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Friday, September 19, 2014, 9:03 a.m.
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Van Buren loses rural development status for loans

By The Associated Press

This article was published August 5, 2014 at 10:39 a.m.

VAN BUREN — A western Arkansas city has lost its rural development status for home loans.

The Southwest Times Record reported that families looking to build homes under rural development loans will have to search for property outside of Van Buren city limits.

According to Karen Phillips with a western Arkansas development council, the city had been at risk of being cut from the program because of its population of 23,000.

Phillips said she thought the city could still meet the program's requirements after a federal farm bill was signed into law in February. It raised the population number for loan eligibility to 35,000.

But, Phillips said, another stipulation in the law makes the city ineligible because areas have to be "rural in character" to qualify.

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