HAC News

HAC News: August 20, 2014

HAC News Formats. pdf

August 20, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 17

• USDA RD to revise guidance on domestic violence • Section 502 direct processing improvements scheduled • RD to delay implementing new rule for Section 502 guaranteed loans • HAC recommends notice to tenants about maturing USDA mortgages, asks for dialogue • Amendments proposed to reserve account rules for properties with 515 and 538 loans • Fair Market Rents for FY15 proposed • HUD to change environmental review form • Manufactured housing label fee increased • FHFA requests comments on its strategic plan • Study documents digital divide for tribal libraries • Permanent supportive housing found to reduce chronic homelessness • Conference on farmworker housing and health set for November • Please nominate national or local rural housing leaders for HAC awards!

August 20, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 17

USDA RD TO REVISE GUIDANCE ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. HAC and a number of other organizations signed on to a letter from the National Housing Law Project to USDA rural housing administrator Tony Hernandez requesting changes in AN 4747, which applies the Violence Against Women Act to USDA’s multifamily programs (see HAC News, 3/5/14). In a response dated August 6, Hernandez agreed to make most of the changes.

SECTION 502 DIRECT PROCESSING IMPROVEMENTS SCHEDULED. Administrator Tony Hernandez gave HAC a summary showing that in FY15 USDA will automate underwriting for Section 502 direct loans, revise its packaging regulations, allow packagers to submit applications electronically, and establish an imaging system for documents.

RD TO DELAY IMPLEMENTING NEW RULE FOR SECTION 502 GUARANTEED LOANS. An email sent to stakeholders on August 19 says a notice will be published in the Federal Register delaying the rule’s effectiveness to December 1, 2014 rather than September 1, the date originally scheduled. Contact USDA, 202-720-1452.

HAC RECOMMENDS NOTICE TO TENANTS ABOUT MATURING USDA MORTGAGES, ASKS FOR DIALOGUE. In an August 9 letter to Tony Hernandez, HAC expressed concern about tenants who will lose Section 521 Rental Assistance when USDA mortgages end. HAC urged USDA to ask owners to notify tenants well in advance of mortgage maturities, and suggested further discussions about ways to maintain the affordability of these units.

AMENDMENTS PROPOSED TO RESERVE ACCOUNT RULES FOR PROPERTIES WITH 515 AND 538 LOANS. USDA’s countersignature would no longer be required for rental projects that have both Section 538 guaranteed loans and Section 515 direct loans; the Section 538 regulations would apply. The change would also clarify that loan guarantee fees must be paid from operating accounts, not reserve accounts. Comments are due October 14. Contact Tammy S. Daniels, USDA, 202-702-0021.

FAIR MARKET RENTS FOR FY15 PROPOSED. Comments are due September 15 on the FMRs HUD will use in FY15. Contact local HUD program staff.

HUD TO CHANGE ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW FORM. A final rule allows HUD to develop a single form to be used by HUD employees and other responsible entities. Contact Danielle Schopp, HUD, 202-402-4442.

MANUFACTURED HOUSING LABEL FEE INCREASED. The increase, proposed in May (see HAC News, 5/14/14), is effective September 12, 2014. Manufacturers will pay $100 for each new transportable section produced. Contact Pamela B. Danner, HUD, 202-708-6423.

FHFA REQUESTS COMMENTS ON ITS STRATEGIC PLAN. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s plan “reflects the agency’s priorities as regulator of the Federal Home Loan Bank System and as regulator and conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac” and is the first under new director Mel Watt. Comments are due September 15.

STUDY DOCUMENTS DIGITAL DIVIDE FOR TRIBAL LIBRARIES. Digital Inclusion in Native Communities: The Role of Tribal Libraries, a report by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, provides the first comprehensive data on the subject. Research found that 89% of tribal libraries offer access to the internet and 86% have public computer workstations, compared to 100% of public libraries. At least 40% of tribal libraries studied do not have a broadband internet connection. Contact Susan Feller, ATALM, 405-401-8293.

PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING FOUND TO REDUCE CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS. An examination of data at the community level confirms findings at the individual level: over time, increased investment in permanent supportive housing is associated with decreased rates of chronic homelessness. “The Relationship between Community Investment in Permanent Supportive Housing and Chronic Homelessness” was published in Social Service Review 88.2 (2014).

CONFERENCE ON FARMWORKER HOUSING AND HEALTH SET FOR NOVEMBER. “Farmworker Housing Quality and Health: A Transdisciplinary Conference” will be held on November 11 in Arlington, VA. Registration is $50 until October 1 and $70 after that date.

Please nominate national or local rural housing leaders for HAC awards! Nominations are due September 30 for the Cochran/Collings Award for national rural housing service and the Skip Jason Community Service Award. The honors will be presented at the National Rural Housing Conference in December. Complete the online nomina-tion form. Questions? Contact Lilla Sutton, HAC, 202-842-8600.