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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release April 1, 1999
                       VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES
                    GOVERNMENT WILL PROVIDE $115 MILLION 
                         FOR RURAL RENTAL HOUSING

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced today that the federal government will provide $115 million to help rural families throughout the nation secure affordable multi-family rental housing.

"For more than 200 years, homeownership has been the cornerstone of the American Dream," Vice President Gore said. "With what some are calling the best economy in American history, we have it within our power to make sure that dream reaches even more corners of America.

"And by directing a portion of these funds toward Empowerment Zones, Enterprise Communities, colonias and Native American populations, we will make more housing available to rural residents who have traditionally had a difficult time obtaining decent, affordable accommodations."

The Department of Agriculture will provide the announced funds. Of the $115 million total, $81 million will be used to develop new facilities, while $34 million will go for rental assistance to individual families. Elderly residents are targeted for 47% of the projects funded. Multi-family housing money comes in addition to funding provided to individual rural homeowners by the Agriculture Department.

"USDA will provide housing to over 2000 rural families this year through its multi-family rental housing program," Glickman said. "With these funds, we hope to continue our efforts to maintain the stability in rural America by providing community services, business opportunities and access to safe housing."