Applause for Senate passage of Farm Bill

The National Association of Home Builders formally praised the House and Senate on Tuesday for passing the Farm Bill, which maintains the USDA's maps defining rural areas and helps millions of Americans maintain access to rural housing programs.

"NAHB commends House and Senate leaders for working in a bipartisan manner to pass legislation that allows more than 900 communities nationwide to retain their status as 'rural' areas where residents have access to important USDA rural housing programs that help low- and very-low income households obtain homeownership or suitable rental housing," said NAHB chairman Rick Judson.

The Farm Bill essentially extends the definition of a rural area to a population of 35,000 until after the 2020 census. The maps drawn after the 2010 census would have removed many communities from rural housing programs due to their populations.

According to the NAHB, the "rural community definition" provision will generate $1.2 billion more investment in housing in these regions.