2023 Call for Workshop Proposals - NRHC

Call for Workshop Proposals for the 2023 National Rural Housing Conference

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) invites you to submit a proposal for workshops at the 2023 National Rural Housing Conference (NRHC). We encourage proposals with interactive content or those that facilitate lively discussion.

HAC encourages presenters to join in person but will offer a virtual option to ensure all presenters are able to participate.

About HAC

Since 1971 HAC has been helping local organizations build affordable homes in rural America. With a mission “to improve housing conditions for the rural poor”, HAC places an emphasis on the poorest of the poor in the most rural places.

HAC assists in the development and preservation of affordable housing, community facilities, and placemaking. Our efforts emphasize local solutions, empowerment of people in poverty, and self-help strategies. HAC offers services to public, nonprofit, and private organizations throughout the rural United States and maintains a special focus on the most underserved, highest need groups and regions, including Central Appalachia, the Border Colonias, the Mississippi Delta and rural Southeast, Native American Lands, farmworker communities and Veterans.

Important Dates and Information
Proposals Due: June 2, 2023
Notification By: June 30, 2023
Workshop dates: Wednesday, October 25th and Thursday, October 26th
Location Washington, DC

Questions? Contact Kelly Cooney and Diane Hunter.

About the Conference

The 2023 NRHC will be held October 24 – 27, 2023 at The Capital Hilton in Washington, DC.

The biennial NRHC brings together rural affordable housing and community development leaders, practitioners, policy makers, funders, industry experts, and partners for four days of learning and networking.

The 2023 NRHC theme is Build Rural. Thriving rural communities don’t happen by accident. It takes collaborative effort, leadership, investment and planning to build equitable and just communities. Build Rural is both a literal and figurative appeal to explore and provoke action to build and renew rural communities by addressing housing affordability and preservation, community infrastructure and essential facilities creation and revitalization, resident led placemaking, capacity building, and community inclusion and justice efforts. Build Rural is a platform to share successes and best practices for addressing the nexus of housing and community development. It’s a space to highlight and enhance the narrative of rural America through presentations of stories, data, programs, policies, and approaches.

Workshops should seek to align themselves with the conference theme or one of the following threads: Housing Affordability, Development, Preservation, Community Facilities, Rural Prosperity, Placemaking, Capacity Building, Housing Justice, or other adjacent threads.

About the Workshops

Workshops are intended to facilitate the active exchange of approaches and ideas. HAC recognizes learning landscapes have changed in recent years and aims to have workshops that engage participants in meaningful and beneficial ways.

Focused Workshops are 45 minutes. They should seek to provide exposure to new ideas, techniques, or approaches or provide concentrated engagement for participants. Focused workshops should allow at least 10 minutes for Q&A.

Standard Workshops are 90 minutes. A standard workshop could provide the time required to address more a complex or nuanced issue; allow additional presenters to provide a variety of examples or viewpoints; provide for discussion, case study, an activity, etc. Standard workshops should include 15 minutes for Q&A.

The NRHC is paperless (except when needed for workshop engagement). All workshop materials and information will be available via the conference app and website.

In addition to workshops that expand participants’ knowledge of traditional affordable housing and community development practices, HAC encourages workshops that address:

  • Placemaking
  • Health and community connections
  • Nonprofit financial management
  • Housing rehab and/or preservation
  • Art and design
  • Sustainable design and construction
  • Alternative homebuilding and construction methods

Workshops on emerging topics or new approaches on perennial issues are encouraged.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated using the following criteria. The order below does not reflect importance.

  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and housing justice
  • Interest and relevance to conference participants
  • Experience and organization of the presentation team
  • Potential to contribute to a balanced conference program
  • Presentation engagement and approach

Submission of a workshop proposal does not guarantee acceptance.

Submission Guidelines

HAC invites interested parties to submit workshop proposals.

Proposals should include the following information:


• Workshop title
• Topic(s) the workshop will address
• Impact Statement – Describe why the workshop is relevant to rural affordable housing and/or community development


• Workshop Coordinator
• Workshop Presenters, proposed and confirmed
• Experience that makes the workshop team suited for organizing and presenting the workshop


• Preference for a 45-minute or 90-minute workshop session
• Presenter location(s) – Will presenter(s) be on site and/or present virtually?
• Brief workshop outline
• How diversity, equity, inclusion, and housing justice are addressed
• Required resources (other than laptop, projector, Wi-Fi, or flipchart)

Policy News from Congress

HAC’s Research Director Testifies to Senate Banking Committee on the State of Housing 2023

HAC was deeply honored by an invitation to testify at the first hearing held in the new 118th Congress by the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. Titled The State of Housing 2023, the session featured Lance George, HAC’s Director of Research and Information, as one of  three witnesses.

A wide range of topics was covered by the witnesses’ testimony and the Senators’ questions. Among the key areas of concern were the gap between housing supply and need, the high cost of both homeownership and rental housing, and what congressional actions could address these challenges. Committee Chair Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) asked specifically about the loss of rentals financed by USDA’s Section 515 program, a serious concern addressed by HAC research in 2016 and 2022.

Key Takeaways

Lance’s statement made five key points about the state of rural housing in 2023:

  • The pandemic left its mark on rural America and housing markets remain uncertain.
  • Rural mortgage markets are being impacted by interest rates and prices too.
  • Affordability is the greatest housing challenge in rural America, by far.
  • Manufactured housing is an often overlooked but important source of housing – especially in rural America.
  • Race matters across the rural spectrum – especially in housing.

Key policy recommendations, based on HAC’s full set of policy priorities for 2023, included:

  • Increase rural communities’ access to credit and capital and strengthen USDA and HUD homeownership supports.
  • Improve opportunities and financing for preserving aging rental properties and protecting tenants.
  • Authorize the powerful Rural Community Development Initiative and a significant cross-sectoral, flexible capacity building rural investment initiative.

Lance George

Lance George

HAC’s Director of Research & Information

Watch the Hearing

Policy News field

HAC’s Research Director Testifies on Persistent Poverty on Capitol Hill

On Tuesday, November 15, 2022 at 10:00 am EST the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance convened a hybrid hearing entitled, “Persistent Poverty in America: Addressing Chronic Disinvestment in Colonias, the Southern Black Belt, and the U.S. Territories.” Lance George, HAC’s Director of Research and Information, provided testimony during the hearing.

Watch the Hearing

For more information on Persistent Poverty, read The Persistence of Poverty in Rural America.