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Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, Farmers Associations,
and Tribes for Domestic Farmworker Housing

Off Farm Labor Housing Loans and Grants

Agency Type:

Federal

Funding Source:

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United States Department of Agriculture - Rural Housing Service

LOI Date:

11/01/21

Deadline Date:

05/02/22 12:00 PM EST

Description:

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Grants and loans to USA and Territories nonprofit organizations, government agencies, farmers and farmers associations, and tribes to provide farmworkers with off-farm housing and related facilities. Funding is intended to support costs to construct, repair, improve, and purchase housing units in urban or rural areas, for year-round and migrant or seasonal domestic farm laborers.

The Rural Housing Service (RHS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting competitive pre-applications for Section 514 Off-Farm Labor Housing (Off-FLH) loans and Section 516 Off-FLH grants for the construction of new Off-FLH units for domestic farm laborers, retired domestic farm laborers, or disabled domestic farm laborers. The program objective is to increase the supply of affordable housing for farm laborers.

This program assists qualified applicants who cannot obtain commercial credit on terms that will allow them to charge rents that are affordable to low-income tenants. Borrowers must have sufficient qualifications and experience to develop and operate the project.

Housing that is constructed with FLH loans and/or grant funds must meet RHS’s design and construction standards. Once constructed, Off-FLH must be managed in accordance with 7 CFR part 3560. In addition, Off-FLH must be operated on a non-profit basis and tenancy must be open to all qualified domestic farm laborers, regardless of which farm they work.

Rental Assistance (RA) and Operating Assistance (OA) will be available for this Notice. 

Who may live in rental housing: 

  •  Domestic farm laborers, including those working on fish and oyster farms and on-farm processing
  •  Retired and/or disabled farm laborers
  •  Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  •  Very-low- to moderate-income households 

Funding Availability: 

  •  Low interest loans
  •  Grants based on need and may not exceed 90% of project cost

Loan Terms: 

  • Up to 33 year payback period
  • 1% fixed rate
  •  An allocation of loan funds is also available for on-farm labor housing and is funded on a first-come, first-served basis

RHS encourages applications that will help advance equity and improve outcomes in rural America. To encourage investments in rural properties, RHS will award points to projects located in rural Opportunity Zones (economically distressed communities where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment). For further details, see https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-02-02/pdf/2021-02193.pdf#page=1.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 145423

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum award per selected project may not exceed $5 million (total loan and grant).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicant Eligibility:

(a) To be eligible to receive a Section 514 loan for Off-FLH, the applicant must meet the requirements of 7 CFR 3560.555(a) and be a broad-based nonprofit organization of farmworkers, a Federally recognized Indian tribe, a community organization, or an Agency or political subdivision of state or local Government, and must meet the requirements of § 3560.55, excluding § 3560.55(a)(6). A broad-based nonprofit organization is a non-profit organization that has a membership that reflects a variety of interests in the area where the housing will be located; or a limited partnership with a non-profit general partner which meets the requirements of § 3560.55(d).

(b) To be eligible to receive a Section 516 grant for Off-FLH, the applicant must meet the requirements of 7 CFR 3560.555(b) and be a broad-based nonprofit organization of farmworkers, a federally recognized Indian tribe, a community organization, or an agency or political subdivision of State or local Government, and must meet the requirements of § 3560.55, excluding § 3560.55(a)(6). A broad-based nonprofit organization is a non-profit organization that has a membership that reflects a variety of interests in the area where the housing will be located; and be able to contribute at least one-tenth of the total farm labor housing development cost from its own or other resources. The applicant’s contribution must be available at the time of the grant closing.

In addition:
(1) The applicant must be unable to provide the necessary housing from the applicant’s own resources and be unable to obtain credit from any other source upon terms and conditions which the applicant could reasonably be expected to fulfill.
(2) Provide evidence that the applicant is unable to obtain credit from other sources.

For further eligibility requirements, see https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-02-02/pdf/2021-02193.pdf#page=3.

Limited partnerships with a non-profit general partner are eligible for Section 514 loans; however, they are not eligible for Section 516 grants.

Tenant Eligibility: Tenant eligibility is limited to persons who meet the definition of a ‘‘domestic farm laborer,’’ or a ‘‘disabled domestic farm laborer,’’ or a ‘‘retired domestic farm laborer’’ as defined in Section 514(f)(3) of the Housing Act of 1949, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1484(f)(3)). Section 514(f)(3)(A) of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1484(f)(3)(A)) has been amended to extend FLH tenant eligibility to agricultural workers legally admitted to the United States and authorized to work in agriculture. In addition, under no circumstance may any currently eligible FLH tenants be displaced from their homes as a result of this statutory change.

