Tag Archive for: rural voices

Affordable Rural Housing It’s Not a Nicety But a Necessity

View From Washington

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II, shares his housing story and offers his views on housing across the country

by The Honorable Emanuel Cleaver, II, Missouri’s Fifth District

Rural Voices - Fall 2014This story appears in the Fall 2014 issue of Rural VoicesOwning a home is part of the American dream. It’s a person’s private piece of paradise. The pride of home ownership often fosters not only a desire to take care of one’s personal property, but also an effort to protect the integrity and appearance of the surrounding neighborhood as well. Affordable housing is a key component to a vibrant, expanding, and prosperous community.

As a little boy, growing up in Waxahachie, Texas, my family and I didn’t have indoor plumbing until I was 7 years old. That’s when we moved up in the world, by moving into public housing. When a move into public housing is considered a monumental step up in the world, you can imagine the delirious euphoria that came years later, when we finally had a home of our own. My father worked three jobs, put my sisters, my mother, and I through college, and moved our family into the first home we ever owned. He still lives there today.

We all have our own personal stories, but the availability of, and access to, affordable housing for everyone, is a national concern as well. The buying and building of houses is a huge contributor to the vitality and viability of a community. Jobs are created or sustained as construction crews, real estate and other professionals, and business owners and employees are in high demand. The influx of tax dollars provides a solid foundation for public services including police, fire, and sanitation workers who help make a neighborhood safe, clean, and a quality place to live. Financial institutions make loans, restaurants sell food, and teachers begin educating our children. Affordable housing helps a community come alive. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), families and individuals living in Rural Development financed homes in the district I represent, Missouri’s Fifth District, see every dollar spent in the local economy multiply by six times.

So, I am asked all of the time, “What are elected officials doing in Washington to continue improving programs, increasing opportunities, and ensuring affordability for those in rural areas throughout our nation?” Sadly, a better question might be, “What are we doing in Washington at all?”

I say to you without hesitation – Not Enough! And some days, it seems, nothing is getting done at all. Except for arguing. The partisan back-biting, political bickering and agenda motivated maneuvering seem to go on forever. And it needs to stop. There are important issues on our plate. Issues that impact our families and our futures. Issues that need, and deserve, our serious attention right now.

Missouri’s Fifth District stretches all the way from the urban core of Kansas City east to the farms of Marshall. The distance is a whopping 90 miles, but the lifestyles seem even farther apart than that at times. My district truly represents a microcosm of this great nation, with not only urban and rural communities, but suburban ones as well. The needs of these residents vary greatly from region to region. Rural communities have different needs and different concerns than those in the other areas. And while it is my passionate belief that all residents of my district need access to affordable housing options, certainly my rural constituents have special and unique needs that need to be addressed as such.

As a Member of the House Financial Services Committee, and a Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, I pay special attention to these issues and concerns. One important issue for rural communities, for instance, is flood insurance. Congress recently enacted the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013. This law protects people who have flood insurance from facing dramatic rate hikes. For constituents hit by premium increases they simply can’t afford, it provides relief in the form of a refund. The law also requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to get the affordability study to Congress that was supposed to be finished almost a year ago.

Federally Subsidized Housing Units BubbleSource: HAC Tabulations of HUD and USDA data; National Housing Preservation Database

Folks living in rural areas are particularly well served by their local USDA offices. That agency plays a critical role in bringing the dream of home ownership within reach. For people who choose to live, work, and raise their families in this country’s strong rural communities, many have not only found that the programs focusing on housing loans have helped them buy, but have also vastly improved their quality of life. Other available options provide loans and grants for everything from hospitals, fire stations, and nursing homes, to funding for apartments for those with low-income or the elderly, schools, and housing for farm laborers.

There are issues and complexities that occur in a rural landscape unique only to those communities. The USDA, through Rural Development, has worked for more than half a century to understand those nuances and provide housing options that don’t exist outside of rural America. For instance, USDA’s loan program offers borrowers an opportunity for homeownership with no money down, and allows rural families to stay right where they are. I continue to believe moving rural housing programs under a freestanding FHA is not a move toward efficiency, as many in Washington contend, but one that sets rural communities back and leaves them stuck in the past.

Right now, in Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, the numbers and dollar amounts for 502 Guaranteed loans active and being serviced in Jackson, Lafayette, Ray, and Saline counties, show an impressive amount of families utilizing the program. There are 1,691 loans totaling more than $170 million.

Affordable housing in rural America is not just a nicety, it’s a necessity. It must be available, accessible, and affordable for those who need it. And, make no mistake, I will continue fighting to make sure it’s just that.

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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.

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


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


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


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.

