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USDA Seeks Applications to Finance Construction and Rehabilitation of Rural Rental Housing

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that applications are being accepted from lenders for loan guarantees to finance rural rental housing. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today's announcement is one part of the Department's efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

"USDA's housing programs are an important part of the Obama Administration's policies for strengthening the rural economy," Vilsack said. "They make a real difference in the lives of thousands of rural Americans nationwide. As the President said in his radio address recently: 'Our economy and our housing market are poised for progress – but we could do so much more if we work together.' Revitalizing rural rental housing helps create construction jobs, while maintaining safe and stable rural communities."

USDA is seeking proposals from lenders for loans under the Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program. The Department plans to make up to $150 million available for this program. Approved applications from prior years' notices will be the first to receive funding.

Loan guarantees are available to construct, acquire and rehabilitate affordable rural rental housing. The Agency will review responses submitted by eligible lenders, on the lender's letterhead, and signed by both the prospective borrower and lender. Although a complete application is not required in response to this notice, eligible lenders may submit a complete application concurrently with a response.

For more information, see page 30854 of the May 23, 2013 Federal Register, or visit http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-05-23/pdf/2013-12325.pdf. The deadline for submitting applications is December 31, 2013. Selected responses that develop into complete applications and meet all Federal eligibility requirements prior to September 30, 2013 will receive conditional commitments until all FY 2013 funds are expended.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.

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