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

###

HAC in the News

Groups Urge HUD and USDA to Finalize Efficiency Requirements for U.S.-Backed Homes

ACEEE, HAC, and Sierra Club logos

A federal proposal to ensure new homes supported by U.S.-backed mortgages and federal housing programs meet updated energy efficiency criteria garnered widespread support from stakeholders today. Groups advocating for affordable housingenergy efficiency, and climate mitigation united in urging the administration to finalize the action promptly.

The groups were joined by more than 6,000 individuals across the country who supported the proposal in public comments gathered by Sierra Club and submitted to regulators today.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed updating their efficiency requirements in May by issuing a preliminary determination. If the action is finalized, future residents of the homes at issue compared to homes under the current criteria will save an estimated $14,500 for single-family homes and $6,000 per multifamily unit overall, net of costs, over the lifetime of the homes thanks to lower energy bills, HUD and USDA calculated. It would avert 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions for each year of new homes, the agencies said.

Jonathan Harwitz, director of public policy at the Housing Assistance Council, said: “Keeping housing affordable includes making utility costs affordable. We encourage HUD and USDA to move forward with this determination, and also to find ways to help cover upfront costs and to educate those who finance and build affordable housing.”

Lowell Ungar, federal policy director at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, said: “The longer we build brand-new inefficient homes, the more needless energy costs and climate pollution we’ll see for decades ahead. Just by meeting their legal mandate, the agencies will help ensure tens of thousands of new homes have lower energy bills and less risk of spiking costs. The analysis is clear; now they need to act promptly to get the job done.”

Jessica Tritsch, building electrification campaign director at the Sierra Club, said: “Too often renters and folks in low-income housing are left behind from programs that offer energy efficient housing and lower utility bills. This move by HUD will help ensure better access to climate-friendly appliances and healthier, more affordable homes. Adopting these new energy efficiency building codes is long overdue. We are committed to holding HUD, and other federal and state agencies, accountable to help low-income homeowners and renters access clean, safe, energy efficient housing.”

Background:

In bipartisan laws in 1992 and 2007, Congress directed HUD and USDA to periodically strengthen efficiency criteria for new homes purchased with federally backed loans such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and USDA mortgages, along with new homes with funding from other HUD programs, like the HOME Investment Partnerships grants for affordable housing. These homes—about 200,000 new ones each year—are primarily for low- and moderate-income homeowners and renters.

These criteria follow a model building energy code known as the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for single family houses and smaller multifamily buildings, and ASHRAE Standard 90.1 for high-rise multifamily buildings. The law requires HUD and USDA to update the criteria when the codes are updated every three years as long as the agencies determine that doing so would not negatively affect the availability or affordability of covered housing. But the regulators have not updated the criteria since 2015.

The agencies finally issued a preliminary determination for public comment in May for the 2021 IECC and Standard 90.1-2019 (the current requirements are the 2009 IECC and 90.1-2007). A provision in the omnibus spending bill enacted at the end of 2022 also requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to update its loan requirements based on the HUD-USDA criteria.

Houses and multifamily buildings meeting these criteria generally have more insulation in the walls and roofs, better air sealing and windows, and more energy-efficient systems, including better-sealed ducts. The homes waste less heat and allow more efficient heating and cooling with smaller HVAC systems.

Today is the final day for stakeholders to comment on the preliminary determination. When the agencies issue a final determination, they will implement the updated efficiency criteria in each covered program over a few months.

Media contacts:

ACEEE – Ben Somberg, 202-658-8129, bsomberg@aceee.org

HAC – Dan Stern, 202-516-6882, dan@ruralhome.org

Sierra Club – Shannon Van Hoesen, 202-604-2464, shannon.vanhoesen@sierraclub.org

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a nonprofit research organization, develops policies to reduce energy waste and combat climate change. Its independent analysis advances investments, programs, and behaviors that use energy more effectively and help build an equitable clean energy future.

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.

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person’s right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action.

