Farm Labor Housing Direct Loans & Grants


 

Federal Register Notice

August 3, 2021

Pre-Applicant Selections

As required in the Off-Farm Labor Housing (FLH) Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) that was published in the Federal Register on February 2, 2021, pre-applicant selections for the second round will be posted by March 1, 2022.

What does this program do?
It provides affordable financing to develop housing for year-round and migrant or seasonal domestic farm laborers. (1)

Who may apply for this program?
This program assists qualified applicants that cannot obtain commercial credit on terms that will allow them to charge rents that are affordable to low-income tenants. Borrowers must have sufficient qualifications and experience to develop and operate the project. Qualified applicants include:

  • Farmers, associations of farmers and family farm corporations
  • Associations of farmworkers and nonprofit organizations*
  • Most State and local governmental entities*
  • Federally-recognized Tribes*

*Eligible to apply for grants and loans

What is an eligible area?
Housing may be constructed in urban or rural areas, as long as there is a demonstrated need.

How may funds be used?
Construction, improvement, repair and purchase of housing for domestic farm laborers is the primary objective of this program.

Funding may also be available for related activities including:

  • Buying and improve land
  • Purchasing household furnishings
  • Paying construction loan interest
  • For a complete list see 7 CFR 3560.53.

Who may live in the rental housing?

  • Domestic farm laborers, including those working on fish and oyster farms and on-farm processing (1)
  • Retired and/or disabled farm laborers
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Very-low- to moderate-income households (2)

What kinds of funding are available?

  • Low interest loans
  • Grants based on need and may not exceed 90% of project cost

What are the loan terms?

  • Up to 33 year payback period
  • 1% fixed rate
  • An allocation of loan funds is also available for on-farm labor housing and is funded on a first-come, first-served basis

How do we get started?
A two-phase application process starts with pre-applications accepted on an annual basis through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register. Selected pre-applications are invited to submit final applications

Who can answer questions?
Locate your regional contact on the Contact tab or you can find Rural Rental Properties

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?".

(1) Domestic farm laborer: A person who receives a portion of his/her income from farm labor employment. This definition may include the immediate family members residing with such a person.

(2) Very-low to moderate-income: Very-low income is below 50% of area median income; low-income is 50-80% of area median income; moderate income is capped at $5,500 above low-income limit.

To apply, please refer to the Off-Farm Labor Housing (FLH) Notices published in the Federal Register on February 2, 2021 and August 3, 2021.

Funding


Funding published for the Notice of Solicitation of Applications for Section 514 Off-Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Off-Farm Labor Housing Grants for New Construction for Fiscal Year 2021 published in the Federal Register on February 2, 2021 are as follows for the Second Round:

  • FLH Loan (514):  $20,000,000
  • FLH Grant (516):   $6,295,000

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.

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.

There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.

On October 11, 2020 Rural Development’s Multifamily Housing Program finalized its structural realignment which, in some cases, redistributed the existing portfolio to a servicing Specialist within our new Field Operations Division. If you are looking for the servicing Specialist for a specific property, you will find a complete and sortable list here: https://www.sc.egov.usda.gov/data/MFH.html

Our Field Operations Division maintains local relationships through regionally organized servicing teams and handles all day-today servicing of Multifamily housing properties to ensure that tenants have safe and affordable housing. The four regions and the contact information for each Regional Director follows:

Western Region: Becki Meyer, Regional Director, MFHFODWest@usda.gov 
(AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY)
 
Southern Region: Byron Waters, Regional Director, MFHFODSouth@usda.gov
(AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, PR, SC, TN, TX, VI)
 
Midwest Region: Karissa Stiers, Regional Director, MFHFODMidwest@usda.gov
(IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI)
 
Northeast Region: Laurie Warzinski, Regional Director, MFHFODNortheast@usda.gov
(CT, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, VT, WV)

If you need information on a loan transaction currently in process, or have questions on a new transaction, our Production & Preservation Division (PPD) processes, underwrites, and closes all multifamily direct, preservation, and guaranteed loan transactions. PPD will support all the Multifamily Housing Programs, including 515, 538, Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR), prepayments, and preservation efforts. This division will also oversee Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) drafting and administration efforts for Farm Labor Housing, Housing Preservation Grants, MPR, technical assistance, and 515. The email contact information for the Production & Preservation Division follows:

Processing and Report Review BranchMFHprocessing1@usda.gov
(CT, DE, IA, IL, IN, KS, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SD, VA, VT, WI, WV)

Processing and Report Review Branch 2
MFHprocessing2@usda.gov
(AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, HI, ID, KY, LA, MS, MT, NC, NM, NV, OK, OR, PR, SC, TN, TX, UT, VI, WA, WY)

Rural Housing Service hosted an Off-Farm Labor Housing Workshop to discuss the application process, the borrower’s responsibilities under the Off-FLH program, among other topics. The following is a downloadable copy of the Off-FLH Workshop presentation.