Thursday, March 26, 2009

Resources on the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP)

The HPRP is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Here is the original program announcement and summary: http://www.hudhre.info/documents/HPRP_Notice_3-19-09.pdf

Here is a Q and A from HUD on the program: http://www.hudhre.info/documents/HPRP_QA.pdf

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Recent trends in housing price appreciation

OFHEO's Federal Housing Finance Agency recently released it most recent monthly data. It concluded that there was a 1.7 percent price increase nationwide from December to January.

Here are some recent trends in Colorado data:



Incidentally, here is the 4th Q data from OFHEO, including local numbers.

Estimates of upcoming troop arrivals in El Paso County

Many new troops will be arriving at the military bases in El Paso county in coming months and years. This will have a significant impact on housing in the Pikes Peak Region. Here is a useful chart on estimates:

Friday, March 20, 2009

A new resource in determining eligibility for refinance programs.

Have a look at makinghomeaffordable.gov

Recent items of interest at the Colorado Division of Housing

Recent policy updates, announcements, and developments:

State Housing Board Adopts Competitive Application Cycle policy - 3/20/2009
NSP Update: Request for Documented Quotes Has Been Published - 3/20/2009
NEW: Foreclosures set to end quarter down - 3/20/2009
New Application and Contract Process Trainings Posted to Website - 3/19/2009
NEW! Single-family vacancies in and rents in Colorado - 3/19/2009
CHAC awarded $292,000 for downpayment assistance program - 3/16/2009
Upcoming Bid for Training and Consulting Relating to NSP - 3/16/2009


For full information, click here.

First quarter foreclosures are behind 2008 totals

See the press release.

Statement from the Colorado Division of Housing:

Foreclosures are set to end the first quarter down from the first quarter of last year.

We don't have complete month-by-month data for January and February of 2008, but we can extrapolate from this year's monthly data to make a guess about where foreclosures are headed in Colorado this year.

We looked at a sampling of Counties including Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, El Paso, Jefferson, Mesa, Pueblo, and Weld Counties. These counties alone account for almost 90 percent of foreclosure activity in Colorado.

Conclusions:
We found that during January and February of this year, there was a total of 2,577 completed foreclosures. There were 5,429 completed foreclosures for the entire first quarter of 2008. In order to keep pace with 2008 foreclosures, the January-February total should be at 66.66 percent (or 2/3) of the first quarter total from last year. What we find, however, is that the January-February total for 2009 is at only 47 percent (or approx 1/2) of the first quarter total from last year.

So, unless there is a substantial increase in the number of completed foreclosures during the month of March, the 1st quarter 2009 total will be smaller than the 1st quarter 2008 totals. This will mean a second year-over-year decrease for the 1st quarter since the current peak year of 2007.

Nevertheless, it is likely that completed foreclosures will increase from February to March. From January to February, completed foreclosures increased 43 percent from 1,062 to 1,515. If completed foreclosures increase by only, say, 25 percent from February to March, totals will reach 4,577. Although, even this would be a 15 percent decrease from the first quarter of 2008. Completed foreclosures would need to grow more than 50 percent from February to March to top the 1st quarter 2008 number.

Unemployment continues to be a concern, and it may be a factor behind the 43 percent increase from January to February. If unemployment continues to grow, we will likely see continued increases in foreclosure activity as the year goes on.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Vacancies in rental houses reach two-year high

Full report here: http://dola.colorado.gov/app_uploads/docs/2008-4%20-Single-Family%20Residential%20Survey%20-%20Public.pdf

Vacancies in for-rent condos, single-family homes, and other small properties across Metro Denver rose to 4.9 percent during 2008’s fourth quarter. According to a report released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing, vacancies are at their highest level since the fourth quarter of 2006 when vacancies reached 5.5 percent.

Fourth quarter vacancies were up from a rate of 3.4 percent reported during the third quarter, and are up from 2007’s fourth quarter rate of 3.3 percent.

Fourth quarter rates are generally expected to increase from the third quarter to the fourth.

The smallest overall vacancy rates were found in Douglas County and the Boulder/Broomfield area with rates of 3.4 percent and 3.9 percent respectively. The highest vacancy rates were in Adams County which reported an overall rate of 7.4 percent.

All counties reported increases in the vacancy rate during the fourth quarter as compared to a year earlier, and all counties reported increases in vacancies from the third quarter to the fourth.

Vacancy rates for all counties surveyed were: Adams, 7.4 percent; Arapahoe, 4.1 percent; Boulder/Broomfield, 3.9 percent; Denver, 5.3 percent; Douglas, 3.4 percent; and Jefferson, 4.8 percent.

