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HAC News: June 11, 2018

HAC News pdf

June 11, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 12

Senate Committee advances 2019 HUD funding • House votes to rescind funds, including USDA Rental Assistance • ROSS Service Coordinator funds available • HUD offers Tribal Healthy Homes grants • USDA and NCDFIs partner to increase Native homeownership • CFPB dismisses members of three advisory boards • UN report critiques US approach to poverty • Answers to some common housing questions posted • Guide helps select USDA refinancing for homeowners • June is National Homeownership Month • HAC seeks workshop proposals • Save the date for the 2018 HAC Rural Housing Conference! • Nominate local and national leaders for HAC awards • Need capital for your affordable housing project?

HAC News pdf

June 11, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 12

Senate Committee advances 2019 HUD funding.
A 2019 HUD appropriations bill was approved by a Senate subcommittee on June 5 and by the full Appropriations Committee on June 7. The bill keeps many programs at FY18 levels, with increases for vouchers, Section 8, and public housing, and a decrease in Section 811 housing for people with disabilities. It includes new funds for homeless youth and survivors of domestic violence. It provides FY19 funding for U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness but does not reauthorize USICH. [tdborder][/tdborder]

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY17 Approp.

FY18 Approp.

FY19 Admin. Budget

FY19 House Bill

FY19 Senate Bill (S. 3023)

CDBG

$3,000

$3,300

0

$3,300

$3,300

HOME

950

1,362

0

1,200

1,362

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

10

10

0

10

10

Veterans Home Rehab

4

4

0

0

4

Tenant-Based Rental Asstnce.
VASH setaside
Tribal VASH

20,292
40
7

22,015
40
5

20,550*
0
4

22,476
40
5

22,781
40
5

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

10,816

11,515

10,952

11,347

11,747

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

1,942

2,750

0

2,750

2,775

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,400

4,550

3,279*

4,550

4,756

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

137.5

150

0

150

100

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grt.

654

655

600

655

655

Homeless Assistance Grants

2,383

2,513

2,383

2,546

2,612

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

356

375

330

393

375

202 Hsg. for Elderly

502.4

678

563

678

678

811 Hsg. for Disabled

146.2

230

132

154

154

Fair Housing

65.3

65.3

62.3

65.3

65.3

Healthy Homes & Lead Haz. Cntl.

145

230

145

230

260

Housing Counseling

55

55

45

55

45

* Includes amounts added by an Administration addendum to its budget request.

House votes to rescind funds, including USDA Rental Assistance.
The House rescission bill, H.R. 3, passed on June 7. Currently, the Senate has no plans to vote on its companion bill, S. 2979. Both bills would rescind funding previously appropriated, including $40 million from Section 521 Rental Assistance, as requested by President Trump.

ROSS Service Coordinator funds available.
Applications are due July 30 for grants to hire Service Coordinators to operate Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency Programs for PHAs, nonprofits, tribes, and TDHEs are eligible. For more information, contact HUD staff.

HUD offers Tribal Healthy Homes grants.
American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments and tribal organizations can apply by July 18 for the Healthy Homes Production Grant Program for Tribal Housing. These $500,000-$1,000,000 grants, being offered for the first time since 2012, assist recipients to identify and remediate housing-related health and safety hazards. For more information, contact Michelle Miller, HUD.

USDA and NCDFIs partner to increase Native homeownership.
Under a new pilot program, USDA will loan $800,000 in Section 502 direct funds to each of two Native CDFIs, Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial and Four Bands Community Fund. They will relend the funds to homebuyers for mortgages on tribal lands in North and South Dakota. For more information, contact USDA Rural Development’s South Dakota state office.

CFPB dismisses members of three advisory boards.
On June 6 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau dismissed all members of its Consumer Advisory Board, Community Bank Advisory Council, and Credit Union Advisory Council. It announced it will increase other types of outreach and will reconstitute the advisory groups with new, smaller memberships. Reportedly the current members cannot reapply. This was done following a request in February for public comments about its external engagements.

UN report critiques US approach to poverty.
The United Nations has released the Report of the Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights on his Mission to the United States of America, which will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council on June 21. The Special Rapporteur, Australian human rights attorney Philip Alston, visited the U.S., including rural Lowndes County, AL, in December 2017. His report describes “a dramatic contrast between the immense wealth of the few and the squalor and deprivation in which vast numbers of Americans exist. For almost five decades the overall policy response has been neglectful at best, but the policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship.”

