Thursday, September 25, 2014

USDA Rural Area Changes Delayed Once Again

Big news from the national USDA RD Office in DC... 

Implementation of New Rural Area Ineligible Area Maps Delayed!
On September, 19, 2014, “Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015,” (Public Law 113-164) was signed by the President.  The continuing resolution extends a current general provision regarding housing program eligibility.   This means that if a community is eligible today, they will remain eligible under the continuing resolution.  Barring further Congressional action, RHS will delay implementation of the revised rural area maps based on the changes to the rural area definition as revised in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79).  During the continuing resolution and as provided in the FY   2014 Appropriations Act (P.L. 113-76), RHS will not reclassify any area eligible for rural housing programs on September 30, 2013 as not eligible for such programs.  The “Future Eligibility Maps” are posted on the Eligibility Website.
It appears this delay to the first phase is in effect through the end of the 2015 fiscal year unless/until further congressional action is made. A little more insight to the delayed changes are explained in an update we received from USDA last week regarding the determination of eligibility by the loan guarantee application date.
The “Farm Bill” revised the eligible rural area definition for USDA housing programs by amending population limits used to determine eligibility for program benefits.  It also retained the requirement for eligible areas to be rural in character and have a serious lack of mortgage credit.  However, on August 21, 2014, the Secretary of Agriculture suspended any changes to an eligibility determination based solely on the “rural in character” clause through September 30, 2015. 
On October 1, 2014, the USDA Rural Housing Service will update maps used to determine property eligibility.  The updated maps will include all eligibility changes.  Changes that were originally slated to take effect due to the "rural in character" clause will not be implemented at this time."
This is very good news... we will be revisiting this change again next fall unless another act of congress takes place. In the meantime it is status quo for those seeking to take advantage of the USDA Rural Loan. To apply for this or any other loan program contact me today! 

Additional Resources

USDA Guaranteed Housing Loan

OregonMortgageConneXion - USDA