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HAC News: September 28, 2018

HAC News Formats. pdf

September 28, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 20

HAC publishes rental housing preservation study • Housing programs funded to December 7 • Farm Bill may expire September 30 • Legislation would increase affordable housing, including rural and tribal housing • USDA extends some deadlines for rental preservation funding • Researchers look at connection between housing and health • Homeland Security to propose rule limiting admission to U.S. for noncitizens expected to use benefits • Rural Voices reviews “What Broadband Means for Rural America” • USDA offers new web resource for mortgage packagers and intermediaries • CFPB requests comments on data collection • September 15 through October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month

HAC News Formats. pdf

September 28, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 20

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR THE 2018 HAC RURAL HOUSING CONFERENCE!
The conference will be held December 4-7 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC.

HAC publishes rental housing preservation study.
Rental Housing for a 21st Century Rural America: A Platform for Preservation presents HAC’s comprehensive assessment of USDA’s multifamily housing investments. This multifaceted review considers not only the property characteristics, but also the tenant and market dynamics in which these properties exist. The ultimate goal of this project is to inform strategies that help preserve this integral housing resource for rural communities and residents. For more information, contact Lance George, HAC.

Housing programs funded to December 7.
Senate and House negotiators have not yet agreed on some non-housing aspects of the “minibus” bill that combines the USDA and Transportation-HUD appropriations measures with Interior-Environment and Financial Services. As a result, those departments will be funded through December 7 by a continuing resolution included in the appropriations bill for the Labor-HHS-Education and Defense departments.

Farm Bill may expire September 30.
The House and Senate have not yet worked out their differences on H.R. 2, the 2014 Farm Bill expiring September 30. Negotiations will continue, with or without a short-term reauthorization measure. Without one, Farm Bill programs such as SNAP (Food Stamps) and crop insurance can continue so long as they are funded in appropriations measures, but a number of smaller programs cannot. USDA’s rural housing programs are not impacted because they are not generally covered in Farm Bills. The 2014 Farm Bill did allow growing places to remain eligible for the rural housing programs until their populations reach 35,000; that provision made a permanent change in the statutory definition and does not expire if the Farm Bill expires.

Legislation would increase affordable housing, including rural and tribal housing.
The American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on September 26, would add funding to several existing housing programs. It would provide FY 2019 funding of $140 million for direct Section 502 loans, $28 million for Section 514 loans and $100 million for Section 516 grants, $180 million for Section 515 loans, $75 million for the Section 523 self-help program, and $2.5 billion for Indian Housing Block Grants, as well as $45 billion annually for ten years for the national Housing Trust Fund. Among its other provisions, the bill would also expand the Fair Housing Act to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, and source of income; strengthen the Community Reinvestment Act; incentivize local governments to remove regulatory and zoning barriers that impact the private sector’s ability to develop rental housing for middle-income people; and create some new housing assistance efforts. The bill’s costs would be covered by reforms to the federal estate tax.

USDA extends some deadlines for rental preservation funding.
A funding notice for USDA’s Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) program was published September 5, 2017, establishing deadlines in 2017 and 2018. A new notice extends them into 2019. It also makes the payment deferral-only option available to all owners, not just those with USDA mortgages maturing by 2023. For more information, contact Dean Greenwalt, USDA, 314-457-5933.

Researchers look at connection between housing and health.
Articles in the latest issue of HUD’s Cityscape periodical examine the health impact of interventions targeting specific aspects of housing, state and local efforts to bridge the divide between health and housing, and new evidence on the link.

Homeland Security to propose rule limiting admission to U.S. for noncitizens expected to use benefits.
The “public charge” rule has not yet been officially published in the Federal Register. When it is, the Department of Homeland Security announced, the public will have 60 days to submit comments.

Rural Voices reviews “What Broadband Means for Rural America.”
A new issue of HAC’s Rural Voices magazine explores how local rural housing organizations and local governments can help bring broadband to rural America, increasing the potential for innovation, educational opportunity, and economic growth.

USDA offers new web resource for mortgage packagers and intermediaries.
The new page includes resources for packaging Section 502 direct applications, handouts from past packaging trainings, information on upcoming training sessions, and USDA’s Loan Packaging Express newsletter.

CFPB requests comments on data collection.
A new report, Sources and Uses of Data at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, describes the CFPB’s data governance program as well as what data it collects, where the data come from, and how data are used and reused. The CFPB requests input on several subjects including the overall effectiveness and efficiency of its data collections, suggestions for change, ways to reduce reporting burden and ways to make data collections from financial institutions more effective and efficient. Comments are due in late December.

September 15 through October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month.

NEW! HAC offers Section 502 packaging training courses in Nebraska and DC.
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 October 30-November 1 in Lincoln, NE and again 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).

