7 CFR § 1777.12 - Eligibility.

§ 1777.12 Eligibility.

(a) The provisions of paragraphs (a) (1) and (2) of this section do not apply to a rural area recognized as a colonia. Otherwise, the facility financed under this part must provide water and/or waste disposal services to rural areas of a county where, on the date preapplication is received by the Agency, the:

(1) Per capita income of the residents is not more than 70 percent of the most recent national average per capita income, as determined by 5-year income data from the American Community Survey (ACS) or, if needed, other Census Bureau data. If there is reason to believe that the ACS or other Census Bureau data does not accurately represent the per capita income of the residents, the reasons will be documented and the borrower/applicant may furnish, or RD may obtain, additional information regarding such per capita income data. Information must consist of reliable data from local, regional, State or Federal sources or from a survey conducted by a reliable impartial source, and

(2) Unemployment rate of the residents is not less than 125 percent of the most recent national average unemployment rate, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(b) Residents of the rural area to be served must face significant health risks due to the fact that a significant proportion of the community's residents do not have access to, or are not served by, adequate, affordable, water and/or waste disposal systems. The file should contain documentation to support this determination. The following requirements regarding the documentation must be followed:

(1) The originating documentation must come from an independent third party source that has the experience in specifying the health or sanitary problem that currently exists.

(2) The documentation must state specifically the health or sanitary problems that exist. General statements of problems or support for the project are not acceptable.

(3) Current users of the facility must be experiencing the current health or sanitary problem and not future or possible users.

(4) If no facility exists, documentation must include specific health and sanitary problems associated with individual facilities that currently exist to warrant the health and sanitary determination.

[62 FR 33473, June 19, 1997, as amended at 77 FR 43150, July 24, 2012; 80 FR 9863, Feb. 24, 2015]