WASHINGTON -- The Department of Housing and Urban Development is preparing rule changes to make it easier for private nonprofit organizations to buy low-income rental units under a new program designed to preserve the stock of affordable housing.

Housing industry officials who have seen a draft of the proposed changes say HUD has removed some but not all of the problems in the original set of rules proposed last April. Remaining roadblocks could make the mortgages needed for the purchases -- and, in turn, the bond financing -- too costly for the nonprofits to become involved in the program, the officials said.

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