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What Does an Affordable Rural Rental Housing Strategy Look Like?

What Does an Affordable Rural Rental Housing Strategy Look Like?

By Leslie Strauss
May 22, 2012

Affordable housing advocates were happy recently to see the Senate Appropriations Committee tell the U.S. Department of Agriculture to get its act together on rental housing. USDA’s FY12 budget proposed to eliminate funding for the department’s flagship Section 515 rental housing loan program and focus its efforts on the Multi-Family Housing Revitalization Program known as MPR. Then the FY13 budget took the opposite approach, proposing to focus on Section 515 and eliminate funding for MPR. In S.Rpt. 112-163 the frustrated Senate committee “directs the Secretary, conclusively, to determine and articulate an effective long-term strategy to address rural rental housing needs.”

Read the full blog post…

FY 13 HUD Budget and Appropriations

(Information about FY13 USDA rural housing funding is available here.)

HOUSE PASSES FY13 HUD APPROPRIATIONS BILL

July 2, 2012 – On June 29 the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5972, its version of the FY13 appropriations bill for the departments of Transportation and HUD. Most program funding remains at the levels set by the House Appropriations Committee (see table below). Slight increases were adopted for two programs: the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) was increased by $2 million and Homeless Assistance Grants received an additional $5 million. To keep the bill’s total funding level unchanged, these amounts were offset by decreases in HUD’s salaries and expenses account and its working capital fund.

The House rejected amendments to the bill that would have cut funding for HOME and CDBG. Proposals to increase funding for several other programs failed.

A more detailed summary of the amendments and discussion on the House floor is available from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The full Senate has not yet scheduled a date for consideration of its T-HUD funding bill, S. 2322.

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY11 Final
Approp.a

FY 12 Final Approp.

FY13
Admin. Budget

FY13 Senate Cmte. Bill
(S. 2322)

FY13 House Bill (H.R. 5972)

Cmty. Devel. Block Grants
(Sustainable Commun. Init.)
(Rural Innovation Fund)

3,508
(100)
0

3,308.1
0
0

3,143
100
0

3,210 b
50
0

3,404 b
0
0

HOME

1,610

1,000

1,000

1,000

1,200

Tenant-Based Rental Asstnce.
(Vets. Affairs Spptve Hsg. Vchrs)

18,408
(50)

18,914.4
(75)

19,074.3
(75)

19,396.3
(75)

19,134.3
(75)

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

9,257.4

9,339.7

8,700.4

9,875.8

8,700.4

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

2,044

1,875

2,070

1,985

1,985

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,626

3,961.9

4,524

4,591

4,524

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

0

120

150

120

Housing Trust Fund

0

0

1,000

0

0

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

650

650

650

650

650

Homeless Assistance Grants

1,905

1,901.2

2,231

2,146

2,005

Rural Hsg. Stability Prog.

5

c

c

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

335

332

330

330

332

202 Hsg. for Elderly

400

374.6

475

375

425

811 Hsg. for Disabled

150

165

150

150

165

Fair Housing

72

70.8

68

68

68

Healthy Homes & Ld. Haz. Cntl.

120

120

120

120

120

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

27

13.5

0

13.5

20

Housing Counseling

0

45

55

55

45

a. Figures shown do not include 0.2% across the board reduction.
b. Includes $3.1 billion in Senate and $3.34 billion in House for CDBG.
c. Funded under Homeless Assistance Grants.

HOUSE APPROPRIATORS ACT ON HUD SPENDING BILL FOR 2013

June 27, 2012 – The House committee report (H.Rept. 112-541) includes strong language supporting the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP):

Proposed elimination of SHOP.—The Administration once again proposes to eliminate all funding for the SHOP program, citing the HOME program as an acceptable substitute funding source and citing the rising administrative costs of SHOP recipients. Regarding the first point, the Committee notes there are many differences between the SHOP program, which allows non-profits to create affordable housing through the unique ‘‘self-help’’ model of homeownership, and the HOME program, which provides funding to states and local governments to increase the stock of affordable housing.

There are several reasons why the Committee declines to eliminate SHOP: HOME funding has decreased significantly in recent years; the self-help and sweat-equity model enjoys broad Congressional support; and SHOP funding is much-needed in rural areas, where state-wide HOME funds are scarce and often set-aside for large tax-credit developments, rather than for self-help homeownership. Regarding rising administrative costs, the Committee directs HUD to evaluate the history of administrative costs in the SHOP program, including whether HUD’s imposition of various requirements, such as mandatory site visits and Energy-Star certifications, has resulted in SHOP grantees requiring higher administrative costs.

