USDA Rural Development Obligations Cover

USDA Rural Development Obligations FY 22- September

HAC presents the FY 22 September USDA Rural Housing Service (RHS) monthly obligations report.*

Download the Spreadsheet.

* The Rural Housing Service (RHS) monthly obligation reports are produced by the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) 1025 Vermont Ave., NW, Suite 606, Washington, DC 20005. The monthly figures derive from HAC tabulations of USDA –RHS 205c, d, and f report data. For questions or comments about the obligation reports, please contact Lance George at 202-842-8600 or lance@ruralhome.org.

HAC Advises Housing Protections and Education for H-2A Farmworkers

HAC responded on October 24, 2022, to a request for information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), which is developing a Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Program.  FSA says this “grant program will use up to $65 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to provide support for agricultural employers in implementing robust labor standards to promote a safe, healthy work environment for both U.S. workers and workers hired from Northern Central American countries under the seasonal H-2A visa program.”

HAC’s comments noted that currently, the H-2A program requires employers to provide free housing to visa holders that complies with a set of guidelines. While the law requires these living quarters to be inspected before occupancy, Department of Labor (DOL) data shows that neither federal nor state governments have allocated sufficient resources to conduct these inspections. In 38 states, there is no regulation of farmworker housing or dedicated agency to perform the required inspections. States that do have housing inspection systems in place are often under resourced.

Key takeaways:

  • Affordable, Decent Housing

    The pilot program should incentivize accessible, affordable, and decent housing for farmworkers

  • Wellness Checks

    This pilot program should fund farmworker organizations and partner organizations who are on the ground and familiar with farmworker communities to perform regular wellness checks

  • Survey of Conditions

    The pilot program should fund a detailed, comprehensive survey on farmworker housing conditions

  • Appropriate Communication

    Services and information should be provided in appropriate languages and using appropriate communication techniques

  • Training in Rights

    Trainings and informational resources should be made available that cover workers’ rights (including housing) and how to report exploitative practices

Policy News town

HAC Concerned about Buy America Requirements

HAC Comments to USDA, July 2022

On July 29, the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which proposed to establish waivers from Buy America requirements for purchases of de minimis, small grants, and minor components of infrastructure projects.

Key Takeaways

  • Housing and community facilities should not be considered public infrastructure under the Build America, Buy America Act.
  • If housing and community facilities are considered public infrastructure, it would be in the public interest to waive the Buy America preference for USDA’s programs to finance these construction projects so that scarce funds and staff resources can be devoted to addressing the current housing crisis.
  • Waivers for purchases of de minimis, small grants, and minor components of infrastructure projects would also be in the public interest.

HAC Comments to HUD, July 2022

HAC expressed concern about the impact of “Buy America” requirements on affordable housing in comments it submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on July 15, 2022.

Key Takeaways

  • Buy America preferences should not apply to assisted housing. HUD’s priority should be to address the affordable housing crisis. Furthermore, the law defines infrastructure as projects that benefit the general public, while assisted housing is available to only a subset of the general population.
  • HUD should not apply Buy America preferences to owner-occupied housing because the Office of Management and Budget has specifically stated that private homes are not considered to be infrastructure.
  • HUD should not apply Buy America preferences when HUD assistance is used for infrastructure that is built solely to support affordable housing, as is the case with the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP).
  • HUD should not apply Buy America preferences to housing that receives less than $250,000 in federal funding, to developments with fewer than eight units, or to situations when HUD funding covers only a small portion of the per unit development cost.
  • HUD should issue expedited waivers for materials that experience price spikes.
  • HUD should provide guidance to help reduce administrative burdens on entities that receive HUD funding.

Build America, Buy America

HUD, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other federal agencies are subject to a “Build America, Buy America” (BABA) requirement in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, which mandates that iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in infrastructure projects be American made. The provision applies to most federally funded infrastructure projects; it is not limited to projects funded through the 2021 Act.

Any preferences for American-made products that were in effect before the Infrastructure Act passed remain in place.

