G.K. Butterfield Aims to Provide Relief for Homeowners in Persistent Poverty Counties
Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) last week introduced the Persistent Poverty Counties Loan Relief Act. The bill would give government entities within persistent poverty counties -- counties with 20% or more poverty for the past 30 years -- the ability to restructure outstanding Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development loans, which are zero down payment mortgages for eligible rural and suburban homebuyers. As of the last decennial Census, there are 384 persistent poverty counties across the country. “We must do more for our most distressed counties across the country,” said Butterfield, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. “Giving local governments in these persistent poverty counties the ability to restructure their outstanding USDA Rural Development loans will allow them to improve the quality of life for many struggling communities in rural America.” The Rural Development loans identified in the bill are designed to help rural communities build critical utility infrastructures, such as water treatment and electric distribution and generation facilities. They also target the expansion of broadband and telecommunications infrastructure to enable rural students and teachers access to information and teaching materials needed for success in the 21st Century. Other loan programs eligible for loan restructuring in the bill are designed to help rural communities build essential community facilities like hospitals, child care centers, and affordable rental housing options for low-income individuals and families. More here.