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Rural elderly could lose rental assistance

Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says 15,000 low-income elderly and disabled people in rural areas could lose rental subsidies because of across-the-board budget cuts that went into effect earlier this year.

USDA's rural rental assistance program helps low-income tenants live in government-funded housing. Vilsack said the money for that program could run out in August or September and the lack of rental assistance could not only have an impact on the tenants but also the owners of the apartment complexes.

He said USDA doesn't "have a good answer to what happens other than we're going to run out of money and that's a consequence."

Vilsack spoke about the subsidized housing at a hearing before the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday.