Rural areas face many of the same challenges as cities and suburbs: blight, foreclosure, homelessness, a lack of available affordable housing. However, the lower density of our rural areas often leaves them with even fewer resources to address these critical issues. Many rural areas lack service providers, non-profit developers, and local housing trust funds, leaving them with fewer tools to address these challenges.
In Pennsylvania, the growth of the Marcellus Shale industry has left many rural communities with a deficit of available housing for even their existing residents, let alone the influx of new workers.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides resources for developing and supporting single- and multi-family homes as well as community building initiatives, but Pennsylvania needs to work to improve the tools available for these communities.