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Discussion Topics, HAC National Rural Housing Conference 2014

Conversation is one of the best things about HAC’s Rural Housing Conference. Every two years the Conference offers a unique opportunity for discussion among hundreds of rural housers from across the U.S. who are not often in the same place at the same time. Many exchanges are informal, during meals or in the halls between workshops. Others are more structured, and in 2014 HAC will provide an opportunity for facilitated discussions on six topics. HAC asked expert rural housing practitioners to write two-page papers on each of these subjects. On the second day of the conference, attendees will choose among these topics and participate in discussions during a working lunch. Each discussion group will report its thoughts and recommendations to the conference as a whole.

PDF containing all six papers

You do not need to attend the conference to contribute your thoughts! The discussions are beginning now on LinkedIn.

A fund to invest more in rural infrastructure

The Department of Agriculture is partnering with the private sector to launch a new investment fund stocked with $10 billion to go toward rural infrastructure development.

USDA Multi-Family Fair Housing Occupancy Report FY 2013

USDA’s yearly occupancy survey shows the total number of properties in USDA’s rural rental portfolio fell by 2.48% from April 2012 to September 2013, a decrease of 346 Section 515 properties and 34 Section 514 properties. The reduction covers 5,092 apartments (1.14% of total units). The 2013 report is the first to include demographic data on Section 521 Rental Assistance (RA) households, and they appear generally similar to tenants in Section 515 properties. The average annual income of Section 515 residents has increased slightly to $11,747. For Section 515 tenants with RA, average income is $9,828.

HAC News: January 22, 2014

HAC News Formats. pdf

January 22, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 2

• Spending set for 2014 • Rural Housing Cuts Avoided • HUD programs have some cuts, some increases • Congress changes HUD’s definition of “extremely low-income” • First Promise Zones include two rural areas • HUD suggests owners warn tenants before mortgages mature • Poverty guidelines updated • Study examines high poverty neighborhoods • HAC reports on USDA housing programs in FY13

January 22, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 2

SPENDING SET FOR 2014. Both the House and Senate have passed, and President Obama has signed, the FY14 omnibus spending package, the first full federal appropriations law enacted in over a decade. Next year’s funding discussions will begin soon, though reports are that the President’s proposed FY15 budget may be late, coming out in March rather than early February.

RURAL HOUSING CUTS AVOIDED. USDA rural housing programs did not suffer the cuts originally proposed by the Obama budget. Section 502 direct loans received $900 million, Section 521 rental assistance got $1.11 billion, and Section 515 rental loans, $28 million. The bill also directs that communities currently eligible for USDA rural housing assistance will remain so through the end of the fiscal year. In addition, it expands the Section 502 packaging demonstration, directing USDA to contract with five intermediaries. [tdborder][/tdborder]

USDA Rural Devel. Prog.
(dollars in millions)

FY13
Finala

FY14
Admin. Budget

FY14
House Bill
H.R. 2410

FY14
Senate Bill
S. 1244

FY14
Final
H.R. 3547

502 Single Fam. Direct
(Self-Help Setaside)
(Teacher Setaside)

$900
(5)
0

$360
0
0

$820.2
0
0

$900
(5)
0

$900
(5)
0

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

504 VLI Repair Loans

28

26.3

25.4

26.3

26.3

504 VLI Repair Grants

29.5

25

18.6

28.7

28.7

515 Rental Hsg. Direct Loans

31.3

28.4

28.4

28.4

28.4

514 Farm Labor Hsg. Loans

20.8

23.5

23.9

23.9

23.9

516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grants

7.1

14

8.2

8.3

8.3

521 Rental Assistance
(Preservation RA)
(New Cnstr. 515 RA)
(New Cnstr. 514/516 RA)

907.1
0
0
(3)

1,015
0
0
(3)

1,012
0
0
0

1,015
0
0
0

1,110
0
0
0

523 Self-Help TA

30

10

17.1

25

25

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

3.6

0

0

3.5

3.5

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

150

150

150

150

150

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

17.8

20

17.3

20

20

Rental Prsrv. Revlg. Lns.

0

0

0

0

0

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

10

12.6

9.7

12.6

12.6

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

6.1

0

6

6

6

a. Figures shown do not include 5% sequester or 2.5% across the board cut.

HUD PROGRAMS HAVE SOME CUTS, SOME INCREASES. HUD’s programs received a mix of level funding, reductions, and increases for FY14. HOME is at $1 billion, the same as in 2013, and CDBG is increased slightly. Other programs with increases include tenant- and project-based rental assistance, homeless assistance, public housing operating, and Section 202 elderly housing. In addition to HOME, programs with level funding include Native American housing and housing counseling. Cuts are made to public housing capital, fair housing, AIDS housing, Section 811 for the disabled, SHOP, and healthy homes.

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY13
Finala

FY14
Admin. Budget

FY14
House Bill

FY14
Senate Bill
S. 1243

FY14
Final
H.R. 3547

Cmty. Devel. Fund
CDBG
Sustainable Commun. Init.
Rural Innovation Fund

3,308
2,948
0
0

3,143
2,798
0
0

1,697
1,637
0
0

3,295
3,150
75
0

3,100
3,030
0
0

HOME

1,000

950

700

1,000

1,000

Tenant-Based Rental Asstnce.
(Vets. Affairs Spptve. Hsg. Vchrs.)

