HAC News

HAC News: June 23, 2010

Access a pdf version of this HAC News. • HUD/DOT planning grants offered • RD extends eligibility for Section 538 continuous guarantee demo • HUD considers simplifying procedure for completing new manufactured homes on site • Rules set for new water/waste disposal program • Proposal would give CRA credit for NSP activities • Comments invited on CRA regulations • Comments sought on National Energy Rating Program for Homes • National homelessness plan released • State of the nation’s housing is mixed, says annual study • Green building symposium materials available online • Rural Voices magazine features green building • HAC seeks nominations for rural housing awards

June 23, 2010
Vol. 39, No. 13

HUD/DOT PLANNING GRANTS OFFERED. A joint NOFA offers HUD’s Community Challenge Planning Grants and Department of Transportation planning grants to state and local government entities. Visit https://www.grants.gov. Contact TIGERIIGrants@dot.gov or sustainablecommunities@hud.gov; Robert Mariner, DOT, 202-366-8914; or Zuleika K. Morales-Romero, HUD, 202-402-7683, zuleika.k.morales@hud.gov.

RD EXTENDS ELIGIBILITY FOR SECTION 538 CONTINUOUS GUARANTEE DEMO. Lenders with Section 538 guaranteed rural rental housing obligations issued after October 1, 2007 (rather than 2009) are now eligible to apply for guarantees that cover construction through permanent financing. (See HAC News, 5/12/10). See Federal Register, 5/14/10, or https://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RD_NOFAs.html. Contact Tammy Daniels, RD, 202-720-0021.

HUD CONSIDERS SIMPLIFYING PROCEDURE FOR COMPLETING NEW MANUFACTURED HOMES ON SITE. A proposed rule would establish uniform procedures for manufacturers to complete construction of homes at installation sites rather than in factories, without advance approval from HUD. Comments are due August 23. See Federal Register, 6/23/10, or https://www.regulations.gov. Contact William W. Matchneer III, HUD, 202-708-6409.

RULES SET FOR NEW WATER/WASTE DISPOSAL PROGRAM. RD will use up to 4% of its water and waste disposal funding for the new Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) program to make predevelopment and planning grants to public agencies, nonprofits, and tribes for projects in financially distressed communities with populations under 2,500. See Federal Register, 6/24/10 or www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDU_Regulations.html. Contact Anita O’Brien, RD, 202-690-3789, anita.obrien@usda.gov.

PROPOSAL WOULD GIVE CRA CREDIT FOR NSP ACTIVITIES. Comments are due July 23 on a revised Community Reinvestment Act regulation covering loans, investments, and services that support activities eligible for Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding in target areas identified in NSP plans. Activities could be outside a financial institution’s assessment area. See Federal Register, 6/24/10 or https://www.regulations.gov. Contact Michael S. Bylsma, OCC, 202-874-5750.

COMMENTS INVITED ON CRA REGULATIONS. The agencies that regulate banks and thrifts request written or oral comments on whether and how they should revise their regulations to better serve the Community Reinvestment Act’s goals. Public hearings will be held in four cities between July 19 and August 17. Written comments may be submitted through August 31. Visit https://www.ffiec.gov/cra/hearings.htm or contact Barry Wides, OCC, Barry.Wides@occ.treas.gov, 202-874-4930.

COMMENTS SOUGHT ON NATIONAL ENERGY RATING PROGRAM FOR HOMES. Comment by July 10 on a Department of Energy proposed program to encourage consumers to invest in energy improvements in existing homes. Details are posted at https://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/home_rating_rfi.html. Contact Joan Glickman, buildingratingRFI@ee.doe.gov.

NATIONAL HOMELESSNESS PLAN RELEASED. Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness is intended to serve as a roadmap for action by federal agencies along with local and state partners in the public and private sectors, to end veterans and chronic homelessness by 2015, and to end homelessness among children, family, and youth by 2020. Visit https://www.usich.gov.

STATE OF THE NATION’S HOUSING IS MIXED, SAYS ANNUAL STUDY. Harvard’s 2010 report notes numerous improvements and challenges in the U.S. housing situation as a whole, with continuing shortages of affordable housing for owners and renters. The State of the Nation’s Housing 2010 is free at https://www.jchs.harvard.edu/ or $15 from the Joint Center for Housing Studies, 617-495-7809.

GREEN BUILDING SYMPOSIUM MATERIALS AVAILABLE ONLINE. Materials from “Building Green in Rural America: A Symposium on Policy and Practice,” hosted by HAC and the Home Depot Foundation on June 9 in Washington, DC, are posted on HAC’s website at https://ruralhome.org.

RURAL VOICES MAGAZINE FEATURES GREEN BUILDING. The spring issue of HAC’s quarterly magazine describes nonprofits building green affordable housing. Rural Voices is free at https://ruralhome.org. One print subscription per organization is free from Lawrence Adams, HAC, 202-842-8600, lawrence@ruralhome.org.

HAC SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR RURAL HOUSING AWARDS. At the National Rural Housing Conference in December, HAC will present the Cochran/Collings Award for national rural housing service, the Skip Jason Community Service Award, and the Henry B. Gonzalez Award for local or tribal elected officials. Nominations are due September 15. Visit www.ruralhome.org or contact Lilla Sutton, HAC, 202-842-8600, lilla@ruralhome.org.