December 22, 2020 | Volume 14, Issue 1

In this issue:

Happy Holidays-click for a video greeting from RCAC.

Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott invests $20 million in RCAC to leverage and advance RCAC’s work in Indigenous and rural communities across the rural West

West Sacramento, Calif. —Rural Community Assistance Corporation’s board and staff are honored to announce the receipt of a $20 million grant from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Ms. Scott announced the award Tuesday, December 15 on Medium.

This generous gift is unique in terms of its size, flexibility and creativity, allowing RCAC to accelerate and elevate its work with Indigenous and rural communities in the rural West. Read more

How does a Biden/Harris Administration affect Mutual Self-Help Housing?

As volumes and volumes of emails hit my inbox with predictions of the Biden/Harris Administration impacts on everything from COVID to gender equality, I thought it would be interesting to consider what impacts might be felt across the country on the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program. Read more

SHARES training coming in 2021

We are happy to announce two upcoming SHARES training webinars!
Our first training will be focused on reviewing SHARES basics, a full breakdown of grant files, borrower files and reports. In this training you will learn how to enter a new grant, enter a new borrower, and run basic reports. We will also give you lots of tips and tricks to ensure your SHARES entries show more information and you get the most out of your reports. Read more

New training guides and handbooks for self-help

RCAC and the other Mutual Self-Help Housing technical and management assistance (T&MA) contractors are excited to announce two new Rural Development approved training guides and handbooks for self-help housing grantees! Read more

Conducting quarterly review meetings and preparing quarterly reports

Quarterly reports are a snapshot in time. The quarterly meeting is an opportunity to review the previous quarter and grant performance in its totality. The review is conducted on all grant criteria to see if your organization is on track and has a plan to complete the grant goals in the time frame given. Read more

Dear Sher

I recently saw something saying that I could scan an applicant’s check (payment) for Rural Development’s Tri-Merge Credit Report and I don’t have to mail in the check anymore, how does this work? Read more

News you can use!

Temporary Authorization to Accept Appraisals obtained by Grantees for FY2021

USDA has issued a temporary authorization to accept appraisals obtained by self-help grantees, certified loan application packagers, and agency-approved intermediaries through Sept. 30, 2021. The agency will temporarily accept appraisals ordered by self-help grantees, certified loan application packagers, and agency-approved intermediaries under certain circumstances. See the full requirements HERE.

USDA launches AskUSDA to improve and streamline customer experience

USDA press release issued on Nov. 23, 2020—Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the official launch of the AskUSDA Contact Center program. The AskUSDA Contact Center will serve as the “one front door” for phone, chat, and web inquires, transforming how the public interacts with USDA and providing an enhanced experience for the public. Read the full release HERE.

PN 545: HB-1-3550 changes to Chapter 1

Revisions regarding the Review and Appeals section have been made in this chapter in order to provide additional clarity to field personnel. Revisions include updating the NAD link and Equifax Mortgage Solutions address in Exhibit 1-2. Also, minor edits to formatting were completed and removing the reference to program participant and replacing with applicant/borrower. Read the Procedure Notice HERE.

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

Suzanne Anarde, chief executive officer
Angela Sisco, executive editor
Sharon Wills, managing editor

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

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