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Title V of P.L. 81-171 (October 25, 1949) authorized USDA to make loans to farmers to construct, improve, repair, or replace dwellings and other farm buildings to provide decent, safe, and sanitary living conditions for themselves, their tenants, lessees, sharecroppers, and laborers. The USDA was authorized to make grants or combinations of loans and grants to farmers who could not qualify to repay the full amount of a loan, but who needed the funds to make the dwellings sanitary or to remove health hazards to the occupants or the community. Over time, the Act has been amended to authorize housing loans and grants to rural residents in general and these are administered by the Rural Housing Service(RHS). The rural housing programs are generally referred to by the section number under which they are authorized in the Housing Act of 1949, as amended.

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