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Volume 7 - Number 10

May 9, 2014

Definition Expands Affordable Rural Housing Market

A revised-areas map that meets the new definition of “rural area” for U.S. Department of Agriculture housing programs is now available to USDA lenders and borrowers seeking affordable rural-home financing. The map was posted on the USDA Income and Property Eligibility Site on May 6 and users may access it by selecting “single family housing” under the Property Eligibility menu. More details about the changes will be available soon in frequently asked questions guidance, the agency said. The new definition of rural area is contained in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill), which was enacted on Feb. 7 and made changes to federal rural development programs. Among other things, the bill redefined rural areas as those with populations up to 35,000 that are “rural in character” for eligibility in the USDA housing programs. The previous population requirement was less than 20,000 people. The area must be ...

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