18,939.4
(75)

19,989.2
(75)

18,610.6
(75)

19,592.2
(78)

19,177.2
(75)

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

9,339.7

9,872

9,450.7

10,772

9,516.6

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

1,886

2,000

1,500

2,000

1,875

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,262

4,600

4,262

4,600

4,400

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

120

400

0

250

90

Housing Trust Fund

c

1,000

c

c

c

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

650

650

600

675

650

Homeless Assistance Grants

2,033

2,381

2,088

2,261

2,105

Rural Hsg. Stability Prog.

b

5

b

b

b

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

334

332

300

332

330

202 Hsg. for Elderly

377

400

375

400

385.3

811 Hsg. for Disabled

165

126

126

126

126

Fair Housing

70.8

71

55.8

70

66

Healthy Homes & Lead Haz. Cntl.

120

120

50

120

110

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

13.5

10

10

13.5

10

Housing Counseling

45

55

35

55

45

a. Figures shown do not include 5% sequester. b. Funded under Homeless Assistance Grants. c. National Housing Trust Fund is “mandatory” funding, not discretionary, so does not need to be funded through appropriations legislation, although the Admin-istration did include it in its budget request.

CONGRESS CHANGES HUD’S DEFINITION OF “EXTREMELY LOW-INCOME.” The FY14 omnibus spending law makes several policy changes in HUD programs, including one that will help residents of poor rural areas to qualify. For the Housing Choice Voucher, public housing, and Section 8 Project-based Rental Assistance programs, “extremely low-income” is defined as the higher of 30% of area median income (the current standard) or the federal poverty level. The statute directs HUD to put this change into effect quickly.

FIRST PROMISE ZONES INCLUDE TWO RURAL AREAS. On January 9 President Obama announced the first five places to win “Promise Zone” designations, giving them preference for a variety of federal programs. The rural grantees are the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and a group of counties in southeast Kentucky served by Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. The cities of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Antonio were also selected.

HUD SUGGESTS OWNERS WARN TENANTS BEFORE MORTGAGES MATURE. A HUD letter encourages owners of HUD-subsidized Section 236 rental properties to notify tenants months before their mortgages mature, at which time owners are usually allowed to convert to market rate rents. HUD offers preservation resources to owners. Contact HUD, 236preservation@hud.gov.

POVERTY GUIDELINES UPDATED. The Department of Health and Human Services has issued its annual poverty guidelines, adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index. Contact Kendall Swenson, HHS, 202-690-7507.

STUDY EXAMINES HIGH POVERTY NEIGHBORHOODS. Concentration of Poverty in the New Millennium, published by The Century Foundation and the Rutgers Center for Urban Research and Education, finds that the number of high-poverty census tracts decreased from 1990 to 2000 but increased again from 2000 to 2010 and is now greater than ever. The largest increase in number of these tracts was in micropolitan areas (10,000-50,000 population). The report also has data by race/ethnicity, region, and state, and brief discussion of the problems known to be caused by concentrations of poverty.

HAC REPORTS ON USDA HOUSING PROGRAMS IN FY13. HAC’s annual review of USDA Rural Development’s performance summarizes USDA obligation data by program area and by state. In addition, the report includes historic activity for selected rural housing programs.

SECTION 502 TRAINING FROM HAC. Join the Housing Assistance Council on March 25-27, 2014 in Memphis, TN for the Section 502 Packaging Training for Nonprofit Developers, a valuable training for any organization that packages or intends to package USDA Rural Development Section 502 Loans.

USDA Multi-Family Fair Housing Occupancy Report FY 2012

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. There are 1,243 more households receiving Section 521 Rental Assistance and 931 fewer with rental aid from other sources. The number of cost burdened households dropped by 1,562.

Moises Loza Speaks at Florida Home Partnership Playground Build Event

The Florida Home Partnership (FHP), in celebration of National Homeownership Month, gathered over 100 volunteers to help build a playground for its Bayou Pass Village Phase III development. Tammye Treviño, Administrator for USDA’s Housing and Community Facilities Program and HAC’s Executive Director Moises Loza participated in this event.

Video from FHP

[youtube]jfpOBFAdo2c[/youtube]

FHP’s photo album for the event

USDA Multi-Family Fair Housing Occupancy Report FY 2011

USDA’s annual occupancy report for Section 515 and 514/516 rentals states that from April 2010 to May 2011 the total number of Section 515 properties dropped by 270 (about 3,600 apartments) and the number of farmworker properties increased by six.

HAC News: June 13, 2012

HAC News Formats. pdf

June 13, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 12

• House subcommittees act on FY13 USDA and HUD funding • The House’s USDA appropriations bill • The House’s HUD appropriations bill • HUD, USDA RD, and the CDFI Fund announce new Border Community Capital Initiative • FHFA requests comments on housing goals and preservation impact • USDA examines immigration policy’s impacts on agriculture • USDA announces June is National Homeownership Month • HAC sets webinar on “Mapping Poverty in Rural America”


June 13, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 12

HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEES ACT ON FY13 USDA AND HUD FUNDING. House appropriations subcommittees have approved both bills and the full House Appropriations Committee is expected to act on them in the next few weeks. The Senate bills (see HAC News, 5/2/12) still await consideration by the full Senate. Congress continues to move appropriations on a faster track this year than in the recent past, but final passage of most appropriations bills may not occur until a post-election lame duck session.

THE HOUSE’S USDA APPROPRIATIONS BILL would provide lower amounts than the Senate’s bill for almost all rural housing programs. It allocates slightly more to the Section 515 rural rental housing program than the Senate bill, although the House’s $31.3 million is less than half of the $64.5 million Section 515 received in FY12. The House bill also contains new language in every provision relating to housing programs and in some, but not all, provisions relating to other Rural Development programs, requiring USDA to provide detailed spending plans within 15 days of enactment. [tdborder][/tdborder]

USDA Rural Devel. Prog.
(dollars in millions)

FY11
Approp.a

FY 12
Approp.

FY13
Admin. Budget

FY13
Sen. Bill
(S. 2375)

FY13 House Subcomm. Bill

502 Single Fam. Direct
(Self-Help Setaside)
(Teacher Setaside)

$1,121

$900

$652.8
(141)
(67)

$900
(5)
0

$652.8
0
0

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

504 VLI Repair Loans

23.4

10

28

28

10

504 VLI Repair Grants

34

29.5

28.2

b

c

515 Rental Hsg. Direct

69.5

64.5

0

28.4

31.3

514 Farm Labor Hsg.

25.7

20.8

26

26

d

516 Farm Labor Hsg.

9.8

7.1

8.9

8.9

d

521 Rental Assistance
(Preservation RA)
(New Cnstr. 515 RA)
(New Cnstr. 514/516 RA)

955.6
0
(2.03)
(3)

904.7
0
(1.5)
(2.5)

907.1
0
0
(3)

907.1
0
0
(3)

886.6f
0
(1.5)
(2.5)

523 Self-Help TA

37

30

10

30

15

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

10

3.6

0

b

c

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

30.9

130

150

150

150

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

15

2

34.4

16.8

2

Rental Prsrv. Revlg. Lns.

1

0

0

0

0

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

14

11

12.6

11

10.8

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

5

3.6

8

6.1

3.5e

a. Figures shown do not include 0.2% across the board reduction.
b. Total for 504 grants and 533 grants is $33.1 million.
c. Total for 504 grants and 533 grants is $17 million.
d. Total budget authority for Section 514 loans and Section 516 grants is $13.8 million, compared to the Senate bill’s total of $17.5 million.
e. Of the $3.549 million total for RCDI, $3.302 million is directed to community facilities grants to tribal colleges.
f. HAC originally reported the House subcommittee’s level for Rental Assistance was $866.6 million, but the correct figure is $886.6 million. HAC apologizes for any confusion.

THE HOUSE’S HUD APPROPRIATIONS BILL boosts funding for HOME, Section 202, CDBG, and SHOP above the levels in FY12 and in the Senate’s bill. The Rural Innovation Fund is not funded and seems dead after being left out of HUD’s budget proposal again. The Rural Housing Stability Program is funded as part of homeless assistance grants. Veterans housing vouchers are funded at $75 million and Native American Block Grants are at $650 million, maintaining 2012 levels for both programs. The House bill does not fund Choice Neighborhoods or Sustainable Communities.

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY11
Approp.a

FY12
Approp.

FY13
Admin. Budget

FY13
Sen. Bill
(S. 2322)

FY13 House Subcomm.
Bill

Cmty. Devel. Fund (incl. CDBG)
Sustainable Commun. Init.
Rural Innovation Fund

3,508
(100)
0

3,308.1
0
0

3,143
100
0

3,210 b
50
0

3,404 b
0
0

HOME

1,610

1,000

1,000

1,000

1,200

Tenant-Based Rental Asstnce.
Vets. Affairs Spptve Hsg. Vchrs

18,408
(50)

18,914.4
(75)

19,074.3
(75)

19,396.3
(75)

19,134.3
(75)

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

9,257.4

9,339.7

8,700.4

9,875.8

8,700.4

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

2,044

1,875

2,070

1,985

1,985

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,626

3,961.9

4,524

4,591

4,524

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

0

120

150

120

Housing Trust Fund

0

0

1,000

0

0

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

650

650

650

650

650

Homeless Assistance Grants

1,905

1,901.2

2,231

2,146

2,000

Rural Hsg. Stability Prog.

5

c

c

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

335

332

330

330

330

202 Hsg. for Elderly

400

374.6

475

375

425

811 Hsg. for Disabled

150

165

150

150

165

Fair Housing

72

70.8

68

68

68

Healthy Homes & Ld. Haz. Cntl.

120

120

120

120

120

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

27

13.5

0

13.5

20

Housing Counseling

0

45

55

55

45

a. Figures shown do not include 0.2% across the board reduction. b. Includes $3.1 billion in Senate and $3.34 billion in House for CDBG. c. Funded under Homeless Assistance Grants.

HUD, USDA RD, AND THE CDFI FUND ANNOUNCE NEW BORDER COMMUNITY CAPITAL INITIATIVE. Community development lenders and investors, which can include local rural nonprofits and federally recognized tribes, will be eligible for funds and technical assistance to support their lending or investing related to affordable housing, small businesses, and community facilities in the colonias along the U.S.-Mexico border. The collaboration may later be extended to other persistent poverty regions of the country. The announcement does not indicate when a NOFA may be issued. Contact Russell Quiniola or Thann Young, HUD, 1-877-787-2526.

FHFA REQUESTS COMMENTS ON HOUSING GOALS AND PRESERVATION IMPACT. The Federal Housing Finance Agency proposes continuing the existing structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac housing goals (with no rural goals or subgoals) for 2012-2014, with new benchmark levels. FHFA also seeks comments on whether the regulation should address the possibility that Fannie or Freddie would receive credit under the housing goals for purchasing a multifamily mortgage that facilitates conversion of the property from affordable rents to market rate. Comments are due July 26, 2012. Contact Paul Manchester, FHFA, 202-649-3115.

USDA EXAMINES IMMIGRATION POLICY’S IMPACTS ON AGRICULTURE. As Congress considers possible changes in immigration laws, an Economic Research Service study finds that an increase in H2-A temporary workers would increase U.S. agricultural production and reduce wages. A decrease in the undocumented workforce would decrease production and raise wages. The study does not address impacts on housing.

USDA ANNOUNCES JUNE IS NATIONAL HOMEOWNERSHIP MONTH.

HAC SETS WEBINAR ON “MAPPING POVERTY IN RURAL AMERICA.” As a prelude to the 2012 edition of Taking Stock – HAC’s decennial report on social, economic, and housing conditions in rural America – HAC is releasing an updated poster map showing county-level poverty data from 2010 Census figures, as well as information on historic, regional, and persistent poverty in the United States. Register now for a webinar presentation of the poverty map and a discussion of poverty in rural America on Thursday, June 28, 2:00-2:45 pm (EDT).

HAC News: May 30, 2012

HAC News Formats. pdf

May 30, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 11

Wall Street Journal criticizes USDA foreclosure actions • VA analyzes factors linked to homelessness among veterans • Housing and ACS funding bills have not advanced • Notice addresses liquidation value appraisals for Section 502 guaranteed • Rural prepayment clarifications issued • USDA reminds field staff about documentation for Sections 514, 515, and 516 • USDA RD field staff have access to new cost data tool • Minorities and renters undercounted in 2010 Census • Vacancy rate higher in rural America, HAC reports • HAC blogs about rental housing policy • HOME program examined in new issue of Rural Voices • HAC seeks nominations for rural housing awards


May 30, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 11

WALL STREET JOURNAL CRITICIZES USDA FORECLOSURE ACTIONS. A May 25 article headlined “USDA is a Tough Collector When Mortgages Go Bad” describes USDA’s efforts to collect funds from borrowers who obtained Section 502 guaranteed mortgages, then lost income and lost their homes to foreclosure. Links to the article, online comments, and responses from HAC, the National Rural Housing Coalition, and others are posted on HAC’s site.

VA ANALYZES FACTORS LINKED TO HOMELESSNESS AMONG VETERANS.Homeless Incidence and Risk Factors for Becoming Homeless in Veterans” reports that the presence of mental illness and/or substance-related disorders was the strongest predictor of becoming homeless after discharge. Homeless vets were also more likely to have served in Afghanistan or Iraq. In the population studied, Afghanistan/Iraq vets and women were most likely to use HUD-VASH vouchers. The VA study did not include urban-rural or other geographic information. The Daily Yonder reports that Census data show that generally vets disproportionately live in rural and exurban communities, although those who served after 1990 are not overrepresented in rural America.

HOUSING AND ACS FUNDING BILLS HAVE NOT ADVANCED. Dates have not been determined for full Senate consideration of FY13 funding bills for USDA, HUD, or the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (see HAC News, 5/16/12). The HAC News and HAC’s website will report updates when available.

NOTICE ADDRESSES LIQUIDATION VALUE APPRAISALS FOR SECTION 502 GUARANTEED. Administrative Notice 4646 provides direction on obtaining a liquidation appraisal report to determine USDA’s loss claim for a 502 guaranteed property that has been taken into REO by the lender. Contact a USDA RD field office.

RURAL PREPAYMENT CLARIFICATIONS ISSUED. Subjects covered by USDA in an Unnumbered Letter dated May 14, 2012 include the distinction between prepayment and partial or final payments, and handling of incentives for property owners if ownership is transferred. Contact a USDA RD field office.

USDA REMINDS FIELD STAFF ABOUT DOCUMENTATION FOR SECTIONS 514, 515, AND 516. Administrative Notice 4645 addresses weaknesses identified in a 2011 management control review. Contact a USDA RD field office.

USDA RD FIELD STAFF HAVE ACCESS TO NEW COST DATA TOOL. An Unnumbered Letter dated April 20, 2012 announces the availability for staff of data reports that can be used to compare costs in multifamily housing and for other purposes. Contact a USDA RD field office.

MINORITIES AND RENTERS UNDERCOUNTED IN 2010 CENSUS. The Census Bureau has calculated that overall the 2010 Census was accurate although, as in previous decades, certain groups were undercounted. African Americans were undercounted by 2.1% and Hispanics by 1.5%. Asians and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders had no statistically significant error rate. American Indians and Alaska Natives living on reservations were undercounted by 4.9%, while there was no statistically significant error rate for those not living on reservations. Renters were undercounted by 1.1%.

VACANCY RATE HIGHER IN RURAL AMERICA, HAC REPORTS. A new Rural Research Note,Housing Occupancy and Vacancy in Rural America,” reports that housing vacancy rates in rural and small town areas are approximately 7 percentage points higher than the national level. Much of the higher vacancy rate in rural areas is due to the number of homes unoccupied for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use. Nearly 60% of all vacant seasonal or recreational homes nationwide are in rural and small town areas.

HAC BLOGS ABOUT RENTAL HOUSING POLICY. In the first of a series of contributions to the National Housing Institute’s Rooflines blog, HAC wonders, “What Does an Affordable Rural Rental Housing Strategy Look Like? and suggests both general and specific components of such a strategy.

HOME PROGRAM EXAMINED IN NEW ISSUE OF RURAL VOICES. The spring issue of HAC’s quarterly magazine includes over 25 brief success stories from rural organizations that have used the HOME program to develop housing, create jobs, and provide decent affordable housing, as well as pieces from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and former HUD official Mercedes Marquez and a summary of what proposed changes in HOME regulations could mean for rural places.

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 https://ruralhome.org or from Lilla Sutton, HAC, 202-842-8600, lilla@ruralhome.org.

USDA Multi-Family Fair Housing Occupancy Report FY 2010

According to USDA’s annual occupancy report for tenants in its portfolio properties, from 2009 to 2010 the average incomes of Section 515 and 514/516 tenants rose about 2%. The average is $11,364 for all tenants and $9,388 for tenants with Section 521 Rental Assistance.

