USDA Forums

USDA RD Announces Self-Help Housing Forums

Update, April 19, 2010 – The date of the Washington, DC forum has been changed. That session will now be held on June 30. Visit USDA’s site for time and location details. Also, July 15 is established as the deadline date for written comments, and the USDA contact information has been changed.

Update, March 11, 2010 – The date of the Mississippi forum has been changed. That session will now be held on March 29. Visit USDA’s site for time and location details.

The following announcement has been posted on USDA Rural Housing programs’ website at https://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rhs/Admin/2010SelfHelpForums.htm and in the Federal Register on February 2, 2010. HAC will post additional details about the forums as they become available.

Responding to President Obama’s initiative for an open, transparent government, the Rural Housing Service intends to hold public forums to solicit feedback from the public on whether the current method of delivering the self-help program is the most efficient and cost effective in terms of cost and program delivery.

Transparency encourages accountability by delivering information to the public about what the Government is doing. Participation provides the public with opportunities to contribute ideas and expertise to the Government which will enable them to make sound policy decisions that represent a wider group of diverse individuals throughout society. Collaboration improves effectiveness of the Government by encouraging partnerships and cooperation within the Federal Government, across levels of government, and between the Government and private institutions.

Forum schedule is:

Date

State

February 18, 2010

Arkansas

March 5, 2010

Puerto Rico

March 12, 2010

North Carolina

March 29, 2010

Mississippi

April 9, 2010

Arizona

April 23, 2010

Ohio

May 14, 2010

Washington

June 4, 2010

Vermont

June 11, 2010

Iowa

June 18, 2010

Washington, D.C.

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Posted: February 2, 2010

Updated: July 1, 2010

If you have problems accessing any of the material on this page, contact Leslie Strauss at HAC, leslie@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600.

FY11 Budget HUD

Information about FY11 funding for USDA’s rural housing programs is available here.

MANY HUD PROGRAMS, INCLUDING RURAL INNOVATION FUND, CUT in Final CR for FY11

The final continuing resolution for fiscal year (FY) 2011, which will fund the federal government from April 16 through September 30, 2011, eliminates HUD’s Housing Counseling program and Rural Innovation Fund.

Funding for Section 202 elderly housing and Section 811 housing for people with disabilities would be cut in half. CDBG, HOME, public housing, NAHASDA, and some others would be reduced.

HAC has not yet learned whether HUD will issue an FY11 NOFA for the Rural Innovation Fund offering the amount authorized by the continuing resolutions covering the period from October 1, 2010 through April 15, 2011. Funding recipients under the FY10 NOFA, which had a February 23 application deadline, have not yet been announced.

Details are shown in the table below (parentheses indicate amounts that are included in totals).

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY 2010 Approp.

FY11 Admin. Budget

FY11 House
Proposed CR
(H.R. 1)
FY11
Final CR
(H.R. 1473) (d)
FY12 Admin. Budget

Cmty. Devel. Block Grants

Sustainable Commun. Init.
Rural Innovation Fund (a)
Catalytic Investment Grants (b)

$4,450

(150)
(25)

$4,380.1

(150)
0
(150)

$1,500

0
(25)
0

$3,508

(100)
0
0

$3,781

0
(25)
0

HOME

1,825

1,650

1,650

1,610

1,650

Tenant-Based Rental Asstnce.
Vets. Affairs Supprtve Hsg Vouchers

18,184
(75)

19,551
0

18,080
(75)
18,408
(50)
19,223
(75)

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

8,551.5

9,382.3

9,282 8,882 9,429

Transforming Rental Asstnce. (b)

350 0 0 200

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

2,500 2,044 1,428 2,044 2,405

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,775 4,829 4,626 4,626 3,962

Public Hsg. Revtlztn. (HOPE VI)

135 0 0 100 0

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative (c)

65 250 65 0 250

Housing Trust Fund

1,000 0 0 1,000

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

700 580 500 650 700

Homeless Assistance Grants

1,865 2,055 1,865 1,905 2,372

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

335 340 335 335 335

202 Hsg. for Elderly

825 273 238 400 757

811 Hsg. for Disabled

300 90 90 150 196

Fair Housing

72 61 72 72 72

Healthy Homes & Lead Hazard Cntl.

140 140 120 120 140

Sustainable Communities Initiative

0 150

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

27 0 27 27 0
Brownfields Redevelopment 17.5 0 0 0 0

Housing Counseling

87.5 88 0 0 88

a. Replaces the Rural Housing & Economic Development program.
b. New programs proposed by the Administration.
c. Demonstration initially proposed in FY 2010 budget to replace HOPE VI.
d. Figures shown do not include 0.2% across the board reduction

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HOUSE PASSES H.R. 1 WITH HOUSING CUTS, ACTION SHIFTS TO SENATE

On February 19, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, a continuing resolution for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, without changes to the housing program levels explained below. Congress is not in session the week of February 21. The Senate will begin considering the continuing resolution when it returns the week of February 28. It is not clear whether a bill will be completed by that Friday, March 4, when the current continuing resolution expires.

H.R. 1 WOULD KEEP MOST USDA RURAL HOUSING AT FY10 LEVELS but would Cut many HUD programs

Feb. 17, 2011 – H.R. 1, introduced on February 11 to fund the federal government for the rest of FY 2011, would fund most USDA rural housing programs at FY 2010 levels, although it would eliminate funding for preservation of rural rental housing. HUD funds would be cut more severely: H.R. 1 would eliminate two-thirds of the funding for CDBG and more than two-thirds for Section 202 and Section 811. It would eliminate housing counseling funds and would reduce funding for HOME, public housing, and Native American housing. It would continue funding for the Rural Innovation Fund and SHOP.

Details on H.R. 1’s proposals for USDA programs are available in the table here and for HUD are available here.

The House of Representatives is expected to pass H.R. 1 on February 17 or 18. President Obama has said he will veto this bill or other similar measures. The Senate will consider funding for the rest of FY11 the week of February 28, after a President’s Day recess.

CONTINUING RESOLUTION EXTENDED TO MARCH 4, 2011

Dec. 22, 2010 – The federal government will operate through March 4 under a continuing resolution that keeps HUD programs and USDA rural housing programs at their FY 2010 levels. The new 112th Congress will make funding decisions covering the remainder of FY 2011. The text of the CR is available at https://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app11.html.

APPROPRIATIONS BILL WITHDRAWN – NEW CR LIKELY THROUGH FEBRUARY

Congress will likely enact a continuing resolution to keep the federal government in business until February. The current CR expires on Dec. 18. Final spending decisions for FY 2011 will come in the new 112th Congress. On Dec. 16 Senate Democrats abandoned efforts to pass a recently introduced omnibus spending bill for all of FY 2011. That bill would have increased USDA Sec. 502 direct loans to $1.8 billion and kept most other HUD and rural housing programs at 2010 levels.

Continuing Resolution Begins FY 2011 at 2010 Funding Levels

October 1, 2010 – Congress has passed, and President Obama signed, a continuing resolution that funds the federal government through December 3, 2010. USDA and HUD programs, as well as most others, are continued at FY 2010 levels, including the $697 million added to the Section 502 guarantee program in the July 2010 supplemental appropriations act. USDA is again authorized to waive fees for Section 502 guaranteed loans, as it was in the supplemental appropriations act. The full text of H.R. 3081, the 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act, is available here.

HUD appropriations bills advance

Spending bills to fund HUD in FY 2011 moved ahead in both House and Senate in late July. The House on July 30 passed H.R. 5850, a Transportation-HUD appropriations bill, retaining the levels passed earlier by the Appropriations Committee and fending off floor efforts to cut programs. The Senate Appropriations Committee on July 22 passed S. 3644, their version of the bill. Both bills rejected the Obama Administration’s proposals to cut HOME and Sec. 202 and eliminate SHOP and the new Rural Innovation Fund. Final decisions on 2011 appropriations will not occur until a post-election lame duck Congressional session or later. See the table below for more details.

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY 2010 Approp.

President’s
FY 2011 Budget

Proposal

FY 2011
House-passed
THUD Bill
FY 2011
Senate Comm.
THUD Bill (S. 3644)

Cmty. Devel. Block Grants

Sustainable Commun. Init.
Rural Innovation Fund (a)
Catalytic Investment Grants (b)

$4,450

(150)
(25)

4,380.1

(150)
0
(150)

4,352.1

(150)
(25)
0

4,450

(150)
(25)
0

HOME

1,825

1,650

1,825 1,825

Tenant-Based Rental Asstnce.

16,339

17,310

17,225 17,165

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

8,551.5

9,382.3

9,382.3 9,382.3

Transforming Rental Asstnce. (c)

350 0 0

Vets. Affairs Spptve Hsg. Vouchers

75 0 75 75

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

2,500 2,044 2,500 2,510

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,775 4,829 4,829 4,829

Public Hsg. Revtlztn. (HOPE VI)

135 0 200 0

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative (d)

65 250 0 250

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

700 580 700 700

Homeless Assistance Grants

1,865 2,055 2,055 2,055

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

335 340 350 340

202 Hsg. for Elderly

825 273 825 825

811 Hsg. for Disabled

300 90 300 200

Fair Housing

72 61 72 70.4

Rural Hsg. & Econ. Dev. (RHED)(e)

0 0 0 0

Healthy Homes & Lead Hazard Control

140 140 140 140

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

27 0 27 27
Brownfields Redevelopmen 17.5 0 17.5 0

Housing Counseling

87.5 88 88 100

a. New program replacing Rural Housing & Economic Development.
b. New program for economic development and gap financing for community revitalization.
c. New program for rental preservation, efficiency and resident choice.
d. Demonstration initially proposed in FY 2010 budget to replace HOPE VI.
e. Replaced by Rural Innovation Fund.

___________________________

Posted: August 2, 2010

HUD, USDA spending bills for FY 2011 approved by House Subcommittees

Congressional appropriators on June 30 and July 1 began the first steps toward an FY 2011 budget for HUD and USDA rural housing programs. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture met June 30 and reported out a bill to fund USDA and several other agencies. Full details are not yet known on the rural housing programs. But a summary table shows Rural Housing Service loans and grants funded at $1.322 billion. This is $101.8 million below the 2010 level but $71.9 million above the President’s budget request. The National Rural Housing Coalition predicts the bill will most likely maintain rural housing programs at 2010 levels.

The Transportation-HUD Subcommittee met July 1 and renewed most HUD programs, with increases for some. Rejecting HUD’s proposals to cut or eliminate HOME, Indian housing, Sec. 202, Sec. 811, SHOP, and the Rural Innovation Fund, the Subcommittee continued all those programs at 2010 levels. But the panel also declined to fund several new ideas proposed in the President’s budget, including Transforming Rental Assistance, Catalytic Investments, and Capacity Building. See the table above for HUD details.

Information on both bills, including lists of earmarks, is available at https://appropriations.house.gov. Complete details will be available after the full House Appropriations Committee considers the bills, probably later in July. Senate budget writers have not yet scheduled mark ups. For more information from Housing Assistance Council, contact joe@ruralhome.org or leslie@ruralhome.org.
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Posted: July 2, 2010
If you have problems accessing any of the material on this page, contact Leslie Strauss at HAC, leslie@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600.

HUD BUDGET PROPOSES CUTS FOR MANY PROGRAMS IN FY 2011.

The Obama Administration’s budget proposes some increases but also many reductions for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development in the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2010. Cuts are proposed for CDBG, HOME, Indian housing, Sections 202 and 811, fair housing, and the Public Housing Capital Fund. The Housing Trust Fund would be funded at $1 billion, and increases are proposed for homelessness programs, rental assistance, the Public Housing Operating Fund, and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS.

