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Keep Your Focus on the Senate

Senate Deadline is Less Than 1 Week Away!

So far, 12 Senators have signed onto Senator Schumer’s (D-NY) Dear Colleague letter in support of funding for USDA Rural Housing programs, including: Boxer, Cantwell, Coons, Gillibrand, Heitkamp, Hirono, Leahy, Manchin, Sanders, Schumer, Shaheen and Wyden.

PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATORS TODAY and ask them to sign onto Sen. Schumer’s letter! The deadline to sign on is Wednesday, April 2nd. Congressional staff should contact Lane Bodian (lane_bodian@schumer.senate.gov) to sign on.

Not sure who to contact? Here is our list of Senate Targets and their staff!

Last year, 28 Senators signed on, including: Baldwin, Baucus, Begich, Brown, Carper, Durbin, Franken, Hagan, Harkin, Johnson, Kaine, King, Landrieu, Levin, Schatz, and Tester.

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Does Your Representative Support Rural Housing Funding?

Thank you for your advocacy! With your help, Rep. Hinojosa (D-TX) and 77 other Representatives signed onto a Dear Colleague letter urging the Appropriations Committee to fully fund USDA Rural Housing programs. This is 15 more Representatives than last year’s letter and a whopping 49 Representatives more than in FY13.

Please remember to thank your Representatives for their support!

Did your Representative sign on?

A total of 78 Representatives signed on including: Barber, Benishek, Blumenauer, Bonamici, Bordallo, Brown, Brownley, Bustos, Butterfield, Capps, Carney, Cartwright, Castor, Christenson, Clay, Cleaver, Costa, Courtney, Davis, DeFazio, Delaney, DelBene, Ellison, Enyart, Esty, Fattah, Gabbard, Gallego, Garamendi, Al Green, Grijalva, Hanabusa, Alcee Hastings, Heck, Hinojosa, Holt, Huffman, Jackson Lee, Hank Johnson, Keating, Kildee, Kilmer, Kind, Kirkpatrick, Kuster, Langevin, Larsen, Lujan, Lujan Grisham, Lynch, Sean Maloney, Matsui, McIntyre, McNerney, Michaud, Neal, O’Rourke, Pierluisi, Pocan, Richmond, Ruiz, Runyan, Ruppersberger, Sablan, David Scott, Sewell, Shea-Porter, Takano, Bennie Thompson, Tonko, Vargas, Veasey, Vela, Walz, Waters, Welch, Wilson, and Don Young.

Another 3 Representatives–Crawford, Rahall, and Reed–submitted individual appropriations letters.

 

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Ask Congress to Support Funding for Rural Housing Programs

Yesterday, Rep. Hinojosa (D-TX) issued a Dear Colleague letter, asking Members of Congress to join him in urging the House Appropriations Committee to fully fund USDA Rural Housing programs.

PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TODAY and ask them to sign onto Rep. Hinojosa’s Appropriations Request today. The deadline to sign on is Friday, March 28. Congressional staff should contact Holly Bullard (holly.bullard@mail.house.gov) to sign on.

Last year, 63 Representatives signed on, including: Blumenauer, Bordallo, Brown, Brownly, Bustos, Butterfield, Capps, Cartwright, Castor, Christenson, Clay, Cleaver, Costa, Davis, DeFazio, DelBene, Ellison, Enyart, Gabbard, Gallego, Garamendi, Al Green, Grijalva, Hanabus, Alcee Hastings, Heck, Holt, Huffman, Hank Johnson, Keating, Kilmer, Kirkpatrick, Kuster, Langevin, Larsen, Loebsack, Lujan, Lujan Grisham, Lynch, Matsui, McGovern, McIntyre, McNerney, Negrete McLoed, Nolan, Pierluisi, Pocan, Ruiz, Sablan, Schakowksy, Schrader, Sewell, Shea-Porter, Takano, Bennie Thompson, Vargas, Vela, Watt, Welch, Wilson, and Don Young.

Another 13 Representatives (excluding those listed above) sent a letter earlier this year to President Obama, asking him to make Rural Housing a higher priority in his budget: Courtney, Engel, Horsford, O’Rourke, Rahall, Stivers, Mike Thompson, Gene Green, Jackson Lee, Michaud, Pingree, Tim Ryan, and Veasey.

And, 30 more Representatives (excluding those listed above) cosponsored HR 858 in order to preserve access to these funds, including: Barletta, Barr, Capito, Cicilline, Collins, Crawford, Rodney Davis, Denham, Gardner, Gosar, Griffin, Guthrie, Harper, Harris, Jones, LoBiondo, Long, Lucas, Murphy, Neal, Noem, Nunes, Pearce, Ribble, Schock, Terry, Tipton, Tsongas, Walz, and Woodall.

