Growth and locational impacts for housing in small communities

Ann Ziebarth, Kathleen Prochaska-Cue, Bonnie Shrewsbury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Many Americans believe that small rural communities are ideal places to live. They assume that small rural communities offer a safe environment, a supportive community, and affordable housing. In contrast, research indicates that rural households are more likely to live in unsuitable or inadequate housing and have lower incomes, making affordable housing difficult to obtain. Although there are data highlighting regional or urban-rural differences, very little research has been conducted on the housing situation among small rural communities. The research presented here explores housing availability and affordability in 589 Midwestern communities. Findings indicate that, based on the community's growth and location, there are significant quantitative housing affordability and availability differences among small communities. However, these differences were contradicted by focus group discussions that indicated key similarities of housing concerns across small communities. The findings have potential impacts for public policy implementation in small communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-125
Number of pages15
JournalRural Sociology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997

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