In general, a vacancy rate of 5 percent is considered the “equilibrium” rate, and vacancy rates below 3 percent indicate a tight market.

“During 2007 and the first half of 2008, we saw quite a few areas with vacancies down around 3 percent. But rates like that are pretty difficult to maintain under current economic conditions,” said Kathi Williams, Director of the Colorado Division of Housing. “However, single-family rentals continue to be strong relative to the overall rental market.”

According to the report, the metro-wide average rent increased to $995.24 during the fourth quarter, up from $966.01 during the same period a year earlier. Since the third quarter of 2008, rents fell slightly from $998.37.

Rents were highest in the Boulder/Broomfield area at $1453.82, and lowest in Denver County at $920.97. All counties except Adams County reported increases in average rents since the fourth quarter of 2007.

Average rents for all counties were: Adams, $1035.57; Arapahoe, $983.07; Boulder/Broomfield, $1453.82; Denver, $920.97; Douglas, $1409.29; and Jefferson, $982.57.

“The cost doing business as a property owner continues to increase,” said Gordon Von Stroh, a professor of Business at the University of Denver, and the report’s author. “Insurance, utilities, and property taxes are all still driving some rental increases.”

The Colorado Statewide Vacancy and Rent Study is released each quarter by the Colorado Division of Housing. The Report is available online at the Division of Housing web site: http://dola.colorado.gov/cdh
The Colorado Vacancy and Rent Survey reports averages and, as a result, there are often differences in rental and vacancy rates by size, location, age of building, and apartment type.

New Application and Contract Process Trainings Posted to Website

Information and brochures for 3 additional DOLA DOH Application and Contract Process trainings being held in Pueblo, Westminster, and Fort Collins have been posted on our website (www.dola.colorado.gov/cdh). Information about the trainings in Durango and Grand Junction will be posted on the website as soon as it is available.

To access the registration information, just click on the Developer's tab on the left side of our home page, then click on the Trainings tab. (http://dola.colorado.gov/cdh/developers/index.htm#Training) Each training is listed separately with the brochure/registration form below it. If you want to register for a training session, just download the form (PDF) and fax Page 2 of the form to Scott Baldwin at 303-866-4077 in order to reserve your space in the training. If you have questions about the trainings, please contact the person listed on the bottom right-hand corner of Page 2 of the specific brochure (i.e. Rick Hanger for Pueblo, Ann Watts for Westminster, and Denise Selders for Fort Collins).

If you have registered for the Denver training on March 31st and would rather attend one of the other trainings, please send an email to Scott.Baldwin@state.co.us and he will transfer your registration. We do have a waiting list for the Denver training and would like to make it available to people in the Denver area first.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Updated information on how to apply for Neighborhood Stabilization Grants

Also see here: http://dola.colorado.gov/newsletter/main?newsletter_item_id=901

Upcoming Bid for Training and Consulting Relating to NSP (3/16/2009)

We've received several requests for more detail regarding the upcoming Request for Documented Quotes (DQ) for training and consulting relating to the Colorado Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), previously posted March 11. That detail follows (full information will be in the solicitation documents):

Training: The purpose of the trainings will be to provide the State, local governments, program practitioners, participating partners, and interested others with skills, tools, materials and information designed to convey the NSP's characteristics, rules and regulations. There will be 2 Train-the-Trainer sessions (June 2009 & January 2010) and 2 large group sessions (July 2009 & February 2010).

Consulting: The vendor that is awarded the contract will act as a timely conduit of housing and community development information published in Federal Register through the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Will notify, analyze, and interpret laws, regulations, rules, & procedures relating to these programs.

One vendor will be selected to perform both activities. The selected vendor must have a strong background of expertise in HUD housing recovery programs and, specifically, in NSP, HERA, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership Program and/or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The selected vendor must have a strong background with training and consulting projects similar to those described in the solicitation.

As noted in our listserv posting of March 11, any organization wishing to view the full solicitation and submit a bid must register on the Colorado BIDS website (https://www.gssa.state.co.us/VenSols). There is a $40 annual registration fee. See our March 11 posting for more details about BIDS registration.

Jim Coghlan (contact info below) is the SOLE point of contact regarding this upcoming solicitation.

Thank you.

Jim Coghlan, Purchasing Agent
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
Division of Housing
1313 Sherman Street, 3rd Floor
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303) 866-3772
Fax: (303) 866-4077
E-mail: jim.coghlan@state.co.us

Helpful chart on recent homeowner plans

Click for full size:



Via New York Times

We always recommend you contact the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline if you are in need of assistance.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Hotline is experiencing record call volume

Please note that the Foreclosure Hotline is experiencing record volume. The Hotline network has recently added new counselors, but there will be delays in call-backs in some cases.For more info, see the Foreclosure Hotline blog: http://coloradoforeclosurehotline.blogspot.com/

9News story here.

