Webinar: An Introduction to Proposal Writing for Nonprofits

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Power Point Presentation | Recording

Join the Housing Assistance Council on Thursday, July 13, 2017 for An Introduction to Proposal Writing for Nonprofits.

If you’re new to grant and proposal writing, or if you want a quick refresher, this webinar is for you! Join us as we break down the elements of a funding proposal and identify the features of strong, successful proposals.

Register Now.

A Foundation for Fundraising

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Power Point Presentation | Recording

Please join us for the A Foundation for Fundraising for Nonprofits Organizations webinar on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time!

Do you want to learn how to raise funds for your organization? Do you want your existing fundraising efforts to be more efficient and effective? Laying a foundation for fundraising will help you to assess your organizational readiness for fundraising, focus your efforts, and develop a plan for success.

Why Creative Placemaking? On the Ground Impacts

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Power Point Presentation | Recording | The Art of Community

Join the Housing Assistance Council on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 for “Why Creative Placemaking? On the Ground Impacts.”

“Creative placemaking” is community development tool that has garnered increased attention and funding by the federal government, municipalities, and private foundations.

Join us to learn why creative placemaking is receiving widespread support and how rural communities take advantage of these opportunities.

Guest speakers working in rural communities across the United States will share their experiences with creative placemaking, the impact it has had in their hometowns, and how they have garnered ongoing support for creative and arts-based work.

This webinar is the second of a two-part series of Rural Placemaking – a collaboration between buildingcommunityWORKSHOP and the Housing Assistance Council (HAC), funded in part by a NEA Our Town Knowledge Building Grant. The purpose of Rural Placemaking is to build understanding and practice of creative placemaking in rural communities. Both HAC and [bc] seek to promote creative placemaking as an important tool in comprehensive community development and to build knowledge of the practice within HAC’s member network.

View the first webinar in this series, “Creative Placemaking 101” here.

Presented By buildingcommunityWORKSHOP and Housing Assistance Council

bcWORKSHOP enriches the lives of citizens by bringing design thinking to areas of our cities where resources are most scarce. To do so, bcWORKSHOP recognizes that it must first understand the social, economic, and environmental issues facing a community before beginning work. bcWORKSHOP is a Texas based nonprofit community design center seeking to improve the livability and viability of communities through the practice of thoughtful design and making.
The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) has been helping local organizations build affordable homes in rural America since 1971. HAC assists 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, such as: Indian country, the Mississippi Delta, farmworkers, the Southwest border colonias, and Appalachia.
HAC is a nonprofit corporation located in Washington, DC with regional staff located in Atlanta, Kansas City, Albuquerque, and Sacramento.

Register Now.

Webinar: Creative Placemaking 101 + Funding Opportunity

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Power Point Presentation | Webinar Recording

Join the Housing Assistance Council and bcWORKSHOP for a two-part webinar series on rural Creative Placemaking. Creative placemaking is a method of working between community developers, housing organizations and local stakeholders to strengthen communities. Rural Placemaking brings together people to share food, stories, art, experiences, and histories and enables neighbors to talk, learn, and organize in rural communities in the continental United States.

This webinar, the first in the two-part series “Creative Placemaking 101 + Funding Opportunity” will focus on:

  • defining and describing creative placemaking;
  • explaining the importance of placemaking for rural community development;
  • outlining bcWORSHOP’s rural creative placemaking process via the Activating Vacancy (AV) process;
  • announcing the AV request for rural proposals; and
  • proposal Q&A for interested parties.

MATERIALS POSTED: An Overview on the VA Specially Adapted Housing Grant Program

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Welcome | Presentation | Recording | Application

If you are not a Veteran or Veteran service provider, you may not be aware of all the great features of VA loans, or the specific assistance VA can provide to Veterans. Join the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) for the “Housing Resources for Heroes Part II: Overview on the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant program.

This webinar, the second in the “2016 Veterans Resources Summer Series”, will provide general information of the SAH grant program, eligibility, uses along with the necessary actions Veterans need take to obtain a SAH grant. The webinar will also feature a discuss on the specific options of assistance available to Veterans with service-connected disabilities to assist with building, remodeling or purchasing an adapted home. Participants will have ample opportunity following presentations to ask questions of the subject matter experts.

The SAH grant is designed to assist Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities live independently in a barrier-free environment by providing help constructing or modifying a home to meet their adaptive needs. Specifically, SAH grants can be used in one of the following ways:

  • Construct a specially adapted home on land to be acquired;
  • Build a home on land already owned if it is suitable for specially adapted housing;
  • Remodel an existing home if it can be made suitable for specially adapted housing; or
  • Apply the grant against the unpaid principal mortgage balance of an adapted home already acquired without the assistance of a VA grant

VA Housing Resources for Heroes: An In-depth Overview of the VA Home Loan Guaranty Benefit

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Introduction | Presentation | Recording | VA Home Loan Resources | VA Loan Limits

If you are not a Veteran or mortgage lender, you may not be aware of all the great features of VA loans, or the specific assistance VA can provide to Veteran borrowers who are having trouble making their mortgage payments. Join the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) for the “Housing Resources for Hero’s: An in-depth overview and discussion on the VA Home Loan Guaranty benefit.

This webinar, the first in the “2016 Veterans Resources Summer Series”, will provide general information on the VA Home Loan Guaranty benefit, program and loan eligibility, and the actions Veterans can take to obtain a VA-guaranteed home loan. The webinar will also feature a panel discuss on the assistance that may be available to Veterans who are having trouble making their monthly mortgage payments. Participants will have ample opportunity following presentations to ask questions of the subject matter experts.

