Today President Biden announced the Administration’s updated Build Back Better Framework, detailing several capacity building and affordable housing investments targeted to rural communities. While the final agreement and its passage is still unknown at this time, RCAC applauds the White House and Congress’ commitment to rural and Tribal communities within the framework, and especially for the inclusion of the Rural Partnership Program (RPP) and affordable housing investments.

The RPP program will be fundamental to help people in rural and Tribal communities meet today’s historic challenges with flexible, long-term funding that will support local and community-led strategies. The program will help local governments, organizations, Tribal Nations, and other groups address historic inequities, challenges posed by climate change and other local needs through flexible, long-term funding for communities to implement their own solutions.

The framework also includes critical investments in affordable housing, water and wastewater funding, technical assistance opportunities and funding for a permanent low-income water assistance program. If included in the final framework, the funding would build more than a million new affordable homes, expand rental assistance, and help families afford down payments.

It can never be stated enough that rural communities are the backbone of America. They are diverse, energized and growing. And these historic investments are a critical opportunity to help them thrive. RCAC looks forward to working with lawmakers, the White House, and U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies to implement these historic investments in rural development.