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Stories of Poverty in Rural Appalachia

In the second installment of his series on “America’s Poorest Towns” for www.thinkprogress.org, Scott Rodd writes a series of essays profiling people trying to cope with persistent poverty in Beattyville, KY.

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Rodd interviews several residents of Beattyville in an effort to identify the root cause of the town’s continued poverty and economic struggles. These stories help to illustrate the depth and breadth of challenges a persistently poor rural community faces.

Read the first story in the series, which profiles Campti, LA.

Is the Housing Crisis Over? And how did it impact rural America?

The July 2014 issue of Rural Voices takes another look at the housing crisis and asks some important questions. Knowledgeable experts in the affordable housing field share their expertise, insights, and strategies to improve housing conditions in light of the Great Recession.

VIEW FROM WASHINGTON

Discussing Community Reinvestment in Rural America
by Thomas J. Curry, Comptroller of the Currency

How banks and federal savings associations can more effectively serve the credit needs of rural communities

SPECIAL FEATURE

Is the Housing Crisis Over? And how did it impact rural America?
An interview with:

Eric Belsky, Director, Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University
Sheila Crowley, Executive Director, National Low Income Housing Coalition
Gail Burks, President & CEO, Nevada Fair Housing, Center, Inc.
Chuck Wehrwein, Acting President & CEO, NeighborWorks America

Four national leaders discuss the housing crisis and its impact on rural America

FEATURES

Repurposing Foreclosed Properties in Rural America
by Noel Poyo, Executive Director, and Christopher W. Sanchez, Program Director, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB)

A consortium of nonprofits works at the local level to reverse the devastating effects of the foreclosure crisis

Housing Counseling Services Offer More Than Just Counseling
by Keith L. Morris, President, Elder Law of Michigan

While housing counselors are instrumental in helping people avoid foreclosure, they also provide invaluable resources to help families improve their lives

Making a Difference in Rural America
by Tony Hernandez, Administrator, USDA Rural Housing Service

Newly appointed Rural Housing Service administrator shares his thoughts and priorities for USDA’s housing initiatives

MAPS

the housing crisis and its wake in RURAL AmericaThe housing crisis and its wake in rural America– (Interactive Prezi)

Add your Response

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.

Looking to the Future: Youth and Housing in Rural America

thumb_rvmarch2014-coverThe March 2014 issue of Rural Voices, “Looking to the Future: Housing and Youth in Rural America” is now available for download from the Housing Assistance Council. This edition looks at the unique issues related to youth and housing in rural America. The edition also features several organizations that directly serve rural youth.

FEATURES

Children Growing up in Rural America
by Marybeth J. Mattingly and Cynthia M. Duncan, The Carsey Institute

Characteristics and challenges of a changing population.

Serving Families from Roots to the Moon
by Nadia Villagrán, Coachella Valley Housing Coalition

How California’s Coachella Valley Housing Coalition helped improve the lives of one rural farmworker family.

Young People Build Affordable Housing and Transform Their Lives
by Karen Jacobson, Randolph County Housing Authority

YouthBuild provides young rural Americans with the opportunity to build job skills, and homes, in their own communities.

Young Rural Housing Leaders Reflect

A group of graduates from the California Coalition for Rural Housing’s Youth Internship program discuss opportunities for youth in rural America.

Lead Poisoning: Not Just a Problem for Urban Youth
by Ron Rupp,

Lead paint is common in older rural housing and is considered to be the leading environmental health threat to young children.

VIEW FROM WASHINGTON

Congress Acts on Rural Housing
by Joe Belden and Leslie Strauss

A federal budget and extension of eligibility for rural communities are positive steps for affordable rural housing. The proposed 2015 budget? Not so much.

MAPS

thumb_childrenandyouthmapChildren & Youth in Rural America – (Interactive Prezi)

Add your Response

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 below, tweet #RuralVoicesMag, discuss on the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.

HAC News: November 13, 2013

HAC News Formats. pdf

November 13, 2013
Vol. 42, No. 22

• November is Native American Heritage Month • November 16-24 is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week • Fewer rural jobs, more poverty, and declining population, research shows • RD changes multifamily transfer process • HUD considers risk sharing initiative for small multifamily properties • FEMA issues final rule on assistance for housing damage • Housing counseling comment period extended • USDA used most Section 502 funds, but not Section 504 loans, in FY13 • USDA encourages local partnerships to address veteran homelessness • HUD and DOT launch site on housing and transportation costs • Sequestration’s impact on government activities, including housing, described • Research from sources including HAC covers veterans housing issues • Record share of young adults living at home • HAC reports on farmworker housing


November 13, 2013
Vol. 42, No. 22

NOVEMBER IS NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH. President Obama’s proclamation also designates November 29 as Native American Heritage Day. A USDA press release highlights support for Native Americans.

