Rural Development Reports $5.6 Billion Needed To Preserve Rural Multifamily Housing

Rural Development (RD) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report outlining the costs to maintain and upgrade the Rural Housing Services’ (RHS’s) inventory of 14,650 multifamily housing properties. RHS is an agency of RD. The Comprehensive Property Assessment of the USDA Rural Development Multi-Family Housing Portfolio reports that over the next 20 years, properties in RHS’s Multi-Family Housing program (MFH) will need $5.6 billion more than current funding levels to cover basic capital improvements such as roofs, insulation, accessibility improvements, plumbing, and electrical repairs.

The MFH portfolio includes the Section 515 Rural Rental Housing program, the Section 514 Farm Labor Housing program, the Section 538 Guaranteed Loan program, and the Multi-family Housing Preservation and Revitalization program (MPR).

The report estimates that the Section 515 portfolio alone (384,216 units) has an estimated 20-year replacement reserve deficit of $4.7 billion. A 2004 capital needs assessment estimated that the Section 515 portfolio (434,295 units then) had an estimated 20-year reserve-for-replacement deficit of $2.6 billion ($3.3 billion in 2015 dollars).

The report also provides a framework for RD to collaborate more effectively with partners, policymakers, and lawmakers to preserve affordable housing for low income rural residents who rely on RD to meet their housing needs.

The report is at:

More information about RHS multifamily housing programs is on page 4-30 of NLIHC’s 2016 Advocates’ Guide at: