WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — This Week – Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15), a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee and co-founder and Chair of the Rural Housing Caucus, urged his colleagues to meet the housing needs of our nation’s most vulnerable and rural communities during the federal appropriations process for FY 2017. Proposed level funding for federal housing programs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) were addressed in two bipartisan letters to Congressional appropriators.
With lower incomes, higher poverty rates, and far too many rural families living in housing that is too expensive, in substandard conditions or both, Congressman Hinojosa and 80 of his House Democratic and Republican colleagues asked the House Committee on Appropriations to support the President’s budget request and continue providing adequate funding for USDA Rural Housing Programs, such as the Mutual Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance Program and the Section 502 Direct Loans, in FY 2017.
“Access to safe, decent, and affordable housing can transform lives,” the members stated in the letter. “By providing low-cost loans, grants, and other related assistance, these key programs have not only helped millions of rural families improve their quality of life, but have created thousands of jobs in rural America.”
The full text of the USDA Rural Housing Appropriations Request letter is attached.
In another letter to House appropriators, Congressman Hinojosa and 32 of his House colleagues requested level funding for two HUD programs that support affordable housing in rural communities – the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) and the Rural Capacity Building (RCB) program. SHOP has enabled local nonprofit organizations since 1996 to build more than 30,000 homes and house more than 75,000 adults and children – 50% of these homes are in rural areas.
“SHOP is one of HUD’s most successful programs, and has made a huge impact in rural America,” the members wrote in the letter. “Additionally, the RCB program builds the capacity of local entities taking on affordable housing and community development activities that benefit low and moderate income families in rural areas. Providing sufficient appropriations for these capacity building and financial assistance programs will leverage millions of additional dollars and improve the quality of life in rural America.”
The full text of the HUD Rural Housing SHOP and RCB letter is attached.
Next week, Congressman Hinojosa will be submitting another letter to House appropriators to request $6.5 million in FY 2017 for the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Rural Community Facilities Technical Assistance program. This program works to improve access to clean water and adequate waste disposal systems to rural communities.