USDA Proposes Changes to Rural Housing Eligibility

The USDA published on March 16 proposed changes to eligibility under its rural housing programs. The proposed changes stem from the determination made by each state’s USDA Rural Development Office that some communities that were previously eligible for rural housing programs are no longer “rural in character,” as required by federal law. The proposed changes go into effect on June 4, 2018.

In making its determination, states were permitted to take into consideration several factors. For example, states were permitted to discount population numbers that stem from college students or prisons located nearby and to assess the economic vitality of the area.

Maps reflecting the proposed ineligible areas are available online at: