community; compared to a citywide average of 40 people/park acre, in Cully the figure soars to 2,780 people/park acre. (CLF, 2006)
  • It will serve Hacienda’s Clara Vista, Clara Vista Townhomes and Villa de Sueños residences (727 total residents, 395 children) and potentially the greater Cully community.
  • All residents in Hacienda’s affordable housing units earn between 0-60% of the Area Media Income, meaning $0-$43,200 annually for a family of four.

 

PCRI Dances with the Stars for a Spectacular Gala top

posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI)‘s Premiere Gala Benefit was an exceptional—and exceptionally successful—evening!  Thanks to First Lady Cylvia Hayes and Governor John Kitzhaber (at right), we started off the program in style with their dramatic and graceful waltz.

Following the Governor and First Lady’s dance performance (and a packed reception before that), the quick-witted Margaret Carter took the microphone as the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies.  For the rest of the fast-paced evening, Mrs. Carter led a full house of guests through an introduction to Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick, a brief video history of PCRI, and to a fantastically successful and competitive auction facilitated by Kelly Russell of Kelly Russell Auctions.

Ms. Russell also presented a triumphant special appeal with former PCRI resident and successful homeowner Betty Mason before offering the podium to former PCRI Board Member Barbara B. Smith, who presented Ernest Warren, Jr. with her namesake Community Support Award (above).

The headlining entertainment of the evening, the Dancing with the Stars-style competition, was also a runaway success.  Five prominent local celebrities were each trained by and paired with professional dancers from Portland’s Fred Astaire Dance Studio.  Each dancing couple put on a spectacular show in the individual performance as well as the group waltz competition.  In between dances, the competition’s celebrity judges (above) kept the audience entertained with their witty commentary about the dancers’ performances.

Pressed to crown a champion, the judges had their work cut out for them:  Stephanie Torres (left), Director of Events for the Portland Business Journal, took on a difficult rumba for her individual performance and, along with Fred Astaire’s Alex Aillon as her dancing partner, made it look easy.

Brian Stewart, Vice President and Community Relations Officer for JPMorgan Chase & Co., and his long-legged professional dancing partner Jessi Reynolds (at right) had the crowd in stitches with a foxtrot  choreographed to Lena Horne’s “I’ve Got Rhythm.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multnomah County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury surprised the judges and her professional colleagues, bringing the sexy back [follow this link to a great video!]  in a swing dance with Fred Astaire’s Malik Delgado (at left).  Judge Roy Jay remarked, “so that’s how legislation gets done!”

 

Voted by the judges as the top dancer in the group waltz competition, professional sports representative Trisonya Abraham also danced a dramatic and stunning tango with professional partner Austin Faller (at right).

 

 

 

 

 

 

The champion of the evening was Portland attorney and interim Director of the National Association of Minority Contractors of Oregon, Melvin Oden-Orr, along with his dance partner, Fred Astaire’s Tara Konyn (below).  Mr. Oden-Orr and Ms. Konyn stepped onto the floor like true entertainers and put on an amazing show, cha cha-ing their way to the top of the judges scoresheets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fred Astaire Dance Studio followed the competition with a stunning show put on by their professional dancers (yes, the photo below was really taken at the gala!) as well as a lesson, then the dance floor was opened to the gala guests who immediately rushed out for their own around the (packed) dance floor.

We extend a giant thank you to all our sponsors, table captains and guests as well as the fantastic volunteers who made the evening such an amazing success.  Thank you also to our professional photographer Xilia Faye as well as our volunteer photographer Izzy Ventura for the stunning images from the event. Be sure to check PCRI’s Gala Website as well as our Facebook page for more photos of the event and to see what’s coming next!

CDLC Expands with an Office in Bend, OR top

posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2012

The Community Development Law Center (CDLC) has announced its opening of a new office in Bend, Oregon staffed by Attorney Helen Eastwood. A native of Bend, Helen brings a varied and well-developed background to her work at CDLC. Helen earned a BA from Wellesley College and a JD from Northeastern University School of Law.  She taught high school through the Teach for America Program, and also worked for the General Counsel Offices at the EPA in Boston and National Public Radio in Washington D.C. before returning home to Bend.  In Bend, Helen worked with Karnopp Petersen to provide legal aid services to the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation and worked as a land use attorney for Bryant, Lovlien & Jarvis.  In addition to her professional pursuits, Eastwood sits on the Swalley Irrigation District Board of Directors and is a volunteer for the Start Making a Reader Today (SMART) program.

CDLC provides low-cost transactional services to community-based nonprofits which otherwise would have to divert funds from direct service to pay legal fees since 2000.  In 2009, St. Andrew Legal Clinic adopted the CDLC program to provide legal assistance to organizations serving the low income community.  By expanding to a new office, CDLC will be better able to serve community-based nonprofits in central Oregon.

CDLC could not fulfill its mission without generous financial donations from individuals, companies and grants.  CDLC thanks the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust for funding the CDLC’s expansion of its services.  Additionally, pro-bono assistance allows CDLC to provide a broader range of services than otherwise possible.  Please contact a CDLC attorney if you are interested in volunteering.

Catholic Charities El Programa Hispano Welcomes New Manager top

posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Linda Castillo to lead division beginning April 23

(Portland, Ore.) –Following an extensive search, the Catholic Charities is pleased to announce the selection of Linda Castillo as Division Manager of Catholic Charities El Programa Hispano.

