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Materials Posted: Financing Farm Labor Housing Part III – Construction and Lease-up

Materials Posted

Power Point Presentation | Recording

Join the Housing Assistance Council on February 24, 2018 for the third of three webinars focused on financing farm labor housing. Part 1 | Part 2

Summary

The Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing (FLH) program provides loans and grants for the development of on-farm and off-farm housing. The program is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Housing and Community Facilities Programs office (RD).

Section 514 loans and Section 516 grants are provided to buy, build, improve, or repair housing for farm laborers. Funds can be used to purchase a site or a leasehold interest in a site; to construct or repair housing, day care facilities, or community rooms; to pay fees to purchase durable household furnishings; and to pay construction loan interest.

Description

This webinar, the third in the three-part series, will present information on managing the construction process in coordination with USDA Rural Development, including construction draws, change orders, and final inspections. Information will be provided on the lease-up process, working with professional property management companies, affirmative marketing outreach and processing tenant applications. The process for completing project close-out with USDA Rural Housing Services will also be reviewed.

Register Now

SPONSORED BY

Tierra del Sol Housing Corporation and Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation through a grant agreement with USDA Rural Housing Services

About Tierra del Sol Housing (TDS)
TDS was founded in 1973 by a group of community leaders, farm workers, rural families, and churches to help rural New Mexicans achieve “the goal of a decent home and suitable living environment”. The dream for better housing began with Alto de Las Flores, the first of many large-scale homeownership programs and grew over time to encompass the full range of housing opportunities through self-help programs, renovation of existing housing, rural and farm labor rental housing, supportive housing for the elderly and disabled, and temporary housing assistance programs to prevent homelessness. TDS has since become a leading producer of affordable housing, and has worked to empower other collaborating nonprofit providers to increase their capacity to develop, own and manage housing for low income persons. Tierra del Sol has an impressive development record, producing more than 5,000 rental and homeownership units.

TDS has owned and managed rental housing serving low income families and special populations for more than 45 years, and currently owns 1,059 rental housing units that includes 299 units for farm workers.

Today, Tierra del Sol is advancing the needs of farmworkers and rural families by sharing its technical expertise to help other organizations address their community’s housing needs through Farm Labor Housing Technical Assistance, Self-Help Homeownership Opportunities and Workforce Investment Opportunity programs offered throughout the region and nationally.

About Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC)
CRHDC was Incorporated in 1971 to address the intolerable living conditions and lack of adequate housing for migrant farm workers in the rural areas of Colorado. The organization was created to research and develop housing opportunities for low-income rural families through the construction of safe, sanitary, and affordable housing. The mission has expanded over the years to address community needs, both urban and rural, on a state-wide scale. This includes activities geared toward increasing the financial viability and sustainability of families and the communities in which they live and work. Through the use of innovative strategies, CRHDC has closed the gap between the price of private market housing and the ability of low income families to pay.

CRHDC has a history of developing 514/516 projects that leveraged significant other financing and services through partnerships with collaborating agencies. CRHDC has built more than 2,000 units of self-help housing and owns rental housing serving seniors and low-income persons.

As a technical assistance provider, CRHDC specializes in a wide range of services covering all aspects from board development to project development to construction and property management. Through its subsidiary, Colorado Housing Enterprises, CRHDC also serves as a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

Both CRHDC and TDS have provided technical assistance for the development of farm labor housing since 2002 through agreements with USDA Rural Housing Services.

HOSTED BY HAC

About the Housing Assistance Council
The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is a national nonprofit that assists local organizations to build affordable homes in rural America. Since 1971 HAC has provided assistance 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, particularly: Indian country, the Mississippi Delta, farmworkers, the Southwest border colonias, and Appalachia.

Materials Posted: Financing Farm Labor Housing with USDA Section 514/516 Funding – Part I

Materials Posted

Power Point Presentation | Webinar Recording

Join the Housing Assistance Council on January 24, 2018 for the first of three webinars focused on financing farm labor housing. Part 2 | Part 3

SUMMARY

The Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing (FLH) program provides loans and grants for the development of on-farm and off-farm housing. The program is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Housing and Community Facilities Programs office (RD).

Section 514 loans and Section 516 grants are provided to buy, build, improve, or repair housing for farm laborers. Funds can be used to purchase a site or a leasehold interest in a site; to construct or repair housing, day care facilities, or community rooms; to pay fees to purchase durable household furnishings; and to pay construction loan interest.

This webinar, the first in the three-part series will provide information to potential project sponsors on how to effectively utilize USDA Section 514/516 loan and grant funds to finance farm labor housing. The webinar will further present information on eligible project sponsors, eligible costs, and requirements of the application. Additional information will be provided on site control, SHPO clearance, preliminary plans and specifications for the project, preparing development and operating budgets, sources and uses statement, market study requirements, supportive services plan, required federal forms, Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plan, and other elements of the pre-application. Scoring criteria will be reviewed, particularly relating to energy efficiency and other preferences. The use of other financial resources to support the development of the project will also be examined.

Register Now

SPONSORED BY

Tierra del Sol Housing Corporation and Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation through a grant agreement with USDA Rural Housing Services

About Tierra del Sol Housing (TDS)
TDS was founded in 1973 by a group of community leaders, farm workers, rural families, and churches to help rural New Mexicans achieve “the goal of a decent home and suitable living environment”. The dream for better housing began with Alto de Las Flores, the first of many large-scale homeownership programs and grew over time to encompass the full range of housing opportunities through self-help programs, renovation of existing housing, rural and farm labor rental housing, supportive housing for the elderly and disabled, and temporary housing assistance programs to prevent homelessness. TDS has since become a leading producer of affordable housing, and has worked to empower other collaborating nonprofit providers to increase their capacity to develop, own and manage housing for low income persons. Tierra del Sol has an impressive development record, producing more than 5,000 rental and homeownership units.

TDS has owned and managed rental housing serving low income families and special populations for more than 45 years, and currently owns 1,059 rental housing units that includes 299 units for farm workers.

Today, Tierra del Sol is advancing the needs of farmworkers and rural families by sharing its technical expertise to help other organizations address their community’s housing needs through Farm Labor Housing Technical Assistance, Self-Help Homeownership Opportunities and Workforce Investment Opportunity programs offered throughout the region and nationally.

About Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC)
CRHDC was Incorporated in 1971 to address the intolerable living conditions and lack of adequate housing for migrant farm workers in the rural areas of Colorado. The organization was created to research and develop housing opportunities for low-income rural families through the construction of safe, sanitary, and affordable housing. The mission has expanded over the years to address community needs, both urban and rural, on a state-wide scale. This includes activities geared toward increasing the financial viability and sustainability of families and the communities in which they live and work. Through the use of innovative strategies, CRHDC has closed the gap between the price of private market housing and the ability of low income families to pay.

CRHDC has a history of developing 514/516 projects that leveraged significant other financing and services through partnerships with collaborating agencies. CRHDC has built more than 2,000 units of self-help housing and owns rental housing serving seniors and low-income persons.

As a technical assistance provider, CRHDC specializes in a wide range of services covering all aspects from board development to project development to construction and property management. Through its subsidiary, Colorado Housing Enterprises, CRHDC also serves as a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

Both CRHDC and TDS have provided technical assistance for the development of farm labor housing since 2002 through agreements with USDA Rural Housing Services.

HOSTED BY HAC

About the Housing Assistance Council
The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is a national nonprofit that assists local organizations to build affordable homes in rural America. Since 1971 HAC has provided assistance 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, particularly: Indian country, the Mississippi Delta, farmworkers, the Southwest border colonias, and Appalachia.

New Webinar Series on Financing Farm Labor Housing with USDA Section 514/516 Funding

HAC will be hosting a three-part series of webinars focused on financing farm labor housing using Section 514/516 funding. Register now for all three!

HAC News: September 3, 2014

HAC News Formats. pdf

September 3, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 18

• RD suspends rural in character eligibility changes • National Office agreement required for some RD prepayment incentives • New guidelines apply to extensions and deobligations of unused Section 515, 514, and 516 funds • Online homeownership education provider approved for Section 502 borrowers • RD addresses thermal standards for manufactured housing • Guidance provided for rural multifamily design/build and construction management proposals • Reminder issued about Section 515 borrowers who received litigation damages • FHFA proposes new housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac • Changes to HMDA regulations suggested • New report covers challenges of housing seniors • Drop in homeless veterans estimated • Shortage of affordable rentals remains • CONFERENCE REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

September 3, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 18

RD SUSPENDS RURAL IN CHARACTER ELIGIBILITY CHANGES. In response to public concerns about changes in eligibility for rural housing programs based on determinations that some places are no longer “rural in character,” USDA has suspended use of this factor to alter a community’s rural status. No changes will be made until October 2015 at the earliest, and a new procedure will provide a 90-day public comment period on proposed modifications. This issue is not related to eligibility changes based on population growth (see HAC News, 2/5/14).

NATIONAL OFFICE AGREEMENT REQUIRED FOR SOME RD PREPAYMENT INCENTIVES. An Unnumbered Letter dated July 11, 2014 requires RD state offices to obtain advance approval before offering additional Rental Assistance or equity loans to Section 515 borrowers who want to prepay their loans. The UL says it is “an interim step” while regulatory changes are developed. Contact Tiffany Tietz, RD, 616-942-4111 ext. 126.

NEW GUIDELINES APPLY TO EXTENSIONS AND DEOBLIGATIONS OF UNUSED SECTION 515, 514, AND 516 FUNDS. An Unnumbered Letter dated July 30, 2014 provides timeframes and processes for USDA staff. Limited extensions may be permitted. Contact Mirna Reyes-Bible, 202-720-1753 (Section 514/516) or Melinda Price, 614-255-2403 (Section 515).

ONLINE HOMEOWNERSHIP EDUCATION PROVIDER APPROVED FOR SECTION 502 BORROWERS. An Unnumbered Letter dated August 22, 2014 announces the agency has approved Framework to provide online education, which can be used only when other formats are not available. Contact Shantelle Gordon, RD.

RD ADDRESSES THERMAL STANDARDS FOR MANUFACTURED HOUSING. The HUD Code specifies minimum thermal standards for each state, while RD applies them by county. Administrative Notice (AN) 4772 (Aug. 4, 2014) lists the standards for specified counties. Contact William Downs, RD, 202-720-1499.

GUIDANCE PROVIDED FOR RURAL MULTIFAMILY DESIGN/BUILD AND CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT PROPOSALS. AN 4770 (July 11, 2014) requires National Office approval to use Section 514 or 515 loans for design/build or construction management arrangements. Contact Sherry Engel, RD, 715-345-7677, or William Downs, RD, 202-720-1499.

REMINDER ISSUED ABOUT SECTION 515 BORROWERS WHO RECEIVED LITIGATION DAMAGES. An Unnumbered Letter dated June 24, 2014 instructs RD staff about servicing the accounts of borrowers who received damages payments pursuant to the May 21, 2007 agreement that settled a lawsuit against USDA regarding prepayments. Those owners cannot prepay their loans (unless USDA determines a property is no longer needed) and cannot receive incentives to discourage prepayment. Contact Tiffany Tietz, RD, 616-942-4111 ext. 126.

FHFA PROPOSES NEW HOUSING GOALS FOR FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC. Comments are due October 28 on possible changes to be in effect from 2015 through 2017, including a new subgoal for financing small multifamily rental properties (5-50 units). No rural subgoal is proposed. Contact Dr. Nayantara Hensel, FHFA, 202-649-3122.

CHANGES TO HMDA REGULATIONS SUGGESTED. Comment by October 29 on a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposal to implement a portion of the Dodd-Frank Act. Lenders subject to the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act would have several new reporting requirements, some existing requirements would be clarified, and some institutional and transactional coverage would be changed. Contact CFPB’s Office of Regulations, 202-435-7700.

NEW REPORT COVERS CHALLENGES OF HOUSING SENIORS. Housing America’s Older Adults – Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population, published by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, analyzes the ability of the existing U.S. housing stock to meet growing needs for affordability, accessibility, social connectivity, and supportive services.

DROP IN HOMELESS VETERANS ESTIMATED. HUD, VA, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) estimate that as of January 2014 veterans’ homelessness nationwide had declined by 33% since 2010.

SHORTAGE OF AFFORDABLE RENTALS REMAINS. A new Housing Spotlight report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition shows that nationwide there are only 31 affordable and available units for every 100 extremely low-income renters (with incomes at or below 30% of area median) and only 16 for every 100 deeply low-income renters (below 15% of area median). The report provides data for states and for 50 large metro areas.

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION IS OPEN! Register online for the National Rural Housing Conference 2014: Retool, Rebuild, Renew, in Washington, DC, December 3-5 with pre-conference activities December 2. Until October 31, the rate is $350 for nonprofits and government, $400 for for-profits. Contact HAC staff, registration@ruralhome.org.

HAC News: July 23, 2014

HAC News Formats. pdf

July 23, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 14

• Congress starts recess on August 1 • Continuum of Care registration open • USDA issues nondiscrimination rule • HUD proposes revisions to PHA consortium rules • USDA hopes to speed processing of Section 502 direct loans • Meetings and webinars set to discuss Keepseagle funds distribution • HUD guidebook discusses housing-transportation strategies • Data show characteristics of HUD-assisted households • Rural Voices magazine asks, “Is the Housing Crisis Over?” • Some spaces remain in workshops on new HOME rule • Register now for upcoming HAC trainings • Nominate national or local rural housing leaders for HAC awards

July 23, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 15

CONGRESS STARTS RECESS ON AUGUST 1. Legislators will return to work on Monday, September 8.

CONTINUUM OF CARE REGISTRATION OPEN. Applicants for FY14 CoC funds must register by August 6.

USDA ISSUES NONDISCRIMINATION RULE. The final rule is effective immediately. USDA’s complaint office is now required to offer alternative dispute resolution services. Each USDA agency is required to collect, maintain and annually compile data (when provided voluntarily by applicants and program participants) on the race, ethnicity, and gender of program applicants and participants by county and state. Also, two new categories are protected: political beliefs and gender identity. Contact Anna Stroman, 202-205-5953.

HUD PROPOSES REVISIONS TO PHA CONSORTIUM RULES. The changes are intended to increase administrative efficiencies associated with forming a consortium and to help ensure maximum family choice in locating suitable
housing. Comments are due September 9. Contact Michael Dennis, HUD, 202-402-3882.

USDA HOPES TO SPEED PROCESSING OF SECTION 502 DIRECT LOANS. An Unnumbered Letter dated July 7, 2014 authorizes three temporary steps to speed processing of Section 502 direct loans before the fiscal year ends on September 30. (See HAC News, 6/25/14.) USDA Rural Development field staff can now approve and obligate 502 direct loans subject to receipt of an appraisal, make new loans rather doing loan assumptions, and refinance existing loans in some circumstances when there is a high risk of foreclosure. Contact a USDA Rural Development office.

MEETINGS AND WEBINARS SET TO DISCUSS KEEPSEAGLE FUNDS DISTRIBUTION. About $380 million from the settlement of the Keepseagle v. Vilsack suit, which charged that USDA farm loan programs discriminated against Native Americans, will be distributed to nonprofits that work with Native American farmers and ranchers. To provide input about this process, attend in-person meetings or webinars/conference calls to be held between July 30 and August 26, or email indianfarmclass@gmail.com. For general information contact the Claims Administrator, 1-888-233-5506.

