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September 13, 2012

Johanns, Tester Bill Cuts Red Tape for Rural Housing Agencies, Levels Playing Field for Rural Communities

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today introduced bipartisan legislation with Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) to reduce burdensome red tape for small public housing agencies nationwide so they can more easily provide affordable housing.

“By implementing the reforms in this legislation, small housing authorities will be able to spend more time helping their residents and less time on burdensome paperwork,” Johanns said. “This bill gives small housing authorities – especially those in rural communities – the flexibility they need to operate more efficiently and effectively without government getting in the way.”

Tester said, “Federal regulations should ensure that small rural housing agencies are not hampered in providing affordable housing to rural communities. This bipartisan plan will ensure that rural housing agencies aren’t overburdened and that they have the flexibility they need to serve their communities.”

The Senators’ Small Housing Opportunity Act would streamline inspection and compliance requirements and eliminate excessive paperwork for public housing authorities that support fewer than 550 homes.  This will bring the requirements more in line with the resources and number of units that small public housing agencies manage so they can focus on serving low income families.

Small public housing agencies are currently required to follow the same reporting and inspection rules as large urban housing authorities even though they have far fewer resources and control fewer housing units.  

Text of the legislation is available online HERE.

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