Tag Archive for: rural data portal

HAC News: October 29, 2014

HAC News Formats. pdf

October 29, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 21

• Rent aid kept over 3 million people out of poverty in 2013 • Regulatory agencies align QRM with QM, drop requirement for large downpayments • HUD posts general section of FY15 NOFAs • Electronic signatures now accepted for Section 502 guaranteed loans • CFPB lists rural and underserved counties for 2015 • Public housing demolition and disposition proposal corrected • HUD provides guide to establishing smoke-free properties • GAO offers framework for assessing housing finance reform • Guide helps nonprofits to preserve Low Income Housing Tax Credit properties • 2013 American Housing Survey data released • Household participation in banking system increased, 2011 to 2013 • Have you investigated HAC’s Rural Data Portal? • HAC News e-mail subscribers get news faster

October 29, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 22

RENT AID KEPT OVER 3 MILLION PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY IN 2013. The Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2013, published by the Census Bureau, presents data with adjustments that are not taken into account in the official poverty measure (see HAC News, 9/17/14), including the impact of government programs assisting low-income people. A Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of the data shows that rental assistance alone kept 3 million people out of poverty, and all assistance programs lifted 39 million people above the poverty line.

REGULATORY AGENCIES ALIGN QRM WITH QM, DROP REQUIREMENT FOR LARGE DOWNPAYMENTS. As proposed in September 2013 (see HAC News, 9/25/13), final credit risk retention regulations define “qualified residential mortgages” the same way as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau defines “qualified mortgages.” Private mortgage lenders are expected to focus on QRM lending when the rule takes effect in October 2015, so a 2011 proposal that included a 20% downpayment in the QRM definition would have made it more difficult for low-income, minority, and first-time homebuyers to obtain mortgages. USDA Section 502 mortgages are all considered QRMs until USDA issues its own regulations on the subject. Contact Ronald P. Sugarman, FHFA, 202-649-3208 or Mike Feinberg, HAC, 202-842-8600.

HUD POSTS GENERAL SECTION OF FY15 NOFAS. As in the past, the general section will apply to all of HUD’s funding announcements for individual programs when they are issued. Contact HUD’s Office of Strategic Planning and Management, 202-708-0667.

ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES NOW ACCEPTED FOR SECTION 502 GUARANTEED LOANS. Administrative Notice 4776 (September 23, 2014) “clarifies that lenders may use electronic signatures as long as the lender perfects and maintains a first lien position, an enforceable promissory note, and meets all other agency requirements.” Contact USDA RD’s Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Division, 202-720-1452.

CFPB LISTS RURAL AND UNDERSERVED COUNTIES FOR 2015. The designations apply to several Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulations.

PUBLIC HOUSING DEMOLITION AND DISPOSITION PROPOSAL CORRECTED. The proposed rule (see HAC News, 10/17/14) included an erroneous definition. Comments are still due December 15.

HUD PROVIDES GUIDE TO ESTABLISHING SMOKE-FREE PROPERTIES. Change is in the Air: An Action Guide for Establishing Smoke-Free Public Housing and Multifamily Properties provides reasons, best practices, and step by step guidance.

GAO OFFERS FRAMEWORK FOR ASSESSING HOUSING FINANCE REFORM. Housing Finance System: A Framework for Assessing Potential Changes (GAO-15-131) describes and analyzes market developments since 2000 that have led to changes in the federal government’s role in the single-family housing finance system, and proposes a way to assess potential changes to the system. Contact Matt Scirè, GAO, 202-512-8678.

GUIDE HELPS NONPROFITS TO PRESERVE LOW INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT PROPERTIES. Beyond Year 15: Preserving Housing Credit Projects & Portfolio, published by Enterprise Community Partners, includes organizational procedures for preparing for Year 15 events as well as strategies for repositioning communities for the long term. It covers all types of LIHTC projects but focuses on issues around the most challenging projects and approaches to address those challenges.

2013 AMERICAN HOUSING SURVEY DATA RELEASED. HUD’s press release highlights the findings from questions on new subjects including neighborhood involvement, disaster planning, and use of public transportation. AHS data also include housing conditions, ownership rates, costs, and more. Nationwide, from 2011 to 2013, costs for renters rose slightly, while owners’ costs fell. Summary tables are posted in Excel format.

HOUSEHOLD PARTICIPATION IN BANKING SYSTEM INCREASED, 2011 TO 2013. A report on the 2013 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households credits changes in economic conditions and household demographics for the decline in “unbanked” households. In both 2011 and 2013, FDIC’s survey found the highest unbanked rates among non-Asian minorities and households who were lower-income, younger, or unemployed, though the unbanked rate for Hispanics dropped from 2011 to 2013. The report includes data at the national, state, and metro levels.

HAVE YOU INVESTIGATED HAC’S RURAL DATA PORTAL? The Rural Data Portal is an easy-to-use, on-line resource that provides essential information on the social, economic, and housing characteristics of communities in the United States. It is targeted toward rural communities, but a wide range of information is presented for the nation, states, and counties for rural, suburban, and urban areas.

HAC NEWS E-MAIL SUBSCRIBERS GET NEWS FASTER. Subscribe to the HAC News by e-mail and receive it sooner, plus updates when important news occurs between issues.

