Farm Bill Impacts Rural Housing Programs

Passage of the Farm Bill extended Rural Area Eligibility for USDA housing programs, in turn impacting the eligibility of growing North Dakota communities for technical and financial assistance available through NDHFA’s planning and housing development programs that utilize the same standard.

“Communities with a population of 35,000 or less will now be able to access the planning assistance, market survey grants, and rehab and development loans that the agency offers rural communities,” said Jennifer Henderson, NDHFA planning and housing division director. Previously, the agency’s assistance was limited to communities with a population of 20,000 or less.

A Statewide Technical Assistance Team led by NDHFA staff helps rural communities define housing needs, develop necessary projects and see those projects through to completion. The agency’s Housing Market Survey Grants offer a cost-sharing incentive to develop a local housing strategy. The Rural Housing Development Loan Program provides short-term financing for predevelopment soft costs, land acquisition, site development and construction financing. And, the Rural Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program offers low-cost loans for the rehabilitation of single- and multi-family properties.

President Obama signed the Farm Bill on Feb. 7.

NDHFA is a self-supporting state agency that finances the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing across North Dakota. The North Dakota Industrial Commission oversees the agency. More information on the assistance provided by the agency’s Planning and Housing Development Division is available online at www.ndhfa.org. 

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