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Policy News from the Administration

HAC Agrees with HUD Fair Housing Rule

HAC has submitted a comment letter supporting HUD’s proposed cancellation of a fair housing regulation issued by the Trump administration in September 2020. This rule governs fair housing violation claims based on policies or actions with “disparate impacts” on categories of people protected by the Fair Housing Act.

The 2020 HUD rule, which would have made it more difficult to prove a disparate impact claim, never went into effect. A federal judge issued an injunction that left a 2013 disparate impact regulation in place while a lawsuit against the 2020 version was underway.

In June 2021, HUD proposed to reinstate the 2013 rule. HAC – along with thousands of others – supports that action.

As HAC’s comments pointed out:

Fair access to housing is essential. Research shows that decent, affordable housing improves residents’ physical and mental health, their ability to hold jobs, their children’s performance in school. Children’s life chances are deeply impacted by the neighborhoods where they grow up. Enforcing the Fair Housing Act against discrimination, both intended and incidental, helps our nation move towards inclusive and equitable rural, urban and suburban communities, where all residents can thrive.

Policy News from the Administration

HAC Supports Fair Housing Rule

HAC has submitted comments strongly supporting HUD’s decision to replace a fair housing regulation it issued in 2020. The new interim final rule is a positive step in a years-long process to require states, localities, and public housing agencies that receive HUD funds to “affirmatively further fair housing” (AFFH). As HAC’s comments note, working towards equality is essential. It is inherently the right thing to do – and it is crucial because research shows children’s life chances are deeply impacted by the neighborhoods where they grow up. Taking active steps to eliminate discrimination and segregation in homes and neighborhoods through enforcement of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing requirement leads to inclusive and equitable rural, urban and suburban communities, where all residents can thrive.

The interim final rule does not mandate any specific fair housing planning mechanism for recipients of HUD funds. HUD plans to request comments on that subject through a separate notice.

HAC News: February 20, 2020

News Formats. pdf

February 20, 2020
Vol. 49, No. 4

February is National African American History Month • Administration’s budget proposes cuts in many housing programs, but not rural rental preservation CRA comment period extended to April 8 VA offers per diem funds for veterans’ housing stabilization HUD joins in proposing rule changes for faith-based organization FCC launches fund to spread broadband in rural America, legislators concerned White House releases guide to help local communities tackle the rural opiod and drug crisis Comments requested on alternative measures of poverty HUD asks tribes for input on two-year funding notices CEOs and nonprofit leaders sought for Achieving Excellence program Appalachia Gets Special Funding. The Black Rural South Deserves It Too Colorado’s Housing Crisis has Gotten So Bad that Small Towns are Now Building People Homes The Rural Health Safety Net Under Pressure: Rural Housing Volunerability The Trump Administration’s Latest Attack on Fair Housing Where Light Pollution is Seeping into the Rural Night Sky • HAC Seeks is Hiring an Executive Assistant • SAVE THE DATE FOR HAC’S 2020 RURAL HOUSING CONFERENCE!Need capital for your affordable housing project?

HAC News Formats. pdf

February 20, 2020
Vol. 49, No. 4

February is National African American History Month.

Administration’s budget proposes cuts in many housing programs, but not rural rental preservation.

Like its past budgets, the Administration’s proposal for Fiscal Year 2021 proposes to eliminate many housing programs, including USDA’s Section 502 direct loans for homebuyers, Section 515 and 514/516 loans and grants for rental housing production, and HUD’s CDBG, HOME and SHOP, while supporting renewal of Section 521 Rental Assistance contracts and Section 542 vouchers. Unlike previous versions, the budget proposes to increase USDA’s MPR preservation program to $40 million from $28 million in FY20. It would also fund two repair programs, Section 504 grants for very low-income elderly homeowners and Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants. The House and Senate usually do not follow the budget closely when developing their appropriations legislation for the year.

CRA comment period extended to April 8.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have extended the deadline for input on their proposed changes to Community Reinvestment Act regulations. Comments will be due on April 8 rather than on March 9, as originally scheduled.

VA offers per diem funds for veterans’ housing stabilization.

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program will fund nonprofits, state and local governments and tribes to provide per diem payments to facilitate housing stabilization for veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Apply by April 22. For more information, contact Jeffery Quarles, VA, 813-979-3570.

HUD joins in proposing rule changes for faith-based organizations.