Answers to some common housing questions posted.
Every three months, housing publication Shelterforce offers a one-page response to a question that readers may be trying to answer. Recent questions include, “Why don’t people who get rental assistance get a job?,” “Can supporting community development improve outcomes for the health sector?,” and “Do rent regulations make the housing crisis worse?”

Guide helps select USDA refinancing for homeowners.
A new brief guide is intended to help lenders or others select appropriate USDA refinancing for current borrowers using the Section 502 direct or guaranteed programs. It also lists all items required in a complete loan application for each type of mortgage. For more information, contact an RD state office.

June is National Homeownership Month.
HUD’s theme for the month is “Find Your Place.”

HAC SEEKS WORKSHOP PROPOSALS.
HAC is trying something new for the 2018 Rural Housing Conference. We are looking to our constituents and partners for proposals for workshop sessions that engage participants and facilitate an active exchange of approaches and ideas to improve housing conditions for the rural poor. Check the online call for proposals and submit online by July 11. For more information, contact Mike Feinberg, 202-842-8600, or Kelly Cooney, 678- 649-3831.

SAVE THE DATE FOR THE 2018 HAC RURAL HOUSING CONFERENCE!
The conference will be held December 4-7 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC. The HAC News will announce when conference registration opens and when the hotel room block is available for reservations.

NOMINATE LOCAL AND NATIONAL LEADERS FOR HAC AWARDS..
HAC is now accepting nominations for its 2018 Cochran/Collings National Service and Skip Jason Community Service Leadership Awards. Nominations are due Friday July 13. The awards will be presented at the 2018 HAC Rural Housing Conference in December. Past awardees are listed on HAC’s site. Complete the online nomination form. For more information, contact Lilla Sutton, HAC, 202-842-8600.

NEED CAPITAL FOR YOUR AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT?
HAC’s loan funds provide low interest rate loans to support single- and multifamily affordable housing projects for low-income rural residents throughout the U.S. and territories. Capital is available for all types of affordable and mixed-income housing projects, including preservation, farmworker, senior, and veteran housing. HAC loan funds can be used for pre-development, site acquisition, site development, and construction/rehabilitation. Contact HAC’s loan fund staff at hacloanfund@ruralhome.org, 202-842-8600.
Please note: HAC is not able to offer loans to individuals or families. Borrowers must be nonprofit or for-profit organizations or government entities (including tribes).

HAC News: November 30, 2015

HAC News Formats. pdf

November 30, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 24

• HAC NEWS GOING FULLY DIGITAL • Congress working on FY16 funding measures • Tax extender negotiations include LIHTC and EITC • HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods NOFA introduces Planning and Action Grants • HUD offers equal access rule for transgender persons • New HAC resources offer data on veterans nationwide • Housing communications information available • RDLN auction online through December 13 • USDA updates Rural America at a Glance • DDAs and QCTs set for 2016

HAC News Formats. pdf

November 30, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 24

HAC NEWS GOING FULLY DIGITAL. Beginning in 2016, the print version of the HAC News will no longer be available. The News will still be published every two weeks, will still provide the same concise updates on issues important to rural housers, and will still be free. Back issues will continue to be available online at https://ruralhome.org.

Congress working on FY16 funding measures. Before the current continuing resolution expires on December 11 (see HAC News, 9/30/15), Congress is likely to pass an omnibus appropriation bill that includes most or all of the 12 federal spending bills for FY16. Passage may be stalled by attempts to add policy riders relating to refugees, health care, and other topics. If more negotiation time is needed, another CR may be used to extend spending to December 18 rather than shutting down the government. At press time, no details are available on the omnibus’s provisions related to USDA rural housing. In a Transportation-HUD bill brought to the Senate floor November 18, additional funds made available by the budget agreement (see HAC News, 10/28/15) were used to raise HOME funding to $900 million and CDBG to $3 billion, rather than the earlier $66 million and $2.9 billion (see HAC News, 6/25/15), though other HUD programs did not receive increases. The Senate did not vote on that bill because of disagreements on policy riders, but the higher numbers are likely to appear in a final bill.

