Our new white paper at Partners for Impact shines a light on the dire shortage of affordable housing options facing rural communities across North Carolina. Approximately one third of the state’s 10 million residents live in rural areas. But an influx of new residents combined with a slowdown in construction has created a major housing supply and demand imbalance.  

Rural counties near expanding metro areas are experiencing skyrocketing home prices and rents that price out long-time residents. Rural retirement destinations face similar price hikes that push out lower income seniors and blue collar workers. Even public servants like teachers and first responders are getting priced out of the communities they serve.

With little new affordable housing being built, existing stock deteriorates from lack of upkeep. Aging manufactured homes become unlivable but unable to be moved. Absentee landlords fail to maintain rental properties properly. Poor living conditions become the norm for rural residents without means.

Limited infrastructure in rural areas makes new development difficult. And many rural governments lack the expertise or capacity to access complex funding streams that could support affordable housing projects.  

The result is a full-blown housing crisis leaving rural communities with no place for lower income residents to live. Seniors, families, and individuals see their wellbeing deteriorate as substandard housing or homelessness become their only options. As rural leaders seek solutions, Partners for Impact stands ready to provide strategic planning, community engagement, and tailored technical assistance based on their extensive experience across North Carolina.