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RD Releases NOFAs for Four Production/Preservation Programs

Following Congress’ passage of an FY11 appropriations bill back in April, USDA Rural Development (RD) recently issued Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) for four programs that can be used to preserve affordable rural rental housing. The Multi-Family Housing Revitalization Demonstration (MPR) program provides funds to preserve and revitalize existing rural multifamily rental housing financed with Section 515 or 514/516. Applicants cannot use MPR funds to add new units or structures, such as community rooms, to existing properties, but the funds can be coupled with other program funds (see below) to achieve such renovations. For FY11, approximately $15 million is available for MPR nationally. Unfortunately, Congress did not authorize preservation-specific rental assistance (RA) for FY11, so no new RA is available in conjunction with the MPR, or other RD, funds. Click here for more information.

The Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing (FLH) program offers loans and grants for both the development of new farmworker rental housing and the purchase and revitalization of an existing FLH-financed property. Tenant eligibility for the housing produced is restricted to households with income earned in aquaculture/agriculture or in the processing of the related commodities either on-farm or off-farm. The funding offered through the competitive NOFA is for off-farm housing, while requests for funding for on-farm housing are on a rolling basis. For FY11, Congress appropriated approximately $27 million for Section 514 (loans) and $10 million for Section 516 (grants) nationally. Click here for more information.

The Section 515 Rural Rental Housing (RRH) program offers loans to provide rural rental housing, or necessary facilities directly related to such housing, for households with very low, low, or moderate incomes. The loans can also be used for the purchase and/or renovation of existing rural rental housing. For FY11, Congress appropriated approximately $69 million for Section 515 loans nationally. Within the overall funding availability, there is a set-aside for non-profit entities. Click here for more information.

Though primarily for single-family homeownership use, the Section 533 Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) program can provide revitalization assistance to owners of rural rental housing and cooperative housing complexes who will rent the preserved units to households with low or very low incomes. Click here for more information.

For all the NOFAs mentioned above, RD solicits pre-applications, from which it will select a group of applicants to submit final applications. Pre-applications for MPR, Section 514/516, and Section 533 funding are due by August 22. Applications for Section 515 funding are due by August 25.

— Posted on 7/13/2011