Jennifer Emerling / There Is More Work To Be Done

HAC News: February 1, 2024

Vol. 53, No. 3


Appropriations take one step forward

Top legislators in the House and Senate have reportedly reached agreement on the 302(b) spending totals for the FY24 appropriations bills. They have not announced the amounts publicly, so it is not known how well last year’s bills fit within these caps. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that because of cost increases, largely caused by higher rents, 112,000 HUD Housing Choice Vouchers would not be renewed under the House’s bill, or 80,000 under the Senate’s. CBPP’s analysis includes breakdowns of the shortfall by state, by race and ethnicity, and by other demographic factors.

Tax bill passes House

On January 31 the House approved the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 (H.R. 7024), the tax bill that includes support for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Half of all U.S. renters are cost burdened

An all-time high of 22.4 million U.S. renter households paid more than 30% of income for housing in 2022, a 50% cost burden rate, according to America’s Rental Housing 2024, a yearly report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. In rural areas, 40% of all renters and 72% of those with the lowest incomes were cost burdened. At the same time, the study points out, the numbers of affordable rental units are falling and a record high number of people are experiencing homelessness.

HAC releases major heirs’ property study

HAC, in partnership with Fannie Mae, developed an approach to estimate the prevalence of heirs’ properties throughout the United States. A Methodological Approach to Estimate Residential Heirs’ Property in the United States presents the first national approximation of heirs’ property specifically focused on residential parcels. Slightly over 500,000 properties were identified as potential heirs’ properties in 44 states and the District of Columbia, with nearly two thirds (64.6%) located in rural areas. The conservative estimated assessed value of these properties is $32.3 billion.

February is Black History Month

The 2024 theme for the month is African Americans and the Arts.


Cost burden rates are higher for rural renters than owners. In 2021, 23.4% of rural renters paid between 30% and 50% of their income for their housing, and an additional 21.5% paid more than 50% of income. Source: HAC tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey.


Innovative solutions to homelessness to be funded in some states

The Citi Foundation’s Global Innovation Challenge invites proposals from nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status either piloting or scaling a solution that directly impacts the lives of individuals, families, and communities at risk of or experiencing homelessness in a geographic area where Citi has a presence. In the U.S., work impacting California, Florida, Illinois, New York, or Washington, DC is eligible. Each award will be $500,000 for a two-year period. Register by February 13 and apply by February 29.

NEA offers funding to help strengthen arts and culture projects

Grants for Arts Projects funding from the National Endowment for the Arts is offered to organizations with programming that supports the arts, design, and community engagement. Projects can range in size and stage. Grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. Initial applications are due February 15; there will be another funding round with a July deadline. Information contacts vary.


FEMA aims to make Individual Assistance more equitable

An interim final rule amends the regulations governing FEMA’s Individual Assistance program to increase equity by simplifying processes, removing barriers to entry, and increasing eligibility for certain types of assistance under the program including home repairs, continued temporary housing assistance, utility and security deposit payments, lease and repair of multifamily rental housing, and more. This rule is effective for emergencies and major disasters declared on or after March 22, 2024. Comments are due July 22. For more information, contact Kristina McAlister, FEMA, 866-826-8751.

Disaster rebuilding programs to support energy efficiency

On January 30, FEMA announced that net-zero energy projects, including solar, heat pumps, and efficient appliances, will be eligible for its Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs. These programs help state, Tribal, territorial, and local governments, as well as some types of nonprofits, to rebuild community infrastructure and mitigate future disaster losses. Financial assistance for unobligated projects for any federal disaster declared after August 16, 2022 can be used for these purposes. Also, FEMA’s 2023 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities funding announcement, which closes February 29, offers incentives for use of net-zero and clean energy approaches. For more information, work with a point of contact for your FEMA region or email or

USDA issues guidance on tenant preferences

When funds such as Low-Income Housing Tax Credits are used to revitalize a Section 515 or 514/516 property, owners may be required to set aside a number of units with a preference for a certain population. New USDA RD guidance explains the agency’s conditions for accepting such a set-aside or preference. For more information contact Deb Reed, USDA, 712-254-4365.

HUD updates list of excluded income

Updating a notice published in 2014, HUD lists sources of income specifically excluded by federal statutes from consideration as income for purposes of determining eligibility or benefits in a HUD program. It adds new exclusions and removes ones that are now codified in HUD regulations.


Webinar to cover heirs’ property and its consequences

Untangling Heirs’ Property: Navigating the Impact on Homeownership and Wealth Equity will be offered on February 28 by Rural LISC, featuring experts from HAC and elsewhere. Speakers will provide insight into the intricate nature of heirs’ property, its impact on homeownership, the broader consequences for wealth accumulation, and potential solutions to apply in your community. This is the latest installment of “Raising the Roof,” a webinar series dedicated to sharing innovations, trends, and best practices in rural housing.


Report describes “brutal cost” of Native communities’ lack of financial services

“Native people are all but severed from the financial infrastructure upon which this country runs,” reports the National Community Reinvestment Coalition in Redlining the Reservation: The Brutal Cost of Financial Services Inaccessibility in Native Communities. The study analyzed census tracts that overlap tribal territories in Arizona and New Mexico, home to about 300,000 of the 5 million Americans living on Tribal lands nationwide. It found that traditional mortgage lending is failing there, half of all home purchase loans on Tribal lands are used to purchase manufactured homes, Tribal lands receive less than one cent for each dollar loaned to small businesses in Arizona and New Mexico, and Tribal areas have higher quantified financial need than other rural areas. It recommends loan capital be routed through Native CDFIs. One of the report’s authors, Dave Castillo, is CEO of Native Community Capital and a member of HAC’s board of directors. NCRC will hold a webinar about the report on February 20.

Manufactured housing could offer first-time homeownership

A new report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, A Review of Barriers to Greater Use of Manufactured Housing for Entry-Level Homeownership, cites factors including negative perceptions of the quality of manufactured housing, market conditions, zoning and land use regulations, and access to mortgage financing. The authors suggest multipronged solutions are needed.

Repetitive flooding increasing, local data available

Losing Ground: Severe Repetitive Flooding in the United States, an updated data dashboard and analysis from the Natural Resources Defense Council, focuses on the challenges posed by increasing and repeated flooding. Low-income communities and communities of color bear the brunt of flooding impacts and have the least access to the necessary resources and support, NRDC reports. It recommends comprehensive reform of the National Flood Insurance Program, as well as mitigating flood risk for repeatedly flooded properties by, for example, elevating the buildings or helping the residents relocate. The dashboard shows the number of these properties in each state and NFIP participating community, as well as trends over time including how many of these properties were mitigated and how many dropped insurance without mitigation.


HAC is hiring

Need capital for your affordable housing project?

HAC’s loan fund provides 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, new development, farmworker, senior and veteran housing. HAC loan funds can be used for pre-development, site acquisition, site development, construction/rehabilitation and permanent financing. Contact HAC’s loan fund staff at, 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).

HAC’s office has moved

HAC’s new street address, effective on January 1, 2024, is 1828 L Street, N.W., Suite 505, Washington, DC 20036. Our phone number remains 202-842-8600.

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