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Shaheen-Led Rural Housing Provisions Signed Into Law

** The two bills will bolster existing rural housing options, make new construction easier and protect renters across the Granite State**

(Washington, DC) – Several key provisions introduced by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) were signed into law as part of last week’s FY2024 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The Shaheen-led provisions will help to preserve existing rural housing, build new housing in rural areas and protect low-income renters in rural areas from losing their homes. 

“New Hampshire is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis—ranking fourth in the nation for lack of housing—and we have to do more to provide Granite Staters with affordable options,” said Senator Shaheen. “We must build more housing, preserve what already exists and put protections in place for renters, particularly in our rural and low-income communities, which are overlooked all too often. I’m glad to see these important provisions signed into law, bringing more affordable housing for rural Granite Staters.” 

The FY2024 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which is now law, included several key provisions from Shaheen’s Strategy and Investment in Rural Housing Preservation Act. Shaheen’s standalone legislation would preserve rural rental housing and ensure that hundreds of thousands of low-income tenants in rural areas are able to maintain access to safe and affordable housing. It would protect access to affordable housing for families in rural areas that are often elderly or disabled, who are at risk of losing rental assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Housing Service (RHS). The provisions secured by Shaheen will allow USDA to begin implementing her legislation and allow USDA rental assistance to continue to be offered to low-income tenants at properties with maturing mortgages. This would preserve rural rental housing options for Granite Staters and Americans across the nation. 

The Promote Affordable Rural Housing Act, co-led by Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), makes U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) loans for new construction easier. Specifically, it will extend the loan window for USDA Section 524 Rural Housing site loan program from two years to five years, increasing flexibility for borrowers. The Section 524 program provides loans to non-profits and local and tribal governments to acquire and develop land to be subdivided into building sites for low and moderate-income families.  

Senator Shaheen is a leader in the Senate working to combat homelessness and housing instability by helping to ensure Granite Staters have the resources they need to thrive. Recently, Shaheen introduced bicameral bills that would help preserve and revitalize manufactured housing communities and protect the rights of residents of manufactured housing communities. Shaheen also led the New Hampshire congressional delegation in securing more than $350 million in Emergency Rental Assistance Funds and $50 million in Homeowner Assistance Funds for the state.