HAC News

HAC News: August 15, 2018

HAC News Formats. pdf

August 15, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 17

HUD requests comments on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing • Deadline for lead-based paint reduction grants extended • HAC seeks Director of Lending • USDA to move Economic Research Service out of DC • Senate bills would create refundable tax credits for cost-burdened renters • HAC explores rural broadband gap • Federal strategic plan to end homelessness released • Rural Studio to spread affordable housing design nationwide • New portfolio manager named for USDA rental housing programs • Online tool offers data on reservations • Wage growth lower than inflation in past year, generally stagnant over decades, analyses show • Senate committee delays vote on CFPB nomination

HAC News Formats. pdf

August 15, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 17

HUD requests comments on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.
An “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” seeks input for amendments to HUD’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulations. Questions ask about the extent of appropriate community participation, the type of data or qualitative information to be used, reporting, evaluation, and more. Comments will be due in mid-October. For more information, contact Krista Mills, HUD, 202-402-6577. In May, HUD withdrew the Assessment Tool local governments were using to develop Assessments of Fair Housing to meet their AFFH obligations; comments on that action were filed last month. Separately, comments on HUD’s disparate impact standard for analysis of fair housing violations are due August 20.

Deadline for lead-based paint reduction grants extended.
Applications for HUD’s Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program grants are now due on September 25, not August 2.

HAC seeks Director of Lending.
The Director of Lending will be the entrepreneurial leader and manager of HAC’s lending and community investment functions. S/he will report directly to the CEO; manage programs and staff; serve as the primary liaison to the Board of Directors’ Loan Committee; develop relationships with borrowers and funding sources; and help lead HAC’s strategic planning, policy and program development. The ideal candidate will be energetic, innovative and willing to take on a thought leadership role in the industry of CDFIs, affordable housing, and rural community development. Visit HAC’s site for a complete job description and application information.

USDA to move Economic Research Service out of DC.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced on August 9 that the Economic Research Service will be “realigned” with the Office of the Chief Economist, and employees of ERS and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture will be relocated outside the Washington, DC area by the end of 2019. USDA requests expressions of interest from potential locations by September 14. The Daily Yonder collected comments about the changes, most of which express concern.

Senate bills would create refundable tax credits for cost-burdened renters.
The Rent Relief Act of 2018 (S. 3250), introduced in July by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), is similar to H.R. 3670, introduced in September 2017 by Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY). The Housing, Opportunity, Mobility, and Equity Act of 2018 (S. 3342) was introduced August 1 by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). All three bills would cover all or part of the rent amounts paid by low-income tenants that exceed 30% of their incomes. A National Low Income Housing Coalition factsheet compares the provisions in the two Senate bills.

HAC explores rural broadband gap.
“Disconnect in Rural America,” a new HAC Rural Research Note, reports that 27% of nonmetro households lack broadband subscriptions (including cellular data plans), compared to 17.1% in metro areas. There are gaps in broadband access at all income levels and all ages. The upcoming fall issue of Rural Voices, HAC’s quarterly magazine, will describe how some rural communities have helped overcome the physical and financial challenges of providing broadband access for their residents and businesses.

Federal strategic plan to end homelessness released.
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness adopted Home, Together as the 2018-2022 federal strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. “Tailoring strategies for rural communities” is listed as an area of increased focus. The plan does not include specific timeframes for achieving its goals.

Rural Studio to spread affordable housing design nationwide.
The Rural Studio at Auburn University in Alabama, known for developing small, affordable 20K Homes, is now collaborating with HAC on several projects and with Fannie Mae as part of its Duty to Serve work. Auburn issued a press release on the Rural Studio’s 20K Initiative, a program that involves collaboration with a wide range of partners and is intended to support both housing and local economies in rural places.

New portfolio manager named for USDA rental housing programs.
USDA Rural Development has hired Nancie-Ann Bodell, who has worked at HUD, to be director of the Portfolio Management Division for Multifamily Housing Programs. Stephanie White retired from this position in 2017.

Online tool offers data on reservations.
The Reservation Profiles Database, provided by the Center for Indian Country Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, has data and graphs showing demographic, economic, and homeownership indicators for American Indian reservations with at least 2,500 residents.

Wage growth lower than inflation in past year, generally stagnant over decades, analyses show.
A Washington Post analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that wages increased 2.7% from July 2017 to July 2018, while the cost of living rose 2.9%. At the same time, the Post notes, corporate profits have soared. A separate report from the Pew Research Center found that the current real average wage (that is, the wage after accounting for inflation) is about the same as it was in 1978. Since 2000, Pew states, wages have grown much faster for the highest earners than for those at the bottom of the scale, contributing to widening income inequality.

Senate committee delays vote on CFPB nomination.
The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee has postponed votes on several Administration nominees including Kathleen Kraninger, proposed to serve as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The committee held a hearing July 19 on Kraninger’s nomination.

HAC offers Section 502 packaging training in September.
This three-day advanced course trains experienced participants to assist potential borrowers and work with RD staff, other nonprofits, and regional intermediaries to deliver successful Section 502 loan packages. The registration fee is $750. The training will be held September 24-26 in Liverpool, NY. For more information, contact HAC staff, 404-892-4824.

Deadline extended to nominate local and national leaders for HAC awards.
HAC is still accepting nominations for its 2018 Cochran/Collings National Service and Skip Jason Community Service Leadership Awards. The awards will be presented at the 2018 HAC Rural Housing Conference in December. Past awardees are listed on HAC’s site. Complete the online nomination form. For more information, contact Lilla Sutton, HAC, 202-842-8600.

Save the date for the 2018 HAC Rural Housing Conference!
The conference will be held December 4-7 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC. The HAC News will announce when conference registration opens and when the hotel room block is available for reservations.

Need capital for your affordable housing project?
HAC’s loan funds provide low interest rate loans to support single- and multifamily affordable housing projects for low-income rural residents throughout the U.S. and territories. Capital is available for all types of affordable and mixed-income housing projects, including preservation, farmworker, senior, and veteran housing. HAC loan funds can be used for pre-development, site acquisition, site development, and construction/rehabilitation. Contact HAC’s loan fund staff at hacloanfund@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600.
Please note: HAC is not able to offer loans to individuals or families. Borrowers must be nonprofit or for-profit organizations or government entities (including tribes).