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proved design, utility, and comfort, and the best methods of satisfying such needs;

(3) problems faced by farmers and other persons eligible under section 501 in purchasing, constructing, improving, altering, repairing, and replacing farm housing;

(4) the interrelation of farm housing problems and the problems of housing in urban and suburban areas; and

(5) any other matters bearing upon the provision of adequate farm housing. (d) In order to carry out this section, the Secretary shall establish a research capacity within the Farmers Home Administration which shall have authority to undertake, or to contract with any public or private body to undertake, research authorized by this section.

(e) The Secretary of Agriculture shall prepare and submit to the President and to the Congress estimates of national rural housing needs and reports with respect to the progress being made toward meeting such needs and correlate and recommend proposals for such executive action or legislation necessary or desirable for the furtherance of the national housing objective and policy established by this Act with respect to rural housing together with such other reports or information as may be required of the Secretary by the President or the Congress.

(f)(1) The Secretary shall conduct a study of housing which is available for migrant and settled farmworkers. In conducting such study, the Secretary shall

(A) determine the location, number, quality, and condition of housing units which are available to such farmworkers and the cost assessed such farmworkers for occupying such units;

(B) recommend legislative, administrative, and other action (including the need for new authority for such action) which may be taken for the purpose of improving both the availability and the condition of such housing units; and

(C) determine the possible roles which individual farmworkers, farmworker associations, individual farmers, farmer associations, and pubic and private nonprofit agencies can perform

in improving the housing conditions of farmworkers. (2) The Secretary shall transmit the results of the study described in paragraph (1) to each House of the Congress within one year after the date of the enactment of this subsection.

PREFERENCE FOR VETERANS AND FAMILIES OF DECEASED SERVICEMEN

SEC. 507. As between eligible applicants seeking assistance under sections 501 to 504, inclusive, the Secretary shall give preference to veterans and the families of deceased servicemen. As used herein, a "veteran” shall mean a person who served in the military forces of the United States during any war between the United States and any other nation or during the period beginning June 27, 1950, and ending on such date as shall be determined by Presidential proclamation, or during the period beginning after January 31, 1955,

Sec. 12 of the President's Proclamation 3080, January 1, 1955. 20 Fed. Reg. 178, 175, provides that January 31, 1955, is determined as the date ending the period during which persons must

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and ending on August 4, 1964, or during the Vietnam era (as defined in section 101(29) of title 38, United States Code), and who was discharged or released therefrom on conditions other than dishonorable. “Deceased servicemen” shall mean persons who served in the military forces of the United States during any war between the United States and any other nation or during the period beginning June 27, 1950, and ending on such date as shall be determined by Presidential proclamation, or during the period beginning after January 31, 1955, and ending on August 4, 1964, or during the Vietnam era (as defined in section 101(29) of title 38, United States Code), and who died in service before the termination of such war or such period or era.

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LOCAL COMMITTEES TO ASSIST SECRETARY

SEC. 508. (a) For the purposes of this subsection and subsection (b) of this section, the Secretary may use the services of any existing committee of farmers operating (pursuant to laws or regulations carried out by the Department of Agriculture) in any county or parish in which activities are carried on under this title. In any county or parish in which activities are carried on under this title and in which no existing satisfactory committee is available, the Secretary is authorized to appoint a committee composed of three persons residing in the county or parish. Each member of such existing or newly appointed committee shall be allowed compensation at the rate determined by the Secretary while engaged in the performance of duties under this title and, in addition, shall be allowed such amounts as the Secretary may prescribe for necessary traveling and subsistence expenses. One member of the committee shall be designated by the Secretary as chairman. The Secretary shall prescribed rules governing the procedures of the committee, furnish forms and equipment necessary for the performance of their duties, and authorize and provide for the compensation of such clerical assistance as he deems may be required by any committee.

(b) The committees utilized or appointed pursuant to this section may examine applications of persons desiring to obtain the benefits of section 501(a) (1) and (2) as they relate to the successful operation of a farm, and may submit recommendations to the Secretary with respect to each applicant as to whether the applicant is eligible to receive such benefits, whether by reason of his character, ability, and experience he is likely successfully to carry out undertakings required of him under a loan under such section, and whether the farm with respect to which the application is made is of such character that there is a reasonable likelihood that the making of the loan requested will carry out the purposes of this title. The committees may also certify to the Secretary with respect to the amount of any loan.

have served in the military forces of the United States in order that such persons come within the meaning of the terms "veterans” and “deceased servicemen," contained in sec. 507, by reason of service during the period beginning June 27, 1950. See footnote 1 on page 448.

GENERAL POWERS OF SECRETARY

SEC. 509. (a) The Secretary, for the purposes of this title, shall have the power to determine and prescribe the standards of ade quate farm housing and other buildings, by farms or localities, taking into consideration, among other factors, the type of housing which will provide decent, safe, and sanitary dwelling for the needs of the family using the housing, the type and character of the farming operations to be conducted, and the size and earning capacity of the land. The Secretary shall approve a residential building as meeting such standards if the building is constructed in accordance with (1) the minimum standards prescribed by the Secretary, (2) the minimum property standards prescribed by the Secretary of the Housing and Urban Development for mortgages insured under title II of the National Housing Act, (3) the standards contained in any of the voluntary national model building codes, or (4) in the case of manufactured housing, the standards referred to in section 502(e) of this Act. To the maximum extent feasible, the Secretary shall promote the use of energy saving techniques through standards established by such Secretary for newly constructed residential housing assisted under this title. Such standards shall, inso far as is practicable, be consistent with the standards established pursuant to section 526 of the National Housing Act and shall incorporate the energy performance requirements developed pursuant to such section.

