Rural Housing Tag Archives

Rural Housing Service Eliminates Section 538 NOFAs

The Rural Housing Service (RHS) published a Final Rule that would eliminate the requirement for the annual publication of a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for its Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing program. The rule becomes effective on November 14, 2019. The Section 538 program will follow procedures similar to other Rural Development guaranteed loan programs and accept applications on a continuous basis.

Senate Introduces Companion Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2019

Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced the Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2019 (S. 2567). The bill would expand U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) rental assistance programs, permanently authorize the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Multifamily Housing Preservation and Revitalization program, and direct RD to better align its policies with the LIHTC program. Similar legislation (H.R. 3620) was passed by the House of Representatives on September 10. The House version of the bill also authorizes $1 billion to carry out the program and requires USDA to create a plan for preservation of rural multifamily housing backed by USDA loans and would establish an advisory committee to advise USDA in implementing this plan.

House Passes Three Housing Bills on Rural Housing Preservation, Carbon Monoxide and Homebuyer Assistance

The House has passed a set of housing-related bills, advancing these measures to the Senate. The Strategy and Investment in Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2019 (H.R. 3620) would permanently authorize the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Multifamily Housing Preservation and Revitalization program, and would authorize $1 billion to carry out the program. The Safe Housing for Families Act of 2019 (H.R. 1690) would authorize over $300 million over three years to fund the installation and maintenance of carbon monoxide detectors in HUD’s public housing units.

Finally, the Homebuyer Assistance Act of 2019 (H.R. 2852) would make it easier for homebuyers to buy a home with a Federal Housing Administration mortgage by alleviating the current shortage of certified appraisers.

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USDA Proposes Reducing Fees for the USDA 538 program

The Rural Housing Service (RHS or the Agency) is proposing to amend its regulation to remove the stated amount that the Agency will charge for the initial and annual guarantee fees. The regulation change will allow the Agency the flexibility to establish or make any future changes to the initial and annual guarantee fees without the need for a regulatory change. Comments on the proposed rule are due by November 4.

USDA Acting Assistant to the Secretary for RD Resigns

Joel Baxley, Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development (RD) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced that he will leave his position effective August 2, 2019. Prior to assuming the job as Acting Assistant to the Secretary, Joel was the Administrator for the Rural Housing Service. While the Administration works to identify someone to take the helm, Misty Giles, RD Chief of Staff, will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of RD in the interim under the direction of the Office of the Secretary.

Upcoming Housing Related HFSC Hearings

The House Financial Services Committee will hold several upcoming hearings related to housing. Witnesses for the committee hearings are required to be published three days prior to event, excluding holidays and weekends. All hearings and markups will take place in 2128 Rayburn House Office Building and will be broadcast live.

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Maryland Releases Updated Application Submission Package

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) released an updated Application Submission Package to reflect the new 2019 QAP and Guide. This application package must be used for requests for financing for all competitive and noncompetitive funding sources, including Rental Housing Program Funds, Multifamily Bond Program, Federal LIHTC, Rental Housing Works, and the Partnership Rental Housing Program.