Posts

HAC News: December 4, 2013

HAC News Formats. pdf

December 4, 2013
Vol. 42, No. 23

• Budget conference committee may develop two-year plan • USDA expects to have RA funds soon • RA shortfall later in FY14 will be bigger than last year’s • Continuum of Care funds offered • HUD opens new student design and planning competition • Difficult Development Areas announced for 2014 • VA proposes regulations for Home Improvements and Structural Alterations program • HUD finds continued decline in homelessness • Regulators adopt revised CRA questions and answers • Online mapping tool shows race and ethnicity in U.S. places • Rural seniors’ housing covered in Rural Voices magazine


December 4, 2013
Vol. 42, No. 23

BUDGET CONFERENCE COMMITTEE MAY DEVELOP TWO-YEAR PLAN. While the federal government operates under a continuing resolution through January 15, a House-Senate budget conference committee is to report out an overall budget template by December 13. Then the appropriations committees will produce agency bills, an omnibus spending bill, or a CR for the remainder of FY14. Also looming is another round of sequester cuts. Congressional Quarterly and Politico report that the conference committee is focusing on a limited plan to finish 2014 and cover all of 2015. It would include some relief from the sequester, a two-year discretionary spending template for appropriators, and possible fee-based revenue increases.

USDA EXPECTS TO HAVE RA FUNDS SOON. Some confusion occurred in November when USDA RD informed field staff that it had used up its Rental Assistance funding under the CR. In FY13, USDA used 22% of the $837 million annual RA appropriation between October 1 and January 15, so OMB released the same amount this year. In FY14, however, because FY13 September contracts were renewed after October 1 and some long-term contracts also needed to be renewed, USDA expects to need 52% of $837 million by January 15. OMB has the authority to release the full 52% during the term of the CR and is expected to approve USDA’s request to do so. When the funding becomes available, contracts that expired but were on hold awaiting funds will be renewed and paid retroactively.

RA SHORTFALL LATER IN FY14 WILL BE BIGGER THAN LAST YEAR’S. USDA faces increased demand for Section 521 Rental Assistance funds this year for three reasons, possibly four. First, contracts for about 15,000 units were held over from September and renewed using FY14 funds. Second, about 26,000 long-term RA contracts will expire this year and must be renewed for one-year terms. Contracts covering a total of 39,382 units, created over two decades ago for terms of 20 years or longer, had enough funding to last far beyond their original terms. HAC calculates that $105 million will be needed to renew the additional 26,000 units in 2014 and eventually a total of $160.4 million will be needed for all 39,382. Third, if RA funding for the rest of the fiscal year continues at the same level as FY13, it will again fall short by another approximately 15,000 units. A final possible threat will come if sequestration is not changed for 2014; USDA would have to cut some of its spending, and there are not yet any indications where those cuts might take place. More background is provided in a new Rural Research Note from HAC, “As Overall Program Funding for USDA/Rural Development Shrinks, the Need for Rental Assistance is Growing.” Additional papers and updates will be posted at https://ruralhome.org as available.

CONTINUUM OF CARE FUNDS OFFERED. Applications must be submitted through e-snaps by February 3. Con-tact a HUD field office or submit a question through the OneCPD website.

HUD OPENS NEW STUDENT DESIGN AND PLANNING COMPETITION. Teams of graduate students will develop plans for a site owned by a PHA, including architectural designs, neighborhood planning, and financial plans. Teams may begin registering now. Contact Claire Desjardins, HUD, 202-402-5945.

DIFFICULT DEVELOPMENT AREAS ANNOUNCED FOR 2014. Lists of DDAs and Qualified Census Tracts (the April 20, 2012 QCT designations remain in effect) are posted at https://www.huduser.org/datasets/qct.html. Contact Michael K. Hollar, HUD, 202-402-5878.

VA PROPOSES REGULATIONS FOR HOME IMPROVEMENTS AND STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS PROGRAM. HISA funds necessary home improvements and alterations for disabled veterans. Comments are due January 21. Contact Shayla Mitchell, VA, 202-461-0366.

HUD FINDS CONTINUED DECLINE IN HOMELESSNESS. Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness, Part 1 of HUD’s 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, reports a reduction of 3.8% since 2012 and 6.1% since 2010. Data are aggregated by state and by Continuum of Care.

REGULATORS ADOPT REVISED CRA QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS. The federal agencies that regulate lenders subject to the Community Reinvestment Act made some changes in the interpretive questions and answers that were proposed in March (see HAC News, 3/21/13).

ONLINE MAPPING TOOL SHOWS RACE AND ETHNICITY IN U.S. PLACES. Using 2010 Census data, the Racial Dot Map, provided by the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia, provides color-coded dots for each person in each census block, showing population density and integration/segregation.

RURAL SENIORS’ HOUSING COVERED IN RURAL VOICES MAGAZINE. The fall issue of HAC’s quarterly magazine is titled “Filling the Gaps: Creating Housing Options for Seniors in Rural Communities.” One print subscription per organization is free from Dan Stern, HAC 202-842-8600.

Filling the Gaps Creating Housing Options for Seniors in Rural Communities

The Fall 2013 edition issue of Rural Voices focuses on housing for seniors in rural America. As America ages, the challenge of housing its low- and moderate-income senior population becomes an increasingly pressing issue. Rural communities face additional challenges in providing much needed services to a spread out population.

View from Washington

Q&A with Senator Kit Bond
Senator Kit Bond discusses his work with the BiPartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission and its recommendations for housing older Americans

FEATURES

The Seniors are Coming! Oh Wait, They’re Here

by Dr. E. Hellen Berry,
The effects of an aging population are already being felt in rural America and will continue over the next two decades

Declining Funds in the Section 202 Program

by Alayna Waldrum, LeadingAge
Community action programs can play an important role in addressing both housing and food security needs in rural America.

Minor Repairs Create Major Improvements for Tribal Elder Homes

by Rick Tewa, Pueblo de Cochiti Housing Authority
Housing repair and rehabilitation can be critical for seniors who desire to remain in their home, but physical impairments and fixed budgets can often make these repairs impossible to perform without assistance

Seniors Look to Resident-Owned Manufactured Communities

by Chelsea Catto, Casa of Oregon
Across the country, innovative manufactured housing options are serving seniors who want to age in place in a strong and supportive community

Providing Successful Transportation Options for Seniors in Rural Communities

by Debbie Dauenhauer, Southern Nevada Transit Coalition
The Southern Nevada Transit Coalition’s Silver Riders Program has taken on the task of mitigating transportation challenges for seniors in rural Nevada

MAPS

thumb_aging-rural-america-mapAn Aging Rural America (jpg)
MAP – A Demographic Portrait of Seniors in Rural America

Infographics

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, at the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.

Housing Seniors, One Person at a Time

Housing Seniors, One Person at a Time

By Janice Clark
June 21, 2012

“How many people in the room consider their home a safe and affordable place to live?” I asked, and not one person raised a hand.

I was at the B. S. Ricks Memorial Library, in Yazoo City, Miss., conducting a focus group meeting with senior residents. Yazoo City (population 11,403) is strikingly rural, with dirt roads and a small commercial area. Working with Linda Smith, executive director of theEsther Stewart Buford (ESB) Foundation, we arranged to meet with 15 area seniors in December 2011. Among the seniors were two local aldermen and the former city mayor. The conversation focused on the condition of their homes and the services they would like to see in their community.

Read the full blog post