USDA Rural Development Program Faces Cuts, Despite Strong Demand

But some say rural housing hasn’t been a funding priority. Bob Rapoza with the National Rural Housing Coalition points out that since 2010, funding was reduced by $400 million. The USDA’s budget request cuts $100 million more from rural development.

Rapoza: “In the context of the federal budget, what is spent on rural housing is tiny…as compared to what is spent on other things.”

Rapoza says the return outweighs the expense: Construction jobs are created and families get homes.

‘It’s like we don’t exist’: California’s invisible rural housing crisis

Much has been written about the housing shortage in US cities from Boston to Boise. But behind the headlines, an unnoticed crisis is growing in America’s countryside.

Bob Rapoza, executive secretary of the National Rural Housing Coalition in Washington, worries that ongoing “bipartisan neglect” could doom the [515] program’s chances of survival.

“There is a window of time for Congress to come up with ways to solve this problem. And it is solvable,” he says. “But Congress doesn’t usually deal with something until it has to.”

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Food stamps, rent aid and the safety net for American’s poorest at risk as shutdown drags on

If the government does not fully reopen by Feb. 1, nearly 270,000 rural families who receive federal rent subsidies through the USDA would also be at risk of eviction because their landlords would no longer be paid, said Bob Rapoza, executive secretary of the National Rural Housing Coalition.

“These are the poorest rural people in the country,” Rapoza said. “They’re farmworkers, they’re senior citizens, they’re disabled.”

Housing’s hidden crisis: Rural Americans struggle to pay rent

The Trump administration’s proposed 2020 budget also contains cuts for rural housing programs, Stan Keasling, president of National Rural Housing Coalition, said in testimony at the Congressional hearing earlier this month. The cuts target “a laundry list” of programs, including direct homeownership, home-repair loans, and loans and grants for rural rental housing.

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Home-purchase plan for the poor gets support

“Providing very-low-income families with the opportunity for homeownership acts as an effective incentive for them to maintain their homes,” said Rosalie Reichman of the National Rural Housing Coalition.

Lawmakers differ on rural aid plans

“What the House bill did was attempt to take money from low-income communities and use it to make grants and loans to businesses,” said Bob Rapoza of the nonprofit National Rural Housing Coalition.

Report: Farmworker Conditions Much Better

The Rural Housing Coalition endorsed a report showing federal funding for farmworker housing has made a positive difference.

Senators praised for housing action

South Carolina’s two senators were among eight members of Congress singled out for praise by the National Rural Housing Coalition

Housing shortage acute in rural Iowa

Rural housing shortages push those with no where to go into forests and parking lots