Affordable Housing and Tax Credit Developments NationallyThe U.S. Department of Agriculture Released FY 2011 Notice of Funding Availability for Section 515 Housing

July 20, 2011by George Danneman

Summary of the Section 515 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) and program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in cooperation with the Rural Housing Service (RHS) has released the Fiscal Year 2011 Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Section 515 Rural Rental Housing Program (RHA).  The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is for new construction or purchase and rehabilitation of existing rural multi-family properties and will have a deadline for receipt of all pre-applications of 5 p.m., local time for each USDA Rural Development State Office, August 29, 2011.

Section 515 of the Housing Act of 1949 provides U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development with the authority to make loans to any individual, corporation, association, public or private nonprofit organization, or partnership to provide rental or cooperative housing and related facilities in rural areas.  This provides housing to very low, low, or moderate-income persons or families, including elderly persons and persons with disabilities.  Rental Assistance (RA) is a tenant subsidy for very low and low-income families residing in rural rental housing facilities with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development financing.


The total amount available for FY 2011 for Section 515 Funding is $18,036,667.89:

Non-Restricted ($12,036,667.89)

Set-aside for non-profits ($2,000,000.00)

Set-aside for Underserved Counties and Colonias ($2,000,000.00)

Set-aside for REAP Zones ($2,000,000.00)

Total for Section 515 New Construction  ($18,036,667.89)

Individual loan requests should not exceed $1 million.  This applies to regular Section 515 funds and set-aside

funds.  No State may receive more than 20 percent of the total amount available, including set-aside funds.

Selection Process

Pre-applications will be accepted for loan requests to finance the new construction of a Section 515 property, or the purchase and substantial rehabilitation of non-program facilities in rural areas.  Pre-applications will be assigned points and will be scored and ranked based on the following criteria:

A. Energy Initiatives

B. Leverage Assistance

C. Colonia, Tribal land, or Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Community

D. Special Initiatives and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

E. Donated Land

F. Presidentially Declared Disaster Area

For more information about the selection process as well as other information about the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), please click here.

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