On Feb. 2, 2015, NAR President Chris Polychron met with Lisa Afua Serwah Mensah, Under Secretary of USDA Rural Development, and Tony Hernandez, USDA Rural Housing Service Administrator. Ms. Mensah provides leadership for three USDA agencies charged with improving the economic wellbeing of rural America: the Rural Housing Service, the Rural Utilities Service and the Rural Business-Cooperative Service. President Polychron communicated to Ms. Mensah and Mr. Hernandez the importance of Section 502 rural housing loans that provide affordable housing opportunities to low- and moderate-income rural homebuyers. NAR and RHS pledged to work together to improve the 502 program including refining the process for “rural in character” determinations, advocating for a proposal to allow approved lenders the authority to issue rural home loan guarantees as well as working to improve the 40-year old definition of “rural” that determines community eligibility for RHS programs.
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