September 17, 2021 | Volume 14, Issue 4

In this issue:

CEO update

Earlier this year, the impacts of increased building material costs became very apparent for our Mutual Self-Help (MSH) families and their sponsors on the ground. I wanted to share some of the data that Dick Kempke at RCAC, along with other MSH intermediaries, put together. It is another indication of how COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted rural communities and the families that inspire our work in those communities. Read more

It’s been a long 18 months – human nature and motivation in self-help

When COVID-19 started, we were all uncertain how long it would last and what its impacts would be. We are 18-months into COVID-19, and we are still uncertain, but learning. One thing we have learned is that a self-help build is already a huge commitment for owner builders and the pandemic has continually added many more challenges. Read more

Guess what grantees?! There’s a new administrative notice that impacts you!

Rural Development Administrative Notice (AN) No. 4882 (1940-M) issued on July 27, 2021, clarifies the System for Award Management (SAM) screening and addresses the new requirement for registration by participants of all programs, including loans and guarantees. Read more

PPP, where are we now?

In April 2020, with the rise of a global pandemic, many self-help agencies found themselves forced to close their doors and stop construction. The Section 523 grant funds helped pay staff in the interim but like many organizations nationwide, self-help organizations scrambled to determine how to cover costs as their build time stretched further into the future than they had anticipated. Read more

Dear Sher

When submitting house plans in a Section 523-grant reapplication, must the plans and specs have an architect or engineer’s approval signature, or can I just submit the signed and approved plans with the appraisal package? Read more

New and updated training guides and handbooks for self-help

RCAC and the other Mutual Self-Help Housing T&MA contractors are excited to announce three new Rural Development approved training guides and handbooks for Mutual Self-Help Housing grantees!

Section 523 Technical Assistance Grant Application Handbook

This handbook provides detailed information to assist grantees in completing each item required on the Rural Development checklist. Forms and samples for each section of the application are included. This handbook also includes helpful tips for accomplishing each item.

Feasibility Handbook

Deciding whether to go forward with a self-help housing program is a big decision with many considerations. Forming a self-help housing program takes time, and a lot of decisions need to be made regarding program development. Does my organization qualify? Do we have the capacity to carry out the program? Is this program right for our service area? This handbook will help walk an organization through the feasibility process.

Self-Help 502 Loan Guidebook – Updated!

The Self-Help 502 Loan Guidebook contains a new chapter on eForms that will help to train the Group Coordinator or appropriate staff person in packaging these loans.

Access the handbooks 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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