HAC News: April 27, 2018

HAC News Formats. pdf

April 27, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 9

HUD proposes to raise rents and allow work requirements • Joel Baxley named RHS Administrator • Pilot program to fund housing changes for low-income veterans with disabilities • Webinars on rural multifamily loan guarantees offered by HAC and USDA • HUD offers Section 811 vouchers, encourages PHAs/IHAs to partner with supportive services • Department of Justice launches initiative to combat sexual harassment in housing • Unnumbered Letter lists set-asides and state allocations for USDA single-family direct programs • Annual data on USDA-assisted tenants released • Section 515 funds available for properties affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria • Deadline for state Opportunity Zones designations passes, early designations analyzed • RD accepts comments on program delivery, shares best practices for rural economic development • CFPB requests comments on handling of consumer complaints • GAO suggests changes in federal agency collaborations for elderly housing and health • Save the date for the 2018 HAC Rural Housing ConferenceNeed capital for your affordable housing project?

HAC News Formats. pdf

April 27, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 9

HUD proposes to raise rents and allow work requirements.
The Department’s “Making Affordable Housing Work Act of 2018” would require elderly and disabled tenants in HUD-assisted properties to pay at least $50 per month rent, and others to pay a minimum amount (currently $150) calculated based on the federal minimum wage. It would eliminate income deductions for expenses like child care and would allow HUD to create alternative rent structures. PHAs or owners of properties with project-based aid would be permitted to impose work requirements. The House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance has posted a draft of a similar bill.

Joel Baxley named RHS Administrator.
Joel Baxley, one of the authors of the 2016 Comprehensive Property Assessment of USDA’s multifamily housing portfolio, has been selected as Administrator of the Rural Housing Service.

Pilot program to fund housing changes for low-income veterans with disabilities.
HUD’s Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification pilot will make grants to nonprofits that provide nationwide or statewide aid to veterans or low-income people, to be used to modify veterans’ homes or to provide other nonprofits or public agencies with technical assistance and training. Applications are due June 25. For more information, contact Sylvia Purvis, HUD, 877-787-2526.

Webinars on rural multifamily loan guarantees offered by HAC and USDA.
The first of two webinars on the Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing program will be offered May 30, providing an overview of the guarantee program, which can be used for new construction, refinance, and acquisition with rehabilitation of multifamily properties. Webinar registration is free. For more information, contact Shonterria Charleston, HAC.

HUD offers Section 811 vouchers, encourages PHAs/IHAs to partner with supportive services.
PHAs/IHAs can apply by June 18 for mainstream housing choice vouchers to assist non-elderly persons with disabilities. Partnerships are encouraged with agencies that help individuals live independently. For more information, email mainstreamvouchers@hud.gov.

Department of Justice launches initiative to combat sexual harassment in housing.
DOJ’s effort includes an interagency task force with HUD. An outreach toolkit and public awareness resources including flyers in several languages are available online. Those who believe they may have been victims of sexual harassment in housing can call DOJ at 844-380-6178, email DOJ, or call HUD, 800-669-9777.

Unnumbered Letter lists set-asides and state allocations for USDA single-family direct programs.
A UL dated April 17, 2018 explains how the single-family direct loan and grant programs’ funding for FY18 will be allocated. It includes lists of persistent poverty, underserved, and REAP counties. For more information, contact an RD state office.

Annual data on USDA-assisted tenants released.
USDA RD’s 2017 Multi-Family Housing Annual Fair Housing Occupancy Report shows that from September 2016 to September 2017, the portfolio lost 246 Section 515 properties and 32 Section 514/516 properties, a total of 5,053 units. More than 91% of households have very low incomes. The average income for all Section 515 tenants is $12,776 and for all Section 515 tenants with Section 521 Rental Assistance is $10,658. Eighty-one percent of tenant households receive some rental subsidy, with about 68% in both the 515 and 514/516 programs receiving Section 521 RA. Among 515 tenants, 63.7% are elderly or disabled.

Section 515 funds available for properties affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
Disaster funds appropriated for hurricane relief include almost $71 million for Section 515 rental properties that were not required to carry National Flood Insurance and were affected by last year’s hurricanes in Florida, Puerto Rico, and Texas. Applications are due May 31, 2019 (not 2018). RD will send letters to property owners. For more information, contact an RD state office.

Deadline for state Opportunity Zones designations passes, early designations analyzed.
State nominations of low-income census tracts to participate in the new Opportunity Zones program were due on April 20. The Treasury Department has announced some Zone designations and will announce the remainder by June 18. An Enterprise Community Partners analysis shows that 27% of the designated tracts are in rural places with populations under 2,500 and just over 2% are at least partly in tribal areas. The Brookings Institution reports that most states designated deeply impoverished places, although 22% of designated tracts are in areas with poverty rates under 20% and another 19% are in places that may already be gentrifying.

RD accepts comments on program delivery, shares best practices for rural economic development.
USDA’s Rural Development Innovation Center has launched a new webpage. Visitors can submit comments on ways USDA can improve RD program delivery, sign up for Innovation Center updates, and read about best practices and RD programs.

CFPB requests comments on handling of consumer complaints.
Comments are due July 16 on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s handling of consumer complaints and consumer inquiries. For more information, contact Darian Dorsey, CFPB, 202-435-7268.

GAO suggests changes in federal agency collaborations for elderly housing and health.
The Government Accountability Office compared collaborative efforts between HUD and the Department of Health and Human Services with best practices, finding some congruencies and some discrepancies. In Older Adult Housing: Future Collaborations on Housing and Health Services Should Include Relevant Agencies and Define Outcomes, GAO recommended that USDA should be included in the efforts, and that participating agencies should identify common outcomes desired from their collaboration.

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.

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: April 12, 2018

HAC News Formats. pdf

April 12, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 8

Executive Order addresses work requirements • Draft Farm Bill includes SNAP work requirements • CRA recommendations released by Treasury Department • Opportunity Zones designated in 18 states and territories • HUD invites Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants applications • Stakeholders suggest Rural Development provisions for Farm Bill • RD clarifies asset management fee for nonprofits • Section 538 industry calls planned • HUD income limits set • CFPB requests comments on its guidance and its consumer financial education • Appraisal threshold increased • Comments requested to improve FHFA regulations • Wage gap for rural women quantified • Disaster survivors’ stories sought

HAC News Formats. pdf

April 12, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 8

Executive Order addresses work requirements.
On April 10 President Trump issued an “Executive Order Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility.” It establishes “Principles of Economic Mobility” that include strengthening or imposing work requirements for those receiving means-tested federal aid; increasing state and local flexibility in administering aid; combining or eliminating “duplicative or ineffective” programs; and involving the private sector in poverty solutions. Cabinet departments that run assistance programs, including USDA and HUD, must submit reports within 90 days recommending changes consistent with these principles. They must also list which programs restrict benefits to lawful U.S. residents and which do not.

Draft Farm Bill includes SNAP work requirements.
The House Agriculture Committee released the text of H.R. 2, the 2018 Farm Bill, on April 12. It proposes new requirements for SNAP participants to work or enroll in work training. The only housing provision updates the definition of rural areas eligible for the RHS housing programs so that it refers to the 2020 Census as well as 2010. The bill reauthorizes several RUS and RBS programs. It also reauthorizes the Delta Regional Authority and the Northern Great Plains Regional Authority, but cuts the authorized funding for the DRA from the current $30 million per year to $12 million and for the NGPRA from $30 million to $2 million. (The DRA’s FY18 appropriation is $25 million. The NGPRA has never received an appropriation.)

CRA recommendations released by Treasury Department.
Treasury published a report on April 3 identifying regulatory and administrative improvements for the Community Reinvestment Act. The suggestions would broaden bank assessment areas to account for technological access in places without physical branches, expand the range of eligible CRA activities, clarify rating criteria and subjective terms such as “excellent,” require timely examinations, and strengthen incentives for banks to avoid low performance ratings.

Opportunity Zones designated in 18 states and territories.
The first round of Opportunity Zones were announced by the Treasury Department and the IRS for the states and territories that nominated areas by March 21. Other states requested 30-day extensions and must make their submissions by April 20. The IRS invites comments as it develops guidance for the program on topics including the certification of Qualified Opportunity Funds and eligible investments in Qualified Opportunity Zones. It does not provide a deadline.

HUD invites Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants applications.
Nonprofits, PHAs, local governments, and tribal entities are eligible for planning grants or planning and action grants focusing on transforming a neighborhood by redeveloping at least one severely distressed public or HUD-assisted housing project. Applications are due June 12.

Stakeholders suggest Rural Development provisions for Farm Bill.
HAC and other interested organizations sent a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees listing recommendations for provisions related to USDA Rural Development that could be included in this year’s Farm Bill. Among the suggestions are incentives for investing in the rural communities with the greatest need, including those with populations under 10,000; authorization for the multifamily housing preservation technical assistance program; and support for infrastructure, including broadband.

