Request for Applications – OneRural Technical Assistance

The Housing Assistance Council is soliciting nonprofit organizations and Tribally Designated Housing Entities (TDHEs) interested in participating in its OneRural Capacity Building Program scheduled to begin in early 2025.

Participants selected to participate in HAC’s OneRural Capacity Building Program will receive individualized technical assistance, access to training and informational resources, and reimbursable scholarships to participate in HAC sponsored training.

Applications will be reviewed and evaluated on a rolling basis. Do not delay. Submit your application today!

All applicants must:
  • Demonstrate their commitment to increasing organizational capacity based on their responses in the Initial Application.
  • Be a recognized nonprofit organization or tribal entity that has one (1) of the following*:
    • Nonprofit designation from either the IRS or a tribal government, or
    • Federally recognized Tribal status.
  • Be in good standing with their State’s Secretary of State (for nonprofit organizations).
  • Commit to receiving ongoing technical assistance and attending training events relevant to their needs.
HAC will give preference to:
  • Organizations located in a rural community with:
    • Population of less than 10,000 and
    • Area Median Income (AMI) is at or below 70% of the United States’ AMI.
  • Federally designated disaster communities.
  • Organizations with at least one full-time staff person.
  • Entities that serve communities determined to be:
    • Socially vulnerable,
    • Economically at-risk, or
    • Addressing climate change and environmental justice.

* Please note that units of local government and public housing authorities are not eligible for the OneRural Capacity Building Program at this time.

Interested entities must:

  • Step 1 – Complete the Initial Application by Wednesday, May 29th. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so please do not delay completing the Initial Application.
  • Step 2 – Organizations with a demonstrated need for technical assistance and that meet the eligibility requirements outlined above will be contacted to submit proof of eligibility, required documentation, and additional organizational information by Friday, June 7th.

These deadlines are firm and cannot be extended.

Please note that selection in this round of the OneRural Capacity Building Program is based on eligibility and demonstrated need. Participation cannot be guaranteed.

If you have any questions about this project or the application process, please send an email to apply@ruralhome.org with OneRural Technical Assistance in the subject.

*All form fields are require a response for submission.

Request for Applications: Empowering Organizations for Successful Homeowner Rehabilitation

Join the Housing Assistance Council’s Empowering Organizations for Successful Homeowner Rehabilitation learning cohort, specifically designed for organizations embarking on or expanding their homeowner rehabilitation activities. This series, sponsored by HUD’s Rural Capacity Building Program, focuses on strengthening the abilities of nonprofit groups to provide essential rehabilitation services to low-income rural homeowners.

Participants will engage in targeted training sessions that cover every aspect of the homeowner rehabilitation process—from crafting effective marketing strategies to applying the final touches on a project. This curriculum is tailored to equip your team with the necessary technical skills for homeowner rehabilitation, while also deepening their understanding of tailored strategies to meet the unique needs of rural, low-income homeowners. Emphasizing the removal of health and safety risks, enhancing energy efficiency, and preserving existing homes, this program ensures your organization is well-prepared to make a significant impact in your community.

Application Requirements

Applications must be submitted by May 15, 2024, using the form provided. Spaces are limited, and selections will be made based on each applicant’s potential impact and alignment with program goals.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Applicants must:

  • Be located in, or provide services to, a non-urbanized area or rural community.
  • Represent a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or a local municipality.
  • Be eligible to participate in HUD’s Rural Capacity Building Program.
  • Commit to attending all scheduled training sessions.

Additional Documentation

Applicants meeting the initial criteria will need to submit further documentation to confirm eligibility.

Training Dates and Locations

  • Homeowner Rehabilitation Essentials: Laying the Groundwork for Team Success
    Nashville, TN | June 25-27, 2024
    Tentative
  • Effective Selection and Intake for Homeowner Rehabilitation Projects
    Virtual | July 17, 2024
    Tentative
  • Comprehensive Construction Management: From Inspections to Contractor Oversight in Homeowner Rehab
    Syracuse, NY | August 6-8, 2024
    Tentative
  • Finance Your Homeowner Rehabilitation Program: Leveraging HOME, CDBG, and USDA RD
    Chicago, IL | October 22-24, 2024
    Tentative
  • Blueprints for Success: Best Practices for Growing Your Homeowner Rehabilitation Program
    Visalia, CA | December 3-5, 2024
    Tentative

Financial Support and Compliance Policy

To support participation, eligible individuals can receive a travel scholarship for in-person workshop events. Each eligible participant can receive up to $2,000 per training session to assist with travel and training expenses. Organizations outside the contiguous U.S. may receive an increased allowance of $2,500 per session.