The Committee directs the Secretary to report to the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations within 180 days of enactment on whether current administrative costs are reasonable, what portion of administrative costs are attributable to HUD requirements, and what actions can be taken by both HUD and grantees to reduce the administrative burden in this program.

June 20, 2012 – On June 19 the full House Appropriations Committee passed the Transportation-HUD funding bill without changing the subcommittee’s funding levels shown in the table below. An amendment by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) to cut $2 million from the HOME program was defeated.

June 8, 2012 – The House Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee on June 7 reported out a bill to fund HUD and several other agencies in fiscal 2013 (starting Oct. 1, 2012).

The bill boosts funding for HOME, Sec. 202, CDBG, and SHOP. HOME, Section 202, and SHOP got significant increases above FY 2012 levels to $1.2 billion, $425 million, and $20 million respectively. The Rural Innovation Fund is not funded and seems dead after being left out of HUD’s budget proposal again. The Rural Housing Stability Program is funded as part of homeless assistance grants. Veterans housing vouchers are funded at $75 million and Native American Block Grants are at $650 million, maintaining 2012 levels for both programs. The House bill provides no funding for Choice Neighborhoods or Sustainable Communities. The table below provides details.

The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to act on this bill in about two weeks. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of 2013 HUD appropriations, S. 2322, on April 19, with significant differences from yesterday’s House bill. Congress continues to move appropriations on a faster track this year, but it also remains unclear when the process will be complete. Final passage of most appropriations bills may not occur until a post-election lame duck session.

The bill is available on https://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-112HR-SC-AP-FY13-THUD.pdf.

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY11 Final
Approp.a

FY 12 Final Approp.

FY13
Admin. Budget

FY13 Senate Bill
(S. 2322)

FY13 House Subcomm.
Bill

Cmty. Devel. Block Grants
(Sustainable Commun. Init.)
(Rural Innovation Fund)

3,508
(100)
0

3,308.1
0
0

3,143
100
0

3,210 b
50
0

3,404 b
0
0

HOME

1,610

1,000

1,000

1,000

1,200

Tenant-Based Rental Asstnce.
(Vets. Affairs Spptve Hsg. Vchrs)

18,408
(50)

18,914.4
(75)

19,074.3
(75)

19,396.3
(75)

19,134.3
(75)

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

9,257.4

9,339.7

8,700.4

9,875.8

8,700.4

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

2,044

1,875

2,070

1,985

1,985

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,626

3,961.9

4,524

4,591

4,524

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

0

120

150

120

Housing Trust Fund

0

0

1,000

0

0

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

650

650

650

650

650

Homeless Assistance Grants

1,905

1,901.2

2,231

2,146

2,000

Rural Hsg. Stability Prog.

5

c

c

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

335

332

330

330

330

202 Hsg. for Elderly

400

374.6

475

375

425

811 Hsg. for Disabled

150

165

150

150

165

Fair Housing

72

70.8

68

68

68

Healthy Homes & Ld. Haz. Cntl.

120

120

120

120

120

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

27

13.5

0

13.5

20

Housing Counseling

0

45

55

55

45

a. Figures shown do not include 0.2% across the board reduction.
b. Includes $3.1 billion in Senate and $3.34 billion in House for CDBG.
c. Funded under Homeless Assistance Grants.

HUD SPENDING FOR 2013 ADVANCES IN SENATE

The Senate Appropriations Committee on April 19 reported out a bill to fund HUD and several other agencies in fiscal 2013 (starting October 1, 2012). Congress is moving appropriations on a much faster track this year, especially in the Senate, but it is still unclear when the process will be complete. The House of Representatives is also expected to move 2013 spending bills soon.

The Senate bill keeps HOME, SHOP, Indian housing and several other accounts at 2012 levels; increases public housing, rental assistance and homeless grants; and cuts a few other programs such as Section 811. The Rural Innovation Fund was not funded and seems dead after being left out of HUD’s budget proposal again.

The table below provides details.

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY11
Approp. a

FY 12 Approp.

FY13 Admin. Budget

FY13 Sen. Bill (S. 2322)

Cmty. Devel. Block Grants
(Sustainable Commun. Init.)
(Rural Innovation Fund)

3,508
(100)
0

3,308.1
0
0

3,143
(100)
0

3,210 b
(50)
0

HOME

1,610

1,000

1,000

1,000

Tenant-Based Rental Asstnce.
(Vets. Affairs Spptve Hsg. Vchrs)

18,408
(50)

18,914.4
(75)

19,074.3
(75)

19,396.3
(75)

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

9,257.4

9,339.7

8,700.4

9,875.8

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

2,044

1,875

2,070

1,985

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,626

3,961.9

4,524

4,591

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

0

120

150

120

Housing Trust Fund

0

0

1,000

0

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

650

650

650

650

Homeless Assistance Grants

1,905

1,901.2

2,231

2,146

Rural Hsg. Stability Prog.

c

5

c

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

335

332

330

330

202 Hsg. for Elderly

400

374.6

475

375

811 Hsg. for Disabled

150

165

150

150

Fair Housing

72

70.8

68

68

Healthy Homes & Ld. Haz. Cntl.

120

120

120

120

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

27

13.5

0

13.5

Housing Counseling

0

45

55

55

a. Figures shown do not include 0.2% across the board reduction.
b. Includes $3.1 billion for CDBG.
c. Funded under Homeless Assistance Grants; amount not specified.

PROPOSED HUD BUDGET FOR 2013 IS A MIX OF CUTS AND HIKES

The HUD budget includes some good news and some bad, cutting some programs sharply while increasing or maintaining others. Increases are in:

  • tenant-based rental assistance,
  • public housing operating and capital funds,
  • homeless assistance grants,
  • Section 202 senior housing,
  • Choice Neighborhoods, and
  • housing counseling.

Level funding from 2012 to 2013 would be in:

  • HOME,
  • veterans supportive housing vouchers,
  • Indian housing block grants, and
  • Healthy Homes and lead hazard controls.

Cuts or eliminations are asked for:

  • project based rental assistance (a very deep cut of $639 million),
  • CDBG (cut by $165 million),
  • SHOP (zero funding),
  • Section 811 housing for the disabled, and
  • fair housing

Proposed increases are in some accounts that were cut sharply in 2011 or 2012, such as counseling and Section 202.

The Rural Innovation Fund again does not receive funds and appears to be dead. This abandonment is especially troublesome given HUD’s roll out of this program in their 2010 budget request, as a replacement for the older Rural Housing and Economic Development program. Congress provided one year of funding for the RIF (FY10), but then the request was mostly abandoned by HUD.

HUD’s Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) also does not receive funds, with potential applicants once again directed to HOME. HUD says “all SHOP activities are eligible under the HOME program,” so go apply there. This ignores the fact that HOME was cut by $650 million in FY12, is under some stress from misguided bad publicity, and could hardly work as a program funded by dozens of state and local jurisdictions.

There is also a proposal to increase minimum rents to $75 for the lowest income HUD-assisted households. The National Low Income Housing Coalition and other advocates strongly oppose this proposal.

The table below provides details.

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY11
Approp. a

FY12
Admin.
Budget

FY 12 Approp.

FY13 Admin. Budget

Cmty. Devel. Block Grants
(Sustainable Commun. Init.)
(Rural Innovation Fund)

3,508
(100)
0

3,781
(150)
(25)

3,308.1
0
0

3,143
(100)
0

HOME

1,610

1,650

1,000

1,000

Tenant-Based Rental Asstnce.
(Vets. Affairs Spptve Hsg. Vchrs)

18,408
(50)

19,223
(75)

18,914.4
(75)

19,074.3
(75)

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

9,257.4

9,429

9,339.7

8,700.4

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

2,044

2,405

1,875

2,070

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,626

3,962

3,961.9

4,524

Public Hsg. Revtlztn. (HOPE VI)

100

0

0

0

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

0

250

120

150

Housing Trust Fund

0

1,000

0

1,000

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

650

700

650

650

Homeless Assistance Grants

1,905

2,372

1,901.2

2,231

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

335

335

332

330

202 Hsg. for Elderly

400

757

374.6

475

811 Hsg. for Disabled

150

196

165

150

Fair Housing

72

72

70.8

68

Healthy Homes & Ld. Haz. Cntl.

120

140

120

120

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

27

0

13.5

0

Housing Counseling

0

88

45

55

a. Figures shown do not include 0.2% across the board reduction.

Posted: February 13, 2012
Last updated: July 2, 2012

FY 13 RD Budget and Appropriations

Information on HUD’s FY13 budget and appropriations is available here.

HOUSE AND SENATE OFFER DIFFERENT FUNDING RESOLUTIONS FOR REMAINDER OF FY13

March 12, 2013 – On March 6 the House of Representatives passed H.R. 933, a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government for the remainder of FY13 (through September 30, 2013). The bill keeps FY12 funding levels and the 5% sequester in place, and adds a 0.098% across the board cut. Thus each rural housing program would receive 94.902% of its FY12 funding.

The Senate Appropriations Committee released its version of a CR. The bill has not yet been considered by the full Senate. It specifies funding levels for the rural housing programs, some of which are not the same as FY12 levels; keeps the 5% sequester in place; and adds a 2.513% across the board cut for USDA programs. That means each program would receive 92.487% of the amount shown in the table below.

