Duffy amendment to prevent poverty in rural areas clears House

The House of Representatives approved an amendment on Tuesday introduced by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) that would take steps to reduce homelessness in rural areas.

Duffy’s amendment to the Transportation and Housing & Urban Development Appropriations bill (T-HUD) would allocate $10 million to the Rural Housing Stability Assistance program from funding that was previously set aside to address homelessness.

The program was established in 2009 to help prevent poverty in rural areas by providing support for those who are at risk of becoming homeless, but it hasn’t been funded.

“The pain of poverty affects our communities in rural America just like in urban America, but often times it can be a lot more complicated,” Duffy said. “The face of poverty is different in rural America. Instead of having families move out onto the street, often time we see neighbors – two or three families – moving into a single bedroom apartment so they can give their kids shelter.”

Last year, Duffy convened a hunger and homelessness summit to explore ways to prevent people in rural areas from sinking into poverty and becoming homeless in the first place. During the summit, Duffy said he and his staff wanted to collaborate with federal and state agencies to ensure that resources flow into rural communities that have been stricken with hardship.