USDA in Hawaii Update

More than 900 communities nationwide will not lose access to rural housing programs this fall, as expected.

Hawaii communities being affected include Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Hilo, Kapolei, Kihei, Makakilo, Nanakuli, Royal Kunia, and Waianae. The Hawaii Association of REALTORS and REALTOR legislative liaisons will be contacting our Members of Congress on this crucial program affecting our communities.

On Sept. 25, the Office of Rural Development of the Department of Agriculture published an Administrative Notice delaying implementation of 2010 Census data for use in their programs through March 27, 2013. The programs of the Rural Housing Service (RHS) provide access to safe, affordable mortgage financing for lower-income rural families.

Without Congressional intervention, RHS was on the brink of reverting to a definition of “rural” that has not been updated since 1974.  This outdated definition would have rendered more than 900 communities in 48 states ineligible for access to these valuable programs.

We will continue to work with Congress upon their return to advocate a 10-year grandfathering provision.  While this notice from Rural Development extends eligibility through March 27, 2013, we would like long-term certainty for communities and rural families looking to purchase a home.

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