HUD GUIDEBOOK DISCUSSES HOUSING-TRANSPORTATION STRATEGIES. Creating Connected Communities: A Guidebook for Improving Transportation Connections for Low- and Moderate-Income Households in Small and Mid-Sized Cities intends to provide localities with transportation strategies for residents of affordable housing. It targets places up to 250,000 population, but at least one case study is from a city of 8,500.

DATA SHOW CHARACTERISTICS OF HUD-ASSISTED HOUSEHOLDS. The National Housing Conference’s Center for Housing Policy has begun analyzing “Picture of Subsidized Households” figures recently released by HUD. Nationwide, 39% of households receiving assistance are families with children, 34% percent are non-senior disabled (there is overlap in these categories), and 33% are seniors age 62 and older. Forty-four percent are African-American, 17% are Hispanic, 4% Asian or Pacific Islander, and 1% are Native American. About 6.3% live in places with urban centers under 10,000 population or without urban centers.

RURAL VOICES MAGAZINE ASKS, “IS THE HOUSING CRISIS OVER?” Experts write about the crisis and its impact on rural America. This issue also covers CRA, foreclosures, and housing counseling, and RHS Administrator Tony Hernandez describes his priorities.

SOME SPACES REMAIN IN WORKSHOPS ON NEW HOME RULE. HUD will offer “CHDO Workshop: Understanding the 2013 HOME Final Rule” in August and September. Registration is free for CHDO staff. HUD has some travel scholarships available, funded partly by HAC. Contact Rachael Ballard, rballard@ tdainc.org, 203-241-2410.

Register now for upcoming HAC webinars:

and place-based trainings:

Nominate national or local rural housing leaders for HAC awards.
Nominations are due September 30 for the Cochran/Collings Award for national rural housing service and the Skip Jason Community Service Award. The honors will be presented at the National Rural Housing Conference in December. Complete the online nomination form or request a paper form from Lilla Sutton, HAC, 202-842-8600.

HAC News: July 9, 2014

HAC News Formats. pdf

July 9, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 14

• Castro confirmed as HUD secretary • Civil rights anniversary noted • Section 514/516 preapplications due September 2 • HUD offers FY14 and FY15 HOPE VI Main Street funds • Treasury and HUD announce rental housing initiative • CRA regulators update list of distressed or underserved nonmetro middle-income geographies • New report examines rural rental housing • New York Times piece on rural poverty draws criticism • HAC calculates 8,000 USDA properties will pay off loans by 2020 • Concentration of poverty has increased, Census Bureau reports • HAC’s website redesigned

July 9, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 14 [tdborder][/tdborder]

CASTRO CONFIRMED AS HUD SECRETARY. On July 9 by a 71-26 vote the full Senate confirmed Julián Castro to replace Shaun Donovan as Secretary of HUD. The Senate has not yet voted on Donovan’s nomination as the new OMB director. (See HAC News, 5/28/14.)

CIVIL RIGHTS ANNIVERSARY NOTED. President Obama proclaimed July 2, 2014, as the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, which was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964.

SECTION 514/516 PREAPPLICATIONS DUE SEPTEMBER 2. Section 514 loans and Section 516 grants can be used for new construction or purchase and substantial rehabilitation of rental housing for farmworkers. Section 521 Rental Assistance is available. The maximum award is $3 million. Contact a USDA RD state office.

HUD OFFERS FY14 AND FY15 HOPE VI MAIN STREET FUNDS. Governments of counties, cities, and townships with populations under 50,000 are eligible for grants to replace unused commercial space with affordable housing in historic or traditional central business districts. Deadline is August 18. Contact Lawrence Gnessin, HUD, lawrence .gnessin@hud.gov.

TREASURY AND HUD ANNOUNCE RENTAL HOUSING INITIATIVE. The Treasury Department’s Federal Financing Bank will finance mortgages made by Housing Finance Agencies and insured by FHA under its risk-sharing programs. Treasury is also extending the Making Home Affordable homeowner assistance program for at least one year and requesting public input by August 8 on ways to improve the private label securities market for housing finance.

CRA REGULATORS UPDATE LIST OF DISTRESSED OR UNDERSERVED NONMETRO MIDDLE-INCOME GEOGRAPHIES. The annual list identifies census tracts where bank activities will be considered as “community development” under the Community Reinvestment Act. There are slightly fewer tracts on the list in 2014 than in 2013, presumably reflecting some improvement in the economy.

NEW REPORT EXAMINES RURAL RENTAL HOUSING. Rural America’s Rental Housing Crisis: Federal Strategies to Preserve Access to Affordable Rental Housing in Rural Communities, published by the National Rural Housing Coalition, documents the successes of USDA’s rental housing programs and the challenges facing them now, including preservation and Section 521 Rental Assistance funding.

NEW YORK TIMES PIECE ON RURAL POVERTY DRAWS CRITICISM. “What’s the Matter with Eastern Kentucky?” by Annie Lowrey describes economic decline in Clay County, KY and wonders whether moving away might be residents’ best option. Tim Marema and Betsy Taylor respond with critical posts on the Daily Yonder.

HAC CALCULATES 8,000 USDA PROPERTIES WILL PAY OFF LOANS BY 2020. The oldest Section 515 and 514 loans are reaching the end of their 50-year mortgage terms. “Maturating USDA Multi-Family Housing Loans will Impact Ten-ants explains that when a Section 515 or 514 loan is paid off, some tenant benefits (such as Section 521 Rental Assistance) are terminated. Tenant protection rules apply to prepayments but not to payoffs of mature loans. HAC’s Rural Policy Note recommends that USDA ask project owners to notify tenants well in advance of payoff.

CONCENTRATION OF POVERTY HAS INCREASED, CENSUS BUREAU REPORTS. The proportion of U.S. residents living in census tracts with poverty rates of 20% or higher fell from 1990 to 2000, then increased from 18.1% in 2000 to 25.7% in 2010. While the overall U.S. population grew by 10% over the decade, the number of people in these high poverty areas increased by about 56%. Of the people living in high poverty tracts in 2010, 51.1% lived in cities at the center of metropolitan areas, 28.6% in suburbs, and 20.4% in nonmetro areas. Census’s report, Changes in Areas with Concentrated Poverty: 2000 to 2010, includes maps and tables with data by state, race, age, and more.

HAC’S WEBSITE REDESIGNED. There’s a new look to the same great information at www.ruralhome.org.

Register now for upcoming HAC webinars:

and place-based trainings:

HAC News: September 12, 2012

HAC News Formats. pdf

September 12, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 18

• Congress back in session, CR introduced • Administration’s sequestration report delayed, CBO predicts recession • Poverty remains high in rural America • HAC to make grants for planning and capacity • HUD will offer vouchers for at-risk households in low-vacancy areas • USDA announces Farm Labor Housing technical assistance funds • Continuum of Care registration open • USDA announces loan-to-cost ratio for Section 538 continuous guarantee • FAQs clarify Section 202 prepayment and refi • CFBP proposes changing loan originator compensation • CFPB extends deadlines for comments on HOEPA and mortgage disclosures • HUD reports on affordable housing in energy boom areas • Deadline looms for rural housing award nominations!


September 12,2012
Vol. 41, No. 18

CONGRESS BACK IN SESSION, CR INTRODUCED. 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. It does not address grandfathering of housing program eligibility in growing rural communities; the National Rural Housing Coalition continues to work for an extension of current language.

ADMINISTRATION’S SEQUESTRATION REPORT DELAYED, CBO PREDICTS RECESSION. 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.”

POVERTY REMAINS HIGH IN RURAL AMERICA. An annual Census Bureau report released September 12 shows the overall number of Americans living in poverty is at its highest level in decades, with the official national poverty rate of 15% statistically unchanged from 2010. In nonmetro areas 8 million people (17%) are poor. Median household income declined from 2010 to $50,054 nationwide and is now $40,527 in nonmetro areas, compared to $41,440 in 2010. More information on rural poverty and housing is available on HAC’s website.