HAC in the News

Rural Veterans and Local Nonprofits Receive Critical Housing Support in partnership with The Home Depot Foundation

Contacts: Dan Stern, dan@ruralhome.org
AHRV Team, ahrv@ruralhome.org
(202) 842-8600

Washington, DC, May 31, 2023 – Veterans and their families in fourteen rural communities will have better lives, thanks to The Home Depot Foundation and the Housing Assistance Council. The Foundation is awarding grants totaling $366,907 to fourteen local nonprofit housing agencies around the country to preserve housing for veterans in rural America.

The grants are part of The Home Depot Foundation’s mission to provide affordable and accessible housing solutions to U.S. veterans and invest $500 million in veteran causes by 2025. Many veterans and their families face major housing challenges, often exacerbated by issues related to unemployment, age, and service-related disabilities. The Home Depot Foundation and the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) are dedicated to giving back to those who have answered the highest call of service to our nation.

As part of its Affordable Housing for Rural Veterans (AHRV) Initiative, HAC works with The Home Depot Foundation to administer grants that bolster and support the work of rural nonprofit housing agencies to deliver critical housing support to veterans. “The Home Depot Foundation’s support remains a cornerstone of HAC’s work to strengthen local organizations that build and maintain homes for veterans across rural America,” said David Lipsetz, HAC’s CEO. “The more we support the local groups that are helping veterans, the more we see veterans and their hometowns thrive.”  As rural America is home to a disproportionately high number of service women and men, HAC remains deeply committed to supporting our nation’s service women and men by uplifting local nonprofits and their work to house and ensure the habitability of their homes and rural communities.

The grantee organizations – described below – provide a range of programs. With the grants, veterans who own homes in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee will obtain critical repair assistance. Altogether, 43 veterans and their families will benefit from these grants.

About The Home Depot Foundation 

The Home Depot FoundationThe Home Depot Foundationworks to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, support communities impacted by natural disasters and train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $475 million in veteran causes and improved more than 55,000 veteran homes and facilities. The Foundation has pledged to invest half of a billion dollars in veteran causes by 2025 and $50 million in training the next generation of skilled tradespeople through the Path to Pro program.

To learn more about The Home Depot Foundation visit  HomeDepotFoundation.org and follow them on Twitter  @HomeDepotFound and on Facebook and Instagram  @HomeDepotFoundation.

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.

To learn more about the Housing Assistance Council, visit www.ruralhome.org and follow HAC on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter @RuralHome.

About the Grantees

  • Creative Compassion, Inc., Crossville, TN, will utilize $22,500 to provide needed critical repairs for three (3) rural, low-income veterans in Crossville and Jamestown, TN. For additional information on Creative Compassion, Inc., visit their website at https://ccihomes.org/.
  • Good Works, Inc., Coatesville, PA, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical repairs to the homes of two (2) low-income rural veterans in Coatesville, PA. For additional information on Good Works, Inc., visit their website at https://www.goodworksinc.org/.
  • GROW South Dakota, Sisseton, SD, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical repairs for three (3) rural, low-income veterans in Sisseton, SD. For additional information on GROW SD, visit their website at https://www.growsd.org/.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County, Tampa, FL, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical roof replacement and new roof installation to the homes of two (2) low-income rural veterans in rural Hillsborough County, FL. For additional information on Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County, visit their website at https://www.habitathillsborough.org/
  • Habitat for Humanity of South-Central New Jersey, Maple Shade, NJ, will utilize $20,000 to provide critical home repairs for three (3) rural low-income veterans. For additional information on Habitat for Humanity of South-Central New Jersey, visit their website at https://www.habitatscnj.org/.
  • Habitat for Humanity of York County, Rock Hill, SC, will utilize $10,000 to support critical repairs and accessibility modifications for one (1) rural low-income veteran. For additional information on Habitat for Humanity of York County, visit their website at https://yorkcountyhabitat.org/.
  • Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, Bel Air, MD, will utilize $16,157 to support critical repairs and accessibility modifications for one (1) rural low-income veteran in Elkton, MD. For additional information on Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, visit their website at https://habitatsusq.org/.
  • New Foundation Development, Inc., Calhoun, GA, will utilize $28,250 to provide critical repairs and ADA accessibility modifications for three (3) low-income rural veteran homeowners in Resaca and Calhoun, GA. For additional information on New Foundation Development, Inc., visit their website at https://nfdinc.org/.
  • Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, Pensacola, FL, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical home repairs for two (2) rural low-income veterans. For additional information on Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, visit their website at https://pensacolahabitat.org/.
  • Rebuilding Together Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, will utilize $30,000 to support the rehabilitation and modification of four (4) veteran owned units. For additional information on Rebuilding Together Minnesota, visit their website at https://rtmn.org/
  • Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, Ballston Spa, NY, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical repairs and ADA accessibility modifications for four (4) low-income rural veteran homeowners. For additional information on Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, visit their website at https://www.rtsaratoga.org/
  • Red Feather Development Group, Flagstaff, AZ, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical home repairs for four (4) rural low-income Native American veterans. For additional information on Red Feather Development Group, visit their website at https://www.redfeather.org/.
  • Swift County Rural Development Authority, Benson, MN, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical repairs, roof, plumbing, HVAC unit and water heater for one (1) very low-income veteran homeowner in Clontarf, MN. For additional information on Swift County Rural Development Authority, visit their website at https://www.swiftcounty.com/hra.
  • Transylvania Habitat for Humanity, Brevard, NC, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical repairs and accessibility modifications for ten (10) low-income rural veteran homeowners. For additional information on Transylvania Habitat for Humanity, visit their website at https://transylvaniahabitat.org/.
HAC in the News

HAC receives $6,325,000 from HUD to invest in rural communities and rural housing

Contact: Dan Stern, dan@ruralhome.org
(202) 516-6882

Washington, DC, May 15, 2023 – The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) has been awarded a total of $6,325,000 funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to invest in the capacity of rural communities and help rural families achieve homeownership. HAC was awarded $4,000,000 from the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) and $2,325,000 in Rural Capacity Building (RCB) funding. The funds represent a portion of HUD’s $22 million investment into rural communities through the SHOP and RCB programs.

The funding was announced in conjunction with an event in Russellville, AR at which HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman toured several homes that are being built using funds from HAC’s SHOP program with local partner Universal Housing Development Corporation.

HUD’s official press release announcing the award included the following statement from Secretary Marcia L. Fudge “Today, we are investing in homeownership and expanding access to affordable housing to rural communities. The SHOP program provides a unique pathway for first-time homeowners and underserved groups to buy a home. At HUD, we care about rural America and these capacity building grants are further evidence of our commitment.”

SHOP funding will allow rural homebuyers to invest their sweat equity and hard work towards the construction of their own homes in rural communities. HAC will use its RCB funding to assist a group of eligible rural organizations to undertake affordable housing and community development activities in disadvantaged and other target communities around the country.

“HAC’s decades long partnership with HUD has provided affordable homes for people and increased capacity for organizations in rural communities across the United States,” said David Lipsetz, President & CEO of the Housing Assistance Council. “These awards will improve the lives of countless rural people and highlight HUD’s commitment to rural America!”

About the SHOP Program

The Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) awards grant funds to eligible national and regional nonprofit organizations and consortia. Funds must be used for eligible expenses to develop decent, safe, and sanitary non-luxury housing for low-income persons and families who otherwise would not become homeowners. Examples are for purchasing home sites and developing or improving the infrastructure needed to set the stage for sweat equity and volunteer-based homeownership programs for low-income persons and families. Homebuyers must be willing to contribute significant amounts of their own sweat equity toward the construction or rehabilitation of their homes.

About the RCB Program

The Rural Capacity Building (RCB) program enhances the capacity and ability of rural housing development organizations, Community Development Corporations (CDCs), Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs), local governments, and Indian tribes to carry out affordable housing and community development activities in rural areas for the benefit of low- and moderate-income families and persons. The Rural Capacity Building program achieves this by funding national organizations with expertise in rural housing and rural community development who work directly to build the capacity of eligible beneficiaries.

