March 5, 2010
Vol. 39, No. 5
FIELD OFFICES ENCOURAGED TO OBLIGATE ALL SECTION 502 DIRECT FUNDS THIS YEAR. An Unnumbered Letter to USDA state offices launches a campaign to use all FY2010 appropriation and Recovery Act loan funds by September 30, including providing at least 40% of funds to very low-income borrowers. The UL, dated February 24, 2010, is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/regs/ul_list.html or from RD offices.
USDA TO ANNOUNCE SOME HOUSING NOFAS ON WEB ONLY. A Federal Register notice and an Unnumbered Letter state that NOFAs for some programs will be posted only on RD’s website, http://www.rurdev.usda.gov, and others will continue to be published in the Federal Register. The notice does not provide details, and HAC could not obtain any by press time. Any additional news HAC receives will be posted at http://www.ruralhome.org. See Federal Register, 3/4/10 or http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/regs/ul/ulfebruary10.pdf.
SECTION 538 RENTAL HOUSING GUARANTEES OFFERED. Funds can be used for new construction; acquisition with rehabilitation; or revitalization, repair, and transfer of existing Section 515 housing, including equity payments in connection with transfer. Deadline is December 31. See Federal Register, 2/26/10 at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg/a100226c.html or contact a Rural Development state office.
RD CHANGES POSITION ON TAX CREDIT EXCHANGE PROGRAM FUNDING AS EQUITY. Responding to a letter from House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank (D-Mass.), RD housing Administrator Tammye Treviño committed to reverse a November 20, 2009 Unnumbered Letter that stated TCEP funds would be considered grants rather than equity in Section 515 projects. A National Housing Law Project explanation and the Frank and Treviño letters are posted at http://nhlp.org/node/1293.
NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING GOALS PROPOSED FOR FANNIE AND FREDDIE. As required by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has drafted new goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase single-family and multifamily affordable housing mortgages. FHFA also suggests revising the way it determines whether the goals are met. Comments are due April 12. See Federal Register, 2/26/10 or http://www.fhfa.gov/Default.aspx?Page=89. Contact Nelson Hernandez, FHFA, 202-408-2993.
CENSUS BUREAU DEVELOPING NEW POVERTY CALCULATION. The Supplemental Poverty Measure will not change the official government calculation, but will provide “an additional macro-economic statistic.” See the press release at http://www.commerce.gov/NewsRoom/PressReleases_FactSheets/PROD01_008963.
CENSUS PARTICIPATION TOOLS OFFERED. Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network resources, including a toolkit to help nonprofits encourage Census participation, are at http://www.nonprofitscount.org/downloads.html. Census Bureau resources are at http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/.
HOME DEPOT OFFERS $1 MILLION FOR 2010 PRO TRADE SCHOLARSHIPS. The program will provide $1,000 scholarships to 500 students attending building and construction trade schools and $1,000 grants to their schools. Applications are due April 30. Visit http://www.homedepot.com/tradescholarship or call 877-743-5327.
CORRECTION TO BUDGET TABLE, HAC NEWS, 2/3/10. The second to last line in the table of HUD programs should read “Transformation Initiative” rather than “Transforming Rental Assistance.” HAC apologizes for any confusion. The corrected version is available at http://www.ruralhome.org.