The Rural Housing Affordability Crisis
"The problem of housing affordability, long a concern in popular big cities, has moved to rural America," according to an article by Tim Henderson, who writes to share new analysis for Stateline, an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts.
"Nearly one-fourth of the nation’s most rural counties have seen a sizeable increase this decade in the number of households spending at least half their income on housing, a category the federal government calls 'severely cost-burdened,'" explains Henderson. In fact, only two big city counties kept pace with those rural parts of the country for the size of rent increases.
As for why rural counties are facing a housing crunch, Henderson cites a pair of reasons: "Losses of high-paying jobs have hit some rural regions, such as a cluster of coal-dependent counties in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia, especially hard. Other places are struggling with affordable housing because new workers in economically revived areas are vying for rental housing, putting pressure on prices in a rental market with a limited supply."
Patrick Sisson provides additional coverage of Stateline's analysis in an article for Curbed.