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Sep 10, 2019

On Trump Administration Plan to Address Affordable Housing, Tester asks Treasury Secretary: ‘How much input did you get from rural America?’

Senator: “We’ve got just as big a crisis in rural America, if not worse, and nobody is paying attention to it”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today grilled U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a Senate Banking Committee hearing over the Trump Administration’s plan to address the ongoing affordable housing crisis and whether it would provide relief for communities in Montana and across rural America:

“I don’t want to talk about housing in San Francisco or LA or Denver or New York City or Atlanta or Miami or Houston. I want to talk about housing in Miles City and Plentywood and Great Falls and Billings and Missoula; in Pablo, in Rocky Boy,” Tester told Mnuchin. “Because quite frankly, we’re talking about large cities, and we’ve got just as big a crisis in rural America, if not worse, and nobody is paying attention to it. So I want to start with you, Secretary Mnuchin, when this plan was developed, how much effort was put in to getting information from rural and frontier America on affordable housing?”

Mnuchin responded that the Administration received input from a variety of sources, before promising, “This should very much help the people in Montana, not just the people in New York and California.”

Tester, Montana’s only member of the Banking Committee, also demanded answers from Mnuchin on the Administration’s proposed changes to the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, and received assurances that the Administration would not move to remove government backing from those loans.

Tester is a strong advocate for expanding affordable housing opportunities in Montana. Through his role on the Senate Appropriations Committee, he played a key role in negotiating a bipartisan budget deal that made substantial investments into affordable housing initiatives including the HOME and CDBG programs. Earlier this year he helped secure more than $4 million for Public Housing Authorities across Montana and more than $26 million for affordable housing in Indian Country.

Read more about Tester's efforts to expand affordable housing in Montana HERE.

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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