Federal agencies were required to publish initial lists showing which of their programs could be subject to the Buy America preference. The Office of Management and Budget issued guidance for federal agencies regarding compliance and set up a website to track agency requests for waivers.

HUD Implementation

On June 1, HUD requested public comment to help implement BABA for its programs. It asked questions such as what HUD-financed projects might fall under exemptions from the preference, how materials are currently sourced, and more. It also asked what HUD programs might be considered to fund infrastructure in addition to those on its initial list, which includes HOME, the Community Development Block Grant program, and SHOP.

The deadline for comments was later extended to July 15.

HUD has moved to waive the buy America requirement while the department works on implementing it. HUD announced it was providing two waivers, both effective on May 14 (the statutory deadline for implementation) unless it issued a later announcement changing the date. HUD’s general waiver is effective for six months. Its waiver for Tribal recipients of HUD funds lasts for one year.

USDA Implementation

USDA did not include any of its Rural Development agency’s housing or community facilities programs on its initial list of infrastructure programs, which focuses instead on utilities and broadband programs. In a recent request to OMB, however, RD did include housing and CF along with others on a list of programs it intends to evaluate under the new law.

USDA Rural Development, like HUD, hopes to delay the requirements’ effectiveness temporarily. It asked OMB to approve a waiver that would last six months after the date of approval.

Treasury Implementation

The Treasury Department’s list of programs that may be subject to BABA’s requirements does not include any Community Development Financial Institution Fund programs. It does include the Homeowner Assistance Fund, a program intended to help homeowners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds programs, which help state, local, and Tribal governments and can be used for housing.

 

Policy News from Congress

Senate Proposes Rural Housing Funding Increases

The Senate Appropriations Committee proposes rural housing funding levels for the upcoming fiscal year much like those in the administration’s budget request and the bill passed by the House. On July 28, the committee released its version of all 12 appropriations bills for fiscal 2023, which begins on October 1, 2022.

The fate of these bills is unclear. The Senate has not scheduled action on any of them. The House has passed a “minibus” bill that combines appropriations measures for several agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but the fiscal year is expected to begin with a continuing resolution holding government spending at FY22 levels. Final appropriations are not likely to be completed until after the midterm elections in early November.

— HAC’s analysis of FY23 appropriations for HUD is available here.  —

Homeownership

The Senate committee’s USDA bill would keep most of the rural single-family housing programs at or near their current funding levels. It endorses the request in USDA’s budget to provide almost $21 million to expand the Native American relending pilot program, which enlists a Native Community Development Financial Institution to work with tribes and Native homebuyers.

Rental Housing

The Senate bill would provide $100 million for Section 515, twice as much as in FY22 but lower than the $200 million requested by the administration – which proposed to finance new Section 515 construction for the first time since fiscal year 2011 – and the $150 million in the House bill. Like the House, this bill also rejects USDA’s request for enough Section 521 Rental Assistance (RA) funding to renew the RA contracts created under the American Rescue Plan Act.

To support efforts to preserve existing USDA-financed rental housing, the bill would adopt legislative language proposed in USDA’s budget, allowing RA to be “decoupled” from the Section 515 and Section 514 mortgage programs. As a last resort, if there is no other way to preserve a property as affordable housing, RA could continue to be used even after the mortgage is paid off. The Senate bill would impose a limit on this tactic so that it could be used for no more than 15,000 units in FY23. That ceiling seems unlikely to pose a problem: HAC has reported that 21,693 units left the Section 515 portfolio over a five-year period from early 2016 to 2021, an average of fewer than 4,350 units per year.

In another preservation effort, the bill would more than double technical assistance funding to help nonprofits and public housing authorities purchase and preserve USDA-financed rental properties. The program, which received $2 million in FY22 and was not included in the administration’s budget, would get $5 million.

The explanatory statement released to accompany the bill – equivalent to a committee report for a bill passed by a congressional committee – criticizes USDA for not having developed a rental preservation plan.

Multifamily Technical Assistance Report.—The Committee reminds the Department that the fiscal year 2017 Appropriations Act required the Department to conduct research and identify policy, program reforms, and incentives for preserving rural rental housing and a report summarizing those findings to be submitted to the Committee 2 years later. The report is now 3 years overdue and the Committee directs the Department to submit the completed report within 30 days of enactment of this Act.

Capacity Building

The Senate bill would increase funding for the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) from $6 million in FY22 to $7 million in FY23. The House-passed bill would provide $8 million for RCDI next year, and the administration’s budget requested $12 million.

The Senate bill includes $10 million for the Rural Partners Network. It would also provide $15 million for the Institute for Rural Partnerships, first funded in the FY22 USDA appropriations bill.

Community Facilities

The explanatory statement accompanying the Senate committee’s bill tells USDA to find ways to expand community eligibility for community facilities grants.

Community Facilities Eligibility.—The Committee is concerned by the ineligibility of projects under the Community Facilities Grant program located in significantly rural and low-income areas that are defined as distressed but do not qualify for grant funding under this program. The Department is required to evaluate the program’s income and service area-based eligibility standards and identify ways to approve community access to these grants, including whether basing eligibility on national rather than state median household income could benefit areas located in predominantly poor, rural States.

 

USDA Rural Dev. Prog. (dollars in millions) FY21 Final Approp. Amer. Rescue Plan Act FY22 Final Approp. FY23 Budget FY23 House Bill FY23 Senate Bill
502 Single Fam. Direct $1,000 $656.60 $1,250 $1,500 $1,500 $1,500
Nat. Amer. Single Fam. Demo 20.8 12 20.8
502 Single Family Guar. 24,000 30,000 30,000 30,000 30,000
504 VLI Repair Loans 28 18.3 28 50 28 30
504 VLI Repair Grants 30 32 45 32 32
515 Rental Hsg. Direct Lns. 40 50 200 150 100
514 Farm Labor Hsg. Lns. 28 28 50 30 35
516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grts. 10 10 18 16 14
521 Rental Assistance 1,410 100 1,450 1,564 1,494 1,488
523 Self-Help TA 31 32 40 33 32
533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants 15 16 30 16 16
538 Rental Hsg. Guar. 230 250 400 300 400
Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR) 28 34 75 40 45
542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers 40 45 38 38 50
Rental Prsrv. TA 2 2 0 2 5
Community Facil. Loans 2,800 2,800 2,800 2,800 2,800
Community Facil. Grants 32 40 52 68.1 100
Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init. 6 6 12 8 7
Tribal Colleges CF Grts 5 10 10 10 10
Cong. Directed Spending* 126.9 202.3
Community Facil. Guarantees 500 650 500 650 650

* Congressionally Directed Spending (earmarks) accounts for a large portion of the proposed Community Facilities Grant spending in both the House and Senate bills. Specific projects are listed in the House and Senate committee reports.

House Passes USDA Funding Bill

July 20, 2022 – The full House of Representatives passed the USDA appropriations bill as part of a “minibus” that combines several funding bills, including those for USDA and HUD. The Senate has not yet begun actions on FY23 appropriations, and a continuing resolution is expected to be needed to begin the fiscal year on October 1, 2022.

House Funding Bill Includes Modest Increases for Some Rural Housing Programs, Though Less Than USDA Requested

On June 14, the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee approved a funding bill for fiscal year 2023, which begins on October 1, 2022. The House bill proposes less funding for several rural housing programs than the administration’s budget did, while also rejecting the administration’s cut in Community Facilities guaranteed loans.

The full committee will consider the bill on June 23.

The House would increase the Section 515 rental housing program and the MPR rental preservation program above current levels, but not to the extent proposed by the administration. It would raise the Rural Community Development Initiative capacity building program from this year’s $6 million to $8 million in FY23 rather than the $12 million USDA requested. The rental preservation technical assistance program would receive $2 million again under the House bill, although USDA did not propose any funding for it.

