Jennifer Emerling / There Is More Work To Be Done

HAC News: February 15, 2024

Vol. 53, No. 4


USDA and HUD funding now set to end March 1

The current continuing resolution, which holds most federal programs at FY23 funding levels, will end for some parts of the government, including USDA and HUD, on March 1, and for others on March 8. The funding totals available for individual agencies and programs for FY24, which began on October 1, 2023, are still being negotiated. Once again, Congress could enact individual appropriations bills, minibuses, an omnibus, another short-term continuing resolution, or a CR that covers the remainder of the fiscal year, or it could allow all or part of the federal government to close.

FY25 budget will be released March 11, HAC schedules webinar

On March 11, the Biden Administration will release its budget for FY25, beginning the process of preparing funding bills for the year that begins on October 1, 2024. HAC will post information about the budget request on March 11 and will hold its annual budget webinar on March 13. Webinar registration information will be posted here when available.

Banking groups sue to halt new Community Reinvestment Act rule

The American Bankers Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Texas Bankers Association, Independent Community Bankers of America, Independent Bankers Association of Texas, Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, and Longview Chamber of Commerce filed suit in federal court in Texas to vacate the recently released CRA rule. HAC’s preliminary analysis of the regulations noted some ways in which the CRA rule would likely benefit rural places. Some consumer-focused organizations have criticized the lawsuit.


In 2023 there were 89,200 shipments of new manufactured homes in the United States – a decline of 21% from 2022. Source: HAC Tabulations of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Manufactured Housing Survey data.


Some USDA RD programs include community planning setasides

USDA Rural Development’s Strategic Economic and Community Development program is intended for projects that support multi-jurisdictional and multi-sectoral strategic community investment plans. Applicants may request the SECD setaside funds when applying for Community Facilities loans, grants, and guaranteed loans; Water and Waste Disposal guaranteed loans; Water and Waste loans and grants; and Rural Business Development Grants. The programs’ application deadlines vary. For more information, contact Gregory Batson, USDA,


HAC requests input as HUD seeks information on Buy America housing construction materials

Saying it needs better information in order to apply Build America, Buy America Act requirements, HUD is asking for comments on the domestic availability of iron, steel, construction materials, and manufactured products commonly used in HUD-assisted housing programs and infrastructure projects. HAC would like to know whether rural affordable housing providers can obtain this information and what guidance from HUD and USDA would be useful. To help HAC develop its response, please contact Leslie Strauss by February 29. HUD will hold a webinar on February 22 about this request. Responses to HUD are due April 15. For more information, contact Faith Rogers, HUD, 202-402-7082, or email

HUD revises HOTMA income and asset calculation notice

HUD explains that the revised version of its HOTMA Implementation Notice (Notice H 2023-10/PIH 2023-27) provides updates, clarifications, and corrections based on industry feedback.

Duty to Serve modifications approved

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has accepted Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s modifications to their 2022-2024 Duty to Serve Plans. Both Enterprises cut a variety of their loan purchase goals in rural areas, citing market conditions as justification. HAC opposed these cuts in recent comments on the proposed modifications. Both Enterprises added modest updates to their goals around Native American housing, and Fannie Mae also added a variety of new goals around manufactured housing. Freddie Mac removed its USDA Section 515 purchase goal from the Preservation section of its plan but maintained the same goal in its Rural section. The Underserved Mortgage Markets Coalition, an alliance of leading U.S. housing organizations including HAC, has released a blueprint for the Duty to Serve plans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must develop for 2025-2027.

Agencies update equity plans

USDA and HUD were among the federal agencies that released updated equity plans on February 14. These revisions are based on plans first presented in April 2022.

Data changes to be proposed

The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey will retain current questions about disability while the agency continues to work on revised disability questions after receiving thousands of comments responding to an October proposal. This spring, Census will propose changes on other topics, including adding new questions on sewage disposal, and will again accept public comments.

Federal accelerator supports state housing and service strategies

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and HUD selected eight states (AZ, CA, HI, MD, MA, MN, NC, and WA) and the District of Columbia to participate in a new federal Housing and Services Partnership Accelerator. The states and DC will receive technical assistance and support to accelerate innovative strategies to provide housing-related activities and supports to persons with disabilities and/or older adults who are experiencing or are at risk of experiencing homelessness.

Advisory council encourages use of historic buildings for housing

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the federal agency that writes regulations for historic preservation reviews of federally funded projects including housing, has adopted a policy statement on housing and historic preservation. The document acknowledges the U.S. housing shortage and states, “It is the policy of the ACHP to encourage and accelerate rehabilitation of historic buildings for housing and to assist in harmonizing historic preservation and housing goals.” For more information, contact Druscilla Null, ACHP, 202-517-1487.

HUD changes Native Hawaiian block grant rental regulation

After issuing a proposed rule in January 2023, HUD has now adopted a final rule revising the rental housing assistance provisions of its Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant program. For more information, contact Claudine Allen, HUD, 808-457-4674.


Rural definitions shape housing research

In a new working paper, In Search of Rural: How Varying Definitions Shape Housing Research, Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies examines 11 distinct definitions of rural to see how estimates of the size of the rural housing market, as well as the demographic composition and the nature of its housing challenges, vary depending on the definition chosen. The paper includes HAC’s rural definition.

New study highlights economic disparities for Black residents in every U.S. geography

The State of Black Residents: The Relevance of Place to Racial Equity and Outcomes reports that it will take 300 years for Black residents to achieve parity with White residents at the current rate of progress. Rural areas, particularly distressed rural areas, are the geography that comes closest to parity, because outcomes there are poor for residents of all races. McKinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility researchers state that addressing the affordable housing crisis is a primary solution to achieving progress that will yield parity.

Story offers an example of homelessness in rural Texas

By following the journey of a 17-year-old, a story in the Texas Tribune highlights the particular challenges homeless teens face in rural communities.

Native nations building broadband

Native Nations with Scarce Internet are Building Their Own Broadband Networks, published by Stateline, describes the work underway by some Tribes to provide fast internet access for their residents, using resources such as federal economic recovery funds. The article notes that finding workers can be one of the many challenges involved, partly because there is a shortage of housing for them.

Affordable housing can meet building performance standards to reduce greenhouse gases or energy use

Some state and local governments have adopted building standards that require buildings to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, or both. A new ACEEE report, Nobody Left Behind: Preliminary Review of Strategies to Support Affordable Housing Compliance with Building Performance Standards, identifies tactics that local governments, community-based organizations, energy utilities, and other stakeholders can use to support affordable housing properties and their residents during the design and implementation of these building performance standards.


HAC is hiring – many new listings!

HAC job listings, each with application instructions, are available on our website.

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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