Tax extender negotiations include LIHTC and EITC. This month Congress is expected to renew some tax-related programs that expired last December, including the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, New Markets Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and others. This retroactive renewal is needed to make these provisions effective for 2015.

HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods NOFA introduces Planning and Action Grants. The deadline is February 16, 2016 for PHAs, local governments, tribal entities, and nonprofits to request FY15 and FY16 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants or Planning and Action Grants. The program is intended to help communities with severely distressed public or HUD-assisted housing in developing successful neighborhood transformation plans and building the support necessary for plans to be successfully implemented. Contact HUD staff, ChoiceNeighborhoods@hud.gov.

HUD offers equal access rule for transgender persons. A proposed regulation would require entities receiving funds from many HUD programs (but not public or Indian housing) and owners and managers of facilities and services to assist transgender persons in accordance with their gender identities. Providers could ask about sexual orientation or gender identity, but could not discriminate on those bases. Comments are due January 19, 2016. Contact Norm Suchar, HUD, 202-708-4300.

New HAC resources offer data on veterans nationwide. Information about veterans’ economic and housing characteristics for every state and county is available at www.veteransdata.info. The site, developed by the Housing Assistance Council with support from JPMorgan Chase & Co., provides approximately 420 veteran-specific data indicators and over 650,000 data points. Also available on the site are fact sheets for each state, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. providing 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.

Housing communications information available. A recent brief from the National Housing Conference offers “seven effective strategies for countering community opposition” to affordable housing development. NHC has also published a Veteran’s Housing Communications Toolkit offering ways of communicating about veterans’ housing needs and solutions with three audiences: community members, policy makers, and veterans themselves.

RDLN auction online through December 13. Proceeds from the Rural Development Leadership Network’s annual fundraising auction support the organization’s work for social justice, community development, and leadership development in low-income rural communities in the U.S. Items include jewelry, books, vacations, and more.

USDA updates Rural America at a Glance. The 2015 version of this data summary reports that the pace of rural employment growth increased in 2014, although rural employment remains below pre-recession levels. Rural areas continue to experience population loss, higher poverty rates, and lower educational attainment than urban areas.

DDAs and QCTs set for 2016. The newly designated Difficult Development Areas and Qualified Census Tracts for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program are effective July 1, 2016, rather than January 1 as in the past. For the first time the metro area DDA designations use Small Area Fair Market Rents, rather than metro-area FMRs. Contact Michael K. Hollar, HUD, 202-402-5878.

HAC News: November 11, 2015

HAC News Formats. pdf

November 11, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 23

HAC NEWS GOING FULLY DIGITAL • November is National Native American Heritage Month • Congress and USDA agree to fund Rental Assistance shortages • Two rural housing supporters resigning from Congress • USDA issues new standards for underwriting MPR preservation deals • BIA amends Housing Improvement Program rule • Public housing smoking ban proposed • Interim rule requires new tracking for CDBG grantees • Clean Power Plan can help fund energy efficiency in affordable housing • Unnumbered Letter on TRID now available • HUD reports on homelessness • A few spaces still available for HAC’s November 19-20 trainings

HAC News Formats. pdf

October 11, 2015
Vol. 44, No. 23

HAC NEWS GOING FULLY DIGITAL. Beginning in 2016, the print version of the HAC News will no longer be available. The News will still be published every two weeks, will still provide the same concise updates on issues important to rural housers, and will still be free. Back issues will continue to be available online at https://ruralhome.org.

November is National Native American Heritage Month. Read President Obama’s proclamation here.

Congress and USDA agree to fund Rental Assistance shortages. On November 5 the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees – Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and Sam Farr (D-CA), and Sens. Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) – met with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. The parties agreed to provide Section 521 Rental Assistance funds for properties that were short funded in FY15, either because they used up RA funds before their one-year contracts expired or because their contracts expired near the end of the fiscal year and USDA had run out of contract renewal monies (see HAC News, 10/28/15). At least some property owners have been told they are about to receive back payments. Congress will need to increase the $1.167 billion for RA provided in the FY16 funding bills that passed both Appropriations Committees in July 2015 (see HAC News, 6/25/15).

Two rural housing supporters resigning from Congress. Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) has served as chair and ranking member of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) co-founded the Congressional Rural Housing Caucus.

USDA issues new standards for underwriting MPR preservation deals. An Unnumbered Letter dated October 26, 2015 replaces a UL dated September 30, 2013 that emphasized reducing costs to the government. The new policy stresses long-term property viability, meeting tenants’ needs for affordable housing, and completing transactions in a timely and efficient manner. Contact multifamily housing staff in an RD State Office.

BIA amends Housing Improvement Program rule. A final rule issued by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs is intended to align HIP with other federal requirements, allow leveraging of funds, and give tribes more flexibility. Contact Les Jensen, BIA, 907-586-7397.

Public housing smoking ban proposed. HUD suggests requiring PHAs to ban smoking in all indoor areas, including living units, and in outdoor areas within 25 feet of buildings. HUD’s press release says more than 228,000 public housing units are already smoke-free, and this proposal would cover another 940,000 homes. Comments will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Contact Leroy Ferguson, HUD, 202-402-2411.

Interim rule requires new tracking for CDBG grantees. Community Development Block Grant grantees will have to track their obligations and expenditures of CDBG funds by specific fiscal years. HUD also makes some technical corrections in CDBG regulations. The new rule takes effect December 14 and comments are due January 11, 2016. Contact Stanley Gimont, HUD, 202-708-3587.

Clean Power Plan can help fund energy efficiency in affordable housing. A proposed federal plan published by EPA offers opportunities to fund energy efficiency in affordable housing as part of state implementation plans. Several organizations joined to offer a primer for affordable housing advocates, as well as other resources and more information at https://energyefficiencyforall.org/. Comments on the proposed federal plan are due January 21.

Unnumbered Letter on TRID now available. The UL (dated October 6, 2015) offers guidance on compliance with new mortgage disclosure requirements for direct Section 502 and 504 loans (see HAC News, 10/14/15).

HUD reports on homelessness. The 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) Part 2 says homelessness declined by 6.3% since 2007, then increased by 4.6% from 2013 to 2014 although homeless people without shelter fell by 10% during that year. 70% of those who used shelter in 2014 were in major cities. Between 2007 and 2014, the number of people in families with children using shelters increased by 48.1% in suburban and rural areas from 2007 to 2014 and decreased by 5% in cities. Part 1 was released in October 2014 (see HAC News, 11/12/14).

A few spaces still available for HAC’s November 19-20 trainings. The cost is $75 each for these courses in North Charleston, SC. Register online for either Sharpening Your Skills: Financial Management for Rural Nonprofits or Utilizing the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program: Creating and Preserving Affordable Housing. These are concurrent sessions; register for only one. Contact Shonterria Charleston, HAC, 404-892-4824.

HAC News: October 31, 2013

HAC News Formats. pdf

October 31, 2013
Vol. 42, No. 21

• Agencies working to catch up after federal shutdown • USDA Rental Assistance contracts renewed but another shortfall coming • Senate will not vote on Watt’s FHFA nomination • Farm Bill conference committee begins work • Funds offered for CDFIs and Native American CDFIs • Comment period extended for 502 packaging rule • CDFI Fund requires audited financials from nonprofits • CFPB requests comments on lender-borrower communications •USDA changes rulemaking policy • HUD updates Public Housing Capital Fund Program regulations • Subscribe online to email lists on Section 502 guarantee program • New paper covers opinion and messaging research on affordable housing • HAC finds rural mortgage activity has increased but some problems remain • New data available


October 31, 2013
Vol. 42, No. 21

AGENCIES WORKING TO CATCH UP AFTER FEDERAL SHUTDOWN. Federal government offices are clearing the backlog of work left by the shutdown that ended October 17 with a Continuing Resolution that provides funding through January 15. USDA RD has confirmed that the CR extends the current definition of eligible rural areas. USDA RD’s and the Census Bureau’s websites are active, and Census has revised release dates for some data. USDA RD expects to be caught up with tenant certifications and multifamily mortgage processing by October 30.

USDA RENTAL ASSISTANCE CONTRACTS RENEWED BUT ANOTHER SHORTFALL COMING. USDA RD has begun renewing Section 521 Rental Assistance contracts that expired in September and October. Because funding under the current Continuing Resolution is for FY14 only, property owners whose contracts expired in September will not receive payment for that month. Also, because USDA is renewing more contracts at one time than usual, the appropriated amount will run out well before the CR ends in January, leaving another group of properties without Rental Assistance for some period of time. Watch the HAC News and https://ruralhome.org for updates.

SENATE WILL NOT VOTE ON WATT’S FHFA NOMINATION. On October 31 the Senate voted on but did not pass a motion to proceed to consider the nomination of Rep. Melvin Watt (D-NC) to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

FARM BILL CONFERENCE COMMITTEE BEGINS WORK. Selected members of the House and Senate met for the first time on October 30 to seek a compromise between the two versions of a new Farm Bill. The Senate bill includes an extension of housing program eligibility for “grandfathered” rural places (see HAC News, 7/17/13).

FUNDS OFFERED FOR CDFIS AND NATIVE AMERICAN CDFIS. Applicants for the CDFI Program and Native American CDFI Assistance Program must be certified or have applied for certification as CDFIs. The deadline is December 23. Contact CDFI Fund staff, cdfihelp@cdfi.treas.gov, 202-653-0421, option 1.

COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED FOR 502 PACKAGING RULE. (See HAC News, 8/28/13.) A notice in the November 1 Federal Register will extend the deadline to November 22. Comments by HAC and by the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises are posted online. Contact Brooke Baumann, USDA, 202-690-4250.

CDFI FUND REQUIRES AUDITED FINANCIALS FROM NONPROFITS. Effective immediately, an interim rule from the CDFI Fund requires nonprofit grantees to submit audited financial statements rather than financials reviewed by an accountant. Comments are due December 30. Contact Adam Martinez, CDFI Fund.

CFPB REQUESTS COMMENTS ON LENDER-BORROWER COMMUNICATIONS. Comments are due November 22 on a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau interim final rule that seeks to clarify some provisions of mortgage regulations issued in January. Contact Joseph Devlin, CFPB, 202-435-7700.

USDA CHANGES RULEMAKING POLICY. USDA has revoked a Statement of Policy published in 1971 that required USDA agencies to follow the Administrative Procedure Act’s notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures in situations where the APA does not require it. Contact Adam J. Hermann, USDA, 202-720-9425.

HUD UPDATES PUBLIC HOUSING CAPITAL FUND PROGRAM REGULATIONS. A final rule consolidates regulations and information from annual notices, with some changes. Contact Jeffrey Riddel, HUD, 202-708-1640.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TO EMAIL LISTS ON SECTION 502 GUARANTEE PROGRAM. A single site offers several lists, some for individual states, as well as some non-housing lists.

NEW PAPER COVERS OPINION AND MESSAGING RESEARCH ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING. Building Support for Affordable Homeownership and Rental Choices: A Summary of Research Findings on Public Opinion and Messaging on Affordable Housing, by the Center for Housing Policy, includes recommendations for effective communication with the public and policymakers. The National Housing Conference, CHP’s parent, has established an online Housing Communications Hub on the subject.

HAC FINDS RURAL MORTGAGE ACTIVITY HAS INCREASED BUT SOME PROBLEMS REMAIN. A HAC analysis of recently released HMDA data finds that the numbers of mortgage applications and approvals increased in 2012. The denial rate was higher in rural areas than nationwide, however, and more rural loans had high interest rates. Rural minorities fared even worse: about 40% of rural African American and 35% of Native American applicants were denied mortgages, twice the denial rate for all U.S. applicants.

NEW DATA AVAILABLE! Access 2012 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data for your community at HAC’s Rural Data Portal: www.ruraldataportal.org.

HAC News: August 1, 2013

HAC News Formats. pdf

August 1, 2013
Vol. 42, No. 15

• House pulls HUD funding bill, Senate version stalls • House committee passes housing finance reform bill • USDA informs owners about Rental Assistance shortfall in September • USDA encourages use of Section 504 loans • New Markets Tax Credits offered, Rural CDE definition changed • HOME final rule published • CFPB amends some mortgage rules • Map shows part of sequestration’s impact on housing • Study finds housing discrimination against Latinos • Most HUD-assisted renters are elderly, disabled, or attached to the labor market • Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission to hold regional forums • Register now for training on seniors and veterans housing


August 1, 2013
Vol. 42, No. 15

HOUSE PULLS HUD FUNDING BILL, SENATE VERSION STALLS. The House began considering H.R. 2610, but leadership removed it from the floor on July 31 when it became clear there were not enough votes to pass it. The Senate also began discussing its bill, S. 1243, but on August 1 an effort to end debate and take a vote failed. Floor consideration of USDA funding bills has not been scheduled. Congress will be in recess for the month of August.

