USDA Rural Development California State Director Glenda Humiston announced today six California communities will now be eligible for housing assistance due to expanded eligibility definitions included in the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill). New communities include Atascadero, San Luis Obispo County; Fallbrook, San Diego County; Hollister, San Benito County; Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County; Taft, Kern County; Thermolito, Butte County.
"Expanding and preserving homeownership is a key part of the foundation for stronger, more prosperous rural communities," said Humiston. "In many cases, USDA housing programs provide the only way for rural residents to buy a home. I am pleased that with the Farm Bill we are able to once again make safe, affordable housing available to credit-worthy applicants in these six communities."
USDA Rural Development's single family housing programs offer loans and loan guarantees with no down payment to qualified applicants in eligible rural areas. Assistance is also available to help very low income homeowners make repairs to their homes. Last year, USDA Rural Development's housing programs helped over 5,300 California families and individuals buy a home, and nearly 60 homeowners make necessary repairs.
With the passage of the Farm Bill, areas with populations up to 35,000 that are rural in character are eligible for USDA Rural Development housing programs, with the following provisions: the area was eligible for USDA housing programs prior to October 1, 1990, and has a serious lack of mortgage credit for low and moderate-income families. In addition to the six communities announced today, a complete map of eligible areas is available on the USDA Income and Property Eligibility Site. Select "Single Family Housing" under the Property Eligibility menu.
Additional changes to eligible rural areas for USDA Rural Development housing programs as outlined in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 and the 2010 Census will take effect on October 1, 2014, barring further Congressional action. These upcoming changes will be available to view later this summer.