Program 101

Program Factsheet: PDF

What does this program do?
Rural Housing site loans provide two types of loans to purchase and develop housing sites for low- and moderate-income families:

  • Section 523 loans are used to acquire and develop sites only for housing to be constructed by the Self-Help method. Refer to RD Instruction 1944-I for more information about the Self-Help program
  • Section 524 loans are made to acquire and develop sites for low- or moderate-income families, with no restriction as to the method of construction.  Low-income is defined as between 50-80% of the area median income (AMI); the upper limit for moderate income is 115% of the AMI.

Who may apply for this program?

  • Section 523 loans: Private or public non-profit organizations that will provide sites solely for self-help housing
  • Section 524 loans: Private or public non-profit organizations.  The building site may be sold to low- or moderate-income families utilizing USDA’s Housing and Community Facilities Program’s (HCFP) loan programs, or any other mortgage financing program which serves low- and moderate-income families
  • Non-profits that have the legal authority to operate a revolving loan fund
  • Non-profits that have the financial, technical and managerial capacity to comply with relevant federal and state laws and regulations
  • Federally-recognized Tribes

What is an eligible area?
Check eligible addresses.

How may funds be used?
Site loans are made to provide financing for the purchase and development of housing sites for low- and moderate-income families.

What are the terms of the loans?

  • 2-year loans
  • Section 523 loans: 3% interest rate
  • Section 524 loans: below-market-rate established and published monthly, fixed at closing.

How do we get started?
Applications for this program are accepted year round. Please apply through your State USDA Rural Development office..

Who can answer questions?
Contact your State USDA Rural Development office.

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.

Forms & Resources

NOTE: Please contact your local State Office and speak to a Housing Program Specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you valuable time in your application.