Rural Development Guaranteed Loans
This interim rule establishes a unified guaranteed loan platform for the enhanced delivery of four existing Rural Development guaranteed loan programsCommunity Facility; Water and Waste Disposal; Business and Industry; and Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Projects. This interim rule eliminates the existing loan guarantee regulations for these four programs and consolidates them under a new, single part. In addition to consolidating these four programs, this interim rule incorporates provisions that will enable the Agency to better manage the risk associated with making and servicing guaranteed loans and that will reduce the cost of operating the guaranteed loan programs.
USDA Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program 2009 Industry Forums-Open Teleconference and/or Web Conference Meetings
This notice announces a series of teleconference and/or Web conference meetings regarding the USDA Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program, which will take place during the months of January, April, July and October in 2009. This notice also outlines suggested discussion topics for the meetings and is intended to notify the general public of their opportunity to participate in the teleconference and/or Web conference meetings.
Direct Multi-Family Housing Loans and Grants
The Agency is revising its existing regulation governing Rural Rental Housing loans and grants. This action is necessary to provide editorial corrections to 7 CFR Part 3560, subpart N, ``Housing Preservation.'' The intended effect is to ensure the Agency's field offices have correct guidance on processing prepayment requests.
Income Limit Modification
The Rural Housing Service (RHS) is amending its exiting income limit structure for the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP). The effect of this action is to provide more efficient service to lenders, investors and Agency staff by modifying the existing Rural Development eight (8) tiered income structure into a simplified two (2) tiered structure. This modification will simplify program requirements and the qualification process.
Rural Development Grants
Rural Development, a mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proposing a unified grant platform for enhanced delivery of eight existing Rural Development grant programsCommunity Facility; Distance Learning and Telemedicine; Economic Impact Initiatives; Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Projects; Rural Cooperative Development; Tribal College; Value-Added Producer; and Water and Waste Disposal Facilities. This proposed rule would eliminate or revise the grant regulations for the eight existing programs and consolidate them under a new, single regulation.
Direct Single Family Housing Loans and Grants
Through this action, Rural Housing Service (RHS) is addressing the following: The Agency is revising the minimum insurance deductible amount and removing specific dollar limits with regards to insurance deductible clauses. The Agency also is clarifying the amount of dwelling coverage required to address current standards in the mortgage insurance industry and the coverage that the Agency may obtain when force-placed insurance is required. The intended effect is to make it easier for new homeowners to secure affordable insurance coverage and give the Agency sufficient flexibility to quickly react to changes in insurance costs and requirements. This action also is revising the applicant net asset limitation to increase it from $7,500 to $15,000 for non-elderly families and from $10,000 to $20,000 for elderly families. The intended effect is to require applicants to contribute a downpayment when their net assets exceed the stated limits. These limits have not been updated in over 10 years. Finally, this action updates the rural area definition to reference the effective date of census data collected through 2010. This rule combines three actions under one notice. In the event that we receive adverse comments on any one section of this rule, we will proceed with the final implementation of the other portions not affected. No adverse comments are anticipated.
Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA): Section 515 Multi-Family Housing Preservation Revolving Loan Fund (PRLF) Demonstration Program for Fiscal Year 2008
The Rural Housing Service of Rural Development announces the availability of funds and the timeframe to submit applications for loans to private non-profit organizations, or such non-profit organizations' affiliate loan funds and State and local housing finance agencies, to carry out a demonstration program to provide revolving loans for the preservation and revitalization of low-income Multi- Family Housing (MFH). Housing that is assisted by this demonstration program must be financed by Rural Development through its MFH loan program under Sections 515, 514 and 516 of the Housing Act of 1949. The goals of this demonstration program will be achieved through loans made to intermediaries. The intermediaries will establish their programs for the purpose of providing loans to ultimate recipients for the preservation and revitalization of low income Sections 515, 514 and 516 MFH as affordable housing.
Notice for Request to Reinstate Previously Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Rural Housing Service's (RHS) intent to reinstate a previously approved information collection in support of the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program.
Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program (GRRHP) Demonstration Program for Fiscal Year 2008
The Rural Housing Service (RHS) is amending a notice published April 21, 2008 (73 FR 21305-21307). This action is taken to extend the application obligation date of eligible applications. This amendment is to ensure that all applications that meet program criteria and have responded accordingly will be considered in the Demonstration Program. Accordingly, the Notice published on April 21, 2008 (73 FR 21305- 21307), is amended as follows: On page 21306, in the second column, second paragraph, under the heading ``Demonstration Program Selection Process,'' the second paragraph is amended to read as follows: ``The first round of selections into the Demonstration Program will be made on April 25, 2008. In the event there are not enough qualified requests for selection into the Demonstration Program to utilize all the available Demonstration Program set-aside funds of approximately $13 million, then the selection process for any remaining funds will be conducted again on July 11, 2008. If needed, an additional selection process will be conducted again on September 29, 2008. All applicants will be notified of the selection results no later than 30 business days from the date of selection.''
