In this brief, authors Jessica Carson and Marybeth Mattingly use interview and focus group data to describe some of the ways that restricted rural housing stock affects working families in two rural New England counties, and explore solutions proposed by rural residents and experts to make housing affordable. They report that many rural places are challenged by unaffordable and inadequate housing. In rural communities with scenic amenities, the draw of second-home owners and retirees restricts housing options for local working families. Land use regulations to preserve the scenery in these places limits options for developing affordable housing. The federal safety net provides good options for many rural residents struggling with housing costs, but the programs are often insufficiently funded to reach all residents in need. Policy makers and practitioners should consider innovative ways to improve and leverage existing housing stock in order to expand affordable, high-quality options for local working families.

Publication Date

Fall 11-14-2017


National Issue Brief No. 128


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



Copyright 2017. Carsey School of Public Policy. These materials may be used for the purposes of research, teaching, and private study. For all other uses, contact the copyright holder.





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