By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer
While much has been reported on the ever-increasing rents in urban areas around the United States, rural residents face the same pressures to pay for housing yet have fewer resources to draw on to overcome these challenges.
“You think it’s often just with big cities,” Lance George, director of research and information for the Housing Assistance Council, told KPAX, which serves western Montana. “Housing costs are lower in rural areas, but incomes are pretty low too.”
In recent Congressional testimony Stan Keasling, president of National Rural Housing Coalition and RCAC’s CEO said that the Trump administration’s proposed 2020 budget would cut multiple rural housing programs., said “A laundry list” of programs, including direct homeownership, home-repair loans, and loans and grants for rural rental housing would be cut if the budget is adopted.
Rural poverty also outpaces poverty in urban parts of the country, with 23 percent of households surviving on annual incomes below $21,000, or the 2018 federal poverty guideline. In large metropolitan areas, that figure is 17 percent.