RD Data General

Maturing USDA Rural Rental Housing Loans

In 1963, USDA made its first rental housing loans under the Section 515 Rural Rental Housing loan program. Since then, the Section 515 program financed nearly 28,000 projects containing over 526,000 affordable apartment units. Tenants in these projects include some of America’s most vulnerable residents: elderly persons, people with disabilities, and mothers with young children.

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Section 515 rental properties were financed with loans that could be amortized over terms as long as 50 years. Tenants in these projects may receive ‘Rental Assistance’, which reduces their monthly rent obligation to about 30 percent of their household income. Once the USDA loan is paid in full, owners are under no obligation to maintain the projects as affordable housing units and the tenants no longer eligible for USDA’s Rental Assistance.

USDA’s loan portfolio is an important affordable rental housing resource. Understanding property and tenant characteristics and the communities in which the properties are located is important in planning and implementing strategies for preserving the properties.

Additional Resources