In accordance with 7 CFR 3560.554, off-farm labor housing may be used to serve migrant farmworkers. Migrants or migrant agricultural laborer is a person (and the family of such person) who receives a substantial portion of his or her income from farm labor employment and who establishes a residence in a location on a seasonal or temporary basis, in an attempt to receive farm labor employment at one or more locations away from their home base state, excluding day-haul agricultural workers whose travels are limited to work areas within one day of their residence. Seasonal housing is housing that is operated on a seasonal basis, typically for migrants or migrant agricultural laborers as opposed to year-round. Off-FLH loan and grant funds may be used to provide facilities for seasonal or temporary residential use with appropriate furnishings and equipment. A temporary residence is a dwelling which is used for occupancy, usually for a short period of time, but is not the legal residence for the occupant.

Only very-low or low-income households are eligible for the operating assistance rents. Households with incomes above the low-income limits must pay the full rent.

In accordance with 7 CFR 3560.60, the housing must be economical to construct, operate, and maintain and must not be of elaborate design or materials.

Pre-Application Information:

There will be three rounds of preapplication submissions and selections:

First Round
1. Available loan and grant funding posted to the RHS website by February 5, 2021.
2. Pre-applications must be submitted by April 1, 2021, 12:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.
3. RHS notification to applicants by June 1, 2021.
4. Pre-application selections posted to the RHS website by July 1, 2021.
5. Final applications must be submitted by August 2, 2021, 12:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.

Second Round
1. Available loan and grant funding posted to the RHS website by August 2, 2021.
2. Pre-applications will be accepted after September 1, 2021.
3. Pre-applications must be submitted by November 1, 2021, 12:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.
4. RHS notification to applicants by January 4, 2022.
5. Pre-application selections posted to the RHS website by March 1, 2022.
6. Final applications must be submitted by May 2, 2022, 12:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time

Third Round
1. Available loan and grant funding posted to the RHS website by August 1, 2022.
2. Pre-applications will be accepted after September 1, 2022.
3. Pre-applications must be submitted by November 1, 2022, 12:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.
4. RHS notification to applicants by January 2, 2023.
5. Pre-application selections posted to the RHS website by March 1, 2023.
6. Final applications must be submitted by May 1, 2023, 12:00 p.m., local time

All program applicants must be registered in the System for Awards Management (SAM) prior to submitting an application, unless determined exempt under 2 CFR 25.110. Federal award recipients must maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application under consideration by the Agency.

The application process will be in two phases, for each individual fiscal year that this Notice is open: The initial pre-application and the submission of a final application. Only those pre-applications that are selected for further processing will be invited to submit a final application.
- Pre-applications should be submitted electronically. The process for submitting an electronic application to RHS is as follows: (a) At least two business days prior to the application deadline for the applicable funding round, the applicant must email RHS a request to create a shared folder in CloudVault.
- Prior to the submission of a pre-application, the applicant is encouraged to schedule a concept meeting with RHS to discuss the application process, the specifics on the proposed project, and the borrower’s responsibilities under the Off-FLH program, among other topics.
- The pre-applications that are selected for further processing will be invited to submit final applications.

If leveraged funds are going to be used and are in the form of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), the applicant must include in the preapplication, written evidence that a LIHTC application has been submitted and accepted by the Housing Finance Agency (HFA). Applicants without written evidence that a tax credit application has been submitted and accepted by an HFA must certify in writing within the pre-application that they will apply for tax credits to an HFA, obtain a firm commitment letter, and include the commitment letter within their final application submission, if available.

Pre-applications that are deemed eligible but are not selected for further processing for each individual fiscal year that this Notice is open, will be withdrawn from processing. The applicant may reapply in a future funding round.

RHS will not consider any application that is received after the established deadlines unless the date and time are extended by another Notice published in the Federal Register.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To submit the pre-application, send an email to Off-FLHapplication@usda.gov (Subject line: ‘‘Off-FLH Application Submission’’) with a request to create a shared CloudVault folder.

Requests for concept meetings can be sent to the following email address: MFHprocessing1@usda.gov.

For further information, contact:
Jonathan Bell, Branch Chief
Processing and Report Review Branch 1
Production and Preservation Division
Multifamily Housing Programs
Rural Development
United States Department of Agriculture
MFHprocessing1@usda.gov
254–742–9764

For questions, you may also contact your RD State office at https://www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/state-offices or Rural Rental Properties at https://rdmfhrentals.sc.egov.usda.gov/RDMFHRentals/select_state.jsp.

CFDA Number:

10.405 / 10.427

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

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