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USDA-Rural Development Announces Rural Housing Program Changes

Eligible Area Maps for Rural Housing to Change October 1, 2013

   ANCHORAGE, Alaska, September 5, 2013 – U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development (RD) Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund announced today that certain areas of Alaska will no longer be eligible for RD housing programs due to changes in population.

   The mission of Rural Development is to increase economic opportunity and the quality of life for all rural Americans.  Underpinning this mission is the definition of the word “rural”. The federal Housing Act defines rural as any place with a population not exceeding 10,000, or a place between 10,000 and 20,000 that is not part of a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).  Currently Anchorage, Juneau and the City of Fairbanks are not eligible. 

   Barring Congressional action, based on the 2010 Census, parts of the Matanuska-Susitna and Fairbanks North Star Boroughs will be ineligible as of October 1, 2013 due to population growth.  These areas include the Knik-Fairview, Lakes and Wasilla Census Designated Places (CDPs) in Mat-Su; and College, South Van Horn, Badger and North Pole CDPs in the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

   "The current law does not craft a meaningful definition of rural," stated Nordlund.  “The areas being eliminated are still rural by any common sense point of view.  Some of these CDPs are larger than entire counties in the lower 48, but because population density is not considered these areas are not eligible for our housing programs."

   To view the new maps go to http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov and select "Future Eligible Areas" on the left menu.

    NOTE: Complete applications received before October 1, 2013, will continue to use rural area definitions based on 2000 Census data.

   For details, or questions about specific changes in your state, please contact your local

USDA Rural Development Service Center.

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