It is not clear whether the bill is intended to fund renewals of the Section 521 Rental Assistance contracts added by the American Rescue Plan Act, but it proposes lower funding for Section 521 than the administration’s budget, which explicitly stated it did include the new contracts. Also, the House bill does not adopt USDA’s proposal to “decouple” the Section 521 Rental Assistance program from the Section 515 and 514/516 programs, which would allow properties to continue to receive Rental Assistance after their USDA mortgages end.

Like USDA’s budget, the House bill would expand USDA’s pilot program for Native American mortgage lending, which provides funds to Native CDFIs to be reloaned to homebuyers.

Budget Requests Increases in Most Rural Housing Programs

The Biden Administration’s budget for fiscal year 2023 proposes funding increases for almost every U.S. Department of Agriculture rural housing program, along with some important program changes for preservation of aging rental housing.

The March 28, 2022 budget release is only the first step in the process of developing federal appropriations for the fiscal year that begins on October 1, 2022. HAC held a webinar to review the budget’s contents and what to expect over the coming months; view the slides and recording here.

Rental Housing

The USDA budget proposes to quadruple Section 515 rental housing from $50 million in FY22 to $200 million in FY23, with the funds to be used for preserving existing Section 515 properties. The Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization program, which finances efforts to upgrade and maintain aging units constructed with Section 515 financing or the Section 514/516 farmworker housing program, would jump from $34 million this year to $75 million in FY23.

Farmworker housing loans and grants would almost double, with $6 million in Section 521 Rental Assistance set aside for new Section 514/516 units. The Section 538 loan guarantee program would see a large increase as well. (Details are provided in the table below.)

The $1.564 billion requested for Section 521 Rental Assistance renewals “will enable 272,000 existing contracts to be renewed, including making permanent the approximately 27,000 units that were brought into the program by the American Rescue Plan Act supplemental funding,” according to USDA’s budget explanation. The same document states, however, that RA assisted 284,194 tenant households in FY21.

The budget also asks Congress to “decouple” Rental Assistance from Section 515. Currently the programs are linked: RA cannot be made available to a property unless it has a USDA Section 515 or 514 loan. Separating them, so that RA could be offered after a property pays off its USDA mortgage, would help keep properties affordable for their tenants.

To protect tenants whose properties leave the USDA portfolio without decoupling, the administration proposes to provide $20 million in HUD Tenant Protection Vouchers. Based on the assumption that decoupling and the availability of HUD vouchers will eliminate the need for new USDA vouchers, the budget requests only enough Section 542 funding to renew existing assistance.

Homeownership

The budget proposes to increase funding for all USDA’s homeownership programs. It would also provide $20.8 million to expand the Native American Section 502 Relending pilot program. The pilot has enabled Native Community Development Financial Institutions to assist Native American homebuyers in tribal communities of South Dakota and North Dakota.

Rural Partnership Program

Pursuing an idea proposed in the Build Back Better Act, which has not been passed by Congress, the budget proposes $39 million for the Rural Partnership Program. In a statement about the budget, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack described it as “a renewed and expanded initiative to leverage USDA’s extensive network of county-based offices to help people in high poverty counties, including energy communities.”

Placemaking

The budget would provide $3 million for the Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge “to provide planning support, technical assistance, and training to foster placemaking activities in rural communities.” [NOTE: This sentence was corrected on March 29 to say $3 million. When this post was published, it stated incorrectly that the amount was $3 billion.]

Energy Efficiency and Climate Resilience

All USDA housing production would be required to “improve energy or water efficiency, indoor air quality, or sustainability improvements, implement low-emission technologies, materials, or processes, including zero-emission electricity generation, energy storage, building electrification, or electric car charging station installations; or address climate resilience of multifamily properties.”

