Here’s an update on legislation pending that could make a difference regarding the USDA Home Loan Map changes due to go into effect March 27, 2013. These changes in the USDA Maps has been delayed with the FY 13 budget Continuation bill. Re-defining the USDA Maps is now due for an update on September 30, 2013. These changes to the USDA Map would mean that counties that have grown significantly since 2000 would no longer be eligible for the USDA Home Loan Program.
At this time, we do not have the exact “property line” drawings of what WILL be eligible and what will NOT be eligible. With the Current USDA Home Loan Maps – PARTS of Holly Springs (for instance) are eligible, and parts are not.
We do not know if the new maps will encompass the entire city limits listed here, or if there will be “lines” drawn, and again – parts of a City, like Belmont, might qualify – while other parts will not:
Despite efforts to persuade Congress to amend the definition of rural areas and grandfather existing communities to preserve their RD program eligibility if RD applies the 2010 Census data, Congress recessed until after the election without enacting any such language. It is possible that Congress will act on this issue during its post-election lame duck session or early next year, particularly in further FY 2013 appropriations action.
Last Fall, Congress enacted a six-month Continuing Resolution (CR) appropriating funds for federal programs, including USDA’s rural housing programs, until March 27, 2013. Congress must enact another appropriations bill by that date to keep federal programs operating. Such legislation may be an opportunity to address the rural area eligibility issue, whether such legislation is an individual rural housing and agriculture programs appropriations bill, an omnibus appropriations bill funding many or all federal agencies for the remainder of the year, or another CR.
Congress could also address the rural eligibility issue in legislation outside the appropriations process. Before Congress recessed recently, legislators introduced two bills addressing this issue. Senator Ben Nelson’s (D-NE) legislation, S. 3541, would allow rural areas to be classified based on 1990, 2000, or 2010 Census data and would allow an area to be classified as rural if it was classified as rural at any time between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2010. Any areas so classified would retain that classification until implementation of 2020 Census data. Nelson’s bill would also raise from 25,000 to 35,000 the maximum population for areas to qualify as rural.
Representative Jeff Fortenberry’s (R-NE) bill, the Rural Housing Preservation Act of 2012, H.R. 6416, would extend until September 30, 2013 the eligibility of rural housing areas so designated on June 30, 2012.
If you are considering a USDA Loan, please contact us – the current USDA Loan turn times are 2 weeks – and we believe that as we get closer to the end of March, these times will get longer. As we have an update regarding Maps, we will update this Blog.