HAC lends expertise to profile of rural housing affordability challenges in Joshua Tree

Lance George, HAC’s Director of Research and Information, provided his rural housing expertise to Short-Term Rentals and High-End Buyers Wipe Out Affordable Housing in Joshua Tree, Say Residents, a recent article from The Daily Yonder. The piece profiles residents and housing advocates in Joshua Tree, California as they struggle to find affordable housing options in their community.

Michel Cicero has hardly taken a day off work since July 7, 2020. On that day she was paddleboarding at Big Bear Lake with friends but had to leave early because her phone was ringing off the hook, she said. “It hasn’t stopped since.”

Cicero is a real estate agent in Landers, California, which borders the community of Joshua Tree, adjacent to the national park. She has seen firsthand the disruption the pandemic has created in the real estate market. The length of her selling season doubled. In an area where single-offer home sales were the norm, multiple buyers started making offers—often of the all-cash variety—on each sale, raising prices and severely depleting housing stock…



“You add all of those dynamics together and you could get a really accelerated housing crisis among low- and moderate-income households that don’t have the money to buy homes.”




Rural Assembly profiles HAC’s Shonterria Charleston

As part of its #RuralWomenLead effort, the Rural Assembly wrote a profile highlighting HAC’s Director of Training and Technical Assistance Shonterria Charleston.

Shonterria Charleston brings to her work both a military sense of duty to get the job done and dedication to serve those in need.

Charleston has relied on both instincts during her 21 year career at the Housing Assistance Council, a national organization that helps build homes and communities across rural America.

Read the full profile on the Rural Assembly website.

Shonterria Charleston - HAC Director of Training and Technical Assistance

Oregon Veterans receives assistance from The Home Depot Foundation and HAC

The News-Review, the daily newspaper for Douglas County, OR, highlighted the story of Daniel Winder, a disabled veteran who would receive assistance from the program. The grant funding will be used to replace his back door and heating system and make other needed repairs.

I can’t express how thankful I am that this program exists to help us

The grant program, administered by HAC and funded by The Home Depot Foundation, is designed to provide elderly or disabled veterans repair their homes. This funding allows veterans to age in place in the communities they know and love while living in safe, quality housing.

“I can’t express how thankful I am that this program exists to help us, because most of these repairs cost thousands of dollars,” he said. “These improvements have made my life a lot more comfortable and I’m proud to live here now. With all these replacements, I don’t see me leaving this place anytime soon.”

Veterans grant recipients highlighted in Indian Country Today

Two recipients of the The Home Depot Foundation’s and HAC’s Affordable Housing for Rural Veterans 2017 grant funding have been profiled on www.indiancountrymedianetwork.com.

Bad River, White Mountain Veterans Housing Get Help with Home Rehabs

More than $250,000 awarded by the Home Depot Foundation and the Housing Assistance Council

by Mark Fogarty

American Indian veterans in Wisconsin and Arizona will benefit from grants to rehabilitate veterans housing in rural areas.

The Home Depot Foundation and the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) recently awarded more than $250,000 to build or preserve veteran housing to 10 housing non-profits, including ones serving the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Indians in Wisconsin and the White Mountain Apache tribe in Arizona.

Read the complete article.

HAC quoted in Wisconsin Public Radio story on rural homelessness

HAC executive Director Moises Loza was interviewed by Wisconsin Public Radio for a story about rural homelessness. Ashland Cares, a nonprofit in Ashland, WI, is purchasing a vacant school building to convert it to a shelter to help serve the homeless population of rural northern Wisconsin.

Moises discussed the difficulties rural communities face when attempting to count local homeless populations because of the lack of shelters, and the challenge of providing services for scattered populations.

Read the complete story and listen to the radio segment.

Moises Loza quoted in column about the Administration's budget

HAC’s Executive Director,  Moises Loza, made a statement about the negative impact the Trump Administration’s proposed budget would have on rural communities. These remarks ahve been used by several columnists to underscore the dangers ofbudget.


Moises Loza to receive Farmworker Justice Award

HAC’s Executive Director, Moises Loza, will receive the Shelley Davis Memorial Award at the Farmworker Justice Annual Award Reception on May 4, 2017.

Farmworker Justice hosts its annual award reception to honor individuals who have made important contributions in securing justice for our nation’s farmworkers. Moises will accept the award alongside Kerry Kennedy, who will receive the Farmworker Justice Award.

For more information, visit the Farmworker Justice website.

CityLab looks at the link between housing and the opioid crisis

CityLab discussed the the link between the need for access to affordable housing and how it exacerbates the growing opioid crisis in rural America with Dr. Alan Morgan, Director of the National Rural Health Association. Dr. Morgan was a Keynote Speaker at the HAC 2016 Rural Housing Conference, where he stressed the importance of working together across industry silos to combat the opioid epidemic.

HAC Partners with Local Organization in Rhode Island

Seven Rhode Island families hope to move into their new Colonial-style, single-family houses before the holidays thanks to NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley. The families are selected based on income, credit, and employment criteria, including having earnings between 50-80% of the area median income for Providence County. For more than a year, they have contributed about 30 hours of work per week building the houses. They have worked together, building each other’s homes in phases. Their “sweat equity” has cut costs nearly in half by building about 65% of the homes, with licensed professionals hired to do the electrical and plumbing work requiring expertise. Through the program, the USDA offers the homeowners low-interest loans based on their incomes to make owning a home affordable. In addition, the Housing Assistance Council provided funding to the Fernwood housing development to help make building the homes a reality. Read the article here!

HAC Praises Bipartisan Congressional Action on Affordable Housing

The Kansas City Star recently published a Letter to the Editor submitted jointly by HAC Executive Director Moises Loza and Housing Specialist Stephanie Nichols in praise of HR 3700, the bipartisan housing legislation which recently passed through Congress. The full text of the letter as it appears on the Stars’ website appears below.

Bipartisan effort

Last week, to minimal fanfare, Congress unanimously passed HR 3700, substantive housing legislation that saves money, cuts red tape and increases opportunities for our most vulnerable to live in decent homes and safe neighborhoods.

Leveraging their leadership on a key Financial Services subcommittee, Missouri congressmen Blaine Luetkemeyer and Emanuel Cleaver eschewed partisanship and brought together a disparate coalition of industries, nonprofits and social-justice advocates to support the bill, also known as the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act.

Missourians ought to know that two of their congressmen did the hard work of legislating instead of grandstanding, and the low-income communities that we serve are stronger because of their actions.

Moises Loza
Executive Director
Housing AssistanceCouncil

Stephanie Nichols
Midwestern office
Program manager
Kansas City

Read more here: https://www.kansascity.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/article91127752.html#storylink=cpy