Rural Voices: Cultivating Citizen-led Design

Design for the public interest takes on many forms, from Main Street redevelopment to landscape architecture to historic preservation. In all the rural towns HAC has worked with and featured in this issue of Rural Voices, there is also an element of engaging the community to create a shared vision for all town residents. Partnering with local artists to paint a mural or build a coalition for a local creative economy not only brings more beauty into public spaces, it can draw economic investment to the town. Ultimately, local citizens are tapping design to create a sense of place-that’s what creative placemaking is all about.

HAC’s foray into rural design has only solidified our housing work, while broadening the horizons for us and for our partners. Moreover, HAC’s founding documents cite the need for thoughtful design that engages the low-income rural people and communities that we’ve long served. Support from the National Endowment for the Arts makes it possible to carry out this charge.


VIEW FROM WASHINGTON

Boosting the Rural Creative Economy
by Rep. Chellie Pingree

Congressional Arts Caucus Chair weighs in on what works in her
home state – and beyond
.

FEATURES

Arts, Placemaking, and Design Help Imagine a Bright Future
by Mary Anne Carter

In an interview with Rural Voices, National Endowment for the Arts’ Chair, Mary Anne Carter
offers an overview of rural design’s history and advice on how underserved communities can
persevere through difficult times.

Linking Rural Needs with America’s Architects
by Stephen Sugg and Alejandra Hardin

New American Institute of Architects working group helps to elevate rural architecture.

Cheyenne River Youth Project Carries on Creative Placemaking
by Julie Garreau

In an interview with Rural Voices, Julie Garreau of Cheyenne River Youth Project explains how the tribal nonprofit continues to serve its youth through the arts despite challenges caused by the pandemic.

Rural Studio and the Front Porch Initiative: What Good Design Can Afford
by Rusty Smith and Michelle Sidler

A college architectural program in the South describes their innovative approach to making
housing affordable to local residents.

Hard Times
by Stephen Sugg and Alejandra Hardin

The rural design community and CIRD look ahead by looking back.


INFOGRAPHIC

Impacts of Disaster Felt Far and Wide

Rural Design (JPG)

Rural Voices would like to hear what you have to say about one, or all, of these issues. Please comment on these stories by sending a tweet to #RuralVoices, discuss on the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.


 

Rural Voices: Housing an Aging Rural America

Rural Voices: Housing an Aging Rural America

Download a pdf version of Rural Voices
rv-summer-2020 cover

All members of our communities, particularly older residents, should have access to safe and affordable housing, quality healthcare, and a nurturing support system, regardless of where they live. With the transition of baby boomers into older age, the United States is now squarely in one of the largest demographics shifts in our nation’s history that will impact every facet of our society – especially housing. Quality and affordable housing for seniors lies at the intersection of healthcare, social well-being, and intergenerational living. Addressing this comprehensive issue requires collaboration in each of these areas.

Housing for rural seniors presents unique challenges – and opportunities. In rural America, the impacts of an aging population are already being felt. Nearly one-fifth of the nation’s population calls rural and small towns home, yet our rural communities house almost a quarter of the country’s elderly, and this trend will only grow. The recent world-wide health pandemic has also heightened the concern and care for our older and potentially more vulnerable residents who disproportionally reside in rural America and makes this conversation more immediate.

HAC thanks AARP Foundation for their generous support of this edition of Rural Voices.

Rural Voices: Hope After Disaster: Rural Resilience and Recovery

Wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes and other disasters leave serious damage in their wake and can cause housing crises. No community is immune, but rural areas can experience greater challenges due to a lack of existing disaster recovery infrastructure and fewer local organizations with capacity. Low-income renters, the elderly or those with disabilities and many owners of manufactured homes are disproportionately affected because they lack the financial resources to recover.

This issue of Rural Voices magazine provides perspectives on disaster recovery contributed by entities ranging from local housing organizations to national lenders. They offer resources for affected families, lessons learned and policy solutions. Several of the articles agree that successful disaster recovery requires dedicated financial resources for the affected families and a coordinated effort between the local and federal governments, housing organizations and service providers.

VIEW FROM WASHINGTON

Iowa Flooding Shows Links between Disaster Recovery and Rural Housing
Representative Cindy Axne

Increased capacity and investment can help make disaster recovery successful.

FEATURES

Rural Disasters: Preparedness, Response, Recovery
by Ilene J. Jacobs and Christina Davila

An equitable recovery is possible.

The RAPIDO Model: Disaster Preparation to Improve Disaster Recovery
by Nick Mitchell-Bennett and Omar Hakeem

Texas nonprofit partnership develops innovative disaster recovery model.

Providing Resources and Stability for Disaster Recovery
by Connie Wright

Wells Fargo accelerates recovery for customers with Mobile Response Unit.

Risk Models can Improve Rural Disaster Preparation
by Howard A. Kunst

Wildfire and flooding impacts can be minimized using risk models.

Paradise Lost: Impacts Extend Beyond the Disaster Area
by Karl Ory

A northern California wildfire offers lessons learned.

Driving Change in Disaster Recovery
by Timothy Carpenter

GSE improves program to serve disaster-affected families.


INFOGRAPHIC

Impacts of Disaster Felt Far and Wide

Impacts of Natural Disasters Felt Far and Wide (PDF) (JPG)


Rural Voices would like to hear what you have to say about one, or all, of these issues. Please comment on these stories by sending a tweet to #RuralVoices, discuss on the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.

Rural Voices: Building Capacity for Rural America

Affordable rural housing and stronger rural communities are a longterm endeavor. There are no quick fixes. But there is one constant magic elixir, and it is worthy of ongoing investment: capacity building. That is how local organizations learn skills, tap information, and gain the wherewithal to do what they know needs to be done.

This issue of Rural Voices magazine describes in more detail what it means to build the capacity of rural housing organizations, why it is important, who does it, how it is done, and how it is financed. These stories show that capacity building succeeds. They also show that capacity building is an ongoing process – when an organization masters one set of tasks, it can move on to tackle something different or more complex. Affordable housing development, like life, requires continual learning.

VIEW FROM WASHINGTON

Rural America Will Thrive
Representative Bennie G. Thompson

The Delta’s future depends on a sustained investment in local economies and residents’ well-being.

FEATURES

The U.S. Must Invest in Capacity Building for Affordable Rural Housing
by David Lipsetz

HAC works to empower local entities in rural regions and tribes so they may flourish.

Thinking Nationally, Building Locally
with Suzanne Anarde, Marietta Rodriguez, Terri Ludwig, and Sue Henderson

Rural Voices interviewed four national intermediaries to learn more about how they assist with capacity building needs unique to rural organizations.

Intermediary Support Continues to be Invaluable
by Fannie Brown

Central Mississippi Housing and Development Corporation benefits from intermediary partnerships.

Building Help Improve Texas Colonias Housing
by Jose Alvarez

Building AYUDA’s capacity has empowered them to build the capacity of other local organizations.

A Communitywide Capacity Building Approach is Key

A West Virginia organization works with their community to find solutions to their housing issues.

Learn from Our Experience
by Randall Hrabe

Northwest Kansas Housing offers advice about building capacity.


Rural Voices would like to hear what you have to say about one, or all, of these issues. Please comment on these stories by sending a tweet to #RuralVoices, discuss on the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.

Rural Voices: What Broadband Means for Rural America

What Broadband Means for Rural America

The internet has fundamentally changed the way we live our lives, influencing how we learn, work, and communicate. This edition of Rural Voices explores how local rural housing organizations and local governments can help bring broadband to rural America – increasing the potential for innovation, educational opportunity, and economic growth.

VIEW FROM WASHINGTON

Access to High-Speed Broadband Opens New Doors for Rural Communities
Senator Angus King

The federal government has the power and resources to expand rural broadband.

