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From the National Rural Housing Coalition:

 

Dear Rural and Community Development Advocates:

As you have likely seen, the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Budget request proposes drastic cuts and eliminations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development mission area.

Overall in terms of Budget Authority (BA) current rural development programs are cut buy $867 million or 31 percent. Virtually every direct loan and grant program, including Section 502 Direct, Section 504, Section 523 Mutual Self-Help Grants, Section 515, and Section 514/516 Farmworker Housing Loans and Grants, is zeroed out in the budget. Section 521 Rental Assistance, while not eliminated, is funded at $1.345 billion – a $60 million dollar decrease from the FY 2017 rate.

The Budget request must be viewed in the context of the proposal from USDA to eliminate the Under Secretary for Rural Development. On May 11, 2017, USDA announced plans for a proposed reorganization that establishes an Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs and eliminates the Under Secretary for Rural Development. The proposal claims that by eliminating the Under Secretary position, it will “elevate” Rural Development. Against the backdrop of the funding cuts included in the Budget request, the elimination of the Under Secretary Position diminishes – and does not elevate – Rural Development.

Tell Congress to Protect Rural Development! Please sign this petition to ask Congress to protect rural Americans by supporting the rural housing and community development programs which are essential to their communities. Ask them to fully fund these programs in FY18 and to protect the Rural Development mission area.

We are seeking organizations to sign-on to this letter, which we will share with the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. The petition closes on Friday, June 9, 2017. Please sign-on today and share it with your networks.

 

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