National Self-Help Housing 50 years, 50,000 homes logoPolicy update

CEO comments

By Stan Keasling, RCAC chief executive officer

I just returned from a week in D.C., which included a snowstorm that shut down the government. I met with the National Rural Housing Coalition (NRHC), Congress members and the Rural Housing Service (RHS). I can tell you that Congress and RHS strongly support the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program. Read more>>>

Resources unveiled for 50 Years/50,000 homes celebration

By Judy Monteux, rural development specialist – financial management

In March, Tony Hernandez, Rural Housing Service administrator, kicked off the Mutual Self-Help Housing Program’s 50th birthday and 50,000th home celebration, and encouraged grantees and the T&MA contractors to help him “wave the flag” for self-help housing. Read more >>>

Dear Sher,

With the housing market recovering (in my area anyway,) I’m actually starting to build a waiting list for the Self-Help Housing Program applicants! And while this is great, I’m concerned that if I just go down the list for my next group I will only have one family who is very-low income and the other nine families will be low income. Will this be acceptable to Rural Development? I want to meet the 40 percent very-low income requirement but their further down the list.

Sincerely, Torn between first on the list and regulations – Read Sher’s solution >>>

Print reports with fewer pages & save ink!

By Nancy Jacobsen, RCAC rural development specialist

SHARES reports that print on six pages can now be printed on two! Thanks to Jason Stillwell of Little Dixie, you can now set your Excel program to automatically format your SHARES report. Read more >>

News you can use!

Modest housing determinations for single family housing direct:

USDA RD issued guidance on modest housing determinations. The posted unnumbered letter in PDF format is here >> You can also find it on the USDA website here:

SNAP guidance issued for 502 calculations

USDA – RD provides guidance for using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits for Repayment Income. For guidance on how to calculate repayment income go here >>

New links to the direct programs’ regulations and handbooks

The RD website was recently revamped and is now found at: The new links to the program regulations and handbooks are provided below.

USDA – RD notes that links provided in previous single family housing direct updates may no longer work.

Upcoming events

NeighborWorks presents national 502 certification training

NeighborWorks Training Institute is offering a 502 Direct Loan Program Packaging Certification course on May 4 – 6, 2015, in Kansas City, Missouri.

This three-day course provides a review of the Section 502 Direct Loan Program and the regulations/laws that govern the program including:

  • A detailed discussion on the program’s application process and borrower/property eligibility requirements
  • An examination of the agency’s loan underwriting process, which includes the use of payment subsidies
  • The roles and responsibilities of a loan application packager and the agency staff

This course is targeted to individuals working for housing nonprofit organizations and public agencies that are interested in packaging direct loan applications and that have experience in housing loan origination and/or housing counseling.

For more details go here>>

RCAC’s Self-Help Builder News is funded by USDA Rural Development

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

Stanley Keasling, Chief Executive Officer

Angela Sisco, Executive Editor

Sharon Wills, Managing Editor

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