Opposition Mounts to Proposed Cuts in Federal Rural Development Programs

Today, NRHC delivered a petition signed by more than 1,400 rural organizations and advocates to Congress, voicing strong opposition to the significant funding cuts proposed in the President’s 2015 budget for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development programs, including a 60 percent cut in low-cost homeownership loans and over $150 million in grants that help small rural communities provide potable water and waste disposal systems to residents.

“This year, the Administration is at it again, and rural communities are saying they have had enough. We hope Congress’s budget will reflect the fact that rural communities deserve affordable housing and economic development just as much as urban areas,” said Bob Rapoza, NRHC’s executive secretary.

A copy of the petition can be found here.

2013 NRHC Budget Bulletins

2013 Rural Housing Reporters

NRHC Annual Meetings – December 3, 2013

NRHC will be hosting its Annual Meetings on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 from 8:30am to the mid-afternoon. All meetings will take place at the Rapoza Associates offices, located at 1331 G Street NW, Washington, DC.

IMPORTANT:

Please remember to RSVP to the NRHC Annual Meetings. This helps us better prepare for the upcoming event.

To nominate an NRHC member for the Board of Directors, please return this completed Board of Directors Nomination Form by November 1 to Sarah Mickelson at Sarah AT Rapoza DOT Org.

Task Force Meetings

NRHC’s Task Force Meeting will be held from 8:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M.  Task Force Meetings are open to all NRHC members.

  • Section 502 Consortium Task Force (Contact Tom Carew: tcarew AT fahe DOT org);
  • National Rural Self-Help Housing Association Task Force (Contact Peter Carey: Peterc AT selfhelpenterprises DOT org, or Contact Russ Huxtable: rhuxtable AT milfordhousing DOT org);
  • National Farm Labor Housing Directors Task Force (Contact Marty Miller: martym2 AT orfh DOT org).

Annual Business Meeting

NRHC’s Annual Business Meeting will be held from 10 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. The Annual Business Meeting is open to all NRHC members. At this meeting, NRHC members will elect the organization’s Board of Directors and Executive Officers for the coming year, review annual financial reports, and receive a comprehensive legislative report. 

Board of Directors Meeting

NRHC’s Board of Directors Meeting will begin at 11 A.M and is open to all Members.

Congressional Visits

Please note that NRHC is not hosting a formal “Capitol Hill Day,” however individual members are encouraged to meet with their Congressional delegation. If you need any assistance in scheduling these meetings, please feel free to contact Sarah Mickelson at Sarah AT Rapoza DOT Org.

2012 Rural Housing Reporters

2012 Rural Housing Reporters

Thank You!

Thank you for signing our petition in support of rural housing and community development programs!

For more information about the National Rural Housing Coalition, please visit our website at ruralhousingcoalition.org.

President’s Budget Skewers RD

Last week, the President released his FY14 Budget Request, which disproportionately hits USDA Rural Housing and Rural Development programs. In response, NRHC sent this letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack, using the Department of seeking to eliminate these highly successful programs. Our letter was picked up by the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, among other publications.

In the letter, Bob argues that between 2010 and 2013, USDA cut Rural Development programs by more than $750 million. This substantial and disproportionate cut represents 19 percent of all cuts made to USDA over the same period. The President’s Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) Budget piles on even further by proposing an additional $200 million in reductions, despite the fact that the budget includes more than $300 million in savings from USDA Loan programs. If the President’s Budget is approved, Rural Development programs will be cut by over $1 billion in the past 4 years.

“USDA should acknowledge that Rural Development is a low priority for the Department,” said Bob Rapoza, Executive Secretary of the National Rural Housing Coalition. “And for that reason, it is obvious to me that these programs are the first on the chopping block and always available to offset increases for other programs and activities that are deemed more important.”

Advocacy Tools

Use NRHC’s Advocacy Tools to strengthen your advocacy efforts and make your voice heard on Capitol Hill. Learn how to build relationships with your Senators, Representatives, Local Media, and members of your community.

Congressional Outreach

Local and Social Media

NRHC recently held a webinar on using social media to engage donors, supporters, and Members of Congress, with guest speakers Ayrianne Parks, Sarah Mickelson, and NRHC Member Bailey Richards from the Housing Development Alliance. This webinar was made possible through the generous support of Capital One.

You can listen to the webinar, download a copy of our PowerPoint presentation, or check out our Media Advocacy Toolkit. To highlight local case studies, feel free to use our Self-Help Housing Template and Rural Housing Success Story Template, and use our Fact Sheets on rural housing programs.

Using Local Media In Your Advocacy

NRHC’s Local Media Campaign

Thanks to a generous grant from Capital One, NRHC has launched a new, local media campaign to raise awareness about the impact of Rural Housing programs and our newest report, “Opening Doors to Rural Homeownership.”

As you know, building and sustaining strong relationships with your local media is one of the most effective things you can do to raise public awareness of your organization and to advocate for the issues you care about.

Through local media, you can introduce a large and diverse audience to your cause and persuade them to become supporters. And, because Senators and Representatives pay close attention to what is happening in their districts, local media coverage can be quite effective in getting your message to them as well.

3 Ways To Participate

By participating in NRHC’s Local Media Campaign, your organization can begin to use your local and social media as an effective advocacy tool. As part of our campaign, we’re asking you and other NRHC members to help raise awareness of rural housing programs and the great work your organization does by: (1) pitching a news story, (2) submitting an op-ed, and (3) using social media.

To help you get started, we’ve put together some resources that you can tailor to your local needs, including:

Keep Us Informed!

To help us report to Capital One on our impact, please let Sarah Mickelson (Sarah @ Rapoza dot org) know when your organization contacts local media or uses social media to raise awareness of our new report.

2012 NRHC Budget Bulletins

2012 NRHC Budget Bulletins