NAR, with other industry groups, sent a letter to the Congressional leaders regarding the definition of "rural" for rural housing. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is required under federal law to revise the list of communities eligible for rural housing loans based on the 2010 census data.
By that date, USDA will revert to using a definition not updated since 1974 which requires communities to: 1) be outside of a metropolitan statistical area (MSA), 2) be “rural in character”, 2) have a serious lack of mortgage credit, and 3) have a population under 20,000.
USDA originally was to have done this by Sept. 30, 2012; but as a result of the Continuing Resolution, extended the date to March 27, 2013.
The letter urges Congress to update the definition of "rural" in order to retain vital RHS housing programs in more than 900 rural communities. But in the meantime, to grandfather existing communities. NAR continues to work with Congress and RHS to extend the definition beyond the March 27th deadline.