HAC News: July 8, 2015
HAC News Formats. pdf
July 8, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 14
• USDA FY16 funding bill approved by House committee • Congress moving to reduce funding for ACS and Census preparation • Family Self-Sufficiency grants offered • HUD publishes final Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule • Wages and jobs similar for H2-A and undocumented workers, housing not, research finds • Foundation grants to rural places vary widely • Rental housing market discriminates against people who are deaf or use wheelchairs • AARP offers online Livability Index • Vouchers provide best results for urban homeless families in emergency shelter • HAC reports on USDA rural housing activity in FY14
HAC News Formats. pdf
July 8, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 14
USDA FY16 FUNDING BILL APPROVED BY HOUSE COMMITTEE. The House Appropriations Committee passed the still unnumbered bill on July 8, making no changes in its housing provisions (see HAC News, 6/25/15). The Senate committee has not yet begun work on a USDA appropriations bill.
CONGRESS MOVING TO REDUCE FUNDING FOR ACS AND CENSUS PREPARATION. Different versions of H.R. 2578, the FY16 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill, passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 11 and the full House on June 3. The Census Project reports that, by cutting funds for the accounts that cover the American Community Survey and preparation for the 2020 Decennial Census, both bills would reduce data availability. HAC commented on the subject for the Daily Yonder and to the Census Bureau.
FAMILY SELF-SUFFICIENCY GRANTS OFFERED. Public housing agencies and tribes or their housing entities can apply for grants by July 27. FSS coordinators may work with either voucher recipients or public housing residents. Contact HUD staff, firstname.lastname@example.org.
HUD PUBLISHES FINAL AFFIRMATIVELY FURTHERING FAIR HOUSING RULE. The rule, released July 8, is intended to help communities receiving HUD funds to meet their fair housing obligations. HUD will provide data, maps and technical assistance. Ask AFFH questions online at https://www.hudexchange.info/get-assistance/my-question/. Contact George D. Williams, Sr., HUD, 866-234-2689 (toll free).
WAGES AND JOBS SIMILAR FOR H2-A AND UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS, HOUSING NOT, RESEARCH FINDS. Authorized Status, Limited Returns: The Labor Market Outcomes of Temporary Mexican Workers, published by the Economic Policy Institute, compares temporary workers with H2-A agricultural visas and H2-B non-agricultural visas to unauthorized workers and legal permanent residents. The temporary workers have jobs with the lowest occupational standing and earn about as much as unauthorized workers. H-2A workers’ total compensation levels are higher than those of undocumented agricultural workers, however, because their employers must provide housing at no cost. A USDA Economic Research Service analysis estimates legalization would raise unauthorized farmworkers’ incomes by about 4%. A panel discussion by these researchers and others exploring immigration status and wages is online.
FOUNDATION GRANTS TO RURAL PLACES VARY WIDELY. In Foundation Grants to Rural Areas from 2005 to 2010: Trends and Patterns, USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates that 6% to 7% of total U.S. foundation grants benefited nonmetro areas in 2010, when those places had 19% of the U.S. population. The total value of 2010 rural grants for all purposes is estimated to be about the same as USDA RD grants that year, though significantly smaller than RD’s total rural support including loans and loan guarantees. Foundation grant value per rural person averaged about $88, but 18% of nonmetro counties had no grant recipients and some received over $10,000 per person.
RENTAL HOUSING MARKET DISCRIMINATES AGAINST PEOPLE WHO ARE DEAF OR USE WHEELCHAIRS. Discrimination in the Rental Housing Market Against People Who Are Deaf and People Who Use Wheelchairs: National Study Findings, prepared by the Urban Institute for HUD, reports on the first national paired-testing study involving such tenants. Researchers found “systematic evidence of unfavorable treatment.”
AARP OFFERS ONLINE LIVABILITY INDEX. Users can find overall ratings and ratings for seven categories (housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement, and opportunity) by entering addresses, states, counties, or zip codes at livabilityindex.aarp.org/. The index can also be customized to emphasize specific factors.
VOUCHERS PROVIDE BEST RESULTS FOR URBAN HOMELESS FAMILIES IN EMERGENCY SHELTER. HUD’s Family Options Study, conducted in several large cities,found that after 18 months families who were offered a housing voucher experienced significantly better outcomes than those families randomly assigned to any of three other options. Rapid rehousing was the least costly and transitional housing was the most expensive. Vouchers were deemed cost-effective because voucher costs were almost entirely offset by reductions in costs of other services such as emergency shelter.
HAC REPORTS ON USDA RURAL HOUSING ACTIVITY IN FY14. In FY14, which included a three-week government shutdown in October 2013, USDA made the lowest number of Section 502 direct loans since 1961. About $91.9 million in Section 502 direct funds designated for very low-income households were unused. Most Section 515 rental housing funds went for rehabilitation of existing units. About 19,700 Section 521 Rental Assistance contracts did not need to be renewed because they are still operating on funds obligated in past years. USDA Rural Development Housing Obligations: Fiscal Year 2014 Year-End Report includes tables and maps showing obligation data by program and by state, and data by fiscal year for each program since its inception. Contact Mike Feinberg, HAC, 202-842-8600.