A recent Administrative Notice released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, Notice 4679, announces that the transition to using data from the 2010 decennial Census and American Community Survey (ACS) will be delayed until March 27, 2013, when the recently passed continuing resolution expires. After that date, USDA will use 2010 Census data to determine what places fit the definition of rural, unless Congress extends grandfathering of housing program eligibility for growing rural communities.
New bills to extend housing program eligibility were introduced in both the House of Representatives and Senate before Congress adjourned. The first measure introduced in the Senate, S. 3541, would grandfather currently eligible rural places for ten years. S. 3541 was introduced by Senator Benjamin Nelson (D-NE) and was co-sponsored by Senators Mike Johanns (R-NE), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and Jon Tester (D-MT). The second measure introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2012 (H.R. 6416), would grandfather currently eligible rural places for one year. H.R. 6416 was sponsored by Jeffrey Fortenberry (R-NE) and is co-sponsored by Representatives Francisco Canseco (R-TX), Jeff Denham (R-CA), Kristi Noem (R-SD), Jon Runyan (R-NJ), and Lou Barletta (R-PA).