(b) The Secretary may require any recipient of a loan or grant to agree that the availability of improvements constructed or repaired with the proceeds of the loan or grant under this title shall not be a justification for directly or indirectly changing the terms or conditions of the lease or occupancy agreement with the occupants of such farms to the latter's disadvantage without the approval of the Secretary.

(c) The Secretary is authorized, after October 1, 1977, with respect to any unit or dwelling newly constructed during the period beginning eighteen months prior to the date of enactment of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1977 and purchased with financial assistance authorized by this title which he finds to have structural defects to make expenditures for (1) correcting such defects, (2) paying the claims of the owner of the property arising from such defects, or (3) acquiring title to the property, if such assistance is requested by the owner of the property within eighteen months after financial assistance under this title is rendered to the owner of the property or, in the case of property with respect to which assistance was made available within eighteen months prior to the date of enactment of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1977, within thirty-six months after such date of enactment. Expenditures pursuant to this subsection may be paid from the Rural Housing Insurance Fund. Decisions by the Secretary regarding such expenditures or payments under this subsection, and the terms and conditions under which the same are approved or disapproved, shall not be subject to judicial review.

(d) The Secretary shall, by regulation, prescribe the terms and conditions under which expenditures and payments may be made under the provisions of this section.

ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS

SEC. 510. In carrying out the provisions of this title, the Secretary shall have the power to

(a) make contracts for services and supplies without regard to the provisions of section 3709 of the Revised Statutes, as amended, when the aggregate amount involved is less than $300;

(b) enter into subordination, subrogation, or other agreements satisfactory to the Secretary;

(c) compromise claims and obligations arising out of sections 502 to 505, inclusive, of this title and adjust and modify the terms of mortgages, leases, contracts, and agreements entered into as circumstances may require, including the release from personal liability, without payments of further consideration, of

(1) borrowers who have transferred their farms to other approved applicants for loans who have agreed to assume the outstanding indebtedness to the Secretary under this title; and

(2) borrowers who have transferred their farms to other approved applicants for loans who have agreed to assume that portion of the outstanding indebtedness to the Secretary under this title which is equal to the earning capacity value of the farm at the time of the transfer, and borrowers whose farms have been acquired by the Secretary, in cases where the Secretary determines that the original borrowers have cooperated in good faith with the Secretary, have farmed in a workmanlike manner, used due diligence to maintain the security against loss, and otherwise fulfilled the convenants incident to their loans, to the best of their abilities;

(d) collect all claims and obligations arising out of or under any mortgage, lease, contract, or agreement entered into pursuant to this title, and, if in his judgment necessary and advisable, to pursue to same to final collection in any court having jurisdiction: Provided, That the prosecution and defense of all litigation under this title shall be conducted under the supervision of the Attorney General and the legal representation shall be by the United States attorneys for the districts, respectively, in which such litigation may arise and by such other attorney or attorneys as may, under law, be designated by the Attorney General:

(e) bid for and purchase at any foreclosure or other sale or otherwise to acquire the property pledged or mortgaged to secure a loan or other indebtedness owing under this title, to accept title to any property so purchased or acquired, to operate or lease such property for such period as may be necessary or advisable, to protect the interest of the United States therein, to repair and rehabilitate such property, and to sell or otherwise dispose of the property so purchased or acquired by such terms and for such considerations as the Secretary shail determine to be reasonable and to make loans as provided herein to provide adequate farm dwellings and buildings for the purchasers of such property; except that the Secretary may not sell or otherwise dispose of such property unless (1) the Secretary assures that such property will meet decent, safe, and sanitary standards, including cost-effective energy conservation standards prescribed under section 509(a), (2) the recipient of the property is obligated, as a condition of the sale or other disposition of the property, to meet such standards with respect to the property before such property is occupied, or (3) such recipient is precluded, as a condition of the sale or other disposition of the property, from using the property for residential purposes and the authority of the Secretary under this paragraph includes the authority to transfer section 502 inventory properties for use as rental or cooperative units under section 515 with mortgages containing repayment terms with up to fifty years to private nonprofit organizations or public bodies; such a transfer may be made even where rental assistance may be required so long as the authority to provide such assistance is available after taking into account the requirements of section 521(d)(1); where the Secretary determines the transfer will contribute to the provision of housing for very low-income persons and families, the transfer may be made at the lesser of the appraised value or the Farmers Home Administration's investment;

(f) continue processing as expeditiously as possible applications on hand received prior to the time an area has been determined by the Secretary not to be "rural" or a "rural area", as those terms are defined in section 520, and make loans or grants to such applicants who are found to be eligible on the same basis as though the area were still rural;

(g) issue rules and regulations which assure that applicants denied assistance under this title or persons or organizations whose assistance under this title is being substantially reduced or terminated are given written notice of the reasons for denial, reduction or termination and are provided at least an opportunity to appeal an adverse decision and to present additional information relevant to that decision to a person, other than the person making the original determination, who has authority to reverse the decision;

(h) notwithstanding that an area ceases, or has ceased, to be “rural”, in a “rural area”, or an eligible area, make assistance under this title available for subsequent loans to permit necessary dwelling repairs and rehabilitation and in connection with transfers and assumptions of property securing any loan made, insured, or held by the Secretary or in connection with any property held by the Secretary under this title on the same basis as though the area were still rural;

(i) utilize with respect to the indebtedness arising from loans and payments made under this title, all the powers and authorities given to him under the Act approved December 20, 1944, entitled “An Act to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to compromise, adjust, or cancel certain indebtedness, and

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