(a) Authorization and purposes of assistance
The Secretary of Agriculture (hereinafter referred to as the “Secretary”) is authorized, subject to the terms and conditions of this subchapter, to extend financial assistance, through the Farmers Home Administration, (1) to owners of farms in the United States and in the Territories of Alaska and Hawaii and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the territories and possessions of the United States, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, to enable them to construct, improve, alter, repair, or replace dwellings and other farm buildings on their farms, and to purchase buildings and land constituting a minimum adequate site, in order to provide them, their tenants, lessees, sharecroppers, and laborers with decent, safe, and sanitary living conditions and adequate farm buildings as specified in this subchapter, and (2) to owners of other real estate in rural areas for the construction, improvement, alteration, or repair of dwellings, related facilities, and farm buildings and to rural residents, including persons who reside in reservations or villages of Indian tribes, for such purposes and for the purchase of buildings and the purchase of land constituting a minimum adequate site, in order to enable them to provide dwellings and related facilities for their own use and buildings adequate for their farming operations, and (3) to elderly or handicapped persons or families who are or will be the owners of land in rural areas for the construction, improvement, alteration, or repair of dwellings and related facilities, the purchase of dwellings and related facilities and the purchase of land constituting a minimum adequate site, in order to provide them with adequate dwellings and related facilities for their own use, and (4) to an owner described in clause (1), (2), or (3) for refinancing indebtedness which—
(A) was incurred for an eligible purpose described in such clause, and
(i) if not refinanced, is likely to result (because of circumstances beyond the control of the applicant) at an early date in the loss of the applicant’s necessary dwelling or essential farm service buildings, or
(ii) if combined (in the case of a dwelling that the Secretary finds not to be decent, safe, and sanitary) with a loan for improvement, rehabilitation, or repairs and not refinanced, is likely to result in the applicant’s continuing to be deprived of a decent, safe, and sanitary dwelling.
1 So in original. Definitions.—For purposes of this subchapter, the terms “repair”, “repairs”, “rehabilitate”, and “rehabilitation” include measures to evaluate and reduce lead-based paint hazards, as such terms are defined in section 4851b of this title.
(1) For the purpose of this subchapter, the term “farm” shall mean a parcel or parcels of land operated as a single unit which is used for the production of one or more agricultural commodities and which customarily produces or is capable of producing such commodities for sale and for home use of a gross annual value of not less than the equivalent of a gross annual value of $400 in 1944, as determined by the Secretary. The Secretary shall promptly determine whether any parcel or parcels of land constitute a farm for the purposes of this subchapter whenever requested to do so by any interested Federal, State, or local public agency, and his determination shall be conclusive.
(2) For the purposes of this subchapter, the terms “owner” and “mortgage” shall be deemed to include, respectively, the lessee of, and other security interest in, any leasehold interest which the Secretary determines has an unexpired term (A) in the case of a loan, for a period sufficiently beyond the repayment period of the loan to provide adequate security and a reasonable probability of accomplishing the objectives for which the loan is made, and (B) in the case of a grant for a period sufficient to accomplish the objectives for which the grant is made.
(3) For the purposes of this subchapter, the term “elderly or handicapped persons or families” means families which consist of two or more persons, the head of which (or his or her spouse) is at least sixty-two years of age or is handicapped. Such term also means a single person who is at least sixty-two years of age or is handicapped. A person shall be considered handicapped if such person is determined, pursuant to regulations issued by the Secretary, to have an impairment which (A) is expected to be of long-continued and indefinite duration, (B) substantially impedes his ability to live independently, and (C) is of such a nature that such ability could be improved by more suitable housing conditions, or if such person has a d
(4) For the purpose of this subchapter, the terms “low income families or persons” and “very low-income families or persons” means those families and persons whose incomes do not exceed the respective levels established for lower income families and very low-income families under the United States Housing Act of 1937 [42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq.]. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, the maximum income levels established for purposes of this subchapter for such families and persons in the Virgin Islands shall not be less than the highest such levels established for purposes of this subchapter for such families and persons in American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. The temporary absence of a child from the home due to placement in foster care should not be considered in considering family composition and family size. (5) (A) For the purpose of this subchapter, the terms “income” and “adjusted income” have the meanings given by sections 3(b)(4) and 3(b)(5), respectively, of the United States Housing Act of 1937 [42 U.S.C. 1437a(b)(4), (5)].
(B) For purposes of this subchapter, the term “income” does not include dividends received from the Alaska Permanent Fund by a person who was under the age of 18 years when that person qualified for the dividend.
(6) For the purposes of this subchapter, the term “Indian tribe” means any Indian tribe, band, group, and nation, including Alaska Indians, Aleuts, and Eskimos, and any Alaskan Native Village, of the United States, which is considered an eligible recipient under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (Public Law 93–638) [25 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.] or was considered an eligible recipient under chapter 67 of title 31 prior to the repeal of such chapter.
(7) For the purposes of this subchapter, the term “rural resident” shall include a family or a person who is a renter of a dwelling unit in a rural area.
(8) For the purposes of this subchapter, the term “adequate dwelling” means a decent, safe, and sanitary dwelling unit.
(July 15, 1949, ch. 338, title V, § 501, 63 Stat. 432; Pub. L. 87–70, title VIII, §§ 801(a), 803, June 30, 1961, 75 Stat. 186; Pub. L. 87–723, § 4(a)(1), Sept. 28, 1962, 76 Stat. 670; Pub. L. 89–117, title X, § 1001, Aug. 10, 1965, 79 Stat. 497; Pub. L. 89–754, title VIII, §§ 801, 807, Nov. 3, 1966, 80 Stat. 1282; Pub. L. 91–609, title VIII, § 802, Dec. 31, 1970, 84 Stat. 1806; Pub. L. 93–383, title V, §§ 501–503, 505(a), 520, Aug. 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 692, 693, 699; Pub. L. 95–128, title V, §§ 503, 507(a)(1), (2), (b), Oct. 12, 1977, 91 Stat. 1139–1141; Pub. L. 95–619, title II, § 248(c), Nov. 9, 1978, 92 Stat. 3235; Pub. L. 96–153, title V, §§ 502(b), 506, Dec. 21, 1979, 93 Stat. 1134, 1136; Pub. L. 96–399, title V, §§ 506, 507(a), (h), 512, Oct. 8, 1980, 94 Stat. 1669–1671; Pub. L. 98–181, title I [title V, § 502], Nov. 30, 1983, 97 Stat. 1240; Pub. L. 98–479, title I, § 105(a), title II, § 203(d)(3), Oct. 17, 1984, 98 Stat. 2226, 2229; Pub. L. 99–272, title XIV, § 14001(b)(3), Apr. 7, 1986, 100 Stat. 328; Pub. L. 100–242, title III, §§ 302(a), (b)(1), 303, 315, 316(a), Feb. 5, 1988, 101 Stat. 1893, 1894, 1897; Pub. L. 101–625, title VII, §§ 702, 703, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 4282, 4283; Pub. L. 102–550, title VII, § 714, title X, § 1012(m), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 3842, 3907; Pub. L. 104–193, title IV, § 441(b), Aug. 22, 1996, 110 Stat. 2276; Pub. L. 106–402, title IV, § 401(b)(8), Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1738; Pub. L. 107–76, title VII, § 752, Nov. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 740; Pub. L. 108–199, div. A, title VII, § 768, Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 40.)