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Addressing Food Insecurity: Research Note Cover

Addressing Food Insecurity: Research Note

Addressing Food InsecurityFood insecurity negatively affects childhood development and rural areas have higher rates of food insecurity. The Summer Meals program only serves 1 in 7 eligible students, but an increasing number of USDA multi-family properties serve as meal sites for this program. Stronger and continued collaboration between housing facilities and child nutrition programs will reduce rural childhood hunger during the summer months.

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HAC CEO David Lipsetz contributes to CDFI Connect blog

HAC: Building Capacity for Rural Communities

by David Lipsetz, CEO of the Housing Assistance Council

It was the mid-1970s. Gerald Ford was in office. CDFIs like the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) were just getting started. And Peggy Wright was growing up in Forrest City, Arkansas.

Forrest City is part of Arkansas’ long-struggling Delta region, where rich soil rarely led to riches for the largely African American population toiling in the fields. Housing conditions were dire, and indoor plumbing was hardly commonplace. Within a few years, Peggy had grown up and joined the Arkansas Delta Housing Development Corporation (ADHDC). Despite the barriers of the times, she rose to the position of housing director at ADHDC, running a “Self-Help” housing model which allows those of modest means to put forth hundreds of hours of sweat equity toward construction of their own homes.

Read the complete post on the CDFI Connect Blog.

HUD Awards $1 Million to the Housing Assistance Council

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) just announced a $1 million Rural Capacity Building award to the Housing Assistance Council. HAC will leverage its $1 million award with private investments to assist nearly 20 rural communities create, preserve, repair or rehabilitate a projected 750 units of housing and support 600 jobs.

FHFA Publishes Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Duty to Serve Underserved Market Plans

Updated: December 18, 2017

FHFA Publishes Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Duty to Serve Underserved Market Plans

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has published Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Underserved Markets Plans for 2018-2020 under the Duty to Serve program. The Plans become effective January 1, 2018.

Fannie Mae’s Underserved Markets Plan

Freddie Mac’s Underserved Markets Plan

HAC Comments on Duty to Serve Underserved Market Plans – July 10, 2017

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) appreciates the opportunity to comment on Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plans for Rural Markets. As a strong advocate for the Duty to Serve provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, HAC appreciates the time, effort, and resources FHFA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac have undertaken to develop these underserved market plans. The core of HAC’s work for over four decades has been rural and underserved communities. HAC understands the complexities and difficulties of working in these communities. HAC also understands the promise and possibility of Duty to Serve to affect real and measurable change in these long overlooked and largely forgotten communities and people. We appreciate that FHFA and the Enterprises have not forgotten them, and we look forward to assisting you and the Duty to Serve effort generally to achieve its mandate to improve liquidity and access to affordable housing in underserved markets.

Given its organizational focus on rural housing, HAC focused largely on the Rural Markets component of the plans. HAC presents comments on each Enterprise’s plan separately. After the Enterprise-specific comments, HAC presents general comments and suggestions to the Enterprises and FHFA on issues of rural multifamily housing and preservation.

Read HAC’s full comments.


Fannie Mae Rural Purchase Activity, 2013-2015

dts-fannie-mae

Freddie Mac Rural Purchase Activity, 2013-2015

dts-freddie-mac


The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a final rule to implement the Duty to Serve provisions which require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to serve three specified underserved markets – manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural housing – by improving the distribution and availability of mortgage financing in a safe and sound manner for residential properties that serve very low-, low- and moderate-income families.

Visit FHFA.gov/DTS for the press release, final rule, fact sheet, public listening session details, timeline and more.

HAC Will provide a summary of the Duty to Serve Rule soon.

Stakeholder Webinar

FHFA will provide a high-level overview of the final rule and answer stakeholder questions via webinar on Monday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. ET.

You may submit questions in advance by emailing DutyToServeStakeholders@FHFA.gov with “webinar question” in the subject line. Please submit your questions by COB Thursday, Dec. 15.