Hunger and Housing in Rural America: Intersecting Challenges and Solutions

The Summer 2013 special edition issue of Rural Voices focuses on Hunger and Housing in Rural America. With housing affordability an increasing challenge, and hunger a more pronounced issue, how are rural communities combatting these issues?

View from Washington

Supporting Rural America’s Housing and Nutrition Needs
by Under Secretary Kevin Concannon, USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services
The USDA offers programs that support rural communities to address their housing and food security needs.


Rural Hunger and Housing: Challenges and Opportunities
by Lorette Picciano, Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural
Rural America faces challenges and opportunities in housing and food security.

Building Homes and Feeding the Hungry in Rural Pennsylvania
by Kate Thompson, Fayette County Community Action Agency
Community action programs can play an important role in addressing both housing and food security needs in rural America.

Farmworker Housing: Implications for Food Security and Food Safety
by Sara A. Quandt and Thomas A. Arcury, Wake Forest School of Medicine
Although they help feed America, farmworkers often face substandard conditions and food insecurity at their own tables.

Growing Food and Housing Security in South Dakota’s Native American Reservations
by Lauren Haas Finkelstein, Running Strong for American Indian Youth
South Dakota’s Native American community is fighting hunger and substandard housing to protect their children and future leaders.

Food Justice in the Rural Southeast
by John Zippert, Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund
Southern farmers are forming cooperatives and coalitions to secure food and housing justice while overcoming a history of discriminatory land and farm policies.

Developing Leadership to Address Health & Hunger
Interview with Starry Krueger, Rural Development Leadership Network
Rural Voices recently interviewed Starry Krueger of the Rural Development Leadership Network, about a new leadership development program in Mississippi.


Hunger & Poverty in Rural America (jpg)
MAP – Many rural communities struggle to access enough nutritious food for their families.

Addressing Child Hunger in Rural New Mexico
Share Our Strength

What are Rural Food Deserts?


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

7 Issues Facing Rural America

The Spring 2013 issue of Rural Voices focuses on 7 issues facing rural America, and conversations from the 2012 National Rural Housing Conference around those issues.


7 Issues Facing Rural America: Leading Rural Housing Forward
by the Housing Assistance Council

Saving USDA Rural Development and Its Programs
by Peter Carey, Self-Help Enterprises, Inc.

Rural Rental Housing Preservation
by Tom Bishop, Homestead Affordable Housing, Inc., and Leslie Strauss, HAC

Energy Efficiency Issues in Rural Affordable Housing
by Meghan Walsh, USDA Rural Development

Housing Options for Rural Seniors
by Gus Seelig, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board

Serving High Needs Areas and Vulnerable Populations
by Marty Miller, Office of Rural Farmworker Housing, Andy Saavedra, Mid South Delta LISC, and Leslie Strauss

Building a New Generation of Rural Housing Professionals and Leaders
by Gisela Salgado and Rob Weiner, California Rural Housing Coalition

Strategic Partnerships for Rural Nonprofits
by David Dangler, NeighborWorks Rural Initiative, and Tom Carew, FAHE

View from Washington

Sequestration Hurts and Disappointing FY14 Budget Doesn’t Heal
by The Housing Assistance Council

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

Winter 2012 – 13: Taking Stock of Housing in Your Community

The winter 2012 – 13 issue of Rural Voices, Taking Stock of Housing in Your Community, is now available for download from the Housing Assistance Council. This issue includes information about the data resources available for rural community devlopers and advocates to document housing needs in their communities and make their case to policy makers.

View from Washington

Erika Poethig, Acting Assistant Secretary
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Policy Development and Research


Developing a Statistical Portrait of your Community
by Arthur Cresce, The U.S. Census Bureau
Using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey

What is Rural?
by the Housing Assistance Council
A question that matters

Information on What Banks Are Doing in Your Community
by John Taylor, National Community Reinvesment Corporation
Getting the Most from Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Data

Data Resources for Rural Communities
A Visual Guide to Selected Data and Information Sources

Q&A with John Cromartie
Rural Voices
sat down with John Cromartie, Senior Geographer at USDA’s Economic Research Service, to discuss demographic trends and data for rural areas

The National Housing Preservation Database
by Megan Bolton, National Low-Income Housing Coalition
A long awaited national database of federally-assisted housing can make the case for affordable housing preservation

Share your Story

Rural Voices is curious to hear your stories of how you have used data to further your work in your community. Do you have a story from your own community to share on this subject? Please share your story on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and help demonstrate the importance of accurate data for rural communities across the country.

Affordable Housing for Rural Veterans – Grantees

Veterans of the United States military services put their lives in danger to protect their country and its residents. However, when they return home they are not always able to find housing and access to services in their communities. The Housing Assistance Council (HAC), in partnership with The Home Depot Foundation, has created the Affordable Housing for Rural Veterans (AHRV) grant program to provide rural organizations with the financial resources to support their ability to meet or help meet the affordable housing needs of veterans in rural areas.

Highlights of 2017 Grant Activities included small grants for rural nonprofit organizations. HAC made the awards in summer 2017. AHRV grants support bricks-and-mortar projects that help veterans with home repair and rehab needs, support homeless veterans, or help veterans become homeowners, tap into available housing programs and secure affordable rental housing. Grantees are listed below.

2017 Affordable Housing for Rural Veterans – About the Grantees

  • Greenhouse Ministries, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee will use $30,000 to support rehabilitation of six veterans’ homes in rural Rutherford, Tennessee. For additional information about Greenhouse Ministries visit https://www.greenhousemin.org/.
  • NeighborWorks Umpqua, in Roseburg, Oregon will use $30,000 to perform critical repairs on three veteran-owned homes in Roseburg. For additional information about NeighborWorks Umpqua, visit https://www.nwumpqua.org.
  • North East Community Action Corporaton (NECAC), in Bowling Green, Missouri, will utilize $30,000 to support repair and rehabilitation of 8 to 10 veteran homes throughout its 12-county service area. For additonal information about NECAC, visit https://www.necac.org/.
  • Northwest Regional Housing Authority, Harrison, Arkansas, will utilize $30,000 to perform homeowner repairs on 5 to 10 veteran homes throughout its three-county service area. For additional information about Northwest Regional Housing Authority, visit https://www.nwregionalhousing.org/.
  • O.C.E.A.N., Inc. in Toms River, New Jersey, will utilize $30,000 to support the developent of 10 single-family housing units for veterns in Tuckertown, New Jersey. For additional information about O.C.E.A.N., Inc., visit https://www.oceaninc.org/.
  • Open Hands Outreach in Coolidge, Arizona, will utilize $14,225 to support the rehabilitation and expansion of a multi-tenant single-room occupancy (SRO) facility. For additional information about Open Hands Outreach, visit https://www.ohopcharity.org.
  • The Vets Place, in Northfield, Vermont, will utilize $30,000 to complete whole facility window replacement and weatherization on a 26-unit SRO transitional facility for veterans. For additional information on The Vets Place, visit https://www.vermontveteransplace.org/.
  • Western Maine Community Action (WMCA) in East Wilton, Maine, will use $30,000 to support home reconstruction for one rural veteran in Franklin County. More information about WMCA can be found at https://wmca.org.
  • White Mountain Apache Housing Authority, in Whiteriver, Arizona, will use $30,000 to repair three veteran homes on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. For more information about White Mountain Apache Housing Authority visit https://www.wmahousingauthority.org/.

Affordable Housing for Rural Veterans – Information and Resources

Building knowledge around affordable housing for rural veterans is critical to meeting the needs of that population. Assistance providers have very little in the way of models or information on program development or effective use of resources. To facilitate networking between rural organizations and to assist in the development of effective programs, HAC’s Affordable Housing for Rural Veterans Initiative provides the following information resources:

Veterans Data Central

An extensive data utility that provides detailed information on the situation of veterans down to the level of every U.S. county. Included are demographic and economic indicators, housing characteristics, VA housing and mortgage finance information, and veteran homelessness. The site provides approximately 420 veteran-specific data indicators and over 650,000 data points dedicated solely to information on veterans.

Supporting Veterans in Your State

A set of fact sheets — one for each state, the District of Columbia, and the US — provides details on the veterans’ population including proportion, prevalence by county, median income, poverty levels, unemployment rate, disability, median home value, housing problems, homelessness, and other factors.

HAC Publications

HAC Lists

Sign up to be a stakeholder in the veterans’ program to get periodic announcements about grants, events, and resources for rural veterans’ housing programs. Contact Shonterria Charleston at shonterria@ruralhome.org or call 202.842.8600 x 131.

Sign up for HAC News for current updates on other housing issues as well as government programs

Additional Resources

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
The VA provides benefits, services, information and support to veterans of the U.S. Military services, including the veterans Home Loan Program.

HUD Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH)
HUD-VASH combines the Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance program with case management and clinical services from the VA.

USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Program


The Home Depot Foundation: https://www.homedepotfoundation.org/

Volunteers of America: https://www.voa.org/Get-Help/National-Network-of-Services/Veterans

National Alliance to End Homelessness: https://www.endhomelessness.org/pages/veterans

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans: https://www.nchv.org/

Is there a resource that we have not listed here that you would like to see? Email HAC to share your ideas.