NOVEMBER 16-24 IS NATIONAL HUNGER AND HOMELESSNESS AWARENESS WEEK. Information, planned events, and ideas are available from the National Coalition for the Homeless.

FEWER RURAL JOBS, MORE POVERTY, AND DECLINING POPULATION, RESEARCH SHOWS. The USDA Econom-ic Research Service’s annual “Rural America at a Glance” report says rural unemployment is declining, but – with exceptions in some areas – the change is due to declining populations rather than job creation. An article in the online rural news source the Daily Yonder summarizes ERS’s findings. A separate Daily Yonder analysis of unemploy-ment data in August 2012 and August 2013 includes an interactive map with figures for every county in the U.S.

RD CHANGES MULTIFAMILY TRANSFER PROCESS. An Unnumbered Letter dated September 30, 2013 focuses on determining the financial feasibility of a transfer or preservation transaction, including reducing Rental Assistance. Contact RD State Office preservation staff.

HUD CONSIDERS RISK SHARING INITIATIVE FOR SMALL MULTIFAMILY PROPERTIES. Comments are due January 3 on a proposal for mission-driven lenders, including CDFIs, to originate, underwrite, and service loans with HUD mortgage insurance for refinancing or rehab of small properties. Lenders would assume 50% of the risk on each loan. Contact Lynn Wehrli, HUD, 202-402-5210.

FEMA ISSUES FINAL RULE ON ASSISTANCE FOR HOUSING DAMAGE. Revisions to FEMA’s repair, replacement, and housing construction assistance regulations are intended to clarify the eligibility criteria for assistance and to implement legislative changes. Contact John Carleton, FEMA, 202-212-1000.

HOUSING COUNSELING COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED. Comments are now due December 12 on changes to HUD’s housing counseling program regulations, published September 13 (see HAC News, 9/11/13). Contact Ruth Román, HUD, 202-708-0317.

USDA USED MOST SECTION 502 FUNDS, BUT NOT SECTION 504 LOANS, IN FY13. Despite USDA’s success-ful efforts to attract borrowers near the end of the year (see HAC News, 8/1/13 and 8/28/13), HAC estimates that USDA used only 53% of its Section 504 home repair loan funds in FY13. Section 504 grant funds were fully used, and Section 502 direct and guaranteed loans were almost entirely obligated. HAC’s final USDA obligations reports for the year are posted online.

USDA ENCOURAGES LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS TO ADDRESS VETERAN HOMELESSNESS. An Unnumbered Letter dated November 8, 2013 suggests that RD field staff inform local organizations about RD housing programs.

HUD AND DOT LAUNCH SITE ON HOUSING AND TRANSPORTATION COSTS. The Location Affordability Portal is intended to provide consumers, researchers, and policymakers with data and resources on combined housing and transportation costs for all parts of the U.S. including remote rural areas.

SEQUESTRATION’S IMPACT ON GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING HOUSING, DESCRIBED. Faces of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Have Made Us Sicker, Poorer, and Less Secure, published by NDD United, compiles data, quotes, and individual stories. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has updated its data on use of HUD vouchers, including the number of vouchers that will be lost in each state if sequestration continues in FY14.

RESEARCH FROM SOURCES INCLUDING HAC COVERS VETERANS HOUSING ISSUES. “Housing Our Heroes: Veterans in Rural America,” a HAC research brief, summarizes data on demographics, housing conditions, and homelessness. USDA’s Economic Research Service provides demographic and economic data in “Rural Veterans at a Glance.” (ERS uses data for nonmetro areas, while HAC uses a definition of rural based on census tracts.) Housing Instability Among Our Nation’s Veterans, a National Low Income Housing Coalition report, examines housing issues for veterans nationwide. “Rental Assistance Helps More Than 300,000 Veterans Afford Homes, But Large Unmet Needs Remain,” from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, also covers the topic on a national basis.

RECORD SHARE OF YOUNG ADULTS LIVING AT HOME. More than one-third of Millennials aged 18-31 are living with their parents, according to A Rising Share of Young Adults Live in Their Parents’ Home, published by the Pew Research Center. A Forbes analysis of the report suggests that federal policies favoring homeownership led to high housing prices that young adults cannot afford.

HAC REPORTS ON FARMWORKER HOUSING. Housing Conditions for Rural Farmworkers explains character-istics of farmworker housing and obstacles to its improvement.