Friday, August 23, 2013


Via HAC.....

Help USDA Use Section 504 Funds!!!

Update from July 23, 2013. With only 7 weeks remaining in Fiscal Year 2013, USDA still has a substantial amount of funding available for Section 504 home repair loans. Loan funds not obligated by September 30, 2013 will be lost. Your help in getting out the word and working with USDA Rural Development (RD) to process loan applications is critical. USDA Section 504 loan funds are available in all states.

There is undoubtedly far more need than funds available for this program, which helps very low-income homeowners repair their homes. It would send the wrong message to have these sorely needed funds go unused. Please contact your local USDA RD office and work with them to help very low-income homeowners get their homes repaired!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Protect USDA Rural Housing Programs Now!!!

Do you have an extra 10 seconds today? 

I hope the answer is yes, because we need your help today, right now. 

Please sign our new petition asking the House to protect USDA Rural Housing programs from budget cuts that hurt lower-income families, the elderly, and disabled persons in rural communities across the country!

And then, if you have another 10 seconds, please forward onto your board members, your colleagues, anyone in your coalitions who shares the same belief that everyone has the right to a decent place to live. 

Let our voices be heard...... 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Help with HOME

Are you up for a challenge?
In the next couple of weeks, Congress will draft the FY13 budget for two of HUD’s most critical programs operating in rural communities across the nation: the Community Development Block Grant and the HOME Investment Partnerships program.  In the past few years, their budgets have been cut significantly-- adnasdf. Simply put, rural communities cannot afford for these programs to be cut again!
That's why we're challenging you to sign our petition TODAY and send it to at least 10 family members, friends, and colleagues before the Monday, April 30th deadline.  Every signature raises our voices in telling Congress to fully fund CDBG at $3.1 billion and HOME at $1 billion in FY13.
Since 2004, CDBG has invested more than $840 million in rural communities to build vital water and sewer services, wells and septic systems, hospitals, and community centers, supporting more than 8,500 rural jobs. And, more than $500 million of HOME funds has been used in rural areas to support affordable loans to buy and build affordable rental housing, Self-Help Housing and other rural homeownership programs, rental assistance for low-income families, and down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers
Thank you for your help!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Addressing the "rural" definition

As we all know, the “rural” definition issue is important to self-help organizations across the country, and has been widely discussed lately. We’re asking you to contact your Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor legislation introduced by Rep. Fortenberry (R-NE) and Rep. Hinojosa (D-TX) that addresses this critical issue.
The bill introduced by Fortenberry and Hinojosa, (H.R. 273, the Rural Housing Preservation Act), would extend the grandfathering clause until the 2020 Census so that communities would remain eligible for USDA Rural Development if they are currently eligible under Section 520 of the Housing Act of 1949, provided their population does not exceed 25,000.
Although this bill continues the status quo, there remains a concern for communities that exceed 25,000 but remain rural in nature – including communities where a state prison takes the population over 25,000!
It is important to get attention to the bill so the issue is appropriately raised and we can hopefully tailor a better resolution to the rural issue by the time it gets through Congress.
Please, call your Representatives, share the Fortenberry and Hinojosa Dear Colleague letter, and ask them to co-sponsor this legislation!
The Housing Assistance Council recently published a list of communities that will likely no longer be eligible for USDA Rural Development funding that really highlights the importance of addressing the “rural” definition issue we all face.
Thank you for your help on this important issue!

Thanks to Sarah Mickelson at NRHC for compiling the info/links.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Congratulations, and Thank You!
With your help, 23 Senators--more than in both FY11 and FY12--submitted appropriations requests for rural housing programs. A total of 17 joined Sen. Schumer and Sen. Snowe on their letter, and 4 more agreed to submit their personal appropriations requests. Sen. Feinstein, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Subcommitee for Agriculture and Rural Development, promised to fight hard for rural housing programs, and especially for the Section 502 Direct Loan and Mutual Self-Help Housing programs.
This letter sends a strong message to Congress: rural housing programs are critical to our communities and must be protected. Improving the lives of rural families starts with affordable housing!
Please, remember to thank your Senators for their support!
The 19 Senators that signed on include:
  • Sen. Schumer (NY)
  • Sen. Snowe (ME)
  • Sen. Leahy (VT)
  • Sen. Akaka (HI)
  • Sen. Levin (MI)
  • Sen. Wyden (OR)
  • Sen. Gillibrand (NY)
  • Sen. Tester (MT)
  • Sen. Franken (MN)
  • Sen. Sanders (VT)
  • Sen. Coons (DE)
  • Sen. Durbin (IL)
  • Sen. Harkin (IA)
  • Sen. Boxer (CA)
  • Sen. Bennet (CO)
  • Sen. Merkley (OR)
  • Sen. Johnson (SD) 
  • Sen. Carper (DE)
  • Sen. Conrad (ND)
The 4 Senators who will submit a personal appropriations request include: 
  • Sen. Kerry (MA)
  • Sen. Pryor (AR)
  • Sen. Feinstein (CA)
  • Sen. Boozman (AR)
Thank you for your help on this important issue!