 

Policy News from Congress

HAC’s Stakeholder Comments on Rural Housing Service Programs

HAC submitted comments to Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Mike Rounds (R-SD), the Chair and Ranking Member of the Housing, Transportation, and Community Development Subcommittee of the Senate Banking Committee, in response to their call for recommendations on how to improve the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Housing Service (RHS) programs. RHS programs are a critical source of housing for our nation’s small towns and rural places. HAC hopes that Senators Smith and Rounds will use these stakeholder comments to help improve the efficiency and impact of RHS programs, especially as more multifamily properties leave the USDA portfolio.

Topline Takeaways  

  • Multifamily

    HAC strongly recommends that the Senators authorize important multifamily preservation programs and simplify the process for transferring properties to non-profit owners in order to help more properties remain in RHS programs and maintain their affordability. HAC also recommends that the Senators investigate the rental assistance programs available in rural areas and extend these to more rural renters.  

  • Single family

    HAC recommends that the Senators improve the Section 504 program which provides grants for single family home repair. Simplifying and making this program’s funds more accessible would help more families stay in their homes and preserve single family homeownership. 

  • Capacity building

    Many communities have the willingness and desire to help improve their housing opportunities but lack the technical skill or capacity to accomplish their goals. HAC recommends authorizing capacity building programs that would help communities develop the tools they need to thrive. 

  • RHS staffing and operations

    HAC recommends improving the workflow within RHS and updating the technology the RHS staff uses to increase efficiency and help RHS better serve rural communities.  

Read HAC’s Comments

HAC Comments on RHS Reforms

USDA Rural Development State Directors Named

This table identifies State Directors for U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development offices named by the Biden Administration as of July 6, 2022. These positions do not require Senate confirmation.

HAC will keep this list up to date as we learn of new appointments. Please send additions or corrections to HAC staff.

 

STATE STATE DIRECTOR
Alabama (AL) Nivory Gordon, Jr.
Alaska (AK) Julia Hnilicka
Arizona (AZ) Charlene Fernandez
Arkansas (AR) Jill Floyd
California (CA) Maria Gallegos Herrera
Colorado (CO) Armando Valdez
Connecticut (CT) Scott Soares
Delaware (DE) David Baker
Florida (FL) and Virgin Islands (VI) Lakeisha Hood
Georgia (GA) Reggie Taylor
Hawaii (HI) and Western Pacific Chris Kanazawa
Idaho (ID) Rudy Soto
Illinois (IL) Betsy Dirksen Londrigan
Indiana (IN) Terry Goodin
Iowa (IA) Theresa Greenfield
Kansas (KS) Christy Cauble Davis
Kentucky (KY) Thomas Carew
Louisiana (LA) Deidre Deculus Robert
Maine (ME) Rhiannon Hampson
Maryland (MD) David Baker
Massachusetts (MA) Scott Soares
Michigan (MI) Brandon Fewins
Minnesota (MN) Colleen Landkamer
Mississippi (MS) Trina George
Missouri (MO) Kyle Wilkens
Montana (MT) Kathleen Williams
Nebraska (NE) Kate Bolz
Nevada (NV) Lucas Ingvoldstad
New Hampshire (NH) Sarah Waring
New Jersey (NJ) Jane Asselta
New Mexico (NM) Patricia Dominguez
New York (NY) Brian Sheldon Murray
North Carolina (NC) Reginald Speight
North Dakota (ND) Erin Oban
Ohio (OH) Jonathan McCracken
Oklahoma (OK) Kenneth Corn
Oregon (OR) Margaret Hoffmann
Pennsylvania (PA) Bob Morgan
Puerto Rico (PR) Luis R. Garcia (acting)
Rhode Island (RI) Scott Soares
South Carolina (SC) Saundra Glover
South Dakota (SD) Nikki Gronli
Tennessee (TN) Arlisa Armstrong
Texas (TX) Lillian Salerno
Utah (UT) Michele Weaver
Vermont (VT) Sarah Waring
Virgin Islands (VI) Lakeisha Hood
Virginia (VA) Perry Hickman
Washington (WA) Helen Price Johnson
West Virginia (WV) Ryan Thorn
Wisconsin (WI) Julie Lassa
Wyoming (WY) Glenn Pauley

