Farm Labor Housing Loans and Grants
To provide decent, safe, and sanitary low-rent housing and related facilities for domestic farm laborers.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Rural Housing Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
GUARANTEED/INSURED LOANS; PROJECT GRANTS
Fiscal Year 2014: Obligated funds repaired 317 units and constructed 1076 units of housing in the farm labor program. Fiscal Year 2015: The 2015 Budget requests $24 million in loans and $8 million in grants for Farm Labor housing. Fiscal Year 2016: The 2016 Budget requests $24 million in loans and $7 million in grants for Farm Labor housing.
Housing Act of 1949, as amended, Sections 514 and 516, Public Laws 89-117 and 89-754, 42 U.S.C 1484 and 1486.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Loans are available to farmers, family farm partnership, family farm corporations, or an association of farmers. Loans and grants are available to States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, political subdivisions of States, broad-based public or private nonprofit organizations, federally recognized Indian Tribes and non- profit corporations of farm workers. Grants are available to eligible applicants only when there is a pressing need and when it is doubtful that such facilities could be provided unless grant assistance is available.
A domestic farm laborer is any person who receives a substantial portion of his/her income as a laborer on a farm in the United States and is either (1) a citizen of the United States, or (2) has been legally admitted for permanent residency.
The applicant must furnish factual evidence of the following: (a) The number of domestic farm laborers currently being used in the area; (b) the kind of labor performed; (c) the future need for domestic farm labor in the area; (d) the kind, condition, and adequacy of housing presently used for such labor; (e) ownership of presently occupied housing; (f) ability of workers to pay necessary rent; and (g) with the exception of State and local public agencies, be unable to provide housing from its own resources or credit on terms and conditions that would enable the applicant to provide labor housing. Costs will be determined in accordance with 7 CFR part 3015 or 3016 for State and local governments. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is required. An environmental impact statement is required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. The Section 514/516 Program is awarded through Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) announced in the Federal Register.
Applications will be scored on the following factors: (1) The presence and extent of leveraged assistance for the units that will serve RHS income-eligible tenants at basic rents comparable to those if RHS provided full financing, computed as a percentage of the RHS total development cost. A minimum of ten percent leveraged assistance is required to earn points; however, less than ten percent and the proposal includes donated land, two points will be awarded for the donated land, (0 to 20 points); (2) Seasonal, temporary, migrant housing (5 points for up to and including 50 percent of the units; 10 points for 51 percent or more); National Office initiative will be based on the presence of and extent to which a tenant services plan exists that clearly outlines services that will be provided to the residents of the proposed project. Two points will be awarded for each resident service included in the tenant services plan up to a maximum of 10 points,(0 to 10 points). Application selection process: (1) States will review and score the applications and submit a list of applications in rank and point score order to the National Office; (2) the National Office will rank applications on a nation-wide basis and will advise States of the results.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 90 days. RHS uses a two-stage application process for the Farm Labor Housing Program. First, applicants submit preapplications, which are used to determine preliminary eligibility and feasibility. RHS then invites some applicants to submit formal applications. Section 514/516 funds are divided between off-farm housing and on-farm housing. The off-farm program provides loans and grants to organizations that assist farm workers at off-farm locations with no restrictions that workers be employed on a particular farm. Under new regulations effective June 1999, preapplications for the off-farm program funds must be submitted in response to a Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) published in the Federal Register every year. RHS scores the preapplications, using a ranking process to determine which applicants will be invited to submit formal applications. The on-farm program makes loans to eligible farmers (or a group of farmers) to provide Housing, usually for their own laborers. Preapplications for on-farm units, or for repair And rehabilitation of existing off-farm units, may be submitted at any time are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
From 15 to 30 days. A person or organization who is directly and adversely affected by an administrative decision by Rural Development should follow the procedures found in 7 CFR part 1900, Subpart B of "Rural Development Administrative Appeal Procedures.".
How are proposals selected?
A clearly defined need must exist to provide housing for domestic farm workers.
How may assistance be used?
The loans and grants may be used for construction, repair, or purchase of year-round or seasonal housing; acquiring the necessary land and making improvements on land for housing; and developing related support facilities including central cooking and dining facilities, small infirmaries, laundry facilities, day care centers, other essential equipment and facilities or recreation areas. Funds may also be used to pay certain fees and interest incidental to the project. Restrictions on the use of funds are: Developers' fees, resident services, cost of unrelated commercial space, costs associated with other lenders/grantors. Housing financed with labor housing loan or grant funds must be occupied by domestic farm laborers, individuals who derive a substantial portion of their income from farm labor, and their families. The occupants must also be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.
Adequate operating tenant, and accounting records must be maintained by borrower.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching Requirements: Percent: 10.%. Section 516 grants for off-farm FLH may not exceed the lesser of 90 percent of the total development cost (TDC) as provided in 7 CFR 3560.562(c)(1).
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Loans are usually made for 33 years at 1 percent interest. Grants may cover up to 90 percent of development cost. The balance may be (and usually is) a Section 514 loan. RHS rental assistance (RA) subsidy can be used to limit tenant payments to 30 percent of their income. RA can be used as an operating subsidy for projects or units with Section 516 funding that serve migrants. It is RHS policy to attempt to use less than a 90 percent grant when RA is utilized. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. Consult your local telephone directory for Rural Development Area Office number. If no listing, contact appropriate Rural Development State Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog or on the internet at http://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices.
USDA Rural Development, Preservation and Direct Loan Division, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Mail Stop 0782, Washington, District of Columbia 20250–0781 Phone: (202) 720-1604.
12-2081-0-4-371; 12-2004-0-1-604; 12-4141-0-3-371.
(Direct Loans) FY 14 $52,959,000; FY 15 est $24,000,000; and FY 16 est $24,000,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
No Data Available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR part 3560; Subpart L
Examples of Funded Projects