April 19, 2020 In the News

Shaheen, Hassan call for housing aid for rural areas

Concord Monitor
By Tim Camerato
April 19, 2020

Housing assistance for America’s rural communities should be included in future COVID-19 stimulus bills, New Hampshire’s Senate delegation said Sunday.

In a letter to ranking members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, both Democrats, called for additional funding for the USDA’s Rural Rental Assistance Program.

The program reduces rent paid by low-income families who live in rural or farm labor housing financed by the USDA.

While roughly $3 billion in housing assistance was included in the bipartisan CARES Act, none of that was directed to the program, according to Shaheen and Hassan.

“All across the country, in both urban and rural areas, low-income households are struggling to afford essential payments as their incomes decline,” the senators wrote in a letter cosigned by 15 colleagues.

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee, has “long fought for resources for rural housing” and will continue to do so while negotiating relief bills, spokesman David Carle said Sunday.