Low-Income Rural Housing Advocates: Attempting to Meet the Overwhelming Needs of a Population in Crisis
Berge, Lynda G.
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I served as an intern with the Housing Assistance Council (HAC), a national non-profit organization that strives to alleviate the housing problems of the rural poor. It was my time at HAC that opened my eyes to places like Tunica, Mississippi and exposed me to the problems of a population whose need goes largely unnoticed by our society in general. This group of 'invisible poor' are those likely to be living below the poverty line in substandard, overcrowded housing in rural areas. Most are minorities, elderly, or American Indians, most are employed, and all are in great need. They are not on our doorsteps or on city streets. Consequently, we urban dwellers do not see them with our eyes or with our conscience. We assume the problem does not exist since we do not see it. However, because poor non-metropolitan households make up 31% of all poor households; 41% of all households in severely substandard housing; 490/0 of all units with inadequate heating; 700/0 of those with inadequate water supply; and 790/0 of those with inadequate sewage (American Housing Survey, 1987), the problem is too large and too expansive to ignore. It is the purpose of this project to illustrate some of the main observations which I have made and to expose the reader to some of the issues surrounding rural housing through my experience at the Housing Assistance Council.If you are not a current K College student, faculty, or staff member, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request access to this SIP.