The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 mandates that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have a ‘Duty to Serve’ three traditionally underserved markets of:

  • Rural Housing
  • Manufactured Housing
  • Affordable Housing Preservation

The GSEs are tasked with increasing liquidity and investment capital in these markets.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a Proposed Rule on Duty to Serve on December 15, 2015. Comments to the Rule were due on March 17, 2016.

Link to Proposed Rule sent to Federal Register

HAC Resources on Duty to Serve

HAC Comments on Proposed Duty to Serve Rule – March, 17 2016

HAC Comments on Proposed Duty to Serve Rule – July 22, 2010

HAC Comments on Duty to Serve Advanced Notice of Rule Making – September 18, 2009

HAC Webinar on Duty to Serve

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) convened an interactive e-learning experience to assist housing providers and policymakers better understand the Duty to Serve Rule, and what it may mean for Rural America. The session was also intended to help inform comments to the Duty to Serve Rule.

Introduction | Power Point Presentation (22 MB) |Webinar Recording

Additional Resources on Duty to Serve

Interactive Map of Proposed Duty to Serve Rural Area

screen-capture-of-mapping-rural-america map

HAC’s Rural and Small Town Typology Database – Technical Documentation

Map of HAC’s Recommended Changes to FHFA Proposed Rural Area

DutyToServeMap FHFA HAC Recommended Changes

Map of GSE Loan Activity in Rural Areas

GSE Activity 2012 2014  Map

Map of FHFA Proposed Rural High-Need Areas and Persistent Poverty Counties

High Need Persistent Poverty Map

List of Suburban Tracts in FHFA Proposed Duty to Serve ‘Rural Areas’

List of Rural and Small Town Tracts Omitted From FHFA Proposed Duty to Serve ‘Rural Areas’

Duty to Serve Final Rule Issued

The Federal Housing Finance Agency issued a final rule to implement the Duty to Serve provisions which require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to serve three specified underserved markets – manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural housing – by improving the distribution and availability of mortgage financing in a safe and sound manner for residential properties that serve very low-, low- and moderate-income families.

Visit FHFA.gov/DTS for the press release, final rule, fact sheet, public listening session details, timeline and more.

HAC Will provide a summary of the Duty to Serve Rule soon.

Stakeholder Webinar

FHFA will provide a high-level overview of the final rule and answer stakeholder questions via webinar on Monday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. ET.

You may submit questions in advance by emailing DutyToServeStakeholders@FHFA.gov with “webinar question” in the subject line. Please submit your questions by COB Thursday, Dec. 15.

USDA to Help Nonprofits Preserve Rental Housing

October 26, 2016 – USDA has announced a new effort to increase nonprofit participation in preservation of Section 515 rural rental housing. Changes will take effect on March 1, 2017. USDA’s Rural Housing Service hopes its staff and interested nonprofits will use the intervening time to identify preservation deals. Nonprofits can reach out to USDA Rural Development state offices for additional information and assistance.

The changes include:

  1. Return on Investment (ROI):
    • Eligible nonprofits will earn a return based on the investment of their own resources following the ROI methodology.
    • Grant funds used for hard costs of construction will be included in the ROI methodology.
    • Loans made by nonprofits (aka Developer Loans) to a nonprofit purchasing entity will be included in the ROI methodology subject to certain conditions being met.
  2. Security Value: USDA will include the value of state or local loans provided at favorable rates in the determination of Security Value (loan to value ratio).
  3. Hard Cost Contingency: Hard cost contingency will be an eligible Section 515 loan purpose, allowing it to be included in the ROI methodology subject to certain conditions being met.

Opportunities for Promoting Credit for Affordable Housing in Rural America

HAC participated in a White House Rural Council/USDA convening on access to mortgage credit in May. The Center for American Progress summarized the event in a paper entitled Opportunities for Promoting Credit for Affordable Housing in Rural America.

MATERIALS POSTED: An Overview on the VA Specially Adapted Housing Grant Program

Materials Posted

Welcome | Presentation | Recording | Application

If you are not a Veteran or Veteran service provider, you may not be aware of all the great features of VA loans, or the specific assistance VA can provide to Veterans. Join the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) and the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) for the “Housing Resources for Heroes Part II: Overview on the Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant program.

