Renting in Rural America

Ann Ziebarth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


While the overwhelming majority of Americans are homeowners, there are more than 17 million people living in rental housing in small towns and rural places. Home to a wide variety of households, rental housing provides an essential shelter option that supports family well-being as well as providing a substantial contribution to the rural economy. The purpose of this review was to highlight the importance of rental housing for the well-being of rural families and the economic development of rural communities. I begin with an overview of housing in rural America emphasizing the availability, adequacy, and affordability of rural rental housing. Then, I explain who rents in rural America and the characteristics of rural rental households. Public policies and programs to address housing needs in rural areas are described in the next section. The fourth section focuses on barriers to rural rental housing development. I conclude by presenting theoretical explanations for the conditions of rural rental housing and provide suggestions for research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-104
Number of pages17
JournalFamily and Consumer Sciences Research Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.


  • Housing
  • Housing policy
  • Rental housing
  • Renter households
  • Rural


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