"Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced an initiative that will use USDA's rural development resources to help fill the need for transitional housing for people recovering from opioid and other substance use disorders. In January, President Obama tasked Vilsack, who is chair of the White House Rural Council, with leading a federal interagency effort focused on rural opioid use. The initiative is the result of a conversation Secretary Vilsack had in May in New Hampshire at the Hillsborough County Superior Court, where individuals involved with the state's drug court program told him that a lack of access to affordable housing made it challenging for participants to successfully complete their recovery from addiction.
The initiative includes:
- Encouraging the use of USDA Community Facilities financing for transitional housing projects;
- Making vacant USDA housing properties available for lease or sale to qualified non-profits to transform the properties into transitional housing;
- Launching a pilot project to make vacant USDA multifamily rental units available to tenants participating in treatment programs;
- Releasing a suite of data that will better link existing USDA facilities with treatment service providers across the country.
Substance use abuse