Senators Johnson (D-SD) and Roberts (R-KS) introduced S. 766 to grandfather existing communities eligible for rural housing programs.
Under current law the Rural Housing Service (RHS) is required to evaluate all communities for eligibility following the 2010 census. This re-evaluation could make more than 900 communities ineligible for RHS programs. The definition of rural has not been updated since 1974. Communities and populations have changed in that time. Relying on a decades old definition is unrealistic and won’t meet the needs of rural communities.
S. 766 will grandfather existing communities, and also increase the the threshold for "rural" from 25,000 to 35,000. This bill is revenue neutral, as it does not increase spending on the program and instead simply retains eligibility for communities. NAR strongly supports this legislation, as well as similar legislation in the House (HR 858) introduced by Rep. Fortenberry (R-NE).