Rural Rental Housing: HAC's 1999 State of the Nation's Rural Housing Report

Rural Rental Housing: HAC’s 1999 State of the Nation’s Rural Housing Report
Print copy: $6.00
Uses data and discussions with experts to describe rural renters, their homes, and their housing challenges.
2000, 56 pages, ISBN 1-58064-098-2

Rural Voices: Rental Housing in Rural Areas

Rural Voices: Rental Housing in Rural Areas

The Fall 1999 issue of Rural Voices is dedicated to the importance of rental housing.

Homeownership generates excitement among policymakers and funders- and, indeed, it is important that we strive to increase homeownership. Yet not everyone can or wants to own their home, and renters should also have decent, affordable homes.

Unfortunately, decent, affordable housing is not always an option for rural renters. This magazine includes data showing that millions of rural renters pay too much and/or live in substandard or overcrowded homes. The articles in this issue, like the photos on the cover, illustrate some of the many aspects of rental housing in rural areas. Two of the articles present rental housing success stories. A third article describes actions that may be taken to address problems arising from prepayments of HUD-funded rental properties, and the View From Washington department explains why a new rural rental housing program should be proposed.

This Rural Voices issue does not cover prepayment and preservation of Section 515 units. Preservation is an important subject and, as noted in the summer issue of the magazine, HAC has joined a wide variety of organizations in a working group on this topic. The working group is still collecting background information and formulating its recommendations; its report will be covered in a later issue of Rural Voices when appropriate.

Rural Voices: Volume 4 Number 3

Rural Voices: Housing in the Rural Midwest

The Summer 1999 issue of Rural Voices celebrates two events, the passing of the Housing Act of 1949 and the opening of HAC’s fourth regional office is Kansas City, MO. In some ways these events are very different, but both are part of improving housing for rural Americans.

The first event occurred in 1949. That summer, exactly 50 years ago, the Housing Act of 1949 became law and created the first of the rural housing programs we still use today. From relatively small beginnings – a Section 502 direct loan program for homeownership and a Section 504 loan and grant program for home repairs, both available only to farmers – the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural housing programs have grown to a lengthy list of tools for financing better housing, and have improved the homes of many tens of thousands of rural residents. In honor of the programs’ anniversary, Rural Voices explores the passage of the 1949 Act, examines some changes over the last 50 years, and describes the historical beginnings of the popular self-help housing program.

The second event happened in late May this year. The Housing Assistance Council formally dedicated its fourth regional office. Located in Kansas City, Mo., and focused on serving the Midwest, this field office joins others in Atlanta, Ga.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Mill Valley, Calif. Housing programs in the Midwest are not a new topic for Rural Voices, but this issue does emphasize that part of the country. One article provides an overview of rural housing conditions in the Midwest, and another describes the successes achieved by one community action agency in Kansas.

More good news is provided in our View From Washington department, which describes funding increases likely to be adopted for rural housing in fiscal year 2000.

Volume 4 Number 2

Rural Voices: A Place for Everyone

The Spring 1999 issue of Rural Voices highlights some of the rural housing community’s successes in providing a place for everyone.

“A Place for Everyone” – the theme of the recent National Rural Housing Conference – could serve as the motto for much of the rural housing community’s work. Every day, through many different activities, we try to ensure a decent, affordable place for those most often forgotten in our national housing efforts.

The Spring 1999 issue of Rural Voices highlights some of the rural housing community’s successes in providing a place for everyone. It reviews the December 1998 conference, including the awards HAC presented to five outstanding individuals for their rural housing work, and the winners of the children’s art contest held at the conference. Also, an article describes a collaboration between Freddie Mac, Rural Opportunities, Inc., and others to help create a place for everyone by providing mortgages for families who could not obtain conventional loans. Another piece explains how local rural housing developers can use Community 2020 mapping software to illustrate housing conditions and needs. Other recent developments and activities are summarized in the HAC Facts and View From Washington departments.

We look forward to continuing to work with you to provide a place for everyone.

Rural Voices: Winter 1998-99

Rural Voices: Aspiring Homeowners Receive Assistance

The features in the Winter 1998-99 issue of Rural Voices examine some important aspects of homeownership and some useful types of assistance.

Homeownership is a prominent goal in much of our nation’s current housing policy. For low- and moderate-income families, homeownership requires more than subsidized interest rates and means more than having a place to live. The features in the Winter 1998-99 issue of Rural Voices examine some important aspects of homeownership and some useful types of assistance.

The lead article demonstrates the role of subsidized rental housing, supportive services, and self-help construction in a farmworker family’s path from homelessness to homeownership. Counseling services are helpful- perhaps even essential – and another article describes the work of the new American Homeowner Education and Counseling Institute. Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) are also relatively new. Their potential for helping aspiring homebuyers to save for downpayments and other needs is described in a Q&A with an IDA activist.

Cost Based Appraisals on Native American Trust Lands

Cost Based Appraisals on Native American Trust Lands: A Longitudinal Analysis
Print copy: $4.00
Investigates issues contributing to difficulties in applying standard appraisal procedures on Indian reservations, and presents a longitudinal analysis of changes in value of homes built on trust lands.
1999, 23 pages, ISBN 1-58064-099-0

Rural Voices - Volume 3 Number 4

Rural Voices: 30 Years of Fair Housing in Rural America

The Summer 1998 issue of Rural Voices is dedicated to highlighting these fair housing and NIMBY issues.

First, an article by a national fair housing nonprofit organization provides an overview of the fair housing movement in this country and its impact. Other articles describe the approaches adopted by the state of California and a local nonprofit in Oregon to combat NIMBY opposition to affordable housing projects. An interview with Eva Plaza, assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Depmtment of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) , is also included.

Fair Housing, the Zoning Process, and Land Use Politics in Rural Areas

Fair Housing, the Zoning Process, and Land Use Politics in Rural Areas
Print copy: $5.50
Examines the role of land use and zoning politics in NIMBY situations, and how fair housing issues may be raised. Outlines common patterns and characteristics of NIMBY conflicts, using examples from four cases to illustrate creative responses.
1998, 35 pages, ISBN 1-58064-091-5

Border Colonias Region: Challenges and Innovative Approaches to Effective Community Development

Border Colonias Region: Challenges and Innovative Approaches to Effective Community Development
Print copy: $5.00
Detailed case studies highlight successful approaches to improving housing and infrastructure conditions in the colonias along the U.S.-Mexico border. Also outlines the key challenges faced by colonia residents, and some broad policy recommendations based on the experiences of local groups.
1998, 69 pages, ISBN 1-58064-084-2

The Spring 1998 Issue of Rural Voices - Cover

Rural Voices: States Help Produce Affordable Rural Housing

The Spring 1998 issue of Rural Voices examines some of the ways states have become involved. Any one of these methods could be duplicated in states that have not yet tried them.

State funds, and state agencies administering federal funds, are essential in developing affordable rural housing This issue of Rural Voices examines some of the ways states have become involved. Any one of these methods could be duplicated in states that have not yet tried them. First, an expert on housing trust funds explains how states have used those dedicated revenue sources to improve rural housing conditions. Other articles describe efforts in Iowa and Oklahoma to make state-administered .fimds more available in rural areas. Iowa has designed a collaborative application process, now being adopted by other states as well. Oklahoma analyzed housing needs in fast-growing rural parts of the state and targeted funds to help meet those needs.

Continuing Rural Voices’ coverage of welfare reform, this issue also includes an article describing welfare reform in Minnesota, starting with a pilot program initiated by the state before changes were adopted at the federal level. The magazine’s View from Washington department examines the possibility of enacting housing legislation during 1998 before Congress adjourns for elections in the fall. As always, the HAC Facts department summarizes some of the Housing Assistance Council’s recent activities.