Due to the 2010 census, many communities are losing eligibility for rural housing programs because their populations have grown. Congress set the definition of "rural" in 1974, and it has not been updated.
Last week the House Agriculture Committee considered the 2012 Farm Bill. A similar bill passed the Senate last month, and included a provision to grandfather existing communities elibigle for rural housing programs. Rep. Fortenberry (R-NE) offered an amendment in the House markup to grandfather existing rural housing communities.
However the amendment had been ruled out of order, due to the fact that the House Financial Services Committee has jurisdiction over the Rural Housing program. Rep. Fortenberry withdrew his amdendment, but asked that the Committee look for avenues to address this important issue. NAR sent a letter to the leadership of the Agriculture Committee and the House Financial Services Committee, asking them to work together to make sure these communities are protected.