Today’s federal register contains a Notice of Funding Availability for Rural Housing Service’s FY 2011 515 Multi-Family Housing Preservation Revolving Loan Fund (PRLF) Demonstration Program. The Agency originally issued a NOFA on  November 9, 2010 (75 FR 68748), but did  not receive sufficient applications to use all available funds. Projects that receive awards through this program must be financed by RD through the  section 515, 514 or 516 programs.


The total amount of funding available for this program is $7,038,926.76.


The deadline for receipt of all applications in response to this Notice is 5 p.m., Eastern Time, September 21, 2011.


Sherry Engel, Financial and Loan Analyst, Multi-Family Housing, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Housing Service, 4949 Kirschling Court, Stevens Point, Wisconsin 54481 or Timothy James, Financial and Loan Analyst, Multi-Family Housing, STOP 0781 (Room 1263-S), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Housing Service, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-0781 or by telephone at: (715) 345-7677 or (202) 720-1610, TDD (302) 857-3585 or via e-mail at: sherry.engel@wdc.usda.gov or timothy.james@wdc.usda.gov. (Please note the phone numbers are not toll free numbers.)



In addition to the two notices pertaining to the sections 514, 515, 516 programs, today’s federal register also contains a notice of funding availability for Rural Housing Service’s (RHS) Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) program. The HPG program provides qualified public agencies and private non-profit organizations  funds to assist low-income homeowners in repairing and rehabilitating their homes in rural areas and 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).

Award information: For Fiscal Year 2011, $9,814,482.15 is available for the HPG Program. The total includes $433,282.15 in carryover funds from previous appropriations. A set-aside of $600,000.00 has been established for grants located in Empowerment Zones and Rural Economic Area Partnership Zones. Empowerment Zones, Rural Economic Area Partnership Zones and other funds will be distributed under a formula allocation to states pursuant to 7 CFR part 1940, “Methodology and Formulas for Allocation of Loan and Grant Program Funds.” Decisions on funding will be based on pre-applications.

Deadline: Pre-applications are due by  5 p.m. local time for each Rural Development State Office on August 22, 2011. If submitting the pre-application in electronic format, the deadline for receipt is 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

For further info contact: Bonnie Edwards-Jackson, Finance and Loan Analyst, Multi-Family Housing Preservation and Direct Loan Division, USDA Rural Development, Stop 0781, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-0781, telephone (202) 690-0759 (voice) (this is not a toll free number) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD-Federal Information Relay Service) or via e-mail at,Bonnie.Edwards@wdc.usda.gov.


A final rule goes into effect August, 1 that makes two changes to the Rural Housing Service (RHS) Section 502 Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP). The first is an elimination of, “the lender’s published Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) rate for first mortgage loans with no discount points as an option for a maximum interest rate on loans.” The second change will allow, “the Secretary to seek indemnification from the originating lender if a loss is paid under certain circumstances.” You might be wondering what those circumstances are…

(i) The originating Lender utilized unsupported data or omitted material information when submitting the request for a conditional commitment to RHS;Show citation box

(ii) The originating Lender failed to properly verify and analyze the applicant’s income and employment history in accordance with Agency guidelines;Show citation box

(iii) The originating Lender failed to address property deficiencies identified in the appraisal or inspection report that affect the health and safety of the occupants or the structural integrity of the property;Show citation box

(iv) The originating Lender used an appraiser that was not properly licensed or certified, as appropriate, to make residential real estate appraisals in accordance with § 1980.334(a) of this subpart; or,

2) To indemnify RHS for the loss, regardless of how long ago the loan closed, if RHS determines that there was fraud or misrepresentation in connection with the origination of the loan of which the originating Lender had actual knowledge at the time it became such Lender or which the originating Lender participated in or condoned. Misrepresentation includes negligent misrepresentation.

For further information contact:

Joaquin Tremols, Acting Director, Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Division, USDA Rural Development, Room 2241, STOP 0784, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250, Telephone: (202) 720-1465, E-mail: joaquin.tremols@wdc.usda.gov.


Rural Housing Services posted a Notice of Funding Availability for loan guarantees under the section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program for fiscal year 2011.  Below is a brief summary and further information:

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) 2011. The Department of Defense and Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (Pub. L. 112-20) (April 15, 2011) appropriated approximately $31,000,000 to the Agency for FY 2011 funding for the section 538 program. The commitment of program dollars will be made first to approved and complete applications from prior years NOFA, then to applicants of selected responses in the order they are ranked under this NOFA that have fulfilled the necessary requirements for obligation.

Deadline: December 30, 2011, 12 p.m. Eastern Time

Eligible lenders will send responses to the Multi-family Housing Program Director of the State Office where the project will be located.

USDA Rural Development State Offices, their addresses, and telephone numbers, can be found HERE.


A draft bill, entitled “FHA-Rural Regulatory Improvement Act of 2011“, was the subject of a hearing held by the Insurance and Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee. In addition to significant changes to FHA procedures (including raising the minimum downpayment from from 3.5% to 5%) the bill would place all of Rural Housing Service under the jurisdiction of HUD:

Not later than the expiration of the transition period and in accordance with this section there shall be transferred to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development all functions, personnel, assets and liabilities of Rural Housing Service of the Department of Agriculture, including all functions of the Secretary of Agriculture relating thereto

Of the nine industry experts called to testify, two experts spoke specifically to the bills Rural Housing component. Katherine M. Alitz, Senior Vice President at Boston Capital speaking on behalf of the Council on Affordable and Rural Housing, expressed that the consolidation plan merits further discussion:

Any consolidation of functions must still serve to address the continuing housing needs and the different constituencies… CARH members continue to review the issue, as there are pros and cons.  The notion of moving some parts of Rural Development (“RD”) to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) has been a topic of discussion in the past… As such, it merits further discussion among the housing industry and the affected authorizing and appropriating committees before moving forward.

Peter Carey, President and CEO, Self-Help Enterprises, speaking on behalf of the Housing Assistance Council and the National Rural Housing Coalition, delivered a firm rejection of the proposal:

The draft bill before the Subcommittee would move the housing programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service (RHS) to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Such a move would not improve administration of the rural housing programs, would not help accomplish the mission Congress established them to deliver, and would make it more difficult for USDA to deliver its other rural development programs effectively.

Mr. Carey’s statement went on to enumerate the operational challenges HUD would face if it assumed control over RHS programs.




A representative of the Council on Affordable and Rural Housing will be testifying before the Insurance and Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee at 10AM this morning (WATCH THE HEARING LIVE). The subcommittee has called CARH to deliver testimony on “Legislative Proposals to Determine the Future of FHA, RHS and GNMA in the Single Family and Multi-Family Mortgage Markets.” The hearing has been called as a result of draft legislation that calls into question the role of the aforementioned agencies in the mortgage markets, proposes transferring RHS’s programs to HUD, and proposes charging a fee for the section 538 program, a move that would make the program revenue neutral.

The transfer of RHS to HUD would be a major shake-up and we will provide further information after the hearing concludes.

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