 

Fiscal Year 2021 USDA Rural Development Housing Activity Report - Cover

Fiscal Year 2021 USDA Rural Development Housing Activity Report

Since the 1950s, USDA has provided financial assistance for the construction, repair, and affordability of millions of homes for low- and moderate-income rural Americans. USDA accomplishes this activity through its Rural Development (RD) agency. In FY 2021, USDA obligated 139,221 loans, loan guarantees, and grants totaling about $24.2 billion. Since the first USDA housing loan was made (around 1950), the agency has funded the construction, purchase, or repair of over 5.5 million rural housing units representing $384.1 billion.

Beginning in 1978, USDA also provided funding for rental assistance to help tenants better afford to rent housing in agency-financed multi-family housing units. In FY 2021, USDA obligated 291,455 annual units of tenant assistance representing about $1.54 billion through the combined total of the Section 521 Rental Assistance and the Section 542 Rural Housing Voucher programs. Since the late 1970s, USDA has funded over $28.8 billion for rental assistance and tenant vouchers representing nearly 4.4 million annual units.

Download the document.

USDA Housing Activity Report - Fiscal Year 2021

USDA Rural Development Housing Funding Activity: Fiscal Year 2020 Year-End Report

HAC presents an overview of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 USDA Rural Housing program obligation activity in this publication, USDA Rural Development Housing Funding Activity: Fiscal Year 2020 Year-End Report.

Since the 1950s, USDA has provided financial assistance for the construction, repair, and affordability of millions of homes for low- and moderate-income rural Americans. USDA accomplishes this activity through its Rural Development (RD) agency. In FY 2020, USDA obligated 151,876 loans, loan guarantees, and grants totaling about $24.5 billion. Since the first USDA housing loan was made (around 1950), the agency has funded the construction, purchase, or repair of nearly 5.4 million rural housing units representing $360.1 billion.

Beginning in 1978, USDA also provided funding for rental assistance to help tenants better afford to rent housing in agency-financed multi-family housing units. In FY 2020, USDA obligated 248,697 annual units of tenant assistance representing about $1.41 billion through the combined total of the Section 521 Rental Assistance and the Section 542 Rural Housing Voucher programs. Since the late 1970s, USDA funded nearly $27.3 billion for rental assistance and tenant vouchers representing nearly 4.1 million annual units.

USDA Program Obligation Final Report - FY 2020
Policy News from Congress

Some Rural Housing Programs Increase in Omnibus Funding Bill

Information on FY22 HUD funding

UPDATE March 11, 2022 – Both the House and Senate have passed the omnibus bill and President Biden will sign it into law, avoiding a government shutdown and funding federal programs through fiscal year 2022, which ends on September 30, 2022.

March 9, 2022 – Several USDA rural housing programs will receive modest funding increases in the omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2022. The bill’s text, released overnight, does not include the significant boosts for rental housing that were included in House and/or Senate versions, instead compromising on smaller raises.

The bill expands eligibility for Section 542 vouchers, which have previously been available only to tenants living in Section 515 properties where the mortgage has been prepaid since September 30, 2005. This language is revised to apply to tenants in properties where Section 515 loans are “prepaid or otherwise paid off after September 30, 2005″ (emphasis added), potentially extending eligibility to tenants of every property that has left the portfolio since that date. USDA could set some limits on this expansion, as it has for tenants in properties with prepaid mortgages, who can obtain vouchers only if they live in the property on the date the prepayment occurs.

Other provisions in the final bill are retained from past appropriations measures. These include language allowing rental property owners to request 20-year Rental Assistance contracts, subject to appropriations. The bill also retains provisions calling for incentives to nonprofits to preserve rental housing, reuse of recaptured Section 521 Rental Assistance (RA), and use of recaptured RA from farmworker housing in other farmworker housing when possible.

The bill continues the 10-20-30 requirement that at least 10 percent of most USDA Rural Development programs, including most housing programs, be set aside for persistent poverty counties (counties where the poverty rate has been at least 20 percent for 30 years).

