USDA moves on heirs’ property lending program authorized in 2018 Farm Bill
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it would fulfill provisions for an heirs’ property lending program outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill. Some $67 million in loans will help farm owners resolve ownership and succession issues and retain their land. It’s an issue that’s acutely affected Black farmers who have lost land handed down through generations because they lack clear titles, documentation, and access to resources that could help them prove ownership. Heirs’ property represents more than a third of Black-owned Southern land, and these snags have locked out some producers and landowners from critical USDA programs and services, Politico reports. USDA will provide the funding through intermediate lenders, and heirs will apply directly to those institutions for loans to purchase or consolidate property interests and finance the costs of creating succession plans. USDA’s Farm Service Agency is now in the process of selecting bank recipients. Better late than never.