As Division Manager, Castillo will oversee El Programa Hispano’s numerous social service programs which include Latino family services; rent assistance and energy assistance services; Latino youth school retention; mentoring and community school programs; resources for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault; low-income tax clinic services; Spanish language parenting education; community education services; job placement services; and mental health services.

“Linda comes to us with many years of experience in human services and a long and recognized history as an advocate for the Latino community,” said Catholic Charities Director of Social Services Doug Alles. “I am confident that Linda will carry on the great legacy of our beloved former Director Gloria Wiggins and will strengthen culturally-specific service to our brothers and a sisters throughout Oregon’s growing Latino community.”
“I am humbled and excited to be part of the amazing work of Catholic Charities El Programa Hispano,” said Castillo. “I am very much looking forward to joining staff in service to the Latino community.”

Before accepting the position with Catholic Charities, Castillo worked as a Program Manager of Bienestar de La Familia at Multnomah County Oregon where she spent more than 16 years.

Currently, Castillo is Vice Chair and Board Member at Latino Network. Castillo earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Santa Clara University (1982); a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of San Francisco (1987).

Castillo will assume her new responsibilities on April 23, 2012.

CASA Grant Will Help Individuals Build Assets top

posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

CASA of Oregon would like to announce recently receiving a $500,000 award from the Department of Health and Human Services for their Assets for Independence program, which funds IDAs nationally.  This grant is CASA’s 11th award from HHS and will help approximately 225 low-income individuals in building assets, like a first home, small business or post-secondary education.

Wells Fargo Hires New Regional Community Dev Manager top

posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

 

PORTLAND, Ore. — Wells Fargo has hired Portland resident Cobi Jackson as its Community Development officer for Oregon and southwest Washington. A vice president, Jackson is based in Portland.

Jackson is responsible for the company’s activities related to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). Under the act, Wells Fargo delivers investments, loans and other financial services to low- and moderate-income communities and individuals, financing to affordable housing developers, and loans and technical assistance to small business owners.

Jackson will also work to understand the credit needs of the communities where Wells Fargo has operations and develop partnerships with nonprofit agencies there to meet those needs.

Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Jackson worked in Portland at the nonprofit One Economy Corporation since 2006. Jackson served a variety of roles, including vice president of National Programs and sr. director of National Community Impact. The agency provides access to technology, training, support and online content to millions of people around the world.

Jackson earned a bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism, and a Master’s degree in Communications at University of Oregon.

Jackson volunteers as the board president-elect of the Portland Housing Center and vice chair of the Bethel Economic Development Commission. She is a former board chair of the North/Northeast Portland Business Association and has served in multiple committee leadership roles at the Portland Development Commission and the Sabin School PTA.

 

CPAH Welcomes New Fiscal Manager top

posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Please join Community Partners for Affordable Housing, Inc. (CPAH) in welcoming their new Fiscal Manager, Lynette Soares!

Lynette comes to CPAH with 9 years of office and fiscal management experience, from a family owned and operated company in central California.  She received her Bachelor’s of Social Work degree from California State University, Sacramento, where she was first exposed to nonprofit affordable housing organizations.  In fall 2011, Lynette began interning for CPAH as the capstone project for her Master’s of Public Administration degree, with a specialization in nonprofit management.  She has since completed her MPA at Portland State University.

Habitat Plans Trek to Ethiopia and You’re Invited top

posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Habitat for Humanity Ethiopia Family Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East has built over 220 homes in the Portland Metro area, but did you know that we have also built over 230 homes worldwide? To help support the work of Habitat for Humanity International, our affiliate tithes 10% of undesignated contributions to Habitat affiliates in El Salvador and Ethiopia.

We are forming a Global Village trip to visit our Habitat partners in Ethiopia and we want you to join! The Global Village trip is January 11, 2013 through January 20, 2013 and will include a week of service, building water and sanitation facilities for Habitat families in the capital city of Addis Ababa. This is a brand new project for Habitat Ethiopia, addressing the need of over 80% of Addis Ababa’s residents who don’t have access to clean water and sanitation.

If you are interested in learning more or joining the Global Village trip to Ethiopia, contact Sasha Davis at via email or 503.287.9529 x17.

And please click here to view a video to learn more about the efforts we will be participating in.

 

Central OR Vets to Get More Access to Affordable Housing top

posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Redmond, OR — Housing Works, the leading affordable housing provider serving the tri-county Central Oregon region, has secured an additional ten federally-funded vouchers to aid veterans with quality, low-cost living quarters.

“These vouchers will improve lives in the most fundamental way – providing safe, clean, permanent, affordable housing for homeless veterans,” said Kenny LaPoint, Housing & Resident Services Director for Housing Works.  “Often we’re talking about helping entire families when it comes to these vouchers.   Veterans have given us so much through their service and it’s an honor to be able to return the favor.  We want these servicemen and women and their dependents to recover the dignity of having a place to call home.”

The VASH vouchers, which can be redeemed on a monthly basis for rent by those who qualify, are funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and administered by Housing Works, one of only five housing authorities in the state to be awarded additional VASH (Veteran’s Affairs Supportive Housing) vouchers.  The organization has a long record of success in pushing for state and federal legislative action to address rural Oregon’s housing needs.  In 2011, a collaboration between Housing Works, Central Oregon Veterans Outreach and U.S. Congressman Walden resulted in the awarding of 50 (VASH) Vouchers for Central Oregon, for example.

