The Latest News

July 2016

President's Message
Hello housers and life changers! 

I add life changers to my introduction because that really is what you are. Or, it is what you have the capacity to be. You must first reach inside of yourself and determine if it is what you want to be. This month, I challenge you to do just that. Reach inside.
At our conference in Seattle I challenged you to know WHY you do what you do. If it's because this is the job you have, then I challenge you to be the best you can possibly be at that job. Do it with compassion and skill. Be so good at your job that your absence leaves a void in your office.
However, if your WHY is more deeply rooted within the fiber of your being to help those in need, to lift the broken, and to see the playing field leveled, then hold that torch high. Be an advocate for your work, your agency, and the people you serve. When asked, let your community know about the good work you do. Speak out for those who may not have a voice of their own.
Both of these reasons why are acceptable. Once you have identified your why, I challenge you to do the best you can to focus it. Pursue it relentlessly and make it your driving force for excellence.
For those who will be attending the National Summer Conference in Portland the end of this week, please seek me out and say hello. It is an honor for our region to host this conference. I am excited to be attending and I look forward to seeing you.


NAHRO Summer Conference
NAHRO Summer Conference

You may register onsite at the Hilton Portland & Executive Towers starting on Thursday, July 14 at 1:00 pm in the Plaza Foyer on the Plaza Level.
Regional NewsRegNews1
Celebrates Grand Opening
of Vantage Point Apartments in Renton

Renton - If you're an older adult living on a low fixed income, it's hard to find an affordable apartment in King County. Just ask Chuck Abney.

Forced by debilitating health issues into premature retirement in 2011, Chuck couldn't find an apartment he could afford on his Social Security disability income and the waiting list for subsidized housing was years long. His only option was to rent a room in someone else's apartment. Unfortunately, his new roommates maltreated him. After reporting his abuse to the police, Chuck's roommates fled. While this freed Chuck from his tormentors, it also left him to shoulder alone the rent on the now too-expensive three-bedroom apartment. Chuck had to leave. But with no family, poor health, and limited means, he had nowhere to go.
In late 2015, Chuck's impending homelessness was averted by a phone call from the King County Housing Authority: construction of the Vantage Point Apartments was complete and a unit was available. After four years on KCHA's public housing waiting list, Chuck finally got a home of his own.


Receives HUD Healthy Homes Award
Raven Terrace 
Breathe Easy Kitchen

SEATTLE-June 17, 2016-The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), named Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) the recipient of the 2016 HUD Secretary's Award for Healthy Homes in the Cross Cutting Coordination program category. SHA's Breathe Easy Program at Yesler has been judged outstanding by the independent reviewers at the NEHA and by HUD. 

"Through collaboration and evidence-based policy, these organizations are creating sustainable environments where families are healthy and thriving" said HUD Secretary Julián Castro.  "I applaud the winners for their commitment to sparking innovative development in their communities, and I look forward to our continued work together in making American city's places of big dreams and possibilities."

SHA and its Breathe Easy partners have collaborated to provide quality, safe, healthy homes for all, regardless of their income or background. In 2015, SHA, Neighborcare Health, American Lung Association, and King County Hazardous Waste Management Program launched the Yesler Breathe Easy Program in newly constructed homes for low-income families as part of the Yesler redevelopment. The program also includes one-on-one visits from a trained community health worker.

The program at Yesler stems from practices implemented beginning in 2005 at SHA's redevelopment of the High Point neighborhood in West Seattle, where an independent study showed dramatic improvement in residents' health. Within the first year of living in the Breathe Easy homes at High Point, children with asthma experienced a 65 percent increase in symptom-free days.

At Yesler, two new affordable multi-family residential buildings, Raven Terrace and Kebero Court, incorporate design features that protect families from dust, toxins, and other pollutants that can result in increased hospital visits and missed school and work days.
To date, 201 new Breathe Easy apartments have been built at Yesler with features to improve a household's indoor air quality and reduce symptoms related to asthma and other respiratory illnesses. The homes include:
  • Individual unit energy recovery ventilators with air filtering and tempered fresh air supply and heat recovery to improve indoor air quality.
  • A variety of non-carpeted flooring options in living areas and bedrooms, recycled content vinyl flooring in bathrooms and kitchens and low-pile carpeting on stairs and in hallways to reduce allergens.
  • Low or no off-gas trim and millwork to reduce urea formaldehyde bonding agents.
  • Low or no off-gas or volatile organic compound (VOC) cabinet construction and paint.
  • No carpets in stairs or hallways.
  • A strict non-smoking policy in the building and shared exterior common spaces and entrances.
SHA expects to build a total of 851 new Breathe Easy affordable apartments at Yesler.

Mill Creek Residential purchasing site in Yesler Terrace 

SEATTLE - July 6, 2016 - The Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) and Mill Creek Residential Trust LLC (MCRT) today announced that Mill Creek Residential is purchasing approximately 1.2 acres at Yesler Terrace. The property is located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Yesler Way and Boren Avenue in downtown Seattle. MCR's planned community includes retail space and approximately 290 residential apartment homes, of which 26.5 percent will be affordable housing.

MCR is the third private developer to purchase property at Yesler Terrace as part of SHA's redevelopment of the 30-acre neighborhood near downtown Seattle into a mixed-income community. SHA's master plan includes complete replacement of aging public housing for low-income residents at 30 percent or less of area median income (AMI), the addition of affordable housing for people between 30 and 80 percent of AMI, mixed retail/residential projects by private developers, new commercial office development, a large central park and other open spaces, increased transportation options and enhanced educational and economic opportunities for residents. A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Choice Neighborhoods Grant and funding from the City of Seattle, JPMorgan Chase and select property sales to private developers are supporting construction and developments costs.

Mill Creek Residential develops, acquires, and operates apartment communities in key markets throughout the U.S. "While we are a national company, we immerse ourselves in our chosen markets - living and working in the communities where we operate," said MCR's Managing Director Sean Hyatt. "We are committed to building relationships and communities in which people thrive, which is why we are attracted to Yesler as a truly diverse and vibrant community in a desirable location, with existing and planned amenities that will benefit all residents."
 "We appreciate Mill Creek's innovative approach to housing development, and their appreciation for the unique opportunity that Yesler presents," said Andrew Lofton, Executive Director of Seattle Housing Authority. "They understand and support our vision for a high-quality built environment where people from all walks of life live, work and connect as part of a dynamic and culturally rich community."

SHA has notified residents in the portion of Yesler affected by the sale and will work closely with each household over the next 18 months to identify their preferences for new housing. All Yesler residents in older housing have priority in new housing that has been built or is under construction by SHA. They are provided with counseling, moving costs and other services to help them transition to their new homes at Yesler, or another location if that is their choice.
Mill Creek Residential plans to begin construction immediately after the resident 18-month relocation period and existing structures are removed (currently estimated to be late 2017). The new building will be built to LEED Gold standard and will be designed to the Yesler Terrace Design Guidelines, which include among other things ground floor spaces that encourage sidewalk activity, enhanced street frontages and shared landscaped areas.

Rainier Park Opened its Doors to Farmworker 
and General Low Income Families in April 2016

The Office of Rural and Farmworker housing celebrated these new homes on June 3rd with a ribbon cutting ceremony.  The ribbon cutting ceremony allowed them to thank the amazing development team: Environmental Works (architect), M.C. Lundgren Construction, the Sunnyside Housing Authority (sponsor) and the Office of Rural and Farmworker Housing (ORFH), as well as the financing/funding team: Washington State Department of Commerce's Housing Trust Fund, Washington State  Housing Finance Commissions Tax Credit Program, the National Equity Fund and Wells Fargo's construction loan.  

With all of this great support they were able to build 20 Two bedroom and 20 three bedroom townhome style homes. They are able to establish the community by including play ground equipment, central BBQ/Gathering area, central bike path, raised garden beds and even a quarter basketball court.  

This development cost just over $9.1 million but reached beyond the 40 families they were able to provide housing for, it has taken this land full circle. This land was once home to army barracks, that housed ORFH's own Bobbi Alseth and her parents in the late 1940's. It was later demolished and brought back to a vacant property, but with this team's vision the land came full circle and brought back much needed homes to this community! 


Awards Finance 900 Units
of Affordable Housing Statewide

SEATTLE-The Washington State Housing Finance Commission recently approved more than $216 million in financing to construct or preserve almost 900 units of affordable housing-most of them for seniors.
"These projects will improve the lives of hundreds of seniors, as well as other individuals and families, by not only creating affordable housing but also preserving and rehabilitating it," said Karen Miller, chair of the Housing Finance Commission. "We're also glad we could support Senior Life Resources' Meals on Wheels program in the Tri-Cities."
The Commission finances affordable housing and community facilities by issuing tax-exempt bonds or notes and allocating Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). Tax-exempt bonds allow developers to borrow at lower interest rates, while the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit allows them to raise capital by selling the credits to investors.

