Rural Housing Resources

Rural Housing Resources

What Information and Financial Resources are Available for Rural Housing?

Rural Information Center (U.S.)
Beltsville, MD: USDA, National Agricultural Library, Rural Information Center
Last Modified March, 2015.
Original edition: 2006 by Rural Information Center.

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This online guide provides rural housing information on funding programs, technical assistance, housing data and informational resources from housing organizations.

The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this publication (or page) is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the United States Department of Agriculture or the Agricultural Research Service of any product or service to the exclusion of others that maybe suitable.

Affordable Housing Programs

The following programs provide funding information to assist individuals and community nonprofit organizations.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):

  • USDA Rural Housing Programs:
    Rural Housing programs have available aid in the development of housing for rural America. Funds are available through community facilities loans, home ownership loans, rural rental housing loans, home improvement loans, and more.
  • State and Local Office Information: Find the USDA Rural Development Office nearest you on this map. USDA Rural Development also has a Centralized Service Center with a toll free number at 1-800-414-1226.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is the Federal agency that works to help the nation's communities meet their development needs, spur economic growth in distressed neighborhoods, provide housing assistance for the poor, help rehabilitate and develop moderate and low-cost housing, and enforce the nation's fair housing laws. This site includes regularly updated listings of available funds and homes for sale, plus best practices and links to other HUD programs.

HUD Veteran Resource Center (HUDVet) 1-877-424-3838:
In addition to its special focus on veterans who are homeless, the Veteran Resource Center (HUDVET) is also a source of information on other HUD and related Federal programs, such those to combat domestic violence, enhance community and economic development, aid runaway youth, and increase affordable housing for senior citizens and Americans with disabilities.

The Department of Veterans Affairs: Home Loan Program
"These loans are often made without any down payment at all, and frequently offer lower interest rates than ordinarily available with other kinds of loans. Your local VA regional office information can be reached by using the toll-free number: 1-800-827-1000."

Federal Housing Finance Agency:
Ensures that the Federal Home Loan Bank System fulfills its public policy mission of facilitating residential mortgage lending and supporting community and economic development activity in rural and urban communities.

The Farm Credit Service is a collection of federally chartered borrower-owned credit cooperatives that lend primarily to agriculture, but also provide rural home loans. For a description of the Farm Credit System and a list of banks serving your state:

National Council of State Housing Agencies(NCSHA):
A national, nonprofit organization which assists its members in advancing the interests of lower income and underserved people through the financing, development, and preservation of affordable housing. NCSHA's members are Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) with
statewide authority. NCSHA's member agencies operate in every state and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Housing Assistance Council:
A national nonprofit corporation created to increase the availability of decent and affordable housing for low-income people in rural areas throughout the United States. Offers loans, technical assistance and other housing assistance to non-profit organizations that provide affordable housing resources.

Habitat for Humanity:
An organization which strives to end poverty housing and homelessness by providing simple, decent homes to those in need. Families buy houses at cost and receive interest-free mortgages in exchange for investing several hundred hours of manual labor in building their house and houses for others.

Rural Community Assistance Corporation Housing Program:
This program emphasizes three areas: Farm Worker Housing, Self-Help Housing, and Community Housing Development Organizations. Additionally, they have begun working with special projects involving the combination of housing with businesses, social services, health care and child care.

Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation):
An organization which strives to build the capacity of resident led rural community development corporations (CDCs), increase their production and impact, demonstrate the value of investing in and through rural CDCs and make the resource and policy environment more supportive of rural CDCs and their work.

The Enterprise Foundation
Offering expertise and access to best practices and publications on a variety of housing subjects, including finance, housing production, home ownership and home rental. There is also a resource database.

Housing Repair

See Federal Programs for Home Improvement, USDA's Rural Housing programs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for housing repair programs.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program(LIHEAP):
Information through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on government grants made to states and tribal organizations for heating assistance, cooling assistance, energy crisis intervention and low-cost residential weatherization and other energy related home repair.

Weatherization Assistance Program:
U.S. Department of Energy program which aims to correct the disproportionate energy burden faced by low-income Americans. Includes information on who's qualified for the program, services offered and the outcomes of weatherization in low-income housing.

Rebuilding Together:
Rebuilding Together is a national volunteer organization that works in partnership with communities to rehabilitate housing, particularly for low-income elderly or disabled homeowners. They can be reached at 1-800-4-REHAB-9.

Manufactured Housing Resources

Manufactured Housing Institute

Manufactured Housing Program, U.S.Housing and Urban Development

Additional Resources

National Housing Institute (NHI):
A nonprofit organization that provides research on what does and does not work in community building and other key issues of affordable housing. It then shares this information with other nonprofit and community-based organizations to help in providing key findings to those active in affordable housing development.

National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC):
A national organization that is "solely dedicated to ending America's affordable housing crisis." It does this through education and advocacy. This organization has a vast number of links to housing organizations and government housing programs as well as statistical information on America's housing issues.

National Rural Housing Coalition
A group of rural community activists, public officials, and non-profit developers who fight for better housing and community facilities for low-income rural people. They can be reached at (202)393-5229.

Rural Information Center's Housing resources page for rural citizens

Housing Data Sources

For statistical information on housing issues.

U.S. Census Bureau Data:

National Association of Home Builders