This webinar, the second in the “2016 Veterans Resources Summer Series”, will provide general information of the SAH grant program, eligibility, uses along with the necessary actions Veterans need take to obtain a SAH grant. The webinar will also feature a discuss on the specific options of assistance available to Veterans with service-connected disabilities to assist with building, remodeling or purchasing an adapted home. Participants will have ample opportunity following presentations to ask questions of the subject matter experts.

The SAH grant is designed to assist Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities live independently in a barrier-free environment by providing help constructing or modifying a home to meet their adaptive needs. Specifically, SAH grants can be used in one of the following ways:

  • Construct a specially adapted home on land to be acquired;
  • Build a home on land already owned if it is suitable for specially adapted housing;
  • Remodel an existing home if it can be made suitable for specially adapted housing; or
  • Apply the grant against the unpaid principal mortgage balance of an adapted home already acquired without the assistance of a VA grant

Annual Report 2015

HAC's 2015 Annual Report CoverThe Housing Assistance Council is pleased to present Building Rural Communities, HAC’s 2015 Annual Report.

Read a web-friendly version of this publication on issuu.com.

In 2015 the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) mixed innovation, tried and true techniques, and special attention to special needs to further its mission of improving housing conditions for low-income rural Americans.

Ongoing issues surrounding the preservation of existing decent, affordable rental housing in rural America were one important focus of HAC’s work this year, as a large proportion of U.S. Department of Agriculture rental housing mortgages near the end of their terms. Veterans’ housing needs were another. HAC also continued its strong support of self-help homeownership for families who could not afford to purchase their own homes without the value added by their “sweat equity.” HAC’s loan funds make below-market financing available for those developing or rehabilitating affordable rural housing for both owners and renters.

This year HAC continued to increase its use of technology, delivering webinars and publications online and launching a new Veterans Data Central site to complement its popular Rural Data Portal. Person-to-person interactions remained important as well, with individualized conversations and live training sessions, including peer-to-peer events, providing technical assistance to local rural organizations and governments nationwide.

The importance of HAC’s role as an intermediary remains clear. As always, in 2015 local organizations throughout rural America made good use of HAC’s loans, grants, trainings, technical assistance, and information resources. HAC is proud to continue empowering these groups to provide decent, affordable homes for the lowest income residents of their own communities.

What Does the Administration's 2017 Budget Mean for Rural Housing? (Webinar)

Materials Posted

Welcome | Power Point Presentation | Webinar Recording

The Administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2017 was released on February 9, 2016. What will it mean for rural housing programs? Join the Housing Assistance Council for a brief presentation and Q&A session.

Read more

Reports

Outstanding Partnership in CRA

Making CRA Work in Rural America: Partnerships and Opportunities for Rural Community Reinvestment

Little is known about rural community development activity for which lenders earn CRA credit. While anecdotal evidence suggest such projects are uncommon, most rural CRA discussions focus on the need to increase rural activities. HAC’s Making CRA Work in Rural America: Partnerships and Opportunities for Rural Community Investment report serves to increase our knowledge of how CRA can work in rural areas by focusing on four successful rural community development projects.

The case studies in this report explore a preschool expansion in Maine, construction of rental housing for farmworkers in Colorado, construction of low- and moderate income housing in Minnesota, and the donation of a bank branch to a local credit union in Mississippi.

“The CRA will make a good project better, but not a bad project good”
– Greg Hohlen, Bremer Bank

The participants in the case studies identified the following key elements to the success of their projects and making the CRA work for rural areas:

  • Strong relationships between the lenders and the involved organizations,
  • Lender expertise in community lending, and
  • Understanding of alternative funding streams by all involved parties.

While the CRA-related activity was an important part of each case, the underlying fundamentals of the project were sound making these efforts a win-win for the bank and the community.

This report is part of HAC’s Three-Part “CRA in Rural America” series.