USDA Releases New Tool to Help Identify At-Risk Properties

USDA released a new tool on September 19 to help communities and advocates identify affordable housing developments at risk of leaving USDA’s portfolio once the property’s USDA loan matures. Once a USDA loan is paid in full, owners are under no obligation to maintain the properties as affordable housing, and tenants living in these properties will no longer be eligible for USDA rental assistance.

USDA estimates that 74 properties consisting of 1,788 apartments will leave their portfolio each year through 2027. At that time, losses are expected to increase significantly to 556 properties consisting of 16,364 apartments each year through 2032. Losses will peak in 2040 with an average loss of 22,500 apartments each year.

According to the Housing Assistance Council, USDA’s portfolio includes nearly 14,000 properties and 416,000 apartments. On average, a household living in a USDA-financed property has an annual income of about $13,600. Two-thirds of these renters receive USDA Rental Assistance.

Advocates hope that this new tool will give nonprofit organizations and communities more time to develop plans to acquire and maintain the properties as affordable housing over the long term. But significant challenges remain, including lack of access to affordable financing.

USDA’s Multifamily Housing Property Exit Data is at: