Jennifer Emerling / There Is More Work To Be Done

HAC News, July 6, 2023

HAC News: July 6, 2023

Vol. 52, No. 14


Fannie Mae proposes steep reduction in rural LIHTC investments this year

Explaining that it is has stopped participating in multi-investor LIHTC investment funds because of a legal concern, Fannie Mae has asked the Federal Housing Finance Agency for approval to reduce its FY23 Duty to Serve target for LIHTC equity investments in rural areas to 20-40 transactions rather than 70. FHFA seeks comments on the request by July 21. For more information, contact FHFA staff, A group of senators has asked the Treasury Department to resolve the underlying legal issue.

Interagency Community Investment Committee releases 2023 action plan

The ICIC – comprised of USDA, HUD, the Departments of Commerce, Transportation, and Treasury, and SBA – says in its just-released plan that this year it is focused on improving federal community investment programs that support community financial institutions; providing technical assistance and capacity-building for community development organizations, small businesses, and consumers; and attracting additional private sector investment or leverage. The plan responds to comments submitted in December by stakeholders including HAC, and includes a section on connecting rural communities to capital. It was released at the same time as a White House memo titled Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Advancing Equitable Community and Economic Development in American Cities and Urban Communities which, the White House says, “is complementary to the Administration’s efforts to equitably lift up rural and Tribal communities across the nation.”

HAC seeks applicants for workshops on accessible and universal design

HAC’s Accessible and Universal Design workshop series will guide 30 housing professionals on integrating accessible and universal design principles into housing design and construction activities to address the accessibility, mobility, and design needs of every client. Participants will be eligible to receive reimbursement for travel and training expenses (up to $1,500 per training) to attend the two required in-person training events. Apply by July 14. For more information, email

July is Disability Pride Month

Disability Pride Month commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act into law on July 26, 1990. Shelterforce’s newest Under the Lens series, Not Just Ramps – Disability and Housing Justice, discusses the connection between disability and affordable housing. The [Un]Affordability of Accessibility: The Challenge of Retrofitting American Homes, an article in that series, reports that older adults and those with disabilities are an ever-increasing portion of our population. While there are laws in place, like the American with Disabilities Act, there is a lack of oversight and enforcement, resulting in few affordable and accessible housing options. To respond to the need, several nonprofits are working to reduce costs and retrofit homes so people can live comfortably in their homes.


In 2021, just over 80% of the U.S. population lived in urban places, with a disability rate of 12.6%. Among the slightly less than 20% of U.S. residents in rural places, 14.7% had a disability. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.


Continuum of Care funding available with new rural options

Applications are due September 28 for Continuum of Care funds to address homelessness and renewal or replacement of Youth Homeless Demonstration Program Grants. Based on a recent amendment to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, projects in rural areas can use funds for short-term emergency lodging, housing repairs, and staff training, professional development, skill development, and staff retention. Other revised provisions include newly eligible costs related to the Violence Against Women Act. For more information, email

HUD offers $75 million for Tribal community development

The Indian Community Development Block Grant program helps support development of housing, community facilities, and economic development in Tribal communities. Apply by September 5. For more information, contact HUD,

EPA opens Solar for All competition

Solar for All will award up to 60 grants to help expand the number of low-income and disadvantaged communities primed for residential solar investment. This is one of the three Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund competitions; application periods for the others have not yet been announced. Interested applicants must submit notices of intent to apply, due July 31 for states, DC, and Puerto Rico; August 14 for territories, municipalities, and nonprofits; and August 28 for Tribal governments and intertribal consortia. An informational webinar is scheduled for July 12 and will be recorded and posted online. For more information, email

Nominees sought for USDA Tribal Advisory Committee

USDA is establishing this committee to advise on matters related to Tribal and Indian affairs. Nominations for membership on the committee are due August 14. For more information, contact Josiah Griffin, USDA, 202-205-2249.


USDA to hold virtual feedback sessions on decoupling as a rental preservation tool

USDA’s Rural Housing Service will host two online listening sessions to obtain stakeholder information on potential decoupling of Section 521 Rental Assistance from Section 515 rental housing loans so that some tenants can continue to receive RA after their properties’ mortgages end. Register to attend or speak on July 19 or July 25. USDA is also accepting written comments until July 31. For more information, contact Stephanie Vergin, USDA, 651-602-7820,

CDFI Fund requests input on Capital Magnet Fund

The CDFI Fund asks for comments on ways to improve recipients’ understanding of its Capital Magnet Fund program requirements, ensure the program addresses activities and current business practices in the affordable housing industry, reduce the burden of administering CMF awards, better align the program with other significant federal funding sources, and determine how the program can better promote and incorporate policy priorities such as economic development in conjunction with affordable housing and affordable homeownership. Comments are due September 5. For more information, email and include “CMF RFI” in the email subject line.

List of distressed or underserved geographies outside metro areas released

The federal bank regulatory agencies have published their annual list of distressed or underserved middle-income geographies outside metropolitan areas. Bank financing for community development in these census tracts is eligible for Community Reinvestment Act consideration.

HUD publishes final notices implementing new inspection standards

HUD’s final rule for the National Standards for the Physical Inspection of Real Estate (NSPIRE) is accompanied by three subordinate notices. Information about inspection standards was released in June. Now an explanation of the scoring methodology and a notice covering administrative procedures have been published also. For more information, email

Multifamily housing programs explain policy on electronic signatures

USDA’s multifamily staff encourages use of electronic and digital signatures and will accept them so long as they comply with applicable laws, regulations, and policies, according to recently issued guidance. Unacceptable types of electronic signatures are also listed. USDA regulations, which supersede this guidance, require some notices to tenants be provided in specific ways. For more information, contact the appropriate staff listed here.

Homeownership value limits set for HOME and Housing Trust Fund

HUD has established new limits, effective July 1, for the initial purchase prices or after-rehabilitation values of homeownership units assisted through the HOME program and Housing Trust Fund.


Inequities in child well-being persist, Kids Count reports

The 2023 version of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual KIDS COUNT data analysis shows that disparities continue among states and racial/ethnic populations. This year the report focuses on the national shortage of available and affordable childcare.


National Endowment for the Arts funds 25 rural communities through Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design

NEA, in partnership with HAC and To Be Done Studio, has announced the 25 towns and Tribal communities taking part in this year’s Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™. Working with communities with populations of 50,000 or less, this national initiative has two primary components: local design workshops and a design learning cohort. This year CIRD will support eight workshops across the country, twice the number of workshops funded in previous years. The members of the peer learning cohort come from 17 communities as geographically diverse as Dalhart, Texas, and Ellsworth, Maine. Sign up for the CIRD newsletter to keep up to date on the cohort and other news.

HAC’s network supports rural housing improvements in letter to Congress

More than 100 organizations working in rural areas across the country signed a letter supporting bipartisan, cross-committee collaboration to consider improvements to USDA’s rural housing programs as part of the larger Farm Bill. Historically, the housing programs have not been included in the Farm Bill, but in recent months there has been increased momentum to include some bipartisan modernizations. HAC thanks all the organizations who signed the letter.

National Rural Housing Conference set for October

Mark your calendars and save the date! HAC’s National Rural Housing Conference will be held October 24-27 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, 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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