By News-Register staff • 

Mac remains eligible for rural loan program

The USDA’s Rural Development housing program issues direct home loans with no down payment, low interest rates and flexible credit guidelines to municipalities that have a population between 10,000 and 35,000 (according to U.S. census data), maintain a “rural character” and have a “serious lack of mortgage credit for lower and moderate income families.”

Used locally by nonprofit Community Homebuilders, the availability of the program was in question after the USDA announced that McMinnville was one of the communities under review for eligibility earlier this year.

Senior Planner Tom Schauer recently confirmed McMinnville’s approved rural status with members of the city’s affordable housing committee.

“I contacted the Oregon office, and they confirmed that McMinnville retains its ‘rural’ status and therefore remains eligible for those USDA Rural Development housing programs which rely on the ‘rural’ designation,” Schauer said via email.

Affordable housing committee chair Kellie Menke previously called the program “critically important” in the pursuit of additional affordable housing.