The omnibus establishes one new program related to rural housing and community development: an Institute for Rural Partnerships, which “shall dedicate resources to researching the causes and conditions of challenges facing rural areas, and develop community partnerships to address such challenges.” The institute will be housed at the University of Vermont and three land-grant universities to be selected by USDA. Each institution will receive a $10 million grant.

The continuing resolution that currently funds the federal government ends at midnight on March 11. The House is expected to pass the omnibus bill on March 9. Another continuing resolution, lasting just a few days, may be needed to give the Senate enough time to act.

USDA Rural Dev. Prog.

(dollars in millions)

FY20 Final Approp. FY21 Final Approp. Amer. Rescue Plan Act FY22 Admin. Budget FY22 House Bill FY22 Senate Bill FY22 Final
502 Single Fam. Direct $1,000 $1,000 $656.6a $1,500 $1,500 $1,250 $1,250
502 Single Family Guar. 24,000 24,000 30,000 30,000 30,000 30,000
504 VLI Repair Loans 28 28 18.3a 28 28 28 28
504 VLI Repair Grants 30 30 30 40 30 32
515 Rental Hsg. Direct Lns. 40 40 40 40 92 50
514 Farm Labor Hsg. Lns. 28 28 28 28 28 28
516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grts. 10 10 10 15 10 10
521 Rental Assistance 1,375 1,410 100 1,450 1,450 1,450 1,450
523 Self-Help TA 31 31 32 32 32 32
533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants 15 15 15 25 15 16
538 Rental Hsg. Guar. 230 230 230 230 250 250
Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR) 28 28 32 60 32 34
542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers 32 40 45 45 45 45
Rental Prsrv. TA 1 2 0 2 2 2
Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init. 4 6 6 6 6 6

a. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides $39 million in budget authority to refinance Section 502 direct loans and Section 504 loans for homeowners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. USDA expects this funding to generate $656.6 million in Section 502 direct loans and $18.3 million in Section 504 loans.

 

August 5, 2021 – The Senate Appropriations Committee passed its FY22 USDA funding bill on August 4. While the House bill proposes a substantial increase in funding for the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization program, the Senate bill would increase Section 515 funding rather than MPR. The Senate bill suggests increases in some other programs, but most of its figures are lower than the House’s.

The Senate bill would retain a provision in FY21 appropriations law, dropped by the administration’s budget and the House, that allows rental property owners to request 20-year terms for Rental Assistance contracts, subject to annual appropriations. The Senate and House would both keep provisions calling for incentives to nonprofits to preserve rental housing, reuse of recaptured Rental Assistance (RA), and use of recaptured RA from farmworker housing in other farmworker housing when possible, although those were left out of the administration’s budget request.

July 27, 2021 – The House passed H.R. 4502, a “minibus” package of seven appropriations bills, including USDA’s (see table below) and HUD’s.

July 1, 2021 – The full House Appropriations Committee approved its FY22 USDA funding bill on June 30, including increases in some rural housing programs as described below. The bill will be considered later this summer by the full House. The Senate has not yet released a proposal.

The House committee also released its report on the bill, providing additional information and directives from the committee, including a paragraph about farmworker housing.

Farm Labor Housing.—The Committee encourages USDA to explore opportunities to leverage its resources including its Food and Nutrition Programs, Community Facilities Programs, Housing Preservation Grants, and other programs, and to create partnerships with the Department of Labor’s Farmworker Housing outreach and technical assistance program, Health Resources and Services Administration’s Health Center Program, and the Administration for Children and Families Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Program, to coordinate and align resources to address the housing, nutrition and healthcare needs of this vulnerable population of essential workers who play a critical role in America’s food security. The Committee further encourages USDA to explore including service coordinators as an allowable expenditure for farm labor housing projects.

June 24, 2021 – As congressional action begins for fiscal year 2022 federal funding, the House Appropriations Committee has released a bill proposing increases in several of USDA’s rural housing programs.