The guarantee programs – Section 502 guaranteed for homeowners and Section 538 for rental housing – are not impacted by these cuts because they are funded by fees charged to program participants. They could, however, be affected by other changes such as staffing reductions.

[tdborder][/tdborder]

USDA Rural Devel. Program
(dollars in millions)

FY12 Final Approp.

FY13 Admin. Budget

FY13 House CR (H.R. 933) a

FY13 Senate Proposed CR b

502 Single Fam. Direct
(Self-Help Setaside)
(Teacher Setaside)

$900

$652.8
(141)
(67)

$900
0
0

$900
(5)
0

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

504 VLI Repair Loans

10

28

10

28

504 VLI Repair Grants

29.5

28.2

29.5

c

515 Rental Hsg. Direct

64.5

0

64.5

31.3

514 Farm Labor Hsg.

20.8

26

20.8

d

516 Farm Labor Hsg.

7.1

8.9

7.1

d

521 Rental Assistance
(Preservation RA)
(New Constr. 515 RA)
(New Constr. 514/516 RA)

904.7
0
(1.5)
(2.5)

907.1
0
0
(3)

904.7
0
(1.5)
(2.5)

907.1
0
0
(3)

523 Self-Help TA

30

10

30

30

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

3.6

0

3.6

c

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

130

150

130

150

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

2

34.4

2

17.8

Rental Prsrv. Revlg. Lns.

0

0

0

0

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

11

12.6

11

10

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

3.6

8

3.6

6.1

a. Does not include 5% sequester or 0.098% across the board cut.
b. Does not include 5% sequester or 2.513% across the board cut.
c. Total for Section 504 grants and Section 533 grants is $33.1 million, the same as in FY12.
d. Total budget authority for Section 514 loans and Section 516 grants is $16.5 million, compared to FY12 budget authority of $14.2 million.

SEQUESTRATION OCCURS

March 1, 2013 – Since no deal was reached to change or delay sequestration, it begins taking effect today. The effects may not be dramatic or immediately noticeable.

USDA AND HUD ESTIMATE SEQUESTRATION IMPACTS

HAC News item, February 20, 2013 – In a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack stated that if funding for the remainder of FY13 is cut on March 1, USDA will need to eliminate Rental Assistance for 10,000 households, not only making their homes unaffordable but also reducing funds available to owners for maintenance and mortgage payments. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan testified before the committee on February 14, detailing numerous potential program cuts at HUD.

SERIES OF FEDERAL FUNDING DECISION POINTS LOOMS

HAC News item, February 6, 2013March 1: Automatic, across-the-board spending cuts in discretionary domestic programs (5.1%) and defense will occur unless Congress acts to avert them. March date unknown: The Administration will release its FY14 budget proposal. March 27: The continuing resolution that has provided FY13 funding ends and the government will shut down unless Congress takes action. April 15: Legislators’ salaries will begin to be escrowed as required by the debt ceiling increase bill signed into law by President Obama on February 4, unless/until Congress passes a concurrent budget resolution for FY14. A budget resolution is not binding, so the appropriations committees can begin considering FY14 funding bills without it. May 18/August date unknown: The debt ceiling is suspended through May 18 and then it increases by a formula that is expected to enable the federal government to continue meeting its debts until sometime in August.

OMB TELLS AGENCIES TO PLAN FOR SEQUESTER, CBPP REPORTS SMALLER CUTS

HAC News item, January 24, 2013 – A memo from the Office of Management and Budget advises federal agencies to intensify planning for possible sequestration, but not to take action yet. Unless Congress changes the law, federal funding will be cut on March 1. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that because of changes made in the tax deal (described below) the cut for non-defense discretionary programs including housing will be 5.1% rather than the previously expected 8.2%.

TAX DEAL DELAYS SEQUESTRATION

HAC News item, January 10, 2013 – The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, the deal reached by the Administration and Congress to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” delays until March 1 the 8.2% across-the-board spending cuts that would have been effective January 1, while lowering the caps for FY13 discretionary spending. It also extends for one year a 9% credit floor for Low Income Housing Tax Credit deals and extends the New Markets Tax Credit for 2012 and 2013. In February and March Congress will be faced with decisions about sequestration, the U.S. debt ceiling, and the continuing resolution for FY13 funding that expires on March 27.

CONTINUING RESOLUTION TO FUND GOVERNMENT FOR SIX MONTHS

HAC News item, September 26, 2012 – 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.

SEQUESTER REMAINS IN PLACE

HAC News item, September 26, 2012 – 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.)

CONGRESS BACK IN SESSION, CR INTRODUCED

Excerpt from HAC News item, September 12, 2012 – A continuing resolution to fund federal programs for the first six months of FY13, starting October 1, is scheduled for votes in the House September 13 and in the Senate next week. H. J. Res. 117 would give most programs, including housing, increases in subsidy (budget authority) needed to remain at FY12 program levels.

