Senator Cortez Masto to speak at HAC Conference

Catherine Cortez Masto official portraitThe Housing Assistance Council is pleased to announce that Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (NV) will provide remarks at the upcoming HAC Rural Housing Conference.

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Catherine Cortez Masto has spent her career fighting for Nevada’s working families. She served two terms as Attorney General of Nevada and, in November 2016, became the first Latina and the first woman from Nevada ever elected to the United States Senate.

During her time as Nevada’s top prosecutor, Cortez Masto became well known as an advocate for seniors, women, and children. She worked closely with local law enforcement to keep Nevada’s communities safe. She also created a senior protection unit to safeguard older Nevadans from identity theft, exploitation, and abuse. Read more

For more information on the conference or to register, visit

HUD Secretary Ben Carson to speak at HAC Conference

HUD Secretary Ben CarsonThe Housing Assistance Council is pleased to announce that Ben Carson, Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, will provide remarks at the upcoming HAC Rural Housing Conference.

On March 2nd, 2017, Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., M.D., was sworn in as the 17th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For nearly 30 years, Secretary Carson served as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, a position he assumed when he was just 33 years old, becoming the youngest major division director in the hospital’s history. In 1987, he successfully performed the first separation of craniopagus twins conjoined at the back of the head. He also performed the first fully successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins in 1997 in South Africa. Read more

For more information on the conference or to register, visit

Materials Posted: Financing Farm Labor Housing with USDA Section 514/516 Funding – Part I

Materials Posted

Power Point Presentation | Webinar Recording

Join the Housing Assistance Council on January 24, 2018 for the first of three webinars focused on financing farm labor housing. Part 2 | Part 3


The Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing (FLH) program provides loans and grants for the development of on-farm and off-farm housing. The program is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Housing and Community Facilities Programs office (RD).

Section 514 loans and Section 516 grants are provided to buy, build, improve, or repair housing for farm laborers. Funds can be used to purchase a site or a leasehold interest in a site; to construct or repair housing, day care facilities, or community rooms; to pay fees to purchase durable household furnishings; and to pay construction loan interest.

This webinar, the first in the three-part series will provide information to potential project sponsors on how to effectively utilize USDA Section 514/516 loan and grant funds to finance farm labor housing. The webinar will further present information on eligible project sponsors, eligible costs, and requirements of the application. Additional information will be provided on site control, SHPO clearance, preliminary plans and specifications for the project, preparing development and operating budgets, sources and uses statement, market study requirements, supportive services plan, required federal forms, Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan, and other elements of the pre-application. Scoring criteria will be reviewed, particularly relating to energy efficiency and other preferences. The use of other financial resources to support the development of the project will also be examined.

Register Now


Tierra del Sol Housing Corporation and Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation through a grant agreement with USDA Rural Housing Services

About Tierra del Sol Housing (TDS)
TDS was founded in 1973 by a group of community leaders, farm workers, rural families, and churches to help rural New Mexicans achieve “the goal of a decent home and suitable living environment”. The dream for better housing began with Alto de Las Flores, the first of many large-scale homeownership programs and grew over time to encompass the full range of housing opportunities through self-help programs, renovation of existing housing, rural and farm labor rental housing, supportive housing for the elderly and disabled, and temporary housing assistance programs to prevent homelessness. TDS has since become a leading producer of affordable housing, and has worked to empower other collaborating nonprofit providers to increase their capacity to develop, own and manage housing for low income persons. Tierra del Sol has an impressive development record, producing more than 5,000 rental and homeownership units.

TDS has owned and managed rental housing serving low income families and special populations for more than 45 years, and currently owns 1,059 rental housing units that includes 299 units for farm workers.

Today, Tierra del Sol is advancing the needs of farmworkers and rural families by sharing its technical expertise to help other organizations address their community’s housing needs through Farm Labor Housing Technical Assistance, Self-Help Homeownership Opportunities and Workforce Investment Opportunity programs offered throughout the region and nationally.

About Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC)
CRHDC was Incorporated in 1971 to address the intolerable living conditions and lack of adequate housing for migrant farm workers in the rural areas of Colorado. The organization was created to research and develop housing opportunities for low-income rural families through the construction of safe, sanitary, and affordable housing. The mission has expanded over the years to address community needs, both urban and rural, on a state-wide scale. This includes activities geared toward increasing the financial viability and sustainability of families and the communities in which they live and work. Through the use of innovative strategies, CRHDC has closed the gap between the price of private market housing and the ability of low income families to pay.

CRHDC has a history of developing 514/516 projects that leveraged significant other financing and services through partnerships with collaborating agencies. CRHDC has built more than 2,000 units of self-help housing and owns rental housing serving seniors and low-income persons.

As a technical assistance provider, CRHDC specializes in a wide range of services covering all aspects from board development to project development to construction and property management. Through its subsidiary, Colorado Housing Enterprises, CRHDC also serves as a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

Both CRHDC and TDS have provided technical assistance for the development of farm labor housing since 2002 through agreements with USDA Rural Housing Services.


About the Housing Assistance Council
The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is a national nonprofit that assists local organizations to build affordable homes in rural America. Since 1971 HAC has provided assistance in the development of both single- and multi-family homes and promotes homeownership for working low-income rural families through a self-help, “sweat equity” construction method by emphasizing local solutions, empowerment of people in poverty, reduced dependence, and self-help strategies. HAC offers services to public, nonprofit, and private organizations throughout the rural United States and maintains a special focus on high-need groups and regions, particularly: Indian country, the Mississippi Delta, farmworkers, the Southwest border colonias, and Appalachia.

A Look Back at the HAC 2016 Rural Housing Conference

The HAC 2016 Rural Housing Conferece was a rousing success! Rural housing stakeholders descended upon Washington, DC from November 30 to December 2 to discuss some of the most important issues facing rural communities, now and in the future. Here are some of the highlights of the conference.

Renewing the Discussion at the 2016 HAC Conference

During the luncheon, plenary discussion on Thursday, December 1, participants will engage in dialogue about emerging rural housing issues. HAC Rural Housing Conference attendees will join in facilitated discussions to share, learn, and strategize about five issues raised by stakeholders.

HAC 2016 Rural Housing Conference

Online registration is now closed for the HAC 2016 Rural Housing Conference! Registration will be open-on site beginning November 29 through December 2, 2016. Pre-Conference activities on November 29th.

Download the Conference App | Conference Program

The Conference typically features around 40 workshops where participants will learn best practices for housing development, organizational management, resource development and innovative approaches to housing and community development. The Conference also includes a pre-Conference day, packed with gatherings for coalitions, association, and working groups.

For rural nonprofits, the Conference provides an excellent opportunity to network and improve their connection to federal agencies and national nonprofit organizations. For many of the attendees this conference represents their sole opportunity during the year to connect with these important policy makers and experts.

Rural Housing Awards

As part of the 2016 Rural Housing Conference (RHC), on the evening of Thursday, December 1, 2016, the Housing Assistance Council will present its Rural Housing Service awards during the Rural Housing Awards Banquet. The Rural Housing Service awards honors select individuals for their outstanding and enduring service in rural housing. The Cochran/Collings Distinguished Service Award recognize notable service on the national level, while the Skip Jason Community Service Award recognizes and honors service contributions of local leaders.

The Capitol Steps

CapitolStepsLogoThe Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them. The group was born in December, 1981 when some staffers for Senator Charles Percy were planning entertainment for a Christmas party. Their first idea was to stage a nativity play, but in the whole Congress they couldn’t find three wise men or a virgin. So, they decided to dig into the headlines of the day, and they created song parodies & skits which conveyed a special brand of satirical humor. In the years that followed, many of the Steps ignored the conventional wisdom (“Don’t quit your day job!”), and although not all of the current members of the Steps are former Capitol Hill staffers, taken together the performers have worked in a total of eighteen Congressional offices and represent 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience. Since they began, the Capitol Steps have recorded over 30 albums, including their latest, What to Expect When You’re Electing. They’ve been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC, and PBS, and can be heard twice a year on National Public Radio stations nationwide during their Politics Takes a Holiday radio specials

You can follow them on Facebook, on Twitter, and on YouTube. And you can contact them here.

