by David Lipsetz, HAC CEO
At the best of times, rural communities face challenges with access to quality affordable housing, health care, broadband, and other services that make up the social safety net. When the Great Recession hit, rural places were left out of the recovery.
As I recently wrote in an op-ed for the The Hill, COVID-19 is hitting rural communities just as many of them start to recover from the Great Recession.
For nearly 50 years, HAC has been working in hard-to-serve rural communities, providing technical assistance and training and vital capital to support the housing needs of these communities. Our research, publications, and policy work is tailored for rural places.
COVID-19 makes HAC’s delivery of technical assistance, capital and information more important than ever. Few of the nation’s rural, small and emerging nonprofit housing developers have the resources necessary to manage through a prolonged crisis. In communities with already limited resources, the long-terms effects on health and safety will be felt well-beyond this crisis.
In response, HAC is serving more than 325 rural housing organizations through our lending, technical assistance, training, and grant activities. HAC staff is providing group and one-on-one remote consultation to rural housing organizations, including help creating the necessary workplans and protocols that will help them weather the crisis.
Launched in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y, #GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. On Tuesday, May 5th , HAC will participate in #GivingTuesdayNOW to help raise awareness for the devastating impact that COVID-19 is having in rural America. We hope you’ll join us on Tuesday May 5th by sharing our social media posts (we’ll be using the hashtags #GivingTuesdayNOW and #RememberRural), sharing the stories of COVID-19’s impacts on your community, or supporting HAC’s critical work in some of America’s most underserved communities.
Thank you for your continued partnership and support for HAC and the many communities we serve. I hope you and yours are staying safe and I look forward to the next time we can all meet in-person.