Vol. 52, No. 21
Government funded through November 17
On September 30, Congress passed a continuing resolution and the President signed it into law. It funds the federal government through November 17, keeping most programs at FY23 levels, and also extends the National Flood Insurance Program to the same date. If there is no agreement by then on full-year funding, the government could face a shutdown threat again. The House and Senate have other priorities to address and also have very different funding proposals for most agencies. The only USDA or HUD appropriations bill that has received a floor vote so far, the House’s Agriculture bill, did not pass.
Next HAC News to be published November 2
The HAC News will be published in three weeks rather than two because on October 26 HAC’s staff and many of our readers will be busy at the 2023 National Rural Housing Conference. Look for the next issue in your email on Thursday, November 2!
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
President Biden’s proclamation includes a reminder that for 24/7 immediate and confidential support, survivors can connect with the National Domestic Violence Hotline at thehotline.org, call 1-800-799-7233 (TTY 1-800-787-3224), or text “START” to 88788. Resources on the Violence Against Women Act, which includes legal protections related to assisted housing, are available from HUD and from the National Housing Law Project.
October 22-28 is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
HUD has posted resources and links to more from EPA and the Centers for Disease Control.
The average cost of homeowners insurance and a flood insurance policy could account for around 7% of the median household income in the eastern Kentucky counties impacted by the 2022 flood. Only 5% of damaged homes had flood insurance, and households earning $30,000 or less per year accounted for 60% of damaged homes. Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Resilience and Recovery: Insights from the July 2022 Eastern Kentucky Flood.
HUD offers fair housing initiatives funding
The application deadline is November 30 for four separate opportunities: the Education and Outreach Initiative, the Education and Outreach Initiative – Test Coordinator Training, the Fair Housing Organizations Initiative, and the Private Enforcement Initiative. For more information, contact Stephanie Thomas, HUD.
Agencies launch tools to find energy and environment funding
HUD’s Build for the Future Funding Navigator offers information on funding opportunities aimed at decarbonization, sustainable development, and community resilience. The Energy Department’s Funding and Incentives Resource Hub is intended to help identify rebates, funding, and other incentives for energy efficiency upgrades, renewable energy and decarbonization projects, and other sustainability initiatives.
REGULATIONS AND FEDERAL AGENCIES
USDA, HUD, and others address discrimination based on shared ancestry, ethnic characteristics, or religion
Eight federal agencies have clarified in writing that the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics in federally funded programs and activities (HUD, USDA, White House). This includes forms of antisemitic, Islamophobic, and related discrimination and bias. HUD and USDA offer fact sheets that include examples of discriminatory actions.
Comments sought on flood risk management
FEMA proposes to amend its regulations to implement the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and update its decision-making process for floodplain reviews. To supplement the regulations, it also suggests a policy that would further clarify how it would apply the FFRMS. Comments are due December 1. For more information, contact Portia Ross, FEMA, 202-709-0677.
Guidance released on HUD-assisted tenants’ income and assets
HUD Notice PIH 2023-17 offers guidance for public housing agencies and owners of HUD-assisted rental properties to implement Sections 102 and 104 of the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2016. These provisions change the requirements for tenant income reviews and tenant assets for public housing and Section 8 participants.
HUD suggests no changes to Section 3 benchmarks
HUD proposes to keep using its 2020 benchmarks to gauge compliance with Section 3, which requires employment and other economic opportunities generated by federal housing and community development programs to be directed toward low- and very low-income persons to the greatest extent feasible. The department requests public comments, particularly on experiences with the benchmark goals, with no specific submission deadline. For more information, contact Nathan Roush, HUD, 678-732-2045. General email inquiries regarding Section 3 may be sent to Section3@hud.gov.
OMB to revise guidance on grants and agreements
The Office of Management and Budget suggests revisions to several parts of its Guidance for Grants and Agreements in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations, including Part 200 (Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards). Comments are due December 4. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
USDA extends deadline for manufactured housing comments
Comments are now due October 31 rather than October 16 on USDA’s proposed rule that would expand use of the Section 502 direct and guaranteed programs for manufactured housing. For more information, contact Sonya Evans, USDA, 423-268-4333.
Register for the National Rural Housing Conference
Register now to join stakeholders in the field of rural affordable housing, community development, and placemaking at the 2023 National Rural Housing Conference October 24-27 in Washington, DC. The 2023 conference theme is Build Rural – both a literal and figurative appeal to explore and provoke action to build and renew rural communities by addressing housing affordability and preservation, community infrastructure and essential facilities creation and revitalization, resident led placemaking, capacity building, and community inclusion and justice efforts.