HAC News: September 26, 2012

HAC News Formats. pdf

September 26, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 19

• September 15-October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month • Continuing resolution to fund government for six months • USDA delays changes to rural definition for housing programs • Sequester remains in place • Farm Labor Housing applications now due October 31 • “Dynamic servicing strategies” notice for USDA multifamily properties reissued • New Capital Needs Assessment guidance issued for USDA multifamily properties • RESPA and TILA input requested • HUD seeks nominations for NAHASDA committee • USDA discontinues Rural Energy Plus for 502 direct • GAO report emphasizes similarities between USDA, FHA, and VA guarantee programs • Slightly fewer USDA tenants are cost burdened • Rural veterans’ housing covered in new Rural Voices


September 26,2012
Vol. 41, No. 19

SEPTEMBER 15-OCTOBER 15 IS NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH, proclaimed by President Obama.

CONTINUING RESOLUTION TO FUND GOVERNMENT FOR SIX MONTHS. Both the House and Senate passed H.J. Res. 117, keeping housing programs and almost all others at FY12 funding levels through March 27, 2013. President Obama is expected to sign it.

USDA DELAYS CHANGES TO RURAL DEFINITION FOR HOUSING PROGRAMS. Administrative Notice 4679 (September 25, 2012) announces that current area eligibility will remain unchanged until March 27, 2013, when the continuing resolution ends. After that date, USDA will use 2010 Census data to determine what places fit the definition of rural, unless Congress extends grandfathering of housing program eligibility for growing rural communities. Before Congress adjourned two new bills were introduced: S. 3541 would grandfather currently eligible places for ten years, H.R. 6416 for one year. New HAC research found that in 2011 as many as one-third of Section 502 direct loans and 40% of Section 502 guaranteed loans were made in these areas.

SEQUESTER REMAINS IN PLACE. Before adjourning Congress did not change the “sequestration” – cuts in federal funds – required in January, although a variety of bills have been introduced. The Administration’s sequestration report to Congress indicates how each agency will implement the requirement to cut 8.2% of nondefense discretionary funding, including housing programs. USDA and HUD will cut each housing program account by 8.2%. (Some program accounts encompass one program while others include several.)

FARM LABOR HOUSING APPLICATIONS NOW DUE OCTOBER 31. A notice in the Federal Register, 9/23/12, also makes other changes to the NOFA. (See HAC News, 7/25/12.) Contact an RD state office.

“DYNAMIC SERVICING STRATEGIES” NOTICE FOR USDA MULTIFAMILY PROPERTIES REISSUED. An Unnumbered Letter dated August 31, 2012 repeats instructions to RD field staff regarding prompt action on troubled multifamily properties. Contact Stephanie White, USDA, 202-720-1615.

NEW CAPITAL NEEDS ASSESSMENT GUIDANCE ISSUED FOR USDA MULTIFAMILY PROPERTIES. See Unnumbered Letter dated August 7, 2012. Contact Carlton Jarratt, USDA, 804-287-1524.

RESPA AND TILA INPUT REQUESTED. Comment by October 9 on changes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposes in Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Truth in Lending Act regulations on mortgage loan servicing and disclosures. See CFPB’s web site or regulations.gov. Contact Jane Gao, CFPB, 202-435-7700.

USDA PROVIDES RESPA GUIDANCE FOR SECTION 502 DIRECT. Administrative Notice 4676 (August 27, 2012) instructs RD staff on implementation of RESPA disclosure and accuracy requirements, and on good faith estimates and the HUD-1 “Settlement Statement.” Contact Migdaliz Bernier, USDA, 202-690-3833.

HUD SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR NAHASDA COMMITTEE. The negotiated rulemaking committee will review the Indian Housing Block Grant funding formula. Nominations are due November 19. See Federal Register, 9/18/12 or regulations.gov. Contact Rodger Boyd, HUD, 202-401-7914.

USDA DISCONTINUES RURAL ENERGY PLUS FOR 502 DIRECT. The program, which makes it easier for homebuyers to qualify for loans for energy-efficient homes, remains in effect for Section 502 guarantee borrowers. See Unnumbered Letter dated September 10, 2012. Contact Christopher Ketner, USDA, 202-690-1530. HAC has learned from RD that a replacement program will be implemented in 2013.

GAO REPORT EMPHASIZES SIMILARITIES BETWEEN USDA, FHA, AND VA GUARANTEE PROGRAMS. Housing Assistance: Opportunities Exist to Increase Collaboration and Consider Consolidation (GAO-12-554) reiterates previous findings (for example, see HAC News, 3/7/12) and adds new data. In 2009, FHA guaranteed more single-family and multifamily loans, even for low-income residents of remote rural areas, than USDA. Detailed data on income levels and other characteristics are not included in the report. GAO suggests improving an Administration task force evaluating coordination or consolidation of single-family programs and recommends the agencies identify specific programs for consolidation. Contact Mathew Sciré, GAO, 202-512-8678.

SLIGHTLY FEWER USDA TENANTS ARE COST BURDENED. USDA’s annual occupancy survey shows 2,135 fewer units and 1,254 fewer occupied units (households) in Section 515 and 514/516 properties in 2012 than 2011, as well as 1,243 more households receiving Section 521 RA, 931 fewer with rental aid from other sources, and 1,562 fewer experiencing cost burdens. Contact Janet Stouder, USDA, 202-720-9728.

RURAL VETERANS’ HOUSING COVERED IN NEW RURAL VOICES. Stories of successful local efforts are highlighted in HAC’s quarterly magazine. Contact Dan Stern, HAC, 202-842-8600.