Approved in May and June were the following:
  • Seattle: University District Apartments, 15th Ave NE and NE 50th St (Bellwether Housing, $11 million tax-credit equity)
In the heart of the U-District, this will be a mixed-use building with 133 apartments, 3 condominiums, and ground-level commercial space. This financing covers 53 apartments for lower-income residents, including 40 for people experiencing homelessness. Bellwether has partnered with Compass Housing Alliance to offer critically needed on-site support services.
  • Seattle: Bayview Retirement Community, 11 W. Aloha Street (Bayview Manor Homes, $65 million tax-exempt bond).
This financing will substantially renovate Bayview's original 1961 building, adding10 independent apartments and 10 memory-care units, and construct a new building with 43 new units of assisted living.
  • South King/Pierce Counties: SHAG Affordable Senior Living Communities (SHAG Affordable Senior Living, $31 million tax-exempt bond, $11.5 million tax-credit equity)
Six affordable senior communities, a total of 374 units of housing, will be completely rehabilitated with new exteriors and interiors, as well as expanded transportation options and amenities. Conservatory Place I and II (Tacoma), Willamette Court (Federal Way), Cedar River Court (Renton), and Gowe Court and Titus Court (both in Kent) will also now remain affordable for decades to come.
  • Monroe: Fairview Apartments, 14624 179th Ave. SE (Housing Hope, $1.3 million tax-exempt bond)
This acquisition will allow Housing Hope to preserve the property's affordability and expand supportive services to all 32 households who reside there.
  • Kent: LARC at Kent Station, 1001 1st Ave N. (American Capital Group, $20 million tax-exempt bond, $9 million tax-credit equity)
This new apartment complex by LARC, or Legacy Affordable Retirement Communities, will offer 131 affordable apartments for seniors (55+) in central Kent.
  • Everett: Vintage at Holly Village, 9615 Holly Drive (Vintage Housing Development, $25.5 million tax-exempt note, $9.8 million tax-credit equity)
This senior-living community of 149 apartments will be renovated inside and out, as well as preserved as affordable, through this financing.
Tacoma: Wright Park House, 401 South G Street (Redwood Partners, $10.2 million tax-exempt note, $3.4 million tax-credit equity)
A seven-story building with 54 apartments for low-income seniors will be significantly renovated and its rental subsidies extended for another 20 years thanks to this financing.
  • Spokane: One South Madelia, 1 South Madelia (Community Frameworks, $7.3 million tax credit equity)
Complementing the city-driven revitalization of a run-down area along Sprague Avenue west of downtown Spokane, this project will build a 19-unit apartment building and 17 rental town homes for families, as well as a playground and other amenities.
  • Airway Heights: Galena Apartments, 13500 Block of W. 6th Avenue (Commonwealth Agency, Inc., $10 million tax-credit equity)
The Galena Apartments will provide 75 affordable and energy-efficient apartments in Airway Heights west of Spokane. This is one of the first new developments offering alternatives for the 300 residents who must relocate from the Fairchild Air Force Base crash zone under new regulations.
The Commission also approved the following nonprofit facility in May:
  • Richland: Senior Life Resources, Fowler Street Campus(Senior Life Resources Northwest, $1.4 million tax-exempt bond)
Thanks to Commission financing, Senior Life Resources Northwest will build its own administration building and commercial kitchen to support its Meals on Wheels program, which delivered 157,000 meals for seniors last year.


Annual Pocatello Night Out

On June 14th the Housing Authority of the City of Pocatello partnered with Pocatello Neighborhood  
Watch and the Pocatello Fire Department to celebrate
the Annual Pocatello Night Out.

The events were held simultaneously at four properties and were open for all neighboring
residents to attend. 

Each event featured vendors with raffle items, 
music for dancing, and light refreshments.
The children enjoyed 
bounce houses and playing in the firetrucks.

The Housing Authority utilizes this annual event to promote neighbor interactions and foster strong communities.