ADMINISTRATION’S SEQUESTRATION REPORT DELAYED, CBO PREDICTS RECESSION

HAC News item, September 12, 2012 – White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters the Administration needed more time to prepare the report to Congress required by the Sequestration Transparency Act, due on September 6, so the estimates on the impact of Budget Control Act funding cuts will be released later this week. Separately, An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 to 2022, by the Congressional Budget Office, projects that policy changes scheduled for January 2013, including sequestration, “will lead to economic conditions in 2013 that will probably be considered a recession.”

LEADERS AGREE ON CONTINUING RESOLUTION, CONGRESS RECESSES

HAC News item, August 8, 2012 – In late July Republicans and Democrats in Congress, along with the White House, announced they will develop a continuing resolution to fund the government for the first six months of FY13, starting October 1, 2012. Most programs will remain at FY12 funding levels. Congress has recessed until September 10, so the CR will be considered in September.

AG SPENDING BILL UP NEXT

Excerpt from HAC News item, July 11, 2012– Following a July 4 recess at home, the House may take up 2013 appropriations for USDA soon. There will be a continuing resolution to begin FY13 on October 1, 2012. Final budget decisions for 2013 will come in a post-election session, or in the new Congress next year.

STATUS NOTE

July 2, 2012 – Versions of USDA’s FY13 appropriations bill have been approved by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees (see details below), but the bill has not yet been considered by either the full House or the full Senate. Congress has adjourned until July 9. It is not clear when either body may take up its USDA spending bill after that.

HOUSE BILL TELLS USDA TO PLAN RURAL HOUSING SPENDING IN ADVANCE

Update and correction, June 20, 2012 – The full House Appropriations Committee passed the USDA spending bill on June 19, with only one change in the dollar amounts approved by the subcommittee. The subcommittee had provided $886.6 million for Section 521 Rental Assistance (not $866.6, as HAC reported originally), and the full committee adopted an amendment by Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) adding another $1.5 million for RA.

The draft House committee report instructs USDA to develop a plan for rental housing:

The Committee recognizes that a change in focus in the management of the multifamily housing portfolio may be necessary. However, the Committee is concerned about the dramatic shifts in the proposed program funding levels over the past two fiscal years and directs the Department to develop and present to the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate a definitive plan to address rural rental housing needs.

The Senate Appropriations Committee report included even stronger language regarding rental housing:

The Committee is concerned that the Department’s vision for its role in supporting affordable rural rental housing is out of focus. Section 515 direct loans were the centerpiece of the fiscal year 2012 President’s budget, while the fiscal year 2013 request eliminates that program. The revitalization pilot was eliminated in the fiscal year 2012 request. However, the fiscal year 2013 request increases the revitalization pilot by 361 percent, and includes substantial funding for vouchers even with large unobligated balances. Proposed legislation is promised to permanently authorize the revitalization program, but no description of the proposed program is offered.

The Committee directs the Secretary, conclusively, to determine and articulate an effective long-term strategy to address rural rental housing needs. The Committee continues to fund each of the rural rental housing program tools and provides increased flexibility to transfer funds. Finally, the Committee directs the Secretary to submit the proposed revitalization legislation as soon as possible.

June 6, 2012 – The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee passed its FY13 spending bill unanimously, with no changes to the housing numbers reported below.

June 5, 2012 – The House Appropriations Committee released a draft USDA FY13 spending bill, which will be reviewed by the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee on June 6. The House draft would provide lower amounts than the Senate’s bill for almost all rural housing programs. It allocates slightly more to the Section 515 rural rental housing program than the Senate bill, although the House’s $31.3 million is less than half of the $64.5 million Section 515 received in FY12.

The loan guarantee programs – Section 502 for owner-occupied housing and Section 538 for rental units – are at the same levels in the House and Senate bills. These programs charge fees that make them self-supporting.

The House bill contains new language in every provision relating to housing programs and in some, but not all, provisions relating to other Rural Development programs: “Not later than 15 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate a detailed spending plan by program, project, and activity for the funds made available under this heading.”

Details are provided in the table below.

USDA Rural Devel. Program
(dollars in millions)

FY11 Approp.a

FY12 Final Approp.