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.

###

HAC in the News

HAC Launches USDA-backed Placemaking Program

Contact: Hillary Presecan, hillary@ruralhome.org
(340) 227-1978

10 communities selected for cohort

Washington, DC, February 10, 2023 –The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) announced the ten communities selected for our Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC) cohort. RPIC is a USDA program that funds planning support, technical assistance, and training to encourage placemaking activities in rural communities. The ten communities selected to be part of HAC’s cohort will receive 15 months of capacity building support, connection to a peer cohort, and seed grant funding. In May 2023, the cohort will gather in Newbern, Alabama, for hands-on rural placemaking training hosted by Rural Studio® an off-campus design-build program of Auburn University’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture. Rural Studio® is a national leader in creating rural affordable housing along with the vital systems that create strong rural communities.

“Placemaking is a thread that binds so many local efforts to improve rural communities, from affordable housing to broadband to arts and culture,” said Shonterria Charleston, HAC’s Director of Training and Technical Assistance. “Through RPIC, we will assess local needs, create a relevant curriculum, and provide coaching and capacity building as each community takes on a local placemaking challenge.” Charleston noted that building on local assets, even in distressed communities, is a hallmark of placemaking.

A summary of the cohort and highlights from each selected community are below.

Summary

HAC’s Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC) cohort is a USDA funded initiative that supports 10 rural and tribal economically distressed communities largely in the southern United States by boosting placemaking capacity and connecting selected communities with peer support, public and private resources, and access to rural placemaking experts while engaging with local broadband providers on improving internet access in their community.

HAC’s RPIC strategy is framed by our 50 years of working in rural America’s poorest communities and rural design and placemaking leadership.

HAC’s RPIC cohort will engage with a curriculum that emphasizes placemaking as a tool for economic development and community cohesion. Community-identified needs will inform the curriculum. In May 2023, the cohort will gather in Newbern, AL, to learn alongside Auburn Rural Studio faculty, students, and partner organizations.

After the gathering at Rural Studio, RPIC communities will continue planning and carrying out their local placemaking challenges into 2024. As the RPIC cycle concludes, HAC case studies featuring RPIC Cohort communities will contribute to a burgeoning national dialogue surrounding rural placemaking and design. HAC will also connect RPIC communities with broadband expertise and resources tailored to local needs throughout the RPIC program.

Selected Communities & Placemaking Challenge

  • Covenant Faith Outreach Ministries | Covenant CD: Tupelo, MS

Covenant Faith Outreach Ministries is taking on housing supply—especially for seniors and broader community engagement strategies via its work with RPIC.

  • Helping One Another, Inc.: Sardis, MS 

Helping One Another, Inc. is working to implement the MiCASiTA model in the community. MiCASiTA gives homeowners design choices in modular homes along with a path to multi-generational wealth.  Helping One Another’s RPIC participation will bolster the organization’s capacity for strategic planning, identifying resources, and related design assistance, including a charrette.

  • Paxico and Beyond Community and Economic Development (TEX): Paxico, KS 

Via RPIC, Paxico and Beyond Community and Economic development seeks to coalesce community involvement toward addressing ongoing transportation, flooding/stormwater, and related issues identified in a recent assessment. RPIC will also work to increase the organization’s grant writing capacity.

  • Mountain T.O.P.: Altamont, TN 

Mountain T.O.P. seeks to boost its cross-sector capacity via RPIC—especially toward addressing single family and multi-family housing needs, including exploration of housing tax credit programs. 

  • Men and Women United for Youth & Families: Delco, NC 

Men and Women United for Youth & Families addresses a wide range of issues from food security to environmental justice and leadership. Via RPIC, the organization will bolster its placemaking capacity in rural portions of its service area.

  • United Communities Assistance Network (UCAN!): Supply, NC 

United Communities Assistance Network (UCAN!) will tap RPIC’s technical assistance and coaching for a strategic planning process. UCAN!’s longer term goals include a resource hub for healthy food access, economic development, and entrepreneurship.

