Senators Shaheen, Smith, and King Introduce Rural Housing Preservation Bill

Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Angus King (I-ME) introduced the “Strategy and Investment in Rural Housing Preservation Act” (S.1490) in the U.S. Senate. The bill would preserve affordable housing in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Housing Service portfolio and make other needed changes to the USDA’s rental housing programs.

“Every community is impacted by our nation’s affordable housing crisis, including those in rural America, where often the only source of affordable rental homes is those financed with federal resources, said Diane Yentel, president and CEO of NLIHC. “When these homes are lost – whether due to the lack of repairs or when property owners exit the program – it can have devastating consequences for low-income seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and others. We look forward to working with Congress to enact the Strategy and Investment in Rural Housing Preservation Act as an important step to ensuring affordable homes in rural communities are preserved and protecting the people who live in them from harmful rent increases, evictions, and displacement.”

The bill would codify and make improvements to the USDA Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization (MPR) program, decouple USDA’s Section 521 rental assistance from USDA multifamily mortgages to ensure low-income residents can remain in their homes when the owner pays off the mortgage, require the USDA to create a written plan to preserve affordable housing for USDA multifamily housing residents, and make changes to USDA’s vouchers and rental assistance contracts.

Read Senator Shaheen’s press statement on the bill at: