Policy News from the Administration

HAC’s Recommendations to the CFPB on HMDA Rule Assessment

HAC submitted comments in response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Request for Information regarding the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Rule Assessment. HAC and our rural stakeholders have relied on HMDA data for decades to improve our understanding of rural mortgage markets. The CFPB will use these stakeholder comments to help better evaluate the effectiveness of these changes in meeting the purposes and objectives of Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Key takeaways:

  • Reporting Threshold

    HAC strongly urges the CFPB to return to the 25-origination reporting threshold, for closed-end loans, as opposed to the new 100-origination threshold, in order to more accurately capture rural markets that are disproportionately served by small financial institutions.

  • Reliability Index

    HAC Recommends that the CFPB resource and publish a HMDA “Reliability Index.” While not a fix for overly limited reporting thresholds, the development of an indicator would be helpful for the CFPB, data users, and consumers.

  • Additional Data

    HAC applauds increased HMDA data reporting, but additional data and reporting are still needed. While the new housing data points – specifically those on manufactured housing – enhance the HMDA data usefulness, more data could improve an understanding of certain underserved markets. This is particularly true when it comes to tribal lands and specific loan programs.

  • Data Browser

    HAC applauds CFPB’s HMDA data browser, which offers improved access to HMDA data over previous interfaces.

USDA Rural Development Obligations Cover

USDA Rural Development Obligations FY 22 – December

USDA Rural Development Obligations Report Cover - FY 2021

As of the end of December, USDA obligated 26,861 loans, loan guarantees, and grants totaling nearly $4.8 billion, over $830 million above this time last year.

The agency is currently operating under a second continuing resolution which provides funding through February 18, 2022.

Single Family Housing Program Highlights

The Section 502 Guaranteed loan program, the largest of the Single Family Housing programs, obligated over $4.5 billion (24,760 loan guarantees) up from nearly $3.8 billion (21,758 loan guarantees) last year.

For the Section 502 Direct program, loan obligations totaled nearly $206 million (1,050 loans), compared to last year’s obligation level of $142.4 million (756 loans.) About 30 percent of the loan dollars went to Very Low-income (VLI) applicants. VLI loans represented nearly 35 percent of the total number of Section 502 Direct loans.

The Section 504 Repair and Rehabilitation programs obligated 384 loans and 640 grants representing about $2.6 million and 4.2 million. Loan volume was up from this time last year (317 loans representing almost $1.8 million.) For Section 504 grants, almost $3 million (478 grants) were obligated this time last year.

USDA’s Section 523 Self Help Housing Grant program funded 5 grants and contracts totaling $3.6 million similar to last year’s 5 grants and contracts totaling $3.5 million.

Multi-Family Housing Program Highlights

USDA’s Section 538 Multifamily Housing obligated 13 loan guarantees totaling $39 million, higher than last year’s 7 loan guarantees representing $21.4 million.

The Farm Labor Housing programs funded 1 loans and 1 grants totaling $1,000,000 and $4,000,000 respectively. There were no loans or grants at this time last year.

USDA obligated funds for 37,904 units under the Section 521 Rental Assistance program totaling $225 million compared to 30 units ($150,564) obligated same time last year. There were also 1,102 Rural Housing Vouchers totaling $5.4 million compared to 945 vouchers representing $4.8 million this time last year.

Download the combined document.

* The Rural Housing Service (RHS) monthly obligation reports are produced by the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) 1025 Vermont Ave., NW, Suite 606, Washington, DC 20005. The monthly figures derive from HAC tabulations of USDA –RHS 205c, d, and f report data. For questions or comments about the obligation reports, please contact Michael Feinberg at 202-842-8600 or michael@ruralhome.org.

The Castro Family's Self-Help Housing Story

Self-Help Homeownership: What it means to Families

We are proud of the families we’ve helped achieve the dream of homeownership. This series highlights the incredible impact we’ve made thanks to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program. Homeownership changes lives—it can be a gateway to financial stability and better quality of life. The four families featured here all know the difference a home can make. Congratulations to all of them for the extraordinary achievement of building a home!

The Castro Family

With the help of People’s Self-Help Housing, the Castro family built their own home in King City, California. This is their new home:

Ben Phelps

Ben Phelps built his new home in Heber, Utah, thanks to support from Self-Help Homes of Utah. Here’s how his new home has made a difference in his life:

The Root Family

Self-Help Homes of Utah also helped the Root family build their own home in Heber, Utah. Here’s what their home means to them:

The Smith Family

With the help of People’s Self-Help Housing, the Smith family built their own home in Boone County, Arkansas. This is their new home:

 

Over the last 25 years, the Housing Assistance Council has financed the construction of over 10,000 new self-help homes. Under the self-help model, homeowners help build their homes, contributing “sweat equity” instead of a traditional down payment.

USDA Rural Development Obligations Cover

USDA Rural Development Obligations FY 22 – November

USDA Rural Development Obligations Report Cover - FY 2021

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) presents this month’s report on Fiscal Year 2022 USDA Rural Housing program obligations.

As of the end of November, USDA obligated 18,236 loans, loan guarantees, and grants totaling about $3.2 billion. This is $721 million less than obligation levels from this time last year. At that time, there were 23,321 loans, loan guarantees, and grants obligated totaling nearly $4 million.

Funding has been provided through a continuing resolution until December 3, 2021.

Single Family Housing Program Highlights

The Section 502 Guaranteed loan program, the largest of the Single Family Housing programs, obligated about $3 million (16,781 loan guarantees) less than last year’s $3.8 billion (21,758 loan guarantees.)

For the Section 502 Direct program, loan obligations totaled nearly $155 million (769 loans), a bit higher than last year’s obligation level of $142 million (756 loans.) About 32 percent of the loan dollars went to Very Low-income (VLI) applicants. VLI loans represented nearly 38 percent of the total number of Section 502 Direct loans.

The Section 504 Repair and Rehabilitation programs obligated 252 loans representing nearly $1.9 million. The number of loans was a bit lower than last year but the dollar obligations was higher (317 loans representing nearly $1.8 million.) There were also about $2.8 million (419 grants) obligated in the Section 504 grant program compared to nearly $3 million (478 grants) last year.

USDA’s Section 523 Self Help Housing Grant program funded 1 grant totaling $105,650 up from last year’s 5 grants and contracts totaling almost $3.5 million.

There were also 3 grants in the Section 306 C, Water and Waste Disposal program.

Multi-Family Housing Program Highlights

USDA’s Section 538 Multifamily Housing obligated 11 loan guarantees totaling over $27 million, higher than last year’s 7 loan guarantees (about $21.5 million.) In the Section 515 Rural Rental Housing program, there were 0 loans totaling $0 (including disaster assistance) obligated compared to 0 loans totaling $0 last year. No other Multifamily housing loans or grants have been obligated so far this year.

 

Download the combined document.

* The Rural Housing Service (RHS) monthly obligation reports are produced by the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) 1025 Vermont Ave., NW, Suite 606, Washington, DC 20005. The monthly figures derive from HAC tabulations of USDA –RHS 205c, d, and f report data. For questions or comments about the obligation reports, please contact Michael Feinberg at 202-842-8600 or michael@ruralhome.org.

USDA Rural Development Obligations Cover

USDA Rural Development Obligations FY 22 – October

USDA Rural Development Obligations Report Cover - FY 2021

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) presents this month’s report on Fiscal Year 2022 USDA Rural Housing program obligations.

As of the end of October, USDA obligated 9,056 loans, loan guarantees, and grants totaling about $1.6 billion. This is nearly $311 million higher than obligation levels from this time last year. At that time, there were 11,071 loans, loan guarantees, and grants obligated totaling over $1.9 billion.

Funding has been provided through a continuing resolution until December 3, 2021.

Single Family Housing Program Highlights

The Section 502 Guaranteed loan program, the largest of the Single Family Housing programs, obligated $1.5 billion (8,436 loan guarantees), about $326 million (2,230 loan guarantees) less than last year’s $1.85 billion (10,666 loan guarantees.)

For the Section 502 Direct program, loan obligations totaled about $81.4 million (400 loans), nearly $11 million more than last year’s obligation level of $70.6 million (366 loans.) About 32 percent of the loan dollars went to Very Low-income (VLI) applicants. VLI loans represented over 39 percent of the total number of Section 502 Direct loans.

The Section 504 Repair and Rehabilitation programs obligated 80 loans representing $640 million. Loan volume was up from this time last year (36 loans representing $306 million.) There were also about $929 million (136 grants) obligated in the Section 504 grant program. No grants were obligated as of this time last year.

There were no other Single Family housing obligations in October.

Multi-Family Housing Program Highlights

USDA’s Section 538 Multifamily Housing obligated 4 loan guarantees totaling nearly $12 million, higher than last year’s 3 loan guarantees ($8.9 million.)

No other Multifamily funds obligated in October.

 

Download the combined document.

* The Rural Housing Service (RHS) monthly obligation reports are produced by the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) 1025 Vermont Ave., NW, Suite 606, Washington, DC 20005. The monthly figures derive from HAC tabulations of USDA –RHS 205c, d, and f report data. For questions or comments about the obligation reports, please contact Michael Feinberg at 202-842-8600 or michael@ruralhome.org.

Learn More About Veterans in Your Community

Veterans Data Central is a simple, easy to use, on-line resource that provides essential information on the social, economic, and housing characteristics of veterans in the United States. The data and information available on Veterans Data Central can help support sound strategies and policies to help veterans. Now with newly updated data from the Census Bureau and other sources!

SHOP Application Reference Material

Application Materials

The following links are provided to assist you in completing a 2021 Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) application. These links provide additional information on program and eligibility requirements.

  1. FY 2021 SHOP NOFO
  2. Eligibility Requirements for Applicaitons of HUD’s Grant Programs
  3. General Administrative Requirements and Terms for HUD’s Financial Assistance Awards
  4. Federal Register Notice
USDA Obligations FY 2021 Featured Image

USDA Rural Development Obligations FY 21 – September

USDA Rural Development Obligations Report Cover - FY 2021

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) presents this month’s report on Fiscal Year 2021 USDA Rural Housing program obligations.

As of the end of September, USDA obligated 139,227 loans, loan guarantees, and grants totaling about $24.2 billion, $354.0 million more than last year. At the end of last year, the agency obligated 151,876 loans, loan guarantees, and grants totaling $24.5 billion.

Single Family Housing Program Highlights

The Section 502 Guaranteed loan program, the largest of the Single Family Housing programs, obligated $22.7 billion (127,389 loan guarantees) compared to $23.0 billion (137,970 loan guarantees) last year.

For the Section 502 Direct program, loan obligations totaled $1.0 billion (5,355 loans), nearly the same dollar amount as last year’s obligation level of $1.0 billion but fewer loans (5,821 loans.) About 36 percent of the loan dollars went to Very Low-income (VLI) applicants. VLI loans represented over 43 percent of the total number of Section 502 Direct loans.

The Section 504 Repair and Rehabilitation programs obligated 2,289 loans representing $14.8 million less than last year (2,739 loans representing $16.6 million.) There were also about $24.6 million (3,709 grants) obligated in the Section 504 grant program compared to $31.5 million (4,842 grants) last year.

USDA’s Section 523 Self Help Housing Grant program funded 51 grants and contracts totaling $31.8 million a bit less than last year’s 55 grants and contracts totaling $32.8 million.

Multi-Family Housing Program Highlights

USDA’s Section 538 Multifamily Housing program obligated 96 loan guarantees totaling $229.9 million compared to last year’s 150 loan guarantees ($228.5 million.) The agency funded 44 Section 515 Rural Rental Housing loans totaling $37.4 million compared to 40 loans ($40.0 million) last year. There have been 142 loans and 5 grants obligated in the MPR program totaling $89.2 million and $251,778 this year compared to 80 loans and 3 grants representing $57.1 million and $988,734, respectively last year.

The Farm Labor Housing program funded 2 loans and 1 grant have been funded representing $3.1 million and $1.6 million respectively compared to 15 loans and 7 grants ($20.1 million and $8.9 million) last year.

USDA also funded 283,781 units under the Section 521 Rental Assistance program totaling $1.5 billion compared to about 241,208 units ($1.4 billion) last year. There were also 7,261 Rural Housing Vouchers totaling $34.6 million compared to last year’s 7,489 vouchers representing $34.5 million.

Download the combined document.

* The Rural Housing Service (RHS) monthly obligation reports are produced by the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) 1025 Vermont Ave., NW, Suite 606, Washington, DC 20005. The monthly figures derive from HAC tabulations of USDA –RHS 205c, d, and f report data. For questions or comments about the obligation reports, please contact Michael Feinberg at 202-842-8600 or michael@ruralhome.org.

Policy News from Congress

Updated Sept. 14 – Rural Rental Housing and Repairs for Homeowners Included in Draft Bill

UPDATE September 14, 2021 – More rural housing funding has been added to the House Financial Services Committee’s portion of the reconciliation package. It now includes:

  • $4.36 billion for new construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of Section 515 rental housing and Section 514/516 farmworker housing;
  • $200 million for Section 521 Rental Assistance;
  • $70 million in budget authority for Section 502 direct homeownership loans (estimated to support loans totaling about $3.7 billion);
  • $95 million for Section 504 repair grants; and
  • $25 million for Section 523 self-help.

The bill sets no time limits for spending most of these funds, although the Rental Assistance money would expire on September 30, 2024.

Funding for HUD’s Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) was also added when the draft was revised. An additional $50 million would be available for SHOP over 10 years. As noted below, the bill provides substantial new funding for numerous HUD programs.

The Financial Services Committee began its consideration of the bill on September 13 and is continuing on September 14. The markup session will also consider a bill to reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA), which would establish a new annual 5 percent setaside for tribes under USDA’s Section 502, 504, 515, 533, and 538 programs, as well as the Rural Utilities Service programs.

