Tag Archive for: rural homelessness

Rural Veterans and Local Nonprofits Receive Critical Housing Support

Contact: Dan Stern, dan@ruralhome.org
Shonterria Charleston, ahrv@ruralhome.org

Rural Veterans and Local Nonprofits Receive Critical Housing Support

Funded by The Home Depot Foundation

Washington, D.C., July 24, 2020 – Veterans and their families in twelve rural communities will have better lives, thanks to The Home Depot Foundation and the Housing Assistance Council. The Foundation is awarding grants totaling over $305,000 to twelve local nonprofit housing agencies around the country to preserve housing for veterans in rural America.

The funds are part of The Home Depot Foundation’s Veteran Housing Grants Program, which wascreated to support the development and repair of housing for veterans. Many of our veterans and their families face major housing challenges, often worsened by issues like unemployment, age and service-related disabilities. The Home Depot Foundation is dedicated to giving back to those who have already given so much for our country.

As part of its Affordable Housing for Rural Veterans (AHRV) Initiative, the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) works with The Foundation to administer grants that bolster and support the work of rural nonprofit housing agencies to deliver critical housing support to veterans. “HAC is honored to continue its partnership with The Home Depot Foundation,” said David Lipsetz, HAC’s CEO. “Together we’ve helped strengthen the capacity of local rural organizations to build and preserve veteran housing units across rural America.”  As rural America is home to a disproportionately high number of service women and men; HAC remains deeply committed to supporting our nation’s service women and men by uplifting local nonprofits and their work to house and ensure the safe habitability of their homes and rural communities.

The grantee organizations – described below – provide a range of programs. With the grants, veterans who own homes in Arizona, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia will obtain critical repair assistance. Altogether, over 70 veterans and their families will benefit from these grants.

About The Home Depot Foundation
The Home Depot Foundation works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap and support communities impacted by natural disasters. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $335 million in veteran-related causes and improved more than 47,000 veteran homes and facilities in 4,500 cities. In 2018, the Foundation pledged an additional $250 million dollars to veteran causes, taking the total commitment to half a billion by 2025. To learn more about The Home Depot Foundation and see Team Depot in action, visit thd.co/community and follow us on Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram @teamdepot and on Facebook at facebook.com/teamdepot.


About the Grantees

  • BDT Housing Services Enterprise, Walls, MS will utilize $30,000 to leverage the rehabilitation of five (5) homeowner units located in the lower Mississippi Delta Region.  For additional information on BDT Housing Services Enterprise, visit their GuideStar profile at https://www.guidestar.org/profile/26-3736448.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County, Frederick, MD will utilize $17,409 to complete modifications on two (2) units for elderly veterans in Frederick County, MD.  For additional information on Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County, visit their website at www.frederickhabitat.org.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, in Chapel Hill, NC will utilize $30,000 to leverage the rehabilitation of three (3) homeowner units.  For additional information on Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, visit their website at https://www.orangehabitat.org/.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Smith County, in Tyler TX will leverage $30,000 on the rehabilitation and modification of six (6) homeowner units.  For additional information on Habitat for Humanity of Smith County, visit their website at https://smithcountyhabitat.org.
  • NeighborWorks UMPQUA, in Roseburg, OR will leverage $30,000 on the rehabilitation and modification of ten (10) homeowner units throughout rural Oregon.  For additional information on NeighborWorks UMPQUA, visit their website at https://www.nwumpqua.org/.
  • Rebuild Upstate, in Greenville, SC will utilize $30,000 to leverage the rehabilitation and accessibility modifications on four (4) homeowner units in rural South CarolinaFor additional information on Rebuild Upstate, visit their website at https://rebuildupstate.org/.
  • Rebuilding Together Dutchess County, in Poughkeepsie, NY will utilize $15,000 to leverage the rehabilitation of one (1) elderly homeowner units across rural New York.  For additional information on Rebuilding Together Dutchess County, visit their website at https://www.rebuildingtogetherdutchess.org/.
  • Rebuilding Together Twin Cities, in Minneapolis, MN will utilize $7,000 to leverage the rehabilitation of two (2) homeowner units in rural Minnesota.  For additional information on Rebuilding Together Twin Cities, visit their website at https://rebuildingtogether-twincities.org/.
  • Southern Appalachian Labor School, in Kincaid, WV will utilize $25,908 to support the rehabilitation of twenty (20) homeowner units in Appalachia.  For additional information on Southern Appalachian Labor School, visit their website at https://sals.info/.
  • Southwestern Regional Housing and CDC, in Deming, NM, will utilize $30,000 to support the rehabilitation of ten (10) homeowner units across the Southwest Border Colonias.  For additional information on Southwestern Regional Housing and CDC, visit their website at https://swnm.org/.
  • St. Mary Community Action Agency, in Franklin, LA, will utilize $30,000 to support the rehabilitation of six (6) homeowner units in the lower Mississippi Delta.  For additional information on St. Mary Community Action Agency, visit their website at https://www.stmarycaa.org/index.htm.
  • White Mountain Apache Housing Authority, in Whiteriver, AZ, will utilize $30,000 to support the rehabilitation of three (3) homeowner units on the Fort Apache Reservation.  For additional information on White Mountain Apache Housing Authority, visit their website at https://www.wmahousingauthority.org/default.asp?sec_id=180007661.


Rural Research Note Homelessness - Cover

Homeless Rate Increases Nationally: Rural Data Remains Unclear

Cover of Homeless Rate Increases Nationally: Rural Data Remains UnclearHUD’s 2017 point-in-time numbers show the homeless count increased by 0.7% nationally since 2016, which is the first increase since 2010. The overall number has actually decreased when excluding several large cities that have experienced extreme spikes in homeless populations. Homeless counts in rural communities continue to be hard to capture. The following research note highlights the impact of these highly populated areas on the overall homeless count and points out the difficulty in counting the rural homeless population.

Read the Research Note


HAC quoted in Wisconsin Public Radio story on rural homelessness

HAC executive Director Moises Loza was interviewed by Wisconsin Public Radio for a story about rural homelessness. Ashland Cares, a nonprofit in Ashland, WI, is purchasing a vacant school building to convert it to a shelter to help serve the homeless population of rural northern Wisconsin.

Moises discussed the difficulties rural communities face when attempting to count local homeless populations because of the lack of shelters, and the challenge of providing services for scattered populations.

Read the complete story and listen to the radio segment.

HAC Awards Over $1 Million for Local Self-Help Homeownership Programs


Contact: Dan Stern
202-842-8600, ext. 137

HAC Awards Over $1 Million for Local Self-Help Homeownership Programs

Washington, DC, June 2, 2017 – The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is partnering with six organizations to build 67 self-help homes for low and moderate-income families. HAC provides financing for these projects using $962,325 in funds from the federal Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP), which is administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Through the SHOP program, families develop sweat-equity in the construction of their homes and create a sense of community by assisting their neighbors with the construction of their homes as well. “Since its inception, HAC has been a supporter of the SHOP program as a means for creating safe, affordable housing and stable communities for low-income rural Americans,” said Moises Loza, HAC’s Executive Director. “HAC is proud to work with local organizations across the nation and help families reach their dreams of homeownership.”

Local affiliates leverage resources from a variety of private and public sources to provide this affordable housing opportunity to low- and moderate-income homebuyers. Many of the families participating in HAC-funded SHOP projects obtain low-interest mortgage loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s homeownership program. By leveraging critical resources, including use of volunteer labor when possible, self-help housing producers are able to create affordable, sustainable homeownership opportunities for low-income homebuyers.

SHOP funds cover costs associated with land acquisition and infrastructure improvements. Community-based organizations will supervise homebuying families who work together in groups to construct their own homes and their neighbors’. HAC’s local SHOP affiliates can use up to $15,000 per unit for eligible development. They are responsible for all construction activities, including securing additional funding, preparing sites, training families, and managing the self-help process.

Since the inception of the SHOP program, HAC has been awarded funding to produce 9,827 units of affordable housing for families. To date, HAC’s local partners have completed 9,124 homes.

About the Housing Assistance Council
HAC, founded in 1971, is a nonprofit corporation that supports the development of rural low-income housing nationwide. HAC provides technical housing services, loans from a revolving fund, housing program and policy assistance, research and demonstration projects, and training and information services. HAC is an equal opportunity lender. [tdborder][/tdborder]





Creative Compassion, Inc.



Housing Development Alliance



Northwest Regional Housing Authority



Self-Help Enterprises



Kentucky Highlands Community Development Corporation



Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc.



Grand Total


Rural Homelessness

Download a pdf version of Rural Voices

This edition of Rural Voices makes clear the complexity of rural homelessness. Defining, much less quantifying, rural homelessness is a formidable task. While the challenges are sobering, HAC is inspired by those addressing rural homelessness across sectors ranging from education to domestic violence to veterans’ services. National experts and local providers come together to share their perspectives on this issue.

View from Washington

On the Brink of Change
by Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer

Innovative housing solutions are possible if everyone can work together.


An Overview of Rural Homelessness
by Nan Roman and Steve Berg

Homelessness has some different causes, features, and resources in rural places than in cities, and recognizing the distinctions can help in crafting solutions.

From Storage Shed to Stable Home
by Ashley Gooch

What does rural homelessness look like? A Tennessee man shares his story of hardship and perseverance.

Farmworker Homelessness in Imperial County, California
by Ilene J. Jacobs and Patrick Saldaña

Factors related to the seasonal nature of their work, their low wages, and discrimination may lead to homelessness among farmworkers.

Moving into Housing…First
by Patricia Mullahy Fugere

The Housing First approach provides housing without preconditions or requirements relating to behavior or treatment. With a stable home base, residents then address the challenges that caused, or kept them in, homelessness.

Expanding Healthcare Services for Supportive Housing Residents in Rural Areas
by Eva Wingren and Brian Byrd

The Affordable Care Act can help fund services that assist people in remaining stably housed.

What the Schools Know: Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness
by Patricia A. Popp

A national system of state and local homeless education coordinators works to ensure the growing numbers of homeless students have access to the resources they need.


The Complicated (& largely unknown) Picture of Rural Homelessness (Infographic) The Complicated Picture of Rural Homelessness

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

The Unique Challenges Facing Vermont's Homeless Population

Difficulty accessing affordable transportation, child care and housing are all magnified in a rural place like Vermont. The Unique Challenges Facing Vermont’s Rural Homeless Population is the subject of a Vermont Public Radio feature.

Vermont deploys a range of services provided by organizations throughout the state, but is also committed to a Housing First model for addressing homelessness. Paul Dragon, Director of Vermont’s Office of Economic Opportunity, said, “It’s hard to work on many of the other issues, particularly finding employment or getting someone’s diabetes or hypertension under check, or getting them to counseling for substance or mental health, if they don’t have a home … So that is a big component of Housing First. Let’s get people stabilized, get them in a home, and then we can work on these other issues.”