The Rural Housing and Economic Development (RHED) program provides competitively awarded funds for capacity building at the state and local level for rural housing and economic development and to support innovative housing and economic development activities in rural areas.
HFAs and Rural Housing
HFAs are involved in a number of rural housing programs, including the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Section 515 and 538 multifamily housing programs and Section 502 single-family housing program and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rural Housing and Economic Development program.
Section 515 rural rental housing loans are direct, competitive mortgage loans made to provide affordable multifamily rental housing for very low-, low-, and moderate-income families; the elderly; and persons with disabilities. Very low-income is defined as below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI); low-income is between 50 and 80 percent of AMI; and moderate income is capped at $5,500 above the low-income limit. The Section 538 program provides federal government guarantees for loans made by commercial lenders to developers of multifamily rental housing for low- and moderate- income tenants in rural areas and is intended to provide decent, affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income rural households with incomes up to 115 percent of AMI.
Section 502 loans are primarily used to help low-income individuals or households purchase homes in rural areas. They can be direct or guaranteed. Funds can be used to build, repair, renovate or relocate a home, or to purchase and prepare sites, including providing water and sewage facilities. Applicants for loans may have an income of up to 115 percent of AMI. Families must be without adequate housing, but be able to afford the mortgage payments, including taxes and insurance. In addition, applicants must have reasonable credit histories.
Useful Links: USDA Rural Development, USDA Housing and Community Facilities Programs

NCSHA Blog Posts

  • June 30, 2017
    House of Representatives.gif

    On June 28, the House Appropriations Agriculture and Rural Development Subcommittee approved by voice vote its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 funding bill, which provides funding for the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) rural housing programs.

  • June 13, 2017

    U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Monday announced Anne Hazlett will lead the Rural Development agencies at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Hazlett’s title will be assistant to the secretary for Rural Development, a new position created in keeping with Secretary Perdue’s announcement to reorganize USDA and elevate Rural Development.


    • May 22, 2012

      The Industrial Commission of North Dakota has authorized the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) to increase the maximum guarantee under the Rural Construction Loan Guarantee Program that assists development in rural communities with a population of less than 5,000.

    • February 16, 2011

      The group has been working diligently for two years to address housing needs for the elderly. The members haven't earned a dime, but none of them is in it for the money. "Because of our local affiliation with management and ownership, people have trust in us to do what we say we're going to do," said Bryan Slaba, CEO of Wagner Community Memorial Hospital-Avera and the board's leader. "The reason we got involved in this was for one thing and one thing only, and that was to investigate and create housing for our elderly in our community."


      Rural Housing - Resources

      • March 20, 2017

        Key Congressional Committee Rosters for NCSHA in the 115th Congress.

      • December 12, 2016

        The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization created by the nation’s state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) to advance through advocacy and education their efforts to provide affordable housing to those who need it. NCSHA’s priorities, adopted annually by its Board of Directors after consultation with all state HFAs, set the agenda for NCSHA’s advocacy before Congress, the Administration, and the federal agencies concerned with housing, including HUD, USDA, and the Treasury, as well as its business activities.