HAC News

HAC News: January 23 , 2009

Access a pdf version of this HAC News. • Senate confirms Vilsack and Donovan • Congress working on economic stimulus legislation, housing included • Section 538 guarantees for rental housing loans offered • New Markets Tax Credits applications due April 8 • Self-help funding falls short for FY 09 • RD clarifies Community Facilities funding for assisted living • Income limit changes for Section 502 guaranteed loans delayed • Section 8 annual adjustment factors released • HUD corrects SuperNOFA phone and hours • Indian CDBG job-pirating rule final • RD water and waste programs interest rates changed • Toll-free number offered to locate housing counselors • Survey on foreclosure and homelessness underway • Population, housing data updated for midsized places

January 23, 2009
Vol. 38, No. 2

SENATE CONFIRMS VILSACK AND DONOVAN. Tom Vilsack was confirmed as the Secretary of Agriculture on January 20 and Shaun Donovan as HUD Secretary on January 22.

CONGRESS WORKING ON ECONOMIC STIMULUS LEGISLATION, HOUSING INCLUDED. The House may vote during the week of January 26 on an $825 billion, two-year economic stimulus package. The bill, approved by the House Appropriations Committee and now under review by several other committees, includes funds for both HUD and USDA housing programs, plus support for other USDA RD initiatives and Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects. Not included are the National Housing Trust Fund, Section 8, rural rental programs, and some other housing programs that had been sought by advocates. The Senate Appropriations Committee has not released information about the contents of its bill, scheduled for Appropriations Committee mark up on January 27. Updates will be added as available to HAC’s site, https://ruralhome.org/infoAnnouncements_2009EconRecovery.php.

SECTION 538 GUARANTEES FOR RENTAL HOUSING LOANS OFFERED. USDA RD will review applications on a rolling basis. FY 2009 funding includes $2 million for 2008 disaster areas. See Federal Register, 1/21/09, https://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/a090121c.html. Contact an RD state office listed in the FR notice or at https://www.rurdev.usda.gov/recd_map.html.

NEW MARKETS TAX CREDITS APPLICATIONS DUE APRIL 8. Apply by March 3 for Community Development Entity status. By law, rural CDEs must receive a proportionate share of awards. See Federal Register, 1/22/09 or https://www.cdfifund.gov. Contact CDFI Fund staff, 202-622-6355, cdfihelp@cdfi.treas.gov.

SELF-HELP FUNDING FALLS SHORT FOR FY 09. Expecting demand to exceed resources for Section 523 funding again this year, RD will not fund new and predevelopment grants. Existing grantees will receive up to 75% of the amount requested, with the rest obligated later if funds are available. See Unnumbered Letter (January 5, 2009), available at https://www.rurdev.usda.gov/regs/ul_list.html or from RD offices.

RD CLARIFIES COMMUNITY FACILITIES FUNDING FOR ASSISTED LIVING. An Unnumbered Letter explains that CF can finance assisted living facilities but not multi-generational family housing, residential care, or continuing care facilities. The UL (January 6, 2009) is available at https://www.rurdev.usda.gov/regs/ul_list.html or from RD offices.

INCOME LIMIT CHANGES FOR SECTION 502 GUARANTEED LOANS DELAYED. The simplified system (see HAC News, 11/5/08) will take effect on March 20 rather than January 20. See Federal Register, 1/13/09 or https://www.regulations.gov. Contact Joaquin Tremols, RD, 202-720-1465, joaquin.tremols@wdc.usda.gov.

SECTION 8 ANNUAL ADJUSTMENT FACTORS RELEASED. See Federal Register, 1/12/09 or https://www.huduser.org/datasets/aaf.html. Contact David Vargas, HUD, 202-708-2815.

HUD CORRECTS SUPERNOFA PHONE AND HOURS. The Central Contractor Registration number and hours of operation listed in the HUD SuperNOFA General Section are incorrect. The correct number is 1-888-227 (not 277) -2423. CCR’s hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 9:00-5:00 Eastern time. Visit https://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/grants/fundsavail.cfm for more HUD NOFA information.

INDIAN CDBG JOB-PIRATING RULE FINAL. HUD is adopting its proposed rule, published September 8, 2008, without change. ICDBG funds may not be used to facilitate the relocation of for-profit businesses from one labor market area to another if the relocation is likely to result in significant job loss. See Federal Register, 1/13/09 or https://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/hudclips/fr/. Contact Deborah Lalancette, HUD, 303-675-1600.

RD WATER AND WASTE PROGRAMS INTEREST RATES CHANGED. A rule implementing a provision of the 2008 Farm Bill will become effective unless RD receives adverse comments by February 5. See Federal Register, 1/6/09 or https://www.regulations.gov. Contact Cheryl Francis, RD, 202-720-9589, cheryl.francis@wdc.usda.gov.

TOLL-FREE NUMBER OFFERED TO LOCATE HOUSING COUNSELORS. To find a HUD-approved agency, call 1-877-HUD-1515 (1-877-483-1515) or visit https://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm. HUD offers the number as part of a new “Keep Your Home. Know Your Loan” campaign launched in six large cities.

SURVEY ON FORECLOSURE AND HOMELESSNESS UNDERWAY. The National Coalition for the Homeless and other national organizations request responses by February 6 from advocates, service providers, and people surviving foreclosure. Visit www.nationalhomeless.org to take the one-page survey online or to obtain printable copies.

POPULATION, HOUSING DATA UPDATED FOR MIDSIZED PLACES. For the first time since the 2000 Census these data are available for counties, cities, and towns with populations of 20,000-64,999, through the American Community Survey. Visit https://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2004/NewsMediaKit.html.