USDA Rural Development Obligations FY 17 – March

Download complete report (Through March FY 2017)

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The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) presents this month’s report on Fiscal Year 2017 USDA Rural Housing program obligations.

USDA is operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) which provides funding through April 28, 2017 based on last year’s appropriation levels. Congress will need to pass a final appropriations bill or another CR to keep the government operating after the CR expires.

As of the end of March, USDA obligated 69,689 loans, loan guarantees, and grants totaling about $9.51 billion. This is about $2.04 billion more than obligation levels from the same time last year when there were 56,760 loans, loan guarantees, and grants obligated totaling about $7.46 billion.

Single Family Housing Program Highlights

The Section 502 Guaranteed loan program, the largest of the Single Family Housing programs, obligated $8.95 billion (62,513 loan guarantees) up from $7.0 billion (50,513) at the same time last year.

For the Section 502 Direct program, there have been over $429 million (3,179 loans), also up from $354.8 million (2,699 loans) in loan obligations this time last year. Very low-income (VLI) loan obligations as a percentage of the total Section 502 Direct loan dollars was 37.5 percent, exceeding the 30.4 percent VLI obligation level at the same time last year.

The Section 504 Repair and Rehabilitation programs obligated 1,535 loans representing $8.4 million. As in the other single family housing programs, loan volume was up from this time last year (1,250 loans representing $6.8 million.) There were also $14.4 million (2,370 grants) obligated in the Section 504 grant program compared to $13.6 million (2,213 grants) at the same time last year.

There were also 4 credit sales of Single Family properties totaling $346,100.

Multi-Family Housing Programs

USDA’s Section 538 Multifamily Housing obligated 39 loan guarantees totaling $71.1 million. In the Section 515 Rural Rental Housing program, there were 10 loans totaling $10.5 million obligated. There were also 13 MPR loans and 2 grants totaling $10.9 million and $53,200 respectively.

USDA obligated funds for 174,967 rental assistance units under the Section 521 Rental Assistance program totaling $793.4 million. This compares to about 207,855 units ($977.7 million) obligated same time last year. There were also 2,712 Rural Housing Vouchers totaling $10.4 million compared to 2,751 vouchers representing $10.4 million this time last year.

Download the combined document.

* 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 Michael Feinberg at 202-842-8600 or

7 Issues Facing Rural America

The Spring 2013 issue of Rural Voices focuses on 7 issues facing rural America, and conversations from the 2012 National Rural Housing Conference around those issues.


7 Issues Facing Rural America: Leading Rural Housing Forward
by the Housing Assistance Council

Saving USDA Rural Development and Its Programs
by Peter Carey, Self-Help Enterprises, Inc.

Rural Rental Housing Preservation
by Tom Bishop, Homestead Affordable Housing, Inc., and Leslie Strauss, HAC

Energy Efficiency Issues in Rural Affordable Housing
by Meghan Walsh, USDA Rural Development

Housing Options for Rural Seniors
by Gus Seelig, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board

Serving High Needs Areas and Vulnerable Populations
by Marty Miller, Office of Rural Farmworker Housing, Andy Saavedra, Mid South Delta LISC, and Leslie Strauss

Building a New Generation of Rural Housing Professionals and Leaders
by Gisela Salgado and Rob Weiner, California Rural Housing Coalition

Strategic Partnerships for Rural Nonprofits
by David Dangler, NeighborWorks Rural Initiative, and Tom Carew, FAHE

View from Washington

Sequestration Hurts and Disappointing FY14 Budget Doesn’t Heal
by The Housing Assistance Council

Add your Response

Rural Voices would like to hear what you have to say about one, or all, of these issues. Please feel free to comment on this story at the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.

Communities impacted by Eligibility Cover

Communities Possibly Impacted by USDA Eligibility Changes

Rural Research Brief: USDA Eligibility Impact

In June 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a list of more than 900 communities that may no longer be eligible for Rural Development (RD) housing assistance based on population increase and changes in rural composition and character. The proposed communities that may become ineligible are located in 420 counties across 49 states and territories.

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) investigated recent USDA-RD loan and program activity in areas that are slated for change in their eligibility status. It is important to note that RD obligation data are not available for the specific communities that may become ineligible. This brief provides a general indication of possible impacts to communities that may lose their USDA eligibility status.

USDA Rural Rental Assistance Program (Section 521)

Section 521 Rural Rental Assistance (RA) is available in some properties financed by the Section 515 Rural Rental or Section 514/516 Farm Labor Housing programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Housing and Community Facilities Programs office (RD). It covers the difference between 30 percent of a tenant’s income and the monthly rental rate.

Download the PDF.