FY13 Admin. Budget

FY13 Sen. Bill (S. 2375)

FY13 House Committee Print

502 Single Fam. Direct
(Self-Help Setaside)
(Teacher Setaside)

$1,121

$900

$652.8
(141)
(67)

$900
(5)
0

$652.8
0
0

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

504 VLI Repair Loans

23.4

10

28

28

10

504 VLI Repair Grants

34

29.5

28.2

b

c

515 Rental Hsg. Direct

69.5

64.5

0

28.4

31.3

514 Farm Labor Hsg.

25.7

20.8

26

26

d

516 Farm Labor Hsg.

9.8

7.1

8.9

8.9

d

521 Rental Assistance
(Preservation RA)
(New Constr. 515 RA)
(New Constr. 514/516 RA)

955.6
0
(2.03)
(3)

904.7
0
(1.5)
(2.5)

907.1
0
0
(3)

907.1
0
0
(3)

886.6f
0
(1.5)
(2.5)

523 Self-Help TA

37

30

10

30

15

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

10

3.6

0

b

c

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

30.9

130

150

150

150

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

15

2

34.4

16.8

2

Rental Prsrv. Revlg. Lns.

1

0

0

0

0

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

14

11

12.6

11

10.8

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

5

3.6

8

6.1

3.5 e

a. Figures shown do not include 0.2% across the board reduction.
b. Total for Section 504 grants and Section 533 grants is $33.1 million.
c. Total for Section 504 grants and Section 533 grants is $17 million.
d. Total budget authority for Section 514 loans and Section 516 grants is $13.8 million, compared to the Senate bill’s total of $17.5 million.
e. Of the $3.549 million total for RCDI, $3.302 million is directed to community facilities grants to tribal colleges.
f. HAC originally reported the House subcommittee’s level for Rental Assistance was $866.6 million, but the correct figure is $886.6 million.

SENATE COMMITTEE REJECTS ADMINISTRATION BUDGET FOR RURAL HOUSING PROGRAMS

Updated, May 1, 2012 – On April 26 the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill for USDA programs, including rural housing programs, for Fiscal Year 2013 (beginning October 1, 2012).

The Senate bill also includes language that extends for one year eligibility for rural housing programs for all communities currently in the program. Background on this issue is available here.

FY13 ADMINISTRATION BUDGET REQUEST

February 13, 2012 – The USDA rural housing programs portion of the Obama Administration’s budget for fiscal year 2013 differs in several ways from last year’s budget proposal and from the final appropriations adopted for FY12. Details are provided in the table below.

The Section 502 mortgage guarantee program continues to be emphasized as the primary single-family vehicle; fees charged to borrowers mean the program does not cost the government anything. The Section 502 direct mortgage lending request of $652 million is considerably higher than last year’s $211.4 proposal, but lower than the $900 million appropriated for FY12. For the first time, the Administration requests setasides of Section 502 direct loans for borrowers participating in the Section 523 self-help housing program and for teachers.

Section 523 self-help technical assistance funds for local organizations that sponsor self-help “sweat equity” programs would drop from the $30 million appropriated level to $10 million – but $10 million is higher than the 0 requested in the FY12 budget.

The budget’s figures for Section 504 repair loans and grants for very low-income homeowners are far higher, at $28 million and $28.2 million respectively, than the FY12 budget request, and the loan amount is almost triple the $10 million FY12 funding level.

The Administration makes significant changes in its multifamily housing approach this year. Fees have been authorized for Section 538 guaranteed multifamily loans, making that program self-supporting, so the FY13 budget requests a $150 million lending level. The Section 515 direct loan program is zeroed out, with preservation and rehabilitation funding provided through $34.4 million in the Multifamily Housing Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) program. No Rental Assistance is set aside for preservation activities, although USDA has the authority to establish such a setaside on its own.

The budget proposes slight increases from FY12 levels for Section 514/516 farmworker housing loans and grants, as well as a setaside of Section 521 Rental Assistance.

The $907 million requested for Section 521 RA is intended to renew expiring contracts, thus maintaining rent subsidies for tenants who currently have them.

As it did last year, the Administration proposes to increase the Rural Community Development Initiative to $8 million for intermediary organizations to support regional economic development strategies. Congress declined to adopt this Regional Innovation Initiative in the FY12 appropriations law.

Discuss or comment on the budget on HAC’s rural housing listserv or on Twitter (use hashtag #ruralhousing)
Register now for HAC’s webinar on the rural housing budget, to be held Tuesday, February 21, 2:00-3:00 eastern time.

USDA Rural Devel. Program
(dollars in millions)

FY11 Approp.a

FY12 Admin.
Budget

FY12 Final Approp.

