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    Rural Community Development Banking Resource Directory

    This directory provides descriptions and contact information for a number of organizations and web sites that can provide resources to banks interested in lending, investing, or providing retail financial services in rural communities.  These activities are organized under following:

  • Commercial Lending
  • Community Revitalization
  • General Information
  • Public Facilities Lending
  • Rural Development Farm Loan Programs
  • Rural Housing

    Commercial Lending

    Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund stimulates the creation and expansion of CDFIs by providing incentives to traditional banks and thrifts through the Bank Enterprise Act awards program. The CDFI Fund also provides relatively small infusions of capital to institutions that serve distressed communities and low-income individuals. Technical assistance grants are also provided to strengthen the capacity of community development financial institutions.

    Small Business Administration (SBA) administers direct loan and loan guarantee programs for developing and expanding small businesses. Additionally, the SBA administers the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) designed to offer business development assistance to entrepreneurs. SBA's Web site contains information on:
    Information on the SBA 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program
    Information on SBA Certified Development Company Section 504 Program

    USDA’s Rural Cooperative Business Service , which is a unit in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Office, provides business and industry loan guarantees up to 90 percent of a loan made by a commercial lender. Loan proceeds may be used for working capital, machinery and equipment, buildings and real estate, and certain types of debt refinancing. The primary purpose is to create and maintain employment and improve the economic climate in rural communities.

    Community Revitalization

    Federal Enterprise Zone and Empowerment Communities are programs providing special financial incentives for businesses that locate in certain designated areas. This website contains a listing of Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities located in rural areas

    USDA’s Rural Economic Development Action Teams (REDAT) promotes interagency partnerships amongst USDA agencies to enhance the ultimate project goals and objectives.  Through the online REDAT link, projects can be updated.  The web site is also used to provide a forum to share the results of successful REDAT projects.

    National Main Street Center has been working with communities across the nation since 1980 to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas. Based in historic preservation, the Main Street approach was developed to save historic commercial architecture and the fabric of American communities' built environment, but has become a powerful economic development tool as well. 

    General Information

    Community Developments “Shaping the Future of Rural America-Banks and Economic Development” OCC’s Fall 2002 Community Developments newsletter includes articles that address how financial institutions are building partnerships with community organizations and others that lead to increased access to commercial and job generating economic development credit in rural communities.

    Native American Banking Resource Directory (2001) - This directory provides descriptions and contact information for a sampling of organizations that can offer resources to banks interested in lending, investing, or providing retail financial services in Indian country.

    Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Center for the Study of Rural America tracks developments affecting farm and rural economies and analyzes economic and policy issues key to rural America's future. The Center conducts periodic conferences on these issues that are summarized on this web site.

    National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) provides training, advocacy, and information for regional development organizations primarily in rural communities.  NADO also provides a network for its members to share ideas and innovative projects through its Economic Development Digest, which highlights best practices in rural economic development.

    National Rural Development Partnership (NRDP)   is a national initiative administered by USDA which uses state collaboratives to bring together key rural players in their states to address critical rural community concerns. The NRDP highlights effective strategies for rural community and economic development and also maintains a web clearinghouse on rural development.

    Office of Thrift Supervision’s publication, Best Practices in Rural Development , is a compilation of examples of twelve “best practices” in mortgage lending and economic development by thrifts in rural areas in the United States. 

    USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)   identifies, develops, and manages programs to support university-based and other institutional research and education that supports agriculture and rural communities. Programs focus on a range of topics from financial literacy to supporting small businesses.

    Public Facilities Lending

    Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) is a nonprofit organization that assists rural communities in 12 western states. They build partnerships, advocate for small communities and develop capacity, especially for the development of public facilities.

    USDA Rural Development (RD)   provides financial program support for the development of essential public facilities and services such as water and sewer systems, housing, health clinics, emergency service facilities and electric and telephone service. RD supports economic development by guaranteeing loans to businesses through banks and community-based lending pools.  RD also provides technical assistance to help agriculture and other cooperatives get started and improve membership services.  Technical assistance is also provided to communities in order to assist them in achieving community empowerment.

