HAC Loan Fund Impact Report for FY 2023

HAC is proud to present our 2023 Loan Fund Impact Report. In fiscal year 2023 (October 2022-September 2023), our Loan Fund provided $31.4 million in financing through 34 loans—including 13 (37%) made to minority-led borrowers—to build, rehabilitate, or preserve 900 affordable homes.

HAC in the News

Rural Veterans and Local Nonprofits Receive Critical Housing Support in partnership with The Home Depot Foundation

Contacts: Dan Stern, dan@ruralhome.org
AHRV Team, ahrv@ruralhome.org
(202) 842-8600

Washington, DC, May 31, 2023 – Veterans and their families in fourteen rural communities will have better lives, thanks to The Home Depot Foundation and the Housing Assistance Council. The Foundation is awarding grants totaling $366,907 to fourteen local nonprofit housing agencies around the country to preserve housing for veterans in rural America.

The grants are part of The Home Depot Foundation’s mission to provide affordable and accessible housing solutions to U.S. veterans and invest $500 million in veteran causes by 2025. Many veterans and their families face major housing challenges, often exacerbated by issues related to unemployment, age, and service-related disabilities. The Home Depot Foundation and the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) are dedicated to giving back to those who have answered the highest call of service to our nation.

As part of its Affordable Housing for Rural Veterans (AHRV) Initiative, HAC works with The Home Depot Foundation to administer grants that bolster and support the work of rural nonprofit housing agencies to deliver critical housing support to veterans. “The Home Depot Foundation’s support remains a cornerstone of HAC’s work to strengthen local organizations that build and maintain homes for veterans across rural America,” said David Lipsetz, HAC’s CEO. “The more we support the local groups that are helping veterans, the more we see veterans and their hometowns thrive.”  As rural America is home to a disproportionately high number of service women and men, HAC remains deeply committed to supporting our nation’s service women and men by uplifting local nonprofits and their work to house and ensure the habitability of their homes and rural communities.

The grantee organizations – described below – provide a range of programs. With the grants, veterans who own homes in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee will obtain critical repair assistance. Altogether, 43 veterans and their families will benefit from these grants.

About The Home Depot Foundation 

The Home Depot FoundationThe Home Depot Foundationworks to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, support communities impacted by natural disasters and train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap. Since 2011, the Foundation has invested more than $475 million in veteran causes and improved more than 55,000 veteran homes and facilities. The Foundation has pledged to invest half of a billion dollars in veteran causes by 2025 and $50 million in training the next generation of skilled tradespeople through the Path to Pro program.

To learn more about The Home Depot Foundation visit  HomeDepotFoundation.org and follow them on Twitter  @HomeDepotFound and on Facebook and Instagram  @HomeDepotFoundation.

About the Housing Assistance Council

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is a national nonprofit that supports affordable housing efforts throughout rural America. Since 1971, HAC has provided below-market financing for affordable housing and community development, technical assistance and training, research and information, and policy formulation to enable solutions for rural communities.

To learn more about the Housing Assistance Council, visit www.ruralhome.org and follow HAC on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter @RuralHome.

About the Grantees

  • Creative Compassion, Inc., Crossville, TN, will utilize $22,500 to provide needed critical repairs for three (3) rural, low-income veterans in Crossville and Jamestown, TN. For additional information on Creative Compassion, Inc., visit their website at https://ccihomes.org/.
  • Good Works, Inc., Coatesville, PA, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical repairs to the homes of two (2) low-income rural veterans in Coatesville, PA. For additional information on Good Works, Inc., visit their website at https://www.goodworksinc.org/.
  • GROW South Dakota, Sisseton, SD, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical repairs for three (3) rural, low-income veterans in Sisseton, SD. For additional information on GROW SD, visit their website at https://www.growsd.org/.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County, Tampa, FL, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical roof replacement and new roof installation to the homes of two (2) low-income rural veterans in rural Hillsborough County, FL. For additional information on Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County, visit their website at https://www.habitathillsborough.org/
  • Habitat for Humanity of South-Central New Jersey, Maple Shade, NJ, will utilize $20,000 to provide critical home repairs for three (3) rural low-income veterans. For additional information on Habitat for Humanity of South-Central New Jersey, visit their website at https://www.habitatscnj.org/.
  • Habitat for Humanity of York County, Rock Hill, SC, will utilize $10,000 to support critical repairs and accessibility modifications for one (1) rural low-income veteran. For additional information on Habitat for Humanity of York County, visit their website at https://yorkcountyhabitat.org/.
  • Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, Bel Air, MD, will utilize $16,157 to support critical repairs and accessibility modifications for one (1) rural low-income veteran in Elkton, MD. For additional information on Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna, visit their website at https://habitatsusq.org/.
  • New Foundation Development, Inc., Calhoun, GA, will utilize $28,250 to provide critical repairs and ADA accessibility modifications for three (3) low-income rural veteran homeowners in Resaca and Calhoun, GA. For additional information on New Foundation Development, Inc., visit their website at https://nfdinc.org/.
  • Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, Pensacola, FL, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical home repairs for two (2) rural low-income veterans. For additional information on Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, visit their website at https://pensacolahabitat.org/.
  • Rebuilding Together Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, will utilize $30,000 to support the rehabilitation and modification of four (4) veteran owned units. For additional information on Rebuilding Together Minnesota, visit their website at https://rtmn.org/
  • Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, Ballston Spa, NY, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical repairs and ADA accessibility modifications for four (4) low-income rural veteran homeowners. For additional information on Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, visit their website at https://www.rtsaratoga.org/
  • Red Feather Development Group, Flagstaff, AZ, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical home repairs for four (4) rural low-income Native American veterans. For additional information on Red Feather Development Group, visit their website at https://www.redfeather.org/.
  • Swift County Rural Development Authority, Benson, MN, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical repairs, roof, plumbing, HVAC unit and water heater for one (1) very low-income veteran homeowner in Clontarf, MN. For additional information on Swift County Rural Development Authority, visit their website at https://www.swiftcounty.com/hra.
  • Transylvania Habitat for Humanity, Brevard, NC, will utilize $30,000 to provide critical repairs and accessibility modifications for ten (10) low-income rural veteran homeowners. For additional information on Transylvania Habitat for Humanity, visit their website at https://transylvaniahabitat.org/.
HAC in the News

HAC receives $6,325,000 from HUD to invest in rural communities and rural housing

Contact: Dan Stern, dan@ruralhome.org
(202) 516-6882

Washington, DC, May 15, 2023 – The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) has been awarded a total of $6,325,000 funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to invest in the capacity of rural communities and help rural families achieve homeownership. HAC was awarded $4,000,000 from the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) and $2,325,000 in Rural Capacity Building (RCB) funding. The funds represent a portion of HUD’s $22 million investment into rural communities through the SHOP and RCB programs.

The funding was announced in conjunction with an event in Russellville, AR at which HUD Deputy Secretary Adrianne Todman toured several homes that are being built using funds from HAC’s SHOP program with local partner Universal Housing Development Corporation.

HUD’s official press release announcing the award included the following statement from Secretary Marcia L. Fudge “Today, we are investing in homeownership and expanding access to affordable housing to rural communities. The SHOP program provides a unique pathway for first-time homeowners and underserved groups to buy a home. At HUD, we care about rural America and these capacity building grants are further evidence of our commitment.”

SHOP funding will allow rural homebuyers to invest their sweat equity and hard work towards the construction of their own homes in rural communities. HAC will use its RCB funding to assist a group of eligible rural organizations to undertake affordable housing and community development activities in disadvantaged and other target communities around the country.

“HAC’s decades long partnership with HUD has provided affordable homes for people and increased capacity for organizations in rural communities across the United States,” said David Lipsetz, President & CEO of the Housing Assistance Council. “These awards will improve the lives of countless rural people and highlight HUD’s commitment to rural America!”

About the SHOP Program

The Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) awards grant funds to eligible national and regional nonprofit organizations and consortia. Funds must be used for eligible expenses to develop decent, safe, and sanitary non-luxury housing for low-income persons and families who otherwise would not become homeowners. Examples are for purchasing home sites and developing or improving the infrastructure needed to set the stage for sweat equity and volunteer-based homeownership programs for low-income persons and families. Homebuyers must be willing to contribute significant amounts of their own sweat equity toward the construction or rehabilitation of their homes.

About the RCB Program

The Rural Capacity Building (RCB) program enhances the capacity and ability of rural housing development organizations, Community Development Corporations (CDCs), Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs), local governments, and Indian tribes to carry out affordable housing and community development activities in rural areas for the benefit of low- and moderate-income families and persons. The Rural Capacity Building program achieves this by funding national organizations with expertise in rural housing and rural community development who work directly to build the capacity of eligible beneficiaries.

About the Housing Assistance Council

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is a national nonprofit that supports affordable housing efforts throughout rural America. Since 1971, HAC has provided below-market financing for affordable housing and community development, technical assistance and training, research and information, and policy formulation to enable solutions for rural communities.

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HAC President & CEO, David Lipsetz, testifies in front of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development

HAC’s CEO Testifies to Senate Banking Subcommittee on Rural Housing Reforms

HAC was honored to be invited to testify on May 2, 2023 before the Housing, Transportation, and Community Development Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to discuss commonsense, bipartisan reforms to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service (RHS) programs. HAC’s President & CEO, David Lipsetz, was one of five witnesses on the hearing panel.

The hearing was held to discuss the bipartisan Rural Housing Service Reform Act of 2023, which has been introduced by Subcommittee Chairwoman Tina Smith (D-MN) and Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD). The RHS Reform Act includes a slate of provisions to improve the multifamily, single-family, and capacity building programs at RHS. Senators Smith and Rounds engaged deeply with stakeholders on the creation of the bill, including offering a call for policy recommendations in the summer of 2022. HAC’s response to that comment opportunity can be seen here. We were thrilled to see many of our recommendations included in the bill, and applaud Senators Smith and Rounds on their thoughtful engagement with stakeholders and their commitment to improving the RHS programs.

Highlights from the RHS Reform Act include:

  • Multifamily

    • Authorizing the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) program and Multifamily Preservation Technical Assistance Program
    • Allowing for the decoupling of a Section 515 mortgage and Section 521 Rental Assistance
    • Allowing Section 542 rural vouchers to be adjusted based on changes in tenant income
    • Streamlining the process for Section 515 nonprofit transfers and increasing the Section 515 nonprofit set aside
  • Single Family

    • Establishing the Native CDFI Section 502 relending program
    • Increasing the threshold for the mortgage requirement on a Section 504 home rehab loan from $7,500 to $15,000
    • Extending the loan term for a Section 502 loan up to 40 years
  • Capacity Building

    • Authorizing the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) and waiving the matching funds requirement for groups working in areas of persistent poverty
    • Requiring RHS to publish more data on their housing programs
    • Authorizing funding for much needed technology upgrades at RHS
Watch the Recording Read David’s Testimony HAC’s 2023 Policy Priorities
HAC in the News

Advocates eye farm bill to avert drop in affordable rural housing – CQ Roll Call

Posted April 11, 2023 at 5:00am

Housing advocates are turning to this year’s farm bill in an effort to steer rural communities away from an affordable housing cliff ahead.

Without action from Congress, rural communities stand to lose more than 100,000 affordable rental units in the next decade as federally subsidized loans used to build the apartments are paid off, ending landlords’ obligations to keep rents low. In a second blow for those renters, they will lose their eligibility for the Agriculture Department’s rental assistance.

“It’s a big problem, and it’s going to only get worse,” said Sarah Saadian, senior vice president of public policy at the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

“The heyday or the peak of rural housing was in the ’70s and ’80s, when their rental housing program was nearly a billion-dollar program, and it’s been cut really dramatically over the last several decades,” Saadian said in an interview. “All of those properties that were built at that time are now reaching the end of the maturity on their 515 mortgage, or the 515 loans that USDA provides in order to get those properties built.”

Advocates are pushing Congress to include provisions in the farm bill that would decouple the two programs, allowing the Agriculture Department to provide rental assistance even after a building’s owner has paid off the subsidized mortgage.


“The biggest issue in rural housing is the rapid loss of the 515 units due to mortgage maturity, prepayments, foreclosures. That is the 800-pound gorilla, or really the $31 billion gorilla over the next 30 years to preserve.”

Policy News from Congress

HAC’s Research Director Testifies to Senate Banking Committee on the State of Housing 2023

HAC was deeply honored by an invitation to testify at the first hearing held in the new 118th Congress by the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. Titled The State of Housing 2023, the session featured Lance George, HAC’s Director of Research and Information, as one of  three witnesses.

A wide range of topics was covered by the witnesses’ testimony and the Senators’ questions. Among the key areas of concern were the gap between housing supply and need, the high cost of both homeownership and rental housing, and what congressional actions could address these challenges. Committee Chair Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) asked specifically about the loss of rentals financed by USDA’s Section 515 program, a serious concern addressed by HAC research in 2016 and 2022.

Key Takeaways

Lance’s statement made five key points about the state of rural housing in 2023:

  • The pandemic left its mark on rural America and housing markets remain uncertain.
  • Rural mortgage markets are being impacted by interest rates and prices too.
  • Affordability is the greatest housing challenge in rural America, by far.
  • Manufactured housing is an often overlooked but important source of housing – especially in rural America.
  • Race matters across the rural spectrum – especially in housing.