The Rural Data Portal

Quality data for rural areas can be limited and hard to find. To address this concern, HAC developed the Rural Data Portal to provide rural communities with a user-friendly tool to gain information about the places where they live and work.

Quality data for rural areas can be limited and hard to find. To address this concern, HAC developed the Rural Data Portal this year to help communities better understand and document needs and conditions. The Rural Data Portal is an online resource that provides social, economic, and housing characteristics of communities across the United States using data from HAC tabulations of the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, the American Community Survey (ACS), and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Data.


The Rural Data Portal was awarded the “Best in Class” Interactive Media Award in the nonprofit websites category for 2013 by the Interactive Media Council.


Access the Rural Data Portal

HAC News: September 11, 2013

HAC News Formats. pdf

September 11, 2013
Vol. 42, No. 18

• Continuing Resolution anticipated for federal funding • USDA temporarily speeds processing of applications for Section 502 direct loans • New housing counseling certification requirements proposed • RCDI NOFA contact information corrected • HUD changes HECM, requests comments on financial assessments • Comments sought on increasing fees for HUD Section 184 guaranteed loans • Poor housing quality tied to children’s problems • African-American housing and wealth studied • HAC launches expanded, updated Rural Data Portal and schedules webinar • 10,000 Friends of Rural America seeks to improve attention and respect

September 11, 2013
Vol. 42, No. 18

CONTINUING RESOLUTION ANTICIPATED FOR FEDERAL FUNDING. Congress is back in session this week and is expected to pass a short-term Continuing Resolution to begin FY14 on October 1. USDA rural housing and HUD programs will be continued at 2013 spending levels for the term of the CR, and could be further extended for the balance of 2014. This CR, like previous CRs in 2013, is likely to extend USDA’s current rural definition for all com-munities currently eligible for RD housing programs.

USDA TEMPORARILY SPEEDS PROCESSING OF APPLICATIONS FOR SECTION 502 DIRECT LOANS. To help obligate funds by the end of FY13 on September 30, a letter informs RD State Directors that loans may be approved and obligated subject to receipt of appraisals. Also, 502 direct loans for purchasers of homes with existing 502 direct loans will be treated as initial loans that will pay off the existing loans. Contact an RD office.

NEW HOUSING COUNSELING CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS PROPOSED. Implementing provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, HUD suggests changes including creation of a system to certify individual counselors as well as counseling agencies. The proposal will be in the September 13 Federal Register and at https://www.regulations.gov, with comments due in 60 days. Contact Ruth Román, HUD, 202-708-0317.

RCDI NOFA CONTACT INFORMATION CORRECTED. RD’s August 14 funding notice for the Rural Community Development Initiative included errors in the addresses and phone numbers for RD state offices. A Federal Register notice to be published September 13 will make corrections. The deadline remains November 12.

HUD CHANGES HECM, REQUESTS COMMENTS ON FINANCIAL ASSESSMENTS. On September 3, 2013, Mortgagee Letter 2013-27 announced changes to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program. HUD seeks comments by October 5, 2013 on requirements for financial assessments, which evaluate borrowers’ ability to comply with mortgage requirements. Other new requirements will take effect September 30, 2013. Contact Karin Hill, HUD, 202-708-4308.

COMMENTS SOUGHT ON INCREASING FEES FOR HUD SECTION 184 GUARANTEED LOANS. HUD has written to tribal leaders requesting their feedback on increasing borrower fees to 1.5% of the loan amount from the current 1%. The higher amount would supplement congressional appropriations which, the letter says, will not be sufficient to meet program demand. Contact HUD staff, Section184Consultation@hud.gov.

POOR HOUSING QUALITY TIED TO CHILDREN’S PROBLEMS. A research brief published by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation reports on a six-year study that examined how five housing characteristics – quality, stability, affordability, ownership, and receiving a subsidy – impacted education, emotional problems, and behavioral problems. Poor housing quality was the most consistent and strongest predictor of emotional and behav-ioral problems, and was also related to school performance for adolescents. “Cumulative residential instability” was also highly relevant. “Poor Housing Quality is Tied to Children’s Emotional and Behavioral Problems” concludes that housing assistance programs are important and suggests stronger local housing codes and enforcement could help as well.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN HOUSING AND WEALTH STUDIED. The State of Housing in Black America 2013, published by the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, reports that black homeownership rates began to decline before the recession began in 2007, and the recession resulted in significant loss of wealth. Recommendations include redesigning the housing finance system with a focus on borrowers, ensuring adequate credit for rental housing development, and establishing a housing and community infrastructure bank.

HAC LAUNCHES EXPANDED, UPDATED RURAL DATA PORTAL AND SCHEDULES WEBINAR. The portal, online at www.ruraldataportal.org, is an easy-to-use resource with over 350 data indicators providing essential information on the social, economic, and housing characteristics of communities in the U.S. – including not only rural places, but the nation, states, and suburban and urban areas also. Most of the information comes from HAC tabulations of the 2010 Census, the American Community Survey, and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. Join HAC for a webinar overview on Wednesday, September 18.

10,000 FRIENDS OF RURAL AMERICA SEEKS TO IMPROVE ATTENTION AND RESPECT. The movement, sponsored by a coalition of 25 rural nonprofits and supporters, including HAC, is designed to mobilize individuals and organizations willing to speak up for the real Rural America. To learn more and join, visit 10000friends .ruralamerica.org/stand_up/.