Housing Preservation Grants
The Rural Housing Service (RHS), hereafter referred to as U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development is amending its regulations for the Housing Preservation Grants Program to include faith-based and community organizations. Faith-based and community organizations receiving Housing Preservation Grants (HPG) Program funding for the purpose of repairing and rehabilitating housing will operate within the guidance of the 7 CFR 1944, subpart N, as well as, comply with the terms specified in the HPG grant agreement. The intended effect is to improve the delivery and operation of the HPG Program.
Notice of Expiring Expanded Rural Area Definition
On March 13, 2006 (71 FR 12671-74), a notice was published regarding the availability of hurricane disaster assistance that expanded the rural area definition for USDA Rural Development's housing programs. USDA Rural Development's housing programs are governed by the Housing Act of 1949, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1471, et seq.)(Act). Section 541 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 1490q), which only applies to USDA Rural Development's housing programs, provided the authority to waive rural area requirements in Sec. 520 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 1490) subsequent to a natural disaster. This waiver authority applied with respect to assistance under Sec. 541. The Secretary could allocate appropriated disaster funds under Sec. 541(a) for each fiscal year during the 3-year period beginning on the declaration of the disaster by the President. Notice is hereby given that the expanded rural area definition (which increased the population limits to 75,000) under the March 13, 2006 notice will expire at the end of the current fiscal year, September 30, 2008, for areas covered under the Hurricane Katrina or Rita declarations. Financial assistance in these expanded communities must be obligated by the above-mentioned dates. Financial disaster assistance will continue in areas meeting the rural area definition of Sec. 520 of the Act until such appropriations are expended.
Notice of Availability of Funds, Multi-Family Housing, Single Family Housing
The Rural Housing Service published a document in the Federal Register on March 28, 2008, announcing the availability of housing funds for fiscal year 2008. The document contained incorrect percentage allocations under the heading for Single Family Housing (SFH).
Notice of Funds Availability Section 538 Multi-Family Housing Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program (GRRHP)-Demonstration Program for Fiscal Year 2008
Through this Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA), in conjunction with the GRRHP 2007 Notice, published February 26, 2007, Volume 72 FR, 8339-8346 and the GRRHP 2008 Notice, published February 4, 2008, Volume 73 FR, 6469-6477, the Agency announces the implementation of a demonstration program under the section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program (GRRHP) pursuant to 7 CFR 3565.4 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 and 7 CFR 3565.17 demonstration programs. The Demonstration Program's purpose is to test the viability and efficacy of the concept of a continuous loan note guarantee through the construction and permanent loan financing phases of a project. Those applications that meet the Demonstration Program's qualifying criteria and are selected to participate will be offered one loan note guarantee upon closing of the construction loan that will be in effect throughout both of the project's construction and permanent phases without interruption. The funding for the Demonstration Program will be approximately 10 percent of the FY 2008 appropriation. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's risk. The following paragraphs outline the timeframes, eligibility requirements, lender responsibilities, and the overall response and application processes. Eligible Lenders wishing to have their FY 2008 obligations considered for the Demonstration Program must send a signed request on its letterhead with the proposed project details as outlined in the ``Demonstration Program Response Submission Address'' section of this Notice.
Income Limit Modification
The Rural Housing Service is proposing to revise the existing income limit structure for Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) eligibility. Instead of eligible adjusted income based on households ranging from 1-8 persons according to 7 CFR 1980.345 (a), a two tier income structure consisting of a 1-4 member household and a 5-8 member household is proposed. The new adjusted income limit for the 1-4 member household, for example, would be current adjusted income limit for the 4 member household. The present add-on income limits for larger households will remain unchanged. The present multiple income limits (1-8 persons) are cumbersome, and the proposed consolidation is expected to simplify program delivery as well as allow the agency to serve additional qualified homebuyers. The SFHGLP is in partnership with many State Housing Agencies throughout the United States. The majority of these agencies already maintain a two tier income structure, and this proposed change would allow a seamless integration of the respective programs. This proposal would not apply to other housing programs.
Notice of Availability of Funds; Multi-Family Housing, Single Family Housing
The Rural Housing Service, hereinafter referred to as Housing and Community Facilities Programs (HCFP), announces the availability of housing funds for fiscal year (FY) 2008. This action is taken to comply with 42 U.S.C. 1490p, which requires that HCFP publish in the Federal Register notice of the availability of any housing assistance.
