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USDA Publishes Final Rule to Eliminate a Requirement for an Annual “Notice of Funding” for the Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program

Cindy Frazier
Release Date

– U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy today announced that USDA published a final rule to eliminate the requirement to publish an annual Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program, commonly known in the housing industry as Section 538.

   The rule enables USDA to accept and process applications on a continuous basis, and under circumstances such as when the Federal government operates under a continuing resolution.

   The rule also benefits developers who use tax credits to finance properties for low-income residents. Eliminating the publication of an annual NOFA will prevent scenarios in which a NOFA is published after the deadline to apply for low-income housing tax credits.

   For additional information, see page 55034 of the Oct. 15, 2019, Federal Register.

    USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Key strategies include:


  • Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
  • Developing the Rural Economy
  • Harnessing Technical Innovation
  • Supporting a Rural Workforce
  • Improving Quality of Life