For the first time since the late 1990s a President’s budget proposes to eliminate the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP). The budget says HUD will urge state and local administrators of the HOME program to fund SHOP projects.

No funding is requested for the new Rural Innovation Fund, which replaced the Rural Housing and Economic Development Program in 2010 appropriations, at HUD’s urging. The budget also proposes new initiatives on “Transforming Rental Assistance” and “Catalytic Investments.” See the table above for details.

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last updated: April 15, 2011
If you have problems accessing any of the material on this page, contact Leslie Strauss at HAC, leslie@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600.

FY11 Budget USDA

Information about HUD’s FY11 funding is available here.

Most Rural Housing Programs Fare Well in Final CR for FY11

On April 15, 2011, President Obama signed into law a final continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for the rest of fiscal year (FY) 2011. The measure keeps most rural housing programs at or near FY10 levels, a positive outcome in the current spending-reducing atmosphere.

Funding levels for Section 504 loans, Section 538 loans, Rental Assistance, and the MPR preservation demonstration are reduced. The Section 521 Rental Assistance setaside for preservation is the only USDA housing program that would receive no funding.

Despite the reductions, the CR leaves USDA’s housing programs facing the FY12 appropriations battle in a stronger position than advocates had feared, based on the Administration’s budget for FY12.

Details are shown in the table below (parentheses indicate amounts that are included in totals).

USDA Rural Development Program
(dollars in millions)

FY10
Approp.

FY11 Admin.
Budget

FY11 Proposed CR
(H.R. 1)

FY 11 Final CR
(H.R. 1473)*

FY 2012 Admin. Budget

Loans

502 Single Fam. Direct

$1,121

$1,200

$1,121

$1,121

$211.4

502 Single Family Guar.

12,000

12,000

12,000

24,000

24,000

504 Very Low-inc. Repair

34.4

34

34

23.4

0

514 Farm Labor Hsg.

27.3

27

27.3

**

27

515 Rental Hsg. Direct

69.5

95.2

69.5

69.5

95.2

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

129.1

129.1

129.1

30.9

0

Rental Prsrv. Revlg. Loans

1.8

0

0

1

0

Grants & Payments

504 Very Low-inc. Repair

31.6

31

31.6

***

11.5

516 Farm Labor Hsg.

9.9

10

9.9

**

9.8

523 Self-Help TA

41.9

37

37

37

0

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

9.4

9.4

9.4

***

0

521 Rental Assistance (1-yr. contracts)
Preservation RA
New Construction 515 RA
New Construction 514/516 RA

980
(6)
(2.03)
(3.4)

966
0
(3)
(3)

955.6
0
(2.03)
(3)

955.6
0
(2.03)
(3)

906.7
0
(3)
(3)

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

16.4

18

16.4

14

16

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

25

0

0

15

0

Rural Community Development Initiative

6.3

0

0

5

8.4

* Figures shown do not include 0.2% across the board reduction.

** Budget authority (the cost to the government) in the Farm Labor Housing program account would remain at FY10 levels, but the loan costs have risen as interest rates have risen, so the Section 514/516 program levels could be somewhat lower than FY10.

*** The CR provides for a reduction of $1.1 million in the Rural Housing Assistance Grants pool, which funds Section 504 loans, Section 533, and some other smaller programs.

HOUSE PASSES H.R. 1 WITH HOUSING CUTS, ACTION SHIFTS TO SENATE

On February 19, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, a continuing resolution for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, without changes to the housing program levels explained below. Congress is not in session the week of February 21. The Senate will begin considering the continuing resolution when it returns the week of February 28. It is not clear whether a bill will be completed by that Friday, March 4, when the current continuing resolution expires.

H.R. 1 WOULD KEEP MOST USDA RURAL HOUSING AT FY10 LEVELS but would Cut many HUD programs

Feb. 17, 2011 – H.R. 1, introduced on February 11 to fund the federal government for the rest of FY 2011, would fund most USDA rural housing programs at FY 2010 levels, although it would eliminate funding for preservation of rural rental housing. HUD funds would be cut more severely: H.R. 1 would eliminate two-thirds of the funding for CDBG and more than two-thirds for Section 202 and Section 811. It would eliminate housing counseling funds and would reduce funding for HOME, public housing, and Native American housing. It would continue funding for the Rural Innovation Fund and SHOP.

Details on H.R. 1’s proposals for USDA programs are available in the table here and for HUD are available here.

The House of Representatives is expected to pass H.R. 1 on February 17 or 18. President Obama has said he will veto this bill or other similar measures. The Senate will consider funding for the rest of FY11 the week of February 28, after a President’s Day recess.

CONTINUING RESOLUTION EXTENDED TO MARCH 4, 2011

December 22, 2010 – The federal government will operate through March 4 under a continuing resolution that keeps HUD programs and USDA rural housing programs at their FY 2010 levels. The new 112th Congress will make funding decisions covering the remainder of FY 2011. The text of the CR is available at https://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app11.html.

APPROPRIATIONS BILL WITHDRAWN – NEW CR LIKELY THROUGH FEBRUARY

Congress will likely enact a continuing resolution to keep the federal government in business until February. The current CR expires on Dec. 18. Final spending decisions for FY 2011 will come in the new 112th Congress. On Dec. 16 Senate Democrats abandoned efforts to pass a recently introduced omnibus spending bill for all of FY 2011. That bill would have increased USDA Sec. 502 direct loans to $1.8 billion and kept most other HUD and rural housing programs at 2010 levels.

Continuing Resolution Begins FY 2011 at 2010 Funding Levels

October 1, 2010 – Congress has passed, and President Obama signed, a continuing resolution that funds the federal government through December 3, 2010. USDA and HUD programs, as well as most others, are continued at FY 2010 levels, including the $697 million added to the Section 502 guarantee program in the July 2010 supplemental appropriations act. USDA is again authorized to waive fees for Section 502 guaranteed loans, as it was in the supplemental appropriations act. The full text of H.R. 3081, the 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act, is available here.

SENATE COMMITTEE SUPPORTS USDA RURAL HOUSING PROGRAMS FOR 2011

July 20, 2010 – The text of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s USDA funding bill for FY 2011 is now available. S. 3606 boosts Section 502 single-family loans and holds most other rural housing programs level. The Committee rejected the Obama Administration’s proposed elimination of USDA’s rural rental preservation demonstration program, known as MPR, and also kept Section 515 rental housing at its FY 2010 level of $69 million. The most significant increase was a doubling of the loan level for Section 502 guaranteed loans to $24 billion. Section 502 direct loans received a modest increase to $1.2 billion, the Administration’s request.

The Committee bill would impose fees on Section 502 guaranteed loans (a 3.5 percent origination fee and 0.5 percent servicing fee), making the program self-financing. The Committee’s summary of the bill notes that “in the face of the recession private mortgage lenders have retrenched leaving Rural Development’s loan programs as a principle [sic] source of home financing in rural areas. . . . Regarding guaranteed loans, a fee increase is authorized which will allow the Agency to provide $24 billion in new loans at no cost to the government.”

The table below has more details.

USDA Rural Development Program
(dollars in millions)

FY09 Approp.

FY10
Approp.

FY11 Budget
Proposal

FY11 Senate Bill
(S. 3606)

Loans

502 Single Fam. Direct

$2,121.5a

$1,121

$1,200

$1,200

502 Single Family Guar.

16,699 a

12,000

12,000

24,000

504 Very Low-inc. Repair

34.4

34.4

34

34

514 Farm Labor Hsg.

20

27.3

27

27.2

515 Rental Hsg. Direct

69.5

69.5

95.2

69.5

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

129.1

129.1

129.1

129.1

Rental Prsrv. Revlg. Loans

2.9

1.8

0

2.7

Grants & Payments

504 Very Low-inc. Repair

29.7

31.6

31

31.6

516 Farm Labor Hsg.

9.1

9.9

10

9.9

523 Self-Help TA

38.7

41.9

37

41.9

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

8.9

9.4

9.4

9.4

521 Rental Assistance (1-yr. contracts)
Preservation RA
New Construction 515 RA
New Construction 514/516 RA

902.5
(6)
(2.03)
(3.4)

980
(6)
(2.03)
(3.4)

966
0
(3)
(3)

971.6
(6)
(3)
(3)

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

5

16.4

18

16.4

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

20

25

0

25

a. Includes Recovery Act funds.

Posted: July 22, 2010

SENATE COMMITTEE VOTES TO INCREASE SECTION 502 FUNDS

July 16, 2010 – On July 15 the Senate Appropriations Committee reviewed and approved a USDA appropriations bill for FY 2011 that would increase funds for Section 502 direct and guaranteed loans. The Committee’s summary of the bill does not indicate whether it restores funding for rental preservation efforts, which were zeroed out in the Administration’s budget proposal. (For details on the budget, scroll down.)

The entire Rural Development section of the Committee’s summary states:

The bill includes $2.768 billion in discretionary budget authority for rural development programs, which is a decrease of $168 million from the fiscal year 2010 enacted level and an increase of $85 million above the President’s request. Generally, the bill provides level funding for water and waste water, community facilities, business, renewable energy, and electric and telecommunications loans and grants.

Increases are provided for both direct and guaranteed single family housing loans. In the face of the recession private mortgage lenders have retrenched leaving Rural Development’s loan programs as a principle source of home financing in rural areas. An additional $34 million is provided for direct loans, which will support a total program level of $1.2 billion in new loans. Regarding guaranteed loans, a fee increase is authorized which will allow the Agency to provide $24 billion in new loans at no cost to the government.

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture passed a bill on June 30, which funds rural housing loans and grants at $1.322 billion, $101.8 million below the 2010 level but $71.9 million above the President’s 2011 budget request. Rural housing programs will most likely stay at 2010 levels.

The full House and Senate bills have not yet been made public. HAC will post additional information here as it becomes available.

Posted: July 16, 2010

Budget Proposes Level Funding for Most USDA Rural Housing Programs,
None for Rental Preservation Demo

February 1, 2010 – The Obama Administration’s budget for fiscal year 2011, released February 1, zeroes out initiatives that were created in past appropriations legislation but never authorized, including USDA’s rural rental preservation demonstration program, known as MPR. Section 515 rental housing would be increased from $69 million to $95 million; Section 515 funds can be used for some preservation activities, but not all that were available through MPR.

The budget does fund vouchers for tenants whose rents rise because of rental prepayment, because Section 542 authorizes a USDA voucher program. Without MPR, Section 521 Rental Assistance for preserved properties would not be needed, so there is no set-aside for preservation RA. The budget does propose to provide RA for newly constructed Section 515 rental and Section 514/516 farm labor housing.

Most other USDA rural housing programs would remain at FY 2010 levels, although Section 523 self-help technical assistance would be reduced somewhat to $37 million.

USDA Rural Development Program
(dollars in millions)

FY 2009 Approp.

FY 2010
Approp.

FY 2011 Budget

Loans

502 Single Fam. Direct

$1,121.5

$1,121

$1,200

502 Single Family Guar.

6,223.9

12,000

12,000

504 Very Low-inc. Repair

34.4

34.4

34

514 Farm Labor Hsg.

20

27.3

27

515 Rental Hsg. Direct

69.5

69.5

95.2

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

129.1

129.1

129.1

Rental Prsrv. Revlg. Loans

2.9

1.8

0

Grants & Payments

504 Very Low-inc. Repair

29.7

31.6

31

516 Farm Labor Hsg.

9.1

9.9

10

523 Self-Help TA

38.7

41.9

37

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

8.9

9.4

9.4

521 Rental Assistance (1-yr. contracts)

Preservation RA
New Construction 515 RA
New Construction 514/516 RA

902.5

(6)
(2.03)
(3.4)

980

(6)
(2.03)
(3.4)

966

0
(3)
(3)

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

5

16.4

18

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

20

25

0

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

6.3

6.3

0

The budget documents explain the proposed termination of the MPR program this way:

The 2011 Budget does not fund the . . . multifamily housing demonstration program because there is no authority for the demonstration program. Moreover, the program primarily serves developers of multifamily housing properties, rather than the low- and very-low income tenant base that it is intended to help.

. . . For the multifamily housing programs, the 2011 Budget for USDA’s Rural Housing Service focuses assistance on the low- and very-low income tenant population. While repair and rehabilitation of the portfolio is important, funding through an open-ended demonstration program has been carried out since 2006 and the most cost-effective and justified repairs hae been achieved. At this point, additional funding in the demonstration program could be seen as over-subsidizing the multifamily housing property owners. Meanwhile, the traditional way to fund revitalization has been through the multifamily housing direct loan program with rehabilitation loans. While the 2011 Budget proposes to terminate funding for the multifamily housing revitalization demonstration program, it proposes to increase the multifamily housing direct loan program from $70 million to $95 million, ensure that more affordable rental housing opportunities are created for the very-low income tenant base in rural America.

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Posted: February 1, 2010
Last Updated: April 15, 2011

If you have problems accessing any of the material on this page, contact Leslie Strauss at HAC, leslie@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600.

Rudy Juarez

HAC Mourns the Loss of Former Board Member Rudy Juarez

Rudy Juarez, former HAC Chairman of the Board, passed away this weekend. Rudy was a visionary and community activist who organized and led farmworkers in the fight for better housing and living conditions. HAC met Rudy when he led a nationally publicized campaign to improve housing in Homestead, Florida, after farmworker families living in a dilapidated mobile home park endured a typhoid epidemic because of the contaminated drinking water. Rudy organized Organized Migrants in Community Action, OMICA, which later became Centro Campesino.

Through Rudy’s leadership, OMICA became a political force and strong advocate for the poor in south Florida, particularly farmworkers. One of his real loves was music and to give farmworker children in south Florida labor camps pride in their heritage and to help them stay in school, he organized a mariachi band made up entirely of kids. They went on to perform in several parts of the country. Many of the farmworker advocates in south Florida were mentored by Rudy. HAC was involved with OMICA as a provider of technical assistance and loans and helped OMICA build numerous units, rental and homeownership. The relationship continues to this day.

Rudy was on the HAC board in the 70s and 80s. He was a humble and passionate visionary. For more information on Rudy’s life, please visit https://www.bassokeechobeefuneralhome.com/index.cfm.

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Posted: January 19, 2010

If you have problems accessing any of the material on this page, contact Janice Clark at HAC, janice@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600.

Notice of Duty to Serve Comments

HAC Notice of Duty to Serve comments

The Housing Assistance Council’s comments on the notice of the Duty To Serve Underserved Markets for Enterprises; Proposed Rule. 12 CFR Part 1282, RIN 2590-AA27 are available below.

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Posted: September 18, 2009

If you have problems accessing any of the material on this page, contact Janice Clark at HAC, janice@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600.

FY08 Budget House

Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2008

Click here for information on the Administration’s budget proposal for FY 2009.

All bills and accompanying reports related to FY 2008 appropriations are available at https://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app08.html.

Congress imposes conditions on RD office closings (reprinted from HAC News, 1/16/08). The omnibus appropriations act for FY 2008 prohibits closing RD offices until the impact on cost and program delivery is determined, and requires reporting the justification for any closure or relocation to Congress at least 60 days in advance reporting the possibility of some office closures. Visit https://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app08.html to access the omnibus act; a joint statement by the appropriations committees expressing concern about office closures was printed in the December 17, 2007 Congressional Record, pp. H15761-62.

Farmworker housing added to rental preservation program for FY 2008 (reprinted from HAC News, 1/16/08). The FY 2008 omnibus appropriations act makes Section 514/516 properties eligible for RD’s Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Revitalization Restructuring Program. In FY 2006 and 2007, RD has offered these “MPR” funds through a NOFA published in the spring. The omnibus act is available at https://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app08.html.

President signs omnibus appropriation for 2008. On December 26, President Bush signed the omnibus spending bill for 2008. This means USDA and HUD housing programs will be funded through September 30, 2008 at the amounts shown in the last columns in the tables below.

Dec. 20: After votes on December 17, 18, and 19, the House of Representatives and the Senate had passed an omnibus appropriations bill that would fund most of the federal government, including USDA and HUD, for fiscal 2008. The two houses initially adopted different dollar figures for war funding, but came to an agreement by the end of the day on December 19 and sent the omnibus bill to President Bush for signature.

The omnibus bill cuts some programs, but protects most, in order to reach a total budget ceiling sought by President Bush. The omnibus is H.R. 2764 and is technically a very large amendment to the House Foreign Operations spending bill for 2008. The bill groups together 11 appropriations bills for the 2008 fiscal year that began on October 1. The White House had been threatening a veto of any bill that exceeds the President’s budget request for 2008. The text of the bill is available at https://www.rules.house.gov/110_fy08_omni.htm.

Continuing Resolutions. On December 19, the House and Senate both passed a Fourth Continuing Resolution that would extend funding at FY 2007 levels from December 21, when the Third CR expires, to December 31.

