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Preservation of Affordable Rural Housing: A Practitioners' Guide to the Section 515 Program
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Published March 2005
Author Leslie Strauss, Lindley Higgins, Gideon Anders, Timothy L. Thompson, Christine R. Goepfert, Shereen Aboul-Saad, Adam Galowitz
Source Local Initiatives Support Corporation
URL Click here to download the full document
PDF: 60 pages, 425 kbytes


This handbook is a compilation of articles intended to describe the Section 515 program as it exists today. Although each section was written to address a separate issue of interest, together they provide a broad overview of the program as a whole. This is intended to help nonprofit organizations that have an interest in serving the needs of rural communities and the low-income people who live in them improve their understanding of the rules of the 515 program, practical issues confronting owners, managers, and tenants, and some of the recent thinking and practice in the field.

Chapter 1 describes the Section 515 Rental Housing Direct Mortgage program of the Rural Housing Service, including its history, function, regulatory scheme, characteristics of the existing stock, and programmatic trends.

Chapter 2, based to a large extent on interviews with experts in the field, discusses major obstacles to the preservation of RHS Section 515 properties and strategies for overcoming these obstacles.

Chapter 3 provides a comprehensive explanation of funds available to nonprofit development organizations undertaking the acquisition and/or rehabilitation of Section 515 properties, including funds available through RHS and other sources.

Chapter 4 discusses and analyzes the current legal framework surrounding prepayment and preservation of Section 515 properties and relevant case law.

Chapter 5 describes current efforts to facilitate Section 515 preservation transactions through the transfer process, with a particular focus on the principles and potential impacts of Administrative Notice 4010.

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