FEATURES

A Change in Mindset Opens a World of New Possibilities
by Dr. Roberto Gallardo

The Digital Age requires a new way to think about how we build communities.

Broadband Makes Rural Communities Stronger
by Dr. Kathleen Annette

Rural communities in Minnesota understand the value of broadband and strive to widen access.

Rural Maryland County Finds Multiple Ways to Expand Broadband
by Cheryl DeBerry

Garrett County becomes a model for connecting its residents to the internet.

Native Americans Create a Connected Future
by Katie Watson

Tribal members help themselves by building infrastructure and serving their communities with tribally run internet access.

Rural Broadband Expansion Creates Opportunities for All

Rural Voices sat down with Brendan Carr, Commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission, to learn more about the importance of broadband in rural areas, and how the FCC is working to provide access for more Americans no matter where they live.

What is Washington, DC, Doing About the Rural Digital Divide?
by Allie Bohm

Actions underway at the FCC and in Congress could improve or impede rural broadband access.

Public-Private Partnership Will Build Out Affordable Broadband in Rural America
by Sarah Tyree

The Universal Service Fund supports the deployment of broadband in rural areas where access costs are high.

INFOGRAPHIC

The Digital Divide in Rural America

The Digital Divide in Rural America The Digital Divide in Rural America


Rural Voices would like to hear what you have to say about one, or all, of these issues. Please comment on these stories by sending a tweet to #RuralVoices, discuss on the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.

Rural Voices: Working Toward Access for All

50 Years of the Fair Housing Act

Safe and affordable homes, free of discrimination, should be equally accessible to all. This edition of Rural Voices explores the state of fair housing half a century after the adoption of the Fair Housing Act and includes contributions from a federal agency, national nonprofits, and practitioners in the field.

VIEW FROM WASHINGTON

HUD’s Fair Housing Office: Combating Discrimination
Anna María Farías

In a nation founded on the principles of justice and equality, it is unacceptable for anyone to be denied the housing of their choice.

FEATURES

Working Towards Fair Housing in 2018’s Rural America
by Leslie R. Strauss

Rural fair housing advocates rely on outreach, education, cultural sensitivity, and partnerships to address issues that may not have been evident 50 years ago.

HUD Suspends Implementation of Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule
by Renee Williams

In early 2018 HUD suspended implementation of a regulation put into place in 2015.

Vermont Tackles Fair Housing Along with Housing Affordability
by Ted Wimpey

Vermont’s Fair Housing Project encourages residents and local governments to improve zoning and permitting in order to further fair housing and the development of affordable housing.

Disasters Don’t Discriminate, Recovery Shouldn’t Either
by Maddie Sloan

Disaster recovery must be designed to be fair for all, even if pre-disaster housing situations were not.

Nuisance and Crime-Free Ordinances: The Next Fair Housing Frontier
by Renee Williams and Marie Flannery

Fair housing laws may conflict with local laws and policies that penalize tenants for calling law enforcement or having a history of arrest or conviction.

Fighting Hate with Fair Housing Laws

The recent increase in hate crimes includes housing-related hate activity, which can have criminal or civil remedies.

Fighting Hate in North Dakota
by Michelle Rydz

A statewide coalition supports victims of hate crimes, including crimes that are related to housing.

INFOGRAPHIC

rv-may-2018-infographicFair Housing in Rural America – By the Numbers


Rural Voices would like to hear what you have to say about one, or all, of these issues. Please comment on these stories by sending a tweet to #RuralVoicesMag, discuss on the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.

Rural Voices: Meeting Native American Housing Needs

This issue of Rural Voices focuses on the progress being made in improving the housing conditions of Native Americans. Considerable challenges, including substandard conditions, overcrowding, insufficient funding, and persistent poverty, face Indian Country, but tribes and their housing organizations are equally persistent in working to overcome them. Rural Voices authors share what readers need to know when working with tribes, highlight innovative projects, discuss funding opportunities, and further describe challenges for a diverse population of Native American tribes across the country. The Wells Fargo Housing Foundation has provided generous support for this issue of Rural Voices, and for HAC’s other work on Native American housing needs and solutions.

VIEW FROM WASHINGTON

Building a Stronger Indian Country: The BUILD Act and Indian Housing
by Senator John Hoeven

The BUILD Act aims to improve the development of tribal housing projects and reauthorize critical Indian housing programs.

FEATURES

Creating Sustainable Homelands through Homeownership on Trust Lands
by Patrice H. Kunesh

A multifaceted approach can help leverage resources to improve housing and economic development in Indian Country.

Partnering with Tribes to Address Housing Needs
by Deana Around Him and Yvette Roubideaux

Open communication, cultural humility, and respect go a long way when working together with tribes.

Important Considerations for Working with Tribes
by Twila Martin Kekahbah

Understanding tribal governance,sovereignty, and the barriers to tribal development is critical to doing business with American Indian tribes.

Housing Solutions that Work for Native Americans
by Anthony Walters

The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act is an important tool in meeting tribal housing needs.

Helping Native Americans Become Homeowners through Section 184
by Jeff Bowman and Tanya Krueger

This Native-owned bank has what it takes to successfully use HUD’s Section 184 program to meet tribal members’ housing needs.

Native Community Finance Serves Native Americans in New Mexico
by Marvin Ginn

Native CDFIs provide funds and services to improve Native American housing conditions.

Housing for Holistic Rez Living
by James “JC” Crawford

Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate has had major success in integrating housing and community needs.

INFOGRAPHIC

American and Alaska Native (AIAN) Communities at a Glance InfographicAmerican and Alaska Native (AIAN) Communities at a Glance


Rural Voices would like to hear what you have to say about one, or all, of these issues. Please feel free to comment on this story by sending a tweet to #RuralVoicesMag, discuss on the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.

Rural Placemaking: Making the Most of Creativity in your Community

This issue of Rural Voices examines Creative Placemaking as it is practiced in rural communities. The term “creative placemaking” is only about a decade old, but rural community organizations have long taken on community-building endeavors that have included the arts. Creative placemaking offers the explicit recognition that arts and artists, when fully engaged with local stakeholders, are often a gel or a catalyst toward sustained community betterment and economic growth.

VIEW FROM WASHINGTON

Illuminate, Connect, Energize, and Imagine: The Arts in Rural America
by Jen Hughes

The National Endowment for the Arts offers funding and technical assistance for rural creative placemaking across the United States.

FEATURES

A Tool for Economic Development in the Mississippi Delta
by Chris Masingill

The Delta Creative Placemaking Initiative encourages communities to engage more deeply with the region’s arts and culture sectors.

Housing Developers Come Together with Arts Groups and Artists
by Bob Reeder

An expert advises rural community developers to keep their placemaking work inclusive, culturally relevant, and economically equitable.

Bridging Boundaries: Contributing to Quality of Life on the Reservation
by Joseph Kunkel

A collaborative process encompassing community, culture, and the environment contributes to the success of a tribal development project.

Kentucky Communities Use Their Creative Assets
by Sandi Curd

Placemaking, at its core, is fostering what is abundant in rural Kentucky: a strong sense of place coupled with people dedicated to making their communities stronger.

Placemaking Grants Support Rural Communities

The smART Kinston City Project Foundation in Kinston, NC and the Woodlands Development Group in Elkins, WV will implement rural creative placemaking initiatives during summer and fall 2017.


Rural Voices would like to hear what you have to say about one, or all, of these issues. Please feel free to comment on this story by sending a tweet to #RuralVoicesMag, discuss on the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.

Rural Voices: Action for a Rapidly Changing Rural America

This issue of Rural Voices reports on some of the learning and brainstorming that occurred at the Housing Assistance Council’s 2016 Rural Housing Conference: Building Rural Communities. The magazine presents some of the conference highlights. Several articles are adapted from speeches given there. A set of maps taken from a conference presentation by Lance George, HAC’s Research Director, provides a dramatic view of some current “ruralities” – the ways rural America’s demographics and housing are changing. A series of five articles addresses action for a rapidly changing rural America on topics ranging from persistent poverty to creative placemaking. These pieces are based on white papers developed for the conference and in-depth participant discussions at the event. Their recommendations are timely and important as rural housing faces changes in policy and funding.