Nov. 14, 2007 — On November 13, 2007, President Bush signed into law the second Continuing Resolution passed by Congress for fiscal year 2008, which began on October 1, 2007. This new stopgap measure funds the government through December 14, keeping most programs at FY 2007 levels. It does provide $3 million in new Community Development Block Grant funds for Louisiana’s Road Home program for survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Sept. 14, 2007 — With the 2008 fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1, USDA, HUD and all other federal programs are operating under a continuing resolution through Nov. 16. President Bush signed the CR on Sept. 29. Congress has yet to complete and send to the President any of the 12 appropriations bills. The White House has threatened a veto of any bill that exceeds the President’s budget request for 2008. It is unclear whether Congress may send separate spending bills, a large omnibus package, or some combination of both approaches. Final negotiations will likely go beyond Nov. 16.

USDA. In the near-final omnibus bill, some USDA rural housing programs are cut while others are at higher levels than in 2007. Sec. 502 guaranteed loans would rise sharply to $4.22 billion, with Congress urging this program’s use as an alternative to subprime mortgages. Sec. 523 self-help housing would increase to $39 million. But Sec. 515 rental loans, rental assistance and farm labor housing loans and grants would be cut. Like the House and Senate bills passed earlier this year, the omnibus bill rejects the very deep budget cuts for rural housing programs that were proposed in the Administration’s 2008 budget. That February 2007 proposal had called for the elimination of Section 502 and 515 direct loans and a drastic cut in self-help housing.

The table below has details.

USDA RD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY 2006
Approp.

FY 2007
Approp. (a)

FY 2008
Proposed Budget

FY 2008
Senate Bill
(S. 1859)

FY 2008
House Bill
(H.R. 3161)

FY 2008
Omnibus Bill
(H.R. 2764)

502 Single-Family Direct Loans

$1,141

$1,141

$0

$1,129.4

$1,129.4

$1,129.4

502 Single-Family Guaranteed Loans

3,681

3,681

4,848

3,561.1

3,716.4

4,220

504 Very Low-Income Repair Loans

35

35

22.9

34.7

34.7

34.7

514 Farm Labor Housing Loans

38

38

14

27.7

50

27.7

515 Rental Housing Direct Loans

100

100

0

70

99

70

538 Rental Housing Guaranteed Loans

100

100

200

150

99

130

504 Very Low-Income Repair Grants

30

30

30

29.6

30

30

516 Farm Labor Housing Grants

14

14

4

10

25

10

523 Self-Help TA

34

34

9.5

38

40

39

533 Housing Preservation Grants

10

10

9

9.9

9

9

521 Rental Assistance (b)

653

616

567

497

533

482.1

542 Rural Housing Voucher Program

16

16

27.8

15.5

10

5

Rental Preservation Revolving Loans

3

3

0

2.9

3

3

Rental Preservation Demonstration

9

9

0

15

14.8

20

Rural Community Dev’t Initiative (RCDI)

6

6

0

6.3

0

6.3

a. Figures shown for FY 2006 are before 1% across the board cut.
b. Rental Assistance contracts were for four years in FY 2006 and for two years in FY 2007. The FY 2008 bill provides one-year contracts

HUD. Also part of the omnibus is the 2008 Transportation-HUD appropriations bill. It cuts Community Development Block Grants, HOME and Section 8 vouchers below the levels in both House and Senate spending bills passed earlier this year. Most other HUD programs retained the funding levels of 2007 or the increases won in Congress earlier this year for 2008. The HUD rural housing program would receive $17 million, the same as in 2007. The SHOP program would rise from 19.8 million in 2007 to $26.5 million in 2008.

HUD Program
(in millions of dollars)

FY 2006
Approp. (a)

FY 2007
Approp. (a)

FY 2008 Proposed Budget

FY 2008 House Bill (H.R. 3074)

FY 2008 Senate Bill
(H.R. 3074)

FY 2008 Conf. Rpt. (H.R. 3074)

FY 2008 Omnibus Bill (H.R. 2764)

Community Develop. Block Grants

$4,220

$3,771.9

$3,035.6

$4,180

$4,060

$4,000

$3,865.8

HOME
(Mortgage Foreclosure Mitigation Activities)

1,750

1,750

1,967b

1,757

1,970
(100)

1,767
— (b)

1,704
— (d)

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance

15,574

15,920

16,000

16,330

16,599

16,436

16,391

Project-Based Rental Assistance

5,088

5,976

5,813

6,480

5,813

6,382

6,381.8

Public Housing Capital Fund

2,464

2,464

2,024

2,439

2,500

2,439

2,439

Public Housing Operating Fund

3,600

3,864

4,000

4,200

4,200

4,200

4,200

Public Hsg. Revtlztn. (HOPE VI)

99

99

0

120

100

120

100

Native Amer. Housing Block Grant

630

630

627

627

630

630

630

Homeless Assistance Grants

1,326.6

1,441.6

1,561

1,561

1,586

1,586

1,586

Hsg. Opps. for Persons with AIDS

289

289

300

300

300

300

300

202 Housing for the Elderly

734.6

734.6

575

734.6

735

735

735

811 Housing for Disabled

236.6

236.6

125

236.6

237

237

237

Fair Housing

45.5

45.5

45

45.5

52

50

50

Rural Hsg. and Econ. Dev. (RHED)

17

17

0

16.8

17

17

17

Self-Help Hmownp. Opp. (SHOP)

20

19.8

39

27.7

26.5

26.5

26.5

Lead Hazard Control

152

152

116

130

151

145

145

Housing Counseling

42

44.5

50

41.6

150

50(c)

50(c)

a. Figures shown for FY 2006 and 2007 are before 1% across the board cut.
b. $200 million in counseling and foreclosure prevention activities is provided to the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation.
c. Housing counseling funding is under the HOME program.
d. Foreclosure prevention activities moved to appropriation for Neighborhood Reinvestment (not in HUD).

Updated: Jan. 22, 2008

If you have problems accessing any of the material on this page, contact Leslie Strauss at HAC, leslie@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600.