RD clarifies asset management fee for nonprofits.
An Unnumbered Letter dated March 30, 2018 explains that nonprofit and cooperative owners of Section 515 and 514/516 properties are eligible for a $7,500 asset management fee per property, rather than per owner. For more information, contact a USDA RD state office.

Section 538 industry calls planned.
During 2018 and 2019, USDA will hold a series of teleconference and/or web conference meetings regarding the Section 538 guaranteed rental housing program. To register to receive information when calls are scheduled, contact Monica Cole, USDA, 202-720-1251.

HUD income limits set.
FY18 median area incomes and income limits for metro areas and nonmetro counties are available online.

CFPB requests comments on its guidance and its consumer financial education.
Comments to help CFPB assess the overall effectiveness and accessibility of its guidance materials and activities (including implementation support) to members of the general public, including regulated entities, are due July 2. For more information, contact Kristin Switzer, CFPB, 202-435-7700. Comments on CFPB’s consumer financial education programs are due July 9. For more information, contact Davida Farrar, CFPB, 202-435-9523.

Appraisal threshold increased.
Effective on April 9, the federal agencies that regulate banks and savings and loans require appraisals for lenders’ real estate transactions above $500,000. The previous threshold was $250,000. Loans secured by residential properties with one to four units are exempt from the appraisal requirement; for those, lenders must instead obtain evaluations that are consistent with safe and sound banking practices. Contacts for further information vary by regulatory agency.

Comments requested to improve FHFA regulations.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency invites comments by June 4 on how its regulations can be made more effective and less burdensome, except for rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice, or regulations adopted or substantially amended since April 2016. For more information, contact Ellen S. Bailey, FHFA, 202-649-3056.

Wage gap for rural women quantified.
The Center for American Progress reports that rural women who work full time, year round, make 76 cents for every dollar that rural men make. Rural African-American and Hispanic women make 56 cents for every dollar made by rural white, non-Hispanic men, while Rural Native American women make 69 cents and rural Asian American and Pacific Islander women make 75 cents.

Disaster survivors’ stories sought.
The Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition developed an online tool to capture disaster survivors’ individual stories. These accounts of unmet need will be used to illustrate the unique housing challenges low-income survivors face after a disaster and to build support for solutions. The coalition asks organizations serving disaster survivors from the hurricanes and wildfires of 2017 to fill out the online questionnaire for any client/individual with a compelling need for direct rental assistance.

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).

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.

HAC News: March 1, 2018

HAC News Formats. pdf

March 1, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 5

Opportunity Zone deadlines nearing • Grants available for TA to purchasers of maturing mortgage 515 properties • CDFI Funds offered, including for CDFIs serving Native American communities • Small grants available to connect arts and community development • HUD seeks tribal input on revising Section 184 regs • Members named to new congressional committee on budget and appropriations process • Planning underway for Housing Week of Action • CFPB requests input on feedback • USDA launches opioid resources page • Review of Kerner report data shows some improvements, some declines for African Americans over 50 years • New center seeks to connect homelessness research to practice • Materials from HAC’s budget webinar posted online • RD approves a third national online homeownership education provider • HAC to host American Indian Housing Symposium: Brainstorming New Strategies for Systemic Housing Challenges, Rapid City, SD, May 2-3

HAC News Formats. pdf

March 1, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 5

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.

Opportunity Zone deadlines nearing.
Many states have set early March deadlines for public input as they prepare to meet their March 21 deadline to designate high-poverty census tracts as Opportunity Zones where new Opportunity Funds will make community investments, possibly including housing. Links to some states’ sites have been posted by Novogradac & Co., while others seem to have no information online. HAC encourages rural communities to support selection of rural Opportunity Zones. Search for online information about your state’s public comment process, or contact the state office of community development or economic development. Information is available from the CDFI Fund (including a list and map of eligible census tracts), Enterprise Community Partners (including a map of eligible tracts), and Economic Innovation Group. For more information, contact Leslie Strauss, HAC, 202-842-8600.

Grants available for TA to purchasers of maturing mortgage 515 properties.
Applications are due March 29 for a new USDA RD program offering grants of up to $250,000 for nonprofits or PHAs to provide technical assistance to purchasers of Section 515 properties whose mortgages are maturing. Contact RD state directors for more information and to develop lists of targeted local areas in each state.

CDFI Funds offered, including for CDFIs serving Native American communities.
The CDFI Program makes Financial Assistance awards to certified CDFIs and Technical Assistance grants to certified, certifiable, and emerging CDFIs to build their organizational capacity. The Native American CDFI Program offers the same to CDFIs serving Native communities. Applications are due April 4. For more information, submit a request through the CDFI Fund’s AMIS site or contact the CDFI Fund Help Desk, 202-653-0421.

Small grants available to connect arts and community development.
Small and mid-sized organizations can apply by April 12 for the National Endowment for the Art’s Challenge America grants. The grants are $10,000 and support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations, either for professional arts programming or for projects that emphasize the potential of the arts in community development. For more information, contact NEA, 202-682-5700.

HUD seeks tribal input on revising Section 184 regs.
HUD plans to revise its regulations for the Section 184 Indian Housing Loan Guarantee Program. It invites tribal members and leaders, tribal housing entities, and lenders to provide feedback to 184consultation@hud.gov until a proposed rule is published in the Federal Register (anticipated to be by September 30), when a public comment period will begin. HUD will also hold a listening session at the NAIHC Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, March 5-7, and others will be scheduled this spring.

Members named to new congressional committee on budget and appropriations process.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 – the federal budget deal adopted in February – created a new Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform. House and Senate leaders have now named the committee’s 16 members, four from each party in each house of Congress. Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) is the chair and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) is the co-chair. The committee must hold its first meeting by March 11 and must hold at least five public meetings or hearings. Its report is due by November 30.

Planning underway for Housing Week of Action.
Our Homes, Our Voices is planned for May 1-8. The National Low Income Housing Coalition is working with partners nationwide to schedule activities and publicity. Resources are available online.

CFPB requests input on feedback.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau requests comments and information by May 29 to help it assess its public and non-public “external engagements,” where stakeholders provide feedback on CFPB’s work. Currently these include field hearings, town halls, roundtables, and meetings of the Advisory Board and Councils. For more information, contact Zixta Martinez, CFPB, 202-435-9745.

USDA launches opioid resources page.
The site is intended to offer resources, information, and best practices to help rural communities respond to and manage the opioid crisis.

Review of Kerner report data shows some improvements, some declines for African Americans over 50 years.
The Economic Policy Institute compared current data to information gathered by the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (the Kerner Commission) in 1968. “50 Years After the Kerner Commission” reports improvements in African-American education levels, wages, incomes, wealth, and health, but blacks still lag whites in all these indicators. African-American homeownership and unemployment rates have changed little, while incarceration rates have almost tripled.

New center seeks to connect homelessness research to practice.
The Center for Evidence-based Solutions to Homelessness launched in December with a mission to empower communities to plan and implement services for people experiencing homelessness on the basis of the strongest available evidence. Among its early releases, a report titled Where Do Homeless People Come From? shows that substantial portions of people in shelters previously lived in suburban and rural areas as well as in cities.

Materials from HAC’s budget webinar posted online.
A recording of the webinar, as well as the presentation and related resources, are available on HAC’s site.

RD approves a third national online homeownership education provider.
Utah State University Extension
is now approved to provide education for homebuyers using the Section 502 direct loan program. It joins eHome America and Framework as nationally recognized providers.

HAC to host American Indian Housing Symposium: Brainstorming New Strategies for Systemic Housing Challenges, Rapid City, SD, May 2-3.
Presented by the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation and Fannie Mae, this symposium will explore data trends, innovative projects, funding opportunities, and strategies for addressing systemic housing challenges for tribes across the country. For more information, contact Shonterria Charleston, HAC, 404-892-4824.

HAC News: February 16, 2018

HAC News Formats. pdf

February 16, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 4

Federal funding deal lifts spending caps, takes government through March 23 • Administration releases FY19 budget proposal • Administration proposes Rural Infrastructure Program • HUD offers Youth Homeless Demonstration Program, includes rural setaside • CFPB seeks comment on reducing burden of its enforcement • Allocations, waivers, and more published for CDBG-DR grantees • FHFA issues housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac • Perdue testifies on rural economy • Glendenning to head RHS single-family programs • Scorecard links poverty to policy, not poor choices

HAC News Formats. pdf

Federal funding deal lifts spending caps, takes government through March 23.
On February 9 Congress adopted and the President signed a large budget deal . Along with monies to address opioid addiction and other issues, and numerous other provisions, it extends federal funding at FY17 levels until March 23. It provides $89.3 billion in disaster funds for places impacted by hurricanes and wildfires in 2017, including $18.7 million for direct loans to rehabilitate Section 515 properties. It lifts the spending caps imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011, allowing higher appropriations levels for FY18 and FY19. Reportedly the Administration has now asked Congress for additional FY18 funding under the increased cap, including $500 million for broadband through RUS and $5 billion towards the Administration’s proposed $50 billion rural infrastructure program, most of which would be distributed to state governments.

Administration releases FY19 budget proposal.
USDA RHS. For USDA’s rural housing programs, the budget looks much the same as last year’s proposal: all housing programs would be eliminated except the single-family and multifamily guarantee programs, Section 521 Rental Assistance, and Section 542 vouchers. Tenants would be required to pay at least $50 per month rent unless they qualify for a hardship exemption. Unlike last year, the FY19 budget suggests combining RA and vouchers into a single line item. Program advocates have estimated that the voucher program needs $25 million in FY18 and $28 million in FY19, as more Section 515 units leave the portfolio every year and tenants become eligible for vouchers. Congress did not adopt most of the Administration’s funding proposals for these programs last year, and is unlikely to accept them this year. Information about HAC’s annual webinar on the budget, scheduled for February 20, is below. [tdborder][/tdborder]

USDA Rural Dev. Prog.
(dollars in millions)

FY16 Approp.

FY17 Approp.

FY18 House Bill (H.R. 3268)a

FY18 Senate Bill (S. 1603)a

FY19 Admin. Budget Proposal

502 Single Fam. Direct
Self-Help setaside

$900
5

$1,000
5

$900
5

$1,000
5

0
0

502 Single Family Guar.

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

24,000

504 VLI Repair Loans

26.3

26.3

24

26.3

0

504 VLI Repair Grants

28.7

28.7

b

28.7

0

515 Rental Hsg. Direct Lns.

28.4

35

28.4

35

0

514 Farm Labor Hsg. Lns.

23.9

23.9

15

23.8

0

516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grts.

8.3

8.3

6

8.3

0

521 Rental Assistance

1,390

1,405b

1,345

1,345

1,331.4

523 Self-Help TA

27.5

30

25

30

0

533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants

3.5

5

c

5

0

538 Rental Hsg. Guar.

150

230

230

230

250

Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR)

22

22

15

22

0

542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers

15

19.4

20

19.4

20

Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init.

4

4

0

4

0

a. FY18 appropriation is not yet final.
b. Included $40 million in advance funding for FY18, so total available in FY17 was $1.365 billion and total available in FY18 would be $1.385 billion.
c. Section 504 loans and other non-housing loans would have been rolled into a new Rural Economic Infrastructure Grant program.

HUD. The Administration’s HUD budget proposal would eliminate the HOME, CDBG, SHOP, and Housing Trust Fund programs. It would roll the Public Housing Capital Fund into the Public Housing Operating Fund and lower the dollars available. It would cut voucher programs, including eliminating VASH vouchers for military veterans, although it would retain Tribal VASH vouchers with a reduced funding level. Funding for homelessness programs would remain at FY17 levels, although the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness would be eliminated.

HUD Program
(dollars in millions)

FY16 Approp.

FY17 Approp.

FY18 House Bill (H.R. 3353)a

FY18 Senate Bill (S. 1655)a

FY19 Admin. Budget Proposal

CDBG

$3,000

$3,000

$2,900

3,000

0

HOME

950

950

850

950

0

Self-Help Homeownshp. (SHOP)

10

10

10

10

0

Veterans Home Rehab

5.7

4

0

4

4

Tenant-Based RA
VASH setaside
Tribal VASH

19,628
60
0

20,292
40
7

20,487
577b
7

21,365
40b
5

18,600c
0
4

Project-Based Rental Asstnce.

10,622

10,816

11,082

11,507

10,952

Public Hsg. Capital Fund

1,900

1,942

1,850

1,945

0

Public Hsg. Operating Fund

4,500

4,400

4,400

4,500

3,360c

Choice Neighbrhd. Initiative

125

137.5

20

50

0

Native Amer. Hsg. Block Grant

650

654

654

655

600

Homeless Assistance Grants

2,250

2,383

2,383

2,456

2,383

Hsg. Opps. for Persons w/ AIDS

335

356

356

330

330

202 Hsg. for Elderly

432.7

502.4

573

573

563

811 Hsg. for Disabled

150.6

146.2

147

147

132

Fair Housing

65.3

65.3

65.3

65.3

62.3

Healthy Homes & Lead Haz. Cntl.

110

145

130

160

145

Housing Counseling

47

55

50

47

45

a. FY18 appropriation is not yet final.
b. The House bill specifies that its entire VASH appropriation is for renewals. The Senate bill would renew current VASH vouchers and provide $40 million for new ones.
c. Estimates calculated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities . The budget documents, which were developed before the February 9, 2018 budget agreement that raised spending caps, present lower figures for tenant-based vouchers and public housing operations, and a separate addendum based on the budget agreement adds funding to some of the budget’s numbers.

Other programs. Most CDFI Fund programs, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the Weatherization Assistance Program, and the Delta Regional Authority would be eliminated under the Administration’s FY19 budget. The Appalachian Regional Commission would be funded at $152 million, the same as its FY17 level.

Administration proposes Rural Infrastructure Program.
On February 12, the same day as its budget release, the Administration issued a proposal for infrastructure development and improvement, including $50 billion for a Rural Infrastructure Program, defining “rural” as “areas with populations of less than 50,000.” It would fund transportation, broadband, water and waste, power and electric, and water resources. Eighty percent of the funds would be distributed to states by formula, to be allocated to individual projects. The remaining 20% would be for “rural performance grants” to states. Unspecified portions of the $50 billion would be set aside for tribes and territories.

HUD offers Youth Homeless Demonstration Program, includes rural setaside.
The YHDP will support up to 11 communities, at least five of them rural, in developing and implementing coordinated community approaches to preventing and ending youth homelessness. Applications must be submitted by CoC Collaborative Applicants and are due April 17. Selected communities will then prepare coordinated community plans and apply for project funding. For more information, contact Caroline Crouse, HUD.

CFPB seeks comment on reducing burden of its enforcement.
While the Administration’s budget proposes restructuring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and limit its funding, and a new five-year plan for the bureau states its mission more narrowly than its past plan did, the agency has also requested public comment on its efforts. It asks how best to achieve meaningful burden reduction or other improvement to the processes it uses to enforce federal consumer financial law, while continuing to meet its statutory objectives and ensuring a fair and transparent process for parties subject to enforcement authority. Comments are due April 13. For more information, contact Mark Samburg, CFPB, 202-435-9710.

Allocations, waivers, and more published for CDBG-DR grantees.
A HUD notice allocates $3.79 billion from the September disaster appropriations act for recovery from 2017 disasters, and explains how recipients must use the funds. For more information, contact Jessie Handforth Kome, HUD, 202-708-8339.

FHFA issues housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
These goals (not the same as the Duty to Serve requirements) apply to 2018-2020 and include separate categories for single-family and multifamily mortgages on housing that is affordable to low-income and very low-income families, among other categories. For more information, contact Ted Wartell, FHFA, 202-649-3157.

Perdue testifies on rural economy.
On February 6, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue was the only witness at a House Agriculture Committee hearing on the rural economy, as the committee begins work on this year’s Farm Bill. Perdue also presented the committee with a document listing 2018 Farm Bill & Legislative Principles recently developed by USDA.

Glendenning to head RHS single-family programs.
Roger Glendenning, a long-time employee at USDA Rural Development, has been named Deputy Administrator of Single-Family Housing.

Scorecard links poverty to policy, not poor choices.
Prosperity Now’s annual Scorecard data compilation and its report Whose Bad Choices? How Policy Precludes Prosperity and What We Can Do About It include figures related to work, savings, debt, and health care costs and point out that economic growth is not translating into widely shared prosperity. Policy decisions on all levels of government are responsible, the report concludes. An interactive map allows users to view data by location or issue area.

Final Farm Labor Housing webinar set for February 21.
The third webinar in a series about financing farmworker housing using the Section 514/516 program, Construction and Lease-up, will be held February 21. Registration is free. The first two sessions, Preparing the Pre-application and Final Application Processing and Closing, are now archived online. The sessions are sponsored by Tierra del Sol Housing and the Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation, and hosted by HAC. For more information, contact Kelly Cooney, HAC, 404-892-4824.

Budget, Infrastructure, Spending Caps, and More: An Update on Federal Rural Housing Funding offered on Feb. 20.
How do the FY19 budget, the infrastructure proposal, spending caps for FY18 and FY19, and appropriations for FY18 all fit together? What does the rural broadband proposal really mean? What about USDA reorganization? Join HAC’s rural housing experts for a webinar reviewing the current situation and an explanation of the next steps, Tuesday, February 20, 1:30-2:30 pm Eastern.

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: Borrowers must be nonprofit or for-profit organizations or government entities (including tribes). HAC is not able to offer loans to individuals or families.

Materials Posted: Part II of the Financing Farm Labor Housing Webinar Series

Materials Posted

Power Point Presentation | Recording

Join the Housing Assistance Council on February 7, 2018 for the second of three webinars focused on financing farm labor housing. Part 1 | 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.