VIEW FROM WASHINGTON

Inequality Harms Us All
by Congressman Keith Ellison

Investing in rural America will not only improve the lives of people who live there, but will also help create a thriving country where everyone can succeed.

FEATURES

Ruralities: The Changing Face of Rural AmericaRuralities: The Changing Face of Rural America

A set of maps demonstrate the ways rural America’s demographics and housing are changing.

Rural Community Development Can Address Inequality
by John Henneberger

A model demonstration Rural America Community Building program in each state would help overcome racial and economic inequality.

Action on Housing Programs and Infrastructure
by Hope F. Cupit and Julie Bornstein

Rural advocates can act on housing programs and infrastructure needs by improving messaging and advocacy efforts.

Action on Persistent Poverty and Rural Inequality
by R. Scott McReynolds and Ann Williams Cass

Rural advocates can act on persistent poverty and rural inequality by building the capacity of nonprofits and local government agencies in persistent poverty areas.

Action on the Opioid Epidemic and Rural Affordable Housing
by Alan Morgan

Rural advocates can act on the opioid epidemic and connected housing needs by making resources available, educating relevant parties, and working with partners to coordinate services.

Action on Creative Placemaking
by Bob Reeder and Lisa Neergaard

Rural advocates can use creative placemaking to help act on community needs.

Action to Nurture Rural Leaders
by Gisela Salgado and Janet Topolsky

Rural advocates can act on the need for future leadership by improving staff recruitment and retention, as well as educating and involving policymakers and community leaders.


Rural Voices would like to hear what you have to say about one, or all, of these issues. Please feel free to comment on this story by sending a tweet to #RuralVoicesMag, discuss on the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.

Rural Voices: Innovation in Building Technology for Affordable Rural Housing

Building decent, affordable housing for the lowest-income rural Americans requires creativity – in financing, design, planning, and even in administering organizations. This issue of Rural Voices is meant to provide helpful examples for the field, and we encourage readers to share other innovations as well.

FEATURES

Small Size, Big Results: Tiny Houses in Hale County, Alabama
by Pam Dorr

Tiny homes, from 400 to 850 square feet, can provide decent, affordable homes for rural Americans with very low incomes, while blending beautifully into existing communities.

Cargo Containers Become Simple, Decent, Affordable and Energy-Efficient Homes…It’s Happening in Kentucky
by Mary Shearer

Abandoned cargo containers are converted to highly energy-efficient, simple homes for extremely low-income Kentuckians.

Kicking and Screaming All the Way to Greater Energy Efficiency
by Patrick Shiflea

After hesitating to adopt new construction techniques and add costs, Alaska CDC staff have concluded increased energy efficiency is worth it for homeowners.

Factory-Built Housing as an Affordable Housing Solution
by Stacey Epperson

Modern manufactured and modular housing options can serve as an affordable alternative to site-built structures.

From Tornado to Sustainable Community in Saint Peter, Minnesota
by Rick Goodemann

After a major disaster, intensive planning and community-wide innovation produced new affordable housing as well as improved electricity and broadband service.

The Basics of Process Improvement for Affordable Housing Organizations
by Josh Crites

New ideas that improve project management can pave the way to an efficient and organized affordable housing process.

View from Washington

Doubling Down in a Time of Uncertainty
by Ellen Lurie Hoffman and Michael Bodaken

As advocates for affordable housing face the uncertainties of a new Administration, it is clear that our work and our partnerships have never been more essential.


Rural Voices would like to hear what you have to say about one, or all, of these issues. Please feel free to comment on this story by sending a tweet to #RuralVoicesMag, discuss on the Rural Affordable Housing Group on LinkedIn, or on our Facebook page.