EMPLOYMENT OPP: Construction Specialist (Baltimore County, MD)

Baltimore County Department of Planning
Neighborhood Improvement Division

Construction Specialist

Please have any interested prospects send their resume and cover letter to Liz Glenn
by email: eglenn@baltimorecountymd.gov
or by mail: 105 W. Chesapeake Avenue, Suite 201, Towson, MD 21204


Under the supervision of the Housing Programs Administrator, the Construction Specialist is
responsible for the coordination of residential construction, rehabilitation, and inspection
services for the Baltimore County Department of Planning’s Housing Opportunities Program.
The Construction Specialist will be responsible for ensuring the regular, periodic, and annual
inspections of multifamily & single family residential projects, public facilities (including
emergency and transitional shelters), and commercial buildings both new construction and
rehabilitation of existing buildings assisted with public funds (including state, federal, and local
funds) meet all applicable and required codes as appropriate. Other regular duties consist of
creating and reviewing proposals for rehabilitation and new construction, inspecting the work
for compliance with specifications and program standards; analyzing building envelope and
building performance for energy efficiency and indoor air quality; testing for lead paint hazards
and other environmental hazards; and, the performance of other related duties as required.

The Construction Specialist must have a working knowledge of, and ability to assess, the
applicability of local zoning laws, procedures, and requirements; as well as an ability to assess
any applicability of environmental protection and resource management policies and/or
procedures that may be required. The Construction Specialist must be able to work independently,
with little supervision, as well as coordinate the scheduling of inspection services of other housing
inspectors.

The Construction Specialist must have demonstrable ability to articulate program policies,
procedures, and regulations, County, owner/contractor obligations and other requirements in a
tactful and correct manner with owners, contractors, construction and public sector personnel.
She or he must have shown the ability to prepare detailed work proposals, summaries,
inspection reports, correspondence, clear and concise technical reports, and other documents
related to rehabilitation and new construction projects. The Construction Specialist must be
prepared to represent the County at pre-bid, pre-construction and construction progress
meetings.  The Construction Specialist must also have demonstrated the ability to evaluate
construction draw schedules and protect federal and state monetary interests in rehabilitation
and new construction projects. Finally, the Construction Specialist must be able to make field
decisions in conformance with program guidelines, contract specifications and Code issues that
are consistent with office policies and procedures.


Duties include, but are not limited to the following:

-Perform general residential housing inspections, identifying all health and safety deficiencies in the unit as well as any other needed upgrades that may be required for a specific program.

-Perform energy audits pre and post construction/rehabilitation.

-Provide detailed inspection reports for a variety of programs.

-Develop a scope of work to address any deficiencies or hazards identified in said inspection.

-Monitor contractor performance to ensure compliance with Federal, State, and Local regulations.

-Perform draw including final draw inspections to ensure the satisfactory completion of assigned jobs.

-Perform QC test out inspections for energy related projects.

-Perform lead hazard clearance inspections for lead hazard reduction related projects to include lead dust clearance wipes per the HUD guidelines for lead hazard control.

-Perform other construction management duties as needed.

-Provide the applicable Program Manager and/or Program Director with all necessary data related to program specific projects for reporting purposes

-Log and track unit and/or occupant information in the department’s electronic database

Required Qualifications and Certifications

1. A valid MD driver’s license

2. Graduation from an accredited High School or equivalent GED

3. Licensed as a BPI certified Home Energy Analyst

4. A minimum of 3 years of experience working in a weatherization related industry

5. A minimum of 5 years of experience working in a construction related industry.  These 5 years
may include the necessary 3 years of experience in a weatherization related field.

Preferred Qualifications

1. Licensed as a BPI certified Envelope Professional.

2. AA degree in construction management or equivalent bachelor’s degree in a construction
related industry.

3. Experience working with or directly part of Federal or State funded grant programs.

4. Knowledge and experience working with both Davis Bacon and Section 3 Federal guidelines.

5. Experience developing scopes of work that comply with Maryland Historic Trust restrictions.

6. A Maryland Lead Hazard Inspector Technician certificate.  If the candidate does not possess this
certification, he or she must be able to obtain one within 90 days of hire.

