A Commitment to Rural America
The barbershop where Josh got his hair cut as a kid is boarded up. His hometown’s only school closed right after he graduated. The grocery store is abandoned, just like the funeral home, restaurant, and gas station. When these businesses left, the entire community dried up. This is a tragedy, and it’s happening all across the Fifth District. We can restore our network of thriving, robust rural communities and small towns, but it requires strategic investment. Rural communities feel left behind by Congress because they have been – now is the time to reinvest and make our communities whole again.
- Consolidating federal services for rural programs under a single agency that can address the unique challenges of rural housing, land grants, transportation, healthcare, education, and small business development.
- Addressing underinvestment in rural communities by providing grants to develop and rehabilitate existing homes, commercial property and roads, and passing the Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit to incentivize homebuying for low- and moderate- income borrowers.
- Engaging a robust interagency effort to address the national crisis of affordable housing.
- Helping develop rural hospitals into healthcare hubs that provide a variety of non-emergency services, and funding rural hospitals through fixed yearly budgets rather than per-service fees.
- Developing programs to rebuild and remodel rural schools for 21st century learning. This includes reducing schools’ carbon footprints through renewable energy sources, giving students equal access to high-speed broadband, and fix aging classrooms that have asbestos, mold, and other safety hazards.
- Expanding broadband via the ReConnect program, which gives financial assistance to service providers who can build out “last mile” services. This will level the playing field for students who continually get left behind simply because of their zip code.