HAC News: September 26, 2012

HAC News Formats. pdf

September 26, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 19

• September 15-October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month • Continuing resolution to fund government for six months • USDA delays changes to rural definition for housing programs • Sequester remains in place • Farm Labor Housing applications now due October 31 • “Dynamic servicing strategies” notice for USDA multifamily properties reissued • New Capital Needs Assessment guidance issued for USDA multifamily properties • RESPA and TILA input requested • HUD seeks nominations for NAHASDA committee • USDA discontinues Rural Energy Plus for 502 direct • GAO report emphasizes similarities between USDA, FHA, and VA guarantee programs • Slightly fewer USDA tenants are cost burdened • Rural veterans’ housing covered in new Rural Voices

September 26,2012
Vol. 41, No. 19


CONTINUING RESOLUTION TO FUND GOVERNMENT FOR SIX MONTHS. 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.

USDA DELAYS CHANGES TO RURAL DEFINITION FOR HOUSING PROGRAMS. Administrative Notice 4679 (September 25, 2012) announces that current area eligibility will remain unchanged until March 27, 2013, when the continuing resolution ends. After that date, USDA will use 2010 Census data to determine what places fit the definition of rural, unless Congress extends grandfathering of housing program eligibility for growing rural communities. Before Congress adjourned two new bills were introduced: S. 3541 would grandfather currently eligible places for ten years, H.R. 6416 for one year. New HAC research found that in 2011 as many as one-third of Section 502 direct loans and 40% of Section 502 guaranteed loans were made in these areas.

SEQUESTER REMAINS IN PLACE. 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.)

FARM LABOR HOUSING APPLICATIONS NOW DUE OCTOBER 31. A notice in the Federal Register, 9/23/12, also makes other changes to the NOFA. (See HAC News, 7/25/12.) Contact an RD state office.

“DYNAMIC SERVICING STRATEGIES” NOTICE FOR USDA MULTIFAMILY PROPERTIES REISSUED. An Unnumbered Letter dated August 31, 2012 repeats instructions to RD field staff regarding prompt action on troubled multifamily properties. Contact Stephanie White, USDA, 202-720-1615.

NEW CAPITAL NEEDS ASSESSMENT GUIDANCE ISSUED FOR USDA MULTIFAMILY PROPERTIES. See Unnumbered Letter dated August 7, 2012. Contact Carlton Jarratt, USDA, 804-287-1524.

RESPA AND TILA INPUT REQUESTED. Comment by October 9 on changes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposes in Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and Truth in Lending Act regulations on mortgage loan servicing and disclosures. See CFPB’s web site or regulations.gov. Contact Jane Gao, CFPB, 202-435-7700.

USDA PROVIDES RESPA GUIDANCE FOR SECTION 502 DIRECT. Administrative Notice 4676 (August 27, 2012) instructs RD staff on implementation of RESPA disclosure and accuracy requirements, and on good faith estimates and the HUD-1 “Settlement Statement.” Contact Migdaliz Bernier, USDA, 202-690-3833.

HUD SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR NAHASDA COMMITTEE. The negotiated rulemaking committee will review the Indian Housing Block Grant funding formula. Nominations are due November 19. See Federal Register, 9/18/12 or regulations.gov. Contact Rodger Boyd, HUD, 202-401-7914.

USDA DISCONTINUES RURAL ENERGY PLUS FOR 502 DIRECT. The program, which makes it easier for homebuyers to qualify for loans for energy-efficient homes, remains in effect for Section 502 guarantee borrowers. See Unnumbered Letter dated September 10, 2012. Contact Christopher Ketner, USDA, 202-690-1530. HAC has learned from RD that a replacement program will be implemented in 2013.

GAO REPORT EMPHASIZES SIMILARITIES BETWEEN USDA, FHA, AND VA GUARANTEE PROGRAMS. Housing Assistance: Opportunities Exist to Increase Collaboration and Consider Consolidation (GAO-12-554) reiterates previous findings (for example, see HAC News, 3/7/12) and adds new data. In 2009, FHA guaranteed more single-family and multifamily loans, even for low-income residents of remote rural areas, than USDA. Detailed data on income levels and other characteristics are not included in the report. GAO suggests improving an Administration task force evaluating coordination or consolidation of single-family programs and recommends the agencies identify specific programs for consolidation. Contact Mathew Sciré, GAO, 202-512-8678.

SLIGHTLY FEWER USDA TENANTS ARE COST BURDENED. USDA’s annual occupancy survey shows 2,135 fewer units and 1,254 fewer occupied units (households) in Section 515 and 514/516 properties in 2012 than 2011, as well as 1,243 more households receiving Section 521 RA, 931 fewer with rental aid from other sources, and 1,562 fewer experiencing cost burdens. Contact Janet Stouder, USDA, 202-720-9728.

RURAL VETERANS’ HOUSING COVERED IN NEW RURAL VOICES. Stories of successful local efforts are highlighted in HAC’s quarterly magazine. Contact Dan Stern, HAC, 202-842-8600.