USDA Rural Development Voucher Program
This notice informs the public that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established a demonstration USDA Rural Development Voucher Program, as authorized under section 542 of the Housing Act of 1949 as amended, (without regard to section 542(b)), which is being administered by the USDA. This notice informs the public that USDA shall make $4,965,000.00 available for this purpose, as appropriated under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008. The notice also sets forth the general policies and procedures for use of these vouchers.
Community Facilities Grant Program
This rule sets forth the regulation changes for the Community Facilities Grant program, which is available to rural communities impacted by a Presidentially declared disaster. The rule establishes the requirements to qualify for additional funding. This rule is being issued on an emergency basis due to the severe economic and social conditions caused by disasters, which occur every year in rural America. In order to prepare for these disasters, this rule is being published before the Spring/Summer disasters strike. This will allow USDA to target limited funds to the most devastated communities/counties in rural areas. The revisions will allow USDA to increase potential funding for several essential community facilities in rural communities already designated as a Presidential disaster area.
Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing for Fiscal Year 2008
This NOFA announces the timeframe to submit pre-applications for section 514 Farm Labor Housing (FLH) loans and section 516 FLH grants for the construction of new off-farm FLH units and related facilities for domestic farm laborers. The intended purpose of these loans and grants is to increase the number of available housing units for domestic farm laborers. Applications may also include requests for section 521 rental assistance (RA) and operating assistance for migrant units. This document describes the method used to distribute funds, the application process, and submission requirements.
Notice of Funding Availability: Section 514, 515, and 516 Multi-Family Housing Revitalization Demonstration Program (MPR) for Fiscal Year 2008
USDA Rural Development which administers the programs of the Rural Housing Service (RHS) announces the availability of funds and the timeframe to submit applications to participate in a demonstration program to preserve and revitalize existing rural rental housing projects financed by Rural Development under Section 515, Section 514, and Section 516 of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended. The intended effect is to restructure selected existing Section 515 multi-family housing loans and Section 514 and 516 off-farm labor housing loans and grants expressly for the purpose of ensuring that sufficient resources are available to preserve the rental project for the purpose of providing safe and affordable housing for very low-, low-, or moderate-income residents. Expectations are that properties participating in this program will be revitalized and the affordable use extended without displacing tenants because of increased rents. No additional Rural Development rental assistance units will be made available under this program.
Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Section 515 Rural Rental Housing Program for New Construction in Fiscal Year 2008
This NOFA announces the timeframe to submit applications for Section 515 Rural Rental Housing (RRH) loan funds, including applications for the nonprofit set-aside for eligible nonprofit entities, the set-aside for the most Underserved Counties and Colonias (Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act), and the set-aside for Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities (EZ/ECs) and Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) zones, and a designated reserve for states with rental assistance programs. This document describes the methodology that will be used to distribute funds, the application process, submission requirements, and areas of special emphasis or consideration.
Notice of Funds Availability for the Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants for Fiscal Year 2008
The Rural Housing Service published a document in the Federal Register on February 20, 2008, announcing that it is soliciting competitive applications under its Housing Preservation Grant program. The listing for the Rural Development Oregon State Office address was incorrectly identified in the notice.
Annual Guarantee Fee Due Date
The Rural Housing Service, an Agency under USDA Rural Development, is amending its regulations to change the due date of the annual guarantee fee for the Section 538 Guarantee Rural Rental Housing loans. The annual fee is a non-refundable amount that the lender must pay each year that the loan guarantee remains in effect. Currently, the Finance Office in St. Louis calculates annual fees manually since the borrower submissions of December 31 year-end financial information are not loaded into their automated systems by January 1, when annual fees are due. The Finance Office has requested that the annual fee due date be changed from January 1 to February 28 to allow their automated systems to be uploaded with December 31 year-end information thus enabling them to automate the annual fee calculation process.
Notice of Funds Availability for the Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants for Fiscal Year 2008
The Rural Housing Service (RHS), an agency within Rural Development, announces that it is soliciting competitive applications under its Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) program. The HPG program is a grant program which provides qualified public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, which may include, but not be limited to, faith-based and community organizations, and other eligible entities grant funds to assist very low- and low-income homeowners in repairing and rehabilitating their homes in rural areas. In addition, the HPG program assists rental property owners and cooperative housing complexes in repairing and rehabilitating their units if they agree to make such units available to low- and very low-income persons. This action is taken to comply with Agency regulations found in 7 CFR part 1944, subpart N, which require the Agency to announce the opening and closing dates for receipt of preapplications for HPG funds from eligible applicants. The intended effect of this Notice is to provide eligible organizations notice of these dates.
Form RD 1951-33, “Reamortization Request”
The Rural Housing Service (RHS) hereby amends the regulation utilized to service the Community Facilities loan and grant programs and the Business Programs direct loan program by revising the form number for reamortization requests. The form was mistakenly made obsolete during the implementation of regulations changes for the Multi-Family Housing program. This final rule will correct the form reference.
Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) Inviting Applications for the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) for Fiscal Year 2008
This Notice announces the availability of $6,255,900 of competitive grant funds for the RCDI program through the Rural Housing Service (RHS), an agency within the USDA Rural Development mission area herein referred to as the Agency. Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. These grants will be made to qualified intermediary organizations that will provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development. This Notice lists the information needed to submit an application for these funds.
Request for Proposals: The National Emergency or Disaster Grants To Assist Low-Income Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers
The Rural Housing Service (RHS) announces the availability of funds and the timeframe to submit applications for grants to provide emergency services to areas where the Secretary of Agriculture determines that a local, state, or national emergency or disaster has caused low-income migrant or seasonal farmworkers to lose income, be unable to work, or to stay at home or return home in anticipation of work shortages. For purposes of this NOFA, emergency services include any service that can be provided under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Pub. L. 93-288), as amended (Stafford Act), that also meets the requirements of 42 U.S.C. 5177a. For instance the Stafford Act and 41 U.S.C. 5177a would permit the following services: Activities to support state and local emergency assistance; Coordination of disaster relief provided by federal and non-federal organizations; Technical and advisory assistance to state and local governments; Emergency assistance through federal agencies; Debris removal through grants to state and local governments; Grants to individuals and households for temporary housing and uninsured personal needs; and Distribution of medicine, food and consumables. Additionally, for this NOFA, the types of services could include, but are not limited to, assistance in meeting rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, child care, transportation, school supplies, food, repair or rehabilitation of farmworker housing, facilities related to farmworker housing such as an infirmary for emergency care of a child care facility, and the rehabilitation of existing farmworker housing units. Please go to http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rd/disasters to determine if your area has been identified by the Secretary of Agriculture as a national emergency or disaster area or contact your local Rural Development office.
Notice for Request for Proposals for Guaranteed Loans Under the Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program (GRRHP) for Fiscal Year 2008
This is a request for proposals for guaranteed loans under the section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program (GRRHP) pursuant to 7 CFR 3565.4 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 subject to the availability of funding. FY 2008 funding for the section 538 program is $129,090,000. Applicants will submit proposals in the form of ``RESPONSES.'' The commitment of program dollars will be made to applicants of selected responses that have fulfilled the necessary requirements for obligation. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's risk. The following paragraphs outline the timeframes, eligibility requirements, lender responsibilities, and the overall response and application processes. The GRRHP operates under 7 CFR part 3565. The GRRHP Origination and Servicing Handbook (HB-1-3565) is available to provide lenders and the general public with guidance on program administration. HB-1-3565, which contains a copy of 7 CFR part 3565 in Appendix 1, can be found at the Agency's Instructions Web site address http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ regs/hblist.html#hbw6. Eligible lenders are invited to submit responses for the new construction of affordable rural rental housing, the acquisition with rehabilitation of affordable rural rental housing, the revitalization, repair, and transfer (as stipulated in 7 CFR 3560.406) of existing direct section 515 housing (transfer costs are subject to Agency approval and must be an eligible use of loan proceeds as listed in 7 CFR 3565.205), and properties involved in the Agency's multi-family preservation and revitalization program (MPR). Equity payments, as stipulated in 7 CFR 3560.406, in connection with the transfer of existing direct section 515 housing, are an eligible use of loan proceeds. In order to be considered, direct section 515 housing and MPR projects must need repairs and undergo revitalization of a minimum of $6,500 per unit. The Agency will review responses submitted by eligible lenders, on the lender's letterhead, and signed by both the prospective borrower and lender. Although a complete application is not required in response to this Notice of request for proposals, eligible lenders may submit a complete application concurrently with the response. However, submitting a complete application will not have an effect on the respondent's score.
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces Rural Development's intention to request a revision for a currently approved information collection in support of loan programs administered by the Rural Housing Service, Business- Cooperative Service, and Rural Utilities Service.
Request for Proposals (RFP): Farm Labor Housing Technical Assistance Grants
This RFP announces an availability of funds and the timeframe to submit proposals for Farm Labor Housing Technical Assistance (FLH- TA) grants. USDA Rural Development administers the programs of the Rural Housing Service. Section 516(i) of the Housing Act of 1949 as amended, authorizes the Rural Development to provide financial assistance (grants) to eligible private and public nonprofit agencies, which includes faith-based organizations, and to encourage the development of domestic and migrant farm labor housing projects. This RFP solicits proposals from qualified private and public nonprofit agencies on how they will provide technical assistance to groups who qualify for FLH loans and grants. Work performed under these grants is expected to result in an increased submission of applications for farm labor housing loans and grants under the section 514 and 516 programs.
Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the above-named Agencies to request an extension for the currently approved information collection in support of the servicing of Community and Direct Business Programs Loans and Grants.