Program 101

Program Status: OPEN
Application Deadline: 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time, December 31, 2021
Notice of Funding Availability (pdf) | Posted: December 21, 2017

What does this program do?
The program works with qualified private-sector lenders to provide financing to qualified borrowers to increase the supply of affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income individuals and families in eligible rural areas and towns.

Who may apply for this program?
Private lenders may apply for a loan guarantee on loans made to eligible borrowers who are building or preserving affordable rural rental housing. 

Eligible lenders are automatically eligible if approved and active in one of the following programs:

  • Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae
  • HUD
  • Federal Home Loan Bank members
  • State or local housing finance agencies

Eligible borrowers include:

  • Most state and local governmental entities
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • For-profit organizations, including LLC's
  • Federally-recognized Tribes

Additional requirements include:

  • Rent for individual units is capped at 30% of 115% area median income
  • Average rent for an entire project (including tenant paid utilities) cannot exceed 30% of 100% of area medium income, adjusted for family size.
  • Complexes must consist of at least five units
  • Complexes may contain units that are detached, semi-detached, row houses or multi-family structures

What is an eligible area?
Areas that may be served include:

How may funds be used?
Construction, improvement and purchase of multi-family rental housing for low to moderate income families and individuals is the primary objective for this program. Funding may also be available for:

  • Buying and improving land
  • Providing necessary infrastructure
  • For a complete list see Code of Federal Regulations, 7CFR Part 3565.205

What are the terms of a loan guarantee?

  • The Agency offers guarantees of up to 90% of the loan amount
  • For-profit entities may borrow up to  90% and non-profit entities may borrow up to 97% of the total development cost or appraised value, whichever is less
  • Minimum term of 25 years and maximum term of 40 years
  • Interest rate negotiated between the lender and the borrower is fixed for the life of the loan guarantee

Who will service the loan?
Loans guaranteed through this program are serviced through the private lender that makes the loan, just as they would be without a guarantee.

Who may live in the rental housing?
Low- to moderate- income families or individuals (1)

Is there a list of qualified private lenders in my area?
Contact your Rural Development office for a current list of lenders participating in the program.

How do we get started?
Applications for this program are accepted on an annual basis. A Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is posted in the Federal Register

Who can answer questions?
Contact your State Rural Development office or you can find Rural Rental Properties here to apply as a tenant.

What governs this program?

NOTE: Because citations and other information may be subject to change please always consult the program instructions listed in the section above titled "What Law Governs this Program?" You may also contact your local office for assistance.

(1) Low to moderate income: At initial occupancy, tenants' income cannot exceed 115% of the area median income adjusted for family size.

Printable Fact Sheet

Forms & Resources





NOTE: If state specific forms are not shown above, please ensure that your state is selected in the dropdown menu above to find the State Office contact information and speak to a Housing Programs Specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you valuable time in your application.

NOSA Response Form (pdf).  Use this electronic Response Form to submit a pre-application for the Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing NOSA published on December 21, 2017. Ending date: December 31, 2021 at 12:00 noon Eastern Time.

NOSA Responses (pdf)

MFH GovDelivery Subscription Link - Sign up to receive emails on MFH announcements.


Individual states may have particular requirements based on state and local regulations. Please contact the state office in the state where your project is located.


Rural Development environmental requirements can be found here: RD 1970 Environmental Policies and Procedures. Benefits of the 1970 environmental regulations are described here: 7 CFR 1970 Benefits.

The State Environmental Coordinator assists all Rural Development program staff, applicants, owners, and other concerned parties in meeting the Agency requirements for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, The National Historic Preservation Act, and other laws governing the protection of environmental and cultural resources. For more information please contact the Rural Development loan specialist servicing your area using the following link Colorado Office Contacts or the RD State Architect: Thom Sakata (720) 544-2912, or email You can also visit the following sites for a complete overview:


Individual states may have particular requirements based on state and local regulations. Please contact the state office in the state where your project is located.

Rural Development (RD) Programs, such as Community Facilities (CF), Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG), Multi-Family Housing (MFH), involve the construction of new buildings or renovation of existing facilities. The development of these facilities involves the need for architectural services for the preparation of plans, specifications, public bidding, contracting, construction, and construction monitoring.

Applicants, at the earliest possible time, should provide a Preliminary Architectural Feasibility Report, including the cost Estimate, for the review by the RD Area Loan Specialist. These two documents are needed to determine the project's feasibility. Rural Development's State Architect will evaluate and provide architectural/construction guidance to the Applicants and their Architects, for RD financed architectural projects, in the following areas:

Initial site visit & evaluation of the proposed project
Agency concurrence of Owner/Architect Agreements
Agency acceptance of Plans & Specifications
Agency concurrence of Construction Contract documents
Construction & construction monitoring

Colorado Design Development Standards


Susan McKitrick, Director Multi-Family Housing Program
DFC, Building 56, Room E-2300, PO Box 25426, Denver, CO 80225
Phone: (720) 544-2952
Contact for State Wide and Property Development Information

Phillip Dawson, MFH State Specialist
DFC, Building 56, Room E-2300, PO Box 25426, Denver, CO 80225
Phone: (720) 544-2917
Contact for State Wide and Property Development Information

Linda Johansen, Loan Specialist
101 S. Craft Drive, Alamosa, CO 81101
Phone: (719) 589-5661 x116
Servicing: Alamosa, Baca, Bent, Conejos, Crowley, Fremont, Kiowa, Otero, Prowers, Pueblo and Rio Grande

Jessica Martin, MFH Area Specialist
101 S. Craft Drive, Alamosa, CO 81101
Phone: (719) 589-5661 x119
Servicing: Alamosa, Archuleta, Conejos, Costilla, Dolores, La Plata, Mineral, Montezuma, Rio Grande, Saguache, San Juan and San Miguel

Robert McElroy, MFH Area Specialist
DFC, Building 56, Room E-2300, PO Box 25426, Denver, CO 80225
Phone: (720) 544-2916
Servicing: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Douglas, El Paso, Kit Carson, Larimer, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Summit, Washington and Weld

Jodi Allgood, MFH Area Specialist
690 Industrial Blvd, Delta, CO 81416
Phone: (970) 874-5735 x125
Servicing: Delta, Eagle, Garfield, La Plata, Mesa, Montezuma, Montrose, Rio Blanco and Routt

Counties with NO MFH Properties 
Clear Creek, Cheyenne, Dolores, Elbert, Gilpin, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lake, Mineral, Moffat, Ouray, Park, Pitkin, San Juan, San Miguel, Sedgwick and Yuma