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USDA Leaves $100 Million In Rural Affordable Housing Funds on the Table

On Monday, October 27, NRHC delivered a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, criticizing the Department’s failure to spend $100 million in program funding that aims to help families in rural America obtain and improve affordable housing. NRHC asserts that demand for rural housing assistance remains high, but USDA did not process applications in a timely fashion.

“In this extremely tight budget environment, more than 1,000 families living in small, rural communities will not receive housing assistance authorized by Congress. Who could argue that rural housing conditions are so good or rural economies so strong that an injection of mortgage funds is not needed?” said Bob Rapoza, executive secretary of the National Rural Housing Coalition.

USDA also left unspent one-third of the funds appropriated by Congress for the Mutual Self-Help Housing program. This program helps rural families who come together on nights and weekends to build their own homes. Their sweat equity lowers housing costs by an average of $25,000 per home and helps these families build wealth. The Department also imposed a 10 percent reduction on all program grants, yet at the end of the fiscal year more than enough money was available to fully fund those grants. NRHC contends that the only result of this policy was a downgrading of a very important and successful program.

“In recent years, we have been dismayed by USDA management of rural housing programs in general and especially, the delivery of Section 502 Direct Homeownership Loans and Mutual and Self Help Housing grants,” said Rapoza. “We are extremely disappointed. Rural America deserves better treatment from this Administration.”

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Rural Revitalization Success Story

Download NRHC’s Success Story Template HERE!

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Social Media Webinar: How to Create a Social Media Strategy

The focus of this webinar was on how to create an effective social media strategy, regardless of your organization’s limited resources. By providing this webinar, in addition to other critical resources and information, NRHC aims to help build the capacity of rural housing organizations and to help raise awareness of the issues impacting rural families and their communities. NRHC would like to thank Capital One for its generous support of this webinar and our organization.

You can download a copy of the PowerPoint Presentation here.

Check our other Social Media resources, including:

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NRHC 2014 Impact Survey

In recent years, funding for USDA Rural Housing programs has been cut significantly, making it more difficult for nonprofit organizations and state and local governments to improve housing conditions in their communities. To help protect these resources, rural housing and community development organizations must find new and better ways to document their impact and effectiveness.

That’s why we are inviting all rural housing organizations to participate in our 2014 Impact Survey.

 

Click here to download the 2014 NRHC Impact Survey TODAY!

The more organizations that participate, the better we can document the critical role rural housing organizations play in planning, developing, financing, and building affordable housing. For that reason, please free to send this survey to other rural housing organizations in your communities and ask them to participate.

Please complete the survey and return it to Sarah Mickelson at sarah@rapoza.org by October 10, 2014. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us directly via email or at 202-393-5229. And, remember to submit the survey only once; a number of organizations are assisting NRHC in disseminating this survey, so you may receive it from many sources.

Thank you in advance for helping make this survey a success.

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Opposition Mounts to Proposed Cuts in Federal Rural Development Programs

Today, NRHC delivered a petition signed by more than 1,400 rural organizations and advocates to Congress, voicing strong opposition to the significant funding cuts proposed in the President’s 2015 budget for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development programs, including a 60 percent cut in low-cost homeownership loans and over $150 million in grants that help small rural communities provide potable water and waste disposal systems to residents.

“This year, the Administration is at it again, and rural communities are saying they have had enough. We hope Congress’s budget will reflect the fact that rural communities deserve affordable housing and economic development just as much as urban areas,” said Bob Rapoza, NRHC’s executive secretary.

A copy of the petition can be found here.

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2013 NRHC Budget Bulletins

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2013 Rural Housing Reporters

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NRHC Annual Meetings – December 3, 2013

NRHC will be hosting its Annual Meetings on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 from 8:30am to the mid-afternoon. All meetings will take place at the Rapoza Associates offices, located at 1331 G Street NW, Washington, DC.

IMPORTANT:

Please remember to RSVP to the NRHC Annual Meetings. This helps us better prepare for the upcoming event.

To nominate an NRHC member for the Board of Directors, please return this completed Board of Directors Nomination Form by November 1 to Sarah Mickelson at Sarah AT Rapoza DOT Org.

Task Force Meetings

NRHC’s Task Force Meeting will be held from 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M.  Task Force Meetings are open to all NRHC members.

  • Section 502 Consortium Task Force (Contact Tom Carew: tcarew AT fahe DOT org);
  • National Rural Self-Help Housing Association Task Force (Contact Peter Carey: Peterc AT selfhelpenterprises DOT org, or Contact Russ Huxtable: rhuxtable AT milfordhousing DOT org);
  • National Farm Labor Housing Directors Task Force (Contact Marty Miller: martym2 AT orfh DOT org).

Annual Business Meeting

NRHC’s Annual Business Meeting will be held from 10 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. The Annual Business Meeting is open to all NRHC members. At this meeting, NRHC members will elect the organization’s Board of Directors and Executive Officers for the coming year, review annual financial reports, and receive a comprehensive legislative report. 

Board of Directors Meeting

NRHC’s Board of Directors Meeting will begin at 11 A.M and is open to all Members.

Congressional Visits

Please note that NRHC is not hosting a formal “Capitol Hill Day,” however individual members are encouraged to meet with their Congressional delegation. If you need any assistance in scheduling these meetings, please feel free to contact Sarah Mickelson at Sarah AT Rapoza DOT Org.

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2012 Rural Housing Reporters

2012 Rural Housing Reporters

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Thank You!

Thank you for signing our petition in support of rural housing and community development programs!

For more information about the National Rural Housing Coalition, please visit our website at ruralhousingcoalition.org.