The Section 521 Rural Rental Assistance (RA) program will experience harmful shortfalls as a result of sequestration and other across-the-board cuts in the FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill. According to the Rural Housing Service (RHS), rental assistance will experience a $65 million cut in FY 2013. RHS has told stakeholders that the impact of the RA shortfall will be limited to September 2013. The situation risks the solvency of rural affordable housing properties because if a contract runs out of money in August, no funding will be available in September, and RA not received in September will NEVER be received.
NAHMA is now focusing its attention on the Senate, which is currently marking up its FY 2014 Appropriations bills, including the FY 2014 Agriculture, Rural Development and FDA Appropriations bill. This bill has yet to reach the full Senate for a markup, so now is the time for members to call their senators and ask for restored RA funding. Even if you are not affiliated with rural housing, NAHMA is urging ALL members to contact their senators. Legislative action must be taken at the earliest opportunity to either restore funding in time to avoid the RA shortfall or to provide funds in FY 2014 to compensate owners for the lost RA in FY 2013.
Please read more about this issue on the NAHMA Grassroots Action Center. There you will find more talking points for your message and the NAHMA maps feature can show you the number of rural housing properties in your state.
To find your senators and their contact information, please visit this link: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm