Thousands of affordable housing units currently financed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Section 515 Rural Rental Housing loan program could be at risk once the loans mature or are paid in full. At that point, property owners are no longer required to maintain the units as affordable and can charge market rate rent. Their tenants, often very low-income households with an average household income of $13,600, could also lose USDA Rental Assistance, which helps keep their housing costs at around 30 percent of their income.
According to Housing Assistance Council (HAC), which analyzed the numbers in a recent Rural Policy Note, between 2016 and 2048, thousands of units will “exit” the Section 515 project. HAC estimates that 2040 will be the peak year, when loans for more than 900 properties representing more than 30,000 units, will mature.
This comes at a time when both demand for rentals and rents have increased significantly, leaving low-income renters, including mothers with children, the elderly and renters with disabilities, struggling to find decent and affordable housing.
To view an interactive map with exit dates go here >>