    Rural Development Farm Loan Programs

    Farmer Mac is America's secondary market for first mortgage agricultural real estate loans, and
    was created by Congress to improve the availability of mortgage credit to America's farmers, ranchers and rural homeowners, businesses and communities. Farmer Mac does this primarily by purchasing qualified loans from lenders, thereby replenishing their source of funds to make new loans.

    USDA’s Farm Service Agency offers direct and guaranteed farm ownership and operating loans to farmers who are temporarily unable to obtain private, commercial credit.

    Rural Housing

    Community Developments "A Place to Call Home - Financing Housing in Rural America" OCC's Spring 2003 Community Developments newsletter includes articles that address how financial institutions are building partnerships with community organizations and others that lead to increased access to financing for affordable housing in rural America.

    Fannie Mae purchases single-family mortgages originated in conjunction with USDA’s section 502 direct loan and loan guarantee programs.

    Federal Housing Finance Board’s   Affordable Housing Program (AHP) encourages mortgage lending to underserved rural communities by participating member banks. The AHP subsidizes the cost of housing for very low-income and low- or moderate-income owner-occupied and rental housing.

    Freddie Mac purchases single-family mortgages originated in conjunction with USDA’s section 502 direct loan and loan guarantee programs.

    Housing Assistance Council (HAC) publishes Rural Voices, a newsletter that provides ideas on funding, planning, and building affordable housing and livable rural communities.  HAC provides loans at below-market interest rates to rural housing developers as well as technical assistance, research, and training to public and private organizations. 

    Low Income Housing Tax Credits are used extensively in rural areas to subsidize the cost of creating multifamily rental housing. Under the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, taxpayers may take a credit against federal income taxes for qualified rental housing development expenditures. The OCC’s Community Development Resource page   includes a description of the Low Income Tax Credit Program .

    Rural Home Loan Partnership (RHLP) was created in 1996 by four national organizations involved in rural housing.  The purpose of the partnership is to create affordable housing in rural communities utilizing the USDA’s Section 502 Single Family Direct Loan set-aside in partnership with financial institutions and local community organizations.  Today the RHLP has grown to 12 national and over 250 local partners cooperating to bring outreach, homeownership counseling, and additional mortgage lending resources to rural communities throughout the country.

    Rural LISC’s mission is to build the capacity of resident-led rural 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. Rural LISC provides more than 70 partner organizations across the country with training, technical assistance, and funding to address the problems rural communities face.

    NeighborWorks Rural Initiative (NRI)
    Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation administers the NeighborWorks Rural Initiative which provides funding to community development corporations and local non-profit organizations in over 50 rural communities across the country. These organizations provide homeownership education counseling, develop and renovate single- and multi-family housing, and promote economic development in rural areas across the country.

    USDA’s Section 502 Guaranteed Rural Housing Loans (GRH) is a program administered by the Rural Housing Service (RHS). Under the program, USDA provides loan guarantees on single-family home mortgages to low- and moderate-income families located in rural communities throughout the United States. GRH loans are made and serviced by more than 2,000 lenders throughout the country, and can be guaranteed up to 100 percent of the appraised value of the property.

    USDA’s Section 515 Multifamily Direct Loan Program makes direct loans to provide affordable multifamily rental housing for very low-, low-, and moderate-income families; the elderly; and persons with disabilities.  Loans are for up to 50 years at an effective 1 percent interest rate.  A current rate is used for the promissory note but thereafter is used only to determine maximum rent payments.

    USDA’s Section 538 Rural Rental Housing Loan Guarantee Program .  The Rural Housing Service guarantees loans under the Section 538 Rural Rental Housing Guaranteed loan program for development of multi-family housing facilities in rural areas of the United States.  Loan guarantees are provided for the construction, acquisition, or rehabilitation of rural multi-family housing.


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