Key policy recommendations, based on HAC’s full set of policy priorities for 2023, included:

  • Increase rural communities’ access to credit and capital and strengthen USDA and HUD homeownership supports.
  • Improve opportunities and financing for preserving aging rental properties and protecting tenants.
  • Authorize the powerful Rural Community Development Initiative and a significant cross-sectoral, flexible capacity building rural investment initiative.

Lance George

Lance George

HAC’s Director of Research & Information

Watch the Hearing


SHOP Application Reference Material

Application Materials

The following links are provided to assist you in completing a 2023 Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) application. These links provide additional information on program and eligibility requirements.

  1. FY 2023 SHOP NOFO
  2. Eligibility Requirements for Applications of HUD’s Grant Programs
  3. General Administrative Requirements and Terms for HUD’s Financial Assistance Awards
  4. Federal Register Notice
USDA Rural Development Obligations Cover

USDA Rural Development Obligations FY 22- September

HAC presents the FY 22 September USDA Rural Housing Service (RHS) monthly obligations report.*

Download the Spreadsheet.

* 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 Lance George at 202-842-8600 or lance@ruralhome.org.

Policy News town

HAC Concerned about Buy America Requirements

HAC Comments to USDA, July 2022

On July 29, the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which proposed to establish waivers from Buy America requirements for purchases of de minimis, small grants, and minor components of infrastructure projects.

Key Takeaways

  • Housing and community facilities should not be considered public infrastructure under the Build America, Buy America Act.
  • If housing and community facilities are considered public infrastructure, it would be in the public interest to waive the Buy America preference for USDA’s programs to finance these construction projects so that scarce funds and staff resources can be devoted to addressing the current housing crisis.
  • Waivers for purchases of de minimis, small grants, and minor components of infrastructure projects would also be in the public interest.

HAC Comments to HUD, July 2022

HAC expressed concern about the impact of “Buy America” requirements on affordable housing in comments it submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on July 15, 2022.

Key Takeaways

  • Buy America preferences should not apply to assisted housing. HUD’s priority should be to address the affordable housing crisis. Furthermore, the law defines infrastructure as projects that benefit the general public, while assisted housing is available to only a subset of the general population.
  • HUD should not apply Buy America preferences to owner-occupied housing because the Office of Management and Budget has specifically stated that private homes are not considered to be infrastructure.
  • HUD should not apply Buy America preferences when HUD assistance is used for infrastructure that is built solely to support affordable housing, as is the case with the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP).
  • HUD should not apply Buy America preferences to housing that receives less than $250,000 in federal funding, to developments with fewer than eight units, or to situations when HUD funding covers only a small portion of the per unit development cost.
  • HUD should issue expedited waivers for materials that experience price spikes.
  • HUD should provide guidance to help reduce administrative burdens on entities that receive HUD funding.

Build America, Buy America

HUD, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other federal agencies are subject to a “Build America, Buy America” (BABA) requirement in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, which mandates that iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in infrastructure projects be American made. The provision applies to most federally funded infrastructure projects; it is not limited to projects funded through the 2021 Act.

Any preferences for American-made products that were in effect before the Infrastructure Act passed remain in place.

Federal agencies were required to publish initial lists showing which of their programs could be subject to the Buy America preference. The Office of Management and Budget issued guidance for federal agencies regarding compliance and set up a website to track agency requests for waivers.

HUD Implementation

On June 1, HUD requested public comment to help implement BABA for its programs. It asked questions such as what HUD-financed projects might fall under exemptions from the preference, how materials are currently sourced, and more. It also asked what HUD programs might be considered to fund infrastructure in addition to those on its initial list, which includes HOME, the Community Development Block Grant program, and SHOP.

The deadline for comments was later extended to July 15.

HUD has moved to waive the buy America requirement while the department works on implementing it. HUD announced it was providing two waivers, both effective on May 14 (the statutory deadline for implementation) unless it issued a later announcement changing the date. HUD’s general waiver is effective for six months. Its waiver for Tribal recipients of HUD funds lasts for one year.

USDA Implementation

USDA did not include any of its Rural Development agency’s housing or community facilities programs on its initial list of infrastructure programs, which focuses instead on utilities and broadband programs. In a recent request to OMB, however, RD did include housing and CF along with others on a list of programs it intends to evaluate under the new law.

USDA Rural Development, like HUD, hopes to delay the requirements’ effectiveness temporarily. It asked OMB to approve a waiver that would last six months after the date of approval.

Treasury Implementation

The Treasury Department’s list of programs that may be subject to BABA’s requirements does not include any Community Development Financial Institution Fund programs. It does include the Homeowner Assistance Fund, a program intended to help homeowners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds programs, which help state, local, and Tribal governments and can be used for housing.