Reports

Discussion Topics, HAC National Rural Housing Conference 2014

Conversation is one of the best things about HAC’s Rural Housing Conference. Every two years the Conference offers a unique opportunity for discussion among hundreds of rural housers from across the U.S. who are not often in the same place at the same time. Many exchanges are informal, during meals or in the halls between workshops. Others are more structured, and in 2014 HAC will provide an opportunity for facilitated discussions on six topics. HAC asked expert rural housing practitioners to write two-page papers on each of these subjects. On the second day of the conference, attendees will choose among these topics and participate in discussions during a working lunch. Each discussion group will report its thoughts and recommendations to the conference as a whole.

PDF containing all six papers

You do not need to attend the conference to contribute your thoughts! The discussions are beginning now on LinkedIn.

A fund to invest more in rural infrastructure

The Department of Agriculture is partnering with the private sector to launch a new investment fund stocked with $10 billion to go toward rural infrastructure development.

USDA Multi-Family Fair Housing Occupancy Report FY 2013

USDA’s yearly occupancy survey shows the total number of properties in USDA’s rural rental portfolio fell by 2.48% from April 2012 to September 2013, a decrease of 346 Section 515 properties and 34 Section 514 properties. The reduction covers 5,092 apartments (1.14% of total units). The 2013 report is the first to include demographic data on Section 521 Rental Assistance (RA) households, and they appear generally similar to tenants in Section 515 properties. The average annual income of Section 515 residents has increased slightly to $11,747. For Section 515 tenants with RA, average income is $9,828.

HAC News: January 22, 2014

HAC News Formats. pdf

January 22, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 2

• Spending set for 2014 • Rural Housing Cuts Avoided • HUD programs have some cuts, some increases • Congress changes HUD’s definition of “extremely low-income” • First Promise Zones include two rural areas • HUD suggests owners warn tenants before mortgages mature • Poverty guidelines updated • Study examines high poverty neighborhoods • HAC reports on USDA housing programs in FY13

January 22, 2014
Vol. 43, No. 2

SPENDING SET FOR 2014. Both the House and Senate have passed, and President Obama has signed, the FY14 omnibus spending package, the first full federal appropriations law enacted in over a decade. Next year’s funding discussions will begin soon, though reports are that the President’s proposed FY15 budget may be late, coming out in March rather than early February.

RURAL HOUSING CUTS AVOIDED. USDA rural housing programs did not suffer the cuts originally proposed by the Obama budget. Section 502 direct loans received $900 million, Section 521 rental assistance got $1.11 billion, and Section 515 rental loans, $28 million. The bill also directs that communities currently eligible for USDA rural housing assistance will remain so through the end of the fiscal year. In addition, it expands the Section 502 packaging demonstration, directing USDA to contract with five intermediaries. [tdborder][/tdborder]

USDA Rural Devel. Prog.
(dollars in millions)

FY13
Finala

FY14
Admin. Budget

FY14
House Bill
H.R. 2410

FY14
Senate Bill
S. 1244

FY14
Final
H.R. 3547

502 Single Fam. Direct
(Self-Help Setaside)
(Teacher Setaside)

$900
(5)
0

$360
0
0

$820.2
0
0

$900
(5)
0

$900
(5)
0

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

504 VLI Repair Loans

28

26.3

25.4

26.3

26.3

504 VLI Repair Grants

29.5

25

18.6

28.7

28.7

515 Rental Hsg. Direct Loans

31.3

28.4

28.4

28.4

28.4

514 Farm Labor Hsg. Loans

20.8

23.5

23.9

23.9

23.9

516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grants

7.1

14

8.2

8.3

8.3

521 Rental Assistance
(Preservation RA)
(New Cnstr. 515 RA)
(New Cnstr. 514/516 RA)

907.1
0
0
(3)

1,015
0
0
(3)

1,012
0
0
0

1,015
0
0
0

1,110
0
0
0

523 Self-Help TA

30

10

17.1

25

25

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

3.6

0

0

3.5

3.5

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

150

150

150

150

150

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

17.8

20

17.3

20

20

Rental Prsrv. Revlg. Lns.

0

0

0

0

0

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

10

12.6

9.7

12.6

12.6

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

6.1

0

6

6

6

a. Figures shown do not include 5% sequester or 2.5% across the board cut.

HUD PROGRAMS HAVE SOME CUTS, SOME INCREASES. HUD’s programs received a mix of level funding, reductions, and increases for FY14. HOME is at $1 billion, the same as in 2013, and CDBG is increased slightly. Other programs with increases include tenant- and project-based rental assistance, homeless assistance, public housing operating, and Section 202 elderly housing. In addition to HOME, programs with level funding include Native American housing and housing counseling. Cuts are made to public housing capital, fair housing, AIDS housing, Section 811 for the disabled, SHOP, and healthy homes.

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY13
Finala

FY14
Admin. Budget

FY14
House Bill

FY14
Senate Bill
S. 1243

FY14
Final
H.R. 3547

Cmty. Devel. Fund
CDBG
Sustainable Commun. Init.
Rural Innovation Fund

3,308
2,948
0
0

3,143
2,798
0
0

1,697
1,637
0
0

3,295
3,150
75
0

3,100
3,030
0
0

HOME

1,000

950

700

1,000

1,000

Tenant-Based Rental Asstnce.
(Vets. Affairs Spptve. Hsg. Vchrs.)

