July 25, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 15
CONGRESS ENACTS BILL GIVING NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES MORE CONTROL OVER LAND USE. The Senate passed H.R. 205, the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership (HEARTH) Act of 2012 (not related to the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009), on July 17. The House passed the bill in May, and President Obama will sign it into law. The act allows tribes to lease restricted lands for housing or economic development without Bureau of Indian Affairs approval.
SECTION 514/516 FARM LABOR HOUSING FUNDS OFFERED. Preapplications for off-farm loans and grants are due to USDA RD state offices on September 17. Rental Assistance and operating assistance are also available. Contact an RD state office for an application package.
USDA EMPHASIZES COLONIAS FOR SECTION 306C WATER AND WASTE DISPOSAL FUNDS. Colonias that lack access to water or waste disposal systems and face significant health problems will receive additional priority points in the program’s funding competition. Contact Jacqueline M. Ponti-Lazaruk, Rural Utilities Service, 202-720-2670.
LIST OF EXCLUSIONS FROM INCOME PUBLISHED BY HUD. A July 24 Federal Register noticelists amounts specifically excluded by any federal statute from consideration as income for purposes of determining eligibility or benefits, and lists federal statutes that require certain income sources to be disregarded for specific HUD programs. Contacts vary by program and are listed in the notice.
SENATE HEARING HIGHLIGHTS HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS IN NATIVE AND RURAL REGIONS. On July 24, witnesses before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs described successful housing development projects on tribal lands and stressed the importance of flexibility and coordination in federal programs to promote additional development. A recording and written testimony are available at the Banking Committee website.
UNIFORM MANUFACTURED HOUSING ACT APPROVED BY COMMISSION. The Uniform Law Commission approved the UMHA earlier this month. The commission’s press release says UMHA “provides an efficient and effective method” for an owner to choose to have a manufactured home classified as real property (rather than personal property) at the time of the first retail sale. State legislatures may consider adopting the UMHA. Contact ULC, 312-450-6600.
HAC RELEASES “RURAL ECONOMIES AND INDUSTRY” RESEARCH BRIEF. Employment data analyzed by HAC show that, while rural economies are often perceived as relying heavily on farming and other natural resource industries, these industries employ only 5.5% of rural and small town workers. Overall, the sector-by-sector employment profile of rural America is surprisingly similar to that of suburban and urban America, according to this new Rural Research Note.
“WHY KEEP RURAL HOUSING PROGRAMS AT USDA?” HAC’s most recent contribution to Shelterforce’s Rooflines blog explains why rural housing professionals believe USDA’s rural housing programs should not be moved to HUD. (See HAC News, 5/25/11 and 9/14/11).
HAC SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR RURAL HOUSING AWARDS.