Jennifer Emerling / There Is More Work To Be Done

HAC News, March 14, 2024

HAC News: March 14, 2024


Administration’s FY25 housing budget proposes new programs for HUD

The Biden Administration released its request for the upcoming fiscal year on March 11. Tables and analyses are available on HAC’s website for USDA and HUD. The recording and slides from HAC’s annual budget webinar, held March 13, are also posted.

For most of USDA’s rural housing programs, the FY25 budget would hold funding at FY23 (not FY24) levels. The administration also repeats some proposals from last year’s budget request. Congress included in the FY24 final bill a limited pilot to decouple up to 1,000 units of Section 521 Rental Assistance from Section 515 and 514 mortgages so that, when a USDA rental housing mortgage ends, the tenants can continue to receive RA. The FY25 budget requests broader decoupling authority without caps. For homebuyers, the budget proposes to eliminate subsidy “recapture” for the Section 502 direct program, an expensive change that was requested but not adopted in FY24.

Many of the HUD programs that help produce housing, including HOME, CDBG, SHOP, and Native American housing, would receive funding cuts under the budget request. It proposes to produce new units, as well as assisting renters and people experiencing homelessness, through several large new programs. They would receive mandatory funding, which would not be subject to the caps on discretionary spending imposed by the 2023 debt limit agreement, and therefore are unlikely to be adopted. They would include the first-ever voucher guarantees, offered to all extremely low-income veterans and all youth aging out of foster care. The budget does continue current support for tenants, with a total of almost $32.8 billion to renew all Housing Choice Vouchers and provide 20,000 new incremental vouchers.

FY24 housing spending set

USDA and HUD are among the federal agencies that now have final appropriations for fiscal year 2024, which began on October 1, 2023. Summaries are available on HAC’s website. Negotiations continue in Congress for the remaining agencies, whose funding is scheduled to run out on March 22.

Most of USDA’s rural housing programs received spending cuts. The Section 502 direct mortgage loan program, for example, was reduced from $1.25 billion in FY23 to $880 million in FY24. The final measure also rescinds $28 million in unused Section 504 grant funds and $35 million in unused Section 542 voucher monies from past years. Many HUD programs were reduced also, with HOME falling from $1.5 billion to $1.25 billion and SHOP from $13.5 million to $12 million. Native American housing saw an increase, however, from $1.02 billion last year to $1.344 billion in FY24.

Secretary Fudge to depart HUD

Secretary Marcia L. Fudge has announced she will leave HUD on March 22 for family reasons. Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman will serve as Acting Secretary.

HAC announces new rental preservation center

The Center for Rural Multifamily Housing Preservation, a cross-disciplinary initiative to preserve rural rental housing, will focus on USDA-financed Section 515 properties, providing technical assistance and expertise to preserve the long-term affordability of this critical housing stock. It will draw on HAC’s unique combination of resources – lending, research, policy, and direct technical assistance – to both preserve individual properties and redefine the preservation process. For more information, contact Kristin Blum, HAC,

March is Women’s History Month

President Biden’s proclamation is posted here and information about federal events and exhibits is here.


85% of U.S. counties and Puerto Rico’s municipios have at least one USDA Section 515 property. As of February 2024, USDA’s portfolio included 12,398 Section 515 properties providing 388,572 rental homes for rural households and families. Source: HAC tabulations of USDA data.


Indian Housing Block Grant application deadline extended

HUD has extended the original March 19 deadline for the competitive Indian Housing Block Grant to April 19. It also made technical changes in the announcement. For more information, email

HUD changes deadline for Service Coordinator funding

Applications for the Service Coordinators in Multifamily Housing program are now due April 9 rather than March 11. For more information, email

Domestic violence survivors support programs include housing

The Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women has several open funding competitions that include housing and/or related services for domestic violence survivors as eligible activities. Deadlines range from March to early May. These include Transitional Housing Assistance Grants (deadline April 11) as well as a program focused on rural residents (deadline April 16), one supporting people with disabilities and deaf people (deadline April 2), two programs for tribes, here and here (deadline for both is April 25), and others.

