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:

Cathedral Square Coporation begins construction of Green Senior Housing

HAC would like to congratulate Cathedral Squar Corporation (CSC) as they begin construction of Elm Place, Vermont’s first multi-family building certified to Passive House standards. The super energy-efficient building will provide thirty affordable, one-bedroom apartments for low-income seniors in Milton, VT, a rural community with a population of 10,300. Support And Services at Home (SASH) will be offered to residents at no cost.

HAC provided a $19000 grant in October 2013 to CSC for predevelopment costs in connection with this project.

Project summary

The goals of the development are to create a green building in a smart growth town center area close to services and transportation, to engage the community in building support and having a responsive design, and to incorporate a design which facilitates the Support and Services at Home (SASH) care coordination initiative to support aging in place. This grant enabled CSC to grow a concept into a real development with traction.

CSC hopes to expand the capacity of CSC’s housing program and SASH initiative into the Milton Community and develop the capacity of staff and commitment to green building, improving accessibility and SASH implementation.

This HAC grant provided a critical boost to CSC to build its capacity in green building and accessibility.