The HAC Rural Housing Conference App

The HAC 2016 Rural Housing Conference is going mobile! Here are just a few benefits and reasons why you do not want to miss out on the app:

  • Access the event schedule and customize your agenda with personal appointments
  • See all the speakers, read their bios, and view their presentations
  • Check out the exhibitors and locate their booths more easily through an interactive map
  • Get important updates and exciting offers through the app through Push Notifications
  • See who’s attending and share contact information by networking with other attendees

The app will soon be live. Stay tuned for the app release details and more info on how you can use the app to enhance your event experience.

2016 conf app screenshot

A look back at the 2014 HAC Conference

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is pleased to share with you a report on the 2014 HAC Rural Housing Conference held in Washington, DCin December 2014. The Conference was a tremendous success, according to evaluation results that are summarized in the Conference Report.

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is pleased to share with you a report on the 2014 HAC Rural Housing Conference held in Washington, DC this past December. The Conference was a tremendous success, according to evaluation results that are summarized in the Conference Report. The Report briefly reviews the plenary sessions, workshops and other Conference events. Links to videos of each plenary session as well as materials from select workshops are also made available in the Report.

Hope to see you at the 2016 HAC Rural Housing Conference!

Download the Report


Watch the Plenaries


Materials from the Conference


A Conversation with the HUD Secretary

Moises Loza interviews Secretary Julian Castro #R3ConfHAC was fortunate to be visited by two Cabinet Secretaries and several members of Congress at the 2014 HAC Rural Housing Conference. During one of those visit, HUD Secretary Julián Castro sat down with HAC’s Executive Director Moises Loza to discuss HUD’s role in rural America, his passion for public service, and how he thinks HUD can better serve rural communities across the country.

View the entire discussion on Youtube

Moises began the discussion by asking How is HUD working in Rural America and what should HUD’s role be in rural places?


Secretary Castro then shared his most poignant experience at HUD so far – visiting the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He went on to discuss what HUD could do to address housing issues and challenges on Native American Lands.


The theme of the 2014 HAC Rural Housing Conference, Retool, Rebuild, Renew, emphasizes the need for housing organizations to train and engage the next generation of rural housing professionals to take over the field as many of the current practitioners transition towards retirement. While this topic was discussed at length in the opening plenary session, Moises asked Secretary Castro for his perspective on motivating young people to enter the afordable housing and public service fields.


Mr. Castro also spoke to the importance of a strong public housing infrastructure as a means of providing affordable housing in rural areas…


And expressed his support for the CDBG program as a vehicle for community and housing development in rural and urban areas.


More from the chat

In a surprising moment, Moises revealed that he had known the Secretary’s “activist” mother from his days in Texas, which lead to a conversation about what compelled Mr. Castro to seek a career in public service.


The Secretary reflects on how his experience as Mayor of San Antonio will help him at HUD.


Moises asked the Secretary what can and should be done about credit standards and their impact on homeownership.


From around the web

Secretary Castro on The Daily Show with John Stewart

Materials from the 2014 HAC Conference

The 2014 HAC Rural Housing Conference was a tremendous success. With distinguished speakers like HUD Secretary Julián Castro, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, several members of congress, and a panel of emerging housing leaders, the conference was a highly energizing and engaging experience. To access materials from the Conference and stay connected with fellow attendees, please visit the Conference App.

Additional Resources from the Conference

HAC Trainings App

The HAC Trainings App will continue to host materials from the conference including workshop handouts and presentations.

Videos of the Plenary Sessions

Visit HAC’s Youtube channel to view the general sessions from the 2014 Conference.


#R3Conf Storify

What were people talking about on Social Media during the Conference? Check out the #R3Conf Storify

Pictures from the Conference

Take a look at more than 4,000 photos of the conference participants, speakers and activities.