LaPoint estimates that through the total 60 VASH vouchers issued in 2011 and 2012, 180 individuals are being helped to get off the streets.  He attributes the awarding of the additional vouchers to the effective collaboration that the region’s social service organizations have established over the years.  Said LaPoint, “Central Oregon agencies have a proven track record of acting in concert to get the needs of our community met.  We’re good at combining efforts and utilizing our talents cooperatively for the good of the cause.  It’s this efficiency that helps us get results.”

Asset Management & Portfolio Preservation-istas Graduate top

posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

On March 14th Housing Development Center graduated its first Asset Management & Portfolio Preservation (AMPP) class! Six organizations completed HDC’s 18-month AMPP Curriculum. Participants, staff, board members and funders gathered to celebrate the occasion. Each organization shared the impact AMPP has had on them and reported on specific outcomes from the program.

The results are astonishing. Jim Moorefield, Executive Director for Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services, reported that participating in HDC’s AMPP program has been the single biggest capacity-building effort of the organization during his 14 year tenure.

[Ed. note: I went to this event not knowing much about the program, and learned that its work is incredibly far-reaching, sometimes leading organizations to restructure, adopt new business models, and even get to a place where stronger lines of business can shore up weaker ones - which is crucial at a time when public funds are being cut deeply. I left believing that in the next few years, this program will improve the stability of Oregon's CDC and affordable housing industry. Amazing!]

Check out some of the performance outcomes for the Class of 2012!

Congratulations to –

Check out participant presentations to see how AMPP impacted these organizations: Outcomes for the Class of 2012. For more information, click here.

AMPP ROUND THREE!

Be a part of AMPP’s 2014 Class! Housing Development Center is looking for applicants for its third round of AMPP, scheduled to begin October, 2012.

HDC’s AMPP Curriculum helps organizations build their asset management capacity – by establishing systems to analyze the physical and operational needs of portfolios and developing preservation plans for long-term viability. For details about the AMPP Curriculum, click here.

We want to ensure that investments made in affordable housing over the last 20 years continue to be successful.

To find out about participating in HDC’s Asset Management & Portfolio Preservation Curriculum, contact Kimberly Taylor at 503-335-3668 or via email.

Applicants may choose to apply for GHAP dollars in the upcoming OHCS funding round next month!

Member Media Coverage


Central City Has Head Start on New Law top

posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Portland Business Journal, 4/6/12

Over the past decade, Central City Concern has been working to integrate primary care, mental health care, and addictions treatment for the people we serve who must overcome multiple barriers to access the more traditional health care and treatment services in our community.

Central City Concern’s efforts at integrating primary and behavioral health care took a quantum leap forward with the opening of our Old Town Recovery Center in December 2011. This specialty mental health clinic is located in the same building complex as Central City Concern’s Old Town Clinic, where we provide primary care for the homeless, and across the street from the Central City Concern Recovery Center (CCCRC), our outpatient addictions treatment program. In addition to bringing these programs physically closer to each other, Central City Concern has been able to streamline and enhance each patient’s experience by creating multi-disciplinary teams of providers who share a common panel of patients accessing all these services.

Dr. David Cutler, medical director of Multnomah County’s Mental Health and Addiction Services Division said this about our work: “What they’re doing there is a national model. They’ve managed to get all these services together and it’s working beautifully. The practitioners are happy; the patients are doing better.”  (photo of Dr. Rachel Solotaroff at right is courtesy of Care Oregon.)

Click here to read the entire article on-line
(No printing is enabled with this link.)

Proud Ground’s 150th Homeowner is Much-Covered top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

News about Proud Ground‘s 150th homeowner is everywhere! The Portland Observer, the Sunday  Oregonian Real Estate section, our website, HUD’s website … YOU, Proud Ground supporters, helped make this happen.

Special thanks to partners Portland Housing BureauCommunity Frameworks, the African American Alliance for Homeownership, and Umpqua Bank.

Proud Ground's 150th home buyer: Kelli Jarrell Proud Ground’s 150th home buyer: Kelli Jarrell

“I worked so hard to buy this home because I wanted security for my children, I wanted them to always have a place to live. My children and their children are always welcome back home, we are forever family.” Kelli Jarrell, with grandchildren Deriyan and Jeremiah.

Affordable Housing Coming to Orenco Station in $13.5M Project top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

By Casey Parks, The Oregonian, March 01, 2012

Washington County has awarded a $750,000 grant to a Portland-based nonprofit to help build the first affordable housing apartment complex in Orenco Station.

REACH Community Development plans to begin construction next year on a first phase — 57 units just south of Northeast Cherry Drive at Northwest 231st Avenue. The units are targeted to workers who make about $25,000 a year and will be some of the first apartments in the nation built using Passive House standards, reducing heating consumption by 90 percent. The development will be the nonprofit’s first original building project outside Portland.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Click here to read REACH’s press release about the project.

REACH Case Study by EnergyScoreCards top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

3/27/12, Case Study by EnergyScoreCards

In early 2011, REACH Community Development started using EnergyScoreCards to track the success of retrofits and monitor energy use throughout their portfolio. EnergyScoreCards helped them do this by measuring and verifying the energy savings of lighting upgrades, new boilers, programmable thermostats and air sealing.

