Congresswoman Elaine Luria announced Saturday that after pushing for the position, the Department of Agriculture will hire a Rural Development Specialist for Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

The decision comes after Luria pushed for the reestablishment of the position to assist residents of the region.

“For too long, Eastern Shore residents were unable to receive professional help with federal loans for affordable housing and home repair, which is why I remain a strong proponent for this position. I am thankful for the hard work of everyone who helped fill this vital need,” said Luria.

Ava Gabrielle-Wise of the Eastern Shore Regional Housing Coalition says the position has been absent for years and Luria’s support was vital to getting someone hired to fill the “extremely important gap in housing services.”

“For many seniors who are in dire need of resources to repair their homes and families who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for a conventional mortgage, this may be the difference between living in substandard housing and a safe, quality home,” she said.

Rural Development Virginia says they have already begin the recruitment efforts to fill the spot.

“Many thanks to Congresswoman Luria for her advocacy and support for the Rural Development Specialist position and her continued efforts in the very important cause of housing on the Shore,” continued Gabrielle-Wise.

The Rural Development Specialist will help residents navigate two important loans. The USDA 502 homeownership loans for those who live in rural areas and can’t obtain housing through traditional financing and the 504 repair loan program which help low-income occupants of single-family homes in rural areas make property repairs.

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