Like the proposed rules published by USDA and other agencies in January, HUD’s proposal would delete the requirement for faith-based social service providers to refer beneficiaries to an alternative provider if desired. Faith-based organizations would not be required to provide notices unless secular organizations have the same requirements. Comments to HUD are due April 13. (Comments on the USDA proposal are due February 18.) For more information, contact Richard Youngblood, HUD, 202-402-5958.

FCC launches fund to spread broadband in rural America, legislators concerned.

The Federal Communications Commission adopted rules on January 30 for its new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Up to $20.4 billion will be released in two phases. The first phase will begin later this year and target areas wholly without broadband, while the second phase will open to those partially served by broadband. The FCC’s report includes details and the final regulations. Members of the House have written to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai expressing concerns about the RDOF’s coordination with state-level broadband efforts.

White House releases guide to help local communities tackle the rural opioid and drug crisis.

The Rural Community Action Guide aims to educate the public by providing an overview of the challenges rural communities face when addressing prescription opioid misuse and the use of illicit substances. It also showcases localized efforts implemented to help mitigate the impact of substance use disorder. HAC provided the housing chapter for the guide.

Comments requested on alternative measures of poverty.

OMB invites the public to comment by April 14 on questions asked by the Interagency Technical Working Group on Evaluating Alternative Measures of Poverty to help inform its recommendations on producing additional measures of poverty. The Working Group has issued a consensus interim report but has not yet decided whether to recommend development of a new poverty measure. For more information, contact Kerrie Leslie, OMB, 202-395-1093.

HUD asks tribes for input on two-year funding notices.

For recent tribal funding competitions, HUD has experimented with offering two years of appropriations in a single Notice of Funding Availability. It requests comments from tribes by March 13 about this approach, sent to ONAP_ICDBG@hud.gov or by mail to the address provided in the request.

CEOs and nonprofit leaders sought for Achieving Excellence program.

The NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence program, in collaboration with Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, offers senior leaders of nonprofits a 16-month program that addresses an organizational challenge or opportunity defined by each participant. Applications are due April 15.

Recent publications and media of interest

HAC is hiring an Executive Assistant.

The Executive Assistant supports the work of HAC’s CEO and Board of Directors. Based in Washington, DC, the position is a blend of administrative work and project assignments for an earlycareer professional. The candidate will manage the CEO’s calendar, organize meetings, plan events and make travel arrangements while working on special initiatives and assignments as the candidate grows into a career in policy, program administration or nonprofit management. Email a resume and brief cover letter to jobs@ruralhome.org with “Executive Assistant” in the subject line. Applications will be considered as received. HAC is an equal opportunity employer and lender.


SAVE THE DATE FOR HAC’S 2020 RURAL HOUSING CONFERENCE!

The conference will be held in Washington, DC on December 2-4, 2020 with pre-conference meetings on December 1. The HAC News will announce more details, including registration, as they become available.


Need capital for your affordable housing project? HAC’s loan funds provide 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, farmworker, senior and veteran housing. HAC loan funds can be used for pre-development, site acquisition, site development and construction/rehabilitation. Contact HAC’s loan fund staff at hacloanfund@ruralhome.org, 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 News: November 9, 2018

HAC News Formats. pdf

November 11, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 23

EARLY BIRD RATE EXTENDED FOR 2018 HAC RURAL HOUSING CONFERENCE, NEW SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED • House committee leadership will change under Democratic majority • Congress to return for lame-duck session • November is National Native American Heritage Month • National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is November 10-18 • HUD offers funds for public and private entities doing fair housing work. • Revisions proposed to Federal Home Loan Bank housing goals regulation • Labor Department proposes online ads for U.S. farmworkers • Online tool refined for rural mortgage eligibility • Creative placemaking webinar series announced • New HUD database lists fair housing organizations • Report describes use of state housing trust funds in rural areas • HUD report looks at who uses homebuyer education and housing counseling • New resource guide offered to help address rural opioid epidemic

HAC News Formats. pdf

November 11, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 23

EARLY BIRD RATE EXTENDED FOR 2018 HAC RURAL HOUSING CONFERENCE, NEW SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED.
By popular demand, early bird registration rates have been extended! Register now for the conference, to be held December 4-7 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) are now confirmed as speakers, as is HUD Secretary Ben Carson.

House committee leadership will change under Democratic majority.
Control of House committees will shift to Democrats when the 116th Congress takes office in January. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is expected to become Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over matters related to authorizing housing programs, including USDA’s rural housing programs. Important Appropriations Committee changes will be in the Agriculture and Transportation-HUD subcommittees, where Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and Rep. David Price (D-NC), respectively, are currently the top Democratic members. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) is likely to Chair the House Agriculture Committee, with jurisdiction over the Farm Bill.

Congress to return for lame-duck session.
The 115th Congress will be back in session beginning November 13 and will need to finish appropriations for fiscal year 2019, which began October 1. USDA, HUD, and several other federal agencies are funded under a continuing resolution through December 7, so full-year funding or another short-term CR will be needed.

November is National Native American Heritage Month.
President Trump’s proclamation also recognizes November 23 as Native American Heritage Day.

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is November 10-18.
Participating groups around the country will hold educational, service, fundraising and advocacy events during the week, sponsored by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness.

HUD offers funds for public and private entities doing fair housing work.
Fair Housing Initiatives Program grants are available from three programs, each with a December 19 application deadline: the Education and Outreach Initiative, the Fair Housing Organization Initiative, and the Private Enforcement Initiative. For more information, contact Myron Newry, HUD.

Revisions proposed to Federal Home Loan Bank housing goals regulation.
A proposed rule from the Federal Housing Finance Agency would replace four separate goals for single-family affordable housing with one, set a separate housing goal for small lenders, and make other changes. Comments are due January 31, 2019. For more information, contact Ted Wartell, FHFA, 202-649-3157.

Labor Department proposes online ads for U.S. farmworkers.
Before receiving permission to hire farmworkers from outside the U.S. with H-2A temporary visas, an employer must show it has attempted to recruit U.S. farmworkers. The Department of Labor is proposing to require employers to recruit through online advertisements instead of the newspaper ads that are currently required. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue described the change as “one way to modernize H-2A.” Comments are due December 10. For more information, contact William W. Thompson, II, DOL, 202-513-7350.

Online tool refined for rural mortgage eligibility.
USDA Rural Development’s website now allows potential borrowers to enter information online in order to make a preliminary determination of eligibility for the Section 502 direct mortgage program. Anyone can enter general household composition, monthly income, other debts and credit, estimated property taxes, hazard insurance and location, and receive a preliminary eligibility determination. Potential borrowers can submit applications for official USDA determinations regardless of their eligibility assessment results.

Creative placemaking webinar series announced.
The six monthly webinars will offer practical advice for meeting the challenges of collaborative creative placemaking work in all communities. The first webinar, on November 14, will feature a Native community leader, Julie Garreau, discussing her work with the Cheyenne River Youth Project in South Dakota. The series is offered by LISC, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Kresge Foundation.

New HUD database lists fair housing organizations.
HUD has launched a new database of fair housing organizations, providing contact information for organizations that receive HUD funding to help ensure fair housing opportunities around the U.S.

Report describes use of state housing trust funds in rural areas.
In State Housing Trust Funds: A Rural Housing Lifeline, the Center for Community Change explains how states are using housing trust funds to meet the unique needs of their rural communities. These funds are flexible in addressing a wide range of housing needs and are being used for homeownership, rental housing, and homeless prevention.

HUD report looks at who uses homebuyer education and housing counseling.
A study of low-, moderate- and middle-income prospective first-time homebuyers in 28 metro areas found that 55% of those who were offered one-on-one or remote counseling used it, and about one-third of them completed their curriculum. Who Participates in Homebuyer Education and Counseling Services and Why? reports that both initiation and completion rates were much lower for in-person services rather than remote services. Participation did not vary by race, ethnicity, age, marital status, or household size, but women and people with college educations were more likely to participate than others. Later research will consider the effectiveness of education and counseling, and whether in-person or remote services are more effective.

New resource guide offered to help address rural opioid epidemic.
USDA and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy have released a Rural Resource Guide to Help Communities Address Substance Use Disorder and Opioid Misuse, a listing of federal programs intended to serve as a one-stop-shop to support local groups attempting to address the opioid crisis. The Rural Resource Guide is the second tool announced in USDA’s opioid Community Toolbox. The first was a Community Assessment Tool, an interactive data map.

HAC offers Section 502 packaging training in December.
This three-day advanced course trains experienced participants to assist potential borrowers and work with RD staff, other nonprofits, and regional intermediaries to deliver successful Section 502 loan packages. The training will be held December 5-7 in Washington, DC (simultaneously with HAC’s conference). For more information, contact HAC staff , 404-892-4824.