Description

This webinar, the second in the three-part series, will provide information to help project sponsors complete the Final Application process required to close on the loan and/or grant with USDA Rural Housing Services. Information will be presented on finalizing development and operating budgets, securing site control, compliance with environmental review requirements, assembling the development team of architects, engineers and contractors to finalize plans and specifications, and completing the bidding process to award contracts. The process for obtaining USDA approval of construction plans, the Property Management Plan and other RD requirements will be reviewed. Information will also be provided on layering other leveraged funds in coordination with 514/516 funding, and the requirements for completing the loan closing process with USDA Rural Housing Services.

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.

HAC News: February 1, 2018

HAC News Formats. pdf

February 1, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 3

February is African American History Month • Housing not included in State of the Union address • FY19 budget to be released this month • Latest continuing resolution ends February 8 • New Opportunity Zones program created by Tax Cuts and Jobs Act • Carson pledges to increase resources to rural America • IRS urges hurricane survivors to consider EITC • HUD considers changes to manufactured housing rules • RD multifamily housing financial reporting requirements clarified • RD offers guidance on using design/build and construction management proposals • Census Bureau not updating questions on race and ethnicity • HUD invites comments on new reporting system for IHBG recipients • House passes bill to exempt more lenders from HMDA • Gil Gonzalez named RD Chief of Staff • Native American Creative Placemaking published by HAC • Native CDFIs have high demand, need more resources, says survey • HAC releases report on USDA rural housing program activity in FY17 • Webinars offered on financing Farm Labor Housing with USDA Section 514/516 funding

HAC News Formats. >

February 1, 2018
Vol. 47, No. 3

February is African American History Month.

Housing not included in State of the Union address.
In his speech on January 30, President Trump mentioned a $1.5 billion infrastructure plan, but did not list housing among items that would be covered. HUD Secretary Ben Carson has said in the past that the Administration’s infrastructure proposal will include housing (see HAC News, 4/13/17).

FY19 budget to be released this month.
The Administration will release its proposed budget for FY19 (which begins October 1, 2018) on February 12 at the earliest, but it is expected to be a “skinny” budget without much detail, like the early budget proposal released in March 2017. HAC will post information online when the budget is available.

Latest continuing resolution ends February 8.
FY17 funding levels are continued through February 8 under the most recent in this year’s series of continuing resolutions. Congress and the Administration continue to seek agreement on raising the Budget Control Act’s funding caps and on spending levels for FY18, as well as numerous other issues.

New Opportunity Zones program created by Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
The new tax legislation offers private investors an opportunity to defer taxes on capital gains by investing those gains in Opportunity Funds, which will finance a variety of investments, potentially including housing, in Opportunity Zones. Governors will identify Opportunity Zones in their states from among census tracts that meet the New Markets Tax Credit program’s definition of low-income communities, and may include some adjacent tracts. The program will begin after the Treasury Department develops regulations, although by March 21 governors must submit their Opportunity Zone designations or request a 30-day extension.

Carson pledges to increase resources to rural America.
Wisconsin Public Radio reports that at an appearance in the state in January, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said he is creating a task force on rural poverty, as well as reviewing HUD homelessness assistance programs to increase aid to rural areas. HUD is not listed among the members of the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity, which recently released its report. HUD also recently withdrew the proposed rule for the Rural Housing Stability program, which would have helped address rural homelessness.

IRS urges hurricane survivors to consider EITC.
Workers with incomes under $53,930 in 2017 may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Survivors of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria can use a special computation method.

HUD considers changes to manufactured housing rules.
As it seeks to reduce regulatory costs and burdens, HUD requests comments by February 26 on its manufactured housing regulations. Contact Ariel Pereira, HUD, 202-402-5138.

RD multifamily housing financial reporting requirements clarified.
An Unnumbered Letter dated January 24, 2018, clarifies requirements – optional for FY18 and mandatory for FY19 – for owners of Section 514/516 and Section 515 properties. For more information, contact an RD State Office.

RD offers guidance on using design/build and construction management proposals.
Administrative Notice 4851, dated January 24, 2018, advises RD staff on obtaining National Office approval of such proposals for Section 514/516 farmworker housing or Section 515 rental housing projects. For more information, contact an RD State Office.

Census Bureau not updating questions on race and ethnicity.
The Bureau has announced that the 2020 Census will continue to use two separate questions to identify race and ethnicity. This decision overrules a Census Bureau recommendation last year based on research showing that minorities, who are historically undercounted in the decennial Census, are more likely to respond to a single combined question, reports the Coalition on Human Needs.

