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Affordable Senior Housing in Rural America

by Published On: May 15, 2012
Rural Voice Cover for Winter 2011

Building, preserving, and operating affordable housing for seniors, both single family and multifamily rental, in rural America presents challenges and opportunities. 

The winter edition of the Housing Assistance Council’s publication Rural Voices was devoted entirely to affordable housing for seniors as a critical concern as the rural population ages, addressing issues around both single family and multifamily rental housing.

The issue included an article about Housing with Services that I wrote with Dr. Robyn Stone, executive director of our Center for Applied Research. 

The magazine provides an overview of the state of seniors in rural America and then provides case studies of various programs: 

  • Rehab and home repairs programs in rural California.
  • The rural multifamily developments of LeadingAge member Cathedral Square Corporation in rural Vermont.
  • Examples of partnerships funded by USDA’s Rura Housing Service and HAC in Iowa.
  • The importance of the Section 202 program in rural communities.
  • A case study of senior housing developed by Catholic Charities Housing Services in rural Washington.
  • The use of reverse mortgages in rural communities.

The Housing Assistance Council (HAC) is the pre-eminent public policy, advocacy, training and technical assistance and below market interest lending organization for housing and community development in rural America concentrating primarily on low and modest income families. 

They were awarded a generous grant by the Atlantic Philanthropies to address the issues of an aging rural population. Under the grant HAC established a Rural Senior Housing Initiative (RSH) with the goal of improving the quality, safety and availability of affordable rural housing for low- and very-low income seniors. 

RSH is working to build the capacity of local organizations to meet the increasing housing needs of an increasing senior population. 

Their plan has a goal of building, preserving, or rehabilitating some 500 homes and apartments.

Housing Seniors in Rural America event

On June 4 and 5 in Burlington, Vermont, the Housing Assistance Council is sponsoring Housing Seniors in Rural America, Resources, Advocacy, and Practice, a 2-day workshop covering the practical and policy issues around affordable housing for seniors in rural communities. 

The workshop costs $50.00 and is supported by the Atlantic Philanthropies. 

LeadingAge member Cathedral Square Corporation and LeadingAge Vermont are co-sponsoring the event.  


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