Notice of Potential Changes to Eligible Area Maps for USDA Rural Development Housing Programs in Pennsylvania

USDA Rural Development is conducting a review of all areas under its jurisdiction to identify areas that no longer qualify as rural for housing programs.  The last rural area reviews were performed in 2017-2018 using 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) data.  Rural area designations are reviewed every five years. This review will utilize the 2020 United States decennial census data.

Based on the 2020 US census data and rural area guidance located in Handbook HB-1-3550, Chapter 5, the rural eligibility designation is under review for the following areas in Pennsylvania:

Currently eligible communities under review (population):

  1. Northampton and Lehigh Counties – (Bethlehem Line Adjustment)

Currently eligible communities under review (Rural in Character):

  1. Columbia County – Bloomsburg (“Rural in Character” under review.)
  2. Columbia County – Berwick (“Rural in Character” under review.)
  3. Lancaster County – Ephrata (“Rural in Character” under review.)
  4. Lancaster County – Elizabethtown (“Rural in Character” under review.)
  5. Franklin County – Chambersburg (“Rural in Character” under review.)
  6. Franklin County – Waynesboro (“Rural in Character” under review.)

Ineligible communities under review (expansion of ineligible areas):

  1. Lancaster County – Columbia (Line Adjustment)
  2. York County – Weigelstown (Line Adjustment)
  3. Allegheny County – Franklin Park (Line Adjustment)
  4. Allegheny County – Monroeville (Line Adjustment)

Ineligible communities under review (reconsideration of eligibility):

  1. Lycoming County – Williamsport (Minor Boundary Adjustments)
  2. Montgomery County – Pottstown (Minor Boundary Adjustments)

The public shall have 90 days from the date of this public notice to submit comments regarding the potential loss of eligibility for Rural Development housing programs.  Comments should be sent to  For details, or questions about specific changes, please contact the Pennsylvania Rural Development Housing Program staff at (717) 237-2186.