  • City of Hinton: Hinton, WV 

Tourism and economic development are on the upswing in Hinton, WV as the region’s recreation economy, anchored by the New River Gorge National Park, continues to grow. RPIC will help Hinton’s city government navigate affordable housing, historic preservation, and other opportunities—especially the prioritization of community needs.

  • Philippi Grand Theater Project (Woodlands supported): Philippi, WV  

The Grand Theater building once anchored Phillipi’s downtown business district. But the building shuttered in the 1990s. RPIC will bolster ongoing restoration efforts as part of a broader economic development and placemaking strategy.

  • Seminole Arts Council, Inc.: Seminole, OK 

Seminole Arts Council is actively engaged in reuse and preservation efforts for historic buildings and public parks. The organization is also working toward “commUNITY” gathering space to promote local cohesion. RPIC will connect the Council’s work with resource development and placemaking best practices.

  • Prek-12 and Beyond: Tallulah, LA 

Pre-12 and Beyond is a grassroots organization that addresses Tallulah’s broad challenges tied to lumber mill closures—while building on underlying assets.  RPIC participation will connect Pre-12 and Beyond with regional and national best practices tied to quality of life, economic vitality, and broadband access.

HAC in the News

Rural Veterans and Local Nonprofits Receive Critical Housing Support

Contact: Dan Stern, dan@ruralhome.org
AHRV Team, ahrv@ruralhome.org
(202) 842-8600

Rural Veterans and Local Nonprofits Receive Critical Housing Support

Funded by The Home Depot Foundation

Washington, DC, June 7, 2022 – Veterans and their families in thirteen rural communities will have better lives, thanks to The Home Depot Foundation and the Housing Assistance Council. The Foundation is awarding grants totaling $375,107 to thirteen local nonprofit housing agencies around the country to preserve housing for veterans in rural America.

The grants are part of The Home Depot Foundation’s mission to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans and invest $500 million in veteran causes by 2025. Many veterans and their families face major housing challenges, often exacerbated by issues related to unemployment, age, and service-related disabilities. The Home Depot Foundation and the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) are dedicated to giving back to those who have answered the highest call of service to our nation.

As part of its Affordable Housing for Rural Veterans (AHRV) Initiative, HAC works with The Home Depot Foundation to administer grants that bolster and support the work of rural nonprofit housing agencies to deliver critical housing support to veterans. “HAC’s partnership with The Home Depot Foundation continues to be a vital factor in our ability to strengthen the capacity of local rural organizations in their efforts to build and preserve homes of veterans across rural America,” said David Lipsetz, HAC’s CEO. “Growing nonprofit capacity empowers communities and serves as an impact multiplier, enabling nonprofits to expand their services and assist more veterans with overcoming housing challenges.”  As rural America is home to a disproportionately high number of service women and men, HAC remains deeply committed to supporting our nation’s service women and men by uplifting local nonprofits and their work to house and ensure the safe habitability of their homes and rural communities.

The grantee organizations – described below – provide a range of programs. With the grants, veterans who own homes in Arkansas, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, and West Virginia will obtain critical repair assistance. Altogether, 65 veterans and their families will benefit from these grants.

About The Home Depot Foundation 

The Home Depot Foundationworks to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, support communities impacted by natural disasters and train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $400 million in veteran causes and improved more than 50,000 veteran homes and facilities. The Foundation has pledged to invest half of a billion dollars in veteran causes by 2025 and $50 million in training the next generation of skilled tradespeople through the Path to Pro program.

To learn more about The Home Depot Foundation visit HomeDepotFoundation.organd follow us on Twitter @HomeDepotFound and on Facebook and Instagram @HomeDepotFoundation.

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.

About the Grantees

  • Adults and Youth United Development Association, Inc., San Elizario, TX, will utilize $30,000 to provide needed critical repairs for ten (10) veterans in the Border Colonia area of the state of Texas. For additional information on Adults and Youth United Development, Inc., visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ayudaorg/.
  • Bethlehem Farms, Inc., Alderson, WV, will utilize $30,000 to support rehabilitation and modification of eight (8) veteran homes, prioritizing critical repairs to remove unsafe living conditions. For additional information on Bethlehem Farms, Inc., visit their website at https://bethlehemfarm.net.
  • Eureka Christian Health Outreach, Eureka Springs, AR, will utilize $28,350 to support the development of one (1) “small home” which will become part of the Echo Village community, which serves veteran residents with temporary housing together with access to critical counseling, medical, skills training, social services, and “best life possible” supportive services. For additional information on Eureka Christian Health Outreach, visit their website at www.echofreeclinic.org.
  • Good Works, Inc., Coatesville, PA, will utilize $14,891 to provide critical health and safety repairs to one (1) home of an elderly veteran. For additional information on Good Works, Inc., visit their website at https://www.goodworksinc.org.
  • GROW South Dakota, Sisseton, SD, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical home repairs for six (6) veterans. For additional information on GROW South Dakota, visit their website at https://www.growsd.org.
  • Habitat for Humanity Wisconsin River Area, Baraboo, WI, will utilize $30,000 to support critical repairs and accessibility modifications for five (5) rural low-income disabled veterans. For additional information on Habitat for Humanity Wisconsin River Area, visit their website at https://hfhwisconsinriver.org.
  • Hope for All, Mountain Home, AR, will utilize $31,866 to support the renovation and structural repairs to a seventy (70) year old home, used as a homeless shelter to assist four (4) rural veterans. For additional information on Hope for All, visit their website at https://www.hopeforallmh.org.
  • Mississippi Center for Police & Sheriffs, Raymond, MS, will utilize $30,000 to assist in the construction of one (1) veteran cottage, which will become part of a fifteen (15) unit “Warrior Cottages” housing complex meeting the need for emergency and transitional housing for veterans. For additional information on the Mississippi Center for Police & Sheriffs, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=MS%20Center%20for%20Police%20and%20Sheriffs
  • Rebuilding Together Fargo-Moorhead Area, Fargo, ND, will utilize $30,000 to support the rehabilitation and ADA modification of three (3) veteran owned units. For additional information on Rebuilding Together Fargo-Moorhead Area, visit their website at https://www.rebuildingtogetherfma.org.
  • Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, Ballston Spa, NY, will utilize $30,000 to support the rehabilitation and modification of four (4) veteran owned units. For additional information on Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, visit their website at https://www.rtsaratoga.org.
  • Red Feather Development Group, Flagstaff, AZ, will utilize $30,000 to assist six (6) Native American veteran homeowners with critical roof replacements and ADA modifications. For additional information on Red Feather Development Group, visit their website at www.redfeather.org.
  • Southern Appalachian Labor School, Kincaid, WV, will utilize $30,000 to construct ADA accessible ramps and address critical adaptation or safety issues for twelve (12) veterans. For additional information on Southern Appalachian Labor School, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Southern-Appalachian-Labor-School-284621148272166/.
  • Tangi Community Development, Amite, LA, will utilize $30,000 to support rehabilitation and ADA modifications on four (4) disabled veteran homes. For additional information on Tangi Community Development, visit their website at https://www.tangicdcnonprofit.org.
Solar panels covering parking spaces at Calistoga Family Apartmentshttps://flic.kr/p/CpXy7x The U.S. Department of Agriculture

Housing Assistance Council Receives Gift from Mackenzie Scott

Contact: Jennifer McAllister
(202) 842-8600
jennifer@ruralhome.org

Washington, DC, March 23, 2022 – The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is pleased to announce a $7,000,000 gift from MacKenzie Scott, the largest private gift in HAC’s 50-year history. HAC will leverage this funding to establish and grow local organizations that build affordable housing in the nation’s poorest and most rural places. This gift ensures that more people and more communities will enjoy the benefits of American prosperity.

“HAC and our local partners work in small towns and rural communities to develop good quality housing that folks can afford,” said HAC CEO David Lipsetz. “Ms. Scott’s trust in our organization and encouragement to do more will help plenty of communities in need.”

“This gift helps HAC remain true to its mission,” said Maria Luisa Mercado, HAC’s Board Chair. “We will continue to be the voice for the poorest of the poor in the most rural places.”

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 for community-based organizations; research on life in rural places; and information for federal policy-makers on the impact of their work on rural places. To learn more, visit www.ruralhome.org.

###

HAC Names Jonathan Harwitz Director of Policy

Housing Assistance Council Names Jonathan Harwitz Director of Policy

Contact: Dan Stern
(202) 842-8600
dan@ruralhome.org

Housing Assistance Council Names Jonathan Harwitz Director of Policy

Jonathan will manage HAC’s policy initiatives.

Washington, DC, March 1, 2022 – The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is pleased to announce the hiring of Jonathan Harwitz as HAC’s new Director of Policy. He brings years of experience working with policymakers on affordable housing issues. Jonathan will spearhead and expand HAC’s place as the national source for independent, non-partisan policy solutions for rural housing and community development.

Jonathan joins HAC from his role as Director of Housing Community Development and Insurance Policy for the House Financial Services Committee.  Prior to that he served as Managing Director of Federal Policy and Government Affairs at the Low Income Investment Fund, a large national Community Development Financial Institution.  Earlier in his career, Jonathan served as: Deputy Chief of Staff for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development; Counsel to the Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee; Professional Staff to the Housing and Transportation Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee; and in various policy-related positions at the Corporation for Supportive Housing. Prior to entering the field of federal policy, he clerked for two federal District Court judges and was a lawyer in private practice.

Jonathan was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. He earned a Bachelor’s degree with honors from Yale College, and a JD from Harvard Law School. He currently resides near Washington, DC with his wife and kids.

“Federal policy has an important and lasting impact on rural places,” said HAC CEO David Lipsetz. “We are incredibly excited to have Jonathan join the HAC team and help us make the case for equitable investment in rural areas across the country.”

For the last 50 years, HAC has been the voice for the poorest of the poor in the most rural places. HAC’s policy priorities are focused on the importance of capacity building, access to capital, and geographic equity in federal policymaking – with a specific lens on persistently poor and high-needs regions like the Mississippi Delta, rural Appalachia, farmworker communities, the Southwest border colonias and Indian Country. Our independent and non-partisan policy work ensures the most vulnerable rural populations have improved access to safe and affordable housing opportunities.

To learn more about HAC’s policy work, visit https://ruralhome.org/our-work/policy/.

###

HAC in the News

Rural Veterans and Local Nonprofits Receive Critical Housing Support

Contact: Shonterria Charleston
terria@ruralhome.org
(202) 842-8600

Rural Veterans and Local Nonprofits Receive Critical Housing Support

Funded by The Home Depot Foundation

Washington, DC, August 16, 2021 – Veterans and their families in 10 rural communities will have better lives, thanks to The Home Depot Foundation and the Housing Assistance Council. The Foundation is awarding grants totaling $295,000 to 10 local nonprofit housing agencies around the country to preserve housing for veterans in rural America.

The grant is part of The Home Depot Foundation’s mission to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans and invest $500 million in veteran causes by 2025. Many veterans and their families face major housing challenges, often exacerbated by issues related to unemployment, age and service-related disabilities. The Home Depot Foundation and the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) are dedicated to giving back to those who have answered the highest call of service to our nation.

As part of its Affordable Housing for Rural Veterans (AHRV) Initiative, HAC works with The Home Depot Foundation to administer grants that bolster and support the work of rural nonprofit housing agencies to deliver critical housing support to veterans.

“HAC’s continued partnership with The Home Depot Foundation is now even more critical in strengthening the capacity of local rural organizations to build and preserve veteran housing units across rural America,” said David Lipsetz, HAC’s CEO. “Together we’ve been able to support a nimble response to the housing challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

As rural America is home to a disproportionately high number of service women and men, HAC remains deeply committed to supporting our nation’s service women and men by uplifting local nonprofits and their work to house and ensure the safe habitability of their homes and rural communities.