Like the administration’s budget, the House bill would raise funding for Section 502 direct and guaranteed mortgage loans, Rental Assistance, and self-help housing. While the budget would increase the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) program to $32 million from $28 million in FY21, the House bill would provide a far larger boost, to $65 million. The House would also grow the Section 504 grant program for elderly low-income homeowners and the Section 533 Housing Preservation Grants program.

The House bill retains several provisions that are in current appropriations law but were dropped in the administration’s budget. These call for incentives to nonprofits to preserve rental housing, reuse of recaptured Rental Assistance (RA), and use of recaptured RA from farmworker housing in other farmworker housing when possible. Like the budget, however, it eliminates a provision from the FY20 and FY21 appropriations laws that allowed property owners to request RA contracts with 20-year terms.

The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee will review the draft bill at a mark-up on June 25, 2021. The full House Appropriations Committee will consider it on June 30. The Senate has not yet begun its appropriations process.

 

USDA Rural Dev. Prog.

(dollars in millions)

FY20 Final Approp. FY21 Final Approp. Amer. Rescue Plan Act FY22 Admin. Budget FY22 House Bill
502 Single Fam. Direct $1,000 $1,000 $656.6a $1,500 $1,500
502 Single Family Guar. 24,000 24,000 30,000 30,000
504 VLI Repair Loans 28 28 18.3a 28 28
504 VLI Repair Grants 30 30 30 c
515 Rental Hsg. Direct Lns. 40 40 40 40
514 Farm Labor Hsg. Lns. 28 28 28 b
516 Farm Labor Hsg. Grts. 10 10 10 b
521 Rental Assistance 1,375 1,410 100 1,450 1,450
523 Self-Help TA 31 31 32 32
533 Hsg. Prsrv. Grants 15 15 15 c
538 Rental Hsg. Guar. 230 230 230 230
Rental Prsrv. Demo. (MPR) 28 28 32 60
542 Rural Hsg. Vouchers 32 40 45 45
Rental Prsrv. TA 1 2 0 2
Rural Cmnty. Dev’t Init. 4 6 6 6

a. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides $39 million in budget authority to refinance Section 502 direct loans and Section 504 loans for homeowners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. USDA expects this funding to generate $656.6 million in Section 502 direct loans and $18.3 million in Section 504 loans.

b. The House bill provides a total of $17.8 million in budget authority for the Section 514 and 516 farm labor housing programs. When the Appropriations Committee prepares a report on the bill, that document will state the program amounts.

c. The House bill provides a total of $65 million for Section 504 grants and Section 533 grants. When the Appropriations Committee prepares a report on the bill, that document will show how the total is to be divided between the two programs.

 

USDA RD Historic Activity through FY 2020

FMHA/RHS Programs that Construct, Purchase, or Repair Rural Housing Units

— Historic Activity through FY 2020

The Housing Assistance Council has tracked USDA Rural Housing activity for the agency’s Single Family Housing and Multifamily Housing for many years. The Historic Activity report provides data for the number of housing units funded by fiscal year for each of the programs since program inception. The data includes:

  • USDA Programs Which Construct, Purchase or Repair Rural Housing Units
  • Section 502 Direct Homeownership Loan Program Totals, FY 1950 – 2020
  • Section 502 Guaranteed Loan Program Totals, FY 1977 – 2020
  • Section 502 Self-Help Program Total, FY 1966 – 2020
  • Section 504 Very Low-Income Repair Program Totals, FY 1950 – 2020
  • Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Grants, FY 1962 – 2020
  • Section 515 Rural Rental Housing Program Totals, FY 1963 – 2020
  • Section 533 Housing Preservation Grant Program Totals, FY 1986 – 2020
  • Section 538 Guaranteed Multi-Family Housing Loan Program Totals, FY 1996 – 2020
  • Section 521 Rental Assistance Program Totals, FY 1978 – 2020
  • Section 542 Multifamily Housing Voucher Totals, FY 2006 – 2020

These data are updated annually.

Historic_2020