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President’s Rural Development Budget ‘Races to the Bottom’

Last week, NRHC published a press release, criticizing the White House and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for leading a “race to the bottom” by proposing significant funding cuts to Rural Development programs, including those that help low-income rural families access affordable housing and grants that help small rural communities provide potable water and waste disposal systems to residents.

“The President’s budget demonstrates just how little this Administration and USDA support Rural Development,” says Bob Rapoza, executive secretary of the National Rural Housing Coalition. “Over the past few years, this Administration has led a ‘race to the bottom,’ by using one excuse after another to cut funding for these critical programs. It is appalling.”

Between 2010 and 2014, the President requested over $1 billion in cuts to USDA’s loans and grants for business development, water and waste disposal, and rural housing. As a result, these programs have been reduced by 35 percent since 2010. If enacted by Congress, the President’s budget would amount to a 57 percent reduction in funding since 2010.

Programs like Section 502 Direct Homeownership Loans, the single most cost-effective federal housing program, have been particularly hard hit. Each direct loan costs the government about $3,000 over the entire lifetime of the loan, far less than the annual cost of many similar federal housing programs. Since inception, the program has helped more than 2.1 million low-income rural families become homeowners.

Above all, Section 502 Direct Loans are an important source of jobs in rural America. According to USDA estimates, the program created 94,000 jobs and generated $4.7 billion in wages over the past 5 years.

Rapoza argues that if the President’s 2015 budget is enacted, 4,600 fewer rural families will be able to access affordable mortgages, creating 8,100 fewer jobs and generating $407 million less in local wages.

Likewise, the President’s budget dramatically cuts grants to small rural communities without adequate water or waste disposal facilities. The President’s budget proposes a one-year reduction of nearly $160 million or 34 percent.

“The numbers speak for themselves. This Administration shows very little interest in meeting the development needs of rural America,” said Rapoza.

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2013 NRHC Budget Bulletins

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2013 Rural Housing Reporters

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Letter to the President

Earlier this week, Rep. Hinojosa (D-TX) finalized his letter to President Obama, asking that Rural Development be a higher priority in the upcoming FY 2015 budget.

With your help, a total of 59 Representatives—including both Democrats and Republicans—signed onto the letter! This sends a clear message to the Administration that these programs are critical to our communities and deserve their support!

Thanks to all the Representatives that signed on, including: Blumenauer (D-OR), Bonamici (D-OR), Brown (D-FL), Rep. Brownley (D-CA), Bustos (D-IL), Butterfield (D-NC), Capps (D-CA), Cartwright (D-PA), Christenson (D-VI), Clay (D-MO), Cleaver (D-MO), Costa (D-CA), Courtney (D-CT), DeFazio (D-OR), DelBene (D-WA), Ellison (D-MN), Engel (D-NY), Enyart (D-IL), Gallego (D-TX), Gene Green (D-TX), Grijalva (D-TX), Hastings (D-FL), Heck (D-NV), Hinojosa (D-TX), Horsford (D-NV), Huffman (CA-02), Jackson Lee (D-TX), Keating (D-MA), Kilmer (D-WA), Kuster (D-NH), Larsen (D-WA), Lujan (D-NM), Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Matsui (D-CA), McGovern (D-MA), McIntyre (D-NC), Michaud (D-ME), Nolan (D-MN), O’Rourke (D-TX), Pierluisi (D-PR), Pingree (D-ME), Pocan (D-WI), Rahall (D-WV), Ruiz (D-CA), Ryan (D-OH), Sablan (D-MP), Schakowsky (D-IL), Schrader (D-OR), Sewell (D-AL), Shea-Porter (D-NH), Stivers (R-OH), Thompson (D-MS), Thompson (D-CA), Vargas (D-CA), Veasey (D-TX), Vela (D-TX), Welch (D-VT), Wilson (D-FL), and Young (D-AK)!

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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.

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2012 Rural Housing Reporters

2012 Rural Housing Reporters

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Nominations Welcome!

All nominations for NRHC’s Board of Directors are due by Friday, November 1st to Sarah Mickelson at Sarah AT Rapoza DOT org.

NRHC Board of Directors are elected by the membership to serve 3-year terms.  This year, the Class of 2013’s term will expire on December 31, 2013.  At the Annual Business Meeting in December 2013, members will elect the Board of Directors Class of 2016. Members will also elect an Executive Committee, which will serve for 1 year.

All nominees must be current members of NRHC for at least 1 year.

Here is a link to Board of Directors Nomination Form, which includes a list of Board Members whose terms will expire in December.