Jan 24 2024
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) to extend the loan window for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Section 524 Rural Housing site loan program. This legislation now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives to be passed.
The Section 524 program provides loans to non-profits and local and trial governments to acquire and develop land to be subdivided into building sites for low and moderate-income families. This legislation would extend the loan repayment window from two years to five years, increasing flexibility for borrowers.
“Housing shortages are impacting rural communities and hurting their ability to grow and expand,” said Sen. Moran. “Modernizing the USDA rural housing site development loans will help incentivize new construction. By giving local governments and non-profits more flexibility to repay these loans, we can help bolster affordable housing in rural America. I urge the House of Representatives to quickly pass this legislation to provide alleviate housing shortages in rural America.”
“Our country’s housing shortage, which has hit small towns and rural areas particularly hard, is fueling an affordability crisis,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “This legislation will increase flexibility on loan repayments for nonprofits and local governments that are building affordable rural housing, giving them more options to address the unique needs of rural communities.”
“New Hampshire is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, ranking fourth in the nation for lack of housing,” said Sen. Shaheen. “Making loans for affordable rural housing construction more effective by extending the term of these loans can help Granite State families purchase homes. I’m pleased to see this bipartisan legislation pass the Senate and I thank Senator Moran for his leadership on this bill.”
The loan window extension program is also supported by various housing organizations and leaders.
“The nation’s housing crisis affects communities of all sizes. Helping America’s smaller towns and rural areas plan and develop more affordable and attainable housing is critically important,” said Angela Brooks, President of American Planning Association. “Working on the front lines of housing challenges in rural America, planners know the essential role that federal policy can play. We applaud the bipartisan action in the U.S. Senate, led by Senators Moran, Klobuchar and Shaheen, to improve the USDA 524 loan program. This action will provide an essential financing tool that leads to more homes and more opportunity for rural and small-town America.”
“As a national rural housing nonprofit, the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) applauds Senator Moran and Senator Klobuchar for their focus on targeted, commonsense improvements to the USDA rural housing programs,” said Jonathan Harwitz, Director of Public Policy at HAC. “Extending the loan term from two to five years will make the Section 524 rural housing site loan program more adaptable to current project development timelines. We are glad to see this bill pass in the Senate and look forward to working with the House.”
“The National Rural Housing Coalition (NRHC) applauds the leadership of Senator Moran on Senate passage of S 3646, which extends the term of US Department of Agriculture rural housing site loans,” said the National Rural Housing Coalition. “This change will facilitate acquisition and development of sites for affordable housing in rural communities, which is sorely needed. We appreciate Senator Moran's efforts and look forward to working with the House on this important legislation.”
“By any measure, rural America is facing a housing affordability crisis, with rising rents and house prices over the last few years, and more limited access to credit,” said Michele Stockwell, President, BPC Action. “BPC Action commends Sens. Jerry Moran, Amy Klobuchar, and Jeanne Shaheen for their leadership on the Rural Housing Site Loans Term Extension Act. This legislation extends the term of USDA rural housing site loans which will help rural communities across America more easily acquire and develop sites for affordable housing. We look forward to working with Congress to enact this legislation before the end of the year.”
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