Tag Archive for: rental preservation

Rental Preservation

HAC Announces New Center for Rural Multifamily Housing Preservation

Contact: Kristin Blum
(202) 842-8600

Washington, DC, March 6, 2024 – The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is announcing the creation of the Center for Rural Multifamily Housing Preservation, a cross-disciplinary initiative to preserve rural rental housing, particularly properties financed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Section 515” program.  The Center will provide technical assistance and expertise to preserve the long-term affordability of this critical housing stock. HAC’s Kristin Blum, a recognized expert in the affordable housing industry, has been tapped to lead the initiative.

“The time to act is now,” according to HAC CEO David Lipsetz. “The cost of housing is at a historic high across the United States. Workers, seniors, young people, and families are all feeling the pinch. As the nation’s rural housing intermediary, HAC must do its part to help small towns keep great quality housing and build to meet the demands of the modern economy. The Center will do just that.”

The Center for Rural Multifamily Housing Preservation will promote what works, create solutions where needed, and advance the role of housing organizations in rural communities. It will draw on HAC’s decades of success working with communities to preserve existing affordable rental housing and build more where it is needed. “The Center will bring together HAC’s unique combination of resources – lending, research, policy and direct technical assistance – to both preserve individual properties and redefine the preservation process,” Kristin Blum points out.

Rental homes financed by USDA are an important source of affordable rental housing that can be found in 87 percent of all U.S. counties. The Department’s Section 515 program alone produced 550,000 affordable apartments in rural communities. Unfortunately, the program has not produced new units in over a decade and has lost more than 150,000 of its original units to reach its current size of less than 390,000 units, according to the recent FY2023 Multifamily Housing Occupancy Report. In many rural communities, these apartments are the only affordable rental housing available. Two thirds of those families and individuals in Section 515 properties are seniors or individuals with disabilities, and the average income of tenants is less than $16,000.

In the face of this escalating crisis, existing preservation efforts have suffered from a lack of adequate public and private funding and a disproportionate focus on unique transactions. A cohesive, broad preservation strategy is needed to effectively address this crisis before it reaches its peak in the next several years. Through the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bill, Congress has granted USDA the authority to pilot a new proposal to decouple Section 515 mortgages and Section 521 rental assistance – an opportunity that will require substantial stakeholder engagement and capacity-building to be successful.

“These apartments are home to families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities who could otherwise face homelessness,” Lipsetz said. “It’s time for the country – including the federal government and philanthropy – to invest some real muscle in preserving these vital homes before they are lost forever.”

“I can think of nobody better than Kristin to lead this critical initiative,” continued Lipsetz, “She has done remarkable work as a senior member of HAC’s Lending team and brings a wealth of prior experience building the capacity of the nonprofit housing sector.” With support from the USDA and Fannie Mae, the Center for Rural Multifamily Housing Preservation will bring together all of HAC’s expertise across the fields of lending, technical assistance, federal policy, and research in pursuit of transformational solutions to preserve this critical stock of affordable rural rental housing.

For more information, contact: crmhp@ruralhome.org

About the Housing Assistance Council

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is a national nonprofit that supports affordable housing efforts throughout rural America. Since 1971, HAC has provided below-market financing for affordable housing and community development, technical assistance and training, research and information, and policy formulation to enable solutions for rural communities.

Explore some of HAC’s past work on Section 515 preservation:

HAC’s 2024 Rural Housing Policy Priorities

HAC’s 2023 Senate Banking Committee Testimony on Section 515 Preservation

HAC’s 2022 Annual Report

HAC’s 2022 Rural Research Brief on Section 515 Preservation

HAC’s 2018 “Platform for Preservation” Report on Section 515 Preservation


Census 2020 Logo

Respond to the 2020 Census

The 2020 Census is happening now and HAC encourages everyone living in the United States to respond. The Census is supposed to count every resident. The numbers are used to determine how billions of dollars of assistance are distributed, as well as how representation in Congress is divided. If you don’t respond, or if the Census misses you, your community gets fewer resources.

The 2020 Census does not ask about citizenship or documentation. It is illegal for the Census Bureau to share any of your information with any other government agencies, including law enforcement or immigration.

You can complete your questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail. Click here for information from the U.S. Census Bureau about the Census and how to respond.

You can complete the census online or by phone in 13 different languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese.

The Census Bureau also offers webpages and guides in 59 non-English languages, including American Sign Language, as well as guides in Braille and large print. Click here to learn more.