Need capital for your affordable housing project?
HAC’s loan funds provide 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, farmworker, senior and veteran housing. HAC loan funds can be used for pre-development, site acquisition, site development and construction/rehabilitation. Contact HAC’s loan fund staff at hacloanfund@ruralhome.org, 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).

Rural Voices: Working Toward Access for All

50 Years of the Fair Housing Act

Safe and affordable homes, free of discrimination, should be equally accessible to all. This edition of Rural Voices explores the state of fair housing half a century after the adoption of the Fair Housing Act and includes contributions from a federal agency, national nonprofits, and practitioners in the field.

VIEW FROM WASHINGTON

HUD’s Fair Housing Office: Combating Discrimination
Anna María Farías

In a nation founded on the principles of justice and equality, it is unacceptable for anyone to be denied the housing of their choice.

FEATURES

Working Towards Fair Housing in 2018’s Rural America
by Leslie R. Strauss

Rural fair housing advocates rely on outreach, education, cultural sensitivity, and partnerships to address issues that may not have been evident 50 years ago.

HUD Suspends Implementation of Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule
by Renee Williams

In early 2018 HUD suspended implementation of a regulation put into place in 2015.

Vermont Tackles Fair Housing Along with Housing Affordability
by Ted Wimpey

Vermont’s Fair Housing Project encourages residents and local governments to improve zoning and permitting in order to further fair housing and the development of affordable housing.

Disasters Don’t Discriminate, Recovery Shouldn’t Either
by Maddie Sloan

Disaster recovery must be designed to be fair for all, even if pre-disaster housing situations were not.

Nuisance and Crime-Free Ordinances: The Next Fair Housing Frontier
by Renee Williams and Marie Flannery

Fair housing laws may conflict with local laws and policies that penalize tenants for calling law enforcement or having a history of arrest or conviction.

Fighting Hate with Fair Housing Laws

The recent increase in hate crimes includes housing-related hate activity, which can have criminal or civil remedies.

Fighting Hate in North Dakota
by Michelle Rydz

A statewide coalition supports victims of hate crimes, including crimes that are related to housing.

INFOGRAPHIC

rv-may-2018-infographicFair Housing in Rural America – By the Numbers


Rural Voices would like to hear what you have to say about one, or all, of these issues. Please comment on these stories by sending a tweet to #RuralVoicesMag, discuss on the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.

HAC News: April 6, 2016

HAC News Formats. pdf

April 6, 2016
Vol. 45, No. 6

• April is Fair Housing Month • HUD issues guidance on fair housing for those with criminal • New federal rule protects religious liberties of beneficiaries and providers • CFPB proposes to expand provisions for small rural lenders • FY16 income limits released • Section 538 loan guarantees available • ROSS funds offered • Fair housing assessment tool for PHAs released • Medicaid can provide supportive housing services, issue brief says • Housing problems contribute to higher health care spending, researchers report • U.S. lacks 7.2 million rents for extremely low-income renters • USDA spending in FY15 emphasized guarantees, celebrated self-help • HAC presents third CRA webinar

HAC News Formats. pdf

April 6, 2016
Vol. 45, No. 6

April is Fair Housing Month.

HUD issues guidance on fair housing for those with criminal records. HUD’s Office of General Counsel explains that the Fair Housing Act bans discrimination based on criminal history. Contact a HUD local office.

New federal rule protects religious liberties of beneficiaries and providers. USDA, HUD, VA, and other agencies published a joint regulation to implement Executive Order 13559. Beneficiaries receiving federal social service programs’ aid through faith-based organizations cannot be discriminated against based on religion and may request an alternative provider. Agencies’ funding decisions must be based solely on merit, without regard to an organization’s religious affiliation or lack thereof. Contact Norah Deluhery, USDA, 202-720-2032; Paula Lincoln, HUD, 202-708-2404; Stephen B. Dillard, VA, 202-461-7689.

CFPB proposes to expand provisions for small rural lenders. An interim final rule expands the identification of small rural creditors that are eligible to originate balloon-payment qualified mortgages and that are exempt from the requirement to establish escrow accounts for higher-priced mortgages. Comments are due April 25. Contact Carl Owens, CFPB, 202-435-7700.

FY16 income limits released. The median family incomes and income limits are used by HUD, USDA, and other agencies.

