NAHPA accomplishes its mission through several related activities, principally serving as an intermediary assisting local non-profits purchase and rehabilitate Section 515 properties. NAHPA works with USDA officials, private lenders, and representatives of the nation’s secondary mortgage market to structure financing options permitting Section 515 housing purchasers to subordinate existing USDA loans to new permanent first mortgages.

Although primarily interested in serving as an intermediary to guide other non-profits, under certain circumstances NAHPA is prepared to step forward as the buyer of record of a threatened Section 515 property. NAHPA also has pursued new construction joint ventures with local housing developers, securing financing under the Federal Home Loan Bank’s affordable housing program or through state housing finance agency low-income tax credits.

NAHPA is working to promote the availability of affordable housing in small town and rural America.

  • Our rural communities have an unmet need for newly constructed rental housing.
  • Too many low income rural Americans cannot find homes which they can afford to purchase.
  • There is an urgent need to preserve the portfolio of rental properties financed under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA/RHS) Section 515 program

NAHPA is working to address these needs.

Preservation of USDA/RHS Section 515 Properties

For several decades, the USDA/RHS Section 515 program has been the principal funding program for rural multifamily housing serving low-income persons. Many owners of this housing are now eligible to prepay their loans. With a portfolio of some 17,500 properties, USDA/RHS estimates that some 11,000 are at, or nearing eligibility for prepayment and are at risk of sale or removal from the Section 515 program. USDA/RHS and affordable housing advocates are concerned that some Section 515 units may be converted to market rate housing, making them unaffordable to low-income persons. Equally of concern, owners without opportunity for transfer (and no longer benefiting from tax advantages) may allow the properties to fall into disrepair.

NAHPA promotes the long-term preservation of federally assisted affordable housing for the benefit of low-income persons and families, particularly in rural areas and small towns of the United States. NAHPA has worked with government, the lending community and the secondary market to structure predevelopment and permanent financing options to assist preservation of USDA/RHS Section 515 properties. With the emergence of the Rural Rental Housing Fund (“RRHF”), a NAHPA affiliate, this initiative is moving beyond the conceptual, into a reality where the financing necessary for the acquisition and rehabilitation of Section 515 properties become widely available.


NAHPA has reached agreement with the USDA/RHS, which allows for the subordination of USDA/RHS loans to new first-lien loans, and has been at the forefront in advocating for the development of a secondary market for these new loans.

During its short life, NAHPA has been actively pursuing preservation activities on a national basis. As part of its process, NAHPA is actively seeking interest from locally based nonprofits who desire to acquire of such properties.

NAHPA serves as an intermediary, guiding nonprofit purchasers and public housing authorities through the USDA transfer process, including, identifying predevelopment and permanent financing. NAHPA lessens the cost and complications of transfers for purchasers. To compliment its services, NAHPA works with other national intermediary housing organizations to assist with preservation of multifamily low-income housing.