HAC News: May 4, 2016

HAC News Formats. pdf

May 4, 2016
Vol. 45, No. 8

• Senate Committee approves bill to hold funds steady for many HUD programs in FY17 • House’s USDA spending bill would require 10-20-30 targeting • Rural rental preservation bills introduced • RD explains new Rental Assistance calculations • Mortgage disclosures updated for Section 502 direct • Amendments issued to regulations for Section 502 guaranteed • Register for notice of calls on Section 538 program • HUD to test new inspection process for voucher housing • Distribution of Housing Trust Fund dollars announced • USDA RD updates lead paint guidance • Annual Adjustment Factors for Section 8 released • GAO recommends changes in USDA’s risk management for Section 502 guarantee program

HAC News Formats. pdf

May 4, 2016
Vol. 45, No. 8

Senate Committee approves bill to hold funds steady for many HUD programs in FY17. S. 2844 would keep the HOME program at $950 million and SHOP at $10 million, would increase Section 202 and voucher funds, and would decrease amounts for homelessness programs and Native American housing. The Appropriations Committee declined to accept the Administration’s proposal to eliminate the HOME set-aside for CHDOs. The full Senate is likely to take up the bill sometime in May. [tdborder][/tdborder]

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)



FY17 Budget Proposal

FY17 Senate Cmte. Bill
S. 2844

Cmty. Devel. Fund










Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)





Tenant-Based Rental Assistance
VASH setaside





Project-Based Rental Asstnce.





Public Hsg. Capital Fund





Public Hsg. Operating Fund





Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative





Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant





Homeless Assistance Grantsb





Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS





202 Hsg. for Elderly





811 Hsg. for Disabled





Fair Housing





Healthy Homes & Lead Haz. Cntl.





Housing Counseling





Local Housing Policy Grants


a. The FY17 Administration budget, like past budget requests, proposes to make SHOP a setaside in HOME. Congress has consistently rejected that proposal. b. Includes the Rural Housing Stability Program, which is not yet operational. c. The FY17 budget proposes $7 million for a tribal VASH setaside. d. Proposed as mandatory spending.

House’s USDA spending bill would require 10-20-30 targeting. Section 750 of H.R. 5054, the House FY17 funding bill for USDA (see HAC News, 4/20/16), would mandate at least 10 percent of RD spending be allocated to counties with 20% or higher poverty levels over 30 years (the 1990, 2000, and 2010 Censuses). At a February 11 House committee hearing on USDA’s budget, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the programs already exceed that amount.

Rural rental preservation bills introduced. On April 12 Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced H.R. 4908 and S. 2783. The bills would “decouple” Section 521 Rental Assistance from Section 515 mortgages so RA can continue after a mortgage matures, make USDA Section 542 vouchers available to tenants in properties whose mortgages mature, authorize the MPR program (currently a demonstration), and require uniform terms for purchasers using tax credits. Neither bill is scheduled for committee action yet.

RD explains new Rental Assistance calculations. An Unnumbered Letter dated March 18, 2016 describes the new “Obligation Tool” that is being used in FY16 to calculate RA contract renewals for each property based on a weighted average of that property’s usage rate over the preceding 12 months. Contact a USDA RD state office.

Mortgage disclosures updated for Section 502 direct. USDA RD’s Procedure Notice (PN) 485 updates RD’s Handbook 1-3550 to implement the provisions of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule. Changes impact loan processing and supporting documentation requirements. Contact a USDA RD field office.

Amendments issued to regulations for Section 502 guaranteed. USDA’s changes expand lender indemnification authority, add a new refinance option called ‘‘streamlined-assist,’’ and incorporate the CFPB’s Qualified Mortgage definition. Contact Lilian Lipton, RD, 202-260-8012.

Register for notice of calls on Section 538 program. RD will continue holding periodic calls or web meetings with stakeholders about the Section 538 guaranteed rental housing program. To receive notices when calls are scheduled – even if you registered for these calls in the past – contact Monica Cole, USDA, 202-720–1251.

HUD to test new inspection process for voucher housing. Congressional report language for HUD’s FY16 appropriations told HUD to implement a single inspection protocol for public housing and voucher units. Comments are due July 5 on a proposal for the first step towards that change, a demonstration designed to test a new method of assessing the physical condition of housing assisted by HUD vouchers. Contact Daniel R. Williams, HUD, 202-475-8586.

Distribution of Housing Trust Fund dollars announced. HUD divided $174 million among the 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These entities must now include public participation in developing their own allocation plans, guided by HUD Notice CPD-16-07. The National Low Income Housing Coalition has developed a model allocation plan.

USDA RD updates lead paint guidance. Administrative Notice 4800 offers guidance to RD staff on implementing an amended EPA rule. Contact a USDA RD field office.

Annual Adjustment Factors for Section 8 released. Details are online. Contact a HUD office.

GAO recommends changes in USDA’s risk management for Section 502 guarantee program. Rural Housing Service: Actions Needed to Strengthen Management of the Single Family Mortgage Guarantee Program (GAO-16-193) discusses USDA’s process for estimating program costs and how well its policies and procedures match OMB’s standards for managing credit programs. GAO found USDA was consistent with most OMB standards and suggested making changes to become consistent with the others.

Join HAC on May 18 for “Serving our Aging Veterans.” HAC’s third annual veterans symposium, to be held in Washington, DC, will focus on housing, health, and other needs faced by the rapidly expanding population of older veterans. There is no charge for the event, but advance registration is required. For more information, contact Janice Clark, HAC, 202-842-8600, or Shonterria Charleston, HAC, 404-892-4824.