How to Participate in the Neighborhood Stabilization Bidding Process

The Colorado Division of Housing (CDOH) will soon be issuing a Request for Documented Quotes (similar to an RFP) to contract for training and consulting services to be provided in support of the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). CDOH invites qualified bidders to submit a response to this solicitation.

If your organization thinks it might be interested in bidding for this contract, it will need to register with our state's "BIDS" website. There is a fee of $40/year. All State of Colorado solicitations (RFPs, DQs, and bids) are posted on the BIDS website. BIDS is the only source to obtain solicitations and a bidder must be registered with BIDS for its proposal/quote to be accepted. BIDS is located at: https://www.gssa.state.co.us/VenSols When you get to that main page, click on the "Frequently Asked Questions" link at the top for some useful information about BIDS. When you're ready to register, click "Register" at the top of the main page to begin the process.

Jim Coghlan (contact info below) is the SOLE point of contact regarding this upcoming solicitation.

You should begin the registration process soon, to be sure you're ready to go when the solicitation is posted.

Thank you in advance for your interest!

Jim Coghlan, Purchasing Agent
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
Division of Housing
1313 Sherman Street, 3rd Floor
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303) 866-3772
Fax: (303) 866-4077
E-mail: jim.coghlan@state.co.us

Cross-posted here: http://dola.colorado.gov/newsletter/main?newsletter_item_id=901

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

2 call-in shows today

This morning at 5:30, 9News and the Division of Housing organized a "Housing Line 9" which was made possible by counselors from Brothers Redevelopment and Adams County Housing Authority.

Tonight, if you're in Colorado Springs or Pueblo, don't miss the mortgage and foreclosure phone bank on KOAA 5/30 from 5-7 pm. It will feature counselors from the Colorado Rural Housing Development Corp. and the Pikes Peak Foreclosure Prevention Partnership.

UPDATE: The Colorado Springs volunteers received 97 calls in 2 hours.

Boulder County receives $250,000 for energy conservation

The Colorado Division of Housing has announced that $250,000 in CDBG funds has been awarded for increasing the availability of affordable housing in Boulder County.

Boulder County's Longs Peak Energy Conservation SFOO Rehab program has been awarded a CDBG grant of $250,000. These grant funds will be used to assist with the repair and rehabilitation of (ten) 10 homes by providing low-interest loans to homeowners earning less than 80% AMI. Historically those assisted by the program have fallen under the 50% AMI level. CDOH funds will be used only in the non-entitlement areas of Boulder County (outside the City limits of Boulder and Longmont).

Division of Housing provides info on foreclosure help in Colorado Springs

Co-chairs of the Colorado Foreclosure Prevention Task Force Kathi Williams (Director, Division of Housing) and Mike Rosser (Colorado State Housing Board) were present at a Town Hall Meeting in Colorado Springs. The meeting was sponsored by Rep. Dennis Apuan and featured a panel of speakers who spoke to solutions available to borrowers in danger of foreclosure.

For local media coverage, see the KRDO story:



and the KKTV story:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Recent Items of Interest

All vacancy and rent surveys have been updated at least through the 3rd Q of 2008. 4th Q info for single-family rentals and deed-restricted rentals are yet to come: http://dola.colorado.gov/cdh/researchers/index.htm#vacancy

See here for more information:
Pagosa Springs receives $225,000 for site acquisition - 3/4/2009
Park County receives $49,975 to conduct housing needs assessment - 3/4/2009
Division of Housing announces $240,100 grant to Sexual Assault Response Advocates, Inc. - 3/4/2009
Lakewood Housing Authority receives $500,000 for Maplewood Apartments - 3/4/2009
Foreclosures fall 16 percent since 2007 - 2/23/2009
New: Vacancies, average rents rise across Colorado - 2/19/2009
New Updates to Private Activity Bond Page - 2/11/2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Foreclosure Hotline has busiest month ever

The Hotline ended the month of February 2009 with 4,502 calls, which is 600 more calls than the highest call volume since the Hotline was first announced and received 3,900 calls in October of 2006.

Naturally, the housing counseling staffs at the independent Hotline agencies have been swamped, and call-back times are growing. Hotline staff tells us, however, that this week, things have slowed down a little.

Fortunately, the Hotline network has also recently added more counselors.