18,939.4
(75)

19,989.2
(75)

18,610.6
(75)

19,592.2
(78)

19,177.2
(75)

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

9,339.7

9,872

9,450.7

10,772

9,516.6

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

1,886

2,000

1,500

2,000

1,875

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,262

4,600

4,262

4,600

4,400

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

120

400

0

250

90

Housing Trust Fund

c

1,000

c

c

c

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

650

650

600

675

650

Homeless Assistance Grants

2,033

2,381

2,088

2,261

2,105

Rural Hsg. Stability Prog.

b

5

b

b

b

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

334

332

300

332

330

202 Hsg. for Elderly

377

400

375

400

385.3

811 Hsg. for Disabled

165

126

126

126

126

Fair Housing

70.8

71

55.8

70

66

Healthy Homes & Lead Haz. Cntl.

120

120

50

120

110

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

13.5

10

10

13.5

10

Housing Counseling

45

55

35

55

45

a. Figures shown do not include 5% sequester. b. Funded under Homeless Assistance Grants. c. National Housing Trust Fund is “mandatory” funding, not discretionary, so does not need to be funded through appropriations legislation, although the Admin-istration did include it in its budget request.

CONGRESS CHANGES HUD’S DEFINITION OF “EXTREMELY LOW-INCOME.” The FY14 omnibus spending law makes several policy changes in HUD programs, including one that will help residents of poor rural areas to qualify. For the Housing Choice Voucher, public housing, and Section 8 Project-based Rental Assistance programs, “extremely low-income” is defined as the higher of 30% of area median income (the current standard) or the federal poverty level. The statute directs HUD to put this change into effect quickly.

FIRST PROMISE ZONES INCLUDE TWO RURAL AREAS. On January 9 President Obama announced the first five places to win “Promise Zone” designations, giving them preference for a variety of federal programs. The rural grantees are the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and a group of counties in southeast Kentucky served by Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. The cities of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Antonio were also selected.

HUD SUGGESTS OWNERS WARN TENANTS BEFORE MORTGAGES MATURE. A HUD letter encourages owners of HUD-subsidized Section 236 rental properties to notify tenants months before their mortgages mature, at which time owners are usually allowed to convert to market rate rents. HUD offers preservation resources to owners. Contact HUD, 236preservation@hud.gov.

POVERTY GUIDELINES UPDATED. The Department of Health and Human Services has issued its annual poverty guidelines, adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index. Contact Kendall Swenson, HHS, 202-690-7507.

STUDY EXAMINES HIGH POVERTY NEIGHBORHOODS. Concentration of Poverty in the New Millennium, published by The Century Foundation and the Rutgers Center for Urban Research and Education, finds that the number of high-poverty census tracts decreased from 1990 to 2000 but increased again from 2000 to 2010 and is now greater than ever. The largest increase in number of these tracts was in micropolitan areas (10,000-50,000 population). The report also has data by race/ethnicity, region, and state, and brief discussion of the problems known to be caused by concentrations of poverty.

HAC REPORTS ON USDA HOUSING PROGRAMS IN FY13. HAC’s annual review of USDA Rural Development’s performance summarizes USDA obligation data by program area and by state. In addition, the report includes historic activity for selected rural housing programs.

SECTION 502 TRAINING FROM HAC. Join the Housing Assistance Council on March 25-27, 2014 in Memphis, TN for the Section 502 Packaging Training for Nonprofit Developers, a valuable training for any organization that packages or intends to package USDA Rural Development Section 502 Loans.

USDA Multi-Family Fair Housing Occupancy Report FY 2012

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. There are 1,243 more households receiving Section 521 Rental Assistance and 931 fewer with rental aid from other sources. The number of cost burdened households dropped by 1,562.

Moises Loza Speaks at Florida Home Partnership Playground Build Event

The Florida Home Partnership (FHP), in celebration of National Homeownership Month, gathered over 100 volunteers to help build a playground for its Bayou Pass Village Phase III development. Tammye Treviño, Administrator for USDA’s Housing and Community Facilities Program and HAC’s Executive Director Moises Loza participated in this event.

Video from FHP

[youtube]jfpOBFAdo2c[/youtube]

FHP’s photo album for the event

USDA Multi-Family Fair Housing Occupancy Report FY 2011

USDA’s annual occupancy report for Section 515 and 514/516 rentals states that from April 2010 to May 2011 the total number of Section 515 properties dropped by 270 (about 3,600 apartments) and the number of farmworker properties increased by six.

HAC News: June 13, 2012

HAC News Formats. pdf

June 13, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 12

• House subcommittees act on FY13 USDA and HUD funding • The House’s USDA appropriations bill • The House’s HUD appropriations bill • HUD, USDA RD, and the CDFI Fund announce new Border Community Capital Initiative • FHFA requests comments on housing goals and preservation impact • USDA examines immigration policy’s impacts on agriculture • USDA announces June is National Homeownership Month • HAC sets webinar on “Mapping Poverty in Rural America”


June 13, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 12

HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEES ACT ON FY13 USDA AND HUD FUNDING. House appropriations subcommittees have approved both bills and the full House Appropriations Committee is expected to act on them in the next few weeks. The Senate bills (see HAC News, 5/2/12) still await consideration by the full Senate. Congress continues to move appropriations on a faster track this year than in the recent past, but final passage of most appropriations bills may not occur until a post-election lame duck session.

THE HOUSE’S USDA APPROPRIATIONS BILL would provide lower amounts than the Senate’s bill for almost all rural housing programs. It allocates slightly more to the Section 515 rural rental housing program than the Senate bill, although the House’s $31.3 million is less than half of the $64.5 million Section 515 received in FY12. The House bill also contains new language in every provision relating to housing programs and in some, but not all, provisions relating to other Rural Development programs, requiring USDA to provide detailed spending plans within 15 days of enactment. [tdborder][/tdborder]

USDA Rural Devel. Prog.
(dollars in millions)

FY11
Approp.a

FY 12
Approp.

