Report Highlights Housing Issues in Rural America

Rising costs and an aging housing stock are squeezing rural households, with the impacts felt unevenly across ages and ethnicities.

1 minute read

December 13, 2023, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial view of mobile home community in rural area with homes lined up diagonally next to small road.

Greg Kelton / Adobe Stock

A report from the Housing Assistance Council (HAC) outlines the housing issues faced by rural Americans, who are experiencing sharp increases in housing costs and other factors that make housing affordability a more pressing issue than in past decades. Lia Kvatum describes the report in The Daily Yonder, noting that “Housing costs have increased dramatically over the last few decades, and the Covid-19 pandemic only exacerbated the problem.”

While the homeownership rate in rural areas is higher than the national average, this doesn’t hold across all demographics. Meanwhile, “One quarter of all rural households spend more than 30% of their monthly income on housing. More than 40% of those are renters.” And “While rents in rural areas are typically lower than in urban and suburban areas, more than half of rural renters live below the poverty line, making market rate rents—even in rural areas—beyond their reach.” Rural housing stock is also often older, requiring expensive energy efficiency and safety retrofits. 

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