FY09 State Directors

Obama Administration Begins Naming State Directors For Rural Development

On June 29, The Obama Administration began naming individuals who will serve as State Director for Rural Development at the USDA. “These individuals will be important advocates on behalf of rural communities in states throughout the country and help administer the valuable programs and services provided by the USDA that can enhance their economic success,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

For more information, visit USDA’s website.


Updated: September 10, 2009 Save

FY09 Budget Proposed

Administration Proposes Eliminating Many Rural Housing Programs

If the Bush Administration’s budget for fiscal year 2008 proposed winds of change for rural housing, the FY 2009 budget proposes a hurricane. As it did last year, the Administration proposes no funding for the major direct housing loan programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Section 502 direct for homebuyers and Section 515 for organizations developing rental housing – as well as USDA’s Rural Community Development Initiative and theRural Housing and Economic Development program at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This year zeroes are also suggested for Section 523 support for community organizations that run self-help “sweat equity” programs, rental housing preservation efforts, and Section 514/516 farmworker housing loans and grants.

The Administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2009 was released on February 4, 2008. Congress will consider the Administration’s budget as it decides appropriations for FY 2009 (which begins October 1, 2008), but is not bound by the budget.

Complete budget documents are available at https://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/ or https://www.budget.gov.
A PDF version of the following budget summary is available here.

More about USDA rural housing in the FY 2009 budget
More about HUD in the FY 2009 budget

USDA: One Big Number and Many Zeroes

Rental Assistance and Vouchers

The budget does propose a very large increase in the Section 521 Rental Assistance (RA) program, from $482.1 million in 2008 to $997 million in 2009. This increase is needed because RA contract lengths were shortened over the last several years, thus reducing the appropriations needed each year from 2004 to 2008. In FY 2004 Congress’s appropriation cut contracts to four years instead of the previous five years. In FY 2007, contracts were shortened further, most to two years and some to one year. All RA contracts issued in FY 2008 will be for one year. This means that in FY 2009 the contracts issued in 2005, 2007, and 2008 will need to be renewed. RD estimates that in 2009 about 230,000 of the 280,000 existing contracts will need to be renewed at a total cost of close to $1 billion.

The Rental Assistance request contains two innovations. First, the Administration proposes to use $100 million of the $997 million for a “pilot voucher program” for RA-eligible tenants. Few details are given, but it appears these vouchers would replace RA for some tenants in Section 515 properties. Unlike RA, which is project-based and remains with a property when a tenant moves out, each voucher would be tenant-based and would move with the tenant.

It seems these vouchers would be unlike the vouchers issued by USDA since 2006 for tenants who live in properties where Section 515 mortgages have been prepaid. RA is available only where a Section 515 loan exists, so tenants in a prepaid property lose their RA and receive vouchers to help them afford the rents in non-Section 515 properties, whether they remain in the prepaid property or move elsewhere. In contrast, the new vouchers would replace RA in properties that remain in the Section 515 program.

The budget’s second new rural housing proposal would require every tenant receiving RA or a voucher to pay a minimum rent of $50 per month.

Direct and Guaranteed Lending

The budget would eliminate or reduce all of USDA’s direct lending programs, and would instead emphasize loan guarantees. Unfunded programs would include Section 502 direct loans for single-family home purchases, Section 515 loans for multifamily housing development, and Section 514 farm labor housing loans. Section 504 repair loans would be greatly reduced, from $34.7 million in FY 2008 to $17.7 million.

Guarantees of loans made by private lenders – which cost the government far less than direct loans – would be substantially increased. The Section 502 guaranteed mortgage program would increase from $4.2 billion in 2008 to over $4.8 billion in 2009. Section 538 guarantees for rental housing would jump from $130 million to $300 million. There are no guarantee programs for repair loans or farmworker housing loans.

The 2008 budget said USDA planned to propose legislation to authorize subsidized guaranteed single-family housing loans for very low- and low-income rural residents, and then request funding for those loans. Such legislation was never introduced in Congress, and the 2009 budget does not mention the possibility of subsidized Section 502 guarantees. The 2009 budget would specifically prohibit providing subsidies for Section 538 multifamily housing guaranteed loans.

This year’s budget, like last year’s, also proposes raising the fee on new Section 502 guaranteed loans from 2 percent to 3 percent, explaining “this causes the loans to be less costly for the government without a significant additional burden to the borrowers, given that they can finance the fee as part of the loan.” Guarantee fees on Section 538 loans, on the other hand, would be prohibited.

Grants

Last year the Administration proposed a sharp cut in funding for the Section 523 self-help technical assistance (TA) program, which supports community organizations that run self-help “sweat equity” programs for low-income first-time homebuyers. This year, the budget suggests defunding Section 523 entirely, explaining that “demand for that program hinges on funding for single family direct loans,” which would receive no funding under this budget. Congress increased the program’s appropriation for FY 2008 rather than cutting it, but even the $39 million it provided is not enough to renew all expiring self-help TA contracts in 2008. Rural Development announced in late January that it will renew the contracts of performing grantees (that is, TA contractors who are meeting contract requirements) at 60 percent of their past funding levels. RD will not consider applications from any new organizations in FY 2008.

Preservation of Rental Housing

Rural Development has devoted serious attention to rental housing preservation over the last few years. Recent budgets have acknowledged the importance of rehabilitating Section 515 properties and assisting tenants displaced by loan prepayments, while requesting low funding levels. This year, USDA’s budget summary explains that because legislation proposed by the Administration in 2005 to authorize preservation efforts has not passed Congress, the budget requests no funding for preservation efforts.

H.R. 5039, a bill based on the Administration’s 2005 proposal, passed the House Financial Services Committee in 2006, and a revised bill, H.R. 4002, is currently pending in the same committee, whose Chairman, Rep. Barney Frank, has announced that rental preservation will be a top committee priority in 2008.

