The housing and financial markets were hard hit in 2010 and this has had a profound impact on the affordable housing sector. With government budgets in the red across the nation, common funding sources are being cut and organizations are scrambling to find new sources of revenue to assist the large number of families and individuals in need of affordable housing. This past year has reminded the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) and many of its partners of the significance of collaboration and partnership. In this environment, it is vital that organizations join together to share resources and learn from one another in order to survive.
The 2010 National Rural Housing Conference (NRHC) epitomized the strength of collaboration in these difficult times. For the first time, the NRHC was held jointly with the Rural Community Assistance Partnership’s annual meeting and training conference, allowing the more than 900 people registered to participate in workshops and exchange ideas. In working together to learn important skills and gain insights on current programs and policies, rural housing stakeholders also expressed new appreciation for the partnerships that have kept them afloat during these lean years.
Partnership has always been central to HAC’s success. As an intermediary organization, HAC is built on the many relationships it has developed on the national, state, and—most significantly—local level. This year’s annual report, Collaboration: The Key to Building Rural Communities, highlights the many ways that HAC has partnered during the year to help rural communities meet their housing goals.
Some important examples include the following:
- Working with national and regional organizations to develop and deliver training on packaging U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Section 502 loans
- Committing more than $14.2 million in lending to support the development and preservation of 1,200 housing units
- Approving more than $1.39 million in capacity-building grants to support the administrative and programmatic development of local organizations
- Completing a comprehensive analysis of Section 502 loan originations for very low-income homebuyers
As HAC looks forward to its 40th anniversary in 2011, we appreciate our continued partnerships with the many organizations that are working to improve rural housing conditions. As we work with these organizations, we gain valuable insights into the needs of these communities and learn the best ways to support these efforts. Everyday, we are reminded that together, we can build rural communities.