Funds offered for Building Communities of Recovery program

Provision of recovery housing is an allowable activity under BCOR. Through this program, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (part of the Department of Health and Human Services) supports the development, enhancement, expansion, and delivery of recovery support services for persons with substance use disorders (SUD) and co-occurring substance use and mental disorders (COD). Eligible applicants are independent nonprofits wholly or principally governed by people in recovery from SUD and/or COD who reflect the community being served. Applications are due April 29. Information contacts vary by topic and are listed at the end of the funding notice.


Senate committee hearing covers rural housing reform bill

The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing March 12 on bipartisan housing bills. Many Senators at the session focused their comments on support for the RHS Reform Act (S. 2790), in hopes of a committee markup for the bill in the near future. HAC supports the RHS Reform Act, which includes a slate of commonsense modernizations to the rural housing programs at USDA, and HAC CEO David Lipsetz testified on the bill in a subcommittee hearing last year. Several other bills that HAC supports were also mentioned during the hearing, including the new Tribal Rural Housing Access Act (S. 3906) introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).


FY24 area loan limits in effect for USDA RD single-family programs

The area loan limits for fiscal year 2024 are now available and are reflected in online resources for the Section 502 direct loan program and the Section 504 loan and grant programs. For more information, contact an RD service center.

USDA will not make some HOTMA changes to income calculations

Recent HUD regulations implement changes in calculations of tenant income and assets required by the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act. A waiver notice from USDA Rural Housing Service Administrator Joaquin Altoro announces that USDA will not use one part of HUD’s rule for its tenants, though it will use others. For more information, contact USDA’s multifamily servicing staff.

Buy America FAQs published for some HUD programs

Programs run by HUD’s Community Planning and Development office, including HOME, SHOP, and many others, are covered by a new set of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Build America, Buy America Act. The answers are based on the more detailed implementation guidance recently issued in Notice CPD-2023-12.

Survey seeks Buy America experiences

The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials is collecting information to respond to HUD’s recent request for information about the impact of the Build America, Buy America Act. Please take NAHRO’s brief survey by April 5 to help NAHRO advocate for a workable implementation of the law. NAHRO requests one response per agency. This survey will help affordable housing providers complete the work that their communities need. For more information, contact Andrew Van Horn, NAHRO,


CIRD webinars to address design and rural disaster planning

Two webinars on Design and Disaster Planning for Rural Communities, hosted by the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, seek to demystify the process of planning for disasters. Disaster resiliency and response practitioners who center design, arts, and culture in their work will share their approaches and some successful projects, along with concrete best practices and key considerations for rural communities. Part 1 will be held on March 27 and Part 2 on April 17.

Conference will cover heirs’ property and the racial wealth gap

Boston College Law’s Heirs’ Property and the Racial Wealth Gap Conference will take place on March 21-22 and is free to attend either virtually or in person.


Report documents shortage of affordable rentals

The U.S. has a shortage of 7.3 million rental homes affordable and available to renters with extremely low incomes, as documented in The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Nationwide, only 34 affordable and available rental homes exist for every 100 extremely low-income renter households. The report provides data for each state and for major metro areas.

Disease-related death rates growing for working age rural Americans

Twenty-five years ago, “natural-cause mortality” rates were similar in metropolitan areas and places outside metropolitan areas. By 2019, however, the age-adjusted natural-cause mortality rate for the prime working-age population (aged 25-54) was 43% higher outside metropolitan areas, USDA’s Economic Research Service reports. A new ERS study, The Nature of the Rural-Urban Mortality Gap, finds that both an increase in the rural prime working-age rates and a decrease in the corresponding urban rates contribute to this growing gap. Natural-cause death rates did not increase for other age groups. The largest increases were for women in two racial/ethnic groups – non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Natives and non-Hispanic whites – though rates for men in these groups increased also. The more rural an area was, the greater its death rate increase was. ERS researchers did not address possible reasons for their findings, but Covid was not a factor in the data they used, which did not cover periods after 2019.


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).

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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