The Oaks at 14th Official Groundbreaking Ceremony

The Oaks at 14th project is a HACSA partnership with Sponsors Inc. The Oaks at 14th will be a six building, 54 unit apartment community of long-term, affordable, permanent housing, not transitional housing, for people with criminal histories, including: veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities. This housing is not for people straight out of jail or prison.

Re-entry supportive services will be provided by Sponsors, Inc., which has employed best practices since 1973 to help the previously incarcerated become taxpaying, law abiding individuals who contribute to a safer community. The project has received a lot of support from local law enforcement and authorities, as access to a stable housing greatly increases the likely hood that formerly incarcerated individuals will not re-offend. This makes the community safer and saves taxpayers money.

A Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) has been formed on the project, to provide a forum for input and information on the project. This committee has started discussions around neighborhood infrastructure improvements that the project could assist with.  Ideas so far include better lighting, additional sidewalks and crosswalks on Acorn Park and neighborhood patrolling, including the bike path. There will be follow up discussions at the next Churchill Area Neighbors meeting in May and at future CAC meetings if you would like to provide input.
Construction broke ground in May 2016; it is scheduled to take up to 13 months. The local construction firm, Essex Construction has been selected as the General Contractor supporting the architect team from Bergsund DeLaney. HACSA held and official Ground Breaking Ceremony on June 17th, 2016 . Lane County administrator Steve Mokrohisky, City of Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and Donovan Dunmire Lane County Parole and Probation Director were amongst honorable speakers.
HACSA Awarded $435,333.00 Continuum of Care Grant
Continuum of Care (CoC) grants support the Obama Administration's
efforts to end homelessness.

A new project award under the Lane County Continuum of Care HUD grant  is a collaboration between HACSA and St. Vincent DePaul. The Madrone Permanent Housing Project will provide services to chronically homeless individuals and families. The households may present with one or more of the following disabilities: a serious mental illness, physical disability or chronic health condition, developmental disabilities, substance abuse issues or HIV/AIDS. Housing is subsidized and supported with a program of intensive case management provided by an interdisciplinary team of case managers who have multiple specialties. Case managers assist with planning, coordination, resource acquisition, skill development and emotional support. Program participants will reside in scattered site permanent supported affordable housing through a housing first approach. Madrone Permanent Housing Project will serve up to 26 households with adults only and 7 households with children at any given point in time. The Continuum of Care grants give HACSA and Housing Authorities opportunity to play a proactive role in ending homelessness. 
National News
S. 3083 Introduced in Senate - Take Action Now!

Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs committee members Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), along with Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Christopher Coons (D-Del.) took a big step this week by introducing S. 3083, which is companion legislation to the House-passed H.R. 3700.  Substantially, the bills are the same.

This is a huge victory, but our work is just beginning in the Senate. Contact your Senators today to urge them to take action immediately on S. 3083 - send a letter to your senators and tweet at them (your Senators' Twitter handles can be found on their websites).

Sample tweets:
  • TY @RoyBlunt @SenatorTimScott @ChrisCoons @SenatorMenendez for #S3083 - I will help you pass this critical legislation @NAHRONational
  • #PHAs hit hard by budget cuts, over regulation - S 3083 protects residents, helps #PHAs serve comm better- @SENATOR pass #S3083
  • House passed #HR3700 unanimously 4 months ago. @SENATOR please act on #S3083
NAHRO has supported many of the reforms within the bill since it was originally drafted in the House; NAHRO President Steve Merritt testified at a hearing on H.R. 3700 in October 2015 and NAHRO has been working with a coalition of housing stakeholders pushing for the passage of the bill. In April, NAHRO joined the coalition on a letter to Senators urging the quick passage of the legislation.

