A lack of affordable housing has often been characterized as an urban issue, but communities of all sizes across America are facing a shortage of safe and quality homes, especially for lower-income people. A complex network of federal, state, and local regulations and highly-specific community needs can make it difficult to come up with a singular plan to fix the issue, but the stories in this collection shed light on just some ways that rural and small-town America are addressing housing needs.
Three of the stories focus on actions of one particularly important stakeholder in developing affordable housing: nonprofits. For Colorado's Post Independent, Carla Jean Whitley (@inkstainedlife) highlights the way that live-work spaces for creatives and artists can ease pressures on the housing market and help open up affordable units for other residents of the community. Jan Anderson (@janderso69), for The Boulder Monitor, details the ways that non-profits, resident-owned communities, and community land trusts are all examples of more innovative strategies to address issues of affordable housing. Melissa Hellmann (@M_Hellmann) explores the ways that non-profits are focusing not just on affordable rent prices, but on making homeownership - an important tool for accumulating wealth - more accessible to people of all incomes. Finally, the Christian Science Monitor's Story Hinckley (@StoryHinckley) shifts the focus from non-profits to tell the story of two rural New Mexico towns offering incredibly affordable housing to teachers in a bid to attract and retain valuable talent.