In 1969, a group of concerned rural community activists, public officials, and non-profit developers formed the National Rural Housing Coalition (NRHC) to fight for better housing and community facilities for low-income rural families. Today, NRHC works to promote and defend the principle that rural people have the right — regardless of income — to a decent, affordable place to live, clean drinking water, and basic community services.
NRHC works to focus policy makers on the needs of rural areas thourgh direct advocacy and by coordinating a network of rural housing advocates around the nation. NRHC regularly sponsors conferences to develop specific policies and legislative proposals with direct input from housing experts in the field. Over the years, NRHC has worked to:
- Analyze federal policies and programs in light of the need for better housing and community facilities in rural America;
- Design new programs to serve the rural poor and improve existing ones. NRHC has successfully fought for programs to provide rental assistance, preserve rental housing units for low-income families, promote self-help housing, help families repair their home;
- Ensure adequate funding for rural housing programs. Although current funding is by no means adequate, NRHC has played a key role in defending these essential programs from the extreme cuts suffered by many other federal programs; and
- Support non-profit organizations that operate rural housing and community development programs. NRHC led the fight to increase funding for Self-Help Housing grants, farmworker housing programs, and rural community assistance programs administered by non-profit organizations.
NRHC is supported entirely by donations, contributions, and subscriptions. Organizations with specific rural housing and development concerns can contribute to our four funds:
- The Self-Help Housing Fund supports NRHC’s work to assure continuation of the self-help technical assistance program of the USDA Rural Housing Service (RHS);
- The Farm Worker Housing Fund supports NRHC’s work to promote better housing for migrant and seasonal farm workers;
- The Rural Community Assistance Fund promotes reform of RHS’s rural water/sewer program and improved availability of grant funds to help rural communities address their water and waste disposal problems; and
- The HUD Task Force works on important issues related programs administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This task force is monitoring rural participation in rural programs, HUD funding for rural housing and community economic development and policies on regionalization and comprehensive plans.