Communities across the nation have been devastated by the current economic crisis. Rising mortgage foreclosure rates, mounting personal debts, and skyrocketing unemployment have increased the need for stable, affordable housing. However, these same economic trends have made it even more difficult for local nonprofits to create needed housing opportunities for low-income residents. In the current economic environment, the Housing Assistance Council’s work as an intermediary organization is even more important.
By definition, intermediary organizations serve as a bridge between two entities. HAC uses knowledge, financial and technical resources, and access to connect rural communities to the larger housing sector. And, despite the challenges, there were many successes this year. This annual report highlights the links HAC was able to forge over 2008. It is also a testament to the phenomenal partners HAC works with across the nation and their dedication to improving rural communities.
Some of HAC’s accomplishments over the year include:
- Providing more than $20.85 million in loans and grants to help produce more than 1,800 units of affordable housing.
- Hosting more than 15 national, regional, and audio-web training events with more than 1,000 participants.
- Providing key information through the HAC website, www.ruralhome.org, which received more than 10 million web visits over the year.
- Developing a national Rural Housing Platform that shares program and policy recommendations that can benefi t those working to create affordable housing opportunities.
HAC’s ongoing partnership with local communities is the foundation on which it is able to fulfill its mission. By listening to local communities and communicating the issues we hear, HAC is able to contribute to the national dialogue in a way that reflects the needs and interests of rural communities. In March 2008, HAC completed a survey of stakeholders and learned about the issues impacting rural communities and how HAC’s products and services can better serve those needs. Feedback from the most recent survey is provided throughout the annual report.
It is with great pride that HAC continues to stand with rural communities and build the bridges that result in stronger local organizations, increased housing opportunities, and better communities. HAC is proud of the work we have done together in 2008 and excited about making new connections throughout 2009.