FY13 Admin. Budget

502 Single Fam. Direct
(Self-Help Setaside)
(Teacher Setaside)

$1,121

$211.4

$900

$652.8
(141)
(67)

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

504 VLI Repair Loans

23.4

0

10

28

504 VLI Repair Grants

34

11.5

29.5

28.2

515 Rental Hsg. Direct

69.5

95.2

64.5

0

514 Farm Labor Hsg.

25.7b

27

20.8

26

516 Farm Labor Hsg.

9.8b

9.8

7.1

8.9

521 Rental Assistance
(Preservation RA)
(New Constr. 515 RA)
(New Constr. 514/516 RA)

955.6
0
(2.03)
(3)

906.7
0
(3)
(3)

904.7
0
(1.5)
(2.5)

907.1
0
0
(3)

523 Self-Help TA

37

0

30

10

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

10

0

3.6

0

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

30.9

0

130

150

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

15

0

2

34.4

Rental Prsrv. Revlg. Lns.

1

0

0

0

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

14

16

11

12.6

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

5

8.4

3.6

8

a. Figures shown do not include 0.2% across the board reduction.
b. Figures shown for Section 514 and 516 farm labor housing are the amounts offered in the FY11 NOFA.

Posted: February 13, 2012
Last updated: June 20, 2012

USDA Multi-Family Fair Housing Occupancy Report FY 2010

According to USDA’s annual occupancy report for tenants in its portfolio properties, from 2009 to 2010 the average incomes of Section 515 and 514/516 tenants rose about 2%. The average is $11,364 for all tenants and $9,388 for tenants with Section 521 Rental Assistance.

Past Recipients of HAC’s Rural Housing Service Awards

What are the Rural Housing Service Awards?

Once every two years at the HAC Rural Housing Conference, HAC acknowledges rural housing leaders whose efforts have led to improved housing in rural America. The Cochran/Collings Award for Distinguished Service in Housing for the Rural Poor honors individuals who have provided outstanding and enduring service, with national impact, for the betterment of housing conditions for the rural poor. The Skip Jason Community Service Award recognizes individuals whose efforts have improved the housing conditions of the rural poor in their communities. Below is a list of past awardees.

2020 Awardees

2018 Awardees

Skip Jason Award

Cochran/Collings Award
Henry B. González Award

2016 Awardees

Skip Jason Award

Cochran/Collings Award
Henry B. González Award

2014 Awardees

Skip Jason Award
Cochran/Collings Award
  • The Honorable Christopher “Kit” Bond, U.S. Senate (Retired), Missouri
Henry B. González Award

2012 Awardees

Skip Jason Award
Cochran/Collings Award
  • Shirley Sherrod, Founder, The Sherrod Institute, Albany, Georgia
Henry B. González Award
  • The Honorable Barney Frank, U.S. House of Representatives (D – Massachusetts)

2010 Awardees

Skip Jason Award
Cochran/Collings Award
Henry B. González Award

2008 Awardees

Skip Jason Award
Cochran/Collings Award
Henry B. González Award
  • The Honorable Geoff Davis, U.S. House of Representatives (R-Kentucky)
  • The Honorable Ed Pastor, U.S. House of Representatives (D-Arizona)

2006 Awardees

Skip Jason Award
Clay Cochran Award
  • The Honorable Rubén Hinojosa, U.S. House of Representatives (D-Texas)

2004 Awardees

Skip Jason Award
Clay Cochran Award
Special Recognition
  • The Honorable Artur Davis, U.S. House of Representatives (D-Alabama)
  • The Honorable Rubén Hinojosa, U.S. House of Representatives (D-Texas)
  • The Honorable Rick Renzi, U.S. House of Representatives (R-Arizona)
  • The Honorab
    le Rep. Walsh, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Harry Bowie, HAC Board of Directors
  • Art Collings, HAC Staff

2002 Awardees

Skip Jason Award
  • Lynn Luallen, Chief Executive Officer, Kentucky Housing Corporation, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Madeleine Miller, Executive Director, Wil-Low Nonprofit Housing, Hayneville, Alabama
Clay Cochran Award

2000 Awardees

Skip Jason Award
  • Lauretta Brice Stephens, Florida Non-Profit Housing, Inc., Sebring, Florida
  • Cora Esquibel, Arizona
  • Arturo C. Gonzales, Southeastern Wisconsin Housing Corporation, Burlington, Wisconsin
  • Dana M. Jones, Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Association, Hughesville, Maryland
Clay Cochran Award
  • Eileen Fitzgerald, Washington, DC

1998 Awardees

Skip Jason Award
  • Guillermo Castaneda
  • Dwayne Yost
  • John Zippert
Clay Cochran Award
  • Arnold Sternberg

1996 Awardees

Skip Jason Award
Clay Cochran Award
  • Maureen Kennedy, Former Administrator, Rural Housing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC
Special HAC 25th Anniversary Award
  • The Honorable Henry B. González (D-Texas), U.S. House of Representatives

1994 Awardees

Skip Jason Award
Clay Cochran Award
  • The Honorable Eva M. Clayton, U.S. House of Representatives (D-North Carolina)
  • The Honorable Bennie G. Thompson, U.S. House of Representatives (D-Mississippi)