FY13
Admin. Budget

FY13
Sen. Bill
(S. 2375)

FY13 House Subcomm. Bill

502 Single Fam. Direct
(Self-Help Setaside)
(Teacher Setaside)

$1,121

$900

$652.8
(141)
(67)

$900
(5)
0

$652.8
0
0

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

504 VLI Repair Loans

23.4

10

28

28

10

504 VLI Repair Grants

34

29.5

28.2

b

c

515 Rental Hsg. Direct

69.5

64.5

0

28.4

31.3

514 Farm Labor Hsg.

25.7

20.8

26

26

d

516 Farm Labor Hsg.

9.8

7.1

8.9

8.9

d

521 Rental Assistance
(Preservation RA)
(New Cnstr. 515 RA)
(New Cnstr. 514/516 RA)

955.6
0
(2.03)
(3)

904.7
0
(1.5)
(2.5)

907.1
0
0
(3)

907.1
0
0
(3)

886.6f
0
(1.5)
(2.5)

523 Self-Help TA

37

30

10

30

15

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

10

3.6

0

b

c

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

30.9

130

150

150

150

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

15

2

34.4

16.8

2

Rental Prsrv. Revlg. Lns.

1

0

0

0

0

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

14

11

12.6

11

10.8

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

5

3.6

8

6.1

3.5e

a. Figures shown do not include 0.2% across the board reduction.
b. Total for 504 grants and 533 grants is $33.1 million.
c. Total for 504 grants and 533 grants is $17 million.
d. Total budget authority for Section 514 loans and Section 516 grants is $13.8 million, compared to the Senate bill’s total of $17.5 million.
e. Of the $3.549 million total for RCDI, $3.302 million is directed to community facilities grants to tribal colleges.
f. HAC originally reported the House subcommittee’s level for Rental Assistance was $866.6 million, but the correct figure is $886.6 million. HAC apologizes for any confusion.

THE HOUSE’S HUD APPROPRIATIONS BILL boosts funding for HOME, Section 202, CDBG, and SHOP above the levels in FY12 and in the Senate’s bill. The Rural Innovation Fund is not funded and seems dead after being left out of HUD’s budget proposal again. The Rural Housing Stability Program is funded as part of homeless assistance grants. Veterans housing vouchers are funded at $75 million and Native American Block Grants are at $650 million, maintaining 2012 levels for both programs. The House bill does not fund Choice Neighborhoods or Sustainable Communities.

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY11
Approp.a

FY12
Approp.

FY13
Admin. Budget

FY13
Sen. Bill
(S. 2322)

FY13 House Subcomm.
Bill

Cmty. Devel. Fund (incl. CDBG)
Sustainable Commun. Init.
Rural Innovation Fund

3,508
(100)
0

3,308.1
0
0

3,143
100
0

3,210 b
50
0

3,404 b
0
0

HOME

1,610

1,000

1,000

1,000

1,200

Tenant-Based Rental Asstnce.
Vets. Affairs Spptve Hsg. Vchrs

18,408
(50)

18,914.4
(75)

19,074.3
(75)

19,396.3
(75)

19,134.3
(75)

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

9,257.4

9,339.7

8,700.4

9,875.8

8,700.4

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

2,044

1,875

2,070

1,985

1,985

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,626

3,961.9

4,524

4,591

4,524

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

0

120

150

120

Housing Trust Fund

0

0

1,000

0

0

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

650

650

650

650

650

Homeless Assistance Grants

1,905

1,901.2

2,231

2,146

2,000

Rural Hsg. Stability Prog.

5

c

c

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

335

332

330

330

330

202 Hsg. for Elderly

400

374.6

475

375

425

811 Hsg. for Disabled

150

165

150

150

165

Fair Housing

72

70.8

68

68

68

Healthy Homes & Ld. Haz. Cntl.

120

120

120

120

120

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

27

13.5

0

13.5

20

Housing Counseling

0

45

55

55

45

a. Figures shown do not include 0.2% across the board reduction. b. Includes $3.1 billion in Senate and $3.34 billion in House for CDBG. c. Funded under Homeless Assistance Grants.

HUD, USDA RD, AND THE CDFI FUND ANNOUNCE NEW BORDER COMMUNITY CAPITAL INITIATIVE. Community development lenders and investors, which can include local rural nonprofits and federally recognized tribes, will be eligible for funds and technical assistance to support their lending or investing related to affordable housing, small businesses, and community facilities in the colonias along the U.S.-Mexico border. The collaboration may later be extended to other persistent poverty regions of the country. The announcement does not indicate when a NOFA may be issued. Contact Russell Quiniola or Thann Young, HUD, 1-877-787-2526.

FHFA REQUESTS COMMENTS ON HOUSING GOALS AND PRESERVATION IMPACT. The Federal Housing Finance Agency proposes continuing the existing structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac housing goals (with no rural goals or subgoals) for 2012-2014, with new benchmark levels. FHFA also seeks comments on whether the regulation should address the possibility that Fannie or Freddie would receive credit under the housing goals for purchasing a multifamily mortgage that facilitates conversion of the property from affordable rents to market rate. Comments are due July 26, 2012. Contact Paul Manchester, FHFA, 202-649-3115.

USDA EXAMINES IMMIGRATION POLICY’S IMPACTS ON AGRICULTURE. As Congress considers possible changes in immigration laws, an Economic Research Service study finds that an increase in H2-A temporary workers would increase U.S. agricultural production and reduce wages. A decrease in the undocumented workforce would decrease production and raise wages. The study does not address impacts on housing.

USDA ANNOUNCES JUNE IS NATIONAL HOMEOWNERSHIP MONTH.

