FY 2023 funding set, new Congress begins work
The omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023 became law in late December. It holds most USDA and HUD housing programs near their FY22 funding levels, with increased support for rural rental preservation and rural capacity building. It provides $225 million for a new manufactured housing program at HUD, hailed as a “game-changing investment” in HAC’s statement on the bill, which also calls on the new 118th Congress to be bolder in both appropriations and the 2023 Farm Bill.
Census Bureau revises urban and rural definitions
A list of places recently released by the Census Bureau shows the impact of a significant change in Census’s definition of urban and rural. Before March 2022, the bureau defined urban places as those with more than 2,500 residents. Now Census has raised the threshold to 5,000 residents and added a housing unit criterion so that places with over 2,000 homes are urban. Census considers any place that is not urban to be rural. The revision means rural communities now include 1,140 places previously classified as urban and 36 previously rural areas are now deemed urban. The change shifted Census’s national urban-rural proportions slightly, with the newly defined rural areas containing 20.0% of the U.S. population rather than the previous 19.3%. For more information, contact Vincent Osier, Census Bureau, 301-763-1128
Webinar will launch resource guide for housing and recovery
Substance Use Disorder and opioid misuse have proliferated across the U.S. in the past decade – and rural America has been particularly impacted. Effectively addressing the opioid epidemic and supporting recovery includes a holistic community approach with an essential shared foundation: safe, stable, affordable housing. On January 18 HAC will launch a new Rural Resource Guide: Affordable Housing and Recovery in Rural Communities, Federally Assisted Housing Opportunities for Residents with Substance Use Disorders and Opioid Use Disorders. Join us online for a discussion about the intersection of affordable housing and recovery and gain first access to the new rural resource guide.
HAC updates policy priorities for 2023
HAC’s revised policy priorities support increased capacity building for rural disaster resiliency and the equitable distribution of federal relief funding to rural and persistently poor communities. Other themes include the need for technical assistance and building the capacity of local affordable housing and community development organizations; expanding access to credit and finance; preserving rural rental housing and supporting homeownership; preserving, increasing, and tailoring resources for federal affordable housing programs serving rural populations; and deliberately considering high-needs rural regions in federal policymaking.
January is National Poverty in America Month
Approximately 78% of persistent poverty counties in 2020 have been in this status consistently since 1980. Source: HAC tabulations of the 2016-2020 American Community Survey and Decennial Census Data.
Assistance available for transferring Section 515 properties
HAC and other organizations offer technical assistance to nonprofits on transfers of Section 515 properties. Current owners of Section 515 properties who are interested in transferring ownership to a nonprofit organization, or nonprofits who are interested in acquiring one, can reach out to Kristin Blum at HAC or find another TA provider on the Contact tab at this link. TA is also available for transfers of Section 514/516 farmworker properties in some states; click the Contact tab at this link.
Deadline extended for strategic planning proposals
The deadline is now January 18 for strategic consultants who are passionate about working with CDFIs, nonprofits, and/or rural communities to submit proposals for HAC’s strategic planning process! HAC seeks a consultant to support the organization and our stakeholders in the creation of a three-to-five-year strategic plan. For more details, review the RFP on HAC’s website. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Free COVID test kits available for Section 202 providers
Free at-home COVID-19 test kits are available for owners of Section 202 elderly properties through a HUD partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services. Owners of Section 202 properties can register online and request weekly shipments of test kits to be delivered to their property for distribution. Questions related to the registration process can be emailed to CARS_HelpDesk@cdc.gov, or call 1-833-748-1979.
REGULATIONS AND FEDERAL AGENCIES
HUD seeks input on implementing 2022 Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act
Changes proposed to Native Hawaiian rental housing assistance
Comments are due March 6 on a proposed regulation from HUD covering rental housing assistance for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant program. The revisions are intended to clarify and improve consistency with NAHASDA’s statutory requirements and HUD’s Indian Housing Block Grant program regulations. For more information, contact Claudine Allen, HUD, 808-457-4674.
PUBLICATIONS AND MEDIA
Homelessness response resources available
The Framework for an Equitable Homelessness Response released two new resources to transform current approaches to sheltering people experiencing homelessness. Reimagining Interim Housing: Stages and Action Areas for Transforming Approaches to Sheltering People Experiencing Homelessness and Tools for Strengthening Current Interim Housing Programs and Services help support and guide communities in implementing high-quality, low-barrier, housing placement-focused interim housing options for people experiencing homelessness.
Updated guide addresses housing for those with criminal records
An Affordable Home on Reentry, recently updated by the National Housing Law Project, is intended to assist advocates working with people who have criminal records and are seeking access to federally assisted housing.
EPA offers resources on Tribal indoor air quality
The Tribal Indoor Air Quality Training and Resource Directory compiles information and resources to help Tribes create or expand programs. More publications can be accessed on the agency’s website. Subscribe here to EPA’s new indoor air quality Tribal newsletter.
Public-private partnerships could harness modular housing technology
Using Economies of Scale to Produce Starter Homes, a report from the Bipartisan Policy Center and Abt Associates, suggests increasing the stock of unsubsidized affordable starter homes in rural communities and small towns and cities by using off-site construction techniques.
HAC seeks Portfolio Manager, Closing and Disbursements (new!) and Portfolio Manager, Self-Help Housing
- The Portfolio Manager, Closing and Disbursements is responsible for all aspects of loan closing and loan disbursements for an assigned portfolio of loans made to entities engaged in affordable housing activities in rural communities throughout the United States. This position is eligible for telecommuting.
- The Portfolio Manager, Self-Help Housing is responsible for the overall asset management, monitoring and reporting for an assigned portfolio of primarily self-help housing loans made to entities engaged in affordable housing activities in rural communities throughout the United States. This position is eligible for telecommuting.
National Rural Housing Conference set for October 2023
Mark your calendars and save the date! HAC’s National Rural Housing Conference will be held October 24-27, 2023 in Washington, DC and online.
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 email@example.com, 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).
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