HAC TO MAKE GRANTS FOR PLANNING AND CAPACITY. The Rural Housing Project Planning and Capacity Building Initiative will make grants of approximately $20,000 to 10 experienced affordable housing organizations to plan housing activities or build staff capacity. Deadline is October 2. Contact Jeff Mosley, HAC, 202-842-8600.

HUD WILL OFFER VOUCHERS FOR AT-RISK HOUSEHOLDS IN LOW-VACANCY AREAS. Notice PIH-2012-39 has details, including a list of low-vacancy areas. Comments are invited, due on October 10. Then a final notice will be published, providing an application deadline. Contact HUD’s voucher management office, 202-708-0477.

USDA ANNOUNCES FARM LABOR HOUSING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FUNDS. USDA will fund three regional contractors to provide technical assistance to those seeking to develop Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing. Deadline is November 5. See Federal Register, 9/6/12 or grants.gov. Contact Mirna Reyes-Bible, 202-720-1753.

CONTINUUM OF CARE REGISTRATION OPEN. CoCs (not project applicants) must register on e-snaps by October 1. HUD expects to issue the FY12 CoC NOFA in mid- to late October. See HUD’s Homelessness Resource Exchange. Submit questions through the HUD HRE Virtual Help Desk.

USDA ANNOUNCES LOAN-TO-COST RATIO FOR SECTION 538 CONTINUOUS GUARANTEE. To be eligible for a single continuous Section 538 rental housing guarantee for construction and permanent loans, the property’s loan-to-cost ratio must be under 50%. See Federal Register, 9/6/12. Contact Monica Cole, USDA.

FAQS CLARIFY SECTION 202 PREPAYMENT AND REFI. A new Frequently Asked Questions document from HUD supplements Notice 12-08, “Updated Requirements for Prepayment and Refinance of Section 202 Direct Loans.”

CFBP PROPOSES CHANGING LOAN ORIGINATOR COMPENSATION. Comment by October 16 on a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposal to implement Dodd-Frank Act provisions on compensation and restrictions on fees. See Federal Register, 9/7/12 or CFBP’s website. Contact CFBP’s Office of Regulations, 202-435-7700.

CFPB EXTENDS DEADLINES FOR COMMENTS ON HOEPA AND MORTGAGE DISCLOSURES. Comments are now due November 6 instead of September 7 on two specific parts of two broader requests for input: the impact of a more inclusive finance charge on Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act coverage, and the proposed definition of a finance charge in combined mortgage disclosures (see HAC News, 8/22/12). See CFBP’s website.

HUD REPORTS ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN ENERGY BOOM AREAS. In some rural places increased oil and gas drilling has led to significantly higher rents, and some companies are housing employees in camps or lodges, HUD research found. “New Oil and Gas Drilling Technologies Bring Significant Changes and Challenges to Housing Markets,” an article in U.S. Housing Market Conditions (2nd quarter 2012), includes photos and is available online or from HUD User, 800-245-2691.

DEADLINE LOOMS FOR RURAL HOUSING AWARD NOMINATIONS! Nominations are due September 28 for the Cochran/Collings Award for national rural housing service and the Skip Jason Community Service Award. Use the online nomination form or request a paper form from Lilla Sutton, HAC, 202-842-8600, lilla@ruralhome.org

HAC News: July 25, 2012

HAC News Formats. pdf

July 25, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 15

• Congress enacts bill giving Native American tribes more control over land use • Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing funds offered • Reserve account regulation revised for new USDA multifamily developments • Preservation Revolving Loan Fund monies available • USDA emphasizes colonias for Section 306C water and waste disposal funds • HUD implements full Rental Assistance Demonstration • List of exclusions from income published by HUD • Senate hearing highlights housing development partnerships in native and rural regions • White House hosts session on tribal housing • Uniform Manufactured Housing Act approved by commission • HAC releases “Rural Economies and Industry” research brief • “Why Keep Rural Housing Programs at USDA?” • HAC seeks nominations for rural housing awards


July 25, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 15

CONGRESS ENACTS BILL GIVING NATIVE AMERICAN TRIBES MORE CONTROL OVER LAND USE. The Senate passed H.R. 205, the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership (HEARTH) Act of 2012 (not related to the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing Act of 2009), on July 17. The House passed the bill in May, and President Obama will sign it into law. The act allows tribes to lease restricted lands for housing or economic development without Bureau of Indian Affairs approval.

SECTION 514/516 FARM LABOR HOUSING FUNDS OFFERED. Preapplications for off-farm loans and grants are due to USDA RD state offices on September 17. Rental Assistance and operating assistance are also available. Contact an RD state office for an application package.

PRESERVATION REVOLVING LOAN FUND MONIES AVAILABLE. Intermediaries can apply by August 17 for PRLF funds to relend for Section 514/516 or 515 preservation. Contact Sherry Engel, RD, 715-345-7677.

USDA EMPHASIZES COLONIAS FOR SECTION 306C WATER AND WASTE DISPOSAL FUNDS. Colonias that lack access to water or waste disposal systems and face significant health problems will receive additional priority points in the program’s funding competition. Contact Jacqueline M. Ponti-Lazaruk, Rural Utilities Service, 202-720-2670.

HUD IMPLEMENTS FULL RENTAL ASSISTANCE DEMONSTRATION. RAD will test conversion of public housing and other HUD-assisted properties to project-based Section 8. Partial implementation was announced in March (see HAC News, 3/7/12). Contact rad@hud.gov.

LIST OF EXCLUSIONS FROM INCOME PUBLISHED BY HUD. A July 24 Federal Register noticelists amounts specifically excluded by any federal statute from consideration as income for purposes of determining eligibility or benefits, and lists federal statutes that require certain income sources to be disregarded for specific HUD programs. Contacts vary by program and are listed in the notice.

SENATE HEARING HIGHLIGHTS HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS IN NATIVE AND RURAL REGIONS. On July 24, witnesses before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs described successful housing development projects on tribal lands and stressed the importance of flexibility and coordination in federal programs to promote additional development. A recording and written testimony are available at the Banking Committee website.

WHITE HOUSE HOSTS SESSION ON TRIBAL HOUSING. A White House Forum on Tribal Housing on July 26 discussed Administration initiatives and federal resources available from HUD, USDA, the Interior Department and others to tribal entities for housing creation. A draft of discussion topics is available from the National American Indian Housing Council. Contact April Hale, NAIHC, 202-454-0946, ahale@naihc.net.

UNIFORM MANUFACTURED HOUSING ACT APPROVED BY COMMISSION. The Uniform Law Commission approved the UMHA earlier this month. The commission’s press release says UMHA “provides an efficient and effective method” for an owner to choose to have a manufactured home classified as real property (rather than personal property) at the time of the first retail sale. State legislatures may consider adopting the UMHA. Contact ULC, 312-450-6600.

HAC RELEASES “RURAL ECONOMIES AND INDUSTRY” RESEARCH BRIEF. Employment data analyzed by HAC show that, while rural economies are often perceived as relying heavily on farming and other natural resource industries, these industries employ only 5.5% of rural and small town workers. Overall, the sector-by-sector employment profile of rural America is surprisingly similar to that of suburban and urban America, according to this new Rural Research Note.

“WHY KEEP RURAL HOUSING PROGRAMS AT USDA?” HAC’s most recent contribution to Shelterforce’s Rooflines blog explains why rural housing professionals believe USDA’s rural housing programs should not be moved to HUD. (See HAC News, 5/25/11 and 9/14/11).

HAC SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR RURAL HOUSING AWARDS.
Nominations are due September 28 for the Cochran/Collings Award for national rural housing service and the Skip Jason Community Service Award. The honors will be presented at the National Rural Housing Conference in December. Details will be available soon at www.ruralhome.org or from Lilla Sutton, HAC, 202-842-8600, lilla@ruralhome.org.