HAC was founded in 1971 to improve housing conditions for the poorest of the poor in the most rural of places. At its founding, HAC’s board and staff knew that building the capacity of local communities would be central to meeting this charge, as local groups would not be able to meet the dire housing needs that existed without first building their own skills. HAC was created to provide these communities with the financial, informational, and technical resources that would ultimately enable them to create affordable, sustainable housing options for rural low-income residents.
In 2011, HAC celebrated its 40th anniversary and throughout the year has had the opportunity to reflect on its ongoing commitment to building capacity in rural communities. In the context of today’s economic and housing problems, the needs of low-income communities have become even more pronounced.
HAC has been steadfast in its support of rural communities and has focused its resources on strengthening the communities that are often suffering the brunt of these economic challenges. This year’s annual report highlights the impact of HAC’s work, specifically illustrating how HAC’s programs have built capacity in rural America.
Looking back over the past year, as well as the past 40 years, HAC is reminded that its success is a reflection of strong relationships with its external partners. HAC maintains these relationships not only through programming, but also through ongoing dialogue with the network of organizations that are working across the nation to create affordable housing. In 2011, HAC completed its stakeholder survey, hearing from more than 270 partners in communities across the nation. These survey respondents shared their insights on how they use HAC’s programs, how their communities have been impacted, and how HAC can improve its delivery of services. We appreciate the time and effort that participants took in providing input, and we look forward to implementing some of what we learned through the process.
In 2011, HAC is proud to have:
- committed $11.6 million in loans and grants to 94 organizations across rural America to support the construction or preservation of affordable homes and to build local capacity;
- started a new Rural Senior Housing Initative, which will provide lending, technical assistance, training, grants, and research to support affordable housing solutions for the elderly;
- received two very strong ratings from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) CARS™, reflecting high assessments of HAC’s work and internal operations;
- hosted more than 1,500 participants at 18 training events across the nation.
- published its first coedited issue of Rural Voices with the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), highlighting the interconnections between infrastructure and affordable housing development;
HAC looks back on 2011 with pride, knowing that through partnership we have made significant strides in our effort to build capacity, support affordable housing development, and strengthen rural communities. Ever mindful of the challenges ahead, we remain hopeful that 2012 will bring even greater successes.