Obama Signs Farm Bill into Law
On Feb. 7, President Obama signed the Agriculture Act of 2014 into law. The legislation ensures that 900 communities eligible for rural housing programs since 2000 will retain status as "rural" areas. It also increases the population definition of a rural community from 25,000 to 35,000.
The signing enables millions of Americans to maintain access to critical rural housing programs. Future development of LIHTC sites will have access to more loans and other funding sources as a result of the "rural" designation. According to the National Association of Home Builders estimates, the legislation will generate $1.2 billion more in rural housing investment, including construction of new single-family and multifamily homes and remodeling.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture redraws its maps defining rural areas following every census, and the maps drawn after the 2010 census would have removed these communities from the program due to their population.