The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided a report to Congress proposing their reorganization. The new plan creates an Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agriculture Affairs. However, it also eliminates the Under Secretary of Rural Development, a department which includes rural housing programs. Instead, rural development agencies will report directly to the USDA Secretary.
While the USDA report calls this move an “elevation” of the program, NAR is concerned that it will undermine the importance of these programs, which provide valuable access to housing financing in rural communities. USDA is not required to eliminate an Under Secretary to create a new position, so elimination of this area is unnecessary. NAR sent a letter to Congressional members with jurisdiction over USDA, asking them to retain the Rural Development Under Secretary, and keep these critical programs fully functioning.