Webinar on rural housing set for November 6
Rural Housing Webinar, offered free by SaveYour.Town, will discuss demographic changes and what to do about them, creative ways to tailor housing solutions locally, and converting existing buildings into new housing through adaptive reuse.
PUBLICATIONS AND MEDIA
Climate Vulnerability Index shows disproportionate risk for Black and Native Americans
The Environment Defense Fund and Texas A&M researchers created the U.S. Climate Vulnerability Index, a new mapping and data tool, which outlines 184 climate risks for every census tract in the country. Socioeconomic and health disparities result in Black and Indigenous residents being most susceptible to death due to extreme heat. Systemic disinvestment in Black communities results in disproportionately higher risks of climate change effects. Seven of the ten most at-risk counties have a higher proportion of Black residents than the U.S. average of 12%.
Study examines philanthropy for the rural U.S.
“Giving for Rural Communities” is part of a State of American Philanthropy series published by Inside Philanthropy. The paper describes rural philanthropy, reviews rural issues and philanthropic responses, considers fundamental questions about rural designation and giving data, and offers recommendations to support the continued evolution of the field.
Recommendations address heirs’ property
Preserving Generational Wealth by Untangling Titles for Heirs Property Homeowners explains how heirs’ property develops as landowners die without wills. The paper, published by the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Policy Center, offers strategies to resolve existing heirs’ property cases and to prevent development of such title problems in the future.
States improving fair housing provisions in tax credit plans
Many states’ Qualified Allocation Plans show significant improvement in provisions related to fair housing since 2015, the Poverty and Race Research Action Council reports in Building Opportunity III: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. Some states, however, still lag behind.
Kentucky flooding and housing studied
In July 2022, serious flooding turned 13 eastern Kentucky counties into federally declared disaster areas. The impact on housing is the focus of Resilience and Recovery: Insights from the July 2022 Eastern Kentucky Flood, a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. In addition to findings on the prohibitive cost of flood insurance and the shortage of affordable housing, the report notes that floods increase population out-migration, which, in turn, impacts the local labor force; and that the pre-existing weakness of local labor markets will likely impact housing recovery, particularly due to a lack of skilled tradespeople.
U.S. gets failing grade on human right to housing
The U.S. receives an F in “affordability” and still has much room for improvement in other areas, according to the Human Right to Housing Report Card 2023 issued by the National Homelessness Law Center and University of Miami Law School Human Rights Clinic. The report card assesses the U.S. government’s performance on ensuring that adequate, affordable housing is available to all. It also cites numerous areas of hope, drawn from federal interventions to protect vulnerable homeowners, renters, and unhoused persons during the pandemic.
Social services organizations important in rural economic development work, survey finds
Large metropolitan areas have a disproportionately large share of community economic development (CED) groups’ revenues, expenditures, and assets compared to these places’ share of poverty, a recent survey found, while medium-sized metro areas have a disproportionately small share. Nationwide, the number of CED groups outside metro areas and their revenues are roughly comparable to their share of national poverty, with an outsized share of their revenues from government, probably because many are social services groups. These findings and others are reported by the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) in Community Economic Development Organizations, Geography, and Financial Resources.
HAC is hiring
- The Rental Housing Development and Preservation – Housing Specialist will provide technical assistance support to nonprofit organizations involved in multifamily housing programs, with a specific focus on USDA 515 and HUD rural housing programs. This position is remote work eligible.
- The Rental Housing Development and Preservation Housing Specialist – Senior Level Position is a senior-level role that combines expertise in multifamily housing programs, specifically focusing on USDA 515 and HUD rural housing programs, with the responsibility of providing technical assistance, with a particular focus on transfers of USDA 515 properties. This position is remote work eligible.
- The Senior Accountant is responsible for applying technical and leadership skills to guide accounting practices and recording of transactions. This position is hybrid, based in Washington, DC.
- The Financial Controller is responsible for day-to-day management of HAC’s finance and accounting processes. This position is eligible for a hybrid schedule.
- The Senior Human Resources and Payroll Administrator oversees all aspects of human resources and payroll practices and processes. This position is eligible for a hybrid schedule.
- The Executive Assistant supports the work of HAC’s Chief Executive Officer, senior leadership, and board of directors. The position is a blend of administrative work and project assignments. This position is based in Washington, DC.
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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