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Eligibility Change for USDA Rural Development Housing Programs

Name
Kate O'Hara
City
Champaign
Release Date
Jan 28, 2015

Changes in whether a geographic area is classified as rural or non-rural may affect applicants for the USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing (SFH) Programs.

For families and individuals to be eligible for application to the SFH programs, the property must be located in a “rural” area, generally non-metro communities less than 35,000 in population.  Effective February 2, 2015, the Future Eligible Areas map will be implemented.  For Illinois, the changes primarily involve realigning boundaries along roads and municipal corporate limits rather than imaginary boundaries.  This should help lenders and applicants more easily identify whether a property is eligible for USDA's assistance.

The Rural Development Single Family Housing Programs provide safe, well-built, affordable homes for rural Americans through loans to buy, build, improve, repair or rehabilitate the applicant’s permanent residence.   Programs include the Guaranteed Rural Housing Loan Program, through which qualified families are able to obtain attractive financing terms, such as 100 percent financing from select lenders across the state; the Direct Rural Housing Loan Program which offers a subsidized housing payment based on income; and the 504 Repair Program that helps rural residents remain in their homes, through repairs such as the installation of wheelchair modifications in the home of a person who has become disabled or new siding and windows for a person no longer able to keep up with home repairs.

Twenty-four (24) counties include some ineligible communities.  These are:  Adams, Boone, Cook, Champaign, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Lake, Macon, Madison, McHenry, McLean, Peoria, Rock Island, Sangamon, St. Clair, Tazewell, Vermilion, Will and Winnebago Counties (Cook, DuPage and Lake have no eligible rural communities). The remaining seventy-eight (78) counties are completely rural with no ineligible communities.

Details on eligible and ineligible areas can be found at the Rural Development Eligibility website:  Eligibility Areas

"There are multiple communities that are newly eligible,” said Barry Ramsey, Housing Program Director.  “Our field offices are looking forward to working with lenders, real estate agents and homebuyers in these expanded areas.

More information or direction to the nearest field office can be obtained by calling the Rural Development State Office located in Champaign, at 866-481-9575.