Section 538 loan guarantees available. Commitments will be made first to approved and complete applica-tions from prior years’ notices, then to approved applicants applying under this notice through December 31, 2017. Contact a USDA RD state office.

ROSS funds offered. Nonprofits, PHAs, and tribal entities are eligible for HUD’s Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency Program, which enables them to hire service coordinators to assess residents’ needs and link them to supportive services. Deadline is May 16. Contact Dina.Lehmann-Kim@hud.gov.

Fair housing assessment tool for PHAs released. Comments are due May 23 on the tool for PHAs to plan fair housing compliance (see HAC News, 3/18/16). Contact Dustin Parks, HUD, 202-708-1112.

Medicaid can provide supportive housing services, issue brief says. The Technical Assistance Collaborative’s Using Medicaid to Finance and Deliver Services in Supportive Housing: Challenges and Opportunities for Community Behavioral Health Organizations and Behavioral Health Authorities reports some states are finding that Medicaid can be a cost-effective resource to finance and deliver some of the flexible services and supports that people with behavioral health disorders need to succeed in settings like integrated permanent supportive housing.

Housing problems contribute to higher health care spending, researchers report.Housing as a Health Care Investment,” by the National Housing Conference and Children’s HealthWatch, says homelessness and unstable or unaffordable housing can harm the health of vulnerable infants and young children and contribute to higher health care spending. It includes policy recommendations.

U.S. lacks 7.2 million rents for extremely low-income renters. The Gap: The Affordable Housing Gap Analysis, 2016, published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, documents a shortage of 7.2 million affordable and available rental units for the nation’s 10.4 million extremely low-income renter households, those with incomes at or below 30% of their area median. Three-quarters of ELI renters are severely cost-burdened, spending more than half their income on rent and utilities. The report provides data at the national, state, and metro area levels.

USDA spending in FY15 emphasized guarantees, celebrated self-help. HAC’s annual USDA Rural Housing Program Funding Activity Year End Report includes detailed data for each program and each state. The Section 502 program guaranteed 134,000 loans and made 7,000 direct loans. Over 800 self-help loans were made, and USDA celebrated the program’s 50th anniversary and 50,000th house. More than 8,600 rental units were repaired or rehabilitated with multifamily program funds, and 2,187 new units were built. Demand for Section 542 preservation vouchers rose to 4,400 units representing $15.6 million, with half those funds coming from the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization program.

HAC presents third CRA webinar. “CRA in Rural America Part III: Investments in Rural Communities,” set for April 13 at 2:00 Eastern time, will provide an evaluation of lenders that consistently earn outstanding CRA ratings. To register click here. Contact Shonterria Charleston, HAC, 404-892-4824. Materials from the first two CRA webinars are posted here.

HAC News: April 3, 2015

HAC News Formats. pdf

April 3, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 7

• April is National Fair Housing Month • House and Senate approve nonbinding budget resolutions • NAHASDA reauthorization passes House • USDA offers farmworker housing loans and grants • Housing counseling grants available • HUD requests comment on VAWA rule changes • Broadband demonstration in HUD housing considered • USDA approval for restructuring senior loans explained • Ways to speed agency processing of Section 502 guaranteed loans suggested • HUD sets requirements for rental assistance transfers • Update for Section 3 regulations proposed • Rural housing tenant data for 2014 now available • Homelessness has decreased, change varies widely among states, report says • CFPB updates homebuying toolkit • HAC sets Energy Star webinar for April 8

HAC News Formats. pdf

April 3, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 7

APRIL IS NATIONAL FAIR HOUSING MONTH. HUD issued a press release describing a new media campaign.

HOUSE AND SENATE APPROVE NONBINDING BUDGET RESOLUTIONS. The House passed H.Con.Res.27 on March 25 and the Senate approved S.Con.Res. 11 on March 27. Both houses would retain sequester spending caps for FY16 and make deeper cuts beginning in FY17. Differences between the two mean there may not be agreement on a joint resolution, which would not have the force of law but would guide development of appropriations bills for FY16.

NAHASDA REAUTHORIZATION PASSES HOUSE. The House passed H.R. 360, the Native American Housing Assistance and Self Determination Reauthorization Act, on March 23. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee held a hearing March 18 on its bill, S. 710.

USDA OFFERS FARMWORKER HOUSING LOANS AND GRANTS. Pre-applications for construction or purchase and sub-stantial rehab of off-farm housing are due June 23. Rental Assistance and operating assistance are available. Projects serving high poverty census tracts will receive additional points. Contact an RD state office for an application package.

HOUSING COUNSELING GRANTS AVAILABLE. HUD-approved housing counseling agencies can apply by May 7. Contact HUD staff.

HUD REQUESTS COMMENT ON VAWA RULE CHANGES. A proposed rule implementing the 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act would increase protections for survivors of domestic and dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault who live in rental housing assisted by HUD. Comments are due June 1. HAC’s website provides a brief summary of the proposal. Separate contacts for HUD programs are listed in the proposed rule. HUD’s proposal covers USDA-funded rental units that have HUD Section 8 assistance, but not other USDA rentals. USDA has implemented the 2013 VAWA through Administrative Notices 4747 (February 10, 2014) and 4778 (January 5, 2015).

BROADBAND DEMONSTRATION IN HUD HOUSING CONSIDERED. HUD requests comments by May 1 on a proposed demonstration aimed at narrowing the digital divide for students in HUD-assisted housing. It wants to partner with local governments, business, and nonprofits “to accelerate broadband adoption and use in HUD-assisted homes.” HUD intends to conduct the initial demonstration in about 20 HUD-assisted communities across the country, both urban and rural, and hopes to expand it nationwide eventually. Contact Camille E. Acevedo, HUD, 202-402-5132.

USDA APPROVAL FOR RESTRUCTURING SENIOR LOANS EXPLAINED. An Unnumbered Letter dated February 27, 2015 is intended to clarify the process for obtaining official RD prior approval and permission to restructure a third-party loan to which a Section 515 loan is subordinate. Contact an RD state office.

WAYS TO SPEED AGENCY PROCESSING OF SECTION 502 GUARANTEED LOANS SUGGESTED. An Unnumbered Letter dated March 13, 2015 lists “tips and best practices for increasing operational efficiencies and to eliminate unnecessary unproductive processes.” Contact the Rural Housing Service’s National Office, 202-720-1452.

HUD SETS REQUIREMENTS FOR RENTAL ASSISTANCE TRANSFERS. A notice describes the conditions for HUD approval of requests to transfer project-based rental assistance, debt held or insured by HUD, and use restrictions from one or more multifamily housing project to another or others. Contact Nancie-Ann Bodell, HUD, 202-708-2495.

UPDATE FOR SECTION 3 REGULATIONS PROPOSED. HUD suggests strengthening its oversight of Section 3, which requires giving jobs and other economic opportunities generated by HUD assistance to low- and very low-income persons to the extent possible.Comments are due May 26. Contact Staci Gilliam, HUD, 202-402-3468.

RURAL HOUSING TENANT DATA FOR 2014 NOW AVAILABLE. USDA RD’s annual issuance provides figures at the national and state levels for the agency’s multifamily portfolio as a whole and separately for Section 515, Section 514/516, and Rental Assistance. There were 1,645 fewer units in 2014 than in 2013. The average income for Section 515 tenants is now $12,022 and for Rental Assistance recipients $10,258. Elderly and disabled households remain a majority in Section 515 units, at 61.65%, and the proportion of households with disabilities increased.

HOMELESSNESS HAS DECREASED, CHANGE VARIES WIDELY AMONG STATES, REPORT SAYS. The State of Homelessness in America 2015, by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, reports data for states and for subpopulations.

CFPB UPDATES HOMEBUYING TOOLKIT. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has revised its information booklet, “Your Home Loan Toolkit: A Step-by-Step Guide.” Contact Julie Vore, CFPB, 202-435-7700.

HAC SETS ENERGY STAR WEBINAR FOR APRIL 8. Register online for HAC’s upcoming webinar, “A Practitioner’s Guide to Energy Star 3.0,” to be held on April 8 at 2 pm Eastern time. Contact HAC staff, 404-892-4824.

Rural Voices - Volume 3 Number 4

Rural Voices: 30 Years of Fair Housing in Rural America

The Summer 1998 issue of Rural Voices is dedicated to highlighting these fair housing and NIMBY issues.

First, an article by a national fair housing nonprofit organization provides an overview of the fair housing movement in this country and its impact. Other articles describe the approaches adopted by the state of California and a local nonprofit in Oregon to combat NIMBY opposition to affordable housing projects. An interview with Eva Plaza, assistant secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the Depmtment of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) , is also included.