On December 13, USDA Rural Development Office of Multifamily Housing sent the following information:

Multifamily Housing Partners,

Given the recent disasters in Kentucky and other states in the area, please be reminded of guidelines for Rural Housing Service Multifamily properties and tenants affected by the storms.

Borrowers and Management Agents in the area will be contacted by your assigned servicing specialist with guidance on how to report property damage along with emergency assistance needed for tenants. Property damage should be reported on the following scale:

Degree of Damage  Definition 
Affected The building(s) has cosmetic damage only.
·        Damage that does not adversely impact the functionality of the building.
·        No damage that affects unit habitability.
Minor The building(s) is damaged and requires minimal repairs.
·        No structural damage to the building.
·        No damage that affects unit habitability.
Major The building(s) has sustained significant damage and requires extensive repairs.
·        Structural damage or damage that created areas that are no longer decent, safe and sanitary.
·        Damage that affects unit habitability.
Destroyed The building(s) is a total loss.
Inaccessible Damage to building(s) that cannot be visually verified.


If a Borrower or Management Agent needs to reach Rural Development Staff, please send an email to Southern Regional Director Byron Waters, at MFHFODSouth@usda.gov. Byron can also be reached at (919) 632-4593.

Borrowers or Management Agents can reach out directly to their assigned servicing specialist. If needed, please use the following link and once there, click on “Multifamily Housing 514 & 515 Property Assignments”: https://www.sc.egov.usda.gov/data/MFH.html

Letters of Priority Engagement (LOPE) will be issued to tenants of Rural Development properties whose units become uninhabitable due to a localized or widespread natural disaster, including Presidentially Declared Disasters. For Presidentially Declared Disasters, FEMA issues registration letters certifying displacement to both tenants of Rural Housing Multifamily and non-Rural Housing households.

Either a FEMA registration letter or a LOPE letter grants the applicant priority access at a Rural Development Multifamily building. A displaced applicant can go immediately to the top of the waiting list for occupancy. In addition, property owners and management agents may request Special Actions and Waivers that can be provided by the Agency through their assigned servicing representative, including waivers to allow for temporary housing of displaced persons who do not otherwise fit the occupancy criteria, for example, a family may temporarily move into a building with an elderly designation.

Thank you for your assistance in housing displaced persons during this time and during all natural disasters. If you have questions about how RD’s policy applies for your property, please contact your assigned servicing representative.

Nancie-Ann Bodell

Deputy Administrator
Multifamily Housing