The grantee organizations – described below – provide a range of programs. With the grants, veterans who own homes in Alabama, Arizona, North Carolina, Louisiana, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee will obtain critical repair assistance. Altogether, 55 veterans and their families will benefit from these grants.

About The Home Depot Foundation 

The Home Depot Foundation works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap, and support communities impacted by natural disasters. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $375 million in veteran causes and improved more than 50,000 veteran homes and facilities. The Foundation has pledged to invest half of a billion dollars in veteran causes by 2025 and $50 million in training the next generation of skilled tradespeople through the Path to Pro program.

To learn more about The Home Depot Foundation visit HomeDepotFoundation.org and follow the Foundation on Twitter @HomeDepotFound and on Facebook and Instagram @HomeDepotFoundation.

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 solution for rural communities.

About the Grantees

  • Bogalusa Rebirth, Bogalusa, LA will utilize $30,000 to provide critically needed rehabilitation for three (3) veteran homes, prioritizing women veterans and those needing wheelchair accessibility features. For additional information on Bogalusa Rebirth, visit their website at http://bogalusarebirth.com.
  • Community Action Commission of Fayette County, Washington Court House, OH will utilize $30,000 to rehabilitate ten (10) veteran-owned homes with health, safety, accessibility, and critical roof repairs or replacements. For additional information on Community Action Commission of Fayette County, visit their website at https://www.cacfayettecounty.org.
  • Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc., Tuscaloosa, AL will utilize $30,000 to rehabilitate six (6) veteran homes from Bibb, Dallas, Fayette, Hale, Green, Lamar, Perry, Pickens, or Sumter counties. For additional information on Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc., visit their website at https://www.cspwal.com.
  • Creative Compassion, Inc., Crossville, TN will utilize $30,000 to provide critically needed home repairs for five (5) veterans through partnerships with local Department of Veteran Affairs assistance offices and veteran-focused nonprofits in Cumberland and Fentress counties. For additional information on Creative Compassion, Inc., visit their website at https://ccihomes.org.
  • Appalachia Service Project, Johnson City, TN will utilize $30,000 to provide four (4) veterans with critical repairs and/or assist in constructing new homes for homeless veterans in Central Appalachia. For additional information on Grants and Strategic Corporate Partnerships Appalachia Service Project, visit their website at https://asphome.org.
  • Habitat for Humanity Orange County, Chapel Hill, NC will utilize $25,000 to support the repair of four (4) rural veteran homes in Orange County, NC. For additional information on Habitat for Humanity Orange County, visit their website at https://www.orangehabitat.org.
  • Home Works of America, Columbia, SC will utilize $30,000 to assist ten (10) veteran homeowners with critical roof replacements. For additional information on Home Works of America, visit their website at https://homeworksofamerica.org.
  • White Mountain Apache Housing Authority, Whiteriver, AZ, will utilize $30,000 to support the rehabilitation of three (3) veteran owned units on the Fort Apache Reservation. For additional information on White Mountain Apache Housing Authority, visit their website at https://www.wmaha.us.
  • Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry, Inc., Wilmington, NC, will utilize $30,000 to support the repair of five (5) veteran owned homes in their service area. For additional information on Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry, Inc., visit their website at https://www.warmnc.org.

 

HAC in the News

HAC and rural CDFIs receive “massive” $353 million investment

The US Treasury announced it is investing $1.25 billion of COVID-19 relief funds in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). We are excited to announce that the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) has received the maximum award: $1,826,265.

HAC will invest our $1.8 million award through our Loan Fund to support affordable housing organizations across rural America. As Eileen Neely, director of HAC’s Loan Fund explains, “$1.8 million means we can invest in more rural communities and help more low-income Americans get housed.”

Overall, the US Treasury is awarding $353 million to rural CDFIs. “This massive investment in rural CDFIs will help unlock the potential of rural communities,” said David Lipsetz, President & CEO of the Housing Assistance Council. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to expand our work for disinvested rural communities.”

Everyone deserves a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home. This award strengthens HAC’s work to make that vision a reality for rural America.