The T&MA Contractors were asked to submit five month proposals to continue their work. These small contracts were then awarded without interruption, and Rural Development continues to work on the new solicitation. Essentially, this means we are still working on contract extensions and waiting on the new multi-year solicitation.
The FY 2017 budget for the Section 523 Self-Help Program saw a slight increase in appropriations. The final number is $30 million. This reflects the strong support for the program in Congress and I think bodes well for the FY 2018 budget. However, the administration has not proposed funding for the program in 2018, which means that the National Rural Housing Coalition (NRHC) will have to work extra hard to secure funding for the program in the coming year.
If you are not a member of NRHC, I would encourage all self-help organizations to join. The coalition is the only voice for Self-Help Housing in Washington, D.C., and its continued leadership on all rural housing issues is vital to the work we all do in the field. You can learn more about the coalition on its website: www.nrhcweb.org.