The Financial Service Committee’s portion of the reconciliation bill will be combined with pieces from other committees to create the full $3.5 trillion package. The House is expected to approve it. Then it will be considered in the Senate, where it needs only a majority vote to pass, but it is not yet clear whether enough Senators will vote for it.

 

September 9, 2021 – Congress’s $3.5 trillion reconciliation package includes $5 billion for USDA’s rural rental housing programs and $100 million for repairs to rural owner-occupied homes. The House Financial Services Committee released legislative text on September 9, providing details that were not previously available.

The $5 billion rural rental total would be used for new construction of Section 515 rental housing and 514/516 farmworker housing, and for preserving existing properties through the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization program.

USDA’s Section 504 grant program, which covers the costs of health and safety repairs to owner-occupied homes in rural areas, would receive $100 million. These grants are usually available only to homeowners age 62 or older, but that age restriction would be waived for this pool of funds. The requirement that homeowners have very low incomes would remain in place.

The bill would also provide significant funding for numerous HUD programs including $35 billion for HOME and $8.5 billion for Community Development Block Grants. The colonias on the U.S.-Mexico border would receive a $1 billion setaside of CDBG funds.

The  Financial Services Committee will mark up this bill on September 13. (At the same session the committee will also consider two other bills, one to assist renters in the wake of the Supreme Court’s invalidation of the federal eviction moratorium, and one to reauthorize the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act.)

All funds appropriated through the reconciliation bill would be in addition to the usual annual funding for these programs. Congress has not completed work on USDA’s or HUD’s annual appropriations for fiscal year 2022, which begins on October 1, 2021. The year is likely to begin with a continuing resolution holding programs at their FY21 levels.

USDA Obligations FY 2021 Featured Image

USDA Rural Development Obligations FY 21 – August

USDA Rural Development Obligations Report Cover - FY 2021

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) presents this month’s report on Fiscal Year 2021 USDA Rural Housing program obligations.

As of the end of August, USDA obligated 127,867 loans, loan guarantees, and grants totaling about $22 billion. This is $417 million above obligation levels from this time last year. At that time, there were 134,422 loans, loan guarantees, and grants obligated totaling $21.6 billion.

Federal agencies operated under a series of short-term continuing resolutions (CR) for most of the first quarter of FY 2021. A final CR was signed into law on December 27, 2020 which provides funding for the remainder of the fiscal year. Since March 20, 2020, USDA offices have been operating from remote locations due to the COVID-19 virus.

Single Family Housing Program Highlights

The Section 502 Guaranteed loan program, the largest of the Single Family Housing programs, obligated $20.9 billion (117,579 loan guarantees) up from this time last year’s nearly $20.3 billion (121,671 loan guarantees).

For the Section 502 Direct program, loan obligations totaled $935 million (5,004 loans), a bit less than last year’s obligation level of $990 million (5,738 loans.) About 37 percent of the loan dollars went to Very Low-income (VLI) applicants. VLI loans represented nearly 44 percent of the total number of Section 502 Direct loans.

The Section 504 Repair and Rehabilitation programs obligated 1,961 loans representing $12.4 million. Loan volume was below this time last year (2,376 loans representing $14.4 million.) There were also about $21 million (3,189 grants) obligated in the Section 504 grant program compared to $27.7 million (4,248 grants) last year.

USDA’s Section 523 Self Help Housing Grant program funded 36 grants and contracts totaling over $24.9 million compared to last year’s 35 grants and contracts totaling $29.3 million.

Multi-Family Housing Program Highlights

USDA’s Section 538 Multifamily Housing program obligated 64 loan guarantees totaling $153.8 million compared to last year’s 136 loan guarantees ($216.9 million.) One Section 515 Rural Rental Housing loan has been funded so far this year compared to 29 loans representing $31.7 million last year. In the MPR program, no loans or grants have been obligated so far this year. Last year, there were 38 loans and 5 grants obligated representing $44 million and $251,778 respectively last year.

Two Farm Labor Housing loans totaling $3.1 million, and no grants have been obligated so far this year. Last year at this time, 14 loans and 6 grants were obligated ($19.8 million and $6.2 million, respectively.)

USDA obligated funds for 197,018 rental assistance units under the Section 521 Rental Assistance program totaling over $1.1 billion. This compares to about 186,940 units (almost $1.1 billion) obligated same time last year. There were also 6,671 Rural Housing Vouchers totaling $32 million compared to 6,693 vouchers representing $30.9 million this time last year.

Download the combined document.

* The Rural Housing Service (RHS) monthly obligation reports are produced by the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) 1025 Vermont Ave., NW, Suite 606, Washington, DC 20005. The monthly figures derive from HAC tabulations of USDA –RHS 205c, d, and f report data. For questions or comments about the obligation reports, please contact Michael Feinberg at 202-842-8600 or michael@ruralhome.org.