Rural Housing Initiative

New! Full Rural Housing Report & Brief Now Available!

HousingForward Virginia has completed the full narrative report on the state of rural housing in Virginia. We will be continuing this initiative in 2017 by coordinating with housing providers to facilitate capacity building in rural Virginia.

You can find the full report and a 4-page research brief by clicking the images below:

Meeting Housing Needs in Rural Virginia (Full report)
Research Brief: Meeting Housing Needs in Rural Virginia
Research Brief: Meeting Housing Needs in Rural Virginia

Recognizing that rural affordable housing needs vary widely from those faced in urban areas, Housing
Virginia initiated its Rural Housing Initiative in the fall of 2015 with a preliminary survey of rural providers, followed by a pre-conference session for these providers at the Virginia Governor’s Housing Conference. There, we discussed the findings and probed further about their most pressing needs and the trends they are seeing in their communities.

HousingForward Virginia plans to use the information from these providers, along with housing data and best practice research, to develop an action plan to assist rural providers and improve the lives of their clients.

Why do we need this program?

Rural residents face very different demographic, social, and housing challenges than their urban counterparts.

Particularly in the southwest corner of the state in Central Appalachia, residents have experienced widespread and persistent poverty that has been exacerbated by the economic downturn, resulting in additional job losses and a further decline in the availability of resources. Their struggles have become visible in the substandard housing conditions they endure, where many live without plumbing and electricity.

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Preliminary Survey Results

Virginia’s rural housing providers understand the unique and growing pressures that their clients are facing, and they are struggling to serve them effectively as resources decline. HousingForward Virginia’s survey of rural providers showed that:

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HousingForward Virginia is currently meeting with rural housing and service providers around the state to conduct a deeper analysis of each area’s needs and the trends they’re seeing. All of the information gathered will be used to create an action plan that will address these gaps and needs as well as recommend policy alternatives.


Rural Housing Directory

With data from the Virginia Housing Development Authority, we have put together a preliminary Rural Housing Directory, which you can download below. We are currently taking in updated information and suggestions from providers around the state and will re-release an updated version in the early fall. Please contact with any updates you would like included in the next edition.

Download the first edition of the Rural Housing Directory here

You can also explore the Rural Housing Directory using a new interactive map!

(Click the image to open the map in a new tab.)

 Materials from Rural Meetings

Here you can find the program materials and summaries from the meetings we have already conducted. Check back here periodically for updates!

7/14: Martinsville, VA

7/15: Abingdon, VA

7/28: Warrenton, VA

8/11: Middle Peninsula, VA

8/30: Blackstone, VA

Can’t find what you’re looking for?
Contact us for more info.