Ocean City Today
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Housing programs in jeopardy for OP area USDA loans

Real Estate Report
By Lauren Bunting | Jan 25, 2018

(Jan. 26, 2018) An important affordable-loan product for the Ocean Pines area is in jeopardy—the 100-percent financing USDA loan.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Maryland/Delaware State Office announced it is conducting a review of all areas under its jurisdiction to identify those areas that no longer qualify as rural for housing programs. Among those areas under review is Ocean Pines.

The last rural area reviews by USDA were performed in 2012-2013 using the 2010 census data. This review, which is done every five years, will utilize the 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) data.

USDA has defined the area in question as:

Worcester County – Ocean Pines Area – Extends the ineligible area from the Isle of Wight Bay down Turville Creek by following Turville Creek west to Racetrack Road (Rt. 589).

Follow Racetrack Road (Rt. 589) north thru Taylorville to Windmill Creek. Follow Windmill Creek north to the St. Martin River and its tributaries. Follow the St. Martin River east and southeast to the beginning point at the Isle of Wright Bay/Turville Creek.

The Coastal Association of Realtors (CAR) members who work in Ocean Pines have clientele that rely greatly on these programs, particularly the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program, commonly referred to as the USDA 100 percent financing loan, which services low- and moderate-income households.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the per-capita income reported by Ocean Pines residents in 2016 was $39,867 and the median household income was $67,485, thus many households in Ocean Pines would qualify for the Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program, as per the income limits specified on the USDA’s website.

The CAR Board of Directors has submitted comments to the USDA, urging them to keep Ocean Pines as an eligible rural area. However, if you want these loan programs to be accessible to future buyers in Ocean Pines, you are encouraged to submit comments as well.

The public has 90 days from Dec. 1, 2017 (the date of USDA’s public notice) to submit comments regarding the potential loss of eligibility for Rural Development housing programs.

Comments must be submitted by Feb. 28 and should be sent to Brad King at brad.king@md.usda.gov.

For details, or questions about specific changes, contact the Delaware/Maryland Rural Development Housing Program staff at 301-797-0500 ext. 4.

— Lauren Bunting is a licensed Associate Broker with Bunting Realty, Inc. in Berlin.

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