Jennifer Emerling / There Is More Work To Be Done

HAC News: June 20, 2024


House bill proposes rural housing cuts

On June 11 the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee approved a bill to fund USDA and related agencies in fiscal year 2025. It would set most USDA housing programs at levels lower than those enacted for FY24 or proposed in the administration’s FY25 budget. It would increase Section 502 direct loan funding slightly above the FY24 level, but would cut self-help housing and the Section 504 and 533 home repair programs. It would reduce funds for rental preservation programs and would zero out Section 516 farmworker housing grants, while continuing the 1,000-unit demonstration program that decouples Rental Assistance from USDA mortgages reaching the end of their terms. It would also block the recent determination made jointly by HUD and USDA that would require some federally supported new housing construction to meet updated energy efficiency standards. HAC’s summary of the bill is posted here.

The House’s Transportation-HUD bill will probably be released shortly before that subcommittee’s markup on June 27. The full committee will consider both the USDA and HUD bills on July 10. The Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet released bills or scheduled actions.

High housing costs and cost burden rates are focus of new State of the Nation’s Housing report

The State of the Nation’s Housing 2024 from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies examines the growth in housing costs, exacerbated by increases in home insurance rates and property taxes. The burdens are greatest for low-income households and people of color. Other topics covered include the inadequate housing safety net, the record number of people experiencing homelessness, the growing threat of climate change, and the need to reduce housing’s significant carbon footprint. The report provides data for the U.S. and for states and metro areas.

HAC invites comments on PRICE manufactured housing proposal

HAC’s goals for its Preservation and Reinvestment Initiative for Community Enhancement (PRICE) program are the preservation and revitalization of manufactured housing and manufactured housing communities in rural communities across the United States, with a focus on places of high poverty. HAC will take a three-pronged approach: 1) provide technical assistance to housing organizations that already own manufactured housing communities or are interested in becoming owners, 2) make grants and forgivable loans to nonprofit or public housing organizations for the acquisition of manufactured housing communities or to address the infrastructure needs at communities already owned by them, and 3) make grants to partner legal assistance and community-based organizations to assist residents of manufactured homes clear heirs’ and/or tangled land titles and convert their property to real estate status, targeting rural communities of color and/or persistent poverty rural communities. To provide feedback on HAC’s application, attend our public hearing on Wednesday, June 26, at noon Eastern time; email written comments to by 11:59 pm Eastern on Friday, June 28; or mail written comments to Housing Assistance Council, Attn: PRICE, 1828 L Street, NW, Suite 505, Washington, DC 20036 and ensure they are received by 11:59 pm Eastern on Friday, June 28.


In 2022, the rate of home mortgage denials for Black borrowers residing in the Deep South with earnings over $150,000 were similar to the rates for white borrowers earning between $31,000 and $50,000. Source: Hope Policy Institute, Black Households Still Face Higher Mortgage Denials than White Applicants, Research Finds.


HUD opens Youth Homelessness Demo funding round

Nonprofits, state and local governments, Tribes, and Tribal housing entities can apply by August 29 for Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program grants to support planning and implementation of a coordinated community approach to preventing and ending homelessness for youth aged 24 and under. Up to eight of the 25 awardees will have substantial rural populations.

Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants offered

Preapplications for HPG funds are due to USDA July 29. Nonprofits, state and local public agencies, and Tribes are eligible and can use their grant awards for repairs and rehabilitation of owner-occupied or rental housing in rural areas if the owners or renters have low or very low incomes.

New vouchers available for veterans

Approximately 7,800 new HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) vouchers are available for distribution by public housing agencies. PHAs must register their interest by August 30.

Eviction Protection Grants will go to legal services providers

HUD will make Eviction Protection Grants to nonprofit or governmental entities such as legal aid organizations, bar associations, legal clinics, institutions of higher education, and local, state, or tribal agencies to provide free legal assistance to low-income tenants at risk of or subject to eviction. Applications are due August 20.


Listening sessions set on HOME proposed rule

HUD’s final virtual public listening sessions on the HOME program proposed regulation will be held June 25 and June 26. The sessions are intended to allow interested persons an opportunity to learn about the proposal and provide comments. Written comments are due July 29.

Comments requested on new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac underserved markets plans

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have drafted new Underserved Markets Plans for 2025-2027, proposing goals for meeting their Duty to Serve obligations for rural housing, manufactured housing, and preservation. The Federal Housing Finance Board will hold listening sessions for stakeholder feedback on July 15, 16, and 17. Written comments are due August 12.

Tribal housing counselors rule finalized

HUD has adopted an alternative regulatory standard for the housing counselor certification that accounts for the unique status of Tribal land and housing programs in Indian Country and recognizes the importance of Tribal expertise. It takes effect on July 12.

Effective date delayed for new Section 184 Indian loan guarantee rule

HUD’s final regulation for the Section 184 Indian Loan Guarantee Program was set to take effect on June 18. That date has been changed to December 31, 2024, and compliance will be required by March 1, 2025. During the additional time, HUD will develop and implement a program handbook and Tribes, lenders, servicers, and others will be able to conform their policies, procedures, and systems with the final rule.

VA revises rule on brokerage fees

Beginning August 10, the Department of Veterans Affairs will allow homebuyers using VA guaranteed loans to pay fees for buyer brokers. Since market practices regarding buyer broker fees are evolving, this change will remain in effect until VA establishes a permanent policy. USDA addressed the situation differently in May by removing a limitation on commission fees for the Section 502 guarantee program.


Rural Rental Housing Preservation Academy to be held in August

Enterprise Community Partners and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis will host an in-person Rural Preservation Academy session August 6-7 in Minneapolis. The two-day convening will feature presentations about a variety of successful approaches for preserving affordable housing, along with updates on policy and research in the field. The speakers will include HAC staff. Register here.


Online tool helps with housing discrimination complaints

A new housing discrimination complaint generator, created by Disability Rights Texas, can be used by residents of any state. After the user fills in the blanks, the system provides a PDF file and information about how to send it to HUD. The tool does not submit the complaint to HUD directly.

Federal housing agencies have authority to address AI concerns, report says

Taking Further Agency Action on AI: How Agencies Can Deploy Existing Statutory Authority to Regulate Artificial Intelligence, published by the Center for American Progress and Governing for Impact, identifies steps that many federal agencies could take to address issues posed by artificial intelligence. On housing, the report argues existing laws such as the Fair Housing Act give HUD and other housing regulators authority to prohibit discrimination based on AI.

Rural employment rates vary by race/ethnicity

A Federal Reserve article, Rural Employment Disparities by Race, Ethnicity, and Region, highlights employment inequalities for people living outside metro areas who identify as American Indian, Alaska Native, or African American. “While the metro-nonmetro difference in employment rates for Asian American men is just 5.7 percentage points, the differences for Black or African American men and American Indian or Alaska Native men are 18.1 and 15.4 percentage points, respectively.” For most races, the gaps for women are substantially lower than they are for men. The article also examines variations by region.

CIRD community partners with students to create public art

Ten weeks after a Drexel University professor reached out to the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design staff at HAC in hopes of developing a curriculum focused on rural design, Van Buren, Maine has 10 to 12 new pieces of art to display throughout the town. This partnership is just one example of how CIRD and rural design can connect the younger generation to rural communities.


HAC is hiring

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).

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