The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is changing rural population limits, fees, and funding priorities for several loan guarantee programs, in accordance with provisions of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the Farm Bill).
Rural Development will increase the rural population eligibility limit to 50,000 residents for the Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program and the Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantee Program.
For federal fiscal year 2020, which began on October 1, projects located in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or fewer residents will receive priority for Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program financing. Projects located in rural areas with a population of 10,000 or fewer residents will receive priority for Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantee Program financing.
Rural Development will also increase the Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program's one-time guarantee fee from 1 percent to 1.5 percent. Additionally, Rural Development will establish an annual renewal fee of 0.5 percent of the loan's principal balance each year. There are no changes to the Water and Waste Disposal Guaranteed Loan Program's fee rates.
These changes are effective December 2, 2019. However, applications for Community Facilities or Water and Waste Disposal loan guarantees for projects serving rural areas with populations of up to 50,000 may be submitted to Rural Development starting immediately. Such applications will be acted upon after the effective date.
These changes apply to the guarantee programs only and do not affect the Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program or the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program.
For additional information about these changes, see page 52869 of the October 3, 2019, Federal Register or contact a local Community Programs Specialist.