Coming to Terms with Housing and Homelessness in Rural Places with Jonathan Harwitz and Amanda Reddy

Season #5

In the first episode in our fifth series, Coming to Terms with Housing and Homelessness in Rural Places, we begin our episode with the Housing Assistance Council’s (HAC) Director of Public Policy, Jonathan Harwitz. Prior to joining HAC, Jonathan was Director of Housing Community Development and Insurance Policy for the House Financial Services Committee. He also served as Managing Director of Federal Policy and Government Affairs at the Low-Income Investment Fund, a large national Community Development Financial Institution. Jonathan shared that in his over 20 years of public policy, he has always relied on HAC as a voice for rural housing.

During this discussion Jonathan shares HAC’s mission of helping rural communities address their needs for affordable housing, as well as an overview of the state of rural housing in America. Michelle and Jonathan also discuss HAC’s 2024 Rural Housing Priorities included the need for--and barriers to-- capacity building programs and well as funding and financing for rural housing. 

In the second half of this episode, Michelle talks with Amanda Reddy, Executive Director of the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH). Over the last 15 years, Amanda has worked with communities to effectively prevent housing-related illness and injury by implementing evidence-based and equitable policies that improve housing quality. Prior to joining NCHH, Amanda was a research scientist with the New York State Department of Health, where she supported a range of programs focused on improving indoor and outdoor air quality in homes, schools, workplaces, and outdoor settings. 

This Rural Impact conversation is very timely because April is National Healthy Homes Month, and during the conversation Michelle and Amanda discuss NCHH’s role in creating healthier home environments, and working to prevent environmental health hazards through awareness, education and policy.  The two also talk about housing issues impacting the health and wellbeing of rural residents, and how unhealthy housing conditions contribute to a wide range of preventable illnesses and injury, and finally, the funding and legislation needed to make rural homes safe. 

To learn more the Housing Assistance Council’s Policy and Advocacy Activities please visit: 

To learn more about the National Center for Healthy Housing’s Federal Funding for Rural Healthy Housing Fact Sheet please visit: 

Policy Watch: As discussed in this episode, follow this proposed legislation:
Whole-Home Repair Act of 2024 - S. 3871