Proof of Licenses and Certifications

-Proof of licenses, certifications, and/or education must be submitted with each application.

-Additionally, if the candidate is unable to obtain a Maryland lead hazard inspector technician certificate within the required 90 days of hire, then the candidate will forfeit the position.


Please have any interested prospects send their resume and cover letter to Liz Glenn
by email: eglenn@baltimorecountymd.gov
or by mail: 105 W. Chesapeake Avenue, Suite 201, Towson, MD 21204

HUD Publishes Updated Guide to National Objectives and Eligible Activities for State CDBG Programs


Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD Exchange Mailing List

HUD Publishes Updated Guide to National Objectives and Eligible Activities for State CDBG Programs


HUD has published an updated Guide to National Objectives and Eligible Activities for State CDBG Programs. You will find important updates that will help you navigate your State CDBG Program.
View the Guide to National Objectives and Eligible Activities for State CDBG Programs.

            
Visit the HUD Exchange at https://www.hudexchange.info

Baltimore County HMIS News 2/26/15

Please view the news/updates below.  As always, contact us at any time with questions and/or concerns.  We're glad to assist.  Thank you for your outstanding efforts and support!
  • HMIS Refresher 03/05/2015, 11:00am - 12:00pm
    • Review of updated HMIS assessment + workflow
      • This was requested by those that missed prior refreshers, had additional questions/concerns, etc.
    • If interested, please register via our support page at hmisadmin.com
      • Specify if attending Live at our office or via WebEx
    • Only for existing HMIS users (this is NOT a new user training)
    • Does NOT apply to the DSS Screening Unit
        
  • EMPLOYMENT OPP: Construction Specialist
      
  • Updated Assessment + Workflow Manuals
    • View/download from hmisadmin.com
    • If you wish to receive color copies of workflow manuals, please submit a request via our support page at hmisadmin.com, and we'll send them in the mail to you!
        
  • News Blog (Employment Opps, HMIS, HUD, SAMSHA, VA, etc.)
      


Jason Burns, MCSE
Systems Administrator
HMIS Support Team
hmisadmin.com
443-574-HMIS
410-887-5968

Always use our manuals. NEVER guess! Properly entering data, or contacting us, saves hours! 

SSVF HMIS UPDATE: User Accts + Workflows + Provider Setup


Thanks to those of you that were able to attend our HMIS training today!  For those of you who were unable to attend, please review with a SSVF Team Leader or contact Team HMIS to make other arrangements.  Do NOT attempt to enter any data until you have learned the new processes.  

As always, contact us as many times you need!  We'd rather spend a few moments to properly enter data, rather than hours correcting poor data...  We're always glad to assist.  Thanks again!


  • USER ACCOUNTS: All user accounts have been reset with the temporary password
    • Do NOT attempt to enter any data until you have learned the new processes
        
  • WORKFLOWS: Review new workflows w/SSVF Team Leader or contact Team HMIS
    • Always follow exact steps in workflow manual
    • Always use "Enter Data As" as soon as you're logged in
    • Do NOT enter/modify data on ClientProfile screen
    • Paper assessment form will be updated online shortly
    • Do NOT attempt to enter any data until you have learned the new processes
        
  • PROVIDERS: Choose the correct "Enter Data As" provider based on your client
    • CAT 1 (not homeless) = use a SSVF HP provider
    • CAT 2 or 3 (homeless) = use a SSVF RRH provider
    • Do NOT attempt to enter any data until you have learned the new processes



Jason Burns, MCSE
Systems Administrator
HMIS Support Team
hmisadmin.com
443-574-HMIS



Always use our manuals. NEVER guess! Properly entering data, or contacting us, saves hours! 

Reminder: NDRC Q&A Session Webinar (February 26, 2015, 3 PM EST) and New Webinar Series Resources


Is this email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD Exchange Mailing List

Reminder:
NDRC Q&A Session Webinar (February 26, 2015, 3 PM EST) and New Webinar Series Resources


This webinar is one in many upcoming webinars in the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) Webinar Series. This NDRC technical webinar, held on February 26, 2015 at 3:00 PM EST, will review the requirements for an NDRC NOFA response to be considered complete and provide time for questions and answers with key HUD Staff.
Presenters: Jessie Handforth Kome (HUD)
Please note you DO NOT need to register to join this webinar. Instructions to access the webinar directly are provided below. However, if you would like to get credit for this webinar, you may use the link to register.

Participation Instructions

To Join via Webex

  1. At least 10 minutes before the start time, log into the webinar
  2. Enter your first name, last name, and e-mail address
  3. Enter the meeting password: NDRC2015
  4. Click Join Now
  5. WebEx Event Manager software will load; this can take several minutes.
  6. Once the meeting window has opened, to receive a call back, provide your phone number in the box provided
    OR
  7. Call the toll-free: (877) 223-6370
  8. When prompted, enter the meeting access code: 718 687 7411#
To Join via Teleconference (Audio-only)
  1. Call toll-free: (877) 223-6370
  2. When prompted, enter in the meeting access code: 718 687 7411#

Additional Instructions

For additional instructions, such as how to ask a question during the webinar session, please visit the Training Course detail page.

Training Point of Contact

Sandy Patel | 210-710-7821 | spatel@tdainc.org or
Vicky Grim | 443-875-8477 | vgrim@tdainc.org


New Webinar Series Resources

HUD recently updated the NDRC Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) Document.
The following information has been posted to the training course detail pages of previously held webinars in the NDRC Webinar Series.
To find out more information about upcoming webinars and access materials from previously held webinars, go to the NDRC Webinar Series News page.


Unique Low Impact Treehouse

Jetson Green

ext
The so-called Dom’Up is an innovative treehouse, which is easy to install, and has virtually no impact on the trees used to support it. It was created by Holland-based arborculturist Bruno de Grunne and architect Nicolas d’Ursel from the organization Trees and People. The treehouse can be used as an alternative to the classic treehouse, for glamping, or even as a treetop office, resort or even a cool restaurant.
susp
The Dom’Up is a lightweight, UV-resistant canvas tent shelter that stretches over a 172 square foot (16 sq m) octagonal platform. The treehouse is suspended using Trees and People’s No Trace arboreal fixing system, which was designed with the idea of utilizing space between trees, rather than a single tree, since the former offers more space. Using more that one tree to support the structure also means the weight can be distributed more equally and therefore having very little negative impact on them.
The Dom’Up also features protective roofing, which is made from durable thermo-welded tarpaulin. The treehouse is quite spacious as well. It features an open interior space, which can act as both the living area and the bedroom. There is also a terrace at the front, which is large enough to accommodate a bed.
bed
terrace
The skeleton of Dom’Up is made from galvanized steel, while the interior features natural wooden flooring. The treehouse also features external railing around the structure for additional safety and security. The wooden floors can also be removed and reinstalled, to prevent them from rotting in the winter or rainy periods. The house is accessible via a wooden ladder with handrails, custom made stairs, or a suspension bridge, depending on the site where it is placed.
According to the designers, the durability of the treehouse depends on the weather conditions, though they are certain the structure and tent will last for at least ten years. However, the suspension system ropes and straps should be replaced every five years. Dom’Ups ship worldwide, and cost roughly US$28,215 excluding installation. The latter needs to be done by an arborist or a member of the Trees and People network.

Not A Group House, Not A Commune: Europe Experiments With Co-Housing

Alfafar, a suburb of Valencia, Spain, is suffering from a poor economy and high unemployment. A quarter of homes are abandoned. Here, a cafe is still open on the ground floor of an abandoned municipal building in Alfafar's Orba neighborhood, but upper floors used to house shops. A pair of Spanish architects hopes to revitalize the high-density housing in this working-class area.
Alfafar, a suburb of Valencia, Spain, is suffering from a poor economy and high unemployment. A quarter of homes are abandoned. Here, a cafe is still open on the ground floor of an abandoned municipal building in Alfafar's Orba neighborhood, but upper floors used to house shops. A pair of Spanish architects hopes to revitalize the high-density housing in this working-class area.
Lauren Frayer/NPR
This is the latest story from the NPR Cities Project.
In an abandoned building near Spain's Mediterranean coast, someone softly strums a guitar. Chord progressions echo through empty halls.
It's an impromptu music lesson, offered among unemployed neighbors in Alfafar, a suburb south of Valencia. The town was built in the 1960s for timber factory workers. It's high-density housing: tidy, identical two- and three-bedroom apartments, in huge blocks — some 7,000 housing units in total.
But the local timber industry has since collapsed. More than 40 percent of local residents are now unemployed. A quarter of homes are vacant. Apartments that sold for $150,000 decades ago are going for 20,000 now.
That guitar lesson is just one way residents are using their free time and empty space creatively. It's here that two young Spanish architects saw potential.
The Improvistos architects' plans involve revamping the apartments, with minimal structural changes. Neighbors would be able to trade rooms, and share kitchens, roof gardens and office space.i
The Improvistos architects' plans involve revamping the apartments, with minimal structural changes. Neighbors would be able to trade rooms, and share kitchens, roof gardens and office space.
Improvistos
While still in architecture school, María García Mendez and Gonzalo Navarrete drafted a plan to re-design a high-density area of Alfafar, called Barrio Orba, using the principle of co-housing — in which residents trade and share space and resources, depending on their needs.
"It's like up-cycling the neighborhood — connecting existing resources to make them work," García explains. "For example, all this workforce that's unemployed, all these empty spaces that are without use, all these elderly people that need help, all these natural resources that are not being taken care of — making a project for all these things."
Through their architecture startup Improvistos, García and Navarrete submitted their Orba design to U.N. Habitat, a United Nations agency holding a competition for urban mass housing. They won.
Redefining Public And Private Space
The architects, both in their 20s, were relatively unknown, working in a Spanish region — Valencia — that's famous for soaring space-age designs of museums and other public infrastructure — which have bankrupted the local government.
Valencia's native son is Santiago Calatrava, the famous Spanish architect who's now working on the new ground zero transit station in New York.
In contrast to Calatrava's work, the Improvistos architects sketched out a humble plan to revamp some 7,000 nearly identical apartments, with minimal structural changes, to adapt the current structures to residents' changing spatial needs. Neighbors can trade rooms and share kitchens, roof gardens and office space.
Architects María García Mendez and Gonzalo Navarrete sketch out plans to revitalize high-density urban housing in Alfafar, Spain.i
Architects María García Mendez and Gonzalo Navarrete sketch out plans to revitalize high-density urban housing in Alfafar, Spain.
Courtesy of Improvistos
"We're trying to redefine the limit between public and private," Navarrete says. "So the way you walk on your street and where your house and your private space finishes or starts."
"A thing as simple as creating a new door — having a room with two doors — can give enormous flexibility," García chimes in. "So that this same room can be used by one or another, depending on the need."
Their plan also has a time bank element, trading space for services.
"For example, you have an 80-year-old person who needs some help once or twice a week, [living alongside] a family with three children that doesn't get enough income," García explains. "So maybe [someone from] the low-income family can help the elderly person once a week, and get, in exchange, one room. It's like an exchange system — so every house can gain or give out some space. And that can change with time."
The Improvisto architects in Alfafar plan to sit down with residents and sketch out how their buildings can adapt to different families' needs. They can add doors, retractable walls and shared space.
García and Navarrete came up with the idea on a study trip to rural India — watching how a poor family would enlarge their thatched hut for new children and share cooking areas with neighbors. The architects think that system can work in the West as well.
Collective Living In Rural England
One place it's already working is on England's southwest coast, amid picturesque rolling fields. A decade ago, Jane Stott helped create the Threshold Centre at Cole Street Farm, a community that consists of a central 300-year-old farmhouse surrounded by small, low buildings that house about 15 residents.
The goal here is quite different from in Spain: This isn't about revitalizing an existing neighborhood; it's about creating something new. People have come to the Threshold Centre for a variety of reasons, ranging from a desire to live in an environmentally sustainable way to the meditative aspects of living with others.
There are some echoes of life on a commune at the Threshold Centre, where there's an optional group meditation each morning and the residents raise chickens.
About 15 people live at the Threshold Centre at Cole Street Farm, a shared living space in the Dorset countryside on England's southwest coast.
About 15 people live at the Threshold Centre at Cole Street Farm, a shared living space in the Dorset countryside on England's southwest coast.
Ari Shapiro/NPR
But everyone also has a day job: Among the residents are a nurse, a gardener and a social worker, for instance.
More broadly speaking, each co-housing community is different: Some are very religious; some are very environmentally friendly; some have lots of children; some have lots of seniors.
The movement is growing. Stott says that when she founded the Threshold Centre 10 years ago, she could count on one hand the number of British co-housing arrangements. Now there are more than 35.
Real Solutions For Real People
But the idea is a newer one in Spain, and residents in Alfafar have many questions. Over a traditional Valencia paella, residents of the Orba neighborhood discuss the plan. Some ask how the value of a home would change with the addition or subtraction of a room.
But in general they say they're intrigued by the plan — and flattered that the two architects chose their neighborhood for it. Most of Orba's residents have been living side by side for decades. They're not strangers.
Take Nacho Campillo and Patricia "Patri" Sanchez, a couple in their early 30s. They've lived in Orba for eight years and took over Sanchez's grandmother's apartment there when she died. The flat hasn't been renovated since the 1960s.
But the young couple wants to stay in the neighborhood. Sanchez spent her childhood there and loves it — but they need more space. They have a small two-bedroom on the fourth floor with no elevator — and Sanchez is three months pregnant.
"Going up and down four flights of stairs is tiring now, and I'm not sure I'll be physically able to do it when I'm nine months pregnant!" Sanchez exclaims. "And what about the baby's stroller?" she says, exchanging a look with her partner and laughing.
But co-housing may help. The couple may "borrow" a ground-floor bedroom from a neighbor for the last few months of Sanchez's pregnancy — or for stroller storage afterward. The couple currently uses their second bedroom as a home office. But the addition of a shared co-working hub in the apartment complex would free up space for the baby's nursery.
Fusion Of Architecture And Social Policy
People in working-class Alfafar aren't used to getting attention from award-winning architects. Mayor Juan Ramon Adsuara says he's surprised and bewildered by all the interest — but proud his town has been chosen by the architects and awarded the U.N. prize.
"It's not just an architecture project. It's a fusion of architecture and rehabilitation. It's social policy," Adsuara says. "Architecture is not just for big star projects like museums. It's for the slums around them, too."
The big question, though, is how to pay for all this. The U.N. award comes with fame, but no funding. The mayor says the town hall struggles to pay for basic services — let alone a progressive architecture revamp.
"I need to make payroll for municipal employees — the cleaning staff, the garbage collectors," Adsuara says. "But our economy is improving. We need to think about what model we want for our town's future, and that's where this project comes in."
The Improvistos architects have no price tag for their design. It's adaptable — based on what residents want. They hope to begin workshops this spring to sketch that out. The mayor is applying for funding from the European Union to help launch this project — and also add bike lanes throughout the city. García and Navarrete are also thinking about launching a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign. Residents have volunteered to even do some of the renovation work themselves.
Among all of them, they're determined to change this neighborhood for the better.

Ignored or Destroyed by Most, Tent Cities Get More Permanent

Seattle is one of only a handful of places that formally recognizes and regulates homeless encampments.

BY  FEBRUARY 2015
A homeless encampment in Seattle, photographed in 2012.
A homeless encampment in Seattle, photographed in 2012. AP
Like many other metro areas in the mid-2000s, Seattle’s King County set out to end homelessness within 10 years. Far less common, though, was a policy enacted in Seattle to permit homeless encampments, also known as tent cities, to deal with limited shelter capacity. After a decade, homelessness hasn’t gone away completely, and neither have the tent cities. If anything, they’re becoming more permanent.
Homeless encampments in the U.S. are at least as old as the Great Depression, when Seattle and other American cities saw the rise of so-called “Hoovervilles.” Encampments again started sprouting up in King County in the 1990s, but officials worked to convince camp organizers to shut them down in exchange for shelter elsewhere. But when King County was planning its blueprint to end homelessness around 2004, a local coalition pushed to formalize a permitting process for encampments that made them temporary, limited their residents, required sponsorship by an outside organization and regulated conduct within camps. The county largely adopted those recommendations. In late 2014, it agreed to extend them for another decade.
At least five King County camps now have legal status. Homeless encampments are hardly isolated to Seattle, though the area is among only a handful of places that formally recognize them. Another 10 or so camps across the U.S. fall into “semi-sanctioned” status, the equivalent of local officials looking the other way or providing at least some support, according to a report last year from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. The report found at least 100 nonsanctioned encampments in existence across the U.S., though there are likely more.
Many cities have moved to shutter these types of camps. San Jose, Calif., in December demolished what had been the largest tent city in the country, a 300-person encampment known as the Jungle. And a report from a Hawaiian council on homelessness has discouraged Honolulu from taking on encampments by arguing that they detract from the goal of putting people in permanent housing. But advocates of formalized encampments say they’re a valuable -- albeit temporary -- way to address the problem of homelessness. For one, they provide a sense of community and mutual support for residents. In some ways the camps make it easier for homeless people to work, because they can leave their belongings in one place and don’t have to worry about shelter curfews. Camps can also more easily accommodate entire families. And they don’t interfere with officials’ broader mission of building more affordable options and intervening before people lose their homes, says Mark Putnam, who heads Seattle’s coalition to end homelessness.
King County has barely spent a dime on the camps, pledging only recently to spend $300,000 on support services. Instead, the county is studying its options for providing permanent affordable housing, including micro-housing projects like Olympia, Wash.’s Quixote Village, a former tent city that’s now home to 30 individual 144-square-foot cottages for rent. Quixote cost a total of $3 million, but those types of developments alone won’t be enough to deal with the issue of affordable housing, says Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. A lasting solution will require the public and private sectors working in tandem, she says. “I don’t pretend to think we’ll suddenly have space for thousands of people [through government-led micro-housing],” she says. “The private industry will have to get involved with that.” Until then, at least, the tent cities are here to stay.

Chris Kardish  |  Staff Writer

Thank you for Making the 2015 Family and Youth Conference a Success



February 24,
ISSUES  |  POLICY  |  SOLUTIONS  |  NEWS & EVENTS Forward Editor: Emanuel Cavallaro


Spotlight On...
Thank you for Making the 2015 Family and Youth Conference a Success


The Alliance staff would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the attendees, speakers, and volunteers who helped make the 2015 National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness in San Diego a success. We are honored that the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Julián Castro, and Speaker of the California State Assembly Toni G. Atkins addressed our conference, and we are grateful to all the experts from across the country who contributed to the event by sharing their knowledge on ending homelessness. We truly could not have done it without you.





HUD issued additional guidance on Friday, Feb. 20, in the Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity final rule. According to this 2012 rule, HUD requires all HUD-funded housing programs to serve people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The new guidance, which is based on the practices of housing programs, research on transgender discrimination, and the experiences of clients and providers, addresses the appropriateness of inquiries related to the placement of transgendered persons in single sex facilities, privacy considerations, and ongoing staff training.



The Alliance has published an online infographic based on the "Core Components of Rapid Re-Housing," a resource that outlines the three components every a rapid re-housing program must have to serve homeless families successfully: housing identification, rent and move-in assistance, and case management and services. The infographic is meant to serve as a visual aid for educating partners and other interested parties about the core components. The Alliance developed the core components in collaboration with United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and HUD.








   ABOUT US

The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonpartisan, non profit organization dedicated to solving the problem of homelessness and preventing its continued growth.

www.endhomelessness.org


   Sign the Statement



   JOIN US!

Facebook logo
The Alliance is online: on Facebook, on Twitter, on our blog, and on our website! Join the Alliance's online community, and stay up-to-date with homelessness and housing information.


   NEED HELP?


Visit the Center for Capacity Building to learn more about the ways the Center can help your community end homelessness.


   In the Media