A very interesting article about the housing crisis in the US. Interestingly enough, New Zealand is not the only place with a discussion about affordable living and house prices. However this article touches on a slightly different matter, namely the housing crisis in rural areas.

It can be hard to understand how finding affordable housing could be an issue in areas where housing is substantially cheaper than it would be in the nearest city or suburb. But the fact of the matter is, despite lower costs of living, income for many in rural areas is also significantly lower thanks to limited economic opportunities and struggling industries, like coal.

As the article nicely states, employment options are rather limited in rural areas, wages are lower and therefore building or maintaining a house can be in comparison more costly then in urban areas where wages are higher.

When travelling along the East Coast in my last holidays, I did come across many abandoned houses, farms, sheds etc. in the Gisborne area. The land may be cheaper there, however it would appear that the building cost is still comparatively high considering material cost.

Poverty is high in rural areas, with about 17.2 percent of rural residents living below the poverty line in 2012 versus 14.9 percent nationwide, according to 2012 data from the HAC. “Much of the affordable-housing stock in rural housing areas is old and in need of repair.

Looks like the US and New Zealand have quite a bit in common.

via Rural America’s Silent Housing Crisis – The Atlantic.

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