Additional Benefits of Participation:

  • Expert Guidance: Receive hands-on training from experienced professionals in the housing sector.
  • Connect with other professionals, share insights, and build networks.
  • Practical Tools: Gain access to comprehensive resources that prepare you to manage projects from inception to completion.
  • Tailored Learning: Participate in sessions that align with your specific role, ensuring relevance and practical applicability.
  • Community Impact: Empower your organization with the skills to significantly improve housing conditions for underserved populations.

Attendance Requirement:

Consistent participation is essential. Failure to attend all required sessions will lead to forfeiture of the scholarship for future trainings. This policy ensures that participants fully benefit from the program.

We invite you to apply to this transformative journey with the “Empowering Organizations for Successful Homeowner Rehabilitation” program. By participating you can help create inclusive communities and make a lasting impact on the lives of individuals and families in need of safe, healthy, and quality housing. Together, let’s enhance homes and communities for a brighter future.

If you have any questions about this project or the application process, please send an email to apply@ruralhome.org with Homeowner Rehab Cohort in the subject.

Rental Preservation

HAC Announces New Center for Rural Multifamily Housing Preservation

Contact: Kristin Blum
kristin@ruralhome.org
(202) 842-8600

Washington, DC, March 6, 2024 – The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is announcing the creation of the Center for Rural Multifamily Housing Preservation, a cross-disciplinary initiative to preserve rural rental housing, particularly properties financed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Section 515” program.  The Center will provide technical assistance and expertise to preserve the long-term affordability of this critical housing stock. HAC’s Kristin Blum, a recognized expert in the affordable housing industry, has been tapped to lead the initiative.

“The time to act is now,” according to HAC CEO David Lipsetz. “The cost of housing is at a historic high across the United States. Workers, seniors, young people, and families are all feeling the pinch. As the nation’s rural housing intermediary, HAC must do its part to help small towns keep great quality housing and build to meet the demands of the modern economy. The Center will do just that.”

The Center for Rural Multifamily Housing Preservation will promote what works, create solutions where needed, and advance the role of housing organizations in rural communities. It will draw on HAC’s decades of success working with communities to preserve existing affordable rental housing and build more where it is needed. “The Center will bring together HAC’s unique combination of resources – lending, research, policy and direct technical assistance – to both preserve individual properties and redefine the preservation process,” Kristin Blum points out.

Rental homes financed by USDA are an important source of affordable rental housing that can be found in 87 percent of all U.S. counties. The Department’s Section 515 program alone produced 550,000 affordable apartments in rural communities. Unfortunately, the program has not produced new units in over a decade and has lost more than 150,000 of its original units to reach its current size of less than 390,000 units, according to the recent FY2023 Multifamily Housing Occupancy Report. In many rural communities, these apartments are the only affordable rental housing available. Two thirds of those families and individuals in Section 515 properties are seniors or individuals with disabilities, and the average income of tenants is less than $16,000.

In the face of this escalating crisis, existing preservation efforts have suffered from a lack of adequate public and private funding and a disproportionate focus on unique transactions. A cohesive, broad preservation strategy is needed to effectively address this crisis before it reaches its peak in the next several years. Through the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bill, Congress has granted USDA the authority to pilot a new proposal to decouple Section 515 mortgages and Section 521 rental assistance – an opportunity that will require substantial stakeholder engagement and capacity-building to be successful.

“These apartments are home to families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities who could otherwise face homelessness,” Lipsetz said. “It’s time for the country – including the federal government and philanthropy – to invest some real muscle in preserving these vital homes before they are lost forever.”

“I can think of nobody better than Kristin to lead this critical initiative,” continued Lipsetz, “She has done remarkable work as a senior member of HAC’s Lending team and brings a wealth of prior experience building the capacity of the nonprofit housing sector.” With support from the USDA and Fannie Mae, the Center for Rural Multifamily Housing Preservation will bring together all of HAC’s expertise across the fields of lending, technical assistance, federal policy, and research in pursuit of transformational solutions to preserve this critical stock of affordable rural rental housing.

For more information, contact: crmhp@ruralhome.org

About the Housing Assistance Council

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is a national nonprofit that supports affordable housing efforts throughout rural America. Since 1971, HAC has provided below-market financing for affordable housing and community development, technical assistance and training, research and information, and policy formulation to enable solutions for rural communities.

Explore some of HAC’s past work on Section 515 preservation:

HAC’s 2024 Rural Housing Policy Priorities

HAC’s 2023 Senate Banking Committee Testimony on Section 515 Preservation

HAC’s 2022 Annual Report

HAC’s 2022 Rural Research Brief on Section 515 Preservation

HAC’s 2018 “Platform for Preservation” Report on Section 515 Preservation

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HAC is Hiring a Senior Loan Officer

The Senior Loan Officer provides oversight and supervision to a team that performs a series of lending activities, including loan structuring, underwriting, marketing, and research and product development in HAC’s Loan Fund Department. This individual develops, organizes, coordinates, recommends, and implements systems to ensure that appropriate loan underwriting due diligence is completed.

Read the position description and application instructions.

HAC is hiring a Portfolio Management Associate

The Portfolio Management Associate is responsible for all aspects of loan closing and loan disbursements for an assigned portfolio of loans made to entities engaged in affordable housing activities in rural communities throughout the United States.

Read the position description and application instructions.

HAC is Hiring a Program Coordinator – Capacity Building Programs

The Program Coordinator plays an important role in the effective facilitation and management of various programs, predominantly funded through federal initiatives. This position ensures that project goals are aligned with organizational objectives, timelines, and budgets, while maintaining strict compliance with federal guidelines. The Program Coordinator will act as a key liaison between the funding agency and our organization, operating under the direction of the Program Manager.

The position is open to candidates located anywhere in the contiguous United States, within a two-hour drive of a major airport, enabling occasional travel as needed.

This position offers a unique opportunity for career development and advancement within the organization.

Read the position description and application instructions.

HAC is Hiring Housing Specialists (Community Builder)

The Community Builder plays a crucial role in advancing HAC’s mission, engaging in a range of responsibilities and special projects that focus on place, people, and community-based strategies. With a primary emphasis on developing and sustaining the capacity to improve housing and communities in rural areas, the Community Builder provides direct technical assistance, coaching, and training to nonprofit organizations, local and regional government agencies, and others. This role is key in facilitating affordable housing and community and economic development opportunities through state and federal programs.

HAC is seeking to hire six (6) Community Builders, each bringing expertise in one or more of the following areas: Financial Management and Accountability, Real Estate Finance, Construction Management, Housing on Native American Lands, Community and Public Facilities, Homeless Prevention and Assistance, and Homeowner Rehabilitation.

This position is open to candidates located anywhere in the contiguous United States, within a two-hour drive of a major airport, enabling efficient travel as needed.

Read the position description and application instructions.

Empowering Veterans Through Collaborative Housing Initiatives: Insights from the 2023 National Rural Housing Conference

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is dedicated to supporting those who have answered the highest call of service to our nation. Our Affordable Housing for Rural Veterans (AHRV) Initiative aids local nonprofit housing organizations in improving housing conditions for veterans in their communities with support from The Home Depot Foundation. The brick-and-mortar projects that AHRV funds provide critical home repair, rehab, and construction for low-income, elderly, homeless, and/or disabled veterans. All this support is tailored to meet the specific needs of veterans in each community.

At HAC’s 2023 National Rural Housing Conference, the Veterans Stakeholder Meeting convened practitioners from around the country to share ideas and best practices. The centerpiece of the meeting was a series of presentations from a panel that included:

  • Karen Boyce, Managing Director of The Veterans’ Place, Inc. (TVPI), a transitional home for homeless veterans in Northfield, Vermont;
  • AB Bustos and Amber Morson, Homeless Veteran Program Managers at the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC), an organization that advocates for and provides services that will improve the lives of Texas veterans and their families; and
  • Miguel Chacon, Executive Director of A.Y.U.D.A. INC, an organization that provides assistance programs to low-income individuals and families in El Paso County, Texas, including affordable housing, rental assistance, and community health worker training.

Housing organizations from across the country benefited from hearing detailed presentations on housing efforts and gained insights on how organizations can work to better support veterans. Here are four key takeaways from the meeting:


  • 1. Incremental changes in language can make veterans more responsive to community partnerships.

    When asked “are you a veteran?” many former servicemembers, especially women and people who were discharged under other than honorable conditions, tend to answer “no.” Others may not consider themselves veterans because they never saw combat. The Homeless Veteran Program of the Texas Veterans Commission (TVC) found that a small change—asking “did you serve?”—has helped them identify more veterans who qualify for programs, some of which are open to all veterans, regardless of their type of discharge.

    This small change has generated such an increase in response that TVC has begun a statewide awareness campaign to encourage other local and nonprofit support programs to make the same phrasing change in an effort to identify more eligible veterans. Because TVC works with a wide range of supportive programs—education, employment, mental health, homelessness, and more—it emphasizes the connectedness of housing to the broader ecosystem of community support. A simple change in the language used to identify veterans can help housing organizations—and supportive programs of all stripes—across the country reach a wider net of people who need support after answering the highest call of service to our nation.

  • 2. Housing is part of a broader ecosystem of support.

    Organizations that open doors to collaboration can provide better support for the veterans they serve. In the Veterans Stakeholder Meeting, the team from the Veterans’ Place explained that they had noted an increase in the average age of veterans looking for housing. So, TVPI adapted their approach by reaching out to supportive housing organizations, like those providing assisted living, to find resources within their area for senior veterans.

    When organizations work with other groups and community programs, they often find partnerships they did not know were available to them. That’s why it’s important that the National Rural Housing Conference brings together practitioners from across the country, including many who work in housing-adjacent fields, like community health. The network of peers for housing organizations includes other organizations and local services. For example, healthcare institutions can play an important role in the support that housing organizations provide and vice versa. Housing is deeply connected to health, which becomes especially apparent when a veteran is living with mold, when a home that isn’t accessible for their disability, or when they’re recovering from challenges like PTSD or substance use disorder. The support that housing organizations goes further when it works in concert with other community services.

  • 3. It is crucial for housers to learn from a network of peers.

    In the Veterans Stakeholder Meeting, the panel was asked, “how do you start from ground zero?” Some of the meeting’s participants wanted to know how their housing organizations could expand into supporting veterans but didn’t know how to take the first step in building a network of support. One answer was for organizations to look for assistance within their community. The Veterans’ Place emphasized the importance of being willing to ask for help and of networking with other organizations, including housers in nearby areas. Groups like HAC and the Texas Veterans Commission that bring peer organizations together and connect them with resources act as force multipliers. By building connections among practitioners—both those with established veterans programs and those without—HAC provides a crucial service to the ecosystem of veterans housing.

  • 4. One size does not fit all for veteran housing assistance.

    Every veteran has their own unique story and lived experience. Placing all who served into the same category and assuming they face the exact same challenges is an ineffective approach to housing assistance. Recognizing this, the Veterans’ Place tailors its services to the needs of the individual. With open door policies and peer support, the Veterans’ Place emphasizes establishing boundaries and individual-specific systems when it comes to veteran housing. The Veterans Stakeholder Meeting proved the importance of this individualized approach across all housing programs, as organizations understand the unique needs of every veteran and continue to implement services that work for them.


The National Rural Housing Conference brought together practitioners from across the country. By sharing ideas as broad as the importance of partnership and as specific as the nitty-gritty of how a question is asked, these leaders learned lessons they can put into practice in their communities. As each community tailors these best practices to meet the specific needs of their veterans, HAC and The Home Depot Foundation will be there, supporting the local initiatives that bring us one step closer to a nation in which all veterans can have a healthy, accessible, and affordable place to call home.