Volume 17, Issue 1


Happy Holidays! From all of us at RCAC.


USDA – Rural Development Proposed Final Rule

Streamlining and Improvement of Single-Family Housing Direct Programs, Section 502 and Section 504 regulations

Rural Housing Service, Department of Agriculture (USDA RHS) is proposing to amend the current regulation for the following Single-Family Housing (SFH) Direct Programs: Section 502 Direct Loan Program and the Section 504 Loan and Grant Program.

Read more about the Proposed Final Rule


Dear Sher,

I recently attended the Section 502 training at the HAC Conference and heard that the source of someone’s employment does not need to be in the same field and that we just need two years of employment history. I am now trying to tell a rural development specialist that some really smart people told me this. They are asking for something in writing, could you point me to the right spot for this?

Employment History

Read the answer from Dear Sher


Dear Sher,

I recently attended the HAC Conference and left wondering what NRSHHA and NRHC are? What do they do, what they are doing for the grantees, what do Bob Rapoza and Associates do for the grantees, etc.? We have had a lot of staff turnover, including our executive director, I think we just don’t have anyone anymore within our organization who knows.

What’s NRSHHA and NRHC?

Read the answer from Dear Sher


News You Can Use!

Procedural Notice (PN) 595 Updates HB-1-3550

PN 595 (https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/pn595.pdf ) dated Oct. 19, 2023, made changes to Handbook (HB)-1-3550, Chapters 1, 3, and Appendices 3 and 12. To follow is a brief summary of the changes, please review the PN carefully for more details:

    • Chapter 1 was revised to provide clarification regarding reasonable accommodation and minor changes/updates to Attachments 1-B and 1-C.
    • Chapter 3 was revised to provide updates to:
      • Construction Loan Estimate & Closing Disclosure issuance.
      • Timely application processing guidance.
      • Modification of HB Letter 3 to 3-A, and addition of HB Letter 3-B.
      • Updated guidance that all packaging types must submit applications through eForms.
      • Guidance added for acceptance of third-party appraisals ordered by self-help grantees, certified packagers, and Agency-approved intermediaries.
      • Clarified actions to be taken by the State Office when an intermediary is not involved because a non-certified packaging body was approved by the State Director, including a standardized Memorandum of Understanding with non-certified packagers.
      • The credit report fee charged to Section 502 applicants will be increased to $30. The new credit report fee must accompany all applications which are received (or postmarked) after the date of the PN. 

Appendix 3 was revised to update Handbook Letters 1, 3 to 3-A, addition of 3-B, and 16.


The newsletter is published quarterly for the western region self-help network at no cost to subscribers. We encourage correspondence and contributions.

Chief Executive Officer: Suzanne Anarde Devenport
Executive Editor: Angela Sisco
Managing Editor: Dawn Van Dyke

Editorial office, West Sacramento, CA (916) 447-2854

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