NAR President Steve Brown sent letters to both the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture last week, urging support for Rural Housing Service (RHS) loans. Programs such as the Section 502 loan program are instrumental in providing opportunities for homeownership for rural families. Section 502 loans can be used to build, repair, renovate or relocate a home, or to purchase and prepare sites, including providing water and sewage facilities. These loans are funded by private lenders, and simply insured by the RHS. These guarantees are at no cost to the federal government – as the loans are fully supported by the premiums paid by borrowers.
Currently, those loans are approved on a case by case basis by Rural Housing offices nationwide. The Administrations's FY15 budget proposes to allow RHS to approve Direct Endorsed lenders, similar to the process used by FHA and VA. This would greatly speed processing of these loans, which have seen significant delays in recent years due to federal budget cuts.
The letter urges the Appropriations Committees to include the proposal in their legislation. NAR will continue to work on this issue, to ensure rural families have access to safe, affordable mortgage financing.