The VA home loan program was part of the original GI Bill of Rights in 1944, and is credited with helping create suburban America and the American middle-class. Since 1944, VA has guaranteed over 22 Million home loans for over 16 Million Veterans and their families. Roughly 80-percent of Veterans are homeowners, and VA loans comprise about 10-percent of new loans in the current market. While many VA loans are made in urban or suburban areas, a sizeable portion — over 15 percent — are made to Veterans living in rural areas.

VA loans are made by private-sector mortgage companies or banks– VA provides a guaranty backing on the loan that essentially takes the place of a down payment. VA loans are the only major loan product in the market that does not require a down payment. VA loans may be used to purchase a home, refinance an existing loan, build a home, or make energy efficient improvements. Interest rates on VA loans are generally lower than rates for other mortgage types, and VA limits the amount of fees and charges a borrower can be charged as part of the transaction. Flexible underwriting criteria (such as no minimum FICO requirement) may make qualifying for a VA loan easier than for another type of loan. VA loans are also ‘reusable’—a Veteran may use the benefit multiple times throughout his or her life. In addition to maximizing Veterans’ opportunities to obtain home loans, VA is committed to ensuring all defaulted VA borrowers receive every opportunity to avoid foreclosure.

Materials Posted: Section 502 Overview and Upates (Webinar)

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Welcome | Power Point | Recording | USDA Listserv

This webinar provides an in depth overview of USDA Rural Development’s Section 502 Single-Family housing direct and guaranteed loan program. Discussions will cover the program purpose, eligibility, 502 requirements, loan terms and regulations. Participants will also hear and learn about how conditional commitments can be the basis for developing a single unit or multiple units more efficiently.

Materials Posted: CRA Investments in Rural Communities: Successful Uses

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Introduction | Presentation | Recording | Report

This webinar, the second in a series of three, will explore two successful rural development projects that earned CRA credit for the lenders involved. The discussion will include parties involved with a farmworker housing and a preschool project. In each case, the participants will briefly describe the CRA’s role in their project. The participants will also, in a discussion panel format, note challenges related to the CRA in rural communities and how these challenges can potentially be addressed to develop a successful project.

The CRA is implemented by the three federal bank regulators through periodic lender examinations of all Federally insured depository institutions. These CRA examinations vary in occurrence and detail based on lender asset size with small lenders being evaluated less frequently (usually, once every five years) and less thoroughly (one test area instead of the three applied to large banks). Upon completion of the examination, regulators’ award banks ratings based on their compliance with the CRA. Regulators can then use a poor rating to deny lender applications for such things as opening a new office or acquiring another bank.

In complying with the CRA requirements banks in turn need to ensure they make their services available to all parts of their service areas. In some cases this means providing assistance to local community development projects, through loans, grants, etc., for which they lender can earn credit as fulfilling their CRA obligation when they are evaluated. The degree to which this occurs in rural communities is limited and there is the potential for more.

This webinar, the second in a series of three, will explore two successful rural development projects that earned CRA credit for the lenders involved. The discussion will include parties involved with a farmworker housing and a preschool project. In each case, the participants will briefly describe the CRA’s role in their project. The participants will also, in a discussion panel format, note challenges related to the CRA in rural communities and how these challenges can potentially be addressed to develop a successful project.

CRA in Rural America (Webinar)

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Introduction | Power Point Presentation | Recording

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), enacted in 1977, requires federally insured depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of their entire service area, particularly those low- and moderate income, economically distressed, and geographically isolated areas, in a manner that is consistent with safe and sound operation. The CRA, originally created as a response to discriminatory lending practices which primarily affected urban areas, is rarely discussed from a rural perspective despite the fact that the CRA evaluates all depository institutions.

The CRA is implemented by the four federal bank regulators through periodic lender examinations of all Federally insured depository institutions. These CRA examinations vary in occurrence and detail based on lender asset size with small lenders being evaluated less frequently (usually, once every five years) and less thoroughly (one test area instead of the three applied to large banks). Upon completion of the examination, regulators’ award banks ratings based on their compliance with the CRA. Regulators can then use a poor rating to deny lender applications for such things as opening a new office or acquiring another bank.

During the CRA examination process, the public is able to provide regulators with information regarding lender activities including any potential problems they may believe are occurring. In complying with the CRA requirements banks in turn need to ensure they make their services available to all parts of their service areas. These both make opportunities for involvement by non-profits in the process to help their local communities.

This webinar, the first in a series of three, will provide an overview of the CRA and how it touches rural communities. The discussion will include a brief review of rural banking trends, a description of the CRA process, and an accounting of CRA oversight involving rural lenders and lending activity. Despite being thought of as a policy that primarily impacts urban/suburban communities, a majority of CRA evaluated lenders are small-asset, rural-headquartered institutions. This session will describe how the CRA relates to these and other lenders who serve rural communities.

Materials Posted: Duty to Serve And What it Means for Rural America (Webinar)

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Introduction | Power Point Presentation (22 MB) | Webinar Recording | Mapping Utility

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is convening an interactive e-learning to assist housing providers and policymakers better understand the Duty to Serve Rule, and what it may mean for Rural America. The session is also intended to help inform comments to the Duty to Serve Rule.

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 mandates that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a ‘Duty to Serve’ three traditionally underserved markets of:

  • Rural Housing
  • Manufactured Housing
  • Affordable Housing Preservation

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is currently accepting comments on how to implement the Duty to Serve Rule. The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is convening an interactive e-learning to assist housing providers and policymakers better understand the Duty to Serve Rule, and what it may mean for Rural America. The session is also intended to help inform comments to the Duty to Serve Rule.

While all three underserved markets extremely are important, this particular session will primarily focus on the Rural Housing component of Duty To Serve (but the other areas for comment will also be discussed).