Specifically, NAHRO supports these provisions of HOTMA (H.R. 3700 and S. 3083):
  • Capital Replacement Reserves - Using NAHRO language also included in the Senate FY16  and FY17 Appropriations Acts, HOTMA would allow PHAs to voluntarily establish Capital Fund replacement reserves.
  • Subsidy Flexibility - HOTMA would allow for PHAs to transfer 20 percent of their Operating Funds to their Capital Fund, language NAHRO has advocated for strongly over many years.
  • Income Review Safe Harbors - HOTMA would allow PHAs to use other federal data to determine income including TANF, Medicaid, and SNAP.
  • Project-Based Voucher Program - PHAs would be able to calculate project-based vouchers (PBVs) based on authorized units instead of voucher funding. Additionally, those PHAs that have units targeting homeless individuals and families, veterans, elderly households, disabled households, or units in areas where vouchers are difficult to use, would be permitted to project-base up to 30 percent of those targeted units. In other instances, PHA project-based voucher (PBV) assistance may not exceed 25 percent of the units in a project or 25 units, whichever is greater. In areas where vouchers are difficult to use and in census tracts with a poverty rate of equal to or less than 20 percent, PHAs may provide project-based voucher assistance for up to 40 percent of the units in a project. HOTMA allows PBV contracts and extensions of up to 20 years; allows PHAs to permit site-specific waiting lists managed by owners; and clarifies that PHAs may project-base HUD-VASH and Family Unification Project (FUP) vouchers.
  • Extended Family Unification Vouchers - HOTMA would increase the age of eligibility for FUP vouchers from 21 to 24 and make youth who will leave foster care within 90 days and are homeless or at risk of homelessness eligible. S. 3083 contains provisions that would also expand FUP vouchers by allowing eligible youth "who have attained 16 or 17 years" and who have left foster care to remain in the program for up to 36 months.
  • PHAs and LRAs as ESG Subrecipients - HOTMA includes statutory language, supported by NAHRO, that would permit any state or local government receiving Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) allocations to distribute all or a portion of its grant funds to PHAs and local redevelopment authorities (alongside private nonprofit organizations). 
Special Assistant for Veterans Affairs and an Annual Supplemental Report - HOTMA would create a new position of Special Assistant for Veterans Affairs that reports directly to the Secretary of HUD and would be responsible for, among other things, ensuring veterans have access to housing programs and homeless assistance, coordinating veteran-related programs at HUD, and serving as a liaison between HUD, the VA, and the USICH, and officials of state, local, regional, and nongovernmental organizations. HOTMA would also require HUD to collaborate on and submit to Congress an annual supplemental report on veteran homelessness.
HUD Publishes New Proposed Administrative Fee Formula

Today, HUD has published a revision of the new administrative fee formula for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program in a notice titled "Housing Choice Voucher Program -  New Administrative Fee Formula" in the Federal Register. The new proposed formula would calculate administrative fees on the basis of six variables: (1) program size; (2) wage rates; (3) benefit load; (4) percent of households with earned income; (5) new admissions rate; and (6) percent of assisted households that live a significant distance from the PHA's headquarters. The Department is allowing a 90-day comment period, and comments will be due on October 4, 2016. Read full article online.


Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (Anchorage)
  • AFIC Housing Program Lead Supervisor (Anchorage) Job #16-543
  • Planner I (Anchorage) Job #16-284
Cook Inlet Housing Authority (Anchorage)
  • Community Director
  • Maintenance Mechanic

Boise City/Ada County Housing Authority
  • Maintenance Technician 
Idaho Housing and Finance Association
  • Accounts Payable/Payroll Clerk
  • Loan Acquisition Specialist
  • Special Needs Grants Coordinator
Nampa Housing Authority
  • Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) Service Coordinator 

Home Forward (Portland)
  • Maintenance Generalist
  • Office Assistant II
  • Rent Assistance Services Coordinator (Case Management/Section 8)
  • Rent Assistance Services Coordinator (Leasing Team)
  • Resident & Community Services Coordinator (New Columbia) 
  • Resident & Community Services Coordinator, Bilingual Spanish (GOALS) 
  • Senior Financial Analyst 
  • Systems and Data Analyst
Housing and Community Services of Lane County (Eugene)
  • Finance Manager/Director
Housing Authority of Douglas County (Roseburg)
  • Public Housing Director

Bremerton Housing Authority
  • Administrative Coordinator
Housing Kitsap
  • Business Systems Analyst
  • Property Maintenance Technician
King County Housing Authority
  • Homeless Housing Contract Analyst
  • Landscaper/Cleaner
  • Reasonable Accommodation/ADA Coordinator

Seattle Housing Authority
  • Economic Opportunities Specialist, Job #102682 
  • Engineer, Job #102739 
  • Housing Operations Inspector, Job #102767 
  • Occupancy Supervisor, Job #102743 
  • Policy Intern, Job #s 102689 & 102690
  • Senior Contract Administrator, Job #102750 
  • Vacate Technician Trainee, Job #102674 
Spokane Housing Authority
  • Maintenance Assistant

Click here and then bookmark the Job Openings page on our website to see the positions available in the region.
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