HOUSE COMMITTEE PASSES HOUSING FINANCE REFORM BILL. H.R. 2767, the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homebuyers (PATH) Act, approved by the Financial Services Committee on July 24, could be considered by the full House after August recess. Focusing on private finance, it would eliminate Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Housing Trust Fund. A different bill, S. 1217, sponsored by Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA), has not yet been marked up by the Senate Banking Committee.

USDA INFORMS OWNERS ABOUT RENTAL ASSISTANCE SHORTFALL IN SEPTEMBER. HAC has learned that on July 31 letters were mailed to owners of about 600 Section 515 and 514/516 properties with Section 521 Rental Assistance contracts that expire in September, explaining that because of a shortage of FY13 RA funding, due in part to sequestration, those RA contracts cannot be renewed until FY14 begins in October. (See HAC News, 5/1/13 and 5/22/13.)To fill the funding gap, owners can defer payments of interest or principal to USDA, use funds in project reserve accounts, or obtain loans from other sources. The letters say they may not raise rents or evict tenants. A sample letter and a list of properties affected should be posted on USDA RD’s website soon.

USDA ENCOURAGES USE OF SECTION 504 LOANS. USDA has over $14 million available for Section 504 loans, more than half the program’s FY13 appropriation. Loan funds not obligated by September 30 will be lost. All states will have access to loan funds, after RD pools and redistributes the unused funds. To learn more or to apply, contact a local RD office.

NEW MARKETS TAX CREDITS OFFERED, RURAL CDE DEFINITION CHANGED. The CDFI Fund will allocate NMTCs to Community Development Entities that will offer tax credits to investors providing private capital for economic and community development. Rural CDEs must receive allocations proportionate to the number of applicants that serve nonmetro areas. This year the definition of a Rural CDE is revised to require direct investments in three of the past five years rather than in all five. Deadline is September 18. Contact NMTC staff, 202-653-0421.

HOME FINAL RULE PUBLISHED. The final rule largely adopts the provisions in the proposed rule (see HAC News, 1/11/12); it also updates and adds definitions, modifies CHDO eligibility requirements, establishes deadlines, strengthens conflict of interest provisions, and clarifies language. Contact Virginia Sardone, HUD, 202-708-2684.

CFPB AMENDS SOME MORTGAGE RULES. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has issued changes to some of its January 2013 final mortgage rules. Contact Marta Tanenhaus, CFPB, 202-435-7700.

MAP SHOWS PART OF SEQUESTRATION’S IMPACT ON HOUSING. An interactive map on Bill Moyers’ website was compiled from news stories nationwide. Most refer to HUD programs in cities.

STUDY FINDS HOUSING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST LATINOS. In Puertas Cerradas: Housing Barriers for Hispanics, the National Council of La Raza and Equal Rights Center report that Latinos experienced at least one type of adverse, differential treatment in 42% of paired tests in three cities, and two or more types in 16% of tests.

MOST HUD-ASSISTED RENTERS ARE ELDERLY, DISABLED, OR ATTACHED TO THE LABOR MARKET. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that 88% of renters using housing choice vouchers, public housing, and project-based rental assistance in 2010 were “elderly, disabled, working (or had recently worked) or likely have access to work programs under the Temporary Assistance to Need Families (TANF) program.” Almost half of the other households included a preschool child or an individual with a disability.

BIPARTISAN POLICY CENTER HOUSING COMMISSION TO HOLD REGIONAL FORUMS. Free and open to the public, the events on August 13 in Dallas, August 22 in Ketcham, ID, and August 27 in Columbus, OH, will feature panels discussing issues including the state of the housing market, affordable rental housing, rural housing, and reform of the U.S mortgage system. Register online at https://bipartisanpolicy.org/events/upcoming.

REGISTER NOW FOR TRAINING ON SENIORS AND VETERANS HOUSING. HAC will host “Housing Seniors and Veterans in Rural America: Preservation, Development, and Services” in Council Bluffs, IA on August 28-29. Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) will speak on August 28. Visit HAC’s website, www.ruralhome.org.