- Created: Monday, 27 June 2016 15:54
- Written by Carolyn Szczepanski
The national report provided further proof of what we at MHP know so well: rural and tribal communities face particular challenges when it comes to affordable housing.
Last week, the Harvard Joint Center on Housing released its annual “State of the Nation's Housing” report and, as many in the housing world opined, there was good news and bad news. While the housing market has recovered by some metrics, affordability has plummeted by many other standards with a historic number of cost-burdened renters.
While urban centers often dominate the conversation, the report specifically calls out the challenges of rural and tribal areas. As the Housing Assistance Council, a national nonprofit that helps build homes and communities across rural America, noted: "The report details ongoing challenges facing non-metro and tribal areas, where poverty rates are higher than the national rate. Substandard housing is a particular problem in these areas — housing in non-metro areas is twice as likely to have incomplete plumbing, and housing in tribal areas is five times as likely to have incomplete plumbing. Meanwhile, federal housing assistance targeted at rural and tribal areas is limited and has seen a decrease in funding."
Since 2009, our Community Development team has been working extensively in rural and tribal communities, not just in Minnesota but across the country. What have they learned? When it comes to closing gaps in housing there are many common challenges.