New Homestead Act – Some Hope for Rural Communities
A new report by the Center for Rural Affairs concludes that the proposed New Homestead Act’s use of asset-building strategies, such as Individual Homestead Accounts, would capture much of the potential of these strategies for enhancing the lives of low and moderate income individuals and families in rural communities.
“We believe that nationally, based on assumptions of Individual Development Account use for small business development and rates of employment for those businesses, Individual Homestead Accounts could create or expand 153,000 businesses and create over 268,000 jobs in qualifying counties. The highest numbers of jobs would be created in Iowa, Texas, Illinois, West Virginia and Mississippi.” said Jon Bailey, Rural Research and Analysis Program Director at the Center for Rural Affairs and co-author of the report.
The report, Building Wealth in Rural Communities: The New Homestead Act and Individual Homestead Accounts, examines the Individual Homestead Account provisions of the New Homestead Act, which was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and a bipartisan team of Senators.
“The New Homestead Act contains policy ideas to provide incentives for people to remain in, or to relocate to, rural counties that have experienced significant population loss over the last 20 years,” said Bailey.
“The New Homestead Act, and Individual Homestead Accounts specifically, while needing some modifications to address infrastructure and implementation challenges, offer real hope for rural residents and rural communities,” Bailey added.
For a copy of the full report, with state by state analyses, go to – http://www.cfra.org/new_homestead_act_report.htm
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