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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Denver Riggleman (VA-5)

October 19, 2020

Press Release

Washington, D.C. — This week Reps. Denver Riggleman and Abby Finkenauer (D-IA-01) introduced the Protect Rural Housing Act to broaden affordable housing options and protect tenants in rural communities. This bill is part of Congressman Riggleman’s continued efforts to support rural communities in the 5th District and across the United States.

Specifically, the Protect Rural Housing Act would create a three-year pilot program to provide grants to states, localities, tribes and non-profit organizations to help rural communities confront urgent housing needs and jumpstart long-term investment into small towns across the country. 

“I’m proud to be the Republican lead on the Protect Rural Housing Act. Access to safe and affordable housing can help communities grow and families prosper,” said Rep. Denver Riggleman. “Owning a home is part of many families’ American dream and I can’t stand by when so many rural communities are unable to provide that opportunity. This bill takes steps to ensure rural areas can provide more affordable housing options.”

“I want to thank Congressman Riggleman for working with me on the Protect Rural Housing Act help ensure folks in rural Iowa, Virginia, and across the country have more quality and affordable housing options. Safe, affordable housing isn’t just an urban issue. Our small towns and rural places also face a housing crisis that makes it harder for families to settle down and get ahead,” said Rep. Abby Finkenauer. “From bad landlords to condemned properties to an overall lack of affordable options, I have seen the challenges facing some of our rural communities firsthand and knew that something had to be done. The Protect Rural Housing Act will invest resources to help families immediately and make long-term improvements to make our small towns more attractive places to live.”

This bill also includes reform legislation to Section 8 Housing Choice voucher program which would require the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to hold landlords accountable and protect tenants. 

The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the issues facing low-income housing communities, as many are battling to get back on their feet in the wake of this international crisis. The pandemic has undoubtedly impacted those in low-income areas more harshly than other more metropolitan communities, and this bill will take a significant step in making sure those in small towns are provided with affordable, well suited housing options.