Year 2008

Foreclosure Crisis Hits Rural America, Programs Can Help, Says New HAC Publication

Contact: Leslie Strauss | 202-842-8600, ext. 141 |

Washington, D.C., June 10, 2008 – How is the mortgage foreclosure crisis affecting rural America? How can community organizations help lower income rural families keep their homes? Articles in the spring issue of the Housing Assistance Council’s Rural Voices magazine explain the problem’s rural impact and describes programs that have helped rural families keep their homes.

“Like other housing-related issues, foreclosure and subprime lending are often assumed to be urban problems, but they exist in rural places also,” noted Moises Loza, HAC’s executive director. “Rural, urban, and suburban areas need assistance now and preventive measures for the future.”

In articles written by housing practitioners at the local, state, and national levels, Rural Voices covers the subject from several angles. For example, statewide organizations present data they have collected showing the extent of foreclosure problems in Minnesota and Ohio.

A housing counseling center’s staff describes the issue in Washington state and resources available for homeowners. The National Consumer Law Center provides tips for organizations creating foreclosure prevention counseling programs. Other national organizations summarize legislative, regulatory, and programmatic activities to address the crisis.

“It is important to remember,” Loza said, “that homeownership is still an important and attainable goal for many low-income families. Improving housing conditions for rural Americans requires quality, affordable mortgage products that result in sustainable homeownership as well as housing counseling programs to educate buyers.”

Rural Voices, the quarterly magazine of the Housing Assistance Council, is available on HAC’s website, Notices of new issues are sent to those who subscribe at Print subscriptions by mail are also available; one subscription per organization is free, and additional subscriptions are $16 per year. To request a print subscription, contact HAC.

A national nonprofit corporation headquartered in Washington, D.C., and founded in 1971, the Housing Assistance Council publishes numerous reports, program manuals, and other materials on rural housing topics. HAC helps local organizations build affordable homes in rural America by providing below-market financing, technical assistance, research, training, and information services. HAC’s programs focus on local solutions, empowerment of the poor, reduced dependency, and self-help strategies. HAC is an equal opportunity lender.