By comparing the before-and-after energy usage at properties (see below), REACH can see the energy and financial savings from the implemented retrofit measures.

Property ScoreCard Comparison

The properties in REACH’s affordable housing portfoio had received energy audits from Bright Power in 2009. The audits uncovered energy saving opportunities including lighting upgrades, new boilers, programmable thermostats and air sealing. In 2010 and 2011 REACH began implementing recommended measures at several properties.

EnergyScoreCards™ is an online energy benchmarking  and management tool for people who make decisions about energy use in buildings, including:

  • Property Managers & Building Owners
  • Energy Consultants & Contractors
  • Energy Efficiency Program Administrators
  • Utility Companies

Hacienda: Six Stories in the News top

posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Service Groups Press County for Money top

posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Nonprofits want $1.5 million more against local domestic abuse
By Raymond Rendleman, The Clackamas Review, Mar 27, 2012

A coalition of 28 nonprofit and civic leaders last week asked the Board of County Commissioners to spend $1.5 million more of Clackamas County funding next year on programs serving child victims of abuse and violence.

The Red Ribbon Council packed a March 20 hearing with many people who had experienced abuse to lobby commissioners for the funding.

“The voter sentiment that these are very high priority issues and that these should be prioritized within the current county budget,” said Martha McLennan, executive director of Northwest Housing Alternatives.

Click here to read more: Service groups press county for money

Plenty Proud top

posted on Thursday, April 5th, 2012
from HUD   >   State Information   >   Oregon   >   Stories   >   2012-04-04

PORTLAND, OREGON – Proud Ground, a non-profit based in Portland, has been in the homeownership business for 13 years. It has lots to show for it.

Like Kelli Jarrell, a grandmother, who has just bought her first home, a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 1600 square foot home in the Mill Park neighborhood of Portland. Kelli is the 150th homeowner Proud Ground has helped to acquire a piece of the American Dream.

She is, explained Proud Ground Executive Director Jesse Beason. “a perfect example of who we serve,” She’s worked “in the same field for 10 years. She has a steady income. She had a savings plan.”

Click here to read more.

Action Alerts


Only You Can Help Protect the Children of Clackamas Co. top

posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

On March 20th, a group of concerned citizens, victims and non-profit organizations asked the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners to prioritize $1.5 million in funding to protect our children from sexual abuse, physical assault and to actively prosecute their attackers.

By posting a photograph to Northwest Housing Alternatives, Inc.’ Facebook page of you wearing a red ribbon, dressed in red clothing or by writing a message in red ink, we can show our community’s unity in the belief that protecting our children should be our elected officials’ highest priority.  All images will be emailed daily to the Board of Commissioners.  Post images here!

There has been an alarming increase in the number of children needing immediate safety from abusive situations in our community.

  • Last year, Northwest Housing Alternatives was forced to turn away 8-10 families in need of emergency shelter for every one they could serve.  75% of NHA’s clients have been abused or experienced domestic violence—this includes both adults and children.
  • Nearly 2,400 cases of child abuse were investigated in 2010, of which the Children’s Center was only able to provide medical services for the ‘worst of the worse’ – a total of 452.
  • 1,902 requests for shelter were made to Clackamas Women’s Services from people trying to escape domestic violence.  CWS was only able to serve 148, leaving 1,754 requests unanswered.

With additional funding, we could serve more children and families by providing:

  • Immediate help for children in abusive circumstances
    • Emergency housing so that the mothers of abused children, and domestic violence victims can escape with their children to protect them
    • Support to help victims and their families recover from the trauma of abuse and violence
    • Experts to determine forensic proof of abuse and violence
    • Early victim access to support so that child sex offenders will be prosecuted and held accountable for their crimes against children

If you believe that our children should be protected, please post a picture today and ask your family, neighbors, and friends to do the same.

If we don’t advocate for our children, who will?

Portland Metro News


Finding a Focus on Affordable Housing in Hillsboro top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

By The Hillsboro Argus, March 29, 2012

Expanding the supply of affordable housing is a worthy goal for any community. Consensus, though, is harder to achieve on where those homes and apartments should be built to serve low-income residents and special populations, such as the mentally ill, convicted felons, and people trying to overcome drug and alcohol addictions. That’s why government regulations dictate licensing requirements and operating rules to minimize conflicts and maximize public safety in affected neighborhoods.

LukeDorf.jpg< View full size. Photo by George Rede/The Oregonian
The Luke Dorf complex at the corner of Southeast Fifth Avenue and Washington Street in Hillsboro consists of the 25-bed Garrett Lee Smith Safe Haven home, left, for chronically homeless people with mental illness and the adjacent Hartner House, a 14-bed facility for people with alcohol and drug addictions.

Last June, representatives of the Hillsboro Neighborhoods Coalition, concerned about the clustering of social services downtown, asked the City Council for a moratorium on new outpatient treatment facilities and a study to ensure all residential facilities operating within the city are appropriately identified and licensed as per state law.

Click here to learn more.

Much-Delayed Metro Housing Supply Report Released top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

from Oregon Housing Blog, April 8, 2012

Problems and Recommended Corrective Actions for the Metro Housing Supply Report Being Considered at Wed. MPAC Meeting.

I recently posted [HERE] an alert of an upcoming Wednesday April 11 MPAC meeting that included a long delayed Metro report on the supply of Affordable Housing in the Portland Metro area. (This report and reports on the progress toward voluntary affordable housing goals have been suspended since 2007).
I very much appreciate the willingness of Metro staff to share the report and also send me a copy of the underlying database and I also do appreciate the progress that this report represents; I expect that Metro staff will create a web page that will include the database soon, and when I receive it I will update this post.
In the attached PDF file HERE, I have provided my listing of 8 problems and 12 suggested corrective actions that I found in reviewing the report. (A cheat sheet in the last page [page 8] of this file [Appendix 3] lists those problems and suggestive corrective actions in a table format.
The changes needed include:
  1. Reporting the income groupings of affordable units in cities, counties, and centers. [Income groupings are in the database but omitted from the report].
  2. Reporting those cities and the 18 regional and town centers which have NO affordable units. [Cities and Centers with NO affordable units are not shown in the report].
  3. Reporting the share of all units in Centers that are affordable at different income ranges. My analysis indicates that (excluding the Portland Central City) only 3% of all dwelling units in regional and town centers are affordable to those with incomes below 50% MFI. 
  4. Correcting an inadvertent error in the median income Functional Plan definition used to calculate affordable rents.
  5. Creation of a single Excel worksheet with all 2011 data and data elements from the “unit details” table and the “main table”  table in the housing supply database.
I will be sending my comments to MPAC and Metro staff on Monday and as I indicate in my comments “If appropriate, I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss these problems with MPAC members and Metro staff”.
I also look forward to the presentation from the housing authority directors from Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington County at the MPAC meeting, and a discussion about why MPAC and Metro should provide greater focus on affordable housing.

Update: Tuesday, April 10, 2012: Updated Metro Affordable Housing Supply Comments Now Include City Comparisons by Income.

Using data from the Metro housing supply database, I have updated my prior analysis of the Metro housing supply report HERE and added Appendix 4 [p.9], a draft table showing the rate of regulated housing supply vs the total number of housing units in 24 Metro Portland cities.
That draft table shows that:
  1. For every 1,000 housing units , Portland has a regulated affordable housing supply of 83 units vs 43 units in the other 23 cities. (See far right column in table) That’s about a 2 to 1 ratio. [8.3% rate vs. 4.3% rate].
  2. The rate of regulated supply affordable to households with incomes below 50% (See column with GREEN fill) drops to 35 units per 1,000 in Portland to only 6 per 1,000 housing units in the 23 other Metro Cities. That means that the rate in Portland for regulated housing affordable to incomes below 50% MFI is nearly 6 times the combined rate in 23 other Metro cities. [ 3.5% rate vs .6% rate].

Statewide News


State Seeks Comment on Con Plan, Action Plans – May 5 top

posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Technical Advisory from Oregon Housing and Community Services, 4/5/2012

Oregon Housing and Community Services seeks public comment on proposed
amendments to state plans Oregon Housing and Community Services seeks public comment on proposed amendments to its 2011 Action Plan, 2012 Action Plan, 2011-2015 Consolidated Plan and Oregon’s Citizen Participation Plan.

The bulk of the changes will bring Oregon into alignment with the requirements of the federal Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009, as it applies to the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program. The balance of the changes are housekeeping in nature.

In general, the HEARTH Act:

  • expands the scope of homelessness data collected and analyzed,
  •  expands the types of entities and processes to be involved in planning,
  •  expands and alters eligible activities,
  •  requires increased coordination with other programs and entities, and
  •  requires more detailed performance reporting.

Interested parties can find an explanation of the changes and the amended document drafts at http://www.ohcs.oregon.gov/OHCS/HRS_Consolidated_Plan_5yearplan.shtml.

The public comment period for the program amendment began Wednesday, April 4, 2012, and ends at 5:00 PM on Friday, May 4, 2012.

Contact: Joann Zimmer, HEARTH Act contact, email, 503-986-6779
Loren Shultz, state consolidated plan coordinator, email, 503-986-2008

Homeowners Get Relief as Governor Signs Reform Bill top

posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

from the Oregon House Legislature – House Democrat Caucus, April 11, 2012

Reforms help underwater Oregon homeowners, hold banks accountable

SALEM- A hard-fought legislative victory for Oregon homeowners became law today as Governor John Kitzhaber signed SB 1552, a top priority of Democrats the Legislature this February session.

The foreclosure reform bill requires banks to meet with homeowners facing foreclosure or underwater on their mortgages in mandatory mediation. It allows homeowners to meet with housing counselors prior to mediation, but enables homeowners to bypass housing counselors if they aren’t able to meet within a thirty day period. It also outlaws the practice of dual-track foreclosures in which banks enter into conversations with homeowners to negotiate terms of a loan while simultaneously beginning the process of foreclosure.

Rep. Paul Holvey (D-Eugene), a champion of the protections, hailed the bill’s signing. “We overcame the opposition of big Wall Street banks, House Republicans and the mortgage industry to pass a bill that will not only help those facing foreclosure, but help underwater homeowners avoid foreclosure altogether. The Governor’s signature caps off a long fight to stand up for middle class homeowners.”

“Members of our caucus worked hard to help Oregonians by refusing to take no for an answer on meaningful reforms that hold big banks accountable. We had great advocacy on this bill from homeowners across Oregon who helped us deliver for middle class Oregonians,” said Rep. Tina Kotek (D-Portland), the House Democratic Leader.

SB 1552, which enacts a number of long-sought protections for homeowners and cracks down on the unethical practices of Wall Street banks, was one of the most high profile issues debated in the Legislature. House Democrats had previously pushed for tough foreclosure reforms and homeowner protections, ultimately succeeding in the February session. The bill had overwhelming support from Oregonians, and strong public pressure helped advocates overcome years of opposition in order to push the bill through.

“We’re continuing to work very aggressively so that we can begin helping people as soon as the law takes effect. This bill makes certain that all homeowners at risk of foreclosure have the opportunity to benefit from face to face mediation,” said Rep. Chris Garrett (D-Lake Oswego), “This is one of the proudest accomplishments of a very successful legislative session.”

Federal News


HUD Proposes Changes for Voucher Portability – May 29 top

posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Comments are due May 29 on changes intended to clarify requirements and processing of portability requests.

This proposed rule would amend HUD’s regulations governing portability in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. Portability is a feature of the HCV program that allows an eligible family with a housing choice voucher to use that voucher to lease a unit anywhere in the United States where there is a public housing agency (PHA) operating an HCV program. The purpose of HUD’s proposed changes to the portability regulations is to clarify requirements already established in the existing regulations and improve the process involved with processing portability requests to enable PHAs to better serve families and expand housing opportunities. It is HUD’s intent to increase administrative efficiencies by eliminating confusing and obscure regulatory language in areas that are known to be troublesome. This proposed rule attempts to balances the needs and interests of PHAs while increasing family choice.

See Federal Register or www.regulations.gov. Contact Laure Rawson, HUD, 202-708-0477.

House Approves Veterans Housing Bill top

posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The Homes for Heroes Act, H.R. 3298, would create a Special Assistant for Veterans Affairs in HUD to coordinate services to homeless veterans and would require an annual report to Congress. The bill passed the House on March 27 by a 414-5 vote and was sent to the Senate. The bill’s text and status updates are at http://thomas.loc.gov.

Training, Conferences and Events


Oregon Brownfields Conference – June 13-14 top

posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

June 13 & 14 – Portland, OR

The Oregon Brownfields Conference is designed to target the educational needs of brownfield practitioners – from long-time brownfield professionals to those just entering the process of transforming contaminated sites into productive reuse. Work sessions will dig deep into issues associated with building on brownfields, and provide a forum for discussion of “sustainability” in the current economic and real estate climate of record breaking property foreclosure and bankruptcy rates.

The 2012 Brownfields Conference features a Brownfields Walking Tour (details soon) and a Portland Harbor Boat Tour. Join this two-hour tour for a water-side perspective of this dynamic waterfront with its daunting environmental cleanup challenges – Thursday, June 14 at 3:00pm.

CONFERENCE WEBSITE

SPEAKERS & AGENDA

 Call for Nominations – Fourth Oregon Brownfields Award-The Oregon Brownfields Awards recognize individuals and groups who worked together to solve the critical environmental challenge of transforming brownfields sites into productive reuses. Oregon DEQ & Business Oregon invite community groups, organizations, city/county officials, and individuals working to revitalize contaminated properties to submit project nominations. Deadline May 11. [Download Nomination Form]

Register Now for Early Bird Rates!

Early Bird After May 7
Standard

$225

$250

Govt./Non-Profit/Academia

$170

$195

Student

$75

$100

Portland Harbor Tour (add-on)

$35

$35

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE -

Scholarships to cover registration and lodging are available for those travelling more than 50 miles to attend the conference, or with special circumstances. Contact Karen Homolac at 503-986-0191 or via email.

Housing Seniors in Rural America, Vermont – June 5-6 top

posted on Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Register now for Housing Seniors in Rural America: Resources, Advocacy, and Practice,to be held in Burlington, Vermont on June 5-6, 2012. This symposium will provide intensive training and information on housing for an aging population in rural America. Visit http://www.ruralhome.org or contact Janice Clark, HAC, via email.

Conference For Those Building The New Energy Economy – April 25-28 top

posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2012
Future Energy Conference

  • April 25, 2012 – April 28, 2012
  • Presented by: Northwest Environmental Business Council (NEBC) and Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association (OSEIA)
  • Oregon Convention CenterPortland, OR

The Conference For Those Building The New Energy Economy.

An unmatched forum for learning, networking, & business development, with content covering:

  • Policy & Economic Development
  • The Business of Renewable Energy
  • The Business of Energy Efficiency
  • Energy Sector Insights

 Connecting Policy With Practice

  • 28 Educational Sessions Over Two Days
  • The NW Energy Expo (incorporating the former NW Solar Expo)
  • Pre & Post-Conference Training Courses & Workshops- details here: Future Energy Workshop List PDF
  • Keynote Speakers:
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber
Gordon Brinser, President,
SolarWorld Industries America
Paul Gipe
Renewable Energy Industry Analyst
Steven Nadel, Executive Director, ACEEE
(American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy)

Who Should Attend

All those engaged or interested in the
new energy economy:

  • Project developers, installers & potential project owners
  • Engineers, consultants, attorneys & other service providers
  • Equipment & technology providers
  • Energy investors & financiers
  • Industrial and commercial facility & operations managers
  • Utility managers
  • Government agency representatives
  • Economic development professionals
  • Building designers, architects & owners
  • Researchers, academia, NGOs
  • Those interested in becoming part of this industry
  • Others promoting a strong local economy

Why Attend

Learn, interact with your peers, do business:

  • Gain an up-to-date perspective on the state of the industry, policy developments, and emerging technologies.
  • Learn the keys to successfully design, finance, and build renewable energy projects.
  • Learn how energy efficiency can enhance business profitability – and how to implement and pay for it.
  • Explore how to do business in Oregon – and with whom.
  • Explore opportunities for your business in supplying the energy industry.
  • Learn about supportive programs and incentives.
  • Meet and network with colleagues, partners, and customers.

Understanding Mortgage Service Settlement – April 18 top

posted on Monday, April 9th, 2012

April 18, 2012 – HUD National Conference Call: Understanding the Mortgage Service Settlement & the New FHA Streamline Refinance Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP).

To join the conference call on 4/18/12 at 2:00pm Eastern Time dial: 1-800-230-1074.

Join the HUD Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships for a conversation with HUD Secretary – Shaun Donovan and HUD Program Staff on the Mortgage Settlement and the FHA Streamline Refinancing program.

Call participants will hear from senior HUD officials and program staff about the types of assistance available to individuals and families who are underwater and seeking refinancing assistance, who were wrongfully foreclosed upon, or are currently facing foreclosure. This call is a chance for faith and community leaders to learn more about the national mortgage service settlement and the new FHA Streamline Refinance MIP, how they may be accessed, and eligibility requirements.

Additionally, listeners will be given accurate and up to date information which will allow them to report back to their church or community members on how to avoid the risk of being the victim of a scam.

RSVP to join the call and receive copies of the handouts by emailing: Partnerships@hud.gov or call us at: 202-708-2404

Conf on Affordable Housing in High Cost Areas, HI – Sept 11-12 top

posted on Monday, April 9th, 2012

Save The Date!

  • 2012 National Conference on Affordable Housing in High Cost Areas
  • September 11-12, 2012
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Flier attached: Save the date 4-9-12

In spite of the decline in housing prices in many areas of the country, affordable housing options remain out of reach for many working families – especially in high cost areas. Whether you represent a bustling urban center, resort town, tropical paradise, or a small town experiencing growing pains, the obstacles to creating affordable housing are often very similar.

Come join us in Honolulu at the Ala Moana Hotel, as stakeholders and interested parties discuss and develop real strategies to overcome barriers to affordable housing in high-cost areas.

The conference features a wide variety of sessions, speakers and networking opportunities to help you come away with new tools, innovative solutions and resources to meet housing needs in your community.

This conference is presented by Rural Community Assistance Corporation.
With major funding by HUD Honolulu Field Office And support from:
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and Housing Hawaii

Sign up to receive a copy of the registration brochure at
www.rcac.org, under Trainings & Events

CLF Regional Livability Summit – Oct 22 top

posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Coalition for a Livable Future, 10th Annual Regional Livability Summit

  • Friday, October 12, 2012
  • Portland State University

The Regional Livability Summit is an annual gathering of regional leaders and community members, ranging from policy advocates and student activists to government staff and elected officials.  This diverse group comes together to discuss strategic linkages between the wide range of issues involved in creating a sustainable and just future for the Portland metropolitan region.

Announcing the 2012 Keynote Speaker:

Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, PolicyLink

Angela Glover Blackwell founded PolicyLink in 1999 and continues to drive its mission of advancing economic and social equity. Under Blackwell’s leadership, PolicyLink has become a leading voice in the movement to use public policy to improve access and opportunity for all low-income people and communities of color, particularly in the areas of health, housing, transportation, education, and infrastructure. Full Bio.

Coming Soon…

Between now and October 12th we will share more information on Summit registration, schedule, sessions and sponsorships. For early information contact CLF via email.

 

Reports and Resources


Growing Ranks of Older Adults Face Housing Crunch top

posted on Thursday, April 5th, 2012

from the Center for Housing Policy [info@nhc.org], 4/5/12

Over-65 population expected to grow by more than 120 percent by 2050; new report finds older population boom will worsen the nation’s housing affordability challenges

That baby boomers are swelling the ranks of older Americans is well-documented, but do we really understand the consequences of this important shift for the housing needs of older adults? A new report from the Center for Housing Policy, Housing an Aging Population: Are We Prepared?, explores the effects of this coming demographic change on the demand for housing, the challenge of providing meaningful housing choices for older adults of all incomes, and the policies that could help communities across the country respond to the dual challenges of providing older adults with affordable housing and adequate services.

The U.S. 65-and-older population will more than double by 2050 to nearly 90 million, growing at a rate far faster than any other age group. According to Census data, by 2050, one in five Americans will be over the age of 65. Some estimates put the figure even higher.

Housing an Aging Population: Are We Prepared? finds that older adults are more likely than younger adults to have housing affordability challenges.  As a result, the aging of the population is likely to increase the overall proportion of the country with severe housing cost burdens.  The report also finds that many older adults lack access to affordable services that could help them age in place.  Similarly, older adults with low- and moderate incomes often lack access to meaningful housing choices – for example, to move into a multifamily development that would provide services an 85-year-old might need to continue living independently and avoid costly nursing care.  The report further covers trends affecting older adults in terms of demand, housing costs, finances, location and housing type, offering recommendations on existing policies that may help to address the coming crisis.

Sydelle M. Knepper, founder and CEO of the New York-based development firm SKA Marin, says it’s not just government and nonprofits that are working to meet the housing needs of older adults. In more than 30 years working in housing policy at the federal, state and local levels and now in the private sector, Knepper says that she’s never seen a greater challenge, or such a great opportunity.

“Given the sharp increase in the population of older adults cited in the report, it’s essential that we focus now on strengthening the nation’s policy response.  HUD’s Section 202 supportive housing for the elderly program has done a lot to fund housing for older adults and people with a disability, providing more than 400,000 homes over the last 50 years, but we need to act at a much larger scale to have a hope of meeting future need.”

Advocacy groups for older adults have also begun tackling this looming issue, in large part working to spread awareness and to offer solutions that build on the existing policy framework.  Rodney Harrell, a policy advisor at AARP’s Public Policy Institute, says that communities and states must understand the challenges before they can address them.

“As the older population grows, meeting the housing needs of older adults is certain to become a significant challenge across the nation. States and communities need to effectively respond by adopting policies that ensure adequate, affordable housing for people of all ages.”

Read Housing an Aging Population: Are We Prepared?

Key Findings

  • As the U.S. population ages, the share of the population with severe housing cost burdens will likely rise. Older adults are more likely than younger adults to spend more than half their income on housing. Cost burdens also increase with age. One in four households 85+ spend at least half their income on housing, as compared with about one in five households aged 65-74 and about one in six households younger than 65.
  • As the overall population ages, the numbers of the most vulnerable will grow as well – people with a disability, women living alone (who account for 40 percent of 65+ women) and minorities. Meanwhile, the Great Recession has eaten into the reserves of many older households, reducing home equity and retirement accounts.
  • Even some older homeowners without mortgages face serious housing challenges.  While 65+ homeowners are more likely than younger households to have paid off their mortgages, many of these homeowners nevertheless have high housing cost burdens. The incomes of older adults tend to decline with age-as reflected in rising poverty rates. But property taxes, maintenance, and utility costs all tend to rise over time for both older homeowners and renters (as reflected in higher rents). Accumulated savings can help, but these too diminish with age.
  • An older population with health issues will drive demand for modified housing and housing with supportive services. Both men and women are living longer, and as a result, more older adults will be living with disabilities. About one quarter of older households aged 65-74 and nearly two thirds of households with a member 85+ include someone with a disability. The demand for renovations and retrofits to accommodate disabilities and for moves to housing with supportive services will likely rise. Currently, about one in five 85+ adults are in community housing or a long-term care facility-more than 10 times the share of adults aged 65 to 74. The supply of these types of housing is unlikely to keep pace with burgeoning demand. Many suburban communities, home to half of older adults, continue to limit multifamily or group housing.
  • Existing and emerging policies can help older adults continue to live in their own homes as they age. These include policies to: assist with home modification using deferred loans or grants from Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME or housing trust funds; connect residents to social services through expansion of the Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid waiver program, volunteer efforts, and other mechanisms; help residents afford high housing costs through housing vouchers and property tax abatement programs; and expand public transit and volunteer driver programs to help residents get around without driving.
  • Equally important are policies to expand housing choices for older adults. By adopting more flexible zoning policies, communities can help foster a diverse range of housing types including accessory dwelling units (i.e., granny flats), high-density rental developments, assisted living residences, continuing care retirement communities, and congregate housing. Subsidies will be needed to help ensure that older adults with low and moderate incomes have access to affordable choices. The report also recommends experimenting with more cohousing efforts that promote “active neighboring” and/or allow professional caregivers to live among residents.

Methodology -   This report is based primarily on Center for Housing Policy tabulations of American Housing Survey (AHS) data from 2009.  The tabulations use age of oldest member (not age of householder) to classify households into age groups; a 65+ household is one in which the age of the oldest household member is 65 or older. To complement the AHS and provide a more complete picture of the housing challenges faced by older adults, additional data and analyses were used, including analyses by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Division as well as data from the 2000 and 2010 Census, Current Population Survey from 2011, and Consumer Expenditure Survey from 2009.  Complete sources can be found in the report’s technical appendix.

Learn more about the National Housing Conference and its research affiliate the Center for Housing Policy.

 

Most States to Use National Mortgage Settlement $ for Housing top

posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

from Enterprise Capitol Express Newsletter, 4/4/12, “Initial Analysis Reveals that 74 Percent of States Will Use their National Mortgage Settlement Funds for Housing”

On March 13, materials from the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement were made public, outlining how states will use the combined $2.5 billion in direct payments. The majority of states plan to use funds to address housing issues and some explicitly mention supporting affordable housing programs. Read More about the National Mortgage Settlement

One Fun Thing


IKEA-helmed Housing Development Under Way in London top

posted on Monday, April 16th, 2012

by Matt Hickman, MotherNatureNetwork Bloggers, Mon, Apr 16 2012

Not content just sleeping on an IKEA mattress and preparing your meals with IKEA cookware? At Strand East, a mixed-use redevelopment project in London, the Swedish mega-retailer could also be your landlord.

Click here to read more.

 Images: LandProp Services