November 1, 2011
Vol. 40, No. 22
SENATE REJECTS EFFORTS TO FURTHER REDUCE RURAL HOUSING AND SHOP FUNDS. On November 1 the Senate passed H.R. 2112, combining the USDA, Commerce/Justice, and Transportation/HUD FY12 appropriations bills, with the funding levels reported in HAC News, 9/28/11 (HUD) and 9/14/11 (USDA). There was no vote on an amendment from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that would have eliminated funding for HUD’s SHOP program. An amendment offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to cut USDA RD funding by 40% was defeated 85-13. The Senate did not consider a statement from the Obama Administration that requested increases in some HUD programs but asked that USDA rural housing programs be reduced to the Administration’s budget levels (see HAC News, 2/16/11), which would have reduced Section 502 direct loans by 80% and eliminated the Section 523 self-help program and rental preservation programs. The bill does cut CDBG, HOME, and other HUD programs, and eliminates HUD’s Rural Innovation Fund. It is expected to be considered soon by a House-Senate conference committee. Details and the Administration’s statement are on HAC’s site, http://www.ruralhome.org.
HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEES SET HEARING ON HOME FRAUD. Witnesses appearing on November 2 include people convicted of defrauding the HOME program, as well as HUD officials. Read testimony and watch the hearing live at http://financialservices.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=266369. HAC will post a summary afterwards at http://www.ruralhome.org.
TENANT RESOURCE NETWORK FUNDS OFFERED FOR SPECIFIED HUD PROPERTIES. Nonprofits with at least five years of tenant organizing experience can apply by December 6 to educate tenants and involve them in preservation of affordable units in specific properties listed in the NOFA. Visit http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/grants/fundsavail.cfm or http://www.grants.gov. Contact Claire Trivedi, HUD, 202-708-3000.
PROPOSED RULE AIMS TO INCREASE NATIVE AMERICAN ACCESS TO RURAL UTILITIES PROGRAMS. Substantially Underserved Trust Areas would be eligible for more flexible terms and waivers of requirements in USDA’s rural utilities programs. Comments are due 12/13/11. See Federal Register, 11/1/11 or http://www.regulations.gov. Contact Michele Brooks, Rural Utilities Service, 202-720-9542.
HUD REVISES HANDBOOK GUIDANCE ON DISPLACEMENT CAUSED BY CDBG OR HOME FUNDS. See Change 11 and Chapter 7 at http://www.hud.gov/offices/adm/hudclips/handbooks/cpdh/1378.0/index.cfm. The National Low Income Housing Coalition analyzes improvements and changes at http://www.nlihc.org/doc/Memo16-38.pdf. Contact a HUD office.