Portland, OR, Jul 23, 2012 -- USDA Rural Development is accepting application materials for two programs providing funding support for affordable multi-family housing in rural areas: the Farm Labor Housing Loan and Grant Program and the Section 515 Multi-Family Housing Preservation Revolving Loan Fund Demonstration Program.
"The Obama Administration believes that strong rural communities are a key to a stronger America," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The Department's support for rural rental housing not only helps creates jobs and related employment when new units are constructed, it also does so through the rehabilitation of existing ones."
Through the Section 514 Farm Labor Housing loans and Section 516 FLH grant options, USDA Rural Development plans to award loans and grants to increase the supply of available rental housing for domestic farm laborers. The housing is intended for any domestic farm laborer who receives a substantial portion of his/her income from the primary production of processed or unprocessed agricultural or aquacultural commodities. It must be operated on a non-profit basis. Groups eligible for the loans and grants include housing authorities, state and local governments, Indian tribes, non-profit organizations, and community- and faith-based groups.
Entities that construct new, off-farm housing for farm workers may be eligible for operating or rental assistance in addition to construction/rehabilitation loans and grants. Under the rental assistance program, USDA Rural Development pays the owner of a housing complex the difference between the tenant's contribution (30 percent of his or her adjusted income) and the monthly rental rate.
Priority for farm labor housing funding will be given to applicants seeking funds for housing projects that are energy efficient and generate energy – such as through geo-exchange systems, wind turbines and photovoltaic systems. In addition, points and consideration will be given for property management green certifications from a variety of credentialing entities.
The application process will be in two phases: the initial pre-application (or proposal) and the submission of a final application. Only those pre-applications or proposals that are selected for further processing will be invited to submit final applications.
The deadline for submitting pre-applications for farm worker housing is September 17, 2012. Those interested in submitting a pre-application for a facility in Oregon may contact USDA Rural Development Housing Programs Director Rod Hansen at (503) 414-3353 or find additional information see page 42258 of the July 18, Federal Register, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-07-18/pdf/2012-17462.pdf.
Through the Section 515 Multi-Family Housing Preservation Revolving Loan Fund Demonstration Program, Rural Development can make loans to private non-profit organizations, 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 in rural areas. Eligible housing for this demonstration program must be financed by Rural Development through Section 515, 514 or 516.
The deadline for submitting applications for the Section 515 Program is August 17, 2012. Those interested in submitting a proposal in Oregon may contact USDA Rural Development Housing Programs Director Rod Hansen at (503) 414-3353. Additional information can be found beginning on page 42265 of the July 18, Federal Register, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-07-18/pdf/2012-17527.pdf.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy and strengthening small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of existing Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).
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