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Feeling grateful this holiday season

And looking forward to an even better 2020

A Message from HAC CEO David Lipsetz

Happy Holidays from your friends at HAC

2019 has been an incredible year for HAC, the communities that we serve, and rural America. That is in no small part due to the support and partnership of people like you. Thank you for joining us in this work.

The public spotlight on affordable housing and rural conditions continues to grow. Press coverage of an “affordability crisis” appears regularly in mainstream media. Congress is holding hearings and polls show that the general public considers it to be an important issue. And for the first time in memory, candidates for president are issuing detailed housing and rural development policy statements. HAC is translating the increased attention into action by partnering with national organizations and local practitioners to address the issues facing rural communities, while finding new ways to work together with local governments, community banks, community health providers, small business and more to better represent the broader needs of rural development.

Among the exciting events of 2019 was our launch of the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in which HAC helps rural communities engage in design thinking, creative placemaking, and leverage arts and culture to drive economic revitalization. We ran our first “CIRD Learning Cohort Summit” in the fall with 34 community leaders from 23 small towns based in 18 different states. We gathered in Thomas, West Virginia (pop. 660) to allow rural practitioners to focus on rural-specific issues with their rural peers in a rural setting. In the process, CIRD is expanding HAC’s capacity in community development and elevating our role in arts and creative placemaking.

2019 was a busy year for our Loan Fund. We opened wide for new business and made $9 million in new loans to support the development of decent, safe, affordable homes throughout rural America. We also built a pipeline of new activity that should bring over $16 million in additional capital investments over the next few years.

We also spent the year focusing our Training and Technical Assistance activities on its transformative work with small and emerging rural housing organizations to build capacity to serve their communities. One of my favorite examples has been our working with Magnolia CDC in Opelousas, LA to become a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO). A CHDO designation will help Magnolia access funding opportunities like the Community Development Block Grant and serve more of their community.

As always, HAC’s Research and Information division is on the cutting edge when it comes to issues impacting rural America. We worked along the southern border to establish Colonias Investment Areas that help target opportunities for mortgage finance and community development. We analyzed the extent to which limited broadband access, food insecurity and natural disasters impacted rural prosperity. And in 2019, we influenced the debate on Community Reinvestment Act reform by analyzing how an expanded CRA could stem the tide of rural bank closures and expand access to mortgage credit in the nation’s most persistently poor places.

Looking ahead, 2020 will no doubt be another exciting year for HAC. We will see you at our biennial National Rural Housing Conference, send you the decennial update of our flagship publication Taking Stockand partner with you for vibrant, resilient and prosperous rural places. Thanks again for a great 2019. We wouldn’t be here without you.

HAC CEO David Lipsetz to testify on "The Affordable Housing Crisis in Rural America."

HAC CEO David Lipsetz

On Tuesday, April 2nd at 2 p.m. EST, the House Financial Services Committee will be holding a Subcommittee hearing entitled “The Affordable Housing Crisis in Rural America: Assessing the Federal Response.” The hearing is the Subcommittee’s first of the 116th Congress and will cover the entire spectrum of rural housing issues, with a focus on rural rental preservation.

HAC CEO David Lipsetz was invited to testify, and is looking forward to engaging with Subcommittee members on a variety of issues important to rural housing and rural economic development. HAC’s 2018 “Platform for Preservation” report is the most comprehensive and timely research available on the rural rental preservation topic, and will likely provide a basis for much of the discussion.

The full witness list for the hearing is as follows:

Tune in here on April 2nd at 2 p.m. EST to watch live!

And to get a sneak peak at HAC’s testimony, click here.

 

David Lipsetz Named Next Housing Assistance Council Executive Director

Contact: Dan Stern, dan@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600

Lipsetz-7237-smallWashington, DC: October 12, 2017 – The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) Board of Directors has named David Lipsetz as the organization’s next Executive Director. Lipsetz will replace Moises Loza, who is retiring on November 1, 2017 after more than 40 years at HAC. Founded in 1971, HAC is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected nonprofit organizations serving the housing needs of rural America and its residents. David becomes only the fourth Executive Director to lead the Housing Assistance Council.

“HAC is excited about this next chapter of our journey. We’re very blessed by the contributions that Moises Loza has given HAC,” said Andrew Bias of Wichita, Kansas, chair of HAC’s board of directors. “Thousands of lives in rural communities are better because of HAC’s involvement and support. HAC welcomes David on board to continue on this journey with the full backing and encouragement of our board of directors and staff.”

Lipsetz comes to HAC having held several senior positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, most recently as the Associate Administrator of USDA’s Rural Housing Service. He has also managed affordable housing programs in New York City and Oakland, California. David was born and raised in Ohio, and began his career on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide to Michigan Congressman John Dingell. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, and Master’s degrees in both Sociology and City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University.

“I am honored to step into this new role,” Lipsetz said. “Moises Loza leaves an unparalleled legacy, having guided HAC to be the highly regarded and effective organization it is. HAC is needed now more than ever, as a lender helping to develop affordable housing in underserved rural markets, and as a national voice for including rural communities in America’s plans for a vibrant and prosperous future.”

It has been an honor for me to serve the people of rural America over these last 40 years,” Moises Loza stated. “Rural Americans have a special strength, but also face particular challenges that require rural solutions rather than urban approaches. I am so pleased to be able to leave HAC’s work in David’s capable hands. I can’t wait to see what HAC does next!”

The Housing Assistance Council is a national nonprofit and Community Development Financial Institution that helps build homes and communities across rural America. HAC provides technical assistance, financial products, and research and information services, with an emphasis on serving the poorest of the poor in the most rural places.

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