By Stan Keasling, RCAC chief executive officer

I want you all to know that I will be retiring from RCAC at the end of the year. I am extremely proud of all we have accomplished at RCAC in the past 11 years, but it is time for someone new to move the organization forward. I have been talking with the RCAC Board of Directors about my plans for more than a year, and they have done a great job of planning for the transition. The board has hired a search firm, and their goal is to select the next CEO by the middle of August. After that, I will stay on as long as needed to help onboard the new CEO.  I appreciate your support for the work we have been doing, and hope you will continue to support RCAC. Feel free to reach out if you have questions; we will continue to keep you apprised of progress on the CEO selection.

For many self-help grantees the federal shutdown had a significant impact. The smaller grantees especially felt the impact of not receiving their monthly grant draw for operations, and not being able to access funds to pay for the construction materials and subcontractors for houses in construction affected all of the groups. Some families completed their self-help homes, but could not move in due to the lack of a Rural Development inspection.

We were really pleased to see the RCAC loan fund and self-help staff collaborate to make operating lines of credit available to the self-help network on an emergency basis. Using an abbreviated application process, the loan fund and self-help staff worked with grantees to put applications together. Within a few days we made seven loans and one was even approved in just four hours. We were especially glad that the shutdown did not go on longer, which minimized the actual need for the funds. The operating lines will stay in place for a year, so if there is a need, approved applicants can draw against the line later.