HAC SETS WEBINAR ON “MAPPING POVERTY IN RURAL AMERICA.” As a prelude to the 2012 edition of Taking Stock – HAC’s decennial report on social, economic, and housing conditions in rural America – HAC is releasing an updated poster map showing county-level poverty data from 2010 Census figures, as well as information on historic, regional, and persistent poverty in the United States. Register now for a webinar presentation of the poverty map and a discussion of poverty in rural America on Thursday, June 28, 2:00-2:45 pm (EDT).

HAC News: May 30, 2012

HAC News Formats. pdf

May 30, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 11

Wall Street Journal criticizes USDA foreclosure actions • VA analyzes factors linked to homelessness among veterans • Housing and ACS funding bills have not advanced • Notice addresses liquidation value appraisals for Section 502 guaranteed • Rural prepayment clarifications issued • USDA reminds field staff about documentation for Sections 514, 515, and 516 • USDA RD field staff have access to new cost data tool • Minorities and renters undercounted in 2010 Census • Vacancy rate higher in rural America, HAC reports • HAC blogs about rental housing policy • HOME program examined in new issue of Rural Voices • HAC seeks nominations for rural housing awards


May 30, 2012
Vol. 41, No. 11

WALL STREET JOURNAL CRITICIZES USDA FORECLOSURE ACTIONS. A May 25 article headlined “USDA is a Tough Collector When Mortgages Go Bad” describes USDA’s efforts to collect funds from borrowers who obtained Section 502 guaranteed mortgages, then lost income and lost their homes to foreclosure. Links to the article, online comments, and responses from HAC, the National Rural Housing Coalition, and others are posted on HAC’s site.

VA ANALYZES FACTORS LINKED TO HOMELESSNESS AMONG VETERANS.Homeless Incidence and Risk Factors for Becoming Homeless in Veterans” reports that the presence of mental illness and/or substance-related disorders was the strongest predictor of becoming homeless after discharge. Homeless vets were also more likely to have served in Afghanistan or Iraq. In the population studied, Afghanistan/Iraq vets and women were most likely to use HUD-VASH vouchers. The VA study did not include urban-rural or other geographic information. The Daily Yonder reports that Census data show that generally vets disproportionately live in rural and exurban communities, although those who served after 1990 are not overrepresented in rural America.

HOUSING AND ACS FUNDING BILLS HAVE NOT ADVANCED. Dates have not been determined for full Senate consideration of FY13 funding bills for USDA, HUD, or the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (see HAC News, 5/16/12). The HAC News and HAC’s website will report updates when available.

NOTICE ADDRESSES LIQUIDATION VALUE APPRAISALS FOR SECTION 502 GUARANTEED. Administrative Notice 4646 provides direction on obtaining a liquidation appraisal report to determine USDA’s loss claim for a 502 guaranteed property that has been taken into REO by the lender. Contact a USDA RD field office.

RURAL PREPAYMENT CLARIFICATIONS ISSUED. Subjects covered by USDA in an Unnumbered Letter dated May 14, 2012 include the distinction between prepayment and partial or final payments, and handling of incentives for property owners if ownership is transferred. Contact a USDA RD field office.

USDA REMINDS FIELD STAFF ABOUT DOCUMENTATION FOR SECTIONS 514, 515, AND 516. Administrative Notice 4645 addresses weaknesses identified in a 2011 management control review. Contact a USDA RD field office.

USDA RD FIELD STAFF HAVE ACCESS TO NEW COST DATA TOOL. An Unnumbered Letter dated April 20, 2012 announces the availability for staff of data reports that can be used to compare costs in multifamily housing and for other purposes. Contact a USDA RD field office.

MINORITIES AND RENTERS UNDERCOUNTED IN 2010 CENSUS. The Census Bureau has calculated that overall the 2010 Census was accurate although, as in previous decades, certain groups were undercounted. African Americans were undercounted by 2.1% and Hispanics by 1.5%. Asians and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders had no statistically significant error rate. American Indians and Alaska Natives living on reservations were undercounted by 4.9%, while there was no statistically significant error rate for those not living on reservations. Renters were undercounted by 1.1%.

VACANCY RATE HIGHER IN RURAL AMERICA, HAC REPORTS. A new Rural Research Note,Housing Occupancy and Vacancy in Rural America,” reports that housing vacancy rates in rural and small town areas are approximately 7 percentage points higher than the national level. Much of the higher vacancy rate in rural areas is due to the number of homes unoccupied for seasonal, recreational, or occasional use. Nearly 60% of all vacant seasonal or recreational homes nationwide are in rural and small town areas.

HAC BLOGS ABOUT RENTAL HOUSING POLICY. In the first of a series of contributions to the National Housing Institute’s Rooflines blog, HAC wonders, “What Does an Affordable Rural Rental Housing Strategy Look Like? and suggests both general and specific components of such a strategy.

HOME PROGRAM EXAMINED IN NEW ISSUE OF RURAL VOICES. The spring issue of HAC’s quarterly magazine includes over 25 brief success stories from rural organizations that have used the HOME program to develop housing, create jobs, and provide decent affordable housing, as well as pieces from Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and former HUD official Mercedes Marquez and a summary of what proposed changes in HOME regulations could mean for rural places.

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 https://ruralhome.org or from Lilla Sutton, HAC, 202-842-8600, lilla@ruralhome.org.

USDA Multi-Family Fair Housing Occupancy Report FY 2010

According to USDA’s annual occupancy report for tenants in its portfolio properties, from 2009 to 2010 the average incomes of Section 515 and 514/516 tenants rose about 2%. The average is $11,364 for all tenants and $9,388 for tenants with Section 521 Rental Assistance.