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Today, U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) questioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development's proposed budget for fiscal year 2015 during a budget hearing with the U.S. House Appropriations Committee on which he serves as chairman. Specifically, Chairman Rogers asserted his concern for proposed cuts to Rural Housing programs, like the Section 502 Direct Loan and Section 523 Mutual and Self Help Housing programs. 

"We know the game the administration is playing: cut funding for useful programs in order to make room for new spending and create the illusion of budget savings," said Rogers. "But choosing to cut from these rural programs time and again shows lack of respect for our rural communities and the constituents who have made these programs successful."

Rogers shared an example of how the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, located in London, Kentucky was able to provide financial counseling and guidance for a victim of extreme domestic abuse. The woman was approved for a Section 502 Direct Loan, and with the Self-Help Housing program, she was able to build a home for thousands less than it would have cost to hire a contractor. 

"Today, that woman and her daughter are living in a home that she can afford," said Rogers. "Without the Self-Help Housing program and Section 502 Direct Loans, she would not have been able to have the benefits of homeownership and the clean slate that opportunity afforded her." 

Two other Kentucky organizations, Frontier Housing and the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (FAHE), have participated in USDA's demonstration program that not only helps low-income rural families become homeowners, but has significantly reduced the amount of time it takes for USDA to process its loan applications. 

"I hope that you can begin to support these programs with a renewed emphasis rather than cutting them to make way for a wish list of new spending," said Rogers.

Rogers has served Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District since 1981. With a focus on economic development, job creation, fighting illegal drugs and preserving Appalachia’s natural treasures, he has a reputation for listening to his constituents and fighting for the region he represents. For more information, visit or follow Rogers on Twitter and Facebook.

Watch the USDA-RD Budget Hearing.
*MEDIA NOTE: Rogers' opening statement begins at 9:20.

Rogers' opening statement is available here. 


Chairman Rogers questions USDA-RD Proposed Cuts to Rural Housing Programs