HAC’s Rural Recap shares perspectives from HAC’s CEO on the state of HAC, rural housing, rural policy, and rural America.

Rural Recap – Working Towards Equity

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) was born of the Civil Rights Movement. It still shapes our work and inspires our mission. By helping build healthy affordable homes, we are making real the American promises of freedom, equality, and justice. In the Mississippi Delta, Appalachia, Indian Country, border colonias, farmworker communities, and small towns across America, we help local organizations see a positive vision for their future and literally build it brick by brick, shingle by shingle.

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History has named Black Health and Wellness as the theme of the 2022 Black History Month. This month, we lifted up stories about Black leaders like Joe Debro and Gordon Parks who contributed to the health and wealth of rural communities. We’re committed to combatting rural poverty and the inequity that has plagued America for hundreds of years. While we cannot undo generations of harm, a just America demands that we help build a future where everyone has a healthy place to call home.

Achieving a Vision of a Prosperous Rural America

I love the National Rural Housing Conference because it never fails to inspire me. This year was no different. Over three days, we reconnected as an industry, learned together, and began to work through some of the most challenging questions facing our communities. Thank you for being a part of this extraordinary conference.

We can only achieve an ambitious vision by working together.

This year was our 20th biennial conference and celebrated HAC’s 50th Anniversary. With such big round numbers, we launched a Vision 2071 campaign to guide the work of rural housing over the next 50 years. HAC started the conversation with a vision for everyone in Rural America to have a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home and strive for a Rural America where people feel connected to their communities.

We are inviting everyone to help form the vision and help put it into action. HAC is committed to expanding our work and raising funds to support more rural housing providers, but we can’t do it alone. We can only achieve an ambitious vision by working together.

We would love to count you as a supporter of our work. Please consider contributing to the work at www.vision2071.org and include HAC in your end-of-year giving. You can donate here or by contacting jennifer@ruralhome.org. Together, we can make this vision of rural America a reality by 2071.

While the Conference and Vision 2071 have us looking to the future, I don’t want to forget to celebrate the wins of our recent past. 2021 was one heck of a year. I am proud that the HAC community leveraged over $14 million in HAC loan funds to build and maintain 720 affordable rural homes. Plus, more than 50 housing organizations recognized a need in their communities and came to HAC for technical assistance to address that need. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together in 2022.

Celebrating 50 Years of Working for Rural America

This year marks HAC’s 50th anniversary, and we’re observing the occasion by asking ourselves what we hope to see happen in the next fifty years. My hope is no less than everyone in the country has access to a safe, healthy, and affordable place to call home. For that hope to come true in rural America, we need to hang on to the great places we have today, while building significantly more quality homes in equitable and prosperous communities.

We have a strong network of allies like you across rural America. For 50 years you have informed and influenced HAC’s work. We want to know – what is your hope for rural America in the next 50 years?

My hope is no less than everyone in the country has access to a safe, healthy, and affordable place to call home.

I’d also love to see you at the National Rural Housing Conference in December. It’s our big gathering, where we all reconnect with partners and policy-makers, funders and friends. We will learn from expert local practitioners and reimagine together how to build communities that will withstand the challenges of the next 50 years. Registration is open! Visit our conference page to learn more and to register.

I’d also love to see you at the National Rural Housing Conference in December. Its our big gathering, where we all reconnect with partners and policy-makers, funders and friends. We will learn from expert local practitioners, and reimagine together how to rebuild communities that will withstand the challenges of the next 50 years.

Introducing HAC’s Rural Recap

Welcome to the first issue of HAC’s Rural Recap! We’ll be sending it every other month to keep you updated on our work in small towns and rural places across America. I also hope it will share our vision for a rural America in which everyone has a safe, healthy, and affordable place to call home.

Thank you for being a loyal reader of HAC News, which provides a concise summary of national news on rural and housing issues. This includes funding opportunities, national program and policy updates, findings from recent research reports, and much more, all informed by the expertise of HAC’s staff.

Don’t worry, we will continue to publish HAC News every two weeks.

Rural Recap will allow us to go beyond the news to highlight the work of our organization and its partners. We will share what we are seeing, reading, and doing in short recaps with links to more information.

I’d also love to hear from you. Let me know what you think of this format and send your recaps to hac@ruralhome.org HAC is lucky to be a part of a wonderful community of professionals focused on helping those in need. You inspire our work.