HUD invites comments on new reporting system for IHBG recipients.
Tribal leaders and Indian housing officials are asked for input on a new online system that will be implemented May 1. For more information, contact Frederick Griefer, HUD.

House passes bill to exempt more lenders from HMDA.
Home Mortgage Disclosure Act regulations previously required all lenders with assets above a certain level to report on their lending activity; now, under new HMDA rules that took effect on January 1, 2018, reporting is required if an institution originates over 25 mortgages, regardless of its asset size. On January 18 the House passed H.R. 2954, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act, which would raise the exemption threshold to 500 mortgages. The Senate has not voted on S. 1310, its version of the bill.

Gil Gonzalez named RD Chief of Staff.
Gonzalez served in USDA Rural Development from 2001 to 2005.

Native American Creative Placemaking published by HAC.
The report presents some established Native American creative placemaking efforts, offers an interactive map of Native American creative placemaking projects, and lists funding sources.

Native CDFIs have high demand, need more resources, says survey.
Findings from the 2017 Native CDFI Survey: Industry Opportunities and Limitationsreports on a survey by the Federal Reserve System’s Center for Indian Country Development, designed to show NCDFIs’ resource base, scope of work and geography, and challenges. The study found NCDFIs are ready to deploy more funds but face challenges including funding availability and other resource gaps.

HAC releases report on USDA rural housing program activity in FY17.
The publication provides data for each program and for each state or territory. In FY 2017, USDA obligated 149,860 loans, loan guarantees, and grants, as well as 308,060 annual units of tenant assistance. The agency guaranteed over 137,000 Section 502 mortgages and issued over 7,100 Section 502 direct loans. About 38% of the latter went to borrowers with very low incomes. Multifamily Housing Preservation and Revitalization obligations dropped from 2016 to 2017, probably at least in part because some MPR funding was transferred to the Section 542 voucher program, which grows every year.

Webinars offered on financing Farm Labor Housing with USDA Section 514/516 funding.
Final Application Processing and Closing will be February 7, followed by Construction and Lease-up on February 24. Registration is free. Preparing the Pre-application was held January 24 and is now archived online. The sessions are sponsored by Tierra del Sol Housing and the Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation, and hosted by HAC. For more information, contact Shonterria Charleston, HAC, 404-892-4824.

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).

Kansas CDFI Forum

To have an event posted on our calendar*, please e-mail Janice Clark. Or send event description or brochure to:

Housing Assistance Council
Attn: Janice Clark
1025 Vermont Avenue, NW
Suite 606
Washington, DC 20005

Or fax to (202) 347-3441
Attn: Dan Stern

*Calendar Posting Guidelines:

HAC’s calendar posts announcements about periodic conferences, training sessions, audioconferences, and the like. Topics must be relevant to professionals in the rural housing and community development arena. HAC reserves the right to accept or decline any request to post an item. We do not include sessions provided by entities (for-profit or nonprofit) that offer numerous regularly scheduled training events; links to such entities are provided below.

Community Connections
IPED

HUD Calendar
NeighborWorks
Novogradac and Compan

Back to Trainings

Kansas CDFI Forum

Date: May 22, 2012
Time: 8:00 am – 4:30 p.m.
Cost: $0 – There is no cost to attend the forum
Location:
Jack Reardon Convention Center
500 Minnesota Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66101

REGISTER ONLINE

You are cordially invited to attend the Kansas CDFI Forum held May 22, 2012 at the Jack Reardon Convention Center, 500 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Housing Assistance Council, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI), and NeighborWorks are hosting the forum to encourage the formation of CDFIs in the state of Kansas, encourage partnerships with existing CDFIs in the local area, and increase CDFI investments to meet the needs of communities in Kansas.

The forum will bring together banks, credit unions, nonprofits, government agencies and others for an honest and wide-ranging discussion on the role of CDFIs within a wider community development ecosystem. This forum will be of value to organizations supporting small business development, affordable housing, consumer financial services and more. Local leaders will share opportunities for CDFIs to invest across the state while CDFIs serving nearby markets will explain products and services they can offer. Experts and practitioners will discuss ways to build CDFI capacity within Kansas.

A resource room will provide attendees an opportunity to have one-on-one discussions with federal and state agencies about how to access funding and technical assistance to support CDFI strategies. You can enjoy a lunch conversation titled “Networks of Support”. Our invited panelists will engage you in their careers spent in community development.

REGISTER ONLINE

Download this invitation for more information about the Kansas CDFI Forum.

There is no charge to attend the forum. If you do not have access to online registration, you may contact Dorothy Brown at dorbrown@fdic.gov or 816.234.8084.