By Suzanne Anarde, RCAC chief executive officer

I am excited to be at RCAC and a part of the self-help network. Mutual Self-Help Housing has always been one of my favorite programs. I love everything about it and the impact it has on families, neighborhoods and communities.

Stan and I recently returned from the National Rural Housing Coalition’s winter meeting. The situation for this fiscal year’s funding is unclear. The current continuing resolution goes through December 20, but it does not look like an appropriations bill will move before that date. It is likely that there will be another continuing resolution until February. Speaker Pelosi has said that she will not move any appropriations bills without moving all of them, creating a roadblock. Although the Ag Appropriations bill is complete the conference committee has not released numbers, and Pelosi’s action means it will not move anyway. We are still hopeful that, in the end, Congress will increase the self-help line from $30 to $32 million. Also, even though it costs more now than last year to make 502 Direct Loans, Congress is holding steady at $1 billion. The House put language in their appropriations bill requiring Rural Development to hire additional staff, and we would like to know if you have seen new staff at the local offices.

The February National Self-Help Housing Conference in Albuquerque is shaping up to be an excellent learning opportunity and I am looking forward to meeting many of you there.

Happy holidays to you and yours!