On September 26, 2014, NAR President Steve Brown sent a letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack in response to state REALTOR® associations’ concerns about community eligibility for rural housing loans. Rural housing directors in each state have the discretion to determine whether a community is “rural in character.” Due to concerns by REALTOR® members about the subjective nature of these determinations, Secretary Vilsack issued a letter suspending work on determinations and any designations that would make a place ineligible based solely on “rural in character” criteria. Communities that were slated for ineligibility due to “rural in character” criteria will be reinstated as eligible through September 30, 2015. President Brown thanked Secretary Vilsack for pledging to review Rural Housing Service (RHS) policies and urged RHS to make the community eligibility process more transparent. Criteria that were used to make a community ineligible should be provided when communities are notified of any changes to eligibility.
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