On December 8, 2022, Rural Development released a Procedure Notice (PN) announcing revisions to the Multifamily Housing Loan Origination Handbook (Handbook-1-3560 Chapter 4) and the Multifamily Housing Project Servicing Handbook (Handbook-3-3560 Chapter 7). The PN clarified submission requirements related to citizenship and qualified alien status for Section 515/514/516 Loan, Grant and Project Ownership Transfer applications.
The PN applies only to Section 515/514/516 Loan, Grant or Project Ownership Transfer applications. It does not apply to current project operations or to tenant eligibility.
Agency Regulation 7 CFR 3560.55 outlines applicant eligibility requirements for MFH 515/514/516 direct loan and grant programs. To be eligible for Agency assistance, in addition to other applicable eligibility requirements, applicants must be a U. S. citizen or qualified alien(s); a corporation; a state or local public Agency; an Indian tribe as defined in § 3560.11; or a limited liability company, nonprofit organization, consumer cooperative, trust, partnership, or limited partnership in which the principals are U.S. citizens or qualified aliens.
The PN announced revisions to the Loan Origination and Project Servicing Handbooks clarifying how applicants must provide evidence of U.S. citizenship and qualified alien status. Specifically:
- Individual applicants and organizational applicants must provide to their attorney acceptable evidence of U.S. citizenship and/or qualified alien status. Acceptable evidence of U.S. citizenship may include a valid U.S. birth certificate, a valid U.S. Passport, a valid U.S. Certificate of Naturalization, or other acceptable evidence of U.S. citizenship proposed by the applicant and determined by the Agency. Acceptable evidence of qualified alien status may include valid documentation issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), or other acceptable documentation of qualified alien status proposed by the applicant and determined by the Agency.
- The applicant’s attorney must review all applicable evidence to verify U.S. citizenship and/or qualified alien status, must certify that the Agency’s U.S. citizenship and/or qualified alien status eligibility requirements are met by all applicants, and must submit the certification for Agency review.
These revised requirements are effective immediately. All Section 515/514/516 Loan, Grant or Project Ownership Transfer applications must include an attorney’s certification of eligible citizenship/qualified alien status in accordance with the requirements of the PN. Additional information can be found on Rural Development’s Resources webpage: https://www.rd.usda.gov/resources. Please contact Jonathan Bell at Jonathan.Bell@USDA.gov for additional information.