The budget not only provides no new preservation funding, but also proposes to cancel $20 million of the balance remaining in the revitalization program account from previous appropriations. Any other remaining funds could be used to provide vouchers for tenants in Section 515 properties whose owners prepay their mortgages.

USDA RD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY 2006
Approp. (a)

FY 2007
Approp.(a)

FY 2008
Proposed Budget

FY 2008
Approp.

FY 2009 Proposed Budget

Loans

502 Single-Family Direct Loans

$1,141

$1,141

$0

$1,129.4

$0

502 Single-Family Guaranteed Loans

3,681

3,681

4,848

4,220

4,849

504 Very Low-Income Repair Loans

35

35

22.9

34.7

17.7

514 Farm Labor Housing Loans

38

38

14

27.7

0

515 Rental Housing Direct Loans

100

100

0

70

0

538 Rental Housing Guaranteed Loans

100

100

200

130

300

Grants and Payments

504 Very Low-Income Repair Grants

30

30

30

30

30

516 Farm Labor Housing Grants

14

14

4

10

0

523 Self-Help TA

34

34

9.5

39

0

533 Housing Preservation Grants

10

10

9

9

12

521 Rental Assistance (b)

653

616

567

482.1

997

542 Rural Housing Voucher Program

16

16

27.8

5

0

Rental Preservation Revolving Loans

3

3

0

3

0

Rental Preservation Demonstration (MPR)

9

9

0

20

0

Rural Community Dev’t Initiative (RCDI)

6

6

0

6.3

0

a. Figures shown for FY 2006 and 2007 are before 1 percent across-the-board cut.
b. Rental Assistance contracts were for four years in FY 2006, for two years in FY 2007, and for one year in FY 2008.

HUD Programs Face Cuts or Elimination

Many HUD programs would face substantial cuts in the proposed 2009 budget. Reductions are sought for Community Development Block Grants, tenant-based rental assistance, the Public Housing Capital Fund, Section 202 housing for the elderly, and Section 811 housing for the disabled. As in past years, the HUD Rural Housing and Economic Development program and the HOPE VI program are proposed for complete elimination. Congress in the past has not gone along with these zero numbers for either program. The proposed 2009 budget also has some increases – for homeless programs, HOME, project-based rental assistance, the Public Housing Operating Fund, and fair housing.

Detailed analyses of the HUD budget are available from several sources, including the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, www.cbpp.org, and the National Low Income Housing Coalition, www.nlihc.org.

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY 2006
Approp. (a)

FY 2007
Approp. (a)

FY 2008 Proposed Budget

FY 2008 Approp.

FY 2009 Proposed Budget

Community Develop. Block Grants

$4,220

$3,771.9

$3,035.6

$3,865.8

$3,000

HOME
(Mortgage Foreclosure Mitigation Activities)

1,750

1,750

1,967(b)

1,704
— (d)

1,967
— (e)

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance

15,574

15,920

16,000

16,391

16,031

Project-Based Rental Assistance

5,088

5,976

5,813

6,381.8

7,000

Public Housing Capital Fund

2,464

2,464

2,024

2,439

2,024

Public Housing Operating Fund

3,600

3,864

4,000

4,200

4,300

Public Hsg. Revtlztn. (HOPE VI)

99

99

0

100

0

Native Amer. Housing Block Grant

630

630

627

630

627

Homeless Assistance Grants

1,326.6

1,441.6

1,561

1,586

1,636

Hsg. Opps. for Persons with AIDS

289

289

300

300

300

202 Housing for the Elderly

734.6

734.6

575

735

540

811 Housing for Disabled

236.6

236.6

125

237

160

Fair Housing

45.5

45.5

45

50

51

Rural Hsg. and Econ. Dev. (RHED)

17

17

0

17

0

Self-Help Hmownp. Opp. (SHOP)

20

19.8

39

26.5

39

Lead Hazard Control

152

152

116

145

116

Housing Counseling

42

44.5

50

50(c)

65

a. Figures shown for FY 2006 and 2007 are before 1 percent across the board cut.
b. $200 million in counseling and foreclosure prevention activities is provided to the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation.
c. Housing counseling funding is under the HOME program.
d. Foreclosure prevention activities moved to appropriation for Neighborhood Reinvestment (not in HUD).
e. $25 million would be provided separately (not in HUD’s funding) to the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks America) for foreclosure prevention activities.

_____________________________

Posted: February 4, 2008
Most recent update: February 8, 2008

If you have problems accessing any of the material on this page, contact Leslie Strauss at HAC, leslie@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600.

HD Funding Discount

Home Depot Offers Discounts for Nonprofits

Home Depot has a 3%-discount gift card program for nonprofits. Cards may be used for fundraising, purchase of materials, or discounts or awards for employees. For example, a nonprofit could buy $1,000 worth of merchandise from a Home Depot store for $970. Or a group could offer a $50 card for sale to employees for $48.50. Cards come in denominations of $5.00 to $5,000. Purchases are only for 501(c)(3) nonprofits, and each order must total at least $200. For more information, contact Glenn_Spencer@homedepot.suth.com.


Posted: May 29, 2009

Veterans Housing FY09

Legislative Update

VETERANS’ HOUSING BILL PASSES HOUSE

The House of Representatives on June 16 passed HR 403, a bill to expand the supply of housing and related services for very low-income veterans. Sponsored by Rep. Al Green (D-TX), the legislation directs HUD to provide assistance to private nonprofit organizations and consumer cooperatives to expand the supply of supportive housing for very low-income veteran families, makes vouchers available to all homeless veterans, regardless of medical condition, include veterans in public housing planning, and excludes veterans’ benefits from income for purposes of HUD-assisted rental determinations. To access the bill, visit https://thomas.loc.gov.


Posted June 17, 2009