There's power in unity and it's always a great thing to see small communities come together to discuss ways of improving the places they call home. If we join forces, a lot can happen - and it all starts with a vision.
Speaking with the individuals of rural areas and creating solutions to further advance their communities is what I truly enjoy. As the Administrator for USDA Rural Housing Service, listening to the voices of people in small communities and making their vision become a reality is something I strive to achieve.
I recently took a trip to Higginsville, Missouri to join Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Representative for Missouri's 5th District, as well as our Missouri State Director for USDA Rural Development, Janie Dunning and her excellent staff as we discussed the possibility of growth in workforce housing with several community, economic and housing development representatives in Central Missouri.
As part of his effort to maintain and expand rural housing opportunities across the state, Congressman Cleaver initiated this roundtable meeting to establish a conversation between a few community leaders he had in mind who would take action to develop a plan. By taking this important first step, the Congressman focused on bringing awareness to the problems at hand and identifying solutions.
This roundtable discussion put rural housing options to the forefront as we shared each community’s needs and what had to be done for the advancement in their areas. Knowing the infrastructure issues at hand, we deliberated the idea of collaborating with local home developers and organizations to get the gears running and make this goal of housing development happen.
After gathering with the economic development representatives, we met with local lenders and realtors to not only share thoughts on future housing efforts, but to also recognize them for their tremendous contributions to housing in the region. These valuable relationships with lenders, realtors, business leaders and organizations give countless people places to call home.
I feel quite honored to be part of Congressman Cleaver’s plan of meeting the rural development needs in Central Missouri. The establishment of workforce housing in this region will generate more options for growth and economic advancement. Moving forward, the Congressman’s efforts are resulting in further meetings on workforce housing development and USDA Rural Development will continue to be involved with this initiative.