Today, the U.S. Senate passed an amendment to S. 3240, the Farm Bill, offered by U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) that will make certain rural communities throughout Kansas remain eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development loan and grant programs. In the absence of this amendment, nearly 1,000 rural communities across the country would have become ineligible for USDA funds due to small increases in population identified by the recent 2010 Census. USDA Rural Development programs help provide affordable single and multi-family housing, finance water and waste loans and grants, and support essential community facilities like hospitals and schools.
"While some communities have grown in size since the last census, Kansas is fundamentally a rural state," Sen. Moran said. "Thanks to passage of this amendment, our communities remain eligible to compete for the limited rural development funds made available by the USDA. We live a special way of life in Kansas, and I am glad rural Kansans will continue to benefit from these programs."
As a result of slight population shifts in the 2010 Census, some communities formerly considered "rural" were no longer going to be eligible for assistance from one of more Rural Development programs as of October 1, 2012. Sen. Moran's amendment will preserve the "rural" standing and eligibility for these vital funds for all communities with a population between 10,000 and 35,000 that are rural in character and lack the mortgage credit needed for lower and moderate-income families.
Kansas communities benefitting from Sen. Moran's amendment could include Hays, Ottawa, Junction City, Garden City, Lansing, Liberal and Pittsburg, among others.