1991 Awardees

Skip Jason Award
  • Bessie Swann
  • Ted Smith (posthumous award)
Clay Cochran Award

1985 Awardees

Skip Jason Award
  • James Wilcox
Clay Cochran Award
  • Art Collings

1983 Awardees

Skip Jason Award
Clay Cochran Award

1981 Awardees

Community Service Award
  • Moriah Milton, Hardwood, Louisiana
Clay Cochran Award
  • Gordon Cavanaugh, former Executive Director, Housing Assistance Council, and former Administrator, Farmers Home Administration, Washington, DC

1979 Awardee

Clay Cochran Award
  • Clay Cochran, former Executive Director, Rural America, Washington, DC

Supportive Housing for the Elderly (Section 202)

HUD’s Supportive Housing for the Elderly program was authorized by Section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959, as amended by Section 801 of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 (NAHA). The program is often referred to as Section 202. Prior to the 1990 legislation, Section 202 funding was available to developers of housing for both elderly and disabled low-income households. Low-income disabled households are now served through the Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities (Section 811) program.

Download the complete resource guide

Annual Report 2018

About HAC

What is HAC?

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) has been helping local organizations build affordable homes in rural America since 1971. HAC assists in the development of both single- and multi-family homes and promotes homeownership for working low-income rural families through a self-help, “sweat equity” construction method by emphasizing local solutions, empowerment of people in poverty, reduced dependence, and self-help strategies. HAC offers services to public, nonprofit, and private organizations throughout the rural United States and maintains a special focus on high-need groups and regions, such as: Indian country, the Mississippi Delta, farmworkers, the Southwest border colonias, and Appalachia.

HAC is a nonprofit corporation located in Washington, DC with regional offices in the southeast, midwest, and southwest.

HAC’s Mission

The mission of the Housing Assistance Council is to improve housing conditions for the rural poor, with an emphasis on the poorest of the poor in the most rural places.

2018 Annual Report

Annual Report 2018HAC is pleased to present the 2018 Annual Report, which looks back at our accomplishments and those of our partner organizations over the last year.


Download HAC’s brochure

Read about HAC’s History

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Housing Assistance Council – Building Rural Communities

The HOUSING ASSISTANCE COUNCIL

        • improves housing conditions for the rural poor, with an emphasis on the poorest of the poor in the most rural places in the United States.
        • offers services to public, nonprofit, and private organizations throughout the rural United States.
        • maintains a special focus on high-need groups and regions: Indian country, the Mississippi Delta, farmworkers, the Southwest border colonias, and Appalachia.

OMB Outside Metro Areas

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OMB Reclassification Reduces Outside Metro Area Population by 1.5%


WHAT’S NEW

Housing Assistance Council submits comments on supportive services for veteran families (SSVF)
-June 17, 2014

OMB Reclassification Reduces Outside Metropolitan Area Population by 1.5%

-May 24, 2013

Picking Up the Pieces: Restoring Rural Housing and Communities After a Disaster
Special Oklahoma Tornado Supplement
-May 23, 2013

HAC News newsletter of May 22, 2013
in text or in alt PDF
-May 22, 2013

The USDA RD Program Obligations Reports for April FY 13 are now available for download
-May 20, 2013

Register Now for HAC’s Section 502 Packaging Training in Knoxsville, TN
– May 20, 2013

Other Recent Announcements, Blog Posts and Press Releases


POLICY, TRAINING, RESEARCH & INITIATIVE UPDATES

HAC Initiatives

Federal Policy, Budget, and Funding Updates

2014 Funding

Trainings & Conferences / Web-Based Trainings

Events List

Research and Recent Publications

Connect with HAC

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Volume 3 Number 2

Rural Voices: Housing and Economic Development

The Winter 1997-98 issue of Rural Voices highlights the intesection of Housing and Economic Development in rural areas.

Housing problems and economic problems go together in rural America. It often seems like a good idea to tackle both at once, but how? To what extent can housing development itself stimulate a local economy? What are the risks and rewards for a housing organization expanding into job creation, employment training, or business activities? This issue of Rural Voices includes two articles addressing these important questions.

First, the cover st01y examines the many positive economic impacts of housing development and suggests anumber of economic activities that fit well with housing endeavors. The second article explores factors a housing organization should consider in deciding whether to venture into economic development. Other timely subjects are included in this issue as well. A range of topics is covered in an interview with Nicolas P. Retsinas, until recently a top official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and now the director of the joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. An expanded View fi·om Washington examines the impact of the Clinton Administration’s proposed budget on the Rural Housing Service’s programs that serve the poorest rural residents by producing low-cost rental housing and assisting tenants with rent payments.